mike_itong's entry into the Summer Prose competition 2010. A collection of scenario's from a fantasy world.
Acton sighed in relief as another cool breeze brushed against his face, cooling the warm beads of sweat that appeared on his forehead thanks to the blistering heat. Lying flat on a grassy hill, face skyward and eyes squinting just enough to protect him from the terrific brightness of the sun, the young man enjoyed the perks of yet another day of stifling heat. In the distance he heard the pleasant sound of the blue-bellied robin, it’s musical voice soothing and relaxing Acton’s body.
For the past week, the weather’s effect had a similar effect on Acton as the soothing robin’s song. It caused his mind to think slower and his body to react sloppier than it normally would. Where as the winters would sharpen his mind and body, the autumns making him a bit more reserved and cautious and the spring giving him a feeling of rebirth, summer would have an opposite effect and make him more lazy and careless. It was times like these that his father, as strict and unmoving as a winter blizzard, would go positively fanatical about the care taking of the village and the production of its goods. Too many times his father would chastise him for slacking off on either his item enchanting or guard duties. “Your head’s always in the clouds during these dog days boy!” he would say.
Acton blinked twice before rolling over onto his stomach, brought back to the earth and all its bitter realities. Reaching for his sun tanned moose-cow sling bag, he fumbled with its contents before feeling a familiar metallic tube. He brought the device, known in his province as a Tel’Salscope or as the Eastern folk of Nippon would say a “telescope”, to his eye and concentrated on a slim figure headed towards him.
Her hair flowed behind her like an auburn stream of water and her dress, as green as the healthiest grass during the spring, caused him to perk up a bit. Arden was the gentle and fair skinned sister of three local militiamen and the daughter of a respected soldier who served in the blighted, ash-ridden mountains of Caleon. Besides that she was also a girl whom Acton and several other boys of the village found very attractive.
She’s like a beautiful scarlet petal rose in bloom, a rainbow winged butterfly emerging in a graceful splendor from her chrysalis a… Acton’s mind drifted skywards yet again, lost in a trail of roses and butterflies. So lost in fact that he did not notice that Arden had come very close to him, close enough to see him staring absentmindedly into the Tel’Salscope.
“Acton?” She said in her quiet voice. Her olive green eyes were concentrated on the skinny, scruffy haired young man sheepishly rubbing his neck and uttering an apology. The grin on his face- a warm and inviting smile that either won you over or insisted on the idea that he had done something wrong or was avoiding some sort of manual labor-made her smile.
“Yes Arden?” Acton replied, getting to his feet.
“Your father is looking for you Acton…and I’m not sure if he’s in the most joyous of moods today,” she said. The mention of his father wiped the grin out from Acton’s face. He cringed as he mentally pictured his father’s face; a great scowl on a face as red as a rosy jumping sparrow, eyebrows sloping downwards like the slanted side of a mountain and teeth grinding upon one another much like the chewing of a hungry deer-rabbit. “I’m sure he won’t be terribly angry…”
Acton smiled weakly before taking a deep breath. “Well let’s just hope so Arden,” he said. He beckoned her to him and placed one arm over her shoulders. “Otherwise I’ll need to visit a doctor in Remus to fix my broken body after the old man’s done with me.” Arden stared at him in shock for a moment before smiling at a familiar wink and grin. She slapped his stomach playfully before taking off down the hill, silently challenging him to a race to the village. Acton ran after her, feeling a renewed sense of energy that replaced the laziness put into him by the hot summer day.
Halfway down the hill he noticed the familiar and somewhat depressing sight of a rosy jumping sparrow mother desperately chirping and flying in between her eggs and a hungry rat. This rat however was several times larger than most average rats found in the village. In fact, if his mind was not so filled with thoughts of Arden and his father, he would have noticed that the rat was wearing a filthy leather collar, a shoddy ensign of a boar’s head etched onto it.