It has been a few days since I last posted an excerpt of my Fantasy story and I’ll let you into a little secret. I haven’t given it a title yet. If any of you have some suggestions (nice ones of course) on what I should call it, then please let me know.
Also I am up to Part Seven now. Do you want me to continue with this or move on to something new?
If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:
Lara called to the driver as she got into the coach.
“Piotr, don’t drive so fast today. I’m only thinking of the poor horses. We don’t want to tire them out, do we?”
“But we have four fresh new horses from the hotel’s stables Miss.”
“Don’t argue, Piotr. We’ll get better service from them if we don’t push them too hard.”
“Yes Miss. As you wish.”
“Silly girl” thought Piotr, to himself. “Why didn’t she just say she feels travel sick and doesn’t like travelling so fast. All that nonsense about worrying about the horses. The day she started to care about anything but herself they’ll declare a public holiday!” Piotr flicked the reins and set the horses moving. He wanted to get to Albana and then get home again as quickly as possible. His wife, Elsa, was carrying his seventh child and he wanted to get back for the birth. He hoped it was a Boy.
The Coach lurched into action and soon the landscape began to fly by the window. Lara was annoyed. Piotr didn’t seem to be going any slower at all. To calm herself she tipped out the contents of the leather bag and the gemstones tumbled into her lap. Bethra squealed at the sight of them.
“Oh, Lara, where did you come by them? Why that’s an emerald isn’t it? Isn’t that an Amethyst? They are so large, almost as big as those quail eggs you had for breakfast. They must be worth and absolute fortune.”
“Calm down Bethra. I don’t think they’re real. I think they are just coloured glass, costume jewellery, dear.” Lara quickly thought of a reason for having them. “I thought we could give them to Lady Hardcastle as a present to say thank you for looking after us.”
“They’re too good for Lady Hardcastle, even if they are only glass” Said Bethra who was bitterly disappointed that the gems weren’t real.
Bethra settled down to sulk about having to be looked after by Lady Hardcastle. Augustus Caraffi began going through some ritual practice with David. It looked odd watch them sit crossed legged with their eyes closed and hands extended palms facing each other. A slight glow seemed to be emanating from the Mage and was slowly extending into Davids fingers. Lara decided to do some meditating herself, with the gemstones. She pretended to be having a sleep but actually she was concentrating very hard. She reached into her lap and grabbed a gem at random. She opened her eyes to see which one she’d picked up. It was the red garnet; it had practically leapt into her hand. How mysterious.
After two hours of travelling they reached the small town of Darbury and had an uneventful lunch. Bethra and David had been having an in-depth conversation about the churches and temples in the town and also the small wayside shrines they had passed. It was said that there were more different deities that were worshipped in this part of the world than there were stars up in the sky. Lara could well believe it, they had passed so many shrines, but she herself was an atheist. Her father was the kind of man who believed very little unless he could see it with his own eyes and had passed his innate scepticism on to his daughter. Also being brought up amongst red mages did not encourage religious thinking. As far as she could remember, they had so far passed a Cathedral to the sun-god Aruhma, a temple to the moon goddess Lunari, two churches dedicated to the god of farming, Burassad and several shrines to Voiyaira the goddess of safe travel and adventure. Apparently both Bethra and David were well versed in the study of architecture of these various religious structures and were discussing them quite avidly. Lara didn’t enter into their conversation though, frankly it bored her to tears. She continued to practice with her gemstones, picking them up at random. Logically she should have picked each of them up about five times, having tried this now about twenty-five times, but strangely she had picked up the garnet most of the time. The diamond she’d only picked up once and the emerald she hadn’t picked up at all. She couldn’t help feel that this was very bizarre. It must mean something, but what? She couldn’t wait to ask Augustus later.
There was a loud knock at the door. The High Mage Angstrom wondered who would be knocking at this time of night. The door swung open and in walked his old friend, Jonathan Landerby. Times had not been kind to Landerby. Despite being the same age as Angstrom, he looked older. He was hunched over and walked with a cane. Had he been able to stand upright he would not have been much shorter than Angstrom, as it was though he only came up to his shoulder. He was more solidly built than the tall white-haired High Mage Angstrom but his black hair was heavily streaked with grey and gave him an altogether more wild, untamed look.
“Hello Jonathan, it’s nice of you to come and visit me, but couldn’t it have waited until tomorrow? It couldn’t have been easy for you climbing all those stairs.”
Angstrom’s quarters were at the top of a tower whereas Landerby had a suite of rooms on ground level, near to the Library.
“I didn’t think you would have heard, living so high up and away from the main palace” Said Landerby in his voice like sandpaper, “The palace is all in a tumult. Like a load of bees in a hive when someone has given it a kick. Three ambassadors have arrived from one of the lands to the South, beyond the great dividing range. They are Purple Mages! Purple Mages here. I don’t know what the governor was thinking about to even let them enter the city walls let alone the palace. You have some sway with him Gregory, tell him to throw them out.”
“Jonathan, calm down. I’m afraid that Governor Boadrah is the most stubborn man I have ever met. I will try, but I find it virtually impossible to influence him. I have never known anyone like him.”
“Sounds a lot like you actually. You could never be influenced, I remember when we were students together. When others were tempted, you always resisted.”
“Whereas you, I seem to recall, were always in the thick of trouble and on numerous times I had to get you out of it.”
“Speak to the Governor, Gregory, if anyone can persuade him, you can. We don’t want any Purple Mages here.”
End of Part Seven
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 12/June/2018