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Story Notes:
I wrote this back in October and I never finished writing the book! I was so determined to finish it too...maybe I'll finish it during my winter break!
Author's Chapter Notes:
So, this is the first chapter of a book that I plan on finishing (have no idea when though), but I just hope that it isn't too confusing.

Since i wrote it in October 2013, my memory of the story is a little rusty...

Oh! and I had footnotes, but I can't really make footnotes here so I just put them in parentheses ^^
She crept out the back door of her generations-old home and made her way down the steep backyard. Dakika bir, gol bir (Translation: “Minute one, goal one.” Turkish saying meaning that something bad happened before the main activity had actually started). She tripped over a rock hidden by the blanket of darkness falling over the land. “I had better make this quick…” She muttered while dusting off the excess mud from her olive green tights and picking up her quiver. She stood in front of the thick grove leading into the forest with a strange hesitance. She was accustomed to the thick smell of pollen and the cool damp feel of the moss, so why was she feeling doubtful and scared? She pushed aside the withering branches and entered the thicket of luscious green with a hint of copper peeking through the emerald, signaling the approach of Autumn.

Hunting with her amber red eyes that burned with the thrill of the search, Ailsa slashed and hiked her way through countless trees and puddles. Her knee-high, leather boots were worn down and dirty after having tripped so many times. As she trudged through a particularly deep puddle of mud, her boot got caught on something glinting in the brown guck. She tied her smoldering ember and forest brown strands, now mingled with a crusty layer of dirt and dust, back while examining the fanciful object. While studying the ornate and heavy piece of matter, an arrow shot out of nowhere and tore a hole in her nettle green sleeve embroidered with gold. She heard a scream. An enchanting, mythical scream. Soon, a dark figure loomed over her tiny body, mumbling something in gibberish she didn’t understand. In haste, she reached for the slender piece of metal and, as though it had once been a part of her, rays of light shone out of her blazing red eyes while she took her fighting stance. With determination, she pointed her new sword at the foreign being, showing off her fierce dominance of the territory. Fire against Earth. A teenage girl vs. a 400 some year old elf. The powerful elf snapped her teeth at Ailsa and, with a howl, summoned her army of a thousand well-armed men.

The commanding elf stopped them and circled around Ailsa while sniffing her and inspecting her hair. The general equivalent of the elven army approached their ruler and whispered to her in a hushed tone. After their secret speakings, the general looked up and approached the confused Ailsa: “Ailsa Perihan. 17. Home-schooled. Takes care of animals at the local shelter. Human…mostly. What is your purpose?”

Ailsa stammered as she searched for the right words, “I…sir…mister…this is a piece of my family’s land. I was merely practicing.”

“Practicing what? How to destroy our way of life?!” The general started getting worked up.

The commanding elf placed her thin hand gently on the general's shoulder and he retreated. “I am Ireth,” she proceeded, “Queen and ruler of the Dryadales Aeternam (Eternal Elves) . We know you picked up the sword of Azantoth. The question is…how?” Ireth started circling around Ailsa yet again, squinting her eyes and licking her lips with a snake-like tongue. Both a beautiful and frightening sight.

Ailsa, in an uncomfortable position, tried to speak, but all that came out was: “I don’t…know…” She weighed the sword in her hands, liking the feel of cool metal against her warm skin; a feeling she was used to. She noticed an engraving on the sword: “Pugnare cum honore et dignitate. Hic intelligitur alquis tueri forte rogum (Fight with honor and dignity. May this sword protect the one meant to wield it).” Ailsa stared at the weapon, mesmerized and amazed. Now, if only she knew what the hell it said. Ireth reached over and dragged a long nail along the glowing letterings while mumbling its translation, as though it were giving her strength and willpower.

A young squire approached Ireth and tugged on the vines hanging off of her shoulder: "M'lady, we must return to Terra Spera (Land of Trust). We have been far for too long. I'm sure that the All-Seer is concerned about your whereabouts." Ireth nodded and returned back to her position in front of the crowd of powerful men.

Before they turned around and abandoned the dazed Ailsa, she muttered under her breath: "Potest fortuna diriget viam tuam (May luck guide your way)." Ailsa stared after them. Soon, she flopped to the floor and let out a sigh of relief. She sat there, reflecting on what had just occurred. Her hunches of another race being out there were just confirmed. Though they may be a little standoffish, she felt a strange security with that eccentric clan. She gazed upon the cutlass; running her hand over the words and watching them glow faintly with an eerie blue gleam. The feeling of warmness washed over her whenever she rested her hand upon the blade and she closed her eyes.

