VIII: The Garden

This is a new addition to a tale (the tale, really) that had lain dormant for several months. If you’d like to catch up, you can start here.

~

By the time the children had scampered back to the cemetery gates they were short of breath and nearly frantic with fright. How close they had come to their persecutor Herling, how near to that murderous goblin with the skulls dangling from his staff! And to think John Mus had led them straight into such a pickle. Come to think of it, where was John Mus and why had he not come to the meeting?

Mills and Gramm crept out through the still open iron gate. “Here, let’s go slower back to the barn. There might be people on the main road, and I don’t want to attract any attention. We’ll go quietly as we can,” said Amelia. Gramm would have preferred to keep running, but he was too frightened to argue. When things are bad, you trust your big sister.

It was good that the children did cross the field stealthily. As they neared the far edge of the field, which bordered the road into ToadChapel, they heard harsh voices bickering. Keeping their heads low, Mills and Gramm sneaked up behind the low stone wall beside the road and peered into the barnyard across the way.

Near to the barn where they had spent the first part of the night stood three nasty goblins arguing with one another. Two carried long sharp spears with wicked pointed heads, while the third bore a stout little bow and a quiver full of arrows. Though their conversation was hard to follow, it seemed that the one with the bow was urging the others to search the barn. Continue reading “VIII: The Garden”

VI: The Hooded Figure

At the same time that Dûae was heading back to Ga-Ga’s, a shadowy figure (even in the daylight) sneaked off in the opposite direction. Though the streets were now deserted, the man was used to remaining unseen. He moved quickly, quietly, and confidently, using alleys and keeping close to the walls of the village buildings. He was inconspicuous, yet without seeming furtive. He wore soft dark clothing that seemed now black, now grey, now darkest blue, now many other shades. A low hood kept his face from view. Continue reading “VI: The Hooded Figure”

Chapter III: A Quest… of Sorts

No sooner had this Tù-bïdi Herling hustled away from GaGa’s (he didn’t want to be seen in this part of town) but two frightened human heads appeared at the top of the stairs.

“Who’s that?” said Mills.

“I didn’t steal those chickens, I just had fun chasing em,” said Gramm.

“Come down here, both of you.” GaGa said. Her tone was serious. The children crept down the stairs as if a creaking step might still somehow alert the swaggering dwarf so recently and rudely met. The kids nervously followed GaGa as she walked outside to join Duae. “Sister*, would you go and see what this fuss about a party is all about?” Continue reading “Chapter III: A Quest… of Sorts”

Chapter II: Robbers and Rogues

Trouble had occurred during the night, and by the time a weak sun was well clear of the Western horizon the tale of that trouble had spread like a nose-drip through the town.

On the night of the red moon no storm had come, no lightning split the dark nor thunder spilled frail old men from their beds. All through the night streaks of cloud had raced swiftly across the sky, obscuring and discovering the ominous rust-colored moon which hung above the village. The wind wickered across the fields around ToadChapel, but it was not quite savage. It drove on through the night, as if on some mission of grave importance. Continue reading “Chapter II: Robbers and Rogues”