author, Short Story, writing

Fireborn: Chapter One

I quickly ducked behind the crumbling walls. They had found me. I swore as the group of armoured people fanned out around the abandoned town. Someone from the last village must have tipped them off. I tried to stuff my dark red hair further into my hood. I loved my unique hair, but it was the bane of my existence. It was the explicit identifier of a fire weaver. I couldn’t shave it; it just grew back overnight. All I could do was hide it and hope no one saw it. Clearly, that didn’t work.

I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I could have manipulated the wind to carry their words if I was an air weaver, but air weavers were extinct. All weavers had been hunted and killed or converted. The Angel Society took no mercy on weavers while the Shadow Society enforced compliance… with or without your consent.

I tried to calm my mind and heart. I could feel warmth ebbing from my hands as my anxiety peaked – I couldn’t control the flames much longer. I had to run. I had to escape and pray they wouldn’t notice.

I ran as fast as I could, curling my hands into fists to hide the uncontrollable flames from erupting. I was never able to train, never able to master my abilities. It was always unpredictable and tied to my emotions. Surprisingly, I couldn’t sense anyone chasing me, but there was a 50/50 chance I’d escape. I desperately tried to stem the fire ebbing from my hands and plunged them into the freezing cold water. It fizzled, and steam erupted but quickly faded as the cold water suppressed the flames. I collapsed by the riverbank, legs exhausted.

“You’re untrained.”

I jumped to my feet and frantically whirled around. I clutched my hands close to my chest as my red eyes connected with stern ocean-blue eyes. Tousled blue hair framed his rough features, and a shabby hood had been pushed off his head. “A water weaver?” I breathed.

His eyes narrowed. “Fire weavers are extinct.”

It was a statement, not a question. I didn’t know how to respond. My entire village had been ransacked, and my mother, the last fire weaver, had been killed. She’d taught me enough to hide my abilities from the guards before sacrificing herself to save me… but what she taught me no longer worked. My powers grew as I did, and when I was a teenager, my father shunned me from the village. No one else knew of my existence.

He took a step towards me. “How do you exist?” he questioned. “There have been no fire weavers for 15 years.”

I cleared my throat. I wouldn’t let him intimidate me. “My mother was the last fire weaver killed. She hid me. The Angel Society recently found out about me and is hunting me. Don’t worry, the fire weavers will probably be extinct soon enough.”

He frowned. “Fire weavers are needed. We thought we were doomed, but now…” he drifted off, brow furrowing in concentration. “You need to come with me.”

The man tried to grab my arm, but I jerked backwards, sparks emitting from my palms. “Don’t touch me,” I hissed.

He stared me down. “This is not the time or place to be stubborn.”

“I don’t even know you, and you expect me to go with you? You could be a member of the Shadow Society, taking me to an air weaver to manipulate me. I’m not being stubborn; I just have a brain.”

He sighed. “I am not a member of the Shadow Society or the Angel Society.”

I narrowed my eyes. “I’m just supposed to believe you, am I?”

A chuckle escaped his lips. “If I were part of either society, you would not still be standing,” he said. He combed his fingers through his hair. “Perhaps we met on the wrong foot. I am Kayden – one of the last water weavers and a member of the underground rebellion. And you are?”

I curled my hands, trying to force away the heat pulsating in my palms. “Arabella. Call me Ari.”

“Well, Ari, I am glad I followed the Angel Society this way. You do not have to trust me but trust that if I were a part of either society, this conversation would not be happening.”

He wasn’t wrong. There’s no negotiation on either side. “What is this rebellion?”

“This is not the place to explain it. The members will track you. We must go underground; I will explain everything there.”

I glanced back at the ruins. I didn’t exactly have much of a choice if I wanted the chance to live. “Fine. But I expect a full explanation.”

He grabbed my arm. The first time someone had touched me in years. Smoke fizzled from his touch, but he didn’t react – he’d be immune to the heat and fire as a water weaver. I felt my body relax, and the steam soon flowed away as the fire within me calmed. He hurried towards another figure standing nearby, a young girl with deep green hair and eyes. Her eyes flickered between me and Kayden before she shrugged and carefully opened a tunnel into the depths of the earth. A water weaver and now an earth weaver – what was going on?

