Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fire's Cry Part 1 by Shannon Magowan

Fire's Cry

By: Shannon Magowan     

     The large shadow of a dragon blankets the earth beneath us as we walk towards an open field. It swoops down just above our heads close enough to touch, creating a strong blast of wind that sends us forward a few feet before it retreats into the low hanging clouds once more. I grip my sword handle nervously and pull it out a few inches, but Ulf's strong grip pushes it back down.
     "Not here. Not now. You're trying to gain the dragon's trust, not kill it."
     "I never wanted to be a Viking," I say irritably. Just because I'm a Grevidian, people think I want to storm beaches and pillage cities and other ships.
     "Finn, we were born in Grevidia, that's what we do. We steal. Why can't you accept that?"
     "You have it easy. You like dragons and sword fighting and you don't care about killing. You're the warrior of the family, not me."
     "I'm your twin. We're practically the same person."
     I look at Ulf with questioning eyes. Though our facial features are identical- thin, extremely blond hair, pale blue eyes, pale skin (just like every single person in Grevidia)- Ulf is the athlete. He's built strong enough to fight with a war ax, he's tall, and he's pretty much good at everything. And me? Wiry and terrible at everything. I can barely handle a sword.
     We take one more step and look out from the top of the grassy hill. Below us stretches a valley with buildings and arenas scattered here and there to form the shape of a dragon claw, the sign of Grevidian Vikings. And there's dragons. Everywhere. Forget the fact they can incinerate you in the blink of an eye, their mere size is enough to scare the living daylights out of you. Unless you're Ulf.
      Ulf just looks up dumbly at the beasts. "Cool," he says as a dragon unexpectedly charges another one, knocking both of their riders off. The terrified students are dangling by their waists from a thin  cord that keeps them from falling to their deaths.
     "Stop yelling and climb back on you idiots!" Their instructor shouts from the back of a long, serpent like dragon with silver scales.
     Ulf nudges me. "C'mon, it'll be fun!" He starts walking down the hill with excitement as I lag behind. Yeah, I'd love to get charged by a dragon and almost die. Sounds way better than learning how to sail. I asked Pappa if I could learn navigation instead of participating in Viking Training, but he just laughed. He didn't even take my request seriously. 'My boy? A sailor?' He had laughed at that like I had just made a joke. 'My sons will grow up to be even greater warriors than their Pappa could be.' Then he gave me a sword and told me it was a gift I was to use in training. He had taught me the basics, and I still can't use it well. I had no way out of it, and it's too late now. I'm stuck for good.
     At the bottom of the hill we're greeted by a teenager who looks no older than eighteen. His eyes are a tealish color, and his hair just as blond as everyone else. It's tied back in a short, thin braid, a few stray pieces hanging in his eyes. He smiles. "Stig's boys, aren't ya? Been waiting for you two to turn fourteen. Now I get the honor to train one of the best warrior's sons. I'm Odin, Son of Anker."
     "I'm Ulf and this is my twin, Finn." Ulf extends his hand, and suddenly I realize that this kid has already lost a hand. A silver hook replaces it.
      Odin shakes Ulf with his one hand and leads us towards the building closest to us. It stands tall with carved stone pillars framing the small double doors. Odin grabs one of the door's handles with his hook and shoves the door open; its creaking echoes across the great hall inside with its domed roof. Small holes are splashed across the ceiling in no particular pattern. Then I look down at the black marble floor and notice that all the different sized holes in the roof create dozens of constellations when the sun shines through them. It has to be the design of a true architect.
     We stop at the end of the dome where a man sits, sharpening a long, curved knife on a stone. He looks up and wipes his knife with a stained white cloth before putting it down next to the other five on the table. He stands up.
     He towers above us, even Odin. He has a stone cold face marked with a long red scar that stretches from the corner of his right eye to his lip. His beard is stubby- barely noticeable with its blond color- and he has flaxen hair that reaches to his elbows. Braids appear here and there inside it, bound by brass clasps with designs engraved on them. He wears a fur vest like most Vikings, and the ivory horns on his helmet stretch far out in each direction.
     His lips curl in a cold smile. "Stig has told me a lot about you, Ulf."
     Sure, don't even notice me. Even my Dad couldn't find anything about me he could be proud of.          "I'm Jarl Dag. I am the leader of the Grevidian Vikings. You will begin your training today. You'll start with learning how to ride a dragon, and work from there. Odin, take them to Draken Stables. Let them get acquainted with their steeds. With any luck, ah... they won't eat you."
     The sound of fire being spewed and the crackle of flames comes from the field, then the loud, panicked voice of a girl shouts a curse in the old Grevidian tongue. Another voice belonging to a man yells out some muffled words before I hear him say, "Let go of Mina! No! Drop the girl! Don't you dare bight down. WindHowl, drop the Viking! Drop it," then a thump onto the ground. "We need a doctor! Let's go, hurry up!"
     I stare at the door, then back at Dag. He only smirks. "They're harmless," he reassures.
     Odin leads us out into the field again, and the smell of smoke hangs low in the air. A section of long grass behind the Draken Stables is still smoldering as we stand in front of the entrance.
     "You ready?" Ulf asks.
     I don't answer. All I can think of right now is just how dead I'm going to be in two minutes.

