short story, story promptTalia’s on the run, but not because she’s in trouble – it’s because of the baby she’s on the run with. The Elven King wants the baby dead for some reason, but Talia’s not going to let that happen if she’s got anything to say about it.


“Shh.” Talia gently rocked the baby in her arms. “Everything is going to be okay,” she whispered. “We’ll get you back to mama.” Just please don’t cry!

She crept to the shuttered window and peered through a gap in the wood. Men were searching every house in the village, their fiery torches lighting grim faces. Children were crying as the men roughly inspected their faces. Mothers screamed as babies were wrenched from their arms.

Talia closed her eyes and moved away. She’d brought this trouble to this innocent village. It was her fault the men had tracked her here. She glanced down at the infant in her arms. He looked at her with wide orange eyes and cracked a toothless smile. She smiled back at him. “That’s right, my little angel, keep smiling. Everything is fine.”

She looked towards the barred door. The men were getting closer and that door was not going to hold them out. She had no where left to run. Being a fugitive with a baby to look after was not easy.

He let out a small gurgle.

“Don’t worry. I promised your mama I would keep you safe.” She flinched at the sound of crashing wood and screams from the house next door. “I won’t let the bad men hurt you.” But right now, I don’t know how I’m going to manage that…

Loud banging sounded at the door. “Open up! By the order of the Elven King!”

She clutched him tighter to her chest with one arm. She stretched her other hand out towards the door. Drawing on the dregs of power she had left, she focused on the door. Her hand began to glow green. No point hiding it now.

Small tendrils began to grow from the wood of the door, twining around the door frame and weaving into the wood of the walls. There was a muffled curse from outside before the yelling started.

“In here!” Something heavy slammed into the door. “He’s in here!”

Talia dropped her hand, her magic depleted. There was nothing more she could do. She sniffled as she looked at the baby. “I’m sorry. I think this is the end for us. I’m so, so sorry, angel.”

“The elfin witch has cast a spell on the door!”

“Burn the hut,” a deep voice replied. Shivers skittered down Talia’s spine. She knew that ruthless voice. The Elven King had sent the Tracker. She swallowed a sob.

A moment later, she heard the crackle of tinder burning. She looked up at the thatched roof. A distinct red glow could be seen in various places and smoke was begin to gather under the ceiling.

She backed into a corner, protecting the baby’s head with his blankets. They were simply going to burn them alive and let the flames take care of their dirty work. Monsters! How could they do this to a helpless child? How could that spineless king order this!

Burning thatch began dropping from the roof, setting the bedding on fire and causing more smoke to fill the room. Talia began to cough and the baby was getting fitful.

The shutters on the window closest to her crashed open. Somebody leaned in and glanced about. He caught sight of them in the corner. Putting a finger to his lips, he motioned them towards the window.

He’s helping us? Why? Who is he? She didn’t have the luxury of being cautious. If she stayed in the hut, one way or another, they were both going to die.

“Quick, climb out the window! I know a way we can get to the forest unseen.”

“Who are you?” she hissed.

He held his arms out for her to hand him the baby while she climbed out the window. “Time for answers later. Do you want to get caught?”

Reluctantly, she released the baby and quickly jumped out the window, reclaiming her squirming bundle the second her shoes hit the dirt.

“Come on!”

The young man led them away from the burning hut and into the darkness of the forest. Well, my little angel, we’re safe for now. But for how long?

Why has a baby caused all this trouble and a massive search? Hmm, who knows…

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