Write the next paragraph of this fantasy story

tylerishungry

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Saw one of these and decided to start my own! Contribute whatever strikes your fancy. Get creative!

Lilith wakes in the middle of the night by the burning hearth of the sheriff. She sits up, stretching her legs on the giant bear fur, leaning her weight on one hand. She wipes the sleep out of her eyes before reaching for her cloak and edging silently towards the door. “I shouldn’t have fallen asleep,” she thinks. “I have to meet Rishi at dawn.” She pulls a pin from her cloak’s pocket and clips it to the breast pocket of her shirt. “Today we’re deputies of the valley. And when the diamond shipment comes through, we’ll have plenty of questions for them to answer.”
 

Fogged_Creation

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For every word you read, i am inside of your head
(Hello there! I saw your post and I decided to be the first comment to participate! :D )

Lilith prepared her necessary equipment before exiting out the door and leaving at a hurried pace.
"At least I saved myself some precious time-" she thought to herself, having already slept through the cozy night in her work attire.
"I can still make it if I moved now, not a slack!" She said aloud before following with a sigh of relief to her own assessment.
Vigorously she would shake her head around, giving herself the cheapest alternative for what caffeine might offer.
After all, she knew how desperately important this all was. And that she mustn't disappoint Rishi, especially on her first day. Her specific line of work proves to offer the worst negatives in anyone's reputation if they were known to not take things seriously... One of these examples include, but are not limited to: "Literally sleeping on the sheriff's bear and also being late for important business meetings." This made two things, and after all, this felt like life or death for her in a sense, and it was with this that rightfully merited her foul abandon for not taking the shower that day and even deserting the time where she brushes her teeth, she would childishly console to herself "Il manage all of that good stuff when I get back home anyway."
Oh, how wrong she was... ever after these troubling thoughts nibbled into her mind, her legs were instinctively scampering by. And to her dreaded fears, she was too late after all.
"What in the-? I must be terribly exhausted!" revealing her dumbfounded expression of surprise, she was late in a way that she would have never have suspected of ever happening before her own mortal eyes.-
 
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Provincial

Coyote meets roadrunner
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The oil lamp she was carrying gave a little light, but not enough to see the path before her clearly; Lilith was forced to rely on body memory to get her out of the village and up to the muddy, rutted track which was the main road to the pass and out of the valley. The night air was cold and damp, but for once it wasn’t raining so she threw the hood of her cloak back to enjoy what here was of a gentle breeze. The stars were gleaming like beautiful prisms of cut glass, and Lilith started counting them for luck, as her father had taught her to, so long ago. She had got as far as seven, and was straining to spot the other two that she knew should be visible, when the treacherous thought she had been burying for so long was suddenly there, in the front of her mind: surely there should be thousands more...
 
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sule

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The sky behind her was beginning to pale when Lilith reached the crest of the hill. A few yards away a moving shadow stood at the edge the road; Rishi was already here and waiting for her. She felt the knot in her stomach tighten and she ran, unwilling to be even one more second late. In the weak light she couldn't see the track carved in the packed dirt by a hundred wagons passing through and her left foot slid quickly into it; she felt a surge of pain as her ankle twisted beneath her weight. Lilith gritted her teeth and limped to where Rishi stood.
"You've looked better," said Rishi. The bordermage wore his standard grey coat buttoned to the chin, his temporary deputy's badge pinned underneath the collar. The three fingers of his right hand danced quickly across the handle of a revolver holstered on his hip.
"Better than you," said Lilith. "Where are the horses?"
 

Don Coyote

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Oct 23, 2020
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Rishi caught her scent and sniffed. His face went flat and unreadable. "A better question is, where's the Sheriff?"

Lilith blushed brightly. "He... Something came up. Last night. He's... I... I mean..." She looked away.

"We're now a man short and," he leaned close. "You're late." She flinched. Rishi's voice became a low growl. "This is a rough crew we're dealing with and well know the penalty for smuggling Ytherian diamonds. Take your position and don't cock this one up."
 
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Timebender

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The lovely state of Denial
(Fun! I got a bit carried away though, bit more than a paragraph here.)

