Never Forget--Chapter Eight

Fiction By Ariel // 11/5/2009

            Gerhard slammed into the guard’s side, knocking him to the ground. His vision clouded over, all he could see was the initial glimpse he had caught of his sister, pinioned between two hulking soldiers. The sight stayed imprinted on his mind for the rest of his life. A young man was just turning away from the scene and Gerhard felt even more anger sweep over him. Why hadn’t that other lad made even an indication that he would stand up to the brutality of these men? Only at the glimpse of the brown tunic under his cape did Gerhard understand that he was one of them too. He had shot forward, only one thing on his mind – the rescue of his sister.

            The man was taller than he had looked and more solid too. It took every ounce of speed in Gerhard’s body to be successful in knocking the Bear to the ground. Men began shouting and the boy was suddenly aware of three figures charging toward him. Something hit him from behind and he was suddenly pressed up against something hard and unmovable. What happened next was all a blur to him. He kicked and hit everything that came in close enough for him to reach. His face hit the ground and a pair of rough boots pounded by him and disappeared into the mist. Something about their steady thud as it grew faint gave him a bit of satisfaction 

            The boy he had first noticed, turning away from a helpless girl, was jumbled in with the chaos around him, yelling unintelligible words and pushing towards him. He could hear Donawyn’s voice, high above the growls of the Bears, yelling his name over and over again. He saw her pale face for a moment next to his and then it was jerked away. The muddled sounds all around him at once became clear. He looked straight into the eyes of the soldier opposite him, a wide man with crooked teeth, and lunged straight at his throat. He heard himself speak, but the voice that came out of mouth was hard and foreign.

            “Stay away from her!” The man’s face showed his amazement at the young man’s onslaught. He backed into a shadow and whirled around in retreat.

            It was an odd moment to think of it, but Gerhard suddenly felt exactly the same way he had at home whenever he had climbed to the top of the sheep’s shelter and lain down to watch the stars. He could hear the distant sound of sheep bleating and his mother was calling his name softly from her place in the low doorway. Then the stars all began fading away and Donawyn was bending over him. He wasn’t sure exactly what had happened, but when the soldiers jerked him roughly to his knees and the grey fog came back into focus, it all rushed back.

             A man lay on the paving stones not far from him, a trickle of blood coming from his forehead. Three men stood around him, their big hands pinning his arms behind him. Another stood near, Donawyn’s arm held tightly in his grasp. A burly looking ape was stalking toward him, wiping a dirty hand under his nose and fumbling for his sword with the other. He pulled it out of the scabbard with a clang.

            “For attacking His Excellency’s soldier.” He raised it higher; Donawyn’s scream was muffled suddenly. “For resisting arrest.” The sword was almost lifted above his head; the other young man came into view, his mouth working up and down in vain. “For attempting to interfere with the business of the King’s Bears.” The sword was directly above the soldier’s head now and aimed at Gerhard’s throat. He swallowed hard and lifted his chin. The wish to die honorably was his only thought. “I sentence you now to beheadment!” The sword flashed downward and Gerhard closed his eyes.

 --------

          “Any word yet from Gawain?” Mearah whispered to the bent old gentlemen stationed beside the mahogany doors. He shook his head slightly.

            “I saw him leaving early this morning, but I haven’t had word from him since,” he answered. The frown on Mearah’s face deepened and she shifted the tray on her hip.

            “I worry about that boy, Paul. He doesn’t use the smarts that were put in his head quite enough.” She shook her head, letting a few of her fiery curls escape from the ribbon that held them back. Paul had to smile at her exasperation, but he pulled a straight face and spoke slowly.

            “I do believe he’s not all that bright, it seems to me…” The girl’s head jerked up and she narrowed her eyes

             “‘Not all that bright’?” Paul shrugged. She pursed her lips and shook her finger up at him. “Now when I said he didn’t us all his brains I just meant that I thought he could have stayed a little bit further away from the trouble. You have no idea how long I lay awake last night worrying about him. You know he might be killed, or thrown in prison, or exiled to one of those awful ships down on the wharf…” Her voice trailed off. “…I just happen to worry about people like that sometimes,” she finished lamely. Paul laughed at her pink cheeks and whispered.

            “I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. I’m sure we would have heard if something…” His whisper was cut off suddenly and he straightened quickly to attention. Mearah gasped and nodded her head deeply. Her Ladyship, the Queen Annusa Pousaville, walked slowly down the echoing halls. Several guards walked beside her, their armor jingling. The Queen’s elegant gown rustled along the smooth floor. Its dark grey folds blended in perfectly with the cool and melancholy background of the stone walls. She passed by the two servants with hardly a glance in their direction and continued along the corner.

