Friday, 1 January 2016

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Eleven

Happy new year, everyone! Hope you all had great Christmas holidays!

I had a great time at my cousin Jessica's place and we even took her home with us afterwards which wasn't originally planned...
Some random things we did:

A couple games of Badminton happened (my sisters and I had asked for - and received - a set for Christmas), in which I was the most enthusiastic player. I was the one who got the graze on my leg from doing a crazy-and-entirely-pointless-but-fun dive or two.

I also thought up this new header thing for my blog but Clare and I are still to work on that.

Played about sixty-something rounds of Billionaire. (That is actually not an exaggeration)

Swam in the pool for around three and a half hours.

Finally worked out what is going to happen next with the story that I'm writing with Jessica.

And now...for the most interesting thing...I hid in a chimney for twenty-five minutes. Yup. I did. 
Jessica and I had been playing hide-and-seek with my two little brothers and when Jessica was in I decided I should hide in a slightly difficult hiding spot. Thus the chimney. There's this fireplace in the master bedroom with cupboard doors in front of it (I dunno why, it makes it good for hiding in though). At first I was just standing in one corner.
I heard Jessica, Samuel and Joshua walk into the room and Jessica said something like, "...Unless she's hiding in the fireplace, but I don't think even Jane would do that." She opened one door and said, "Nope, not in there." closed the door and left. I was amazed to say the least.
After that I decided to move slightly in case she looked in again. So I moved as quietly as I could until I was sitting with my legs braced against one side and my back and shoulders against the other so that they'd have to look up the chimney to see me.
As I mentioned earlier, it took them twenty-five minutes to find me, and they only did after I'd been 'haloo'ing my lungs out. Sadly, when you make a really loud noise in a chimney it only sounds like groaning from outside it. 
When I came out I was rather covered in soot, and I smelt like a chimney for the rest of the day. Plus my legs were soooo sore. But it was definitely worth it.


Last night we went to a New Year's Eve party and had heaps of fun...but more about that will (hopefully) come in another post later on.

Ahem, now, I'm sure you're all literally dying to read the story, and that would be my fault 'cause of the horrible cliffhanger I ended with last time. Sorry 'bout that. Option Three won and, without further ado, here is Fragment Eleven!


Maree raised her bound hands, and waved them above her head. “I beleeve I have the preevilege of last words?”

The crowd quietened slightly, all watching my friend.

“We’ve gotta do something,” Jack said. I ignored him, unable to tear my eyes from Maree.

“Dinna worry ‘bout me,” she raised her voice. “But pigs coold be handy.”

 “What?” Jack frowned. “I think that thump on the head did some damage.”

I looked at him and shook my head slowly. “No, it didn’t,” I murmured. “She’s talking to us.”

“But pigs?

“She probably means those ones,” I pointed to a pen at the far side of the stable. A snuffling grunt came from that direction and I ran to the stable door.

With a careful tug, I pulled it open. The pigs sniffed around as I unlatched their gate, one of them ambled out casually.

“Catch, Louise!” Jack called.

I moved my hands quickly and found, to my amazement, that I actually caught the apple he’d thrown. Bending down, I waved the fruit in front of the pig. It started looking much more interested, and all the other pigs began pushing up behind it.

With a smile, I tossed the apple out the door and stepped back to make way for the dozen or so pigs that raced past me. “You may want to move,” Jack warned, and I looked around to see him unlatching one of the horse’s stalls. 

Jack slapped the horse’s rump and started yelling at the top of his lungs. All the horses neighed in surprise and I pushed opened another stall, ducking out of the way as the horse charged out of the stable. I raced to the next horse, and so on to the next after that, Jack doing the same.

I was aching to see if Maree was alright but she’d said not to worry, so she must’ve had a plan. Soldiers yelled and the sound of terrified horses from outside pushed me even faster. 

“There’s someone in the stable!” A loud bellow caught my ear as I rolled away from the hooves of a newly released horse.

Soldiers appeared in the open doorway just in time to be smashed into by the next horse. An arrow hissed wickedly past me, thudding into the stable wall. I dashed to an empty stall, ducking below the wall as another arrow whizzed my way.

“The window,” Jack hissed from his hiding place across from me. 

I nodded, took a deep breath, and charged out, running for the far end of the stable. I collapsed behind the cover of another stall.

