Oh, Wonder Why the Sun Fell: Chapter Fifteen
My companion stood against the wall next to the gate, so as not to let the light of the windows upon him. I began edging nearer to the wall’s end. Looking down the streets, I saw nothing but the crisscrossing of shadows and light. I strained my ears to hear any other sound than the melody of the waters. There was nothing but my own breathing. I glanced behind for just a moment. The ivy still hung lifelessly and the water was still faintly seen in the dark. I wanted to speak, but I waited a little longer. Looking to my companion in the shadows I saw that he was peering intently through the ivy. I kept waiting for a sound to come forth from the street, yet there was never anything. Whispering softly, my companion immediately hushed me. I caught the alertness in his eyes, he was listening to something.
I looked about again to the gate and crept closer to it. Straining, I heard soft voices, yet they would fade out of my hearing and remained undistinguishable. Hearing nothing, I wondered if my companion had heard anything. I was straining my ears more than ever now. My listening was not in vain. We both soon heard horse hooves, and we both straightened. All faint whisperings stopped.
I looked to him. For the first time during our struggle our eyes met. I felt pinned like an insect to a wall. He had steadied his knife now, and he had no reluctance to use it. Just then, the word ‘death’ hovered on the edge of my tongue. Another guard I had noticed before rushed down the stairs and called out the very words which I wanted to escape my thoughts:
I jerked and gasped so as to nearly choke myself.
“That is the girl Lord Dorwar had found!” He had sheathed his large knife and was standing before me, with bright eyes and breathing somewhat heavily. The other guard snapped back in a growl:
“He ordered us to kill the one who guards the Clock!” I could see a glint of anger in his eyes.
“Yes, but I think he would be more pleased if we brought her back to him.”
The Marher reined his horse, and it reared again. I gasped as the pressure was relieved. My captors soon brought me up again, and I was fully in their grasp now. I felt weaker, and I could still barely see the forms before me. A torch was brought forward. The flickering made my vision ever the more blurred. I felt again the danger the message was in. I could feel the parchment nearly slipping out of my pouch, and it probably was revealed to my captors. A torch was brought near to me. For an instant, I broke one of my arms free. I took hold of the message and threw it into the flames of the torch. I let it burn and shrivel away. My captors held me harder now, their grip steady.
“Curse you!” the Marher snarled as his head wagged to and fro. The horse was fidgeting and its eyes rolled wildly back. “What is the message?”
It was not so much a question as it was demand. I hung my head and did not answer. The horse reared up again, but it was restrained by its master.
“What is the message?” Again I did not answer.