Twilight's War: Chapter 3
  

Chapter 3

 

 

 

 

 

            Kylyn sprinted onto the bridge that connected the two halves of the village.  She lost sight of the man struggling below, but had a sense he was still there.  She looked behind her only once ensuring Halyn was close on her heels.  Obviously, he did not know where she was going, for Hal was a much faster runner, which was odd for he was half-human, and humans were bulkier, thus slower.

            As she got near the bridges edge, watching the rushing water below, she realized just how cold it was.  Kylyn was not dressed for the outdoors.  She was supposed to be drinking the night away in the confines of the warm inn.  Alas, the enemy has seen to alter that.  The enemy, there is a thought.  Just who was that?

            The Saivyn were at one time on neither side of the war.  Most still bitter about the battles that occurred when the humans moved north of Queoth Run River many years ago.  They flowed in like a flood and took what they wanted.  They did not force the Saivyn Fey out of Queoth area, but forced integration, a forceful move that still sat bitter in many of elder Saivyn.

            Kylyn and most of her people however moved north of the Migtour River.  The only human civilizations that settled that far north were mostly barbaric tribes.  These tribes moved were the food went.  The Saivyn and barbarian’s had a long time understanding, and the wood elves - as humans called them – recognized a majority of the barbarian sovereignty.

            “Kylyn,” sounded a cry from below her.  It was barely audible over the wind that roared down the river channel, combining with the thunderous crashing of the rapid river.

            She instantly dropped to the deck of the bridge; again the cold began slicing through her.  She crawled to the edge and peered over.  The rushing water nearly hypnotized her as she stared at it but only briefly, then finding the source of her sprint.

            “Who is it,” Hal asked, sliding to the street next to her and gazing over the side.

            “It’s Thersharr,” she answered.

            “Hey, how you doin’ buddy,” Halyn yelled.

            “What kind of question is th-th-that,” the Rymyth Fey returned, his teeth chattering from the cold waters.  “I’m f-f-freezing, barely holding on.”

            “Can you climb up?”

            “If-f-f-f-f I c-c-could, do you not think I would have already-y-y?”

            “Sonofabitch,” Halyn cried.  “You elfin types are so damn helpless.”

            Kylyn was about to snap at the sarcastic half – elf himself, but he suddenly shimmied himself under the rail.  He lifted one leg up and wrapped it around the railing he just went under.  He squirmed a bit then tossed the other leg around the other way, hooking the two together.  Then, with out hesitation, he flung himself off the side of the bridge and dangled above Thersharr.

            “You crazy ass,” Kylyn screamed, and then squeezed her upper body between the lower railing and the upper handrail.

            “Anything else coming to mind,” he asked her while extending his arms to their companion.  “Can you reach?”

            She watch Thersharr reach up, stretching with all he could.  One finger made it, two fingers touching Hal’s.  Then three. . .

            He slipped.  She screamed an incoherent word; Hal bent his head to look up at her.  His look reminding her of a ‘Do you mind’ kind of gaze, and she returned with what she hope was taken as ‘I’m sorry, but focus.’

            Thersharr was climbing slowly up the ice and muck covered pier again, reaching outward to Halyn.  The two men looked at one and another, Hal nodded, Thersharr did likewise.  Then in that moment, Thersharr pushed himself off the pier with all he could.  His hand wrapped tightly around Hal’s.  Hal then secured the grip by grabbing both their hands with his left.  Thersharr then reached up, put his right hand between Hal’s arms, and pulled.

            Halyn began to slip; Kylyn took this as her cue and reached down grabbing his belt, pulling him back.  When he was secure with Thersharr’s weight, she let go with her left and held it out for the full Rymyth Elf scout.  Thersharr pushed himself up, letting go of Hal with his right hand, swinging up to Kylyn.

            She got him and began pulling him up.  Once his hand was near the lip of the bridge, she let him go and he began easing himself up, using Halyn as a ladder.  She heard muffled remarks from the somewhat arrogant half human as Thersharr place a hand here, a foot there, or a knee elsewhere.

            Kylyn was sliding out from between the rails when she heard her name called again.  Looking toward her right she saw Linis and Ryneke waving and pointing.  Turning she saw a figure clutching desperately to a small chunk of ice that had broken from the river’s shore.  She focused her eyes on the new target, examining the shape and size of the person in the darkness.

            Soon the image was as clear to her as if it were twilight.  The victim was Erfwann Kettlehold, Ryneke’s younger brother and a member of the squad.  There was no way for her to get to him; he was in the center of the river, going under the middle section of the bridge.  Trying to control her demeanor, she looked around, surveying the area for anything that could help.

            Noticing a Queoth soldier, armed with a spear running her way from the other side of the bridge, she ran to meet him.  The trooper stopped as she approached.  Kylyn smiled at him while grabbing the spear from his hand.

