Although this website is primarily dedicated to fitness and health, I also share things from my personal life. Aside from fitness, I have a passion in writing. Like, I seriously love it! Anyways, I have been working on a fantasy young adult book here lately (by lately I mean months 😀 ) and I wanted to share some of it with you.
Field of Legions
“Fear is great. Fear is what makes up our natural instincts isn’t it? Fear sends a sense of electricity through our veins and makes us feel….I mean really feel. I’m afraid right now. I know I am alive because I feel this shock rushing over me and sending chills down my spine. I’ve been in this position before; afraid and alone, hiding in the darkness. The things that are out there, I do not want to see me. They are my cause for fear right now. I have heard of them, we have seen them, but we never want them to see us. They are big and angry creatures that have enslaved my kind, tortured us and forced us into hiding, suffering, and starvation. I never come out this far after dark, but tonight, of all nights, I just wanted to carry on a little further. My name is Bravida. My father saw my face and said it was the face of one who was brave but my mother refused to name her precious girl ‘Brave’. They came to an agreement and decided upon my current name…to my demise. Although, it must be fitting. After all, my Knit seem to all think of me as brave. Some say mischievous, but most agree on brave.
My Knit are my Others. A group of my kind. They say there are other Knits but we only ever see our own. That could just mean that there is too much distance between the Knits and no one travels very far, for fear of my current situation. They call my kind Minoots and we call the large creatures out there Legions. Minoots are much smaller than Legions, with distinctive skin that is so smooth, it appears to glow. Legions are taller, with brute muscle, strength and power. Their males wear tattoos along their arms, although I have never learned what they mean.
I really need to make a move or I feel the Legions will find me, but I fear I will not be able to outrun them…fear. The pulsing in my ears sounds like rushing water as my heart beats faster trying to decide whether or not to be brave in this moment. I can run out from behind this boulder and run down the hill behind me, the Legions may not see that in the dark, so long as I stay quiet. They don’t appear to be hunting anything…or anyone…they just seem to be out. I’ve made my decision and before I have another second to doubt myself, I move quickly and quietly down the hill.
I make sure that I have a good amount of distance between us before I work up the courage to take a quick look back. No one seems to be behind me. I need to get back to the Knit before my mom starts to worry. Some call this brave, mother calls it foolish and reckless.
I head back to the Knit and all is quiet as I arrive, the others fast asleep. Our home is secluded in between two mountains. There is a very narrow entry, too small for a Legion to enter, and the entirety is surrounded by the mountains. We have no way to grow food due the terrain being mostly rock. If we grew outside of the mountain, we run the risk of encountering Legions. Mostly we hunt for food. We each have a job to do, none more important than the rest.
As I near my hut I hear something to my left, a rustling…or fumbling. Then a very loud “crack” followed by “DAMMIT!” I pull out my knife that’s been tucked in my boot and grit my teeth, “Show yourself coward!” The lean figure steps out from the darkness to reveal my friend, Damar, as he speaks, “Bravida, it’s only me. I’ve been watching to make sure you returned. You stayed later than usual.”
“Were you worried?” I snickered as I slid my knife safely back inside my boot.
“Of course not, I know you can take care of yourself. I just needed to be sure. I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I saw you return.” I sat down on the cold, rocky ground and motioned him beside me. He put his wide frame against me and I felt a rush of heat that surely made my cheeks color under the night sky. I couldn’t see his face but there was a twinkle in his eye as he spoke, hushed, “How far did you go?”
I shifted on the hard ground, “Farther. Past the grass line and over the hill. There were some out but I’m okay.” I could feel Damar tense up. “They didn’t see me. I don’t think they were hunting.”
“You could have been hurt.” But he knew this was a useless point to make. I would do what I felt I needed to no matter what he, my mom, or anyone else said. “I can’t always protect you.”
“And you don’t need to Damar.” I grabbed his hand in mine and we just sat there in the dark. I heard him breathing, uneasy. Like he was trying to calm himself. Finally he spoke to me again, “Bravida, you know how I feel about you and about this Knit. My purpose is to keep you safe. Against Legions though? My only ability to protect you is to hide you.”
“Damar I….I know…” I barely heard my own voice but the shame I felt for making him worry rang loudly in the air. “I am sorry but, we can’t just stay in here forever, starving and hiding. I MUST do something.”
“Like what? We can’t fight them. We don’t have weapons to threaten Legions!” He quickly quieted his raising voice. As he pulled me into a hug he muttered into the night, “Our only hope is to stay hidden and keep doing what we’re doing. Leave the hunting and scavenging to the men’s group. Please? Promise me?”
I sighed into his shoulder and immediately regretted my answer to him because I instantly knew it was a lie, “I promise.”
