While looking for a short story I wrote last summer, I came across this very old beginning to a book that was never born. I probably wrote this shortly after I picked up my pen in 1991. Since no one had signed up for today...I beg your indulgence for my attempt at high fantasy: No Title.


Ebienne slung his bow over his shoulder and let his horse amble back along the path to the castle. He had ridden much farther afield than he'd planned, and darkness would surely catch him far from home.
Home. The word echoed hollowly in his heart. He couldn't remember when he'd stopped thinking of the castle as home. Couldn't explain why he felt a stranger amongst the people who were the only family he'd ever known. In the distance, he glimpsed a spire jutting above the tree line. He felt lonely as sin, yet reluctant for company.

That morning in the kitchen, he'd learned of the Prince's planned visit. He had taken his bow and ridden into the forest. Today, he was in no mood for an encounter with Lew who always found some chink in Ebienne's armor through which to ram a demeaning remark. The Prince irritated him far more now than he had when they were children. And their rivalry had matured as the two boys--one dark, one fair--grew to manhood.
Though Ebienne had seen a young buck, and his Elven arrows never missed their mark, he hadn't unslung his bow. After visiting the old god's shrine and sprinkling wine from his skein on the tumble-down altar, he'd ridden by the stream until he came to a place shaded by enormous oaks. Peace lay over the spot like the early morning mist. Taking his book from the saddlebags, he sat by the swift, cold creek. Hours passed while water gurgled and the exiled Elf practiced the small magics he'd discovered buried in his soul. He made fire by looking at a stick, then put it out by levitating the stick into the stream. He moved his hands in the air and saw heat shimmers before him.
But he didn't know what the shimmers meant. They were a mystery like his past and his future. His memory of the days after coming to Knollwood was perfect, but it was as if the first six years of his life didn't exist. As if he'd been born that day Sir Henry had brought him to Knollwood, tucked away from the cold beneath the man's cloak.
Several times Lianne's face interrupted his concentration. A little angry that she could follow him even here to this haven where he truly felt at home, he banished the vision of a young woman with fair skin and hair the color of mahogany. Of late he'd noticed a subtle change in his feelings for Lianne. His chest burned when he remembered Prince Lewellyn kissing her hand. She'd laughed but hadn't taken her hand away. A merry glint in her green eyes proved that she enjoyed the attention.
Ebienne sighed. If not this year, perhaps next, he would go to The Vinings to study the magic he'd inherited in the Elven blood. From the delicate points of his ears to his long lean stature, it was obvious he was an Elf. And Lew never forgot to remind him that he was an Elf, and, therefore, inferior, his race subject to Man. Pure blood flowed in his veins, sometimes thudding with rebellion when Lew launched a particularly brutal attack, but he didn't know who his parents were or why he'd been fostered with the human.
Yes, soon he'd go to The Vinings to study the controlled magic that kept the humans safe from the Warlords to the North. Lianne would be someone's wife, mother someone's children. Lianne, his friend, the only person he'd truly loved, the only one who truly loved him. He ignored the familiar, dull ache.
He'd no right to think of her with such gentle warmth, with such misplaced longing. He was destined for The Vining's cloistered halls. Thoughts of love were folly indeed.
Stars peaked through the blue velvet curtain of the sky. The night was still, unmoving, magical. No insect song or call of bird disturbed the intensity that rested on him as heavy as the cloak slung over his shoulders.
Nimble as a cat, his horse lurched left, crashing into low brambles which tangled around his legs, brining the animal to a prancing halt. Wind whipped his hair across his face, blinding him for an instant. Trees bent, leaves torn from the tossing branches and the ground shook. Ebienne raked the hair back from his face and squinted at the glint of moonlight on iridescent wings then a giant shadow eclipsed the moon.

4 comments

  1. Mary Marvella // March 15, 2008 at 9:00 PM  

    Cool.
    Good writing, as usual!

  2. Nightingale // March 16, 2008 at 11:37 AM  

    It's very old. I think I have about 10 pages. I posted it on a lark. Don't you think it's telling not showing??

  3. Mary Marvella // March 16, 2008 at 2:46 PM  

    Like, who cares? It reads well and you can always layer in showing if you want to. Innocent readers don't know any better.

  4. Beth Trissel // March 18, 2008 at 2:12 PM  

    I liked it, Linda! Intriguing. Different. Write on!