Quest for the Treasure, Chapter 1

Fiction By Jackie West // 3/31/2010

        "Nadezda! Nadezda Deirdre Andriette Galrock! Come here please!" Mrs. Galrock called into the backyard. "And hurry!"

       "I'm coming," called back the voice of her daughter, Nadezda.

       Mrs. Galrock waited patiently as she saw her daughter appear out of the backyard." You need to clean your room for our guests tonight."

      "Yes, Mom." Nadezda went inside and hurried upstairs to do her mother's bidding.

 

     Landra started letting guests inside. All of the party guests arrived in the space of 15 minutes and hid themselves, giggling and whispering about how surprised their friend would be.

   "Nadezda, if you're done, you can come down," Mrs. Galrock called.

   Upstairs there was the sound of a door shutting and a voice calling. “Coming, Mom. Are the guests here yet?"

  Nadezda appeared at the top of the stairway and came down.

  Everyone jumped out yelling, "Surprise!!"

  Nadezda jumped back, startled. "What's going on? Is this a surprise party for me?"

 "You guessed it," Mrs. Galrock said. "Come on. You can open your presents after you have said a proper hello to your guests."

  "All of them?" Nadezda said, with a mock moan.

  "Nadezda, these are all of your friends," Mrs. Galrock replied, pretending to be stern.

  "OK, OK," Nadezda protested, holding her hand to her forehead." Alas, after that, I will be so tired that I will die."

  "Alright, stop it, Ms. Drama Queen, come to the living room."

 

 

   After Nadezda greeted her guests, she opened her gifts. Clothes, a couple games, some money, pretty jewelry, and a few books were contained within the wrapping paper. Finally, she picked up the last gift, which was Valora's and Farren's. She opened it.

   Within was a backpack. Nadezda picked it up and looked it over, pleased. "Gee, guys, thanks. I've always wanted one of these."

   Farren handed her the envelope that she had arrived with. There was a mysterious look in her eye." Check this out."

   Nadezda ripped it open and read the card that was inside, ignoring the slip of paper that fell out as she removed the card. After she finished reading the card, she picked it up and read it:

 

 

Start your search at Gaelan town,

Go to the compass top,

Travel on the path of brown,

There meet Nachshon; stop!

 

 

   “What is this all about?" Nadezda asked, looking even more puzzled then when she had been surprised by her friends." A riddle or what? Is this a joke of some kind?"

   Farren looked slightly insulted. "'Course not. We are your friends. We would not play any jokes on you… except on April fool’s, of course, but it's May right now."

   Completely unaware of what had just gone on, Mrs. Galrock came into the room, carrying a platter of chicken. Landra followed, carefully carrying a pot of steaming broccoli. Dacinia was the last of the line, carrying a basket of freshly baked rolls. The meal was placed on the table, where plastic cups, plates, and utensils had already been placed.

    Everyone ate heartily. Chocolate cake and ice cream followed the delicious meal. Afterward, everyone brushed their teeth and got ready to play some games. After hide-and-seek, freeze tag, flashlight tag, and capture the flag, everyone except Nadezda, Valora, and Farren got ready for and went to bed in sleeping bags.

    "Why did you give me this riddle?" Nadezda asked. "What does it lead to?"

    "What does it start leading to, you mean?" Farren asked.

    Nadezda nodded.

    "It leads to Galandria's most ancient, priceless treasure!" Valora said in a hushed whisper.

 

 

 

   The house was silent. Two partygoers, Douglas and Walter, slipped out of the building.

    "Hadrian will be pleased," Walter whispered to his companions. "It has been many years since someone has come searching for the treasure. We gave that Nadezda the slip for sure. We are no Christian missionaries. The names we told her aren't even our real names!"

     "Hadrian will be happy, Po-"…. Douglas began.

     "Shut up!" Walter hissed." I am too old for that dumb nickname. Pog, indeed. I am Pogisa, and you are Pike. Keep that in your dull brain!"

 

     Beside Hadrian stood his wife, Jezebel, who was decked out in heavy, expensive jewelry, and gaudy silks. She was waving herself with a beautiful fan.

 

   In a fight with a Warrior of the One, Hadrian had had the left half of his face nearly cut off. His healer, Mara, had been able to save him, though now he had an ugly scar that only his wife dared to look upon.

  "Master," Pike began, "We learned of someone who is going to search for the treasure. A girl's friend told me that she was going to give her friend the first clue to the treasure."

   Hadrian waved a hand carelessly." We will deal with them easily enough. One girl, maybe a couple pals. He was 40, and he used his cruel authority whenever he could, second only to everyone's-as in bad guys'- Master, the devil himself.  "Call everyone to me, here in the council room. We will decide what shall be done," Hadrian ordered.

 

  

    Everyone gathered in the council room in a few minutes.

