“Come my darling.” Odeal smiled at her almost two-year-old daughter as she took her hand. “It’s a perfect day for collecting berries.”
Allia giggled as she reached for the butterflies that danced about. The flowers here were beautiful and the berries grew so big in the field over the hill past their home. Allia carried her little basket, eager to fill it and surprise her Daddy with what she picked just for him. Odeal began to sing a beautiful song as she strolled over to a large bush covered in what they were after.
As her sun dress blew in the gentle breeze, she tilted her sun hat back to look at her daughter. “You pick those ones,” she said with a smile as she pointed to a bush a short distance away.
Allia nodded eagerly and ran to where her mother had pointed. She began pulling the berries from the bush and filling her basket.
Odeal watched her little one excitedly pop the berries from the bush and put them in her basket. Her heart warmed at the sight of her little girl. She was perfect. She had her father’s darker and proud features, but her mother’s everything else. Her dark hair bounced about her as she moved. She was the perfect creation of the love that Odeal and Orion shared. As Odeal focused on her own berry bush, she thought of her love for Orion, how they had met and fallen in love, and how that love had given them Allia. They were so lucky.
After a moment, Odeal looked back to her little one with a smile, then her face suddenly went serious and terrified. She dropped her basket and quickly ran for her daughter. “Allia!?” she called in desperation. A cold chill chased down her back as her heart began to pound. She had to get to her daughter.
Allia looked unsure as her hand was now held by a man neither of them recognized. He was dressed in a pale green robe and had a short black beard and long black hair. His eyes were dark and mysterious.
“Allia, come to Mommy now!” Odeal shouted but the man did not let her go. “Who are you!? Let my daughter go!” she demanded of the stranger.
“I am Trafazar of the conclave of wizards. I assure you that she will be safe and well taken care of,” he said, then raised his hand and both he and the girl disappeared.
Allia tried to call to her mother but her voice faded as she did.
“Allia!!” Odeal shouted as she reached for her daughter. She looked around frantically as she continued to scream for her little girl. As she shook, she closed her eyes and tried to see, tried to feel her daughter and the wizard that had taken her. A soft blue glow of magic started to form around her as she tried to concentrate. She fought to slow her breathing as her heart continued to pound. Try as she might, she couldn’t feel anything. Her mage skills were no match for this wizard’s magic. She began to panic as her eyes filled.
Suddenly, something caught her attention and she spun around quickly. She stopped cold, caught in the burning gaze of a terrible creature. Unlike the wizard that had snatched her daughter, this was something of unspeakable evil.
“You must be that mage girl that Orion rose through my Arena to save?” the beast growled through jagged gold teeth.
Odeal had never met this figure before, but she already knew who it was. His large red hair, brutish muscles, and sinister face covered in scars, were exactly as they had been described to her.
“What do you want, Ridran?” she asked, trying to hide her fear and panic.
“I want Orion,” he said as his large and powerful frame casually strolled toward her.
Odeal slowly began to step back. She wanted to run but couldn’t abandon her Allia. “He’s not here,” she said softly.
Ridran bared his teeth and just looked at her with cold unfeeling eyes.
Odeal’s heart was in her throat as her whole body shook. She looked around quickly to see if someone, anyone, was there who could help her.
Like a flash, Ridran rushed her and grabbed her by the neck. He squeezed tightly as he lifted her effortlessly off the ground.
Odeal winced at the sudden powerful motion and struggled to breathe under his mighty grasp.
“I want Orion!” he screamed in her face. “And I will torture you until he comes to me,” he said as he squeezed her neck tighter.
Odeal tightened up her face as cracking sounds in her neck shot pain throughout her body. She tried to scream but was paralysed by the agony of Ridran’s crushing grasp.
Just then, Orion raced into the field, slid to a stop, and froze at the sight off in the distance. As fear filled his face, he gritted his teeth and raced forward.
“That’s far enough!” Ridran growled loudly as he lifted Odeal high in the air. The young mage dangled from his hold, desperate to get free.
“What do you want Ridran? Let her go!” Orion offered very carefully. He quickly scanned for Allia, but she was nowhere in sight.
“I want you dead Orion!” Ridran shouted back. He squeezed Odeal’s neck, and she screamed.
Orion was terrified, inches from charging at them. “Okay! Let her go, and you can kill me!”
“Foolish boy, it’s not that easy! I offered you the chance to be one of my generals, but you refused and humiliated me in front of the entire Arena! NO ONE refuses me!” Ridran shouted, his anger increasing with every word. “I cannot have anyone thinking that I would let something like that go unpunished!”
“I’ll join your army, whatever you want! Please, just put her down!” Orion said, growing desperate as Odeal looked at him with terrified eyes, tears flowing. He began to shake.
“You’d give me anything right now, wouldn’t you?” Ridran taunted. “You must really love this girl!” he added as he looked at Odeal.
She whimpered as she looked away.
“I challenged you to a fight in the Arena, but you walked away! NO ONE walks away from me!”
“All right, I’ll fight you Ridran...Let her go!”
“Oh, you will fight me, Orion!” Ridran finished slowly. A sinister smile curled across his lips, and his eyes burned with hate as he glanced from Odeal back at Orion.
Odeal furrowed her brows and closed her eyes tight.
Ridran roared as he snapped her neck, then broke her back.
Odeal screamed one last time before dropping limp in his hands.
“NO!” Orion shouted as he raced for Ridran.
Ridran raised Odeal’s body as he charged a large ball of dark energy. With a deadly scream, he blasted Odeal, destroying her completely.
The wizard appeared, holding the sleeping child, tears still sitting on her face. He stood in front of a wooden fortress with large gates that sat nestled in a sea of trees. The light from his arrival had stirred the interest of the people inside. The gates clattered open and a number of young women warriors appeared. The leader of the group dismissed the other girls when she saw the wizard.
“Trafazar?” she asked, surprised as she looked to the little girl in his arms.
“She is without a family now,” he explained as he handed the sleeping girl over. “I thought the girls of Shar would be able to care for her.”
The woman nodded. “What happened?” she asked.
“Tell her what you wish, but she has been saved a tragedy,” he said as he raised his hand and faded.
The woman took the sleeping child into the fortress and the gate closed behind them...
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, SP_Joseph_LyonsWrite a Review