Demetriaโ€™s Tale

Submitted for Contest #83 in response to: Write a fantasy story about water gods or spirits.... view prompt

Feb 26, 2021

Fantasy Inspirational

The morning breeze touches my face with the caressing stroke of a mother. My golden hair floats, lifted by the gale falling from the mountain Annaliese high above our camp. Above the highest peak, the wind sweeps down the rock faces until the mist shrouds it entirely. The great Annaliese shines above us all...


The mountain seems to shift with the wind, swaying this way and that as if it were not solid and unmoving. I always smell the sun on her stony depths, feel the pull down to the center of the Earth. Her sister, the river Galatea, dances through the oak trees that stick out from the damp topsoil. Her wiles draw me closer to the edge every day, bring me to the brink of jumping in.


"Come, Demetria," Galatea called to the light of my soul. "There is nothing for you here, I will take you away."


Each day I turn away in sorrow, yearning to be one with the river and mountain, one with the sisters of beauty. They call to me in turn every day... every day...

**

It was a bright dew that touched the prickles of grass. I had awoken in a feverish sweat, thinking not of my people or my obligations but of my sisters, my beguilers, the lovely spirits... I knew that I would have to restrain myself for the day, but that didn't make it easier upon my aching heart.


The mortar that held the logs of my house together was creaking in the light of morning and the cold seeped in through the holes. Shifting morning air tickled my arm as I forced myself to a sitting position.


"Why do you stay, Demetria? They do not value you..." Annaliese called through the cloud of my morning-head. Like the sun, or rather like rain, it penetrated the thick silence that lay in a blanket over my nerves. Still, I silenced the call as I did each day, dressing my bare ankles in sheepskin.


"Thrall, where are ye?" The gruff voice of my master echoed through the camp of warriors. I threw on my clothing as best I could, rushing to the door.


"Your Strength, I have awoken." My head bowed like a swan's delicate curve, staring at the leather-bound feet of Bragi Borg. He was quite tall for his stout name, but he made up for it in fat. Jiggling jugs of skin cascaded off of his hips and legs, flapping a little as he walked. My Master was a man with a short temper, so I did my very best to follow his orders.


My face held taut as he leaned over and breathed down my neck. Smells of tobacco and barley drifted from his unkempt mustache.


"Awoken, are ye? Well, you left me awoken with nay a spot o' breakfast for some time..." He rounded his Os to the point of babbling, where I had to strain to decipher what he was saying. Bragi was an impatient man, so there was no option of not listening.


"Ye know why yer here?"


"Why, Your Strength." I always replied in a bland manner, never letting any emotion seep in.


"To make me breakfast!" With a whirl his hand connected with the side of my nose and I reeled back in surprise. The pain... it pressed deep into my bones like a branding iron. I showed no emotion, a face of stone was all that he saw as he shoved me towards the stove.


"Make breakfast. Ye wanna keep yer pretty face, don't ye?" His words threatened and taunted, daring me to defy. I stood still as ever, remembering what happened to those who disobeyed the warriors.


"Sethe, what happened?"


"Not now, stupid girl. Go to yer cabin."


"Why? What's happened?"


"Go now if ye wanna live."


"SETHE?!" The harsh voice of the warriors resounded through the huts as I ran to close the door to mine. There was pounding and grunts and screams all through the night, and I sobbed behind my oaken door. The poor old thrall never spoke again.


All through the next month I heard her oaths and curses at the warriors like a faulty loop in my brain. All through the month I reached to the table where water would lay filled in a bucket every morning to find the bucket empty and abandoned.


The only girl left in the camp, they poked and prodded at my chores every chance they could get. Spear butts would knock over cups of ale that the foul beasts knew I had to clean up. All through the next year, there was no happiness but in the cold embraces of the mountain and river, of my sisters of nature.


"Come, Demetria, let us hold you..." The warmth of the stone and water would melt my sunken heart and fill it with grit. It was thanks to the sisters that I survived...


"MAKE THE BREAKFAST!" I rushed back to work as my dream faded away in the pale light of day. The warriors would be out hunting soon, running to catch a deer or two. I would run to the crossing of the water and rock, hug the mountain with my two scratched bare hands.


My fingers shook as I placed the whale blubber onto the cast-iron pan. I brushed up against the scorching metal on the side and gasped in horror at the red bumps that rose from the flames.


