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Beside the Tallest Oak [TFWC]

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posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 10:24 PM

He walked cautiously through the woods, searching, looking for a glimpse of her again. He had spotted her the day before, while he hunted venison for the camp, as much startling her as he was. She was bent over on the ground, rummaging through her pack when he rounded the corner of the trail, and they both stopped and stared at each other for a brief moment.

Her eyes, he thought, were so deep, an endless sea of blue, and within him stirred a yen he had presumed long forgotten. Strange she was, he remembered, her clothing a tight fitting jumpsuit, her hair close-cropped, definitely out of place and not from around here. Maybe a foreigner, but also stunningly beautiful.

He was about to say hello when she spit out a curse, ran down the trail, and promptly disappeared from view. He tried tracking her, but her trail ended suddenly thirty feet from where she was kneeling.

The sky darkened overhead, storm clouds forming, so he gave up the search and instead made way to a nearby cave where he could find shelter during the storm. He’d wait out the storm there, pondering as he had been who she was.

Nearing the cave, he smelled a fire, and food cooking. Puzzled, knowing he was the only one from his camp scouting this area, he carefully crept upon the entrance.

His heart leaped. There she was.

He shouldered his bow, and crouched low, not wanting to scare her away, watching. She was cooking a meal over an open fire, looking warily around, and he noticed a shiny gleam attached to her waist. A weapon? Surely she would not wander through these dangerous woods without a weapon, but she had no bow, and no sword by which to defend herself. He spotted her pack further in, sheltered from the coming storm inside the cave. Both her clothing and her pack were the same deep blue shade, and there was an emblem above her left breast that was too small to read. He had no answers for himself, and he had to know more. How?

He picked up a small pebble he had located near his feet, and tossed it high into the air, into the direction of the cave, and it clattered against the stone. In a flash, she had the shiny object in her hand, and was looking around apprehensively. At that moment he stood up with his hands in the air, and walked forward into the clearing, thinking there was no way a shiny trinket could hurt him. He was wrong.

She pointed the object at him, and a flash of light erupted from it. Pain coursed through his body, and before the night closed in around him, he looked down and saw that he was bleeding profusely from his side. As he placed his hands over the wound, he collapsed.

posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 10:26 PM
He awoke with a start, but immediately found he couldn’t move, soon realizing he was bound hand and foot. He strained his head up, looking around, and regretfully remembered the pain in his side. He laid back again, pondering the events that had occurred. Movement caught his eye, and he realized she was walking towards him from across the cave. He lay still, making no threatening movements, and awaited his fate at the hand of this beautiful woman, helpless.

“How are you doing?” she asked him, his eyes going wide when he realized he understood her, “Sorry about shooting you. My name’s Olivia.”

“They call me Oaken.”

She nodded. He waited.

“Why am I bound? I mean you no harm.”

“I don’t know that. In fact, I don’t know much of anything anymore.”

His look of puzzlement must have been apparent.

“Where are you from, M’lady Olivia?”

She laughed. Not quite a sarcastic laugh, but one of relief, and he saw her soften a bit.

“Not from around here, that’s for sure, in fact, quite a far away place.”

“Grizzledorm? Banwereland? Farther than that?”

“Much farther.”

She looked at him almost pitifully, then noticed his strong biceps once more. Perhaps she had tied him up after treating his wound out of fear, but as she was treating him she noticed his physique, and had no desire to tangle with such a well-built native in this foreign land. Her own safety was paramount.

“Then why are you here, in these woods, where danger abounds?”

“I’m lost,” was the reply, “and I can’t get back home.” A lie.

He cocked his eye at her, listening to her warbling voice, smitten.

“Then Oaken shall help you find your passage back, as an oath to you.”

Olivia smiled. “It’s not quite that easy Oaken.”

“Is M’lady in trouble in her homeland?”

“No, not at all. In fact, I am sure they are looking for me.”

“Then let me help,” Oaken said. “I can take you past Banwereland, and we can hire a caravan to travel farther than that.” He struggled against his bonds again, inspired, then fell back in pain again.

“Here, let me help.”

Olivia helped him raise his head, and she propped her pack under his shoulders so he could sit up.

“My hands are bound.” Oaken looked at her pleadingly, and met her eyes once more, as they had in their first encounter. She looked back into his, deeply, for a long moment, with her hand still holding the back of his head. She sighed.

“Ok. I guess I could use a friend in this strange land. But if you make one move against me.....”
She let the thought dangle in the air.

“On my honor, M’lady. I swear no ill intentions.”

Olivia took a strange device from her pocket, and it flashed open. Oaken looked wide eyed at the knife, and suddenly took a deep breath, aghast.

“You are truly a sorceress!” He exclaimed, finally beginning to understand. “A spell gone awry has brought you here.”

She shrugged, and brought the knife to bear between his wrist, easily slicing the bonds. She repeated the effort with the bonds on his ankles. Oaken carefully wriggled into a sitting position, gritting his teeth against the pain.

“That was a remarkable spell that brought me down. Had I known you were a magic user, I would’ve given you wide berth, save,” he paused and looked at her, “Save thine beauty is enchanting itself. Well met, M’lady Olivia.”

“You could cut it with that M’lady crap. Olivia will suffice.” She looked at him with a slight smile on her face. “Remember, I’m not from around here. I don’t know the customs you have. I couldn’t reciprocate.”

“Aye, then M’lady, Olivia it is.”

They both laughed together, and with that the thunder rolled out, and it began to storm outside their cave.

