Reads: 118

 The Flame

Hal woke up drenched in cold sweat and his throat dry as the ground outside. The moons light shined through his window, not even the night gave any shelter from the heat. Getting up, he quietly put on his shoes, tying his sword to his waist, a torch and grabbing his leather water sack; he slipped out of his room, tiptoeing past his Father’s room and out of the house.

He strolled through his small town, looking at the dried vegetation and could feel the dust blowing in the slight wind as he headed towards the forest, his feet quietly tapping against the dried ground. Due to the heat, they had to be careful about the usage of the towns water pump and only those who could protect themselves were allowed to go into the forest and collect water due to the dangers which dwelled there. Hal used the town’s entrance fire to light his torch as he carried on walking towards the forest and past the camp his Father’s had set up.

Walking through the forest, the trees and vegetation started to become thicker the further he went, there was no sound other than the occasional owl, the rustling of leaves in the wind and Hal's own footsteps. He neared a tree marked with a picture of a water drop and an arrow pointing right and could hear the stream getting louder as he walked closer.

The stream was only small, there was a larger one further in the forest but his town’s people never went to the stream unless they needed to clean clothes and went in large groups and horses as animals went to drink and wash. Uncorking his water sack, Hal bent down on his knee and filled it, corking it once more and then proceeding to cup water in his hands, bringing it to his lips to drink and wash his face.

"Hal" a voice whispered in the wind, lightly blowing the grounds dust around him.

Standing abruptly, unsheathing his sword, Hal looked at his surroundings, using the touches light to see, but saw nothing but the trees.

"Hal" voiced the whisper again and Hal felt a faint tugging on his mind and images flashed in front of his eyes of the forbidden section of the forest and felt someone or something beckoning him there. Being the adventurous person he is, Hal grabbed his water sack and headed further into the forest, forever aware and on guard, shoulders tensed and blade in hand.

Something told him where he had to go, that something was calling out to him and this guided him through the thick trees and lead him into a direction he had never been before. It was an area that was forbidden by the elders of the town and had been forbidden years before he was born, so he and all those his age, chose not to even go near. But, Hal had given into this urge that he had been feeling for weeks now, he could feel it, a connection with something there, one of which he could not ignore.

Pushing past several tree branches, he saw a small empty clearing at the bottom of a cliff that had ivy growing up it. As he entered the clearing, he felt his brain being tugged and his eyes focused on the ivy, noticing that it was thinner in one area and that it had stone structures, making it look like an entrance. Walking closer, he drew his sword and sliced at the ivy, expecting it to hit the stone slide but felt it meet no collision. Taking this as encouragement, he started to hack at the remaining ivy and saw and entrance into the mountain and that a strange light started to glow from within.

He started making his way into this new area, however, hesitated as his foot fell within the mouth of the mountain; his fathers' and elders' warnings filled his head. But what was the faint tugging had now became to feel like a horse pulling a cart, he wanted, no, need to know what was within this cave that made this connection with him. Gulping, he pushed himself forward, fist clenched around his sword handle, he noticed that there were touches, set aflame with red flames; the heat was surprisingly warm, as the walls were damp. It smelt like stale water and the faint sounds of the flames flickering, water dripping and Hal's steady footsteps echoed off the walls.

Looking closer at the walls, he saw carvings, untouched for centuries. They were of humans with animal features being led by mythical beasts, all of which were fighting with magic and ten beings coming up from areas such as forests, rivers, caves and the sky and sealing away the magic and the beasts into orbs.

He came upon an old, oak door; steel weaved around its hinges, across the wood and formed an impenetrable lock. Hal pulled at the handles in vain, the metal had not rusted or become weak from its years of being standing alone in the damp. He turned to walk away when a voice called out and Hal felt the tugging on his mind vanish.

"You have finally come, fated one"

What? Hal thought as he faced the door and saw words appear on the oak, engraved, but why weren't they there before?

"You think of many questions through your sort life young one" It chuckled as Hal looked round to see if he was alone still. He saw No One.

"You won't find me out here young one" the voice said.

"Then where are ya?" Hal called, his face twisting in irritation, his grip on his sword tightening.

"Read the writing upon my door and I shall grant you access" the voice said Hal felt like a pair of warm arms had embraced him, "Become the rightful holder of the Orb and bring peace onto this land! You'll travel through the land and see and learn so many things, help so many people and unite leaders under one banner".

