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Moriah Kristine
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
My name is Moriah Kristine Farnsworth
(Yes, like from Futurama. And YES...we're related. Truth)
Born in Las Vegas, NV 1991
Currently live in the state of Washington

Zero. I'm an INTP.
One. I’m an introvert.
Two. I love books.
Three. I love the rain.
Four. I’m an “old soul”
Five. I’m dark/gothic.
Six. I’m evil. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Seven. I’m masochistic.
Eight. I'm bisexual.
Nine. I'm artistic and love having projects but tend to get in over my head.
Ten. I love green tea with lemon.
Eleven. I have a dark sense of humor and very harsh and dry sarcasm most don’t understand.
Twelve. I collect glass bottles and jars.
Thirteen. I have a dark past.
Fourteen. I love cats.
Fifteen. I <3 to dance and music.
Sixteen I hate small dogs, the color pink and Twilight.
Seventeen. I love fantasy.
Eighteen. I'm a heartbreaker.
Nineteen I like horror, Halloween, bats, black, and dark, gory things.
Twenty. I "fangirl" over many things, including Harry Potter, American Horror Story, My Little Pony, and various other things.


Chapter 3
Sunrise and Raids


   Ash walked next to the horses as they pulled the carriage.  Gazania had started off sitting inside, but then complained about how she was feeling cramped up in the little box room so now she was walking with Ash but keeping her distance.

   “We’ll stop here for the night.” Ash said and led the horses off of the trail and past some trees into a small clearing.

   “What? We’re stopping already? But it’s still perfectly daylight out.” Gazania said, as they pulled off of the road and into some trees.

   “Yes,” Ash started as he untied the horses from the carriage let them walk into the grass to eat.

   “That is because night will be upon us quickly, and it’s better to have camp set up before the sun is gone.” He explained and he began gathering sticks and small branches for a fire.

   “But why can’t we just keep walking all night? This will just slow us down.  My guards would have kept going all through the night.” She complained.

   “Listen, princess, you’re not with your guards anymore, you’re with me, and I’m saying we’re going to camp here for the night.  Besides, we’re still days away from Sunrise, it would hardly make a difference trying to stay up all night just to keep going.” Ash said firmly and Gazania said nothing else.  She stood against the carriage and watched Ash make a fire and her stomach growled loud enough for Ash to hear.  He looked to her,

   “So where is all that food you promised?” he asked.  She didn’t say anything for a moment and shifted uncomfortably.

   She pointed at a box attached to the back of the carriage and Ash strode over to it.  He lifted the lid and inside was a mixture of fruits and vegetables of various kinds and a small bag with nuts inside.  No meat.

   “Okay.”  Ash said and closed the lid of the trunk and he took his bow off of his back which made Gazania jump.

   “Don’t worry, it’s not for you.” He said with a smile playing on his lips that he couldn’t help.

   “What is it for then?” she asked,

   “Just, stay here and be quiet, okay?” he said and before she could whine about him leaving her alone, he was off into the dark of the woods.

   Moments later, he returned with two birds, one in each hand held upside down by the feet.  Gazania shrieked,

   “What did you do that for?” she jumped up from her seat on a log and looked disgusted.  Ash walked over and took a seat and started prepping the meat.

   “I did it so we could eat. You want to eat, don’t you?”

   “Eat meat? No, never. Besides, we have plenty in the trunk.” Ash looked at her, shocked.

   “You don’t eat meat?” he asked in disbelief, who doesn't eat meat? How would anyone get strength without meat?  She shook her head.

   “Well, more for me then.” He said as he turned back to the dead birds.  After the meat had been cooked, Gazania looked at Ash expectantly,

   “What?” He asked,

   “Did you prepare my food?” he just looked to her, baffled by her question.  What did she mean by prepare her food? He just prepped and cooked two birds, what more did she want, for him to chop up her vegetables and put them all on a stick for her?

   “Um, no princess, I did not prepare your food.” He said with distain.  Ash went to eating the meat and Gazania had already finished the small bag of nuts, a handful of berries and was now crunching on a carrot.

   “You’re going to run out of food if you keep eating it like that.” Ash said but she didn’t reply, she just looked straight ahead and didn’t respond, almost like she didn’t hear him altogether.

   “Here, you can eat this, you know, it’s good, I promise.” He said and she looked at the dead cooked bird on the stick over the fire.

   “Here,” Ash said and he tore off a small piece,

   “Just try it.” He handed it to her and she refused him.

   “I’m not eating meat and especially not from your dirty hands.  Who knows where they’ve been and how long it’s been since you washed them last.”

   He put the meat into his own mouth and chewed it loudly.  When he was finished, he belched long and loud.  Gazania shifted uncomfortably and gave him a look of disapproval.

   “Your manners are all but not.” She said as she eyed him with judgment.  He stared right back, unwavering.

   After they finished eating, Ash put the fire out, Gazania complained about it being too dark,

   “How will I see?” she asked,

   “In your sleep?” Ash asked sarcastically,

   “No, I mean, if I need to get up?”

   “Don’t get up.” Ash said flatly.

   “What if I need too…” she paused and Ash looked at her expectantly.

