Shadowed Moon chapter 6

Fiction By Kay J Fields // 10/10/2009

 

I lay in the crude bed for an hour or two the next morning, expecting Faylin to come and tell me to get up. When he didn’t I lay there and thought about Ditri’s words. We will talk more tomorrow. He had said. We hadn’t, except for the very brief conversation about Kellen. I sat up and rubbed my eyes, wiping the drowsiness from them and ran a hand through my tangled black hair.
            Struggling out of the bed I went to the doorway and leaned against it. Golden morning light filled the cavern, bathing it in a yellow glow. Ditri was nowhere to be seen and I assumed he was out hunting. This raised a question that I had thought of before. If all animals could talk and bore intelligence; why were they carnivorous? Wasn’t that like cannibalism?
            I stepped out into the sunshine still thinking about this and stretched, as there hadn’t been enough room inside my part of the cave. This meant that I was unprepared for the voice that seemed to come from nowhere.
            “Good morning there.” It said. I turned towards the forest and saw a large red hawk staring at me. I recognized her from the first night I had been here.
            “Narris,” I said, hiding my surprise. “Hello. “ Frankly I was getting very tired and annoyed by voices that came from nowhere.
            She cocked her head and opened a razor sharp beak. “How are you, Lara?” She asked. A little unnerved by her presence I replied carefully to questions.
            “I’m fine. I was going to find Faylin to start practice again.”
            “Practice?”
            “Sword fighting, I’m assuming it was Ditri’s idea. If I’m going to make it out of this mess then I’d better get to it I guess.” I replied mildly, though I was shocked by my own words. I had never thought of it that way before. My very life depended on how well I could handle a sword, not a comforting thought considering my previous session.
            Narris almost looked sympathetic, though seeing any emotion in those unblinking yellow eyes was difficult. Seeming to read my thoughts she offered softly. “You can go home. Not for a while of course but when everything settles, hmm? Ditri would understand.”
            I watched her cautiously and considered her words. I didn’t have to go through with this. I could go to some town until my father returned and then go home. I wouldn’t have to save the world from the powerful evil named Kellen, who no doubt would want me dead. But then I thought of Faylin and his story, of Ditri the Forest Lord and of Blackclaw, the bird who saved my life. Then I remembered the boy who had really saved my life, the one I had never met. I knew most of the people in our town and I also knew that this boy and his father were not locals. If I went back I would most likely never find out who he was.
            “No Narris.” I said. “I can’t leave, not now and not anytime soon.” Her hard mouth seemed to smile and she nodded in a way that made me think she had been testing me then flew off without another word.
            I looked around and realized that I had not been far from the cave since I had been here. Thinking that I would ask Ditri for permission to explore later I grabbed a tree branch and swung over a small outcropping of rock on my way to the stream. Something large whooshed overhead and I smiled. Ditri had returned. 
            Washing in the stream was to become a daily routine for me. After getting most of the past day’s dirt off I scrambled awkwardly to my feet in the thick underbrush and walked back, plucking a pear-like fruit of a bush as I went. It was sweet and had a mellow taste; its flesh was crisp and juicy, often trailing down my cheeks as I ate.
The sun was high enough in the sky to have taken back to golden glow it had spread over the cave as I arrived. I walked in and spotted the green and blue spaded tail disappear around a corner.
“Ditri?” I called. He didn’t reply and I raced deeper into his dwelling. He was going down a tunnel I had never been in before which branched off in many places on the way so that I had to hurry to keep up with him and not take a wrong turn. The passage was completely dark, never lit by a candle or torch so that I had to depend on the slithering sound of his tail as it slid down the smooth rock floor. I couldn’t tell how long I had been following him, only that it was a very long time. He never gave any indication that he knew I was there and I choose to remain silent.
At last I spotted a bit of light then rounded a corner and was hit head on by extremely bright sunlight. I blinked into the dazzling glare and squinted to see. The cavern passage had led to a back door so-to-speak. Below it was a short crescent-shaped shore with a white beach and not a single plant. Behind it was a mountain that toward straight upward. To one side was Ditri, gazing into the soft waves that licked the sands.
“Ditri?” I asked again. He turned and saw me.
“Hello Lara. Followed me did you?”
I shrugged, hoping to not incur the wrath of the Forest Lord. It was silly but I remained reluctant to fully trust the dragon. “Yes, I wanted to talk to you. You seem to know more about myself, or at least my history than I do.”
