Story Saturday – The Soldiers

Hey guys! Here’s the followup to my story! Follow the previous posts (and/or read the story from the beginning) using this label if you’re interested :)

The door flies open and a girl floats in, her hair the brightest blond I’ve seen. I sit up quickly and throw a glance at the window at the far end of the cold stone room. It’s late, I’ve been in the sick room for nearly the whole day – with no one but the howling wind as company. Moonlight streams in from the window now, and a candle flickers, levitating by my cot. When the girl comes closer, I cringe. Where there’s Ayana, there will be nonstop gossip, and I am sure most of it will involve me and my attack on the Keeper.

“You won’t believe what happened at lunch.” She’s practically bouncing on her toes, her eyes gleaming. “It’s past curfew, you know, but I’m like the only one brave enough to sneak out. And it looks like the only one nice enough to tell you.” She looks around the room with a smirk. I resist the urge to roll my eyes and tell her she doesn’t have to tell me what happened. I don’t really care.

“Anyway, the King’s soldiers came when we were eating.” I freeze and listen carefully. “Everyone was confused, you know, since his soldiers have pretty much never set foot at Keridan. So they just marched in, without a word to anyone. Even the Keeper looked surprise, which is just as rare as someone trying to kill her. And then, guess what? They took Faye. They didn’t say why, just grabbed her by either arm and left the room, and she hasn’t come back. Kids are spreading rumors that she stole a couple of potions, but what’s the big deal, stealing potions? So I’m betting it’s something else, something big. And she’s probably guilty of whatever it is too, she didn’t even say a word, it was almost like she was expecting them to come.”

I don’t hear the rest. The blood flowing through my veins freezes and my heart skips more beats than I can count. The soldiers, the King’s personal soldiers, came in and took the one person who has never done anything wrong. Faye wasn’t the type of person to break rules, but even if she had stolen a potion, that deserved nothing more than a scolding from the Keeper or a day of harsh punishment that involved cleaning out the bathrooms. Nothing involved the King and his men. Nothing surprised the Keeper.

The door opens, breaking my thoughts and shutting Ayana’s voice. Her dark eyes widen in surprise. I feel the faintest bit of delight that she’s in trouble, but I squash it down with a frown.

“You’re not suppose to be in here. Leave, before I get the Keeper.” Darius strides in, his eyes hard. Ayana murmurs something and leaves, tripping over her own feet.

“Did she tell you?” He asks as he sits down beside me. I nod and he sighs.

“I was hoping you wouldn’t have to know, and that she’ll be back by tomorrow. Because knowing you…” He shakes his head. I glare at him, but he seems to be taking great interest in the candle.

“She won’t be back by tomorrow, can’t you see, the King doesn’t send his soldiers for nothing,” I say. It was true, even when I lived in the village, the King never liked to take part in his subjects’ lives, unless it was of utmost importance.

“The King isn’t ignorant. There has to be a reason Faye was taken, she must have actually done wrong. It isn’t your concern, Dove, please don’t do anything.” Darius may be concerned about my safety, but I’m not just going to forget about Faye, she had been there for me since the beginning. When the others had ignored me, she’d talked to me and joked around.

“Fine.” I hate lying to Darius – I’ve had him by my side even longer than Faye, but I had to do it. He raises an eyebrow.

“I don’t trust you but…okay.” He stands. He’s about to leave the room, when he turns around and looks me in the eye. “Promise you won’t do anything stupid.”

“I promise.” I promise to find Faye first. He nods, satisfied and leaves. And in less then two minutes, I’ve lied to Darius. Twice.

I swing my legs off the bed and stand. My legs wobble at first, but I think of Faye and the horrors she could face for her innocence. I clench my teeth and the pain subsides. I look around the room for any potions, but the only ones I see are locked up behind the glass. I consider breaking it, but I’m pretty sure that there were protection spells on it, and besides, what good would healing potions do? I poke my head out the door, my eyes slowly adjusting to the darkness of the hall. This shouldn’t be too hard, I think to myself.

And I slip out the door.

Copyright Asma Faizal


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.


1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom)

    April 6, 2013

    Howdy, Asma. :) Better late than never. ;)

    I think I would switch your candle wording around in the first para and have it levitating first, then flickering. Bigger picture, followed by smaller one. Also, I'm confused… “when there's Ayana”… is this a person or a type of people? (Forgive me if I should remember this.) Obviously something about her is quite the deal to start gossip!

    Oh okay now I'm getting it. What I get as I first read is that I should know something big that I've missed. (Big scene, then this new part you're sharing and I still have crazy Keeper and voices and whatnot in my head.) I love the last two lines of this 2nd paragraph!

    Oh my, the KING? *d after “surprise”; The way she's telling the story and says “which is just as rare as trying to kill her”… maybe you could have that be something the MC thinks as she's reacting to what Ayana is saying? For instance:

    A: “much never set foot at Keridan. So they just marched in, without a word to anyone. Even the Keeper looked surprised–“

    MC: I (insert reaction to the news of the Keeper being surprised). That's about as rare as someone trying to kill her.

    Does that make sense? And “grabbed her by either arm” sounds like there's a choice (to me, at least), how about “both” arms? Loving what she says, though. So true, potions aren't that big of a deal. It HAS to be something big. (I am so wanting to know now!)

    At “Faye wasn't the type” she's still alive, yes? I think that para would be much stronger if you went present tense. Great points, but the past pulls away. If these thoughts are currently going through your MCs head, she'd think present.

    I wondered what color her eyes were earlier. Glad you threw “dark” in there. And ha ha on Dove's reactions (frowning when she gets in trouble instead of smiling).


    You have “I say”; then “it was true”. If she “say”s, then it “is” true. :) (The King sounds quite self-occupied. Tells me the people have to fend for themselves.)

    Oh no you didn't lie to Darius, Dove, what do you have up your sleeve?

    The only other thing is I'm not sure why she would face horrors for her innocence. I know what you're trying to say, she's facing horrors for no reason, but it sounds as though because she is innocent she's facing horrors. (LIke being innocent is her punishment.)

    Yay, I can't wait to read tomorrow's and see what Dove does!!!! I'm worried about Faye and also want to know why on earth she was REALLY taken! :D

    <3 Jessica