Two Children, An Enchanter, and Three Horsemen, Chapter 19 AND 20!! READ CHAP 20 HERE!!!

Fiction By Teal // 5/25/2009

Chapter 19

The village was a miserable place. Dogs fought, growling and barking, over the smallest fragment of bone, their ribs clearly visible through their flea-bitten hides.
Young children in rags sat and cried before the doorsteps, their eyes large and red. The fathers and mothers and older children were all away in the fields, laboring for the Enchanter, and when they came home in the evening, exhausted and weary, they would bring home a satchel of grain, enough to bake one very small slice of bread for each child for supper.
Young children, such as Casia, were left to tend to themselves until the parents returned at nightfall. Some children knew how to hunt or fish, and these would gather more food for supper that evening.
Casia’s home was on the outskirts of the village, and it was quite neat and homey, unlike the wretched hovels that mostly made up the area. Casia undid the latch and opened the wooden door. The floor was packed black dirt. There was a fireplace with a whistling kettle hanging over it in the corner of the room, a small rocking chair, and a table made of an oak stump.
“Let me see,” Casia mumbled, opening a trunk beside the door. “Ah! The food fer the lil chick is right here inna this sack. This should last him until he’s big nuff to get his own food.” She grunted as she hefted the heavy sack and handed it to Will. He caught it with both hands, and Casia looked surprised. “Nah where’s the lil thing? The lil Ciris bird? Where’d ee go?”
Will grinned, and lowered the bag to the floor. Then he pointed to the pocket of his sweater where a tiny downy red head poked out, eyeing its surroundings quietly. “Must be hungry, poor little thing.” Will untied the bag and took out a pinch of the seed mix. The tiny bird peeped eagerly and pecked away until every seed was devoured. Then it gave a little sigh, closed its eyes, and nestled its head in the corner of Will’s sweater where it promptly drifted off to sleep.
The room darkened, and a shadow fell across the dirt floor as someone moved into the doorway.

* * *

The Dungeon was dark and dismal. Occasional screams echoed down the empty passage, and heavy bars on either side caged in thin men and women with tangled hair and wild eyes. Jane could not help but sob with pity for the abused multitude who lived in forced solitude beneath the dark castle’s paved streets. She lowered her head and stared at the floor as they continued down the tunnel.
“Halt! Who goes there?” A figure stepped from a dim corner, the torch blazing in a bracket upon the wall illuminating his frightened young face. Jane thought he could not be much older than Will. He raised his spear with a sigh when he spied Matrim. “There you are at last. How you frightened me! Do you know what they would do to me if they found me down here, pretending to be a dungeon guard?” His brown eyes were terrified, and he saw Jane for the first time. “This is the girl?”
Matrim nodded silently. “Give Luella my greetings. You know what to do, my friend. Go in peace.” Matrim stared Jane in the eyes. “This is goodbye, Jane.” He stared down at her, opened his mouth to speak-- but suddenly turned and vanished into the darkness. Jane looked after him, the tears brimming in her eyes. Would she ever see him again? How she missed Will and Andrija!
The boy laid the spear on the ground and took a knife from his uniform pocket. With one deft movement, he undid the knot that bound Jane’s hands, and beckoned for her to follow him. “My name is Roland. I will be taking you to Matrim’s sister’s home. Here, go into that room and change into the garments that you will find there.” He closed the door after her.
Jane was in a lamp-lit space, a kind of circular room with a wooden door. She drew closed the bolt and turned. A beautiful crimson dress was laid over a crate. In a moment, she had it on. It fit quite well, and the hem just brushed the ground. It felt silky smooth and light as a feather. A small hand mirror lay on the ground. Jane picked it up and looked at her reflection. Her hair was very tangled and fell about her dirty, tear-streaked face in disorder. There was a comb beside the crate, and she ran it through her hair, using the hem of her dress to wipe away all signs of dirt and tears. When she finished and looked critically at the mirror. It indeed was a great improvement and she sighed with pleasure.
There was an impatient rap on the door. Jane giggled and then stepped out. Roland was already down the tunnel. Jane lifted her dress above her ankles and nearly laughed out loud. How her dingy tennis shoes contrasted with her shimmering gown! But her amusement was cut short when they heard the sound of voices. Roland dragged her into a dim corner.
Two guards passed, their footsteps echoing still when they had long passed. Roland gave a sigh of relief and they continued down the passageway. The tunnel was leading upwards now, and in a few moments, they turned right, then left, then left again, and found themselves in the bright sunshine of the outside world. Jane blinked until her eyes adjusted to the bright light. Roland looked her up and down then nodded crisply. “Good.”
“What?” Jane blushed.
“You will pass as a noblewoman traveling out of the city.”
“Oh.”
Roland led her down a narrow street. He left her outside a stable, then reappeared a moment later with a stout gray-haired man. They spoke in hurried, hushed tones for many minutes before the gray-haired man nodded finally and trotted back into the stable. There was a sound of horses neighing, and out of the stable came four black horses pulling a small carriage. Roland took Jane’s hand and helped her into the carriage, shutting the door firmly. Jane gasped and parted the curtains, peering down at him. “What? You aren’t coming with me?”
Roland shook his head. “I just received word that Matrim needs me. Your driver is a friend of mine—very trustworthy. He will take you where you need to go. Farewell.”
Jane began to splutter, but Roland bowed, turned, and strode down the street. “I’m alone!” was the first thought that struck her. “…In a city full of enemies! What if something has happened to Matrim? Where are Andrija and Will? Oh, I wish I had never gone with Will into the cabin.” She had, of course, forgotten that it was her own fault that they had gone into the cabin. That day seemed like centuries ago…very distant and dream-like.
The gray-haired man chirruped to the horses, and the carriage rolled forward. Jane pulled the curtains together with a click and sank back into the velvety cushions as they left the city behind in a cloud of dust.

