This is a book I am working on. Feel free to comment and critisize. Hope you like it!
Anastas stood, looking over the valley below her. The wind blew softly through the curls in her dirty blond hair, blowing it slightly to the side, doing the same to her dark brown dress. The sight may have looked heroic. A hero’s miraculous recovery as she came back from a certain death, and looked below her and the many crowds of cheering people. But it was not a time like that, and Anastas was anything but a hero. At age seventeen you are not a hero, you may train to become one, but you are far from being a knight who watches over the kingdom and fights bravely in any war.
Anastas was no knight, not yet at least. The girl had devised a plan over the course of several long years. One that would allow her to join the ranks of the many bravely fighting soldiers. Girls were not allowed to fight, but that would not stop her. As she stood, looking over the valley, her thoughts wandered over to what it would be like to be one of those brave and chivalrous warriors. The cliff she stood on was wide, yet narrow, giving her little room for forward movement.
Anastas walked forward the few steps the cliff allowed and sat down. She longed to be a hero. She longed for people to cheer her on and recognize her as the bravest warrior ever to stand, and not just some stupid impulsive peasant girl constantly sneaking off and getting herself into trouble. It was often that the girl had to be rescued, although each time she would protest against the rescuer and insist he leave her be to figure out her problems alone. Of course, those who came to save her would never let her.
All thought that because she was a girl, she could not handle herself. They believed that she should be obedient, but she was quite the opposite. She would do as she was told, but she would always procrastinate. Anastas was clever and cunning. It was not rare to see her finding her way up a mountainside or through a dense forest. Some townspeople would see a girl high up in the top branches of a tree, looking over the kingdom. All had learned by now who it was. They would apprehend the girls mother, getting angry at her for allowing her daughter to perform such rebellious acts.
A small smile crept up on the girls face as she looked at the kingdom below. She enjoyed the breeze, however slight it was. Where she sat was a few degrees colder than down in the kingdom, but she did not care. The view was immaculate, and the cold did not bother the girl. She never thought about it and therefore didn’t notice it. She kicked her legs back in forth, and her thoughts wandered. She wondered what it would be like to become a knight. Perhaps she would be a hero. For years she had been teaching herself how to use a sword. Hers rested at the back of the cliff at this very moment.
She did not risk bringing the item home for fear that her mother would confiscate it immediately. Anastas knew her mother would do that very thing the second she laid eyes on the sword. Her mother was over-protective of her only daughter and youngest child. This annoyed Anastas greatly. The girl had grown up independent and planned to remain that way. Furthermore, she was seventeen years of age, and could handle herself. She did not need anybody to watch over her. Both of her brothers had left and her father was dead. Anastas had practically raised herself. She was constantly on her own. Anastas glanced back at her sword, which she called Animus. The name meant courage and fitted both herself and the blade perfectly.
A good friend of hers, William, had made the single-handed sword for her in secret. He was an apprentice blacksmith and just learned to create a sword. That night he went to Anastas, being the only one that knew of her plan and offered to make her a sword as his first try on starting and completing one himself. The girl had promptly agreed to it. The next morning she had come into the shop and told the owner, William’s dad, that her mother had requested her hand made cutlery be fixed.
William’s father was the only one qualified to do the job as he had made the cutlery himself. Anastas had been the one to mess it up. She messed up the intricate designs on the silver by getting a hold of one of her brother’s old swords that her mother kept hidden away in her room while she was home alone. Then she bent them in any way possible. She then took the messed up silver ware to the blacksmith’s shop. He had been horrified at the condition of the utensils and promptly set off to fix them once Anastas had made up a clever excuse as to why they had ended up in that horrid condition.
Anastas seized that moment to talk to William. He asked her what she wanted it to look like, insisting she be as descriptive as possible. She then proceeded to tell him each and every detail she wanted. She told him the type of metal she wanted the blade to be; steel. A plain steel sword worked well, and made the sword very functional. It was a common type of metal, but it was one of the best. She had originally wanted the hilt to be of the same metal, but William insisted he make it bronze and gold.
