PETRICHOR

(This is the rough draft version) This will be a story of a girl named Rivka who lives in a village called Ginseng Fréamh, where all the inhabitants, aside from those born within it's walls, appear randomly at the gates with no memory of having been brought there, leading the citizens to dub their new home the Lost Village. Outside this village are beasts and creatures of unimaginable power and unknown purpose. Rivka is the youngest to have ever appeared in the city and has the power to influence organic and earthly matter with her emotions leaving her to be stoic and unfeeling in order to control herself. With her world constantly changing from attacks by sentient beasts, the deaths of those around her, and the loss of her only friend, she finds it harder to find peace with her environment as well as herself.

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5. Eye Of The Storm

Ivan had set me back down and we ran down the corridors, down stairs, through passage ways layered with stone until we were at what I thought was the lowest point. We had never been this low, Ivan's father, King Craedel, never liked the idea of us children being down here. Now we hurried past barrels of wine in the cellar. Ivan dragged me along hoping that he could help me move faster but it was only knocking the air out of me.

He froze at a couple of barrels the proceeded to climb in one motioning me to come along. There was a secret opening where the inside of the barrel and the floor met.

We hid. Twelve feet under the wine cellar, the only sound was our hushed breathing and the pounding of our hearts that had somehow traveled up into our ears. It smelled of mold, the walls were damp and made of soil and rock.

We sat there on a hay stuffed mattress, two shelves were considerably stocked with dried meats and jars of jellies but one couldn't trust the quality. There was no knowing of how long we would be here though, hidden away in Ivan's safety pit. We may have to partake in the malting jerky. 

We huddled together in that room, silence seemed to echo in our ears as we listened, listened. 

In that silence I wondered about my parents, my neighbors, Ivan's father. His dad should be down here with us, but he wasn't. Ivan knew this too, he didn't show it on his face. He had to brave, he had to retain his calm composure. With his silent assurance that we would  be fine, my own emotions were stable.

For the most part.

What was going on above our heads?  Who was dying and who was surviving, will we survive? I hugged Ivan tightly, the world was on fire.

"Skrrreek.....skrrreek skrrreek" 

I whipped my head around at the noise but it was indefinite, it was in no specific place, in fact it seemed as though it was everywhere. Ivan's face seemed to pale at the sound and I began to panic. The sound increased in intensity.

I could hear shifting of dirt, almost like digging but not quite. 

"Ivan, what is that?" I whispered, I could feel my heart beat even faster and my stomach drop. Ivan stared at me and then around at the walls, then back at me.

"Hey, look at me, ignore the noise. Look and listen to me. Everything is fine, we will be fine. You are fine." I started to shake all over, my body shivered in fear and I was terrified.

He held me still, stopped the shaking. 

"Get it together. Stop it." The harshness in his voice was not normal, shocking. I froze and focused on his voice. He scowled at me, taken aback I backed away no longer clinging to him. Ivan wasn't Ivan. He was angry.

He glared at me, put a finger to his lips to signal for me to be quiet.

As if he was an adult, someone I would have to listen to no matter the difference of opinion. My stubbornness was subdued and I cowered under his newfound authority. I scrambled across from him near the shelves and we sat there, the scratching slowly stopping and it seemed that the atmosphere in the room was awkward but still slightly calmer. Ivan was the adult.

Minutes passed, we sat there staring. Silently he mouthed sorry however his face never softened. The silence drew on once again, it was nerve racking but I held myself up, keeping my emotions down.

The scratching had stopped but a new sound had gained a presence. The splitting of wood, the straining of bolts and metal. Something has discovered the tunnel, ripping at the wine barrel that marked our entrance. There was no hiding now, no where to go, our place of safety was now a trap.

"Rivka," Ivan croaked revealing his fear, "get under the blanket. Control yourself, if they see that you are different they might take you, they might-" banging on the trapdoor ensued and I was buried in blankets. I held my breath as I could hear the small door come tumbling down and a sudden thump in front of us. Ivan was silent, I could imagine a stare down, but my best friend was losing as I could feel him shaking. 

"Hello little prince." A voice that couldn't be much older than Ivan spoke directly to us. I tried so hard to be still and be indifferent.

