Marble Halls


Hezron walked through the woods of the Anlorian Temple as birds chirped and sang above his head, flapping from one branch to the other. The changing season filling the ground with leaves as the branches started to become bare. Rays of sun broke through the foliage spottling the ground with light as the mist in the air rising from the pond gave the whole place a dreamy feel.

 Hezron closed his eyes trying to sense her but he quickly gave up knowing it was useless. Just then he saw her blue dress coming out from behind a tree. A smile came upon his face as his steps led him slowly towards her. He leaned on the tree and waited for a minute before speaking. “I think I win, again.”

Adiel walked out from behind the tree, a smile crossing her face. “It’s impossible to hide in this wood.”

“That’s not my fault,” said Hezron looking at her.

Adiel smiled before turning and walking deeper into the woods.

Pacing slowly towards the small pond Adiel knelt down by the still waters. Her fingers crossed through her hair and brushed it back behind her ears. She leaned towards the pond and saw the reflection of a woman with bright blue eyes and refreshed countenanced looking back at her. An age seemed to pass as she stared at the reflection on the water. She looked younger and yet more mature it seemed. Adiel closed her eyes before scooping the water with her hands breaking her own reflection. She washed her face gently with the cold water, enjoying how smooth her skin had become. Then lifting the tip of her dress she gently dried her face.  

Hezron stood by the tree, looking into the woods where she had disappeared. The leaves under his feet caught his attention at that moment. Bending down he picked one up and inspected it curiously. The leaf was green and the only sign of death was around its tip. The other leaves on the ground were exactly the same way, betraying the season’s color. He wondered how and why they had fallen. He found it strange but he did not give it much thought. Hezron dropped the leaf and stood up before starting to go the same direction Adiel had disappeared. The pond stood not far off, by its edge lied Adiel looking at the sky. Hezron headed towards her but without expecting dropped to his knees, feeling a sharp pain stab his head. A flash of images played before his eyes but suddenly slowed down letting him see once again Kelub screaming an agonizing cry… The stabbing pain subsided at that moment leaving Hezron kneeling on the ground holding his head.    

Adiel looked at the foliages of the trees reflected on the glossy green water of the pond, disrtorted by the ripples created by the wind. Hezron stopped next to her and looked off into the distance, his mind thinking about all that had happened during their stay.

 “A week has gone by and now we play on these woods like nymphs,” he said, his words faint as if addressing himself. “This place’s peace is devilish…It makes us forget who we are.”

“It is not devilish, Hezron” said Adiel with a serious tone looking up at Hezron, his hair cut and short again. She tried thinking of a way to explain it but could not. “I would rather be a nymph in these woods forever than go out there and fight my demons.”

Hezron sat next to her, but continued to look off into the woods thinking about her words. “Adiel, we are warriors and yet we play like children in these woods. Out there we would never-”

“The world out there has been corrupted, Hezron. Survival is all we have time to worry about. Enjoy the innocence that is emerging again in us, the peace that surrounds us. This will only be a faint memory once we leave.”    

“Indeed, and yet while we stay it is an evil that erodes who we are.” He lied down next to her, looking up at the rays of sun bursting through the foliages of the trees.   

* * *

Hezron and Adiel stepped back into the Marble Hall near sundown, seeing the table set again for another banquet. Ehud sat under a small tree which had blossomed white flowers with red stains, looking much like sprinkled blood. The Blade polished his dagger, ignoring their presence.

Adiel started to walk off to go back to her room but Hezron held her hand. She stopped and looked back but Hezron quickly changed his mind and let go of her hand. “Never mind,” he told her. “I’ll see you tonight”

 She smiled and walked off towards her room.

“When are you going to tell her you like her?”  

“When the time is right,” said Hezron walking back to his room.

