Chapter 1: chapter 2

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 74

Chapter 2 

I leave this world to those children, the children prancing friskily, vapid of care, plunging into mucky mire or rude swamp. I leave it to those willing to explore, explore not for glory, but for the deeper and dense complacency they have with merely being alive. For the sole desire to see the world I left behind - from the sayings of Din


Philius gasped, sweat trickling down to the chill bed beneath him, a wooden ceiling exasperating his fears. A thin blanket snug on his skin, Its warm linen lifting his blood to flow, allowing warm breaths to breathe out those timid, worried, twitching rows of teeth. A lonely yet fragile emotion rose, its icy pulse trembling his frigid veins, a window smacked open by winter wind. Pihlius felt a noise. He turned, another bed hoisting on its mattress that same snoring person, her blonde hair meshed, happily dreaming.

Philius finally strangled himself in his hardly warm arms, attempting to absorb every limp ounce of heat under that groaning, wooden ceiling, the frightened floors creaking from every frail foot. Philius didn’t want to leave the bed. An impotent desire to dampen the room in his sweat, do not a single thing until told to, bed completely snuggled against his head, the absence of choices, the soft melody of sleep almost returning . His heart jolted. He couldn’t do that though.

He squirmed viciously, carved himself into the beds dulcet tip, plush noise softly squeaking, his head bashing against a mattresses painless surface. His forehead stopped. Its halted skull suddenly echoing the name of his companion. He turned, letting his back bounce back upon the bed, this surly noise certainly alerting them of his awakening, an inevitable knocking of that door soon to begin. Was Lucious alive.

His head turning, feeling fully distant from that diaphanous skulled girl, her entire body supple, melting into the meddlesome bed like some magistrate. Lids drunk on dreams. Philius attempted, with dense ardor, to ask the asleep girl a inquiry, playfully prompting his question in a lilt “you're with them right?”. He was stupid. The room rendered nothing, not even a bug's soundless croak. Philius’s fingers crassly curled, thoughts tumbling down his forehead, none offering the slightest sense of judicion. 

A twisted, seized drab of thought tainted his head, his head shifting back, eyes balling on the girls snoring, sleepy, careless head. An idea had hatched.

A set of feet stepping dankly on the straight-edged dsteps, not many smiles laced on their faces, except for Zep, his head hanging high, red hair shaggy and prim, the mellifluous voice lifting above them “kids don’t like beer.” Wasn’t one single retortion. They reached the stairs’ noisy alp, walking forth, feeling the frigid air flow through the cabin. Zep slowly turned a doorknob. The trembling sword emitting steel noise, Philius’s flimsy wrist clearly clutching his round hilt, possibly pretending to protect the small room.

Zep opened its hinges, a hasp clicking, leading them in, all three drab figures engulfed in wet cloaks. Philius gulped, grisled saliva proliferating in his foul and cavernous mouth, hands holding a threat-less, harmless sword held to the girls skinny neck. Zep collapsed to the floor, straight legs flaccid and serene. Emma and Greg followed. 

Sweat smoldered Philius’s face, the girl still asleep within his childish and boney arms, his insolence not distracting Zeps kind, warm voice. “You can sit wherever,” he spoke. But it wasn’t to Philius. Lucius’s shaggy, razor wound tethered  in rigid stitches, slight droplets of blood bashing on the surgically stapled tissue, the boy sitting, conscious, more so crashing onto the cedar floor. The purple lips binded by teeth, cold words curdling across his skull, “Who is she?” Zep’d hand absent of booze, the fingers naturally curling around an invisible, imaginary glass, the man’s face infested with cerise hair. “Her name's Lemon, and yeah, she likes to sleep.” Lucius girdled dense teeth tightly, jaw cinched shut as egregious pain punished his gut, the abdomen afflicting itself with arduous torment, his body attempting to sit up. Clear cramps roped in the stomach. Back folding forward, teeth seething vomitous aire outward, the pain surcease, his mind righteously readying his jaw to speak “guy, she our age?”