* * *

Matrim took a deep breath and walked calmly into the throne room. Soldiers lined the walls, and they stamped in unison to announce the arrival of the lad. A red-haired man clad in black with a scarlet cape strode sedately down the steps towards Matrim.
Matrim stared straight ahead of him as the man reached him and began to pace slowly about him.
“Greetings, Chancellor Iawokim.”
The Chancellor put his head on one side. “So...you have returned, boy.”
“I have.”
“You have changed your mind?” The man’s face seemed suspicious.
“Perhaps, sir.”
The Chancellor relaxed, “Good. Very good. Layleh has been eagerly awaiting your return.” He suddenly leaned his head closer to Matrim’s. “If I were you, I would apologize to him for your lack of courage, my boy. He was not pleased…not pleased at all. Are you ready to greet him?”
Matrim took a deep breath once more, then nodded. The Chancellor clapped him on the back, and turned away. As he walked up the steps towards the throne, a chilling gleam shone in his beady eyes. “Your Excellency, may I present to you, Sergeant Matrim Elnar."
The Enchanter rose slowly from his throne. His obsidian-like eyes glittered, and his frighteningly pale face was twisted into a cruel grin. He extended his golden scepter. “Come forward...Nephew...”

-*-*-*-*-*-*-

Act 3

Chapter 20

The shadow loomed over the dirt floor of the hut. Andrija and Will sprang up. “Who’s there?” called Will. A huge fleshy thing filled the entire entry way. It seemed to expand, and five enormous fingers reached for Will, curling around his waist and dragging him through the dirt, out the door, and into the air.
Andrija shrieked with terror, for outside the hut towered a giant, at least 20 feet high. His large foolish eyes blinked at the boy he held in his right hand, while he scratched at his greasy locks with the other hand—seemingly contemplating what he would do with the child.
“Let him go, you great big bully!” Andrija pounded his feet with her fists. The giant goggled down at her and tilted his mangy head on one side.
Will was pale, and writhed in the giant’s hold like a slippery eel. He searched for Matrim’s dagger, and after a moment found it in his belt. With the courageous cry of: “Die, Villain!” the boy sent it into the giant’s thumb.
Immediately, he was hurtling through the air, landing at last in a heap of manure. Will stood up and dusted himself off, as Andrija ran to his side.
“Are you alright?”
“Y-yeah…” said Will shakily.
“What’d you do that for?” wailed the giant. Will turned. The giant sat on the ground, holding his thumb remorsefully, his great bottom lip protruding as fat tears rolled down his plump cheeks and splashed on the ground all around them.
“Shame, shame!” cried Andrija indignantly. “You were the one, sir, who began it! Shame-- a great big fellow like you bullying a little boy!”
“But what did he have to do that for?” sobbed the giant, pointing at his great thumb, where there stood a miniscule dot of red. “I wasn’t gonna hurt him none!”
“What’s up, Nagol? Have ya hurt yourself again?” Casia came out of the hut, holding the Ciris chick in her hands.
In one glance, she saw the prick on his thumb, the dagger, and the flushed face of Will.
“You were pickin’ folks up again, weren’t ya, Nagol?” the small girl asked irritably.
“Yes,” the giant admitted guiltily. “But I just wanted to see what ee looked like.” The tears began their rapid flow once more, and Casia gave an exasperated sigh.
“Ah, go on ta the river an’ wash that thumb o’ yours.”
The giant rose heavily to his feet, and ambled off, the ground shaking with every step until at last he was gone.
Casia sighed once more. “Poor fellow, he’s at least 65 in our years, but a child yet in the head! He wouldn’t hurt a fly, but he fergets his own strength, sometimes, and starts pickin’ people up. You see…” She leaned closer to Will and Andrija and whispered confidentially, “…he’s nearsighted.”
Andrija and Will nodded soberly. After a moment, Casia continued, “He has very bad eyesight, poor chap, and it drives him near crazy for not being able to see folks’ faces well. Golly, I do wish I could do somethin’ fer the fellow.” She stared down the desolate road towards the river. “You see, there was rumors a good many years ago, that Nagol was planning to lead a rebellion against the Dark Castle and, because of his great strength, cause some damage to the city. The Enchanter was troubled by these false reports, and by his dark arts, made Nagol’s eyes so weak that he could scarce see ten feet in front o’ him. O’ course, Nagol could never plot such a thing, being—bless his soul—quite slow in the mind.” Casia sighed and shook her head dismally. “I shore wish there was somethin’ we could do.”
Andrija nodded. “Well Casia, we had best be continuing on our journey. We are very concerned about our friend.”
“Yes. I suppose you must be. Poor girl, I do hope she’s safe. These are evil times, these are.” And shaking her head, Casia waved farewell, handed Will his satchel and the chick, and trotted off down the village street. “If there’s anythin’ else ya need, feel free to stop by! Goodbye! Goodbye!” The small girl disappeared over the hill.
“Where do we go now?” asked Will, slinging the satchel over his shoulder, and placing the chick on his shoulder, where it perched steadily.
Andrija swallowed, then smiled bravely. “Where else, Will? To the Enchanter’s Castle!”

* * *

The carriage rattled along the dirt road, the horses’ hooves making a brisk rhythm that lolled Jane to sleep. In her hazy and delirious slumber, she dreamed of deep dark dungeons and diadems and Will and Andrija…and of Matrim.

