Brey- Part 9

Fiction By Anna // 3/16/2009

Part Nine: Rescue?

Brey beat against the door of her cell, crying out in frustration. She promised herself it would be the last time, because laughter was always her only response. Cruelty was one thing, but ridicule was quite another.
So she restricted herself to straining silently against her chains. They cut into her ankles, but the pain of their bite wasn’t going to discourage her. On the contrary, her own pessimism was enough to do that.
So many questions clouded her mind. Why hadn’t they killed her on the spot? She had always imagined that’s how it would happen if they ever found her. Even now, replaying her capture in her head, she saw no good reason why they hadn’t. They must be keeping me alive for some reason, she thought. But what?
Why had they put her staff and bag in her cell, just out of reach? Were they trying to taunt her? …Wait. Of course they were.
And what about magic? Why couldn’t she mold the walls around her the way she shaped other substances? Even in the worst of her "Unmagic" days she had been able to shape a little… but now everything was solid. She couldn’t form a ripple.
For eight days these questions had plagued her. And this was the conclusion she had arrived at:
She needed something. What was it? She seemed so near to finding it, but she was still without an inkling as to what it was. She needed… She needed more information. That’s what she needed if she were ever to find out what was wrong with her and escape. But how was she to get that information while imprisoned? It was a paradox. Or perhaps the answer was just out of reach.

"First thing is to find an exact location," explained Rhys. He, Ryken, Landon, and Henry were hiding in the shelter of a sparse cluster of trees near the Caer. "Is she underground? Is she in a tower? Is she here at all?"
"I can find out that," said Henry. "A ferret can get into the Caer for information much more easily than a clumsy human."
"Then we need details. Can you get those?"
"Like what?" asked the ferret.
"Is she heavily guarded; is she chained; will we need a key? Things like that."
Henry nodded. "Simple. Then, I suppose, I’ll have to smuggle you three in and find a key and whatnot."
"But of course," said Rhys, smiling for the first time in a week.
"When you find Brey," said Landon unexpectedly, "will you bring this to her?" He drew something out from under his cloak. It was her ball.
"Why?" asked Henry.
"Where did you get that?" asked Rhys.
"What is it?" asked Ryken.
Landon addressed one question at a time. "I think it might be of some comfort. Without talking to her, you can let her know we’re coming for her. I got it before we left, though I wasn’t sure why just then. It’s the ball she’s always playing with."
Rhys agreed. "You may just be right. It’s a good idea- though I’m not sure how Henry will get it in."
"Leave that to me," said Henry smugly.
"I also don’t know what will happen if the King’s Men see it."
Landon shrugged. "They may already know we’re here, so we might as well take that risk."
Rhys frowned. "I don’t know about that. It could put her in even more danger."
Landon seemed to think this ridiculous. "If they haven’t killed her yet, I don’t think finding a ball in her possession would harm her."
"He has a point," admitted Ryken.
Rhys sighed. "Yes… but will the King’s Men see it that way, I wonder?"

