Frélinhard (part 1) | Teen Ink

Frélinhard (part 1)

October 1, 2011
By Erecura PLATINUM, Eugene, Oregon
More by this author
Erecura PLATINUM, Eugene, Oregon
26 articles 11 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Hell is empty; all the devils are here."
The tempest

Serpheral Alun VII died early in the morning. He left his entire kingdom to his daughter, Egress.

She was five years old.

At first she didn’t understand. Was her father on a trip? He went away sometimes, often for whole months at a time. He would always come back tired but usually quite happy.

But a month passed, and then two. Princess Egress began to worry. He had never stayed away so long. She wandered the castle every day. Nobody tried to stop her. She was, after all, the princess.

A year passed. Egress knew little of the world outside the castle. She knew it was high up on a mountain, near a village. But she had never been allowed passed the gardens. She began to take lessons with a tutor. Lenthian. Astronomy. She loved the stars. But still, her father didn’t return.

The others in the castle seemed anxious. No one would tell her what was happening

“Where’s my father?” she asked Lady Telana.

The woman’s face clouded over. “Far away,” she replied. “Too far away to come back.”

“Where is that?” Egress asked.

Telana knelt down next to her. “He is… gone, my little princess.”

Egress didn’t ask what it meant. She had had a dog who had gone away, too, far away. He was buried in the castles graveyard. She wondered in her father was there too.

Egress’s ninth birthday was somewhat subdued. War had broken out between the Lenthiens and the Rigets. “But we’re Lenthiens,” Egress asked Lady Telana. “Why aren’t we at war?”

“Because the other castle is taking care of that.” Telana said briskly. “Come on. You have to go to bed.”

The war didn’t end. But it didn’t affect the mountaintop Egress was on. She felt secluded, taken from the rest of the world. By the time she was 12, she longed to see the rest of the world. But Telana said it was too dangerous.

“Why?” Egress asked.

“Because of the other castle.”

She tried to leave the castle four times in the next three years, but was always caught. Try as she might, she was trapped.

He came to her in visions. Always cloaked in grey, his beard scrawny and thin. She sobbed for him, but he remained distant and cold.

For her fifteenth birthday she was given a knife.

“Guard it well,” Telana said. “You never know what dangers may be lurking.”

The next year was fraught with peril as the war became bloodier. Within the castle, Egress eavesdropped on the generals, hoping for news.

It was all bad. Hostages, death, and violence. The Rigets had raided the other castle. The Lenthiens had burned the Riget’s ships. They talked about her, too. How she was in danger.

She was ready. She was Egress Alun I, heir to Serpheral Alun VII, daughter of the Fair Liliete.

And on her sixteenth birthday she learned about the rebellion.

It was freezing. The frigid wind whipped her hair and her coat, blowing against her as she ran. She didn’t know where she was going. She just knew she had to get away. She couldn’t be there when they saw her grades. She couldn’t bear to look them in the eye.

She had pulled open the envelope on the bus. As usual, the letters had evaded her, rearranging themselves into incomprehensible phrases. She had stared at the paper until she could read the first grade. A B in math. Not bad.

She had kept reading, deciphering the report card as if it was a code. A C in Spanish. An A in Science. Just like usual. And then she had got to the last grade. As she got more and more upset the letters seemed harder to read. Finally, she had made them out. A D in English.

A horrible feeling of guilt had washed over her. She had crumpled the report card into the envelope and shoved it back into her backpack. She had tried her best, but it wasn’t enough. Hot tears had collected in her eyes. She had bit her lip to keep them from spilling over.

“Hyra! Hyra?” Evan was calling for her. She ignored him, taking refuge behind the chicken coop. The chickens pecked at her through the mesh. Oh, to be a chicken, not having to deal with report cards. She put her head on her knees and sat there.

Evan found her. He must have read the report. But he was blissfully normal. Even though they were twins, he had been born without dyslexia. She had had to struggle with it. “What?” she snapped. He recoiled; backing up near the ditch that water usually flowed though. Now it was bone-dry.

“Sorry.” She muttered, looking down. She etched her initials in the frozen ground. She remembered her third grade teach calling roll. “Heera?” the teacher had called.

“Hi-rah. Not Hee-rah.” Hyra had explained patiently. The teacher hadn’t believed her. She had hated third grade.

Evan was talking. “Hyra, listen. Mom and Dad aren’t angry. They understand. You should go back and talk to them. They’re thing of getting you a tutor.”

“A tutor?” Hyra yelped. She jumped up. “Never.”

Evan backed up. “Not my idea! Talk to Mom and Dad! Seriously! I didn’t think of it, they did!”

