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Heart of Seasons: Wolf and Owl

By @SRKingen

Chapter One

“Travis!” The old woman’s caw rang out from the old, rickety house at the end of Devons Street. 

A young boy with chestnut brown hair and wide hazel eyes laughed as he raced down the dirt road towards the small town. In his hands he carried a petite, homemade kite with many thin, colored ribbons coming off it. His feet splashed through puddles that dotted the road from last night’s rain. A smile spread across his slightly tan face as he ran through the streets of the town, waving at all the shop owners, many of them waving, laughing, and calling him a rascal.

The town of Ravensdale bustled with many people, shops opening with the warming sunlight, the smell of cooking fish, simmering meat, and brewing ale wafting in the air. People shouted their wares loudly, enticing others to buy at their store. Travis smiled at his neighbors. His white tunic shimmered in the sunlight as white and silver beads dotted his neckline. He wore black pants and brown, laceless shoes. Around his waist, a pale brown rope with many leather pouches hung.

Travis stopped, breathing hard slightly, at a wooden shack with a creaky old door and a sign that boldy read, “Keep Out!”

Clearing his throat, he puffed out his chest before declaring, “I demand to enter!”

Silence followed his shout.

He stomped his foot. “I demand to enter!”

Silence once more. Rolling his eyes, he sighed. “Oh, King of the Tidbits and Trinkets, I wish to enter at your will.”

A booming laugh followed this as the door slowly creaked open. An elderly man in a silver robe and a receding hairline stepped out of the shadows and into the sunlight. He bore a makeshift crown on his head, and crows feet on his eyes. He gave a grin big enough to show a few teeth missing as he clapped the young boy on his head.

“You are allowed to enter, little lord!” He started to laugh again.

Making his way in, Travis scanned the many piles of old books and papers, the growing collection of trinkets and old weaponry. A heavy layer of dust filled the corners of the rickety building. All around him were remnants of what was once a successful shop. He placed himself on an old stood while the old man sat on a cricketing chair of soft leather.

“Did you finish it?” The man asked.

Travis nodded eagerly, holding up the kite. “Took me a whole month!”

“Aye, but you did it. Good on you, lad.” The old man giggled.

He then bent down and grabbed a spindle of yarn. Unraveling some, he grabbed the kite from the boy and began to work quickly, attached a thicker line of thread and yarn to the toy. When he was done, he nodded his head in approval and handed it back to Travis.

“It should fly like a beauty now.” He said.

“Thank you.” Travis quickly looked over the handiwork and smiled at the completion of his project.

“How is your mother?”

Travis looked at the man and shrugged, his smile faltering.

The old man grunted, understanding what the silence meant. He sucked in a breath and tapped the wooden table that sat between them.

“Go on now. Go fly it, boy! Tell me how far it travels!” He said with gusto.

Travis smiled and jumped up, heading towards the door. He paused with his hands on the old wood. Turning back around, he looked at the old man. “Mr. Wumble?”

“Yes?”

“Why don’t you go out? Why don’t I ever see you in the market?”

Mr. Wumble shook his head and giggled, “The market is too busy. No place for a king like me.” He fixed his toy crown and shooed the boy out the door.

Travis laughed and quickly exited, letting the door slam shut. He sprinted down the muddy road towards a tucked away meadow that resided just outside of the town. A gentle breeze started up as he stood in the middle of the clearing. Closing his eyes, he let out a slow whistle. It grew louder and more melodious as he continued. The wind began to pick up all around him. He opened his eyes and threw the kite into the air. Quaint gusts of wind took the kite higher and higher, while the boy holding tightly onto the cord.

“Not too high!” He yelled. The wind began to drop the kite until it stopped twenty feet above the ground. The wind then began to dance with the kite, letting it flip and skim through the air gently and quickly. Travis laughed at the playfulness of his elemental friends.

The morning warmed hotter as the wind played and entertained the young boy. He clapped at the many tricks that the kite did and soon his stomach rumbled with the hunger for breakfast.

“I need to go home now!” He began to yell. His words were drowned out by a deafening roar. The young boy’s eyes widened as he stared into the forest that surrounded him, the woods seeming to grow dimmer as far away cracks and snaps came to him. 

The ground beneath him shook and the trees shivered in anticipation. An eerie howl reverberated around him, filling him with fear. Above him, the kite fell abruptly, the wind stopping so suddenly, that the air seemed to be sucked from his lungs.

Taking a step back, he watched the trees before him shudder, shake, and crack with an ugly sound. With fear and adrenaline pumping through his body, Travis found himself running through into a shadowed area of the meadow. Before him, large, wicked beasts moved out of the forest. Drool and sweat dripped from their scaled bodies as they walked on two back legs and what appeared to be muscled arms. Men and other creatures walked next to the two vile smelling beasts. Swallowing a scream, Travis realized that they were heading towards his town.

“Mom.” He whispered At this moment, he knew nothing would be the same.

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