Two Children, An Enchanter, and Three Horsemen; Chapter 22

Fiction By Teal // 6/24/2009

Chapter 22

Jane groaned slightly, as the carriage hit a bump in the road with a sickening lurch.
“What?” She sat up. The carriage was moving!
Hastily, she opened the curtains and peeked out at the driver’s seat. The moon’s radiant light shone upon the gray-haired driver with the reins in his aged but capable hands.
“How long have we been on the road, sir?”
“We have been on the road since midnight, milady. We shall arrive at the home of Luella Elnar at daybreak. It is best to sleep now that you might arrive fresh and wide awake in the morning.”
“Thank you, sir.” Jane closed the curtains once more and lay back down on the cushions.

* * *

“Andrija! Come on, come on! Will, do you have that water yet?”
In reply, a voice called out from across the street, accompanied by the screeching sound of a pump working up and down, and the splashing sound of water pouring into a tin pail.
Hurried steps raced through the darkness towards Roland and Will stood with the pail in hand. Roland dipped his hand into the water, and sprinkled a few drops on Andrija’s face.
A few tense moments passed, then Andrija murmured faintly, her eyelids fluttered, and she sat up. She looked about, bewildered, for a moment. Then she gave a high and tremulous gasp and sank back down, tears pouring down her cheeks.
“H-he’s…”
Roland turned away, unable to control his emotion.
Andrija sobbed into her hands. Will’s head drooped and salty tears splashed into the dim waters of the tin pail.
After a moment, Andrija looked up, her face wet and glistening in the moonlight. “He…He’s d-dead, isn’t h-he?”
Roland turned towards them, dashing the tears from his eyes. “Ah, but no! Not now, but he soon will be. Matrim is to be burned at the stake at sunrise.”
Andrija stood up. “What? He…he’s not dead?”
Will dropped the tin pail to the ground with a clatter. “What are we waiting for? We must do something! We must save him! We’ll storm the castle! We can’t just let him die!”
Roland shook his head. “There is nothing we can do but follow Matrim’s last orders. We must round up the peasants from the surrounding countryside and organize an army.”
Andrija’s blue eyes flashed. “Then that’s just what we’ll do! We’ll raise an army! With the peasant’s aid, we will storm the castle and save Matrim!”
Roland laughed hysterically, unsteadily. “In three hours? The sun rises at 6:00. It is 3:00 now!”
Andrija stood tall and defiant. “We must do something. And we must do something now.”

