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Adventure Fantasy Friendship

This is a collab I worked on with Lone Wolf. Make sure to check out her POV!


Lone Wolf's Link:

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/96/submissions/69995/



I survey the peaceful valley that lies spread out before me. On the opposite side of the river, is a stretch of generic army tents that held my future victims. The thought of their general makes me cringe away in disgust. A loud whiny pierces the air, bringing me back to reality.

I sigh with relief at the sound. It's just my loyal companion and commander of my troops, Spots, joining me on my brisk stroll.

"Everything is going according to plan."

"Well, that's good," I replied.

"You didn't let me finish. Everything is going according to plan except for one small detail." Spots paws the ground nervously with her hoof.

"Go on and spit it out then.”

“There was a run in with a spy but they escaped. With that valuable information she might attack at any second, Val.”

“You should’ve been more careful,” I snapped. Spots hang her head dejectedly. I attempt to mend my ways with some kindness, though not my forte. After all, she was only doing her job.

“What’s done is done,” I say while stroking Spots’ black and white ears. “Rally the troops and tell them to be alert 24/7.”

“Of course." With a nod of her head, my faithful zebra is off.

Left to myself, I observe the tranquility of the forest and watch the sun rise. It sends me back to memories of a certain someone I loved--no, still love very much.

I smile a bittersweet smile and trace a long scar on my left arm, usually kept hidden beneath my shirt. That was the last gift I'd received from her before we went our separate ways. Before I knew it the sun was up, and I begin walking toward camp with a troubled mind, knowing she could attack at any given minute of the day.


***


I enter a large tent where a group of tigers, people, and other numerous creatures are gathered. Spots had done her job well; exactly why she was appointed commander. It only takes a few seconds for all eyes to focus on me.

"Look everyone. You know I'm not one for speeches, but I do have a few things I want to say," I begin with a passionate yet serious look on my face. My audience looks uneasy; a sure sign that the news about the spy had leaked. It would take a good speech to rally them and place a burning thirst for justice in their hearts again.

"Listen up; we need the scouts to search the camp for any weak points and place guards in those areas. They'll already expect our defenses to be raised but a little extra security never hurt anyone. They'll come crawling in like ants to a picnic so be prepared for anything and everything.

"The only thing that's stopping us from accomplishing our goal to claim the crown is her and I, for one, am not going to let a girl beat me to it. Now who's with me!" Like music to my ears, the crowd shouts their approval. Pleased with their change of mood, I dismiss the meeting and make my way to the stables.

Once inside, I notice my mare all saddled up and ready to go. My white coated steed greets me with a hearty neigh, eager to claim what is rightfully ours. She snorts and paws the ground.

“Steady Phantom, steady,” I say as I hold my horse’s silky grey muzzle in a firm grip. Her large coal eyes reflect the green in my eyes.

“Come on girl,” I say as I hoist myself up onto Phantom. “We have a battle to win.” With a shake of the leather reins, we’re off to our destiny.


***


As I gallop toward the river, I catch my red-headed captain wave me down from her chestnut horse, Ginger. I slow Phantom down to a walk.

“Sir, everything is set in place. Their messenger came, saying they're ready for the two generals to come forward.”

I purse my lips together. "Thank you Aubrey. Stay here until you hear my signal. The rest goes for them," I say, jabbing my free hand at my army of tigers and creatures alike behind us.

She nods. I take one last look at Aubrey's beautiful auburn hair made alive by the wind before galloping up to meet General Wolfie's coal black steed.

Wolfie puts on an emotionless face, allowing me no insight into her feelings whatsoever. Smart move, I think, mimicking her expression.

“So, General Val. Long time no see," she begins.

“Thanks for pointing out the obvious, General," I say coldly. All I want to do is take her up in my arms and hug her and tell her how much I love her, but I can't. War had unwritten rules, you know.

“We have a war to fight, but it doesn't have to be this way. There can be a way out of this.”

I let the message sink in but it's still not enough to tempt me to change my ways. If anything, she's the one who should change.

"You broke my trust when you left. It was my sworn duty to look after you but now that you're older and don't have time for me anymore..." I gaze towards the dilapidated castle off in the distance. "It's time I put my love into something that will love me back.”

She gives me the evil eye, but nothing more.

“Well, I guess everyone has to grow up eventually. Some take longer than others. But the past is in the past; we have a war to fight now." She turns to her troops, signaling the conversation is closed.

I couldn't believe what I said; the words slipped out of their own accord. The truth was I loved my twin sister very much, I was just afraid to know how she felt about me: the brother who allowed the assassins of our parents, the king and queen, to walk into the palace right under my very nose.

"Wait!" I shout. She turns back with eyebrows raised.

“Yes?”

"Happy birthday Speedy." I give her a weak smile.

