CWWC #7 + AAWC #8

*announcer’s voice*

Today I bring you the latest installments of CWWC and AAWC! Three cheers for Team Keepers and Team Swan!!! xD

Ahem.

Hello! I’m here today with the last challenge of AAWC (noooo!!! 😥 ) and the next challenge of CWWC.

Loren, I included:

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The midnight forest seems to put a spell on everyone but me.

We stand in the lantern light, gathered in a circle around the stone grave. Each person’s head is bowed, whispering prayers of strength and courage.

Here lies a man who was not of this earth.

            The words on the gravestone echo in my mind.

            Not of this earth.

None of us are of this earth. We were placed here to live our lives for the glory of the one who sent us, but we are not of this earth. Our home is somewhere else.

The minister’s lips move, leading the prayer, but I can’t hear them. I can’t hear anything. Everything I feel is numb; everything is a blur.

My mother stands beside me, gripping my hand as she wipes her hand with a handkerchief. My younger sisters, Julia, Crystal, and Lucy sit at my mother’s feet. Their brown dresses and black boots are dusted with dirt; their tear stained cheeks being the only part of them that is clean.

There are others gathered around, but I barely notice them. One thought echoes in my mind. Not of this earth. My father is not of this earth. He is gone away from me to a place I will never go. My mother and my sisters will go there, but I won’t. I have lost faith.

As the minister finishes his prayer, I slip away from my mother’s grasp. I need to get away from these people; I don’t want to see my father’s grave. I want to be alone.

I stagger and stumble until I find a log to rest on. My tired figure sags on the log. I want to escape, to get away from all the pain and suffering; the secrecy and hiding. I am tired of being hunted.

The world is not safe anymore.

My sisters come up with schemes as to what is hunting us. We’ve imagined men in cloaks with sharp swords, large dogs, and tall, ghostly serpents. Whatever is hunting us, it is cunning, brave, brutal, and relentless. We have managed to stay in hiding, inside the border that protects us. But we are restless. And so are our hunters. They are not afraid of the border, and soon they will break through. No one ever comes back if they stray past the border, what lies beyond is unknown.

Not all haunted places are houses. This forest is haunted by the threat of our hunters and the promise of another life. But I am haunted the most. The others will go to the place they truly belong; but not I; I have lost all faith.

In front of my face flies dozens of butterflies, glowing a radiant blue.  They flit and dance around my head as if they were trying to tell me something.

I stand, watching the butterflies intently. With a flap of their wings, they lead me down a lonely path, and I follow. They lead me around trees and over logs. Something about the way they are so happy, so carefree, captivates me. I haven’t seen anything so happy in a long time.

My foot catches a root, and I fall into a wet creek. I struggle, trying to get up, but the cold water surrounds me. It has shattered all the hope I have left. Why should I go on? I am broken. I feel as if everything that carried me on has shattered with my fall.

I need a hero. I’ve tried my hardest to be one, but I’ve failed every time.

To my surprise, a voice echoes through the forest.

Rise.”

Slowly, I get to my feet. “W-who are you?”

You know who I am.”

As the words are spoken, I realize the voice is right. I know who it is. The voice is that of my healer; my lover; my Savior; my Father.

***

Ahh…I really enjoyed writing this one. I encourage you to read between the lines…what is the real story behind this one?

*with enthusiasm and gusto* Onto AAWC!

Misty, thank you SO much for hosting AAWC…it has been a blast getting to know you. You are a HUGE inspiration! 🙂 I included the world invisible or invisibility, a swan, and a plot twist. 🙂

Here you are:

With shaking hands, I fasten the swan necklace around my neck. The battered gold pendant hangs at my collarbone, reminding me of my broken past.

I grab my bow, strapping it to my back, and reach for my sword. My hands close around the cold hilt I bring it to my face, gazing at my reflection. My blue eyes are cold and hard, and my auburn hair is falling out of the knot I fastened it in yesterday. The battle started merely a few hours ago, but it seems like it has been a lifetime.

Shaking my head, I slip my sword into its sheath and hurry out of the small tent. Outside I see my fellow survivors huddled around a puny campfire, trying to stay warm. All that covers their small, twisted figures are torn rags stained with mud. A small pot full of food simmers over the fire, and I see some of them reach into it and grab hunks of meat and vegetables.

I close my eyes, trying to forget what I’ve seen. But the painful images of death and sorrow sear their way into my mind, refusing to be forgotten.

The others glance up at me in scorn. It’s my fault we’re in this mess; my fault we’ve lost so many.

I clear my throat. “I know what you think of me. I’ve led this party time and time again, only to be defeated each time. That’s why this time I am going alone.”

Everyone glances at each other, but no one protests. I grab some food and leave, returning to my tent.

I lay down on the hard cot and closed my eyes, letting sleep wash over me.

***

            The forest is shrouded in a thick blanket of mist which hangs heavy in the air. Despite the damp heat, I am chilled to the bone.

Above all things, mist terrifies me the most. It conceals whatever it covers in a blanket of invisibility. Although I know it is only the forest behind the mist, something seems different. Something else is hiding – invisible – in the mist veil.

I glance around feverishly. At every snap of a twig I whirl around, my hand clenched on my sword. When I reach the deepest, darkest part of the wood, I stop.

I survey my surroundings, taking in every detail: thick trees spaced close together, broken branches, and fallen tree.

This is where I will meet my enemy.

I sit atop the fallen tree and wait. She will come. She has never broken a single promise – even the worst of promises.

Too soon, I hear her footsteps.

I turn and see a tall figure in a dark cloak, a sword in its hand. A hood covers the face of my enemy, but I know who it is.

I unsheath my sword, gripping the hilt until my knuckles are white.

“You know you don’t have to wear that hood with me,” I say.

The figure shakes its head, then sweeps of the hood.

The pale, ghastly face is that of my sister.

***

Oooh!!! Plot twist, anyone?! 😛

I realized that I haven’t done any photos for the 7 Day Nature Challenge! *shakes head* Sorry about that!

Here are the ones I missed:

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I nominate:

Bella

Genna

Rutvi

Janie

Phew! What a l-o-n-g post! I’m sorry for the lack of “interesting” posts. I’ve been wanting to do a post that isn’t just photography or writing, so I’m combining the two! I’m going to post a photostory this weekend, so stay tuned for that! 😀

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10 thoughts on “CWWC #7 + AAWC #8

  1. :'(.
    Grace, WHY?!?!?!?!??!?!?!? You are so mean to me, with your horribly sad stories and amazing writing. No fair, I tell you, NO FAIR!!!!! ;-).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. HELLLPPPPP. PLOT TWISSSSTTT. 😮
    *cries* *hopes for a part two*
    Thank you very much for participating in AAWC this year, Grace! I’ve loved getting to know you as well!! You are such a talented writer, and I have really loved reading your amazing stories. I’m looking forward to reading more in future posts!
    And when you publish your debut bestselling novel, I will most certainly be one of your first buyers. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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