Yesterday there was the annual book fair in our town, so we spent half the day there. I only got eight books, 3 Harry Potter, 'Avalanche Pass' by John Flanagan, 1 dictionary of mythical creatures, 1 Irish folk tales book, 'Airborn' by Kenneth Oppel and 'The Silmarillion' by Tolkien.
The book fair is my excuse for the fact that this post is slightly later in the day than I usually do them. (At least I think it is.) I didn't actually write the story until this morning. But I did find that I wrote it surprisingly quickly considering I started off with no idea what was going to happen. :D
For those who don't know, since I ended up with equal votes for both option 2 and option 3 I decided to combine them and this is the resulting option, perhaps I should call it option 5 because it's 2+3:
5. Nainsi sat in clear view, her arms chained to her chair. Flicks’ eyes widened incredulously as she saw that Nainsi, as if oblivious to the chains, was calmly sipping a cup of steaming tea. But something else made Flicks stare in surprise: a pair of boots, covered in fine, red dust. The wearer of these remained hidden by her restricted view. She groaned inwardly, she knew exactly who it was.
How's that? I hope it's not objectionable to anyone that I'm combining them because if it is too bad, as by the time you read this it'd (just to state the obvious) already be published so...yeah.
I confess that option number three was my favourite so I was perfectly happy to write something about it.
To the story now, so you can see the result of my morning!
Nainsi sat in clear view, her arms chained to her chair. Flicks’ eyes widened incredulously as she saw that Nainsi, as if oblivious to the chains, was calmly sipping a cup of steaming tea. But something else made Flicks stare in surprise: a pair of boots, covered in fine, red dust. The wearer of these remained hidden by her restricted view. She groaned inwardly, she knew exactly who it was.
Flicks scrambled to her feet. “This is completely crazy!” she hissed at Skilf. “For one, Nainsi is supposed to be in Esueño—”
“Apparently she isn’t,” Skilf interrupted.
“And what’s Kendal doing here?” Flicks continued, ignoring Skilf interruption.
“Don’t ask me! I’ve got less clue than you,” Skilf replied. “This doesn’t look good,” she groaned softly.
“I believe I did mention the fact that we might be near Nainsi,” Fred pointed out from her usual position on Flicks’ shoulder.
“Yes, but you didn’t say she’d be chained up in a room with Kendal,” Flicks replied with some heat.
Skilf winced at the amount of noise she made and opened her mouth to say something but she stopped at the sound of footsteps on the other side of the door. She dived under a small table and Flicks after but a moment’s hesitation took the only cover left, under a chair.
Flicks only just had time to squeeze herself under and pull her legs in before the door opened. Lord Cameron stood in the doorway. He looked up and down the hallway then back over his shoulder. “No one here. It was probably just some servants,” he said.
“Perhaps you should tell your servants not to come this way when you are...meeting with visitors,” came an all too familiar voice from inside the room.
Flicks glanced towards Skilf. She was half covering her face with her hands as if it would make it harder for her Uncle to see her. Fred squiggled around trying to unjam herself from between Flicks and the chair. Flicks bit her lip, forcing herself to stay still until the door closed. But Lord Cameron seemed uncertain that his theory about servants was correct and remained in the doorway, looking along the corridor.
Flicks heard the clink of a chain then Nainsi’s voice reached her ears. “How long are you planning on standing there for? I’m getting slightly tired of staring at your back. Besides, I’m almost out of tea.”
Lord Cameron spun to face into the room. “You should be glad I even gave you the first cup,” he snarled and slammed the door behind him.
Flicks released a breath and emerged from beneath the chair. Fred stretched her wings, “That was interesting,” she said.
Skilf joined them and looked at the closed door. “It’s a good thing Men are half blind and half deaf really, otherwise we’d be in a bit of trouble. For a second or so there I was sure we’d end up as pickled monkey or something of the like.”
“Pickled monkey?” Flicks asked in a whisper.
“Long story, I’ll tell you later,” Skilf said. “Right now, we need a plan.”
“For a start we could move away from that door,” Fred suggested.
Flicks nodded, “Good idea.” She walked along the hall to the far end, Skilf several steps behind.
Skilf leant her back against the wall, staring unseeingly at the floor. “What are you—” Flicks began but Skilf held up a hand to stop her. Flicks fell silent and made her way to a window, looking out over the forest.
Skilf suddenly straightened and turned a flashing grin on Flicks. “I’ve got it!”
