Truth sayer

Truth sayer

A Story by Tegon Maus
"

"Get up. He has no power, I command you. Get up," Kathryn screamed. She kicked several of the Norha with no avail.

"

"Truth Sayer," Elizabeth whispered weakly, opening her eyes.

"Pure heart," Enon whispered in return.  He kissed her forehead tenderly.  Slowly, he lowered her to the ground next to the dog.  She wobbled on weakened legs as his arm slipped from her.  She braced herself against the animal for a moment.

Enon looked into her tiny face and smiled weakly.  He drew a deep breath and glanced at me, lifting his chin.

"Now Izie, now," he shouted and lunged at Kathryn, driving her to the ground.  The Norha instantly set upon him, screaming and beating him.

Bowen, Spath and I pulled madly at them, trying to help all that we could until we were restrained.  Buried under a seemly endless number of Norha, Enon had wrapped his arms around Kathryn and refuse to let her go.  She screamed incoherently from under him as they fought to free her.

"The child, you idiots, the child," she screamed, finally free, rising to her feet.  She thrust out her hand and my eye followed its lead.

Elizabeth, riding on the back of Enon's dog, had almost reached the other side of the basin.  The Norha vaulted to Kathryn's command and gave chase.

Lightning sprang from her fingertips, striking the ground close to the dog.  Elizabeth clung to the animal with a fierce grip, her tiny legs wrapped around its midsection.  It ran with an unnatural speed, straight for some unseen goal.  The ground rumbled more fiercely with each new explosion that leaped from Kathryn's hand.  Each time, at the last instant, the dog changed course just before the lightning could reach out and halt their escape.

"Elizabeth," a desperate voice called out from the rim of the basin.

"Nanna," Elizabeth's frail voice echoed off the basin walls.

There at its brink, Governess Eloise lay on the ground her arms outstretched over its rim.  Her terrified cry tore at my heart.

The ground roared and shook as if in great pain as Kathryn sent bolt after bolt, coming ever closer to the dog with each new attempt.  The lake splashed violently onto the shore, sending rivers of the acid over its edge, cutting deep ruts into the sand.

Lightning exploded with greater savagery, raining dirt and rocks over the entire basin.

"Stop it," I screamed at Kathryn. "Stop it."

The Norha beat me as I struggled to get free.  Two of the Norha held my wrist high over my head, trying to restrain me.  In the struggle my palm was forced open and outward.  They froze briefly and then fell to their knees screaming, babbling wildly.  The others quickly followed suit.

"Get up, you fools.  Get up," Kathryn screamed.

Only she, the Jondas and I were left standing.  Enon grabbed my wrist, and held it high; turning me so all could see the brand placed there.

"Soul Bearer take all," he yelled and they buried their face deeper into the sand.

"Get up.  He has no power, I command you.  Get up," Kathryn screamed.  She kicked several of the Norha with no avail.

Enon released me to grab her.  She kicked, scratched and screamed.

With their arms extended over their heads, the Norha bellowed their protest, beating the ground violently but not one looked up.

"Soul Bearer take all," Enon repeated, bellowing at the top of his voice.

Kathryn fought him with all her might but it bore little effect.  Enon pulled her along at his will.

She screamed something and the Norha giving chase stopped in their tracks, all save one. The others were now focused solely on us and were on their way to rescue her.

A deep growl from the forgotten Soul Walker pierced the air.  Released from its invisible yoke, it now rushed towards us.

Enon threw Kathryn to the ground and spun to meet its advance.

The dog raced up the basin wall along a narrow ledge, Elizabeth clinging to him for dear life.  The animal scaled the steep rampart, higher and higher, leaping from one stone outcropping to another, until it was moments from the top.  It struggled frantically to hold its footing as Elizabeth reached for Governess Eloise's outstretched hands.

"Come to me, child," the woman screamed and leaned farther over the side.

At that instant, lightning sprang from Kathryn, reaching out for them.  It exploded within inches, sending the dog, Elizabeth and Governess Eloise rolling down the basin wall in a cloud of gray dust.

"Izie." Enon anguished cry vibrated to the very core of me.  He spun as if to run to her and was caught from behind by the Soul Walker and driven to the ground by the blow. Blood ran freely from his shoulder.  The creature stood over him and howled with delight, its fingers flexing with greedy hunger.

