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Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Storyseekers: Unseen Complications

"Come on!" Cheydine said, glancing at the others as he swung into the tree above them.
"You aren't serious, are you?" Naomi asked, simply staring at him. "You want me to get all the way up there?"
"Unless you would rather get eaten." Dallian replied, following Cheydine. Jayrin did the same, and Naomi was left alone on the ground. As another scream split the air, she gasped.
"It's getting closer." Dallian said, giving Naomi an urgent look.
Seeing no other choice, Naomi reached for the branch above her and pulled herself up. This wasn't nearly as hard as it looked. Moving as carefully as she could, she ascended the next few branches until she had joined the others.
Jayrin smiled at her friend. "I knew you could do it."
"And just in time, too." Dallian said, pushing the leaves aside so he could see through. "Look!"
Naomi did, and immediately wished she hadn't.
The beast that emerged out of the forest to her right was the most terrifyingly hideous thing she had ever seen. It resembled a mountain lion, though it was much, much bigger. It was pure black, except for a single silver stripe that ran down its back from the top of its head to the tip of its tail. Everything about it gave off a sense of utter evil.
It screamed again, showing its dagger-like teeth and drawing its claws through the loose dirt.
"What in Estrellica is that?" Naomi gasped.
"Its an Alunsian." Dallian whispered. "I've never seen one this far down the mountain before."
"You've seen one before?" Naomi cried.
Dallian glared at her. "Is that serious question? Ever since Lucien set the Alunsians free in the mountains, not a year has gone by when someone in my village wasn't eaten by one."
" that what killed your parents?" Cheydine asked tentatively, obviously hoping that Dallian wouldn't explode.
He didn't, which was a surprise to everyone. "Yes." he whispered simply, averting his eyes. Naomi looked at Dallian, and then back at the Alunsian. She thought about her own parents, and realized how terrible it would be to have them killed by that monster. It made her feel as though she understood least a little.
"What are we going to do?" Jayrin asked finally, breaking the silence. "That thing is going to find us sooner or later."
Before anyone could replied, the Alunsian screamed and turned in their direction.
"I think he heard you, Jayrin." Cheydine whispered.
The beast took a step closer, growling and tossing its head.
"I've heard that it's almost impossible to kill one." Dallian said. "No one can get close enough."
"Do you have any better ideas?" Jayrin asked, starting to panic.
"I think it's possible to shoot one...but that's the only way."
Naomi took a deep breath and reached for the bow that hung down her back. "I could try."
"Are you sure?" Dallian asked, nervously eyeing the monster as it took a step closer.
"Well...I think so. I mean, I've never actually shot anything that moves, but..."
"You've never shot anything that moves?" Dallian interrupted, eyes flashing. "Then how can we trust you to do this?"
"I think she can do it." Jayrin said, in a softer tone. She turned and looked at Naomi. "I know you can."
"I...I'll try." Taking one arrow from her quiver, Naomi took careful aim and drew the bowstring back. Then she waited.
"Hurry up!" Cheydine said, voice rising as the Alunsian came still closer.
"Wait..." Naomi whispered.
"We don't have much time!" Jayrin gasped as the beast turned in their direction and crouched down.
The Alunsian uttered a low growl from deep in its throat, eyes fixed unmoving on their position. It drew one paw through the earth, turning up the soil with razor-like claws. Even time seemed to stand still as the four Storyseekers stared into its glittering black eyes. It crouched lower, advancing forward ever so slightly.
"Naomi!" Even Dallian was starting to panic.
"Not yet..." Naomi said, paying attention to nothing but her aim.
In one moment, the Alunsian gave its loudest scream yet and lunged for the tree. Naomi let go at that exact instant, and her arrow stuck in the monster's side. It screeched in pain and anger, drawing back for one last leap.
Crashing through the branches around them, it seemed to be using every once of strength it had left.
Jayrin screamed as its cruel claws tore through her arm, knocking her backward into Cheydine. Both of them tumbled out of the tree, hitting the ground far below.
The Alunsian gave one last pitiful screech, falling backward to its death with Naomi's arrow still lodged in its side.
"Jayrin! Cheydine! Are you alright?" Naomi gasped as she and Dallian quickly descended.
Jayrin struggled to her knees, blood soaking through her sleeve. "I...I don't know."
"Let me see."

As Naomi knelt next to Jayrin, Dallian stood and looked around. Something didn't seem quite right, and it didn't take him long to figure out what. Dallian had seen Jayrin and Cheydine fall out of the that tree at the exact same moment. So if Jayrin was here...why wasn't Cheydine?
Dallian tried is hardest not to look worried as he rejoined Jayrin and Naomi. "Where is Cheydine?"
The girls followed his gaze, growing more concerned as they surveyed the deserted landscape.
"He was here just a minute ago." Jayrin said. "Wasn't he? Come to think of it, I haven't seen him since the second we fell out of that tree."
Naomi stood and helped Jayrin to her feet, looking slightly panicked. "Where else could he be?"
"I really don't know." Dallian replied. "It's been less than ten minutes since we last saw him."
"Look at this!"
Dallian and Naomi rushed to where Jayrin was standing, wondering what could have her so excited.
"Those are footprints." Naomi gasped.
"Exactly." Jayrin replied, "Footprints that obviously belong to someone much bigger than Cheydine. And look at the dirt beside them."
Dallian looked closer. "It looks to me like whoever made those footprits was dragging something with them."
"That's what I thought, too." Jayrin responded. "But the dirt here is so lose, the marks that the Alunsian's claws made have already dissapeared. For this path to still be here, they must have been dragging something unusually heavy. Something like a human."
Dallian stared at her. "What are you suggesting?"
"I'm suggesting that, while you two were climbing back down that tree and I was worrying about myself, someone jumped out of the forest over there and kidnapped Cheydine."
"But how?" Naomi asked. "They wouldn't have had enough time!"
"See how dark the forest gets just a few feet away from this spot?" Dallian asked, starting to understand what Jayrin was saying. "For someone to get Cheydine out of view before we noticed, they wouldn't have had to take him very far. After they were hidden, they could simply continue on their way with no fear of us finding them."
"Oh, this is terrible!" Naomi cried. "What in Estrellica are we going to do?"
To Dallian, everything about this journey seemd ten times more dangerous and complicated than it had before. If Lucien and his minions would do something like this...what else would they be willing to do?


  1. What an intriguing story Princess Melody! I do hope you plan to write more soon!

  2. Am I supposed to say Melody here? Fine. It's great, but I wish you'd give us a little background at some point. Other than that, wonderful! Oh, and were you SERIOUSLY writing at 1 am last Thursday?