There was a man. A man with a deformed body shape. He had no neck, nor a nose. His mouth wasn't there either…wait, his eyes and mouth are on his torso. There was also blood. Blood dripping down the sides of his canines. Blood all over his robes. She could feel him coming towards her and breathing down her neck. He softly whispered, "Soon, you will be mine. And we will be one." He licked his lips, blew her hair off of her neck onto her shoulder and cut the tiny knot holding the back of her shirt’s collar up with a sharp, cold nail. With a blood-curdling scream, Ailsa was wide awake.

She frantically searched for something around her, anything, that would convince her that it was only a dream. Remembering the nightmare, her hand shot up to the back of her neck and she turned paler than pale. The knot was actually cut in half and she could feel a ridge where that nail would’ve scratched. Panicked, she picked up her quiver from the ground, strapped it to herself and gripped her bow to the point where her knuckles turned snow white. Just before Ailsa ran for her life, which she was used to doing, the sword crawled back into her mind and she stared down at it. It looked sad and lonely on the cold, damp ground. The moon was out and shining bright down on Ailsa; her face hidden by the shadows of her natural contours and full hair. The moon rays glinted off of something lying on the ground next to the sword: a twinkle of light in the falling darkness that coaxes the soft breaths of sleep and draws out the dark creatures with sinister thoughts on their one-track minds. Curious, but also anxious, she bent down to examine this twinkle. In her hands, she rolled around a coin attached to the hilt of the sword decorated with elegant swirls, dives, leaps and dances. Ailsa put her overused bow around her torso, held onto the sword, then started dashing towards the exit of the forest, hacking and slashing desperately.

Panting heavily and gasping for breath, she could feel the approach of the man from her dream. What exactly happened? No distractions. She had to make it home. She had be safe. She had to call Lorcan. Just before she could see the exit, a dark presence stopped her in her tracks. At the end of the path was a figure bent over what looked like…a human? Terrified and trembling, she quietly stepped backwards. However, she shouldn’t have moved a bone in her body; the figure showed its face. Or, rather, the lack of a full face. It heavily dragged its body, covered in bloody robes, towards Ailsa. It was the being from her dream. As though she recognized the entity, her lips moved to form words and, as he vanished, she whispered the name: “Anthropophage.” With a new reason to get the hell out of there, she ran even faster; trying not to glance at the man lying on the ground. The man with his organs half falling out and his eyes rolled back deep into his head. That man was most likely once a loving husband or businessman or a teacher or anyone. She tried not to think of it.

Ailsa collapsed on the porch of her home, clutching her burning chest. Huffing and puffing, she reached for the doorknob and twisted feebly. Opening creakily, the door welcomed her into her haven. Composure half regained, she slipped her boots off and sat them next to the door. A fuzzy thing purred and rubbed against her leg and she bent down to caress the loving kitten. “Why, hello there, cutie,” Ailsa cooed, “is little Jacques hungry? I’m sure he is.” With Jacques at her heel, she strode to the kitchen, picked up her cell phone, dialed two on speed dial and began to open a can of cat food.

“Hello? Ailsa?” answered the soothing voice.

“O-oh, hi there!”

“Are you...okay? You don’t usually answer the phone like that...” he could sense the fright in her voice.

“No, no, I’m fine. For the most part. Do you want to come over, maybe? Have some tea...chat...copy homework…?”

“Again? Dude, stop your late night forest visits and visit your calculus textbook instead.”

“Well, gee. I would if I could. But SOMEONE didn’t give me my notes back. Just bring your ass over here.”

“Be there in a flash.”

She was relieved to hear the click indicating the end of the call. Talking on the phone wasn't exactly her strong suit. Sitting down at the heavy wooden dining table, she pulled out her calculus homework with an apple in hand and squinted at the sheets in front of her. All of the numbers, letters and symbols merged together into that horrifying face. She couldn't get it out of her mind. The doorbell rang and Lorcan walked in as though he owned the place. "Hallos!" he roared cheerily while wrapping his arms around Ailsa's shoulders and hugging her tightly. She hadn't seen him in a while. She missed those translucent hazel eyes and the full chocolate brown hair he had sitting atop the nape of his neck. His face was inches from hers while she stood there speechless and blushing, as she usually did in social confrontations. Lorcan’s freckles had become more prominent from the summer sunshine, however, now they were slowly fading back to a shade just barely darker than pale. He shook his hair out of his eyebrows then pushed his face closer to Ailsa’s, daring her to speak.

"H-hi..." she stuttered while gently pushing him away to a comfortable distance.

Lorcan glided over to the stove and wafted the smells of dinner towards his nostrils then cringed, "What the hell is that?"

"Dinner...? Beans in an alfredo sauce with nutmeg and cinnamon..."

He stood there, astonished. "Who in the world would even consider that combination?"

