Friday, 8 July 2011

NONSENSE TALE - CHAPTER SIXTEEN


CHAPTER SIXTEEN



(I Thought Writer’s block was an area of New York famous for its Literature)

The Writer was shocked, surprised, and terrified all at the same time. Like a rabbit caught in a car’s headlights, all he could do was stand there transfixed. His wide eyes blinked and his mouth formed a perfect “o” shape, but no sound came out.

That is until the man holding his leg decided to stand up.

The writer screamed in agony as his leg went from a slightly uncomfortable twelve degree angle, to an excruciating eighty degree angle in a flash.  He knew that the muscles and tendons in his leg were not supple enough to withstand such treatment, and prepared to scream again. However, he never made that scream, as luckily the pain in his leg vanished as it was released by the huge man now towering over him. Sadly for the Writer, it was replaced by a severe choking sensation as the huge man grabbed him by the throat and lifted him off the ground.

The Writer’s scream pierced the quiet of the night like a fart in a library, as Evil Ones awoke throughout the camp. It was like a Mexican wave of people sitting bolt upright from a lying position, or like watching one of those record breaking domino topples backwards. In less than fifteen seconds a thousand Evil Ones sat up and said “eh? What’s going on? Hang on - WE’VE CAUGHT SOMEONE!”

The Knight, upon hearing the Writer’s scream, rushed out of the building he was searching – but couldn’t see the Writer. His view was blocked by a crowd of Evil Ones who had all awoken and were looking to see what was going on.

Perhaps it was the mix of excitement and danger, or perhaps he was just too concerned about the Writer, but whatever the reason the Knight simply forgot himself for a moment and tapped the nearest Evil One on the shoulder, saying ‘What’s happening?’

The Evil one turned round and said, ‘Looks like we’ve caught an intruder – there’ll be fun later on’, and promptly turned back again. ‘Thanks’ said the Knight.

A few seconds passed before the Evil One turned back to the Knight looked him up and down and then pointed at him and yelled ‘INTRUDER!’

In one swift movement, every Evil One in camp went from looking at the Writer, to looking at the Knight. Even the Evil One holding the Writer turned his attention to the Knight, and let the Writer drop to the ground. This didn’t improve the Writer’s situation, as he fell straight through the two chairs the Evil One had been sitting on.

‘Ow!’ he moaned as wood splinters got into all the places you never want them to get.

‘Shut it, you maggot’ growled the Evil One who dropped him, kicking him without even looking.

The Knight’s situation was not much better. He found himself surrounded by a few hundred or so of the largest, meanest, and foulest looking people he had ever set eyes on. As one person, they had all unsheathed their weapons, and were advancing on him with Evil intent in their eyes.

The Knight looked around him; it was hopeless – all means of escape had been cut off. He began to worry what else might be cut off too. He tried to be brave and said in a clear voice ‘Stay back! I am an expert at combat, and I will kill you all if I have to!’ His hand automatically went to unsheathe his own sword but, for the second time in this story, it only found a space where his sword used to be.

You would have thought he’d remember something like that wouldn’t you?

The nearest group of Evil ones roared with laughter, and prepared to attack.

He looked down at his empty hand, and then remembered that he had traded it for the golden Whistle. As the image of the whistle appeared in his head, he felt something roll into the palm of his hand. He looked down – and saw the Golden Whistle lying there, gleaming. A torrent of confusing emotion flooded his mind.

He needed his sword – he knew that much – but Montague Fripp had said that the whistle had chosen him and that must have happened for reason. Not sure if what he was doing was right, he put the whistle between his thumb and forefinger, and raised it to his lips.

The Evil ones saw him do this, and stopped advancing. For a moment, the camp was silent. The Evil Ones paused, waiting for the Knight to do something. The knight paused, not knowing what to do. Then the peace was shattered by a familiar voice crying out, ‘BLOW IT! BLOW IT NOW!’

The Writer had managed to slip a few feet away, and had begun to climb the nearest tree. However he had stopped climbing when he was high enough to see the Knight and the danger he was in. He had watched the Knight back away from the advancing Evil Ones, had seen him reach for his sword, and had seen the anguish on his face when he didn’t find it. He watched as the Knight drew the Whistle to his lips, but couldn’t believe he wasn’t going to use it.

For a moment, as he cried out, all eyes returned to the Writer. As did a piece of broken chair which was hurled at the Writer by the Evil One who had released his grasp on him moments ago. There was an anguished wail and then a sickening thud as the Writer fell from the tree.

Howls of laughter erupted from the Evil Ones. Then Murlock pushed his way through the crowd until he stood six feet from the Knight. An Evil sneer was on his face as he snarled, ‘yeah, go on – blow your little whistle. I’ve got a triangle over here – we can make a band. I’ll use your bones to make a xylophone when you’re done.’ This brought a roar of approval from the crowd, and they resumed their advance on the Knight.

The Knight’s bluff had been called; now he was in real trouble. He took one step back, closed his eyes, and then blew on the whistle.