Jack joined me a moment later, panting hard. “You first,” he motioned. “I’ll distract them.”

Jack jumped up, his hands raised in surrender. “There you go, we surrender!” he called to the soldiers.

I scrambled out the window behind Jack, staggering to regain my balance when I landed.

Jack literally dived out the window after me, rolling to his feet. We sprinted toward the gallows but I skidded to a stop after a few steps. “No, please, no,” I gasped.

Hacaz was almost beside the gallows, already reaching toward the latch to release the trapdoor under Maree. I dashed forward, but too late. The boards under Maree disappeared and she fell, stopping abruptly as the rope around her neck caught.

“No!” I screamed.

Hacaz turned around, picking a bow off the ground as he did.

Jack launched into action. He barrelled into me, grabbing my hand and dragging me toward a horse. I stumbled over a fallen sword and an arrow skimmed over my back. My mouth turned dry with fear.

Jack caught the horse’s mane, kneeling quickly to help me mount. I swung my leg over the horse’s back, ducking away from another arrow.

I hauled Jack up behind me as Hacaz closed the distance between us. I kicked my heels into the horse, urging it into a gallop.

An arrow flashed past me, grazing my arm. I gasped in pain but kept my grip on the horse’s mane.
Hacaz yelled for more soldiers to go after us and I could hear the confusion of many, but my mind was dulled and I did even care.

Maree was dead.

The portcullis was cranking down as we charged forward, Jack pushed my head down and spurred our mount faster. We passed under it with just centimeters to spare and then we were out into the open, heading for a gap in the rocks.

The horse balked as we reached the gap and, balanced precariously as we were, both Jack and I fell to the ground. Arrows hissed through the air, falling short and skidding along the grass or slamming into the rock face and bouncing off.

I climbed to my feet, panting for air. Jack scrambled through the gap, disappearing in moments. “C’mon!” he yelled, his head appearing again.

My staggering feet moved me forwards and soon I was beside Jack. We ran through the thick trees, branches slapped my face, but I ran on, oblivious.

Eventually Jack tugged me down, pulling me into a small crevice under the roots of a tree. I fell to the ground in exhaustion. I tried to steady my breathing but a lump caught in my throat. I’d failed, Maree had been relying on me, and I’d failed. Nothing mattered anymore.

I buried my face in my hands. She couldn’t be dead, Maree was just too...alive to ever be able to die. 

Jack rested his hand on my shoulder. “She said not to worry,” he began.

“Yeah, that’s because she thought I’d be able to rescue her,” I burst out. “That’s because she believed in me. But I failed.” I stopped, realising that yelling at Jack wasn’t doing either of us any good.

“You didn’t fail,” Jack said. “You did all you could.” I remained silent, fighting against the tears that threatened to overwhelm me.

A stick cracked nearby and running footsteps came towards us. I jumped to my feet, ready to surrender myself to any soldier who turned up.

“Louise!” Jack hissed. “What are you doing?”

I didn’t care if the soldiers killed me anymore, I just wanted the pain to disappear.


Then Maree appeared through the trees.


I stared at her. No, Maree is dead, my thoughts whispered, She isn’t really there. It was just too much. I fell to my knees and let go my tears. Sobs wracked my throat and drops flowed down my cheeks. She couldn’t be dead, yet there was no way she could be alive.

The sound of quick footsteps approached quickly and hands grabbed my shoulders. “Loueese! Eet’s me, Maree.”

“No,” I groaned. “She not really there.”

“You dinna be theenkin’ as I were deid did ye?” someone shook my shoulders.

Through the veil of tears I saw Maree’s brown eyes looking anxiously into my own. “But you were...I saw Hacaz...” I couldn’t continue.

Maree pulled me to my feet with a strong arm. “I told ye noot t’ worry. Earlier I’d meed sure I were reedy so whin ye let go the pigs an’ no one were lookin’ hooked my belt to the rope so that I dinna ectually git hung.”

I drew my sleeve across my eyes. “But it looked like—”

“Dinna worry what eet looked like,” Maree interrupted. “Eet wasna anythin’ but a fake.”

Jack tapped Maree’s shoulder. “I think they’ve got search parties,” he said.

