Brey- Part 4

Fiction By Anna // 10/13/2008

Part Four: The Meaning of Danger and the Beginning of Sorrow

Yllna rushed into the room, bearing a lamp and a bag. "Brey! Pack your things! Take only what is necessary! You have to leave right away!"
Brey sat up sleepily. She glanced up at the window above her bed. "It’s still dark," she mumbled.
Yllna whipped the covers off her charge’s bed. "Did you not hear me? You have to leave!"
Brey suddenly noticed the seriousness of the situation. She leaped out of bed and ran to Yllna. "What’s going on, Yllna? I don’t understand. What’s happening? Why do we have to go?"
Yllna looked at the young fairy, and Brey saw a mixture of sadness, fear, and urgency in her eyes. "I didn’t say we," said Yllna softly. "Just you."
Brey’s eyes widened, but she didn’t fully grasp it. "Wha…"
She heard pounding on the door. "Open the door in the name of the king!" a rough voice barked, followed by a clamor of voices.
Brey only half heard what Yllna said next. "They know you’re a Magician."
Yllna ran to the door of the bedroom. "Lock this behind me," she said quietly. "If you can, push the wardrobe in front of it. Grab only what you need, then climb out the window and flee to the woods. As quickly as you can. Do not forget your staff! And most importantly- Whatever you hear, you must not open your door. The front one will only last so long."
Brey stood dumbstruck.
Yllna came up to her once more and kissed her on the forehead. "I’ve loved being a part of your life, child. Farewell." Then Yllna hurried out the door, shutting it behind her.
Brey wasted a few moments trying to sort out what was happening. But as nothing would settle in her head, Brey simply clung to Yllna’s last instructions and refused the rest. She locked the door, but could not manage to move the wardrobe, so she just used a bedside table.
She tore off her nightgown and practically dove into a dress. She chose the one that would be the easiest to run in (if she had had any boy’s clothes, she would have worn them). She wouldn’t wear shoes; bare feet were quicker and more silent; at least over bare, grassy ground, which is what she would be facing before the woods.
The shouts outside the room were muffled, but they urged her on with their anger.
She grabbed a messenger bag from beside her bed. In it she put a change of dress, sandals (should she need them) what little money she had, and her mother’s ball. (She couldn’t will herself to leave it.) She grabbed her staff to leave when she noticed the bag Yllna had carried in with her, sitting on the floor. It was small, but Brey opened it. Inside was a flask of water, a few apples, and a bread-and-turkey sandwich. And two leftover pancakes. She laid them also in her bag.
She was about to write Nobin a quick note, when suddenly a voice whispered in her head, You must leave now! No time to waste!
So she slung the bag over her shoulder, grabbed the darkwood staff, and hoisted herself out the window.