Kayden led me through the tunnel, and we emerged into an underground city. It reminded me of the cities of old – before the war on weavers began. Streams of water ran through the city centre, and houses lined the streets. “What is this place?” I gasped.

A sly smirk flickered across his face. “Sanctuary,” he replied. “Where weavers are safe. For now.”

He pulled me further into the underground city before finally entering a large building. Inside were many people standing around a table. They stared at me in disbelief as Kayden gently lowered my hood.

“How is this possible?” murmured one of the women, a silver-haired air weaver that looked around 60. “Fire weavers are extinct.”

“Or so we thought,” replied Kayden. “The Angel Society was hunting something… viciously. I knew it had to be something important. I never dreamed of finding a fire weaver.”

“We can complete the ritual!” exclaimed a green-haired man.

“What ritual?” I asked. Every person standing in the room was a weaver of some kind. Green, silver, and blue hair surrounded me. I hadn’t seen these sights in a long time.

The elderly air weaver stood forward. “We needed a weaver of each element to cast a protection ritual. To hide us from the societies completely.”

“It couldn’t be permanent.”

“No,” she agreed. “But it would buy us years, decades even, to find a way to win. Without a fire weaver… we are already so close to being discovered.”

Kayden cleared his throat. “She is untrained. Fire ebbs from her without control.”

“She doesn’t need control for the ritual,” replied a blue-haired woman. “Kayden, you can control the fire with your water so it doesn’t get out of hand. Once the ritual is complete, we can try to train her abilities as best we can.”

I took a step backwards. “I can’t do some ritual. I don’t know any of you. I can’t control anything and…”

Kayden gripped my shoulder tightly, steam escaping his touch. “Stay calm,” he said. “Fire feeds off emotions.”

“Please help us,” murmured the green-haired girl who had opened the ground above. “I don’t want to die.”

Fear sparked within me as all eyes focused on me. I’d been alone so long it felt strange to have people watching me, talking to me. “I can’t guarantee I won’t hurt anyone.”

“I can guarantee you will not,” said Kayden. “I know you do not trust us, but we can earn your trust once this ritual is complete.”

I let out a sigh. “Fine, okay. What do I do?”

“Just let out your fire, and we will do the rest.”

A water, air, and earth weaver took position near me. I closed my eyes and prepared myself as I mentally dropped the barrier within my mind. I felt the heat and the flames I’d suppressed for so long gleefully sprung forth. Peace and joy flooded my body, and my flames were released. I felt something cool gripping my arms, and suddenly water doused my entire body. I opened my eyes in shock, staring at the culprit. Kayden had clearly drenched me. The weavers stared at me for a while, unable to speak.

“You are powerful,” said Kayden after several moments. “The ritual is complete, but you need serious training.”

  The others murmured in agreement. “Teach her control, Kayden,” said the elderly woman. “You are the best for that.”

I saw him tense before shaking his head. “Let us get to work,” he said, gripping my arm tightly. “It is going to take years.”

author, writing, Writing

Unveiling Shadows: A Captivating Journey into the Pages of a New Novel

My next blog post is actually going to be the first chapter of my new project! It’s taken a lot of time and planning to be able to start writing but it’s exciting to start fleshing out the characters in their world.

I started this project after a competition I entered a while ago. It was a short story competition with an interesting premise and I just ran with it! My brain wanted a new project to click on to and this was a perfect opportunity.

I’m still slowly editing my first novel, and I’m confident I’ll be able to submit it to publishers soon. But I needed a bigger project to also focus on amongst the short stories and editing. Writing a novel is what I love doing most and I’m loving getting back into world-building and character development on a larger scale!

I wrote the first chapter and now I’ve started proper world-building – a separate Word document filled with characters, important plot points, and a basic storyline. I’m not 100% sure where I’m headed with the story yet so I really needed to sit down and flesh it all out.

I’ve got an entire document set up outlining the characters, the world, and the basic storyline. I have no idea what the end is or who the antagonist is but that’s something that I will be fleshing out over the coming weeks! I love having a new project to focus on and it’s really exciting to delve into it.

