Hey everyone! I have finally gotten around to posting my third fiction short story for teens, The Child of the Lenorans. This story is a short fantasy suspense fiction for teens that I wrote on the spur of the moment.
In this short story, I experimented with switching between two different voices, first and third person, and switching between past and present tense. I thought it would be interesting to try something new, and this was what came to mind! I really enjoyed writing this fiction story, so I hope you all will enjoy reading it too!
So I hope you enjoy this fiction short story for teens, and please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Also, thanks to my wonderful editors and critiquers, Allie Jo Andersen, Aria O. Plains, Eloise Penn, Sarah Barker, Lilia Lemon, Joanne Shin, Sam M, Sarah C, Lily, and RuthAnna Miller. You guys helped me make this story so much better than it would have been. Thank you!
Now, let’s dive into the story.
A woman stood at the edge of a cliff, where a raging waterfall plummeted into the river below. The woman, Aeryn, glanced around nervously, drawing quick, gasping breaths. She clutched a small child, not much older than two months, to her chest. She could almost hear the pounding of hoofbeats in her mind; the shouting soldiers; the terrible onslaught they brought with them. The very onslaught that had killed her husband only moments ago.
Aeryn fell to her knees as grief washed over her, her tattered skirt becoming even filthier than it already was. She pressed the baby even tighter to her chest, weeping out of exhaustion, sadness, and despair. She had lost the willpower to save herself from the oncoming soldiers, who would stop at nothing to track down every last one of her kind. In less than minutes, they would find her, kill her, and go on to do the same thing to the rest of her kindred. If she and her child didn’t make it, all was lost.
Aeryn looked down at the young, innocent life in her arms. Though she could give over her own life to these conniving soldiers, she could never surrender the life of such an innocent little being.
And because of that, she could never give in.
No. She could give her own life, but she could never hand over the life of her baby. She must press on. She must think of how to escape, and forget for a moment her husband’s terrible death. Grief could come later; now was the time to act.
Just as Aeryn was gathering the courage to stand up again; to keep running; she suddenly heard the sound of loud hoofbeats coming nearer. And this time it wasn’t just her imagination, it was real. The horses pounded away like an oncoming thunderstorm, growing louder and more terrible by the moment.
Aeryn tried to have faith that the Creator would save her. Couldn’t he see the oppression of his chosen people? If he really cared, he would save her now, or at least her baby. He had to. Or she didn’t know how she could ever have faith in him again.
Aeryn summoned all her courage and stood up. Then she realized she had nowhere to go. On her left was the roaring waterfall, and to her right were the oncoming soldiers. She had no choice but to go to the right and hope she could make it away from this raging waterfall and avoid the soldiers at the same time.
Aeryn prayed a quick, desperate prayer before leaving the waterfall. She had only one thought: Run.
Suddenly, Aeryn tripped on the hem of her skirt. She fell face-first in the mud, smearing her face with more grime. She tried to roll and break her fall to keep the sleeping baby in her arms from being hurt. When she hit the ground, her mouth hit a stone, and she tasted blood.
Please, Creator, she prayed silently, more tears streaking her cheeks. Help me.
Aeryn’s baby suddenly began to cry loudly, woken from his sleep by Aeryn’s fall. Aeryn forced herself to her weary knees and tried to shush the baby. If the soldiers heard the baby’s cry, all would be lost. She, and likely her baby, would die.
Aeryn urgently rocked her baby, but he did not quiet. His strenuous wails shook the silent air, and Aeryn thought she heard the hoofbeats grow closer. Please, son, she thought, be quiet.
Yet the mind of the baby was too small to wrap itself around the fact that if he didn’t quiet they would both be killed. He kept wailing, his shrieks growing louder.
Aeryn heard loud shouts growing louder along with the oncoming horses. Please… no… she thought wearily, but it was too late. The soldiers had found her.
Ten horsemen wearing dark, hooded cloaks and brandishing silver swords suddenly emerged from the brush. Aeryn couldn’t see their faces because of their hoods which shadowed most of their faces, but she could still see their mouths curved up in a smile. These men were malicious, and they loved seeing innocent people suffer.