The door to the cell opened slowly, and a man entered. He had a leering grin on his face, but one look at Brey wiped it off. Brey wasn’t sure what the significance of that was, not did she stop to puzzle over it. She tried to sharpen her wits for whatever was ahead.
The man, an interrogator, stood before her with his hands clasped behind his back. He was large and intimidating, bald, and wore heavy boots that were coming awfully close to stepping on Brey.
The interrogator spoke first. "What’s your name, girl?"
Brey said nothing.
He repeated his question.
"O’brey," she murmured. In saying this, at least, there was no harm- but she was determined to give him no more information. They must know she was a Magician, and she wouldn’t deny it if she asked. She was proud of the fact. But she could say nothing about Rhys or Chliara or the camp in Phoenix Forest. She could endanger her friends. Suddenly, she asked, "Why haven’t I been killed yet?"
The man answered swiftly. "You see, O’brey, you’re still young. I take it your Wizard friend, the tall one with the mismatched eyes, didn’t think it worth his while to tell you the truth about the Magicians?" His tone was insinuating, subtly trying to twist the truth. Brey forced herself to meet and hold his gaze as he continued.
"Magicians seem to have a warped view of themselves and the world. They say they are wronged? Hunted for no reason? They are helpers of the rest of mankind? Ha!" The man threw his head back and roared with laughter. It disconcerted Brey. What lies would this man tell her, and how plausible would they be?
"Magicians have always been a self-serving people," the man went on. "In ancient times, they manipulated those they professed to aide to gain greater power. When the Monarchy began, they hated being in submission to the Kings. So they rebelled. They fed the people falsehoods of the King’s cruelty and deceit to win their support and stir up discontent. But they were discovered. So you see, they had to be found and uprooted, O’brey."
Brey snorted. "The way I heard it, the Kings were jealous of the people’s love for the Magicians, became paranoid, and hunted them out of spite."
Anger flared in the man’s eyes, then vanished. When he spoke again, his voice sounded compassionate. "Of course, that’s what they’d tell you. But it’s all lies, O’brey. The things they say about he King are lies, too. The king wants to help the Magicians. He’s willing to forgive them it they’ll help him."
"Help him?!" cried Brey, standing up in shock. "Help him do what? Kill other magicians? No way!"
The man’s tone changed. Suddenly he sounded menacing instead of persuasive. "O’brey, with you here, we know other Magicians will come to rescue you. When they come, if you can convince them to join us, the King will be gracious and spare you all for his work. If not…"
"What if they don’t come?" cried Brey, alarmed. "They have no idea where I am."
"Oh, they know," chuckled the man. "We’ve dropped too many hints. They’re too smart to miss them. And far too noble to not try to help you escape."
Brey said nothing. There was nothing to say. For once, this man was telling the absolute truth. Rhys would pick up any hints they dropped and piece them together. Perhaps he was already in their trap, for she knew he would stop at nothing to get a fellow Magician free. Unless he realized it beforehand, he would run right into their claws, and possibly lead others in as well. If only he could surprise them. If only she could warn him.
The interrogator bent over so that they stood eye to eye. "So, O’brey, you now know why we’re keeping you alive."
"To use me as bait," she hissed. Her voice dropped- low, calm, and carefully controlled. "You would have the Magicians caged and broken. You would have us be mindless slaves of the King, robbed of the ingenuity and originality that makes us what we are. You’re monsters and thieves. We will never give in."
The man straightened. "Some of you already have." He stalked out, slamming the door behind him, shaking the walls. She heard him yelling to someone about starving her.
She sank to the floor, dazed. What did he mean, some Magicians had already given in? She could only pray that she- and Rhys and Chliara- would not join their ranks.

Scritch scritch scritch.
Brey’s eyes opened, and she was suddenly aware.
Scritch scritch.
There it was again!
"Hist," whispered a voice from the other side of her cell door.
"Who’s there?" she called.
"Ssshhh! Not so loud! Someone might hear," hissed the voice furiously. "It’s Henry. We’ve come to break you out."
Brey’s heart plummeted. "We?" she repeated in a small voice.
"Rhys, Ryken, Landon, and I."
First came mild surprise at who had chosen to come, then- "Oh no."
"What’s that supposed to mean?" asked Henry. "Say, are you chained?"
"Yes, shackled," said Brey. "But-"
"Okay," interrupted the ferret. "I’ll need two keys, then. Or maybe I could pick the locks…"
"Henry, listen to me," pleaded Brey. "You have to get out of here! All of you!"
"Is this a joke, Brey?" asked Henry after a silence. "We risk our necks for you, and you don’t want to be rescued?"
"No, it’s not like that," cried Brey. "It’s all a trap! The King’s Men are expecting you to come for me. They’re going to try to force me- and you, now- to join them. And if we don’t, they’ll-"
"Say no more," said Henry. He let out a long, low whistle. "That complicates things." He thought for a moment. "What about you? Have they hurt you badly?"
"I’m just a little bruised. And they’re starving me into submission," she admitted. "But that only started earlier today, so I’m not very weak yet."
"Hmm. I’ll see if I can get you some food, then."
"No!" cried Brey vehemently. "Didn’t you hear a word I said?"
"We’ll take it into consideration, thanks," said Henry briskly. "Don’t worry about it- we’ll think of a plan. Four brilliant mines, mine being the smartest… Oh, they sent something for you," he added absently. "Your ball."
"My ball?" echoed Brey. "What for?"
"How should I know? They said you might like to have it. I think I can throw it over the door-"
With that, there came a hopping sound, and a thump as the ball hit the door.
"Rats," said Henry. "Okay, once more. I can clear it this time."
"It’ll never fit over," said Brey heavily, bleakly.
But it did- just barely. It flew over the door, almost got stuck and fell back, but instead fell forward into Brey’s lap. "Thank you," whispered Brey. For some odd, inexplicable reason, it did make her feel better to have it.
There was no reply. Henry was already gone.