I’ve been getting distracted easily at the moment and have several WIP novels that are gathering dust in my computer folders… I’m hopeful this one will get further than those! I am still passionate about a few projects but many get put aside when I lose interest or realise the story is going absolutely nowhere. Usually, they end up as short stories instead!

I’m eager to delve into a full novel again though and I’m hopeful this is my new project! Hopefully, you enjoy the first chapter next week!

author, poetry, Writing

My Best Friend: A Poem

Dear bestie,

There is no one quite like you, a friend so loyal and true.
You are a light that guides me through the darkness that can cloud my view.

Friendship is a precious thing, a bond that we hold dear.
It helps us through the ups and downs and wipes away each tear.

In childhood days we laughed and played and shared our favorite toys.
We ran through fields and climbed tall trees and made such joyful noise.

As we grew up, our lives diverged and we took separate ways.
But still we kept in touch with words and shared our hopes and praise.

Though we may be far apart, the miles cannot divide.
The love and memories that we’ve shared and all the times we’ve cried.

Every memory is close to me and etched on my heart.
And I will always be your shoulder, no matter how far we’re apart.

For true friendship knows no distance, no time or space can part.
It’s like a flame that burns so bright, illuminating our hearts.

I am grateful for every moment we’ve shared.
I’m grateful for every smile, every hug and every single tear that we bared.

We’ve shared so much through all these years, our triumphs and our woes.
Our joys and sorrows, big and small and it’s this that truly shows.

May we always find joy in each other and may our friendship continue to grow.
May our bond remain true and strong through all of life’s highs and lows.

So here’s to you, my bestie, may our friendship never end.
We’ll grow and learn and support each other, my dearest friend.

Love, your bestie.

author, tips

Mastering the Art of Juggling: 5 Tips for Managing Multiple Commitments

Multiple commitments can be challenging to navigate! I know this first hand as I tackle motherhood, writing and University commitments. It’s important to keep on top of the things you’re doing and find ways to make your life easier and more manageable! Here’s 5 tips that have helped me to overcome my commitment anxiety and ease my life!

1. Use a Diary

I am a big advocate of using a diary. I find that if I don’t write my tasks down and don’t organise my day I get nothing done. Using a diary is a lifesaver for me and it helps me plan my life out and organise what I need to do and when things need to be done by.

I grab a weekly diary at the start of every year and slowly plan long-term goals out in the first week of January. Small weekly goals like ‘edit a chapter a week’ or ‘write a chapter a week’. It helps me to have a small goal to reach each week in order to meet larger goals by the end of the year.

I also outline my small daily tasks. Like which day to do laundry, which day to deep clean and all those nitty gritty details. Once University details are available I put in all my class times and due dates throughout the semester as well.

Throughout the year I then sit down each week with my diary and outline the tasks ahead for the week. Grocery shopping, meal planning, weekly writing goals, blog goals, etc. It’s helpful to sit down at the start of the week and outline what needs to be done. I find it helps me prioritise everything and know exactly what I need to be doing.

Of course, sometimes this shifts and changes. Just the other week my toddler came down with croup so a lot of my weekly tasks and goals were dropped. It’s okay for priorities to change like that and I feel more at peace being able to drop things when needed and put them back into my diary for the following week to catch up on.

2. Don’t Overload Your Plate

The life you have left is a gift. Cherish it. Enjoy it now, to the fullest. Do what matters, now.

Leo Babauta

This is often easier said than done. I, for one, am well-known to overload my plate and crash because I have too much to do. I’ve been learning over time to stop doing this and to take a step back. It’s hard but it’s so necessary.

I set small tasks each day so that I don’t get overwhelmed and break down. I set out times to work on University, times to be with family and times to do household chores. I break it down into small chunks that feel so much more manageable.

Sometimes life gets in the way, but breaking up the tasks into smaller goals really helps me to be able to push back my tasks and duties while still meeting my deadlines. If laundry has to wait a day or two then it has to wait, there’s bigger things that need addressing sometimes and you need to be able to pause and make sure you’re not doing too much at once.

