A gypsy girl that dreams of nothing but revenge for her dead family. A female warrior who can not love any one. Seven broken girls, and a prophecy that says they have to save the world. A hangman's noose that has been tied, but for the girls or their foe?
Book one of The Heartless Chronicles


5. first blood

Family Name: Cupressaceae 

Botanical Name: Juniperus Virginiana

Popular Names: Red Cedar, Eastern Redcedar and Aromatic Cedar 

Parts Used: Wood and Leaves.

Habitat: Grows wild in Nothern Hemisphere.

Description: Coniferous trees, scale-like adult leaves, pointed juvenile leaves. 

Uses: arthritis
menstrual delay 
pyelitis and 
kidney problems. 
skin rashes, 
The oil can be used as an insect repellant.


The other girls slowly stopped coming into the garden. It became Ivy's personal retreat, one she would consider life without deadly. So, she was surprised to walking in there and find Sylvia leaning against the tree. Sylvia smile weakly. "What are you doing here?" Ivy asked, it came out a bit harsher than she intended.

Sylvia winced but said, "After what we've been through," Ivy refrained from telling her that wasn't a lot, "I consider you a friends, but I realized I don't know that much about you. So I was wondering I we could hangout for a bit, and you could tell me about your self and I could tell you about me," Sylvia said a little akwardly.

Ivy smiled warmly "Sure, you first!"

"Okay, I'm 19, my parents are some of the high ranking nobles. They kicked me out when I was 17. I got a job as a bartender, and severing girl at a bar/cafe, quaint place really. I learn how to fight and fought professionally for a little while. I had a brother but he was assassinated, he was riding a bird home and someone shoot the bird so it crashed and he was killed. After I wasn't a nobel, all of my friends abandoned me. By now my boss has probable fired me, I've been gone over a month. Your turn," Sylvia said sadly.

"Oh I'm a gypsy, and when when I was 11 the castle guards came and killed my whole family. I thought then it was because we were gypsies but now that I think about it, I think they were looking for me. Trying to kill me before I fulfilled my destiny. Anyways I ran into the forest, and built up a barrier that was nearly impossible to get through and I was raised by the plants and animals. I learn the language of the plants. All three of them, the trees, the vines, and the nightshades, then all of the six dialects of tree and vine. I learned the language of the animals. Thousands of languages. I learned magic, bow, and fighting skills, healing, poison, and many other things from my friends. Eventually I realized I like the company of plants and animals more than humans. Humans are too greedy. All I want is revenge then I can die or live a simple life." Ivy sighed.

Sylvia hugged her tentatively, "I would say  it's going to be all right but I don't know that for sure," she whispered.

"Thanks anyways," Ivy whispered back. Sylvia got up and left. The cat curled up next to Ivy and they went to sleep.

The next day Ivy was on watch when she saw something move out in the darkness. She called the rest of the girls and they stood uncertainly by that gap in the fires. Ivy noted that they all had weapons. Ivy of course being on watch had her bow. Amber was holding tightly to a large spear. Selena was holding her staff like a quater staff in a threatening position. Thalia's broadsword was sweeping menacing arcs, the slightly blueish blade catching the fire light sending it dancing around camp. Sylvia always wore her belt of throwing knives she claimed she felt naked without it, but currently she held two of her throwing knives at the ready, promising certain death for whatever was unlucky enough to get within range. Even Lias silver riffle was at the ready. Ivy had held riffles before weak powerd thing with low range the were. However some sense to her that Lia's riffle was a one not to be messed with. All eyes when trained one spot and suddenly a scaled beast emerged.

Lia screamed, "Oh heaven and earth what is that thing?" Like anyone knew.

Ivy drove deep into her memory of creatures of the heartless land. Somewhere she remembered a bit of a fairytale her parents told her, "Its a draget, and beast must like a dragon but it only grows to the height of a very tall man. And instead of fire it breaths superheated steam.

"Wonderful," groaned Seleana. 

The dragon opened it mouth and all the girls jumped out of the way as hot steam shot out. Lia screamed as the steam hit her. Then there was a thud as she fell unconscious to the ground.

"That's one person out of the fight." muttered Ivy. Then to the other girls she shouted. "We need to move this out of the camp we are to confined in there!" The other girl nodded their agreement, and the ran out of camp leaving the injured Lia. Ivy raised her bow and shot a rapid succession of arrows.

"Get out of the fight Ivy," Called  Amber. "Try to remember more about this creature!"

Ivy ducked away and searched her memory. "Fire and Ice are useless!" She called to the girls. "And so are wind and earth!"

