I always said while I was writing Catania’s Forest that it would turn out to be the best thing I’d ever written, or the greatest fail in the history of my pen-and-inking. I believe it has turned out to be neither. I like to think it’s rather a nice story, but it’s definitely not my favorite thing I’ve written–and most of the characters did something that made me broiling mad at them, sometime during the process. But here I am, with a fully written and somewhat edited story. 😉
Picking favorites of my writings aside, I’m quite happy. And I’m quite excited to have a new story to post!
This story is more intense than most things I usually write, so younger readers should probably discuss it with their parents before reading it. If parents would like to read about the content, they can click on the link below. It does include some spoilers, but not very big ones.
Why do I always end up rambling on and on like this, when I start posting a story? Well, without further ado, here it is. I’ll be including two maps I drew at the end of all the posts, if you get confused. Click on them to see them bigger.
Catania’s Forest: The Little Drummer-boy in Narnia ~ Part One
Catania hardly dared to breathe as her brown eyes unblinkingly tracked every move of the unknowing stag. She slowly drew her arrow back to her pointed ear. The stag remained unmoved, listlessly grazing. He was almost invisible in the dim, leaf-choked light of the forest at what must be nearly twenty-five yards. The young elf had never shot a deer at such a distance, but she was afraid to move closer.
Aiming carefully for the sturdy shoulder turned towards her, she let the shaft slide from between her fingers. The arrow vanished into the low-hanging leaves for a fraction of a second before the stag reared and plunged. It stumbled a few paces further into the trees before crumpling into the underbrush. Catania crept closer. She found her quarry struggling on the forest floor, crushing milkweed and wild roses beneath him. She drew her hunting dagger and quickly finished it.
Brushing strands of pale-gold hair from her eyes, she surveyed her kill. A stag of seven branches at over twenty yards! She wasn’t one to brag, but after four years of hunting for food, Catania could not help but notice her skills were getting impressive.
Looking over her prey, a heavy silver band on the deer’s antler caught her eye. Her euphoria wavered suddenly, like a candle caught in a draft. Hardly anyone dared venture out of the high wall surrounding the city of Syrelia into the forest, but occasionally the governor, Lord Daniel, would come out with a hunting party, southeast of the city. Every Spring he ordered his forest wardens, Moth and Horbrid, to mark the heartiest fawn in the forest to be left for his sport—it was marked with a silver band on one of its antlers, as soon as they began to grow.
Catania shrugged off her mistake; she could cover it over. She stamped hard on the banded antler with her leather-shod foot, snapping the branches apart, and quickly snatched the trinket from the wreck. She drove her hunting dagger into the ground, turned over a handful of dirt, poked the ring into the mould, and hastily covered it. The young elf wiped the blood and soil from her knife with a handful of leaves and sheathed it, satisfied that the dangerous band was hidden.
Rubbing her grimy hands on the skirt of her sage green tunic, she turned back to her catch. She could not carry the sturdy creature home herself. She would have to ask Tyre.