And There Were Three: Chapter Twelve

Fiction By Clare Marie // 3/15/2009

Hogo's story (here told in a style different from that of Hogo's simple country speech, and as came to be known in later years).


About sixteen years ago, in a faraway land called Zolph'yana, lived a handsome young man named Gladio. He was of the special race of humans whose duty it was to protect the king of Zolph'yana. He had a younger brother named Glayde. When their father died, the two young men were to claim his high position, and become lords. They each could choose a wife, if they wished. So about a year after this, the old lord (their father) died, and accordingly, Gladio and Glayde became the new lords of their race. Gladio, as the elder, would be of higher rank than his brother; second only to the king.
Now both Gladio and Glayde decided to marry, and unfortunately both loved the same girl: a beautiful sixteen year old called Isabelle. And Gladio, though usually wiser than his years, angrily exercised his superiority by proposing to Isabelle before Glayde, forcing his brother to back down. Isabelle herself loved Gladio and not Glayde, so she accepted. Glayde was furious, and left the country in the secret of the night, breathing revenge. Gladio made another mistake: he ignored his brother.
The wedding of Gladio and Isabelle was the most joyous ever seen in the land; they were as happy a couple as anybody could be. They lived in the ancient castle of Gladio's forefathers, and were the Lord Gladio and the Lady Isabelle. They protected the king well, though they were both young; they governed sensibly with their good intuition. And not long afterward, Isabelle was with child.


Imagine the delight and perfect happiness felt by Gladio and Isabelle. They were tenderly attached to each other. He was handsome, cheerful, loving; she beautiful, good, sweet; and their child was gorgeous...or rather children. Isabelle had given birth to a pair of twins. The whole countryside attended a huge, magnificent festival, inviting all the citizens of the kingdom. The king not only threw this banquet for Gladio and his family, but he also bestowed marvelous gifts upon the babies, promising future riches.
All was well for a few months. Isabelle and her children were in good health, and Gladio had departed on an assignment from the king some weeks after the babies' naming. It was while he was gone, however, that tragedy struck the kingdom. Sir Glayde, Isabelle's former lover, and brother of Lord Gladio, had returned from unknown lands with a great army, vicious and cruel. He had attacked cowardly, that is, he attacked without a letter of challenge. The once green and lush land of Zolph'yana was barren and charred with the hideous tongues of burning flames. Dead, mauled corpses of men, women, and children lay in heaps all over the countryside. Glayde spared none except the one he still loved, Isabelle; and her babies, though towards them he gave only half his affection.
It was lucky that Isabelle was a wise, composed woman; for when Glayde had first made battle, she had swiftly dispatched a messenger to her husband. telling him to come as soon as he could; she hoped he was near enough to receive the message on time. This done, she could only protect her children, and pray that the messenger was alive. She was horrified to learn it was Glayde who ravaged her people and the land. She was of the nature to think only the best of everyone, and it was a shock to her nerves to see such an evil side of her brother-in-law.
Like a gallant knight in the tales of old, Lord Gladio came riding on his loyal steed to save his lovely lady. His well-trained army quickly made good battle with Glayde's, while the lord dashed to Isabelle and the babies. He fought his way through bravely into the castle, for his fury and love gave him powerful strength. He broke down the door of his and Isabelle's bedroom, and with slashing weapon, he slew all who stood between him and his family. Glayde was not in the room at the moment; and it was lucky for him. With flashing eyes, Gladio threw his arms around Isabelle and the little ones. Foreseeing worse horrors in the future, relieved to see his family safe, he cried unrestrained. Have you ever seen a grown man weep? It is not a sight one sees often, and the deepness of the moment has a powerful effect on all who witness it. Some of Glayde's knights who had dashed up the stairs and were about to attack the lord, stopped in the open doorway at this scene, and hesitated. It was as if they remembered they possessed human souls and feelings, as if they remembered their own wives and children at home, as if they realized now more than ever how tenderly they loved their families. Ashamed, they ran away with bleeding hearts.
Isabelle softly stroked Gladio's wavy black hair, smoothing it with her damp tears. At length, Lord Gladio raised his head, and told Isabelle to take the babes and leave. She protested forcefully, but knew he was right; it was the only way they could save their children. Then she begged Gladio to leave with her, yet he shook his head, saying that she alone with the twins would be less noticeable, and that even if Glayde should see her fleeing, his love for her would probably restrain him from slaying her. Isabelle finally agreed, and Gladio strapped the babies to her back. He told her to be swift, for he heard Sir Glayde marching up the stairs with his men. Opening a secret door which led to a passageway running underground, out of the kingdom, Gladio gently nudged her in. Isabelle again implored him to fly with her, but he said that someone needed to close and lock the door after her. She grasped his hand despairingly, fiercely. And the last she saw of her dear husband and knight was his dark brown eyes turned lovingly on her, and his hand drawing his sword.


Isabelle had no choice but to leave her children in the care of foster parents. She left the baby girl in a home far away from Zolph'yana. She knew Glayde's men were close on her trail, so she only had time to leave letters and other belongings with the baby before she fled from that town. The letters told the child's story, among other things. The other baby, a boy, she still carried on her back. She had no time to find a foster home for him before Glayde's men overtook her. All she could do was leave her baby to chance with barely no information concerning him. She herself could not escape her enemy's clutches, and they brutally murdered her.