   “Never mind.” She said and Gazania got into the carriage to sleep while Ash sat against a tree sleeping lightly through the night.

   The next morning Ash woke earlier and readied the horses and was on the road before Gazania even woke up.  Birds chirped in the nearby trees and the world was still so calm from slowly waking up.  Ash walked beside the horses as they pulled the carriage and there was a soft rumble of the wheels and hooves over the gravel.  Ash was thinking about how the day was warm and hoped that was a good omen for their journey.  It would be nice if they could just get to Sunrise and all went well, he could use some good luck on his side.  Gazania got out of the carriage and had asked how far they’d come,

   “Not very, not even a quarter days-worth.”

   The whole day Gazania complained about this and that, about her feet hurting or the carriage being too small, or that the day was moving too slow or that the horses smelled or that she was hungry or…

   It seemed to never end and Ash had just about had enough of it.

   Ash tried to focus on positive things to distract him, not only from Gazania’s rambling, but also his own taunting thoughts.  He couldn’t stop wondering about Tala, if she was alright or even still alive.  The worst always came to mind.  He imagined her locked in a dark, cold and damp dungeon with no food or water, being tortured and slowly dying from the pain and agony she was being forced to endure.  She was so small and so young, she didn’t deserve it.  None of them from his village did.  What had they done? Why were they randomly attacked?  The Guard didn’t just burn a town to the ground, did they?  What purpose did they have for destroying his?  Why Firwell? What could they have against his tiny little village? Ash had grown up to believe that the Day Nation had their reasons for doing things a certain way, but at this moment, he couldn’t understand what sort of thing they were trying to do.  Wasn’t it the Day Nations job to protect them? If so, why had they burned his village? What possible evil thing could have been in his own home streets for them to take such an action?  Ash couldn’t understand it, he couldn’t figure out what they could have done to cause this upon themselves.  Had they become a threat from disease?  Or was it something else altogether?  Why his village?  Why him? Why Tala?  And his mind raced around in a circle, wondering about Tala and the reasons behind the attack, but no matter how many times he thought it over, he was never any closer to finding an answer.  All he could do was hope that when he returned the princess and got Tala back he could ask for answers and figure out where to go from there.

   Towards the end of the day Ash’s ears perked up at a strange sound,

   “Princess?” he asked and she poked her head out of the carriage window,

   “What is it? Are we finally there?” she asked sounding hopeful.

   “No, come here.” He said, sniffing the air, trying to sense what was off.

   “But I’m sore and tired.  I think I’ll rest in here, thank you.” She said,

   “Gazania, now, come here, get out of the carriage.” He said with more alertness in his voice.

   “Why, what’s wrong?” she argued,

   “Just do it.” He demanded and she begrudgingly did what he said.  The horses stopped and Ash listened,

   “What’s going on?” Gazania whined and Ash shushed her, but all she did was moan about how he can’t order a princess to be quiet and then there they were.  Six men all wearing worn and tattered brown clothes and cloaks came out from the trees from all directions all with blades, bows and daggers at the ready.

   Gazania screamed and the first thing Ash did was quickly move to Gazania and pulled her from the carriage, keeping her close behind him and drew his bow and arrow, aiming it from one man to the next but not releasing the arrow.

   “We don’t want any trouble.” Ash called and the men stood at the edge of the trees and the trail with their weapons ready for a fight.

   “But we do!” called one man and another added,

   “Trouble is what you’re in for!” and a couple of them laughed in agreement.

   “Look, we’re just passing through, if this is your territory I’m sorry, but I promise we mean no harm.” Ash pleaded but the men didn’t seem to want to back down.  He took the first move and lowered his bow,

   “What are you doing?” Gazania hissed in his ear and he shushed her,

   “See? Alright? No harm needs to come of anyone.” Ash said and then another man stepped from the trees, a man bigger than the others, a large, cougar with wide shoulders and big arms that held a battle axe.

   “No trouble, eh?” sniffed the man, not bothering to look at Ash.  Ash kept quiet and waited, his fingers itching over his bow in one hand and the arrow in the other.

   “Alright,” started the cougar,

   “You don’t want any trouble.  I tell ya what,” He looked to Ash and his eyes were a faded and dull blue, and a large cut ran across his cheek down to his lip.  This man had seen better days, and from the looks of him, he had seen war as well.

   “Why don’t you hand over that carriage and everything you own and there will be no trouble.  You can walk away, a free man.” Ash knew right away he couldn’t give them all their supplies, they still had days left of travel and although he was sure he could survive in the wild, he wasn’t sure about Gazania.

   “Done!” Gazania said from behind Ash and she stepped forward, stepping around Ash.

   “You can have the carriage and all of our belongings, just let us go free and unharmed.” She said in a cool and collected voice.  Ash wondered how she had been keeping herself together so well when she was surely about to die.  A man from the group whistled at Gazania and she didn’t even look his way, but kept her eyes firmly on the leader, who was licking his lips as if he just finished eating a juicy chicken leg.

   “Well, well, well now.” He said in a gruff voice, taking a few steps closer to Gazania and Ash. Instinctively, Ash tried to move in front of Gazania again, but she had stopped him by stepping away from him.  What was she doing? Trying to get herself killed?

