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Enegeris Pond

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An Intelligent Moron avatar An Intelligent Moron
Level 68 : High Grandmaster Procrastinator
1,334

This is my entry for a short story contest my school is holding, and I decided to post it here, as well!
Since younger children will be reading it, I had to keep myself from using stronger language and visuals, oops.




Knock, knock
! My window panes shuddered again. I poked my head out from behind my desk, holding my quill like it was a fragile cracker, about to break at any second.


“Warwick! Let me in!” My heart fluttered. It wasn’t an intruder. Cameron pounded on the window again, his voice muffled from behind the wooden frame. “I’m gonna fall if you don’t!”


“I’m coming!” I replied, setting down my quill. I pushed myself off of my chair and crossed the padded floor to open the window.


I told Cameron to move over so I could open the window. There was some shuffling around and Cameron gave me a thumbs up.


I opened the window and peered down to see if Cameron brought the books, My shoulders slumped when I saw he didn’t have them.


I held my hand out to him and he took it, almost tugging me out of the window with his weight. I grunted and dragged him up, into my room. He climbed up the stone and collapsed onto my floor, standing and dusting himself off.


“Thanks. It was about time, I’ve been knocking for the past five minutes. What’s the deal?” He asked, crossing his arms and glaring at me.


“You never come in through the window,” I said. “I thought you were a polite robber.”

“Robbers don’t knock. And your overprotective nanny-guards didn’t want to let me in.” He shrugged off his black hood and let it fall.


“That’s why I said polite.” I pushed past him and sat at my desk, beckoning him over, then remembering he hadn’t brought anything for us to look at. “How come you didn’t bring the books?”

“I had to drop them off with the guards. They’re gonna bring them to you. I wasn’t going to scale a fifty foot wall with seven heavy books weighing me down.”


Cameron leaned against the desk, glancing down at my work. I casually put my arm over the word so he couldn’t see them.


“It’s not fifty feet.”

“Yes it is. The palace has five stories and your room is on the top. Thus, fifty feet.”


I narrowed my eyes and straightened my back. “Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Pretty sure it’s closer to thirty. How are you going to get back down?”


“I asked Arrow to bring a rope.”


“That’s too dangerous. And who’s Arrow?”


“Thanks, Captain Obvious, but I’ll be fine. He manages the horses.”


I harrumphed.


“So do you want to continue your lessons here or go to that special spot I told you about the other day?” Cameron placed his palms on my desk.


“Depends where the spot is. And if I have to use the ladder to get to there.”

“It’s in the woods. There’s this garden my mum found when she was little.”


“I’m not allowed in the woods.” I leaned back too far into my chair and I crashed onto the floor. If the padding wasn’t there I’d have twenty guards bursting into my room with dumb medical supplies.


“And you’re also not allowed to see me. But look where we are!” Cameron sits beside me, crossing his legs and tilting his head to look at me.


“Touché.” I sit up on my elbows to look up at him. I’d never noticed it before, but his emerald eyes seemed to have a fire blazing in them. What for, I don’t know.


A quick one-two-three knock alerted me to the guards at the door. I scrambled up and Cameron ducked under the desk, completely hidden well due to his thin frame.


I opened the door and a guard dressed in his metallic attire offered a sheepskin bag towards me. I took it and thanked him, abruptly shutting closing the door in his face.


I nudged to let Cameron to let him know it was safe and he crawled out. He made his way to the window and threw it open, bending down to pick his cloak up. Once he had it on he beckoned for me to follow him, and he jumped.


I rushed over to see if he was okay and to my relief, he waved from a long rope.


“It’s fine, I’ll catch you!” He called.


Thinking I could trust him, I stepped onto my windowsill. I slipped and tumbled off, my arm colliding with the sill. Cameron grabbed my legs and asked if I was okay. I nodded, wincing and holding my neck.


I reached up to close my window and the bag of books slid down to my shoulder. The window closed with a satisfying creak.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


I screamed and held onto Cameron as the horse we were on galloped down the hill and into the trees. A branch whipped me in the face and got stuck in my hair.


“Tell it to slow down!” I yelled.


“She will soon!” He shouted back to be heard over the wind.


And she did, her stride turning into a trot as the trees above our heads began to clear.


I gazed up and couldn’t help but press my cheek against Cameron’s back and let my limbs fall free to look up at the night sky.


“I didn’t realize we were riding that long,” I said happily. “I’ve never been allowed out of the palace at night.”


“Warwick, it’s hardly been an hour. This forest has always been nocturnal. I think it’s got something to do with the animals that live here.” Cameron didn’t budge, allowing me to stay where I was.


I bit my lip, trying to think of a clever response, but my mind was blank.


“We’re here.” The horse stopped and Cameron pushed me off the back of the horse. I landed with a thump on the grassy ground below. The grass was soft. Cameron took off his boots and I did the same, removing my stockings and stuffing them inside. The grass felt like silk beneath my feet.


