The Boys of Lionshire (Part Six)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Book Dragons

Submitted: December 23, 2017

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Submitted: December 23, 2017




The Lionshire counsel had only commenced about once a year since I have been here.  The last one we had was about a food shortage we were facing because an unexpected ice storm ravaged the few food crops that we were able to grow.  The meetings were only supposed to take place in the most extreme circumstances, and Sara’s arrival was extreme enough for Bastion to call the counsel to session.


The counsel sessions were usually productive, with the solutions to our problems usually being the end result of the meeting.  Although I was never invited to attend before, I usually snuck within earshot of the meetings to hear what was going on.  The boys rarely left the meeting before there was an undivided, mutually agreed upon decision.  I expected nothing less from this meeting and was prepared to make waves.


Sara is the best thing that has happened to me during my stint at Lionshire.  There was no way I was going to let the counsel decide that she had to go without strongly voicing my opinion.  Getting in another fistfight was out of the question considering my current condition, but I felt as if I’d gained a certain amount of respect after I put Freddy and Alexander in their rightful places.  It was time to use my words instead of my fists to get my point across.  I knew they would never listen, but I would have to try my hardest.


“Boys of Lionshire”, Bastion announced to the crowd, “The Lionshire counsel is now in session.”


The boys took their places and sat in a loose circle around the tree stump pedestal while Freddy and Alexander stood close by Bastion.  Bastion stepped down from the pedestal and sat down on the stump to appear less menacing to the crowd.  I continued to sit on the welcoming throne, furiously coming up with counter arguments in my head.


“We are here to discuss a topic of great concern to our community”, he began, “An outsider, one of a different nature, has descended upon us.  Together, we will decide the fate of the girl.”


The boys all listened to the words spoken by our leader and most shook their heads in agreement.  I was less enthused by the sideshow.


“The Gatekeepers have sent us Sara and have crushed the peace we have lived so long with.  It is with absolute certainty that I suggest we cast this outsider from our group.”


I studied the crowd to see their reaction to his words as I tenderly massaged the swollen tissue around my eye.  I was surprised to see that a little over half of the crowd looked like they were in agreement with his words while the others seemed uninterested in the topic of discussion.  I needed to speak, and I needed to do it before Bastion persuaded the entire group.


“Why do you think the Gatekeepers brought her here?” I interrupted.  “It must have been for a reason.”


Bastion contemplated the question for a moment before choosing his words.  “Why did the Gatekeepers bring any of us here in the first place?  The Gatekeepers are not our friends.  They would like nothing more than to destroy the autonomy that we live with every day.”


As much as I hated to admit it, Bastion was right.  The Gatekeepers were the reason that all of us were here.  If it weren’t for them, I would still be at home, living a life of luxury with my wealthy parents.


“Maybe Sara isn’t the problem”, a boy named Charles said, “Maybe it’s the Gatekeepers that we should be angry with.”


A few nodded in agreement with Charles.


Bastion scratched his leg and addressed the crowd again.  “We can’t do anything about the Gatekeeps; we have no control over that.  What we do have control of, is the immediate circumstance we find ourselves in.”


I had long loathed the Gatekeepers and saw an opportunity to shift the topic from Sara to our faceless captors. 


“You’re right, Bastion”, I said, stroking his ego, “The Gatekeepers have never been our friend.  They ripped all of us from our lives and brought us here to rot in Lionshire.  They let us starve when our food supply is running low and they wait until one of us is so sick that we are about to die before dropping much needed care packages with medicine.  Instead of breaking apart, we need to pull together to figure our how to defeat them!”


A few of these boys started to clap at my semi-inspirational speech.  I was starting to gain momentum and Bastion appeared flustered.


“How will we ever defeat them”, Bastion said, “It’s impossible.  The only time we see any of them is when we get a new arrival.  Who knows how long it’ll be until the next one comes in?”


“Then we wait”, I said.  “We have nothing but time to come up with a plan, and when the next new arrival gets here, we strike them when they don’t suspect it.”


A few of the boys looked on with admiration at my tough words for our captors.  I was even surprised at the words that were coming out of my mouth.  Then we wait.  Strike them when they don’t suspect it.  Defeat our captors.  I’d never considered the thought before and it was exciting new territory for me.  I only hoped that my words weren’t empty and that the idea would catch fire with the boys.


“I don’t know, Bastion”, another boy interjected, “We don’t have any weapons and none of us are skilled in combat tactics.”


“Baloney!” I shouted.  “None of knew half the things we know how to do now before we came to Lionshire.  We’ll make weapons.  We’ll train to prepare for war.  We will defeat them!”


Bastion stood back up on the stump and towered defiantly over the crowd.  “Enough with this talk about defeating the Gatekeepers!  It’s a hopeless dream that only leads to our deaths.  We can’t win a gun fight with sticks and stones.”


“Then we have to be smarter than them”, I said.  “David defeated Goliath with a stone; we can do the same.”


“I don’t know, Ian”, Charles said, “Bastion has a point.  It would be nearly impossible to win against them.  The idea sounds great in theory, but I can’t wrap my head around how we would go about it.”


I felt a hand on my shoulder when I was about to respond.  I looked back and was pleased to see Shane had rejoined the discussion.  He seemed calm and collected and was ready to commit to a plan to defeat the gatekeepers.  It was all the reassurance I needed; this was the right thing to do.


“We have to try”, Shane said in support of me, “Besides, we have nothing to lose.  As far as I know, no one has ever made it out of Lionshire alive.  If we die, at least we died fighting for the boys to the left and right of us.”


Bastion was beside himself.  “It’s not if we die, it’s a matter of when we die.  And we die if we go up against them.”


Freddy and Alexander had remained quite during the entire conversation.  I couldn’t believe it when they finally spoke.


“I’m with you, Ian.” Freddy said quietly while avoiding Bastion’s harsh stare.


Alexander slightly nodded his head in agreement.  “Me too.”


“Who else agrees with me?” I asked the crowd.  “Speak now or forever hold your peace.”


One by one the boys raised their hands.  Before long, over half of the group of boys held their dirty hands proudly in the air.  A revolution was happening in Lionshire and I was leading the charge.


“Then it’s done”, I finally said.  “Now where is Sara?”


Bastion continued to stand on the stump in disbelief at what was happening.  “You guys can’t be serious.  We’ll all die.  I refuse to take part in your wishes to perish.”  Moments later, he sulked off in to the woods, fully aware that his reign as the leader of the boys of Lionshire was officially over.


“Sara’s down by the river”, Charles said.  “Bastion caught her there while she was fetching water and tied her to the dead sycamore tree.  None of us had anything to do with, Ian.  It was all Bastion.”


“Don’t worry about it”, I said reassuringly, “Let’s go get her.”


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