Redmayne

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1) - The Dark Night

Submitted: June 16, 2018

Reads: 34

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Submitted: June 16, 2018

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Martin stumbled across the uneven ground. The soil, thanks to recent showers, was clinging to his boots. Each step seemed heavier than the last, and the steps needed were more numerous because he had left his car a mile down the road where it was well hidden. The strap from the tool bag cut into his shoulder, yet he never once thought of stopping nor turning back.

The cloud kept most of the moonlight away. The little torch he carried offered only minimal help, yet he kept the modest light shielded as best he could. Any light in the open countryside would shine like a beacon, drawing attention to his nocturnal activity. 

Checking his position again, he stopped and looked for a landmark but there was little to go on. He turned the light off and stood silently in the darkness. He felt drawn to a spot three paces to his side and a little forward. He put his tool bag down and drew out his spade.

He cut the surface carefully, it could almost be called a turf but the grass was not thick, it was course and rough with muddy patches between. Once he had the surface carefully broken he began digging in earnest.  The night was full of noises. Some sounded more threatening and he would stop and listen, trying to identify the movement of people over the sound of his own heartbeat in his ears. Occasionally he would see headlights in the distance and he would flatten himself on the ground, turning off his small torch. He thought the traffic too far away to see him, but no doubt there would be those looking out for treasure hunters.

He did not fear any punishment, but he did fear being caught. He knew that he would only get one chance, and he had to find it before anyone else could. The crystal would be his, and he alone would have the rewards it offered.

After what seemed to him like hours of digging, Martin stood chest deep in a hole. He stopped and looked at his blistered hands, and then down at the floor. “Dammit, where are you? You must be down here. Guide my hand.”

In a little under fifteen more minutes digging, his spade hit something. It did not make a scraping sound as it had when encountering a rock, yet it still felt solid. Holding the spade down at the bottom and using his hands he carefully scraped the earth away. After checking the leather-bound object, he saw that it was large enough to be held comfortably in two hands but too large around for him to spread his fingers around using just one hand. He enfolded it in bubble wrap and put it into his tool bag.

After examining the hole and checking the ground to see that there was nothing else, he began replacing the soil. He fought the excitement that told him to put the tools away and run back to the car. He replaced the soil and once filled he replaced the cut section over the former hole. Once he was satisfied that the hole was well covered, he tidied his tools away.

Walking briskly away over the fields, he clutched the bag in his arms. His grip did not loosen even though his arms were fatigued from the exertion. He could feel the dampness on the front of his now soil covered clothes where he had intermittently lain down on the ground. The dampness from without mixed with dampness from within caused by the sweat from his work. Part of his mind was screaming for him to head straight back to the car, yet he followed his GPS across the field away from the car until he reached a minor road.

His legs thanked him for the tarmac underfoot as it took the soil that was shed from his boots as he walked along. The soil had all but gone by the time he reached the kissing gate that marked the start of the footpath back towards his car. He had been ever on the lookout for a place to hide should a car come along the road. He only once had to duck under cover. As he kept his head down waiting for the lights and the sound to fade, he thought how any footprints he left would look like a rambler had passed this way. Who would question a rambler passing by? None by day, but it would be different in the dead of night, so he hid.

*****

There was little traffic on the road at the ungodly hour that Martin was driving home, and he was grateful because his fatigue mixed with his excitement was not helping his concentration. He took it easy though, any erratic driving in the early hours of the morning would almost certainly attract the attention of a passing police car. In his current attire and with the tool bag in the boot, there was sure to be some investigation. Such scrutiny would be bound to bring to light the object he had found.

*****

Martin shed his outer garments as quickly as he could and went into his living room where he put his leather-bound prize on the table. He was trembling as he sat looking at it, scarcely able to believe he was so near to his goal. It was early morning, though dawn was still almost an hour away. Sleep beckoned him but so too did curiosity, and the tiredness proved to be less in need of sating. He leant forward and started to open the leather cover. It wasn’t easy with his blistered hands but he persevered. As the leather was carefully removed, Martin put it on the table. He was holding the now unencumbered crystal in his hand and looking into it when he suddenly reeled back holding his head.

*****

Jason woke in his bed; eyes wide and breathing heavily.

*****

Patricia stopped as if electrocuted, and dropped the coffee she had just made for herself.

*****

The crystal was lying on the table where Martin had dropped it when he had collapsed onto the floor. His hand appeared on the table and Martin pulled himself up. As he did so, he heard the voice of the Evil One from the crystal.

“I have been found at last.”

Martin's voice was frail, “I have freed you my Lord.”

“You have opened the prison door but I can never be wholly free until the world has sunk into darkness. You have moved me from the sacred land, yet I remain tied to the crystal for now.”

“What more can I do to help you my Lord?”

The Evil One's callous laughter rang out. “You are pathetic. I can command your mind as easily as you breathe. You are no more than a puppet in my plans.”

“But my Lord, aren't you grateful to your humble servant?” said Martin. As he fell to the floor in pain; he had been given his answer.

“Grateful? I can slip in and out of your mind with ease; I know exactly why you looked for me.”

“But surely I deserve some reward.”

“You’re still alive, aren’t you?” With that, the pain being inflicted on Martin was halted. “Now go and sleep; I will gain what knowledge I can from your feeble brain. We will begin tomorrow.”

Martin did as he was commanded, not wanting to incur more torture and glad for the chance to sleep. As he left the room, there was quiet mocking laughter from the crystal.


© Copyright 2019 Kevin Broughton. All rights reserved.

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