“Nah nah, but sixteen though.” Zep poised his eyes, fixing their glare onto the loose neck contorting Lucius’s small head. Philius felt a gliding dulcet of calm settling upon his mind, the shivered sword suddenly still, his eyes peering happily onto the boy's corpse, the creature hanging his head upon the gouged chest, an overwhelming glow of tranquility at the mere voice. Philius no longer needed to think. He felt an amazing weight wrestled from his back, gladly taken by Lusius’s neck. Philius could finally rest. Lucius was right there.

Philius’s fragile eyes spiraled, listening closely to his buddies words, “So, she ain’t captured, right. She’s one of you then, isn’t she. One of you.”

Zep handed a zealous grin, realizing the kids' brash decision, answering serenely “I don’t know what that girls doing with us. She's a kind girl.” They heard morose sobs bulge from the beds, Philius crying, tears drenching those somber little cheeks. His head sloppily shedding those little drops of liquid, Lucius had a simper upon his face, its bones still leaning on his chest, Zep attempting to hold his obvious amusement. Philius’s eyes sealed, clearly embarrassed to show their clear greens, the slight water riveting down his face’s scars. Those etched, trenched marks freshly sliced on the face. But every scar was fresh at that age. Lucius finally started cackling.

“Want him to shut up,” Lucius broached , “or wanna keep listening?” Lucius herded his tendons to twist his neck, stare awkwardly at Zep, know he also enjoyed Philius’s meek cries. “Is she drugged,” Lucius questioned. Zep returned the taut gaze, swelling with admiration for this rash minded boy, speaking delicately “Maybe. Haven't known her for long. She may like drugs.” Lucius scoffed annoyedly, though not without some ludic dazzle, his voice vehemently charging Zeps innocent face. “What about the world.”

Zep snickered on this soft question, answering it in  a query of his, “what do you boys want from this place?” Lusius clambered his cold abdomen, its soft tissue squirming slowly, his maw moving, “Same as you. Wanna leave!”

Philius felt a frigid film flush out his head, his entire enterprise of words wrapped in his buddies simple lilt, the teary tickle of water drizzling down his sword, that sword still dense on Lemons neck. Zep laughed, this duo diaphanously spread around his eyes, his asking mind asking to Lusius, “so you’ve heard this place is bad huh.” “I’ve heard much,” “you trust what you hear,” “how do you think I got stabbed.” “So you met them then,” “they snuck up,” “They don’t usually do such things.” “their intelligent bastards.”

Zep desired a beer, suddenly shutting those opalescent, gleaming blue eyes, hiding strange emotions. “You want something?” “Let us go?” “I don’t want to”. “Don’t need to.”

Philius bucked his happy head,  the rictus readily rathe on Lusius’s warm face, that confident, dense cadaver crushing the words beneath sharp teeth. Nimble, barren, vacuous were Philius’s foolish fondness, Lusius continuing “there are 32 alps covering these plains, mires meshed in between, the dank swamp glowing green in the dead of night. That's the land we dwell within.” A grotesque spurt of blood barking up his throat .

“Emma, clean his chin please,” Zep suggested. Philius saw his friend's flimsy head hang on the pectorals, the girl swathing that chin in tough belts. Lusius, gnashing those narrow teeth, tackling the words, reastraing every bloody tart tissue clamp and clamor, reaching the words, “we have seven days. Is that fine.”

“If  we’re speeding, it’ll take a month at smallest,” Zep said, “And that's with me.” Lusius bashed back a vile retort “32 alps., their tips drenched in snow, an entire world of mire at their bases, in between them, hosted by hideous creatures, and there's a single path which takes an entire two months to cross. Ludicrous!”

“You think it's ludicrous,” Zep laughed. “We’ve already traveled more than merely a month, never once sullying our feet in that horrendous mire.” Lusius angered, vociferating, “that can’t be all Zep. There can’t be one path.” “only one path,” Zep repeated. “A curvy path placed perfectly along these windy mountains, made specifically for the prospect sell. Some would call it a failed enterprise considering the gross amount of bandits. But I won’t concur though. This wasn’t a failure. It’s dangerous, yet still survivable.”

