"Do you really think that your plan will work?" Twenty year old Hyaline asked as she fitted Willow for a dark green tunic she was altering. Willow threw her a confident grin.
"Of course it'll work. It's so crazy, it has to work," she stated calmly.
Willow blew her long bangs off of her forehead. "Thanks, Hyaline. Just give me a shout when you're ready, kay?"
"Of course," came the reply.
Willow stepped out of the stone room onto the wall of Essgarothe. She
ran her fingers gently over the rough stone of the wall as she observed
the courtyard scenes below.
Even though several "rebels" had been captured, most had escaped the
trap laid for them by the Shadow lord. Tash may have talked big, but he
wasn't as scary as the stories made him out to be. But unfortunately,
Sir Richard, Betromith and some other guy named Shemesh had been
captured and were scheduled to be hanged the next day at twelve noon. Unless we stop them!
Willow assured herself. She, Emmeth, Kadesh and Teclemith had formed a
daring and rather foolhardy plan. And a lot of it rested on her
Doubts flitted through her mind. Can you really do this? Is your
hand that steady and your aim that true? What if it isn't as good as you
say it is? Are you just trying to show off? To try to show them what
you're made of? The doubts nagged mercilessly. No, I can do this. I can and I must.
Clash. The sound of two swords colliding pierced
the misty air. Teclemith and Emmeth were practicing their sword skills
before the Plan was carried out.
"Emmeth, are you sure you want to
be present at the carrying out of the Plan?" Teclemith asked as he
dodged a blow and countered it.
Emmeth rolled his eyes. "Of course I do! This plan is brilliant! There's is no way that I would miss it!"
"Will you be one of the bowmen?" Teclemith inquired, ducking to avoid Emmeth's sword.
Emmeth dodged Teclemith's sword. "No, my bow skills are limited. But I
intend to be a foot-soldier, though probably in disguise."
Teclemith nodded. "That makes sense, for safety I mean....." His voice
trailed off as he glanced up at the wall where a young lady dressed in
one of his sister's dresses was perched with her eyes closed, the breeze
ruffling her very long, almost black dark hair. Emmeth caught his eye
"You like her?" he teased.
Teclemith reddened, but he managed
to comment in a measured voice, "I admire her spirit. Now if you don't
mind, Prince, I must get to preparing for tomorrow." He quickly sheathed
his sword and darted away. Emmeth laughed again and shook his head.
Sheathing his sword himself, he glanced up at Willow. She had since
opened her eyes and gave him a pleasant wave. He waved back and headed
to his quarters. He had to prepare as well.
"It's awesome, Hyaline!" Willow exclaimed as she admired her reflection in the full-length mirror. "Wow, you did this all today? It would take me a year!"
Hyaline blushed. "It really isn't very complicated. All I did was alter
one of Teclemith's tunics and add the split skirts and attach a hood,"
"Still!" Willow hurried over to her new friend and threw her arms around her. "Thank you so much!" Hyaline hugged her back.
"Anything for a friend," she stated.
"But we've only just become friends!" Willow pointed out.
"We are commanded by the Writ to be hospitable. And you have made
that easy. But now I must depart, for our home is a bit of a walk from
here, and I need to help my mother with supper," Hyaline explained
Willow nodded. "Okay. Are you coming tomorrow to help me get this on before the Plan goes into motion?"
Hyaline winked. "Wouldn't miss it."
As she started down the road, she called back over her shoulder. "Farewell my friend!" and waved. Willow waved back.
She's so nice! As she turned around cheerfully, she bumped
hard into Teclemith. "Oops! Sorry Teclemith. I didn't see you there,"
Blushing, Teclemith nodded and hurried away. Willow cocked her head after him. That's weird. Why didn't he say anything? She wondered. Ah well, I'd better go get some rest.
Hyaline helped Willow pull on her new tunic. "Ouch, do you have to make those laces that tight?" Willow complained.
Hyaline rolled her eyes. "Of course! It's designed to be
comfortable-fitting. Now let me look at you." She neatly tied off the
laces and stood back. "You look like an ancient lady hero! Now, don't
forget to stay back. The young men will take care of the fighting. I
don't want you to come back wounded, you hear?"
Willow nodded. "I know, I know. But something's bound to happen that'll need my help."
Hyaline sighed. "Then do try to stay out of it. We need you, and if you're injured...." she trailed off uncertainly.