The meat that the warriors brought in each day was warm and roughed up, ravaged by the berserk slashes and stabs. I would wash it in the river until all of the blood had escaped it. Galatea received the spirit of the poor animal, drifting it away to the horizon as I watched. Whenever I placed the skin on the pan, there is no fight left in the sallow bones. There is no life. I cannot help but be glad for it to have left the horrid world in which I must still live.


There was silence all throughout the camp after I fed the savages their morning grits. No laughing or growling or fighting or yelling or stomping or rustling... silence. There was nothing but me and my memories and my sisters.


I ran to the spot where river met mountain, sibling met sibling, and stopped to catch my breath. Air sped in and out of my heaving lungs, and mist felt its way into my nose as I inhaled. Galatea and Annaliese gave the air I breathed a blessing, in a way, and I enjoyed every gulp of it.


"Demetria, you must leave them... stay with us..." The entreaties of the sisters warmed my heart as I listened in harmony with the flitting of the water.


There was a peace that came over me when I sat amidst the cascading folds of rock and water. I could only realize the stunning beauty of the world around me when I could no longer realize the ugly. When I rested at the shore of the river, I could feel myself and the echoes of my spirit in everything around... from my smile in the river to my heartbeat in the depths of the rocky peak. Galatea and Annaliese were here, and so was I, and so I was.


"Sisters... why must the world be this way?" There was only silence as I stretched out for an answer. I didn't expect any to come; After all, they knew naught the terrors of my world as I did... but one can hope.


The sun began to pierce itself on Annaliese's peak as I sunk down to dusk. I admired the washes of crimson that fell from the canopy of the trees and their shadows. They caught the golden whispers in my long, wavy hair.


"THRALL!" A wave of perfect terror crashed upon me. There was a storm of panic as I ran back to camp. They would hurt me... they would punish me... how could I have been so careless? Even after what happened to Sethe I was careless... I didn't think.


"YOU. Get over here. Now." I trembled in terror as Bragi and his folk crowded around me. Stone face, Demetria, stone and nothing more.

**

"What ar we going to do with theh body?" Mirkin, the thin, wiry archer of the company, said. He sauntered over to Demetria's feet and took out his knife with a great flourish. With a grunt, not caring for neatness, he sawed off the big toe on her right foot. "What? Makes fer good bait." The others scoffed at him.


"Everyone take a toe for bait, then throw 'er in the river." Bragi swung his large axe over his head and severed Demetria's foot from the bone. With a ghastly flourish, he threw it to the company and hauled her over his shoulder.


Upon reaching the river, he saw the waters churning in a darker fashion than ever before. Bragi paid it no mind and threw Demetria deep into the depths with a cold sigh.


"Where'r we going to find a thrall now?" He shook his head in disdain and took a swig of brandy. He had dropped his guard and turned to leave when a slab of rock impaled the ground before him.


"The hell?" As he turned to go around it, more began to fall from the sky, seeming to rain upon him like hail. They formed a pyramid over him and he shouted to his companions, seeing if they would hear him through the walls of rock. To no avail.


A wave rushed over the rock pyramid and swept it down into the depths, sinking Bragi far away from any hope of rescue.


The sisters Galatea and Annaliese smiled within their walls of stone and water, smiled to each other for the sister they avenged.

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154 comments

17:00 Feb 26, 2021

I think this is basically the best thing I've ever written, y'all... do you agree?

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Nainika Gupta
17:02 Feb 26, 2021

Oy, definitely - it was honestly so emotional and fantastical and magical...I could go on forever! amazing job luke <3

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17:03 Feb 26, 2021

Thanks youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like it took a Handmaid's Tale turn, but I'm glad it was great!!!

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Nainika Gupta
17:04 Feb 26, 2021

ooh yeah I was thinking something along that lines....but it was uniquely yours loll so amazing job :)))

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17:05 Feb 26, 2021

Thankooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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I mean, it has a lot of competitors, but it's definitely one of the better fantasy things you've written, hands down!

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17:19 Feb 26, 2021

Aw thanks, Ethan!!!!

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17:30 Feb 26, 2021

Definitely! It was so well-written and sad and upon re-reading it I was absolutely HOOKED.

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17:31 Feb 26, 2021

Aww thanks!

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Zilla Babbitt
17:29 Feb 27, 2021

I'm just going to critique this, kay? Since everyone says it's amazing. But first, I want to say that this is really lovely and yes, basically the best of your work (so far!). "Demetria's Story" or just "Demetria" is a more interesting title than "The Avenged Sister." I think the original title was better/more compelling than the current one. In this story you have a tendency to be overly descriptive. I think in a story like this, with prompts like these, descriptions are vital, but when you have too many, and run on and on, they bog dow...

