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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2167160
by Lovina
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2167160
What a Character! Entry for August 2018
Visi stepped closer to the railing. It did not help, she still could not tell if it was something actually swimming toward the dock or if it was just a fish of some sort or debris or something else altogether. More movement caught her eye, she shifted her gaze further out…

The massive wave left her sitting in a pile of wet sand still holding the shell she had found just moments before. A bright red droplet splashed onto the seashell, spattering her small shocked face. She looked up…

She forced her mind away from the memory only to find herself sitting a few feet from the railing and not on a soft sandy beach. She focused on steadying her breathing, she could not have seen one of the monsters, especially not on this planet. Taking a deep breath she pushed herself up and stumbled to the railing. She needed to prove to herself the light had played with her mind, they were not here. It did not take long to find the small creature, for it was quite obvious now that it was indeed an animal and it was headed straight for the dock. Gripping the railing with all of her strength she slowly followed the creature’s wake back the way it had come. And there it was…

Vordr is suspended above her, a puppet with no strings to hold him up there. His leg twitched as another droplet of red fell onto the shell in her hand…

Once again she found herself on her butt several feet from the railing as she tore her mind away from that time, that place, that…thing. She was not six anymore. She was no longer a helpless child. She was Skati, Leader of The People. Yet her body refused to move. She needed to help that small creature and she needed to warn everyone else. Those monsters would kill everything, EVERY living thing! She broke out into a cold sweat as she tucked her legs under her and pushed upwards. Stumbling to the railing she grabbed hold of it, willing herself to stay in the present. The swimmer was getting closer, the Beast closing in, her knees once again threatened to buckle when the fin broke the surface...

Looking to her right she noticed the tower of scales that rose from the water not five feet from where she sat. Following the thick wall of scales upward she saw that it rose even higher in the sky than Vordr…

Ripping her mind back for the third time she found that this time she had stayed by the railing, her hand gripped it tight, her knuckles bone white from the strain of it, though she did find herself on her butt once again. It was indeed the Beast, the webbed fin cutting through the water was a dead giveaway. There was no doubt it was after the small mammal that was getting ever closer to where she sat, frozen in fear. Even now, eighteen years later, after the loss of Ellri and their mother, after fourteen years of training to be the next leader of The People, and just as many years of training to become a warrior, even after all of that, the mere sight of that beast paralyzed her. She pulled herself up and looked for the one that needed her help only to see the Beast raise its head out of the water…

Hands grabbed her, ripping her from the sand. As she was being whisked away, away from the beach, away from Vordr, she saw it, she saw everything. The giant serpent swayed in the shallows, its prize still caught in its massive jaws, its bright gold eyes taking in the many tasty morsels surrounding it…

This time she was able to stand her ground. The Leader could never let fear stop her. The Leader must push through, she must be stronger, she must lead. Visi focused once more on the tiny creature. It was slowing down, tired, wavering. The beast was catching up fast now. The mammal sank under the water, a bubble trail showed it still moved forward, then it emerged again. Without being aware of it Visi ducked under the railing. She forced her mind to focus on the small creature, willing it to hurry. She grabbed a hold of the railing corner post and stretched out as far as she could, reaching for the helpless animal with her other hand.

Visi moved her feet to the side of the dock, gripping the railing with all of her might, she stretched as far as she could, the hand on the railing the only thing keeping her out of the water. As soon as her outstretched hand came in contact with the small animal she scooped him up, pushed off with her feet, and using the one hand on the railing, propelled herself over the railing with a one handed somersault. Landing on her feet she scooted to the wall and hunkered down, the small creature hugged to her chest.

At the age of six, the mighty serpent probably seemed much bigger than it actually was. The horror it left in its wake, however, could not be so grossly overstated, it just was. Vordr had been her guard, and her friend, as much as an adult can be a friend to a child anyway. He was always ready with laughter, generous with his smile, and kind of heart.

She had clutched that bloodied seashell to her breast for two days before Grandfather could coax it from her. When he did he took her to his workshop, set it on his bench, and smashed it with his hammer. Then he picked up one of the pieces and started working on it, talking to her the entire time, telling her what he was making and why. "The burden of living is that you must bury the dead", he told her. Soon she was helping. When it was done he brought out a chain and clipped the bit of shell to it, the edges sanded and softened, the name of Vordr etched into one side and "Guard and Friend" etched into the other. It had been a good sized seashell, she had ended up with a small box of eleven pieces of shell, all sanded and ready. A total of five now hung from the chain around her neck.

Many lives were lost in the search for the origins of this most terrifying creature. It was not in vain. Not only did The People discover where the serpent originated, they also found out how to destroy it. Now she would share that knowledge with the inhabitants of this planet and end its reign of terror before it begins.
© Copyright 2018 Lovina (lovina at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2167160