A loud note rang out through the forest, and into the world beyond. It was as clear as a mountain stream, and its pitch was piercing. The Evils Ones covered their ears and cowered for a moment in fear.

The Knight heard the whistle fade and disappear on the breeze. He hardly dared to breathe; such was his anxiety, and hopeful expectation.

But nothing happened. There were no footsteps of a rescuing army to be heard; no neighing of a thousand cavalry horses charging to his aid. Only silence. The Knight’s spirit finally broke with the realisation that he had failed. He bowed his head, and dropped to his knees in utter defeat. Murlock, who had secretly also been bluffing, felt a surge of arrogance and victory fill him, as he realised that the Knight’s whistle had failed. With blood chilling venom in his voice he pointed to the kneeling Knight and said ‘get him’. A blood thirsty murmur ran through the crowd as they closed in on the Knight.

The Knight looked up at the circle of cruel faces above him; he readied himself inside for death, and prepared to die.

Suddenly a vast shadow passed over head and a great wind blew through the camp. The faces of the Evil Ones turned from cruel to expressions of confused panic, and they scattered in all directions. The Knight, too looked around him confused – that is, until he too saw it.

For five thousand years he had ruled this world, master of the sky and the earth. He had seen generations of man come and go, and with them he had seen his own kind dwindle and diminish until he was the very last. Man had multiplied like ants and had overrun his domain, so he left them to their spoils to live in the mountains across the see. There he lived in solitude, never again to bother with the petty lives of man – unless the keeper of the Golden Whistle should command him. But that could never happen; the whistle was lost an age ago, never to be seen again. But now he head heard the summons to service once more; the whistle had called him forth. And so it was with a fury and a rage not seen for many a century passed, that Nasgorath, King of the Dragons, came to the aid of the Knight.

The beating of his great wings blew buildings over and tore the fence surrounding the camp. He landed on the entrance to the camp, which was instantly crushed by his great weight. Smoke issued from his nostrils, and his eyes burned as if they were the very fires of hell itself. Nasgorath surveyed the scene with contempt and then spoke.

‘Who dares disturb my restful sleep!? Who dares command me, Nasgorath the destroyer, Nasgorath the King of the Dragons, Nasgorath the terrible!’ with that he let out a mighty roar, and flames shout out of his mouth, engulfing several buildings in fire.

‘Erm, I did’ The Knight side stepped into view and raised a hand to gain the attention of the huge dragon before him. ‘I am the keeper of the Whistle, and I call you to service for the last time. Aid me now, and your oath to be commanded will be fulfilled. Please I beg you.’

The Knight knelt before the great dragon, and held out one open palm, with the Golden Whistle in it. Nasgorath let out another mighty roar, and beat his wings before speaking again.

‘The Whistle commands and I obey; but I hold you to your word – release me from my oath, or you will know my fury!’ With that, Nasgorath roared again, and took to the air. He circled the camp, surveying the Evil Ones below. They were swarming like ants all over the place, pushing each other out of the way, falling over themselves to get away in their terror. Their pathetic existence enraged Nasgorath, who swept down across the camp with fire blazing a trail before him. But not all the Evil Ones fled in terror; Gnagwort and Murlock were running off in the opposite direction with a group of men – unseen by Nasgorath. They rallied more and more Evil Ones, and waited for the great Dragon to pass over head. As soon as it had, half the men ran across the breadth of the main clearing in the camp, and secured lengths of rope to a crude catapult. Gnagwort’s men did the same, and then given the signal, Murlock walked out into the centre of the clearing, just in front of the length of rope. He held an axe in his hand. Nasgorath circled and then saw Murlock standing there. Murlock looked up at the great shape coming towards him, and he sneered ‘come on you miserable lizard! I killed the last Dragon in these lands years ago – it will be good to taste Dragon flesh again!’

Nasgorath roared in rage, and came screaming in, low to the ground with his great jaws open wide, ready to devour Murlock. Murlock just stood there waiting. Nasgorath, pure hatred in his eyes had only one thought; destroying this killer of Dragons, removing his foul existence from the world. He never saw the trap he was rushing into.

At the right moment, both catapults were released. The weights they threw acted as counter weights, pulling the huge net up out of the ground, just as Nasgorath reached it. The net wrapped itself around the great dragon’s wings, crumpling them like tissue. With a cry of anger and pain, Nasgorath fell out of the air like a stone, and crashed to the ground. His momentum carried him for a few hundred meters, taking Evil Ones buildings and trees with him.

The Knight had instinctively turned towards the direction from which sound of Nasgorath’s fall had come from, and to his horror he saw the great beast writhing on the ground, entangled in the net. His downfall was met with a huge cheer from the several hundred remaining Evil Ones, who were invigorated, and rushed to attack the stricken dragon

The Knight frantically looked round for the writer. He saw him sitting behind a tree; every now and then peering round to see what was happening, and then turning back again. The Knight rushed over, and found the Writer, writing furiously.