* * *

“Greetings, Uncle.” Matrim spoke calmly, evenly.
“You have much to explain, Nephew.” The Enchanter rose majestically from his throne and stalked slowly about Matrim like a predator about his prey. Chancellor Iawokim looked down his bulbous nose at the lad, his eyes narrowing.
“Very well,” Matrim shrugged indifferently. “Question me, I care not!”
The Enchanter chuckled darkly. “Let’s begin at the beginning-- a few weeks back, when I sent my entire garrison under the command of General Derk to find and destroy the Two Children. Yes, let’s begin a few days after the soldiers burned the house of those two fools, Ruther and Ford, I believe…by the way, Chancellor! What became of that fat fool, Ford?”
“He’s in the torture room at this very moment,” grinned the Chancellor maliciously. “He’s reduced to skin and bone, he is.”
Matrim tried in vain to suppress a shudder. The Enchanter shot a questioning glance at him. Matrim remained silent, but his face was flushed.
“During the burning of the mansion, it was reported that you were missing. You were reported missing for an approximate…” The Enchanter licked his lips and counted his fingers, “6 days.”
Matrim opened his mouth to speak, but the Enchanter shook his head and held up a pale hand to stop him.
“But you were well watched… Men, enter!”
Into the room stalked three ghostly figures-- the three horsemen—bearing the diadem on a scarlet cushion.
“They followed you, my boy, on your journey down the mountain, where you came first into the company of those accursed children. Then they alerted the army. General Derk ordered the troops back down the mountain, where they proceeded to dig you and the two children out of the cave. Unfortunately, they were wiped away by an avalanche, and you and the children escaped once more my clutches.”
The Enchanter smiled wryly, and tilted his head on one side as a devilish gleam danced in his deranged eyes. “But… not for long. I had the three horsemen follow you further. They captured the Diadem, and immediately brought it here. You, my boy, have arrived on a special day, you see-- my coronation! But, pray, explain why you kept company with those wretches, the two children, and why at last you have returned, bringing one of them as a prisoner.”
Matrim squared his shoulders and spoke with enthusiasm and assurance. “Sir, I have lived in the Palace all my life, living on the lap of luxury. From my early youth I have feasted on peacock, dined on golden platters, dressed in the richest silks, the costliest adornments. When, at age seventeen, I was appointed Sergeant in the army, I was confident in my ability to lead an army. The truth was, sir, through my upbringing, I was spoiled terribly, an arrogant, brash youth, inflated with vanity, my feet floating off the ground in ignorance-- until the day I was popped, landing in the land of reality. On my journey out of the city with my troops, I was horrified at the corruption of the land you rule. The poverty, the stench, the lack of knowledge, the terror, the condition of these undernourished souls! My head was reeling with indecision, bewilderment, and wonder, when I finally left the city. I had never seen such things before! Of course, I had noticed the corruption of your Imperial court, but being raised around it my whole life, I counted that normal.
Then occurred the final deflation! I was told it was my duty to capture two children. Perhaps they were traitors to Your Highness, perhaps they were devious plotting rebels, however, the fact being that they were but children, I could not bring myself to imprison them and bring them to you, where they would most undoubtedly suffer inhuman torture, and reach certain death! Beside, I could indeed sympathize with their cause after journeying through such horrible surroundings! While the ruler dines in luxury, his people scratch with fleas and live in extreme poverty. How could the two children be wrong in rebelling against so inhumane and so unjust dictatorship? This feeling so increased that I felt it totally against my conscience and I deserted the army.” Here Matrim held his head high, defiant.