Brey remained undisturbed after that, by guards, interrogators, rescuers… or food-bearers. Hunger grew, moving her to desperation. She began to feel like a beast, voracious for anything, on the point of giving in. She could feel determination to stay strong slipping away. She prayed for perseverance. She could not give in to the king. And it wasn’t as though there wasn’t hope- Rescue was possible. Rescue was coming. …Wasn’t it?

"I’ve found a way you can all go in," announced Henry breathlessly when he had reached the cover of the trees and his human companions.
"Great!" cried Landon.
"Tell me, how is Brey?" asked Rhys, concerned.
"She’s fine, for now," said Henry. He told all he knew, including her prison arrangements and lack of food.
Rhys exhaled loudly, sounding relieved. "That’s easily remedied."
Ryken snorted. "By giving up our own rations, yes," he muttered.
"One more thing," said Henry slowly. "It happens that Brey is being used as bait in a snare… a snare for us, of course."
Ryken groaned, and Landon turned an uneasy glance to Rhys, who pounded his fist against a tree. "I should have expected something like that," he said quickly, furiously. "But you say you’ve found a way in? Does this way take into consideration our new predicament? Or is it simply an opening set up by the King’s Men?"
"How should I know?" Henry snapped. "My job wasn’t to determine that, only to look. And I’ve told you what I found."
Rhys sighed. "You’re right. I am not being fair to you, friend. But we’ll need to know if we are to get Brey out and survive ourselves." He looked to Landon. "If we can’t be sure, I think you should stay, Landon."
"What?!" the boy protested. "But I-"
"He promised your father he’d take care of you," interrupted Ryken. "Smuggling you in and out of a fortress is one thing, but bringing you into a trap is another."
Rhys looked at Ryken in surprise for this unexpected support.
Landon bowed his head. "So be it," he said, the words sounding strange from such a young voice. "But I still want to go." (That sounded more like a sixteen-year-old.)
Henry had kept a sullen silence till now. "Fine, I’ll scout it out and see," he consented.
Rhys gritted his teeth. "As much as I’d love to accept your offer, we don’t have time for that. Trap or no, we’ve got to get her out of there."
"But that’s what the King’s Men want!" exclaimed Ryken, the voice of reason.
Rhys smiled grimly. "Then we’ll have to outwit them."

