The Well - Oivas’ Entry

in finishthestory •  16 days ago  (edited)

About the Contest

This story is an entry to @bananafish’s Finish the Story Contest. If you fancy participating, you can find the contest here.

-----------------------------------------------******--------------------------------------------------

Prompt

Midnight barbs hooked Sedra’s duster as she sped through the bramble underbrush atop Nox. Errant envy for her psi-meleon’s iridescent scales fluttered within her mind. Perfect. I'm going to look like a bedraggled porcupine.

Beneath her legs, Nox’s sides twitched in time to the clicks his tongue made. His right eye rolled back to meet her gray gaze, mirth shining within the amber orb.

“Har-Har, my impudent beastie.” Sedra flushed, blonde brows furrowing with disdain while kicking a thrasher vine from her boot.

“I couldn’t give a trotter’s tail if Blayne has a thing for quills. He better have a damned good reason for trespassing into our Catacombs.” It didn’t take a psionic bond to interpret Nox’s responding chortle of clicks. She snapped back with a huff, “Who taught you about that? See if I rustle up eels for you anytime soon.”

Rumbling deep within his throat, Nox tensed and sprang to the left. Claws dug into the thick ochra bark of the tree before scrambling up to the outspread branches. His tail waved, readying for a leap before easing down to lie along its length. The frustration radiating from his rider ignored to admire the back of his eyelids.

Sedra clung to her mount, her excitement to be taking the treeline route thwarted by the lizard’s love for his favorite treat. “Nox! This is NOT the time for a tantrum!” Snaking out, the psi-meleon’s tongue hung limp from its mouth, letting her know that he could do this all day.

Bristling, she channeled a fine line of energy to the tuned topaz on her wrist. A bit of rezzing would get his stubborn ass up. Threading the loop with her mind, the aquamarine gem began to spark. Before she could release the resonation to zap Nox’s toe, he slid from his perch to hang upside down from the branch. His smug clicking dared her to go ahead and try it while they were dangling a hundred feet above the forest floor.

The soft light dimmed within her topaz. Like hers, his was an empty bluff. Keeping her grip tight, her thumb rubbed Nox’s hide in capitulation. “Alright!" she growled. "Three eels before bed if you can get us to The Well and back before they notice we’re missing.” 

Triumphant pride purred within the air. Nox swung around to the branch’s top, tensed and leaped the expanse to the neighboring tree. Thrilling from the feel of the wind in their faces, the two raced towards the forest's edge. Both girl and beast let the rush of the journey override their unspoken dread. 

Beyond the green was a showdown with a man who had been their friend. Within moments, they'd be facing their betrayer. One who had abandoned them to fend for themselves so that he could take possession of The Well. 

-----------------------------------------------******--------------------------------------------------

The Story Continues…

Jumping beyond the endmost green, Nox was competing with the wind supreme. Sedra bemused by Nox’s spirit allowed a smile to crack despite the dreaded confrontation. The moment of ecstasy soon turned to horror, when they realized their folly of misplaced attention. 

“Nox, we ran right into their trap,” Sedra fumed as the creature rolled up its eyes.  

The transition from green to brown should have warned them that they were in enemy town. Dead shrubs, carcasses and decaying filth should have slowed them further still. But now the element of surprise was long-back-lost, betraying Sedra as a novice in a master’s gown.  

“Hah, is it the maiden and her mount? What a surprise? Or should I say no surprise at all?” the grim deep voice from the shadows caused Nox to turn into its vicious worst. Sabretooth competing with its fiery eyes were enough to melt the enemy’s heart. Blayne was a heartless warlord, though. A thousand Nox wouldn’t tick the box. 

“Blayne, you trespassed our catacomb, and now you will pay.”

“And what price would that be?” 

“Your unlife.” 

“I have no unlife to be taken,” the underworld warlord bellowed. Sedra was aware of the warlord’s might and his only nemesis, the Angel’s Spire. But much like Blayne, no unlife could touch the Spire, lest they were consumed by its intense fire.   

