||The knock upon the
humble door broke their attention. It was thrust open so quickly the hinges
were almost shattered as a man was hurled across the floor to their feet.
"Traitor! There be a traitor amongst us!"
Robert took in the familiar visage of the two watchmen he had placed in shadows
outside, striding in after the wreak of a man. Their pale faces were livid
with fear and anger. "The devil's own are just behind him. He could not wait
to crow, Robert."
The seductive whisper of
an arrow's flight struck the hallmark of the hard oak door, then another appeared
in the back of the watchman standing in its way. Scarcely had he fallen than
a rain of arrows descended.
|The hair on Robert's
neck stood on end as he stared down at his brother Rolland, his face bloodied
and smeared with hate. "What have you done!" The Lady Serena shook him from
his spell. "It is nigh too late for that. Look at the talisman!" Already it
throbbed, with the emotions around it into heightened prisms of spiraling
With all the rage
in him, Robert sprang to the broken door and heaved it back in place. "We
are caught!" The cry of despair was followed by cackling laughter from Rolland
as he stared up into the scene from maddened eyes. "Shall we die together
as we were born together, brother, kicking and screaming at each other?"
"By our mother's
blood, why have you done this!"
||"Wait!" Serena's voice
spat into the heated cursing around her. "Gather! This is no world for us.
Robert's back was to the door, braced against torture and death. Already,
fire was dancing outside the walls. Smoke curled in tiny searching fingers
through the cracks of the doorway.
himself to his feet, one arm dragging at his side, broken. "You and your
mysteries. They will die where you lay, all of you! I have put an end to
this misery. Better our people have a future than live in the hovel of such
a past. Now our people will listen."
|"Quickly, to me, while
there is yet a moment." Serena commanded. The small group hastened to her,
each hugging tight to the other, all looking at the jewel spinning high in
her hand. "Robert, join us. I have need of you."
the struggle in his eyes. The murderous rage that was upon him carried him
to Rolland's side with dagger raised. "Leave him. He will yet be a thorn
in their side. To me now!" Robert staggered back as hands dragged him to
||Smoke wreathed the
group of innocents and fire licked at them as Rolland watched . Soldiers broke
through the doorway but reeled back from the heat and fire. Rolland fled
for the doorway, crying out a traitor's code word to save his burning hide.
Each of the believers held fast, disappearing in the flames without a cry
as their sanctuary tumbled about them.
|"There are no bodies
nor bones. It is as if they never were." Martin, The King's emissary watched
as Rolland poked through the rubble. "They could not have escaped. My men
saw no-one leave but you. You, yourself swore none left."
were foolish but brave." Rolland felt a prickle of fear dance down his spine.
"I yet feel their eyes upon me, even as I turn and see only shadows. They
talk to me at night from the Other World until I am half mad for sleep."
"Be off with you, mad man.
They are dead in all but your faithless dreams. Be off before I shorten your
destiny and turn even your dreams into nothing."
||"If you were not already
mad, we would have slain you long ago. Here, take your money and go. Your
wild dreams do not interest me. You'd best travel as far as the money will
take you. I hear your death is already written on the walls here."
tell me to stay, and my life will be long. I cannot bear to look in Robert's
eyes, but it is his voice that is full sworn."
A flash of light
spun in Martin's eyes as Rolland turned, nodding, mumbling to himself of
Druid myths come real. The shadows crawled after him and the cold wind moaned,
whispering in an unknown tongue.
|In the shadows of the
Other World, Robert and Serena watched this final act, their arms entwined
together from the security of their ghostly haven where their small band had
escaped. The glowing orb of the jewel pulsed with unearthly power as it hung
from her neck. "Life flee's here and grows. See how our shadow land gains
strength from the wanton destruction of our mother world? Life flee's here
and grows. In this we will yet have our revenge."
Behind them the towering monoliths of Stonehenge rose in mirrored power,
alive and well in this place of wholesome beauty. Robert looked into the jewel,
turning one last glance into it towards that shadow of power which lay in
ruin on a distant plain they once had called home.
||The sea crashed unerringly
against the shore falling in a fine mist. At it's edge, blood called to blood,
and Robert whispered in the wind, yet again, in haunting refrain. "Life calls
it's own, dear brother. Listen and wander, telling all you see, what happened
here. When your world chokes on it's own vomit, we will return and gather
our own back to us, here, in the world of love we are creating."
Revised: March 11, 1999
Copyright ©1999. All rights reserved