The voice spoke again, "Took us a while to find you but after tracking your scent through your bed sheets it was pretty easy. Don't put up a fight, we don't want any milesians to get caught up as well, hmmm?" His tone was mocking and intelligent for the age he seemed to be, whatever he may be, obviously a fomorian but maybe he was weak maybe there was a chance to escape if we overpowered him.

I ignored the idea of escaping, I just needed to be silent and be invisible.

I heard Ivan clear his throat and the straw mattress shifted as he stood up. 

"Why? Leave us be, we are just kids" Iva was asking the right questions but there would be no answers. 

The creature responded, "Why would it matter if you were kids? I just wanted to see how you tasted, the prince of all these morsels..."

I heard a whack and the weight on the bed shifted again.

Ivan had been flung against the wall. 

"Umph!" He fell to the ground behind me at the edge of the bed, I was filled with something, not fear, but determination.

"NO" 

I stood up and yelled with as much authority a little girl could, out of bed the blankets falling behind me on Ivan. I held myself still and strong but not overwhelmed. My face was stone and my heart was slow. I held back what little fear and pain I felt about anything and everything. I glanced at Ivan behind me, his eyes were filled with terror and his forehead wrinkled with pain. A tiny bead of blood dripped from his nose. I looked back at the monster before us.

The fomorian was of high status but like I thought, he was young. Maybe early teens, fifteen or fourteen. His eyes were the most definitive attribute of his face, black, with glowing yellow rings. His skin was covered in black scales, his blonde hair was short and perfectly trimmed with black tips. Small black horns with thin yellow stripes poked out from his skull, he had a stud in each ear and a a toothy grin that went from ear to ear.

The fomorian's eyes settled on me, his smile growing wider.

"I knew I smelled a female. Is this your protector little Craedel....? Your tiny knight in shining armor?" He advanced towards me and I took a step back.

Grabbing me by the arm he pulled me to him, I hissed and spat and scratched, the fomorian stood there unfazed. 

By this point two others had joined us. One with long claws, a brown mane and a a gigantic fang filled under bite, the other a mix between human, fox and an owl. It had a fox tail and a fox color scheme, but its head was a human with feathers for hair, an extended neck and a small protruding beak on its face.

My eyes widened but I didn't let fear get the best of me.

Ivan shot up despite being thrown against the wall.

"Let her go you bastard!" I had never heard Ivan curse before.

The beast pulled me close, one hand holding me still, the other stroking my head. He spoke quietly and menacing, "I was going to have you first but I suppose she will do." My head was tilted, a pink and black forked tongue snaked across my cheek and around my ear. I looked at Ivan, void of expression. I could feel some sort of terror rise up in me but I forced it down. 

Ivan got on his knees, "please I'll do whatever you want, just don't hurt my friend! She is all I got..." His eyes swelled, cheeks puffy, little droplets fell to the floor.

"Interesting flavor," The creature's eyes dilated, I suppose he was feeding off of Ivan's pain and suffering. He motioned for the two behind him to grab Ivan. I watched as he was knocked out cold against the wall, his face still wrenched in sadness.

The fomorian threw me back down on the mattress, "you're a lucky one aren't you? How do you sit there blank eyed? Do you not care that we are about to eat your friend?" Ivan was being carried by the ring leader's two cronies out of the safety pit. I tried not to be sad.

"Why should I?" I glared at the fomorian, challenging him. I tried to make it seem like I didn't care but I could feel tiny droplets leave my eyes.

"Piece of work, aren't you sweetie?" He pulled my hair making me look at the ground, the nape of my neck exposed. I felt him dig into my soft flesh of my neck with his claws.

"Now you can live miserably with this mark to remember me by!" He smiled cruelly, "and the next time we meet," he yanked me by the hair again making us eye to eye, his forked tongue at my neck again,"I'll eat you whole." 

He then dropped me on the mattress

"Sorry I must leave you so soon," he licked his bloody claws, "but I am running behind schedule and I just don't have time for you."

He went to make his way up the tunnel, "remember what I said...." He licked his lips and left me there. Left me alone, bleeding from the back of my neck. He had marked me for the next time they came. I suppose I would be safe for now, but...

I'll eat you whole.

This echoed in my head, but despite being afraid by that, I couldn't stop thinking about Ivan. Ivan was gone, gone forever. All I was to him was mean and a nuisance, tears fell in a heavy stream now.

I'll eat you whole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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