He took another step back and disappeared.

Hyra screamed. She stared at the spot he had been a second ago. She bent down and touched it. It was the oddest sensation. She could see the ground but her finger had gone. It was as if she had reached inside the ground, but she felt no resistance.

“What the heck?” she muttered. “Evan?” she called hesitantly. No answer. “Evan, if this is a trick I’m going to take your rock collection and put each rock in a different place around town so that you’ll never find it again!”

No answer. So it wasn’t a trick.

Hyra took a deep breath. She was shivering, not from cold but from fear. She dangled her legs over the side of the ditch. They disappeared, but the ground stayed very much solid. She could feel a strange force tugging at her legs, calling her deeper into the ditch, but she forced herself to stay above.

She looked back at the house. She could turn around now. She could run back and tell her parents about Evan. The police would come. Someone else could go down the ditch.

But she had a strange feeling that she was the only one who could. If she told and nobody else could get down, people would think she was crazy. Even more crazy than they thought she already was.

She looked at the house one more time before she jumped.

It was like falling into a whirlpool. The air currents dragged at her, pulling her down, tossing her around, and tearing at her. She tried to scream but she was pushed between two air winds and felt the breath leave her lungs. By the time she could breath again it was too late.

“Evan?” she yelled. She heard a muffled reply from far below her. “Are you okay?”

She couldn’t hear a word he said in reply. She crossed her arms over her chest like a mummy and let the air currents do what they wanted. Instantly, the tossed her harder, trying to get the best of her. She began to fight again, yelling and kicking as she tried to swim through the air.

She remembered last summer. They had gone to the beach for a week. The second day there, Evan had dared her to swim to the rope separating off the swimming area from the open ocean. She had reached it easily, and was taunting him, when a huge wave had snuck up behind her. She was catapulted into the water, and after a moment of being rolled around in the water, she couldn’t tell what was up and what was down. She had kicked and yelled, inhaling huge mouthfuls of water as she had struggled not to drown.

Finally she had reached the surface, only to be buffeted from behind by another wave. She had slammed her head against a rock as she struggled to swim. She remembered being washed up to the shore and faintly hearing Evan say, “Oh my god, Hyra!” before she blacked out.

All she had gotten from the experience was an ambulance ride and a concussion. She was afraid this time she might not be so lucky.

She couldn’t swim anymore. She let herself fall as the winds plucked at her. She was nauseous from being turned over and over. All she could do was let the air currents push her down… down… down

She fell onto the ground. For a moment she lay against the warm dirt, stunned. “Hyra?”

Evan was calling her name. It required gargantuan effort, but she turned her head to look at him. He was sitting up. She couldn’t see how he did that. It seemed impossible. But he had arrived before she had. He must have had time to recover.

She stood up shakily. A wave of nausea hit her, and it took all her concentration not to throw up. She took a step, and the world did a 360, threatening to make her pass out. “No.” she whispered to herself. She managed to walk over to Evan before sitting down again. “Where are we?” Hyra asked.

“No idea.” Evan looked as anxious as Hyra felt.

They stood up, leaning on each other so as not to fall again. A rush of strange power hit Hyra, smelling of trees and grass. It filled her with a strong, new energy. “Did you feel that?” she whispered to Evan. He nodded.

Now that she wasn’t lightheaded, Hyra looked around. “Mud flats!” she whispered nervously. “What? How?”

She realized she was incredibly warm. “It’s summer! Summer!”

Evan pulled off his coat and tossed it to the ground. “I don’t need that.”

Hyra bit her lip to stop herself from snapping at him. ‘This is all your fault. You had to go and fall into that ditch.”

I instead she began to walk. She didn’t look back to see if Evan was following, but a moment later she heard him run to catch up. “Where are you going?” he asked.

“Somewhere. We have to find people somewhere.” She knew this wasn’t true, but she couldn’t bear to face the alternative. So they walked.

In time they came to the center of the mud flats, a boiling, roiling trickle of a stream that reminded Hyra of Yellowstone. She steered around it; careful not to inhale it’s noxious fumes.

From there the mud flats sloped downward, a seemingly never-ending landscape of browns. Hyra nearly gave up there, but Evan kept walking, so she forced her legs to follow him.

It wasn’t until hours later that there was any change in the scenery. They came to the top of a small hill and a green ocean, with waves rippling through it.

“Grass.” Evan whispered, and Hyra knew he was right.

They had just reached the grasslands as the sun went down. They continued to walk, in the near dark, until they reached the first hill.