“You remembered," she comments as if unsure what else to say or do. “Happy Birthday Val." She returns the smile.

"Of course I'd remember. Oh, and thanks for the birthday wishes." I wanted her to remember me in a positive light in case I didn't make it out of this battle alive.

I suddenly remember something very important. "I'm sorry. I forgot to bring a gift," I falter, fumbling with my reins.

Without waiting for her reaction, I turn Phantom around and trot toward my militia to prepare for war. Wolves against tigers. Brother against sister. A battle of brethren. Not a word more is spoken. Everything is still as if trapped frozen in time. Until it’s not.

All of a sudden, an ear splitting roar sounded from the western valley, like a giant lion. Tiny moving specks on the crest of the hill grow larger and larger with each passing second. On seeing this new attack, everyone breaks into action.

Despite all the chaos and utter confusion around me, my immediate thought is to find Wolfie and keep her safe. I urge my horse across the river toward enemy territory. At this point, I don't care if I'm taken prisoner or killed.

At the blast of a trumpet, I look up to see dozens of red and black flags towering over the battlefield. They're back, I think with horror. The murderers of our parents, the Assassins, are back. This looming threat only makes me push Phantom even harder.

"Come on girl, come on!" Tears of anger, guilt, and sadness fall down my face. "If anything happened to her, it would all be my fault." Lo and behold, my miracle mare brought me to my sweet, sweet princesa. I wipe the tears off my face.

"I could use some help, you know!" she shouts to me over the tumult of noise and battle cries. She's fighting a lion with an eye patch and a murderous looking centaur.

I step in to assist, taking over the fight with the centaur. Even though her face is glowing with sweat, her vibrant black hair wild like the wind, and her hand wielding a sword; I think she's the most beautiful person I've ever met. I take down the beast in one fatal swoop of my ruby encrusted blade.

“Some way to spend a birthday, huh brother?”

"Why wouldn't I be enjoying myself? Slaying baddies with you and fighting side by side with my sister?! It's just like the old days!" Once we both set aside our stubbornness, we made a pretty decent team.

"Yeah, the good old days. You know, it was rather selfish of me to want to rule the kingdom. I'd rather be fighting with you instead of sitting on a boring throne all day," she said, bringing her sword down on the lion who whimpers like a puppy.

“My thoughts exactly.” It was much easier to admit my feelings when we were in the midst of a battle. I study the bloodstained battlefield. With both our forces combined, we had outnumbered the Assassins and they were beginning to retreat. Suddenly, Wolfie gasps.

“What is it?” I ask urgently, taking over her newest opponent: a gigantic cobra patterned serpent.

Without answering my question, she leaves me to fend off the snake on my own. She must've had her reasons, I think desperately. She wouldn't have just abandoned me like--like last time.

The mutated snake, about thirty feet long and just a thick, whacks me off Phantom like I weighed nothing more than a paperclip. My horse rears in fear and gallops away. No, don't leave me, too.

I make contact with the ground, the air knocked out of my lungs. So much pain. Large spots cloud my vision, and I cannot tell what's up or down anymore. The sandy colored snake slithers over to me, allowing me to bathe in its looming shadow.

One of my eyes is swollen shut, and I can't hear anything out of my right ear, either. I had never felt this vulnerable before.

Without wasting any time, the snake bares its fangs and strikes. I roll over to my left, but just in time. The creature hisses in irritation. I try standing up, but I must've twisted my ankle since I collapse onto the ground again like a wilted flower.

Its malicious yellow eyes are filled with pure hatred and anger. It inches closer to me with a smirk on its face. Quicker than the speed of light, the snake attacks yet again and sinks its fangs deep into my left arm.

A scream escapes my lips as I squeeze my eyes shut in pain. I keep still, knowing that if I moved it would allow the venom to spread throughout my body quicker. A searing headache leaves me twisting in agony on the ground. I feel sick and feverish. No battle wound hurt as much as this one.

My best hope was to lie still, hope I didn't get trampled to death, and wait for help. I cling onto my consciousness for as long as possible, but it doesn't take long to drift off…


***


I groggily open my eyes and take in my surroundings. I was in a dim room where there were dirt walls, dirt ground, dirt everything. There was something familiar about this place...and something was missing, but what was it?

"Rise and shine, little one."

The noise startles me, causing me to jump and hit my head on the low roof of a dirt wall.

"Ow, what was that for? And who are you?" I pull off the warm covers and regret that decision immediately. I feel so sleepy and drained. What had happened? I think hard to remember but nothing comes back to me.

"Easy there, little one. You wouldn't want a relapse."

"A relapse? Little one? I have a name, you know," I say with a venomous air. Was this person serious? I was a prince. Leave that term for my baby cousins.

"Yes Val," the voice replies in an annoyed tone. "Must you repeat everything I say?"

