Cried the announcer, clearly over the crowd. Everyone fell silent. My opponents and I took our positions.
" Knock your arrows!"
Deep breath, focus on the target, the wind is eastward.
As the arrow flew to it’s new nest, I released my breath. The simultaneous smack of arrows upon wooden targets rang in the air. Took a second the ready myself for the next round, which weeds out the less skilled. I looked to the left where my sister was. She was ready and waiting for the announcer to start the next volley of arrows. Save for the wind whistling through the trees and brushing our warm faces with it’s cold fingers, nothing could be heard. The signal for the next round went up.
"Knock your arrows!" Breath in, calculate.
"Fire!" Aim, release, breath out.
Smack! Smack! Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack!
Two out, four left though that’s wishful thinking see as how I have yet to beat Earradise. This year could the year though. I’m impressed that this year there are more who passed the second round. Splitting an arrow through the center with another arrow is not something that comes naturally to anyone, unless you’re Earra. The crowd was murmuring happily, and cat-calling to some of the contestants.The signal went up, the crowd hushed and the last round begun. This time the orders will be given faster, to display the discipline and skills need for such a task.
In one fluid motion stances were taken, arrows were readied, aiming, calculations and release was done. Crack! Crack! Mine and Earra’s arrow split through the last round’s arrows. Our opponent’s we’re not so skilled two missed the target completely and landed in the field some where. The third contestant’s arrow somehow spun off the target and stuck in the second target down, good thing no one was using that one anymore. The crowd exploded in cheers and claps and laughter.
" Once again my ladies and lords we have a tie!" Yelled the announcer, over our heads as he held up Earra’s and my hand.
The other contestants lined up and one by one shook our hands. Smiles stretched across our faces, it was a good tournament. However, I think the main reason all of the other boys were so happy was not for the tournament at all. I won’t be surprised if all of these fools lost on purpose, just so that they could have the opportunity to kiss Earra’s hand.
I suppose they were hoping to hear her giggle or see her blush at their admiration for her. She merely smiled kindly and thanked them. Over joyed that she spoke to them, I couldn’t help but snicker at their stupidity.
As we weaved through the crowd of; “Amazing work!”, “Oh! I wish I had your talent you two!”, and “You really are the Dragon Heart’s children,” I was keeping a look out for father. Earra held my hand, through the sea of people so as not to be lost.
"Ah ha! I found him," I cried out over the cluttered confusion of noises.
"Why does the Life Festival always have to be so crowded?" Ask Earra exhaustedly.
" I remember you saying earlier this morning that you like all the hustle and bustle," I said teasingly. I know that she shout me a look, but I knew better than to look.
" I do, but this year it’s extra crowded," as she said this she stumbled and I slowed down a little.
" Come on now, we’re not far now he’s talking to some guards from the Eastern Provence at the pub," she nodded and we pressed on. Earradise was right, this year our town was extra crowded and I knew father would have some idea as to why this was.
" The Vamp.wars are over is all I’m saying," said one of the guards.
" They are only over because Alcaya’s split up into the Four Provinces and the center all kingdom, if we were to disband the provinces now we would return to the old ways," said the other guard.
A puff of white smoke escaped father’s lips, as he leaned inward.
" The physical war with the Fangs is over but the political one is ongoing. Three of the fang clans are our allies, there are four others that are still the Five kingdoms’ concern. The provinces may have been set up to control the vampires but now they serve more than just one purpose. Without them who do you think would be strong enough to control and command all of Alcaya? Or keep more than just the blood suckers, we have enemies all around us because our lands are so resourceful. Alcaya is only comfortable and homely due to the Five kingdoms."
Father watched the two men as they tried to come up arguments to his statement, a little smile stretched over his lips.
"In response you are supposed to point out that the five kingdoms only control the human world and some Fay clans, and that there are more Fays in Alcaya than humans. Also if you believe in rumors, then the central kingdom is slowly being taken away from us do to something dark," Chimed in Earra as the two mens’ silence was going on too long. Startled by Sis and my sudden appearance the guards jumps. Father was still calmly puffing out with smoking; giving value to his nickname, the Great Dragon Heart.
When we were younger, father never smoked. Partly because mother wouldn’t let him, but once she passed away he started. Not out of disrespect, the exact opposite. He told me once that before Earradise and I, mother liked that he smoked. She liked it because, some how he looked liked a dragon hiding in human form, bellowing white clouds of smoke. She enjoyed watching him make shapes with the smoke. Whenever he would smoke, mother would sit next to him and read aloud.
Out of nostalgia’s sake, he only smokes at big social gatherings and only some homemade honey smelling stuff that the apothecary/ town healer; Alben, makes.
The guard regained their minds shortly after Earra spoke, only to lose them again to her. If only she could see their faces, Father and I we’re havering trouble keeping our composure. They went from startled to confounded, to completely slack jawed in a split second.
"Your tongue is as and mind are as quick as ever my love," said father, choking back laughter and kissing Earra’s forehead affectionately. Regaining some composure father wrapped his arms around us.
" Bross, Hiem, let me introduce my son and daughter. Evilard and Earradise," he stood proudly.
