The October writing contest has finally been scored!
Details regarding the rules can be found at my website
Prompt: Write your version of what happened BEFORE the first chapter of Exiled. I want to see your version if there were a chapter BEFORE chapter one.
The second place entry was written by Samuel
August 1898, Canada
James, age sixteen.
It was a cold morning. The sun did little to warm the clearing in which James was. A whole forest surrounded him, the distant howling of wolves forced him to wake up, and take in the scenery around him: birds were chirping and taking off towards the sun from the trees, squirrels leaped from tree to tree and a nearby river rushed into a waterfall, creating a breathtaking harmony that seemed to complement perfectly the eerie feeling of the morning. The most beautiful thing he had ever witnessed.
Since he was already awake, he decided to make a fire to warm himself, at least a little, so he gathered some firewood and placed it in the center of the clearing next to the rock he had used a bed of sorts, and lit the fire. He did not like to use magic for so mundane tasks; instead he used a pair of stones. Once the fire was large enough, James sat on the rock next to it, and approached his hands to warm himself.
Something unsettling happened next: the air began to feel even colder, but the fire remained alive. The last thing James saw was a flash of white light, before everything went black. As soon as it stared, it ended. He was in the clearing, but not sitting, he was standing in front of a dissipating column of purple smoke. None of that made any sense whatsoever.
Perplexed by this, James decided to leave the forest. He had already forgotten the reason that had drawn him there; he turned and began to walk in the direction he had come. It was roughly half a day’s walk back to the town on the edge of the forest, where he had left his horse. He decided to leave as soon as he had eaten something.
He arrived to the town by midday, and made his way to the stables where he had left Xander. He thanked and paid the stableman, mounted Xander, and headed out of town. He went south, to his home. Many times during his travel, James thought of telling his Master, Ammoncourt, about the events in the forest, but decided it was better if he first figured out what had happened, and then tell him. Nothing serious had happened anyway.
When he arrived home, he spent the remaining of the afternoon and all night trying to remember what had happened between the flash of light and the purple smoke, but he only recalled blackness. James ended up so frustrated, he shattered all windows and mirrors in his house the moment he shouted out of desperation. He remembered Ammoncourt mentioning this once:
“You have incredible and maybe unlimited power within you.” His Master had said while they were walking along the countryside. “The better you learn to control your emotions and, as a result, your emotions, the more Alvaro will fear you. Remember that, he fears you more, than you should fear him, even if he does not want to admit it.”
“But, are you certain about that, Master?” James asked
“Certain about what, my child?”
“About me being the one… the Anointed One.”
“Every day I become more and more certain.” Ammoncourt assured.
As he remembered that conversation, he reminded himself to calm down before he brought the whole house crumbling down. James sat down on an armchair near the front door window. He was beginning to fall asleep, when he heard a horse-drawn chariot, which was odd given that no one ever came this far out into the country. The chariot stopped in front of the house, and a man came out. The man approached wearily the house and rang the doorbell. James answered the door, and the man handed him a letter with a shaking hand. He received the letter, and watched as the chariot sped away from the house.
James looked down to the letter, and recognized Grand Master Elder Alvaro’s seal. Curious as always, James opened the letter and began to read:
James Lochlan Stuart IV:
Yesterday, word reached the Council that Akil Karanis, has not reached nor contacted anyone since the before yesterday’s afternoon. The Council has reason to suspect he has been abducted or killed. The circumstances of such an event however, remain a mystery.
Since you were one of the closest to Akil Karanis, the Council would like you to come to South America in two weeks’ time to present your testimony on your whereabouts at the time of said incident.
Grand Master Elder Alvaro
Of this letter, two things concerned James: the most important, Akil had gone missing; he who was the closest thing he had to father; and two, he knew Grand Master Alvaro despised enough as to write a letter with that much kindness. With this swamp of ideas in his mind, he raced out his house to find his Master.
“Ammoncourt will know what to do!” He told himself as he left his house, not knowing it was probably the last time he would set foot inside it again.
Second place prizes include...
One signed copy of Exiled,
One signed Exiled poster
$20 Amazon gift card,
One signed copy of Exiled,
One signed Exiled poster
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