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The Harp



    It was a long, hard night, and Thorn was thinking about that day. The day where his mom died, and the day he lost the beloved harp. Where was it? Thorn had no idea. He had to stop, and think, but nothing seemed to spark. So where was it?

    Heading out, Thorn stopped to look back at his home. The auburn sunrise, the wooden stacks. The brick houses that burned down, and the river running through. He was leaving.

    But this was important. Thorn had to find his mother’s harp. It felt too important to leave. So he had gone to ask the town elder where it might be. And his answer was. “Something lies at the Silver Forest in wait, legend says it’s a harp.”

    Thorn knew that he had to find this harp, his mother’s harp. And he is going to. For sure. And this was just the start of his mission…



First Love, First End



    I stretched, feeling my muscles loosen. I had left home yesterday, and is now making my way to the forest that the elder told me about. I have no idea how far it was, how hard the trip would be, but I am going to make it there. And I know it. Setting off into a run, I head for the sunrise. I’ll find it, I will.

    Feeling relaxed, I heard a hoot. Turning around, I see a girl running towards me. ‘Hey there! Where’re you off to?” I stutter. “Off to this forest I heard about.”

    “The Silver one? Hey! I’m heading to there too. Mind if my dog and I join you?”

    I didn’t mind. Not all. I mean, with the swish of her hair, the tap of her boot, and the smile on her face, she was the goddess of my dreams. True beauty is standing before me. “Of course, what’s your name?”

    “Harmondy.”

    “Cool name you got there, I’m Thorn. Your Husky looks healthy and strong.” I say, eyeing the dog admiredly.

    Harmondy nodded. “She’s a beautiful dog. She travels with me everywhere. Tridant is the perfect dog for me.” She pets the Husky with love, and the dog barked. “Shall we go?” I ask, feeling the need to keep going, and to keep searching.

    Harmondy nodded. “Why not? I’d like to take a good look at the Falls of Fire. I’ve heard that the water shimmers when the sun rises.” I nodded briskly, remembering seeing when I was young. The rays of sunlight flashed through the sky, shining on the shimmering water. It reflected off, making the water glow as if it was fire.

    We jogged on, hoping to reach the Falls of Fire by midnight. But no luck. We were met by a few foxes, and I had to shoo them off with the Husky, Tridant. Harmondy sighed, and shook out her hair. “I wish animals weren’t so common here. I can’t stand to fight them.”

    I shrugged, and only replied. “Well, they are common here, so we’ll have to deal with it.” With a glance at me, Harmondy said. ‘Yeah, guess so.”

    I could tell she was a tough, caring girl. She looked about fifteen, so she was the same age as me. Her leather jacket hung loosely, and her hair tied in a braid. She wore skinny, black pants, and a navy blue shirt under her jacket. Her leather boots tapped on the rocky surface, and she just plain gorgeous.

    I stared and stared, not knowing Harmondy herself was staring at me. “Anything wrong, Thorn?” She asked, clearly confused with the hold up. I shook my head, embarrassed, and muttered. “Nothing wrong. Just watching the road.” She only swung back around, and continued the hike onwards.

    We walked and walked, and soon, night fell. We were only at Outcrop Rock, which stuck out of the cliff face like an arrow sticking through the skin. Harmondy shifted her feet. “Not a good idea to stop here. It’s too dangerous with the open space, and the bandits around. Plus, lots of foxes and badgers live ‘round here.” That was true. We couldn’t camp here.

    “Hm, maybe it’s dangerous, but we can’t walk any further in this darkness. We’ll have to camp here, Harmondy.” The girl nodded. “Yeah, I guess so, hope we don’t meet some rowdy animals tonight. I’ll take first watch.”

    So I snuggled into my sleeping bag, hoping the cold night would get warmer. I heard Harmondy’s gentle breathing as she walked the road. Tridant’s tail swished as she got into a comfortable position. With the crickets singing and the night as silent as sky, I fell deep into sleep.

~*~

    Next thing you know, I felt a tap on my shoulder. At first, I thought it was Harmondy waking me up for my watch. But I felt rope tug, and my arms struggling to move. Bandits.

    I open my eyes, and I see Harmondy trying to fight off the bandits. Tridant wasn’t moving, and I could see that Harmondy was crying. Oh no. Was Tridant okay?

    My mouth was tied with a gag, so I couldn’t call out to Harmondy. She stared wide-eyed, as the lead bandit walked over to Tridant, and sneered at her cruelly. The Husky gasped for air, and her flank rose weekly. Tridant! I wanted to scream. Don’t die!

    But the little dog gasped for air once more, and her flank rose. Then it fell, and never rose again. Even with her gag, I could hear Harmondy scream in horror. I lay limp, feeling my lungs gasp for breath. Did they really just let Tridant die? Poor Husky... poor Harmondy. I wanted to go over and comfort her, but right now, we were in the hands of the bandits. Well, at least she was.

    The lead bandit laughed, a clear roar that sounded throughout the canyon, then with the flick of his hand, the bandits took Harmondy away. The girl with the beauty of a goddess. She threw a frantic, last glance at me, but I closed my eyes, unable to keep that as the last picture of Harmondy. And then they were gone, leaving me in the dust. And that was the last I saw of Harmondy.



