"But always remember, when things seem the most dark and treacherous, you have been chosen for a reason. You are a light in this unforgiving, dark world."
Darkness fell on the once beautiful kingdom of Sedonia. Clouds covered the sky, and plants withered away. Citizens of Sedonia retreated into their homes and huddled their younglings. Consumed by power and greed, the evil Dargomoth directed his armies towards Sedonia. Dargomoth desperately desired something from the kingdom, and he was willing to sacrifice everything.
Inside the walls of Sedonia, the streets were empty and lifeless. The brick streets glimmered with the last portion of sunlight remaining, and the main courtyard rustled with the sound of withered plants blowing in the wind. Besides the remaining portion of the sun, no source of light was present in the common areas. However, looking down the main street, there was a source of light in the palace. The sun quickly sank below the horizon, and Sedonia was completely dark.
The horde of orcs blanketed the horizon, and brave Sedonians awaited the dark army to reach the walls. Archers aimed their sharp arrows towards the incoming orcs, and swordsman awaited behind the massive gate with full metal suits. Sedonian catapults were ready to unleash huge stones, and the soldiers only awaited their officers’ commands. The Sedonians had no reason to fight, but they were threatened by senseless evil. Slowly, the orcs came closer to the walls, but the King and Queen of Sedonia were no where to be found.
The King and Queen were past the houses, the common areas, and the second wall of Sedonia. They were inside their magnificent palace impatiently waiting for the Great Witch. William Aldo Leopold, the king of Sedonia, summoned the Great Witch because he knew what Dargomoth desired.
“Where is she?” King Leopold nervously murmured to himself, “we don’t have much time.”
In the lobby, Queen Scarlett Emma Leopold sat beside him calmly stroking his back. Her beautiful blonde hair shimmered in the candlelight and looked like molten gold cascading from her scalp. From her crystal blue eyes, tears washed makeup and uncovered bare skin down her face. She also knew what Dargomoth desired.
“The Great Witch will come, but what are your plans when she finally arrives?” Scarlett softly said to William.
“I’m not sure, but I have an idea. I hope she will be able to perform the task I require. I told our forces to defend us as long as possible. I know they will eventually lose this battle and retreat to the second wall behind the common areas.”
“How will we stop him from destroying all of Sedonia?”
“We need to give Dargomoth what he wants.”
Scarlett screamed, “no! How dare you say such a thing!” Her whole body shook with frustration.
Finally, the Great Witch arrived and stepped into the lobby. Her mangled black hair covered her gray face, and she wore torn clothes that covered her whole body. The door closed slowly behind her, and she walked towards William and Scarlett. She knew how to perform powerful magic, but she wasn’t evil; only sometimes greedy.
The Great Witch snarled, “why did you summon me William?”
“We need your help,” William calmly said. “Dargomoth’s forces will break through and destroy all of Sedonia. He is not only after the wealth of Sedonia, he desires something from Scarlett and I. Dargomoth desires it because he is scared of it.”
Anxious and frustrated the Great Witch asked, “But what? What does Dargomoth desire? What is he scared of?”
Scarlett grabbed something from a miniature carriage that sat beside the marble staircase. Scarlett said tenderly, “he is after our only son.”
Angrily the Great Witch replied, “why is he after your four-month-old son? Dargomoth is almost the strongest man who has ever lived, why would he be afraid of a mere infant?” The Great Witch didn’t understand but desperately wanted to know the answer.
William looked directly into her cold dark eyes, “that is none of your concern, your only concern is the task I need you to perform.” The Great Witch scolded and broke eye contact with William. She walked towards Scarlett and the baby boy.
The Great Witch looked into the baby boy’s innocent eyes and said, “let me prepare.”
The orcs were dangerously close to the walls now. The archers stretched their bows, and the swordsman drew their swords. The Sedonians heard snarls from the horde in front of them. Then, all at once, the orcs started to charge angrily towards the walls. Orders were yelled from every officer to release the arrows. The arrows sprinkled the sky and rained down on the charging horde. The orcs raised their shields, but the arrows still found black flesh. The arrows kept raining, and the lifeless bodies piled on the ground in front of the walls. Catapults released their huge rocks and tumbled through the horde. The orcs released their smaller catapults, but they were all directed toward the main gate. After relentless battering, the main gate finally broke open, and the orcs scrambled to reach the gate. The wall of Sedonian swordsman clashed against the incoming horde. The orcs used a massive troll in order to break the Sedonian line, but an officer jumped off the wall and landed on top of the troll. He grabbed his sword with both hands and thrust it through the troll’s skull. The troll toppled to the ground, but the orcs kept swarming. Their numbers were too great, and the Sedonians were forced to retreat. They swiftly drew back past the common areas, and they established another line at the second wall.
Inside the palace, William and Scarlett looked out at the horrifying sight. They saw people rushing inside the second wall and houses engulfed in flame. William turned to the Great Witch, “are you done yet? We don’t have time!”
“Yes, all the preparations are complete,” the Great Witch replied.
Scarlett shook with fear, “So what is your plan William?”
“Dargomoth will come for the baby, and we need to give him what he wants in order to save the kingdom,” said William. Scarlett continued to shake her head with disagreement and fright.
William continued, “however, he is afraid of the boy, so I believe we should keep our son alive. Even if we give him the boy, Dargomoth will return for the kingdom. He is heartless, so he will destroy the boy immediately. We need to fake the boy’s death.”
Immediately Scarlett exclaimed, “but how?”
The Great Witch interrupted, “I can move your lives in different bodies, especially if you three are family. A body is only a life sealed away.”
