Thursday, August 23, 2012

3: Legacy of the King

Chapter 3: indirect murder

            My head aches immensely as I get up on unstable legs. I look down and I nearly faint from either what I see of the dizziness of my legs. My right leg is bruised with some internal injuries and my left leg basically skinned. My head has to endure another blowing pain as if struck by a hammer and all I can do is hope that the hit hasn’t done any damage to a part of my nervous system. The results would be fatal from a crash like that. I stare around at the ruins of the shop. ‘Come on! Now I’m probably going to be on the wanted list. How can I assure my sister a good life like this? That is of course if she survives the dreaded flu.’ The thoughts floated in my mind and stayed there though I didn’t want them to, like a stale smell in the air. The first order of business though, is to get out of here as fast as possible or to hide. I haven’t got much time. The Watchers would be here any second. No doubt they would be so angry they would kill anyone there.

‘That girl had expertly dashed out of here as quick as a sprite.’ I thought to myself. I crouch low bending almost in double with my hands swinging at a ferocious speed. In this way, my father had thought me; you could almost double your sprinting speed and at the same time be so low that you could run and crouch to hide at the same time.

It takes me less than twenty seconds to clear the area only thinking about where there would be a good place to hide and look at the plaza. I quickly scale the broken down abandoned tall grass hut next to me. It is very rickety and old so I watch my step as I climb up. I can’t help but look down and nearly choke on rising bile. I am over three stories high where even a full grown man might die from a drop as high as this. I move forward slowly and cautiously, but I still make the mistake of putting all my weight on my left leg. It burns and I wail silently in agony. By doing this I only put more pressure on the roof. It caves in leaving me hanging in one hand. I hear the horrible sound of the woven hay, hardened by age, splintering and breaking apart. Finally the entire roof gives way and down I fall.

I overcome my shock and don’t move. I don’t scream. I accept it all with a frightening understanding that my time has come and Death has won this little game. It always held the winning cards in its hands; I was just biding my time. I wait for the horrible moment when I will have to come into contact with Mother Earth. I was a bit happy to die this way. In the soil I would stay forevermore. At least I wasn’t vaporized or incinerated or taken by a blade to the heart. These were the thoughts I had in a split second. Then I had a vision.

 A black blade and a green serpent staff lying over the mountains and outside of Partridge. Labyrinths of tunnels were surrounding me. Finally I heard myself and others shouting a war cry led by a man I couldn’t recognize. He had gleaming black hair with muscles that rippled over his tanned skin. He turned around and faced me but all I saw was white. The vision was charred and blotchy. It came out in short moments with few words heard such as: “The… king… prophecy… legacy…”

Next, so fast the naked eye couldn’t follow, came a hand that darted out from over the roof of another building. It grabbed my elbow with a supernatural speed and hoisted me up. The roof of this building was stone—a much sturdier element, but too steep to climb. The top was rough connected to a low built catwalk to another house across the alley. The other buildings were either straw or stone. This one had a tiled surface and a melancholy grey color. There way a worn black cobblestone pathway leading of into the eastern edge of Partridge. Now I look into the gaze of my savior.

Up close you see red-brown hair, fierce green eyes with bags under them, and a tall fair body. Her face was catlike and royal. She held her shoulders high and moved with a rarely ever displayed grace and balance. She was again the same woman at the (once-was) bookstore. She looked angry and ready to kill.

“You are lucky I saved thee from such a treacherous fall.” She half whispered half hissed.

“I know. Why did you save me? What is your name? Where do you come from? What do you know about the books? I’m Orion.” I managed to stammer.

“Please stop the questions." Secillia said somewhat amusingly. "I couldn’t let any Watchers stray up on a dead body. I would get captured. I also feel there is something special to become of you . . . Orion. I am Secillia. The books are fake. Truly amazing that another one knows the truth…” She replied.

I noted the gravelly tone Secillia used. Special might be for the worst. Meanwhile I began to wonder how this female aristocrat knew about the book lies. There were only more lies in the higher and richer part of Partridge. The closer you got to Shage the deeper the lies. We shortly talked more about the plaza and, I apologized for knocking her over. I began to like Secillia. She talked when necessary and had an essence of pure intellect and beauty. We sat there alone till nightfall watching the angry mob of angry Watchers wrecking the plaza looking for us.

