Friday, 14 August 2015

Dusty Red - Instalment Twenty-one

I actually remembered to write this Thursday! We're on holidays again this week so I'm not sure if that helped or hindered, but either way I remembered. I don't think anyone would argue that option one has been voted in....


(I hope that's not too hard to read.)

So, yeah, option one it is! I liked that one, and I had a vague idea of what might happen after it so I'm all for it too. 
I just wanted to say that I'm really enjoying this, and I'm glad I started doing it. It really encouraging to know that all you guys are liking it too. So thanks everyone, you're all really amazing.


With a quiet groan Flicks half fell into Lord Cameron’s private meeting room. She looked up.

Nainsi raised her eyebrows, “What a graceful entrance, Flicks, what a graceful entrance.”

Flicks scrambled up. “Not my fault,” she retorted in a whisper, then turning to the window she stuck her head out. “Like a hand?” she shot the question to Skilf.

Skilf shook her head. “I’m fine.”

Soon Skilf too was in the room and Nainsi greeted her with a smile. “Nice of you to drop in and visit,” she said.

“We’re going to rescue you,” Skilf replied, peering closely at the chains securing Nainsi to the chair.

“I’d kinda guessed that,” was Nainsi’s reply. She nodded her head towards the table, “Obviously you haven’t noticed the keys randomly lying around just over there?”

“Was that a question or a statement?” Fred asked, flying through the window. 

Nainsi, naturally, didn’t answer.

Flicks grabbed the keys off the table and began flicking through them, looking for the correct one. “Here,” Skilf offered. “You go watch at the door and I’ll find the right key.”

“Okay,” Flicks said, passing the keys. She tiptoed over to the ajar door and opened it enough to look out. Lord Cameron and Kendal’s backs were visible right at the very end of the hall. From where she stood Flicks could just see Trancos’ standing before the two men. Obviously he hadn't managed to get them any further away than that.

Flicks tilted her head to one side, who was this Trancos? And why did he want them to forget him? Flicks knotted her brows, but since no answer was forth coming she turned her attention back to making sure Kendal and his companion weren’t planning on returning to their prisoner any time soon.

The clink of chains came from behind her and Flicks winced, ready to see Kendal turning around to discover where the noise came from. But before he did a touch came on her shoulder and Flicks turned.

“Coming?” Nainsi asked.

“Rather. Where are we going?”

Nainsi turned to Skilf. “Where are we going?”

Skilf frowned. “Umm...I don’t know...I guess we could climb down the wall and—”

“Oh no,” Nainsi interrupted. “I don’t climb walls.”

Skilf fell silent. “Well, that makes for an interesting problem,” Flicks said. “What other way is there to get out apart from the front door?”

“There’s the servant’s doors,” Skilf suggested. “But to get to them we’d have to walk out of this room. And if Kendal or my Uncle happened to turn around...” she spread her hands in a, ‘you know what’ kind of gesture.

Flicks chewed her lip thoughtfully then she looked up. “I’m all for it,” she burst out.

“What?” Nainsi and Skilf asked together.

“I’m all for trying to get out by the servant’s doors,” Flicks explained.

Nainsi looked at Skilf. “Well, if we go quietly I guess they won’t have any reason to turn around,” she paused. “By the way, who are they talking to anyway?”

Flicks glanced at Skilf before replying. “Just someone who offered to help us.”

Nainsi narrowed her eyes but chose not to pursue the subject. “let’s do it then,” she said. “You can go first Skilf as you know the way.”

Skilf couldn’t think of any more excuses so she shrugged and opened the door.

Lord Cameron’s mouth dropped open in shock and he jerked back as though bitten. Skilf did rather the same.

“What are—” the burly lord began, stepping forward. He never got a chance to finish as Flicks kicked her foot into the door and it knocked him backwards.

The door closed with a slam.

“Hey, Skilf,” Nainsi said. “Is that a trapdoor?”

Skilf turned around. Nainsi was pointing at the ceiling. Skilf followed her gaze and raised her eyebrows. “Dunno,” her tone was surprised. “Could be.”

Flicks stepped up onto the table and tried to reach the roof, scowling at the offending ceiling when she found it too high.

“Would this help?” Nainsi asked, holding up a chair.

“Thanks,” Flicks muttered, setting the chair on the table and standing on top of that.
She nearly fell off when a furious banging erupted from the door. Skilf glanced up at her. “Can you go any faster, Flicks?” she queried. “I rather think it may be a good idea.”

“I’m trying,” Flicks grunted back. From on the chair she could reach the roof and was now pushing up on the square of roof that Nainsi had pointed to. With one last shove it burst open and Flicks really did fall. The chair did a neat flip and sent her flying.

Luckily for Flicks, she landed on a low reclining lounge, so her fall was somewhat softened. Nainsi leaned over her. “Still alive?” she asked.

Flicks groaned.

“Yep,” Nainsi confirmed. “Still alive.”

“So you can fly,” Fred said with a dragon’s equivalent of an amused grin. “I think you need practice in landing gracefully.”

She picked up the wayward chair and set it back on the table. She lifted the skirts of her grey-blue dress and ascended gracefully to the position recently vacated by Flicks. “Mind if I go first?” she questioned Skilf.

Skilf nodded. “Yeah,” she frowned. “I mean, no...I think...okay, I mean, no I don’t mind, and yes you can go first.”

