Friday Fiction- Part 4 of Safia’s Story

“And how old are you Safia?” Bryony asked.

“Fourteen rings,” I replied, squaring my shoulders a bit.

The old woman let out a harsh sounding cackle that quickly turned into a cough.

“Fourteen eh,” she said once she’d recovered, “and decided to become an old one already?”

My brow knit together in confusion. How did she know where I was going? Then she answered my silent question.

“No one comes out of that forest unless they’re journeying to the place of the souls child.”

“How old are you?” I asked as I finally worked up the courage to sit by the fire and accept her offer of meat.

“More rings than one tree can hold. As many rings as the entire forest,” she replied.

Deciding that it was best not to answer such a blatant lie, I bent over my meal and savored the hot juices that filled my mouth.

When we had finished the old woman declared that it was time to move on; apparently she planned on joining me. I offered to carry her heavy pack and she accepted with a nod.

We walked for days, though walked might be a bit of an exaggeration. Bryony was knarled and bent, she was as slow as a snail leaving its trail of slime along a branch. If she hadn’t had an uncanny ability to find water holes, I might have considered leaving her behind. If I was being honest though, I felt better for having her there. She was my only company in this lonely place, so I checked my pace and allowed my mind to wander on endless daydreams.

That’s why I noticed the danger a few steps too late.

What should they encounter?

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16 Responses to Friday Fiction- Part 4 of Safia’s Story

  1. This is getting juicy, and not just because of Bryony’s rodent meat. I had to go back to read last week’s, but I’m caught up again. Do they find cross into the lands of another race, once thought died away? Predatory creatures? Fall into abandoned mines, now filled with predatory creatures? Endless possibilities. Does Bryony have any redeeming qualities? Good fun, Nicole!

    • Nicole says:

      Thanks for reading, and for all those great ideas! I’m glad you’re enjoying the story. This has been a lot of fun and a great way to keep me doing a bit of writing that is fun and purely creative each week.

  2. Val says:

    Forest crawlers of some sort. The old lady proves that she is more than just old and slow.

  3. Denise Falvo says:

    Love the idea of Friday Fiction, and your engaging story and characters. :) Well, the danger needs to add something more to the story that a quick heart thump– so I vote for some kind of animal that becomes another companion. I like threesomes, you can always get some good conflict if two don’t particularly get along.

  4. Donna says:

    Great ideas! Something surprising, not as dangerous as first thought, eventually a companion of sorts who keeps its distance (& the older woman does something intriguing like the other suggestion). This is fun!

  5. Sarah L Fox says:

    I really like the way you used the tree rings for age reference. And a cliff-hanger! Looking forward to more, as always! :)

  6. Haha, I love the tree rings idea. At first I wondered what she was talking about, but you really made the explanation blend in nicely. Well done!

  7. Scott Hutchinson says:

    The old woman falls and is injured. The young woman must choose between staying with her or going off to find help. I would like to see more character development between the two, without adding anything new. Good stuff Nicole !

    • Nicole says:

      Thanks for the comment and great idea Scott! I like the idea of testing Safia’s character. I think I had better start writing today so I can work out all the details by Friday! I appreciate you reading the story :)

  8. That tree ring/age thing is awesome. And I think someone should fall into a hunter’s pit trap, or trigger a snare. Something that wouldn’t be obvious unless you were looking for it.

    And congrats on being RAOK blitzed too!

    • Nicole says:

      Thanks for stopping by and reading Miriam! I love your ideas for what Safia might encounter.

      I was thrilled to be “blitzed” :) Sarah is so thoughtful and I love the whole idea of random acts of kindness. I’m headed over to check out your blog now!

I would love to hear from you!