|Martin and the Foe of the Shadows
Author: Endless Curiosity PM
The son of a farmer encounters a threat to the town and risks his life in an attempt to save them.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,553 - Reviews: 2 - Updated: 10-15-11 - Published: 09-30-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2956928
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Marissa, Daughter of Heroes
A long time ago, in a land not too far away, there lived a happy girl. The daughter of a carpenter, Marissa was often seen playing in the fields full of flowers on the outskirts of the town. She'd twirl around and her laughter would fill the air.
One day Marissa was playing and singing to the birds, and she was approached by a young man. He wore clothes of black, contrasting the pale white of his skin. He smiled, and Marissa saw two long teeth protruding from his mouth. He asked her to lead him to the town, and she happily led the way. They reached the entrance of the town.
A great stone stood near the entrance, but a wild vine had long grown over it, and although she tried, Marissa could only make out the bottom line – This town will not forget. She had asked many people what the stone said, and why it was there, but no one could answer her question. The man hesitated when he saw the stone, but he walked quickly past it. The man thanked her, and during the next few days she saw him wandering through the town, just watching everyone pass by.
On his third day in the town an elderly man was found lying dead on his bed. There were two small holes punched in his neck. A few nights later a teenage girl was also found dead with two holes in her neck. A woman accused the stranger, claiming to have seen him stalking the girl's house the previous night, and he was banished from the town.
A few years later the man came back. But this time he was not alone. Six others came with him. They were all pale and wore black, and their resemblance was enhanced by the two teeth protruding from the sides of their mouth. They all winced as they passed the vine-covered stone. The man who led them, the same one that had appeared originally, took a step forward and spoke. His bellowing voice shook the town, and all heard his words.
"I claim this town. This land is mine, you are my servants, and everything you own is mine. The punishment for disobedience will be death."
A courageous man spoke, challenging the intruders, "Your claim is false. This is our town, you have no right."
The intruder laughed, "You swore you would not forget, yet you have. You do not deserve this land, and you lack the ability to protect it."
The man who challenged the intruder drew his sword, and the other men of the town followed his lead. Twenty men against the seven intruders. The six who had come with the leader took a step forward into a stance that was loosely ready for fight, indicating the men posed no real threat. The leader held out his hand silently ordering his companions to relax, and they eased their posture. The leader walked up to the challenger, and as fast as a snake, grabbed the man's head and broke his neck. The other nineteen men charged. The fight was over in moments. The intruder was faster than anything they'd encountered, and stronger. Most he struck in the neck or the throat, killing them instantly, whilst the others died when their chest was crushed by a kick they barely saw. However, the intruder left the most intimidating to last. He jumped, flipped, and landed on the man's shoulders with a resounding crunch. No one spoke.
The intruders quickly usurped control of the town, and the inhabitants fell into the routine of obeying orders. At first the orders were rare and of little consequence; catching food for them, or other tasks that were easily fitted into the normal routine.
But it was only a few weeks when they started to be worked hard. They were ordered to construct a wall around the town, and eventually the incredibly powerful strangers demanded more and more of the wall built in a shorter time. The families barely had time to bring in food, let alone live a pleasant life. They worked from dawn to dusk, with few breaks. Every day one of the intruders would oversee the work, and if he didn't think they were working hard enough, they'd be punished. Either by an extra hour of work at night, or simply by being kicked viciously. Everyone was forced to work, the men, the women and the children. Even little Marissa, her spark of happiness dulled. One evening, one of the men working was kicked, repeatedly. No one stopped to watch. Not only because it was commonplace, but because to stop their work, was to earn themselves the same treatment. But this was different, this time, the man was killed. That night Marissa snuck out of her house, and went to the stone that lay at the entrance of the town. She read the words This town will not forget, and quietly asked it what they'd forgotten. For the first time she noticed a bow lying behind the stone, hidden by the overgrown vines, a single arrow sat with the bow, loosely hanging from its string. Then she felt a terrible presence, and she spun around to see the leader of the intruders who had snuck up behind her. He smiled, and his pearl-white teeth scared her. She hurriedly took the bow and notched the arrow. The intruder laughed his frightening cackle, telling her that she can't kill him. She took aim, and the arrow struck right between his eyes. He bled, but within a second the skin healed over, only a single drop of blood falling from his forehead. The arrow had done no harm. The drop of blood landed on the stone, and it sizzled like acid. Immediately the vines around the stone drew back, and its entire testament was revealed:
Martin and Marcus
Father and Son
Both Guardians of the Town
To be forever honoured
This town will not forget
Marissa looked at the words, and spoke them quietly. At her summons, two ghostly figures appeared. Both men of the same age. They looked similar, and Marissa knew they were the father and son the stone spoke of. "Go! Foe of the Shadows! This is no place for you!" They commanded. The Foe screamed, and a hole appeared in its forehead, and it screamed again as a second hole appeared in its back. Then with a final scream the arrow-hole Marissa had created in its forehead reappeared. With that, it fell backwards. Dead. In the morning they discovered that the other six intruders, who Marissa now knew to be Foes of the Shadows, were also dead, identical wounds having appeared simultaneously. That evening Marissa spoke with the apparitions of Martin and Marcus, and learned the story of the town's first encounter with the deadly creatures of darkness, and of their second. She learned of how they had watched their descendants grow, and that she was their daughter down through the generations. She told the town of their history, and they were ashamed at how they had forgotten. A stone was erected next to the original stone. The stone read:
Daughter of the Town
Daughter of Heroes
She will be forever honoured
She will be forever remembered
This town will not forget