Those who have heard the mystical tales...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

VI: (Whispers In) The Dark

"Gizmo!" Scheaun whispered.
"You got those matches I gave you?"
"Yeah. Hang on!" He fumbled around, searching for them.
"Why are we still whispering?" interrupted KT.
"The title has to make sense to the reader! If we weren't whispering, it wouldn't be called "Whispers in the Dark," would it?" replied Gizmo.
"What are you talking about?" Gizmo lit the match.
"Well, there we go," he said, looking around. He pointed. "This way!" Gizmo lit another torch for Scheaun and began to walk in that direction.
"Gizmo chronicles all his adventures. I guess he's already come up with a title for this one," Scheaun told KT.
"Wait a minute... You mean... Oh! He writes for the Bards! That's him! The Bards are popular in these parts. I never quite made the connection."
"Yeah. Well, I mean, how many people are named Gizmo?" laughed Scheaun.
"How many Scheauns spell their name that way?" KT smiled.

Gizmo took in his surroundings with curiosity and awe. He paid attention to every detail, as the cave work was art, not just random digging. Each side told a story, and each story flowed into the other. The walls were meticulously carved; its intricate details would make any sculptor cry. In fact, had Gizmo not noticed the boringness of the floor, he would have fallen over a steep ravine. He stopped; looking over the edge, he saw a massive dungeon on the floor of the cave. Cages hung from the ceiling, and those that were not empty not locked. Scheaun and KT soon joined him. They found a ladder and climbed down to the cave floor. In the middle of the circle of hanging cages beyond the circle, some tables, littered with papers, pots, and other paraphernalia, guarded a large metal box. It had a lock but was wide open, and sat on a pedestal as high as the cages.
"Creepy digs," said Scheaun.
"Very goth. Nosferatu would be proud," Gizmo agreed. KT found a ladder, and Scheaun carried it over to her.
"Put it up against this cage. Hold it still," she said. Gizmo and Scheaun steadied her climb to the locked cage. Inside, two giant eyes stared back into her own. A dirty, starved man crawled over to her.
"Hey, Scheaun, hold her. I found the key," Gizmo said. He ran to a couch beyond the empty metal box, and returned with a ring of keys. Handing them to KT, Gizmo joined Scheaun in holding the ladder.
"Thank you," whispered the man. The three forced every living soul in the set of cages there. The motley crew began their return to the surface, but as Gizmo, the last to reach the top of the ridge, ascended, their journey was halted. A dark, robed figure stood at the Scheaun's sword.
"How dare you," the figure growled.
"I could ask you the same thing," Scheaun replied.
"KT, take these people to the surface," Gizmo said. "Her fight is with us, not these innocents." KT hurried them along.
"Why are you torturing these people? What did they do to you?" Scheaun inquired.
"What HAVEN'T they done? They stole what was most precious to me, and I must find it!"
"That gives you no right to take lives!" roared Gizmo.
"It is fitting; they took mine!" she answered, sending Scheaun soaring with her last syllable. Gizmo jabbed, but the witch formed a transparent blue shield and blocked his sword. The energy with which she formed flowed from her veins, forming a sword in her other hand. She swung to block Gizmo's second parry. Turning his blade over, she spun, roundhouse kicking him away. Scheaun ran in, and the witch ran at him. He blocked each of her strikes, but then she used her shield to knock his sword away. As she went to deal the final blow, Gizmo lopped the witch's head off. The energy-weapons faded into mist, and the witch's lifeless body fell over.
"Well then," laughed Gizmo.
"Thanks," Scheaun replied.

The two made their way to the mouth of the cave, where KT and the prisoners waited. Smiling, she ran to hug Scheaun. She kissed him, and the two enjoyed their moment.
"Hang on," said Gizmo. "The stone. IT's glowing through your blouse!" And it was. KT took the necklace out from under her shirt.
"Let me see," said Gizmo. KT handed him the stone, and as he held it, a rumbling came from the cave. Everyone looked, and a bright blue light beamed upward toward them. In the light, they saw the witch's head and body floating; the two pieces began to grow back together. Quickly, Gizmo drew his sword, and smashed the stone to bits. The light went out, and the witch was dead once more.
"Ding dong," smiled Gizmo.
"Wait, wait. Wait. What?" said Scheaun.
"That stone was a talisman. As long as it is in one piece, the witch can survive. At least, that's how it looks. That stone was what she was looking for. It was the source of her power."
"Well, I got that. But the 'ding dong' thing?"
"Oh, I don't know. First thing that hit me." One of the freed prisoners spoke up.
"Thank you for saving us," he said. "We are all grateful to the three of you."
"Of course," said Gizmo.
"How can we repay you?"
"There's no need. It's what we do," replied Scheaun.
"Just go home. Enjoy your lives, and if any one asks, tell them it was the Bards," said KT.

Following the death of Le'heigh, many other witches, hiding in the Chroi forests, gathered. They pleaded with the High Witch, angry with the loss of their sister.
"The Bards deserve to die!" yelled one.
"The murderous fiends! Kill them all!" yelled another.
"Silence, my children," the High Witch interrupted. "I have deliberated enough. The heartless killers shall die. But you go about your business. Leave this to me." The convention rejoiced.