Meddlesome and somber thoughts swelled joyfully in Philius’s mild head. But suddenly, a supple head ducked beneath his blade, blonde hair rustling on his fingertips, a sleepy voice asking, “how long was I out Zep.”

Red eyes lifted above her supple cheeks, whites surrounded by sleep encrusted skins, dreams finally evacuated from her silly little head, which then, in the dead of silence, looked up into Philius’s watery greens. The eyes hued without arrogance, hung to wet in diminishing sorrow, happiness trumping every other emotion in the boy's vigorous stare. Zep yawned, asking briefly of this precocious girl, “Think they should be allowed to leave, go on their own. Lemon, listen to me.” The girl’s face vacuous of trickery, a gleaming glint soft on every smooth edge of her cheeks, its entirely round, somewhat hideous nature orbiting drowsy red eyes. “Without a guard, bandits will eat children. I’ve seen it kids. A bandit looking for his meal, happens upon some stupid runaway, and bam, kids dead.”

The words forced from her smile, obviously intending to hurt them, though, even as her eyes could see, neither boy, not even the whitehaired crybaby, cared about that tiny little slip of fact. Philius felt his eyes drying, gazing into Lucius’s comfortable rictus. 

The black hair a drab detriment to Lusius’s waning, bleeding sight, his body belching brash puddles of crude blood, heart filled in pride for his friends growing grit. “We ain’t going through the path, Zep,” he grinned.

“As you said, the 32 alps are covered in swamp at their bases right. Be much faster to cut through the mire, don’tcha think.” He could sense, tightly trenched beneath the narrow lips his words, their rasp retort tearing into that man's menaceless, meek noggin, which, in a glacial gaze, said  “can’t let you do that either guys.”

Lusius felt the snarl snare out his lips, a cold desire to stand, to wrestle himself on either steady. The claymore clamored in its dull sheath, wishing to be drawn. Its call carving crudely in his bones, the jitterish blood boiled about the mere thought of wrapping its hands around its hilt, a hasty jounce of pleasure sure to satisfy his bloody lust to kill this shaggy-headed freak.

He felt it flowing, the intense adrenaline urged by rash remnants of ardor, a salvaged verve hexing him to stand, to stare happily, to slide the frigid, bloodless fingers onto the sheathe’s. Blood burned on chests strained stitches, the body upon its feet, Zep speaking calmly, “in this area, between the 32 alps is a land few have ever decided to pass, my boy. If one wished, they could bypass the single path, but the cost is wandering through the mire. I can’t let children walk into it.” Lusius’s fingers shed his claymore of its restrictive sheathe, those ghastly words lilting down Zep's zealous tongue merely enraging his vehement mind, hurting his pride, flailing alive the boys' certain confidence of survival.

“You’re angry Lusius, I understand, but know that no matter what you boys do in that forest, you’ll die.” Another thin geiser of grotesque blood spurted from neath the stitches, his abdomen swathed in adhesive carnage, their encrusting texture ionizing hastily.

The silver crust crumbling on every wave of muscular tissue, his tight eyes eerily jittering, a searing voice viscously speaking “we have seven days Zep. We have seven days.” His teeth bit themselves.

Zep's face was plush, similar to before. Hair was hanging, his head covered in a nights’ limber Zephyrs of air, this boy standing, trembling in temper. A damp evening doused in rage, ghastly concepts ricocheting in his skull, only one thought still skewering apart that head, “you hurt Philius,” he spoke. The words were readily calm, premeditated.

Lusius didn’t dart a glare at Philius’s serene, confused form, the black tufts of hair obstructing his venomous atare on this guile man. That notion-gurgling cretin began to gummily stir his thin lips, speak to him, that red hair hurriedly shifting along the untethered skull, “Lemon, you know how those men died? The ones in our wagon. It was clear after just one glance.” The girl, understanding something, flung back her pleasantly ludic head to look at Philius, speaking “we’re gonna return them, you know, so don’t be crying anymore.”Philiud nodded his timorous head, sheathing the sword, panning a dulcet gaze upon his friend . Lemon added “but yeah, how fresh you think they were. They hadn’t been eaten at all.” Her somnolent face laughed.

