Two Children, An Enchanter, and Three Horsemen

Fiction By Teal // 2/13/2009

Chapter 5

Will slowly crawled out of the bushes, and looked all around. The clearing was empty. Jane felt weak, and Will helped her to her feet.
“Well…looks as if you were right, Jane. The riders are evil. And, what’s more, they are looking for us!”
“Oh, Will! Where can we go? Where can we hide? If we don’t do something, they are bound to get us! We only have a few minutes before they find our tracks and follow us back here.”
“You are right, young one.” The voice came from behind them. The two whirled around. Before them stood an old man, with a gray beard trailing down to his feet. His face was wrinkled, but his eyes were kind. He wore a simple gray robe tied about his waist with a rope.
“Young ones, come with me,” he repeated. “You are in grave danger.” He motioned for them to follow.
Jane looked at Will. Will looked at Jane. Will whispered, “I think he’s alright. Let’s follow him.”
The old man hobbled on, but at a surprisingly quick pace for how hard he leaned on his wooden staff. Jane skipped a little to keep up, and Will trotted along as fast as his legs could carry him. Finally, the old man stopped. Out of a pocket in his robe, he pulled a key ring. He carefully selected a key and limped over to a great oak that stood by the path. As Will and Jane watched with unbelieving eyes, he inserted the key into a crevice in the tree. There was a click, and a thick door made from tree bark swung open. The man gestured for the children to follow him in.
“But, sir- not meaning to be rude…but- I don’t think that we’ll all fit in that…that tree!” stammered Will.
The old man chuckled. “My son, you should learn, especially in this country, not to judge by outward appearances. It will easily accommodate us all. Come, come young ones.”
Jane stepped in first and looked all about, as Will came in after, carefully closing the door. It was a small room, but as the man had said, there was ample space for all three of them. It was a cozy little room. A hammock made from vines and tree bark hung in the corner. In the middle of the room stood a small table and a tree-stump stool. There was a fireplace, over which hung a kettle steaming merrily. The old man shuffled over to the fireplace and removed the kettle. He bustled among the shelves above the fireplace and produced three wooden mugs. Then, he carefully poured some frothy liquid into each mug, placing them on the table afterwards.
The children drew out two more stools from the fireplace and placed them under the table. They all sat down.
The man took a long drink from his mug and sighed contentedly. The children both sipped at their drinks and found that the liquid was delicious. It was almost like milk, but much creamier and sweeter. Jane licked her lips.
Finally the old man spoke. “I suppose that you, children, would like to know who I am. I am the Hermit of the Northern Woods. I live in this humble abode during the winter season, but otherwise, I sleep beneath the starry sky at night, dwelling on mushrooms and other vegetation that I find. But now, tell me about yourselves.”
“I’m William Banks. You can call me Will if you like.”
“And I’m Jane Auburn,” Jane said. “And we aren’t from around here at all. We came from another world called Earth.”
The hermit started from his chair and rubbed his head. “Do tell me, how did you come to this world? By what magic?”
“Well, it’s quite simple,” Will began. “Jane and I were up in this attic and we found a book that said Zion something-or-other, and then Jane looked at it and found she could put her hand in it and sprung some sort of spell.”
Jane blushed, and shot an indignant look at Will.
“And then we found ourselves in the forest. We were just going to explore the forest when I realized I had forgotten the book back in the clearing and we ran back to the clearing and found it, when suddenly we saw these three horsemen. They seemed to be searching for us, but didn’t find us because we were hiding in the bushes.
The hermit had relaxed now. “Yes, the three horsemen…I shall tell you of them later. If you do not mind…may I see the book?”
“Yes,” replied Will, in some confusion.
Jane placed the book on the table.
The hermit stared in amazement at the book. He opened his mouth to speak, but could not.
Jane looked at him, astonished.
“This book is extremely valuable.” The hermit spoke as if it was difficult labor to pronounce each word.
“Please, I am so confused. Tell me everything behind this book and the horsemen,” Jane cried.
The hermit sat a little straighter and adjusted his coarse robe about his neck.
“This book is an ancient document. It is a map leading to a priceless treasure.”