The door slammed with a thud before Hezron turned and punched it. Looking at the floor of his room he saw his weapons exactly where he had left them a week ago, constrastating heavily with the pure white that surrounded it. The weapons still needed to be polished but he did not seem to find time to do it. Hezron dropped on his bed and looked up at the ceiling before closing his eyes…

… In the midst of the darkness and silence of a dungeon, the drip of water could be heard disturbing the devilish peace. The water slowly dripped in the corner of the cell, falling on the puddle bellow where rats with bloodshot eyes drank slowly. The pungent smell of death seemed to be emerging from the whole dungeon, but especially from the decomposing body that lied on the corner of the cell. The bloated cadaver was infested with rats crawling in and out, knibbling at the exposed decomposing flesh.

In the middle of the cell, three feet from the cadaver, Kelub hanged with handcuffs keeping him up. Apart from the rats he seemed to be the only sign of life in the dungeon. The iron handcuffs hanging from the top of the ceiling were the only thing that kept his body standing, bruising his wrist and cutting through his flesh. Kelub’s black cloak was torn in several places and there were signs of blood everywhere on it. His head hanged low, looking down at his feet. He was as if dead, but his deep and hard breaths could be heard in the silent room. Blood had run down his temples a long time ago, now dry and black against his fair skin. A rat approached his feet and started nibbling at his boot. Before the rat could move the man lifted his foot and crashed the head of the rat, smearing the rat’s blood on the puddle under his feet. Kelub slowly lifted his head and looked up before letting out a loud agonizing scream. “Please,” he said dropping his head again. “Have mercy, Eerie.”…

 …Hezron woke up with a start feeling his heart beat faster than normal. Why am I having visions of someone else! He wondered mad. He brushed the thought aside and opened the wardrobe in his room finding new garments there. Miriam had sent them new clothes everyday but nothing that resembled a warrior’s garment. He shut the door of the wardrobe again before walking out of his room.

* * *

They all sat around the marble table, talking and laughing, as they waited for Miriam.

 Adiel’s white dress blew softly with the breezes that rushed through the Marble Hall. Taking the hair that had blown on her face, Adiel brushed it unconsciously back behind her ears, laughing at a story Calno was telling. Hezron looked at Adiel and she smiled at him before turning her attention back to Calno.

Miriam walked into the room and sat down at the head of the table like before. “Please,” she said pointing at the banquet with a terseness that was not natural. The others present at the table carried on, talking, laughing, and now eating.   

Azlis looked at Miriam and noticed that she was faintly smiling, but he realized it was all a façade, her eyes red with tears she had shed before coming in. The Anlor set the Nogueron down before speaking in a low tone so that only she would hear. “There is still hope, but you chose to ignore it and weep his death instead.”

“Please,” she said, the smile fainting from her face. She closed her eyes as if to control herself.  

“What if he is not dead, Miriam? What if Arthad is still alive?”

“I do not only grieve for my son, Azlis!”

“But you grieve the deepest for Arthad.”

Miriam stood up and walked off the room, the others around the table hardly noticing her exit. Azlis stood up and excused himself, leaving after her. Calno watched them leave but turned back again to continue his story.

* * *   

Miriam walked into the empty room and dropped to her knees sobbing into her closed fists. She could feel the Anlor’s presence approaching slowly from behind her. “Four months Azlis. Why would Rius spare them? – Spare him?”

“Because Rhen’s father was a traitor, because Kelub is a Kry Warrior, because Arthad is your son.”

“What peace will it give me that Rius spared them and now tortures them, Azlis? ‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’

“Why do you quote words of yore, the ancients before our time, the ones before Kores?!”

She stood up and walked across the empty room, ignoring Azlis in her anger. “Better for a man to die a hero than live as a prisoner. If Rius has them then they will perish in his hands. Our army pales in comparison to his.”

  Azlis grabbed her shoulders and turned her around. “Your anger clouds your mind, Miriam! Where is your faith?!”

She started sobbing, looking away from Azlis in shame as she tried to hide her face.

The Anlor touched her cheek and lifted her head again. His eyes blazed fiery silver as he realized something else was wrong. “Something bothers you?”  

