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A Short Story: Bonded By Blood Chapter 1.

MichaelHarrisCreationsJan 28, 2020, 9:15:21 AM

Chapter 1

“Heretic!” they screamed, their voices competing to see whose carried the most power. “You’re unclean! You spit on the face of the Ashkani! You belittle our people!”

The shouts were deafening.

“You’ve defiled your people you whore!” one of the elders accused, spittle flew with each word.

“We’re a pure people! A chosen people! The Lord Above The Gods chose us, we’re his chosen ones!” The crowd jeered at the young woman who’d been cast down at their feet.

“What are you? Some sort of beast that you would lay with an unclean dog like him!?” a bearded man shouted as he kicked dirt in her face.

Alyanna fought back tears as the sand flew into her eyes and nose. She choked on it and coughed until her ribs ached.

Alyanna’s crime had been grievous, she’d mixed bloodlines. She had let her desire lead her outside of her people, the Ashkani, the kings of the desert.

Alyanna had found her heart in the arms of a foreigner and pledged her life to his, an offense punishable by death. None, not even the dog Lumo people the Ashkani were constantly at war with, dared to mix bloodlines. To do so was punishable by death.

Each race had been gifted by the Lord Above The Gods with their own unique power. The Ashkani were the chosen people, they were the ones meant to rule over the rest, they had the ability to draw energy and power from nature. They could draw warmth or coolness from the weather, they could borrow strength from the world around them. They were the masters of the physical world.

Their opposite were the Abrax. They were the lowest of all men. The Abrax were the servants of nature, they were a people cursed with weakness by the Lord Above The Gods. Energy was taken from them and put into nature. They were slaves to the world. Not even the Lumo, the sworn enemies of the Ashkani were so pathetic.

The Ashkani viewed the Tong people with ambivalence. They’d been gifted with the ability to draw energy and talents from each-other. They lived in tight knit communes in the high mountains bordering the vast deserts of the Ashkani. If one was lacking in a skill, they could borrow the knowledge from another. They were a highly academic, yet hearty people. They were neither slaves, nor masters in the eyes of the Ashkani.

The Ashkani only truly respected the Lumo. They too had the ability to share, but not with man, but beast. They could gift their consciousness to whatever beast they wished. They were often in conflict with the Ashkani, who held them with a grudging esteem as worthy enemies.

That the desert seemed to be growing and encroaching the savannas of the Lumo was further proof that the Ashkani were truly the masters of the world.

Alyanna had spit on the pride of her people when she’d taken that dog into her bed. The servant had lain and put his seed in the master, and she had embraced him. She deserved to die.

“We all know what you’ve done, You’re lower than a dog! Now you’ll die like one,” a large man’s tan hand reached and ripped off her shawl, exposing Alyanna’s uncovered hair to the crowd, the mark of a whore. “Bring her to the square!” he shouted and grabbed her hair.

He pulled her along the dirt, adding to her shame. The crowd that had gathered hurled curses and kicked dirt in her face, further disgracing her.

“You sow!” an older woman shouted, slapping Alyanna as she passed.

“You deserve worse than death!” Came another searing accusation, this time followed by a handful of the small rocks that littered the nomads’ tent city. One ricocheted off of her temple, leaving small a trail of blood in its wake.

In little time they made it to the center of the town where Alyanna was unceremoniously shoved to her knees.

“Get the post!” the large man who’d dragged her shouted, his voice resounding through the camp.

At his command a contingent went to grab the large wooden pole from the tent where it was housed while another group grabbed the small shovels that they always carried with them whenever they traveled and began to dig. Within minutes, the large circular courtyard ringed by tents was transformed into an executioner’s block where the sentence of death by flogging would soon be carried out.

Alyanna felt as if her arms were torn out of their sockets when they were wrenched high above her head and tied through a weathered hole in the post. After they had finished tying her hands she felt the desert heat prickling her naked back as her beautiful tunic was torn open.

“Give me the whip!” the most ancient of the elders said, holding out his gnarled fingers that spoke of years of hardness and toil.

According to Ashkani laws, when one was condemned to death, the whole town took turns flogging the convict, from the oldest to the youngest, until the convict was dead. It was tortuous and could take hours and sometimes up to a day depending on the age and strength of the community leaders. It’d fallen out of practice for being too barbaric, beheading was preferred now. Alyanna’s sin though, was heinous, it had never been done before. They would make an example of her so it would never be repeated.