Amber was hedging trying to block the deathly steam from the other girls, "A little help here Ivy, I can't do a defensive battle forever," she shouted. As she said it the monster opened its mouth. Ivy lurched forward, but she knew she would be too late. The there was a large just of wind and Amber was blown safely out of the way. Selena looked horrified and her hands were shaking. A whirl wind was gathered around her.

As much as Ivy wanted to stick around she had work to do, she dived into the deepest recesses of her memory. Suddenly she stepped off a cliff. She was falling and she couldn't remember why, she couldn't remember why she was in this strange place, she couldn't even  remember who she was.

Then suddenly she landed on a staircase in a strange room the room was full of stair stairs on the underside of stairs stairs going up and stairs going down. Stairs going sideways stairs on the underside of other stairs. Somewhere in her mind this room was familiar, a cylinder room with stairs. She saw a little glowing white girl, much like a fairy with no wings. The girl was made of light. Somehow she knew this was the knowledge she sought.

She leapt forward and screamed in agony as her foot fell large echos bounced around the room. The echos however were not from her footsteps they were bits of memories. She heard herself scream  when she was 11. The word magician and red and blue and green and purple all colliding to become a wordless jumble as it died away.

She took a more cautious step. This time she could barely hear the foot step but the memories came again. Ivy knew she had no time a dawdle but something  about this place pulled at her memory. Suddenly it all snapped into place this was The Labyrinth, a place used to scare children. There was no up and down in this place and gravity worked strange which ever way her feet were pointing would become down and gravity would pull her that way. Also if she told the memories to stop they would.

"Stop! I command my own mind!"

"Do you?" Ivy screamed and doubled over in pain. The voice in her head was screechy and the pain was more almost more than she could endure.

"I do, my will is stronger than yours, you are part of my mind, I will not allow myself to be hurt by myself!"

"Is that so?" so The voice screeched. Then Ivy was enveloped in a memory her parents were dead lying in their own blood, and she was screaming. "No!!!!" she wailed. Something in that word was like a foothold. She screamed it again. "My own mind!" she screamed, it hurt to say each word, and all the time she was trying hard not to be pulled in the nightmare that haunted her dreams every night.

"Yes I suppose it is, your will is too strong" The voice said. But Ivy felt no pain and words this time, only pity for its pitiful existence.

"As I said no more memories, only rainfall!" immediately the dying away memories stoped to be replaces with a soft sound of rain fall.

Ivy ran after the fairy girl every time her foot hit the stair case there was a gentle rumble of thunder off in the distance. She had no trouble twisting under the staircases as she was always facing up from her point of view. 

But the more she chased the fairy the farther away the fairy got. Finally she remembered more thing. The story of a girl who beat The Labyrinth by jumping off one of the staircases. Ivy looked down and up she was in the middle, a long way from either floor or ceiling. But what other choice did she have?

She took a deep breath and dived straight down so that her head was down and her feet were straight up in the air. For a second she went down the gravity reasserted itself so she was falling straight up, or from her point of view straight down. She bent her knees and landed in a crouch. She saw the fairy girl giggle and run to a flight of staircases. Ivy ran after her and just managed to catch her slender wrist, as the girl reached the first stair.

"You caught me," the fairy giggled. "I will tell you what you wish to know, The dragets secret flaw is arrows and  spears. Only they can cut through the thick hide, no sword or knife no matter how strong can do that! Goodbye." the room started to fade out and the last thing she thought while in that place was, "Its a good thing they don't have dust in here! It would reek havok with the changing gravity and all.

She materialized on the battlefield, confused but with the knowledge she sought. In the back of her mind she realized Amber had made 13 of herself the draget kept swinging at the wrong one its paws swiping harmlessly through the illusions.

"Spears! Spears and arrows are its only weakness," Ivy called, wiping out an arrow and laying it on the string. She was about to release a barrage of arrows but the draget must have sensed the arrival of its hated enemy the  arrow, it swung it's hardened tail at her bow snapping it clean in half.

Ivy gasped and her eyes fixed in the shattered bow. She heard one of the girls calling her name and dimly realized that the dragets paw was about to take off her head, but she could wipe the tears from her face at the sight of the ruined bow. That bow was made with her own plants, it was her favorite bow and she had never again be able to reach its level of expertise. She stood unmoving her gaze fixated on the broken bow.

Then a burst of air hit her in the back, knocking her down and then Thaila picked her up and carried her away from the battle. As Ivy was carried away she saw Amber lanch her spear through the air and hit the draget in the chest The draget let out one last breath of steam before dying.

"Its gone, its dead," Ivy sobbed.

She heard Thaila begging her to be still, and compiled the best she could. She felt soft coolness spread over her. Then everything she had done that day caught up to her, and she let Thaila carry her into the garden and cover her with a blanket, and she felt Thalia kiss her forehead before she sucumbed to sleep. 

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