Wednesday, 10 October 2012

October Memoir and Backstory Blog Challenge Day 10

Saoirse Tenth Year

Saoirse was learning quickly. Her knowledge expanded as she worked her way through the library. Her archery skills were also growing. Her father had found someone to teach her hand to hand combat and how to fight with various weapons.

Beathag decided she was old enough and trained enough to leave Aberness once again. They strode through the trees, naming the different plants and animals that they came across. Beathag showed Saoirse different paths that wound their way through the forest.

After that day, Saoirse found herself inextricably drawn to the woods outside the walls. Once her lessons for the day were done she simply walked through the trees. She loved the way the sunlight filtered through the leaves and found its way through to the forest floor. A waterfall could be heard somewhere in the distance.

Whenever she went for a walk Saoirse made sure to bring her bow and quiver, as well as a small hunting knife. She understood the need to protect herself and wasn't about to be caught unaware.

While walking through the forest one day she heard something rustling in the undergrowth. She stopped and listened. She was near the city, but far enough away from it that no one would be able to come to help quickly.

She took a few more steps and stopped when she heard rustling again. Saoirse strung her bow and moved slowly again, listening carefully. She focused her mind and noticed a presence. A man stood behind a tree not too far away from where she was.

Saoirse aimed her bow and stood still. Her arms began to shake but she steadied them. She listened to the man's thoughts and gasped. Without hesitation she released her arrow. It struck the tree he was standing behind, but she quickly restrung the bow.

The man moved out from behind the tree. In his hand he held a knife. "Watch it, you might hurt someone with that," he said.

Saoirse watched him, her bow aimed at his chest. "Don't take another step," she said.

"Or you'll kill me? You're just a wee girl. You couldn't hurt a fly."

She released the arrow and watched as it struck the man in the chest. He fell down and moved his hand to touch the arrow that protruded from his chest.

Saoirse ran toward the walls, nearly tripping over her feet as she did so. She stumbled over a root and spat out dirt. A different man stood over her with a knife. "Where are you going? We're not done here."

She focused her mind on him and steeled herself. "What do you want with me?"

"You are the king's niece. We want power. With you in our grasp, he will be forced to comply."

She spat on his shoes.

He made to stab her with his knife but she blocked him. With her small knife she drove it up into his ribs and twisted. He gasped and released his own knife. "Who are you?" he asked, his face contorted in pain.

"Your worst nightmare."

She shoved him off and ran back to the wall covered in his blood. As soon as the soldiers of the wall saw her they called for her father.

He came running and held her close when he saw what state she was in. Saoirse hugged her father back. Fearghas and Beathag came running also. She opened her mind to them as they neared the pair and Beathag gasped. Fearghas simply looked at her, and she looked him straight in the eye.

The entire time her eyes remained dry.

Quote of the day: Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. - Helen Keller