             Mearah lifted her head slightly to watch the satiny folds skim by. She lifted her eyes again slightly and was startled when they were met by two wide grey pools of light. She forgot for a moment just who she was looking at and stared back for a long moment. The girl opposite was tall and thin. The skin on the back of her long tapered hands was so fine that you could see every vein underneath, even from a distance. She wore a long fitted dress of dark green that brought out the paleness of her complexion. Mearah wondered fleetingly just what it would be like to be able to wear such beautiful clothes. The girl’s long golden hair streamed down her back in silken curls and a simple necklace shone against her smooth neck. A tentative smile crossed the red lips and the sad, misty eyes of the princess lifted for a moment. Mearah saw something in that sad face that she could never identify, but as time passed, she would come nearer and nearer to figuring out what lay behind that pale skin and perfect features.

             The two girl’s eyes stayed locked for what seemed like hours until the servant realized what she was doing and drew in her breath with a start.

             “You’re Highness,” she whispered, and dropped into a deep curtsy. The Princess nodded slightly to her and the moment was broken. The servant girl watched as the hem of her mistress’s dress skimmed by.

             “That poor lass has no life in her at all,” Paul whispered as two turned down the long passageway leading to the scullery. Mearah nodded sadly. It was the first time she had ever come in such close contact with the princess. The few other servants murmured among themselves that she was kept in her tower room all day, and never allowed to look out on the city and surrounding countryside. Mearah set her tray down with a clatter.

            “It’s just wrong, I tell you, keeping that poor girl from even looking out of her own window. Did you see just how sad her eyes were? It’s just wrong.” She pushed the dishes around on her tray vehemently. The man behind her laughed softly.

            “I wouldn’t pay much attention to the gossip of those washer women,” he chuckled. “They’ve been reading too many of the fairy stories the traveling minstrels tell in the marketplace.” He paused for a moment and added, almost to himself, “As of the king, I wonder.” Mearah looked at him curiously.

            “That old tyrant, why should you feel sorry for ‘im? He’s the one that’s got this whole country under his thumb!” Paul lowered his old bones into a chair near a low window and shook his head slowly.

            “A tyrant he may be, but he has none of the joy that he thought would come with the revenge that he got or the power that came with it. Aye, I remember when…” His voice faded at the sound of a commotion in the castle courtyard. A guard was gesturing wildly and pointing in the direction of the marketplace.

             “Something’s gone wrong,” Paul stated after a moment, “This could be fatal to all our plans.” He turned swiftly and climbed the steps with the girl close at his heels.

            “What plans?” she asked softly.

 -----

            The old man stood at the open window, his piercing gaze roving to and fro across the landscape. There had been a time when he would have given everything just to be able to look from this window and know that he was in control. Now he could look at the landscape in front of him and know that very thing, but it did not give him the satisfaction that it once had. He closed the shutters with a bang and stalked back to a desk with a bright lamp on it. He lowered himself into the seat with a thud and began rifling through the many documents that lay scattered in front of him. The thirst for more power had consumed his soul once, and he had obtained his prize, but it was still not enough. The hunger in his spirit was overwhelming, and he felt as if nothing could control it. He saw himself as the ruler of the entire world, not just this tiny sea-side kingdom, with its grey fog banks and dripping cobblestones. No, he would build himself an empire unlike any since the days of Maurudell the Great.

             The lamp, flickering on the table beside him, cast shadows all about the darkened room and across his face. The scar, high on his right cheekbone and almost perfectly spherical, bent the yellow light, making his face appear grotesque and evil. He spread out the map once more and moved his finger slowly along the mountain range separating Lauderlaun from Coumyan. Roustoe Falkien was weak-minded fool, he scoffed to himself, as he plotted the positions of his Bears in the pass above Coumyan. He tossed down his pen once more and strode to the fireplace mantle. He reached for the plaque that he had hung on the wall above and carried it almost reverently into the lamp’s light.

             The crest of Bearharn, etched in its smooth surface, reflected back up at him. He studied the scene again, for the thousandth time – the kneeling man’s terror-filled face; the fields of fallen soldiers; the scar on his cheek, captured so well in the engraving. He reached up to touch the mark on his face for the first time in many years. His hand jerked away from its uneven surface and for a moment he just stood there, his clenched fist suspended in air. A roar escaped his throat and in rage he struck his hand against the polished surface of the table. He raised the wooden engraving in a trembling hand and whispered through clamped teeth.

            “You, Jerrell Reyhar, may have been the first, but you will certainly not be the last.”

 

Comments

What happens NEXT? What is

What happens NEXT? What is going to happen to Gerhard? (I did spell that right, didn't I?) 
Please post Chapter Nine soon!

Kendra | Tue, 11/10/2009

<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\
"Are you sure this water is sanitary? It looks questionable to me! But what about bacteria?"--Tantor the elephant from Tarzan.

Awwww...OK, so turn about's

Awwww...OK, so turn about's fair play, I guess...you leave a cliffhanger, I leave a cliffhanger, LoriAnn laves a cliffhanger--what is it with all of these cliffhangers? I'm going to go nuts!

Good chapter! You'd better get back to Gerhard soon--or else I'll be checking AP in between chores (since I don't have any geometry to do) ;0)

Heather | Wed, 11/11/2009

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

Thanks! Heather --

Thanks!

