Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Part V

The end of Part IV:

Cayden poked at his slice of pie and raised a blonde eyebrow. "Would've been fantastic served fresh. Digby! Why didn't I get to eat these berries fresh?"

Some rather loud mumbling came from behind the door.

Cayden's handsome face scrunched up in befuddlement. "They were a strange color? Come out here so I can hear you!"
 
Marianne's patience was gone. "Excuse me!"
 
He blinked at her, pausing with a forkful of pie halfway to his mouth. 

Marianne drew herself up in the blue glass chair and tried to look commanding. "I demand answers."

A shadow crossed Cayden's face. She had apparently spoiled his fun. "You'll have them when your brother gets back. Which should be..." He cocked his blonde head, listening. "Ah, that could be him."
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Part V

Marianne turned her head as she too heard the thunder of well-heeled boots and indistinct yelling approaching the dining room.
Cayden smiled and set his brass fork down. "I think that is definitely your brother."

Marianne glanced at him then back at the door where the gears had whirred to life. But instead of opening the the door smoothly as happened when Cayden and Digby had passed through, the gears stopped with a nasty crunch and sat shivering, trying futilely to continue their assigned tasks.

Cayden came to his feet. "He's ruined my door! That overzealous, pig-headed--"

The door flew open and hit the blue wall with a crash that shook the windows in their frames and knocked a little dusting of plaster off the frescoed ceiling.

Anthony stood in the doorway with what remained of his driving whip in his hands and murder in his dark eyes. "You!" he said to Cayden who stood poised with one hand on the table ready either to defend himself or flee.

Anthony stormed in, but instead of leaping at Cayden's throat, he dropped his ruined whip, grabbed the black table runner with both hands, and yanked.

The table runner, along with table ornaments, candelabra, fruit bowl, tea service and the remains of the pie whizzed along the brass surface and landed to clang and shatter in a heap. Anthony jumped forward, and with a last vicious snatch, got a hold of Marianne's pie plate and smashed it on the top of the pile at his feet.

Anthony's hand fastened around Marianne's upper arm. "Don't eat anything he gives you," he snarled. "It's sure to be poisoned."

Cayden set both hands flat on the table and leaned forward, narrowing his blue eyes. "Now see here, sir," Cayden said to the livid Anthony. "I will tolerate your defense of your sister. It's only understandable. I will allow your treatment of my china. I was never fond of that service anyway. I will even forgive you putting your whip between the cogs of my excellent door. However, I will not tolerate an insult to my hospitality or to Digby's pie!"

Anthony looked momentarily taken aback. He opened his mouth. "I--"

"Sit down, sir. And shut your mouth. I don't want to hear you speak again if you wish to learn why you are here."

Marianne tugged on Anthony's arm and he dropped to the chair next to her.

Cayden spun and stalked towards the open door. "Digby!"

The squat man looked around the edge of the open door with his eyes wide. "Glad to see you are all in one piece, sir," he said.

"Digby, about the young man's dragon--" A siren screeched somewhere deep in the house, cutting him off. Anthony and Marianne jumped in surprise and Cayden and Digby froze as if listening to words they couldn't quite make out in the shreik of the siren.

The siren grew in intensity and Cayden threw his head back in surprise. "Good God, what did they bring? A battering ram?" He and Digby ran for one of the large windows, closely followed by Anthony and Marianne.

Marianne craned her neck to see over the shoulders of the taller men. She glimpsed what must be Cayden's front walk swarmed by men in black and red robes. There were a few little clumps of three or four standing about on Cayden's front lawn, talking and gesturing urgently and another larger group clustered around the front door.

"The Order," Marianne breathed. "How did they find us?"

"Unfortunately they've known where I live for years." Cayden turned away from the window and ran a hand over his blond hair. He turned and smiled at Marianne and Anthony. "Well, it appears that explanations will have to wait. Follow me." He turned and strode towards the open door.

Marianne and Anthony hesitated.

Cayden stopped and turned back to them. "Oh, they're going to break in, never fear. If you don't want to be taken by the Order, you'll come with me." He turned and disappeared out the door with Digby, Marianne and Anthony hurrying after him.

Cayden led them quickly up another narrow staircase and into dim, twisting, wood paneled hallways. He stopped in front of one panel of seemingly identical part of wall . He reached out and set his hand on the carved center. There was a click and the panel swung open, revealing a platform and more spinning brass gears. Cayden jumped forward, with Digby close at his heels, and seized a lever attached to one of the cogs. "Come on!"

With a glance at each other, Anthony and Marianne stepped onto the trembling, humming platform. Cayden smiled. "Here we go," he said and threw the lever.

The platform shuddered, then dropped into the dark below so fast Marianne's hair was blown upwards. She gripped the rail so hard it cut into her hands and a scream tore from her throat that flew over the rumble of the spinning cogs. Surely they were going to be smashed to bits when they hit the bottom. If they ever found the bottom at all.

Suddenly, Cayden threw all his weight against the lever and the platform slammed to a halt. Anthony and Marianne both fell with the impact. They lay gasping for a few moments in the sudden silence.

Marianne was the first to raise her head. "Where are we?" she asked, breathlessly.

She could practically feel Cayden smile in the dark. "At the bottom. Twenty floors below the street," he said. A screech split the silence as the wall on the side platform swung laboriously open and flickering light flooded into the dark shaft.

"But where are we?"

"We are at the source of hope for our city, the lair of those who have sworn to exterminate the Order." Cayden stepped into the doorway. "Come and meet them."

Marianne pushed herself to her feet and brushed dust off her purple gown. She stepped to his side and looked into an enormous cavern.

Great dripping daggers of stone hung from the invisible, dark ceiling and slippery spears rose to meet them. Torches in nooks and crannies and metal barrels holding bonfires cast flicking light over the great space and spread a little warmth in the damp chill of the cavern. And among the spears and swords of stone and the barrels and torches moved the strangest crowd Marianne had ever seen.
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Check out the "Blog Epic" tab if you were so foolish as to miss parts I-III! Part IV can be found if you scroll down a little bit. I am currently in the mountains where the internet is unreliable. Its amazing I've been able to post the above.  

4 comments:

  1. I read this for the first time while I was putting in the spacing. When I got to the end I realized I had gotten swept away and hadn't put any spacing in the whole second half. Bravo!

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  2. Thanks so much for putting in the spacing. I posted it, then the internet in the wilderness in which I am was too slow for me even to revert it to a draft! Notice also, that I left you with a nice setting ;)

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    1. That previous comment was supposed to be a reply. That is how slow the internet is here.

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    2. haha no problem! And yes--I noticed the nice chunk of setting at the end, and was *quite* grateful. :D

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