#Fantasyfriday is here.
The fifth installment for my online novel is here!
And all the previous installments are here!
Dragons fire-breath scorched the grass plains, men and women rode bears through the defence lines; and eagles swooped at the catapults firing boulders. Chaos was amongst the world and a man, morphed with his horse, shouted to his army to charge at the animal riders. People burned and animals crushed by the launched boulders. I watched from a hilltop in the distance. Alone and divided, I was between the two forces. Bushes rustled behind me, I spun around and a lady on a snow leopard pierced her spear into my navel.
I woke up, in heavy sweats and big gasps of air. I saw Santhara and Deanna, leaning over me; they calmed me down by stroking the side of my face with a damp towel. We were downstairs, and I was where the wooden table was.
‘Easy, easy. It was just a dream. It’s okay,’ Deanna gestured, lifting my head up and changing the ice pouch.
‘You took quite a fall,’ Santhara said, ‘when you passed out, you fell down the ladder and on your head.’
The back of my head was throbbing, a sachet of ice was under my head and I could feel the ice melting down my neck. A sharp pain ran across my eyebrows, as my vision cleared, I tried to sit up, ‘hold up you’re not ready yet, just rest Hunter. Have some water,’ Deanna insisted, holding the glass to my mouth; I finished it off.
She was right; I had to rest. I was in pain and it throbbed with every heartbeat. I rubbed the back of my neck, where the lady would have stabbed me.
‘I had an interesting dream,’ I began to tell them, ‘about a man and an army,’
‘Who was the man?’ Santhara asked.
‘I’m not sure but he was leading an army, and a woman stabbed me in the neck as I woke up.’
‘You might’ve been thinking of your brother, and that’s probably why you couldn’t see him – you do not know what he looks like,’ Deanna suggested.
‘Maybe,’ I agreed.
‘After you feel you’re ready. I need to show you something,’ Deanna brushed the topic off, ‘something that might interest you.’ She smirked at him.
I had no energy to continue the conversation, that dream was exhausting and so was the pain. I feel into a deep sleep.
A raven on the window ledge squawked, bringing me back to consciousness. I opened my eyes and I was in one of the rooms upstairs. I stood up and I noticed I was still wearing the same tunic from the day before, I walked to the window; the raven flew away into the half lit day. The moon covered the sun like a boulder covering the end of a tunnel, not fully covering it but enough to block the sharp sunrays and providing light to the world.
‘Ah,’ Santhara interrupted, standing at the doorway, ‘you’re up. C’mon let’s go, mum’s waiting.’
I followed her downstairs and outside. The streets were dead quiet. Each step crunched walking on the sand, Santhara paced through the alleyways again. After being led down numerous turns and stairs we came to another wooden door. Above it was a golden closed fist, ‘where are we?’ I asked.
Santhara opened the door with a key.
‘The Golden Punch,’ she answered as a crowd of laughter and yelling welcomed them from inside.
She entered through the crowd and I followed. Everyone was drinking, cheering and dancing. Smoke clouds hung around the ceiling and each person tried to yell over the next person. We snuck through and Santhara led me downstairs and out a door, through another alley and to a crimson red door. The noise sunk in the background and it was quiet again.
‘Where are we?’ I asked looking above us, surrounded by stone-buildings, as high as my neck could look, with no windows.
‘A crimson door with the right key,
can show you an opportunity,’ she answered in a poetic tone, opening the door to hallway with an white light at the end.
‘Go on,’ she insisted.
I hesitated, I crept past her and she shoved me forward and slammed the door. I was alone. I tried to open the door but it was locked from the inside. I walked down the hallway and into the bright light. It blinded me as melted into it. I squinted and blocked it with my hands. My eyes adjusted, the blinding light was the sun. It was full and the moon had not covered it. A flush of panic rose inside of me. I was in an enclosed circle – an arena. An iron bar gate was on the opposite side and behind the walls were rows of seats, rows upon rows, facing towards me with no one sitting in them.
‘Hello?’ I cried out, ‘is anyone there?’
It echoed but no one replied. I walked into the middle of the circle, ‘Hello?’ I tried again. There was no verbal response but the Iron Gate began to open.
My eyes glared at the doors slowly opening. Darkness stood behind it. I tried to cover my eyes to see what was beyond it. Nothing was there then red eyes opened and with a tongue flickering. A large dark-green head with black streaks seeped out of the darkness. The tongue flickered to collect the odours in the enclosed arena. I started taking steps back and trod on a hidden square lever. Loud grinding and crunching noise followed. I spun around and an iron bar gate closed on the hallway I just came from. I ran towards it but I was too late. I was trapped in the arena with a deathly creature.
‘Hello?’ I yelled out, as the snake slithered into the full light of day.
‘There is a huge snake here, and I think it’s about to eat me!’ I screamed but no reply.
The python stood in full light it was the same height as Santhara and Deanna’s house.
‘Santhara! Deanna!’ I screamed but still no answer.
The snakes tongue hissed as it flickered and its eyes watched every movement I made.
I pissed my pants; the snake tasted the odour in the air. It showed its enormous fangs, poison liquid drops fell from each fang and sizzled on the dry sand. The snake slithered towards me, I darted around it and it treid to inject its fangs but missed. The snake slithered around on the rough terrain; I saw the door was open behind it. The snake attacked again but its fangs pierced the ground next to my leg. Its fang was stuck into the ground; I saw an opportunity so I ran towards the gate. Its tail hit me in the ribs, sending me across the arena. My head throbbed again; as I tried to stand the snake pulled its fang out of the ground and wrapped its tail around me.
It squeezed me, blood rushed towards my head sending an excruciating pain through my skull; my ribs were compressed tighter and my breath was running thin. The python pulled me closer to its face. Red glaring eyes stared at me, mouth open showing the poison running off the fangs. I tried to push my body out of its grip but it answered with a tighter squeeze.
‘Help!’ I yelled with my last breath.
As the fangs came towards me, I tried one last push out of the tail but I morphed into the tail. Half my body fell through the skin and from my torso above, was dangling. It shook me from side to side, I could not release from the incomplete metamorphosis. As I felt nauseous from the shaking, it sent me flying into the ground and I slid to the wall, next to the opened iron door.
‘That is enough Iureth,’ Deanna’s voice came from the opened gate.
The snake obeyed and slithered past me, with one last glare from the red eye and it returned into the darkness. Deanna and Santhara emerged from the gate and closed it behind them.
‘I knew you could,’ Santhara smirked at me.
‘What?’ I was confused and angry.
‘Don’t worry, darling. You passed,’ Deanna leant over to help me stand up.
‘Passed? Do you mean this was a test?’ I was angry.
‘Yes it was, to see if you really could and you can,’ Deanna confirmed, ‘you truly are an Animal Rider.’
#DWTSmith #Brothers #fantasyfriday