As soon as she was out in the night air she started running in the direction of the woods, clutching the staff horizontally, across her chest. The woods were the opposite direction of the front door of the house, but first she had to cross a long stretch of grass. The voices were louder out here than they had been in her room; Brey could also make out the light of torches, and the gleam of swords. She was about half the distance to the forest when she heard the door crash in. Shouts of success. Then, a sword running through a living human being, and a scream.
Brey stopped in her tracks and nearly collapsed.
Yllna.
Only the grace of God gave her the strength to run and keep a hold on her staff. She couldn’t process what had happened, she was so tired, so confused. She was being chased, hunted. There was no time.
She stumbled, gasping for breath. Several times she tripped and fell, but with stinging knees and hands she got back up and took off.
Her thoughts raced. They will be done searching the house soon. They will soon break down my bedroom door, and see I am not there. Then they will be after me, and I will die.
She didn’t let herself think of Yllna. It was much to painful at that moment. All she knew was that she had to get to the forest before they knew she was gone.
She was running almost without control now.
Above her she could sense the dark, cool night sky, strewn with cold, glittering, unfeeling star. The night wind wreathed around her, chilling and cruel. Beneath her bare feet she felt the long, untrimmed grass; soft, caressing. It brushed up against the soles of her feet. Then, a sudden roughness, and she tripped.
A tree root! I’m in the first fringe of the forest!
The thought did not comfort her much, just enough to bring her to consciousness of what she was doing.
She could hear the pursuit behind her. Horses, too. They must have just found out.
She ran into the woods, dodging low branches, ignoring the poky things on the ground that pricked her feet. She ducked and weaved, zigzagged, and veered off in different directions so that they’d lose her trail.
Then she smacked into something.
At first she thought it was a tree.
Then she looked at it.
Not a tree.
The stranger! The stranger with the eyes of two different colors who had been watching her for so long.
She nearly screamed, then turned to run. Run away from him. Murderer! King’s man! Spy! rang all sorts of inward warnings. But his hand (only one- the other carried a torch) was firmly grasping her shoulder, and struggle though she would, she couldn’t get away.
Then he spoke, for the first time since she had ever seen him. His voice was quiet, but authoritative. "Hold still, Brey. I won’t hurt you. I’m a friend." He unhanded her.
Brey should have bolted away then, but something held her back. In the half-light of his torch, she turned around to look at him.
"How do you know my name?" she whispered between gasps. She realized now that tears were streaming down her cheeks, but she had ceased sobbing, except for breath. She imagined what a sight she must be: A lone thirteen-year-old girl, messy, dirty, blotchy-faced, and red-eyed.
"I know a lot about you," said the stranger. His voice dropped. "Most notably, I know you are a Fairy."
Brey shivered and wiped her face with the back of her hand. The fact that he knew who she was worried her, but far more troubling was that she didn’t know who he was. How can I trust him? He doesn’t act the way the King’s Men have been said to do, but he has been watching me, just like them.
The man smiled gently. "I told you, I am a friend." Brey started to say something, but Rhys put his hand up. "No, don’t speak. I know a stranger’s word has no honor." He paused, then threw back his grey hood. "My name," he said, "is Rhys." (Pronounced same as "rise".) .
Rhys.
And now in the torchlight, Brey finally got a good look his face. And she saw that under his unkempt, pale yellow hair, his face was almost handsome, despite its dirtiness. She was struck again by the intensity in his eyes, and how strange they looked, with the one green and one grey- but now she also saw how the light in them and the turn of his head and seemed proud, but noble.
Not something she would have expected to see in someone with his appearance.
"Come with me, Brey," he said. He extended his hand toward her. "You can’t linger here."
Can I trust him?
Now she could hear the horses thrashing through the trees; she could hear the King’s Men yelling. They were coming for her.
Something akin to alarm flashed momentarily in Rhys’s eyes, but his voice remained steady and his gaze remained locked into Brey’s. "If you don’t want my help, you can run away now, and I will not follow. But if you will accept my help, we need to leave now."
Brey looked closely at Rhys, then behind her where the horsemen would approach from. Then back at Rhys. At thought occurred to her- If he were a King’s Man, he would have killed me by now. And with that thought, she decided to trust him, and put her hand in his. "I’m coming with you."
He smiled. And if was it was a grim smile- well, circumstances allow.
Suddenly a horse’s shrill whinny broke through the night. Rhys straightened, looking in the direction of the sound for a moment. When he looked back at Brey, his face no longer disguised his alarm. "We’ve stayed here too long," he said quickly.
"What do we do?" cried Brey, terror welling up again.
He didn’t even turn around. "Run!" His grip tightened on her hand as he followed his own command. Brey stumbled and tripped behind him until she finally got her feet. Still, it was hard to keep up, even with their hands clamped together.
Rhys and Brey were both fast runners, but Brey was tired, and Rhys had a longer stride. Brey was slowing both of them down. Moreover, the King’s Men were horsed, and the two could hear them coming, ever nearer. There was no time to run; they would be caught.
Unless they could hide.
Rhys stopped abruptly and turned to Brey. "How long can you stay underwater?" he asked urgently.
"Underwater?" In her dazed state, it took her a moment to process the question. "As long as I need to, I guess," she said. "Long enough to avoid a angry swarm of bees." If the situation had been less desperate, and her company just a friend instead of a mysterious stranger, she might have recounted the time that she hand Nobin had gone collecting honey, but forgotten to bring a smoker for the bees. The honey-collecting had been Brey’s idea- and the loss of the smoker had been her fault. They had only escaped by outrunning the angry bugs and diving into a creek. (Yllna had given her quite a verbal thrashing when she came home, plastered with mud so that she was hardly recognizable.)
Rhys’s eyes, while still fixed on Brey, seemed to be somewhere else, thinking. "Then I have a plan."