“Got what?” Flicks asked.
“We’ll climb out the window, and climb across the wall to just below Lord Cameron’s meeting room and climb in the hidden room there!” Skilf said triumphantly.
“There is a hidden room?” Flicks questioned.
“Aye,” Skilf replied, rolling her eyes. “If there wasn’t I wouldn’t have said there was.”
“Whatever,” Flicks said, and turned back to the window. Finding the latch she pushed it open. “Who first?” she raised an eyebrow at Skilf.
“You go first,” Skilf returned. “There’s a ledge you can put your feet on once you’re down low enough.”
“Okay,” Flicks said. “You coming with me Fred?”
Fred lashed her tail and jumped onto the floor. “I’ll fly,” she said, then whispered something that Flicks only just caught. “Flicks Fails to Fly but Fred Flew.”
“What was that?” Flicks asked.
“Flicks Fails to Fly but Fred Flew,” Fred repeated, “Try say it. It’s a tongue twister.”
“Flicks fails to fly but Fred flew,” Flicks said. “What’s so hard about that?”
Fred’s face looked disappointed. “Never mind,” she muttered.
Flicks shrugged and swung one leg out the window. I’m not going to think about the massive drop below me and what would happen if I fell. I’m not going to think about falling at all... Oh, wait a moment...I am.
Flicks swung her other leg over the window sill and twisted around, her feet feeling for footholds. I really should have taken my shoes off, she thought, too late now. Flicks sighed with relief as she felt the ledge under her feet. She looked up at Skilf’s anxious face peering over the windowsill.
“All good?” Skilf asked in a half whisper.
“As good as climbing along a castle wall can be I guess,” Flicks replied. She shuffled her feet along the ledge, her heart in her mouth. She felt a ridiculous urge to laugh as she thought about that figure of speech. If my heart was actually in my mouth I don’t think I’d be casually climbing along the wall of a castle, she thought, but then, you never know.
Flicks moved along the wall, her eyes on the window of Lord Cameron’s meeting room. All she had to do was get there without falling and then...get into Skilf’s secret room somehow. She realised she’d forgotten to ask how to get into it.
“Hey Skilf?” she called softly.
“Aye,” Skilf replied.
“How do I get into your secret room thingy?”
The reply came quietly, “Just kick the bricks above the ledge when you’re under the window of Lord Cameron’s meeting room. It’ll open then so you can drop into it.”
Flicks swallowed nervously at the word ‘drop’ wondering if Skilf meant that literally or not. She continued along the ledge and reached her goal without falling, dying, accidentally breathing her heart, laughing about nothing or even being seen.
Flicks decided to take a slight risk and she reached up and hooked her fingers onto the sill of the window, desperately hoping no one inside had suddenly felt the need for a breath of fresh air. She stood on one foot and kicked the wall with the other.
Instantly a gap, half a meter square appeared as the stones of the wall moved back silently. Flicks realised that the dropping was literally. She took a deep breath and tried to steady her thumping heart.
Then the window opened.
The bottom of the window grazed Flicks’ fingers as it came up and Flicks bit her lip waiting for the shout of surprise that signalled her discovery.
Lord Cameron leant out the window, taking a deep breath of the cold air. Flicks held her breath, any moment now he’ll look down and see me.
“So Manirus is planning to invade over Rocos?” Kendal’s voice came through the window.
Lord Cameron turned, “Yes, I have had meetings with them thrice now and we have come to an agreement.” The tall lord disappeared from Flicks’ view as he spoke, moving further into the room.
Flicks could hardly believe he hadn’t noticed her. “Must you leave that window open?” Nainsi asked now, her voice careless.
Flicks heard a snort from in the room then footsteps coming towards the window. She realised that her fingers would probably jam the closing window and should that happen discovery was inevitable.
There was no time to think, so Flicks dropped, swinging her legs so she would land in the secret room. She somehow managed to drop into the hole successfully. She fell through the gap and right onto a rather strange shaped object.
A moving object.
Flicks barely suppressed a yell of surprise as the thing scrambled from underneath her, standing up and looming over her in the semidarkness.
1. “What in all of everywhere made you do that?” it said a familiar shrill voice.
2. “Ouch,” Fred said, shaking her wings. “You had to choose that particular place to land didn’t you.”
3. “And who do you think you might be?” a dark voice whispered.
Thanks to you all for reading my ramblings! Just remember that a simple comment can change the course of the future.
Fare Thee Well!