The Chancellor held up his hand in protest, “Milord! Your Highness, I must plead--”
The Enchanter’s eyes flickered, and then blazed brighter than before. “Continue.”
Matrim took a deep breath. “I decided that I must know what these Children were truly like. What kind of rebellion did they lead? I had heard all sorts of dreadful things about them from my superior officers—for example: that they were young radicals, intent on finding the Diadem and giving it to an absolute dictator. But then I would hear conflicting reports that the Children were anarchists, who desired to destroy the Diadem! I was curious to know what they were like. When I met them, completely by chance, I found that I completely agreed with their cause. I brought one of the children here as ‘prisoner,’ for I knew that this would feed your curiosity, and that only by this would I be granted an audience with you.”
The boy who had met Jane in the Dungeon, Roland, watched this goings on from behind a marble statue. Roland was breathing heavily, his palms wet with perspiration. The meeting was not going as planned. “The fool! The honest fool! Can’t Matrim see he’s marching straight for death?” The boy gulped. “It’s just like him too, honest to the end! Ah! I should have known he couldn’t keep to the plan! What shall we do?”
Matrim continued on. “You see, sir, the Children had found the Diadem, and they were intent on finding a just man, that this treasure might be his, not to use in ruling the minds of the populace, but to assist him in reaching wise decisions benefiting his people. The Diadem’s power is not meant to be used in brainwashing the people, but in giving their ruler greater wisdom and justice. The Diadem is a great gift, but like any gift, it can be used wrongly. I have come here today, sir, risking my very life to bring you a warning.”
The Enchanter’s obsidian eyes were midnight blue slits in his pale face. The nobles and guards stood frozen about the hall in disbelief. A boy warning the Enchanter? How could it be?
Matrim stood courageous in the center of the room. A light seemed to glow from him as he threw back his head and met the gaze of the Enchanter. “Today is indeed a great day, sir! But not for the side of evil. Use the Diadem well, and you and your land will live long and prosper. Use the Diadem wrongly, and your people will rebel, your gates will be knocked down, your Palace destroyed, your evil ways wiped away forever. Another will wear the Diadem, and the people will flourish beneath him.”
Silence hung like the thickest fog in the hall. It seemed as if everyone around Matrim had been frozen to statues of marble. Every expression wore terror and surprise but Matrim’s. Young, strong, defiant, he contrasted so greatly with everyone in the room, that it seemed that he was from another world.
Then, the Enchanter moved. His eyes traveled around the room, then rested on Matrim. A flame danced in them. It grew. His eyes burned like the greatest bonfire, red, orange, and blue deep inside.
When he spoke, it caused the nobles to jump. It was a roar like an animal, it echoed off the stone walls of the hall. “Guards, kill him!!”

Comments

The Enchanter's

The Enchanter's Nephew?!?!?!?!?!
Astounding. I can't wait to see what he does!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I've never seen a purple cow,
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow;
I'd rather see than be one.

Sarah | Mon, 05/25/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

AHK!