He nodded. “I apologize that I have not told you more, but I don’t fully understand it myself. I know vaguely about were you came from and have some ideas about this prophesy, after all I have known about it for some several hundred years but other than that I am in the dark as well.” He strode to the sea and dipped a long dark claw into it. The moisture ran down the smooth surface, formed a perfectly round drop that hung for moment; then fell back into the water. “What would you like to know?”
I considered his question as I came up beside him and sat down on the warm sand. I played with it, trailing my fingers through it and drawing random circles and designs before saying, “What do you think the prophesy means?”
“I believe that, one, you are the ‘child’ it speaks of. Also I think that Kellen is the evil. Those two I am almost positive. O course Kellen is not the true evil, he is merely the tool that the Destroyer is using.”
“The Destroyer?” I asked.
“He is the source of all evil on Felmath. Just as HolyOne is the Maker of all things, the Destroyer is the killer. You know him as Leviathan, the Dark One.”
I shivered, remembering the bedtime tales of the great monster named Leviathan who would snatch you and take you to his underground kingdom if you didn’t behave. Told to keep children from misbehaving, the legend of Leviathan scared both young and old.
Ditri started speaking again. “Do you know why we call the creator, simply HolyOne?”
“Because he is the only holy one, and no one else is like him?” I ventured.
“That is a true fact, but not the reason. The true name of HolyOne was forgotten long ago. Very long ago, when the first man and the first woman, Lord Aaron and Lady Ivy lived in their castle in the eastern sea-” I prepared for the story that was to come. Though I had heard it multiple times before, I wondered how a dragon would tell it.
“They lived in perfect peace, no enemies and their only subjects the animals who followed them loyally in those first, happy days. According to legend the castle in which they lived had not been built by man, but placed by the hands of HolyOne. It was made neither of stone, nor metal, nor wood, and was strong and beautiful.
“They were visited every week by Rourke, A young man who carried with him a shining green sword but wore plain clothing. He was quiet and talked little to them, but when he did it was to give advice. He was also very kind and Lord Aaron and Lady Ivy trusted him greatly. Ivy sometimes asked about his sword, what was it for? Rourke would remain quiet for a moment, his eyes taking on an expression she did not know. Then he would answer, ‘For the future.’ Then he would leave.
“The lord and his wife lived in joy and prosperity for untold years, but Lady Ivy was always curious about the world around her, and especially about HolyOne. Confused, she asked many questions and He answered them. –In those days they could hear the voice of HolyOne just as clearly or perhaps clearer than you hear mine right now- He also told her to look in the First Scroll for answers.
“Lady Ivy went into the castle library. Here they kept all the things that were written, including the First Scroll. On this HolyOne had written out his instructions for them. If they obeyed these they would continue to live happily and be pure. It also held many secrets that would be revealed only at the right time. She read through these and came to a certain one, ‘Of Light and Darkness.’ No matter how hard she studied it she could not read the words that followed, but the title changed to, ‘Of good and evil.’ When she read this she was shocked. Was there evil here?
“She did not tell her husband of this and the next day went into the forest to study the First Scroll in the calm. As she was doing so a voice whispered, “Why are you here, my child?” Lady Ivy looked up to see an odd creature before her, he seemed like a dragon but was longer and bore no wings, he was a deep red color that can only be described as blood but then no one knew what blood looked like. His voice was sweet and beautiful.
“’I came here to study the Scroll.’ She told him. ‘Oh?’ He asked. ‘What great secret do you desire? I am very wise; perhaps I can tell you what you wish.’ He told her his name was Hevan and that he was a servant of HolyOne. She asked him about the part in the Scroll that confused her. He answered that he needed to study it.
“This was disappointing to Ivy because HolyOne had commanded her and Aaron to never let it out of their hands. She told Hevan this and he laughed. “Did he really?” But he went on to say that, though he could not answer the question she sought he could tell her many other things. In turn she would read to him parts of the Scroll. She spent many hours in the forest with Hevan, at the end of the day, as it was growing dark he would give her a drink of water from a flask that he always carried and a piece of fruit. She would thank him and return to the palace, never telling Aaron where she had been.
“As time went by she spent more and more time with the wise Hevan and less with her husband or in the hall where they worshiped HolyOne. I suppose she was upset with Him for answering in riddles when Hevan told her all she wanted to know, except for the question “Of Light and Darkness”. Every day he told her that he would need to touch it and every day she refused, but with not as much conviction than the time before. After all, what could it hurt?
