This is a real epic, full of excitement!
The Wererat of the Petrified Forest
Ariana ran through the forest, her dead father’s armour clanking against her back like a massive boulder weighing her down and her fiery red hair flowing behind her. The trees loomed in the darkening, misty night, a full moon floated upon the stars. Memories flooded into her mind of the terrifying moment that had occurred only minutes before. Ariana and her mother had been sitting at the kitchen table devouring a Sunday roast, when something bashed the door of their cottage down, and there, standing in their doorway, was the blood-curdling Wererat, its eyes aflame, claws and fangs dripping poison mixed with blood.
It had taken Ariana’s mother and fled, laughing its evil laugh, back into the forest, leaving Ariana screaming after him. If Ariana didn’t save her mother she would be alone, at only fifteen years of age, with no family to take care of her. She’d be haunted by the feeling of grief and sorrow for her lost mother.
Ariana had hurdled to a large glass case in her mother’s bedroom where her dead father’s armour was displayed. Arnold (her father) had been brutally murdered in battle when an enemy had speared him right though the helmet and into his scalp, then left him to bleed to death. Heart pumping, she yanked it open and dressed into the ice-cold steel. She dashed outside and started sprinting through the forest. The Wererat’s tracks were visible on the dry, dusty ground. Her legs aching, Ariana slowed to a walk, keeping her eyes on the tracksthat were slowly turning into a young boys bare feet.
Tired and hungry, Ariana trudged along, the heavy armour slowing her down. She could see a rushing steam flowing in the distance.Maybe the Wererat’s lair was by the steam? He had to drink… With higher hopes, Ariana ran to the stream. No lair. No sign of any kind of house at all! Ariana stepped into the cool flowing water of the stream and onto the opposite bank. Where were the tracks? The Wererat’s tracks did not continue on the other side of the stream. He must’ve walked up the stream to lose her. Ariana collapsed to the floor. She was lost!
Suddenly, a pair of emerald green eyes lit up in the trees beyond. Terrified, Ariana got to her feet. A snow white wolf stepped out from under the canopy of the trees. Ariana gasped, Afrada, the god of wisdom, was standing before, disguised as a white wolf. Afrada creeped towards Ariana, her soft fur rippling in the breeze. The magnificent god had a silver sword engraved with diamonds in her jaws. She set onto the ground and spoke.
“This sword is a gift from thou gods to help thou maiden on her way. Thou shalt follow thy stream east to find thou Wererat’s lair. I also offer a magic flute that thee will play when the Wererat is in the Wererat form.” A silver flute appeared on the ground next to the sword. Afrada howled and beautifully trotted back into the forest.
Ariana was speechless. She had been given a gift from the gods, only brave heroes had visits from gods. She bent down to pick up the sword and the flute. As she touched the swords handle, a feeling of strength shot through her, and gave her new hopes. So under Afrada’s orders, she set off alongside the stream east.
She had only been walking for about ten minutes when she saw smoke billowing through a small tube in the ground.
“This is it…” Ariana muttered. Trembling, she ran over to the tube. A well stood next to the tube and took a pebble from the streams bank and dropped it into it. There was no splash or plop as the pebble hit the water, instead there was a clang and a muttering of voices, including her mothers!
Ariana would have called for her beloved mother if it wasn’t for the stinging sensation in her ankles that made her collapse in pain. Rats. The Wererat’s slaves were biting at her ankles and pulling her towards a large hole in the ground. Just before the rats pulled her into the hole she reached for her silver sword, but a rat bit her hand making her drop the sword, the blade just missing her ankle before clattering to the bottom of the hole. The rats pulled her down the hole which changed into a slid and she landed with a thump on the cold stone floor.
Ariana was in a dirty, underground room. The walls were plain dirt and rock and the floor was a cold stone. Rats dragged bits of food across the floor and dumped them in a big pot that was as large as a cauldron. There was a large cage dug into a wall that looked like it was the bottom of a hole and must be the bottom of the well. It was filled with people, including her mother! She called to her, but was interupted by a child’s voice.
“ Well well well… Was does thee have here?” A young boy of about twelve years of age stepped out from under the shadows. His clothes were worn, ragged and dirty and his jet-black hair tumbled into his face.
“ Let these innocent mortals go!” Ariana shouted. The rats recoiled but quickly held her down again.
“ Put her in the cage!” The boy ordered, stepping forward and transforming into the hideous Wererat! His eyes turned red and fur sprouted from his body, his teeth grew and sharpened terrifyingly to fangs and a long tail sliced into the air. He grabbed Ariana and thrust her into the cage that contained her mother and more than a dozen other mortals,sending his rat slaves fleeing. The cage door was locked and bolted and her mother pulled her up off the floor.
“ Why did thee come? Thou could have got thou self killed! And where did you get that beautiful flute?” Her mother cried.
That reminded Ariana of what Afrada had told her, so she took the flute from her belt and lifted it to her lips.
Ariana never knew she could play the flute. She had blown into the small silver hole and the music had come flowing. The beautiful tune had floated through the air making the rats fall to sleep and the Wererat transform into the little boy again. His eyes were full sorrow as the memories from when he was little flew through his mind. Of the evening when he accidentally stepped on the last Aristotle bug living and the gods had made him the Wererat as a punishment and made him kill his much loved twin brother. When his miserable parents left him in the forest to die of starvation or be eaten by wolves. The rats that the god of wisdom, Afrada, had sent to save him.
Ariana stopped playing. The little boy had fell to the ground sobbing in happiness!
“ I’m free… I’M FREE!” He shouted, laughing now, “ Thou broke thy curse! I’m not the Wererat any more! I’m a normal boy!”
The little boy ran over to the cage and unlocked it, letting Ariana, her mother and all the others out.
“ You’re free too! Go home and do what thou wishes! Thou art not thy captives any more!”
Everyone climbed up the slide to get out the underground room and soon Ariana and her mother were left alone with the little boy.
“ What’s thou name?” Ariana’s mother asked the little boy.
“ Fenni, just Fenni.” he said.
“ Well would thou wish to come and live with us? As you are no longer the Wererat, the rats will no longer obey and take care of you.”
“ Thank you! Thank you!” Fenni laughed, hugging Ariana’s mother.
“ I’ll take that as a yes.” She said as they walked through the forest towards their cottage.