   “What a pretty little thing.  And so strong.  I see it in your eyes, strong will, that’s good.  But tell me, do you know who your master is?” asked the cougar, stopping again just feet from them.

   “Do we have a deal or not?” Gazania tried to not let him change the subject and Ash thought she was crazy for even trying to bargain with this man when he was clearly a thief, but maybe they would let them go unhurt if they made this trade.  It’s not as though they had much in the carriage, and Ash could help Gazania live from the land for a few days, surely it wouldn’t kill her.

   “Look likes this one sticks to the point.” The cougar said, more to his men, who all laughed.  He returned his gaze to Gazania,

   “Alright, it’s a deal.” The man said and took another step closer to Gazania,

   “Give us all your belongings and we’ll let you go free.” He was close enough now to touch her and Ash gripped his bow tighter, ready to loose an arrow for any given reason.

   “ Lets say we go take a look in that carriage of yours,” the cougar said and brushed his fingers lightly against Gazania’s arm.  She quickly pulled away,

   “No, you have what you want, let us go quietly.” She said,

   “Ah, but pretty little thing, I agreed to take all your belongings,” he eyed her up and down,

   “And I do intend to take all of them.” His eyes linger over her lower body a second longer than it should have before he returned his gaze to her eyes and grabbed her arm lightly.  Ash raised his bow then and pointed it in the cougar’s face,

   “Let her go.” He said and the cougar laughed.

   “What are you going to do boy? Kill me and all of my men? Kill us all with your little toy bow?” all the men laughed as they got closer with weapons ready for him.

   “Just let us go.” Ash tried but he knew it was no use.  Gazania came behind Ash again and they backed up with the men closing in on them.  Ash darted his eyes, trying to think quick.  There was no way he could kill off all these men, they were going to have to run and hope for the best.  He continued backing up and stopped when two men circled behind them, now enclosing them in, trapping them.  Ash whispered to Gazania ever so slightly, so faint that if she wasn’t just behind him, she wouldn’t have heard him.  One single word, a single instruction that could save her life.

   “West.” He whispered and the instant after, he loosed  his arrow at the man to their left and Gazania sprinted through the gap, leaping over the man who had fallen to his back with an arrow lodged in his chest. Another man took off, trying to chase her, but Ash put an arrow in the mans’ back and he faltered, coming to his knees. Three more men ran towards Ash and too his right, he heard the string of a bow being pulled taut.  He ducked at the last instant before the arrow could hit him in the back of the head; instead it found a home in the man coming from his left.  Ash jumped over the falling man and dashed into the trees.  He heard them yell from behind him,

   “After them!”

   “Kill the boy and bring me the girl!” the cougar shouted, no doubt leaving all the work to the other men.  Ash tried to find Gazania’s trail, to catch wind of a sign of her being through this way, but he must have been off track because he saw nor smelt any signs of her being here and before another arrow tried to make its way into his flesh, he leaped behind a large tree trunk.  Stopping and nocking another arrow.  He quickly jumped from behind the tree and loosed the arrow but missed the man by a hair and he drew another and aimed and shot, missing again.  Ash turned and ran and darted through narrow trees.  He saw a dip in the ground and he reached it, ducking down and listening hard for the movement of his stalkers.  Two men were coming from the sound of it; the others were probably raiding their things and taking off with them.  Ash pulled another arrow and slowly peeked around the tree and saw the two men, a lizard and a skunk, both looking behind the trees for him.  He pulled his bow and raised the arrow, and slowly bringing it around the tree to just enough open that he could loose the arrow without missing this time.  He waited for the lizard to come closer, past a few more trees so Ash would have a clear shot and then he took it.  Nailing him in the upper arm and quickly he fired another arrow and landed it in the other arm.  The lizard bent to his knees and buckled over.  He probably wouldn’t die, but he’d have a hell of a time recovering from those.  The skunk man rushed towards Ash’s spot with a shield raised and before Ash could get far enough away, the man grabbed Ash by the hood and flung him backwards, his bow flying from his grip.

   “Gotcha!” he shouted and lifted a sword to bring down on Ash, but he rolled on his back and kicked himself back up to his feet but before Ash could get far, the skunk hit him in the shoulder with his shield and Ash was knocked sideways; not enough to make him fall, but enough to make him lose balance.  Ash righted himself and the skunk pulled his hood again so that they were now face to face.  He drew up his sword again and went to plunge it into Ash’s chest.  Ash could feel his heart pumping loudly in his ears, he had never felt so helpless and in that second, his last moments, all he could think about was Tala and saving her.  Sweet, Tala.  She needed him now more than ever and he promised her he would rescue her.  He had promised.  Just then before he could stab Ash’s heart out, Ash dodged out of the way and the skunk went forward and started to topple over.  Ash rounded on him and jumped, landing his feet on the skunks’ back, sending his face into the dirt.  Ash jumped and rolled and snatched up his bow and drew an arrow and aimed it right at his face.  He righted himself and dropped his sword and shield, holding his hands in the air.