He's the NEPHEW of the awful person :/ What have you done? Members of "The Society for Matrim's Defence" unite!!! I know YOU know that WE will be VERY upset if this doesn't turn out the way we want it to!!! JK
I think I can oficially say that you are an AMAZING author because....well, look at how confused we are about Matrim's allegances. Only someone who really has a talent for writing can keep her readers guessing like that. I applaud you M'lady! **Bows with a sweep of the skirts**
------------------------------------------------
"Yes, words are useless! Gobble-gobble-gobble-gobble-gobble! Too much of it, darling, too much! That is why I show you my work! That is why you are here!" --Edna Mode (the Incredibles)

Ariel | Mon, 05/25/2009

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

OFG!!!! I am astonished at

OFG!!!! I am astonished at you! Matrim could not choose his uncle!! As you well know, he will do nothing but what is the most perfect decision befitting each and every occasion.

Keri | Mon, 05/25/2009

Of course...

I apologize for my hasty conclusions, Matrim. Although, you could have gone and hid in the cave in Switzerland instead of owning up that that MAN was you uncle :) lol...I think I'm obsessed :D
------------------------------------------------
"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

Ariel | Mon, 05/25/2009

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

*Gulp!* Ummmm... *peers

*Gulp!* Ummmm... *peers nervously out from closet as the "Society for Matrim's defense" breaks in the door...* Hahaha. That's all I will say. Hahaha.
~Teal :)

Teal | Tue, 05/26/2009

That's all you'll say?!?!?!?

Cruel Person!!!

Ariel | Tue, 05/26/2009

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

I have to agree: you are an

I have to agree: you are an excellent writer! Please, please write more before I die of suspense!
:) :) :) :D

*************************************************
"Give the password," said the chief soldier.
"This is my password," said the King as he drew his sword. " 'The light is dawning; the lie broken'. Now guard thee, miscreant, for I am Tirian of Narnia!" --

Laura Elizabeth | Tue, 05/26/2009

*************************************************
The best stories are those that are focused, unassuming, and self-confident enough to trust the reader to figure things out. --

http://lauraeandrews.blogspot.com/2014/05/dont-tell-me-hes-smart.html

*bows* Why, I'm flattered!

*bows* Why, I'm flattered! ;D Thank you very much! And I will probably finish Chapter 20 by tomorrow.
~Teal :)

Teal | Tue, 05/26/2009

The first thing I thought to

The first thing I thought to myself after reading the first section was, "I KNEW MATRIM WAS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Then I read section two, and I thought the same thing, only no capital letters, because although I am perfectly certain that he is good, I am allowed to have my misgivings.

"California", he said, "is a beautiful wild kid on heroin, high as a kite and thinking she's on top of the world, not knowing that she's dying, not believing it even when you show her the marks." - Motorcycle Boy, from S.E. Hinton's 'Rumble Fish"

Bridget | Tue, 05/26/2009

"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

Oooooo!!!!

Ooooo!!!! I really liked this... what will happen to Jane??? What will happen to Andrija and Will??? What will happen to Matrim??? (Oh, and I still can't believe that he is sopposedly the Enchanter's nephew!!!!) WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO EVERYONE??? Please, please, please post Chapter 20 soon!!!!
<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\
"Are you sure this water is sanitary? It looks questionable to me! But what about bacteria?"--Tantor the elephant from Tarzan.

Kendra | Wed, 06/03/2009

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

TEAL!!! WHEN ARE YOU

TEAL!!! WHEN ARE YOU POSTING?????

"True love is the greatest thing in the world - except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, when the mutton is nice and lean, and the tomato is ripe." - Miracle Max, from The Princess Bride

Bridget | Thu, 06/11/2009

"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

I DID!!! I actually

I DID!!! I actually submitted it 2 weeks ago, and still it hasn't come up, so I guess I will submit it again! :)

~Teal :)

Teal | Fri, 06/12/2009

None of my stuff has been

None of my stuff has been submitted for a while either. I'm thinking there's a problem with the website, and have you noticed all the new members have names that bear a striking resemblance to the spammers comments?

"True love is the greatest thing in the world - except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, when the mutton is nice and lean, and the tomato is ripe." - Miracle Max, from The Princess Bride

Bridget | Fri, 06/12/2009

"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

yes, I have noticed the same

yes, I have noticed the same thing!! Do you know what I'm thinking... Should I post the next chapter here in a comment, or maybe edit my chapter and add in Chapter 20...??

~Teal :)

Teal | Fri, 06/12/2009

Navigation

User login

Please read this before creating a new account.