Thread: Eyes in the Storm
February 22nd 2011, 05:41 PM #1
Eyes in the Storm
Hey all, at the request of one of our members (Speedy!) I was prompted to start a story with a fantasy feel to it. I'm a fan of fiction writing, and wanted to share my love with the members of TWeb. So, I present the first installment of a post/by/post story entitled "Eyes in the Storm". I ask that no one but myself post in this thread as I unfold the plot. It will be a short story ultimately, but I hope to have several posts that comprise it.
Comments:If you wish to comment, predict, suggest, criticize (please keep it constructive), I created this thread for such purpose. For the most part, this will be a second-third draft story, so hopefully it doesn't disappoint. Enjoy!
Eyes in the StormVoracious winds descended from the highest frozen caps of the Algid Mountains, carving an icy path through the foothills. The battering torrents tore leaf from tree with their icy claws. Blinding snowfall kept even the most tenacious predators from their hunt, not able to discern dead bark blowing across the ground from bounding small winter game.
Struggling to navigate the blanketed woodland, Aria’s legs sank to her knees with each arduous step. The roar of the beastly gale above deafened her to all but the beating of her heart, slowed by the frigid cold. Light and dark brown fur adorned her body. Straps and striped tails flailed to stay attached, flapping violently in the wind behind her. Aria’s fiery red eyes shone between straps of leather as she struggled to maintain her pace, hindered by sweat from the layers of clothing battling the cold air for her survival.
Two days had passed since the last definitive sign that she was on the right path. Two days of pain and sleepless nights, two days of minimal rations and scarcity of water, or at least so she assumed. Gaining any semblance of time during regular waking hours was an exercise in futility. Only during the pitch of night was it more apparent, but even then the white deluge simply became a dull, sullen grey.
She flexed her gloved fingers around a long oak branch she used as a stake, a third leg, aiding her in staying upright on the unsteady terrain. Gripping was difficult, they were so cold. For a moment earlier, Aria had thought her smaller fingers were done for until a searing pain shot up her arm, reminding her body that they were still attached and still very much alive. Aria squinted, trying to make out any shapes through the blizzard’s haze. There was little to be done for now, except press her march. The prospects of making it through this unscathed were becoming increasingly bleak.
Aria jerked her head, eyes to the sky, as a loud crack resonated through the seemingly impervious wall of howling. Lurching to the side, she yanked one of her feet out of its boot as she dove into a nearby bank just as a tremendous branch crashed into the snow where she just stood, her boot disappearing under the mountain of powder that followed the tree’s dismembered arm.
Nature kept its stone cold gaze to its purpose as she panted below. Slow, mild warmth began to seep its way into her left glove, buried several inches beneath the snow. Something had stopped her from disappearing into the embankment. Aria shifted her weight to her back, lifting her hand to within visibility. Her glove was crimson, dripping red. For a moment, she panicked, reaching for her backpack and the bandages housed within, until she realized that it was not her blood. She thoughtfully played her forefinger against her thumb, circling, bringing them closer to her face. The kill was still relatively fresh, she could smell that. Though, it was freezing over quickly. An antler stuck out of the ground adjacent to the tree. Her pupils dilated as her eyes narrowed, looking into the white, finally a sign.
Last edited by Alcoth; February 22nd 2011 at 06:00 PM.There's an interesting psychology regarding the impetus behind which we find ourselves urged... nay, compelled, to read someone's entire signature.
February 23rd 2011, 05:46 PM #2
Re: Eyes in the StormEyes in the Storm
Snow had already started accumulating on her clothing in the short period of time she had been laying next to the partially buried animal. Aria tore a hunk of meat from the fallen stag, packing it in a layer of snow and wrapping it in a thin piece of hide. She licked her dry lips beneath the mask of leather straps, hoping she’d be able to start a fire soon. Sheathing her silver horn-hooked carving dagger, she fought against the wind stinging her eyes, shifted to her knees and crawled over to the downed branch. Aria began digging with her hands, displacing swaths of snow with each sweep. She was sore from the fall, and the excavation was slow going. Eventually the top rim of the boot peeked out from the pile of winter precipitation, and with a sharp tug, she yanked it free. A few quick shakes later, clumps of dry flakes fell from its surface and Aria was able to slip it back onto her foot and retighten the lacing.
“Breathe, Aria” she reflected, pausing. Slowly, she climbed back to her feet, tenderly gripping her left elbow. As the adrenaline left her body, she noticed a dull thud emanating from the crook of her arm. Aria began to stretch, stopping suddenly just before the arm was at full extension. She closed her eyes tightly as she hunched over, cradling the arm toward her stomach. The winter storm beat relentlessly at the hunter’s face as she stood, recomposing herself. She imagined the bone in her elbow, fractured, floating in her body. Her breathing slowed further, her shoulders relaxed. She slumped her head forward. Minutes passed as the noise of the world grew dim. Aria saw a tiny fire in her mind. Focusing on the imagery, she envisioned the tiny blaze strengthening, gradually increasing in intensity. The candle-like flame became larger, spreading, until eventually it enveloped her. The strength began to return to the injured elbow. Her body warmed, rejuvenating itself. Aria’s eyes flew open. Raring back on one leg, she grabbed her staff and drove forward.
Nose to the air, she could smell the lingering aroma of the fresh kill behind her. A tinge of the scent ahead caught her attention, causing a slight deviation to the right in her path. She pressed forward fervently, the gusts of wind increasing in speed, as if in opposition to her progress. If she’d been in her home town, there would be barely a building standing. Nature flew at her from an angle, making difficult to gain ground, but still she pressed forward. The flame burned in her, vicious and compelling, consuming her.
Ahead, through the darkness, she saw a large shape start to emerge. Aria slowed to a stop, looking around. As best she could tell, she stood just outside the edge of the tree line, the storm’s elemental fury continuing to pound the region. Making her way cautiously forward, an ominous rock face began to loom overhead. Dozens of large boulders were stacked precariously upon each other, likely hundreds more beyond her sight, the results of a thousand years of rockslides and landfall. They would be barely discernable under mounds of snow had the winds not been so fierce. She knew it was there, beyond the boulders, but she still could not see the mountain.
Aria made her way to the edge of the crevices. She stood very still, her red eyes darting rapidly from point to point each time she thought she’d spotted movement. Nothing could be surely defined. A small rock looked remarkably similar to a man’s head, a wisp of snow briefly mistaken for an adder. There were several crevices in the craggy rock piles. She picked the nearest one she could identify yielding a large north facing rock wall and made her way past its threshold. The cold was still there. The space was meager, barely large enough for her to lie down and rest, but out of the hate filled wind. Aria slumped to the ground as the pain and exhaustion returned, the fire inside her extinguished.
Last edited by Alcoth; February 23rd 2011 at 06:20 PM.There's an interesting psychology regarding the impetus behind which we find ourselves urged... nay, compelled, to read someone's entire signature.
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