   “No, please” he begged, eyeing his lizard friend who was unconscious in the dirt just down a ways from them.  Ash didn’t lower his aim,

   “Let us leave and I won’t kill you.” Ash threated and the skunk nodded.

   “Now leave!” Ash said and without question, the skunk got to his feet and ran off without his sword, his shield and without bothering to check his friend.  Ash didn’t lower his bow until he was far out of sight and waited for everything to be quiet again.  He listened and started heading west, hoping to find Gazania’s trail.  After a good fifteen to twenty minute walk to the west, he had found some recently broken twigs on the ground.  A trail.  He followed them and found bent grass blades and crushed pinecones, small branches that were recently bent and slightly broken from a force coming through this way and finally footprints.  Gazania’s hoof prints more specifically.  He followed them, listening for any sound of her up ahead or the men from behind, in case they decided to track him too, but all was quiet.  Night was on the way and rain started to lightly patter down.  Thankfully from the thick of trees, very little water made it to Ash, so pulling up his hood was enough coverage for now, but he would have to find some sort of shelter for the night and hopefully find Gazania soon.

   There was a sound that sounded slightly like the rustling of leaves and Ash’s ears perked up, but the noise had subsided and he figured it was probably an animal scurrying into its hole of a home for the night.  Ash rounded a tree and then there was a heavy thud on his back.  He fell forward and quickly turned to see Gazania standing above him with a big stick in her hands.  She immediately dropped it when she realized it was him.

   “Oh my gosh!” she screamed and bent over him to help him up.

   “I didn’t know it was you!” Ash sat up, rubbing his back where the blow had struck him.

   “Yeah right, you’ve probably wanted to do that since the moment we met.” He said with a slight smile, she returned it and stood upright again.  She was wet and shivering and even though it was dark, Ash was sure it was dirt that was covering her clothes and skin and not shadows.  Ash stood and cracked his back,

   “We need to make camp.” He informed her, though she probably already knew.

   “Better yet, we need to find somewhere to take shelter.  I think if we keep heading west, we should be able to find something.” He said and walked on without waiting for Gazania.  She followed close behind him and neither of them talked to one another for the few hours it took for them to find a hole underneath two trees that had merged together, just big enough for the two of them.

   “I’m not going in there.” Gazania said, looking into the dark hole with spider webs and who knew what else.  Ash grabbed a stick and cleaned it out of all of the debris.  Lucky for them, it didn’t look like anything lived in here, animal or crawler of any kind.

   “Look, princess, it’s this or you sleep in the rain, you’re choice.” He said without sympathy.  He really didn’t have time or the energy for her whining right now,

   “And if I recall correctly, it’s your fault we’re out here in the first place.” He said flatly.

   “My fault?” Gazania yelled.  Ash looked at her and continued setting their makeshift camp.  He gathered anything he could find for kindling for a fire, and large leaves for some extra cover.

   “Yes, your fault.” He said as he worked.

   “No, this is your fault.” She argued,

   “Well, excuse me, but if you would have just been quiet when I told you before those thieves attacked us, we wouldn’t be here right now.” He explained.  Gazania scoffed.

   “Yeah right, ‘cause like that made any difference, they were going to get to us regardless.” She protested,

   “Yeah, but I might had been better ready for them if I would have known.” Ash went on,

   “I know you think you’re all high and mighty because you’re good with that stick and arrow of yours—”

   “It’s called a bow.” Ash added but Gazania didn’t falter in her words and continued without paying him any mind.

   “But just ‘cause you’re good at something doesn’t make you a god or anything like that.  You’ve just been lucky.  There was no way you were going to take out that whole group of men.  Even so, if you wouldn’t have kidnapped me in the first place, we wouldn’t be here.” She argued.  Ash’s chest tightened, he hated this argument, it was pointless.

   “Well if you wouldn’t have called for your guards and make me kill them, I wouldn’t have had to take you along with me.  And you had the choice to stay behind.  You elected to come.”

   “If you wouldn’t have robbed me, I wouldn’t have called my guards.  Don’t you see, Ash.  This is all your fault.” Ash didn’t respond, even though he wanted to say,

   “And if your guard wouldn’t have attacked my town and kidnapped my sister, I wouldn’t have had to steal.” But he didn’t.  He let that hurt sit inside his stomach, making him feel ill.  He had finished making a small fire and he tended to it to keep it going despite the light rain falling overhead.  Gazania curled up inside the hole on top of a pile of dry leaves without saying anything.  The night grew darker and everything was silent, soon, both Gazania and Ash had fallen asleep.

