The Writer - Chapter 35

The Writer - Chapter 35

A Chapter by A.L.

The Healer


I am the biggest liar in the world, Clara told herself as they ran

She didn’t have it in her to kill Beckett. Maybe it was because of her kind, gentle nature. Maybe it was because she thought he didn’t believe in what he was doing. 

“Where are we going?” Newt asked through gritted teeth. “And when will we get there? Emmeline isn’t light, you know.” 

“Sorry,” Clara muttered. “She is your girlfriend though. And as for where we’re going, can we focus on getting out of the castle first?” Newt grimaced but gave a small nod and they set off again. 

Clara did feel sorry for making Newt carry Emmeline, but they didn’t have another choice. Unless, of course, they wanted to leave Emmeline behind. That wasn’t an option. 

She barely remembered where she was going, but Clara managed to navigate the hallways relatively easily. A few times they ended up at a dead end, but other than that, they encountered little issues. 

“Where are all the guards?” Newt wondered aloud. 

Clara gave a shrug, but she was thinking the same thing. The corridors were deserted, which seemed really weird because Clara had encountered many soldiers on her way down to the little office room. 

They rounded another corner, and Clara was beginning to recognize the ripping wallpaper. “We’re close,” she warned.

Yes, there’s the picture of the fat woman, Clara thought. She remembered seeing the picture near the entrance to the tunnel… 

Clara stopped suddenly, a string of curses escaping her lips. Newt glared at her, but Clara ignored him. 

“What now?” he asked, exasperated. 

“We can’t go out the way I came in,” Clara realized, cursing herself for being so stupid. “Unless you can drag Emmeline through a bunch of dirt tunnels barely big enough to crawl through, then we need another way out.” 

“You didn’t have an escape plan?” Newt grumbled. 

“I didn’t have an actual plan, to be honest,” Clara said. “I figured I’d come in, get you guys, and leave. I didn’t expect Beckett to be working with the enemy or Emmeline to be unconscious.” 

Newt didn’t say anything, but Clara could sense his building frustration. She couldn’t blame him, of course. 

“How did you guys get here?” she asked, hoping maybe Newt could help them find a way out. 

“I wouldn’t know,” the boy replied grumpily. “ I was unconscious because that brat of a prince stabbed me in the back - literally.” 

Clara frowned. There had to be a way out. 

Baelle was probably expecting them to be trapped - that’s probably why there weren’t any guards. The goddess most likely ordered all of the soldiers to stand at the front gates. That only left one option. 

“Hey, Newt,” Clara said slowly. “How do you feel about windows?” 

“I thought you meant a lower floor when I agreed to this,” Newt hissed at Clara, who was already half out the window. 

The wind tousled her hair, reminding her of just how high off the ground she was. The weird moat glistened below her, resembling a dark abyss from this height. They must’ve been on the fourth floor or so, if not higher. 

“The moat is soft,” Clara reminded him. “It should break our fall.” 

Should.” He rolled his eyes, and Clara was glad at least one person was awake with her. It made this a whole lot easier. “So I’m going first, and then you’re pushing Emmeline, right?” 

Clara nodded. “Just close your eyes and don’t think. It shouldn’t be hard for you.” 

Newt cracked a smile. “Haha, very funny. Move.” And just like that, his joking side was gone. 

Clara peeled herself away from the window, letting Newt take her seat. He took a breath, hesitating for way longer than he needed to. It was Clara’s turn to roll her eyes now. “Enough with the dramatics.” 

Newt stuck out his tongue, but Clara could tell he was nervous. After all, who wouldn’t be when they were about to jump out a window. 

The seconds ticked by. Clara was growing impatient, and it was only a matter of time before someone came to find them. Surely Baelle’s soldiers wouldn’t wait forever until the escapees showed up. 

We can’t wait until Newt is ready, Clara sighed before shoving him out the window. 

Unfortunately, Newt chose that moment to let out the most girly scream Clara had ever heard. 

Clara cursed. Now their cover was completely ruined, and hauling Emmeline with them would mean it would be near impossible to escape. That left only one course of action, one Clara wasn’t thrilled with. 

She leaned Emmeline against the wall, grabbing her shoulders and pouring her Blessing into the Reader. 

When Emmeline finally began to stir, Clara abruptly cut off the stream of magic. She needed to save the rest in case any of them were injured in the escape, which was now more likely than ever. 

“Huh? What’s happening?” Her voice was raspy and her eyes were fluttering. 

“It’s me - Clara,” Clara responded quickly. “We’re escaping - I’ll explain later. But you need to jump out the window and trust me.” 

Emmeline was still half asleep, but she gave a tiny nod and Clara helped her to her feet. Together, they climbed onto the window sill. Several times, Emmeline nearly slipped before she was ready to jump. 

