Friday, September 5, 2014

Friends and Enemies // Chapter Thirty Four // One to the Seven

After about fifteen minutes, Willow and Tajoreth were getting desperate. The books only mentioned things like "beware the Dark Lord" and not things like "the Dark Lord is so-and-so". It was rather frustrating, to say the least. Until...
   "Here it is! At least, it looks like it," Willow called in a loud whisper to Tajoreth. Then, reading out loud, she quoted the book. "The Dark Lord is from another world, where he perished. But Seven survived, and many will seek them...."
   Tajoreth was concentrating on the trying to understand what that all meant, while Willow's voice trailed off. No, she thought. It can't be.
   Tajoreth gently lifted the book out of her hands and continued reading. "It is said that they will seek One of the Seven on Tashra, where they will also seek a Host for it."
    Willow's face had been slowly draining of color ever since she had read the confusing passage about One and Seven, but now her face seemed even paler. "That doesn't sound good."
   He glanced at her. "What is it? I do not understand, what are the Seven and One?"
   She shook her head, recovering from her shock. "I think it's talking about one of the Shadow Lords. He was killed a long time ago, in a different world. But Seven of his things somehow survived, it says. And they have great power - well not really - but they could, if used with the right person, I suppose. But why on earth would they want those? And how would they even get here? Oi, this is too confusing. Let's get out of here," she concluded, nodding to Tajoreth. He nodded back, and together, they blew out the few candles they had lit and quietly slipped out of the library.
   Willow hugged her arms around her as if she was cold, and her face revealed that her thoughts were conflicting. Tajoreth didn't know what he should do, so he gave her shoulder a kindly pat. She grinned at him gratefully.
   "I'll go get the others," she murmured as they reentered the ballroom. He patted her hand on his arm as a reassurance, and they parted. He nudged a masked Killian with his shoulder, and the red head nodded slightly. He noted across the room where Willow and Teclemith were strolling together as if chatting, in a wide circle around the ballroom, and had almost reached the servant's door where they would all exit.
    Teclemith and Willow were waiting for Killian a little while down the passage, past the doors to the kitchen, where more servants were likely to be.
   "This way." Killian took the lead, and led the others down several flights of stone stairs, towards the dungeons.
   "Nice sleeves," he muttered to Willow, indicating her bright orange sleeves on her dress.
   "When you stand out, nobody thinks you mean any trouble," she muttered back.
   "Here we are," Teclemith announced, taking a ring of keys down from a nail on the wall.
   A crow cawed at the from one of the barred windows, its eyes glinting in the moonlight. Everyone barely glanced at it, but a twinge in Willow's mind made her take another look. The crow stared straight back at her, and she almost felt like it knew who she was. If she'd had her bow, she would have shot it, but she only had a little dagger, barely bigger than a letter opener. You're being silly, Willow, she lectured herself. The crow gave another loud caw, then flew off.
   "The prince is not in his cell," Teclemith muttered, glancing through the bars of one of the cells. A sudden groaning echoed through the damp prison.
   "Emmeth!" cried Willow with surprise. The prince was secured with his arms fastened to some sort of wooden thing, in a cell.
   The prince let out another groan as the two guys rushed to unbind him and Willow hurried to help Asharlah up from where she lay in the cell next door. "Trap," he muttered hoarsely.
   "What?" Teclemith asked, leaning closer, a feeling of alarm alerting his senses.
   "Trap!" he uttered, louder this time, loud enough that the duo stopped what they were doing and stared at him.
   "No, it can't be a-" Killian began, but was cut off by the sound of heavy boots on the stone floor and the cawing of a crow.
   "Hurry!" cried Teclemith, whipping out his knife and sawing at the ropes as hard as he could.
   Willow hurriedly grabbed Killian's knife that he tossed to her and scrambled to cut the ropes on the other side, while he awaited the trap, as Asharlah stumbled to the side door, opened it, and struggled out.
   Because Killian was facing the danger, he had the best view of the group coming to get them. The leader was someone whom he didn't recognize, but was somehow familiar. He was much smaller than all the other guards and such advancing towards them at a great pace. He was wrapped in a ragged, almost papery sort of hooded cloak, that extended down past his waist to his leggings, which were long strips of rough grey fabric wrapped around each leg. The only actual part of him that he saw were his eyes, like empty pits, dark and hollow, but fringed in dark eyelashes and dark purple eyeshadow. And that was what made Killian second guess the judgement that the person was a young man. Hanging around the black eyes, where pieces of what looked like hair, but could have been threads from the tattered cloak. The crow that they had all seen earlier rested on her shoulder, its eye glittering fiercely. All of this takes time to say, but they were going too fast that there was barely time for Killian to realize that Teclemith and Willow had freed Emmeth and had slung each of his arms over one of their shoulders, and were half-carrying him down the few steps, out of the cell, and towards a side door that Teclemith had seen out of the corner of his eye as they had come in.
   Killian had had the sense to slam the "extra" prison door that guarded the prince shut, and jam a metal thing in the handle. As their enemies reached it, the girl (Killian had now decided that the small person was definitely female) said something to the crow in a low voice. The crow seemed to nod, then squeezed through the bars and dive-bombed Killian. He let out a cry and started to slash at it with his sword, but the infernal bird kept at it, trying to peck at him ferociously.
   "Killian!" Willow's half-screaming voice pierced through the frantic cawing sounds and the sound of metal striking metal, because his sword was striking the bars of the cell, and sparks were flying. Somehow, the flat of his sword struck the bird, and it tumbled to the ground. Killian darted for the door just as their enemies broke through the prison door and the black-clad girl had her hand almost on his shoulder. Teclemith slammed the side door shut after Killian and shoved a rock into the handle.
   "Hurry," Teclemith directed, and they hurried to where Liberty had landed. Willow was already on her bird and was trying to help Emmeth onto the Kestrel. Asharlah was trying to help as well, but she was obviously very weakened.
   "We're almost there," Willow gasped, and Emmeth fell weakly behind her on the immense saddle. Teclemith and Killian leaped up behind him, and Willow directed Liberty to take flight.
   As she was, the rock that was holding the handle shut shattered, and the evil group was through. Willow urged Liberty on, and the Thunderbird flapped her great wings and they lifted into the air. Killian glanced down over his shoulder at the group of their enemies growing smaller and smaller. The black-clad girl had been handed a bow from one of the guards, and was aiming it up at them. It would have taken a superb archer to reach them. Killian heard the arrow hiss as it whistled past him. He smirked to himself. Who did she think she was? Liberty carried them off into the night sky, where no stars twinkled, and a chilly wind blew.