   Ash awoke on the ground next to the remains of the campfire and looked to see Gazania tucked in the opening under the trees, still in a deep sleep.  His stomach growled loudly and he stood, taking his bow and arrows in search for something for breakfast.  The woods were quiet, almost too quiet.  He didn’t spot any game he could catch to eat, so he settled on some berries and nuts he found, they would have to do for now.  He brought them back and Gazania was still asleep and as he ate his portion, he wondered just how much he had gone through in such a short time.  First Firwell was attacked and his sister was taken from him, turning his simple life upside down.  Then he spends nearly ten days on the road, hoping to find Tala and then seeking help from the Land Nation, only to run into Gazania and her guards and making a deal with her, with the hopes of trading the princess for his sister.  But would that plan work? Who was to say that he wouldn’t be arrested as soon as he entered the city gates? There was no way of telling and if he kept up this relationship with Gazania, with the two of them arguing all the time, she’d probably have him arrested for royalty abuse or something absurd like that.  He had about five more days before they reached Sunrise taking this shortcut, and he decided he had five days to get Gazania to like him enough to want to keep him alive when they reached the city. He had five days to make a friend, even if it was pretend.
If I could say “hi” to you,
I wouldn’t because you are no longer in my life.
For so long I had wished you back,
Hoping that with each tear I gave would be a great enough offering,
But never were you back,
Instead I felt shadows of you lingering nearby,
A coldness grew within me.
Time has told me that you no longer have a hold on my heart,
I can move on and move away without any fear of pain.
So if I were to pass you on the streets,
I will not say “hi” to you.
I know I wouldn’t see your face,
Because you are now a stranger in my eyes.
You are a stranger in my heart.
Goodbye Color. Hello Black by MoriahKristine
Goodbye Color. Hello Black
Dyed my hair back to all black.  I think I'm done with color for awhile.  Makes me feel too immature. 

Chapter 2
Water and Gold


    Ash awoke with a pounding in his head and something wet on his backside.  He slowly opened his eyes to see only blackness around him.  The smell of dirt and decaying leaves surrounded him.  He sat up and felt hard, damp earth beneath him.  He rubbed the back of his head to check for injuries, luckily, he seemed to be alright.  His eyes slowly adjusted to the dark and he couldn’t see much around him no matter how hard he stared into the dark.  From the echoing of some water dripping, the hole sounded much larger than it appeared to be.  Ash knelt down and dug into his hunting pack that he thankfully managed to not lose.  Inside he pulled out his flint and steel set and gathered some dried leaves and twigs from around his feet and fastened himself a small torch.  After some time, light was flooding the inside of a cave, dancing delicately across the walls.  As Ash walked around, the pads on his paws made a light pat with each step he took.  Along the cave walls were strange red markings Ash didn’t recognize.  They looked like they had been painted on year ago.  There were some old broken pots, play things, and other oddities Ash had never seen before.  He wondered who would have lived down here, and why.  He went back to the markings on the wall and tried to decipher them, but it was in a language completely unknown to him, he had never seen anything like it.  But there was no time to figure this out now, he had to try to rescue Tala, if it wasn’t already too late.  He headed for the opening in the ground above him from where he fell in, but before he started to climb, some more markings on the wall caught his eye.  He recognized some of them; he could read some of these words.  He wasn’t exactly sure, but his best guess was something he must have learned as a child, maybe when he was still in school, when he was Tala’s age.  He leaned in closer and lifted the torch to the wall.  Light bounced across the wall and its markings

“…A burning era will begin and…thriving will die by the hand...” Ash whispered quietly to himself.  He couldn’t make out anything else, and after this bit, giving him the chills, he wasn’t sure he wanted to read the rest.  He turned away and put the torch in his teeth and climbed up the stone wall, leaving the forgotten cave behind. 

    Outside in the cool night air, everything was still and quiet.  All the animals were asleep and even the wind seemed to be sleeping because all around him was silence.  Ash started backtracking towards his village and when he got there, the fears all boiled up in him again and anxiety rushed through him.  Suddenly, he was alert and tense.  The tall fence that surrounded his village, to keep the people in served no purpose anymore, there was no one left.  He needed to find Tala, he needed to rescue her and he would die trying if he must.  Ash stopped by his old home to prepare a better pack for a long journey; Sunrise was days away and he wanted to be more equipped.  When he was set to go, he took one last look around at Tala’s play things and tears were fighting again in his eyes.  He looked over to a ring of flowers and grass that made a crown and he remembered how in the spring Tala made one for him and how he refused to wear it, now he’d give anything for her to make him a crown of flowers, and oh, how he would walk around so proud with it upon his head.  On the floor lay a small blue ribbon, one Tala often wore in her hair or around her wrist.  She called it her Wish Ribbon and she had told Ash that someday, she would tie it onto the Wish Tree so that all her deepest wishes would come true.  Ash picked up the delicate ribbon and held it close to his heart and he could hear her voice clear in his mind as if it were just earlier this morning they were sitting out in the grassy hill just on the outskirts of their village.

    Ash sat with his back against the fence, watching his little sister play in the field of white and yellow flowers.  She gathered them up and made a bouquet.  She brought them to Ash who smiled at his sister,

    “They’re beautiful.” He said and she smiled, pleased that her brother was approving.  She pulled out a small blue ribbon she had in her pocket and wrapped it around the stems of the flowers, but it kept falling because she didn’t know how to make a bow yet.

    “Ash, it won’t stay.” She said, confused at her error.  Ash lead up and reached his hand out,

    “Here, let me show you.” He said and she handed him the ribbon.  She watched him tie it around the stems,

    “The rabbit goes over then under and around and through.” Ash said slowly as he showed Tala how to tie.  When he completely the bow Tala got excited,

    “Let me try!” she said and Ash undid the bow.  She brought the ribbon around and around the stem and crossed the two ends but it fell and Tala was sad,

    “What is it little wolf?” he asked,

    “I’ll never be able to do it like you. I’m no good.” She said and tears formed in the corner of her eyes.  Ash set the ribbon and flowers down and placed his hand gently under her chin to get her to look him in the eye.

