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CHAPTER 2 of JttEM: Run
Published 1 month ago
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Warning: This is a Christian story/series but the following chapter contains brief blood/gore! Not recommended for young children, unless you’ve read other fantasy, like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Inheritance Cycle, etc.

Journey to the East Mountain

I had reached the bottom of the hill, searching for Peacearm, but he was nowhere to be found. As I ran around a hut, my shoulder was grabbed from behind me and I was yanked behind a hut. A hand over my mouth muffled my scream, and I saw that it was Leader Peacearm. His eyes looked into mine, calming me. While my heart was still pounding from the scare of being grabbed, I was silent on the outside, except for my short breaths. I calmed. Peacearm let his hand drop off my mouth.
“You need to listen very closely, boy,” He whispered. “Now, I want you to listen VERY carefully. You need to leave this village. Go! Go to the East Mountain! Take the Hero’s Armor from the forgery! It will boost your strength! And the amulet from the temple! Run away! Never stop running! Keep going! Get those two items, the armor and the amulet. Don’t look back or come back to Peach Hill. Go to the East Mountain. Follow the path of the forest, and then follow the river once you emerge. Then climb the mountains until you see a mountain with two peaks. Many peregrine falcons nest on that mountain. Once you are there, the people of the East Mountain will find you and take you to their village. It’s a dangerous world out there, but I believe that you will be safe.”
“I can’t just leave all of you behind” I whispered
“The most important thing is to leave Peach Hill behind. This isn’t about us anymore. You need to keep the amulet safe. Don’t give it to anyone. They can’t harm children, but they will follow you and find a way to kill you.”
“Who are you talking about? Why are they doing this?” I asked Peacearm.
“There’s no time right now, I just need you to follow my instructions.” He continued to look at me. “I believe in you, my boy.”
I nodded, all these steps he’d told me racing through my head.
“I’ll do it.” I whispered back.
Peacearm looked at me with respect, the way he’d often look at the hard-working men of the village. “Good Luck, Hopeful.” He walked toward the path the cloaked figures were on.

I rushed to the forge, putting on the armor of the warrior called Hero. I felt the armor boost my strength and stamina. However, it was much too big for me. I left the helmet behind, because it blocked my vision. Small pieces of the armor fell off of me in my haste to rush to the temple. I had received a new speed from the armor.
I bounded up the steps of the small wooden temple, hesitant at first to remove the amulet from its shrine. I shook off my doubt and hung the amulet around my neck. I felt a strong power buzzing against my chest through the breastplate I wore.
I was about to run to the wall and escape to the forest, when I heard a strange sound. It was the sound of clicking and tapping. I snuck behind a hut, hidden in the shadows and looked around its wall.
Approaching the Center of the village, the strange hooded figures were walking in a precise, neat line, like the soldiers walking in formation I’d read about in books. The clicking sound came from when one would tred on an occasional rock or smooth stone. Looking down, I saw that glinting in the sun, talons protruded from the hem of their long black robes. No other part of their bodies was visible, and I got a terrible feeling about these creatures. A guilty part of me was glad I was running from them. Running! Running away. I’d forgotten. But I couldn’t run now. I only watched with dread and a strange curiosity of what was going to happen.

The People of the Peach had gathered in the center, men, women and the elderly leaving their children and babies behind in their family huts and locking the doors. The brave Peacearm stood in the front, shielding his people. His red face wore a hateful frown.
The neat line of cloaked talon-footed creatures broke their line and encircled the villagers gathered there, a circle of black shapes surrounding them. And then... I experienced a sensation in my skull and in my brain. It was a screeching noise that was all I could hear or experience once it was there. I covered my ears, trying to block out the sound, but I couldn’t block something in my head. I was still able to watch through my pain, but other villagers also covered their ears and groaned. Then the horrible, endless sound turned into words.
“IS... THIS... YOUR... LEADER...” All of the figures pointed with grey claws revealed from under their robes to Peacearm simultaneously, who was trying to cope with the pain of the noise.
“Yes,” he said through gritted teeth. And then he replied with more strength. “Yes! I am the leader of Peach Hill.” The screeching words continued.
“YOU... HAVE... AN... AMULET..... GIVE... IT... TO... US.. AND... NO... HARM... WILL... COME... TO... YOUR... VILLAGE...”
These words made me scream inside! So loud! I wanted to do anything, even give them the amulet I was wearing around my neck to make them stop!
As I reached for the amulet, Peacearm spoke again.
“We don’t... have the amulet... it’s... gone! Stolen... long ago!”
The hooded figures all sighed, and a curtain of terror fell on my mind.
The screeching noise stopped. Me and several other villagers fell to the ground, and as I fell there was the quiet sound of my armor clunking.
The villagers seemed to be too preoccupied to notice the noise, all except for Peacearm. He looked around and his eyes caught mine. The hooded figure facing Peacearm grabbed his throat with one gray claw. A grinding, whirring sound started up quietly, then louder. I realized with horror it was coming from inside the creature’s hood. As Peacearm was raised up by the cloaked arm, still looking at me, he mouthed the word, “run”. The cloaked creature was too preoccupied with its meal to realize that Peacearm was looking at me.
I could only watch as Peacearm’s strong, trusting red face disappeared into the hood. The grinding sound intensified. Satisfied, the creature tossed the rest of Peacearm onto the ground. The grass was stained with drops of red.

