Friday, October 3, 2014

Friends and Enemies // Chapter Thirty Five // A Secret Drove Your Father Mad

"Emmeth, let me help," Willow demanded as the prince collapsed onto a cot in the medical turret.
   "No," he panted, patting his neck, searching for a chain. He gave a weak smile. "They didn't find it on me. That is a miracle! Thank you," he murmured, glancing skyward.
   "Didn't find what?" she persisted, dipping a towel in a bowl of water. Then changing the subject, she fired questions. "Are you okay? Any cuts, bruises, infections?"
   He shook his head. "Only a few, and no infections. I am a man, I can handle it."
   Willow glanced down at the bandages she was unwrapping. "Sometimes they think they're invincible, and then they fall harder than ever before," she mused to herself.
   Emmeth's sharp ears caught her words, but before he could ask Sir Richard knocked and entered. "Are you well, Prince Emmeth?"
   The prince nodded. "I am well. Only superficial. Mostly just cuts and bruises," he assured the Knight.
   Sir Richard patted him on the shoulder gently. "I am glad to hear it. When would you like to be briefed?"
   Emmeth glanced at the clock. "After breakfast tomorrow. I expect that everything was well handled in my absence."
   Willow elbowed past the Knight and handed Emmeth the wet towel. "Sir Richard did quite well," she informed him.
   Sir Richard grinned. "So did Willow, she can be quite the leader when there is a need."
   Willow shook her head, but a tiny smile showed at her lips. "I only helped out when I was needed, I left all of the hard stuff to him."
   The prince gave an appreciative nod. Then he grew serious, but before he could say anything, there was a quick knock at the door. Killian shoved it open and stuck his head in. "Willow, your bird is having a fit," he informed her.
   "Oh, no!" Willow dropped the bandages she was holding and pushed past him and rushed down the turret stairs to her Thunderbird. "Liberty, calm down!" they heard her call. Hurrying to the window, the prince and knight observed the scene beneath them. Liberty was rearing back as best she could, and spreading her wings and making lots of bird noises. "It's all right, everything's all right," Willow soothed, edging closer to the panicked bird. Picking up her lead rope, she slowly advance, reached her, and began to stroke her feathers to calm her.
   Finally, Liberty calmed down, but she kept turning her head and pecking under her right wing. Willow disappeared as she stepped under the wing, then reappeared as she came out. In her hands lay a black arrow, tipped with a cruel jagged point. A tiny bit of paper was tied to it by a gleaming purple ribbon. Willow gently, as to not touch the tip, carried it up the steps, and closed the door. "This must have been from the person who chased us," she commented by way of explanation.
   "What does the note say?" inquired Sir Richard.
   She slipped her dagger from its sheath at her belt and sliced the ribbon in a clean swipe. It fluttered to the floor as she examined the note. "It says "To the Prince"," she noted, offering it to Emmeth.
   Shrugging, he accepted it and read the flowing script. "A secret drove your father mad, and you know what it was." Glancing up, he noted the expectant gazes of the Knight and the lady. Willow raised her eyebrows as if to say "well?".
   "A secret did indeed drive Father mad," he remarked slowly. "And I do know what it was." Gently, he lifted the brass chain that hung around his neck up, and dangled it from his right hand, covering what hung on it with his left hand.
   "I have never seen what hangs on that necklace," Sir Richard remarked.
   "Neither have I," Willow confessed.
   "Well, if you swear to the utmost secrecy, by your honor and every breath you have taken and will take, you will be allowed to see." Emmeth raised his eyebrows. Both nodded, and he noted that Willow's eye glittered with curiosity, and that she was shivering just a little. He dropped his left hand, letting them see.
   Willow gave a sharp intake of breath, and Sir Richard shifted, but they both stood captivated by the dangling object. It was a ring, made of gold, but tarnished over many years. It had geometric designs on the sides in raised impressions on the sides, and had a blue gem shaped like a rectangle set in the center. "It has been in my family for several generations," he explained.
   "Oh. My. Word," Willow gasped. "That's King Thror of Erebor's Dwarf Ring of Power."
Yay! I FINALLY finished that elusive chapter!
Sorry about not posting it earlier, I just finished it ten minutes ago :)
So crossovers, yay again! Yeah, I know it may not be canon, but it's fun :)
So D continually manages to post her chapters, she's on chapter ten I believe of the Christmas Edition! Go D!
Ammelia and Billie are still recovering from summer camp :)
I'm trying to work on my personal blog, I redid the theme, by the way :)
Too many smiley-faces!
Don't forget, go check out the FAQ page!

Be a Friend, not an Enemy,


Postscript || what do you think about me doing little "character profiles" posts about the personalities and such of le characters?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Watchmen Files // The Christmas Edition // Chapter Ten // Christmases of Old

Hey everyone, so sorry it took me so much longer then usual to post today's chapter!

   I wrote most of it this morning... score one for procrastination :)

   But anyway, yes, it's chapter ten of the Christmas Edition! Yea!

