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Prologue: The Rescued

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Prologue:


The night was like a dark ribbon, winding around and through the tree branches of the forest and then twisting upwards to embrace the softly glowing stars in its inky blackness. The only light came from the waning moon, which cast its pale, ghostly reflection on a lake as smooth as glass. All was perfectly still, as if no creature dared interrupt the symphony of silence. Suddenly, a dark shape glided down on silent wings and alighted on a leafy tree branch. Its large, golden eyes blinked and reflected in the moonlight as it observed the stillness. The owl’s feathers shone a silvery gray, and it was motionless as a block of stone on its perch. It sat there, unmoving, as the stillness seemed to push all time out of existence. Then, the bird’s keen ears caught a noise that shattered the heavy quiet. Far, far away something was moving. Soon the noise was close enough for owl to discern what it was. Pounding hooves, running footsteps, all mingled with shouts and screams. The noises came closer and closer until the owl could see the faint glimmer of torches in the distance, like small red wildflowers. Still unmoving, the creature watched as horsemen on horses darker than the night itself approached. Their helms and shields bore the emblem of the Fire Lord: two gold snakes coiled around a ring of black flames. Yes, the owl knew fire, that greedy, insatiable creature. It had stolen her nest and young chicks from her long ago, and since then, she had both feared and despised it.
Then she noticed the woman who seemed to be running from them. She was quite beautiful, despite her dirty clothes, torn and muddy. She had long, dark hair, and vibrant green eyes that shone in the dark. Her feet flew nimbly over the rough uneven ground, but it was evident that she was growing weary and the horseman would soon overtake her. As she came closer, the owl could also see a small bundle she held tightly in her arms. The woman glanced back at the dark shapes she was fleeing from, and the bird could plainly see terror in her eyes. Then, finding there was no hope in outrunning her pursuers, she slowed and desperately began to search for some shelter or hiding place. Now the owl could see what the bundle in her arms really was; it was a human child. The horsemen were now nearly upon her and the woman had no escape. Suddenly, she tripped over a twisting root, and fell to the ground. The child slipped from her arms and fell with a sob to the cold, damp earth. In that instant, the owl swooped down, a dark silhouette, clutched the baby in its mighty talons, and flew away. The woman let out a cry, and as the bird rose higher into the air, it saw the forest burst up in flames below. Fire climbed the ancient trees like ladders, enveloped their branches, and crumbled them between its blazing fingers. The dark horsemen galloped away unscathed, as cruel flames encircled the terrified girl below. Meanwhile, the child was already high above her, traveling through the night sky. Sheltered by the owl’s great wings.




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theaweprez said...
Sept. 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm:

OMG, this is Awesome! Approved by awesome club, y'all!

LOL! theaweprez

 
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