Brey lay draped across the stone floor of the cell. Huddling for warmth took too much strength, but she didn’t mind the cold anymore. She was too hungry and numb to notice. Sitting loosely in her hand was her mother’s ball.
She heard sound. At first it was far away and dream-like, and she thought she had imagined it. Then the sounds materialized into words, and voices she knew.
"Brey? Can you hear us? It’s Rhys and Henry."
Brey sat upright. "What?" she asked weakly. "You came!" She didn’t know whether to be angry or relieved.
"We have the key for your shackles, but we’ll have to pick the lock on the door," said Rhys. He lifted Henry over the door. The ferret slunk in, then leapt into Brey’s lap. Though gripping the key between his teeth, he managed a grin. Spitting it out into her open hand, he said, "Shall you do the honors? I have no thumbs."
As Brey loosed her fetters, Henry found an easy route over the door from the inside.
Brey pushed the chains aside as they fell off. She rubbed her ankles to restore circulation, but her hands came away red and sticky. The chains had made her bleed, and she hadn’t even noticed. She stood uncertainly, swaying, then took a lurching step toward the door, limping like a cripple. Finally she stopped and sat back down. She crawled on hands and knees to her pack, putting her ball in and slinging it around her shoulder, and also took the staff and used it to stand and balance.
Henry came back over the door with an apple, its stem between his little pointed teeth. "Eat up," he said, giving it to her. "I’m going to tell Ryken how it’s going... and Landon, outside."
Brey bit into the fruit. Its taste was at once crisp, juicy, and nourishing. It seemed better than any food she’d ever had. Funny, what hunger does to one. After wolfing down the first bite, she chewed the rest more slowly, relishing every last detail of it. She straightened a little, for already she felt stronger.
She could hear Rhys striving valiantly against the unyielding lock, armed with only a lock pick. "Rhys," she started, "What about after we escape Caer Yddwyn? Where will we all go?"
"Back to camp," he said.
"It’s too far!" gasped Brey. "We’ll be caught for sure!"
"Brey," Rhys said, his voice a gentle reproof, "if I risked my life to save you, I can do no less than risk it again to save Chliara."
"Chliara? Why? What’s happened to her?!" cried Brey, alarmed.
Rhys was silent, surprised. "Henry didn’t tell you?"
"Tell me what??" she begged.
"Chliara is sick," Rhys finally said. "She needs us- both of us- if she’s going to make it." Suddenly, something gave a creaky clicking sound. "I think I’ve got it!" he exclaimed excitedly. The cell door swung open, and in the doorway stood Rhys, looking much as he had the first time Brey had seen him: tall, dirty, cloaked, and intimidating. But the sight of him was so wonderful to her that she ran, or, rather, stumbled, forward and embraced him. And though the hug was something of a trip and collision, he hugged her back warmly. "Come on," he said, disentangling himself. "We’ve got to get out."
"How?" she asked simply.
"The same way I got in," he said.
"What way would that be?" she asked.
He explained, "Near the western wall, defenses are a little lower. This is due to another fortress near to that side. Anyway, the wall’s in a bit of disrepair. Henry found some of the stones were loose, and some chipped away until there were cracks. Without too much work he was able to get in. Now, it took Ryken and I a little more effort to make a hole big enough for a man- including some magic on my part- but we did it. Better yet, it’s not a noticeable hole. So we should be fine."
"One more thing," asked Brey. "Are we above or below ground?"
"Above," he said, "But only on the first story."
"That’s good. But how are we to get past the guards?"
He winked. "Just a little bit of magic… and a rather sneaky distraction by Ryken and our ferret friend."