Keep Going, the Quick Beginning and End



    I lay there, not able to move with the bindings on. But my rescuer was on their way. It was a kitten. Its claws were as sharp as a knife, and it sliced through the ropes easily. It mewed, and cuddled next to my feet. It was looking for a home. My heart ached, as I remembered Harmondy and her caring attitude towards animals.

    I petted the kitten, whispering. “Harmondy would be so good with you, but I think I’ll name you Kitkat.” The kitten purred, so I took that as an approval. Letting it curl up on my lap, I closed my eyes. I pictured the beautiful girl that had been with me for a day. Only one. And I didn’t get to tell her how much she was to me. How much she will always be to me.

    Kitkat purred, snuggling closer. I opened my eyes, feeling refreshed. Maybe I could get Harmondy back. Or I could go on. My mother’s words came back to me. “Some loves are a reality, most are a fantasy. When one is taken, they are taken forever.”

    But I didn’t want to believe that. Maybe Harmondy was waiting for me to save her. To take her to the Falls of Fire, to the Silver Forest. But not everything could be recovered. I knew that if I recovered my mother’s harp, maybe, just maybe I could save Harmondy.

    Then a star streaked across the sky. And a tear escaped from my eye. Who was I kidding? I could already tell that the bandits were gone. They were done with Harmondy and me. They were done because they had already ruined our relationship. Harmondy was gone. Taken by the stars, and her body left behind to rot. The tear fell to the ground, and I could swear that I heard a whisper. “I’m so sorry Thorn, but you have to keep going. For my sake. For your mother’s sake. And for your sake.”

    Keep going. Yes, that was my motto now. Farewell Harmondy, maybe one day I shall see you in the stars.



Everywhere with You



    I woke up the next day, feeling the morning cold breeze flow by me. I shivered, ready to head off the the Falls of Fire. I tried to push away last night’s incident, but I couldn’t. I bit my tongue, and tears began to leak from my eyes.

    Kitkat paddled over, and mewed, her eyes shining in the morning light. “Hey Kitkat. How was your night?” The kitten mewed in response, and I took it as. “It was alright.”

    I cooked a quick breakfast, feeding some tuna fish that I caught to Kitkat. Then I packed our stuff, and was ready to head off. Kitkat bounded around like a happy kitten, and when she flopped over on her back, I smiled and laughed.

    In a few hours, we were there. The breath-taking Falls of Fire. It was gorgeous. The shimmering water and the wave of water crashing down just took my breath away. My eyes stayed glued to the wavy piece of glass, and all I wanted to do was cry. Harmondy never got the chance to see this view. Another tear dripped down, and the wind rustled around me.

    Kitkat mewed as she dove into pile of leaves, and tussled with the fallen roses. She was so carefree. Leaning down, and picking up Kitkat, I snuggled her and whispered. “You remind me so much of Harmondy. I just wish she could be here too to look at this view. The view she wanted to see so much.” The kitten only purred, and I felt like Harmondy was right next to me, laughing.

    We sat by the creek, and I saw how the river seem to come to life, smiling up at me as it swam down the road given to it. It looked like an easy life. Not a life of love, destruction, and loss. Just plain swimming down the road laid in front of you. And I got the feeling again. The river felt like Harmondy walking next to me as we continued our way to the Silver Forest.

    I swoop up Kitkat as the little tabby tried to dive by, and swung her around as we headed along the river. “Legend says its a harp.” And with that info, I had to go on. And yet again, I could just feel Harmondy cheering me on. Telling me that I could do it. That I could find this Silver Forest, and that I could find my mother’s harp.

    Smiling as I walked on, I looked at my map. “The Stone of the Eagle is next Kitkat. We aren’t quite there yet.” And this time, Harmondy seemed to whisper. “Not quite there yet, but almost there at the same time.” And I knew, she was going to be with me forever.



What Can I Do For You?



    Hey, I’m Harmondy, and maybe I can give you something Thorn can’t. So as you can see right now, Thorn was in love with me, and I loved his dearly too. But we only had a day together. It seems that we were not meant for each other.

    Tridant died when the bandits attacked, but Thorn does not know how, because we was not awake by then. But I was. So it was late at night, and I was watching the road. When suddenly a gruff voice sounded, and my arms were bound behind me. The lead bandit grabbed Tridant, and threw her onto the ground. My poor Husky lay there panting, until she took her last breath and died.

    One more thing Thorn didn’t know was, how did I die? Well, it was quite simple. The bandits did a quick stab, and it was over quite soon. And then I was to the stars, where I am now, telling you the parts of the story Thorn cannot give you.

    And Kitkat, the tabby was my gift to Thorn for being a caring young man. It was more of a sign for him. It was to tell him that I would always be here for him. And everything he felt? It was his plain imagination. Maybe his love is so great, that in the stars, we could be together.

    And that’s really everything I could cover for you, so Thorn will finish the story for you.



Life at its Fullest



    And here I was. Days later after losing Harmondy. At the Silver Forest. It was beautiful. The silver trees glittered in the moonlight, and the clear stream was glowing like the sun itself. With the lush plants all around, and the shining rocks, this place was surrounded with happiness. Nature was so beautiful.

    Right at the middle was my mother’s harp. Kitkat purred as she walked around admiring the pure nature around us. It was a gorgeous place, but at last. I had found it.

    So it’s true. He thought. It’s really true.



The End!

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