The riders (there were only three, but there were sure to be more behind) finally caught up to Rhys on the banks of a small river that ran through the forest. Breathing hard, he leaned against a tree wearily, careful to keep his hand off his sword.
"Halt!" cried the lead rider as they circled him, though he had already stopped. "Where is the Fairy?" they demanded.
Rhys feigned surprise, very well. "F- fairy? Like a Magician? Here?!" he exclaimed.
"Don’t play fool with us," snapped the man, whipping out his sword. The point touched Rhys’s neck, drawing a single drop of blood. "We mean business."
"Please, gentlemen…" said Rhys nervously. For a moment no one spoke. All that could be heard was the rustle of the wind in the water-reeds and rushes in the river. "…I’m sure we can work this out. I own a small farm on the other end of the forest," he said. "My best livestock were let free a week ago, and I have been looking for them in the forest-"
The man laughed. "Right, looking for livestock in a forest. What kind of fool do you think I am?" With a flick of his wrist (a movement as quick as a frightened fish darting away from movement in the water), he flicked the sword up past Rhys’s face, and the traveler’s hood fell back, revealing his features. Rhys clenched his teeth in pain as the swordtip dug into his cheek in passing, but made no sound.

From her position underwater- breathing through a reed- Brey could see none of this, but she could hear most of what happened. Muffled, true, but some got through to her. Rhys had made no noise when the sword grazed him, but Brey could tell from the sudden silence that something was wrong.

One of the riders, not the leader, gasped. "I know that face!" he said. Rhys did have one very recognizable feature: his oddly colored eyes.
The leader murmured, "A farmer indeed." His simple sentence was filled with derision, surprise, and something like fear.
Rhys tilted his head upward and straightened, his strange eyes flashing. "It was worth a try," said Rhys, no longer either sounding or looking weary or nervous. Even with his dirty yellow hair and stained clothing, he now seemed both great and fearsome. His long white sword rang as he drew it, and his movements were equally fast- or faster- than the King’s Man had been.
It’s probably best that Brey didn’t see what came next.

Brey heard screams. She couldn’t tell whether they were Rhys’s or someone else’s. If she hadn’t been carefully holding the reed to make sure it stayed above water and didn’t move, she would have stopped up her ears.
She heard whispers near the surface of the water. "It’s okay, Brey. You can come out."
Brey burst above the river and gulped down air. "Th-that reed was t-tiny," she said, teeth chattering with sudden cold.
Rhys stuck his somewhat bloody sword upright in the dirt and removed his cloak, wrapping it around her. It was far too large, but at least it was warm. "You can change later," he said.
Then Brey saw his face. His cheek was still bleeding from the slice the sword had given him.
"You’re hurt!" she exclaimed (for, being underwater, she hadn’t known about it beforehand, and had been paying more attention to other things since getting out of the water).
"It’s just a scratch," he said. "I’ve taken worse."
"What else is hurt?" she demanded.
"Nothing," he said- a little untruthfully, but nothing was seriously wounded, anyway.
Brey would have replied, but when she stepped forward for a better look a low branch snagged the cloak. She tripped.
"Are you hurt?" he asked, a little laughingly.
She stood, brushing herself off. "No I’m not, thank you very much."
"Then," he said, wiping his sword off on the grass, "let’s go."
"Okay," said Brey, shivering. She walked to the other side of the tree, where her staff and supplies were hidden, then froze and gaped.
Three men lay on the ground, one with an ugly-looking gash on the forehead. The horses were gone.
"Did you," she whispered shakily, "did you kill them?"
Rhys came up behind her, shaking his head. "No, they’re just stunned." He gestured toward the man with the wounded head. "I’d rather not have done that, but he was a tough one, hard to take out. He’ll survive."
"How could you know?" she said, horrified. "They’ll just lie here and rot-"
"The other King’s Men will be here soon," said Rhys, rather testily. "They’ll help them when they find them. Which just gives us all the more reason to make haste and get out of here."
Brey suddenly remembered that this man was a total stranger to her and could be dangerous if he decided to be- as he had just proved. But he had also just saved her life, or at least, she probably would have been killed if he hadn’t been there, river or no river. "I’m sorry," she said. "I- I was just startled." Then, quietly, "Thank you."
He turned around, surprised. "It was nothing," he said. "Let’s get moving."

