Shadow Hunter

Word Prompt: Few children were allowed to roam

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

Few children were allowed to roam. Fewer still choose to. Not when the shadows hunted by day. And by night. Dane roamed no matter what any said, and because he did Arlea followed.

“Dane! Wait!” Arlea called. Stumbling, she caught herself stumbling forward on hands and feet as she tried to keep up with the older boy.

Skipping to a halt, Dane turned holding his branch sword high. The length he’d gleamed after an apple tree’s pruning. The crossbar a twig he’d secured with a broken crate’s rusty nail.

“Arlea.” His voice rose and fell in frustration. “I can’t hunt shadows with you tailing ever after me.”

She skidded next to him and scowled her stinging hand. She’d torn the skin again. “They’re gonna take you if I don’t.” She picked at a speck dangling skin pulling it clear. They’d rehashed this countless times.

“Harrumph.” Dane swung his sword about until it sang through the air. The blade’s caught on a shadow protruding from a tree. Caught and snapped off.

Arlea squealed, high and loud, as Dane stretched his arm out in front of her. “Don’t worry. I’ll protect you!” He stabbed his sword into the shadow even as the footsteps of adults hurried toward them.

The wizard’s harsh cry washed over them followed quickly by light. Light which shoved the shadow away. Dane glowered at her as arms scooped them both from the ground.

Some knight. She stuck her tongue out. He could be grateful she’d saved him. Again.

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