“First, confess. Why did you trespass?” Sedra held her steadfast glare. She too belonged to the unlife’s care. Sedra’s clan held those souls meant for heaven while Blayne’s those that had to taste retribution before glory.

“Confess?? I admire your valour, but hereafter, you won’t return to your parlour.” 

Nox roared. 

“But let me tell you, nonetheless; that soul in your catacomb, I will enslave it in the unlife. I won’t allow it eternal bliss.” 

“That is not for you to decide. It was put under our clan’s well, and that’s where it belongs.”  

“Neither you nor the soul returns,” Blayne pounced on her. Nox rose to shield Sedra and sent her tumbling down. Nox fell motionless. 

Sedra channelled her energy to the tuned topaz, causing it to spark. 

“Your feeble energy won’t unsettle me? Look at your mount,” the warlord roared. 

“Not my energy but the Angel’s,” Sedra let out the energy spark, piercing the warlord’s armoured bark. The warlord let out a cry in anguish; of a kind, he had never languished.  

“How? ..the Angel’s Spire? Why you… did it spare?” 

“You went against the heavens, that’s why. Your unlife will transcend to life. Be born and hope to make it my catacomb in your next afterlife,” Sedra’s words fell on ears that were turning to ashes.  

The warlord’s army chose to run than to face the Angel’s wrath.

-----------------------------------------------******--------------------------------------------------

Nox relished on the three eels while nursing its injury.  

“But for your injury, we would have gotten away without anyone knowing,” Sedra said. Nox purred in dejection.  

“But for your injury, I would have been lost too.”  Three more eels were added to Nox’s share.

-----------------------------------------------******--------------------------------------------------

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  
  ·  15 days ago (edited)

The retribution is just superb- be born to life. That just made this good piece something very special. Another thing was developing Nox as the good guy, fantasy worlds allow this lee way of animals having human foibles of attachment, emotion and intelligence; forcing the reader to think- What is it that makes man better than animals? Well rounded story with the characters becoming more interesting. Blayne's journey could well become another few stories.
Excellent read, a lot packed into few words!

Hello @sarez, thank you for stopping by, buddy.. Yes, the story needs a lot of explanation as to how Sedra and Blayne ended in the unlife as much as what happens to Blayne once he is born again.. Maybe, I can write a book.. 😊

Posted using Partiko Android

How wonderful you worked the characters !! You close a fiction story with a mixture of emotions, and the humanization literary figure is very good for the reader's reflection. I loved your ending. Kind regards oivas. Good luck in the contest.

Thank you @marcybetancourt! Glad you liked the story.. 😊 😊

Posted using Partiko Android

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

You know @tts, I can't see the play button.. Or is it the Partiko app which does not show the play button?

Posted using Partiko Android

Nox takes great care of Sedra, this is getting very interesting, keep going!!👏👏👏👏😥

Yeah, the creature loves the master.. 😊. Thanks @iamsaray for stopping by!

Posted using Partiko Android

Hi oivas,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Visit curiesteem.com or join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

Thank you @curie!

Posted using Partiko Android

I adore the concept you have here, it reminds me of a more action packed and thrilling Haibane Renmei. The idea of this being a place inhabited by spirits who aren't able to move on, the well holding them, the tribes keeping them safe, helping them fulfill what they need for their spirit to pass on. It's so captivating. I really love how Blayne calls Sedra out when he first sees her, some real feeling conversation for sure. In fact, you have plenty of great lines in here, and as the story progresses there is a real sense of poetry in the language that adds to the epic fantasy feel set up in the first half. It does feel like there is plenty of potential in the concept, the tribes, the warlord, the spire and it's role, this could make for a great longer story, but then, it does work on it's own.

I really enjoyed the ending, the acknowledgment of Nox, and his loyalty rewarded. As the point to end it on, it is really powerful! <3

Thanks @calluna! Yes, this story does beg to run beyond the 500 words limit and create a more vibrant and compelling story. Like for example, why do the souls need to go to the well? But have to respect the word limit here. Maybe, will write a longer story some time later.. 😊

Posted using Partiko Android