* * *

It was nearly 3:50 when the three reached the village. Will stood beside Andrija while Roland pulled a silvery horn from his belt and blew it four times: to the north, the south, the east, and the west.
The villagers poured out of their wretched huts, muttering curiously and gathering around Roland. A vast crowd formed around the three young people. Hundreds of peasants blinked sleepily and strained to hear through the uproar. Peering into the dark crowd, Will thought he saw a little child about Casia’s height, but he could not be sure.
“Wot’s this?”
“Some chillens, looks like. Now what’d they want with us, eh?”
“Wha in the ‘nchanter’s name?”
“Spake up, spake up, lassie! We cain’t hear ya none.”
“Villagers! Villagers! Silence!” Andrija shouted. After a moments grumbling and muttering, the peasants quieted.
Andrija gathered her courage, cleared her throat and began. “Villagers, I and my two companions have come to you tonight for assistance. A dear friend of ours has spoken out against the Enchanter’s harsh reign, begging for freedom. He has stood up for the rights of all the people! He has spoken the truth, he has been a light in the darkness of the Enchanter’s courts. And for speaking the truth where the truth is unwanted, he is to be burned at the stake at daybreak!”
Shouts echoed through the brisk and chilly night air.
“What’s this?”
“Poor chap, somethin’ must be done.”
“Curse that ole Enchanter! Thousand curses bae on him for this here sacirilidge.”
Roland bellowed through the turmoil. “Silence! Peace, villagers! Peace!”
After a moment, Andrija continued. “Villagers, we have come to you for help! Will you help us save this noble character from an unjust death? Will you assist us in pursuing the course of Justice?”
The good folk threw their nightcaps in the air, and in a chorus of rough and rowdy voices, all eagerly gave their assent.
“Course we will, poor lil’ feller. Hope we get there in time.”
“Aye!”
“Migh’ as well.”
“Sonny, go on and fetch me my ole pitchfork!”
“Jani, run o’er the hill and fetch the neighboring townsfolk, ya hear?”
“Sure thing, Pa!”
Andrija held up her hand once more, and Roland stood up on the barrel beside her. Then he bellowed his orders. “When you have gathered all the able-bodied men and boys as you can, everyone shall meet here, in the town square. Organize yourselves in ranks, with a main rank of 10 rows, with 20 men a row, and a left and right rank with 5 rows.”
“Yes, sir!”
“Come on then, lads!”
“Hasten! It’s 10 after 4:00, men!”
In another thirty minutes, a great whole host of scantily armed but spirited peasants surrounded the wooden barrel in three neatly organized ranks.
Will spoke loudly. “We shall march silently down the road to the castle. Once at the great gates, we shall divide into groups of 50, quietly entering the town gates every five minutes, as not to create a great scene. We will meet near the city courtroom, do you understand? There, I will give you your next orders. Remember—silence is the key to our victory.”
“Right, sir.” The crowd quieted immediately, and the peasants nodded respectfully.
“Good.” Will took a deep breath before calling: “Right then. Let’s marrrch!”
In the murky darkness, the only sound was the crunching of hundreds of peasant boots on the dirt road that led down into the valley, where the castle lay sinister in the moonlight.
It was five in the morning when a group of 50 peasants filed silently through the castle gates. It was 5:31 when the last group found themselves inside the city. Meandering through the dimly lit streets, they came across the city courtroom and joined the nearly three hundred armed peasants.
The silence hung dark and ominous over the multitude. The armed peasants shuffled into their positions- into the three ranks. Will and Roland told their plan. Every face was taut and drawn in an alert, grim expression. Every eye was wary; each arm gripped its weapon in a fierce grasp, every heart thumped loud and rhythmically inside every man’s chest.
Together, the peasants turned and followed Will and Roland to the palace. Though an ill-equipped, untrained, inexperienced, untested, unproven group of individuals stood little chance against the experienced and ruthless Enchanter’s Army, the peasants’ courage was undaunted. Justice flowed in their lifeblood, justice that had been abused! To the death would they fight for their Liberty! Every man would willingly spill his life-blood upon the paved streets of the Enchanter’s City in the quest for justice!
The darkness of night was receding. The sentries at the gates cast uneasy glances at one another. Who were these peasants? How had they gained entry into the city?
Over the mountains, the brilliant red rays spread their glow. The peasants stood behind the gates of the palace: silent, motionless, yet defiance was written on every face. The sun was rising from behind the majestic purple mountains far in the distance. The peasants stepped forward as one body towards the gates.
The sentries backed away in nervous anticipation.
Every last shadow of darkness had been wiped from the city.
The peasants had reached the city gates.
The sun rose in its full splendor! The palace doors swung open. The Palace Guard marched before the Enchanter himself. The tall, black haired Enchanter was dressed from head to toe in flowing blood-red robes. After him, more guards walked beside Matrim, whose arms were tied behind his back. Dressed all in snowy white, Matrim’s face was peaceful and somehow tranquil. He suddenly tripped on a stone and the rear guard whipped him savagely with the end of a rope, raining strange and horrible curses on the lad.
The stake was set up among vast piles of firewood upon some sort of stone pedestal in the midst of the Palace courtyard. Will peeked through the iron bars of the Palace gates. Matrim was being led up the stone steps to the stake. The guards tied him to the stake.
Roland watched beside Will. A strange feeling tickled up his spine. Was it awe? Dread? Fear? Admiration? It was, most likely, a mixture of them all. How tall Matrim stood, even with his death before him. Not a trace of fear!
He turned his gaze to the Enchanter. Haughty, arrogant, vain, power-hungry… and terrified? Could it be? How ironic! The one who was to be killed had no fear while the killer himself was shaking with terror!
The Enchanter’s soldiers straightened and saluted. The guards parted for the Enchanter, and the man came forward and stood before Matrim.
“The sun has risen! Prepare for your death, young heretic!”
Matrim met the Enchanter’s gaze coldly and evenly. “I am quite prepared.”
The Enchanter gave a laugh, but it was weak and forced. “Do you take back your irrational and foolish words?”
“Never!”
“Then your fate is decided! Die!”
The Enchanter held up his hand to the Sun. His palm seemed to redden and a golden ball appeared in the middle of his hand. It grew rapidly in size until it was a foot in diameter. Flaming, burning, the ball of fire hovered above the Enchanter’s outstretched palm.
“Stop in the name of Justice!”
The Enchanter swung about, his eyes open wide in surprise. A young boy, waving a sword, sat atop the palace gates, hordes of peasants silently standing below him, behind the gates.
“Nagol, forward march!” The crowd of peasants parted as, through the main streets of the city marched a great giant! Towering high above the palace, Nagol stopped at the gates and bent down low. Speaking in what was intended to be a whisper but resounded through the area like thunder, Nagol murmured nervously: “Ah’m dreadfully sorry, but I does ferget what I was to do next, hmm-hmm.”
In answer Will leapt down from the gates. “The gates, Nagol! The gates!”
Nagol’s slow and wrinkly face suddenly brightened, “Ah, sure, nows I remembers. Break the gate, that’s what it were!”
With a deafening crash, the gates crinkled like foil before the mighty fist of Nagol. The peasants poured through the gates. Finally their silence was broken! A roar of righteous rage burst from their three hundred mouths. The sentries fled in disorder, but the guards formed a semi circle about the stake. The Enchanter gave a strangled cry and flung his fire ball straight towards the stake.