Lusius jaggedly threw his fist into the ground, the piteous smack shuddering the boy in tremors, making him drop his claymore. Another nauseating pile of red nectar stuck to the floor, his blasphemous stomach bulging out multiple stitches. Knees crumbled, the corpse-like flesh narrowly snapping its cold tendons, every sapling of energy already spent. He hated their voice. The mellow, seductive strap of vowels vexing their minds, rippling down Zeps cozening tongue, the coy trickery, the cerise cortex the ludicrous lies this magnate crutched him with. With blood clogging the gaps grown between his teeth, Lusius reached for his sword, body barely supported by the other three limbs. 

He could crassly feel his ears curdle, a clear caution that Zep was about to speak, “within these thirty two mountains there lies a trail, but yet of course, there are also forts for occasionally sleeping, typically located in the most deadly places. But only nine of them though.”

Lusius crawled feeblishly across this oak floor, feeling fine splinters curve into his meek flesh, noxious pain surging, his sword still somewhere on the cold floor. Zep’s blathering barking kept torturing him, this ragged body hardly hasting its joints, blood spurting through every minuscule movement. Marauding, feeling fertile muscle bulge its fresh flesh from the binding and bloody stitches. Zep spoke once again, “if you stay on this path with us, I guarantee you’ll live. But without us, there’s nothing to promise.”

Lusius crawled towards the voice, the crude palms poked horridly with every slight shift of weight onto the toothed floor, his nerves needled in torment. He meandered his rigorous body, feeling Zeps floor-sitting body only feet away, spouting more of his mellifluous, sermonized beliefs, “Though I can’t force you to come with us either right?”

Lusius coughed a small spill of viscid red, his eyes darting viciously, remnants of thought reeling in his head, choleric notions, notions of hatred, of murdering this red-haired cretin. He felt the man meander further in his speech.

“Emma and greg, stitch up the kid. We need lively blood pulsing for this path, not another dead carcass to return. And do it quick.”

What did he just say? Lucius softly hit his head into the tough wooden floor, feeling arduous animosity tumefy rathely in his brain, wondering if he was dead, this daze blurring every sense he conjured. He couldn’t hope of standing. What had Zeop just said?

Zep had said something. Head ballooned in mellowed, cognitive, sulfurous thoughts, suddenly noticing the tiny tone in Zepps voice, recognizing the feculent word ‘Stitch.’ He needed to squirm. They’d catch his stomach, peirce it with pungent straps of metal, maliciously pain his already throbbing gut. 

“We have seven days,” the boy squealed, voice driveling in ruby, the burbled noise unsettling the hearers stomachs, “we have seven days!” he felt a pungent vomit veer throughout his slim  throat, choking its vile viscus back down the strict esophagus.

Two grisly hands wrapped around his stomach, hurtling the boy upon its backside. Philius stuck stern fingers to his soft hilt, instinctively sliding it slightly, Lemon raising her hand, instantly snapping back his cognitive protocols. They had helped them thus far. Lusius’s squealing body buried beneath Emma’s regal limbs, their massive strength clearly clashing with nothing but a moving cadaver. 

Lusius’s vehement veins still brash with their bulging blood, a surge of strength vacuous in his scrambled abdomen, nothing to save him from the incoming stitches un-severing the tissue. Philius felt his fingers slip down his hilt, sway away from the possible carnage he could have provoked. Lusius clobbered the ground with a hollow fist, shrieking through surgical  agony “we have seven days, Zep, six by midnight you bastard,” his complexion contorted through tortuous incisions of pain. Philius croaked something.

Emma’s hands clamped to the moist bone, their brawny power peeling apart the boys childish skin in mesmeric maneuvers, veering blood back beneath its tubes, slicing it together with multiple chaining needles. The boy’s throat burst, cacophonous scowls allowed to crackle, Zep awaiting when the boy had finished, hatred battered beneath Lusius’s sapphire optics, still mendable. “Well then,” Zep spoke, cowling quietly beneath his sober breath, “I guess the only solution is that I just go with you guys into the Mire, huh. Protection and all.”