In the end, Emmeline kind of just toppled forward anyway. Judging by Newt’s silence, Clara figured that the Reader probably survived. 

Either that or the soldiers had discovered and killed both of them. 

Clara couldn’t wait any longer. She wasn’t scared anymore, the bitter betrayal from Beckett had hardened her heart. 

The wind pulled at Clara’s hair as she fell. Briefly, she wondered if maybe the black surface was going to break under her. What if Baelle found out about their plan and turned it solid or something? 

But as she hit the ground, the black substance spread upwards like a slow motion wave, cushioning her fall. 

As it shrunk back, Clara caught sight of Newt and Emmeline hobbling away quickly. 

“Where to?” Newt asked as Clara matched their speed. “Is there an easy way out of this moat thing?” 

“To get in I jumped down from the wall,” Clara remembered. “But Emmeline won’t be able to do that.” She thought for a second, trying to come up with a way over the wall. “Hold on.” 

Clara darted ahead, and as she expected, the gargoyles were still there, bored as ever. 

“Oh, you’re back,” Gaia remarked as Clara approached. “I didn’t expect to see you again.”

Newt and Emmeline rounded the corner and Gaia’s face lit up. “You found your friends!’ 

“I did,” Clara said. “Listen, I hate to ask this of you, but do you think you could fly the girl over the wall? I know it’s a long shot but…” it’s the only chance we’ve got. Clara didn’t even know if Gaia and the Fat Gargoyle could fly, but she really hoped they could. 

Gaia and Fatso exchanged a look. 

“Fine,” grumbled Fatso. “But then you better not bother me again, or so help me. Give the girl here.” 

Gaia and Fatso took Emmeline from a reluctant Newt, but even he seemed to grasp the importance of getting Emmeline over the wall. The two gargoyles took flight, though very shakily, Emmeline hanging from their stony limbs like a banner. 

“C’mon, we can climb over,” Clara explained. 

Her and Newt ran to the wall and immediately began scaling it. The bricks were harsh under her fingers, but Clara ignored the discomfort. 

Newt was up the wall first and he offered her a hand, which Clara gratefully accepted. They leapt off the other side, met by Gaia and Fatso, who gracefully left Emmeline on the ground. 

“Thanks,” Clara whispered to them. Gaia gave her a rocky smile, and Clara turned back to Newt. “Which way is west?” 

Newt looked at the sun placement, and he took a moment before answering,” that way,” with a point of his finger. “Why?” 

“The army set up camp in Ibeni,” Clara mumbled. “They’re our best bet right now, and they’re probably heading back south to the mansion. Maybe Forrest and Coral will meet us there.” 

Newt nodded. “Speaking of the army, what all happened to you guys?” 

A picture of Titus surfaced in Clara’s mind, but she pushed it down. “I’ll explain later, and then you can tell me what happened to you. For now, let’s run.” 

Newt gave another nod and he lifted Emmeline up. She leaned on his shoulder for support, and the three continued hobbling to the west. 

The progress was painstakingly slow, but Emmeline soon recovered enough range of motion to run. Although the pace was just a quick jog, they were quickly gaining ground between them and the castle. 

“There’s a woods ahead,” Clara said. “We’ll be safe there.” 

Of course, Clara had spoken too soon. As they reached the edge of the woods, the air in front of them seemed to turn solid. 

Clara could just barely make out an emerald sheen to the space, and she knew Beckett was there before she spun around him. Then again, she wasn’t expecting to see Baelle there too, her arms crossed. 

Newt pressed Emmeline behind him protectively, but Clara knew that he was defenseless. 

The exception being his magic of course.

“Well, well, you’ve made it much farther than I expected,” Baelle praised, raising an eyebrow. “I’m quite amused that you figured out how to sway my gargoyles.” 

“Go away,” Emmeline spat from behind Newt, but her voice sounded weak. 

Baelle laughed and Emmeline shrank back again. The goddess took notice of the movement. “So you’re scared of me now, are you?”

Clara bit back a retort. Baelle was surrounded by her soldiers, and with the force field in place, there would be no escape. “Emmeline, run,” Clara hissed through gritted teeth. “Get out of here.”

“You think running will save you?” Baelle scoffed. 

Clara ignored her, sending a look to Newt over her shoulder. She hoped he would get her message. 

Her and Newt couldn’t kill Baelle, and with Beckett on the goddess’s side, that left Emmeline. The Reader was way too weak for that, meaning the only way she could possibly escape was if Newt and Clara stalled Baelle. 

Clara didn’t hesitate any longer. She grabbed her dagger and threw it straight at Baelle’s face. Obviously, trying to kill Baelle wouldn’t work, but Clara could still try. 

The blade found its place between Baelle’s eyes and the goddess stumbled back. 

Emmeline took off running and Newt launched into attacked mode with just his fists. Clara kept her eyes on both of them in case they needed healing. 

