The Thousand Year Legend

by Maisie Cotterill

The sun rose over the paddocks, turning the rolling fields of Norville yellow. Annora galloped through the golden fields around the peachy lake on her loyal horse, Raven. He was a beautiful stallion with a coat blacker than the blackest midnight and a blindingly white blaze stretching from the first strand of his wispy mane to the tip of his long snout. His powerful legs were striding to the edge of the lake. 

Annora staggered off Raven and tumbled into the lake. She jumped up quickly in fear but shook that off quite fast. Frustrated at her own clumsiness, she grudgingly stomped out of the water and wrung the water out of her caramel hair.  She untied a bucket from around the horse’s neck and dipped it into the cold water, collecting the clean liquid to bring back to her father. 

Annora’s father had been deathly ill since she was six. It had come to him and majorly affected him since her mother died. One of the things that was keeping him alive was the clean waters of Norville Lake, said to be the purest waters in all of Lestaria.

She slung the bucket over her shoulder and climbed on her horse’s saddle. Raven stomped and whinnied as Annora clamped her soggy boots to his belly. He never liked water, especially when it was cold. She looked to the path from the distant castle town to her ranch. There was a person coming on foot. She whipped the reins and Raven galloped at full speed to the ranch.


It wasn’t long after Annora arrived back home that she heard footsteps on the wooden deck. She came out from the paddocks out the back, ready to sell Norville Ranch’s famous milk, but instead found a muscular man a few years older than her. He was around her height with tousled sandy hair and attractive blue eyes. Or rather eye, as his left one had a large bleeding gash stretching from midways up his forehead to his cheek bone. Although he was wearing armour made from steel, it was rather scratched and dented. The man himself was battered and bruised, as though he’d just come back from a battle with a horde of dragons. When he spoke, his voice was hoarse and gravelly, as though he’d just eaten a bunch of rocks.

“Help … me …” he managed to breathe. 

Then he collapsed unconscious on the floor. 

Annora paced around the room not knowing what to do. Her first thought was Oh God! I have a dead person in my house!  That chain of thought was broken when the man let out a gasping breath. Annora heaved him up onto a spare bed with great difficulty. She removed his armour and chainmail and dressed him in lighter clothes, after dressing the wounds on his face, arms, legs and the rest of his body in a cream made from dragon saliva. After bandaging him up and resetting four broken bones, the only thing she could do was wait.


A few hours later, once Annora had finished milking the cows, the man’s eyelids fluttered open. His left eye looked red and swollen from the closing cut but was otherwise fine. His swollen peach lips barely opened as he mumbled.

“W-where am I?” he mumbled sleepily. “Where’s Sarai?”

He blinked and lifted his hand to his head.

“My head hurts!” he moaned.

“Who’s Sarai?” asked Annora, staring at his confused face.

“Sarai …” he said, staring off into the distance. 

The man shook his head and his body snapped up as though everything came into focus. “Oh no! Sarai! Father! The castle! Oh … if I get my hands on that filthy Zander …” his voice was no longer gravelly and hoarse but quite lively. 

“Who on earth are these people?” asked Annora.

He looked at Annora as though he had only just noticed her for the first time.

“Who are you?” he asked, confused.

“Annora, owner of Norville Ranch. And you are?” 

“Avery, Prince Avery the second of Lestaria. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” Avery held out his hand to shake.

Annora did not take it. She suddenly did not like the prince. Royals were selfish and overrated and didn’t care for people on a lower rank than them.

“And I am not,” replied Annora smugly. “Now would your Royal Highness like some tea?” she said sarcastically.

“Ooh! Yes please! With some extra sugar!”

Annora groaned at the prince’s obliviousness. She would never get along with that idiot.

“So, Prince Avery, is it?” she said, cutting him off when he went to answer. “Why did you show up almost dead on my doorstep?”

“Oh. That story. Well, long story short, the royal sorcerer, Zander, wanted more power so he killed my father or, as he’s more commonly known, the king, kidnapped my sister, Princess Sarai, and is now using her royal blood to make himself stronger. So, yeah!” he said quickly and happily. 

He reminded Annora of an excited puppy.

“Why aren’t you at the castle?” she said, wondering why he was here and not there when his sister needed him.

“My awesome combat skills and killer muscles allowed me to escape unharmed!” the prince said proudly.

“Not unharmed, considering you broke three ribs and an arm, and you have a nasty cut on your face, which will no doubt leave a scar.” said Annora, smirking.

“Yeah, but a super awesome scar!” said the prince excitedly.

“Anyway, what brings you here of all places?” she said, gesturing at the ranch.

“I came here for help. I heard your brother was awesome at combat, so I want him to help me beat Zander. Is he around?”

“Nope. Charlie’s on a quest out of the country,” replied Annora.

“Well, that’s a shame. Are there any more men in this ranch?” he said, looking around.

“There’s my father, but he won’t be able to come because he’s sick.”

“Oh, well, best be off then. Also, is there a horse I can borrow? And some water? And some food? And–?”

“No!” Annora shouted. “Why does it have to be a boy anyway?”

“Well … it doesn’t. Men are just generally stronger than girls.”

“You could take me along,” Annora tried. “I could send for someone to look after Father.”

“Hmm …” said the prince, deep in thought. “I guess you can tag along. But I will have to borrow a horse.”

“Deal! A horse for an adventure!”

When someone arrived to look after Annora’s father, they set off on the dirt paths of Lestaria.