To Be Continued...  

Note: Though the names seem weird, I'm trying to keep to true Scandinavian style (names and titles really) for anyone who will continue my story. And Jarl is just the Scandinavian title for lord.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Captured! Part 3, by Aili

After a long afternoons work of chopping carrots and doing dishes, Ms. Canmore finally let me go. "I suppose you can stay in my tent for the night, I have a spare bed anyway." she continued in a harsh way "If you don't try to murder me in my sleep". I rolled my eyes "I don't plan to." I turned my back to her and walked out.

 I looked around, it was already quite dark out. Most of the men were sitting around a fire, talking and laughing to each other. I was freezing, for my wool shawl wasn't enough. I thought about running, but there were too many men guarding the borders of the camp.

I turned my head and saw a young Redcoat coming towards me. "Are you Samantha?" I looked at him. I would of guessed that he was around seventeen. "Yes, I am." I said with an attitude. He came closer. "I have orders to take you to the prisoner tent." He had short brown hair, green eyes and a face covered in freckles. "Prisoner tent? I'm staying with Ms. Canmore." I said with confidence. "I'm sorry, I must take you to the prisoner tent. Trust me, it's better than it sounds." I crossed my arms and grunted "Fine". He smiled "Follow me".

I followed him into a small tent with a dirt floor, same as the kitchen. In it were two grungy mats with a few blankets. He picked up a frayed rope and I just sighed. "Do you really have to tie me up? It's not like I'm gonna go wandering threw the forest at night, alone." He smiled agian "Good to know, but neither of us has a choice." I put my arms out and he wrapped the rope around my wrists. "Yikes! Not too tight." I yelled. He laughed "Sorry" and loosened the knot. "I'm Miller by the way". He finished and let me sit down. "Good night, Samantha."

When he left, I expected I'd cry. I mean, for goodness sakes, I'm being held hostage by the Redcoats! But instead, I smiled and let out a brief blush. I kind of got mad at myself, was I really blushing over a Redcoat who had just tied me up?

The night was long and very, very cold. I swear, I was numb they entire night. When the sun finally arose, I wondered if I could exit the tent, for only my hands were tied. I decided to wait until someone came and got me to help with breakfast. After waiting about an hour, Miller finally came and got me. "Good morning!" He said cheerfullly. "Now, I'll untie you, but you must promise not to run. Promise?" I stood up to let him untie me. "I promise".

Miller took me to the kitchen and right away,  Ms. Canmore was bossing me around. "Now,  I'm gonna start on breakfast, so I need you to peel the potatoes for lunch, Then, you can hand out breakfast and do the dishes." As hard as it was for me to respect her, she was just a hardworking old widow trying to cook for God knows how many men. "Yes, Ma'am." I replied. 

After the potatoes were peeled, Ms. Canmore, had me hand out bowls of some kind of mush that was supposed to be edible. Not surprisingly, it tasted even worse then it looked.

After handing out breakfast and having my own, Miller approached me. "Do you miss your camp?" I looked at him. "Yes." He thought for a moment, " All of this must be very overwhelming for you." I quickly replied "Yes, it sure is." There was a short pause "Ms. Canmore must be hard to work with. I'll see if you can get the day off, and spend it with me?" I smiled "That would be nice, although, I'm a prisoner, not a guest."

 To be continued! I hoped you enjoyed it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Captured! Part 2, by Rachel S

They took me across the camp, looking around, I saw soldiers in redcoats walking around, talking, sharing a laugh, a few were sitting around a small fire they made, their rifles at their sides. I hesitated but I felt a sharp pain on my arm as he pulled me.
" Hurry," He said in a military manner.
a shiver went down my spine. what would happen to me now? We walked up to a bigger tent. A ramshackle sign said it was the dining hall. He stopped at the entrance and called for someone to come out. An older lady walked out, an apron on, she looked hot, like she was bent over a stove for a long time.
" Ms. Canmore, We have a girl here who'd be of help to you in the kitchen," He said.
Ms. Canmore looked older, weathered face, tall and stern. She looked down at me.
" Whats your name?" She asked.
" Samantha Braxton Ma'am," I said, looking down at my foot that was scuffing a rock on the ground.
" Speak up girl! I can't hear you, look me in the eyes when you speak," She said.
I looked up, into her stern eyes, her brown hair wispy pulled into a bun, she looked tired.
" Samantha Braxton Ma'am," I said a little louder.
Ms. Canmore looked at the soldier, sighed and folded her arms.
" I'll keep her out of trouble, come on Samantha," She said.
The soldier let me go like a hot iron, I felt my arm trying to soothe the pain out of it. But I didn't get any time to think because before I knew it, Ms. Canmore was pushing me inside the tent, telling me what to do in a rushed manner. I was scared.
to be contiued 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Captured! Part 1, by Kathryn