“Thank you for clarifying,” Nainsi replied, then disappeared through the gap in the ceiling. 

“I’ll go next,” Fred snorted before zooming up behind Nainsi.

Flicks attempted to rise from the lounge but instead managed to roll off and fall on the floor.

“Good thing it’s a low chair,” Skilf commented. “I’ll go next, you can come last. If you don’t mind, that is.”

“Same as you said before,” Flicks grated, stumbling to a standing position. 

Skilf nodded and wrinkled her nose at an extra loud bash from the door. “I’d best be going so you’ve got some time to get up,” she remarked. Reaching up, she grabbed onto the sides of the cavity and half jumped, half pulled herself up. Her kicking feet looked somewhat amusing from below and Flicks smiled wryly.

“You coming up?” Skilf called from the darkness above.

“Yeah, sure,” Flicks replied, and, after a look of distrust directed at the chair, she climbed up onto it once more.

A shattering crash sounded from the door and it shuddered. There wasn’t much time left. Flicks reached up and grabbed hold of the rafters through the gap and pushed up off the chair. The door gave a last crash and promptly collapsed into smithereens. Kendal and Lord Cameron burst into the room just in time to see Flicks’ legs vanishing through the roof.

Flicks slammed the trapdoor back into position and stood on it. A shout from below and the ensuing thumping on the square of wood showed that she’d been just in time.

“What now?” Skilf asked no one in particular.

“I dunno,” Flicks replied. “But if I get off here we’re liable to be chased.”

“We already are,” Nainsi pointed out.

Flicks pursed her lips. “True,” she conceded.

“But you can’t stay standing there forever,” Skilf said.

“Also true,” Flicks agreed. She looked around, “What is this place anyway?” By the looks of it, they stood in a long corridor, it was entirely empty, but for the three girls. The strangest thing was that it was perfectly clean.

Nainsi scratched her head. “Somewhere quite interesting really. I wonder if it has any stairs going down,” she mused.

Flicks let out a yelp of terror as a gleaming blade sliced through the wood of the trapdoor directly beside her right foot, missing it by a hairsbreadth. “I agree,” Flicks said. “I’m not staying here forever. I’m going right now.” She leapt backwards off the square as a second blade nearly impaled her other foot.

“Shall we look for those stairs, Nainsi?” Flicks asked.

Nainsi tossed her blonde hair and set off at a run along the corridor, Flicks and Skilf just behind.

Nainsi skidded to a halt in front of a door. Jerking it open, she grinned. “Looks like we’re in luck,” she said, and began down the stairs, skipping three at a time.

They met no one on the way down the stairs and they burst through a door and out into the misty chill of the courtyard.

Fred settled herself on Flicks’ shoulder. “And now we walk straight out the gates.”

“Yeah, something like that,” Skilf agreed. “If I tell the guards to let me through they might actually let us.” She turned to Flicks and Nainsi, “You’d best not let your face be seen.”

“Could be a good idea,” Flicks grinned.

Skilf approached the guards by the gate with long and confident strides. Flicks approached slightly behind and kept her head lowered so no one would notice the similarities between her and Skilf.

“Open the gates!” Skilf called to the guards as she approached, she tone rung with command.
The guards saluted stiffly and unbarred the small door in the huge gates, standing by to allow the three to pass.

On the other side of the door, when it had been closed firmly behind them, Flicks raised her eyebrows at Skilf. “That went well,” she commented.

“You sound very surprised,” Skilf said, affecting hurt. “Did you doubt me?”

“Pray do remember, we aren’t safe yet,” Nainsi interjected.

“Oh, yes,” Flicks said, becoming serious again. “We’re we going?”

“Back to Larzik. I left him in the forest, you see,” Skilf explained.

With Skilf leading the way, they navigated the woods at a reasonable pace. It was not long before Skilf pointed ahead to a clearing just visible between the trees. “That’s where I left Larzik,” she said. “He was going to set up a camp.”

They hurried forward, the word ‘camp’ pulling them on. Flicks, who was now in the lead, was brought up short on the edge of the glade with a loud, hostile and unexpected sound:

“Hiiiiiyah!”


~

1. The shrill shriek echoed around the clearing and jangled in the listener’s ears.

2. Flicks looked around for the source of the startling noise, but it seemed to come from everywhere at once.

3. Larzik stood in the middle of the clearing, furiously thumping a fallen log.

~

This instalment is quite a bit longer than usual. 1,707 words to be exact. Thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to read all the way to the bottom on this post. I'm very curious to see which option gets voted in this time, so comment away! But for now...

Fare Thee Well!

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes, three is an amusing one... :)

      Delete
  2. #3---because I liked the Leafits and Twigins earlier in this story and I'm hoping this log is related to them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, that's an interesting idea. I hadn't thought of that...

      Delete
  3. Number three xD .... Definitely gonna vote for that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It already looks like three is popular! Thanks for voting Sarah. :D

      Delete
  4. Since three has six votes already I will say two

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for expressing your favourite even if it doesn't make a difference :) ... (Ugh, that didn't sound quite how I meant it too...Thanks anyway.)

      Delete

I love getting comments so don't hesitate to tap one out! (doesn't even have to be in Morse Code)

And I always reply to them, so don't forget to check back!