William nodded as if he already knew, and Scarlett pretended not to listen.
The Great Witch continued, “I can move the boy’s life inside your womb.” The Great Witch pointed to the back of Scarlett. Scarlett turned around and tilted her head. Her long blonde hair draped to one side, and William walked over to comfort her.
“But Dargomoth will know the boy’s body is lifeless and artificial,” said William.
The Great Witch answered, “yes, that is why William’s life will be transferred to the boy’s body, and the boy’s life will be transferred to your womb, and you will be pregnant again with the boy.” She paused, and began again looking at Scarlett, “However, when you give birth, I believe you will die.”
At this point, the orcs stopped and flames erupted from every house in the common areas. A huge man with dark skin stepped forward from the chaos. His hair was many shades of black, and his eyes were red. He wore a red robe lined with gold, and his bare broad shoulders protruded from the top of his robe. His muscular body stood at almost seven feet tall, and he wore gold on his fingers, wrists, and neck. The man was Dargomoth.
All the orcs fell silent, and Dargomoth emptied his lungs, “You know why I am here, William Aldo Leopold! Give me the boy, or I will destroy everything.” His voice echoed throughout the silent kingdom, and everyone turned toward the palace.
William and Scarlett both nodded with agreement. Whispering to herself, the Great Witch started the magical process. The witch’s hands moved in a systematical motion as William held Scarlett tenderly. He wiped tears from Scarlett’s smooth cheeks and smiled.
“Don’t be afraid of death,” William said softly, “because you shouldn’t be afraid of the unknown, and I will be waiting for you on the other side.”
Scarlett sighed with relief and smiled back at William. Blue light shot out of the witch’s hands and landed on the boy’s body. The same light turned green and flew towards Scarlett’s stomach. Scarlett stumbled backwards as the green light entered her abdomen, and the boy’s body turned limp.
William ran his fingers through Scarlett’s long silky hair, “You are truly beautiful, did you know that?”
Scarlett grabbed his hand and rested her cheek in his palm. She closed her eyes and said, “I do, because you tell me everyday.” They smiled at each other and kissed for the last time.
William squeezed Scarlett tightly. Blue light shot out of the witch’s hands again and landed on William. The light surrounded him and then soared into the baby’s body. Scarlett felt William’s grip loosen and drift away. William’s body fell out of Scarlett’s hands and toppled on the floor. His body was motionless and silent, but in the carriage the baby stirred once more.
Scarlett rolled the carriage out of the palace and onto the street. The Sedonians looked weary and puzzled as their queen walked towards the orcs. She passed the second wall and slowly entered the common areas.
As Scarlett approached, the gloomy moonlight shone down on the common area. The only light came from the aflame houses and the moon. Scarlett’s tears glistened from the fires, and Dargomoth’s eyes blended in. Dargomoth almost looked surprised when Scarlett and the baby stood in front of him.
He grinned, “well, I must admit, I admire your courage Scarlett, but where is your sweet William?”
Scarlett said nothing. She put her head down and pushed the carriage towards Dargomoth. He inspected the carriage, and he saw the baby’s hands move and his eyes blink.
“William doesn’t matter, now that I have the boy. I promised I would leave once I had the boy, and so I shall.” Dargomoth paused and laughed hysterically, “but I will return for this kingdom!”
As Scarlett turned and walked away towards the palace, Dargomoth stepped away from the carriage and raised his massive arm. He pointed his palm towards the carriage, and a yellow light illuminated from his hand. The yellow light soared from his hand and hit the carriage, erupting into thousands of fiery pieces. Scarlett turned her head to look, then continued her trip back to the palace. The baby’s body and William’s life were destroyed.
The dark army and Dargomoth left Sedonia, and Scarlett reunited with the Great Witch in the palace. Looking at her abdomen, Scarlett entered into a deep thought.
The Great Witch interrupted, “what will become of the boy?”
Grievously, Scarlett answered, “the boy cannot live in Sedonia. Dargomoth will return for the kingdom, and perhaps the rest of the world. The boy is our only hope.”
“So where will you give birth? Where will the boy live?”
Scarlett immediately answered, “I will give birth in Mistwood.”
Nine months later, Scarlett rushed for her horse. Her abdomen was fully expanded and burning. The horse galloped through the courtyard and towards the main gate. Scarlett pushed the horse to its maximum speed for many miles until they reached a great tree line. A smooth path with parallel lines of rocks became visible, and Scarlett reached a massive stone. She dismounted her horse and stumbled in front of the great stone. Scarlett’s abdomen was fully stretched, and she was physically and mentally strained. She slowly fell to her knees.
The wind whistled through the trees, and the sunlight sparkled the ground through the dense canopy. The ground was moist and cold. Scarlett looked down at her protruding abdomen and gently cradled it.
“Nathan William Leopold, you have a dangerous future. You must overcome many obstacles.” Scarlett’s heartbeat slowed and she struggled to keep upright. She whispered, “your mother and father love you very much, and I can’t wait to see the man you become. I have no doubt that you will succeed. But always remember, when things seem the most dark and treacherous, you have been chosen for a reason. You are a light in this unforgiving, dark world.”
The great stone opened and split into two halves, and a hooded man approached Scarlett. The man lifted Scarlett and carried her into Mistwood. Moans and screams shot through the forest, and the agonizing process lasted for hours. Finally, surrounded by blood, Scarlett stopped breathing. The beautiful Queen of Sedonia was dead, and the boy entered the world once more.
© Copyright 2016 DavidWinter. All rights reserved.
Book / Fantasy
Short Story / Action and Adventure
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