A Watcher looks at the quivering merchant I knocked over, kneels down, and pulls a dagger. They talk for a while and the merchant delivers a scream before he finally dies by a dagger through his temple. That was my first sight at Death overtaking someone by the blade. It was a horrifying experience and I could not help but whimper. I was saved from Death and this innocent merchant takes my place. It was then that I realized what I had done. The merchant was innocent. If I hadn’t knocked down the shack and caused commotion he probably would still be alive. I started going ballistic over this totally rational idea that I had indirectly murdered a man’s life.

I was interrupted in my thoughts when Secillia murmured, “Good riddance Bevin!”

“How can you say that? He had a life like you or me.” I exploded.

After she came over the shock that I heard her she looked self-pitying, then angry. “I was almost found by the Watchers because of him. He said my name which the Watchers are always attentive to listen for!”

A hard core icy heart she had. We didn’t say anything for a long time until she started crying. I could ear her say something about how mean and cruel-hearted she was, but it was all drowned out by tears. I cradled her head on my lap for the rest of the night. Finally the rising sun came and with it I dozed of into a deep slumber, with nightmares about an indirect murder, dreams about my new friend, and pondering what my near-death vision meant. No doubt today probably changed my life forever. And it did.

To Be Continued…

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2:Legacy of the King

Chapter Two: Secillia
The sun’s warmth wrapped around my face like a heated cushion, instead of biting winds and the dangerous frost I was used to. It wasn’t normally like this in the Partridge, but then again the Partridge wasn’t considered normal. Everywhere people had secrets, and everything is not as it seems. There was once a spread of rumors that were actually the truth despite the fantastical elements in them. Such as Watchers able to control the flow of dark magic from the stream of energy around them. If so they have the strength to tackle mountain bears with their bare hands. In some cases they could outrun a cheetah. It would be could if you and a Watcher both shared a grudge. I followed along the others who were whispering to themselves of the prospect that that maybe, just maybe, some of the books might be saved. 

            ‘Bah, these fools. If their minds were set right they wouldn't even be wondering if there was a book left in the entire world.' I thought. It was obvious they bought into what the Watchers told them . . . or were forced to believe it.
I started to scan the area for the rare herb I was looking for. It was for a special potion I was brewing. As I walked on the muddy path a familiar vendor named Bevin winked at me. “Hey, Secillia,” he whispered.

Panic gripped me. He might blow my cover. “What are you doing?!” I whispered back. I hoped to stay hidden within the mess of people (Idiots really), get the herb, and run straight out of here. After all tomorrow was the big day. Tomorrow I would leave this retched place.  Tomorrow I would finally be free of my father’s shadow which was always cast over me. Yet Bevin could alter the entire outcome by just looking at me. This was a very precise plan and I would not let him ruin it for me. I started walking the other way when I heard Bevin screaming. I turned my head long enough to see a figure hurtling towards me.“Ahhh,” I screamed. It was an ear piercing yowl loud enough for an entire village to wake up in the middle of the night. I quickly shut my mouth as I gazed into the depths of two big fiery red eyes. I stood up suddenly and started running. When I looked behind me I saw the entire Merchants Plaza looking at me, and a boy trailing behind me.My plan was gone at the most and delayed at the least. But this is just a setback. I will not give up when I have come this close. This time I sprinted away leaving the plaza behind me, and leaving me to my thoughts.

‘Now to get that herb.’

