Start Writing Fiction Course – Final Week
So I’ve made it to the end of my first Mooc ‘Start Writing Fiction.’ I really enjoyed following the course material and I feel like I have improved a bit since I first started. It may seem daunting at first (especially when you need to use peer feedback) but it can push you to grow in knowledge and confidence. I would definitely recommend these free online courses as there is no pressure, but at the same time being set regular tasks can really drive you to put in the practice. Anyway, here is my final story:
The Interlocked Sisters
In the vastness of time all battles are eventually forgotten; That is unless you are a denizen of the old shadow wood, distinguished for their pallid skin, light hair and azure eyes. Through each generation the same unjust one-sided history is passed down, nurturing the young into hardened shells overspilling with an ardour for retribution. Due to fear and superstition they had been outcast and expected to die amongst the beasts living within the shaded trees. Through their resourcefulness they had managed to adapt and now existed a small village in a previously uninhabitable area.
One such person was a small girl by the name of Alana, now sat upon a root within the centre of a dell. She was observing a burrow of fox cubs, dug from a mound engulfed in foliage. One of the cubs was yelping rather loudly, causing Alana to flinch with unease in case the sound alerted any predators prowling nearby. Right on cue a red blur darted through the clearing to dote on the needs of his young. He was glorious and majestic with thick muscles across his chest and legs. In his maw he was carrying a feathered chunk of flesh; dinner was ready.
‘You’re a really good dad,’ Alana chirped, ‘your cubs are growing really strong.’ The fox looked up startled and then curled his bushy tail around the entrance of the burrow to form a protective barrier. Alana looked away and sighed. She envied the cubs; they were loved and tended for.
The others enjoyed holding rituals involving blood lust upon any unfortunate that accidentally wandered too close to the wood. Alana didn’t agree with the practice – even though her father was killed by an outsider – for she found it senseless and distasteful. She was regularly tormented for being faint of heart, with her older sister Akasha often taking the lead.
Through trial and error Alana had become very proficient at sneaking around unnoticed. She had a number of different techniques at her disposal such as climbing over roofs or crawling through the undergrowth, which had resulted in an agile physique like that of a gymnast. Every day she would make her way to the dell where she would speak to the animals to quench her need for companionship.
The sky was starting to darken informing Alana that it was time to make the trip back home. Even though the thought of returning made her stomach lurch, the forest was frightening at night and she wished not to take the risk in delaying. She waved goodbye to the fox family and wished them well.
As Alana approached the wooden village she noticed a group of teenagers – between the ages of 16 and 17- and had to duck quickly out of sight. Her heart was pounding as she tried to steady her breath to lessen the noise. She watched them anxiously from her crouched position in the long grass; They seemed to be waiting in eager anticipation and were incessantly whispering questions to and fro. Alana was not surprised when Akasha confidently strutted her voluptuous figure into the clearing to greet the reception. She was holding a wriggling bundle of white fur that was slightly feline in appearance. The creature was releasing a high-pitched whine in its desperation to break free.
‘Stay still,’ Akasha hissed at the creature as she tried to hold it firmly on the ground. ‘I’m going to leak its blood. Someone get me a knife.’
The group appeared to be exhilarated by the prospect and reeled around frantically in preparation for the ritual to come. Alana felt her limbs twitching with adrenaline. Normally she preferred not to interfere in favour of self preservation, but each cry of the creature awakened an instinct within her; Just like the fox and his cubs she longed to protect the things she cared about. Her trembling fingers clenched at the grass strands by her feet as she tried to anchor herself to the earth.
‘No!’ Alana screamed. She was astounded to find her body moving of its own free will to cover the creature.
‘Move you little pest,’ Akasha leaned down to glare threateningly into her face. Their eyes met with vigorous intensity. Everybody took a step back as if a force had erupted outwardly from the interlocked sisters.
‘No, I won’t let you do it,’ Alana started to sob, ‘please don’t hurt it.’
‘Why can’t you just be normal like the rest of us? This is so embarrassing.’
‘Please,’ Alana repeated under her breath, pleading that for once her sister give mercy. Akasha took a moment to ponder the situation. Her angular face softened slightly as she leaned in closer so that only Alana could hear her next words.
‘I’m only trying to make you stronger,’ she whispered with a hint of concern. She then stood and turned to walk away, shouting for the others to hear, ‘you’d better keep an eye on it then, for the moment your back is turned I’ll end it.’
The group appeared irritated by the decision and were curious to know why Akasha – for it was a rarity – had backed down so easily. They eagerly pursued their leader out of the village hoping to find answers. Perhaps she was formulating a plan to strike back even harder.
Alana examined the bundle cradled in her arms. The creatures eyes inspected her in turn and she was surprised to find them brimming with compassion rather than the usual fear and hatred reserved for her kind. She wondered if Akasha’s threat was genuine or just a show for the others. Perhaps setting the creature free would be the best option, but the idea of severing the bond they now felt through her one moment of gallantry left her cold. She didn’t want to be alone any more and this was the first real connection she had ever felt.
‘Perhaps we could run away together,’ she cooed, all the while knowing that it would be too dangerous and scary. The creature appeared to be smiling and mewed.
- Start Writing Fiction Course – Week 1
- Start Writing Fiction Course – Week 2
- Start Writing Fiction Course – Week 3
- Start Writing Fiction Course – Week 4
- Start Writing Fiction Course – Week 5
- Start Writing Fiction Course – Week 6
- Start Writing Fiction Course – Week 7
- Moocs – Free Online Courses