She had protested to this, saying that those metals were to expensive, but he did not heed the protests and did it anyway once he started making the weapon. He took it to her a few days later. The designs were nearly perfect and the blade was immaculate. She had hastily told him that he had a real gift when it came to creating things. He just shrugged, “I’m not nearly as good as my father.” He told her, Anastas did not agree to that statement and told him so. He had done an amazing job, and it was only his first sword.
Anastas leaned back and reached for her sword. She grabbed the pommel and moved Animus towards her, then picked it up. The girl took her sword out of its scabbard and placed the flat of the blade in her palms. She turned the sword over in her hands, studying it. Anastas smiled as the great workmanship and intricate designs coating the hilt and a small portion of the blade.
A large red gem sat in the middle of the pommel, dimly reflecting light off the penetrating rays of the sun. Surrounding the gem were carvings that looked like flower petals. There were two layers, one on the bottom, cut directly from the pommel was a light crystally blue. The other was a golden yellow, the blue petals were peaking through like windows. The hilt had a handle made expertly out of wood with a rope of red and black wrapped neatly around to create a better grip.
The crosspiece was thin and curved up slightly. A swirl, looking much like a gust of wind made of gold was placed on the crosspiece near the top edge on the left. It was closely followed by a small dot carved into the metal near it. This pattern continued along the entire guard. The long, silver colored blade had a fuller going a little more than halfway up, and a shine that out-shone all other sword metals. On either side of the metal was a bronze colored snowflake imprinted into to blade. Just above it was a black dot, followed by another snowflake. Above the second snowflake was another dot and finally a third snowflake. These designs reached halfway up the fuller.
Anastas smiled as she turned it over in her hands once more, revealing the designs to be repeated on the other side. The girl re-sheathed her sword and looked at the leather scabbard. It was a dark shade of brown and very dull, but Anastas liked it how it was. The scabbard had two straps on it. One was to rest on her shoulder and the other was a belt. She set the sword down at her side gently and placed her hand on her legs.
The girl closed her eyes and took a deep breath, enjoying the light wind blowing softly against her. She swung both her legs back and forth in an alternating pattern. One would be back, nearly touching the side of the rocky cliff while the other leg was extended, so much so it would nearly be straight out in front of her with only a slight bend at the knee. Then she would move her legs and the other would switch places. She did this for several long minutes, enjoying the peace that had overcome her suddenly. A harsh wind started blowing rapidly, causing Anastas to hurriedly open her eyes.
Anastas was caught in a windstorm. She grabbed the scabbard carrying Animus and quickly got to her feet. Anastas looked around for any sort of cover, the nearest, and easiest place to get to was a hundred feet higher than where she stood, slowly being pushed back by the fierce winds. She pulled the scabbard over her head and let she shoulder strap rest gently on her right shoulder. She then grabbed the belt and started wrapping it around her waist.
The smooth leather was ripped out of her grip. Her hand followed the belt, trying to catch it as it moved rapidly with the wind. Anastas managed to grab it and this time held it firmly. She wrapped the belt around her waist quickly and looked upwards, searching for the easiest route to the cave. The rocks above were almost as steep and nearly as rocky as those below. Climbing to the cave would not be easy, but the winds were strong and slowly blowing her back towards the edge of the cliff. It would do no good to fight against the strong winds, as these storms could last for hours on end. Climbing was her best chance.
Anastas located a large rock about a foot above her head. She made her way over to it, the fierce wind was blowing against her as she moved as if trying desperately to throw her off the cliff. Anastas squinted, trying to keep the many flying specks of dirt out of her eyes. She raised one arm, her hand groping for the hand hold. She searched, almost blindly, her hand traced the edge of the mountain, pausing at any sort of disfiguration.
