The Realm Reaper’s Prey by Celeste King EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author: Celeste King
- Language: English
- Formats: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Available For Free Download
- Series: None
- Price: Free
- File Size: 1 MB
Sweat beads on my brow, chilling immediately in the brisk air. Some of
the leaves on the trees have finally started to change, turning to vibrant
oranges and reds and signaling the coming autumn.
The goal is to have the wall around our village complete before winter
sweeps in so that we can have more permanent structures for all of the
families in our makeshift village. The thought of happily smoking chimneys
and families bundled together in their homes gives me a second wind, and I
sink my shovel into the earth at my feet again.
“Asra’s got the right idea!” I hear Grim shout from above my head, the
sound of his cane thunking against the ground as he walks toward me. I smile
as I pitch the dirt out of the trench, going for another scoop.
Many of the other humans working alongside me, most of them men,
have begun to tire as the day draws to a close. Especially as a child, I was
always self-conscious of my taller build and the unladylike strength that
resides in my muscles. It wasn’t until after Clay and I lost our parents and
that strength saved us more times than I can count that I truly began to be
grateful for it.
My thoughts turn unbidden to my parents, to the day we lost them in
Orthani. I’d grown up happy, by human standards. I was 8 when Clay was
born in the small shack we called home on the edge of the Mirsiths’ property.
My father worked as an animal tamer and groundskeeper, and my mother
was the gardener. I’m not entirely sure why, but we were allowed to live as a
family in relative privacy, something that I learned was exceedingly rare
when I recounted Clay and I’s story to Cecilia and Grim for the first time.
I was about 13 when Master Mirsith caught me playing outside with Clay.
It wasn’t unusual for us to do this, so I never really understood the danger of
being in plain sight. I learned that lesson quickly, however, when he took a
liking to me, claiming I was his property to use as he saw fit.
Everything after that is a bit of a blur. I remember his hand in my hair as
he dragged me away from my crying baby brother, 5 at the time. I remember
screaming for my parents, trying to fight against him uselessly.
And then I remember my father- his rugged face twisted in rage as he
came barreling out of the gardens, tackling Master Mirsith to the ground, my
mother hot on his heels. My mother dragged me away from Mirsith as he and
my father fought, gathering Clay up and pushing us into the woods, telling us
to run as fast as we could.
No amount of running could have driven the sounds of my father’s death
from my ears, or the way Mirsith laughed and promised he’d find us no
matter where we ran to.
My mother managed to keep us hidden for a few days, and now in
hindsight, I realize she was trying to get us to the docks, probably to flee the
continent and get somewhere new, somewhere safer. The guards found us
hiding out in a warehouse, and that was where I made my final promise to my
mother- a promise to keep Clay safe, and to find a life worth living.
Then I ran, with Clay in my arms, while my mother tried to hold off the
guards. Clay and I were nearly caught, and I had my jaw split open by one of
the guards as I slipped through their hold, but we got away.
After everything that’s happened, we deserve a place to call home. And
I’m happy to build one for us.
The sun begins sinking through the tops of the dense trees, the
temperature dropping and the light growing sparser by the second before
Grim finally calls it a day.
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