Forgotten Past

I woke up, and remembered nothing. Remembered nothing, and yet was charged with the task of saving an entire race...

Yes, it's kinda like the forgotten and Only Hope mixed in together :) I liked both the stories, so for one of my possible stories for next year's Young Movellist, I decided to write this. Enjoy.

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1. Chapter 1

There were times in my life where I wish I'd stayed there on that cold, dark night. Never woken up from my slumber, never woken to the desolate world that I seemed lost in. There are times, when, searching for my lost past, I wondered who I was before I lost myself in the bleak emptiness where my memories should have been, and wished that I could just, very simply slip away from the world. Because my life may sound so exciting, but with true excitement comes danger, betrayal, sorrow, anguish. Take it from me; I would trade the excitement for the lives of my friends, lives taken by the war that I seemed a vital player of. But I could not exchange the danger, and I could not stop the betrayal, or the loss, or the pain, or the never-ending torture of being me. And those days, for the times I feel as if nothing could be any worse, are the days when I wished I had never woken up.

 

The freezing air was the first thing I noticed, chilling my stiff body to the core. Shivering once, my eyes flickered open. Through the leaves of trees, I saw the moonlight, pale and eerie in the shadowy forest. Where was I? Wearily lifting my head, I looked about. Trees, everywhere. Branches loomed from the darkness, with rustling leaves that seemed to dance mockingly in the cold breeze. Thick undergrowth lined the forest floor, bushes entwined with brambles and nettles. I shuddered again, my breath a little cloud of steam as I exhaled. I slowly stood, using the tree I'd been sleeping against as support. My bones were stiff and uncooperative from the uncomfortable positioning, my senses only just starting to fully awaken. How had I got here? I tried to remember, but found only a vast sea of nothingness when I searched my mind for any recollection of what had happened. Come to think of it, I couldn't remember anything. Alone in the darkness, I strained to remember even simple things. My age. My name- even my name was missing from me!

With swifter, more frantic breathing now, I blinked twice, then looked about me. In the shadows of the night, I saw a place where the undergrowth had been crushed, obviously in some hurry. Any trail was better than none. Glancing around, I checked for anything important, before padding softly over to the spot where the undergrowth had been trampled. I wondered if I had come this way, perhaps lost. I crouched to the floor, examining the trail. Obviously, there had been a chase. Whether I had been the prey or the persuer, I did not know. But one thing was clear- whoever had been the prey had been in a hurry to escape their hunter. Standing, I suddenly realised that I'd been able to tell all of that from just looking at the trail. Where had I learnt my tracking skills from? And, I thought with frustration, who was I?

Springing lightly along the trail left by the chase, I couldn't help but ask myself if somebody had been running from me. If they had, then why? I tried again, desperately, to remember. My mind was empty. Frustration built up inside me- why did I have to forget everything? Clenching my fists, I sped my pace into a light bound. If I'd been lying there for a while, then I needed to hurry, becuase my only link to the past could be already travelling quickly. And then, a thought hit me; if I had been the one running, then was it really wise to follow the trail? Should I be going the other way, and trying to avoid them? If they'd knocked me out, then they could be dangerous. Very dangerous. Yet, I was following them, to somewhere I probably wouldn't recognise. Well, that was great. But I needed my memory back. And I had a feeling that by following the trail was the only way I'd get it back. 

 

After travelling through the night, I was glad to see dawn approaching. The first rays of the sun started to flitter through the leaves, giving the entire forest a slightly less-meanacing feel to it. But still, I could remember nothing. No name, no anything. It had driven me crazy- at one point, I'd sat down because my mind was hurting too much, and my spirits were too low. How was I supposed to survive if I didn't know anything? Then again, if I was good at tracking, I might be good at other things that could keep me alive. A faint memory of hunting came to me swiftly, so swiftly that it took me a few seconds to register. And, by the time I realised what I'd thought, it had gone. Frantically, I tried to find the memory. If I had found that- a tiny recollection of my arrow bringing down a stag- then there had to be a way to bring back everything else! Inhaling deeply, I tried to calm myself. Think, I told myself. Just think. Breathing deeply, I let the stress and desperation turn into tranquility. To remember anything, I'd have to clear my head. Closing my eyes, I tried to find the memory of the stag, searching aimlessly and trying again to picture it. But I could not. However much I tried, I could not remember the arrow and the stag. All I knew was the important fact of finding food: I could hunt. Sighing deeply, I continiued along the trail of crushed undergrowth. At least if I could remember that, other things may come slowly. PErhaps, I told myself hopefully, it was just temporary. Something deep inside me, a strong gut feeling, said otherwise. 

