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Find Me Swallow Chapter 10

After a night in the village, each of us sharing clean cottages by sturdy barns on freshly swept streets, I arose and wandered off in search of Hum or Ibis.  I couldn’t find them, however, and later Ibis told me where she had been.

***

Ibis pushed the tan curtains aside from the doorway of the clean cottage where she stayed in Eldritch’s village.  As she watched the sparkling waters of the fountain, from which the villagers gathered water rather than hiking to a muddy creek, a faint sigh caught her ear.  Startled, Ibis slipped silently from the sleeping house, careful to not wake the dreaming tenants.  Her heart skipped a beat when she saw who it was, forlornly slipping into the forest, tripping fast towards the waterfall.  

Hum.  Where could he be going?

Tiptoeing silently after her friend, Ibis watched him stumble blindly through the woods.  

Where could he be going?  Hum and her – he would not leave her?  Hum would not betray them, would he? Oh well, Hum couldn’t even swim, he could never get back up that –

wat-

er-

fall… Oh lichen-foot.  Why were there a group of Huns by the pool.  Ibis burst from the shadows of the woods, just as Hum reached the cluster of Huns by the falls.  

“HUM!!!  Don’t leave me!!! Where – are – you – going!!!”  

“Shut up Ibis, okay!  I had to make a deal with these men when I was fighting that Hun with Swallow.”

“MEN?!?!  Don’t you mean savages!”  Ibis screamed, anxiety taking over, rather than sense.  The four Huns began to converse carelessly with her friend, ignoring her.  

“HUM!!!  LISTEN TO ME!!!”  Ibis shouted, her voice reverberating across the pool.  Shouts poured suddenly forth from the village.

Oh good.  The villagers could help stop Hum and his evil Hun-friends.  Ibis stopped and thought for a moment, then, gripping her dagger, she plunged across the pool, wondering all the while, “How did the Huns get down the waterfall, anyways?”  

The Huns, hearing the voices of the villager army being raised and seeing the crazed girl swimming after them, scampered behind the waterfall.  

Ibis had reached the place where Hum stood, only to find all of them vanished.  Villagers crowded the banks of the falls, swooping across the stream with strong strokes, Plover Frond among them.  

“Ibis!  We heard you shouting for Hum!  Where is he?”  cried Plover, brandishing a bow boldly.

“He was conversing with four Huns.  He is a cowardly traitor – Hum is against us – he showed the Huns the location of our village and they vanished into a tunnel…a tunnel behind the falls!”  Ibis hollered back tearfully.

Plover, already clambering up the bank near Ibis and a few other swimmers, froze mid leap, frowning deeply.  “Well, we must speed up our attack plans, fellow Freemen!”  Plover cried courageously, but his voice trembled and his brow furrowed even more deeply with worry.  

Ibis and the others glanced at him for direction, and Plover made a split second decision.  His daughter Swallow and most of the village stood beside him now.  

Taking a deep breath, Plover Frond shouted commandingly, “You there, Brown-Finch!  You’re the nearest to the tunnel by now, I would ask you and Ibis to investigate it.  Ibis, this is a time of action.  Please dry your tears and hold your dagger at ready.”

How could no villager have yet discovered this tunnel behind the falls?  Ibis wondered, as she followed the boy called Brown-Finch under an overhang which blocked the thundering canopy of water.  The two found nothing.  Brown-Finch even climbed up a little ways but merely discovered a seeming dead end. Disappointed, they returned to the villagers on the bank, and Plover, after consulting with Swallow, determined that he would set up some of the villages strongest men to investigate and guard thoroughly the passageway from evil users.  Leaving ten villagers to guard the falls, and sound the alarm if invaders were ever sighted, Plover, Swallow, and Ibis returned to the village to make plans of battle.  The battle against the Clan and the Huns must happen the next day.

***

After a hurried conference with my father, Ibis, and some important men of the village, I, Swallow sank down.  Hum really had left us.  But wasn’t Ibis his friend? His best friend? Whom Hum would never leave?  Hadn’t I, Swallow, saved the boy’s life in the village creek?  What was the cause of his betrayal to the Huns, then?  Could the Hun my friend had supposedly fought by the forest creek have allowed him to escape if he promised to show the malicious peoples the location of the village?  Had Hum made an unwise promise to the Huns?  Were the Huns working together with the Elders to destroy us?  Were –

I stopped my worrying at the sound of clashing iron. I ran through the trees with extreme emotions running through my mind and body, all reaching a tumultuous climax when I saw Da, Ibis, and all the warriors of our newfound village madly tearing through the shrubbery from our Eldritch village.  The boy called Brown-Finch led the way through the waterfall passage, all the village scrambling through the dank space behind him, trying to keep up.  After an hour or so of beeline-straight, guided running, our attacking rebel group reached the outskirts of the clan.  I noted that several of the villagers ground their teeth in anger at the sight of its dreaded stockade.  Da had already discussed the plans with the village, so all were in readiness.  We would strike, silently, leaping over the walls, catching the elders off guard.  Brown-Finch and I were the first to mount the stockade, the distant sound of rising chaos, as though the clannies already fought some unknown invader, reached our ears. The sight we beheld was not at all what we had expected.  