Its been a goal of mine to surpass father in hight, I’m almost there I hope. I’m five foot seven and he’s six exactly. Although I’m nineteen, I still have some years to reach past his hight. Earra, stopped stopped growing at five foot and four inches. However,I think that just adds to her beauty aside from her long snowy white hair, crystal blue eyes, and moon colored skin. On the other hand I have most of father’s looks; dirty blonde hair that curls at the ends, and sun warm skin that never burns. My eyes are mother’s, hazel with specks of brown.
" Pleasure to meet you young sir and lady," they said simultaneously. That kind of stuff unnerves me.
" So how does it feel to be archery champions this year?" Ask Bross, in a way one would ask a toddler.
"No different from the year before or the year before or even the year before that. Although, I’m sure that the both of you combined could take our place next year," said Earra in a falsely kind and even tone. They knew that she was making fun of them, but it seemed to go in one ear and out the other . On their faces there sat a smile and flushed cheeks also they thought that she had complimented them.
Pitifully, Hiem said, ” Oh, no! My lady’s skills are beyond mine by far!”
Nice save dunce. Earradise smiled politely, curtsied, and pecked father’s cheek. She turned to me a teasing smile on her face, ” I’m off to find Marygold, would you care to join me?” An empty question.
"Tease me all you like, I’m going to look for Trest and practice some sword play before tonight’s gathering," I said flatly.
"Make sure that you return to the square before the night festivities, We have some special guests that will be speaking to the whole town tonight and other such treats," said father. So there is something special this year, I didn’t press it any further because from the way father said this, this was supposed to be a surprise.
Marygold, Earradise’s best friend since the first festival Earra attended. She’s beautiful and wild. The daughter of an eastern trading clan, in other words a gypsy. She travails here every year with her father and some family members. At first when I met her I disliked her. I was ten years old, with her light fingers, she managed to snatch my money bag without my knowing. She waved it proudly in front of me and then took off; I fell for her taunt and chased her around town for hours. Three years after, father managed to convince mother to let Earra come to the festival and even allowed me to be her only supervisor. By then Marygold had appointed herself as my shadow, taking every opportunity to steal from me. Earra was too small to ride on her own so she sat in front of me as we made our way into town. It was the second day of the festival and it was bright and very crowded. The air all around us was full of old and new sounds and smells. A little overwhelmed, Earra was confused and scared. She held as tight as her little hands could to my hand, unsure of what was happening around her. To help calm her down I took her to see all of her friends, (Namely just Alben). Afterwards, was when Marygold decided to shadow me. I won’t have noticed if it wasn’t for two younger kids zipping past and knocking Earra on her butt. I turned to help pick her up and spotted “Goldy’s”,(she hates the name, ha!), untamed mess she called hair. I acted as though I hadn’t noticed her and picked Earra up, brushed her off and set her back on her feet. This would have been a perfect opportunity for Goldy to make her move, but like a little cat she was curious.
"W…who is that?" She asked as she walked over, eyes transfixed on Earra’s pale figure. Earra was trying her best to hid behind my legs, I wouldn’t let her.
"This is my baby sister Earradise Drasker," I said as I pushed Earra in front of me. Without another word Mary took Earra’s hand and kneeling, she guided sis’s small pale fingers to her face. The contrast of moon pale skin against warm sun kissed skin was stunning. I myself have a little tan, even so you couldn’t really tell by standing next to Marygold. Earradise looked like a specter reaching to a living being for help, as she nervously rested her fingers upon rosey cheeks. As she ran her tiny fingers across Mary’s face she became more at ease. Tracing every little detail, including the ears and hairline, Earra took in all of Marygold. Dumbfounded I watched as the brightest smile I have ever seen spread across my little sister’s face.
"H..how did you….wait what just happened?" I asked awestruck and a little impressed, but I refused to let her know that.
" My nona Flora is blind, she has been since she was thirty two years old. She told me that as she was losing her sight she was scared. Not because she was going blind but because she would no longer see her loved ones. When she had gone completely sightless, she found that she could still see through all her other senses, especially touch. Your sister is very much the same, except she was born in the dark world. So the images that she paints with these little fingers would I suppose look a little different compared to nona’s world. For us we naturally find comfort in knowing what we are and who we are because we have all of our sense. For the disabled however, I suppose it’s a little harder. Learning to make their disabilities, their strength and be at ease with the world like everyone else. Though it makes everything easier when there are those who don’t treat you any different, because of something that is uncontrollable," said Marygold. If ya’ thought she was smart six years ago, imagine the present. Now as one can figure out from that long winded description Earra has found the strength to open up and enjoy life from Goldy. Something, that no matter how hard our parents tried could only be given by her friendship with Marygold. As much as I pretended to be annoyed by her antics over the years the truth is I admire Goldy. I like her, but she might tease me for it. So I’ll keep it to myself for now.
Created with Werdsmith.
Hey everyone who is following me or will be in the future. I suck at keeping track and up to date with posting art and things. So I finally have something to post and i would love some feedback especially about the point of view and structure of the story.
YES YES YES!!!!