Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 27 of the 52 week writing challenge!
The prompt for 9th July is ‘Quest’:
Just a short one this week. My hospital appointment last week went great, but since then I’ve had a stomach bug/back ache that I can’t shift. I’m hoping to get better soon so I can frantically try and catch up for Camp NaNoWriMo!
‘But why does the storm rage, father?’ Julius asked as he dug into his mashed potatoes.
‘Manners,’ his father chided with a hard look.
Julius sighed and finished his mouthful before he spoke again. ‘My teacher said it’s raged for centuries. Why hasn’t anyone tried to stop it?’
‘Those who do never return,’ his mother cried. ‘You are not, under any circumstances, to leave the bunker.’
‘Yes mother,’ Julius glanced down and pushed his half empty plate away. ‘I’m done.’
‘Make sure you feed the horses before bed,’ his father ordered. ‘And set your alarm. You have an interview at the factory tomorrow.
‘Yes, father,’ Julius grumbled. He dropped his voice to a whisper as he left the kitchen. ‘I’ll make you proud, but not at the factory.’
‘Hey, Mark,’ Julius greeted the stable hand as he came to a stop beside the stables. They were the only single story building in the bunker, and the only one which didn’t pollute the air.
‘Juli!’ Mark grinned. He secured the door to one of the horse stables and pulled Julius inside. ‘Got everything you asked for right here.’
‘Thanks mate.’ Julius smiled and tucked a blonde strand of hair behind his ear.
‘You’re sure about this?’ Mark asked as he ducked his head to tack up the horse.
Julius nodded, but the movement was slow. He glanced out of the stable window. The walls of the bunker loomed ahead of him, and the large iron door glinted in the light of their lamps. ‘Will be nice to see real sunlight.’
‘If you make it through the night,’ Mark shrugged. Julius turned to him with a raised eyebrow. ‘What? Out there, there are no walls. No safe spots. Mate…’ Mark pulled Julius into a hug. ‘Don’t go.’
‘It’s getting worse. Soon, the factory will fall,’ Julius mumbled against Mark’s shoulder. He pulled back and stared at the iron door. With a determined nod, he asserted, ‘I have to end the storm.’
Mark huffed and grabbed the reins of the horse. He thrust them into Julius’ hands. ‘Then promise me you’ll come back.’
‘I promise,’ Julius insisted. He gripped the reins with firm hands and led the stallion out of the stable. ‘You have the keys?’
Mark let them dangle from his palm and slipped them one by one into the locks. The door disengaged. A chill wind cut into the bunker.
Julius took a deep breath and mounted his horse. ‘No turning back.’
Mark fumbled as quick fingers removed the chain from his neck and threw the keys up to Julius. Julius frowned. Mark attempted a grin. ‘For when you come back,’ he insisted with solemn eyes.
Julius nodded, and he turned to urge the horse onward. Mark watched as his figure disappeared into the distance, and with reluctance, he pushed the door shut. The locks weren’t necessary anyway: No one dared go outside.
Wind cut around him as Julius spurred his horse onward. Shredded his shirt, sliced his skin. Onward he cantered, as he hurtled further into the eye of the storm. According to his books, the source was sure to be found there.
Through the blusters and the howling, Julius made out a figure in the distance, in the epicentre of the storm. He let out a gasp and urged his horse towards the figure. Were they a prisoner of the storm too?
As they drew closer, his horse reared and flung Julius from its back. ‘Hey wait!’ Julius called, hand outstretched towards the horse. It whinnied and nodded back towards the bunker. Julius shook his head and turned his back on it.
Something wet trickled down his face. A tentative hand reached up to touch his cheek. Fingers came back bloody. Julius glanced around him and wiped his hand on his trousers.
‘No way I’m turning back now.’ Julius gulped as he got to unsteady feet and wrapped his arms around himself. He pressed onward towards the centre of the storm.
The winds parted. The air was calm. In the centre of the largest tornado of them all, a woman spun, eyes blank and lifeless as they stared straight ahead.
‘Are you okay?’ Julius asked. He waved at her, but she did not react. Julius shuddered as the cool air penetrated his skin. ‘Are you a witch? Why are you doing this?’
Still no response. Julius’ fingers curled around the hilt of his sword. ‘If I kill you,’ his bottom lip trembled as he murmured. ‘Will it end this?’
A lofty voice gurgled from beneath her. ‘No child, it will not end that way.’
In front of Julius, a geyser erupted from the land and doused him in cool water. Julius shuddered as a sudden gust picked up around him. It drew him towards the woman.
‘What… ?’ Julius stuttered as he dug his heels into the dirt. They slipped. He stumbled forwards towards the woman.
‘Until your people give up your factories, your towers, you will be punished for killing us,’ the water gushed.
The earth moved beneath him, and cracked branches wound their way around his feet. Held him in place in front of the woman.
‘Argh!’ Julius exclaimed as the woman burst into flames. He raised his hands to shield his face from the white hot heat.
When he lowered them, his attention was caught by the wind as it carried the woman’s ashes away towards the bunker. Something ticked his spine, and Julius shuddered as he craned his neck to glance behind him. A tree root crept up his back and towards his neck.
‘What are you doing? You killed her! Who are you?’ Julius began to struggle against his bonds.
‘We are the elements of the earth, and you will power our revenge,’ fire crackled, wind whistled, water gushed, and earth rumbled.
Julius’ eyes went wide as the root pierced his neck, but he did not flinch, and his eyes began to frost over. The last thing he saw before his eyes glazed completely was the distant form of his horse fleeing into the desert as the sun began to rise. At least one of them would return home.
Thanks for reading! This is a small idea I had which could become something more one day!
Next Sunday’s prompt:
The prompt for 16th July is ‘Magic.’
If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 16th July, and leave a link in the comments below this post so that I can read it 🙂
If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