She walked pass Azlis wiping the tears from her eyes. “Calno blames me for their death, Azlis.

“He is Arthad’s father and he is only grieving his loss.”

Miriam stopped and looked at Azlis’ blazing silver eyes trying to comfort her broken heart. She smiled and touched his cheek saying in soft voice, “I missed you so much.”

Azlis gently grabbed her shoulders and moved her away from him. “Don’t do this Miriam. You need Calno if you are to survive Rius’ Fury.”

“He can hardly look me in the eyes anymore!”

“I’m sorry,” said Azlis walking pass her and out of the room.    

* * *

Filled with scrolls and scripts divided into different shelves carved on the far wall of the room, with leaves of paper lying over different tables, and some books lying on the top shelves the room served as a library to the temple. The marble pillars going around the room separated the place from the forest and allowed for a roof that created a haven from the sun.  Azlis stood leaning against one of the pillars as Calno looked at a table full of maps.

“What do you mean?” asked Calno rolling out another map onto the table.

“He can sense evil coming when it is still miles away. This is not a mortal’s gift.”

“How does that explain anything?”

“I fear Luzhe has inherited more from this father than he thinks.”

“Must I remind you the slaughter that his father caused us thirty years ago? Let us hope that he did not inherit anything from Lhuz.”

“Lhuz was a powerful Council Seer before he was ever a traitor.”

“A traitor nonetheless.”

“Listen to yourself. You were one of the few that vouched for his innocence.”   

Before he killed my sister, Azlis!” said Calno looking up from his maps. “Rachel refused to escape with Lhuz after he was sentenced, and because she refused to let him take the boys he killed Rachel in cold blood. How can I vouch for his innocence when he killed my own sister?!”

“I am sorry for her loss, Calno.”

“Luzhe and Rhel have become our strongest men, my right arms in this city. Why does any of this matter?”     

“Because Luzhe has a dormant gift.”

Calno looked at Azlis. “The boy is a brilliant commander, my top commander, I will not hand him to stay trapped in an empty room speculating the future and follow in the exact footsteps of his father. Not when I have already lost his brother!”

“Luzhe’s gift is dormant, waiting for something to trigger it. You know that once it is triggered you cannot stop him.”

“Why are you telling me all of this?”

“Because I think he is the key to defeating Rius’ Fury. He can become that key if you let him Calno, if you believe in him and forget what his father did.”

“Lhuz has become a tale of betrayal known by everyone in the Council. Even if I let him go that path, others won’t let him go the same way that caused his father to level a whole city down.”

“Luzhe and Rhel believe in the innocence of their father.”

“It doesn’t change what happened.”

“It changes what he believes was the path of his father.”   

Calno looked at Azlis thinking on the Anlor’s words. “I must go to the city now, Azlis. Let things run their course. When it becomes a problem we will deal with it.” Calno rolled thee maps and placed them on his belt before walking away from the room.

There are no messages yet
Novel / Novella
writing gogguy
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
romans 7:15
Bookmark and Share

You must log in to rate.
This has not been rated.

Chapter 39 of a Fantasy novel I am currently writing. This chapter deals specially with the delusion of peace, love affairs, the struggle of a mother who lost her son, and the fate of a man who has a special ability. It deals with several things in one chapter, so it can get a little confusing introducing up to 6 characters in 4 pages. I am aware that my grammar is weak, but at the moment I am focusing on making a strong plot and creating round characters. So if you can comment on how I'm doing on that, that'll be appreciated. I'll take any suggestions for chapter name. (I know it's hard since it deals with so many things) -I hope it's not too painful to read.
A Word from the Writer
Hezron, Adiel, Ehud - these characters are all young warriors who have found a haven in a temple that is being threatened by Rius, a devilish necromancer. Azlis - is an Anlor (which is my version of Elves) who is leading the above warriors and knows the people of the temple. Miriam - A seer at the temple. Calno - Commander of the armies of the temple and Miriam's lover.