I grabbed for Enon's knife just as Kathryn did the same.  I got it first and received her wrath on the back of my head.  I pointed it, first at her and then at the monster as it peered over its shoulder at me.  No remnant of kindness, no mark of any Jonda soul held residence there.  I couldn't help but shudder as I looked into those unmerciful eyes.

"My life for yours, brother," Bowen yelled and drove his body into the creature's midsection, bowling it over.

The monster reeled from the attack, immediately rolling to its feet again and braced for the charge.  It howled and then lunged for Bowen.

My heart pounded wildly, filling my ears with the rush of my blood for fear and the lack of knowing what to do.

    "Cayra" came a voice from the brink of the basin and a "crow" whistled over my right shoulder.  I felt the brush of air in its passing as it sought its target.  The creature released a tortured scream as the other part of itself poured from the fresh wound.  It had begun again.

"I will take all.  Do not tempt my patience," I yelled, holding out my palm for the Norha to see.  They chanted their protest but remained face down, even those coming to Kathryn's aid.  All save one.  He raced toward Elizabeth, shielding his face with his hands.  He made every effort not to look at me.

At first, Elizabeth appeared dead, as did the dog and the Governess.  The lone Norha scooped her up and ran.  She hung limp over his shoulder, as if her body no longer held bones.

Groggy, weak and disoriented, the dog forced itself to stand just as Enon rose to his feet.

"Izie," he cried.

The dog shook its head briefly, then turned just enough to make eye contact with him and was off in pursuit.

Lightning sprang from Kathryn in horrible numbers, striving for the dog.  The crash of thunder exploded with furious regularity, lapping one over the other.

The ground rumbled in great pain and began to pitch and roll.  The acid lake poured over its confines opening a deep rift, making the air even more putrid.

Enon turned his weakened body and his anger to Kathryn.  He lunged at her, forcing her to the ground once more.  Blood was everywhere, covering her clothing as well as his.  She screamed and cursed at him.  They rolled over each other as well as the Norha.

"Izie, Tucker, Izie," Enon yelled and the realization of his words jumped into my mind.  I turned. The Norha with Elizabeth ran toward the basin entrance, the dog only moments behind.

Bowen and Spath were tangled in the struggle between Kathryn and Enon, trying to pull them apart, to control her.

A massive bolt leapt out from somewhere in that dark sky, striking Enon.  All four where thrown clear of the other, unconscious.

"I will take all," I yelled as many of the Norha began to rise.  They buried their faces again with the threat of my voice.

The Governess Eloise stumbled toward me.  Her face was dirty and bruised, her body weak.  I held her in my arms and she leaned her weight into me.

"It will be alright," I whispered, brushing the hair from her face.

"Not yet, Citizen," Kathryn hissed.  She pushed at the ground on all fours to steady herself.  From the depths of her very soul she gathered the energy to throw one last blinding bolt.  It ripped through the air with a deafening roar, reaching out for the dog.  Instantly, the basin filled with the creature's mournful cry and it dropped to the ground, dead.

My heart pounded with panic at the sound. I ached at its loss.

Kathryn rose to unsteady feet and called to the Norha carrying Elizabeth.

"Bring the child to me," she ordered hoarsely.  She kicked Enon's unconscious body in her passing to greet him.

Driven by the power she unleashed on the dog, the ground undulated and more of the lake poured into the fresh opening, widening its girth.  The sharp sizzle of sand washing away dominated.  The rift began to stretch farther and farther, sending its eroding fingers in every direction.

      The runner approached, laying the child's limp body at Kathryn's feet.

"Elizabeth," Eloise whispered, dropping to the ground to cradle the child in her arms.  She ran her hand over Elizabeth's face, wiping away the dirt.

"I've won, Citizen.  The child is mine," Kathryn said weakly, her energy spent.

"You monster.  You will never take her while I live," Eloise said, pulling the child tighter to her.

"A minor detail I assure you," she replied coldly.

At that moment, the ground rumbled again and a fracture opened at our feet.  The lake poured into it, dissolving deeper and deeper with each passing second.  I pulled at Eloise and moved away from the encroaching edge.  A gaping fissure sprang to life between Kathryn, the Norha, and us.  We on one side and they on the other.  It grew in depth and length in the blink of an eye in every direction.  At the bottom acid flowed freely in great torrents.  It had become fifteen perhaps twenty feet deep and more than twelve feet across, much too wide to jump and too long to go around.  We were on an island of safety.