    "My followers," Hadrian announced," it has been many years since people have gone questing for treasure. However, my good and faithful spies have given word that a girl will be searching for our treasure, possibly with some companions."

     "When will they be coming, Master?" a young person named Emily ventured timidly.

     Hadrian glared at her." Shut up, fool! How should I know? We will just keep an eye out. Only the one in command knows."

     At Hadrian's command, sixteen-year-old Emily went to her tiny room, which was located right down the hall from his council room. Entering, she plonked herself on the hard bed. "Oooh, that Hadrian! If he weren't in second command, he'd be in his grave now."

    After a while, the dinner bell rang. She slid off the bed and went to the eating room, where she looked for her assigned seat. She found it and, much to her displeasure, she found herself sitting across from Cassandra, who teased her all the time.

     "Oh, Emily's really mad with Hadrian. Does Emily wanna kill 'im?" Cassandra taunted

    Emily rolled her eyes." Cassandra, just be quiet!" She stared at the wormy potato and moldy cheese on her plate. She knew that she should be thankful for whatever food she had.

  “Dig in," Hadrian said. He sat down to his own meal of drail, chicken, and some unrecognizable dessert.

  Emily silently prayed a quick prayer and began to eat. She looked down at the table the whole meal. She happily left when Hadrian dismissed them. She went back to her room, where she put on a threadbare nightgown and scrubbed her teeth with water. 

  After she got ready for bed, she slipped under the thin blanket and went to sleep.

 

 

   The next morning, after a breakfast of stale toast and old scrambled egg, Hadrian called a meeting. Beforehand, he took roll call.

    "Hey, where's that gal fool, Elimy, or whatever her name is?"

    Zared spoke up." Absent, sir! She has a headache, sir."

    Hadrian glared at him." I've already figured out the absent part, idiot. She isn't HERE!"

    "Yes, Sir. Got it, Sir!"

    "Stop calling me sir!" Hadrian snapped." I'm not an officer in the Galandrian army."

    "Yes, S- I mean, Master."

     Hadrian ignored him and continued roll call as if nothing had happened." Gyran, Karan?"

    "Present, Master!"

    “Pike?"

    "Present, Master!"

    "Pogisa?"

    "Present, Master!"

     "Tala?"

     "Present, Master!"

     "Zared?"

     "Present, S- er, Master." Zared grinned, rather sheepishly.

     "All present and accounted for," Jezebel spoke up." Except for Emily," she added.

     "Good, good," replied Hadrian.

     Everyone in the crowd flowed smoothly to the council room, where Hadrian began laying plans.

 

   Emily lay in bed, her head aching terribly. The picture looked fuzzy to her. Why was her head aching? Loss of sleep? Too little breakfast? What? Should she call Mara? Probably not. Mara slept during the day and performed rituals over Hadrian to get rid of his scar, at night.

   Cassandra came in. For once, she seemed concerned about someone's condition. "Should Mara come? Shall I fetch 'er?"

   "No!" Emily said as fiercely as she could. The rituals were idiotic, and most of the time, they never worked.

   However, when Emily fell into a fitful sleep, Cassandra snuck to Mara's sleeping quarters, where she knocked. When Mara answered the door and gestured for her to come in, Cassandra explained Emily's condition. Mara bustled about for a while, collecting things, and throwing them into a black leather bag. She put on bracelets that she claimed had healing powers.

   In Emily' room, Mara mumbled and chanted crazily, dancing wildly about, as she waved her hands frantically. Cassandra got sick of watching her, so she went to goof around with some companions.

   Mara dumped sweet-smelling herbs on Emily's head, which was supposed to wake her up. It did, and Emily lay watching the 'healer' with an annoyed look on her face. She was bored, and she only had a headache.

  Sitting up, Emily watched more. The healer's dance got more frenzied and crazy." Oh, stop it!" she said.

  Mara stopped and glared at her." Be still, ungrateful girl!"

 Emily folded her arms and fixed a glare at Mara." It is a load of mumbo-jumbo and silliness. I wish you'd stop!"

   Mara glared right back. "No. It will help you get well. It helped Hadrian, your good master. It is not mumbo-jumbo and silliness." She continued her dancing around and muttering.

   Emily covered her head with the thin, hard pillow." She must be insane!"

   After three hours of chanting and dancing, Mara stopped.

  "What might my payment be?" she asked.

  "Payment!" Emily exploded." I didn't even want you to come!"

  "Pay or be punished," Mara said as she set about collecting her things.

  Emily sighed." You can have all my meals for the next week."

  Mara licked her lips greedily." You've got yourself a deal, pretty one." She left.

  Emily slammed her fist on the dresser." Why, why, WHY did I have to pay her that way?!"

