Well I’m a decent way it, I suppose the time has come to give you an excerpt, right?
Okay… well here it is.
Remember; the piece is unedited and I think I might have knocked it out at 1am on Sunday morning. Yes actually, since that’s when my update was freaking out at having characters speaking in rhyme. -_- I still think its a bad idea… but I’m sticking with it.
Florian sneezed loudly, wiping a stream of snot from his nose and rushing up to the thick trunk of a flowering oak tree. The massive branches and their distinctive leaves formed at least a little shelter from the driving rain. It was enough to give him time to pause, wipe his face, dry his wings, check on the little princess. Alyssa looked none the worse for way. In fact, she was lively again, twisting her head to find the gap in her wrapping so that she could watch the surrounding land. More than once Florian was forced to close that gap as the rain began too much for him. “You’ll be ill,” he warned her. “And I’ve nowhere to take you.” He hugged the bundle tight to his chest. “I don’t know what to do! Everyone I knew is back at the castle… probably hiding in the kitchen. I’m not suited to look after you.” The baby kicked out her legs; as good a demonstration as disbelief as she could manage. Her tiny voice gurgled softly. “You must understand,” he whispered, “I promised to protect you. I would still give my life… but… my life isn’t much. I don’t have much to give you. No friends, no family, no home. Well… the castle; but that isn’t safe any more. King Roman is all I had.” He sniffed, trying to keep back the sting of tears. When he failed, Florian slumped down to the ground, pressing his back to the tree and sobbing as the panic finally began to take him over. Just what was he planning to do?! Far in the distance, the howl of angry wolves began to follow him. Florian gritted his teeth, not in the least surprise that at least some of them had tried to follow his scent; even through the driving rain. Alyssa stirred restlessly and Florian knew that he had to keep moving. He adjusted her bundle. Flattened his wings. Tucked his head into the neck of his tunic and began to run away. Minutes passed that felt like hours. Florian’s feet were starting to ache. His stomach was knotted with pangs of hunger and fear made him constantly turn to watch his back. One such instance sent him sprawling forward, twisting on a tree root and forcing him to twist his shoulder round to catch the blow. More pain raced through his bones and he was once more aware of the lingering aches from his fall through the pile of straw. The body could only take so much. When he came to the boarders of the Tresaal Woods he knew at last he could go no further. The roads from the castle were straight and comfortable, but remaining on them only made pursuit more likely to catch up. Florian looked at the gnarled and twisted branched of the black and close packed wood and knew that to stay lost, he had to become lost. “At least it will be drier under the trees.” He said. The baby gave an indignant squeal, reaching her tiny hands out of the bundle. “Don’t argue, Princess.” Florian made his voice as firm as he could. “I can’t think of a better way to do this. And I must stop soon or sleep on my feet. My body aches.” He struck off the road and into the trees, at once feeling the difference in the air and on the ground. The wind ceased to ruffle his hair and hurl stinging raindrops against his cheeks. Instead, it died all together and quickly brought with it a menacing silence that held not even the sound of woodland creatures. The occasional drop of water made it through the dense canopy, but otherwise the ground was dry. So dry that Florian was mystified to realise that his way was choked with weeds and brambles, ferns and clinging ivy that gripped his legs and dragged him down. The trees clustered together, making space sparse, though a natural alley of slightly clearer land seemed to open up before his feet. Florian followed it, too tired to consider why it was there, or who had made it so. He stumbled on, one hand now dangling loose to lift trailing creeps and catch tree trunks when roots tried to snag his feet. Darkness closed in. Though moonlight did a better job of sneaking through the leaves, it was certainly not enough to see by. Florian stubbornly ploughed on through the dark, stuffy damp until his foot pressed down onto something soft, smelly and slippery. He gagged, recognising the scent of rotten meat almost in the same moment that a soft voice hissed; “What are you doing alone in the dark? With no light to see by, not even a spark.” At once he stopped walking, jerking his foot back and standing utterly still. “No answer? No answer! How terribly rude. Now what, pray tell, is the source of your mood.” Florian licked his lips. “I need somewhere to stay.” “A home; I see… he wants a home. A familiar, normal and simple syndrome, to cure with a payment so simple and fair, before the false king is ever aware.” “You know about that?!” “Boy, I know everything; you really should not be querying my words to you as true as ever they could be to you.” With those words the darkness shifted and from a space near the ground appeared a pair of blinking yellow eyes. “Aaah. Fugg.” In light of the events of the night so far, Florian felt less inclined to be annoyed at the insult. Instead he squared his shoulders and lifted his chin. “And you are a carrion elf.” “Such names you give, but if you would live then beg my forgiveness and maybe your rudeness I’ll forget long enough to hand you the bluff to save your filthy skin.” Florian felt his head begin to spin. Though he’d heard tales, never before had he spoken to an elf and this one seemed eager to do nothing more than talk. “I don’t need your help.” He said at last. “Thank you but I’ll be on my way.”