The whip whistled through the air, the sound brought an expectation of pain almost as terrible as the flesh it would tear off. Alyanna cringed in anticipation, startled when the pain she was expecting failed to come.

A shadow shaded her bare back.

“How dare you monsters touch my wife!” Alyanna’s heart leapt as she heard the voice of her husband cry out.

She turned her head as far as she was able to and saw him hunched over her, using his bruised and bloodied body as a shield. “You’ll be alright, I’ll not let anything happen to you or our little bean,” he reassured her with a rogues smile that brightened her day every time that she saw it.

Alyanna began to sob.

Earlier in the day Cearth had been taken by a small mob of armed men, all intent on murdering him. They were disgusted that the daughter of a merchant had fallen in love with a slave that they’d won during a raid on an Abrax trading party. Cearth had been the sole survivor. He was branded and sold to a wealthy merchant who took him as a slave in his household.

There he had met and fallen in love with Alyanna.

She’d last saw her husband being beaten as he was dragged outside of the campgrounds. Alyanna had choked back her tears then, thinking her silent strength would somehow lessen his punishment. Seeing him looking half alive and standing over her, shielding her from the frenzied whipping of the elders sent all of the fear, anger, and sadness boiling to the surface.

“Stop it! Stop it!” Alyanna screamed as she watched her husband grimace in pain as the whip tore his back open.

“I’m here now love,” he reassured her as he unsheathed a bloodied knife and started to saw the rope from Alyanna’s wrists while simultaneously reaching into a hidden pocket and scattering seeds he had quietly stored during his time as a slave.

As his wife’s bonds snapped, Cearth swept his foot through the sand, spraying it over the seeds. With a second spin he emptied the water container he’d stolen off of one of the mob that had tried to kill him onto the seeds.

Seconds later the red sand was bursting with life. Cearth's skin paled as the greens burst forth from the earth as if possessed and shielded the couple from the blows of the angry crowd.

“Stop Cearth! If you do much more you’ll die!” Alyanna pleaded with her husband, whose eyes shone with fury.

“If I die protecting you and our sprout, then so be it,” came his resolute reply, his voice filled with stern determination.

With a wave of his hands, more vines sprouted from ground where he’d tossed the seeds. They ripped through the crowd, opening a small path that Cearth followed, dragging his petite bride along with him.

“Watch out!” she screamed in horror as a man drew his sword and charged straight at Cearth.

Cearth reached into his pocket and grabbed one of the few remaining seeds and threw it to the ground. A sapling sprung from where the seed had been. The man cried in horror as he tried and failed to stop his momentum from skewering himself on the sharpened tree Cearth had formed.

Cearth’s frame seemed shrunken as he kicked the sapling’s base, cracking it.

With a second kick he broke the sapling free and the body toppled off it. Cearth wielded the young tree as a staff, snapping it across the jaw of a second attacker, collapsing the man. Cearth made a dash towards the horses with his wife in tow.

A knife caught the Abrax’s cloak and ripped it as he picked up his wife and with a desperate strength, threw her onto the back of a startled horse.

With Alyanna safely out of reach he twisted to avoid the second swipe of the knife but caught a glancing blow to the ribs that opened a long, shallow cut. Using the momentum of his evasive spin, Cearth drove the improvised staff into the knees of his attacker, shattering them with a sickening crack. The man collapsed, his agonized screaming cut short by a strong blow to the temple that silenced him for good.

Cearth grabbed the knife that he’d re-sheathed earlier and cut the line holding the stallion. With his other hand he slammed the sapling into the black beast’s flank with a resounding snap. With all the will he could muster, Cearth flung himself on the back of the charging horse, landing with a thump behind his pregnant wife.

The horse charged straight through the crowd, trampling those too slow to get out of the way.

“Watch out my heart!” Alyanna screamed as she caught a glance of a group of archers knocking their arrows.

There’s no way that isn’t going to hit us! She thought in a panic.

Desperately Alyanna drew all the heat that she could gather from the atmosphere and redirected it towards the small band of marksmen, blistering their skin as the air around them turned into a furnace, roasting them alive.

Be on the lookout for the second chapter coming soon!