They talked softly until the rain subsided, the sun had set, and with Olivia’s help Oaken was able to roll out his own bed, and exhausted, he fell asleep upon it.

posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 10:27 PM
The next day found Oaken able to stand, and he took a few steps to gather his bow and quiver. Olivia was still sleeping on her own bedroll on the other side of the cave, so he decided to gather some fresh meat to grill for breakfast. A small hare fell quickly under an arrow, and he walked back to the camp and dressed the rabbit after starting a fire. His side was still sore, but he had a beat in his heart, and the slight pain he now felt was nothing compared to the joy he had when in the company of Olivia. She was a mystery, he thought, and he resolved to do everything within his power to see her back to her homeland, no matter how far away. He had no family now, after the goblinkind had invaded his own homeland, Riverdale far to the west, and he had been adopted at the age of six by another family and they had all moved far into the Wildlands. Their camp was several miles to the south, and he had been glad of the result of his happenstance meeting.

Olivia awoke to the smell of something delicious. She rubbed her eyes, thinking she had a horrible dream, and then startled when she realized where she was at. Curiously, she got up and went outside, and saw Oaken cooking over the fire. Her stomach rumbled, as she had been rationing her MREs and was hungry for real food. The meat sizzling on the spit made her mouth water.

Oaken heard her get up, and didn’t turn around as she approached, very much aware of her walking closer. She sat on the log beside Oaken. He looked at her and smiled. It was a warm and sincere smile, something she wasn’t used, as where she had come from was a twisted dichotomy of lies and manipulations, a hard world in which fact and fiction often blended into the whims of those in charge. From there, she was just a pawn in a twisted game played in a world gone awry. She decided, sensing his sincerity, to tell him the truth.

“You know, Oaken, I’m not a sorceress,” she said between mouthfuls of savory meat. “They don’t have magic where I come from.”

He looked at her. “You jest, surely.” She shook her head.

His gaze met hers once more, the third time as such, and without speaking they felt a spark ignite. It was a simple emotion, pure and unrestrained, one in which the truth needn’t be spoken, just understood. After a long silence, while they finished their meal, Olivia spoke again. While thinking about what to tell him, she felt long repressed emotions float to the surface, and it was with tears almost cresting her eyes she continued.

“My land is corrupt. My whole world is.”

“Surely your world is the same as my own. We are here, together, yet I see not the corruption you speak of.”

She sighed heavily, biting back emotions, her very soul on the brink of flowing out.

“Do you know the year?” Olivia waited while he sorted out that question.

“It’s twenty-five seasons since my birth. The Elders at camp speak of the years since the great cataclysms, so it’d be three thousand and five.”

Olivia’s tears brimmed. Oaken was aware of her distress, so he leaned over, the only thing he knew to do, and let her bury her head in his shoulder while she sobbed uncontrollably. Minutes passed as Olivia let a lifetime of pain out. He stroked her hair softly.

She looked up finally, her hands drying her face.

“I was born before the cataclysms.”

“That cannot be true. You are barely a year older than I. Explain while I listen, Olivia.” He held her hands within his own, his eyes imploring, his honesty shining clearly, and she started speaking.

“I was born before the cataclysms, Oaken, in a time long ago when mankind lost it’s humanity. We had what you call magic back then, but we called it technology. We misused the technology, and we destroyed the planet. We caused the cataclysms. In mankind’s rush for power, we used up resources, and polluted the environment. Our only salvation was to use the technology we had thought we mastered, and we created devices to unravel the very fabric of time itself, and we sent agents out to seek out other times that we could exploit. We used up the past, and that done, we turned our eyes to the future.”

“Then you, you are....”


“What will you do?”

“In my own time there is no kindness. There are only greedy corporations, and slaves. I am one of them, and have been my whole life. I have no freedom, because there is no freedom. We cannot afford friends, and cannot believe in trust.”

“But now?”

She leaned forward and kissed him. He met her lips with his own, and their passion flared, overwhelming them. They both lost time in each other’s embrace, and finally, both spent, they returned to the present, softly nuzzling and kissing in front of a fire nearly out. The afternoon sun caressed them with it’s warmth.

Eventually Olivia got up, and walked back into the cave. She returned a few moments later with a oblong shaped device, slightly bigger than her palm.

She placed it down on a rock that circled the fire, and picked up another one. She looked at Oaken, who was watching solemnly.

Smiling, she lifted the rock in her hand above her head, and brought it down upon the device, smashing it to bits.

posted on Sep, 15 2013 @ 12:15 AM
Very good story.

posted on Sep, 15 2013 @ 12:58 AM

Don't Stop!!!!
(reaches for more popcorn)
Great intro!!

posted on Sep, 15 2013 @ 02:43 AM
Aww, a futuristic romance. A Perfect story for ats, who doesn't like a love story? S&F from me, well done

posted on Sep, 15 2013 @ 12:36 PM
Thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to read....Your comments tend to make me smile.

The stars and flags are much appreciated!

posted on Sep, 15 2013 @ 01:52 PM
Thou art truly blessed with talent m'lady!
Aww...I loved it!

posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 08:44 AM
Damn, your writing skill is excellent..

i will be studying your punctuation and layout to see if i can improve my own... hope you don't mind

very cool story, i hope there is more

posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 08:26 AM
reply to post by Druid42

Neatly done ! S+F and all that!

posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 05:46 PM
I loved the storyline, and your descriptive style of writing.


posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 06:56 PM
I know I'm a little late here, but great story and great writing. Stars for you and I would flag if I could!

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