First off, I want to thank everyone for their many story ideas! It was extremely hard to pick one. I don't think any one time period would please everybody, so I finally just had to choose one. I think we will have a lot of fun with it, and I can't wait to begin! Don't be disappointed if it wasn't exactly what you wanted; we will do more stories!

Setting: Revolutionary War, the American Army
Main Character: Samantha Katherine Smyth

Disclaimer: All characters and battles are fictional. I didn't want to take the time to historically research this. 

So without further ado, let us begin. 


     "Oh, bother! Not again!" 
     With a grunt, I hurried towards the large tent in front of me. Its flickering walls stood out against the dark background of woods behind it. The night was starless and chilly, my every breath forming a cloud.
     "Hank," I began, pushing back the tent flap. But I stopped short when the heads of a dozen officers shot up from the table. 
     "Yes, Samantha, what is it?" one of them asked.
    "Sorry, I'll come back later, sir," I apologized, leaving the tent and allowing the men to return to their conference.
     The man was Captain Henry Braxton, or Hank as I called him. He had been a good friend of my now departed father, Edward Smyth. My father had served under him until a year prior, when he was killed by a British bullet. He made Captain Braxton promise to take care of me, which he was ever willing to do. The captain knew how close I had been to my darling father, so much so that I had followed him to the battlefield, my mother being deceased since I was a young child.
     Hank was truly more like a grandfather to me in age, but loved me like a daughter, and we grew ever so close. He had continually cared for me, making sure my every need was met, even if that meant less for him.
     I suppose I should tell you a bit about myself. My name is Samantha Katherine Smyth. At the time of this story, I was 15 years old, living in the camp of the American Army. The soldiers there knew me as Sam, the fiery redhead who had a temper to match. In the camp, I was water girl, seamstress, cook and even nurse if need be. I would do most anything that needed to be done, though I was getting quite tired of fetching Hank's horse, who rather enjoyed straying from camp. 
    At last, after 20 minutes or so, the officers departed the tent and mounted their waiting horses. Off they galloped into the dark night, the sound of hooves fading into the distance.
    I entered the army tent once more, glad to find the captain by himself, smoking his pipe.
    "Ah, there you are, darling. I hope your matter wasn't of too much importance. I tried to hurry them along," he said, rising from his seat. I hugged him and began irritably,
    "It's that horse of yours. He's gone and deserted again."
    Hank laughed heartily, the gold buttons on his fine uniform tinkling.
    "Dear me, what shall we do with that thing? I'm afraid I have to go over these papers with Lieutenant Atchinson in a few minutes. Would you be so kind as to locate the animal?"
    I grunted.
    "I shall, but if he does it again, I will have him hung."
    Smiling, Hank shook his head and returned to the many papers strewn across the makeshift table.
    He was white-haired, with the exception of a small amount of grey on his sideburns. He had a long and thin face, one that had been quite dashing in his youth. When he smiled, wrinkles would appear around his blue eyes.
    While he had a soft and gentle side, the side that I saw most, Hank could still be the stern and ever intimidating Captain Braxton. His passion for freedom and liberty spread to his men like a wildfire. Even when a battle seemed lost, he would shout with all his might, "Onward to victory!", reviving their dimmed hopes and spirits.
    Hank planned to take me with him back to Philadelphia-his home-once the war was over. I think, though, that every day he worried that he might be killed- not for fear of dying; he would gladly do so for his country-but that I would be left without soul in the world.
    "Will you be able to have supper when I get back?" I asked the captain.
    "Yes, I believe so, darling. I'm sorry you've had to wait so long. I'll try to hurry with Lieutenant Atchinson, all right?"
    "And I'll hurry and find that stubborn animal," I sighed, leaving the tent.
    "Oh, and take a soldier with you," he called.
    I took a lantern, lit it, and headed for the far woods where the mischievous animal liked to roam. I knew the place well, for we had been camped here for quite some time. I don't need one of the men, I thought. They'll only be sore for me interrupting their card game.
    I wandered deeper and deeper into the woods, whistling and beckoning for the horse to come. The moon and stars had at last come out from behind the billowing clouds, aiding my plight in finding the lost animal.
    As I continued to shine my lantern about, a soft rustle sounded in the brush behind me. I whirled around, but no horse was there. Stealthily I walked forward and around a grove of thick bushes. My dim light suddenly fell upon two men crouched on the ground. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the brightly colored uniforms and the scowl etched on their faces. 
    Before I could muster a scream, a hand clapped over my mouth and I was forced to the damp earth.
    "You blundering fools! What am I to do with this child?" a voice howled. 
    "Sir, she was about to give us away! We had to take her." 
    I held my breath, not daring to open my eyes. Where am I?  
    "You had better be glad she didn't. Our entire attack would be ruined if the American camp knew we were here." 
    My heart dropped. I hadn't imagined the bright red coats and the foreign accents as I had hoped. No, they were real, horribly real. 
    "I suppose we'll have to keep her here, thanks to your brightness. Wake her." 
     I shuddered as I felt the hard tip of a boot prod into my side. My eyes opened, revealing a low-rank British officer staring down.
    He yanked me off the cold soil, myself a bit dizzy from the apparent blow I had received on the head earlier. The man pushed me a few paces forward until I stood directly in front of the British general whose voice had boomed throughout the tent.
    "State your name," came the order.
    "Samantha Smyth Braxton." My voice quivered.
    The face of the old general suddenly grew very surprised.
    "Braxton? You are of no relation to the Yankee pig Henry Braxton, are you?"
    I scrunched my face, a sign that my courage had suddenly appeared and had taken over.
    "Captain Braxton is no pig, I assure you. Legally I am of no relation, but in my heart he is my adopted father," I stated, blood boiling. The general laughed.
    "How humorous that the captain's daughter shall be on our side when he is killed. Take her to help the women cook," he sneered. "I'm sure she will bring little trouble. But just the same, keep a close eye on her. The American Army must have no knowledge of our residence here."
    With a tight grasp I was pulled out of the tent and into the dark British camp. You have a lot to learn about Sam Smyth, general, I thought, my eyes filling up with tears. I'll find a way to reach Hank and the men if it's the very last thing I do on this earth.