Thursday, August 9, 2012

1: Legacy of the King

Chapter 1: I be watchin’ you

The wind rustled beneath my feet and the smell of fresh turnips emanated from the ground. The various smells of different foods wafted throughout me. All around you could hear men yelling and trying to bargain for a reasonable price for different foods, beverages, and books, some of which were rare history books. This was Merchants Plaza. The books around here were false of course, as there are no more books that survived the Dark times. Back then the world was plagued with war. It was when our evil king, Master Shage, did not allow anyone to practice religion or learn history. There, in the jumbled mix of information and belies, people might find his weakness and slay him. So he killed all priests, historians, and burned all books. He replaced them with fake information, but I am not fooled. I spotted a group of kids my age up ahead gagging at a pile of books, but one shook her head in disgust. This intrigued me as I thought my family and I were the only ones who knew the truth. I looked closer. The young women had red--brown hair, and a keen gaze so intense it looked as if even the bravest Watchers (sentries, guards, spies, and army men) would crumple within sight of her. Though from far away with her long hair swinging she looked stunning. Even so she should know to hide her emotions else a Watcher may get her. I averted my gaze and walked the other way. A merchant near me yelled "Amaashhhing fruit! Gggrown in the wesht, and known to shtrengthen you up." The merchants come from various parts of our supposed ‘noble’ country, the Partridge, lead by the ‘amazing’ leader Master Shage. He was truly an evil tyrant who ruled a peasants’ country. Master Shage only gives luxury, if even considered luxuries, to the Watchers. They are mercenaries trained to kill and detect any meddlesome work against the 'High Ones' who are Master Shage's circle of dark friends. Though Partridge has lot of space, Watchers are trained in separate secret locations unknown to any common passer-by. The 'High Ones' all live in Blackstone Castle located in the richer part of Partridge. By richer it just means higher taxes and a house with a smoke-stove. An actual smoke-stove! But to me the best part of Partridge was, without a doubt, Merchants Plaza. It is an amazing place filled with the one thing everyone desires—food. Back long ago the place entranced me, as did the shop keepers’ bargains on amazing succulent food, but that was long ago, and now it was expected; it was normal. I try to act normal too, as my mother once told me to before they had to take her for reasons I still cant comprehend. Before they took her. Oh, my dear beloved mother. How she cared and loved me. How they ripped her away from me. How they planted a painfully memorable scar on my father’s shoulder. How they…how they…How they are so evil is a mystery to me. My heart always pained when I thought of her. 

‘No!’ an angry voice ripped my consciousness, ‘She is gone forever and you will never see her again.’ I tried to convince myself. I put up a fight and finally, through sheer power of will I thought of something less daunting. Outside I still stay blank though inside I am angry and filled with hatred under the keen gaze of the Watchers. The little shacks around me did not distract me from my task, and neither did the yelling all around me.        

‘Easy’, I thought, ‘just get the medicine and go.’    

The medicine was for my tragically ill sister who had an allergic reaction to mushrooms. She had a long drooping face similar to my father and a thin body. I was a bit thin too, but muscular from hunting and sword fighting, though I still have cheeks like a baby.  I focused solely on the thought of helping my sister, Diana. This somewhat relaxed me, though nearby a Watcher came walking towards me.                                 

‘Great. Just amazing, I jinxed it.’ I thought. Some of the emotion must have showed through my indifferent mask, because now he was sprinting at me. I watched in terror as he grabbed my waist and shook me as if I weighed no more than a rag doll.                                            

 “Whar’ you goings little boy?” he yelled. Spittle flew across my face. I just stared, emotion swelling up inside of me. The Watcher had a short crooked nose and a pudgy face, and his body looked as if he ate a hundred chickens for a meal and was still hungry. The way I felt I wanted to kick that nose straight again. When I didn’t reply he shook me harder bruising the sides of my chest. I was  about to release a nasty string of words when he suddenly averted his gaze to a nearby man draped in a black cloak, which was a fool thing to do in the middle of summer. He narrowed his eyes to slits, "You're mighty lucky." he whispered and trot toward the figure in the cloak. Then he hesitated.                 

 “I be watchin’ you,” he whispered with a nasty smile that showed yellow and blackened teeth. The tone he used made me want to crawl up into a ball and rock back and forth on my fathers lap like a baby.                                                                                                                                          

I shivered at the thought of what would happen if I had said those words. I’d be hanged to death for sure, or maybe slain at the very spot. I started running as far away from the spot as I could, not sure where I was heading. I didn't care though. The Watcher didn’t bother give chase, but instead laughed a deep evil rumble that shook my insides and only made me more determined to run away. In my head, I thought, ‘One day I’ll serve vengeance for my taken mother and the ill deeds you have cursed upon my family, I swear to it.’