Submission #14 – Create A World Writing Contest

by darkjade68

Coming of Age

by Laura (Quill)

Nymeria wandered down the palace’s moonlit passages with excited haste. She lifted her green silk skirts in an effort to quicken her pace. The palace was beautiful at night; the way the glowing blue flowers illuminated the pillars and wrapping vines.  Nymeria thought everything about Trelleria was draped in beauty. Nature and structure merged into one entity; the trees twisted to form their homes. There was no place closer to the earth than Trelleria.

Skipping two steps at a time, Nymeria dashed down into the Palace courtyard. It was quiet, empty of Trellerians, but not of life; flowers blossomed in the spring warmth, vines seeped into every crack like a spider web holding the walls together. Nymeria felt the earth between her bare feet; shoes were not something the elves of Trelleria had need of. Fireflies danced to a distance song from one of the local taverns in city. Nymeria hummed the folk tune, spinning mid-walk to dance with the glowing bugs.

Finally she saw her father at the edge of the courtyard, where the Palace and the city connected. He was draped in a dark green cloak, his bearded smile staring down at her as she approached.

“Father,” Nymeria greeted, in her twelve year old voice.

He embraced her in a bear hug. She felt the pricks of his beard on her cheek as she buried herself deep into his chest.

“Nymeria, my sweet daughter.” He gazed upon her with loving emerald eyes, the slightest of wrinkles surrounding them. He brushed back a lock of her white blond hair, twisted into intricate braids

“Where are we going?” Nymeria asked at once. She had been told days earlier that her father had a surprise for her. Two horses stood by her father; his chestnut stallion and a stunning silver mare whose mane seemed to sparkle in the light of the moon and flowers.

Nymeria’s excitement burst. She had never been outside of the city before and her father had promised to take her when she was old enough. The mysteries of the world outside of Trelleria were all Nymeria ever dreamed of.

“Mount your horse, sweet daughter. I have something to show you.”  Her father offered his hand to her as she hopped up onto the sparkling silver stead. Nymeria clutched at the reins with both hands, afraid she might fall off from too much excitement.

Once they were both mounted her father led the way out of the Palace courtyard and down the dirt path into the city. The city was just as splendid as the palace; the trees still forming the houses and shops. Nature was in every part of Trelleria. They believed that life was the most sacred thing above all else, that was why no Trellerian ever ate the flesh of another beast; their diet was from whatever the forest would offer them. Berries, fruits, herbs; these were all they needed to survive.

The road through the city was a straight ride. Nymeria bopped on her horse as it trotted, the music flowing on the wind as they passed the tavern. It was as song she knew well and her father chuckled as she sang along.

“The forest calls us here, to live beneath its branch. We have nothing to fear, beneath the forest branch…”

Soon her words began a steady hum as they arrived at the city’s border. Nymeria had stood at this spot, staring out into the dense forest for hours whenever he father was away. It was custom that children didn’t leave the city until they were of age and Nymeria’s twelfth birthday had past only three days before. She hadn’t even heard stories of the outside from the soldiers in her father’s army. They would come back from patrol and Nymeria would beg them to tell her what lay beyond the forest. Now she would see for herself.

Her silver mare stepped over the border and continued on as though it was an everyday occurrence but Nymeria held her breath with anticipation.

“The ride is not long,” her father promised, but she didn’t care, everything from this point was a new experience for her.

At first the forest seemed the same as the city, no building entwined with the trees, but the growth was the same with vines and flowers and leaves.  The foliage was so dense the only light guiding them were the blue flowers. The moon was hidden above the trees.

As they moved further the trees began to thin, becoming few and far between. The bushy trees grew thinner and soon Nymeria noticed how sickly they looked. Wilted leaves, falling bark, even the flowers didn’t seem to glow as bright here. The images sent a chill down Nymeria’s spine; something wasn’t right about all this.

“Father…”she called out. He was riding ahead of her and it was only now that she realised how quiet he had been; her father who would talk about the first thing on his mind just to keep silence at bay.

“We’re almost there, sweet daughter.” His words were meant to comfort, but his tone was grim.

Nymeria hugged the reins watching the forest disappear. The ground began to rise and Nymeria could just make out a steep slope ahead with the aid of the moon. There were no more glowing flowers now. Her horse snorted, wisps of hot air escaping into the cold. The climb seemed long; longer with her father’s silence, but Nymeria was too afraid to ask what lay ahead.

The slope flattened out and soon her father’s horse halted at the top. He dropped from his mount and crossed to her, lifted her from her steed and placed her on the ground.

“Father I don’t understand,” she whispered, hugging his side.

“Just watch, sweet one,” he replied, stroking her hair.

Nymeria looked out into the darkness and could only imagine what horrid creature might be there. Then a sliver of light caught her eye. It was close to the ground; at first barely anything but soon it grew, rising up. The ball of light was the brightest thing she had ever seen as it took its place in the sky. Nymeria was dazzled by this wondrous rising object.

“Is that the sun?” She gasped, having never seen it before.

“No. A monster,” he father answered, but Nymeria didn’t understand. How could something so beautiful be a monster?

The orb rose higher and higher until Nymeria saw her surroundings for what they were. The earth was a dead, crusty red surface below the mound she stood atop. In every direction she gazed; there was no sign of life anywhere.

Nymeria held her hands to her mouth in shock, letting loose a small gasp.

“It’s horrible,” she murmured.

“And it’s because of that creature.” Her father pointed an accusing fist at the yellow orb and finally Nymeria saw past its bright brilliance. It roared with teeth sharper than knives. Millions of eyes darted in all directions and a forked tongue licked the air.

Nymeria tried to huddle into father, but he stopped her.

“Look at it, my sweet one.” He urged her to face the beast. “This is what you must stop.”

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8 Responses to “Submission #14 – Create A World Writing Contest”

  1. Excellent writing. I am wondering how the monster will be stopped. I really liked this.

    Tim

  2. Wow this is a great story. I love how the happy lovely beginning contrasts with the horrible fateful end for Nymeria so suddenly!

  3. Reblogged this on The Quill Wielder and commented:

    Check put my entry for The Dark Globe Create a World contest and you can enter too! Only a few days left!

  4. Amazing story. Great work, however it must be a sad world for them; no bacon, no jerky…

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