Vexynas awakening, p.1
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       Vexyna's Awakening, p.1

           Alphya Cing
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Vexyna's Awakening
Vexyna’s Awakening

  By Alphya Cing

  Cover art by Vanessa Finaughty

  Copyright 2011 Alphya Cing

  Special Thanks: To my friend and editor Vanessa Finaughty. I am eternally grateful for the help and understanding she has given me.

  Chapter 1: Uninvited Guests

  Frantic fingers clutched air. Desperate digits dug into gnarled, leathery bark as Vexyna claimed a passing tree branch. Gravity did its best to stretch her long, black hair and dark cloak to the ground seven meters below. With waning strength, she fought in vain to pull herself to safety.

  Above her, a low, jovial voice spoke. “Hi, Vex. I thought I’d find you hanging around here.”

  “Very funny, Trulo!” Vexyna yelled up at the young man. “Now pull me up!”

  “Aliyah would be able to pull herself up.”

  “I’m not Aliyah.”

  “You wouldn’t weigh so much if you didn’t overload the pockets of that cloak.”

  “My stuff goes where I go.”

  “So, you’re too stuffed to pull yourself up?”

  “Trulo!” Vexyna glared up at him through her dark glasses. “Pull me up right now! I swear if I survive this fall I’m going to kick your-”

  “Okay! Okay! I’m pulling. I’m pulling. There’s no need to swear.” Trulo curled his strong, tanned hands around Vexyna’s wrists and pulled her up onto the branch.

  “Thanks, Trulo, but you know Aliyah would’ve been able to lift me using only one hand.” She stuck out her tongue.

  “I’m not Aliyah,” Trulo said in a mocking tone while returning the tongue gesture. “Unlike Ali, I still live here. It’s lucky for you I got here when I did,” the white-haired man said. He leaned casually against the tree trunk, shaking some loose bits of bark and leaves from his open shirt.

  “What happened? Why did the tree convulse?”

  “Have a look at the village gates.” Trulo pointed west.

  Vexyna swiveled to see where her friend was indicating. “Where are the gates?”

  “They’re still there,” confided Trulo. “Those bits of wood and iron scattered about the ground are the gates.”

  “How? What?” Vexyna couldn’t believe the ancient gates were no more.

  “It might have something to do with that group of men in the village square,” Trulo stated, pointing in another direction.

  “Men? Where did they come from?”

  “My guess would be…” Trulo started to say.

  “Where?”

  “From outside the village.”

  Vexyna swatted Trulo. “When did they get here?”

  Trulo rubbed his shoulder. “They marched in just after the gates disintegrated. What were you doing up here? Just hanging around? Didn’t you notice any of this going on?”

  “I was lost in thought.”

  “You really need to pay more attention to what’s going on around you.”

  “That’s what my father always says.”

  “He’s right.”

  “Yeah, yeah. What are those men doing in Shojiki? Do you know anything?”

  “Not really. I came up here to get a better look.” Trulo squinted in the direction of the village square. “I can make out figures, but not much else. What can you see?”

  “All the men appear to be wearing the same clothing, except the one doing all the talking. He’s blond and he has on a scarlet tunic with wide lapels and buttons down each side. He’s in knee-high black boots. At his left side there are two short swords and his left hand is on a long staff with unique markings.”

  “Only you would be able to notice the details of someone’s clothing from this distance at night while wearing dark glasses. Your vision still amazes me.”

  “I have sensitive eyes.”

  “Too bad your ears aren’t as good as your eyes. Otherwise, you might be able to tell what they’re saying.”

  “I can only catch the occasional word. Maybe our friend on the branch over there can help us.”

  “What?” Trulo looked around at the other branches. "I don't see anyone."

  “There,” Vexyna said, pointing. “He’s right up against the trunk.”

  “Leaves, twigs and branches are all I see.”

  “He’s over there watching the crowd.”

  “Why not go over and ask him who he is and what he wants?”

  “Excuse me,” Vexyna said to Trulo as she got up and eased along the branch to the trunk. She snuck her way around the tree and onto the branch containing her mystery visitor. “Do you see anything interesting?”

  The unknown person whirled around and peered in amazement at Vexyna.

  Staring into the stranger’s emerald green eyes, Vexyna exclaimed, “You’re a girl!”

  “Yes, I am,” said the girl before she dropped from the branch.

  Vexyna was shocked to watch the girl grab and swing from branch to branch until she flipped all the way to the ground.

  In a matter of seconds, Vexyna could no longer see the girl’s shiny red hair or dark blue overalls.

  Vexyna made her way back to Trulo. “Did you see that?”

  “It was a blur of motion to me.”

  “Who was she?”

  “Beats me,” Trulo replied. “Did you see where she went?”

  “No,” answered Vexyna with more than a little frustration in her voice. “She vanished.”

  “Maybe she circled around and is with that group of strange men.”

  “I don’t see her with the men or anywhere in the crowd.” Vexyna peered at the assemblage in the village square. “That’s odd.”

  “What is?”

  “The blond with the red top and black boots has just pounded his staff into the ground.”

  “What’s so odd about that?” asked Trulo.

  “The staff is lighting up in different colors each time he hits the ground with it. Red, red, yellow, red, blue, greeee…” Vexyna’s words were interrupted by the violent shaking of the tree.

  Vexyna and Trulo scrambled to find something to hold onto as the tree pitched back and forth with increasing fervor, pitching Trulo in the direction of the Village Square.

  Vexyna hurtled in the opposite direction, over the wall and out of the village.

  As she plummeted earthward, hitting various body parts on branches and twigs, she heard the cries of her friends and neighbors as they dealt with the calamity.

  Vexyna hadn’t yet met the ground when consciousness left her.

  Chapter 2: Thieves in the Daylight

 
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