TITLE: The Shadow of the Tree
GENRE: YA Fantasy
After their initiation camp is raided, Evja (the guardian) finds Hauk half dead in the river. The two teens belong to neighbouring forest tribes, which live in peace with each other and celebrate initiation rites together. They both grew up thinking their tribes were the only people in the world.
“Do you think you’re able to get up, now?” the guardian asked.
Hauk didn’t know how much time had passed, but the sun had moved to the top of the sky. “I think so.” His voice sounded strange in his own ears.
“Good. Let’s go then.” The guardian got to her feet. “We have to get home. Find out what this was about”
Hauk gritted his teeth and turned to his back. The pain was bearable. He managed to push himself up with his elbows, but his whole body screamed at the effort.
The guardian held out her hand.
He didn’t take it. “What do you mean, what this was about? They took them. Snow and the others.
They took them!”
She startled, and her hand dropped to her side.
Finally some emotion. Hauk lay back breathing heavily. It felt like he’d just run up a steep hill. Maybe he wasn’t ready to move after all.
“What do you mean? They? And who’s Snow?” The guardian sat back down.
“The bloody Darklings.” He didn’t know what else to call them, the monstrous men from last night.
“And if we’re going somewhere, it will be after them. I’m not letting them slip away into the darkness.”
“What are you talking about? We’re not going after anybody. You least of all.”
Yes I am. If only I could get to my feet.
“ Anyway, this must have been some kind of test,” the Wight continued.
“A test? What the D makes you think that?”