This is a little short story I created that might develop into my NaNoWriMo this year… so don’t steal, please! Tanith and Aleron will also be in the character interview.
“Jump!” Aleron yelled, his battle-staff’s blue tip glowing as they leapt.
Landing on the bank of the creek, he swung the staff again, and a crisp, burning smell filled the air. The shadowy beasts slunk back, growling, as a barrier appeared between them. As soon as they retreated, Aleron dropped the shield, panting for breath.
Tanith, who had been absolutely no help the entire time, sat down suddenly, grabbing fistfuls of grass in her hands. “Oh gods,” she mumbled, glazed eyes staring at nothing in particular, “We could’ve died back there. I could’ve died. And the staff,” she said, staring at Aleron, who rolled his one good eye impatiently and sighed, “what is with the staff? Who are you?”
The rugged man sighed again and adjusted his eye patch. His every movement seemed to be watched by her eyes. “That,” he said, “is not the problem right now. We’ve got to get out of here, possibly go to Renith. We’ll find harbor there.”
Tanith gave a wild cry and grabbed his arm. “What is going on? My family is- is dead,” she tasted the word on her tongue. It felt bitter and yet, it was the truth. “My family is dead,” she continued, tears streaming freely now, “and I would very much like to know what on Garba is going on.”
Aleron suddenly leaped over her sitting position. Uttering a battle cry, he swung the staff. A large BOOM resonated and Tanith screamed. She crawled backwards towards a crevice in the rocks, ducking her head in her arms. A THUD came, and she peeked out of her hiding spot.
“Get up,” she heard. She scurried back.
Aleron’s face suddenly appeared. “By the gods, girl, it’s dead.”
Tanith slowly maneuvered her way out of the crack. Another shadow-beast was lying against a tree, smoldering. Aleron took a flask out of his belt and drank from it. “This magic-fighting really gets to you,” he muttered, staring at his staff. The staff glowed once in response, then dimmed completely.
“Would you please dump this….this thing in the creek, I shan’t have it dirtying my roots,” the Tree sniffed.
Giving another cry, Tanith scurried back into her hole-in-the-rocks. Aleron groaned and shook his head.
“Never seen one o’ my kind, has she? Just my dead cousins?” the Tree asked.
“I assume not.” His voice grew louder. “Come out already, if the Tree was planning on hurting us it would be soon dead also.”
The Tree cast him a disapproving glance, to which Aleron shrugged. Tanith cautiously crawled out, staring at the Tree.
“It talks,” she said, rather dumbly.
The Tree snickered. Aleron crossed his arms. “You really don’t know anything, do you? This is a Tree. With a capital T, mind you. They can, as you so intelligently pointed out, can talk, along with moving and walking and other sorts of things. Their cousins, the ones you’re obviously had more encountered with are little-t trees. They cannot do the aforementioned things. You with me?”
She nodded and scowled at him. “I’m not stupid.”
“Says the girl whose life I just saved.”
She began to say something, but Aleron held up his hand, silencing her.
“I’m not saying you’re not smart-“
“Sounds like it to me.”
“-I’m just saying you can’t fight. And if you’ll be hanging around with me, you’ll need to learn how. I’m Aleron.”
He swung a spare dagger in its sheath at her. She caught it deftly.