yes, we are indeed starting in the middle of a paragraph. Let me know what you think about the awesome scene between Ami and Peebs…
When she had received her pack there had been a duplicate stone and a hidden compartment, where she had hidden her real stone. She glanced through it and noticed that the real stone was gone.
They took it. She realized and breathed a sigh of relief, gripping her Nomorim tight. It hummed lightly in her palm. She grabbed her canteen of water, carefully, the pain was still exquisite, and guzzled it down. As she screwed the cap back on, a prickly feeling traveled up her back. She turned, but there were no eyes peeping out through the darkness. The feeling didn’t go away, so she slowly stood, shouldering her pack, not relinquishing her tight grip on her stone. Her eyes watered as sore muscles protested loudly.
I can’t do this…And she collapsed on the ground, a scream escaping her lips as her whole body groaned in pain. She bit her lip, uncertain of whether to try to stand again or to wait and go after she was feeling a little bit better. She heard rustling behind her and turned quickly, pushing the pain away in favor of looking for danger. In that moment she decided that moving on, no matter the torture, for she didn’t know if these woods were friendly or not. So once again, slower than before, she stood and took one tentative step. Her leg muscles gave out. She stood again and took another step.
I have to get out of here! Was her last thought before the welcome blackness enveloped her for the fourth time that day.
She never could have imagined where she would end up.
Korle plodded along behind Ami, her mind buzzing. She wasn’t at all sure she was safe anymore with the wizards. Ami had seemed almost prepared for ‘s attack and it had been carried out with a cold precision that sent shivers down her spine. With every step she regretted leaving karstrel behind. She desperately wanted to know where they were going, but feared asking. She felt slightly comforted by Peebles presence, for he seemed slightly less unhinged than his brother at the moment. As she was processing all of this Peebles was, for the first time, plotting mutiny.
They stopped for the night by a stream at the edge of the wood. Ami started a fire with his magic and Peebles stalked off.
“Where is he going?” Korle asked, trying to mask the fear in her voice.
“He’s hunting food for us.” Ami responded without looking at her. “He’ll be back soon.”
“Oh.” She cleared a spot in the grass and sat down. AMi looked over at her, examining her profile carefully.
“Are you all right?” She glanced up at him, questioningly as her heart pounded in her ears. He shrugged. “We didn’t stop much. It was a tiring journey.”
“It was fine.”
He looked down again. “Good, because tomorrow we’ll probably be traveling at the same pace.” Korle nodded, wondering if she’d even be able to walk tomorrow or if she’d be left crumpled on the ground like Karstrel.
Peebles returned a little later with a deer, which was cooked and eaten in short time. Dark descended quickly and the three slept. Korle woke several times, anxious about what might happen to her the following morning. The third time she did so, she thought she heard a whisper say, “Go back to sleep Korle, I’m watching out for you.” And she slept until morning.
The three rose in the morning and continued on their journey. It was during this walking time that Korle began to learn how to control her stone. She was behind Ami and in front of Peebles again and they had walked for two or three hours with little rest. Fear was gnawing at the edges of her imagination. She gripped her stone and felt green warmth spread through her. And she saw the tree move. It wasn’t much, maybe a centimeter, but it was enough. THe tree was out of Amikol’s line of sight, but she was fairly certain that Peebles saw it because the panther behind her emitted a chuckle. She glanced back and saw him grinning, as much as a panther could anyway. She smiled too and started playing a game of sorts. She would pick out a tree farther up the path. As soon as Ami passed it she would try to move it; and she had until she passed it. She successfully moved four trees in about an hour. After that she decided to try other things. She began moving rocks, flowers, grass, leaves, water, all out of Amikol’s eye line.
Every day she did this practice expanding her knowledge of her power and gaining control over her unconsciousness and emotions. Their fifth night of travel Peebles left to get food, as he had the four nights previous. Ami and Korle were silent. Korle was silently exulting in her success of the day, she had experimented with water. She had bent it and whirled it and, shortly before they had stopped, she had created a mini water spout. She replayed the scene in her mind until a shadow fell over her. She looked up into Amikol’s face.
“I need your stone Korle.”
“What?” she scrambled to her feet.
“Give me your stone.” His voice was low and menacing, his face a mask of hatred that had not shown before.
She grabbed her locket tightly. “No, I can’t do that. You told me not to.”
He smirked. “You think you have a choice.” Yellow fire sparkled around his fists. “You don’t. I will get your Nomorim.”
Korle took that opportunity to reach out with the stone that she gripped so tightly and grab a tree. She threw it between herself and the wizard, jumping back as it landed. She heard a panther growl and fled.
Peebles saw Ami walk up to Korle. She stood, grabbing her Nomorim. He couldn’t decide. What if Ami was right and this was the only way to keep the magic safe? Then he saw her move the tree as Ami threw a bolt of magic. He sprang into action, leaping toward his brother, claws at the ready. As he landed on Ami’s back, he growled a warning to Korle. Ami blasted him off and he flew, his claws scraping off his brother’s skin as he went. Ami screamed in pain and turned toward the mutineer. Peebs twisted, landing on his feet. They stood, facing each other.
“What…are you…doing?” Ami gasped for breath, trying to recover from the excruciating pain.
“This is wrong.” Peebles growled.
“No.” Ami shook his head. “This is the only way.”
Peebs transformed into his human body. “How do we know? What makes you think that we can keep the Nomorims safe?”
“I know that we can. We are the most powerful wizards of the clans and as such are completely capable of keeping the stones from those who would take them.”
“It isn’t our right to take them from their proper owners!”
Peebles saw the madness glint through his brother’s eyes.
“What makes you think so?”
“You, too, are questioning me?” A different light entered those eyes.
Peebles had just enough time to throw up a wall of magic before Ami struck. He had, for so long, lived int he shape of a panther that his reflexes were slow. He and Ami both knew that a battle of magics would leave him the loser. He started to sweat, feeling the full force of Ami’s power streaming on him. Peebs looked through his semi-transparent shield and realized that his brother now viewed him as an enemy. He wouldn’t give up until the enemy was obliterated. He gave a push of extra power into the shield and broke off, shifting into his panther form with ease. He braced himself as the shield dissolved. The stream of magic came straight toward him ruthlessly. He quickly jumped to the side and ran toward Ami, powerfully leaping over the magic. Ami couldn’t move fast enough. Peebs scratched and tore more skin, focusing on areas that were weak already.
Ami managed a strangled gasp, and fell to his knees. Peebs broke away, to circle around and attack again. Amikol took advantage and threw several balls of magic, effectively knocking the panther off his feet and throwing him into the tree that Korle had moved. Ami approached the broken, large cat who was struggling to rise. He looked down on his kin.
“I should kill you.” Yellow eyes pleaded with him. “But I won’t. If only because you’re my brother.” The once friendly dark brown eyes were now cold. “No doubt other creatures will come feed on you. I’ll come back for your stone later, when you’re picked dry and human once more.” Then he was gone and Peebs was left at the base of the tree to perish.