Looking at the door more closely, Hal began to read the writing, "I, thee fated hero an' true barer of the Orb, shall fight the darkness tha' lies within thee an' bring upon a new light in thee's heart" he read out load. Instantly after he had read the last word, the metal on the door began to move and the lock had become undone, the door opening on its own as Hal stepped back in amazement.

"Come to me Hal" the voice had become louder and Hal felt the tugging on his mind once again, more persistent than it was before.

"Yeah, yeah" he muttered, as he stepped into a large open dome, book shelves lined the walls holding thousands of books, perfectly bending with the shape of the circle. Within the center was a lifted floor, the area was also a circle and held a table, the light shining from a chandelier that held never melting candles.

"Hal, go to the table" the voice said, Hal felt another's hand clasp his own and then was tugged to the table, stumbling over his own feet, "He...Hey!" He called out irritated, his face frowning in displeasure and his lack of ability to control his own movements. He was forced to a stop when he had reached the table and saw a magnificent sword, one whose beauty and craftsmanship he had never come across before, not in life or in books. The handle was weaved in a perfect balance of gold, silver and copper and had a slot where an Orb would fit on the handle at the base of the blade. The blade held no marks other than the foreign words engraved down its side near the handle. Next to this, were the blades sheath and an open box, its case lined with expensive red satin and held a small Orb, a mixture of reds shined and swirled within the center.

"Forgive me Hal, but I do not have much time left" the voice said behind his ear and Hal turned to come faced with a woman, clad in battle armor, fur and leather, a claw shaped scar ran across her face, but that only seemed to add to her beauty as her hair was tied in a loose braid and rested over her shoulder, reaching just below her chest.

"Who are ya-"

She raises her hand to stop him from talking further as she walked around him and towards the table.

"These have been passed down through a special bloodline. However, they were not the true bearers of this blade and its orb. They only were able to harness half of its power and therefore, could not bring peace upon this land and its people". The woman then looked up at him, a tight smile on her lips. "I heard you talking to your father about me".

"I was talkin' to him about the spirit of the forest actually" Hal stated, crossing his arms, watching her movements"

"Yes, I know, and who do you think that is?" she chuckled at his expressions that changed from concentration, to thinking, understanding and then bewilderment, she then became serious. "I am Flinda, the Spirit of Flame, Hal; your birth was that of destiny, it was foretold before the creation of man, before the creation of life itself besides my kind. You are now in great danger. However, it will be up to you and your decisions alone that will decide if you should fail or succeed. Take the sword and Orb and help bring peace to the lands."

"Don't I get a say in this?" He growled, his hand slamming onto the table, making the sword rattle against the ancient wood.

"If you don't take them, then you will not be able to protect those you care about and mankind shall be doomed to fall" She said and held his head and brought it to hers so their foreheads met, images of his town being destroyed and the people he was brought up with being murdered before his eyes flashed through his mind, other towns, cities and villages meeting the same fate, killed by men in armor carrying the Queendoms flag. He flung himself away from the Spirit, his back hitting the floor.

"What was tha'?" he cried out, looking at her with fearful and desperate eyes.

"That, My Dearest Hal, is what is to come, if you do not take the sword and Orb" She told him, her voice soft and her face filled with sorrow. "You must bring unity and peace upon man or this ending shall happen and the world will be lost". She reached out her hand to touch his shoulder, but went it went through, startling her, "My time is nearing its end. Hal! Take them now while I still have the strength to do the incantation" she urged, her voice frantic.

Nodding his head in defeat, Hal reached the table and picked up the sword and Orb, feeling a sudden warm flow through his body and the connection he felt earlier strengthen, a soft gold glow over took his body as he heard Flinda start to mutter in a foreign language. An instinct told him to place the orb within the blades slot, saying that it would make the blade and him stronger and it would complete the magic. Following this, the blade started to become warmer, a blinding burning pain flowed from it to his hand, up to his shoulder causing him to scream out, his eyes widened, the pupils diluting, he tried to pull away but he couldn’t let go, his body not responding.

"It is done. I gave you my power. I hope you the best my Flame Warrior. Restore this world to peace and restore the magic of my kind" she whispered, her body had already faded away into the night as Hal continued to scream.

Submitted: April 21, 2014

© Copyright 2022 Riku Green. All rights reserved.


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