Hello everyone! I have some really, really exciting news! In my last newsletter I announced that at the end of every month I will post a short story on my blog.
(If you didn’t know about this then you need to subscribe 😀 ) These stories will be in a collection called Tales To Transcribe. All of the short stories on my blog can also be found on that page.
Some of these will be a short story series because some stories are too good to end. Others—like this one—will be stand alone. Next month, keep an eye out for my flash fiction that I will be publishing in Rosalie Valentine’s Flash Fiction Dash competition!
This is it! The first time I have let my bloggies (that’s my nickname for my blog followers 🙂 , if you can think of a better one let me know!) read one of my stories! I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I also have an incentive for you to read the whole post. There is an update on Camp NaNoWriMo at the end of this post!
Without further ado, here is the story!
The leaves around us shudder as the soldiers grow near. My trembling fingers fumble with the clasp on my leather satchel. A soft click gives my hand permission to dive into the bag, and search for what we need. Not even a second passes before I find myself staring at the cover of a leather bound book. For a moment, everything fades. There are no soldiers coming for us. Our lives are not in danger. All that exists is me and the book. I am swiftly yanked into reality when my husband-Jesse-drags me deeper into the jungle.
Mewling reaches my ears as we run. The baby has awakened. I see Jesse glance at our daughter, Efthemia. His right hand is trying to keep her still in the makeshift baby pouch wrapped around his body, and the other is clinging to my hand. We won’t lose them while Efthemia is crying. She will attract them like bears to honey.
“Jesse. We need to stop and make the jump. We can’t lose them with her crying,” I insisted.
Jesse slows his pace, and then stops altogether.
“Do you have the book ready, Andrea?” Jesse questioned.
I nod slowly.
“All I need to do is read it,” I confirm.
Shouting erupts behind us.
“They’re close.” Jesse whispers.
A knot is forming in my gut now.
“We’ll have to make the jump while on the move,” I realize.
Jesse looks at me surprised, “Can you do it?”
“I should be able to. I just need to hold the book steady enough to read,” I reassure him.
Jesse gives me another questioning look, and I give him a quick embrace before urging him to keep running. Once again we are racing through the jungle.
I crack open the book to where a page is bookmarked. I placed it there incase we needed to make a quick getaway. Although, I told Jesse I would be able to make the jump while running I wasn’t entirely sure. We both need a little hope right now.
As we run, I try to clear my mind and focus only on the words in front of me. The one thing in my life that has been constant… until now. The words waver before my eyes. My hand isn’t steady enough. I move my hand into a different position, and let the back cover hang free. My heart shudders at the sight of a book in such a precarious position. Setting aside the fate of the book’s binding, I clear my mind once more. This time, the words are clear enough to make out what is typed on the page. The passage invades my mind as I read, and the words come alive within me.
In my mind, I can see a clear picture of where we are going. I feel the air grow warm, and my hair whips about my face. Just as quickly as it came, the wind left us. Jesse and I now stand in the courtyard of a castle. Thankfully we are alone.
Efthemia’s cries have ceased, and the silence is almost unsettling. I study our surroundings, trying to figure out what to do next. The gate leading to the world outside the castle courtyard is closed. What should be a sunny afternoon, is a dark and foreboding sky.
“Excuse me. Who are you?” I whirl around at the voice.
A man walks towards us. Jesse protectively steps in between me and the stranger. The man’s clothing is that of a king. I study him quickly, trying to decide if he is trustworthy or not. As he draws closer, I catch a glimpse of a tiny fairy hovering about his ear. If I remember correctly, fairies only buzz about those with a true heart.
I lightly squeeze Jesse’s hand, and step out from behind him.
“Your Grace. We are in grave danger. We have traveled far and wide to escape the clutches of our enemy. We would be forever in your debt, if you would be so kind as to help us.” I bow deeply, to try and earn is trust.
I feel his gaze pouring over me.
“You may rise,” The man gestures for me to stand. “I have no doubt of your predicament, but before I allow you entrance into my castle I must know your names,”
A small smile cracked his lips. A sigh escapes my lips, and I glance at Jesse. He is visibly relieved.
“My name is Andrea,” I introduce myself.
“I’m Jesse,” Jesse gives a short bow.
The man nods, “I am King Dakota, and I welcome you to my kingdom.”
My heart stops.
Jesse becomes rigid beside me.
Six men with guns surround us. My lips part in shock. I thought we lost them in the jungle.
“Andrea, and Jesse! You are under arrest by order of the Superior,” Three men advanced toward us with handcuffs. “Put your hands in the air, and surrender quietly. If you will not comply, someone will get hurt.”
“How dare you attack guests in my kingdom!” King Dakota yells. “Guards!”
“Don’t bother. They’re dead.” A man-who seems to be the leader-informs the king.
King Dakota doesn’t make sound after that.
I raise my hands above my head because there is nothing else we can do. We don’t have an escape plan now. It is all coming to an end.
The soldiers bring Jesse and me back to our home world. There is nothing welcoming about it though. We are roughly transported to the execution center immediately. Efthemia was ripped from Jesse’s grasp before we even made the jump back home. We haven’t seen her since. Silent tears were streaming down my face, but now they are dry. It seems that my body is starting to shut down. My emotions aren’t swelling as I thought they should be. I have come to terms with my fate.
Jesse is behind me, and I can feel his tension ripple through the air. A large metal door meets us at the end of the hallway. It’s time.
We are escorted inside a white room with nothing in it. My stomach turns at the thought of how they will kill us. Death doesn’t scare me so much. It’s how I die that terrifies me. The soldiers bring us to the center of the room, then walk to the nearest wall. There are four soldiers now facing us from the opposite wall. I swallow hard. The men level their guns at us. Without even realizing it, I take a step closer to my husband.
“Andrea and Jesse. You have failed to follow the rules of book jumping,” A metallic voice rang through the room. “Not only did you disobey the rules, you have blatantly tampered with story-lines. Payment must be made. Are you ready to begin?”
I can’t tell where the source of the voice comes from.
Jesse looks down at me, “I love you.”
“I love you.” I repeat.
The metallic voice’s question was irrelevant. Without any warning, the firing squad fired their first shots.
You made it to the end! I know you probably hate me right now…. I’m sorry (not really). I have another surprise for those of you who were troupers and read the whole thing! This short story may or may not be a sneak peek of a WIP (work in progress) (DUN DUN DUUUUNNNNN.) That’s all I’m going to say.
Update on Camp! I have reached my goal!!!!!! I won Camp NaNoWriMo!! I am super pumped about reaching this writing goal for myself (plus my friend promised me coffee if I got to my goal 🙂 ) The unfortunate part is that I had to lower my goal halfway through the month. I changed it from 30,000 words to 20,000. I’m still proud of myself though 🙂