   The girl in black yanked her hood off down, and glared up at the slowly disappearing Kestrel. Her black eyes, Shadow eyes, slowly faded back to what she looked like when she looked human. She was human, in a sense. Her now brown eyes peered angrily over a black lower face covering that concealed her true identity. She let out an annoyed breath and snatched her quiver of arrows from an attending guard. Without a word, she stomped back into the castle, but not without one last glare towards the now tiny bird on the horizon. We will meet again, Willow Elvish-grace, and when we do, dark will rise. 

Wow, that was a loooooooooooooonnngggg time coming!
I am so sorry that it took so long! You see, I am an introvert, and a type of introvert that doesn't do well without a schedule, and I didn't have a schedule this summer, so my plans didn't work out as I'd, well, planned. But now choir's going to be back soon, and we're working through a learn-to-sew book, and I'm sure I'm going to start cooking, so at least I have something.
Well, our great uncle {on our mom's side} died a few Mondays ago, and today is the funeral. I only recall seeing him twice in my entire life, so I didn't know him very well. But if any of you feel like praying, my grandma is very sad, so I'm sure she would appreciate your prayers :)
Also, I have what seems to be a salivary or something gland infection, because it hurts on one side of my face. It was probably cause by either my previous cold {I got it from my family last Saturday} or my braces. So my face on my right side, if you looked straight on at me, your left, is slightly puffy, but ever so slightly, mind you.
So Billie and Ammie are back! Yeppers! I really hope that they can visit us soon, we have some fun cosplay stuff for our website planned!
D has been plugging away at her book, unlike me, who's lazy, so go check hers out!
Any questions on the chapter are always welcome, but don't forget, I don't reveal spoilers!