The Huns were fighting against the clannies.

They hadn’t betrayed us.

We were going to win.

 

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Let’s See…

Discussion Question #1

Where do you do your writing? When do you write?

For me, I write on my sofa. I don’t know why, but I’ve never honestly considered writing in bed. I think I would be distracted and go to sleep somehow. 😛

I write whenever I have time or inspiration. Obviously I don’t always have inspiration. But when I do, I make sure I’m writing or jotting down ideas.

Put your thoughts and answers in the comments!

 

Word Count Classification

I know the title sounds kind of boring, but just hang in there…

If you’re writing a story, you can figure out how many words it is when you finish and know what kind of story it is! I just think it’s kind of interesting. Here are the classifications:

Classification Word count

Novel- over 40,000 words

Novella- 17,500 to 40,000 words

Novelette- 7,500 to 17,500 words

Short story- under 7,500 words

There you go!

Find Me Swallow: Chapter 2

Find Me Swallow

Hey there! This is Chapter 2 of our new novella, Find Me Swallow. Enjoy!

Chapter 2

I stared after him, my breath stuck in my throat.  I fair fainted against the moist bark of the logs, thinking about what my father had told me. “Find me, Swallow.” I finally tore my eyes from their target – dreadful Eldritch, causer of such pain and separation! – and turned around slowly.  I started to walk back towards our cottage, weak as an baby bird. How could Da do this? Leave me in such danger? I thought.  Da expected me, an fourteen year old girl weak in strength, to lead a revolution. The idea was preposterous. And to go after him into Eldritch? When he would be dead by the mutant Huns by nightfall? For the first time, I truly thought my father was honestly insane and not just commonly drunk.

As soon as I arrived back at the cottage, Mema was standing in front of the door, her arms outstretched, beckoning to me. I ran into her strong arms and stayed there, feeling safe and warm. She bent down and whispered something in my ear.

“You can do it Al. I believe in you.” As soon as I had registered her words, my head snapped up.

“You believe him?” I whispered back, confusion and amazement filling my mind.

She looked around, seriousness overtaking her expression. “We must not speak of this out here, they shall hear us and banish us before we’re ready.”

“Ready for what?” Mema grabbed my hand and pulled my suddenly into the cottage. The door slammed shut, and we were in the dark.

“Al, everything your father told you was true, every bit of it.” My mother had turned around to face me; her long dusty-auburn hair was dirty, and her face streaked with grime. She appeared to be close to tears. “Every single thing your father believed in. It was all true.” She grabbed my hand and began stroking it.

“Mema-” I began, but she cut me short.

“Al, I know it’s asking a lot  of you, but, when you were born, your father and I knew you were the one.” I looked at my mother in confusion.

“The one? Like in the old legends? They’re all true?”

“Every bit of them.”

The legend was that one day, the clannies would become oppressive. They would kill. They would become cannibals. They would desire to completely ruin the clan. Destroy it. Not leave anyone safe. But one, a special one, would deliver the clan from their tyranny; one weak in body, but strong in heart.  A redeeming one with a soul of iron, and the wise mind of a bird.  One who would be rejected at first. But then those of the clan would see. Those blinded would see the clannie’s oppression, and they would fight. They would fight, and fight, until they couldn’t fight any more. They would be close to losing everything, the rebel’s soldiers dead. But.

Nothing.

That was all the legend contained. The end of the prophecy had been lost many years ago, and not one soul knew how it ended.

And yet, prim, cool Mema, kin to Chief Fal, considered her weak daughter to be capable of fulfilling the famous words!  But Swallow ‘al Frond was only fourteen –

“Mema, I am too young, and at the shadow age, practically friendless!  An outcast of the children, because of my father…”  I sighed.  

“Bide a wee – after all, Sweet birds sing, but a swallow never cries.”  You, my child, are a rare bird, all others dance in the light, and you contemplate the dim to imagine – all others are plumed with fine beauty, hair of red, eyes of blue, or hair of gold, eyes of green; but you, my Swallow, have never allowed tears to fall across your pale face, or sorrow to grey your blacken locks.”

My heart grew warm, but my spirit still was sanken in the ice of sorrow and the chill of fear.

***

After a fitful night on the straw mats which covered our floor, I arose and went outside.  Muddy Creek roared at my feet.  Twas practically a spring flood!  I checked to make sure that our pigs were inside the hut, then pulled down the twig curtain – a panel formed of interwoven twigs, basketwoven into a rectangle.  Now the doorway was shut –

“Oh no.” I groaned.

