Hello. I came across this challenge and it looked like a lot of fun, I had never wrote a story where the first line was already picked out for you, so I did my best. The link back to the original post is here.
Hopefully, you are allowed to go over 2000 words as my word count is 2044. Hope you enjoyed it, I picked #10:
A year ago, this would have been an unthinkable act.
No, I thought to myself, even a month ago this would’ve been unthinkable, dishonourable and outrageous.
It was scary to think how much the world had changed in the course of a few weeks. The grass and meadows which had been bright and bursting with life, now looked dull and limp. The air had once been light and free but, now had turned dense and thick, making every breath hurt your lungs. The elf community had once looked happy, chatting away to each other as they went from village to village; but now grinning and laughing seemed odd, out of place, distant, foreign. The whole magical community had an overwrought look which never disappeared but seemed to get worse as the days progressed. Many huts and fairy trees were now abandoned, their homes derelict and in states of despair. The sky and clouds were darker, they looked down on you, making you feel inferior no matter the time of day. It was almost always raining and the world had been strained of happiness and joy, like a sunflower blanched of colour until it resembled a shrivelled up weed.
The new leaders of this world were the goblins. The Great War had happened merely a month ago, and it was the deadliest war ever to be known. The elves had fought against the goblins along with the help of the fairies, nymphs and dwarves. The goblin’s had help from the trolls and ogres. The fight lasted months, months of anguish and grief as your kind were being consumed by the evil that tore the whole world apart. The time of the Great War was nearly as great as the aftermath. No one spoke to each other, unless to comfort one as they were sobbing at the scroll they had been given, announcing their loved one’s death. There were constant and massive fights among the little streets that had made the stone beneath your feet rumble as you hurried from place to place with your head down. I remember how the sun was a blood red blotch in the sky, searing you with its heat and ferocity all day. The towns around the magical community quickly began to decay and be torn apart like everything else around it.
The day after the goblins had won the war, rebellion had struck the town with no hope. Desperately fairies, nymphs and elves tried fighting back, but it was hopeless and not without consequence. The spirits who rebelled were the first to be banished.
Banishment was in many ways worse than death. In times of sadness, the goblins took it that death would be an escape route, a way out from proper punishment. Banishment not only meant that you would be erased from life in the magical community, but you would also lose whatever magic you possessed. For elves this meant turning into humans, who lived in another layer of reality in the world. All of us elves had been told stories by our ancestors of how humans destroyed the earth and were cruel to other species, making them their property.
The rising whispers around me shook me from my daze. A group of elves, nymphs and fairies had gathered around a small hut where an elf was pleading to a goblin. I strode forward, not believing my eyes. The elf was Tibern, his family had been residents in Deltheth for centuries. Two goblins stood by him and they seemed to be arguing back. Suddenly, the goblins stopped and addressed the crowd whose voices were getting louder by the second.
“SILENCE!” The goblin demanded and at once the crowd was quiet, so quiet that the silence was loud, blocking your own thoughts, hearing absolutely nothing.
I looked around at the crowd, they were shifting uncomfortably and keeping their heads down. The goblins ruled with fear. Fear, in their opinion, was the only opposition to hope, and so they used that to their advantage.
“Elf Tibern, you have been charged for treachery and shall be banished at once!” The goblin shouted at Tibern who seemed to be pleading. But, Tibern’s words were swept away with the sound of voices of the crowd which had rose up again and had begun shouting.
I turned once again to look at the crowd of magical creatures around me, they were furious at the goblins. Tibern was a descendant of Lizneth, one of the greatest elf archers of all time. To have him banished would be unthinkable, dishonourable and outrageous. He stood there, with the appearance of a middle aged man. Tibern had natural silver hair and bushy grey eyebrows which had now receded into his hairline because of his face, which showed clear signs of anxiety and distress.
The two goblins looked at each other and, a second later one of the goblins stepped forward. He took out his extremely sharp obsidian sword which gleamed brightly at the crowd who stepped backwards and stopped talking at once.
The goblins ruled the nation with force, if there were signs that the other creatures would start to rebel, the goblins would start to banish the innocent in front of the public to show how they had no power.
Without realising, the rest of the crowd had continued to retreat, making me the only one standing so close. The goblin glared at me and strode forward until we were nose to nose. His voice carried out across the whole village of Deltheth.
“DO YOU WISH I USE THIS SWORD ON YOU, ELF?”
At that moment I realised I had two choices, live in a world where I tried to be oblivious to the innocent losing their magic, or die in a world where I tried my best to prevent it. So, I raised my blue eyes to his black and glared back at him. I could see Tibern in front of me and he shook his head a little from side to side, his face worried. But, I ignored him.