Be a friend, not an enemy,


Postscript || Don't forget the new FAQ page! But please no comment-debate type things, thank you! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Watchmen Files // The Christmas Edition // Chapter Seven // Christmas Shoes

Hey guys!

It's Darrion again.

   Well, looks about time for the next chapter of the Christmas Edition, doesn't it! Well, you get one! I hope you enjoy this. I liked writing it. This chapter is based off of the song Christmas Shoes (which you may have already guessed).

Anyway, time to read!

You probably don't want to listen and read at the same time, since this one has words in it.

    Mason stared at his two choices with disgust, and quickly rechecked the list. The handwriting was shaky, in all capitals, and written on a pad of Disney Princess themed paper. It had two options underlined wobbly: the newest Brats doll or the Princess Rapunzel doll.   Mason uncomfortably shifted, not knowing which one to choose. He knew that Mrs. Harrison had said not to get her any of the bigger dolls, since she already had two of them.
   But the Brats doll was just too stupid in his opinion to bare paying for. Big eyes with dark lashes, sparkly pink eyeliner, and itty-bitty shorts was not the example he wanted for his little cousin.
   Peaking around the corner, he hissed for his wing-man. "Con?"
   Moments later, Conner sheepishly walked down the pink and purple aisle of girlyness to his friend's rescue. "What?"
   Mason quickly explained his situation to him, hoping for a good solution.
   "Well... that one seems nice," he pointed to the big eyed eighteen inch doll.
   "But she doesn't need another one of them."
   "Then get her a board game or something," Conner suggested with a shrug.
   Mason rolled his eyes. "Are you kidding? Nobody plays board games anymore."
   "That's ridiculous," Conner insisted. "I play them."
   "Exactly. You're stuck in the past-"
   Conner pulled back, offended. "Excuse me sir! I have been called many different things, but I am certainly not stuck in the past. In fact, I bought all of my Christmas presents off of the interweb this year."
   Mason just sighed in response, dropping the question as Conner's phone buzzed. It was a shipping report, telling him that one of his packages would arrive the next day. Peering over his best friend's shoulder, he saw the idem: a pretty green scarf. Must be for his sister, Mason assumed.
   "What about art supplies? Does she like that?" Conner suggested, slipping his phone back into his pocket.
   "Oh, yeah, I'll go see if they have anything good."