   No more talking for today, right on to the chapter :)

   A harsh blast of winter's icy breath flurried around homes, searching for a vulnerable crack to penetrate.
   A little girl shuddered as she observed the scene, tightening the quilt that was resting on her shoulders. From her perch next to the window, she would view the snowy day from the warmth of home.
   "Ava, dear?" Mrs. Harrison called from the kitchen. "The hot chocolate is ready!"
   Leaping up from the window sear, she bounded over to the kitchen counter and scrambled onto a chair eagerly.
   Mason, who was seated next to her ruffled her hair playfully. "What's up, Rosie?" he used his pet-name for her, which was derived from her middle name, Rose.
   "Nothin'!" she answered, then jubilantly explained, "I'm just so excited! Christmas is only..." counting on her fingers, she estimated "... one week away!"
   "I know," Mason agreed before taking a swig of the warm liquid and thanking Mrs. Harrison for it.
   Conner arrived with the rest of the family and took a cup, adding many of the miniature marshmallows to it an taking a sip. "Ah, very good, Mrs. Harrison. This reminds me of old Christmases abroad."
   "You have lots of fond memories, then?" she wondered aloud, putting a red and white striped candy cane into her mug.
   He nodded, a melancholy look in his eyes.
   Mason knew that look well, though he didn't see it much. Looking to quench his curiosity, he pressed further. "Care to share any?"
   Conner glanced up at him, doubtful.
   "Oh, come on. Just a short one," Mason prodded.
   Ava insisted, clasping her hands together to add effect, "Pretty please?"
   Conner sighed, but reluctantly went on to explain what a Christmas at the McKee's was like. "We would have our friends over for a... sort of party, a week before Christmas. All of our friends would come over. It was a tradition, so they always planned to come and knew they could make it. We would sit around the fire with our cups of hot cocoa, and maybe sing some songs, play our instruments, or open presents," he smiled to himself, remembering how certain friends liked to guess what was in each gift. "It was wonderful."
   "What kind of presents?" Tessa inquired, wiping her chocolate milk mustache.
   "I don't know," he shrugged, resting his chin on his hand. "Probably something fun. They did quite like teasing me. But they weren't mean about it, just good natured fun," he clarified.
   "You miss them?" Mason's question was more like a statement, since from the look in his eyes gave the answer away.
   "Well... of course," he hesitated. "They're my friends. But things change. Don't get me wrong, I sincerely miss them, but... but it's better this way," he shrugged, acting like it wasn't that important to him. But they knew otherwise.
   "You said you played instruments?" Mrs. Harrison noted.
   "Yes, we all did. We would play them together, like a little band of sorts."
   "What did you play?"
   Conner took another long sip of hot chocolate before answering, "The cello, the piano, and I knew a little of the violin."
   "Why don't you play for us?" Mr. Harrison suggested.
   Conner hesitated, then asked, "Would you all like me to?"
   They all nodded in agreement, and he took his place at the piano as the others found a seat on the couch or love seat next to the fireplace.
   He gently tapped the keys, singing softly with it. "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, jack frost nipping at your nose..."
   The beautiful song of Christmas warmed them just like the hot cocoa, making the girls sleepy, and the parents smile. Conner seemed to enjoy himself, having obviously memorized the piano music, he could concentrate fully on singing. "Although it's been said, many times, many ways, marry Christmas to you."
   There was a small round of applause as Conner blushed and found a seat on the couch.
   "Good job, Conner," Mrs. Harrison smiled. "You did great."
   "Well, I've had lots of practice," he admitted.
   "Tell us another story!" Abbie insisted, bouncing up and down on her mother's lap.
   "No, I'm done," Conner declined. "But I'm sure Mason has a story to tell."
   Mason inspected the inside of his mug. "There's not much to tell. My grandparents would rent this cabin out in the woods, and we would always go there for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So my mom would corral my dad and I into the car (he always insisted on driving) and they would argue the entire two hours there. They'd fight about how long it would take to get there, how much snow and ice was on the road, which exit to take, which road would get them there faster... and, being a frisky little kid, I hated car rides. So I would complain the entire way, wiggling around in the backseat, which added to the loudness of our car."
   Conner shook his head, imagining little Mason asking if they were there yet from the backseat as his parents fought over the directions.
   "It was pretty crazy. But once we got there, it wasn't so bad. My Grandma and Grandpa were great, but my aunt and my dad really, really didn't like each other. She thought he was stuck up (which I suppose was kind of true), and he deduced the life out of her. And she brought a different boyfriend, like, every time. And Annie, my cousin, was a nightmare. She always tried to get me to do something I didn't like: play house, do my hair..." he shuttered. "That didn't go well."
   Mrs. Harrison shook her head, "I'm sorry Mason."
   "No, it's fine," he shrugged, "It wasn't that bad. It was kind of funny, actually. But it's not like my dad hated Christmas, it's just that he didn't care. He worked everyday, and he didn't see the reason from stopping for two of them. But, you know, that's how things go sometimes," he shrugged, taking another drink before putting an arm around Ava fondly. "It's much better now."
   Mrs. Harrison got up, taking the empty mugs with her. "Well I hope you have a better Christmas here."
   "I'm sure I will," he agreed, helping her carry them away to the kitchen.