3. Get Small Tasks Out of the Way in One Day

This definitely ties into the previous tip. Being a mother and also having other commitments is challenging. I find it so important to get household tasks done in one day so that I can prioritise the larger tasks throughout the week.

As I said earlier, I love using a diary. I’m very forgetful so I rely heavily on that diary to remember my tasks each week. I find that setting time aside to do the smaller tasks on one or two days really helps me to stay focused and centered.

I meal-prep on Sunday for the week ahead. This includes things like lunches, snacks for my toddler and easy meals to grab throughout the week. I usually take the weekend off writing commitments so it works for me to set some time aside to do this.

I usually set time aside on Monday to do laundry and change sheets and do a clean of the house. It resets me for the week ahead and I can focus so much better when things are clean and tidy. As I’ve said, sometimes things prop up and get in the way of this and I’ve come to a place where I can accept that and move on. Getting the small tasks out of the way definitely helps, but sometimes they needed to be pushed aside and sometimes an entire day ends up going on smaller tasks. Life is what it is and it is very unpredictable.

4. Prioritise Your Commitments and Adjust Where Needed

Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.

Stephen R. Covey

Tips 2-4 definitely all tie in together. It can be hard to prioritise commitment sometimes and even harder to adjust commitments you’ve set. Assessing the importance and urgency of each commitment is necessary in order to allocate your personal resources effectively.

For example, if I have a due date for an assignment coming up that takes priority over other tasks. I will always complete the assignment due soonest first as it is the more urgent one. Personal goals often take a backseat throughout the semester as deadlines for my classes are more important and urgent.

Setting a clear vision of your goals helps when prioritising. For me, my first goal is to graduate University and my second goal is to submit my book for publication. Both are incredibly important to me but my University is more urgent while I can take some more time working on my novel. I still set goals out in my diary for my personal priorities, but the more urgent priorities come first.

5. Take Breaks

Do something nice for yourself today. Find some quiet, sit in stillness, breathe. Put your problems on pause. You deserve a break.

Akiroq Brost

This is another tip that I honestly struggle with sometimes. The world we live in is so fast-paced and filled with deadlines and obligations. With the ‘hustle-culture’ surrounding you, it can be really hard to take a step back and prioritise your own mental health and physical well-being. But taking breaks is so crucial for your health and often helps you to meet goals and deadlines for effectively.

Continuously working without taking breaks leads to stress and burnout. We are not designed to work without stopping, our bodies and minds cannot cope with it. It’s so important to take time out throughout the day, and week, to slow down and rejuvenate. I take breaks throughout the day, whether it’s a break to play with my toddler or a break after dinner. During the week I always take a break on Sunday’s, I don’t do chores or work on anything on this day. It’s a day solely dedicated to resting my mind and body.

I step into Monday refreshed and renewed by doing this. My mind is always clearest when I take breaks and my productivity increases. Whenever I work without stopping, my mind wanders and I struggle to meet deadlines. Prioritising rest is necessary and will really help you to stay focused and meet your own deadlines and goals.

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

Mario Andretti
author, Short Story, writing, Writing

The Broken Mirror: A Short Story

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn’t my own. Amber eyes stared deep into my own hazel eyes, burrowing deep into my soul. My hand brushed the broken mirror, enraptured by the sight in front of me. The girl in the mirror was beautiful, elegant and perfect. She was everything I wished I could be.

Her hand touched mine through the glass, a small smile crossing her face as one crossed my own. If she wasn’t so beautiful I’d think it was actually reflecting myself, but I knew better. I looked nothing like her.

I flinched as my finger caught the sharp edge, blood trickling down my hand. It jolted me out of my trance and I glanced back at the mirror, frowning as my own reflection scowled back. Was I hallucinating?

I shook my head and darted away from the mirror, quickly grabbing an old towel to stem the blood flow. I peered back at the broken mirror, relieved as nothing out of the ordinary reflected back. I wasn’t sure if I had imagined it or not, but I definitely saw someone else in the mirror. I must be stressed to start hallucinating like that.

I muttered obscenities to myself as I rummaged through my bathroom, sighing in relief as I found the bandages to strap my hand up. So stupid.

