short story, story promptJace has been accused of a terrible crime and been forced on the run. Will she ever be able to go back home?


Jace fought not to give in to the scream of frustration as another cold drop of water fell on her head. She shivered, drawing her knees to her chest and trying to wrap herself up more firmly in the clothes and blankets. It wasn’t really helping – they were sodden as well. She felt like she hadn’t been dry in weeks.

She sneezed. Great, coming down with a cold is the last thing I need. She groaned and let her head fall onto her knees. Another droplet landed on her cheek. She didn’t even bother to wipe it away.

The rain was coming down hard outside. It hadn’t let up for the past three days, trapping her inside this abandoned hunters hut. There was no dry wood left to keep the fire going, leaving the hut cold and damp. Jace had bundled up in the musty old blankets to try to keep warm, but so much water was coming into the hut that it hadn’t been long before they had absorbed the moisture.

She shivered again and scooted closer to the tiny fireplace. There was the barest amount of warmth coming off the dead embers. She placed her hands on them, not caring that she was getting soot all over her hands.

Glancing at the shuttered window, she anxiously wondered what Tiylar was doing. He’d been gone for a good two hours and it was dark outside now. She desperately hoped he hadn’t gotten lost. Or worse.

She shook her head. I can’t think that way. “He’ll be fine,” she said aloud. “He’s the best tracker and hunter in the kingdom. He’ll be back soon.”

The hut seemed even more gloomy and quiet after her voice finished echoing through it. There was only the sound of the rain drumming on the roof and the patter of rain drops onto the worn wooden floor boards through the leaky roof.

She shrieked as the door banged open and a soaked figure entered, hurriedly closing the door behind him to keep the worst of the weather out.

“Tiylar! You scared me!”

He grunted. “Sorry.” He took off his wet overcoat and hung it on a rusted nail. From one of it’s pockets, he withdrew a cloth-wrapped bundle.

“I brought some berries to eat. Wait… what are you doing?” he asked as he came over to her. His eyes were on her hands, still placed on the fire embers.

“T-trying to warm up,” she stuttered. It seemed colder than ever in the hut.

Tiylar sighed. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t find any suitable dry firewood.”

“It’s okay,” she murmured. A tear slid down her face. She hadn’t even realised that she’d started crying.

“Hey, hey, don’t cry,” Tiylar soothed. He moved closer and wrapped her in his arms.

“I’m-I’m trying not to,” she sobbed. “But I’m c-cold, wet, hungry and I’ve been accused of m-murder and forced on the run!” She buried her face deeper in his chest. “I t-think it’s all catching up to m-me.” Deep sobs wracked her body and she clung to him.

“It’s going to be okay, Jace. I’ll protect you. I’ll make sure nothing happens to you.” He rubbed her back through the blankets. It was a comforting feeling, and she felt herself calming down slightly.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, Tiylar,” she said quietly. “You didn’t have to leave the village and your family behind. This isn’t your problem.”

“Jace, you’ve been my friend since we were babies. I couldn’t let something this awful happen to you. I know you could never have killed anyone, especially not a member of the royal family! Once they’ve cleared your name, you’ll be able to go home.”

“I hope so,” she said sleepily.

What did you think of Jace’s story? Would you read more?

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