work in progress.This is about a girl dropped in a far away land.Looking for critique
|Two twin streaks of light speared through the early morning darkness, as a silver vehicle drove down a long, winding driveway through huge cornfields. It stopped next to a small wood barn. The sound of a car door echoed around the quiet driveway, followed by the crunch of gravel underfoot. A girl with white blonde hair yawned, and then sank her teeth into an apple, her gray eyes flicking across the pages of an enormous book.
“I’ll see you later ma.” She said, her eyes flicking up from the pages in her book, with a smile. The older woman smiled back.
“I love you honey. Have a good day.” She leaned out the window and planted a kiss on her daughter’s forehead. The girl smiled, and hugged her mom.
“I love you ma.” She said, before turning and walking to the house.
When she got into the house, she pulled her water bottle out of her bag and filled it up with water. Then she opened the fridge, and looked around, before grabbing a brown paper bag with her name on it, and slid it into her backpack. She sighed and cracked her neck, looking around her grandmother’s house.
She locked eyes with a little squishy lamb. She smiled, and then turned away, bit her lip, and then picked it up from the table, and put it in her bag. She paused, and then closed her back pack with a soft smile.
She grabbed her apple off the counter before walking outside again with a smile.
The door banged behind her as she walked outside.
The trees around the field fluttered and waved in the wind, in all colors of red, yellow and gold. A brisk breeze shook the corn, rattling the dry stalks together. Crows flew overhead their scratchy caw shivering through the cold dark air. A raccoon fought over a cob of corn with a squirrel.
She walked through a corn field, a string backpack hung loosely from her shoulders. Her white blonde hair tied up into a ponytail and stuck under a navy knit hat, small wisps fell around her face. A navy scarf wrapped around her neck. She held an apple in one gloved hand and an open book in the other. She put the apple in her mouth and sunk her teeth into it as she wiped hair away from her eyes with her bare fingers. Her blue eyes flicked up every so often to look at the rough path ahead of her.
She walked for a while longer, until after she finished her apple, flicking it off the path. It didn’t take much after that, until she entered into a small clearing.
Sweet smelling purple flowers overflowed from a small pool of water, and lush ground plants surrounded the rest of the water. She smiled, and with a sigh she sat down in front of the pool, crossing her legs under her. She pulled her backpack from her shoulders, pulling it open and grabbing a large sketchbook and a few pencils out of the bag, and set to work sketching the scene before her.
She worked far into the day, slaving away, trying to get the scene perfect. She only stopped at midday to eat the sack lunch her grandma had made her. She sketched and drew until the shadows had stretched out leaving the girl in the shade, and the sky was painted over with pinks and oranges.
The girl looked up and gasped. She scrambled up from her seat, shoving pencils into her bag, and sliding books in after, then a piece of plastic wrap from her sandwich at lunch time.
She shouldered her bag, and trotted along the path through the corn. She built up speed her trot turning into a jog then a dead sprint, her grandma would be worried about her. She hadn’t shown up all day, when she said she would be home by 3, it was at least 4:30.
All of a sudden, her foot snagged on something, and she fell. Her shoulder dug into the ground. A hole tore through the fabric. The impact drove the breath from her lungs. She gasped and laid there. Unable to breath. After a minute or so she rolled over painfully and looked down to where she fell. A large tree root curled out of the ground. She cocked an eyebrow,her pain forgotten, the tree root hadn't been there the first time she had come down the path. She crawled to her knees and looked at the root, confused. She got up slowly, and started to look around.
She noticed trees starting to peek out of the corn, and farther down the path trees grew up thick. She started walking again, this time slower looking at the stretching branches. There weren’t any trees when she started down the path this morning. She walked for a while, the trees slowly replacing the corn along the way, until she was walking down a wooded path. It was dark now, her eyes slowly adjusting. She blinked a few times, wondering if the trees were her eyes playing tricks. Even after her eyes had totally adjusted, dense forest surrounded her.
These trees weren’t normal. They weren’t the normal mix around the area, cedar, oaks, and maples. She had never seen these kinds of trees before, the bushes either. She brushed her hand over the dark leaves of a nearby bush, which released a strange scent of ice, mint, and aloe. She furrowed her brow, and rubbed her fingers together under her nose. She wiped it on her pants and shook her head. None of this was familiar.
She walked for a long time, till her feet were sore and her state of mind was slipping. She looked around for a place where she could stop till morning. She glanced around with a sigh, a dense copse of bushes catching her eye a little ways off the trail. She walked off the trail, and kneeled down next to it. She spread the first few branches, and smiled. The inside of the bushes was hollow, with a roof of leaves to shield her from any elements. She pulled off her backpack and pulled her phone out of her bag. She turned it on and frowned as it showed there was no signal. Even in the middle of the corn field she had gotten all three bars of signal. It was almost dead. She sighed again and put the phone back in her bag.