            “Need this,” was all she said.  Turning, she thought she heard a yes ma’am from him, forgetting for a moment that she was indeed an officer.

            Running back, she noticed Verne coming toward Thersharr and Halyn, both now in the middle of the bridge spotting Erfwann as he quickly was gushed under them.  Verne came bearing a rope, she was not going to questioned where he had acquired it, instead was forming a suitable use for it.

            “Who is it?” he asked as he uncoiled the rope.

            “Erfwann,” she answered handing the spear to Thersharr.  The spear was not her preferred weapon, but Thersharr he could make that long wooden pole into the deadliest of weapons.

            Kylyn watched Erfwann emerge from below them, moving quickly to the end of town, to the end of the cliff.  The town ended at a three-hundred foot cliff that the river flowed over of course.  The rapidly moving river had spun their companion around so his back was to them.  He was clinging for his life to that chunk of ice.  Soon, he would succumb to the waters chill.

            Turning back to Verne, he now had finished tying the rope to the spear.  “He’ll never see it,” she exclaimed.

            “I can try to throw it in front of him,” Thersharr added.

            “Your good, but he’s not going to move fast enough.  The cold’s gotten to him by now,” Hal said, getting up on the railing reaching for the spear.

           

* * *

 

            Linis ran at a dead run up the bridge.  Halyn was getting ready to dive in, a foolish endeavor.  Linis was the better swimmer of the group they all knew that.  Timing in this maneuver was going to be critical, and hopefully only one of them was in the water with the spear.

            As he neared the group, he looked and spied Erfwann.  The poor man was spinning helplessly toward the falls.  Linis knew he needed to act now.  He leapt, placing one foot on the middle rail, boosting him slightly.  His left foot then landed on the upper rail, sliding toward Halyn.  The half elf was now up on the middle rail, reaching for the spear that Thersharr was about to throw.

            Linis took two steps along the rail, then slamming his right foot into Halyn’s chest, pushing himself outward over the river toward the panicking Erfwann, and sending Hal back to the bridge floor.  Simultaneously Thersharr let the spear fly at his target.  Linis reaching out and grapping the spear flew through the air, descending to the icy cold river.

            His body nearly went it to shock and wanted to curl up into a little ball when he slammed into the river.  Pain shot through his left fore arm as he smashed into a rock.  The river was wilder than he thought, and far colder than he imagined.

            His training required him to sit and swim in water of various degrees.  It also required him to swim in a variety of conditions.  He has swum in water this cold before; he has even swum in water this swift.  His problem now was he has never swum in a river this swift and this cold.

            He surfaced after the dive, his arm throbbing, he let the current carry him as he gained his bearings.  Erfwann was ahead of him by nearly twenty or so feet, and that distance was increasing fast.  But Erfwann was not swimming; he was doing everything in his power to slow the down river velocity.  Linis was now swimming, dodging boulders that forged the rapids, and propelling himself down stream toward his target.

 

* * *

 

            Verne watched as Linis dove into the river.  What a crazy fool, Verne thought.  Though, as a commander, if he were to order some one to do this task it would be Linis he would assign.  They taught Linis the ways of a Twilight Brigade Ranger.  He was educated in traversing any type of terrain effectively.  Be it in swimming, running, climbing, crawling, or swinging, the army trained Linis.  That man spent more time out doors during their training than that of the rest of them, not including Ryneke.

            This would explain the bond between the two.  It was obvious the two were close, just how close Verne was not sure.  However, in war times such as these, it is nice to have a connection with some one.  As for him, he had no one.  Sure, there was Kari, but he did not know her all that well.  She was his contact, one of many, and he had not seen her for months.

            Alyssa, back home, now there was a friend.  She would listen to him day in and day out.  He would whine for hours, she would laugh and then hug him.  My, how he would whine, and now thinking about it, most of it was about nothing.  Or was it regarding the hug at the end, the reward or prize if you will - the comfort she offered.  Oh how he remembered her smell.  Her soft black hair gently brushing his cheek –

            The rope ran through his hands, he clamped down on it, ignoring the pain as Linis swam down the river a suicidal speed.  Glancing at his feet Verne realized that the end of the rope was near and Linis still was moving further away.  He left the rope fall slack, yet still held it and ran to the west end of the bridge.

 


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Michael Robinson
Novel / Novella
Thriller
writing Michael Robinson
"I believe in a world of angels and demons, ghosts and ghouls, zombies and vampires. I love a world of elfs and dragons, heroes and villians. Evil and not so evil. I enjoy walking that line of shadow between evil and good, light and darkness."
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Synopsis
The surviving Brigade Members of the explosions that ripped through Twilight's Falls pull together to save one of their own that currently is in dire straights.
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