Day broke and for the third time in as many days, [hero] wished he could greet it with purpose. But the forest had wore on him. Three days. He had lost track of the miles--initially he had tried, using the stars as his barometer, but as exhaustion wore on, and clouds muddled his compass, he diverted his energies elsewhere.
Why was he here? Thoughts slipped through his brain like overcooked noodles. He felt his legs go and for a moment, as the ground raced up toward him, he was thankful. Rest. At long last, he would have rest.
Hands. Rough. Heavy. Gnawing at his armpits, hoisting him up.
"No you don't." Ceetha. She had him firmly in her hands, holding him up like a damp shirt. "We can repair this," she said, and [hero] thought he caught a grim satisfaction in her voice.
The cover of a satchel on her belt popped open. Her hand digging greedily in the pouch. How was she still holding him up? The thought stumbled through his mind, attempted to right itself, to linger a little while longer in the hopes that it would inspire an answer, then got drunk again and fell from all recognition.
"Here." Her fingers tasted oddly clean. Again, thoughts swam through him, drifting like disintegrating clouds. Has she been cleaning them? Has she only just arrived? Do they only taste clean compared to everything else?
Pain shot through his face. His hand went to his nose and pinched, trying to cinch off the fizzling heat there.
He heard himself scream. Saw the ground rushing up again except this time there was nothing to break his fall. A tree root, healthy and hardened by the forest, smashed into his knee. He rocked to the side. Felt his other knee land on soft grass. Another thought: The ground is uneven.
Before it could finish, the world was sideways and he could see the thin rays of early morning streaming through the branches.
Feet stomping the ground before him. Tall, black boots. Leather straps pulled tight. He followed them up.
Ceetha, standing there, not looking at him. "Beautiful." She was watching the trees. A faint sound. Something like the wind, only with more force, more purpose.
Had he time to sleep in the past three times. Time, even, to rest, it would not have taken him to long to realize the sound was Ceetha smelling the forest air.
Almost out of instinct, he did the same. It was fresh, yet thick with moss and leaves. His hand appeared before him, clutching the ground, groping for purchase.
"Are you ready, [hero]?"
Looking up at Ceetha. She was looking over her shoulder at him now, but only barely. Her head covered in a black hood, he could just make out her elfin features. The creamy hue to her skin. The sharpened features. The emerald eyes.
A drunken haze. The air thick with anxious, excited men. Similar to a tavern, but decidedly different. Laughter. Grumbling. The clattering of mugs.
A woman approached him. Smiled. Caressed his cheek with her hand. He was stupefied by her confidence. He had asked for nothing, yet she knew precisely what he needed.
She led him away. From one dark room to another. Each one slightly smaller than the last. Slightly more secluded. Slightly darker.
A pair of eyes staring out at him. Smiling. "At last."
He had never seen a pair so green.
Ceetha's hand disappeared into her cape and when it emerged it was holding something. A shell, he thought.
Raising it to her lips, she paused, shifted her gaze to him once more and smiled. Her pursed lips held something contemptuous in them. He raised his head. Fought to get himself off the ground. His own lips pursing together, forming a singular, desperate word: "Why?"
But it was too late. Looking away from him, Ceetha brought the ocarina to her lips, and blew.
"I will remember this."
[Hero] awoke in his bed.
No. Not his. This one was much too large. Much too comfortable. The sheets and down blankets too soft. Looking around it became clear that he was in a castle. The stone walls seemed new. As if the rocks had been plucked from riverbeds as early as that morning.
A window to his left let in a cool breeze. Stumbling to it, the glare from the sun nearly blinded him. How had he gotten here? Where was here?
Footsteps. Brisk yet heavy. Three firm knocks.
"Oy!" The voice sounded annoyed even though it had left no room after the knocking for an answer. "Oy!" it said again. "Open up! We haven't got all day."
Walking to the door, [hero] placed his hands against the heavy oak if only to prove to himself that it was indeed real. His hands slid down the rough wood. Like the stones it felt new. Fresh.
Another knock and this time [hero] felt the knockers impatience in his bones.
With a carelessness that terrified him, [hero] felt his hands fall to the knob and pull.
"Well, it's about bloody time."
A burly man with a shock of red hair bustled into the room. His beard swayed from side to side with each powerful step, the gems braided into it winking in the sunlight with each sway.
He was carrying a brown satchel with him and when he reached the bed he placed it firmly onto the matress and popped it open
The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:
Begin Start typing to begin
Words Reach 50 words
Event Your character hasn't slept in days
Words Reach 100 words
Location A forest
Words Reach 200 words
Words Reach 300 words
Sentence "We can repair this."
Words Reach 400 words
Words Reach 500 words
Character A somber lap dancer
Words Reach 600 words
Prop Include an ocarina
Sentence "I will remember this."
Words Reach 700 words
Words Reach 800 words
Words Reach 900 words
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