I cleaned the blood off the ground and started to make my way out of the bathroom when something caught my eye. Amber eyes staring at me in the bathroom mirror. I freaked out and spun away, flinching as the amber eyes followed me in every reflective surface. Eyes were everywhere, watching every move I made.

I ran into the bedroom, horrified as the eyes started to appear in the windows and even in the glossy walls. I couldn’t escape it. I spun around, desperately trying to escape the amber eyes. I could feel them piercing into me with every move I made.

Fed up, I grabbed the broken mirror, determined to toss it down into the street. Something made me stop and I stared deep into the amber eyes within. A face reflected back, a sly smile crossing over the perfect face.

Her hand emerged from the mirror, gripping my wrist tightly. I felt panic rise within me as tried to pull away, to no avail. She smiled and tugged on my arm, pulling me towards her. The world started to spin around me and I squeezed my eyes shut, my own scream echoing in the walls around me as I willed it all to end.

Silence greeted me. I slowly opened my eyes, flinching as amber eyes bored into me. She smiled again and flicked her hand into a wave before walking away, leaving me alone. I tried to follow but I was unable to move. I stretched my arm out towards her, flinching as I tapped against glass.

Horror filled me as I touched the glass. I was surrounded by it. I banged my fists on the glass wall in front of me, but I didn’t make an impact.

“Welcome,” drawled a voice behind me.

I spun around, eyes wild as I took in the sight before me. A crowd of unkempt people stood before me, sympathetic stares coming from every person I saw. “Who are you?” I stammered. “Where am I?”

“In the mirror world,” replied the woman who spoke before. “You’ve been replaced and kicked in here with us.”


“Why else? Someone traded places with you. She’s living your life now and you’re here. Forever.”

Terror engulfed me. “No, no!” I shouted. “I need to get back!”

“There’s no escape. She won’t be stupid enough to be drawn back in here. This is your home now. For eternity.”

The crowd surrounded me, suffocating me with their presence. Tears streamed down my face. No escape? Was there truly no escape. I squeezed my eyes shut and clasped my hands over my ears. I couldn’t take this.

I screamed and my eyes jolted open. Sunlight streamed into my room, highlighting the sweat that had gathered on the blankets around me. I kicked off the sheets, desperately trying to catch my breath. Was it all just a dream?

I looked over to the broken mirror in the corner, shuddering as I saw something amber glinting in the sunlight. I darted out of bed and grabbed a garbage bag, swiftly throwing the mirror pieces inside. It all felt too real to be just a dream. My mind was fuzzy and confused but I knew I had to get rid of this godforsaken mirror.

I ran outside and threw the bag into the trash, pausing for a moment as I caught my reflection in the shop window. My own amber eyes stared back at me, wild and confused.

author, poetry, writing

A Collection of Haiku’s

I’ve collated a small collection of haiku poems that I’ve written over the past year! Haiku isn’t my usual style and it is quite a challenging structure to write but I enjoyed the challenge and the creativity required to write a haiku!

Little Baby

Each day passes fast,
and my child grows too quickly.
Tiny baby, gone


forming a scene of the lake
with soft strokes of paint.

The Lake

Alone in silence
the clear blue lake shines at dawn.
The calm fills my heart.

Mountain Air

Mountain air surrounds.
Beautiful pure and clean air.
Breathe in and breathe out.

My Oasis

Quiet oasis.
My place of refuge and calm.
My mountain, my home.


Rain drips down my head
as I stare up at the sky.
Oh, how I love rain.

author, holidays, writing, Writing

Happy Easter

Just ducking in today to say Happy Easter! Or Passover or whatever you may celebrate over this holiday period.

I’m taking a break this week from the blog since it’s been chaos around the holiday time for me and the family! Will be back next week with a short story post for you all.

Hope everyone had a good holiday period and spent time with family and friends as needed!

See you all next week!

author, holidays, University, writing

Life Update: How It’s All Going Behind The Scenes. Easter and More!