“Cover me,” Newt called out. Clara nodded and grabbed her other daggers. 

She lost track of what was happening soon, focusing on keeping Newt and herself alive. Everything was a blur around her, and just like that she was back on the battlefield. 

She didn’t kill anyone - Clara had seen enough blood to last a lifetime. 

She hit one soldier in the forehead with the hilt of one of her daggers and ducked between another two, causing them to collide. Newt was gone from her line of sight, and Emmeline had disappeared too. 

Clara made her way back towards Baelle, disarming and incapacitating as many of the soldiers as possible. 

The goddess stood in front of Clara, yanking the dagger out of her forehead. The skin knit itself back together like clay, forming nothing but a thin scratch. Baelle turned and saw Clara, throwing the knife with incredible accuracy. 

Clara ducked and sprinted forwards, tackling the goddess to the ground. The pair rolled away, Clara pulling at Baelle’s hair. 

Baelle kneed Clara in the stomach, throwing the smaller girl off. Clara tumbled away, recovering quickly and throwing herself at Baelle’s ankles. The goddess tripped and got a face full of dirt, but retaliated by grabbing Clara’s legs in the same dirty trick. 

Then Baelle was on top of Clara, her legs holding down Clara’s hands. 

One of the soldiers handed Baelle Clara’s discarded dagger, and Baelle took it gratefully. She brought up the knife, about to bring it down when something knocked Baell backwards. 

The knife landed in Clara’s gut instead, the pain flooding through her like someone had opened a dam. With no choice left but to heal herself, Clara let the wound begin to close, extracting the knife and wiping it clean. 

Emmeline was locked into a fight with Baelle now, although the Reader was still weak from sleep. 

Something was obviously empowering her - maybe a gift from one of the goddesses. A pale aura-like light surrounded the older girl, and Emmeline actually seemed to be holding her own against Baelle. 

Clara’s wound still throbbed, but she stopped her magic once she wasn’t in danger of bleeding out. She decided to seek out Newt. 

What is he doing? Shouldn’t he be helping? 

Clara spotted him a few yards away, his eyes closed. Tiny, golden orbs of light pulsed at the edges of his fingertips. 

It certainly didn’t look like death magic, but Clara didn’t have time to wonder. 

A few of the soldiers were approaching Newt, but Clara ran at them, disarming them as fast as possible. Newt opened his eyes and Clara realized that the little light balls had grown to be as big as large fruits.

The soldiers on the ground stilled at Clara’s feet. 

Was … was Newt draining their life force or something? Using her Blessing, she could feel the life slowly seeping out of them despite no major injuries inflicted on them. 

Clara was just about to call Newt’s name when he threw the orbs at the trees. The light crashed into what had to be the force field and the entire world seemed to be knocked backwards a few steps. 

Her vision went dark for a few moments, and when her eyes fluttered open, a familiar face was standing over her. 

Clara scrambled to her feet. “You,” she hissed at the prince. 

Beckett was facing her, though he was unusually still and quiet. He didn’t look to be drugged or tortured, and the thought hurt Clara more. It meant Baelle probably hadn’t coerced him. 

“I’ll let you live,” he whispered, voice soft, eyes sad. “Just this once.” 

And then he was gone. Clara didn’t know where Beckett had disappeared too, but everyone in the field was gone except for her, Newt, and Emmeline. 

Run. That’s what Beckett had told her. 

“Follow me,” Clara yelled, attracting the attention of Newt and Emmeline. The pair hurried over to her. 

“Where to?” Emmeline asked her, words slurring slightly. 

Clara gave her best attempt at a weak smile. The world was far from perfect, but she and her friends had escaped against all odds. “I know just the place.” 

A day and a half passed before Clara heard the telltale signs of marching. The footsteps were weak and sad, half of them gone. 

“You’re sure these are your soldiers?” Newt asked. He still had yet to explain his mysterious magic, promising that he would once they found Coral and Forrest again. Clara wasn’t going to push it. 

She gave a nod. “I  recognize the footfalls. And that voice,” she paused, letting the loud chatter settle in. “Yup, it’s definitely them.” 

As if scheduled, the remains of the army broke through the trees, at the front the three rogue Rogues and Brooke.

The small girl’s face broke into a smile when she saw Clara. 

Everything is going to be okay, Clara told herself as Brooke ran to wrap her in a hug. And for once, she believed it.

© 2021 A.L.

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Added on January 29, 2021
Last Updated on January 29, 2021
Tags: adventure, fantasy, blessed, cursed, fiction, mythology, death, love, friendship, kingdom, prince, princess, queen, king, youngadult, ya, goddess, sword



I'm a teen, I'm just looking for advice on how to improve my stories. Any advice is appreciated. I hope to publish one of my stories for real in the near future. more..