Philius’s mind meshed in decision, this kind man's resplendent offer huddling in his head, cozying the sharp wind that wailed from those multiple broad windows. Philius felt the frail and mellifluous lilt of Zep, that drunkard lilt, the warm fire fragrantly comforting them both from this frigid night. He felt Lemon slip from the bed, Emma’s feet beginning to maraud. Greg as well motioned, his forward movement meshed by that snakeish, pendulous tongue, it's gaping gashes beginning to feel slightly less cumbersome. Philius felt them protective, tepid and sheen. Lusius gritted tightly either tenacious stack of teeth, tearing out his mouth this predatory shriek “No.” Greg built the gall to stand above Zep's side, repeating that same word, “No Zep.” Lemon smacked his shoulder, saying “don’t go.” Emma hung a club over his red head, as to bash its brawny base into that buttery mind. She didn’t need words.

Zep laughed. Emma’s face absent of jolly, her words glacial, “I finished the stitches.” “You did Emma,” he answered in sharp ken. Then, staring at the boys blood-smouldered, rising stomach, Zep felt a fragile moment heading forward through this room, something certain dwelling in these small boys. Who had raised them.

Lusius’s rapacious breath boiled on his tongue, its ravenous air toxic to the nose, his belly blowing up and down, lungs clearly remaining operative. Tight esophagus devoid of sounds, Emma lowering her club, strapping it upon her back, gasping under her heavy chin the apology, “I am sorry, sir Zep.”

Zep yawned. He slowly bumbled upon either foot, never shaking his eyes from that tissue obstructed child, wondering whether it could even twist upon those twitching feet. Such a penitent sight. Zep felt his zeal wither, a warm zephyr curdled across his skin, nothing remaining except him and these interesting two children. Not even Lemon remained in his mind. He smiled. “”I think I’ve decided then” he had announced.

Philus felt his ears melt in joy. The words swathing their plush and pitiful canals, Zep speaking wondrously “I’ll give you just one chance.”

“Emma, you're gonna do me a kindness alright, if you're fine with it obviously. What do you say.” Emma merely nodded, holding her taut fingers to the crassly carved club, its wooden weight battering the full room. Zep continued, pointing a stern finger at Philius, “covering this town are thick oaks and assailable walls. If you can escape to the Mire by morning, no one but Emma will interfere. It's you vs. her. Your only advantage is-” He cut off there.

“She can’t kill us, can she,” Philius finished. Zep suddenly snapped “nice one.”

Philius felt the smile mesh onto Lucisus’s face. A tear trickled down his. With Lucius right here, there’s no way they would lose. Emma grinned as well. Zep snickered once again. “Never seen such a gallant crybaby,” he confessed promptly.

Lucius barked, his broiled in that fiercely clenched esophagus, his eyes nearly bursting from hateful pressure, “shut up bastard.” Emma just laughed, observing jokingly “a big word for you Zep, ‘gallant’”. He didn’t flinch, only bumbling on his feet, feeling the humor rise on his lips. His eyes crumpled and shut. Seemed tired. 

Philius couldn't contain his bursting and blaring excitement, locking eyes with Lucius, both of them, knowing they’d win. With Lucius to fill his head with decisions, they couldn’t fail. “Covering this town are thick oaks and assailable walls. If you can escape to the mire by morning, no one but Emma will interfere. It’s you vs. her. Your only is advantage is that she can’t kill you.” These were the rules.  They need to assail those walls, or assail the oaks. Once out this town, a large world with little but much awaited them, a grotesque mire. Philius thought. The town, surely not large, had a perimeter consisting of two separate defendants. Thick walls and massive oaks. 

 Philius felt freedom jump at their fingertips, a mere contest away from entering their adhesive palms, never let go as long as they intended to survive. Lusius had been right. They could survive. Without hesitation, tears blotching Philius’s bold optics, he burst off the warm bed, five fingers clamped across his buddies thin linen clothing, and then, from a rocket-like stance, splashed out the window with teary water resting on his inclined lips.


Submitted: June 11, 2021

© Copyright 2021 joey hunt. All rights reserved.


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