This story is prompted by Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo Thursday photo prompt:  #writephoto.

Emme paused, looking up from her textbook. Classroom instruction had taught her so much, but she wanted to do more. Learn more. Practice. Reading about protection and practicing it were two totally different things. Sure her teachers praised her, but she was the only one in class. Was she as good as they said? How could she know. She never had the opportunity to test herself. Reading and writing spells. Anyone could do that. Would she be able to actually cast one? Emme had no idea.

After finishing the last essay of the day, Emme packed up her materials, nodded goodbye, and left the classroom for the weekend.

Lately, Ben had been all she could think of. She hadn’t seen him in ages. Would he still want to see her? Be with her? Time to find out. She had a plan. And it didn’t involve books. If she was as good as they said, she should know enough for a small road trip.

Several times she asked to leave, to visit her friends, family, Ben. Each time she had been told no. You’re not ready. The danger is too great. Now, time to execute her plan. The window of opportunity was short. Emme dressed in the robe she’d taken from the laundry, kept her head down, and made her way to the kitchen, the easiest way to get out, and she did.

The smell of the outdoors filled her with energy. The singing birds gave her hope. Today was made for her and Ben. Shame she couldn’t fly. Those stories were for kids.

After cresting the second hill, she saw him. A thin, frail man. Staff in hand walking atop of the far hill. His head was down, as if he were in thought, perhaps praying. A tingle went down her spine. She shivered. Could such a man pose a threat to her? Emme shook her head. What an imagination she had. A simple man on a walk. Nothing more. Nothing but her imagination getting the best of her.

But why couldn’t she shake the feeling she was in danger. This is a sign. She turned and headed back. The air around her grew colder. Emme ran. She looked over her shoulder, the man was gone. Where? How? She was still a long way from safety. Why didn’t she listen?

Emme ran faster, and tripped. As she stood to continue, a man with a staff in his hand stood in her way. It couldn’t be. The man on the hill was frail and could barely hold himself up. She backed away from him as he rose his staff.

“Don’t hurt me.”

“Child, I don’t want to hurt you,” he said, “I came to kill you.”

A scream stuck in her throat. She closed her eyes and chanted. “TRIBUS protege me. TRIBUS protege me, TRIBUS protege me.”

“Foolish child. The Three can’t protect you. No one can protect you. You will never know your destiny.”

His laugh echoed though the mountain. As it did, he raised his staff. Emme cringed. TRIBUS, Ego te deorsum. Doleo.

“You should be sorry. The Three went to great lengths to protect you. You all have failed.”

The clearing grew dark. The wind picked up. Ravens swooped down at him. The Three appeared, surrounding Emme.

They didn’t speak, but Emme knew she would be protected.

This story is prompted by Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo Thursday photo prompt: #writephoto.

To read the entire Emme’s Destiny series, click here.

Stop over and give it a try. You might be surprised at what you can compose.

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