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17:42 Feb 27, 2021

Yeshhhhh this was much needed!! Yeah, I do tend to do that lol. Oh really?? Ok Iโ€™ll change it back! Those are great ideas and I do love the book!! Thanks so much, Zilla!!!!!

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Nova Weyant
19:27 Mar 11, 2021

It looks like your story is gonna win. It looks really good. Who knows though, someone else might win. But if you win, good job. I really liked your story

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19:31 Mar 11, 2021

Aw thanks so much!!! No one's said that before!!!

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Nova Weyant
13:04 Mar 12, 2021

Well, it is REALLY good. I won't be surprised if you win!

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13:07 Mar 12, 2021

:))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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Radhika Diksha
17:39 Feb 27, 2021

Description, on point. Characters have a definite voice, you amazed me again like you do it every time. I loved the plot and your story. Yes, it's your best work so far. But even your other stories are great. I loved the story a lot. Hope it gets selected.

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17:43 Feb 27, 2021

Thanks you so much!!!!!

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Radhika Diksha
17:44 Feb 27, 2021

Why are you posting so few stories, where is Lukes magic, nowadays.

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17:52 Feb 27, 2021

XD I WASNT A FAN OF LAST WEEKS PROMPTS AND I DO LIKE NO EDITING WHATSOEVER SO I WANTED TO DO SOME WRITING ON MY OWN

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Radhika Diksha
17:55 Feb 27, 2021

Ohh great, what did you bring for your birthday, the books.

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Radhika Diksha
17:55 Feb 27, 2021

Ohh great, what did you bring for your birthday, the books.

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18:01 Feb 27, 2021

Welp I got the first two books of In Search of Lost Time, I got two short story anthologies, a collection of old Edgar Allan Poe, and some other stuff!!

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Radhika Diksha
17:44 Feb 27, 2021

Why are you posting so few stories, where is Lukes magic, nowadays.

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Pippin Took
18:21 Mar 15, 2021

This is pretty good! I like the description at the beginning. I have a tip. Maybe focus a little less on description, for example when you described master, instead of saying "He was quite tall for his stout name, but he made up for it in fat. Jiggling jugs of skin cascaded off of his hips and legs, flapping a little as he walked." You could put "The tall but fat master walked into the room, flaps of skin jiggling off his hips and legs as he did." Also, jiggling jugs sounds a bit strange so maybe that could be a tad different. All in all t...

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18:33 Mar 15, 2021

Thanks so much Abby!!! I do believe this was a ton of description, maybe too much, but I think that that change wouldn't make sense in all occasions because a) He's not walking into a room, its just in general when he walks and b) its meant to be more constant than a representation of the present moment. Thanks for the advice though!!! Ooh, I will sometime tomorrow, ok?

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Pippin Took
19:33 Mar 15, 2021

Okay! No problem! Also, I'm writing a fantasy book, and the main character's name is Demetria! What a coincidence, huh? XD That was what sparked my interest in your story

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20:22 Mar 15, 2021

That's crazy!!!

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Pippin Took
20:40 Mar 15, 2021

I know!

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Pippin Took
19:42 Mar 15, 2021

Wait a minute......... Is your pfp the One Ring?!?!? I'm just noticing my god! XD

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20:22 Mar 15, 2021

YERP!!!!!!! CHECK OUT WHAT IT SAYS LOLLLLLLL

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Pippin Took
20:40 Mar 15, 2021

OML!!! I'm DYING! XD

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20:42 Mar 15, 2021

I LOVE LOTRRRRRRRRRRRR TOLKIEN IS A GENIUS!!!!!

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Ophelia Mcbride
22:21 Mar 11, 2021

I see you have many comments telling you this, but this really a great story! I loved the descriptions you used, and it really transported me into that older time, you have great talent:). I wouldnโ€™t want to say this with confidence, but right after the second break in the story, there is a dialogue that seems a bit more like a typo than the slang of the men(which was perfect btw). Absolutely if this was intended ignore me by all means, it just made me pause on it for a brief second, took me out of the story when I tried to tell whether it w...

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23:57 Mar 11, 2021

Thanks you so much, Ophelia!! This is such a sweet comment. Which part gave you pause?? Ofc I'll check it out in the next day or two!

