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The legend of Aodnait. (booklover9216's fantasy challenge)

Short story By: Jelica

Aodnait is a young woman whose name echoes in the folk tales of her people in the future. She is well know all over the town where she once lived and this is her story.

Submitted:Jan 10, 2010    Reads: 191    Comments: 45    Likes: 22   


The tale of a young woman Aodnait still breathes in the memories of the local population. Elderly women add their fraction to this tale of her existing days. No one knew what had happened afterwards for sure, so many had their own version of the tale's ending. However, they all began like this. Each narrative has a foundation in events. This one is no exception.


It was hours of darkness in which the radiance of the full moon reached the secret parts of the wood. Its beam penetrated the surrounding plants through which half an hour ago entered a youthful woman. She was fifteen years old. She paced her way throughout obscure olive foliage declining downwards due to the holes in the path or extended tree roots. Night air overflowed her lungs as she breathed in its chilly sweetness. On every occasion she would throw a glance towards the treetops, her eyes, blue like two, lagoons absorbing the sky, sprinkled with shiny, brilliant stars. Her blond hair was a bush of curls. Two times an owl's hooting above her head made her stop in place and perceive her surroundings expecting something to destroy her behind the next tree. However, everything was alright.

She bore on her mind the words of her uncle who had, last night, over pitiable feast told a anecdote regarding the sleeping king. According to it, the monarch who was once upon a time an almighty man, dignified and judicious, not to mention wealthy beyond your wildest imaginings rested in a cavern not far from their home. Ever since that king ruled over the land, and ever since he was buried underneath, not a soul ever had the valour to go there. Stories of phantoms who would steal one's soul, kiling in the worst possible way did its share in keeping curios people off. Until this night

Aodnait could not be deceived by the stories. She never believed in them. At all times, she questioned the way of life. She was a girl just like any other- inquisitive and innocent. She was on a pursuit to unearth the sleeping king.

After another hour spent in the forest wrapped up with night she surfaced on a small clearing gleaming with moonlight, stared into never-ending heaven and re-approached the forest. Soon afterwards, the subject which she sought came into sight.

The cave was positioned between the trees, half hidden by curtain of lichens from the top: accrued leaves from the bottom. Through the curtain-depicted nothingness, darkness pressed her azure eyes. At the entrance, Aodnait rearched for a vacant, extinguised torch in its holding upon the wall.

She could not, with assurance, claim how profound the cave had been. Soil was dry as a bone. Bats, bothered with the luminosity, flew into the shadow on the ceiling observing her with tiny narrowed eyes. Aodnait proceed deeper and deeper, with each made step, only to find that the path split in two. The right way was chosen. Left led to chasm where death would greet anybody before even touching the bottom. At the end of the passage cave Aodnait found stairs warped about a column conducting down. She set foot it and in no time, she was at the bottom.

The torches lining the walls flared birlliantly as soon as her feet fit the last piece of the stairs. It made her shadow look monstrouus. Closing at the end of the tunnel there had been an entry encrusted with iron. Holding a torch elevated Aodnait pressed on, and hung on to the handle. She was not going to admit defeat now. She laughed at the expression her uncle would construct after informing him of her actions, whilst she drew the handle towards her .

The door opened. She found herself in a room where unfathomable dark had ruled. It was so until she went further. Then supple gold red luminosity shined throughoutthe circular room. Thousands of candles lit up the chamber making known the presence of men. Torch had been put out for candles providedin enough light.

They were not stirring. All situated up the wall; dressed in full war attire in perfect state without a trace of corrosion on it. Their cheeks which could be seen owing to the unhinged visor- were perfectly normal. The only thing that screened their forever-youthful face were spiders' webs, and congested eyes. Twenty of them observed wordlessly and serenely the grave in the centre and so did Aodnait observed them in the same manner. Aodnait went to listen their hearts beating, but they did not pulse. No rhythm; nothing. Beside their legs, they clung to the swords. Aodnait had hardly bring herself not to yell:" This is hard to admit as true. I think I might breathe my last this instant! In addition, repeating it three times in conquest.