To be continued!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Story Suggestions

Hey, everyone!

I would like to hear some suggestions regarding the next BOYH story! We haven't finished the current one, but I think it would be easier to getting rolling again if we start another one. Have a favorite time period or historical event? Suggest it in the comments and I will consider it! I might come up with a list and let the contributors vote, or, let all you guys vote, too! We'll see. ;)

Comment your suggestions!

Kathryn :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Winner!

First off, thank you to everyone who entered! I enjoyed reading all the entries immensely and hope we can do this again soon!

*announcer voice* And now... For the winner... *drumroll*

AIZESS! Congrats, Aizess!

I picked her paragraph because I was immediately impressed with her writing style. And the fact that it was very short, yet it captured my attention right away and made me want to keep reading. Well done, Aizess!

Here is her entry:

By the time he arrived, he knew he was too late. He opened the ornately carved, cherry wood entrance door and heard nothing. Everything was silent. Too silent. Even the wind held its breath and refrained from rustling the few golden-red leaves left on the trees. He looked around with the air of a thief and suddenly tore through the house searching for his target: his wife. He made a thorough search through all the rooms, but to no avail. Yet, instead of being discouraged, his dark eyes gleamed with a dangerous excitement. “I will find her––no matter the cost.”

Thanks again to everyone who entered! They all the entries were fantastic and I look forward to seeing some of that writing talent in another story! 


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Writing Contest

Kathryn here!

I apologize for the lack of writing here at BOYH. We're going to try to change that. But to get things rolling... *drumroll*... We are going to have a contest!

This contest will be between the contributors, not including myself, since I will be the judge. I may hold some contests where everyone (Yes, followers! That means you!) can enter soon.

Alright, here are the rules.

1. You must enter only a paragraph, not an entire story. I'm not going to make it a specific word count, because I know those are hard to do. So just try not to make it too long.

2. It may be about anything! A gruesome pirate who has kidnapped a young woman and she is devising an escape plan. A Revolutionary War solider as he fights under the brave General Washington. A man has an accident and wakes up not knowing who he is... You get the idea. And pick a random spot in your story, if you'd like. You don't have to start at the very beginning. *cue Sound of Music song* Sorry, I got distracted.

3. It starts now, and ends on the 26th of June. Yeah, I know that's only a week, but I hate waiting. And if it's any longer, Dory here will forget she even has a contest going. Or a blog called Breathings of Your Heart, for that matter.

4. Don't post your entry, just email it to me. I will pick a winner, and maybe some runners up, and those will get posted on BOYH. There is no prize. Just the fact that you are the winner. :)

5. Be creative and have fun!

If you have any questions, email me. I'm so excited to see all the entries!

On your marks, get set, WRITE!

Kathryn :)