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Hope: Princes of Glacia

by ASHLEY DOOLITTLE 4 months ago in Adventure
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Chapter 1

Chapter 1:

And as she crossed the forgotten sea, she could only think of one thing: freedom. Being locked away for so long from the outside world, Hope could only dream to walk on dry land. Other than the tiny rubble of an island she’d spent the past 18 years being forgotten on. It’s a dangerous thing, crossing the forgotten sea. You still know who you are, but the rest of the world forgets about you. Like you’ve never existed. It’s only at where the forgotten sea meets the “remembrance stone” that you’re impaled like a blazing sword into the world’s minds. She could feel the stone’s nearness and only hoped that everyone she loved would still be there. Her parents, her brothers and life. Hope gazed out upon the vast sea as her tiny ship speedily hurried to the north. Wondering what lies beyond the remembrance stone and if there will be anything left for her at her home; Glacia. Being stolen away at just 6 years old, would her family recognize her? Would they still accept her? Would they fear the power she now possesses? She could only hope. The one thing that’s been keeping her holding on for so many years until she was finally able to escape her captor.

But she couldn’t think of that now. The winds have heightened, and large waves were starting to crash harder into her tiny ship. Luckily years of being locked away with nothing but her imagination and books have helped her to teach herself to sail a ship. Of course, reading about it and doing it are two completely different situations, she was managing quite well. The irony of her situation? Being locked away on a tiny island, surrounded about water but never learning how to swim. If she fell over now, she would surely drown. “Keep it together Hope.” She kept repeating it to herself like it was her life’s mantra. A large wave was headed straight for her. One quick turn of her ships wheel and she was able to steer the ship with it opposed to against it. It worked, but she knew this was going to be a long day.

What seemed to be an eternity later and Hope was out of the stormy waves. Wet and cold from the icy slashes of the waves. But she was alive and still headed for home. She lay on the deck with the wheel pinned in place, gazing longingly up into the star filled skies. How pretty it is. She searched for the stars of Amara, goddess of her time. The legend says that Amara appeared from the sea, unknown and feared by all. She tried to help people wherever she went but always was cast away and forgotten. Until one night a dangerous and rare storm, that almost seemed “mystical” threatened Glacia and the people within it. Amara used her powers to stop it. She could harness and control the lightening, scatter waves into a million droplets and calm the storms. She perished saving Glacia and only then, in that selfless act of bravery and heroism, only then was she appreciated. Giving her life for those who would cast her away.

Hope read her legend many times over. Inspired and intrigued, she wondered if she could ever truly be that brave and selfless. Even though her own powers were nothing to match Amara’s, Hope still longed to be brave and strong like Amara. Locating her stars in the sky meant that she was close to the remembrance stone. Which meant home was only a few more days north. Home. She longed for home for the last 18 years. Often wondering how much of it had changed. She can barely remember it. Only certain things that were special to her. Like the weeping willow tree, she and her brothers would spend hours of the day climbing and dreaming of the great future. How funny she thought. To be longing for a tree. Deep down she knew it wasn’t really the tree she longed for, but the feeling. The feeling of love and safety. The feeling of being home.

Hope awoke with the warmth of the sun on her cheek. She figured she better eat something soon. It’s almost been a day. She lifted the compartment on the deck floor boards to retrieve her sack of rations she brought from the island. It was a very dull and tiny island, but it yielded some of the best gardens. Opening her sack revealing her bounty of wild berries, mushrooms, a slice of bread and some cheese. Her captor never let her eat too much, just enough to keep her energy up for utilizing her powers. There was a cow for fresh milk. Unfortunately, during her escape, she couldn’t get any milk. Just some boiled water in her flask bottle. It would have to do. Hope finished eating her rations and returned the sack of food to the compartment. She had a sudden hotness in her chest. It didn’t burn but felt very warm and almost familiar. She knew the remembrance stone must be closer than she expected.

Hope scoured the horizon in front of her but did not see anything. Suddenly, she was thrust forward off her bow. Thankfully she was able to grab a hold of the rail before falling overboard. The ship was no longer moving. There was still some wind, but her ship seemed to be stuck, just bobbing back and forth like the bait on the end of a fisherman’s pole. She circled around her ship checking each side. When she got to the front, she realized it was lifted just slightly out of the sea. Odd she thought. She leaned as far as she could over the side and then she saw it. A small gasp left her mouth when she realized she was there. Her tiny ship was stuck on the remembrance stone. Her chest was filled with emotions she felt as if she could scream of joy. She expected to find a towering stone that glistened like the sun. At least that’s what one of the books in her library had shown her. I guess over time the tides have risen above it. But she faced another issue. How could she get her ship off the stone without going into the water?