Jane sat up. “Tell us about the treasure!”
The hermit looked gravely into their eyes. “The treasure is the Diadem of Power. This diadem is more than any crown, however. It is seeped with such powerful magic that it gives the One that wears it unbelievable power. Power beyond imagination…” The hermit’s eyes glistened. “This book offers great temptations- great temptations indeed…That is why you must not let just anyone see it. Only those who you would trust with your life! At all costs, you must keep this book safe. It could be a dangerous thing, my children, if placed in the wrong hands.”
“Yes,” said Jane. “If a wicked person followed the book’s map and found the crown, they could become very powerful and use it for their own wicked purposes.”
“Exactly,” murmured the hermit absent-mindedly, brushing his hand over the book’s cover.
“You have explained why the book is so special,” Will said. “Could you please explain why the horsemen are after us?”
The hermit arose and paced the room. “The horsemen are searching for the book.”
“But they said they were looking for us,” Jane said.
The hermit sat back down. “Yes that is true, my daughter. They are looking for you. But they are looking for you because of the book.”
“Why do they want the book so badly?”
The hermit sighed. “To answer that, I must begin many years ago. In those times, these forests were bright and cheery, bursting with the songs of the birds. It was a golden, merry age.” The hermit’s eyes were fixed dreamily on some place outside the window, but his eyes clouded. “However, one day, the Enchanter came from his Dark Palace in the Western Mountains, bringing with him chaos and pandemonium. He declared himself king and began his evil rule. This deranged ruler has enslaved all those who live in Zion to serve him. They are slaves…they live with no hope of deliverance.
“However, even yet, the Enchanter is not content, nor will he be until he rules the entire world. By his dark arts, he learned that only the Diadem of Power could assist him in this ambition. He has set his power-crazed mind on owning it. To achieve this, the Enchanter concocted a drink and gave it to three of his greatest supporters. This drink transformed these three men into hunters- men who lived solely to find the Book. The Enchanter also learned by his arts that you children had entered this world and bringing the Book. He has sent his three horsemen to search for you.”
Will shivered.
Jane took a deep shaky breath before speaking. “What would they…d-do to us? I mean- if they found us.”
The hermit looked at the two children silently. “Young ones, you know what they would do. They would destroy you quickly and mercilessly. Your quest, children, at least in this world, is to keep the Book from the Enchanter and the three horsemen and to find the Diadem of Power before he does. At all costs, I say! The entire land under the rule of the Enchanter would be a horrible thing…a horrible thing indeed.”
Jane nodded slowly.
The hermit turned to Will and put both hands on the boy’s shoulders. He looked him square in the eye. “William. Your task is great. You must follow the Book to find the Diadem of Power. Furthermore, you must protect this girl at all costs, whether from the Enchanter’s soldiers, his horsemen, or the Enchanter himself. You also must have courage at all times.”
Will nodded gravely.
The hermit of the Northern Woods patted Will and stepped in front of Jane. “You, Jane, shall have the greatest challenge of all. For when- or if you find the Diadem of Power, you must decide how to use it.”
Jane stood a little straighter. “But, hermit, how should I know what to do with it?”
The hermit smiled. “You will know, child.”
* * *
Blancshoyc sniffed the air deeply. He could not imagine why he and his fellow riders had not found the children already. He stood up and muttered something to Marshivoc.
“The children, they have escaped us once more. I smelt the smell of the hermit with them.”
Marshivoc slapped his thigh. “What did I tell you, Blancshoyc? What did I tell you? With the hermit, they are safe. We might as well give up searching for them now.”
Blancshoyc’s stony face contorted into a malicious smile. “What nonsense you speak, Marshivoc! The hermit cannot protect them forever! The moment they leave his safety-” He whipped out his sword and waved it in the air, laughing cruelly. “Onwards, men! We must report to His Eminence!” In a cloud of dust, Marshivoc and the skeletal rider disappeared around the bend in the path. However, before spurring his horse forward, Blancshoyc gritted his teeth and growled, “The moment they leave his safety…” As his stallion reared and plunged forward, his venomous cackle hung in the air.

