Christophe Beau and the Carriage

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A despised magician saves a young boy's life. More to come

Submitted: December 03, 2013

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Submitted: December 03, 2013

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He walked down the street, feet taking long strides, jacket flowing behind him. His elegance cast a shadow onto everyone around him, leaving them with an impression that he was not only beautiful, but dangerous as well. His auburn hair was tied back neatly, a black ribbon holding the usually free-flowing pieces. A carriage rocked past, and the wooden wheels smashed against the stones beneath them. Despite the various conversations, shouts, and overall ruckus, his boots still clicked with the prominence of a strike of lightening in a pitch black night.

Everyone in this small town knew this man. It was Christophe Beau, the magnificent, the revolutionary, the magic one. He was known by many names by many people, but very few knew what he was really called. He spoke to almost no one, and yet still seemed to know everyone and everything. It was rumored that he was a demon, though some preferred to call him a saint. In all truth, he was just a very smart human being.

His walk had led him right into the clothing shop at the end of the road. The bell above the door rang noisily upon his entering.  He nodded politely at the other customers in the small store as he made his way to the front counter. An old man with a sagging face and white, fluffy hair sat behind the register. His eyes widened slightly at the sight of the infamous Christophe.

“Hello, sir. What can I do for you?” he asked, voice cracking involuntarily.

“Good evening, my good man. I would like to buy a new cane, if you don’t mind,” Christophe’s voice seeped through the room slowly, as though it were honey filling a bowl. Everyone listened to it, savoring its sweetness. A few heads turned toward him, taken aback, for most had never heard him utter a single word.

Christophe waited patiently as the stunned old man got his bearings and went to the back of the shop. He came back with a small catalog full of loose papers. Some were wrinkled, some folded, and others were just casually strewn aside. He placed it in front of the younger man and opened it to the first page.

“This is our selection, it’s not very large,” said the shopkeeper, doing everything in his power to avoid making eye contact with Christophe.

The auburn-haired gentleman pulled the small book toward him. He took his time, reading the words on the page. Eventually, he held out his gloved hand, positioning it slightly above the stack of disarrayed papers. Suddenly, the papers pushed themselves aside, creating a stack on the opposite cover of the catalog; they even organized themselves. The old man gasped and his hands trembled against the countertop. The others in the shop stood at an angle that made it appear as though he were turning the pages as anyone else would.

Finally, with a final rustle of paper, it fell to a page ornamented with a beautiful, polished cane, a lion’s head at the grip.

“This will do. Please have the shaft painted black and polished neatly, I would like the grip to be gold if that isn’t an issue. Here are the measurements,” Christophe held out a small piece of cardstock, small numbers written across the surface. “I’ll be here to retrieve it at this time tomorrow, will that be alright?” he asked, smiling ever so slightly. The old man could do naught but nod his head; he hadn’t even the senses to shut his gaping mouth. Christophe chuckled to himself and turned on his heel to head out.

The bell rang once more, the noise following him down the front steps. He prepared himself to head to the next shop, but was instead distracted by a young child in the road. He had found a coin. Christophe smiled and admired the small boy, how he became attached to something so small just because of the shine. He dazed himself with thoughts and how this child would one day become just like the adults that surrounded him.  With a snap, he heard a carriage. There, just fifty yards off was a large, luxurious horse pulling it on metal wheels.

Too fast, it was going too fast.

The child turned, as if in slow motion, his eyes widening in fear. There was something else there, but Christophe had stopped observing. His jacket fell behind as he rushed into the street to lock the child in his embrace, protecting him from the metal monster that came for his life. He grabbed the boy and held tight as his body braced for the impact. Christophe whispered frantically in the remaining second that followed, then all at once, the horse and carriage rammed into his back.

Everything was silent for a moment before the villagers came to see what had happened. Shocked gasps and hateful, harsh words were strewn around as they viewed the scene before them, one by one.

The horse’s head had caved in, blood trickling freely onto the stones, cracks turning to canals. The driver lay dead, body slung over the side of his seat. The carriage behind the dying horse was dented; black paint was scraped off revealing the shiny undersurface. The contraption holding the horse to the seating area was twisted in odd contortions, one piece stuck through the horse’s neck.  A young woman stood outside of the carriage, hair in tangled locks and dress pulled in strange-looking folds.

Christophe slowly uncurled himself from the boy, back popping in several places as he straightened his spine. He stood, white, flowing shirt now dirty with mud from the horse’s hoof. The black ribbon had fallen from his hair, letting it fall into his face in strings. He took in the horrified faces surrounding him. All of them were directed toward himself, every angry glare, every appalled, gaping, mouth. He sighed softly.

Turning around, he went to the young woman standing beside the wreck. He bowed.

“Your majesty. I apologize for this tragedy. I could not have allowed myself to live with the guilt of letting the boy be trampled by a horse such as that. Please accept my compensation.” With that, he handed her a small, leather pouch heavy with coins and walked past her, toward his house.


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