IV - Sophie Onion

IV - Sophie Onion

A Chapter by Tertia

Through a gap in a line of high swaying poplars, Sophie caught a glimpse of the great mountain of Taragas. Its slopes and snow covered peaks were high and appeared never ending. It was silently present, in front of her like some far off giant standing. It was there, stuck in her eye, defying everything. As she looked closer she saw the clouds floating by its peaks and ridges and a blanket of mist lying permanently around its foothills. It caught her breath and looking at its summit she said ‘Oh by the gods, now I know I am lost’ Her heart raced and her mouth somehow stuck open. She had never been this close to any of the fabled mountains before, and so took time to look and take it all in, in awe she took in the magnificence.

Further along the winding gravel path she sat on a tree stump. It was hard and uncomfortable and she felt her bones aching and also felt her age of forty-five as gazing up at the mountain her thoughts wandered: If someone had planted that line of trees there must’ve been some form of civilisation at some time. And someone must’ve cut down this tree that I am sitting on. Why did I wander so far from my normal way and how did I forget the way back? Getting turning after turning wrong. It made her see with sudden realisation how lucky she was to live in the peaceful little village in south Sesuthia. What was she thinking coming out here?

On the wind there was a murmur, it was low, like a man’s voice and buzzed in her lower ear. She turned around to face it, where she thought it was and looked for a sign, a direction. She got up slowly so as not to attract attention and moved off looking for somewhere to hide. Men meant danger, everybody knew that, they brought pain and death and weren’t to be trusted. There it was again, but longer this time. In panic she slipped down a wet bank and hid in a ditch below the line of trees. Feeling safe, she listened and picked a long grass and chewed it’s stalk, her face creased, it had a strange sweetness and was juicy. There it was again, longer this time and another, closer now, definitely voices.


‘Stop here’ I said. I felt the coarse hair of my beard that had sprouted after five long days of walking, it seemed like only five minutes ago that I was shaving and talking to Nola in the house at Medvia. The men halted and collapsed down where they were, one sat on the tree stump. ‘Jack scan the area’. Jack got up and scouted ahead, bringing his rifle up in front of him. He ran along the track ahead of us and then doubled back behind the line of trees. He disappeared out of sight for longer than it might take him to get back, so I guessed something had come up, he then came back up and alongside him was a woman. She was middle-aged and wore thick woollen clothing and a silk headscarf. Her skin was sunburnt from over exposure, her eyes were dark and her manner measured and slow. She reluctantly came forward.

‘Where did you appear from?’ I asked her. She pointed not quite understanding, my accent was thick to her. ‘What were you doing?’

‘Hiding, I was hiding,’ she said looking at me straight then away.


‘From anyone. I am lost, it’s dangerous’ she said flapping her arms.’Look at me I’ve run into a bunch of armed soldiers.

‘Lost? We are not lost, but simply can’t find our way. Jack, keep watch’. Jack ran back along the route we had taken to see if we’d been followed.

‘To where?’ she asked

‘To the north to whatever is there, to the fabled land of Sesuthia or the end of the world’

She laughed. ‘That’s where I’m from a little village in south Sesuthia, where I’m trying to get to. I know I am lost because I can see the great damn thing of a mountain’ she pointed behind her at Taragas. ‘I can’t remember the way’

I looked at it and so did the men. ‘We must retrace your steps. We are on the run. All is lost for Medvia’

‘I don’t know of this, of Medvia, I haven’t heard of it. Your from the middle country?’

‘Yes, that’s right’ I said realising what she meant as Medvia was sandwiched between Narsia and Sesuthia in the landmass that sat in the great sea. She read our name tags written in black capitals sewed to our camouflaged shirts and said the names out loud.

‘Briggs, Rutger and Downs’ she said. ‘These are unusual names and what is your friend called, the one who runs away?’

‘That’s Jack. And who are you?’ I said seeing Jack appear at the mention of his name, coming back looking worried. He signalled us on.

‘Sophie Onion’ Sophie Onion said. We headed off quietly back the way she had come, along by the row of poplar trees. I didn’t say anything, but thought her name was unusual.

‘Let’s go you lot’ I said raising my voice as little as possible and everyone quickened their step and with some reluctance so did Sophie Onion. As soon as she was out of my contact and walking as part of the group Rowan started reading her.

‘Are all the people in your country named after vegetables?’ he said with a grin. She smiled a little.

© 2023 Tertia

Author's Note

In the next chapter smoke gives away the Units position

My Review

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dear Tertia, amazing chapters.
As i told you sometime ago: Your stories continue to captivate from the beginning to the last minute,... and the reader/readers (at least it happens to me) are left wanting to continue reading,... and find out what comes next. that is magnificent! you have the gift of storytelling and fiction! I have always said it, and I stand by it! thank U for sharing it, and for the advance. sincerely, Amber.

Posted 10 Months Ago

A very good ending to the chapter. I liked the strong tone of this chapter. Trying to accomplish a lot and feeling the people out. Thank you Testia for sharing the excellent chapter.

Posted 10 Months Ago

I read this, "Sophie caught a glimpse of the great mountain of Taragas. Its slopes and snow covered peaks were high and appeared never ending." and wanted this, (Sophie caught a glimpse of the great mountains of Taragas; snow covered peaks, high and never-ending.) I think your writing is great but can be tightened a bit and made more succinct. Your descriptions are strong and your progression is good. Characters seem believable and the dialogue is understandable. I enjoyed the read.

Posted 11 Months Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on September 30, 2022
Last Updated on February 14, 2023
Tags: Halfway, house, war, peace, love, loss, fight, flight, life, book, chapter, run, hide, romance, betrayal, beauty, story, read, reader, fiction, Sophie, onion



Bristol, United Kingdom

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