"With His Shield or On It" Chapter Three: The Venom

Fiction By Elizabeth // 4/7/2008

Despite the rain from the night before the sky was still a dusty, dirty blue color and the air was hot. The stone that the men walked upon was also hot, so if one stumbled, it burned their hands. No talk was exchanged between Menegal and Golwitch that day or for the next four, for they were too weary.
On the fifth day up the mountain, the water was gone and no spring was to be found. The men were weakened by the lack of water. Menegal, being the younger of he and Golwitch, leaned on his friend during the march.
During the night of the fifth day, Menegal woke from a terrible dream of the god Asclepuis, who was holding a staff with a snake wrapped around it, glaring at him. Wiping the sweat from his brow, Menegal stood up to see what time it was according to the moon. Taking a few steps forward, he stepped on a long thin object on the floor of the tent. Immediately, the object hissed and quickly wrapped itself around Menegal’s right leg, squeezing tight. Tripping forward over his sword that was beside his mat, and sending it sliding across the ground, he landed on the side of his right foot, twisting it. Then, trying to reach for his knife that was near his belt and spear beside the door, the snake bit his upper thigh. Screaming with pain, he pushed himself toward the right with his hands, grasped the knife, and cut off the head of the serpent. As soon as the hiss of the serpent was silenced, he unwrapped the snake’s long thin body. Then he tried to look at his leg. He could not see anything in the dark, but he touched where the pain was and felt two fang marks. Feeling then the ankle, he felt a swelling growing. Rushing from the tent with all speed as his thigh and foot allowed him, he went to the surgeon, Hilfarey’s, tent.
Going inside the dark tent, he went over to where the old wise Hilfarey slept and woke him. Hifarey was an old man with kind eyes, surrounded by the many wrinkles of age, a long nose, grey hair that reached to his shoulders, and a long grey beard that was laid down his chest. When Hilfarey acknowledged Menegal and rubbed some sleep out of his eyes, Menegal told him what had occurred.
“What kind of snake is it that bit you?” said Hilfarey, urgently.
“I am not sure, but it lies in my tent dead,” said Menegal.
After hearing this Hilfarey stood up, then sat him down and went to wake his assistant, Rilvay, in the tent beside his. When Hilfarey came back, Menegal showed him his thigh and foot in the light of a torch from Rilvay. Hilfarey stroked his long grey beard, while he looked anxiously at the bite. Menegal began to feel dizzy and started to waver. Hilfarey, with the help of Rilvay who was young and strong as well as gentle, immediately laid him down on a pallet and tried to do all he could with such herbs that he had. Without water, Hilfarey had to work with such skill as the lack could allow. He wrapped the leg with linen, loosely.
“Menegal, this bite is serious, I must care for you during the night,” said Hilfarey.
Menegal nodded slowly, then faded into unconsciousness.
“Rilvay. Go into his tent and look for the snake. Come back here and describe it to me. Make haste!” said Hilfarey, lighting another torch, and nudging him out the door.
Going forth from the tent, Rilvay went to Menegal’s tent, and looked inside seeing under the flickering torch that he bore a dead snake. The snake was white with brown stripes. Going back, he reported to Hilfarey what he had seen.
“A Horned Viper,” said Hilfarey, shaking his head sadly. “They only bite when startled. Help me now to do what we can!”

Comments

......

Great Job! I love it keep writing!

Love,
Stephanie

Stephanie | Mon, 04/07/2008

Chapter 3

Elizabeth,

I like it alot!

Love Daddy

Anonymous | Tue, 04/08/2008

:)

Elizabeth,

I'm just enjoying every chapter you write! Looking forward to more...

Clare

Clare Marie | Tue, 04/08/2008

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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]