I wrote this story to enter into a competition.
No, I did not win. Actually, I don’t know that yet- the contest isn’t over and they haven’t announced the winners, but I’m one of those people with zero confidence in this kind of thing 🙂
My story had to be 1200 words or less, which may sound like a lot, but IT IS NOT!!!!!! I struggled a lot, trying not to make it seem way too rushed, but then when I looked down at my word count it was like Eek, I’m way over! Especially for the story I wanted to tell, so yeah, it’s a little condensed. But I want to know what you think as I sit here scared out of my wits for March 20th. So nervous!
Here’s what I entered in the contest, and it’s called
My name is WolfStorm and I should be dead.
My first warning: This isn’t a love story. I mean, it is kind of, but I like to think of it as more than that. Bravery is the theme of this story, that and taking a stand.
I’m not going to say that I loved him at first sight, because I don’t believe in that load of crap. You can’t love someone you’ve never met- and if you believe that, you need to rethink your definition of love. But I did notice him. A lot of girls noticed handsome knight BearFang, it was hard not to. But I liked to think I was better than that- I was a warrior, right? I was the only female warrior of King LionHeart’s. But one day when I was training in one of the courtyards I felt those green eyes watching me. I tried to ignore it as I took out a training dummy’s stuffing entrails, but then a blade locked against mine and when I looked up I was looking into those eyes again, they had a challenge in them now and he smiled as he said
“Training is always better with a partner to practice with.”
“Oh, I don’t need practice. I’m good enough on my own.”
And a heartbeat later we were whirling and slashing in crazed combat, and I was laughing, I was confident because this was where I was best. One strong thrust and BearFang’s sword clattered onto the cobblestones.
“You win,” he said laughing, raising his hands up in defeat as I pointed my blade at him.
“Good fight,” I said fairly, lowering my sword.
“Not as good as yours evidently.” He was handsome. I dropped my gaze.
“Something wrong?” He asked, frowning.
“No,” I said quickly though it was a lie. I wasn’t supposed to have feelings like this, knights of King LionHeart weren’t supposed to fall in love- it distracted us from our duty. Therefore romantic love was not allowed with us, which I understood perfectly… until now.
“I have to go,” I said abruptly, sheathing my sword and turning away.
“Bye. See you around… I hope.”
I all but ran from the courtyard, and afterwards I cursed myself. I was Knight WolfStorm- I was respected and I was feared. I was supposed to be brave. I’d faced legions of feared warriors single- handedly.
So why was it so hard to breathe right now?
So that was how I met BearFang. It was kind of embarrassing when I look back on it. But over time that distance that’d been between us when we first met began closing up. It closed up more and more…Until I was certain there was no more left. One night after a banquet with King LionHeart as well as a few others to celebrate chasing out the evil Shadowborns from the kingdom, he pulled me off behind a castle wall and kissed me. We’d kissed before. But it was different this time- this time he pushed me against a wall and he kissed me like his life depended on it and I was lost in moonlight and the soft whisper of the wind…
“I love you,” he whispered, pulling back “I love you, WolfStorm.”
I frowned and pulled back “Don’t say that. Not yet. Not until you mean it.”
He kissed me again and told me “I do mean it. More than I think you’ll ever know.”
And I was sure that he really did mean it. And we wound up getting married in secret. And I ended up expecting a child.
I’d made a huge mistake and I knew it. LionHeart and some of my friends wanted me to help work on a secret project we’d at for quite some time- a place called Penaina that we would make for future generations of magical children, but I couldn’t face them.
I wasn’t brave enough to face any of them.
I’d betrayed them all.
That night I dreamed of death, of voices crying out at what I’d done. Ghosts and chains haunted me. And then a voice whispered in my ear, telling me that Penaina would become the death of my daughter and end the world. I woke up screaming.
After I’d calmed down a little more, I began to think more. This was my daughter’s life on the line. And despite the trouble I could get in, I’d give up my life protecting my daughter. I’d even betray my king. So creeping out of bed and outside of my castle room, I scaled the wall surrounding the castle and stole a stable horse. This is for the best. This is for the best, I kept reminding myself even as I stopped outside of Penaina, even as I lit a torch.
As I set the whole thing up in flames. It’s too bad that someone saw me.
“WolfStorm, you do realize what you were accused of, correct?” LionHeart asked me, his voice soft and serious. I bowed my head
“Yes. I do.”
“Do you deny that you committed this act?”
I opened my mouth to say that I didn’t deny it, but then a voice spoke up
“It wasn’t her, it was me.”
He stood up and looked LionHeart directly in the eyes as he said it.
“BearFang?” LionHeart was as shocked as everyone there.
“Yes. I did it. It was dark out- the witness must have not seen things clearly.” For someone so kind, BearFang was the perfect liar.
Finally, LionHeart spoke “BearFang, you do realize the charges of what you’ve done.”
“Yes sir,” BearFang said, lifting his head and meeting my eyes “Certain death.”
LionHeart nodded sadly “You’re like a brother to me, BearFang. However, I can’t change the rules.”
“I understand, Your Majesty.”
“Take him away.” LionHeart ordered his guards quietly.
That night I snuck out of my room again and down into the dungeons. It was easy to evade the guards- they were all sleeping.
“BearFang.” I whispered, pressing myself against the bars. “BearFang, I’m so sorry. I’m so-”
“Hush.” he reached through the bars and put his fingertips on my lips to silence me “Don’t say anything. I know that you must’ve had a reason.”
Tears made my vision swim “I love you.” He told me simply “I love you, WolfStorm, and I love the child we’re going to have. Just make sure to only tell them the good stuff about me- not about how you beat me at swordplay all the time.”
I really was crying this time as we said goodbye.
The next day he was executed in a sunset that was stained in red.
I would’ve taken his place, but he told me not to, to respect his sacrifice.
So I did.
I did it because I loved him.
When I had our daughter I named her Red, after that evening when he died.
So sorry, I guess it was kind of a love story. But I hope you thought that it was more than that. I hope that you recall BearFang and his sacrifice. I hope you remember that secrets have a cost.