“365 Prompts” – partial Prompt-Fill: 004. spring 1A. “Out of the Wild Lands” by Harper Kingsley

Prompt 004. spring – 1A

1. It was a relief when the spring frost began. They’d been close to running out of nearly everything.

A. Once the river melted, it was a rush to finish building the boat and gather enough food to see them out of the Wild Lands. If they were lucky they could reach civilization within a few months. If they were unlucky they would die. They didn’t have a choice either way.

There was no staying where they were. They’d stripped the island of everything it had to offer, and there hadn’t been much to begin with.

It was either make the attempt now, or slowly starve to death. There was not going to be another opportunity.

/END PROMPT
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Prompt-Fill: “Out of the Wilds”
Author: Harper Kingsley

Once the river melted, it was a rush to finish building the boat and gather enough food to see them out of the Wild Lands. If they were lucky they could reach civilization within a few months. If they were unlucky they would die. They didn’t have a choice either way.

There was no staying where they were. They’d stripped the island of everything it had to offer, and there hadn’t been much to begin with.

It was either make the attempt now, or slowly starve to death. There was not going to be another opportunity.

“Quiet that baby,” Gareth ordered. He was lashing the last of the supplies to the boat and didn’t need the distraction.

“Yes sir.” Leilan shushed the blanket wrapped bundle, jostling it until the wails turned to an unhappy grumble. The baby had been fussing ever since her twin — her Other Half — had died. There was a real concern that she would follow after, the broken strings of her tattered soul pulling her down and down after her sister.

When Poiler had suggested killing the baby as a mercy — she must be suffering with her broken soul — Leilan had hit her as hard as he could and taken the baby himself. He couldn’t believe a mother could ever suggest murdering her own child. It made him suspicious of how the unnamed baby had died. She’d looked healthy after her birth; then she’d been quiet and still.

Leilan tightened his grip on the baby he held. She was alive. She needed him.

He stood out of the way as the men and women worked. He looked down at the baby’s face. She was skinnier than he liked, as his milk had only just begun to come in, but seemed healthy enough. He thought there was a chance that she would live.

“I’m going to risk it,” he said. She blinked up at him. One fist had worked itself free of the blanket and found its way into her mouth where she furiously gummed on tiny tiny knuckles. He chuckled and used two fingers to pull her hand out of her mouth. He wiped the slobber off with a scrap of cloth from his pocket, then tucked her arm back in the blanket.

“None of that,” he ordered when she looked about to cry. She hiccuped and blinked, but remained quiet. “Good girl.”

He jostled her a couple of times. “I’ve decided that you need a name if you’re going to be my daughter.” He licked his lips. “I think my mother would have approved her granddaughter sharing a name with her.”

He held her a bit away from himself so he could see all of her and she could see him. Even if she didn’t understand, this was an important moment. By giving her a name, he was accepting responsibility for her. She would be family.

“Melissa Kim of the House of Graythorn,” he said. “Welcome to my family, Melissa.”