How did this stranger know my name? I decided to ignore this question. "Where am I and who are--”

"Tsk, tsk. The little boy is curious but that won't do, will it Ember?" I look around the room but it's too dark to see who or what is talking to me.

"So that's your name. Ember."

“Just go back to sleep. More peaceful that way. Lucky you got me to rescue you instead of my sister, Elena. She's too much of a worrier.” That one word triggers my memory.

"My sister!" I throw back the sheets and step out of bed. Big mistake. The world spins and my lungs forget how to breathe.

"Woah, slow down. You're not going anywhere in this condition."

I'm taken up under my arms and put back into bed. It's then I catch my first glance at my rescuer.

“You have claws and wings…”

“Well duh, I'm a dragon.”

“Interesting. Are you by any chance the son of King Elliot and Queen Thornbush?”

Silence on Ember's side and then, in a stiff voice, "Yes, that's me. I can't believe you had the guts to bring their names up. Especially since our kingdom is supposed to be a myth."

The dragon crawls forward and lays on the ground, taking up most of the floor. He was a magnificent beast with ruby red scales and golden claws. Ember looked small for a dragon, but nothing less than fierce.

Menacing horns stick out from his massive head. To finish off the picture, was his long spiked tail and pair of amber eyes. We sat in companionable silence for some time.

"Why did you save Wolfie and me?" Nothing.

"Aren't dragons supposed to be greedy and selfish? Only watching out for their own kind?" As expected, that got Ember talking. A spout of smoke even betrays his offended feelings.

"Lies. All lies. We don't trust many outside our own kind because of those who take advantage of us and then betray us. Starting with the Assassins who captured my parents and siblings, except for Elena and me. Similar to your story, am I right?" I nod.

"We're willing to team up with you two and bring them down. We took a huge risk in bringing you two to our Cave, exposing our location in the process.” It was so much to take in.

“Now come on. I’m sure you want to see your sister.” Before I can get out of bed, a knock sounds at the door and in comes the person I wanted to see most.

“Oh Val! I’m so glad you’re okay.” She’s on the verge of tears as she embraces me in a tender hug.

“You’re safe,” I whisper, stroking her jet black hair. All too quickly for my liking, she pulls away and turns her attention to Ember.

"We should get going. Thanks for all your hospitality, Elena and Ember.” On hearing Wolfie’s words of goodbye, I realize how much I'll miss the protection of my scaly friend.

“Can’t you come with us?” I ask hopefully.

“I’d love to, but we already have our claws full with royal duties and all,” he remarks, getting up onto his feet.

I bite back a frown. “I understand. Well, thanks for your help Ember. Tell Elena the same for me?” A nod of the dragon’s majestic head when, all of a sudden, the tunnel walls begin to shake.

“What’s that?” I ask. A rose colored dragon bursts into the room with alarm in her golden eyes.

“They found us!” the dragon cries. “The Assassins are here!”

The warning was too late. Humans and other animals wearing red and black military uniforms drop down from the cave roof and block the only doorway out.

“Listen,” Ember says out of the corner of his mouth. “On the count of three, you’re gonna escape before the tunnel collapses. I can take them. Trust me.”

"But Ember, I don't want to lose you! You're the only family I have left!"

"It’ll be okay, Elena. I got this. Now get them to safety!"

"Come on! We gotta get out of here!" Wolfie shouts as more debris and soldiers fall down from the now huge gap in the cave roof.

I take one last look at my friend. I felt awful. I’d led the Assassins to their Cave. It was all my fault that Ember and Elena had to split up, maybe never to see each other again.

"One...two...three, NOW!" Ember roars, blowing out a huge spurt of fire toward our enemies. It’s not close enough to touch them, but enough to scare them and make them leave the doorway unguarded.

We dash out of the room and, in one swift movement, hop onto Elena's back. Once aboard, she begins to flap her wings frantically, gaining altitude rather quickly. Arrows zoom past my ears and ricochets off Elena, her skin being too thick for the arrows to sink in. Up, up, up we go.

I’m afraid we aren’t going to make it through the gap in the cave roof. I hold onto Wolfie’s waist in front of me so I won’t fall off.

With a few more flaps of her wings, we make it through to the open sky. The sun was setting, turning the skies beautiful shades of rose, gold, and blue. No longer feeling as sick, I can observe everything below us in awe.

Today is a new day, for challenges and adventure. Turns out, it wasn't a battle against brethren, but a battle with brethren.

May 31, 2021 19:51

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6 comments

ehehehe I had fun writing this with you Val lol

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Valerie June
20:03 May 31, 2021

Aw, thanks! I feel the same way. :)

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:)))))

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left ya a little something on Remind ;)

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Valerie June
17:48 Jun 02, 2021

Aw, let me go check it out!

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