Lilith nodded and limped over to the first in a line of trees that wove down in the hill and into the forest alongside the track. Despite never doing this before, she well knew where she was supposed to be, from the meeting two days ago detailing the plan to ambush the smugglers. She had stared at the map of their assigned positions as hard as she could, until it had practically been burned into her eyeballs.
She got behind the tree and readied her crossbow, not holding it in a firing position, but preparing to do so at a moment's notice. She glanced around to where the other deputies were hidden, only a few of them visible as shadows in the dawn-light.

A minute passed. Two minutes. Nothing happened. All was silence and waiting.
And then, just as the throbbing burn in Lilith's ankle was beginning to die down, heard sound of running footsteps. They were coming from around the bend of the road, whoever or whatever was making them was obscured by the trees, but they were approaching fast.
Lilith took a grip and tightened her grip on her crossbow. Suddenly, a figure staggered into sight, his footsteps stumbling and his breath coming in loud, ragged gasps that were audible even from her distance.

She glanced around. It wasn't supposed to be happening this way. There should be a wagon full of diamonds and a gang of smugglers, not a lone runner who appeared to be injured.

"Halt in the name of the Husk Valley Border League!" cried out Rishi's loud, dominating voice. This was the signal for a few of the other deputies to go ahead and show themselves. Lilith, along with another recruit (whose name she believed to be Sharnon, or Shano, or something like that) stepped out from behind their trees and held their crossbows at the ready.
Rishi's cloaked form marched down the hill and towards the newcomer. "What is your business in Husk Valley? Why are you entering before sanctioned hours?"
"You don't... you don't understand..." cried the man, his voice sounding hoarse and haunted. Something about it made Lilith shiver.
"What exactly is it that I don't understand?" asked Rishi, annoyance clear in his voice. He was probably as surprised as and no happier about the unexpected visitor than Lilith.
"The diamonds... the diamonds aren't... you don't... they're not... trick... it's a trick!"
 

therapist

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Jan 2, 2021
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The DotV pin began glowing a scarlet red; imbuing Lilith with a heightened sensitivity to her surroundings. The still black night came alive. Croaking from the swamp she passed before interrupted the silence, not necessarily louder, but clearer—each individual frog having its own distinct pitch. The stars above shone brighter; the previous wall of black softened to multiple shades of grey, outlining the thick copse of trees on either side of the dirt road she was walking up, and up ahead, she could even make out the mountain pass where the shipment was to come from. A trace of smoke in the air betrayed the position of two separate camps—only one could be Rishi's.
 

Wayne Mack

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Sep 12, 2020
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Chantilly, Virginia, US
Rishi asked, "Tell me about the diamonds, old man."

"I am the only one left."

"Where are the diamonds?"

"Don't make me go back there. Don't make me go back."

"Lead us to the diamonds and it will look good at your trial."

"They are back there. Don't make me go back."

Rishi put handcuffs on the man and turned towards Lilith. "Watch him. We'll be back shortly."

Rishi and Sharnon hurried off down the trail. It was the last time Lilith would ever see them.
 

Provincial

Coyote meets roadrunner
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Essex, UK
Lilith followed the sounds of their departure with her heightened senses, picking up the scuffing of feet, pebbles being kicked down the path, startled creatures scuttling out of their way, and the sound of breathing... Distant, but clear, she could hear the long, laboured breath of a wounded beast toiling up the trail towards them, an injured animal of immense proportions dragging itself along - and behind it the jingle of bridles, the scrape and ting of horseshoes on rock, and the crack of whips as the riders drove the beast before them.
 

thatollie

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Aug 12, 2009
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The stranger was on his knees now, sobbing into his bound hands. "Oh gods, oh gods, forgive me," he cried.

Lilith instinctively reached out to comfort him but then stopped. She stood silently like a fool for a brief moment and then made her decision. "Tell me what happened."

Looking up from his prayers, the old man stared at her. He opened his mouth to say something, cocked his head, returned to staring at her, and his mouth continued to hang open slack and useless.

"You can tell me," she said, "you have to tell me. Something happened here, on the border of Husk Valley, and the Border League need to know." She had tried to sound as comforting as possible, but those wide brown eyes unnerved her. He had seen something, and whatever it was hadn't been good.
 

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