Friday, March 28, 2014

Friends and Enemies // Chapter Twenty Four // News of Attack

   "Ouch!" Willow complained as she tried to turn the spit with the pheasant over the kitchen fire. "I hate cooking," she muttered under her breath as she wiped her hands on the neat apron tied on over her mid-calf length tunic.
   "What was that?" Hyaline trilled as she pulled a fresh loaf of bread out of the brick bread oven.
   "Nothing," she replied sullenly. Then she sighed. "I just don't see how kitchen duty helps."
   Aliatha twirled her ankle length skirt away from the fire and smiled at her grumpy friend. "The fighters need to eat, correct? Well, than they cannot fight without being strong from healthy nutrition. So that is how this helps."
    "I know," Willow puffed, trying to peel the pheasant off of the spit. "Eesh, this thing's hot. Anyway, I've been wondering where Teclemith, Killian and Immer are. I mean, it's been like a week."
   Bréda trotted into the stuffy kitchen with a basket of apples on her hip. "Here are the apples, Hyaline," she announced, sliding the woven basket onto the table top. "Betro promised to teach me to sword fight!" she told the trio of older girls excitedly.
   "Cool," Willow affirmed, reaching for a bottle of sauce to pour over the successfully cooked pheasant.
   "That is probably for the best," Aliatha commented softly. "Though I detest the thought of such youths handling such weapons of war."
   Hyaline bobbed her head in agreement. "They should not grow up on war," she murmured.
   "Where is Betromith?" Willow inquired, scooping up a handful of apples for peeling.
   Bréda shrugged. "He is speaking with the prince, I believe. He's concerned about Teclemith and Killian still remaining in Gossgath."
   Hyaline glanced longingly out the window towards Gossgath. "I am concerned as well. I do hope 'Clem is doing well." Her expression held fear.
   Willow caught it and shook her head. "I'm sure they're fine, Hyaline. Maybe Sir Jehonathan is collecting money for our cause, and that is what's delaying them."
   Hyaline didn't look convinced, but nodded anyway.
   Willow peered out the window. "Looks like Asharlah's having fun," she remarked, obviously rather annoyed at being left to be a kitchen maid. Asharlah's greenish blue eyes danced as she and Emmeth playfully practiced with their swords.
   "Willow, your next pheasant is burning," Aliatha noted.
   "Gah!" Willow gasped and grabbed for the spit, burning her fingers on the hot metal. "Hot, hot, hot, hot," she muttered through clenched teeth, sticking her hand into the bowl of water next to the window. "Ah."
   The other girls giggled at her plight. "Here, next time, use the mitt," Aliatha snickered.
   "Lunch is served," Willow announced, balancing one tray of tasties on her hip and one on her hand.
   "It smells wonderful," Emmeth replied, reaching for a pheasant.
   Asharlah batted his hand away. "Cousin, you really must learn better manners!" she teased.
   Emmeth grinned as he filled his plate. "Whatever you please, dear Cousin."
   Willow rolled her eyes at Hyaline over his head as she took a seat next to the princess.
   "Get anything done today?" she asked pointedly, sticking a fork into her pheasant.
   Asharlah shrugged. "Not much, but we did practice a little with our weapons."
   "Nice," Willow interjected, trying not to feel annoyed at Asharlah not helping in the kitchen.
   "So , Emmeth, have you heard anything from Teclemith, Killian, and Immer from Gossgath?" Willow asked.
   Emmeth shook his head, a worried expression flashing over his face. "No. I am starting to worry. It has been a week."
   Asharlah started to look worried as well. "What about Ganymede? What if something has happened to all of them?"
   Hyaline's eyes grew fearful. "Should we send someone?" she suggested softly.
   "I'll go," Willow volunteered, taking a bite of pheasant.
   Emmeth shook his head. "We cannot have you cavorting around the land all of the time," he disproved.
   Willow sighed dramatically. "You guys never let me have any fun," she muttered.
   Emmeth reached over Asharlah and patter her hand teasingly. "Maybe soon there will be something "fun" to do."
   He didn't know how right he was.


   Willow rolled over for the twentieth time, trying to find a comfortable spot on her bunk. She heard Aliatha grown under her, from the bottom bunk.
   "Willow, must you move so?" she complained. "It makes such noise!"
   "Sorry-" Willow started, but was interrupted by a shout of "Rider Approaching!"
   Pillows and blankets flew through the dark room as the five girls tossed their bedclothes out of the way and made for the door. Bréda grabbed Hyaline's hand as they pushed through the wood door and hurried towards the wall.
   "Who goes there?" shouted the night watch, leaning down with his torch to try to get a look at the rider's face.
   "Immer of Loriath," came the reply.
   "Let her in," Willow called to the guard manning the gate. "I can vouch for her."
   The gate screeched as it was lifted up, and a grey speckled horse galloped through with a purple-cloaked rider. Immer jerked her horse to a halt and slid down, tossing the reigns to a guard.
   "Willow!" she called, her eyes wide with fear. "I need to see the prince, I have urgent news from Gossgath."
   "C'mon, I'll take you," Willow grabbed Immer's hand and hurried to the prince's quarters. "Emmeth, we have a messenger."
   The prince stuck his head out of the door, his hair matted and rather comical, and squinted at the girls. "Is something wrong?"
   Immer nodded hard. "Yes, you must call a council. Gossgath is in grave danger."