The sun rose the next morning as it always did. It peeped in through the cracks of the hut and warmed up the interior. I didn’t want to move but there was work to be done and I didn’t want to arrive after everyone else. I could hear my mom already up and heard the broom scraping against the wooden boards. I threw the blanket off of me and groaned as I got up to begin another day. My mom stopped when I stepped out and smiled. She always smiled. Even after her world changed and Legions began to reign. Even after father died in battle, she smiled. It took everything I had but I returned her smile and she warmly said, “You are so beautiful this morning my sweet Bravida. You must be hungry. I have some berries and there are still some nuts left. Sit, I have boiled some water and will get you something to eat.” I obeyed. Though I was starving, I knew my mother hadn’t eaten. I decided to make it a point to not eat and just drink the warming liquid. “You were out late last night.” It wasn’t a question but I answered it anyways, “Yes mother. I know, you were worried. Damar caught me coming in and I received the same lecture from him. I’m very sorry I just can’t keep doing the same thing anymore. I need to make a difference, I need to do something more.”
“Sweetheart,” She consoled, “Calm down. I know. I also know, you cannot do this alone and in trying to do so you could get yourself killed.” Her smile was gone but her soothing in her voice remained. “You need a plan. You need help and weapons. What did you think you were going to do? What if they caught you? They defile our females and turn them into slaves. What was your plan?”
I sighed, the truth hurt but I still wasn’t convinced, “I just wanted to see them. If we could sneak into their side, we could steal their weapons and use them against the Legions. There must be something, anything is better than hiding, scrounging for mere morsels.”
“My love, Damar and the men keep us safe. As long as we stay together and out of the hands of Legions, we are safe and alive. Please stop searching for trouble.” Again I felt shame wash over me. Thankfully, there came a knock at our door. My mother shuffled over and barely opened it. A deep voice, a man’s voice bid her a good morning as she let him in. Damar. So tall, he had to duck to enter the hut. His hair was shining in the morning sun that was seeping in, and his skin was glowing golden brown from hours of laboring outside everyday.
“Ladies.” He bowed slightly. “I wondered if I might have a word with Bravida for a moment.” Our eyes met and I wondered if he was here to lecture me again. I rolled my eyes to myself, the nerve.
“Sure,” I said as I led him back outside and around the secluded side of our hut. He shuffled from foot to foot, not looking at me but very focused…on the ground? I waited for him to start, unsure of the context exactly. Finally, he cleared his throat and spoke softly “I need your help.” His eyes met mine at last. “I want what you want. I want to do something. To make some sort of difference. I can’t do this anymore. I want to make a better life for our people and to stop hiding like animals and cowards.” I suddenly realize I was holding my breath and found myself struggling for air in this moment. I kept silent and waited for him to continue. Did he have a plan? What was he saying?
“I found a way, a way in to their territory. It’s not a lot but we can get in there, you and I, and learn more. We could find where they store their weapons. I know it’s dangerous and I understand- ,”
“Absolutely.” I cut him off. “I will go with you.”
He sighed, “Bravida, I know this will be dangerous. There may be a chance we don’t even make it out but…You’re the only one strong enough to take with me. You have a courage no one else here has.”
I smiled at him. It was a real smile. “Damar I am honored. I know the risks and they outweigh what it would mean to stay here for the rest of my life, struggling to survive.”
“I think you know this, but,” He looked down again, at that same spot, “I care about you.” I looked downward as well, suddenly feeling different…self-conscious even. “I want you to know this before you agree to go with me. I also want you to know that I will give my life to protect you, and that I plan to make you my bride.” I felt his eyes on me again and I gathered the confidence to face him. I had a special place for Damar inside, but I never thought he felt this way. He was a kind, strong man, and a damn good leader. He was handsome although he appeared tired and worn. It was hard to imagine a partnership with him though. I’ve never had anything romantic with anyone before, it was foreign to me. Standing here with him now, I took his hand in mine and truthfully I spoke, “Damar, you may have me for life if you go and try this with me. Whatever happens out there, I know we will protect each other, and whether we get to come back or not, I want to go down with the ability to say that I tried. If you give me that, I give you me.” He smiled the most beautiful smile, pearly white teeth shining and green eyes sparkling.
“My dear, you have your wish. We need to pack and leave tonight. We can be there before the sun rises and wait for another sunset. I will meet you here as soon as it is dark. Tonight we begin a journey that we have no idea where it will go or how it will end.” My heart beat loudly in my ears with interest, excitement, concern, so many emotions. There was a heat under my skin too, a new feeling I have never had before. I suddenly saw him in a new light and it felt slightly…forbidden. But for now, I needed to ready myself for our journey ahead.”
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