501 Prompts is my way to use imagination to come up with made up worlds, characters and plots and combine them to form into something like a story.
Here’s how it works: prepare an idea, write for 20 minutes, edit, upload it and move on to the next. It’s open to all genres, topics and experiments with storytelling.
This time slightly overwhelmed chose the prompt because she doesn’t want to draw hands and ended up not even drawing a character in her illustration. She’s a genius!
Enjoy this week’s prompt!
Prompt by slightly_overwhelmed
a mysterious man without hands – a baby – a cherry tree
News of the revolt had reached the small town of Dewhallow in the early morning hours. When Alana and Solina went to the market, the whole village was talking about the coming civil war. Many believed it to be the end of the Empire of Dazia. On their way back home, Alana wished Solina would stop her endless nervous chatter.
In the distance, Alana could already see the old cherry tree that marked the end of town. Grimwald, the Conquerer, had brought it back from one of the campaigns overseas during the Great War that had cemented Dazia’s position in the world. To Alana, it meant coming home because she had always lived down the street from there. And in today’s particular case, finally getting some peace and quiet.
They had almost passed by the tree when Alana noticed a strange figure sitting underneath.
“Look.” She pointed at the tree with her free hand, the basket full of groceries firmly in the other.
Solina didn’t listen to her and almost missed it when Alana stopped. “What’s wrong? Why do you stop?”
“Don’t you see that? It looks like someone is sitting under the tree.” By the slumped position of the figure, more lying than sitting, she suspected it to be bad news.
Solina squinted which gave her an ghastly grimace. “Looks like trouble. Let’s go home.” Her voice shook and gave away how uncomfortable the situation made her.
Alana couldn’t bring herself to leave without even trying to help. She put her basket down and crossed the grass towards the old tree. Solina looked around nervously before she rushed off.
Once Alana was only a few steps away, she recognized that it was a wounded soldier. She couldn’t tell his rank, but his armor looked very expensive to her even though it was indented and broken in several places.
“Are you— are you okay?”
He didn’t react, and she couldn’t see his features because his long hair fell loose across his face. Alana almost thought him dead. Blood soaked bandages covered the stumps of the soldier’s arms where his hands should have been. Alana felt her stomach twist and turn at the sight of his wounds.
“Sir!” she almost shouted.
Slowly he lifted his head. Dim, fading eyes inspected Alana.
“No, you’re not one of them…” He coughed in between words.
“I will go and get help.”
Before Alana could turn, he lifted one arm as if to stop her.
“No, it’s too late for me.”
“Who are you?”
“Just— just a loyal soldier.”
Alana frowned. She knew he was more than just a soldier. The golden ornaments on his armor gave that away.
“They betrayed us. The emperor… an ancient feud might cost us everything.”
“I don’t understand.”
“They must not get to her.”
He looked down, and only now, Alana noticed that something moved inside the cloth. She reached out slowly to see if he would object and pulled the fabric to the side. A sleeping baby wrapped in fine silk slept cradled against the man’s chest.
“Take her. Hide her.”
“You’ll find a way. Take her and run as far away as you can.”
His head sagged down, and he stopped moving beside his shallow breathing.
Alana panicked. What was she supposed to do? She was just a simple farmer’s daughter! But she couldn’t ignore a dying man’s wish, and even less leave an innocent and lost child behind, could she?
In a split second, she carefully picked the baby up. The girl opened her eyes, just for a second. They were of a golden hue Alana had never seen before in her life. The baby pressed her head against Alana’s shoulder and kept sleeoing. Alana hurried to leave the old cherry tree and the dying soldier behind, uncertain of the events to come.
Read my thoughts on that prompt here.
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