   Checking his watch, Mason tapped his foot impatiently for the line to shorten. Since he and Conner had taken Ava, Abbie, and Tessa out to go see Santa (no comment on how that trip had turned out) so that Mr. and Mrs. Harrison could do some shopping, they had let the boys go get some presents at the store. It was nearing Christmas day, and all of the stores were busy, even in the early morning, as they found out. The line to the cash-register was a long one.
   Not to mention the squirmy little boy standing in front of him. Where were his parents, anyway?
   Pulling his hoodie farther over his face, Mason glanced up at the security cameras. He had to be mindful of everything, and always on alert. One never knew when a Hydra agent or contact was watching.
   Time crawled, but eventually he was second in line. The kid in front of him plopped a woman's shoebox on the counter. He looked about seven or eight, and had wide gaps where his two front teeth should have been. His own shoes were worn well, but the box on the table obviously wasn't for him.
   He cleared his throat and looked up at the weighty cashier. "Sir, can I get these shoes, please?"
   "If you got the money, kid," the man grumbled as he scanned the item.
   He emptied the contents of his pockets and counted out a few dollars, but mostly loose change. "Six dollars 25 cents, six dollars 65..."
   Mason let out a heavy sigh. This is going to take years.
   "Um, twelve dollars and fifty cents," he stated the finale tally proudly.
   The man looked over the small stash of quarters and stray dollar bills. "Kid, these shoes are fourteen ninety-nine. You don't have enough here. Plus tax."
   The boys eyes got big, and he frantically searched his pockets. "B-but-"
   "Sorry kid," the cashier shrugged, then looked up. "I can help the next in line!"
   "But sir, these shoes are for my mama!" He tried to explain, panicked. "She's been sick for a while, and I know these shoes will make her smile, and I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight!" His sad blue eyes filled with tears. "Daddy says there's not much time. Mama made Christmas good at our house, most years she didn't get anything for herself. Tell me sir, what am I gonna do? I gotta buy her these Christmas shoes!"
   Mason's heart went out to the kid. The whole situation made him think of his own mom, who he hadn't seen since he was fourteen. She was gone, and he was left on his own. A huge hole left in his heart, a sickening feeling in his stomach. And this boy, he was going to lose his mom, too. But he wanted to give her one last gift, a pair of shoes. Mason had never had the opportunity to say goodbye, or give her one last Christmas gift. But he wanted to give that boy the chance, a chance he never had.
   Without saying a word, Mason reached into his pocket, emptied his wallet of a ten dollar bill, then slapped it onto the counter. The cashier cocked an eyebrow and took the money, counting out the change for the kid.
   The boy himself looked up at Mason, his sad blue eyes brightening. "Thank you, mister!" Grabbing the shoebox, he would never forget the look on that boy's face as he rushed off toward the front doors shouting, "Mama's gonna look so great!"

   "You ready?" Conner trotted up to him, that pleasant look he nearly always had on his face. Noting how Mason was simply standing, bag in hand, Conner questioned, "Is something wrong?"
   "Uh, no, not at all..." he trailed, still thinking about the little boy. Quickly, he gave Conner the short version of the story.
   He smiled and said, "I think God sent that little boy."
   "What for?"
   "To remind us that Christmas is all about." Conner turned around, back to the front doors and facing the cashiers and merchandise. "Look around you. Look at all of those people. Just going through the process, buying what they think will make them happy. Do they even know what Christmas is about?"
   Shifting, he answered, "I'm not sure I follow."
   "Christmas is so material these days," Conner explained plainly. "They think it's all about having fun, staying with family, and getting gifts. And yes, those are all good things, but the reason for Christmas, the true meaning of Christmas, is the birth of Jesus. Sure, we're not sure what exact day it was when He was born, but this is our time to celebrate it anyway. That God sent His Son into the world to be born in a stable, then to go on and die on a cross, for our sins. It's... beautiful. And I think that little boy knows it."
   Mason nodded, watching as the people pushed through the line. He had never noticed it before, but they did have those blank, dead expressions. Like there was no meaning to what they were doing. No soul. Focusing on the reflection in the glass doors, Mason found that he too had that look. He didn't look sad, or angry, but inside, he knew the truth. He was. Oh, he was so lost. It made him shudder.
   "Well, better be heading back before traffic gets too rough," Conner reasoned, taking one of Mason's plastic bags for him. After another long look in the glass, he quickly followed Conner outside.
   The sun wasn't shining, thanks to the heavy clouds looming down on them. A puff of condensation appeared when he let out a breath, and Mason quickly buttoned up his heavy coat to fight off the biting cold.
   Suddenly, the same little boy who had bought the Christmas shoes was standing on the curb, crying out for help. Immediately, both Conner and Mason up to him. "What's wrong?"
   "He stole it!" The boy insisted, pointing out into the parking lot as a character in a dark coat and blue hat raced through it. "He stole my mama's shoes!"

Okay, that's everything for today! Next chapter? You guys asked for it. A chase scene! But I'm getting ahead of myself :)

Thanks for reading, and tell me what you think! I hope you guys have a fantastic week! :)

Always Watching,