* * *
Meanwhile, the hermit turned from the children and went to a shelf, where he removed a satchel. “This satchel contains food provisions. There is also a pocket for your book.”
Jane looked at the ground and spoke softly. “Hermit?”
“Yes?”
“How will we ever get back home?”
The hermit frowned. “I do not know. But magic always works out in the end. I do believe that once you fulfill your quest the magic shall spirit you to your own world once again.”
Jane looked up, comforted.
“I realize that it would be difficult for you to follow the map to the Diadem of Power without knowing your way around in this world,” the hermit said.
Will nodded. “We need a guide or something.”
The hermit was silent for a few long moments. His eyes suddenly lit up. “Perfect! Young ones, you shall have my granddaughter as a guide. She lives in Beneh City in the valley.”
The hermit spoke to the children for a long while about directions to the city and where they would find his granddaughter. They talked and planned until late into the night.
When children woke in the morning, they were greatly refreshed- and after a tasty meal of wheat bread and an herbal tea the hermit had prepared, they were ready to begin their adventure.
“Now, you must depart and begin your quest. Are you children prepared to work together on this journey?” The hermit asked them as Will slung the satchel over his shoulder.
Will looked at Jane. Jane looked at Will.
“Of course,” they agreed.
“But you see,” Will smiled, “We just met yesterday.”
The hermit chuckled, and he patted Will on the back. “You will do well, my children.”
“Thank you, hermit, for all you have done for us,” said Will.
The hermit smiled and gave them a final word of advice. “Be wary at all times, young ones. Remember all that I have told you. At all cost, protect the Book!”
He unlocked the front door and pulled it open. The children stepped out of the house in the tree. As their feet touched the ground, they heard the creak, creak of the door closing behind them. The two turned to say goodbye, but the door had vanished, and there stood the great oak tree in perfect still and silence.

Comments

I'm still on edge, and it's

I'm still on edge, and it's only Chapter 5!
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In this sinful world there is no such thing as "peace" unless someone strong enough is willing to protect and defend it. -Norm Bomer, God's World News

Anna | Sat, 02/14/2009

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

Great!

Oh this is really good! I only read this one cuz I thought it was the first one but I totally got your storyline immediatly! Great Job!

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"Dancers are the Athletes of God"-Albert Einstein

"Preach the Gospel. Use words if nesscesary." Anonymous

"Jesus is like Tide. He washes away what others leave behind." Anonymous

Tori | Fri, 02/20/2009

“Oh Ronnie! I can’t believe you’re a prefect! That’s everyone in the family!” said Mrs. Weasley.
“What are Fred and I, next-door neighbors?”
–George Weasley

:)

Thanks! I was a bit worried about this part, because I tend to use too many words sometimes... :D I was hoping that my storyline would be clear.
Thanks so much!

~Teal

Teal | Fri, 02/20/2009

I finally got a chance to

I finally got a chance to read this all the way through, and you know what, I like it. I love your descriptions, especially (though I probably won't be understood on this one) the descriptions of the Horsemen (dun! dun! dun! daaaaah!). I can't wait to "meet" the hermit's granddaughter. Although, either he doesn't think she is very important and he doesn't mind her being in danger, oooooooor, he thinks that she is great, and will do a good job of taking care of herself and the children. I'm hoping it's the second option. Aaaanyway, moving on, I can't wait 'til the next chapter. Hurry up!

"A wizard is never late, nor is he early; he arrives presicely when he means to." Gandalf

The Brit | Sun, 02/22/2009

I think this is the longest

I think this is the longest chapter you've ever written. I love it, and the Hermit seems like a nice, grandfatherly guy. Great job!

"When reality sucks, try insanity." - Unknown

Bridget | Wed, 04/22/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

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