+++


"The rest of the story," ended Hogo, "I think you already know, Ficum." Ficum was speechless. He sat numbed on his seat, his robe lying heedlessly on the floor where it had fallen from his stunned grasp.
"D-do you mean," stammered Ficum, "that the boy twin...was me? And brave Lord Gladio and beautiful Lady Isabelle; they were my parents? I, I, I'm just.." Hogo patted his shoulder.
"I know, lad. It's a shocker, all right."
"Then," asked Ficum, "who is the girl twin, my sister?" Hogo struck his forehead with his palm.
"Haven't you guessed it yet?" he cried. "Why, this fair lass here, my own sweet Elinor, is your sister! And-"
"She knew this story all along?" interrupted Ficum, more bewildered by the minute.
"Yes, I did," answered Elinor. "But I never knew you were my brother, until now." Ficum whistled.
"Imagine that! So now the mystery of my dear mother is solved. Yet why would Glayde kill her if he was so attached to her? And how do you know so much, Hogo?" The man sighed.
"I cannot answer your first question, lad; there is too much evil in this world of ours. But as to the second one: weren't you listening? When the Lady Isabelle, your mother, left Elinor with us, she also left much information about her; and you. Now at last you two are reunited."
Anya, who had been silent during this whole discussion, now grabbed a fresh-baked sweet roll from the cupboard and set it on the table.
"This is quite unusual, is it not?" she smiled happily. "I think we should celebrate. Come sit at the table, everybody, and enjoy my cinnamon bread. It's not often that we have one of these."


"Do you think," began Ficum as they ate their sweet roll, "do you think it's fine if I look at the things my mother left with Elinor?" Hogo nodded.
"Epsy, lass," he said to his twelve year old daughter, "would you run into your Papa's bedroom and grab the wooden box under the bed?" Epsy darted out of the room and soon returned with an old box that was quite falling apart. Hogo carefully set it down on the table, and opened the lid. "These," he explained, "are the parchments your mother left." He handed Ficum a few rolled-up pieces of stained yellow paper. Ficum eagerly peered at them, his face alight with wonder. He read most of his parents' sad story as it is related above, and he also read the paper relating the information about Elinor. Then he found a paper that told about himself. He put it down disappointed, however.
"why doesn't Mother say what my name was, or is? I mean, the name she and Father gave me? She writes Elinor's name, but not mine." Hogo was about to reply when Ficum straightened suddenly, and asked if he could have his gold box back. Hogo pulled it from his pocket and handed it to the boy. Ficum surveyed it once more. "So what does this sword lily signify?" he wondered aloud.
"Look closely at the top of all the papers," answered Elinor, pointing eagerly to one of the papers on the table. Ficum did look and saw the same sword lily drawn on the top of each piece of parchment.
"Oh, I see," he cried. "It's the symbol of our family."

Comments

Hurry and write more!

I really love this story, and am excited to see where it will go. You are an excellent writer. Keep up the good work!

Laura Elizabeth | Sun, 03/15/2009

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The best stories are those that are focused, unassuming, and self-confident enough to trust the reader to figure things out. --

http://lauraeandrews.blogspot.com/2014/05/dont-tell-me-hes-smart.html

WOW!

Wow, this chapter was so great. How do you think of all these great ideas for your story? When I try to think of story ideas, they're mostly either something I've read before or else they're kind of silly. Anyway, I really like this story.

Kendra | Sun, 03/15/2009

<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\
"Are you sure this water is sanitary? It looks questionable to me! But what about bacteria?"--Tantor the elephant from Tarzan.

Oh, I don't know...they just

Oh, I don't know...they just come to me. I'm constantly being bombarded by ideas; usually, they're not very original, but once in a while one will pop up that's just right. :)

Thanks, both of you.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Sing as if no one is listening;
Dance like no one is watching;
Live as if you will die tomorrow;
Love like it will never hurt."
-Old Irish Saying

Clare Marie | Mon, 03/16/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Whoa. ***********************

Whoa.
*************************************************
Chaos.
Panic.
Disorder.
My work here is done.

Anna | Mon, 03/16/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Is that a good "whoa"?

Is that a good "whoa"? :D
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Sing as if no one is listening;
Dance like no one is watching;
Live as if you will die tomorrow;
Love like it will never hurt."
-Old Irish Saying

Clare Marie | Mon, 03/16/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Yes

Yes :D
*************************************************
Chaos.
Panic.
Disorder.
My work here is done.

Anna | Tue, 03/17/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Yay, Ficum has a sister! I

Yay, Ficum has a sister! I always knew he needed one.

"The meek tyrannosaurus, victim of an innocent misunderstanding, tears like heck across the prehistoric valley." - Calvin and Hobbes

Bridget | Mon, 03/30/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

LOL! Yup, brothers really

LOL! Yup, brothers really need sisters to keep them in check, don't they? :D
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Sing as if no one is listening;
Dance like no one is watching;
Live as if you will die tomorrow;
Love like it will never hurt."
-Old Irish Saying

Clare Marie | Mon, 03/30/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

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