Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Promised You Randomness!

I've decided to do something a little different today - it's story time!!! I've always enjoyed writing. My first year here at Northland I took their Creative Writing class and had a lot of fun writing this short story. I do feel a need to insert a mild disclaimer: I am shifting away from fantasy in my writing, not because it's wrong but because I feel that it's not the best use of my time and energy. This story is just meant to be fun! I'll post the first part tonight and the rest of it in a few days. Enjoy! :D


Erin didn’t know what made her look up from her book as she sat in the sun on the front steps. Glancing around, she spotted a red squirrel near the base of the big oak across the driveway and decided that its movement was all that had caught her attention. About to go back to her book, she paused and looked more closely at the squirrel; something wasn’t right. Instead of bouncing jauntily along, the little red squirrel was crawling as if exhausted. It came to a halt under a rosebush in the flowerbed on the far side of the driveway and lay still, eyes nearly closed, breathing labored.

Full of compassion, she set down her book and approached the animal cautiously, wondering if there was anything she could do to help it, even as her mother’s warnings about sick animals played through her mind. As she slowly drew near, the squirrel turned its head and looked at her. Shock jolted through her as it opened its mouth and spoke. “Come closer,” it squeaked. “I have a message of utmost importance for you…”

Erin stood frozen, staring at the little animal in disbelief. She looked around warily, thinking that someone must be playing a very strange trick on her, but her grasping mind could not come up with even one person who knew where she lived, much less knew her well enough to try to joke with her. Maybe she was dreaming - her mother had told her often enough that all the fantasy books she read would lead to strange dreams…

“Didn’t you hear me?” the squirrel snapped, jerking his bushy red tail impatiently. He rallied his strength and sat up in a pose more typical of squirrels. Fixing his small black eyes on Erin, he continued, “I, Squirilious the Red, have been called upon by the people of Whitaker Woods to deliver a message to you. We need your help. I am not the one to explain the intricacies of the matter, however; you are to come with me and our great and mighty Chief Warlord will make all things clear to you.”

“Warlord?” Erin repeated nervously, taking a small step backward. “Whitaker Woods has a warlord?” She’d been walking in the small wood down the street for years and had never seen anyone there except for recreational purposes. She certainly hadn’t noticed any wars!

Outraged, Squirilious the Red flashed up a nearby fencepost, a flame in the bright sunlight, and cried out in his fierce, high-pitched voice, “Of course Whitaker Woods has a warlord: our Champion, his Eminence, the Great and Mighty Wellinghurst the Third!”

Erin blinked. Wellinghurst was the name of one of the trails in Whitaker Woods.

Remembering his exhaustion, Squirilious slid back to the ground and lay still a moment, panting. In a calmer voice, he acknowledged, “Of course, it’s rather the entire point that you do not know of his existence or of his people. Forgive my redheaded temper, if you will be so kind. But we must be moving now! Onward!”

He skittered madly toward the road, and Erin, not knowing what possessed her, found herself following.

Squirilious paused at the edge of the pavement and turned toward Erin. “I fear we are about to face what may be the most perilous part of our journey,” he said gravely. “Many of my compatriots have been slaughtered by the great ferocious beasts that haunt this barren strip of land. One nearly got me on my earlier crossing. I am fortunate to have escaped with my life!”

Assuming the squirrel was referring to cars, Erin looked at the road, which was empty of traffic of any kind. Oak Street was a quiet road. “Human mothers always teach their children to look both ways before crossing,” she told Squirilious nonetheless.

His tail twitched violently. “Look both ways?” he chattered. “Why – why – what a perfectly tremendous idea! That way the blasted beasts don’t have a chance to sneak up! Fabulous!” Carefully looking in each direction, he zipped across the road, Erin hot on his heels. At the other side, he stopped again and looked up at Erin with admiration shining in his black, beady eyes. “How perfectly fantastic!” he gasped. “I can see why you were chosen! Oh, I have so much to tell my cousins…”

Chosen for what?” Erin asked in alarm. Squirilious had already taken off again, though, and she had to run to keep him in sight. They were on a trail now, an unnamed path that led from Oak Street to Whitaker Lane, the main trail of Whitaker Woods. It was one of Erin’s favorite times of the year, after the snow was gone but before the foliage and bugs made it difficult to wander off the trails. The weather was warm enough to leave her coat behind, but not uncomfortably hot.

Squirilious took to the trees as soon as he could, leaping from branch to branch along the trail, chittering to himself as he went, apparently fully recovered from his earlier discomfort. Erin raced along after him, her blond ponytail bouncing. She wondered what passersby would think if they saw her chasing a squirrel!

After a moment they turned off Whitaker Lane onto a side trail, then swerved into the trees. Erin’s legs were starting to grow tired and she was gasping for breath, but she feared that if she stopped to rest she would lose Squirilious and would never find out what was going on! What was she chosen for, and why had she of all people been chosen? Shy and quiet, she was never picked for anything at school.

Just as she was about to call out to the squirrel to pause for a moment so she could catch her breath, he came to a halt at the base of a low granite boulder. He turned to Erin and squeaked, “Madam, the Great and Mighty Warlord of Whitaker Woods, Wellinghurst the Third!”

To be continued...

1 comment:

Shade said...

That is pretty awesome, Sarah! I look forward to the rest!