Happy Thanksgiving

It’s not a trick. I have a treat of an extra story this week.

The rock was cold beneath Summer as she waited. The sun strove to warm her skin even as the spray from waves beating the stone tried to cool her. Summer knew the waves would win. The sun was dipping behind the low clouds even as the tide rose. Well the spray would win unless they arrived first.

Summer didn’t know when they would come. They came this day every year. Every year the soul who’d drawn the lot would sit on the stone overlooking the Kismet Sea would be gone by dawn. Instead on the cliffs would be the bins filled with the supplies that were needed for another year.

This year, Summer had volunteered. She pulled the white shall tighter about her as she glowered at the clouds. Last year Landon had drawn the lot the day before they were to be wed. The first day they would have been allowed to wed. One day too late.

Her brothers had held her when she’d screamed as he’d been led away. Her father whispering what an honor it was. Hollow words that still clawed at her heart, ripping at a never healing wound.

This year others had held them when she’d volunteered. Their screams hadn’t mattered any more then hers had. She fingered the knife belted to her back. They hadn’t bothered to search her. She’d thought Landon would have fought armed or not, that he’d come back to her, but there had only the bounty had waited on the cliffs at dawn. No Landon. No signs he’d fought.

Today, she would find out why.

Light spilled through the clouds above, followed by a buzz pulsing through the air. Her ears rung in response, and Summer raised her hand to block out the sun’s light as see above. The thing looked like a child’s top but floated as a feather down to waves. Rising, she raised a hand to shield her eyes from the fading sun. Spindly legs extended from the ship, slicing into the waves.

A ring of fire ignited above the ship and Summer took a step backward. A form appeared in the center of the light. Summer could see the outline but not details. She reached behind her and grabbed the knife from the sheath and shifted her stance.

The man stopped and stepped onto the edge of the rock, his features coming visible. Landon. The knife dropped from her hands and clattered on the rock as she pressed a hand to her mouth. He moved toward her. She reached out a hand. The features were his, the way his hair twisted over his brow, but the coloring was wrong, pale and washed out.

Landon took a step toward her. “Summer,” he said. The tones were his, the warmth and the catch in his voice as he said her name. He stepped forward and embraced her. “Summer,” he repeated in her ear.

More forms appeared as she held him. They glowed and it took longer for her to see their features. She recognized the faces but not enough to put a name to them. But she knew them. “Landon,” she said stepping backward. “What?”

“Come,” he said taking a step backward. His hand curled around her and he stepped backward, pulling him with her. Summer followed a step. He moved further his feat leaving the ground.

“Landon,” she gasped releasing her grip from his hand. He clutched her and pulled her from the ground. “Landon,” she screamed her own feet leaving the ground and her arm straining under her weight.

“Come,” he repeated. “We’re going home.” Summer gasped as they approached the fire, the heat scorching. She twisted in his grip and saw the bins left behind. The food that was needed, left by… the forms twisted, and she still recognized them, but they not longer glowed. They burned. She screamed as she was pulled into the flames.

Enjoy the story? Take a moment to share it with your friends using the links below or sign up for the email list to receive updates.

0 thoughts on “Bounty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *