|The Crystal Axe
Author: NVR PM
The Crystal Axe, found by King Henry I in 1109, is the most priceless monument in Britain, stored in the Natural History museum, but when it is stolen in mysterious ciricumstances, only Mark Hush can determine the cause of the mystery that gripped the UKRated: Fiction K+ - English - Mystery/Crime - Words: 2,763 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 4 - Published: 09-02-11 - id: 2948875
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1078 - South Wales
It was near to midday, and the sun was beating upon me and my father William. It was supposed to be a hiking trip, but as I liked to think, my father had miss-calculated the surroundings and we had come to the wrong place. Rocks in an immense form lined the walls surrounding us and it seemed like they we were walking aimlessly. Occasionally frightened swarms of bats erupted from the rocky landscape, but still my father and I admired the artistic creations of nature. I was glancing around when abruptly I noticed a break in the rock wall. It looked a bit like a dome, only that is was at ground level.
"Look father," I cried, grabbing the arm of his shirt and wildly pointing at the hole in the wall.
My father looked bewildered at my sudden reaction but quickly got the point that I wanted to show him something. Being the excited boy I was, I clinched the bottom of his shirt and half dragged him towards the opening.
"What's this?" I pattered to my father, now letting go of his shirt and sprinting ahead to touch the strange formation.
"Just wait Henry," William called who trudged further towards me.
"What is it?" I asked again, eager to go inside.
"Well, Henry, it looks to me like the...the opening of a, um... cave lad," father announced, nearly stumbling over some jacked rocks close to the cave entrance.
"A cave? How marvellous!" I replied so excited to end the spree of boringness.
The pitch black cave appeared to be deserted and no noise came out of the eerie cave.
"Is it alright to go in?" I worryingly asked.
"Well, as long as we don't go too far. We'll come back if we can't go any further. Anyhow, your mother would be getting rather worried if we stayed here to long," William answered, taking a step back to view the rocks surrounding the entrance to ensure that it is safe to explore inside.
"We better light a candle father. It looks somewhat dark inside," I declared, keen to show off any of my survival tips.
"What a splendid idea Henry. Now just fetch me a stick and a quite sharp rock my boy," father uttered, at last getting the adventurous side out of him.
Glad to help, I got a sharp rock from the gravel we had been walking along and a strong looking stick lying next to the path and handed it over to my awaiting father who then scratched the two quite vigorously together to create a spark of light.
"We already to go son?" my father asked in which I nodded and stepped forward to the entrance of the cave.
My father following behind, we entered the cave. I noticed as the light started to diminish, that grass was growing around the cave entrance, a huge contrast to the palely white rock walls.
Our candle illuminated the cave immensely and as my father confidently held our only source of light, our shadows bounced off the smooth looking walls. Abruptly I came to halt, detecting with the light that we had to crawl to continue our journey into the cave.
Glancing to my father, I whispered "Only just a few crawls father."
Spotting the upcoming hazard himself, my father entered into the crouching position and I took the hint to do the same. We crept along ever so slowly, but after clambering for a few minutes, we had exited the low wall and came out into a large passage.
With the support of the glowing candle, my father and I ventured deeper into unknown territory, stalactites scattered across the roof, so creating an amazing effect.
"Isn't this just glorious," I exclaimed to my father, the first sentence spoken since entering the cave.
"Well, isn't it Henry," father replied, also obviously glad to have taken the trip.
"Well hurry along father. I'm sure there is much more to see," I shouted, already lumbering further.
Hurrying along, we stepped on the impressive dried mud floor and strolled through the huge passage. After a while, I spotted a silvery glow spread across the cave walls.
"Father, why are the walls so shiny, like...like, diamonds?" I enthusiastically asked.
Touching the walls, father replied, "Well lad, it looks to be some type of crystal."
"Is that worth a lot?"
"The crystal? Well certainly, but by the looks of it, it is unfortunately in the wall so it can't be taken out unless you take the whole wall out, but being in the middle of a hill, I doubt that is possible!"
"A cave passage wall covered in pristine crystal that is worth a lot. I think the cave has more than the eye can see..." I pronounced.
Suddenly a shriek erupted through the cave followed by a warning type of call.
"What was that father," I uttered, obviously scared stiff.
"Probably just an animal of some sort in the cave Henry."
Then the animal called again, a sharp screech which almost sounded like a falcon.
"I think we should head back lad," father continued.
Being rather worried, I agreed that we should head back into the safety of the open, when swiftly something swooped and nicked our head. I instantly covered my head to protect myself from the unknown creature. It shrieked yet again, a more powerful call that pierced through the cave.
"We should leave NOW!" father bellowed just as the creature dived down again.
I briefly glanced towards the animal before cupping my head to guard myself from injury of its razor sharp long and curved, talons; to see red beady eyes amongst other features such as yellowy dark brownish pointed beak and pitch black feathers and a white belly, engulfing the figure of a falcon.
The falcon plunged once more, its talons merely missing both us.
"Take cover Henry," father shouted.
I didn't need telling twice so ducked behind a stalactite that was hanging of the cave roof.
"It's a falcon father. And a pretty unhappy one," I managed to cry.
At last the falcon managed to come to a rest, and glided down to land in a very small gap high in the cave wall. It called once again and abruptly flew off into the darkness leaving us in utter silence.
"That was close. Time to get out of here!" father puffed.
And I couldn't agree more, so we ambled towards the entrance of the cave, leaving the memories of the attack behind them.
The cry of the falcon once again entered our heads with only one thought. The falcon was back. Not wanting too, but being me I wanted to know what was happening, so peered behind me to make out the figure of the falcon with an extra weapon enclosed by its talons. An axe.
I sighed in amazement, noticing it shimmered with the candle light because it was made of some type of jewellery. I couldn't make out what it was, when suddenly I tripped on a loose rock. I collapsed forward, smacking my head on the rocks on the cave floor. My father came to a halt and knelled down beside me. I felt like I was fainting, all the energy was flowing out of me, but I still saw the falcon dip down to take out his prey. The bird of prey flew closer with every wing beat, lowering down so the axe narrowly missed the ground. My father acted quickly, realizing that the falcon would drop the axe right on top of my head.
William rapidly charged forward to scare away the falcon ending unsuccessfully. The bird just towered higher, out of reach from both of us, but just as the bird lowered again, it nearly had reached me.
I saw its eyes flicker without any remorse of what was going to take place. The same dark red eyes glowed down at me, and a shiver shot up my spine. My heart beat out of my chess and my mind replayed the worst case scenario. The falcon would drop the axe, of which I estimated weighed more than my father, right on top of my head possibly causing death. Death echoed through my head in the moments leading up to the assault. And the worst thing was I couldn't do anything about it. I had knocked my head against a rock which made me dizzy and unable to think probably, let alone standing up which there was no time for. The falcon had arrived.
The axe safely secured within the two talons horridly opened right above me. Now my memory had transformed into slow motion. The plummeting Crystal Axe edged closer, and in a last ditch effect, I managed to manoeuvre myself to my side. At that moment I closed my eyes and braced myself for the falling death trap. But it never hit. I waited to what seemed like hours to realize that my father had bravely knocked the descending Crystal Axe off course so it fell a few metres away from me. I couldn't believe my luck, which soon ran out when I first comprehended that the axe was lying unguarded on the cave floor, soon to come under possession of the falcon yet again. It was only us two in the way of that.
I momentarily glanced at my father and thanked him what he had done with the expression of my face.
Aching in pain, I somehow managed to get up from the floor, but the dizziness still remained. The falcon hadn't retreated one bit and was already speedily flying towards the Crystal Axe. My father reached out to obtain possession of the priceless monument at the same time as I did but being lightheaded I couldn't grasp onto the Crystal Axe.
In the meantime, the vicious falcon had ducked down and was rapidly flying beak first towards us. Peering out of the corner of my eye, I glanced at the fierce bright eyes of the falcon staring down at me.
"Quickly!" I yelled at my father who had now acquired the axe and was sternly protecting it along his chest.
Realizing that it's only weapon and most valuable item had been taken away, the falcon screeched so viciously that it made my blood run cold and swooped down by fathers head. It's extremely pointed talons scratched my father's head so removing some of my father's dark brown ear.
Blood poured out of father's head as I half walked; half crawled towards him as he was wept in pain. But despite the hectic situation, the Crystal Axe still remained under the hands of my father and realizing that my father was weakened by the swoop, the falcon wanted to try again. This meant that it was up to me to get hold of the Axe.
The falcon was already madly flapping its wings, propelling itself further and at a faster rate towards us. Staggering to a halt, I held out my arm and seized the Crystal Axe off my father, but the falcon flew into the scene and regained the invaluable article within a blink of an eye. As quickly as it entered, the falcon had departed and was by now airborne, soaring towards the depth and darkness of the Walsh cave.
"We've lost it," I cried, letting the emotion side rush in of losing one of the most valuable pieces of crystal the world probably would ever seem.
"We have lad," father uttered, raising his hands and covering his face in despair which was now dripping with blood.
Abruptly a sudden boom erupted through the cave, creating falling rocks and a brief shake that rocked through the cave.
"Father..." I nervously say.
"Didn't know there was seismic activity in Wales," my father expressed in a rather calm manner.
Within seconds of the shake the falcon had let out another cry, but this one wasn't just despair but terror to the ears of me and my father.
"Do you consider that boom being the dropping of the...Crystal Axe, father?" I asked.
"The only way to find out is to investigate."
So my father and I stepped from fallen rock to fallen rock towards the centre of the cave, leaving a bloody red trail. The candle that had lightened up the area around us had long gone out so we walked in utter darkness. This was until a speck of light was noticed by my father a little way further into the cave.
The two of us paced a tad bit faster to come upon a massive dome like entrance leading into an interior of a Cathedral. Light was everywhere, and was discharged from a small object lying in the middle of the room. The Crystal Axe.
The falcon was out of sight, but left behind the scars of the battle and souvenirs of bruises across the body of both of us. However, the pair of us now had the possession of The Axe Made out of Crystal.
1109 - London
The golden, crisp autumn leaves plummet from the above branches, cascading down into the path of King Henry I who ambles along River Thames. Briefly glancing to his right, he spots drift wood floating in the muddy river from the recent downpour.
Another reddish leaf descends from the oak trees lining the river and gently lands on King Henry's I shoulder, the fourth son of William I the Conqueror. Brushing the natural creation off his slender shoulder, King Henry notices the White Tower yet again, built of Caen Stone that his father had specially imported from France.
The glowing sun predominantly rises in front of him, his crown sparkling in the bright light, symbolizing the King of England.
The crackling from the leaves being crushed by the King's foot awakened him further and brought the sense of autumn into his mind-set. In fact, the King reflected, it was the season autumn when he, at the age of 9, and his father ventured deep into the South Walsh landscape and came upon a cave. This was the time when they had found the Crystal Axe, which is now of the most prized items in the world.
After returning home from the adventure from Wales, everyone had a frenzy, knowing about our battle with the falcon to obtain the Crystal Axe.
Nowadays, the Crystal Axe is locked up in the deep chambers of the White Tower with other collections of crowns and jewellery from past Kings and Queens. Being safe guarded constantly by guards, the Crystal Axe is never shown to the public and know body knows how the object appears.
On the day of the first anniversary of finding the Crystal Axe, King Henry at the age of 10 swore an oath for the Crystal Axe to remain kept under possession of the Royal Family and not to be sold off to any organisation until the Crystal Axe is deemed to be worth nothing.
Manoeuvring his head, King Henry glared at the building of the White Tower of which inside in Crystal framing, displayed the document of the oath King Henry had to pronounce.
As if it was sign to retreat back into the warm of his home, King Henry wandered off towards the tower to attend his bacon and eggs breakfast as the sun rose higher to another cheerful day.
I have not been very active in the FictionPress Community for quite a while now, but I have missed it so am now working on my biggest story yet. The Crystal Axe is quite a complicated story, but I'm sure you will enjoy it! My whole story will not be set in this age, but being a prologue, it is the background story on the Crystal Axe and involves some very important parts for future reference. I'm so glad to be posting this new story. I hope it will take off! Just some questions I request to be added into the review:
1. Is the setting described enough?
2. Does the battle really sound like a battle?
3. Does the 1st person start and the 3rd person end work?
4. What other information do you want added to get a better picture of the Crystal Axe?
And also all your comments on the story! :)
Thanks so much!
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