“I’m not climbing that tonight!” Evan exclaimed. “Let’s camp at the bottom.” Hyra agreed, but as soon as she lay down on the grass she knew she wouldn’t sleep. Evan was already snoring, so she stood up and tiptoed past him, onto the wide expanse of grass.

And the moon came out very suddenly, filling the plains with a silver light. Hyra began to run, faster and faster, leaping for the sheer pleasure of it, and the moon was her spotlight. She ran until she collapsed onto the grass, panting. She giggled, and then laughed louder, her heart singing. Here was where she belonged. She knew it in her heart. The heavy weight that she carried around in her stomach was gone, replaced by a tremendous light feeling.
She picked herself up and slowly made her way back to where Evan lay sleeping. The sin was rising, casting a glow over the hills. She should have been terrified, but instead she was elated.

Kicking Evan with her foot to wake him, she began to climb the hill. She struggled against the wind, her hair blowing sharply into her eyes. She grass spread out in front of her, tall and thin, individual fronds ticking her hands. She could hear Evan behind her, climbing diligently. She was panting by the time she reached the top.

They were huge. The grass spread in front of them like a vast green sea. At the horizon she could see the tops off tall trees bending in the wind. Evan stopped beside her, breathing heavily.

Hyra sighed and ran down the hill, Evan sprinting beside her. She reached the bottom and fell to her hands and knees in the grass, laughing.

“It’s big,” Evan said, awed.

“I know.”

“I*’m hungry.”

Hyra was, too. Her lunch seemed hours ago, and now that she had been running she felt completely drained of energy. “Me, too.”

Evan put a hand in the pocket of his jeans. “I have m&m’s,” he offered halfheartedly.

“How old are they?” Hyra eyed the lumps of chocolate sitting in his hand.

“No idea.”

She took one from his palm. It tasted faintly of soap, but she chewed it and grabbed another.

Soon they were gone and Evan couldn’t find any more. They began to walk again, idly talking so as to make the time pass faster. Hills of grass rose before them, but it didn’t bother so much as bore them.

Finally Hyra could see individual trees in the forest ahead. She hurried her pace, and Evan kept up with her. They reached the last hill, and struggled to the top, the wind blowing strongly across their faces. It was dusk, and the air was getting cooler. Evan shivered as they made their way down the rise. In front of them was the forest; the trees rising like columns in a vast temple. The ground was littered with pine needles.

It was a relief to Hyra to step onto dirt. I wasn’t grass. She could feel it sink beneath her feet, the pleasant bounciness it made, the way it seemed to hold onto her shoe, just a bit.

She could see the stars through the canopy, twinkling with the same glow that they had back home. Where am I? She wondered, her eyes tearing up just a bit.

Where am I?

They camped in a tree.

I was the only logical thing to do. Who knew what animals roamed the forest floor here? Hyra climbed on tree, Evan the next. Hyra fell into the state that wasn’t sleep, but wasn’t wakefulness. As she lay against the rough trunk she heard voices, but she couldn’t tell if they were real or in her dreams.

“Any rebels out here tonight?” The voice was male, with a gruff tone to it.

“Not stupid enough to hide out here…know we search every night…” The second man’s voice was softer, sometimes too so to be heard.

“Ha!” Gruff-voice snorted. “Stupid is right. Why else would they go against the king?”

“I don’t know.” Soft-voice seemed nervous. “Let’s get out of here.”

Hyra heard footsteps crunching on the ground and then a long silence. An owl hooted in a nearby tree. She fell asleep to the sound of crickets.

She woke up falling. She landed the ground, unhurt and completely awake. She brushed leaves off herself and hissed, “Evan!”


“Wake. Up.”

He slid down from his tree, rubbing his eyes. The sun shone through the heavy clouds, a faded reminder of their home. Through the trees, Hyra could see rain clouds, dark and foreboding, marching across the sky like a great arm. She shivered as a drop of water fell and burst on her head.

“Just our luck,” she muttered. “Rained on.”

Evan looked up at the sky. “The forest isn’t too big.”

“I should hope not.”

Hyra was still sore from walking through the grass, as she was sure Evan felt the same as they plodded though the forest. In time the trees began to thin out and she could feel the rain hit her face.

She hurried on, her hair drenched in the downpour. Evan’s dark hair was plastered to her face; his brown eyes squinted against the storm.

And there it was, rising out of the trees, a stone mausoleum, huge and sinister. The rain had turned the blue stone to black, and it looked like a huge tomb.

She glanced at Evan and he nodded.

Together, the walked through the huge stone gates, into the city.

Similar books


This book has 0 comments.