As they ran in the directions Rhys pointed out, Brey began to notice something odd about the Caer: There were no windows. The halls were only dimly lit by candles in sconces on the walls. Brey shivered. Must… have… sunlight… she thought.
Suddenly Rhys stopped and held his hand up to Brey. They both halted.
"Keep your voice down," he whispered. The longer they stayed still and quiet, the more they could hear a commotion not far away.
"Something’s gone wrong," whispered Rhys finally.
"What do we do?" she asked softly.
"Get out as fast as we can," he said, starting to move again.
"But- Ryken- and Henry! What will happen to them?" she asked, only a few steps behind.
"They’ll be fine," Rhys assured her. "They’re clever. As long as all of us use our wits and don’t do anything foolish, we’ll get out of here alive."
They went on in silence down hallways until they could hear pursuit erupting behind. "Search down there!" someone cried. "I think they went this way!"
Brey caught the edge of Rhys’s cloak fearfully. He turned around, but kept walking. He put a finger to his lips.
They came to a place where the hall branched off into two. Rhys pointed to the left. But as they turned aside to go in, they heard voices coming down it.
"Now what?" cried Brey, unable to stop herself.
"We’ll have to take the right," he said. "I don’t know where it leads, but it’s our only choice.
The two ran down the right hall as though they had hungry cannibals on their tails. As it was, it wasn’t much of a better situation. It wasn’t cannibals after them, but either way they’d die if they were caught. Of that they were both certain, whether it be immediately on capture or later- slowly, painfully.
Brey was crying. It was hard enough to keep up with Rhys without King’s Men chasing her, and she was carrying a staff. She should have thrown it aside, but something inside her bade her to keep it.
Rhys ran past a straight passage to the right, but Brey hesitated. "Should we go that way, Rhys?" she asked.
"No," Rhys said. "Keep coming this way."
But Brey lingered for a moment longer, and that moment was to make all the difference in their flight. For in that moment, a contingent of stealthy King’s Men leapt out of the passage between Brey and Rhys. They wrested Beriadan from Rhys’s grip before he could do anything, and seized both the Magicians. Even Rhys could not tear away, so outnumbered. They were cornered and separated. Brey had done something foolish, but both of them would pay.
A King’s Man stepped between Rhys and Brey. His back was turned to her as he addressed Rhys, but Brey recognized him as her interrogator.
"We’ve been expecting you," he said, laughing. "Fool of a Magician!" he scoffed.
Now, don’t ask me how it happened that Brey’s arm came to be free, but with her staff she delivered a resounding thwack! across the back of the man’s head. Being a big man, he stayed conscious, but whirled around angrily. "How dare you!"
As one possessed, he struck him again, this time across the mouth. Jaw bleeding, he commanded the other men to take her staff. But for some reason, no one could part them or pry her hand away. The staff stuck in her hand as though glued. No one could touch her without receiving a taste of the darkwood.
One King’s Man took it into his head to meet the staff with his sword, but the staff was surprisingly strong and was only dented. Rhys shouted encouragement to Brey until someone silenced him roughly.
One man ran off for help.
Brey had been outnumbered before, but she knew that with reinforcements, there would be no hope for her. With her free hand, she reached into her bag for anything that might be of use- and her hand closed over her ball. What am I to do with this? she thought.
Then something strange happened.
Without a glimmer of intention- for indeed, she did not seem to be acting herself at all- she took the ball and put it in the cupped top of her staff.
Like the last pieces of a puzzle clicking into place were the ball and staff together. with their union, the ball began to glow. Like an old, dim ember re-lit, the light spread, growing and winding around the staff like tongues of fire. Brey held it high, with both hands, above her head. The light wound around her arms, warm and energizing, but not burning.
Soon the light became unbearable, and Brey had to turn her face away. Then came an even more blinding flash, and a sound like a strain of music that had been there all along but had suddenly surged loud enough to hear.
Then, as swiftly as it came, both light and music disappeared, and Brey and Rhys realized they were the only beings upright in the room. The King’s Men lay on the floor, stunned.
Rhys stared at Brey in wide-eyed wonder. It was a look so unnatural to his face that it made her want to laugh. "I’ve never seen anything like that in my life, Brey," he said finally, shaking his head in astonishment. "Never. How did you know to put the ball in the staff?"
Brey looked at it speechlessly, as though first realizing the ball and staff were one. "I…" she began.
Then someone came running into the hall. Rhys recovered Beriadan quickly and held in up- but it was not a King’s Man. It was Ryken, with Henry on his shoulder.
"We heard the music," Ryken puffed. Then, seeing the unconscious King’s Men, he gasped, "What in the world happened?!"
Rhys smiled suddenly and Brey. She grinned back. Then, mimicking Rhys’s authoritative voice, she said, "There will be time for stories later. Right now we’ve got to pick up our feet and get a move on, especially if we want to keep our skins. Come on, you lazy slugs!"
As they set off, Rhys asked Brey, "I don’t call you all ‘lazy slugs’, do I?"
Brey smiled. "Just shaking up your style."
Brey could have kept smiling if the world had been collapsing around her. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be having trouble with unmagic again, she thought.