It didn’t take long for her to realise she needed to relieve herself. She bit her lip, and crawled out of the bushes, on the side away from the path. She crouched down and pulled her capris down. As soon as she did so, she heard a rustle behind her. She gasped and leaped up, yanking her pants over her hips. She whipped around, her face beet red.
“Who are you?” She shouted, eyes scanning across the bushes. A few bushes shook, and three rabbits hopped out. The girl sighed and put her face in her hands. She was becoming paranoid in the strange place. It took a few seconds before looking back at the three rabbits. They looked back at her, and then snuffled and squeaked at each other as if in a conversation. She shook her head and crawled back into her shelter, frowning at the darkness, and slowly fell into a troubled sleep.
(Insert Chapter Heading)
She awoke to footstep. It wasn't time to go to school yet. She crawled out of the bushes. “Mom?” The girl rubbed her eyes and blinked at the bright light. She jolted backwards as she remembered her predicament. She wasn't at home, or grandmas, she was in the woods. She rubbed her eyes again before looking up.
A semicircle had formed around her of creatures.
She blinked again. “You not my mom.” None of them moved. Terror gripped her, “Who are you?!”
They weren't really people at the same time not animals. They were people from the waist up, but from the waist down, they had the body of a goat. Each of them were from 5 to 6 feet tall, and most of them were looking directly at her.
She gasped and tried to crawl backwards into her bush shelter, but ran into something. She turned and shrieked, another one of the creatures had appeared behind her, blocking her exit. She looked around wildly for an escape. She crawled backwards into the middle of the circle.
The first creature stepped forwards, she was slim with high cheekbones and and elfish face. She spoke a few words of a strange language, sounding nothing like anything she knew.
Shock and confusion must have been apparent on her face, because the woman stopped and sighed.
She motioned to another creature and spoke a few words to him. The second creature was tattooed and wore many different colored feathers. He reached into one of the bags hung from his shoulders, and came out with a closed fist. He reached out towards her and opened his fist. A small creature floated over his open hand.
Confusion glistening in the girl’s eyes. The creature uncurled, about the size of a mouse, but with the head of a snake. It floated towards her. She reached out a hand towards it. It levitated above her hand. She stuck out a finger. In one swift motion it leaped forwards, and sunk its fangs into her finger. The girl’s eyes rolled back into her hand and she fell over.
She was only blacked out for a moment or two, and she woke up. When she did the floating beast was gone, but the goat like creatures still surrounded her.
“W-Who are you?” She shouted, she tried to make her voice fierce.
“Finally you are awake.” The woman that had first addressed her spoke. “I am Jasmire, the leader of The Greater Soonafir Tribe.” The girl jumped to her feet.
“You can speak english?” Her eyes were wide as dinner plates as she looked at the circle of creatures- Soonafir? This sent a ripple of laughed through the creatures. “What?” She asked. “What?!” She yelled louder this time. “I can understand you know when I couldn’t before, you can speak english!” The Soonafir that had the small biting creature stepped forwards. He dipped his head.
“My name is Maghisan. And the thing is, you were given the gift of our language.” He said a smile playing on his face.
The girl frowned.
Maghisan spoke again, his eyes closed. “Well, I think that we could make a compromise. We can tell you our names, and who we are.”
She opened her mouth to cut him off, but he held up a single finger without looking at her.
“And you tell us who you are, and why you are here.” He said, opening his eyes and looking at her. His eyes were a piercing solid blue, that chilled her spine.
She tried to hold eye contact, but averted her eyes, a strange feeling filling her. When she looked back he was smiling, a chilling experience. She nodded.
“Fine.” She said. “I can do that.” She didn’t sit back down, but looked at Maghisan, waiting for him to speak. In response, he lifted a slim finger to Jasmire, who in turn took a step forwards.
“My name is Jasmire, as I have told you before.” She nodded slightly. “I am the leader of The Greater Soonifer Tribe.” She paused and looked around at the sky. Then changed the way of the conversation. “It will be hot soon, come with us back to our tribe and we will continue our conversation there.” She nodded to the girl, who then thought about the idea.
If she resisted, they might knock her out again. But if she did go with them, she would be more lost than before. She deciphered that going farther down the path was a better idea than to anger these strange creatures. She nodded slowly.
“Alright.” Jasmire turned to start and walk.
“Wait.” Maghisan said, and Jasmire turned back around. “Let us have her tell who she is and why she is here first.”
A murmur of agreement rippled around the circle, and Jasmire nodded.
“All right girl, tell us why you are here.” Maghisan said turning from Jasmire to look at the girl.