Heather -- Cliffhangers are wonderful are they not?! ;) Gerhard is...well, let's just say he's being taken care of :D I should have the new chapter up soon. Thanks for your comments; they really keep me positive about this story.

Ariel | Wed, 11/11/2009

*****************************************
"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

...

To quote a certain someone:

My dear, you really CAN'T KEEP DOING THIS TO ME!!!!!!!! Seriously, I'm not going to have a moments peace until I find out what happens.

LoriAnn | Tue, 11/17/2009

*blushes*

Well mine isn't as good as yours...it's just not the same with Ander as it is with Gerhard!

Ariel | Tue, 11/17/2009

*****************************************
"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

?

Ya wanna bet?

LoriAnn | Sat, 11/21/2009

 AH! LEIRA I LOVE

 AH! LEIRA I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!! POST MORE SOON!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

Renee

Anonymous | Tue, 12/29/2009

RENEE!!!!!

Thank you dear! I'll get right on it :)

Ariel | Sun, 01/03/2010

*****************************************
"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

Yes...when are you going to

Yes...when are you going to write that chapter? *accusing stare* Hehe, just kidding.

Annabel | Sun, 01/03/2010

Sorry it took me so long to

Sorry it took me so long to get to this. But I did and you still haven't read FW8. I guess we're even... for now....

About Cliffhangers: If we didn't have them, we would never come back to read the next part.

Great job again, but this time yo really lost me. 

1) The starting was confusing.

2)  She lifted her eyes again slightly and was startled when they were met by two wide grey pools of light. What the heck are gray pools of light?!

3) Roustoe Falkien was weak-minded fool.  Not really important, but who is Roustoe Falkien? (if you can't tell us that's ok.)

4) I'm not trying to be mean.

5) Why haven't the Brit and Ashling read this?

By the way, I'm not reading part 9 until you've read FW7 and 8. Sorry, I'm in a bad mood.

 

"I think they're trying to kill us!"

"I KNOW DAD!"

"...It's a new experience for me."

"Happens to me all the time." --- Indiana Jones and his Father, in a time when Indy was also in a bad mood.

I am Nate-Dude | Sun, 01/10/2010

Nate-Dude

Questions, questions! At least I have comments...

Annabel - Ahk! I just realized I posted Chapter 9 without sending it to you for editing! I'm so sorry! I hope you're not angry with me. For some reason I thought I had sent it to you already and then I was looking through some stuff and I never had. *gets on knees* Please forgive me, my lady!

Nathaniel - About Cliffhangers: If we didn't have them, we would never come back to read the next part. Ummm...is this a good thing or a bad thing? I'm sorry I lost you...here are the answers to your questions.

1) The starting was confusing. How was that confusing? He was having a fight with a bunch of guards.

2) What the heck are gray pools of light?! It's the other girl's eyes. Haven't you ever read something where it saids, "she looked into his eyes, great fathomless pools of light."?

3) ...who is Roustoe Falkien? Sorry, I should have made that more clear...he's the king of the neighboring country of "Coumyan" (wow...I just realized that is a HORRIBLE and COMPLETELY unoriginal name for a country)

4) I'm not trying to be mean. Don't worry, you're not :P

5) Why haven't the Brit and Ashling read this? The Brit despises reading anything longer than three paragraphs on the internet (unless she's completely into it) and who's Ashling?

By the way, I'm not reading part 9 until you've read FW7 and 8. Sorry, I'm in a bad mood. I read them! Happy now?! I really have ment to keep up with them it's just that....I'm busy! Why are you in a bad mood? How can I make you happy?

Thanks for the comments you guys! I really like getting comments that have lots of "constructive criticism" in them rather than comments like, "Yay! New chapter!" (but I LOVE those ones too ;P )

Ariel | Tue, 01/12/2010

*****************************************
"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

*Graciously extends bejeweled

*Graciously extends bejeweled hand* Rise, loyal subject. Thou art forgiven.

Just kidding! Of course I'm not angry! And regarding Nate-Dude's comments--I would certainly keep reading if there were no cliffhangers, I didn't find anything confusing, and I like the phrase "grey pools of light." So there!

Annabel | Tue, 01/12/2010

Cliffhanger: It's a good

Cliffhanger: It's a good thing. Who would want to read a story without cliffhangers?

1) I dunno, I guess I had a hard time see the whole picture.

2) It just didn't make sense. couldn't you have told us her eyes were gray pools of light?

3) Oh, it's so clear now! ---Larry.

4) Good.

5) Sorry, I meant Alecia. (dang I though that's what I put down.) If the Brit doesn't like reading things that more then 3P. then she shouldn't post them like she does.

I'm not in a bad mood cause of you, I'm just in a bad mood. (Darn cookies!) I'll read part 9 ASAP.  

I am Nate-Dude | Wed, 01/13/2010

Nate-Dude

Navigation

User login

Please read this before creating a new account.