Sunday, October 7, 2007

Chapter 6b: Piet's Dilemma

Piet Lithor cowered beneath satin sheets in the shadows between his bed and the wall. His breath wheezed through his throat and his heart pounded with a quick rhythm. He could hear each beat as the blood passed his eardrum; unfortunately, the sound wasn't loud enough to drown out the banging and scraping coming from the door.

The terror had started as Brother Clay brought the grilled quail to the table and placed before him. The quail was dried out and overcooked. Piet Lithor opened his mouth to tell Brother Clay to return the tray to the kitchen and try again. His angry comment halted in mid-breath as Brother Somners shuffled into the room. The man was hardly fit to be seen in public, wearing only his night clothes, and soiled night clothes at that!

The Piet’s mouth snapped shut and then opened again, ready to tell Brother Somners to make himself presentable in the presence of the Piet. The pajama-clad man turned toward him and the words died in his throat as Brother Somners raised both arms and began shuffling forward. The stains on the night clothes were red, a dark red.

Thank Vaspar for Brother Clay. The man grabbed a steak knife and put himself between the Piet and Brother Somners. The Piet stumbled out of his chair, sending the ornately carved furniture crashing to the floor, and backed away from Brother Somners.

Other priests and house staff stumbled in behind Brother Somners. All of them wore bloodstained clothes with arms outstretched as if begging for help, aid far beyond the Piets ability to give.

He recognized every face. Brother Moyes, the record keeper of the order, shuffled around the corner. Black ink mixed with red blood on the front of his robes. A quill grasped like a club in his ink-stained grip. Mina Trey, his personal housekeeper and occasional caretaker of his more base needs, hobbled slowly at the back of the crowd with a broken leg. Little Gorkis Rowe, a fine young man working to enter the priesthood, sped through the slower moving bodies with blood covering his mouth and hunger shining in his eyes.

It was too much for the holy man.

He turned and ran.

He raced down the hall to his room, leaving Brother Clay to fend the madness off.

His priests had become abominations. He could hear their shuffling from the other side of the door; a door barricaded by a dresser and overturned bookcase. Every sound sent a shiver down Piet Lithor's spine. The shuffling and banging spoke volumes to the Piet. The priests were telling him that they wanted him. They wanted the flesh of his bones, the organs protected within those bones. They wanted to feast on his meat and drink his blood. The priests wanted his essence, his soul. They wanted Piet Lithor to join their ranks and become one of them. He could still hear Brother Clay screaming within the dark recesses of his mind.

"Leave me alone!" he shrieked at the barricaded door.

His plea only increased the intensity of their assault. The feet sliding across the floor became more erratic, and the pounding grew louder as the abominations escalated their efforts.

Piet Lithor crawled to the end of the bed, where an immaculately polished and carved table sat. Standing upright on the table stood a sword, a holy artifact, the sword of Tyrmra the Just. Its gleaming, etched blade and intricately wrought handle almost calling to him. Rising to his knees, he grabbed the artifact by its golden handle and scooted back to his hiding spot behind the bed. He knelt with the sword between his clasped hands, as if in prayer, the blade pushing against the tiled floor with his forehead touching the pommel.

In a frantic whisper, he pleaded, "Oh mighty Vaspar the Just and Righteous. You who right the wrongs of mankind, giving the righteous strength and punishing the unholy. I, your humble servant, ask you to deliver me from this nightmare. Destroy those who wish me harm and save me from the vile clutches of the unholy, so that I may continue to lead men in your righteousness."

The banging of the unholy only got louder.

Piet Lithor lowered his voice to a faint whisper, a minor vibration of his vocal cords, "Oh mighty Vaspar. Please, please don't let them get me. I will do anything you wish, anything. I will…"

A loud crack interrupted his prayers. The door facing began to split.

He continued in silent prayer. I will give you the wizard. Yes. I will deliver Wellan unto you if you will only let me leave here unharmed. I know you hate his dark sorcery, and his haughty ways. I will make him yours. Please, Lord Vaspar, let me live to serve you.

The banging stopped. Piet Lithor felt disappointment underlining the unholy quiet, as if the vile creatures were being denied something they wanted more than anything.

Within seconds, their shuffling faded away and only silence remained.

Weeping, he hugged the holy artifact of Vaspar the Righteous to his chest.

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At October 9, 2007 8:55 AM , Blogger Jeff Parish said...

OK, now that is a nice ending. I got to keep reading just to find out what happened.Deutsch Translator 2 soft free  

At October 9, 2007 9:49 AM , Blogger Bret Jordan said...

It was the holiness of the grand and riteous Piet, his overwhelming empathy for others, and his general sympathies for the priests beneath him...well, maybe not. ;O)Deutsch Translator 2 soft free  

At October 9, 2007 12:26 PM , Blogger Dave Dunwoody said...

Great stuff Bret!Deutsch Translator 2 soft free  

At October 9, 2007 12:37 PM , Blogger Bret Jordan said...

Thank you, Dave!Deutsch Translator 2 soft free  

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