  Cassandra came in. "Mara the Insane gone? Good. I hate all that dancing, singin', and chantin'." She glanced at Emily." What did you pay her?"

  Emily looked away." My meals for the next week."

  "The next week! You gotta be kiddin' 'round." Cassandra looked surprised.

  "I don't like it," Emily said." But she said to pay or be punished."

  "But ya need your strength," Cassandra said.

  "You have a point, but it's too late now." Emily turned away.

  Cassandra left the room and went to talk to Pogisa, who was preparing for another spy mission.

  "Pal, when's your next spy trip?" she asked her pal.

   Pogisa eyed her suspiciously." Why d'you want to know?"

   "Could ya p'haps get a week's worth of good food for that gal Em?"

   "Why?"

   "Mara tried to heal 'er and Em gave 'er a week's worth of meals to pay her."

   Pogisa looked at her in disbelief." She actually believes that all that silliness and mumbo-jumbo will heal her?"

  “No, Em's no believer in rituals like that."

  "Sure, I'll get her food."

  "Mind you, good food, not junk from th' trash bins."

  "OK."

  "Got it?"

  "I said OK!"

  "Alright, alright!" Zared left the room.

  Pogisa rolled his eyes in annoyance and continued sharpening his dagger. Giving a satisfied smile, he lay the dagger aside and picked up his straight, sturdy sword. He started to sharpen it.

  

     Hadrian was lazily sipping wine in his bedchamber when Tala swiftly entered. She bowed,

   "Lord, a pair of travelers has been sighted on the path."

   Hadrian rose quickly. Buckling on a belt, he drew his large sword and sharpened it quickly. "Select three of our best warriors and tell them to come to the entrance."

   Gyran, Karan, and Pike were gathered by the entrance in a few minutes with their best weapons.

 

 

   The two travelers found themselves surrounded." Please," the older one protested, "leave us alone! We are naught but innocent travelers."

  "What are your names? Tell us or you're dead meat!" Hadrian hissed.

  The woman looked terrified. "Hannah is mine, and this is my grandson, Manchu. Please free us!" she said, for while Hadrian had been talking, Tala and Pike had tied them up.

  "Ah, me pretty, I can't," Hadrian said.

  "Are you a coward?" the woman asked. "If you are, then kill us quickly. I have longed for the day when I would see my Savior's face."

  "No," said Hadrian." I will only have your grandson beaten until I have all the information I want."

  Hadrian had the two captives blindfolded and brought to his bedchamber. Tala retrieved her favorite whip. Manchu was thrown roughly to the floor.

  Hadrian sat on his jewel-encrusted throne. "Don't use a whip, Tala, he's only a boy. Use my best rod instead. Take off the blindfolds, too."

  Tala obediently selected Hadrian's finest rod. She stood ready with the rod raised.

  "Where are you from?" Hadrian said.

  "Galandria," Hannah said.

  Hadrian signaled to Tala with a glance. The rod came crashing down. A shiny tear stood in Hannah's eye as Tala beat down on Manchu. Bravely, Manchu bore the rod as if a feather was being dropped on him.

  "Don't beat him please," Hannah begged.

  Hadrian ignored her." Where exactly do you live?"

  "In the woods, dozens of miles from here. Now please, let my grandson go!"

  "Does anyone else live there?" Hadrian pressed.

  "My grandson was simply visiting. I was just bringing him home. Other than that, I live alone.

 Now please, let him go!"

   Hadrian waved his hand carelessly. "Lock them up. Feed them on table scraps."

   Tala and Pike prodded the prisoners out of the room, and after several minutes of walking, arrived at the prison. They locked the captives inside.

  Hadrian told Jezebel," Assign that girlie, Elimy, or whatever her name is, to feed the prisoners."

  "Alright." Jezebel hurried off.

 

   Emily filled a bowl with table scraps, and hurried to the cell.

  "I'm almost a prisoner myself," she whispered to Manchu, as the boy took the bowl gratefully. "I'll sneak some better food to you when I can."

   "Thanks," Manchu whispered back.

   Emily hurried off, prepared for bed, and went to sleep, thinking about the prisoners.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                   

 

  

Comments

weird..

  Something's going on with the document I copied from Microsoft Word, so ignore the top and bottom of the page. Does anyone have an idea of  what's going on?

 

Jackie West | Sat, 04/10/2010

Maybe... :D

Yes! Becase I've read to Chapter 3 already!

Arya Animarus | Tue, 04/20/2010

Oh for the times when I felt invincible.

whoaaaaaaaa.......

   You surprised me, Sara!!! :) :)

   "I know a secret, I know a secret... parrot chirping... I know a secret..." Parrot in 'Little Rascals'

  Welcome to apricotpie, Sara!!

  P.S. My quote may seem quite random..if you knew more, you would understand!!

Jackie West | Wed, 05/05/2010

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