To this the girl hesitates. Then she answered. Her mind made up that she should tell these people the truth.
“My name is Abigail Harper, I’m fourteen years old, and I don’t know why I’m here. I was in my grandma’s corn field and I walked to the edge and I ended up here.” She spread out her arms, motioning to the area around her. “That’s my story, that’s it.” She looked at Maghisan, and then Jasmire. Jasmire had a satisfied look on her face, while Maghisan had a glint of suspicion in his eyes.
“Alright. Now come along to our camp.” Jasmire turned again and this time Maghisan nodded and walked after her. The two Soonafir beside Jasmire hesitated before turning and following their chief.
The silence didn’t last long. A few yards walked in silence, and Jasmire let out a savage cry and charged forwards. Abigail looked around her eyes wide and all her senses on edge. She was so surprised, it didn’t register when one of the Soonafir behind her picked her up around the waist and whirled her onto the back of another. This didn’t seem to slow either of them down, and she clutched her arms around back and held on for dear life as the tribe around her yelped out savage cries, the sound of their hooves was muffled by the thick grass, but still sounded like thunder to her ears. This went on for a short while, Abigail clinging to the back of the Soonafir. She still clung to his back when they slowed down. When the group of Soonafir came to a stop at the edges of a walled in plot . Another Soonafir picked her up by the arms and set her back on the ground.
“Thank you.” She murmured, she was still shocked from the whole experience and confused at why she was here. She looked up at the Soonafir that she had carried her, and was surprised at seeing the man who had stood at Jasmire’s side. She looked next to her to see the man who had stood on the other side of Jasmire in the circle.
They were almost polar opposites, though both were young and tall.
The first was wearing nothing but a light green vest. He was about 6,1 and more sheep than goat by the looks of it. His skin was dark, but his wool and eyes was an almost off white. He had a kind smile on his face.
The other man was pale and wore a dove gray robe that draped over his goat back. His golden hair came to rest just above his shoulders. He seemed older than the other. The coat on his goat half was coarser than the first’s, more like a pelt of hair then wool, though it was off-white in color. He was quite handsome.
Realizing that she had been staring Abigail looked at her feet, then looked back up at the two men who stood in front of her. She took a deep breath looked at each again. They glanced at each other, and then broke out into laughter. Abigail blushed, and looked away for a moment, scratching the back of her neck, then back quickly when the first started to talk.
“You’re not from here, I got that from Maghisan’s surprise about you.” A kind natured smile spread across his face. He laughed a little, “But staring isn’t normal around here.” The other nodded, a smirky smile curling across his face. The first looked at the second, then back at Abigail. “My name is Callisto.” He smiled.
“And I’m Casimir.” The second said grinning. She put out her hand for one of them to shake. They looked at each other again and then back at her. Neither did anything. She slowly let her hand drop. The second, Casimir, stood for a few second, then continued on speaking like nothing had happened. “Callisto and I are brothers.” He said looked at the darker Soonafir. “Jasmire is our mother.” He said tilting up his head, apparently proud of his position of the leader’s son.
Abigail looked at both of the brother’s faces again and then over her shoulder at Jasmire, who was walking from Soonafir to Soonafir speaking softly to the each. All three of the Soonafir looked totally different. She was hesitant to say anything, this could be a trap.
“Jasmire is your mother?” Abigail said softly and looked at Casimir. His smile faltered and he frowned slightly.
“You do not believe me.” He looked at her, frowning.
“Well, I didn’t say that.” Abigail’s eyes widened, she threw her hands out wide, blocking anything that would come. “I-I just meant th-that I did mean was that neither of you look like your mother.” She said with a little shake of her head. Casimir’ face grew solemn. He nodded with a grunt.
“Alright.” And then he trotted away into the camp.
She shied away as he passed.
Callisto still stood infront of her. Abigail looked at him. Callisto didn’t leave, he did just the opposite. The dark skinned Soonafir settled down, folding his legs in under him. He smiled at Abigail and patted the ground beside him. Abigail sat down shakily, not sure why he wanted to talk with her, crossing her legs under her.
“So where are you from?” He asked. Closer up she realized that he wasn’t much older than herself.
She hesitated for a moment. “I’m from Michigan.” She said, and looked at Callisto. He tilted his head slightly, his mouth irked up in confusion. She looked at him, and then face palmed. She laughed a little and then corrected herself. “You wouldn’t know where that is. It’s from a different… uh… world, I guess, and in a place called the United States of America, in a state called Michigan.” She glanced back up at Callisto, who looked even more confused as she tried to explain it. Callisto rubbed the back of his neck. Abigail sighed again and tried to explain it again. “I don’t live here.” She said. “That’s the best I can explain it, that you’ll understand.” She smiled a little bit, he made her feel welcomed. Callisto laughed.