I like Brey's comment to Rhys: "Just shaking up your style." And I like how she beat p the King's Men too. :0) Whohoo, go Brey!
One comment, since you've asked before for editing suggestions (I just recently discovered this myself) is watch the 'ly' adverbs and showing vs telling.
Ryken groaned, and Landon turned an uneasy glance to Rhys, who pounded his fist against a tree. "I should have expected something like that," he said quickly, furiously.
If Rhys pounds his fist against the tree, that shows he's furious. And he'd probably speak quickly if he's furious. The way you write it, it "tells" us he's furious...why not just "show" us? :0) And that way you don't need the ly adverbs either.
Like I said I just found out about this myself not long ago, so I thought I'd pass it on.
Other than that, this was a great chapter! I seriously can't wait for the rest of it, and congrats that you're so close to the end!!!
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Heather | Mon, 03/16/2009

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

Yeah!!!! The new chapter! I

Yeah!!!! The new chapter!
I was checking the site "for my sister" (notice the sarcasm there!LOL) when I saw this. I was all excited (excited as in running around the kitchen yelling "Oh! Oh! Oh, the new chapter!) and then, of course, the SISTER drowns my excitement by demanding the computer. I had to wrestle it away from her to finish reading this.
So, translated, the above paragraph means I really like this chapter. BTW, is there going to be something between Landon and Brey? Just curious;)
"It's King Edmund, actually. Just King though. Peter's the High King. I know, it's confusing."--Edmund Pevensie

Ariel | Mon, 03/16/2009

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Whaa hooo!! Go

Whaa hooo!! Go Brey!
"Sing as if no one is listening;
Dance like no one is watching;
Live as if you will die tomorrow;
Love like it will never hurt."
-Old Irish Saying

Clare Marie | Mon, 03/16/2009

"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]


Heather: I liked writing that line. :)
About the adverbs- Hmm. I like adjectives and adverbs alot, but I know they aren't technically in good style, so I will keep that in mind in my editing. Thank you for giving me some criticism! :D
OFG: lol, thanks! Landon and Brey? I confess the thought occured to me. Not saying any more than that.
Clare: I made a main character people actually like! Huzzah! :D lol
My work here is done.

Anna | Tue, 03/17/2009

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

ooh, I like it! & not too

ooh, I like it! & not too long at all.

One thing, when Henry is talking to her in her cell he says "brilliant mines, including my own." in stead of "briliant minds."

Hannah | Tue, 03/17/2009

*ahem* The above comment is

*ahem* The above comment is mine, I forgot to check and make sure I was logged in, and my little sister was so I commented with her account on accident.............
Seen on a billboard advertising
a Septic Tank Company:
"We're #1
in the #2 business."

Sarah | Tue, 03/17/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."

Blogging away!


I like this story, so I'm sort of sorry to hear that it is coming to an end. It is very good. I am interested in what comes next.

Laura Elizabeth | Wed, 03/18/2009

The best stories are those that are focused, unassuming, and self-confident enough to trust the reader to figure things out. --

LOL, I tend to like adverbs

LOL, I tend to like adverbs way too much too. :0) I was determined to use them, b/c without them it messes up my style (so I thought) until this last writers' conference I went to...editors *hate* adverbs. So I decided maybe I better work on those. :0)
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Heather | Thu, 03/19/2009

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

I like this a lot, I can't

I like this a lot, I can't wait to see more!
"I'm a dishonest man, and a dishonest man you can always count on being dishonest, it's the honest ones you have to watch"
-Jack Sparrow

marie (not verified) | Fri, 03/20/2009


rock on Brey! WHOOOOOO!

I was thinking though, it might work better to show the guys breaking in instead of Rhys telling Brey about it. It might help the story flow a little better, and reduce some dangerous standing around in enemy hallways. ;-)


"We never need to be economical in our imaginations, thank heaven."
-Anne Blythe, "Anne of Ingleside"

KatieSara | Fri, 03/20/2009


"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"

Well, now that you mention

Well, now that you mention it, the reason I didn't do that is because, at the time, anyway, I wasn't exactly sure HOW they WERE going to get in. Created a problem.
My work here is done.

Anna | Sat, 03/21/2009

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

Awesome! But where was

Awesome! But where was Landon at the end? YAY!!!

This comment was made by Erin!

"Never, never give up. Unless you get really tired." -Ellen Degenres

Erin | Sat, 03/21/2009

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

He didn't go in

He didn't go in the caer, remember?
:) Thanks for reading!
My work here is done.

Anna | Sun, 03/22/2009

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