So, last week for my English class we had a creative writing assignment (YAY!) and I thought I'd share it with you guys. It had to be a short story (under 1100 words), very descriptive, and the main character had to go on a journey.
Here's what I wrote:
Journey To Vistal
I awoke in the middle of the night to the distant sound of shouting. As I pushed myself up from my bed, I grabbed my woven wool blanket and wrapped it securely around my shoulders. Cold air met my face and gave me goose bumps, as I stared out the window to survey the scene. My eyes widened at the sight before me; as opposed to the normal serene village, I saw chaos. People running in every direction, yelling over the noise, and as I looked further off into the distance, I saw that several houses in flames. Suddenly fully awake, I ran into the hall and found the rest of my family gathering in the kitchen.
In answer to my inquisitive look, Dad started talking, “The rebels have attacked the town.” He spoke urgently, worry and panic evident in the creases of his face. Turning to look at me, he instructed, “Now June, we’ve gone over this. Take Jake and follow the evacuation plan. We’ll fly with the rest of the adults and meet you at Vistal”
Without hesitation, I gave my parents a quick hug, grabbed my little brother’s hand, and after slipping my boots on, we left through the back door. Outside, the chaotic shouting grew louder, the smoke from burning houses and barns filled the air so heavily, I could taste it. Our house stood at the edge of the village with its back to the cliff. I carefully ran down the steep, rocky hill to the barn. Once there I quickly grabbed Emeral’s saddle and placed it on his green, scaly back. While preparing Emeral, I instructed Jake to grab the pre-packed bag for emergencies from the loft. Soon all of our supplies sat upon Emeral’s warm back. Flying at this time would attract attention from the rebels, so I pushed Jake up on the saddle and led them down the cliff. Emeral’s size, although comparatively small for a dragon, made the descent rather difficult.
In time we arrived at the cave, which had been the appointed meeting place for the children in case of invasion or attack. Torchlight flickered in the spring wind, creating weird and disorienting shadows on the cave walls. Jake pushed himself out of the saddle and haphazardly jumped to the ground. Trying to think of our next move, I did a headcount. About fifteen kids sat scattered among the cave with their various supplies. Some had worried and anxious expressions, and some just sat there in silence with an emotionless face. I ran through a mental list of everyone, only Felix and Connor still had not arrived. Although I had recently turned seventeen, Connor still had several months on me in the age department and as a result, in case of an emergency he had the position of leader. Not wanting to waste time waiting, I began to gather up all the kids under five years. All together they made a group of six, I called Emeral over and commanded him to lie down as I set, Eliza, Jemma, and Sam on his rough, leather saddle. Trevor, Mindy, and Sissy would have to ride on Azure.
Surprised to feel a hand on my shoulder a gasp escaped from my mouth “Hey, sorry we’re late.” Conner spoke in an even tone, “I had trouble getting Azure down the mountain.” He looked in the direction of his dragon whose sea glass blue scales shimmered an odd color in the orange light of the torch.
“Its ok, so did I. We should really get going though,” I answered. “How bad is it?” jerking my head up and motioning to the town above.
His tone got quieter. “It’s bad.” Seeing my worried expression, he turned and spoke to the rest of the group and gestured to me as he spoke, “Ok, everyone follow June out quietly.” Turning to me he said, “Get to the river and across the bridge then we’ll just follow the mountain path from there.” I nodded in acknowledgment as I began extinguishing the torches.
I stepped out from the safety of the cave leading Emeral. The sunlight of early dawn had already touched the peak of the mountains far above. Staying close to the side of the mountain we traveled in silence for about two hours. As we traveled, the riverbank got continually closer to the edge of the mountain. Morning songbirds sang their happy tune as we neared the bridge that spanned the huge river, oblivious to the recent disaster. Swelled from spring rain and melting mountain streams, the river looked cold and ruthless as it rushed by. We started across; a fine rain had begun to fall, making the wood slippery and the air colder. Noticing Jake shivering as he walked next to me, I pulled my worn wool jacket off of myself and handed it to him. He smiled faintly in return. Cold raindrops stung my arms in the places that my jacket used to cover.
Once across the bridge, we started on the path leading up the mountain range. Due to the steep incline of the mountain and the muddy ground we traveled slowly. Around noon we reached the top of the mountain range, I estimated that we would reach Vistal by nightfall. On the rocky plateau, we stopped for a lunch of smoked fish and brown bread. My adrenaline level had died down and exhaustion started to set in, but after eating, some of my strength returned to me. We immediately continued on after lunch, trekking tirelessly across the mountain range. I could see some of the younger children losing their strength and getting discouraged.
“How ‘bout we sing a song?” I suggested, and without waiting for a response, I picked a cheery tune and started singing. By the second verse mostly everyone had joined in.
Time crawled by, dusk started in, we stopped briefly to let a couple more kids crawl onto Emeral’s and Azure’s backs. Finally, just as the last bit of crystal sunlight disappeared behind the dark mountains, we saw Vistal’s looming walls in the distance. Encouraged by the sight, we hastened our pace, ignoring the aches and pains we felt in our feet. As we approached the town, I began to worry that the adults had not escaped, or had gotten caught in the fire or worse. I tried to ignore my worries as we reached the long staircase leading to the gates. When we arrived, the gatekeeper stuck his head out the tower and soon the gates opened. He did not ask for us to identify ourselves, which meant he had heard to expect us, and only one other group besides us knew about our journey. Slowly opening, the large wooden gates revealed our parents anxiously waiting. With every last ounce of energy, we ran into their arms and collapsed. We may have lost everything else that day, but we still had each other.