Hello and welcome to another short story set in the world of Fire & Ice, Paola’s Childhood Part Three. Paola’s Childhood follows a young Paola. Though this story is set in the same world as my book series, it happens at a different time. You can find Paola’s Childhood Part One here: and Part Two here:
You can find part one of my last story, Words Unsaid, here: https://www.victoriamayburybooks.ca/2020/06/05/words-unsaid-part-one/ If you haven’t read my other story, Product of Love, you can find the first chapter here:https://www.victoriamayburybooks.ca/2020/02/15/the-product-of-love-gills-backstory/ . If you enjoy my writing and wish to help me continue in creating this world, you can buy my book on this website or go here to help me publish my next book in the Fire & Ice Chronicles:https://www.gofundme.com/f/fire-amp-ice-chronicles-the-wild-mountains.
I hope you like Paola’s Childhood Part Three
Paola’s Childhood Part Three
Paola dodged an old elven woman carrying a basket of apples as she rounded the corner. She stopped, panting. She needed to go for more runs if she had any chance to be a guard of the city.
That thought seemed to trifle in comparison of the obstacle that faced Paola now, the market. Paola loved the market and enjoyed eating the food sold there but also full of people bustling about.
“How am I supposed to get home?” She murmured to herself. The little elf looked up to the canopy high above her. The bows of the trees looked strong enough to take her weight. She whirled around and almost knocked over a man with a wagon full of gifts of all colors, shapes and sizes.
“Watch where you’re going! You don’t want to be responsible for cracking one of the young jefe’s gifts!” The man moved along, turning with caution at the corner and disappeared from Paola’s sight.
The she-elf ran to a lift that took her to the highest level of the city’s walkways. She stood there for a second and looked down at the market below her. The elves looked like ants, milling about buying their wares as needed.
The sun’s rays crept through the canopy and reminded Paola to not waste time. She shook her head once to clear it and off she went, running to the nearest tree branch. The elf jumped to grab hold of the branch and pulled herself up with the speed of a leopard. She continued to jump from branch to branch in the tree until she found another tree’s branch within reach of the first one.
Paola climbed on top of the tree branch she held on to and took a running jump to the other tree branch. The branch was a little thinner than the other tree’s branch but nothing worrisome. She continued to jump from tree to tree until she was at the last tree.
Paola tensed and primed herself for the jump when she heard something. Soft crying floated to her pointed ears. It sounded like the person was right beside her! The elf looked at the other tree branches but saw no one. The crying continued, each wave of it sounding more heartrending than the last.
Paola scanned the branches again but to no avail. She couldn’t focus on the jump to the next branch with this crying! Reason told her to look down to the ground while her gut told her there couldn’t possibly be someone down there. She had passed by the market and was near the boarder of the city’s land. Elves didn’t go near the boarder unless they had to or were part of the guard like her father.
There on the ground was a lone figure. Upon further examination, Paola saw that a woman kneeling on the ground. This woman was not like any other woman the little she-elf had ever seen. No, she was the definition of beauty. The woman’s crying turned into a mournful wail that pierced Paola’s tender heart.
She called out, “Hey, why are you so sad? Please don’t cry anymore.”
Paola felt each second go by with each beat of her heart, and she looked at the sun who was a couple minutes from its zenith. She had to go but the woman’s wails distracted her. Then, the wails were no more. Paola looked down but did not see the woman anywhere.
She prepared to run and jump to the next branch. The distance between the branches was farther than the other jumps had been but Paola was certain she could make it. She tensed, inhaled, exhaled and inhaled once more.
Then, she was off closing the distance between her and the end of the branch in mere seconds. Six steps, five, four, three, two, one, she lept at the last moment. Paola felt herself sail through the air like a bird. She landed squarely on the branch, safe and sound.
Paola smiled at herself, she was almost home! Then, the branch bent downward and with a loud crack, began to splinter. Paola jumped for another branch but missed it in her haste. She fell as the pieces of the broken branch fell around her.
She couldn’t breathe as the walkway came closer into view. Paola spread out her arms and legs, hoping she could find something to grab. A vine swung into view, and she reached out to grab it. She missed. The walkway was so close now, Paola had one chance to get this vine. The vine swung back and the she-elf grabbed it and wound it around her body.
She stopped instantaneously her descent and was a less than a foot above the walkway. Paola looked whence the vine came and saw a colorfully feathered bird fly away. She smiled her thanks to Lati’s retreating form as footsteps pounded closer to her.
“Paola!” Her father’s deep voice called out. She turned to see his violet eyes full of worry. “I saw what happened, you almost died!”
Paola began to reply but cried out at the pain in her arm. Her father held her in one arm as he unwound the surrounding vine.
“Let’s get you to a healer.” He murmured to her. Paola nodded as she bit back the sobs of pain, her arm felt on fire.
As Paola’s father carried her, she tried to distract herself from the pain by thinking about the riddle her father had posed. She knew that it had to be something she’d seen. Lati said that it would be something at Liliana’s party but what. Her mind drifted back to the man with the wagon full of gifts for Liliana.
She jerked in shock and jostled her arm which caused the pain to become even more intense. Paola’s father looked her in the eyes.
“What is wrong, chica?” He asked. “Does this hurt your arm?”
Paola shook her head. “I figured it out now.”
He crinkled his brows. “Figured what out?”
“The riddle,” she explained. “The answer is gift wrap isn’t it?”
Her father looked at her for a long time and then burst out laughing.
“Oh, you are so much like your mother.” He continued to chuckle. “It doesn’t matter that you are in pain, you are going to figure out that riddle. Now, let’s get you to the healer and then you can see the outfit.”
I hope you liked Paola’s Childhood part three, the last installment will be in two Fridays’ time. Next Friday, I’ll explore the lore of the monsters in the world of Fire & Ice. Please comment or share this with your friends, it really helps to boost my spirits. Thank you for your time!
Victoria R. Maybury
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