The forest was dark when the cave troll crept behind him. It raised a club as huge as the trunks of the surrounding trees and aimed at him. Joriah’s eyes have not yet adjusted when his instincts told him to duck. He heard a swooshing sound made by the club as it struck the tips of his hair.
He automatically unsheathed his sabre. The troll was slow, but its swings were deadly. He whispered an enchantment and his sword lit. The troll was mesmerized by its radiance – it froze. Joriah charged at the giant and hurled his sabre into its heart. It was too late when the troll snapped out of its trance. It fell.
“Well done Joriah,” said the voice. Killing the cave troll was your last task. You may now claim the jewel of the Eastern Sky.
Olin and Genu reached the land of the prophets. It was a desolate place that sucks the life out of mortal men. The brothers had to be in their beast forms.
An old man appeared in front of them wielding a staff. “We have been expecting you,” he said.
The ground shook and caved in beneath them. Olin flapped his Pegasus wings and flew, while Genu shifted into a king cobra and clung to Olin. The old man pointed his staff and threw lightning bolts at them. Olin maneuvered just in time for Genu to jump off towards the man. He bounded his body then hissed, “Take us to the blue hyacinth.”
The man reluctantly replied to Genu, “The blue hyacinth can never be taken, only won,” he said.
“So be it,” Genu replied. I shall fight for its possession.
Like a burst of energy, Genu shifted into a monstrous black bear and with one strike, the cage was destroyed. He broke his brother’s chain like it was ceramic. Olin shifted into a lion and they both rampaged out of the palace.
As soon as they were in a clearing, Genu shifted into a falcon and Olin into a hawk. They flew into the heart of the forest where the thick canopies of oak and acacia sheltered them from their bewildered pursuers.
“What has happened to me?” asked Genu in his human form.
“It is the witchcraft of the high priest, brother,” Olin said. “I took the Alexandrite because I know that was the only way to drive you out of the palace. Its mysterious powers enhanced the spell on you,” he continued.
“Dragon!” cried the men as they hurried to arm their heavy artillery. The arrows didn’t harm Genu’s heavy-duty skin.
He secured the unconscious intruder in his claws as he leaped into the air, leaving the useless pursuit of the men below. At last the Alexandrite was recovered, the pride of his people.
He landed in their city and returned the stone to the chief. The intruder was placed in a cage and was chained with an alloy of rare earth metals, majority of which were the Lanthanoids, the only material known to suppress shifting.
“You are lucky, the chief let you live this time,” Genu said.
“Genu?” pleaded the intruder. “Don’t you recognize your own brother, it is I, Olin?”
The words struck Genu like a dagger and a lightning of memories flooded him. He was taken aback with disbelief.
As soon as Genu soared the sky, his eagle eyes saw a silver arrow at the base of a pronghorn’s nape. It ran like a madman through the prairie. Every time it raised its legs, the wind gushed thoughtlessly through its form. Genu matched its speed with every flap of his wings.
It was headed for the Forbidden tribe at top speed. The heart of heaven was in its mouth – an Alexandrite, the sacred gemstone that Genu guarded.
As the chosen guardian, he was bound to return the precious stone at all cost.
With just a few meters to the gate of the Forbidden tribe, the natives of the village noticed his descent then started shooting arrows at him Genu folded his wings and swooped down to the pronghorn. His mighty claws grabbed the pronghorn, but the arrows suddenly came.
The intruder ran along the river while Genu, the guardian of the forest, swiftly engaged in pursuit. As soon as Genu was seen, the intruder took the shape of a crocodile and dove in the wild water. Genu was astonished! He was confronted with another shifter like himself. So he changed into his favorite form and dove paws first, attempting to claw that tricky intruder. But, the crocodile obviously had the advantage in the water and escaped him.
There was no choice, but to resurface. His pride was hurt, yet he knew that he had to track and capture the intruder once again. He prepared himself then jumped in the empty air; transforming into an eagle. He took to the skies and searched with his mighty eyes. A shifter, after all, had a silver arrow shaped mark on their neck.
A writing exercise from The Ivory Pen, this story, hopefully, would have more than one entry.