    “Never say you’re never any good.  You are Tala, my little wolf and the most beautiful and smart and fun of all the little wolves in the world! There is no one like you.  You are special and wonderful, some things just take practice and eventually you’ll get it.” He said and Tala gave a small smile.

    “Now, want to try again?” he asked and she nodded.  Ash had brought Tala to sit in front of him and he reached his arms around her to tie the bow around her flowers.  After he had shown her a second time, she was ready to try again.  This time he guided her with the rhyme and she completely the bow.

    “I did it! Look Ash! I made a bow like you!” she squealed with accomplishment.

    “Good job, little wolf!” He said proudly and she hugged him,

    “You know what?” She said when she pulled away from him and admired her bow around her flowers,

    “What?” Ash asked, leaning back on the fence.

    “I think that this is a perfect ribbon for my wish ribbon.” She said with a smile,

    “What is a wish ribbon?” Ash asked,

    “Emilie from school told me about them.  It’s a special ribbon that you make a wish on and then you tie it to a wishing tree so your wish will come true.”

    “What’s a wishing tree?” Ash asked, genuinely curious.

    “It’s a tree that’s covered in all sorts of different colored ribbons that other people put there for their wises.”

    “Where can you find one of these trees?”

    “I don’t know, but maybe when I’m older, I’ll learn about it in school, or a traveler will come and tell us about one.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful, Ash? A tree that can grant your wish?” there was so much enthusiasm and excitement in her voice.

    “That would be really wonderful, little wolf.  I tell you what, if I ever find a wishing tree, I will take you there so you can tie the ribbon onto the tree.”

    “Really?” Tala jumped and looked at him and Ash nodded.

    “You’re the best!” She jumped into a hug and wrapped her arms tight around his neck and he hugged her back.


     “I will save you, Little Wolf.” He whispered into the cold empty room and then he turned away from his home and left it too behind him. 

    Out on the road it was quiet and dark, Ash’s torch was long gone at this point, if the Guard came this way, they would capture him or worse, kill him.  He was better left in the dark, shadowing himself in the night.  It felt like he had walked a long time and he was starting to worry that maybe he had taken the wrong road, but then he saw a sign at a fork and ran up to read,

    “Land Nation” with an arrow pointing north and “Sunrise City” with an arrow pointing west and he knew he was on the right track.  It had been a long time since he had traveled to Sunrise.  As he walked he remembered when he was just a pup and he was traveling with his father to Sunrise for a business trip.  Ash’s mother was left at home because she was with child and unable to make the long trip, so while Ash’s aunt was taking care of his mother, he went with his father to learn their trade.  He learned how to farm the land already, and now he was learning how to sell their crops to Sunrise City traders for other things they needed back at home.  Ash’s father explained to him,

    “You see, son.  We grow the ground foods, like corn and pumpkins and carrots, but the people in Sunrise don’t have the room or the land to go these things, so we trade our ground foods for something that we don’t have in our village, like meat and fabric and materials for clothing. 

    “Why don’t we just make our own meat and fabric at home?” the young Ash wondered.  He didn’t understand why someone should have to travel so far just for meat.

    “Because that’s how the trade works.  We don’t have the license to keep our own meat or make our own fabric.” His dad explained.  Ash was still confused,

    “What is a lie-sense” Ash asked,

    “A license is a special paper that lets you do something.  Like our village has the license for growing the ground foods as long as we sell them to Sunrise City.”

    “Do all villages have a lie-sense?” Ash was amazed at how complicated the outside world was.  He would have never guessed that there were so many rules and things to remember outside of his village.

    “Yes, they do, and they’re all different.  Like the villages in the south have licenses for fishing and selling their catch.”

    “What is a fishing?” Ash’s questions just kept coming and he felt like there could never be enough answers in the world for all the questions he had.  Ash’s father laughed lightheartedly,

    “You’ll learn all of this and more, my son, in time.”

