Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
This Sunday’s prompt is: Moon.
I’ve written a story about a woman exiled to another planet. It’s flash fiction length, and based a little bit on Ark: Survival Evolved, a video game I’ve put a lot of hours into. The image I’ve used is even taken from the game!
This week’s top tip is:
Onto the story!
As I stared at the moon rising over the sea, illuminating the waves which crashed against the shore, I wondered if I’d ever see home again.
It was beautiful this time of night. Quiet. Serene. From where I sat on the beach, legs pulled up to my chest and bow on my lap, I could hear the leaves of the palm trees rustle behind me.
The leaves rustled the first time I met him too. He was a prince. A striking man with soft eyes and a warm smile. The moment he complimented my archery skills, three perfect strikes through the heart of my straw assailant on a moonlit night, I knew I’d lay down my life for him.
A wolf howled in the distance. I pulled my thick wolf skin coat tighter around my shoulders and tossed a pebble towards the water. It skimmed over the surface and landed with a splash a few metres from the shore. Much like my life, really. A series of bounces until, inevitably, I fell.
I’d always been different. Where other women chose embroidery, I preferred stealing from the marketplace and hunting rabbits in the woods, just to prove I could. It wasn’t becoming behaviour for the daughter of a lord, but my prince didn’t mind. He liked me as I was.
No one else did. Even the other criminals cast me out of camp like a wild animal. They thought I wouldn’t survive. I had the last laugh when I raided their broken camp after the wolves attacked.
I’d always known my wild nature would get me into trouble. I was a hunter, a thief, and I never held my tongue around visiting nobles. My antics never failed to bring a smile, hidden behind a gloved hand, to my princes face.
His father didn’t like me, and when his smitten son asked for my hand he introduced her. Engaged to my prince since birth. Ladylike. Proper. Everything I could never be. I didn’t like her. My suspicious were well founded.
My knife glinted in the moonlight as I sliced arrows from the twigs scattered on the beach. It had glinted that night on the rooftop too, when I’d overheard her plot to kill the love of my life, the king, and take the throne for herself. Not on my watch. (Although if she’d tried to kill the king first, I wouldn’t have stopped her.)
The bushes rustled behind me, and I glanced over my shoulder. A pair of eyes glinted in the undergrowth at the edge of the beach. The huntress had become the hunted. I braced myself, and grabbed a rock to sharpen my knife.
I’d confronted her with this same knife. She’d waited until her wedding day to make her move. I caught her sliding a knife into her garter, and challenged her with one of my own. I never expected her to fight back, to catch me unawares with a blow to the head.
I turned my head. More gleaming eyes had joined the first pair. How many were there? Five? Six? I got to my feet and let loose an arrow. It hit home, and with a deathly wail chaos descended. I dodged and weaved between rocks, letting loose more arrows. Soon the beach was littered with wolves, bleeding out much like my victim had.
She was halfway down the aisle when I came to. I pulled my bow from my back and stalked into the hall. Guests gasped. I didn’t hesitate. I shot her through the heart before she had a chance to say I do. She hit the floor in a bloodied mess, and the guards grabbed me and dragged me before the king. Even my prince looked sick with shock.
‘She was going to kill you!’ I yelled, and I met his eyes begging him to understand. ‘I tried to tell the guards, but they wouldn’t listen. Your father kept me from the only person who would!’
‘I know what to do with you,’ the king replied with a wolfish smirk. ‘You’ll never see him again.’
The remaining wolves closed in. One leapt. Slashed my chest. I staggered backwards and dropped my bow. Fingers closed around my knife and I lashed out, filled with nothing but the will to live. I had to survive. Try and return home. Prove the king wrong.
He expected this mission, clearing out a new planet, to be a one way trip. My reward for saving his son was the slowest death penalty. I’d broken the law in front of hundreds of witnesses. I knew there’d be consequences, but for my prince, they were worth bearing.
The wolves were dead, and their corpses lay scattered along the beach, a warning to all who may approach. I was dangerous. Deadly. Bleeding. I blinked down at my chest, where large red marks shone through my tunic. Blood. I’d been injured. I staggered to the shore and knelt by the water. Cupped my hands and splashed my front. Lay down for just a minute to catch my breath.
My head slumped against the sand and my eyes slipped closed. I took a shuddering breath and forced them open. Whimpered as the waves caressed my limbs and stole my blood into the depths. The moon was brighter than it had ever been, and I knew in your palace, on the training field where we met, you’d see it too. We might not see it again together, not in this lifetime.
Thanks for reading!
This was a lot of fun to write. I’m growing very fond of first person POV for short stories. I think it helps me feel more strongly about my characters.
Each week I encourage other writers to write a short story around the weekly prompt. The prompts for the rest of this month are:
One word not enough? I post expanded prompts weekly on Pinterest:
If you use one of the prompts, feel free to share your story links below.
Feeling creative? I also run a weekly hashtag game on Twitter, #sunscribbles, where you can share one off lines or quotes from a #WIP around the weekly prompt!
See you next week!