The Tower

The Tower

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Summary

This work, The Tower, is the second half of the Fool’s Errand story. As I said in respect of that work, Fool’s Errand was the first chapter of the novel I never finished. But while the novel was never finished, The Tower will complete the tale of Belisarius, Caleb and Priam. So please read it as an extended short story, and enjoy it as the plot unfolds.
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Summary

This work, The Tower, is the second half of the Fool’s Errand story. As I said in respect of that work, Fool’s Errand was the first chapter of the novel I never finished. But while the novel was never finished, The Tower will complete the tale of Belisarius, Caleb and Priam. So please read it as an extended short story, and enjoy it as the plot unfolds.

Chapter1 (v.1)

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 05, 2017

Reads: 91

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 05, 2017

A A A

A A A

Without hesitation, Priam and Belisarius followed their friend into the darkness.  Even as Gai crossed the threshold, the door began to close.  The creak of the hinges alerted him and he had to fight down the impulse to turn and run, even when the edge of the left door brushed against him.  No one is watching us, he told himself.  The door will have been set to close after a brief time.  Norgon couldn’t afford to leave it standing open, even for a short time.  There has to be a way to open the doors from the inside, he told himself.  We can find it.

As the doors closed, the darkness shifted to utter blackness.  Then a spark flashed and a lantern flared into light.  At once Priam adjusted the shutters to limit the light to a narrow beam less likely to be seen by prying eyes.  Carefully, the companions scanned their surroundings – a small, rectangular chamber with no doors visible.  Behind them, to the left of the door they had just passed through, a small lever was set into the adjacent wall.  Belisarius guessed it must open the doors to the outside.  But there were no similar devices to be seen on any other walls.

“That’s annoying,” Caleb muttered.  “No exits.  Now what do we do?”

“Maybe this is just a hideout in case of emergencies,” suggested Priam.

“You mean, if there’s trouble this Norgon fellah could just use magic to pop down here and slip out the back door.”  Caleb chuckled.  “Bit of a waste of effort, yer ask me.  If ‘e can do that, why wouldn’t he just pop off ter t’other side of the woods.”

Priam shook his head.  “I don’t know.  I hadn’t really thought it through.  Maybe this is where his agents have to gather.  I don’t know.”

“No,” Belisarius said.  “There’s no has to be another way out.  We’ve just to find it.”

So they searched, working on one wall each, running their hands over the brick row by row, carefully probing any crack or gap with the blade of a knife in the hope of tripping a concealed lever.  Nothing.  Ten minutes passed.  Caleb was complaining how it wasn’t fair to expect a man as tall as he was, have to crawl about on the floor, especially in armour.  Then he felt a single brick, low down in the wall, shift beneath his touch.  At once, the wall began to silently shift, sliding away to the left to disappear into the adjacent wall.

He rolled back at once, scrabbling to his feet and reaching for his sword.  His actions alert Belisarius and Priam, who swung around to see what was happening.  All they saw was another grey stone wall, about three paces beyond the first.  Taking Priam’s lamp in his left hand, Caleb stepped forward, sword drawn.  Nothing threatened.  To left and right the way seemed clear as far as the light could reach.

“It’s a corridor,” he said, beckoning his companions to follow.  As soon as they did the wall closed swiftly behind them.

“About ten feet wide,” Priam noted with a shake of his head.  “Not much too swing your sword, Caleb.”

“I’ll manage,” Caleb replied with a grim grin.  “The ceiling’s quite high.  That’ll help.”

“It is high, isn’t it,’ Belisarius mused.  “I wonder why?  I’m guessing this corridor runs the full length of the back wall.”

As he spoke, Caleb passed the lantern back to Priam, who opened the screens to give as much light as possible.  As with the outside door, there was a lever set in the wall through which they had come – their only marker to the way out.  To left and right the corridor ran straight, with no other door or opening in sight.

“So what do we do?” Caleb asked.  “Which way do we go?”

Priam shrugged and looked at Gai.  Caleb was watching him as well.  Belisarius had no better idea than either of his friends, but he knew they were looking to him to make the decision.  What to do?  Once more the yoke of leadership had fallen upon him, only now that they were actually inside the tower he was finding it much harder to think.  They were all on edge, he knew that.  And there was nothing in sight to offer any clue as to which way was best.  Which way was safest.  Then a thought came to him, the simplest, easiest solution.  He reached down to the purse sack hanging from the rope belt tied about his waist, and took out a coin; a silver drachma.

“Heads right, wings left,” he said, referring to the dragon wings unfurled on the back of the coin.

“What?” demanded Caleb and Priam together, both looking equally perplexed.

“I’ll flip it,” he replied.  “If the First’s head comes up, we go right.  If it’s dragon wings, we go left.

“Do you have a better solution?”

Priam shrugged and shook his head.  The coin rose and fell, spinning through the air.  When it landed it rolled a little to settle at Caleb’s feet.  The farm hand bent down to examine it.

“Heads!” he said, with a chuckle.  “We go right.”

He stood up and at once started to lead the way down the corridor.  Priam fell in behind him, walking a little to one side to let the light of the lantern shine ahead.  His hands moved quickly to close the shutters on all bar the vent facing forward.  Belisarius followed, feeling rather pleased with himself.  The incident had eased their tensions, at least for the time being.  Still, he could not resist making a nervous glance over his shoulder every now and then.


© Copyright 2017 KathyT54. All rights reserved.

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