    Ash was pulled back into reality when he walked by what looked like what was left of a camp from the previous night.  It had to have been the Guards from his village.  Finally, the sun began to dawn and it almost seemed as if all of the plants around him woke up with it.  The tree limbs seemed to shift and all the leaves swayed and fluttered as if searching for the sun for another day of promised life.  What felt like a lifetime later, Ash could see the trees breaking up and becoming more separated in the distance.  When he reached the opening, he stood at the beginning of a large clearing of hills and grasslands that stretched for miles and miles.  After walking down the small dirt road through the tall grass and over the hills, Ash reached the top of a hill and overlooked the gates of Sunrise City.  The Guard was nowhere to be seen, which meant they must have made it back to the city already.  There was no chance of him being able to just knock on the door and ask for his sister back.  Surely they would capture him as well, if they even let him live.  He was helpless on his own, he needed help.  Ash sat atop the grassy hill next to a log and thought about where he could get help, and the only place he could think of to ask was the Land nations’ Elder, in Thorn Burrow.  Unfortunately, Thorn Burrow was at least eight days away, if not nine; Tala might not even be alive by then.  But it was all Ash could think of, and he had to try.  While he sat and rested, he ate a quick lunch of something he packed, some berries and nuts he gathered from past the limits.   After he finished, he stood up and went about his journey.  He backtracked to the fork in the road and this time took the path to the north and it occurred to him that he had never been this way before.  He had traveled to Sunrise City only a handful of times throughout his life, but they were never allowed anywhere else, never anywhere off of their trade route, so Ash never even considered taking this path until today.  He wasn’t sure what he was expecting, it to be lined with the Guard or men patrolling the pathway to keep him from his destination, to tell him that he was out of his territory and to either kill him or arrest him, but none of this happened.  The walk was quiet and peaceful, nothing of interest happened and Ash grew restless.  By the first days end, he was hungry again, and was out of berries and nuts.  He needed real food.  He needed meat.  He only had a single arrow left and was saving it in case he needed to defend himself.  He could make a trap, but that seemed to take too long, he was so hungry now, so his hunger got the best of him and he decided it was worth the potential loss of his arrow.  He found himself a rabbit and his arrow survived the kill, it was just a little bloody.  Ash made camp far from the trail and made a small fire to cook his catch.  After he ate he put out the fire, from fear someone might see the light or smell the smoke and sought him out.  He still wasn’t tired and decided it might be wise to make some more arrows with his time.  By morning, he had a whole quiver full of arrows and felt much more at ease knowing he could protect himself much better than before.  He set off again and so his journey continued. 

    Days later, Ash came to another fork in the road, one arrow pointing north that read, “Hazelden” and another arrow pointing east that read, “Thorn Burrow”.  Ash had never heard of Stone Hills before, and he wondered what they might be like.  He continued on the path for Thorn Burrow.  Ash’s supply of water was getting very low despite him trying to make it last.  He wondered if he could make the rest of the trip with the little he had.  Food was easy to find, but water was a completely different matter.  He thought there would have been more streams along this path, but so far, he had no such luck finding anything.  The next day he had crouched into the bushes and trees off of the pathway.  A carriage had broken down on its way to Sunrise City and two men from the Guard were fixing the wheel.  The carriage seemed to shine with pure gold and gems, Ash wrinkled his nose at the sight of it.  It was more looks than function, which was real necessary for a carriage that was to take you traveling places.  Ash waited and overheard one of the guardsmen say that they would need a log to hold up the carriage as they fixed the wheel.

    “Then go find one.” The other spat.

    “I’m not going out there alone.” Said the other, obviously too afraid to go into the wilderness alone.

    “Don’t be such a baby, just go get the thing so we can be on our way.”  The argued for a moment longer and finally the one gave in and went with the other to find a proper log.  Ash thought now was his chance to slip by.  As he slowly and quietly made his way closer to the carriage, he saw a large water pouch hanging from one of the horses pulling the carriage.  He eyed it and thought he could take it and no one would ever know.  It’s not like the Guard really needed it, they had horses and probably a whole bunch of extra supplies in the carriage itself.  He darted around to the horse and it gave a soft whine,

    “Shh, it’s okay there buddy.” Ash said soothingly and pet the horse who had calmed down almost immediately.  Ash unhooked the water pouch from the leather strap that tied it and before he could make off with it, a voice came from behind him.

    “What do you think you are doing?” he turned around to see a girl about his age dressed in a long flowing white dress and a pastel blue cloak with gold trimming at the end.  She stood in front of him, her long gazelle antlers stretched to the sky and crossed her arms.  Ash was stunned, why didn’t he think someone would be in the carriage? He could run, he should run, but then it was too late.  This girl was calling for her guards to come to her and in an instant, they were there.  Ash couldn’t outrun them; he was already so tired from the traveling over the last couple days so he did the only thing he could think of.  He drew his bow and pulled an arrow from the quiver, and within the span of a few seconds, he had lodged a single arrow in one of the guards and two in the other and both fell to the ground, dead.  The gazelle girl stood there staring at Ash in complete horror, shock and fear was overtaking her.  Ash knew because not only could he see it, he could smell it. 

    “I’m not going to hurt you.” He said and returned his bow to his back.  Ash stepped closer to her and the girl took a big step back,

    “Stay away from me!” she shrieked.  Ash leaned down and picked up the water pouch and stood upright again, never taking his eye off of her.

    “This is all I wanted.  I never wanted to kill anyone.” Ash said and he looked at the two dead bodies on the ground and he felt as though he should feel bad, but he didn’t.  When he saw them laying there, he only felt proud.  Now there were two less Guards in the world and two less to destroy homes and families; the world was better off.  Ash had never thought someone could ever make him so angry and vengeful, but after they took Tala, that changed everything he thought he knew.  Ash took another look at the girl who still stood like stone in fear, staring at him with wide golden eyes.  He tucked the water pouch into his pack and turned to leave her.

    “You’re not going to kill me?” She asked, fear still in her voice.