Knock knock. "Come in!" Willow invited as Hyaline started on her hair. Teclemith entered.
"Ahem, could I speak to Willow for a moment?" Teclemith asked
nervously. Hyaline winked at her friend as she left to fetch a brush.
Willow rolled her eyes after her.
Teclemith reached to his belt
and unbuckled an impressive sheath with interesting designs all over it.
He grasped the hilt that protruded from one end and drew it out. It
glinted in the sunlight filtering in from the window. Willow's chocolate
shyly and handed it and the sheath to her. "I think you should have
this. I found it long ago, and now I think you could use it. You don't
seem to have a dagger at the moment," he offered.
Drawing out the dagger, she admired the blade. "What's written on
it?" she inquired, lifting it up to her face to examine it better. "Oh,
it's elvish! A light from the shadows shall spring. That's from the All That is Gold prophecy. Why is it on this dagger?" She lifted an inquiring eyebrow.
Teclemith shrugged. "I actually do not know. But I'm sure you could use it."
Willow smiled at him as she buckled the sheath to her belt. "Thanks so
much Teclemith. Though I hope I won't have to use it, you know?"
"This is it!" cried the prince
as he stood on the wall of Essgarothe above his "army". "Soon we must
fight to free our comrades!" Everyone cheered.
"And now I would like to let the newest addition to our team, Willow
Elvish-grace, speak." Emmeth nodded to Willow, who took a deep breath,
smiled and stepped up to the edge of the wall.
"I would like us
all to remember this. You are never in control, no matter what anybody
says. So trust in the One who has complete control of everything. The
Author is the one who will win this fight for us. He decides the
winners. And I believe that he will aid us, if we ask him." She nodded
and stepped back.
Kadesh stepped forward next. "I am sure that you all have heard of
our Plan. And now may I ask that you all divide as instructed into
separate groups. If you need any further instruction, please come to me.
Then Emmeth stepped forward and motioned for everyone to bow their
heads. "Dearest Author, we ask you now to protect us all as we carry our
our Plan. Steady the shaking fingers, quell the fears. Direct the
arrow's path. Please allow us to rescue our dear comrades, and protect
us from the Shadow. Amen." Than turning to the crowd, he directed. "Let
us be on our way!"
"This tree is uncomfortable. The stupid branches
are poking me in the back." Willow whispered across the branches to
Kadesh, who was settled on another branch about six feet away from hers.
Kadesh, whom she could barely see in his green-and-brown tunic and the
moonlight, shook his head.
"These are the only trees that we can get a good shot at the
execution area. There are no other such trees in the capital," he hissed
Willow grunted softly, but couldn't argue because a patrol walked right under the leaves of their tree. I knew I shoulda chosen a building, and not a park! she reprimanded herself. But this was the best way that they could come up with, but albeit was risky and a bit crazy.
The night passed rather fitfully, mostly because of the patrols. And
the fact that sleeping in a tree was quite difficult, because you
couldn't sleep very well for fear of falling out of said tree.
Willow managed to get through the night all right, though sleep only
came for about twenty minutes at a time. She was bleary-eyed and dozing
when a sharp horn sounded and she nearly fell. Clutching at a branch for
dear life, she peered through the thick branches, trying to see the
execution platform. The prisoners were being led to the platform, but
they would be set upon horses and then hung.
She checked around her to make sure everyone was in position.
Teclemith had climbed to the highest point he could go, and would give
the signal. Kadesh had already pulled an arrow from his quiver and was
preparing to string his bow, as had Killian. Two bowmen, one more to go, Willow prompted herself as she reached for her own quiver.
For a quick confidence boost, she ran her fingers over the silvery
wood of her quiver, then lifting the silvery chain from around her neck
and freeing the shining golden ring from it. Sliding it onto her right
ring finger, she slid an arrow from the quiver and laid it against her
bowstring. Then shifting her position ever-so-slightly, she made sure
that she had a clear shot through the branches. Right.
Than came the worst part. The agonizing wait.
[Note from the authoress: I wrote Teclemith's "like likeness" into the story, and later in the book it will be kind of explained more. Another note, I have no crushes on any of my characters(;]
[Note: I sincerely apologize for not getting this chapter up sooner. I had a bad cold type thing for the whole of the week before last, with a high fever every day for about four/five days. So I couldn't write this chapter. I spent most of last week working on and editing it. I've already started on Chapter Eight and hope to finish it very soon.]