‘What are you doing?’ cried the Knight, ‘come on – we’ve got to free Nasgorath, we’ve got to help him.’

‘Not yet’ said the Writer, who continued writing, without looking up.

A bellow of pain rang out from Nasgorath.

‘What do you mean not yet – this is the perfect time!’

The Writer stopped writing. He looked at the Knight and said ‘don’t you get it? This is me! I’m writing this ending, right now! Nasgorath, the Dragon – that was my idea, but if you don’t let me get on and do what I do best, he’ll die, and we’ll never get out of here!’

The Knight, confused, said ‘you’re doing this? But how? I don’t understand’

‘What’s to understand?’ the Writer cried, having resumed his writing, ‘You’re a knight, I’m a writer. You do Knight stuff, and I write. You have to let me get on, now – look!’ The Writer pointed past the Knight’s shoulder.

Nasgorath was lying on his back, with Evil Ones swarming all over him. They had managed to throw ropes around his snout to prevent him breathing fire, but his legs and wings still thrashed about in the net. It was clear that he was in mortal danger.

Well, they certainly weren’t there to give him a massage.

The Knight was horrified by the sight, and turned to the Writer saying ‘do something, quick!’

The Writer looked up and gave the Knight a knowing smile. ‘I’m way ahead of you’ he said.

At that moment, the most beautiful voice imaginable was heard. The Evil ones closest to the Knight and the Writer suddenly dropped their weapons, and just stood there, dumbstruck. Each of them had a strange smile on their face, as if they were feeling the absolute best they ever had in their lives. They were all facing the same direction; towards the singing, and they each cocked their heads to one side like a dog does, when you ask it a question.

The Knight too looked in the direction of the singing, but was blinded by the morning sun blazing through the forest. And then, out of the glare and brilliance of the sunlight rode Jack. He was stood on the backs of his two shire horses, whose white coats gleamed brilliantly. Jack was singing – the most enchanting song the Knight had ever heard. His voice echoed through the forest, and any one directly in its path was transfixed. Jack galloped round around and around the camp, singing with all his heart. Jack rode past them, and on towards where Nasgorath was under siege. As he did, the Evil Ones turned as watched him. It was only until he was far away from them that the effects of his singing began to wear off.

Of course, by then it was too late, as suddenly the Friar too appeared from out of the forest. He was in a chariot being pulled by the Lion from chapter one. The Friar was bathed in a golden light, and the armour on his chariot shone so brightly in the sunlight that the Evil Ones were blinded by it. The Friar came tearing through the awestruck Evil Ones, firing thunder bolts out from his hands, and as he did so he cried ‘the power of Good over Evil – Ka-pow!’

As he rode along the music “The Ride of the Valkyries” started playing from somewhere. The Knight turned and looked at the writer, who simply gave him two thumbs up and carried on writing. The Friar charged straight into the middle of the camp, and into a huge group of Evil Ones. He somersaulted out from the Chariot, and as he did so he freed the lion from the reigns.  With a mighty roar, the lion attacked the nearest Evil One – which just happened to be Murlock. Murlock just had time to say the word “Mummy” before being eaten alive.

The Friar now ran through the camp shooting thunderbolts left and right, sending Evil Ones flying in all directions. He shot one thunderbolt at the ropes that were restraining Nasgorath, and four more withy expert precision which tore through the net that held him down. As his bonds disintegrated the Mighty Dragon soared into the air, and continued his attack.

The Knight, in the middle of all this, did very little. He was awe struck watching the battle that unfolded before him. Jack was standing on the back of two horses like a circus performer, mesmerising the Evil Ones with his song.

The Friar was beating Evil all over the place, shooting thunder bolts everywhere whilst saying ‘Ka-blam’ or ‘Ka-pow’ and even ‘ka-boom’. And Nasgorath, even more infuriated at being held prisoner, destroyed every Evil One in sight.

It truly was a magnificent spectacle to behold – far too good for a crummy little story like this.

In no time at all, the few remaining Evil Ones had been captured, were made to show the Knight where the townsfolk were being held captive. They were tied together in a small enclosure on the far side of the main camp, but this had been deserted soon after the battle had begun. The Knight and the Friar released them all, but asked them to help them clear up the mess from the battle.

Many of them were reluctant – bitter because of they way they had been treated by the Evil Ones and they didn’t want to touch them, even in death. But the Friar reminded them that they had their freedom, and should think of it as helping their rescuers. This convinced most of them, although there was one single townsperson who flatly refused.

You always get one, don’t you?

They removed as much evidence of the Evils One’s existence as possible. Nasgorath swept up all the corpses in his claws and dropped them into a volcano far away. Jack, the Friar, and the Knight directed the townsfolk to collect all weapons up and load them onto Jack’s cart.  Then they made a huge bonfire out of all the wrecked buildings and splintered trees, and Nasgorath set it ablaze. It would burn for two days and two nights. Unless it rained, of course.

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