   The cool, dark halls of the Hydra building were bustling with activity, even though it was the holiday season. Hydra agents didn't get holidays, and certainly not one week in advance. Sven, the notably successful mission leader came striding down the halls, searching for a certain door. A guard stood outside, waiting for him. "Heil, Hydra!"
   He saluted in return, then scanned his ID card and entered.
   Unlike most of the more desk like jobs in the building, this room felt comfortable, with a soft red rug and modern art sculptures scattered here and there. The walls were a jet black, with portraits and paintings hung on them. "Well? What do you want?"
   He turned to find the source of the voice, his ever cocky brother. "Dominic-"
   "Don't say my name, it's sir to you," he corrected, taking a large bite of huckleberry tart. "Wuf do yo wan?"
   Clearing his throat, Sven began. "As you know, Christmas is coming very soon, and since I finished the missions early this year, may I have the twenty-fourth and fifth to go to our Grandparent's with Mother? Like last year?"
   Dominic nearly chocked on his tart. "What? No!" Grabbing a file of of his desk, he chucked it at his disappointed brother. "This just in."
   Glancing over the document, Sven became wide-eyed. "They found him?"
   "Oh yeah, we got him this time." Flipping on the big screen TV, he could see a rather fuzzy cell phone video playing.

   "What are you doing? Are you videotaping this?"

   "Oh yeah!"

   "Oh, please... no videos."

   "Are you kidding? You guys are heroes!"
   "This was taken in the state of New York, the precise coordinates are in there," Dominic gestured to the file. "It's your job to hunt him down and bring him back here. Understood?"
   Examining the further instructions inside, Sven nodded, taking the document with him. "Yes sir, I will not let you down again."
   "Boys?" Suddenly, the door burst open and a tall, smartly dressed man swaggered in, with his own guards on either side of him.
   "Fletcher Wiley," Dominic seethed, glaring up a few inches into his dull green eyes. "Who let you in here?"
   "No one," Fletcher Wiley answered with a sinister smirk. "I can open doors myself." Turning away from the elder brother, he started down at younger. "Now, Sven, I have a task for you-"
   "No one gives him orders but me and my father!" Dominic insisted, again coming between Wiley and Sven. "You are not even Hydra!"
   "Of course not," he laughed, his dull eyes staring, and but not laughing with him. "But as you know, your father and I have a deal."
   "And it is a foolish one," he spat, knowing full well what power the man had over him.
   "Hydra will escape the Apocalypse, and I get a few favors. I would say that is a reasonable deal."
   Dominic rolled him eyes. "Your plan will never work."
   "And that is the glory of it," he smiled, moving past him. "And when it does, you will thank me. Now, Sven."
   Sven didn't look into his eyes, but kept his face straight forward. He didn't like how Fletcher Wiley's eyes stared. It was odd, and they seemed so... lifeless. "Yes, sir?"
   "Here is the home address of the safe house Conner McKee and Mason Kruger are staying at," he pulled a business card out of his pocket and scribbled it in his spidery handwriting on the back, then immediately handed it it Sven.
   He opened his mouth, but not knowing what to say in return, didn't speak.
   "No need to thank me," Mr. Wiley smirked. "I have something you can do for me. If you do find and capture Mason Kruger, make sure you take Conner McKee as well."
   Dominic stepped forward suspiciously. "And what will you give us for him?"
   Turning so that they were face to face, he answered with no drama, "Ten hundred thousand quid."
   Dominic wrinkled his nose with disgust, "Do you have absolutely no concept of money?"
   "He is worth more than he would appear."
   Both Sven and Dominic were dumbfounded, staring at him like he was insane.
   "And if you do not capture him," he continued, handing an envelope with a red wax seal to Sven, "leave this somewhere where he will find it."
   "Y-yes sir," Sven agreed, taking the letter with uncertainty.
   "That's all for today," Fletcher Wiley sighed, turning to go. "Goodbye, gentlemen. And remember, I want McKee alive."
   He and his men exited the way they had come in, leaving the brothers alone and speechless.
   After a minuted of silence, Sven spoke up. "What should I do?"
   "Do as the man says," Dominic sighed. "I may not like it, but Father would be furious if we didn't do as we were told."
   "Right," Sven nodded and started to leave, still unsure of what had just occurred.
   "Oh, and brother?"
   He turned back to find his brother's silhouette in the darkly lit room.
   "Make sure to get our cousin here alive."
   "I will be sure to."

There we go, chapter ten! Whew, that was a rush to write... I know, it's not up to the usual writing standards of the norm... but it is a chapter!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the latest installment, and if you did, feel free to comment and tell me what you think! Thanks, guys :)

Gotta run!

Always Watching,