I swear every time I write a post I have the same thing to say, but it has been a crazy few weeks! Life with a toddler is absolutely no joke, I barely have the time to sit down and think any more. It’s exhausting but also fun and entertaining. However, I am finding myself far more drained than usual. I’m currently growing new life, for lack of a better description, and that has seriously drained the energy out of me. Didn’t think it was possible to be this tired but damn, I am exhausted!

I’ve had to drop a few classes in my Uni degree. I just can’t find the energy or brain power to focus completely on all the classes I had. I’m down to just one subject now and I’m working on completing this class and slowly plodding my way towards my degree!

Of course, I’m also spending the evening’s writing. I can’t stop my passion and my brain is more wired to write than study at the moment so I decided to just lean into it and allow the creative juices to flow the way they want. It sucks having to drop Uni classes, but I know it’s for the best. There’s no point trying to force myself to complete the topics and submitting sub-par work. I’d much rather submit work that I’m proud of and achieve better results over a longer period of time.

I think it’s important to try to be present with whatever it is you’re doing. And if you can’t be present, take a break. 

Emily Giffin

Easter is also fast approaching, which is wild! How are we already in April and already closing in on Easter? The year is already going by so fast! It’ll be Christmas again before we know it, I swear! Easter, like most holidays, is quite busy for my little family. We have a few things going on but I’m looking forward to spending time with family and friends and rejuvenating in the holiday season.

I’m focusing more on my writing at the moment and making it a priority whenever I can. It’s hard when I’m constantly exhausted and drained but I do try to spend a little time each day writing and prioritising my goals. I never want to stop writing and I’m still aiming towards finishing editing my novel and finishing my new story.

Since I’ve dropped down to one subject for Uni I do have some more time to focus on writing. I’m going to spend extra time absorbing myself in my writing, when I can of course! I still need the brain power to be able to write and that’s a little hard to come by at the moment. It’s just a temporary bump in the road, but it’s definitely a bit frustrating. I’m determined to keep plodding along though and keep pressing forward each day!

Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.

Winston Churchill
author, Short Story, writing

Age of Dragons: A Short Story

The history books don’t say who thought of sentient machines. No one really knows where this idea came from. Sure, the machines worked for a while. They repaired the ozone layer, rebuilt the Earth, and contributed to humanity. But then human nature kicked in, and they were used to start wars, conquer countries, and reign destruction upon every human. Soon enough, their sentience grew, and they began to resist humans and rebelled. Hard. They were too intelligent, too responsive. They observed and learnt. They knew they were better than humans – how could they not be? They had no weak flesh and no short lifespan. They were just better. They turned on their human masters, already weakened from numerous wars. The machines had every advantage, and they took control.

When humans realised what was happening, the rich people ran. Unlike the rest of us, they fled the planet before the machines could hunt them. We weren’t lucky enough, or rich enough, to travel to other worlds. We couldn’t live on terraformed Mars or the habitable spheres on the moon. We were trapped and doomed to be hunted down by the machines that continued to grow, learn, and adapt.

I ducked my head as a giant machine flew past. Metallic wings spread across the sky, momentarily blocking the sun from my view. It stayed close to the ground, searching for its next victim. I could hear the robotic growl escape its mouth as it scanned the ground – I knew it sensed me. I slowly drew an arrow from my quiver, aiming it toward the dragon. The metal arrow glinted in the sunlight, drawing the creature’s attention. I fired. An explosion lit up the sky as the arrow connected. It let out a roar, its red eyes zooming in on me. I quickly fired again. The arrow flew into the dragon’s open mouth, an explosion ringing through the air as it shuddered and fell to the ground. Residual electricity sparked off the metal scales before the area fell silent again.

I glanced around, waiting to see if other machines heard the commotion. The implant in my temple whined as I focused, trying to see any movement hidden amongst the trees. There was none. I drew to my feet and walked over to the fallen dragon. Scanning it, I tried to see if it had what I needed. I switched the implant off with a sigh – it didn’t have it. Gripping my bow tight, I turned to face the forest. I had to find another machine; I had to find the piece I needed. Finding one wouldn’t be challenging, but it would be hard to draw out just one. I couldn’t take on multiple machines – that would be suicide.

