The Decision

That was the day. Beri'd had enough of this--this meaninglessness. 

She was standing in the doorway, bag over her shoulder, gazing sightlessly at the empty house. Her parents were gone at some social gathering, so she had the house to herself. That's all it was, really. Just a house. Never a home.

She'd decided to leave. She couldn't stay in the city, or risk being caught running away. This was the tough part.

The city of Huskarid was situated in the middle of a desert. Surrounding the desert was a monstrous range of mountains. The city had been cut off from civilization for centuries. Huskarid was an old city, really, and the desert hadn't always been there. In fact, the mountains hadn't ever been there either until a few centuries ago. Legends had told of how the kingdom of Huskarid was lush with vibrant green and life. Water had flown freely in rivers and streams, and skylarks trilled in joyful song. That was before the great battle of Netheret, a battle that changed everything.

There used to be another kingdom next to Huskarid, Nether. The king of Nether was unshamefully greedy, and he wanted all of fertile land, including the kingdom of Huskarid. Thus, he waged war against King Huska, a war in which many lives were foolishly lost. King Huska easily crushed Nether's forces. He grew bold, and, as he was greedy also, he send his forces to obliterate the city of Nether. 

King Huska had the king of Nether surrounded by his men, their swords pointing at his neck. "Any last words?" he'd tauntingly asked the shamed king. That was a mistake. Huska had forgotten that the king was the most powerful magic-wielder around. He'd grown overconfident in his achievements. "Yes, I do." Then the king of Nether drew up all of his great strength and made the earth rumble. Out from the ground rose enormous towers of mountains, so huge that they forever shadowed the city of Huskarid. "From now on, and forevermore," the king roared, "this city of Huskarid will be a desert, and plants shall die, and people shall grow weary and bickering, and there will never be peace here again!" And with that, the wasted king of Nether collapsed dead to the ground, for what he did was too much for any man to survive. King Huska grew beet-red with rage, and he ordered the offending city of Nether razed to the ground, and it was.

And from that day on, everything was as the ruined king had foretold. The mountains isolated the city and made a desert of it. Crops and living things withered and died. Humans squabbled. No one was happy. 

That much Beri knew. There had to be something out there, something worth finding beyond this old, dried shell of a city, beyond this dead desert and foreboding mountains. Beri resolved to find it. And she made her decision. She'd travel through the desert and mountains and find somewhere that wasn't cursed. "Goodbye," she'd whispered to the silent house, and she'd never laid sight on it or her parents ever again.

The End

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