Cameron grabbed my wrist and tugged me along, dragging me through a crumbling stone arch. Fireflies danced by the worn stone.


“Watch your step,” he said. I looked ahead and saw what he meant. Not too far from us was a lake that reflected the moon and stars.


He led me around the wet spots and to a stone picnic table underneath a swaying willow tree.


I slid the bag off of my shoulder and emptied the seven books onto the smooth tabletop. Seven books about becoming a knight, battle stances, how to fight one-on-one, and how to use a variety of weapons.


Cameron bent down and picked up two sticks, placing them on either side of the table. He told me to open the book about weapons to page 131. On the page were rough sketches of spears, how to make them, and how to throw them.


We began reading, and Cameron pointed out some of the words I struggled with reading.


Thunk.


I looked up from the book. Cameron reached for one of the sticks.


Thunk.


A tree toppled in the distance. I froze. My heart dropped into my stomach, and Cameron stood up, hunched over and glancing around.


“Cameron…?”


He shushed me, raising a finger to his lips. He beckoned for me to come closer to him and I obeyed, hiding behind him.


Thunk.


The sound grew louder and the air grew colder. I peered over Cameron’s shoulder up into the big, beady eyes of a creature with a texture of stone and a wingspan like a house.

Cameron started backing up and he knocked me down. My muscles didn’t let me get up. Cameron’s arms were freckled with gooseflesh and trembling. If he was scared, I should be, too. I let out a tiny whimper.


The gargoyle stood taller than the evergreen trees surrounding the clearing. It carried a stone scythe, waving it above our heads.


Trees fell down as it stomped closer, closer, closer.


Cameron dropped the stick. He turned to me and bent down to pick me up, saying I would be too slow to keep up with him.


And he ran. I’m still not quite sure how he managed to run holding me.


A stony foot crashed down beside us and, I’ll admit, I couldn’t swallow my nerves if I tried.


I screamed and buried my face into Cameron’s chest so I didn’t have to see the monster gaining on us.


“Get it together, Warwick!” he hissed. “You wanna be a knight, stop acting like a scared kitten!”


I glared up at him. “I would’ve fought if you hadn’t insulted me and picked me up!” I lied.


He slowed down and set me on the ground. “Well, go ahead! I’ll gather soldiers.”


My jaw dropped as he began running off again. I knew what I said probably would’ve gotten me into trouble, but I didn’t realize Cameron would’ve simply abandoned me like that.


A dark feeling rippled down my arms and legs and through my hands and feet. It tore into my bones and I felt my stomach turn over.


A shadow fell over me. I dared to look up.


The gargoyle’s foot was descending, and if I didn’t move, I’d be squashed.


And obviously, my muscles didn’t listen to my screaming brain. Time stopped.


Then I was shoved to the side, and Cameron rolled over me, dragged me up by my wrist and covered me so I didn’t get hurt by the shattering wood and exploding dust the gargoyle picked up.


I looked at him and tears burned in my eyes. “I thought you left?”


“I’m not just going to leave someone I care about in the hands of a monster.” He glanced at the gargoyle that was still moving forward. Advancing towards the palace.


“But I don’t want the kingdom to think I’m weak. I’m the future king of Enegeris; I should fight alongside the soldiers.”


“Warwick, you’re still a kid. We’re kids. We can’t fight a cat, let alone a giant gargoyle.”


He’s right. I knew he was and I still wanted to join the army, but he was right.


The roar that came next blasted through my ears. It was like a thousand dragons mashed into one powerful voice.


I covered my ears with my hands, wincing.


The noise decreased into a scream, and then it was gone.


Cameron and I shared a look and made our way to the source of the sound.


When we got there, a small army of Enegerian soldiers were discussing something amongst themselves.


One of the soldiers bent down to pick up a small rock - no, wait. The rock had wings and a face.


The soldier laughed and, holding the now-miniature gargoyle like a baby, saw us and waved.

Cameron took my hand and led me down to the group.


“Looks like it was just angry,” the soldier said, looking down at the tiny monster in her arms.


“It’s - it’s alive, though.” It sounded more like a question but I wanted to know. “Why is it alive?”


“I heard that a wizard enchanted some of the stationary objects around Enegeris. I dunno, maybe gargoyles do exist and just like staying still sometimes.”


“That doesn’t explain how it grew.”


“It didn’t grow,” the soldier said. She sounded confused.


“Yes it did, it almost crushed the Prince and I.” Cameron said.


“No…? You boys were fine and; hey, aren’t you the village boy who keeps talking to the prince without permission?”


And there went Cameron, running off to escape from the soldiers. He turned and waved at me with a wink and disappeared into the forest.


“Guess it was just our imaginations,” I said.


“You went to Enegeris Pond, didn’t you?


Always nighttime, really nice?”


The soldier nodded. “The gargoyle didn’t grow, the magic from the pond shrunk you.”


“Oh. I guess?”


Without another word, I trudged home with the guards.




-



Thanks -Rae- for being a fantastic editor!
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