She searched her brain for an answer. But there seemed to be only one solution: she’d have to go into the water. She took the sails rope and loosened it until she had what seemed to be enough length to hoist herself over and down the side of her boat. She tied it around her waist. Tightening it as much as her strength would allow her. She walked to the side and looked over. A rush of fear washed over her. What if she came this far only to drown halfway there? “No” she told herself. “You can do this!” Hope grabbed the rail of ship and began to climb over. “One leg” she walked herself through it as if instructing a small child. “Now the other.” She now sits on the side of the rail with just a short 10-foot drop from her and her death. “Get out of your head.” She demanded herself. She slowly started to turn herself around. With every sway of the ship, she felt her heart thump out of her chest. She would have to let go of the rail and hoist herself down to the rock below.

Hope transferred her left hand to the rope, gave a hard tug. Seemed secure enough. Now all she had to do was grab the rope with her right hand. Holding her breath as she did, she hung on the side of the ship for what seemed forever with her eyes closed. It was just a few moments. Hope let out a deep breath. “You can do this!” she reassured herself once more. She then slowly climbs herself a few inches down the rope. Keeping her feet touching the side of the ship. Trying to use it as a support as she lowered herself down the rope. The rope, and Hope, was getting wet from the icy sprays of the seas waves as they lightly hit the ship. She was about 5 feet down when her foot slipped on the side of the ship.

Causing Hope to startle and slip faster down the rope. She tightened her grip and stopped just at the top of the water. When she looked down, she could see the glistening of the stone just under the water. She set herself atop the stone still clinging to the rope around her. The literal lifeline between her and the ship. She felt a warmth come over her as she stood on the stone. As if it was telling her, it all would be okay. “Don’t be silly Hope, stones don’t think.” She had to say to herself. She looked at her ship and the stone and she realized she hadn’t fully thought this through. How was she supposed to move this large hunk of wood by herself? She had nothing to leverage herself against. “Use your gift” she heard a voice whisper. She looked around as if expecting to find someone else there. She concluded it must have been her thoughts speaking to her.

Hope hadn’t used her gift in quite some time. She didn’t fully understand it and frankly sometimes it scared her. Control has never been a talent of hers. Something her captor regretted often. When forced to practice her gifts, Hope would cause more damage than harm. She had set her room on fire once during a dream. She could harness more than fire, all the elements really. Water, air and earth. She could make plants grow, make it rain and blow leaves around. She could have used her gift to sail her ship, but without control of it she could have caused a great storm or monsoon. “You can do it.” She heard the voice whisper again. Hope closed her eyes and imagined the tiniest gust of wind to push the side of the ship. Nothing happened. “The water.” The voice said again. Hope looked around again expecting to find someone standing behind her. Again no one was there. Hope put her hand in the water and lifted a droplet. It stayed hovering before her and then fell back into the sea. She’d never done more than small rain showers or moving droplets from plant to plant.

Using her gifts took energy. She feared moving that much water at once would cause her to faint and drown. “Concentrate.” “Use the stone.” She heard the voice again. “Use the stone?” Hope asked confused. She had learned that using magical objects can strengthen her gifts. Her captor never let that happen of course. She sensed it was because she would be too powerful for them to control so there was nothing of magical property on the island. Well other than herself. “Hurry.” The voice inside her said a little louder. Hope knelt on the stone, closed her eyes tight. “Give me strength.” She urged. Then she found herself imagining lifting the water up around the ship and the ship with it. She held it there in her mind for a few minutes. “Look!” the voice said. Hope slowly opened her eyes. Her vision was a little blurry from the tightness she had held them closed. Her mouth gapped open, and she gasped a little. She was in aww to see her ship floating before her, she left her eyes open this time.

She felt a surge of confidence flow over her. She guided the water with her eyes and mind to place the ship just on the side of the stone. She looked around, as if looking for someone. “Thank you, whoever you are.” She said out loud. She realized she must look ridiculous and a little insane, but she didn’t care about that now. She started climbing up the rope and threw herself back over the rail falling a like a heap of wet towels to the floor. She lay there for a little while re-playing the last events through her head. A smile came over her face and a feeling of certainty rushed through her. She knew she’d make it home now. She stood up, quickly replaced the sail’s rope and grabbed her helm. She pointed her ship towards north and blew a quick gust at her sails. “Just a little nudge.” She snickered. Hope felt a new sense of power and control that she had never felt before.

Adventure

About the author

ASHLEY DOOLITTLE

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