     "Throw her to me, Citizen, before it's too late and I will let you live," Kathryn said, moving to the very edge of the divide.

"You've lost.  Take your people and go," I chided.

"I have not come this far to leave without her.  Give her to me," she screamed.

"Nanna," Elizabeth cried softly and wrapped her arms around Eloise's neck.

I had hoped Enon would have revived by now, but had not.

Kathryn barked orders to the Norha and they rose to her command.  They grouped themselves in sets of three and ran, trailing off toward the entrance.  The sound of their feet, pounding in unison, suddenly joined with the whirling drone of the bear, flooded the basin with an eerie sound.

Kathryn made no movement as the Norha turned, chanting, heading back, straight for us.  The chanting increased, becoming faster and faster as they ran.  Those at the head of the line rushed to make the jump to our side but fell to the bottom into the acid.  Their screams of agony were short lived as the next jumped and landed on top of them, followed by another and yet another.  Dozens upon dozens of them threw themselves over the edge and more followed until a bridge of living bodies was created for Kathryn and she simply walked across.

"Give her to me," she said harshly.

"Never," Eloise said, standing, pushing Elizabeth behind her.

"Then die," Kathryn shouted and backhanded the governess across the face, sending her sprawling to the ground.

Elizabeth ran to hide behind me.

"I'm taking her, Citizen," she said with full menace.  The air began to crackle as she raised her hand toward me.  The lightning was coming.

"Of my own free will." came Elizabeth's tiny voice, barely audible.  She stepped out from behind me and walked unafraid to Kathryn.  "Leave them alone and I will go with you... of my own free will."

Kathryn slowly lowered her hand, considering the child's words.

"Of your own free will?" she repeated.

The child nodded her agreement.

"I won't allow it." I said, pulling the young girl behind me again.  I turned Bowen's dagger over in my hand and prayed Enon would wake up soon.

    "Caution, Citizen, caution.  You heard the child.  She wants to go with me."

"Only to save our lives," I countered.  We walked in a slow circle, each waiting for an opportunity to show itself.

"Of my own free will," Elizabeth called.  She now stood on the other side of the divide, surrounded by Norha.

I was shocked.  My heart pumped madly.  I stared in disbelief.  She held out her tiny hand toward us.  Her face was a sad silhouette of resolution.  I had to do something, anything.  I couldn't just let her walk away.

Kathryn straightened and walked across the bodies of her minions to take her hand.  At her passing the Norha, those that could, rose and followed.  The remainder, the broken and the dead slowly washed away in the stream of acid and the bridge was gone.

"You've lost, Citizen," Kathryn said with a wicked smile.

"Elizabeth!" Eloise cried, rising to her knees, holding her arms out to the child.

"Its alright Nanna. I promise," Elizabeth said weakly.

Time seemed to stop.  I heard no sound and saw nothing but the child's face and my heart sank.

"No fear, Pumpkin. Enon come for you," the Jonda said, more dead than alive.  Enon struggled to stand to look Kathryn in the eye. "And for you," he threatened and then slumped to the ground once more.

"Come, I can always use more Walkers," she chided.

Kathryn turned and disappeared with Elizabeth into the mass of Norha.  They marched off toward the entrance and slowly disappeared through its gaping mouth.

We were alone, deserted on an island of rock, helpless as that monster walked away with our 'Izie'.

Only the hiss of dissolving sand was left.  No Norha voice, no thunder, no marching.  We were alone, stranded on the rock Enon and the others had been chained too.  They, more accurately, she had won.  Elizabeth was gone.

"Well," Eloise voice broke the silence.  She stood and brushed the dirt from her clothes.  "What are you waiting for?  Go after them."


© 2017 Tegon Maus



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I think I've read this before, Tegon. Is it part of your book? I think I might have it on my old computer. I have to find it, can't remember what happens to Izzy!

Posted 9 Hours Ago


Tegon Maus

25 Minutes Ago

I think I sent you a copy when it went to print... way back when !!

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Added on June 5, 2017
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Author

Tegon Maus
Tegon Maus

CA



About
Dearheart, my wife of forty five years and I live in Cherry Valley, a little town of 8,200 in Southern California. In that time, I've built a successful remodeling /contracting business. But th.. more..

Writing
So alive ! So alive !

A Story by Tegon Maus