“I guess I do not understand then. It is okay. Well, If it will be hard for you to explain about yourself, let me tell you about me.” He smiled at Abigail. She thought for a moment, then nodded slowly.
Callisto nodded with a wide grin, then started. “I was born in the middle of White Pelt Season three years ago.”
Abigail jerked back slightly. “Three years?” She looked at the soonafir.
He looked back at her, his mouth irked up at the side.
“Well yes.” He said tilting his head slightly. “I was born three years ago, how long ago were you born?” He asked, his grin pulling up one side, tilting his head the other way now. His bolt of white hair shadowing his eyes and making them sparkle in the shadows.
“Well, I’m fourteen.” She paused for a second. “But I’m basically fifteen.” Abigail said excitedly putting her hands out in front of her. She threw them out. “You’re so young! Our three year olds are this big” She put her hand about 2 feet above the ground.
Callisto laughed. “Soonafir children are bigger than that when they are born.” He smiled at Abigail. He rose, unfolding his legs out from under him, first his front and then his back. Abigail stood up quickly, brushing the leaves off of her pants.
Callisto turned towards the camp, and looked over his shoulder, flashing a grin at her.
“Watch this.” He put his head down and sprinted into the camp, his bowling gallop turning into a leaping frolic. He folded his hands behind his back and tilted his chin up as he ran. Abigail laughed, holding her hand over her mouth. Callisto stopped and crossed his arms over his chest, and grinned puffing out his chest.
Abigail walked after him, but she didn’t run instead she gazed at the different structures. Before she got into the camp, she walked under an archway of vines, spanning across the top of the entrance. She looked into the camp, and frowned. The camp, it wasn’t very friendly looking.
In the middle of camp, a large rock sat, big enough for someone to be either at chest height, or face height if they sat on top. Rough fire pits scattered around camp, the embers of morning fires dying out, some only filled with ash. In the camp there were no huts or tents, but ledges jutting out from the wall surrounding the camp. Under these ledges was soft materials, furs and hay. Some Soonafir lay under these ledges, some sleeping, others speaking in low tones. There were more Soonafir scattered around the area, some playing what looked like games, other running. Some were working on odd sorts of weapons, tools and what seemed to be leather armour. In one of the closest corners sticks and logs were stacked for fires.
She walked towards the middle of the camp, towards the rock, and looked around further, and at the very back, was a lone building. It was made of tree trunks set straight up, the cracks in between filled with clay. She couldn’t see the top of the building because it was flat, sunk-in below the tops of the wood. Vines and creepers spread across the face of the building.
“Hey, watch it!”
Abigail stumbled and looked around. She gazed around then down to the ground. A young man pulled himself up, two daggers in his hands, his legs dragging behind him. He looked human, but that didn’t register to Abigail. Her breath caught in her throat as she looked at the man who glared up at her. A snarl grew on his smooth face. His ice blue eyes followed her gaze and then snapped up to her face. “Is there something wrong?” His voice rose.
“I..I..” Abigail couldn’t seem to speak. She stuttered gibberish.
“I asked you if there was something wrong.” He growled out the words like he wasn’t used to speaking Soonafir, a heavy accent lacing his voice. “Because if you see something wrong, you can just tell me.” He motioned with one of the daggers.
“Legs.” Abigail blurted out. Regret immediately coursed through her.
He pulled his legs around, so he was sitting straight. “My legs, huh?” His words dripped with poison. “Well, that’s something new. Thanks for telling me.” He motioned with one of his duel daggers again. “It’s so helpful when people point it out, really.” He pivoted, and dragged himself forwards again, closer to Abigail. “You think I don’t know that?” He heaved himself onto the rock, first at chest height, and then so he was face to face with Abigail.
He poked her in the chest with one of the daggers.
“It’s people like you that make it like dragging myself through the seven hells to come to these meetings.” He jabbed her again with the dagger, the point digging into her skin. She stumbled backwards.
“Alva.” A warning voice came from behind Abigail. She turned her head, to where she could see Casimir. “She’s new, she didn’t mean it.”
“Of course she didn’t” Alva growled, casting a dark look at Abigail, before sliding down the rock, and dragging himself off across the camp. Her eyes followed him for a moment.
She didn’t watch him long, not even long enough to register where he was going. Abigail let out her breath, she hadn’t realized she had been holding it. Before turning to Casimir she looked around for Callisto, and saw he had left. She turned to the gold haired Soonafir and nodded. “Thanks.”
A smirk flickered across his face, but then his face slipped of all emotion. “You are welcome, but now come along.” He put his hand on her shoulder and guided her to the building at the edge of the camp.