   "Mistress Immer, if you would kindly explain the message you have," Sir Richard requested. You would never have guessed that he'd been sleeping twenty minutes ago. He looked like he'd been up for hours with the calm expression of slight concern on his face.
   Immer stood up and cleared her throat. "As you might have known, Sir Jehonathan has been appointed Knight of Gossgath in place of his brother {here she nodded to Sir Richard}. Fortunately, we {ahem, Teclemith, Killian and I} have investigated and he appears to be on our side. Unfortunately, the so called "king" has discovered this and has sent warnings by messengers that Gossgath will be sieged if the Knight does not comply. And just yesterday morning, news was sent that there are troops of orcs and the military that are marching."
   Muffled protests were heard as Immer paused to let her words to sink in.
   "What should we do?" Kadesh blurted out, glancing at his father first, then the prince.
   Sir Richard appeared deep in thought. "The so called king is obviously serious about this. It appears that he believes that a show of strength and power at Gossgath will bully the people into silence."
   "Well played, " Willow muttered.
   Emmeth stood and turned to Immer. "Does Gossgath have adequate means for defending itself?"
   Immer nodded. "They are hurriedly evacuating all women and children and are stocking up on food supplies."
   More murmurs rippled through the group. "He has no right!" cried one. "Make 'em leave!" "Chase 'em off!"
   "Silence!" Emmeth yelled. He drew in a long sigh. "What do you recommend?" he asked Sir Richard in a low voice.
   "I recommend helping Gossgath defend itself. It will show our strength and unity to the people," he advised.
   Emmeth nodded, than threw a fleeting glance at Willow, as if to make sure she approved. She gave an ever-so-slight nod.
   He turned to Immer once more. "When do you expect the soldiers?"
   "Within two days," she replied.
   The prince sighed. "We leave at dawn. I want everyone who will be going to have a bow, quiver, a dagger, and a sword. You are all dismissed."
   As the rest of the council got up and made their way out of the turret room, Emmeth caught Willow's arm and waited until the rest of the group had gone.
   "I am going to be leaving Sir Richard in charge. I would like you to come with me to advise me. You have the most experience with the Shadow and orcs, and that knowledge may be invaluable," the prince requested.
   "Prince, I do not believe that bringing a lady along would be the best idea-" Sir Richard began.
   "I know, Sir, but her knowledge may be indispensable," Emmeth argued.
   "I'll go," Willow interrupted. "I know I'll be able to help."


   "Bow, quiver, dagger, sword," Willow recited as she picked up each item.
   "Are you sure that this is a good idea?" fretted Aliatha, handing Willow her grey cloak. "I just think that you would be much safer here with us in Essgarothe."
   "Promise not to do any actual fighting, and to stay far away from anyone who might hurt you?" Hyaline questioned, handing her a canteen.
   "Sure, sure. I'll try," Willow assured them, hitching her quiver over her shoulder. "See you when we beat them." She hugged each girl in turn.
   "Be careful," Bréda whispered into Willow's ear as she bent down to wrap her arms around the little girl.
   "Cross my heart," Willow whispered back. Than standing up, she gave them a cocky salute, than hurried down to the courtyard to join the others.

   Hey guys! Sorry about last Friday, we were busy and I didn't think about doing a quotes post until after Friday, which was kinda dumb. Anyway, now is now.
   But next week D and I have a week of rehearsing for a small play that out homeschool group is putting on. We {and our friend} are playing Southern Belles, and I just got my dress yesterday. Maybe we'll do a photoshoot and show you our awesome outfits!
   So D probably isn't going to post because of the intense schedule of the newt week, but I hope to post my next chapter next week. I'm going to be working on it this weekend, so I hope it's finished by then. If it isn't, know that it is a monumental chapter and its implications are large.

   Be a friend, not an enemy,



  1. Loved the chapter Willow!
    Have fun at your drama! :-) (though I will miss the D's next chapter. :-( )

  2. Thanks so much, Mary! I hope we will {I'll update when I post the chapter}.

  3. That was awesome, Willow!! Your characters are so relatable! I found myself fully sympathising with Willow as she was making her desperate attempts to cook, until I remembered... Oh, I love to cook. x) Keep up the good work! (you should definitely get around to posting pictures of your new dress! How fun!) As always, I eagerly await your next chapter.=)

    1. Thank you, Margaret! Yeah, I think I was hungry when I wrote it, and so it kinda went on from there while I envisioned food....

  4. I loved this chapter! Sorry for commenting so late. BTW, just so you know, my family and I will be very busy for about two weeks. So if I don't comment in a while then you know the reason is not because I'm avoiding you. I hope that made sense. Basically I won't have time to comment for about two weeks.

  5. I don't think I told you this, but we drove by a store and it was called 'Mckee Auto', and it reminded me of Connor:)


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