She let the equipped men be. Then she approached the grave on a higher panel rested one more man. He was clothed in black from top to toe, in the company of a blade firmly held on his chest. On its hilt, blood red rubies were imprinted. A crown was on his honey coloured head. Aodnait stared at those jammed eyelids, at the features aged, nevertheless youthful, in full lips as if they were smiling. Moving across the grave, her gaze fell on what was, at first hidden from her sight, though it made her grin seeing it.


Gold coins lay on the floor, reflectiving the candle's brightness, while numerous coins lay along the grave. Before gathering the courage to take some of them, her attention was drawn on the king.

"A sovereign to what empire? " she whispered. "Who were you while you'd breathed, walked,felt? These questions would be answered if you could talk. But since you are dead they will remain a mistery. Oh, I cannot wait to tell others. I, Aodnait, shall be well known.

Taking a bunch of coins in her hands, she let some amount slip between her fingers like sands. Contented with the fact that she would almost certainly be wealthy now, she took only a few. It was still a good thing to do. She was not being wicked when she placed them in the pocket of her dress. It was just that she had been living with her uncle, and with this slight secret wealth, she could actually do something. Appreciatively, she bowed to the king, her eyes gliding across his cheek affectionately absorbing the attractive monarch.

"Thank you very much. I shall never forget you.

She headed for the door. Suddenlyan invisible bell rung. Paralyzed in place she was aware that warriors around her were coming to life.

"My lord, what's happening?" she exclaimed in disbelief."This is impossible!

In one moment, lifeless in another stirred with lustiness of a child off their spots. Resentment emerged out of their bodies, but the loathing in their eyes- in the mirror of the human soul was by far the worse of all. They grabed the sword hilt, and drew them out. Aodnait, understanding the point, ran but was so panic-stricken that she utterly forgot to seal the door behind her. She had barely reached the stairs when she heard an unbelievably thunderous cry. A cry of such power that no one would have thought a man was able to create it. This dreadful noise with words shook the ceiling. When she got half way, it was repeated with increased intensity, and she collapsed down as if she'd been struck in the skull with a stick. There had been no room for obliquity.

Swallowing hard ,she got up to her feet, her heart throbbing like crazy. She made the feet's moved, though they were almost frozen with fright to budge again, and scampered away.

"Thief!" came an accusation, followed by another.

"You pilfer what's not yours to steal or win!"

In a false hope her justification would make them lower their wrath, Aodnait replied:"Go back. I did not steal. I have a reason why I took the gold!

The thump of footsteps followed her. Aodnait ran untamed, not looking back. Her voice had lost its capacity. Though her mind was till screened by a fog of fear, she could not help but imagine how the king had reacted. Was he still asleep? For some reason, the thought that he might be awake provided console. She tripped up on the path due to her clumsiness. Only the thought of shelter urged her to run. The entire cave shook and rocks tumbled onto her. Bats flew around screeching on Aodnait as if they knew this was the source, and would not permit her to go away without explaining what they mammals thought of it.

Then suddenly she saw a way out. Running, the next thing she was aware of was tossing herself onto dirty floor. Nevertheless she blessed with every tormented fraction of body sweetness of hard soil, night air grass and the star. Speedily she mounts on her legs. Staring at the entrance, she sought to be convinced that the warriors would depart. They had appeared. They threaten to deprive her of life, but had not crossed the line of the entrance. Casting a wicked look, they turned to walk off. If a view could kill, Aodnait would have been long deceased. Before she returned home, she checked her pocket and found the wealth there. Traumatized, but in once piece, she set off home.


What happened to her once she got home, there were many guessing. All of them say she vanished five years later.

Several state dreadful apparitions commenced pursuing her every night: visions of realms which time had ended ages ago. Some say she even returned the coins back to their righful possessor. Others, however, those passionate at heart yearned to believe she had wedded the king.

Only two children knew the truth. How come? Well, after Aodnait's story -fright had gone thus they came into cavern. They had found the area. It was bare, apart from a lock of golden-coloured hair on what used to be king's final resting place.They, under no circumstances, ever said a thing.


The end


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