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Ophelia Mcbride
02:45 Mar 12, 2021

Sorry! That wasnโ€™t totally clear lol. You separated parts of your story with โ€œ**โ€ so right after the second set of those was a dialogue with one of the men. Iโ€™m pretty sure it was โ€œSo what should we do with the body?โ€ I apologize if thatโ€™s not the exact part but it was one of the first dialogues of that โ€œsectionโ€. I also wanted to thank you so much for looking at my work, and that you left comments on it as well, and Iโ€™ll probably say the same thing once I read them lol. So good to meet you!

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20:25 Mar 12, 2021

Ah I understand now!!! You too :)

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Jojo Potato
21:32 Mar 11, 2021

Love the description!! Will you please review mine? :)

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21:32 Mar 11, 2021

Um, sure!!!!

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Claire Lewis
16:35 Mar 10, 2021

I really enjoyed this story! The characters are interesting, the plot is full of tension, and the ending was surprising. Your scenes and the physical descriptions of your characters are very well done. My only critique going forward is to check that your verb tense is consistent in your writing. You occasionally switch between past, present, and future tense in places where it would be clearer to maintain the same tense. Itโ€™s a tricky thing to catch and I often miss it in my own writing! I havenโ€™t really looked to see if anyoneโ€™s guessed ...

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16:40 Mar 10, 2021

Thank you so much, Claire!!! That's so sweet of you!!! For the tenses, I did something that I realized a lot in some famous books I've read like Solzhenitsyn where the timeless things are said in present tense and then what is happening in a plotline is in past tense. Yerp, that's the puzzle!!!!

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Claire Lewis
17:56 Mar 10, 2021

Ah okay, that makes sense! And hooray! Iโ€™ve always wanted one of those little gold fish that Aureliano makes in the book lol

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17:58 Mar 10, 2021

OMG YESHHHHHHHH THE FISHIESSSSSSSSSSS

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Sarah Desouza
05:53 Mar 10, 2021

Scary, as a 30 year old, I do not like what happened to Demetria and the sisters did good to avenge the same. Hmm

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12:49 Mar 10, 2021

Ha well that was life in this world... it is pretty brutal though.

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Pamela Stanfield
21:33 Mar 07, 2021

Bet you had a lot of fun writing this. Great work.

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21:43 Mar 07, 2021

Thanks I did!!!!

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B. W.
06:49 Mar 02, 2021

Hey so how are you doing today? ^^

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12:45 Mar 02, 2021

Great!!!

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B. W.
17:17 Mar 02, 2021

I'm still just tired like usual and a bit bored, but I think I got some good news ^^

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17:18 Mar 02, 2021

Ooh, what is it??? If its personal you don't have to share.

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B. W.
17:24 Mar 02, 2021

I finally managed to make another story after several months of writers block :D and this is some other good news I guess, I've recently been trying to become a voice actor ^^

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17:31 Mar 02, 2021

THATS AWESOME BOTH OF THOSE!!!!!!

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Lillian Brooks
22:53 Mar 01, 2021

Hiiiiiii, Lukeeeeeeee!! Sorry, I'm nuts right now. Anyway, I loveeeee this story!!! It's so amazing and the words flow through the story with a definite air of simple elegance. I love the fantastical air of the story and the swift way the story went, amazing job and beautiful story!! -Lillian Ps, you remember the story starring you? I actually deleted it but it's back. Better than before. Check it out if you ever get the chance ;)

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22:55 Mar 01, 2021

ThAnKoOoOoOoOoOo!!!! Ofc I'll check it out now!!!!

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Lillian Brooks
22:56 Mar 01, 2021

Yeahhhhhh it was awesome!!!

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22:57 Mar 01, 2021

:DDDDDDDD

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Kate Reynolds
20:57 Mar 01, 2021

HEY LUKE. Do you mind checking out a friend of mine that just joined Reedsy?? Profile link: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/anna-may/

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21:04 Mar 01, 2021

SuRe!!!!

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Kate Reynolds
21:08 Mar 01, 2021

YaY!!! Thanksssss

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21:08 Mar 01, 2021

Oop I was her first follower already lol

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Kate Reynolds
21:10 Mar 01, 2021

XD

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16:35 Mar 01, 2021

I'm stumped on your puzzle. I can't think of a book that has to do with both swans and timeee

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16:36 Mar 01, 2021

Lolllllllllllllllll I laughing so hard its a classicccccc

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16:42 Mar 01, 2021

I can't think of oneeeeee When I think of books with swans, I can only think of "The Wild Swans" and "Swan" by Frances Mayes, but I don't think those fit the other emojis about time.