Her head was turned down to help avoid the wind, and the obvious eye watering that came that always came from the windstorms had you been stupid enough to continuously have your eyes trained towards the blowing air. At last she found the small ledge she had been looking for, and she glanced upwards to see if this discovery had, in fact, been true. A smile fell upon the girl’s face as she realized that it was the ledge she had been searching for. The smiled did not disappear, or even fade in the slightest. This was what she lived for.
Anastas enjoyed the adventure, the adrenaline she got from it. She knew how dangerous climbing a cliff in the middle of the windstorm was, but with her reasoning she could not just stand on her cliff and wait it out.At last she found the small ledge she had been looking for, and she glanced upwards to see if this discovery had, in fact, been true.A smile fell upon the girl’s face as she realized that it was the ledge she had been searching for. The smiled did not disappear, or even fade in the slightest. This was what she lived for.
Anastas enjoyed the adventure, the adrenaline she got from it. She knew how dangerous climbing a cliff in the middle of the windstorm was, but with her reasoning she could not just stand on her cliff and wait it out. Anastas looked around for a second, finding a second hand hold only inches above the first. The girl grabbed it firmly and hoisted herself up, suddenly grateful for being relatively small for her age. Anastas managed to hold herself up the few moments it took to find a steady place to set one foot. She found a second for her other foot slightly above the last. The girl looked up, seeing another handhold about eight inches above her head.
Anastas moved her arm towards the rock, gritting her teeth in bitter concentration. The girl’s hand reached the rock and she gripped it tightly. She took her lower hand off the rock and set it on another. She continued at a relatively steady pace, pausing only to look for a handhold or to hold on tighter when an even stronger gust of wind would come through. Anastas was currently holding onto the rocks like this, for what seemed like the hundredth time. She had herself pressed against the rocky cliff to lessen the extent of force pressing against her. Even then, the wind was threatening to blow her off her perch.
Anastas sighed, the wind didn’t show any signs of weakening in the slightest. Anastas looked upwards, gritting her teeth. She closed her light green eyes for a moment. Once opened again, a small smile had appeared on the girl’s face as she made her decision. She would climb. Despite her efforts to keep completely calm, Anastas’ hands were shaking from her nervousness. She knew that with one mistake she would fall, never to be heard from again. The girl thought of her father. He would have done the same. Especially if he had been coming to the aid of a person in need.
The smile Anastas had plastered on her face lessened slightly as she thought of her deceased kin, but it was not long before it had grown once again as she remembered her father’s many heroisms and pictured herself doing the same. Anastas imagined herself climbing the cliff to save somebody, her overactive imagination making it very easy to do. She took one shaky hand off the rock and raised her arm, searching for another rock to place her hand on. Anastas set her hand on a small, slightly rounded rock, jutting out slightly from the cliff face.
She placed her other hand on a larger rock a few inches below the first. Anastas then moved her leg off its rest and placed it on another above the last. The girl pushed herself upwards. Her hand fell off its rounded hold and the girl fell to one side, a small, yet loud scream echoed out of her mouth and bounced around the mountains to the point that she was sure the kingdom’s nobles could hear it. Anastas was now holding onto the cliff face with only one hand. She breathed hard, looking down at the ground so far below.
She took a few deep breaths to calm herself as she hung, holding on with her quickly tiring hand and arm. Anastas then looked at the cliff above and located a place for her right hand. She swung herself and placed her hand in a small indent. She then placed her feet on some large rocks and hung there for a moment, closing her eyes. The winds had died down slightly, making it much easier to hold on. The girl sighed in relief, then she started once again to climb. Her pace was quick, yet she was careful as she did all she could not to slip once more.
Anastas reached the top without messing up again and she crawled into the shallow cave. The indent was just longer than she was tall and only as wide as two of her. She looked around at the rounded gray rocks for a moment before flopping down on her stomach. Anastas rolled onto her back a moment later and stared upwards for a minute, completely out of breath. The girl closed her eyes and soon fell into a light sleep.
Last edited by homeworkfan
on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:13 am, edited 12 times in total.