Terra Perdita Pt. 1

Submitted into Contest #205 in response to: Start your story during a full moon night.... view prompt


Kids Fantasy

When moonlight and snowfall come together, and you hear snowflakes touching as light as a feather, a child’s curiosity is piked for night’s mystery. So, Lauren and Joey, with Abby and Eddy, sneaked out of their house while their parents were dreaming and ran into the forest with their smiles beaming. There, where the full moon shone, they pretended a king’s throne, and charged with slaying the dragon who tormented the city. They leapt from log and stone, rolling through the snow, battling their imaginary foe.

Lauren stopped their imaginary play, having heard crunching in the snow coming their way. “Shh. Do you hear that? Something is near and knows that we are here.”

“You are hearing things, Lauren,” her brother assures her. “It might be raccoon or deer, but nothing to fear. Come let us raid the dragon's treasure!”

But Abby saw something move from tree to tree and stepped forward to see what she could see. Out of the shadows jumped five wolfmen, walking on hind legs just like the children. Covered with hair from head to toe, with fangs and claws they could see beneath the moon’s glow. The children were frightened and ran for the field, but the wolfmen were fast and nipping at their heels. From over the ridge there came four horses with shiny manes, and upon their heads, in the moonlight could be seen, single silver horns glistening. They were unicorns, large and majestic, and they charged the wolfmen with the slashing and stabbing of their horns. The wolfen retreated, howling for help.

The unicorns knelt before the children with the black one saying, “Quickly, we must go. The Lycan will return. There is no delaying!”

“Who are you,” Lauren inquired, “and what is going on? Where are we that wolves stand like men and unicorns run?”

“I am Aerondale, king of the unicorn. When the moon is full our realms align, children from your world can cross over to mine. When they do, the Lycan are sent to steal them to work as slaves in the pits to mine ore to power the Lycan king's thirst for war. He has subdued most of this realm, which is called Terra Perdita, and he will not stop until all are subject to his will.

“Where are we going? This is not the way home!”

“Mordecai, the last wizard, lives in the valley. To you he will explain all things. For this we shall not dally. The Lycans are coming in greater numbers. We will need you to fight before your night's slumber,” Aerondale tells her as she grasps tighter to his mane.

Fear overcomes Lauren, for how will she fight. She’d feel much better if they’d continue their flight. Across the plains they travel, over the hills they fly, until they come to a lonely house of stone with firelight in the window and smoke puffing out the chimney. How the children longed for that warmth, and maybe some cocoa as they sat by the hearth. But an old man, numbering in years, hollered to Aerondale to hurry, for the Lycans were near. The unicorns knelt near the old man cloaked in brown and the children hopped off, touching the ground.

“Come near me,” the old man says, “My name is Mordecai and that’s all the time we have for explanations.” From his robe Mordecai pulls out a small purse with colored stones, gems of insurmountable worth. Each stone began to rise, glow they did before the children’s eyes. Each stone picked a child and attached to their forehead. To Lauren went red and with it the power of fire. To Joey was blue and the power of water. Abby got white and could master the air. Eddy's was green and the earth he commanded. “There’s no time to explain. The enemy is upon us. Trust in the gems!”

Mordecai charged forward with staff in hand as the unicorns charged past. Lauren began to warm, then fire was born, and she soared into the sky raining down fire on the Lycan army. Eddy disappeared, becoming a rumbling under their feet, he traveled underneath the ground into the thick of the Lycan onslaught and emerged as big as a house, smashing and bashing with hands of rock. Abby took flight into the air. She blew the Lycans about everywhere. They crashed into each other and rose up high, just to fall to the ground where they would lie. Joey was last and turned to ice. One hand became a sword and the other shot ice. He attacked the Lycans, and they were defeated. They ran for the hills, yiping like dogs, and the children with Mordecai and the unicorns hurried back to the house.

“Mr. Mordecai, what is going on? What are these stones that give us power to fight all alone?”

“The prophecy says that four children will come, and the elemental stones will choose them to restore Terra Perdita and return the lost ones. But you must do so before the next full moon if you are to go home. I will help you with this quest.”

“As will we,” says Aerondale.

“Very well, my friend. We must pack and leave at once. We will sleep when we reach the road through the mountain. We should be there by daybreak as the unicorn runs.”

“Mr. Mordecai, will this be dangerous? I am just a kid and even with the stone I am scared,” Eddy says.

“All true heroes are scared, for bravery is the overcoming of fear. This will be dangerous, but good will triumph over evil, and you will soon be back in your mother’s arms.” So, the children mount their unicorns, Aerondale taking two of them, and they head up out of the valley towards the mountain.

The road through the mountain is long and wide. Along it cities are carved into the mountain side. At the southern entrance where our group came, there was a store, a bank, an inn, a saloon, a barn, a post office, and a sheriff's office. Men were walking the streets with bows and arrows made of wood. Mordecai stopped to talk to the Sheriff, and it was understood that the people of the road were at war with vampires to keep their livelihood.

“The Sheriff says we can stay the night. The inn has room, and the barn is alright. But he does not recommend going down the road, for vampires we will have to fight,” Mordecai tells them.

“What do we do, Mordecai,” asks the unicorn Serroway. “Do we fight our way through or go around the mountain and lose several days?”

“I say we sleep and let tomorrow worry about tomorrow.”

Abby woke to a horrible stench, a vampire face separated from her by just an inch. She let out a cry and blew it back. Lauren was quick with a fire attack. Everyone woke and Mordecai’s staff shone with light. Screams could be heard from down on the street. Hurry they did to the unicorns they would meet.

The Sheriff was quick and agile. He could shoot an arrow accurately for a mile. But the townsfolk did not fare well against the vampire swell that came crawling up the road. They walked on the walls, they clung to the ceiling. They attacked everyone they could without remorse or feeling. The children leapt into action. Lauren with fire burned them at her desire as Eddy turned to stone and squashed them to the bone. Abby guided pieces of wood around the road, hitting vampires in their hearts of cold. Joey would freeze them, and Eddy would shatter them. The vampires were no match for the children and fled back into the cavern, but not before the Sheriff took one more out with his trusty bow.

“We are the last free-standing village on the road. The vampires have now taken hold of all the towns. Surely now the mountain must close,” the Sheriff shouts.

“Mordecai, perhaps on our way, vampire we should slay, to reestablish the towns of the road through the mountain, and guarantee safe passage for all weary traveler, for it may still be faster than going around the mountain,” Aerondale suggests.

“If you do, I will aid you until the end of your quest,” the Sheriff says, approaching them as he slings his bow over his shoulder and across his chest.

“I thank you, good sir, for we will need all the help we can get before our journey is over. What do you think children?”

The four children look down into the darkness of the road, uncertain of what lies ahead. They look to each other, then back at Mordecai who is standing amongst the unicorns with the Sheriff by his side, and Lauren speaks up, “We came to liberate Terra Perdita. Let us start here.”

July 05, 2023 19:26

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.