“Finally she gave in and held out the First Scroll to him. Before he could take it Lord Aaron stepped out of the trees where he had been watching them. ‘What are you doing?’ He asked. “Hevan is very wise,’ she replied. ‘He is a servant of HolyOne and has been answering my questions.’ Aaron told her to take the scroll back to the tower and that night he would think about it. After she left he talked at length with Hevan, who finally convinced him to bring the Scroll back the next day and he would answer not only Ivy’s questions but Aaron’s as well. Aaron agreed and left.
“Sure enough the next day lord and lady set out for the forest to meet Hevan. The creature was waiting for them and greeted them warmly. Ivy held out the First Scroll to him, as she had done the day before.
“Hevan reached out a scaly hand; his dark eyes gleamed with anticipation and excitement. But that look did not last long for as soon as his hard red hand took hold of the scroll it smoldered and shriveled until it was nothing. All three looked at the ash in both horror and amazement. Then, out of the bushes came Rourke his great sword still shone at the hilt, where his hand held it firmly but in the middle it was dull and at the end black.
“Swinging the blade with unheard-of skill he severed the arms off of the creature that was Hevan in a single blow. Lord Aaron and Lady Ivy stared at Rourke and Hevan, who fell writhing to the ground. Rourke’s eyes were full of the same emotion that they were when he talked of his blade and now Ivy understood what it was: grief. Hevan screamed in fury and hate at Rourke that caused Ivy to cringe. The snake being leaped at Rourke who pushed it back with his darkening sword, he spat at the creature saying, ‘Deceiver of all, you will forever more be called Leviathan, the snake and monster. Cursed are you who spreads lies and mistrust, you will crawl on your belly in this form until the Deliverance, and all who follow the light will hate you; King of the Darkness.’ The snake vanished.
“Rourke turned to Aaron and Ivy and both felt an overwhelming sense of guilt, something never felt before. They had brought the evil to the world. Rourke looked at Ivy. ‘From this day forward,’ he said less fiercely, more pain in his eyes that rage. ‘You will know the heart of evil, and see the heart of good. You must follow light or at the end you will be no better than Leviathan. You will know pain, which our Father has kept from this world and will suffer many things.’
“Then to Aaron he said, “You will work all the day to bring life to your family and will have to protect them from wrongdoers and evil itself. No more will you be a great lord but a commoner and a poor man.’
“To the forest he cried, ‘Your languages will be forgotten, by man and by beast, you will live in silence. The bear will not understand the wolf and they will fight. Leviathan has brought evil and destruction to our Father’s world. Death is now coming to all. Did not our Father warn you?!’ His last cry, a plea, Rourke turned to a rock in the earth and drove his sword into it where it at last turned solid black.
“He banished Aaron and Ivy from the palace forever and they left, watching him enter it and never come out. And from that day forward, Aaron and Ivy, who had called HolyOne by his true name, forgot it. No one ever saw the majestic palace again, or the man named. Many attempted to remake the Scroll, but all failed and their copies all burned.
“This is the story of Leviathan and First Scroll, of the languages being confused and of all creation entering sin. This is the story of the beginning. “
            Ditri and I sat in silence, watching the still ocean and thinking of that story of beginning. Finally I broke the quiet with a question, something I seemed to never run out of.
            “Who do you think Rourke was?” Ditri smiled and didn’t answer for so long that I began to think he wouldn’t. But he turned and did, slowly. 
            “I believe he was an angel, sent be HolyOne to guide Aaron and Ivy.” He stood abruptly and I moved to get out of his way. “And now this brings us too the sarong thing I wanted to talk to you about. Come with me Lara. “
            Again he led me through numerous twists, turns and forks in his cavern home. Soon I began to feel that the way was familiar and wondered if we were headed to the surface. However we stepped into Ditri’s vast reassure chamber and then into the little side-room we had been in before, with the blue pool, the odd knick-knacks and the beautiful shield.
            Ditri, curled up, much like he had before in this room and I noted with some amusement the indentations on that spot just before his hulking frame covered it. He obviously had a favorite spot. He raised a talon and first gestured to the shield and then to the empty space on the wall behind the memory pool that I had seen before.
            “On that hook, there used to lay a great sword called Macarann. Which means ‘Beginning and end’. The sword was found with that shield there. And the sword was Rourke’s”

Comments

there are several typos here

There are several typos here so I apologize.

Kay J Fields | Tue, 10/27/2009

Visit my writing/book review blog at http://transcribingthesedreams.blogspot.com/

 Love it!  Keep it coming,

 Love it!  Keep it coming, Kay J!

Mary | Mon, 10/26/2009

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Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!

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