I conjured up the magic inside of me that had been contained in my soul for weeks, restless. I called for freedom and resistance and my magic obeyed my wishes so fiercely I thought I might fall over from it.
I struck my hand out to the goblin who suddenly tensed in shock. An aura of stunning bright blue light erupted out of my skin and hit him directly on the chest. A second later his body began to freeze, firstly turning a pale and delicate shade of blue before his limbs began to numb and a thin layer of ice spread around his whole body. The block of ice cracked at my feet, disintegrating into a thin puff of frost which floated into the sky.
There was roars behind me, the group which had been deadly silent suddenly erupted into a wave of energy. The other goblin tried to fight back, though Tibern who had been concealing a small silver dagger in his hand struck him in the arm. Thick black blood oozed out of his shoulder and onto the ground. Wherever it hit, the grass and animals turned dead and to mush. The crowd raced me forward and together we all fought back against what the world had become.
Aroused by the noise, groups of goblins had come out to where we were stationed, a small outlook in front of Tibern’s hut and next to a once gleaming silver fountain which used to glisten so cheerfully, but was now a dark steel with murky water.
I could sense an ogre to my right and so I raised my hand towards him and a gust of crimson fire erupted out of my palm, making him burst into red flames until he was nothing but a dust pile on the ground.
The fairies flew into the air and used their bright arrows and magic to attack the army. Nymphs had the power of the earth and so they raised the land and ocean to their command and pushed back the opposition with larges waves and mini earthquakes. The goblins, trolls and ogres continued to swarm into the small outcrop so it quickly became fully packed and claustrophobic. They fought us with swords and their bare hands, which were strong but had terrible aim. Although there were more of the enemy, we had more passion and our magic supported us, strengthening us.
There was a constant sound of swords clashing in the air and the faint whoosh as waves drowned goblins. A troll advanced on me growling ferociously, his eyes were narrowed into slits and his face displayed pure rage. He swung at me with a wooden club in his hands and I barely managed to swerve before he aimed at me again. I dodged again, this time by sinking to the ground. It was a poor move against an opponent, especially one so large. He picked me up by my torso and raised me to his face despite my attempts to fight back. I realised that this was the end. I would leave this world as a squashed corpse that would fall to the ground. I was already beginning to tire and I realised the enormity of my actions in that split second before he made his final move. By fighting back against that one goblin I had made another rebellion happen. Innocent souls would be vanquished and it would be my own fault.
I saw the club swing at the edge of my peripheral vision though it only resembled a dark blur in the sky. Visibly shaking in fear I shut my eyes and tensed, waiting for the club to hit.
It never did.
Instead, the troll’s hand around me opened and I began falling to the ground. I opened my eyes at the last second, though everything had blurred together in one great mush. The sounds of fighting had increased in sound, and my brain faintly registered a gruff voice shouting my name. The world became closer and more intimidating and flashes of my life came back to me.
I was two and my parents were showing me magic ‘tricks’ with their hands. I hadn’t developed my elf magic yet, and my ears had no pointy tip. I remembered my bright blue eyes that had been opened in shock at my father’s hands which had small golden sparks shooting out of them.
Then I was seven. My hair had changed colours to scarlet and my face was thinner and slanted. I was crying. My parent’s had been announced dead and I was to live with my neighbour Tibern for the rest of my life.
The next day I had moved in with Tibern. Despite my grief I couldn’t not be in awe of Tibern and his ancestor’s achievements. He had raised me from that day since, and had grown to be like a father to me.
A week later was the ritual to my parents. I had cried myself to sleep and my eyes were puffy in the morning as I ate fruit with Tibern.
“Astrean…” He said to me, his face gentle.
I was distraught and I missed the hugs I would get from my parents. I reached my hands out towards him, and he hugged me.
I had fell but I didn’t think that I was dead. I could still hear and see and smell and touch my surroundings, something must have cushioned my fall. Looking down, I could see my hands which were drenched in blood. But, I had landed on someone, a body.
I gasped and stepped away. It was Tibern. He had saved my life and he was now dead. Nothing more than a squashed corpse on the ground. He was a bloody mess, and looked like he had taken a hit from the troll’s club for me. Tibern lay in front of his hut; my hut, for his final resting place. I couldn’t handle it. It was too much. My despair, grief, anger, guilt and fury rose up into me, a tide of emotions so demanding that I sunk to my knees, wailing.
I saw a goblin advance on me with a sword and I let it.