And There Were Three: Chapter Four

Fiction By Clare Marie // 7/8/2008

Thirteen years later.

So long a time, yet short did those years seem to the Water Fairy. She changed little in those thirteen years; her hair was still the rich golden color, her eyes still their sparkling blue, and her person still beautiful. She was more solemn, with a line or two of care in her face; yet she also seemed more filled with joy than ever. Ficum was the cause of this joy. He was a cheery lad, and growing up strong and handsome. He had almost-black hair, long and wavy; deep blue eyes that peered out of a face shining with health; and a tall, robust body, thin and nimble. He was extremely skilled with sword, bow and spear, and could outrun anybody. He was also quite excellent with the lute and with strategic games, for he had a quick mind and a wonderful sense of music. He learned how to bond with animals of all kinds, wild and feral; and if one were to send Ficum the most uncontrollable horse on earth, he would in a but short time have the animal as gentle as any child’s pony.
Ficum spent his days studying and developing his talents, visiting good friends such as his “aunties” Syla and Asani, and exploring. He loved to wander through woods and fields, befriending animals and learning their speech. His “fellow fairies” taught him their silent, gliding walk, so he was able to quietly watch scenes in the forest that no normal human would probably ever see: the birth of a fawn, the midnight prowls of a bear, the mother wolf gently nursing her pups. From these and other numerous experiences he gained a knowledge of and respect for every living creature.
His foster mother Anomien was very proud of him, and loved him dearly. She never knew about his learning the languages of wild animals and watching their secret lives for he kept those special moments secret, but she did watch him run, fight and ride outstandingly well. She always cheered him on in races and games, for she was always there to do so. The two did much together, and that was when they were most happy. She often took him on her river patrols, and nothing pleased her more than to glance at her side as they rode the waves where he sat astride a dolphin, gay and carefree. It was on one of these patrols that Ficum really proved to his foster mother how great were his skills.

“Ficum! Ficum, lad, wake up!” Anomien shook Ficum’s shoulders gently. He moaned and turned on his back, his thick hair rumpled with sleep. She patted him on the cheeks. “Wake up, son,” she said again. Ficum sighed deeply and opened his eyes.
“Is it morning already? I just fell asleep!” he mumbled, looking at the Water Fairy. “I’m awake.” Anomien rubbed his hair and smiled, saying,
“Do you want to patrol the river with me?”
“Yes, please.”
“Get up, then, and eat.” Anomien glided out of the room and started preparing breakfast. This meal usually consisted of a wholesome loaf of bread and cool water, occasionally accompanied by fresh herbs and vegetables that the Earth Fairy brought.
After satisfying themselves on their simple fare, they walked down to the river. The sun was just rising, the lustrous golden beams sparkling on the rushing water, and shining on their hair. The sky was filled with fluffy pink and orange clouds, and all the birds were beginning to sing, filling the air with sweet melodies. Anomien sighed, glancing at all the beauty around her.
“Isn’t it a lovely morning?” she exclaimed. “Don’t days like this make you so glad to be alive?” Ficum grinned and replied,
“Aye.” Arriving at the riverbank, two smiling dolphins stuck their grey heads out of the water, squeaking their greetings. Ficum ran to them and jumped into the river, making a giant splash. Quickly mounting one, he rode down the river on its back, clinging expertly with his knees while the animal swam and leaped and twisted. Anomien did likewise (though perhaps not so quite boisterously) and together they sailed the mighty waters.
In a lull in the dolphins’ splashing, foster mother and son were conversing together softly, when suddenly an unearthly screech rose high in the air, filling them with an eerie feeling. It stayed there, lingering, then dropped to nothingness. The Water Fairy’s hands flew to her mouth and she gasped,
“Whatever was that?! It sounded like a demon!” Ficum’s back stiffened as he peered at the gloomy forest lurking on the Wild side of the river.
“I’m not quite sure,” he said, his voice low, “but I think…” Another scream shattered the stillness, with it deep, throaty growls and the rustling of underbrush. The trees and bushes nearest them started to tremble and sway as if a giant was shaking them, and the water lapped gently against their legs. The growth parted like waves and there leaped out of the thicket a terrifying horde of monstrous panthers, snarling like beasts from the underworld. Their hypnotizing green eyes were filled with a cold, blind hatred, and the muscles of their lean bodies rippled with horrible strength. They paused slightly, stretching their cruel, barbed feet.
Ficum, though shocked, took advantage of those creatures’ pause. Turning to his benumbed mother, he shouted,
“Get out of here! I’ll take care of those cats.” Anomien started and turned pale.
“Son, are you mad? You cannot do this alone!” The terrible beasts cast their eyes upon them, and licked their jaws. Ficum knew they were going to attack any moment and said,
“I can do this; please trust me. But hurry!” His mother opened her lips to speak, and then looking into his eyes (while her own filled with tears), she nodded. Ficum quickly jumped off his steed and slapped both dolphins away. Then he turned and bravely faced the cats.
Anomien’s heart fluttered like a humming bird’s wings. She watched her son, her precious boy turn to the wild beasts fearlessly, his head held high. She watched as the cats glared at him as he drew his sword. She watched as they crouched, ready to pounce. She watched as his muscles tensed, as he poised for the battle. She felt sickened, but still she watched. Finally the huge animals ran at him, and Anomien smothered a scream. She felt sure that he was going to get mortally wounded and she prepared to summon her sea creatures to aid the boy. But Ficum didn’t need her help. Nimbly hopping out of the cats’ way he slashed one on its tender belly. It crumbled in a heap, moaning. Next he deftly rolled under a panther as it pounced upon him and he stabbed its ribs. Swiftly turning round, he blocked the swat of another’s clawed paw with the flat end of his sword, and with a skillful twist of his wrist, he cut off its deadly weapon. Then two panthers leapt at him. One he smote with his right fist, knocking it down to the ground. The other he tried to block with his sword, but he got its claws in his arm. He yelled, and so did Anomien. Using his right hand, Ficum took a knife out of his belt and thrust it into the beast’s neck. Though wounded, he fought manfully, killing the panthers one by one until there were only two left. These backed away from him until they reached the edge of the river, for they were frightened. Ficum calmly gazed at them, a scarlet stream trickling down his arm; and to Anomien’s surprise and wonder he wiped his bloody sword clean on the grass, and sheathed it. She wanted to shout “What are you doing?” but decided to wait and see what happened.

Comments

AHH! What happens

AHH! What happens next?!?!?
Good job with the suspense and everything, Clare! :0)

Heather | Tue, 07/08/2008

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

I do so love this story!

I do so love this story! Post soon, please!

Anna | Tue, 07/08/2008

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

:)

Thanks so much, both of you!!!

Anna: Hate to disappoint you, but I'm not sure how soon I will post more...

Clare Marie | Wed, 07/09/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"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]

*shrieks* Must.........know..

*shrieks*
Must.........know.........what.......happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes

Sarah | Wed, 07/09/2008

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

I have no right to urge you

I have no right to urge you to post soon... After all the cliff hangers I leave you guys on in SOL and all the long waits for chapters... No right at all.

Which isn't to say I won't stoop to begging if the wait drags on too long.

Anna | Wed, 07/09/2008

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

.

Don't worry; it won't be so long of a wait that you will start to beg! :P

Clare Marie | Wed, 07/09/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"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]

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