This is a co-write i'm doing with a friend of mine. I had to write the beginning, with the boy as the main person, and she's starting the next day. So please tell me what you think of this, so I know it's good enough for our book. It doesn't have a title yet, though. Thanks! Btw, I'm new here!
The moonlight illuminated his face, which glistened with a mixture of sweat and dirt. His shaggy chestnut hair was plastered to his face with sweat, and he was short of breath. Bow in hand, with a sheath of arrows at his back, he ran, placing one ragged, tired foot in front of the other. His eyes, deep brown like the tree bases, which surrounded him in the dense forest, were wide with fear and shock.
“Asher!” A male voice screamed to him above the flurry of arrows and screams in the background. “Asher, wait!”
He turned around, and saw his friend, and fellow warrior, Tate running up to him. “We’ve lost!” Tate exclaimed. “The attack, we lost, most of the men are dead. They’ve captured Master Brae; most of the others are dead. We have to get out of here!”
Asher shook his head, and looked both ways. He saw only the dark shadows that were trees, and the scraggly bushes that grew sparsely in that part of Tereth’Teth. They’d been sent on a mission to attack the enemy’s training camp, and exterminate as many of their warriors as they could. Their band had been small-only a hundred young warriors; quick, slender and strong warriors, in a secret night attack.
Asher had retreated after seeing most of his accomplices struck down with arrows, and several with the enemy’s long, silver swords. “We must run!” Asher said, breathless. “Run away from here!” He swallowed quickly, his throat parched and dry.
Tate looked both ways, again, and grabbed Asher’s arm, pulling him behind the safety of a tree. “And where would we go, Asher? There is nothing but death for those who retreat, and worse than death for deserters. What can we do?”
Asher shook his head, and stared at his friend. Tate had blonde hair as shaggy as Asher’s, pale blue eyes, and a thin frame. His clothes hung limp off his starved body, and deep bags accentuated his eyes. Asher knew he looked no better. Behind them, closer to the training camp, there were the screams of those who died, slowly. Asher shook with fear, and he steadied himself against the tree. “Just run, Tate,” he said softly, then he took off. He heard Tate behind him, but barely paid him any attention.
And before he knew what was happening, a man in white cloth pants and a long gray cloak, with his shirt strings untied, stepped out from the tree, bow drawn. Asher stopped dead, and stared at the arrow for a long moment. It was fletched with Pegasus feathers. Asher dropped his bow, and fell to his knees. This man was very powerful. The Pegasus gave his feathers to no common man.
His breathing was heavy, as he heard Tate running through the bushes, making no attempt to save him. Asher closed his eyes, and held his arms up in defeat. He heard the man draw his sword, and lowered his torso so that his neck was parallel to the ground. He put his hands behind his back, and waited to die, slowly breathing, and savoring those last breaths.
It was almost a relief, knowing he would finally die. Fighting for Lord Tel’Vek had worn the young man through. In his thirteen years before the war he had not seen anything compared to the past three. Then he had seen his friends turn from common young men to trained killers, able to slaughter women and children, and even babies, without conscience. He had even participated in the act. He had seen Lord Te’Vek’s men kill his mother and father heartlessly for refusing to fight. And he had chosen to fight over death, given up his honor for all of this.
He now clung to the fact that it was over, finally over. It would be easy to die. This was the most painless way he could have ever imagined. Even the sentence for retreating was being hanged. Still, the life he could have led with his mother and father, the family he could have had, the lives he could have changed all rushed through Asher’s mind, as the man’s footsteps slowly approached. The thoughts brought tears to his eyes.
And then he felt the man put a hand on his shoulder in a rough but gentle way. Asher dared to look up, and saw something like pity in the man’s eyes. “Come,” he said in a deep voice. Asher stood up slowly, and let the man push him through the bushes, the flat of the sword pressed against his neck. As he stumbled into the camp, he saw the dead bodies of his friends strewn across the ground, bloody and disfigured, and his eyes welled up with tears. There was a lump in his throat, and he coughed, raising his fist to his throat. He breathed in several times, then out, sporadically, over and over again.
The man led him to tan colored tent, whose flaps blew about in the breeze. He led Asher to the middle of the tent. Then he pressed his hand hard on Asher’s shoulder, and he dropped to his knees. The man took a length of rope from his silver belt, and roughly tied Asher’s hands behind his back. Asher was shaking heavily, making it harder for the man to secure the knot. The man stood up again, then took off his cloak and draped it across Asher’s shoulders.
As soon as he left, Asher let the tears for his friends flow down his cheeks. He heard men calling out orders, the sounds of shovels hitting the earth, men calling out to each other and heaving bodies into the ditches they’d created. He didn’t know how many other prisoners there were, but he realized that Master Brae, the troop leader, had also been captured.
He didn’t know why the man had taken him captive, rather than killing him. As the moist ground soaked through his tan-colored cloth pants, chilling him to the bone, Asher almost wished that he had. His sweat-soaked hair was cooling down in the breeze, and his teeth chattered. He looked up, and saw a man’s silhouette at the entrance of the tent. Asher sighed, as he realized he was being guarded.
Fatigue had already coursed through his body, and crying had only made him all the more tired. So, with a sigh, he lay down on the earth, and allowed himself to block out the chaos, if only for a few short hours.