The spear felt awkward in Anna's hand.
Shireen, holding an identical spear, circled her. For the past hour, the two had been fighting a mock series of battles.
Anna had been surprised that Elma insisted that she stay in the cave for a couple of days. "You have to learn how to defend yourself," the older creature said. "Our world is very dangerous, and it wouldn't feel right for me to send you and Shireen off without you knowing a few basics."
The spears tips were blunted, and the two wore a padded armour, but that didn't completely prevent injury. Anna now sported several welts and bruises. Shireen had not felt the tip of Anna's spear at all.
A feint from Shireen caused Anna to stumble over her own feet. Anna tumbled and landed on her rear.
"It's amazing that the girl has survived this long, " Teak said to Elma. The two watched the battle intently on the sidelines. Shireen helped Anna to her feet again and squared off. Teak winced as the flat of Shireen's spear slammed against the side of Anna's left rib with a loud *twack*.
Elma frowned, her arms crossed. "Do these humans teach nothing to their young? How do they hunt?"
"I've encountered a few human hunters in my time, " Teak said. "They carry what they call a gun. It's a device that spits a small metal projectile at very fast speeds. It doesn't take much skill." Teak's ears flatted against his head. "It's also very loud."
Elma looked down at the teakettler, "It seems like you've had personal experience with these guns."
"Let's just say that humans can get quite upset if you take some of their food."
Another loud *twack* echoed through the room as Shireen landed another blow. Anna stifled a cry of pain.
"They'll have to leave soon. The longer she stays, the closer the fairies get to tracking her down," Elma said. "My magic can only slow them down. Not stop them."
Elma looked down at Teak, "Are you sure about this? Helping her I mean?"
Teak huffed, "Teakettlers walk backwards because we seek adventure. This is the most interesting thing that I've backed into all century... well aside from that wasp's nest."
"And what about you," Teak said cocking his head. "You're sending your only daughter off with someone who can't defend herself. Heck, Anna barely understands the seriousness of the situation."
"Our people believe in the ebb and flow of life." Elma said. "Anna has been carried in to our lives by the tide, and like a wave, she must return to where she came from. We do our best to ensure that the natural cycle continues on."
Another *twack* carried through the room, this time it was the sound of wood on wood. Anna had blocked Shireen's thrust.
"Well done!" Shireen exclaimed.
"I just pray they encounter calm seas."
Author's Note: Hi everyone, Abarlest here. This might be the last page for a few days. I'm heading out on a road-trip and won't have regular access to a computer. HOWEVER, I am taking a tablet with me and do intend on working on the story when I get the chance. Rest assured, there will be updates, but it might not be for 5 or 6 days.
I also want to take this moment and thank you all for the positive feedback that I've gotten. I've written on and off and for much of my adult life and I've never felt that my work was good enough to share. This site has provided me with a safe space to post my writing and I want to continue to be an active member.
Again that you all so much for reading my story. I know it doesn't seem like much, but it means a lot to me.
Catch you folks in a few days!