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The Decree, Part 2

Updated on August 17, 2013
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I have been working on The Decree for three years, and this is the second part of Chapter 1. Please let me know what you think so I can decide whether or not I should publish my novel. Thank you very much for your time!

Rowa

I was only a few feet above the sea, and it gently sprinkled some of it’s water on my smiling face. There’s just something about not touching the ground that’s exhilarating and wonderful. I forced myself to beat my wings harder to fly out of the way of an oncoming wave, and I laughed as I rose above the crest and flew toward the horizon.
The sky was beginning the turn the most beautiful shades of pink, red, and purple, as it always did when the sun was about to set. This was signal to turn back to the cliffs; to watch the sun set with the rest of my flock.
I made a hard right and caught a glimpse of my light blue wings, which were shining against the sunlight. I rested my eyes on the seemingly never-ending green of the West Valley, and saw other Avians retreating to the village. I saw undulating wings of nearly every color, and admired the beauty of my home.
The King banished us here when his rule began, but it’s not such a bad place. There’s not a thing about it that’s not worth looking at. I arrived at the cliffs and descended to the grass, running to slow myself down from the flight.
“Rowa!” called an annoyingly familiar voice.
Well, I suppose there’s one thing that could’ve been left out.
I turned to see Jyn drop to my side. His blood red wings relaxed and his bare, bronze-colored chest heaved from the exertion of flying, and his blonde hair was wavy from being tossed around by the wind.
“What do you want now?” I asked, surprising myself at how quickly my good mood was vanishing with his presence.
“You were flying really low.”
“What of it?” I retorted.
“I just don’t think you should do that. I wouldn’t go that far.”
“Well, than I guess that’s where I have to go since it’s the only place where you won’t follow my tail end.”
I smiled at my own wit and made sure one of my wings smacked him in the general vicinity of his face when I passed.
I turned to see everyone landing and I ogled at the myriad of colors of the guys’ wings: vibrant purple, bright gold, shining turquoise, and lively orange, to name a few. I was the only girl in my flock to have colorful feathers, like the guys, which made my younger sister jealous of all the boy’s attentions to the prettiest girl in the flock.
Jyn had been the most persistent, and the one I could stand the least. Sure, he’s attractive, but his manners and personality are repulsive. He scared off nearly every potential future mate because he would never leave me alone, and it’s only made me angry. What’s ruffled my feathers the most though is that he thinks I’m the only Avian “worthy of him and I should come to my senses.”
The snobby jerk.
I distracted myself by looking for a seat, and I picked a precarious spot so I could let my feet dangle toward the sea below. Of course Jyn had found a way to sit next to me. I was about to tolerate him near me as long as he would be quiet when he tried to put his wing around me.
I stood up and was so close to kicking him off the side of the cliff. However, I knew from past experiences that no matter what I said or did, it would go in one ear and out the other. What else could I do but stand up and walk away, in hopes that he wouldn’t follow.
I hoped too much apparently because he was soon trotting at my side. This is a normal occurrence, yet it still always struck a nerve.
“Have you heard of the decree the King made a few months back?” He had spat out ‘the King‘ like it was a nasty aftertaste.
“Yes, now will you leave?”
I was trying to tune him out by looking for my father, to hopefully have some help getting Jyn off my back.
“No, not yet. Have you also heard that they’ve finally chosen candidates to test the King’s trainers? Apparently they’ve picked random people from all the races to be taught, then evaluated by the King. Based on the student’s performance, the trainer may be ‘fired.’”
“You mean executed.”
“Exactly. And personally, I won’t miss anyone who’s working for His Highness, including the candidates.”
“That’s harsh,” I criticized. “How did you find out anyway?”
I was surprised he knew anything about the decree’s details. We weren’t allowed to fly past a certain border on the West Valley.
“I had heard from someone in another flock, the one at the tip of the Mountains, on the west side, of course.” Well, that explained that. But why, if the King hated all races but his own, would he include them in some training program? It seemed fishy to me.
I had to halt my questioning thoughts when Jyn asked aloud, “What’s that?”
I scanned the grassy expanse to spot anything out the ordinary, and saw a Phyra, coming up fast with a rider on it’s back.
“I think that may be our news of who the candidates are,” I replied coolly.
I wasn’t too concerned about only one rider, because if there was a raid, there would certainly be more than one.
The beautiful teal and orange Phyra slowed to a halt and the rider dismounted. Jyn said some nonsense about me staying where I was so he could see what was going and flew off before I could say anything.
I decided to stay. After all, these occasions were rare that he wasn’t attached to my side.
He confronted the rider with his conceited confidence and I watched them converse. By how fancily dressed the rider was, I assumed he was from Silstead. Then I began to imagine who might possibly be going, assuming he was here announcing the victims of the decree. With any luck, Jyn would be one of them so I might get some peace and quiet.
The conversation seemed to take a bad turn and it looked like they were beginning to argue. The Phyra rose back onto it’s four giant paws and it’s ears began to pull backward defensively. It was getting antsy with the excitement until Jyn turned his back on the rider, not wanting to talk to him anymore.
Jyn cockily made his way back toward the flock was basking in the attention they gave him until he declared, “The candidates for the training decree are both from this flock. Myself and Rowa.”
I was speechless. Just my luck that my chance of freedom was jeopardized by an overprotective, pompous, wannabe mate. How ironic I should be stuck with him, and he should apparently hate every candidate, as he said himself.
I snickered to myself, but then remembered how I would have to spend who-knows how long with him in training.

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