Two popular, rebellious half-grown children floundered across the stream, in the direction of where I stood.  Sly grins flickered across their faces, and I stared them in the eye.  They kept coming.  I sighed.  Did Ibis and Hummingbird, who currently called himself Hummings, have to come mock me this early!  I groaned, and straightened my grey, windblown dress, where it hung limp and muddy against my bare legs. Ibis was that sort of sassy-to-younger-kids, favorite-of-the-elders child in the village.  Most villages had them, I was sure, although I’d never so much as set a foot over the fence.  Ibis had, like most of the clan families’ children, thick golden hair, which hung in a mat down to her skirt.  Hummings, a lanky boy with a kind heart although he was prone to be mislead – he was the possessor of a follower’s mind – followed Ibis everywhere, as he was sixteen and so was she.  I hated them.  

And yet here they were, coming to bully me, the day after my father’s exile.  I straightened my neck, hardened my heart, and fingered my dagger.  Ibis and Hummings splashed through the rushing waters, across the slippery creek bank, and up the muddy hill towards our hut with difficulty.  I heightened my back even greater as I watched.  Mema is already at her work in the gardens of the Chief, so I can fight back if I want to.  I thought, and my prideful mind elevated itself.  By the time Ibis and Hummings reached me, they were just about equal to my bedraggled, messy state.  

“So, Swalli-Frond, you consider yourself above us!  And you will likely end up an exiled, dead rebel, like your father is now!”

Hummings frowned, looking as though he wished he were not there, with Ibis, mocking me.  

“And look where you are – in your dirty dress, in your dirty hut!”  Ibis sneered.  Hummings began to back away, in the direction of the creek.

“Well, I think your hut is made of mud, same as mine!”  I returned, frowning.  How could I lead our clan when not even a girl would listen to me?  I worried, How could I live up to Da’s expectations?  

Hummers was dangerously close to the swollen, raging creek now, continuing to silently tread backward.  

“Yes, but my family is a lot more – how do I say it? – respectable than yours.”  Ibis continued.  

A splash.  Ibis whirled.  

“Where’s Hummers?  What’d you do to him!” she cried, hurrying towards the creek.  A long, tan hand reached above the waters, grasping, but closing around nothing.  

Hummers couldn’t swim.

“Hum!  I’m coming for you!”  I cried, careless of my loose dress as I plunged into the raging current. I suppose it was instinct. Although I hated the two, I couldn’t stand there and watch one of them die. The water was freezing, and my eyes burned when I opened them.   “Hum!”  

I’m sure that Ibis just stared.  She never was one for action.  The current pulled me along with it.  Muddy Creek was deeper than I thought…I touched something warm and soft – Hum…  as my strength ebbed away, I tugged his limp body towards the creek bank.  I grappled for one final instant with the deadly waves before heaving myself onto shore.  I coughed up muddy water as I pulled Hum onto the slippery bank.

“Ibis…”  I panted, light grey dress bedraggled and torn, “Could somebody – somebody…meaning you – fetch the healer?”  I allowed myself to faint into blissful sleep, unknowing – and this does change the story, mind you – that I was still gripping Hummer’s hand, in the same position as I had tugged him out of that creek of death.

Writing Tips from Em

 

Hey there!

So today, I thought I would give you some of my best writing tips. They’re all pretty simple and self explanatory, but I thought I’d give them to you anyway.

1. Keep Writing

No matter what, don’t stop writing. Once you stop writing, you just end up going down in an absolute spiral, and then it’s really hard to get back to it after that.

2. Make it a habit

This one is pretty important. Basically, write every day. Even if you only write a few sentences, write. You’ll be glad later, because your novel or story will come together, no matter how slow it may seem.

3. Once you finish one, start another

This kind of goes hand and hand with number two, in order to keep your habit going, you have to do just that: keep it going! Kat and I have done a fairly good job of starting a new story right after finishing our old one. It’s helped us to keep writing.

Anyway, these are my most important tips to writing! Thanks for reading.

~Em

Hello! I’m Em! aka ironmoose;P

What’s up? Hello readers of glory glory! I’m Em, co-writer to Kat.

Currently, we are trying to get another story started, so that will be coming soon.

Thanks so much for reading our blog!

~Em

Shout out to the Iron Moose!

Here is my friend and co-writer’s new blog! Check it out and give her some <3! It’s in blog spot sooo…

literarymoose.wordpress.com

Thanks! Kat

Hi! What’s Up? I’m Kat, and this is about Glory Glory.

Hey there!  I’m Kat.  My friend, Em, and I began co-writing stories on GoogleDocs in November 2015.  Glory Glory is where I’ll post our stories.  On the docs, they’re 20-30 pages long, so I’ll do chapter-by-chapters.  Our goal is to try different genres and explore the world of writing. Enjoy!

Blog at WordPress.com.

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