"But...it's good. It has the needed protein and dairy with a hint of the cinnamon-y sweetness. Really, it tastes great. Plus, that's all that was in the cupboard...the trust funds haven't come in yet."

"Did you use it all on your battle equipment again?" Lorcan sighed, clearly exasperated.

"No...well, I bought beans...and alfredo sauce...and maybe a few new arrows..."

"Seriously, what am I going to do with you?"

He pulled two plates out and poured some of the concoction onto each then sat them on the table. Ailsa pulled a chair out and sat at the table next to Lorcan. She kept playing with the beans on her plate, which were swimming laps in a cheesy pool.

A few hours later, Ailsa was fed up with the constant X2s, limits, square roots, functions, graphs, and just calculus in general, so she stood up abruptly, knocking her cup off the table. The sound of glass shattering was quickly followed by stomps up the stairs and an echo of agile steps following Ailsa's. Around and around they went up the large spiral staircase. Lorcan was quick on her trail and scooped her up into his arms; she wasn't as heavy as many would think. He concluded that it must be from all the practice and activity. "Where do you think you're going?" he stared down at her as she squirmed and hit his chest repeatedly.

"Let me go! Let me be frustrated in piece, dammit!"

Lorcan placed her on her bed and looked her straight in the eyes, "Look, Ailsa. We've known each other for how many years now...? A little over a decade...? Exactly. Now shush and listen to me. Look at me," he moved her pouting face to face him, "I'm here to help you, obviously. You stood up to those kids at the sandbox for me. I'm sure you don't think that that would've actually affected me, but it did. Every time I hear your name or think of our friendship, I remember that little girl in that overall dress screaming at the top of her shrilly voice to make those boys stop. Next thing I knew, we were walking home together, giggling and smiling. That's how all of our school years went. When that thing happened a few years ago though...you distanced yourself from me." Ailsa's face changed color and her pout loosened up as she realized this. “I want you to take better care of yourself and, maybe, on your next adventure, you'll take me along too,” his face softened a bit.

Ailsa's lips parted to speak a word, but nothing came out. She examined the way the hairs of the rug stood up and how some of them were flattened by steps. After taking a gulp and clearing her throat lightly, she finally spoke, "I'm sorry, Lorcan. I just didn't want a repeat of what happened back then to happen again. I don't know..." this time, she looked into Lorcan's eyes, "I don't know what I'd do if you disappeared too." Reaching over to a pillow on her bed, she read the embroidered words softly: "'Strength comes from pain and home is where the heart is. Yours and our hearts are forever entwined here in this house. Fight and protect until the end. Until your very last breath.'" Ailsa stroked the pillow delicately and looked up at Lorcan again, "That's exactly what I'll do."

At this, Lorcan smirked and clapped his hands together, "Great! So that means now we can re-visit Calculusland and have FUN!"

"That's not what it translates to, no."

"Don't be a party pooper, Ailsa."

"I don't give in to peer pressure, Lorcan."

Ailsa and Lorcan stood across from each other, both with their hands on their hips, glaring at each other. They busted out laughing and Lorcan ran down the stairs. Ailsa lingered in her room; taking a glance around her room. Her eyes rested on a picture frame resting quietly and lonely on her oak dresser. Her legs trudged along the carpet then malfunctioned while her hands took control. The pale extended fingers reached for the old, faded wedding photo of her parents. Those hands elevated the lovely couple to a pair of soft pink lips that punctuated the action with a simple kiss. Under her breath, Ailsa whispered, “I will love you two forever and make you proud.” Setting the frame back where it originally rested, she made her way back down the spiral staircase to see Lorcan sitting down at the table eagerly with his plate held out towards Ailsa. "Seconds?" he grinned, showing off his naturally perfect teeth. Ailsa smiled as she poured some more onto both of their plates.

Little did they know that they had company: a third guest who seemed to be staring through the window. A man with his hand pressed up against the glass and who breathed heavily, causing a small area of it to condensate. Before Ailsa and Lorcan could notice, he was exterminated by a simple, accurate arrow. The moonlight glinted off of jewelry as a thin hand reached for the body, dragging it away from the window. The woman clicked her tongue and shook her head, "No, this will not do. I guess they're running amuck again." She stood up tall and straight with the man tucked securely to her back in a large knapsack. She made her way back into the forest and approached her group, who was waiting for her. A young man, who looked like he was in his twenties, whispered to her, "Ireth, is it them again?"

"It looks like it. Examine the eyes," the royal tone suggested. Ireth unzipped the knapsack and removed the body. The whole group stared at the lifeless human with scleras blood red and irises hidden back in his skull. They cringed and hung their heads, knowing what the signs meant. Ireth knew she had to tell Ailsa. If that man was in front of Ailsa's window, then that means, this time around, she's the one he's after.
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