 

Soon, the sun had completely overtaken the shadows, and the leaves underfoot sparkled from the dewdrops under the sunlight. Up ahead, a shimmering caught my eye, and, curious, I sped my pace a little. Within a short distance, the trees gave way to a small spring of clear, cool water. All so suddenly, I realised my thirst, and ran forwards to drink. AS I crouched by the water's edge, I cupped my hands, and drunk the clear water from them. I had only realised, when the soothing water gushed down my throat, just how parched I'd been. My mouth had been so dry, making me wonder how long I'd gone without water. As I drunk again, I noticed my own reflection in the water, and leaned in for a closer look. My eyes were a turquiose- blue colour, playful and yet so dangerous. My hair was pale brown in colour, falling to my waist. It was knotted, blood caked, and generally messy, but I had worse things to worry about than my impending need of a comb. My fringe fell down to my eyes, as tangled as the rest of my hair. My pale skin was covered in scratches, scars and wounds, ones which, for some reason, didn't seem to hurt as much as they probably should do. And then my armour; lightweight elven armour of a dark crimson, covering undergarments of a greyish black. And then, a thought struck me; I'd known it was elven! How had I known that? Narrowing my eyes in frustration, I suddenly realised the mass of weapons that I was carrying, without even thinking about it. Knives, blades, and other deadly weapons were sheathed at my belt, a bow in a special harness on my back, as well as a longer, double-handed sword, and a quiver of arrows. I wondered where they'd come from, then decided that if the armour was elven, then the weapons most likely were as well.

Taking my last hand of water, I stood, wishing that I had more time to stop and clean the blood from my body. But if I wanted to catch up with whoever had come back down the trail, I couldn't waste my time bathing. As I turned swiftly, I noticed something where my hair had flicked back. I turned slowly back to the water again, pushing back the hair from the left side of my head. And underneath, my ear confirmed what I'd seen. I was not human.

I was an elf.

 

It actually wasn't a fact I found too hard to get over. Within the first ten minutes of my discovery, I had registered the shock, and was perfectly satisfied with the fact. It did, after all, explain my skills in survival- elves, as a fact, are at one with nature, and can track, hunt, and do all of the other things that would help me to stay alive. In fact, the only thing that I was really surprised about was the fact that, upon waking up, I didn't even know I was an elf. I didn't think I was a human, either. I didn't really think about it. But, if somebody had asked me my race, I would've been utterly lost for an answer. It just showed me exactly how much trouble I was in. Even if my memory could return, even if it could relieve me of my ignorance, it would take a long time. And, since I didn't have a long time, it just showed me how vital it was to catch up with the ones who had left by this trail. 

As I went along, it seemed as if the number of beings who had used the trail increased. At first, it had just been one, alongside my own footprints, before others on foot had joined them upon their return. Much later on, it seemed as though they had mounted large riding creatures- possibly the blood-rhinos, a mount used by human soldiers. As I had the thought about blood-rhinos, an image flashed through my head of them charging into battle, bearing human riders, their horns piercing through ranks of other humans, and elves. I gasped from the memory- elves! There had been elves there, fighting alongside a few humans, against an army of men!

Although I knew it pointless to try and remember, I pushed my mind for details. But all that I knew was that the prints definately belonged to blood-rhinos, and they were ridden by humans. And, if my brief memory of the battle had been correct, the side I'd been standing on was the side of the elves, meaning that the blood-rhinos were the mounts of my enemies. Meaning one thing:

To regain my memory, I would have to follow the people I had fought against.

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