Comments

Oh no!!!  Have to say I loved

Oh no!!!  Have to say I loved this chapter though.  Matrim was so brave!!!!!

Bridget | Fri, 06/26/2009

"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

Don't let Matrim dieeee!!! I

Don't let Matrim dieeee!!! I do like him. *nods*

This new chapter is exciting and the peasants are simply hillarious.

Sarah | Fri, 06/26/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

Don't let Matrim dieeee!!! I

Don't let Matrim dieeee!!! I do like him. *nods*

This new chapter is exciting and the peasants are simply hillarious.

Sarah | Fri, 06/26/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

Oh, Teal! Did you have to

Oh, Teal! Did you have to stop it there? Don't you dare, dare, dare let Matrim die! I guess you can see that I love this story...

Anonymous | Sun, 06/28/2009

Anonymous-

I just posted the next chapter, in which you shall see whether our hero reaches a noble end, or cleverly escapes the burning fires!  :)  Ah, thankee! Btw, who are you? :D That sounds very random, but I am curious. :)

~Teal

 

Teal | Sat, 07/04/2009

Sarah-

I like him too, so if he dies, I will be quite heartbroken... ;( It's so hard killing off your own characters. :(

~Teal :) 

Teal | Sat, 07/04/2009

Bridget-

*romantic sigh* I know... :D Hahaha!

~Teal :)

Teal | Sat, 07/04/2009

 Falling in love with

 Falling in love with characters again, are we?

Bridget | Sat, 07/04/2009

"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

Hahaha!

*blushes* Just joking... ;)

~ Teal :)

Teal | Sat, 07/04/2009

The anonymous post was mine.

The anonymous post was mine. For some reason I wasn't able to log in that time. I do love your story! Cheers!

Laura Elizabeth | Sun, 07/05/2009

*************************************************
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

Oooo!!!!!

Whoa! That was an AMAZING chapter! You did such a good job describing things.... Everything seems so professional!! How ever do you manage it???

Kendra | Tue, 07/07/2009

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

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