Here is a small part of the thousand words I wrote today! Please comment with any and all feedback!
Anewj swooshed upright from his pillows and gestured wildly with his paws for all his friends to come closer. They crowded around him.
“My friends, the conversation I heard as I floated back from sleep wasn’t meant for my ears. Basque and another of his clan were discussing Annalee and the Wonderstone. They intended to steal it from us at the river, but Annalee gave it willingly for me. They said something about it being the key to the future of the clan.”
“La! That rat!” burst Zidi.
Anewj nodded. “We must get away before his charity runs out. The sooner, the better.” He grew thoughtful a moment. “I hate to imagine that he may be in league with the Cheenos, but I am not sure how else they might have gotten past the wards.”
Annalee piped up. “Selome told me that sometimes a leader sacrifices morals for power, even if not everyone he leads agrees. Was that what he was talking about?”
“Maybe. But I will not have your safety risked by staying to find out.” Anewj replied.
Selome’s radiant purple eyes re-appeared in the doorway, and he stepped back inside. “Basque has sent four more brothers with me to transport you all to the stump steps. He wishes you fairwell and fair weather. As soon as you are able, Anewj.”
“Thank you Selome.”
Annalee heard a hint of something in Selome’s voice, so she asked him if he would accompany her to the great hall to get a drink before they left. Once they sauntered past the four brothers outside the door, she grabbed his arm and turned toward him. “You told me earlier to keep my judgement sharp. So tell me, why is there a catch in your voice, Selome? What do you fear?”
A single tear moved down the dyed tracks of his cheek. “I fear for you, Annalee. I don’t think Basque intends to let you make it to the fortress, and I can do nothing about it.”
Annalee lightly touched his arm. “Maybe you can. If you come with us, we will have three winged travelers and three that must be carried down the mountain.”
“Betray the brethren? That is the worst of sins among the Kuqtukaq. They will strike us with light bolts before we reach the ground.”
“What will become of us if we are kept here? Please, Selome,” Annalee looked at her feet and felt her body tremble as she leaned against the slick stone wall beside her. First, she lost the Wonderstone and now she would be confined here forever. Romantic deaths didn’t happen to prisoners trapped in high strongholds.
Selome sighed heavily beside her and they ambled down the hallway in silence. As they reached the first carved column, two voices echoed toward them.
“Why not take them now?” hissed one. “We already have the Wonderstone.”
“Because,” replied the husky voice of Basque. “…if Selome’s soft heart convinces him to aid them then we have the reason we need to remove him from the Brethren without raising suspicion.”
Annalee glanced at Selome’s face, whose mouth gaped open at the words he heard. She pointed back toward Anewj’s room and he nodded at her. They dashed as quietly as they could and ducked into the crowded room.
“We need to go, now!” Annalee gushed. “Innu, do you know how to mouse our way to the exit so we can get out?”
“Yes, it’s not far! What’s going on?”
“No time to explain. Anewj was right, we need to leave while we can.” She turned to Selome and grabbed his hand. “I like your ‘soft heart’ and want you to come with us. But I will understand if you decide to stay.”