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The Lost Tree
By: Jen Wylie | Other books by Jen Wylie
Published By: Echelon Press LLC.
ISBN # 9781590807514
Word Count: 14322
Available in: Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.mobi), Palm DOC/iSolo, Adobe Acrobat, Rocket
About the bookOn the road again...oh wait, there are no roads in Ever. Well I'm getting my butt in gear setting out to find the Lost Tree. Hopefully it will give me a clue to finding my dad. I'm feeling strong and confident I can survive in Ever now, mostly.
It's hard to be always on my toes to avoid being something's next meal. This journey is no different,
I meet a strange old man who gives me some advice and good news. Acquiring a pet wasn't expected either. The monsters are still keeping me running, and now they are running too. I guess the dragons have risen. Whatever that means. I imagine I'll find out all too soon. Reaching the Lost Tree won't be easy but I can do it. Having others return and join me in my journey doesn't hurt either.
An excerpt from the bookI stand just inside the entrance to the latest cave I call home. I'm really getting sick of living in caves. They are chilly, dark, and damp. Rock is not comfortable to sleep on. Sadly, they are the safest places to sleep in Ever.
I miss houses, beds, clean sheets...I miss a lot of things. Everything.
Ever isn't home. It's nothing like it. I feel like I'm stuck in a camping-trip-gone-wrong nightmare.
I've been here for maybe a month and a half now. It's hard to keep track of days when they are all the same. There isn't a calendar tacked to a wall where I can mark off the days. There aren't even pens or pencils.
The sky shifts to green and the magical rain begins to fall. I look up at the sky. There are no clouds. I wonder what kind of magic makes it rain. Ever is a strange place. I don't understand how it works.
The rain is the only water you can trust to be safe. It isn't poisoned from contact with deadly plants. I step out into it. The cool water soaks me quickly but makes me feel better. I close my eyes for a moment, lifting my face to the rain.
Today rather sucked. I got bored of waiting for my latest companion Shade to come back from searching for food. I wandered out of the cave and down the ravine. I've been sick. Wounds I got from a giant bird became infected. Shade found me in the Tall Forest and took care of me. Though I'm mostly better now, he has still been overprotective of me, in his own strange way.
Shade is one of those bad boys. Dark, and I suppose handsome, he's around my age. He has a wicked set of blades he uses very well. Oh, and his shadow becomes a person of its own. Or something. I'm not sure how that works either. He is also very grumpy and brooding. I've not fully trusted him since we met, partly because I'm afraid of him.
People arrive in Ever because they are banished, never to return. My uncle banished me because he thought my power over fire was dangerous. He didn't think I would be able to control it, that I would go wild and hurt people. Or so he said.
Most of the people here weren't banished because they are nice. They were too dangerous or deadly to kill. I have met a few good people, like Jadus. I'm not stupid enough to think I'll meet all the nice ones. Shade admitted to me he did terrible things wherever he came from. I don't know if he is evil, but he's not an angel either.
I know he's using me. He helped me because of my fire. Ever has no sun or moons, and so almost no shadows. The light of my fire makes them, so his shadow can come out. He hasn't hurt me. He said he wouldn't, but I still find it hard to trust him.
His anger today didn't help. While away from the cave, icky lizard creatures attacked me. There were a lot of them, but I managed to kill most of them, with my fire or the knife Jadus gave me. I surprised myself I did so well.
I surprised Shade too. He arrived just after and nearly bit my head off. He was so angry he frightened me more than the lizard creatures before he stalked off again.
I think my fighting and surviving pissed him off. He'd thought I was some weak little girl. Which I am, and was when he found me. But I'm getting stronger now, I keep learning. He doesn't understand that. He thinks I lied to him, or tried to deceive him. I suppose I should understand. This is Ever, it's hard to trust here. Everyone is just trying to survive.
I wash the knife Jadus gave me off in the rain. My thoughts turn to him. He had been my protector before, and my friend. I also fell in love with him, despite him being older and not quite human. He'd agreed to help me find my dad, but on the way we became separated by the river. He didn't try to find a way across. He just left me.
It still hurts.
I want to find him again. I miss him. However I'm also very pissed off at him. I wonder if I'll swat him or hug him if I ever see him again. I still don't understand why he just left me. He'd tossed my food pouch over the river, and even put his knife inside. His most treasured possession. Inside I'd also found a feather, carefully wrapped and with a braid of hair on the end. Jadus has feathers down the back of his ears. They flare out like wings when he's angry. That he gave one to me makes me think he cared about me too. Maybe I'm wrong.
I hate not knowing anything.
I raise a hand to my hair. I braided the hair on the feather into my own so the feather hangs behind my own ear.
Men are so frustrating.
I clean my clothes and myself in the rain. It takes a while, the fight with the lizards left me covered in charred lizard and icky dark blood. Good thing blood doesn't make me faint.
My arms sting. When the rain washes them clean I see they are crisscrossed with red welts. I did well avoiding lizard teeth. Not so much their whipping tails. At least I'm not bleeding. I'll probably have some nice bruises soon though.
Back in the cave I use a little of my power over fire to warm myself and my clothes until everything is dry. I toss another piece of wood on the small fire inside and then turn toward the cave entrance.
I'm tired physically from fighting, and I used a lot of my power. When I use too much it leaves me feeling weak and drained. I really need to figure out how to manage my power better. One of these days the weakness will get me killed.
Some of the lizard creatures ran off down the ravine. I don't trust they won't come back. The largest are about two feet high. They remind me of giant iguanas, but a black oily color.
I raise my hands and move them from side to side, calling my fire again. A low wall of flames, about a foot high and two feet wide, spreads across the cave entrance. That should keep them out. I hope.
If Shade returns, I think he'll be able to jump across. Probably.
Right now I don't even know if he's coming back. I don't want to think about that. I don't know how to find food here. Worse, I don't know where I am in the Tall Forest. After fighting giant spider I passed out and Shade brought me here. If I can get back to the river I'll be fine. Part of the Rainbow Jungle is also on this side. Jadus taught me what I can eat and what to stay away from.
My hands start to shake. Maybe using power to dry off and guard the entrance wasn't a good idea. I didn't have a choice, at least not in the latter. I curl up on the stone beside the fire. Sleep will make me feel better, and it's a way to pass the time while I wait for the rain to stop.
When I get up, then I'll worry.