I was frozen. The villagers in the clearing wept. The creatures had given their warning. They wanted the amulet, and it would be given to them. Then I realized what had happened.
I had lost someone.
Peacearm, the man I had called father, a friend, a mentor. He was gone, just like that. Before I knew it my eyes filled with tears and a sob started from my throat.
The hooded figures turned, seeing me behind the hut. They looked down, and when they saw the golden amulet around my neck, they tensed in greedy stances, their attention drawn away from the rest of the villagers. They ran in a straight horizontal line, bounding on all fours to get to the amulet. To get to me.
My heart filled with a rush of terror, I jumped up from the ground, running away from the creatures closing in, leaving long gashes from their talons in the dirt behind them. I ran with tears still in my eyes, my speed increased mightily from the magic armor, and though the cloaks with claws and talons chased not far behind me, I managed to reach the wall, bounding over the high structure. I tumbled to the bottom, the armor had protected me from being hurt badly, but one of the boots of the magic armor was jarred loose. I left it behind, scrambling to my feet, having just enough time to see the hooded figures gaining after me before I disappeared into the trees of the forest.

The loss of one magic boot meant only one of my feet could go at an incredible speed, while the other jogged behind, getting struck by roots. This hobbling run made me much slower. Too slow. It would only be a matter of time before the creatures reached me. I made a blind decision, jumping 30 feet in the air, grabbing at a thick tree branch. I managed to hold on, and I quickly pulled myself up into the tree, walking along the branch and hiding in the leaves. I crouched, trying not to let my armor squeak against itself. The beasts passed underneath the tree, not being able to see me or the amulet anymore, it never occurred for them to look up. They split up into random directions. My spirits rose: it was my chance to get away! My spirits quickly sank again when realized a hooded figure had stayed behind underneath the spot where I was in case I ran back the way I’d come. Back to Peach Hill. Back to Peacearm’s body that had sprinkled the grass with red drops. I closed my eyes, trying to blink back my tears. I couldn’t go back, Peacearm told me as much. All I could remember now was the strong, trusting look on his face. I had to fulfill my job of taking this amulet I wore all the way to the East Mountain. Why had Peacearm chosen me, of all the men and boys of the village? How did I deserve this task more? My shock and fear and sadness had made me very tired, and for a couple of seconds, I didn’t care if the hooded figures found me. Remembering the hooded figure below me, I opened my eyes. He wasn’t there. All I could see was a scrap of his black cloak. Was it a trap, or could I escape? I had to try.
I quietly eased off of the branch and my feet dropped to the forest floor, uninjured. I examined the black piece torn off the robe and looked around for evidence of what had happened. I recoiled, seeing a severed arm lying on the ground. It looked like it belonged to to a human. A human. Were there beasts in the forest? What had done this? Should I climb back into the tree? Just as I asked these questions in my head, the biggest plant I had ever seen emerged from the trees, it’s stem growing with it. It was a purple flower with red markings. It had closed petals, and it might have been beautiful, if it wasn’t over 10 feet tall and wide. I was slightly afraid of it, but didn’t recoil. I looked up as it slowly moved above me. Then the four petals of the flower opened itself, revealing its bright blue inside.
The flower pounced at me! Its buds swallowed me whole. I was knocked around on the soft, leathery inside of the flower. Once it had retracted back to its spot hidden from the path, it was still. I frantically tried to push open its petals, but they were firmly closed. The inside of the plant suddenly began emitting a blue mist that swirled around me, filling the small space of the flower. My attempts became weaker as suddenly I became very, very tired. I lay down on the closed petals of the flower, and closed my eyes, getting comfortable. I forgot about Peacearm, I forgot about the horrible cloaked figures... I even forgot about the amulet on my chest and my quest to bring it to the East Mountain. I just focused on sleeping. Yes... sleep. I felt like I could sleep for a long, long time.....

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1 month ago
Could you please include a warning saying: BLOOD!! GORE!! or NON-CHILD-FRIENDLY! seriously... some poor kid won't be able to sleep tonight!! (JK)

Anyway: Nice!! Love it so far!!
1 month ago
Were you kidding? That “JK” was pretty brief.
1 month ago
But, yeah. It’s intended more for a middle-grade/ high school audience. I wasn’t really thinking about the age of the audience when I was writing it.
1 month ago
I did suggest it would be slightly violent, right?
1 month ago
Congrats! You earned the award "The understatement of the year"!!
1 month ago
If it bothers you, nothing’s stopping you from reading it. I thought that that scene would make the story of the sudden journey and Hopeful’s shock stronger.
1 month ago
WizardBuilds1 - No no! I like the story! I just thought it would be helpful to give a friendly reminder that this story might or might not be disturbing for some readers!
1 month ago
Amazing! The blood and gore is not much worse then Marvel, Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings
1 month ago
Thanks, BatDog, I think so too, but it might still be good to give a warning like the An0nym suggested. So that if there are kids too young/sensitive to read those books yet, they won’t read this too early.
1 month ago
Also, I only have half of the story planned out, but I’m pretty sure this will be the most violent chapter.
1 month ago
That’s reaaaaallllyyy long compared a destruction chapter...
1 month ago
I know right? It’s almost as long as a REAL CHAPTER!
1 month ago
Love it!
1 month ago
Yeah! It was awesome! Enjoyed it throughly!
1 month ago
By the way, your pfp looks like a mix of Mysterious from Spider-Man Far From Home and Dumbledore (In his youth of course). It’s a humorous and elegant mix of the two.
1 month ago
Sorry, meant Mysterio.
1 month ago
Oh, it’s not of me. I’m a Christian, so this is a painting of Jesus Christ named “Prince of Peace”. (Literally done by an 8-year old.)
1 month ago
Cool and elegant.
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