Comments

Good job! I agree, there are

Good job! I agree, there are still traces of Aragorn in Rhys, but I think you've differentiated enough now. Blond hair, different colored eyes, plus he acts a bit differently than Aragorn.
Very exciting chapter! :0) I like Rhys' solution to getting away from the King's Men.
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The successful writer of a Fairy Story makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter
~JRR Tolkien

Heather | Mon, 10/13/2008

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And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Hmm... I like this new

Hmm... I like this new character.

Ezra | Mon, 10/13/2008

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

WoW! I love it! I had

WoW! I love it!
I had goosebumps while reading this.
It was really good. And Rhy's character is a lot different then Aragorn's. I don't think you have anything to worry about ;)

marie (not verified) | Tue, 10/14/2008

COOL!!!!!!!!

That is SOOOO cool!!! Poor Yllna!

-Falling Leaves

"If life gives you lemons, throw them back!" -Joe Jonas (I think, or it might be another one of the AWESOME Jonas Brothers)

Erin | Tue, 10/14/2008

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

...

Aw, poor Yllna. :(

Cool new character, too! I don't think you have to worry about him being very much like Aragorn. I think he's just fine. :)

Clare Marie | Tue, 10/14/2008

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Thanks y'all! I'm glad Rhys

Thanks y'all! I'm glad Rhys is fixed. And popular, too. I wonder if he deserves it.
And it is sad about Yllna...
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"Weddings? I love weddings! Drinks all around!" -Jack Sparrow

Anna | Wed, 10/15/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

How did I miss this

How did I miss this chapter?!?!@?!@
Anyway, great job!
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"You're pirates! Hang the code, and hang the rules! They're more like guidelines anyway"
-Elizabeth Swan//Pirates of the Caribbean//Curse of the Black Pearl

Sarah | Tue, 12/02/2008

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

:O *gasp*!

Wow, just started reading this story today and I love it so far! except I have a question: did Yllna die? I didn't think she did, but then I read all the comments and they're like, Poor Yllna! So I hope she didn't! Also, is Brey ever going to meet up with Nobbin again? Wait, don't tell me, I guess I'll find out-- but I liked him!
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"Man'll fly all right. Just like a rock!"
--Archimedes the Owl

Hannah W. | Tue, 03/17/2009

I like it. I don't think

I like it. I don't think Rhys is like Aragon. Well mabye a little, but not to much. It's all good.

Alecia | Mon, 04/13/2009

It awoke with a shrill shreak that can be trnaslated "How dare you leave me in this bed, when I am asleep and helpless?" My sister

I just looked at your

I just looked at your profile, and - you're only thirteen??? And you've written a full book already? I feel insignificant.

"True love is the greatest thing in the world - except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, when the mutton is nice and lean, and the tomato is ripe." - Miracle Max, from The Princess Bride

Bridget | Mon, 06/01/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

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