The Gate

Another Furious Fiction Rejection

Franc-Comtois

Furious Fiction — February 
500 words maximum

-Each story’s first sentence had to contain EXACTLY THREE WORDS.
-Each story had to include A FIRST of some kind — open to interpretation.
-Each story had to include A CANDLE.


“Hold the gate!”

The captain’s voice sang out and, the great doors came to a shuddering halt, leaving only a few feet of space between them. The guards could hear the screaming winds rushing beyond the city walls and feel the bite of the snow as it whipped through the narrow opening. They wrapped their scarves around their noses and mouths to ensure they wouldn’t breathe in the icy air.

When the storms hit, the temperature dipped so low that an elf’s lungs would freeze from the inside out, so when the order came to stop the gates, panic set in.

Wydrann looked up to his captain standing high over their heads atop the gate. She was surrounded by standing torches and wrapped in hefty, white furs. From his vantage point, she looked like a great ice bear shuffling across the ramparts.

“Open the gates!”

She raised her hand, and the gates began to open again and they were all blasted with a wave of chill that Wydrann had never felt before. A lifetime living in the great city of the North, and never once had he been near the gates when a storm had hit, let alone standing there with nothing between he and the frozen wilds beyond.

As a child, Wydrann would light candles and arrange them on the floor until they resembled the blueprint of the great walls surrounding the city. He had dreamed of the day he would join the Guard and be right there, before the gates, gazing into the world outside, seeing for himself if all of the stories were true.

As his face blistered and tiny flecks of ice tore away at his skin, he knew they were true.

They were all true.

So why was the captain ordering the gates to be opened?

Riders!”

His lieutenant's voice sounded out beside him and horns started to echo.

Wydrann gazed out into the white nothingness of death itself and watched as, one by one, a group of seven shadows appeared.

The great tundra wolves cut through the storm like knives through butter. Their massive paws were light over the ground, and their blue eyes pierced the solid sheet of snow that pelted down upon them.

They and their riders had mere seconds to live, but the wolves were swift.

“Close the gates!” The call came from above before the rider’s had come through to safety.

The lieutenant ran forward and began to push the doors himself, adding strength to mechanism.

“Push!” he shouted.

Wydrann could not, but stood back and watched in disbelief.

The men willed the door’s to close faster, and the great wolves leaped through the closing gap one by one, landing briskly inside.

Wydrann moved out of their way, but the doors had not yet closed, and a gust of wind pulled him out into the storm the riders had just escaped.

He gasped when his feet left the ground, and he watched the scene before him disappear into nothingness.


JLRose is an American fantasy writer, 3D artist and game designer living in Melbourne, Australia. She’s spent the past three years working on the first full-length book of The Galean Universe and has released the first short story of The Lockwood Series.