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16:43 Mar 01, 2021

Well, there's a character who isn't a swan but his name sounds like it...

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16:59 Mar 01, 2021

Ummmm... Idk this one ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜…

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17:00 Mar 01, 2021

Lollllllllllllllllll welp there's always another!!!!

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Izzie Q.
15:53 Mar 01, 2021

Heyyyy Luke! What's up? :D GOD DANG THIS STORY IS GREAT!! Wow! I loved this prompt too and was so excited to see how everyone used it and I love yours! I totally got some The Handmadien Tale vibes haha which I loved! Amazing job! Wow, you have an amazing taste in books too! I'm a sucker for the classics and saw in your comments you got some really good ones!

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Izzie Q.
15:53 Mar 01, 2021

I'm gonna go all "old person boomer" on you and cry because books are so expensive nowdays T-T

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Izzie Q.
15:54 Mar 01, 2021

also HMMM I'm busting brain cells trying to figure out your emoji thing! It's definitly got somethign to do with time travel...maybe back to the future? dr.who?

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15:59 Mar 01, 2021

Its certainly related to time... and its the first book of an extremely long book series that is considered classical... and there is a character like the third one...

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Izzie Q.
16:03 Mar 01, 2021

Noooo the third emoji isn't showing up for me T-T is it a guy or something?

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16:09 Mar 01, 2021

Noooo its a swan... lol

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15:54 Mar 01, 2021

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii Izzie!!!!!! Awwwwwwwwwwwww thanks you so muchhhhh!!! YESH CLASSICS ARE THE BEST.

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Izzie Q.
15:57 Mar 01, 2021

RIGHT?? THEY SHOULDNT BE FORGOTTEN THEY ARE LITERALLY CALLED CLASSICS AJSHJAHS I love old laungage too haha people used to speak so differently!

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15:58 Mar 01, 2021

I KNOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! Yeshhhh the sentence structures are so different like in Frankenstein and any Austen novel lol

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Izzie Q.
16:02 Mar 01, 2021

Right?! Wow, what bookstore did you go to? I'm so sad cause my parents have this unspoken rule thats like "if you can get it at the library, dont get it at the bookstore" T-T YOU CAN GET ALL BOOKS AT A LIBRARY BUT THAT DOESNT MEAN IM ALLOWED TO MAKE NOTES IN THE MARGINES AND STAIN THE PAGES WITH MY TEARS- I'm a very emotional reader because I stay up late reading soooo YAY the effets of sleep depreivation lmao

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16:11 Mar 01, 2021

I KNOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!! Ok, that sounds horrible... they obviously have never TRULY read a book in their life lol... you need to hold it, and ones with emotional sentimental value are WORTH KEEPING. My parents just silently scorn... but I don't care y'all!!!!!!!! I went to this really small obscure one that no one really knows about and it isn't a chain, but the lady there is so SMORT AND AMAZING and the books are AWESOME!!!!

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Helen Jett
16:02 Feb 28, 2021

Ok, Luke, this was seriously amazing. My gosh, the emotion and the description and the vengeance. Just, wow. Incredible job!!

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18:09 Feb 28, 2021

THANK. YOU!!!!!

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03:58 Feb 28, 2021

hello

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I am a very... not sure what to say. I'm a very sensitive person, and even the mention of blood or lost limbs makes my head spin, I've fainted while reading gory scenes before. I almost fainted yesterday. Somehow, the hacking off of feet didn't do anything to me, so you are amazing. I can finally read dark stuff without fear of fainting. *I HAVE A CHARACTER NAMED DIMETRIA* *SHE IS VERY KIND AND LOVING* *I KEEP THINKING IT'S HER*

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16:20 Feb 27, 2021

Thank youuuuu!!! Ooh that is an accomplishment!!!! *I bet sheโ€™s awesome too XD*

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Yeah. I mean, it varies on the book, but I actually made a meme about it on Canva (editing app) from Endling. Khara: the arrow is stuck in your side. Byx: let it stick. Me: Yuck. (envisions arrow stuck in side) Khara: I will have to remove it. it will hurt. Byx: let it hurt. Me: (envisions blood pouring from wound) Khara: I will have to make three cuts. Byx: Let me bleed. Me: (Doesn't hear Byx because I am suddenly hit by a wave of nausia and am fainting.) I think I have some typos but that's it LOL

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