Maree glanced around quickly as a distant yell broke the silence of the forest. “I’d sey you’re right,” she agreed. “I shoold steell be able t’ find the rock hole,” she mused thoughtfully, tapping her chin.

Her hand found mine. “I’ll show ye the way,” she said.

We set off through the forest, twisting through the large trunks. I still could barely work out what had just happened. First Maree was dead and then she’d actually faked everything and was perfectly alive. Perhaps I’m just having a nightmare, I thought dimly then shook my head, this was way too real for a dream.

The sound of our pursuers faded into the distance until our footfalls were the only sound other than the rustles of forest creatures moving from our path.

Maree paused at a creek, chewing her lip for a moment. “Thet’s the way,” she pointed to the other side. “I theek,” she added after a slight hesitation.

“We’ll not have any less trouble going any other way, so why not?” Jack shrugged backing up a few paces before jumping over the narrow water course. 

“Reemember what happened last I crossed a reever?” Maree whispered.

I couldn’t help but smile. “How could I forget?” I replied. The water didn’t look too wide so I followed Jack’s example and leapt across.

Maree grinned widely. “You’re gittin’ better at thees,” she said, joining us on the far bank.

She continued to lead us along an invisible path and after a while she started looking much more confident. “We be neerly there,” she said. In another ten minutes she stopped short.

“Well?” I asked, looking around for some kind of hiding place.

“Eet’s oop there,” Maree pointed to a huge tree. “We climb thet tree, then drop doown onto a big rock, and theen there’s a cave.”

Jack whistled softly. “Sounds tricky.”

“Noot ectually,” Maree shook her head. “Queet easy whin ye try eet. I’ll go first eef ye want.”

“Good idea,” I said.

Maree began to climb up the tree swiftly, showing that she’d done so once or twice before. I, on the other hand, had never even tried.

Luckily Maree was correct about the ‘easy’ part, and I managed to follow my two companions up without much trouble. Maree caught my hand as I dropped down onto the rock, steadying me.

“Weelcome t’ Dragon Cave,” she said, ushering me towards the entrance. She paused and glanced up at the sky. “Looks as weel git a wee bit o’ rain,” she said, squinting her eyes. 

“How did you know this place was here?” I asked.

“Came acrooss eet some toime ago,” she said, looking back at me as a light rain started to fall.

“You going to come in or not?” Jack called from in the cave.

Maree’s lips twisted in her lopsided smile. “On oor wey,” she called, turning to the deep cave. 

I sat down on the floor at the side of the cavern, discovering a worn, musty blanket on the floor which I spread out as a seat. Obviously Maree had come here quite frequently.

Maree dropped down beside me a moment later, looking out into the misty rain. She drew in a deep breath, tapping her fingers on her legs idly...


***

1. “P’rhaps noow woold be a good toime to tell you my story.”

2. A splintering crack from outside the cave made her jump to her feet once more.

3. “Hey you two,” Jack said tentatively. “There’s something I found a while ago that might be important.”

***

I'm not entirely sure why I bothered to make three options this time, I'd be really surprised if we don't get heaps of votes for a certain option...I think you've all been waiting for that option for a while now. :)

Hope you liked the story and I have cured you all from your various conditions of story withdrawal.

Fare Thee Well!

13 comments:

  1. Well, you guessed correct. Option 1! Although... you could have done the same with option 3 as he may have found a journal of Maree's... but option 1 is the best at the current state.

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    1. I hadn't actually thought of that for option three, I was thinking more, something important of Hacaz's but I dunno...

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  2. Oh well, 'spose I'll say option one.

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  3. Congrats! You have just succeeded in giving me my first non-literal heart-attack for this year! Good thing she didn't actually die :D

    Well, I guess I may as well vote for option one :)

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    1. I'm so, so sorry...Except I'm not. :D

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  4. Well, I do want to find out Maree's story but I was actually going to vote for #2. :) I always have to be the odd vote!

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    1. Wow! I was wondering if there was any point in thinking up option 2 and 3 as everyone would probably go for 1, but apparently I was wrong. At least it made my thinking up worth it! :D

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  5. Replies
    1. And you're not the only one, Clare, I think everyone does. :)

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  6. 1. What else could I vote for?
    ~Anna
    the3musketeerssite.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. I know...I guess I was right about everyone wanting option 1! :D

      Delete

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