Deadly Mission (Sunday Scribbles Stories. Prompt: Hope)

Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!

I can’t believe it’s been three months since I wrote a short story! This is based on the #sunscribbles Twitter prompt of the week, Hope, and the images below. Enjoy!

SS Deadly Mission Prompt Hope Short Story

Deadly Mission

I raised my hand, crusted with blood, to shield my eyes from the driving flurries of snow, and cursed. ‘How do they expect us to find this healer when we can barely see each other?’

‘I think that’s the point, mate.’

I swung around and squinted as I tried to pinpoint which of my companions spoke. ‘Excuse me?’

The veteran, left arm in a sling, pushed off the tree he leaned against. ‘You heard me lad. Why d’ya think they sent a drunk, a loud mouth, and an invalid on this quest?’

‘Because we’re their only hope! The others couldn’t fight off wolves or navigate this blizzard.’

‘So naive. They hope we’ll die out here, then they won’t have to put up with us or feed us.’

I scowled and tugged my woollen standard issue coat around me. ‘If that were true, why send the Captain? She may be a drunk, but she’s the most competent warrior they have. She’s-‘

A hiccup cut me off, and the Captain shuffled into view, bottle limp in her hand and expression glazed. ‘He’s right, ya know. They can’t fire me, so their only option is to have me ‘killed’ in battle or die on some ‘heroic’ mission. We’re done for.’

The veteran slumped back against his tree. ‘Aye lad. Sooner you accept it, the better.’

I ran a hand through my hair, dislodging snowflakes and smearing blood, and stalked away from them. ‘Give up if you want, I’m not dying out here. Not after everything I’ve been through.’

‘Shoulda thought of that before ya questioned orders,’ the Captain yelled after me. I ignored her, and the thud of something on the snow behind me, and continued walking. ‘Bugger it. Wait for me!’

I paused and raised an eyebrow as she stumbled to catch up, bottle already half buried in the snow behind her. ‘Choosing life, huh?’

She shook shaggy hair out of her eyes and brushed the snow from her medals. ‘Drink. Bottle’s empty.’

I smiled ruefully and peered back towards the veteran. His eyes were closed. ‘Still with us, old man?’

His shoulders rose and fell, and sharp eyes flicked open. ‘Are you going to wander aimlessly, or do you have a plan?’

I shrugged. ‘You’re the tracker, supposedly. You figure it out.’ Hand on hip, I waited. After a lengthy pause, enough time for the snow to pile up around my feet, he pushed off the tree.

‘All right, but as soon as we reach safety, I’m out. Tell them I died out here.’

‘You think I’m going back?’ I asked as he took the lead.

‘Wouldn’t recommend it, but you’re not the wisest.’

The Captain fell into step beside me, hand on her sword. ‘Ya could go back, if ya learn ta keep your mouth shut.’

I grit my teeth. Seconds passed, but I couldn’t stay quiet. ‘They were wrong! Even you know it.’

Her smile was grim. ‘If someone like me couldn’t do anything about it, what makes ya think you could?’

‘If I went higher up the chain-‘

‘You’d be sent into worse than a frozen wasteland.’

I shuddered and brushed a few stray snowflakes from my cheeks. ‘Maybe I’ll go straight to the king then, surely he’d-‘

‘Ah-ha!’ Up ahead, the veteran crouched beside a broken branch. ‘See this? Someone’s been here. We follow the signs, maybe we find that healer and her crystals, shelter, or at the very least a path.’

The Captain nodded. ‘Lead the way.’

We followed him, pausing every now and then to take a breather, or as he assessed our direction. After what seemed like hours, we broke through the cover of the trees and into a large snowy field. He took a step forward, but I held him back. ‘It’s less sheltered out there, we should stay near the trees!’

‘We’ve been wandering the trees for days. This used to be farmland. Gotta be a cottage here somewhere.’

The snow flurries died down, and the Captain nodded sagely in the direction of a hill. ‘He’s right, ya know. Look!’

The veteran smiled. ‘Perhaps there’s hope for us after all.’

I grinned and moved towards the lights of the distant log cabin with renewed vigour. We were an unlikely band of misfits, but together, we’d survive. Maybe they’d come with me, to see the king and fix the injustice in his army.

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Thanks for reading!

I originally wrote a short story with characters from my work in progress, but I can’t get it spoiler free enough so I went with this instead. I’m writing 25000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo July, but I haven’t chosen a project yet. Too many shiny ideas!

Sunday Scribbles Writing Prompt 9th June Hope

Hashtag game details: Sunday Scribbles Prompts.
Past stories: Sunday Scribbles Short Stories.

Share lines with #sunscribbles every week on Twitter, or write a short story based around the prompt and share a blog link.

Next week? The Author Toolbox Blog Hop, focused on scenes 🙂

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