Aeryn couldn’t believe that after all these years of trying to escape, of avoiding the evil intent of these men, now would really be the time she would have to give in. They were surrounding her now, and there was no hope left of escape for her. None.
All she could pray was that they would let her child live. She hoped that these men, no matter how evil they were, would have enough heart left in them to spare an innocent baby. If she could keep her baby alive, then there was still a glimmer of hope for her people. Not her, but her people.
The men dismounted from their horses and began roughly binding Aeryn and shuttling her onto their horses. They tore her baby from her breast, taking him no more gently than one would a sack of grain. One of the men whipped her on the back, a sure punishment for her trying to escape the slave camp. Aeryn bore the pain on the first strike, though she had to clench her teeth to keep from screaming. The second blow was too much; she cried out in pain and fell to her knees, but the men roughly grabbed her and pulled her up again.
She couldn’t bear it. It was too much.
Yet she had no choice but to keep going on. A couple of the men handled her roughly and slung her over the back of one of the horses, tying her hands tighter and mounting their horses once more. The pain in Aeryn’s back was almost too much to bear, and yet she bore it with the hope that it would soon pass, and she would be in heaven with the Creator.
But for now, all she knew was the searing pain and the jostling horse that had just begun to ride again.
Before Aeryn lost consciousness, she prayed once more for her newborn son, that he would remain alive, and not suffer the same fate her husband had and she would soon face herself.
5th Day of the 8th Month, Year 1023
I had a dream last night that made my blood run cold. Though I am eighteen now and haven’t had a nightmare in many years, this one woke me up, sweating in terror.
Now, as I’m writing this, it’s the middle of the night. I can’t sleep for the dangerous dream I just had. I don’t think I’ve been this terrified in a long time. The dream felt so real; it was almost as if I was living it again.
I wonder, what does my dream mean? And was it a real event that had happened? Was that really how my mother’s life had ended?
I have heard many tales of my mother, Aeryn, before, from my fellow Lenorans. I was convinced of her unending confidence, bravery, and love. She died when I was still a baby, but I’d never been able to visualize how terribly the Chasan soldiers had killed her until now.
In my dream, my parents had both escaped from the Chasan slave camp, along with many other Lenoran people. I had been in my mother’s arms, likely as a baby.
But my father was killed. And then, my mother, strong though she was, was tracked down and caught. The Chasans brought her back to the slave camp and killed her as an example to the other Lenorans not to escape the walls of the camp.
The dream had ended there.
It was so real. So terrible. And I don’t know how my mother endured all that. She had spent her whole life trying to escape from the Chasans. She had almost succeeded, too, but not quite.
Now that I am the leader of the Lenorans, and we have already mostly escaped the Chasans to travel to the land the Creator has promised us, I have made friends with my people. Despite the fact that I was brought up in a Chasan palace, they respect me now. And because of that, they are willing to tell me tales of my mother.
Some don’t remember, but the older ones who do tell glorious tales of her bravery. They say that she was a kind, loving woman, but also fierce as a warrior. No one could stop her from hoping.
And then she died protecting me.
I know it wasn’t my fault, but somehow just that statement alone makes the weight of her death seem even heavier. I was nothing more than a baby then, but it wasn’t fair that she had to die. I wish I could’ve been older to protect her.
And now, as I’m writing, I realize that this dream must have been some sort of memory from the past, brought back to life by the Creator. Though I technically wasn’t old enough to remember my mother’s death, the Creator did, and he gave me the dream.
Now I realize how much my mother sacrificed for me. If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be alive right now.
Well, her and the Chasan princess. When my mother was brought back to the camp, the Chasans planned to kill me too, as was their custom with all young baby boys. But the Chasan princess had taken a liking to me. Apparently, she thought I was handsome. I don’t know what drove her to keep me alive, and not just that, but raise me as her own, but she did.
Because of that, I now lead the Lenorans, and we are on our way, in search of a new home beyond Chasan. We escaped the Chasans, by the hand of the Creator alone, and are wandering in the desert toward the land that our fathers first lived in. The journey seems long, but I know we will get there soon. And until then, the Creator will provide. And no matter what happens, there is always hope.