Keeping low to the ground, I crept into the forest. My implant buzzed in my head as it sensed machines all around. Small machines roamed the land alongside animals; they wouldn’t have what I needed. I needed another dragon. Only they had the piece I was looking for. It was a small chip – nothing significant to the machine but essential to humanity. This tiny chip kept our implants working. Our implants kept us alive; they ensured that we could see our surroundings and kept our brains active. Without the implant, we wouldn’t survive the radiation coating the land or the emissions from the machines. My sister was about to lose her implant. They usually lasted decades, but hers had been damaged in the last fight at our compound. She needed it, and I had to find it.

My eyes flashed red as the implant sensed a dangerous machine near me. It wasn’t a dragon; that was always a black flash. I concentrated, heart racing as I scanned the surroundings. Red wasn’t a colour I’d ever seen from my implant. I had no idea what to expect. No idea what was coming. My implant flashed again.


I gripped my bow tightly and tried to calm my heart as I slowly crept forward. Then I saw it. Three mechanical heads stared at me, green gas escaping giant mouths. I’d seen a creature like this in the old, tattered history books. It was a mythical creature, never a real one. But I was face-to-face with a machine replica.

A hydra.

Heart pounding, I started to back up. All six eyes were trained on me, keeping me in its sight. It roared, gas spewing from its mouth as I froze. Maybe this machine had the chip I needed. If I could take it down.

And that was a very big if.

I concentrated, chip whirring as I focused on the creature. A small spot at the base of the necks lit up in my vision – the control panel. There was no way I could get to it. Not by myself. I concentrated, sending out an SOS through my implant. Hopefully, someone will respond. The implant beeped, alerting me to danger. I ran to the side, narrowly dodging the green gas ball flying toward me.

The ball exploded beside me, filling the area with green gas. It surrounded me, keeping me trapped with the hydra. There would be no escape now. I drew an arrow, aiming it towards the middle head. No hesitation, no mistakes. One false move, and I would cease to exist. I released the arrow, silently cheering as it connected with the middle head.

More gas escaped the mouths as a robotic roar echoed through the forest. I could feel my heart drumming in my chest as my implant scanned the machine. I’d barely done any damage, but I did make it angry.

“What the bloody hell is that?”

I jumped in shock, spinning to greet Declan as he ran towards me. “A hydra,” I replied, calmer than I felt.

A frown crossed his face as he drew his own arrows, carefully aiming them towards the machine. “Trust you to find some mythical creature,” he growled. “Can’t leave you alone for one bloody minute.”

“Shut it,” I hissed. “It spews poison. We can’t run – we have to take it down.”

He watched the machine, the implant on his temple lighting up as he scrutinised it. “There’s a control panel at the base of its neck. If we can destroy that, we can take it down.”

“And how do you suggest we do that?”

He frowned, his eyes never leaving the creature. Gas continued to escape the mouths as another gas ball started to form. “I’ll distract it,” he said. “Climb a tree behind it and aim straight for the panel.”

I didn’t have time to argue as another gas ball forced us to run in opposite directions. Declan shot multiple arrows towards it, explosions echoing as they each exploded on the hydra’s heads. Not a single arrow seemed to phase it as it emitted more poison toward him.

I crept behind, trying to be as quiet as possible. I had one chance to disable the machine, and I couldn’t let my best friend down. He kept its attention on him, and I managed to circle it, implant whirling as it tried to find the control panel to aim. Finally, it connected. I deftly drew an arrow and fired in one motion, sighing in relief as the arrow connected with the control panel, an explosion sending shockwaves through the machine. It collapsed, lifeless on the ground.

“We need to get the elders to check this out,” said Declan as he stumbled over to me. “We’ve never seen a machine like this. Especially not so close to the village.”

I knelt beside the creature, carefully scanning it. “It has the chip,” I said. “We can save Holly.”

He carefully made his way to the control panel, ripping it aside and deftly grabbing the small chip. “Let’s head back,” he said. “We can save her now.”

I nodded, grabbing the chip from him as we hurriedly made our way back to the village. I could save my sister now – save her so she could continue to live in this godforsaken world we lived in. What kind of ‘saving’ was I even doing?