novels · writing

The Companion: Prologue

I was reading through some old stories the other day and came across this story I started called The Companion. It’s a typical fantasy with a quest, a chosen one, etc. Apparently I was telling it through the eyes of the Chosen One’s companion, a halfling named Sonora. Anyway, I just thought I’d share the prologue 🙂

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It was early morning. Mist swirled lazily across the ground like scuttling snakes, around the roots of the white trees, and above the surface of the water of the river. There was absolute silence, so think it was almost like a blanket over the entire world. Not a single animal stirred. Not even ghosts were about.

But wait. Perhaps there were…ghosts.

From nowhere came a soft sound, like ghostly feet on dew-dampened dirt. Slowly, through the mist, came a figure.

It was a young woman. She had delicate, elfin features and long hair not much darker than the mist with a faint bluish tint. She was as pale as snow and wore a garment the color of a starless night. In her hands she held a bundle. As she walked soundlessly across the ground, the bundle squawked. It was a child.

The woman stopped. She stood in the center of a meadow, surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the river on three sides, and a stately line of white trees on the fourth.

There was no sound now. She stood there, clutching the squirming child to her chest tightly. It was so very still. She seemed frozen.

Then, more movement.

Something dark moved through the white trees and missed. It was tall and so very, very dark; it seemed to suck all light into it. The woman watched it approach, her features frozen in a mask of iron.

Carefully, the darkness moved into the meadow. It was not quite human. Its skin was jet black and covered in gleaming bluish-black scales. It had large ears like those of an elf and long black hair. Its eyes, the only discernable feature on its face, were the color of pure gold. It had a cloak, also black, and it held it round about itself.

“Did you bring the child?” Its voice was harsh yet gentle at the same time.

The woman smiled and held out the bundle. The darkness moved to stand before the woman, its slate smooth and almost mirror-like face tilted down to view the child.

“Sonora,” he said softly.

The child glared at him. Her eyes were the same hypnotic gold as the darkness’ but rather than being a single disc of color, they were like the slitted eyes of a snake.

“She is not like the others,” the woman said. “But they will not cast her out. She is one of us, no matter her parentage.”

The darkness stroked the child’s curly, whitish hair with a slightly humanistic claw. “She is the One. Nobody can deny it.”

“We shall see.”

From deep in the white woods – a snarl. The darkness stiffened. “They come for her.”

The woman shrugged her shoulders. Two large, jet black wings exploded into view. She stepped back, once again hugging the child to her chest. The darkness watched silently as she flapped her wings once and took swiftly to the air.

A low, reptilian hiss came from behind him. “The Chosen One… she is ours…”

Something began to emerge from the mist. The darkness pulled his cloak about him and, with a puff of black smoke, disappeared.

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