Burning Secrets

Chapter One, Secrets Burning <br /> <br /> <br /> A body lay in the deserted clearing. A strange sight, this near to the village. Cirdan Surian&#8217;s eyebrow went up at the sight of a sword laying five feet away, gleaming in the noon sun. It looked lonely. He spurred his horse into the opening in the trees and led it to the waiting piece of steel. Leaning down, he reached out to grab it, when something caught his eye in the trees. Snatching up the sword, he jumped down and spread his legs, taking a fighting stance. &#8220;How would you like to die today? Your head dismembered, or your guts spilled out?&#8221; A whimper answered him. Unclenching his teeth, he dropped the sword. &#8220;What&#8217;s your name, young one?&#8221; he said in a gentler tone, a softness coming to his face. &#8220;A-Aiseling. Its Aiseling of Eorhast&#8221; &#8220;And how old are you, Aiseling of Eorhast?&#8221; The child whispered back, &#8220;I am eight years old. Wh&#8230;What are you going to do to me?&#8221; Cirdan smirked. &#8220;Well, I think I might eat you, and then give your bones to my horse.&#8221; The child jumped up in fright. &#8220;You can&#8217;t!&#8221; Laughing good naturedly, Cirdan bent down and picked the sword up again, sheathing it in its master&#8217;s blood-drenched leather casing. &#8220;Well, if I can&#8217;t eat you, maybe I can talk to you?&#8221; The boy nodded, his sandy curls falling into his face. He never got the chance to say a word. <br /> Suddenly an arrow flew threw the hot air and pierced the child&#8217;s neck. Cirdan cursed and caught the boy in his arms as he fell, dead. &#8220;Bloody hell!&#8221; He ran for his horse and threw the child over the saddlehorn. Jumping into the seat, he barely missed being hit by another arrow. Whirling around, he sped towards the cover of the trees and desperately tried to remember the name of the man who had been killed by a similar looking arrow back in the clearing&#8230;Blast if this child hadn&#8217;t died! He sped another mile or so and reared his horse in, slowing to a fast walk. Looking in a circle, he observed everything&#8230;and there was no one. Nothing stirred, nothing moved&#8230;It was as if all life had stopped, and whatever had chased Cirdan had simply vanished. He cursed again, spurring his horse towards Eorhast, the village the child came from and almost surely where the corpse had come. He was glad he at least had an arrow to decipher when he delivered the news to the child&#8217;s certainly-frantic mother. A child! A mere boy! Someone would pay for such a monstrous crime. He sped, faster and faster, through the forest until he came to a break in the wall of trees, and there he spotted the logged walls of Eorhast&#8230; <br /> <br /> Earlier&#8230;&#8230;.. <br /> <br /> A young girl named Lilyain drew water from the village well in the center of the courtyard. She inspected the surface to make sure she didn&#8217;t miss pouring out the impurities and then tied the bucket to her small pony. &#8220;Come on, Nionsl, let&#8217;s hurry and get this home before Mama tans both of us.&#8221; The small ten-year old turned down the alley that ran along side the main road, bypassing all the crowds that lined it. A festival was going on in honor of the King&#8217;s birthday. But Lilyain didn&#8217;t care about his birthday, because her birthday was only one day after his: March 2! She thought it was unfair that his birthday was celebrated so energetically while her own went unnoticed except for her father, mother, and younger brother. Eorhast was dirty already. No one needed another festival to foul up the streets more&#8230;A movement at the far end of the alley caught her eye and interrupted her thoughts. Something stepped out of the shadows and stared at her. It looked hairy and spider-like, with arms and legs bowed and lanky. It stood a full head taller than her and had eyes that shone like a cat&#8217;s, and bulbous like a fish&#8217;s. She tried to scream, but her mouth was quickly smothered by a filthy, blood stained hand. Suddenly, she realized whose blood that was&#8230;Hers! She fell to her knees and looked at the short blade prodtruding from her rounded stomach in curiosity. It didn&#8217;t hurt like she thought it would&#8230;No one heard her silent fall into the dirt of the alley&#8230; <br /> <br /> Screams emitted from the main street as a pock-marked boy raced from the alley, covered in blood and leading a pony&#8230;a pony that was familiar to all on the road. The boy screamed, &#8220;Goblins! Goblins are in Eorhast!&#8221; His screams were cut short as his right eye was shot through by a red-feathered arrow. A shower of the same descended on the mass of people, and nearby buildings erupted in sudden flame. Goblins raced out among the people and cut them down five and six at a time&#8230;Blood laced the street and ran in little rivulets down the paths&#8230; <br />
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