    “No, like I said, I never wanted to kill anyone.” Ash replied without turning to face her or stopping his pace of walking.  There was a pause and then he heard the girl cry,

    “You can’t just leave me here!” Ash ignored her.

    “Please, at least take me with you!” she begged and he could hear her footsteps behind him and Ash kept walking.

    “If you leave me here alone I will die.  And that’s just the same as you putting an arrow in my heart.” This made Ash stop but he still didn’t turn and face her, her footsteps stopped as well.

    “Look, take me back home to Sunrise and I promise you all the food and water you wish for.” She said and Ash thought of this, though food and water would hardly be worth it, maybe something else would,

    “Take you back?” he said slowly still without turning,

    “Yes, take me back and you will be rewarded.” She said so certainly. 

    “How do you know this?” Ash could only think of how he would be arrested or killed for entering Sunrise, how could she possibly grant him freedom from either of those fates?

    “Because I am Gazania, princess of Sunrise.” She said in a sort of way as though she practiced saying it over and over again, it felt dry and bland, but if it was true, if she truly was the princess of Sunrise, she could promise him freedom, and probably more.  Ash turned to look at her,

    “How do I know you’re not lying?” he asked, starting to circle her.

    “My tiara is in the carriage, I can show you—“ she began but Ash cut her off,

    “I think I need more proof than just some silly crown.” Even though Ash knew there probably wasn’t any real proof she could present him with that would make him believe her completely. 

    “What were you doing in Thorn Burrow?” Ash asked, now curious about what business a princess had with a small element village.

    “That is none of your concern.” She said firmly.

    “Oh no?” he said, looking at her and raising an eyebrow.

    “Isn’t it though? The way I see it, you’re life is in my hands, and though I never wanted to kill anyone, I wouldn’t bat an eyelash to do it again if I sense that you may betray me. So, princess,” he said incredulously.

    “Start proving to me who you say you are as if your life depends on it…Because it does very much.”   She stared at him at first what looked like a glare, but quickly turned into fear again.  She knew she had no other choice.

    “I wasn’t in Thorn Burrow, I was coming back home from Brezland” Ash had never heard of that place,

    “And what were you doing there?” Ash asked,

    “Training.” Gazania said flatly.

    “Training? For what?”

    “Royalty training.” She sighed

    “Why couldn’t you just do that in Sunrise?” Ash asked, more confused and he could see Gazania was losing her patience with these questions.

    “Never mind, so how can you prove to me that you really are the princess?” he asked and for a moment she didn’t reply.

    “I have nothing.  I have my tiara and gold in my carriage, but that is all I have to show you. I really am the princess though, and if you just take me home, you will be the guest of honor at a glorious feast.”  Ash couldn’t tell if she was trying to bribe him, or if this was simply the only tactic she knew.  He looked into her eyes and they seemed sincere, and he sighed.  If he took her back, he wouldn’t need to go to Thorn Burrow at all; instead he could go to Sunrise and trade the princess for his sister and their freedom. 

    “What about the guards?” he said, eyeing the two dead men on the ground.

    “I won’t tell, just promise to take me back and I give you my oath.” She said with desperation in her voice.  He still wasn’t sure if he could completely trust her, but if Tala was really in trouble, and if she was still alive, this might be his best and quickest bet.  There still was no guarantee that the Land Elder would agree to help him.  He thought over it all once again in silence and finally made up his mind.  Yes, trading the princess for his sister was the best and quickest option. 

    “Alright.” He said slowly.

    “Alright?” Gazania repeated,

    “I will take you back if you swear to me I will be allowed my freedom.”

    “Done.” She said without hesitation.

    “And,” he started,

    “And?” she asked, looking at him through slit eyes,

    “I need you to swear on your life, that I can have my sister back from the Guard.” Ash closed his eyes and thought of where Tala might be and he put his hand in his pocket and felt the soft ribbon in his fingers.

    “The Guard took your sister?” Gazania asked, honestly sounding concerned.  Ash opened his eyes again and looked at her,

“Yes.  Promise me that her and I will be granted freedom and I will take you home.” He said sternly, staring at her and his eyes not leaving hers as she stood up straight and agreed.
  • Listening to: They Don't Need to Understand - Andy Black
  • Reading: Go Ask Alice & Seekers: The Quest Begins
  • Eating: Turkey & cheese sammich
  • Drinking: Water ~

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Kira-Kitsunka Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Hobbyist
:iconthankyouplz: for watch ^^
xXLost-BoyXx Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
Happy Birth Day Fella (messages) Delicious Cake (Badges) Cheers fella (party) fella Gift (Party) fella's Gobbler (Party) Blower fella (Party) Flowers fella (Love) 
j-Poink Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heyyyyy! I don't know if you remember me, we were friends on my old dA and Facebook. My old dA was Codin-the-Fe-Matoran

Anyway ima +Watch and get up to date :highfive:
MoriahKristine Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I sort of remember [xD] The name sounds familiar, it's been awhile since I've really been on dA, I just get on once in awhile...I'm not really into it as much as I used to be. Haha
j-Poink Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Same lol, I only just came back after being gone for a straight year. Online art is hard to stay on top of when you have irl responsibilities ^^;
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