For those who missed it…
“Man oh man P.E. was crazy, wasn’t it?” Said Jack.
“I guess so, but then again dodgeball usually doesn’t end well for our team whenever Butch enters the fray.” Michael replied.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the sting of that ball, let alone Butch’s presence.”
“Would you really want to?”
“Nahh, you’re right about that!” Yelled Jack.
“You guys are so dumb.” Interjected Stella.
“Hey sis, don’t forget our agreement.”
“How could I forget? Two week’s allowance for your silence.”
“And not a penny less!”
“Sheesh, whatever. You’ll get what you want. Just keep your mouth shut and you’ll get paid.”
“Ooh ooh Stella, what did we agree on?” Questioned Jack.
“None of your business, Dumbo!” (in reference to Jack’s abnormally large earlobes – something he was highly self-conscious of)
“You’d better tell your sister to knock it off, otherwise she’ll be taking a mud bath.”
“Jack! Don’t lay finger on her, and Stella be nicer to him. It’s not like he’s done anything to wrong you.”
“Pssh whatever. Just keep him away from me.” Stella said with a spiteful tone.
“I can still hear both of you!” Harped Jack.
“It’s fine, we’re home anyways. Are you gonna get on tonight?” Asked Michael.
“More than likely, as long as my dad hasn’t disconnected the internet like he did last week. I really wish he wouldn’t do that.” Said Jack.
“Well hopefully not, but I’ll be playing later if you happen to find yourself on. Gotta level up my magician before I can equip the Sword of Light.”
“Oh that’s right! You’re nearly there, too.”
“I know! I’m so excited” said Michael with more enthusiasm than he’d displayed thus far.
“Dorks!” Stella mockingly jabbed as the two boys pondered the opportunities they would have to further explore the online game entitled World of Magic. For this was a pastime favorite that allowed Michael to rise above the challenges that faced his character. After all, Michael could be anything he wanted in the virtual paradise he often visited. Whereas the physical world seemed to offer him little choice in comparison.
Lightening filled the air as undead swept over the barricades. Thousands of jaws gnashed as arms and hands pulled any unfortunate tower guard into the unholy flood. The men who swore to protect the sword were steadily breaking as if they no longer had the courage nor strength to stand against the brutish onslaught. Screams of terror overwhelmed the remaining fighters as they fell back towards the innards of the keep.
“Reinforce the doors, men! They must not reach the sword!” Bellowed Captain Farrell.
“But sir, they are too many! Surely these walls cannot hold them much longer?” Cried a soldier.
“Neigh, they cannot. But that doesn’t mean we shall fall without defending what we swore to protect!”
The remaining soldiers, though weary and without hope, cheered as their Captain spurred them to continue fighting. Each gathered close beside the next fighter in order to close the space between them – this way their foe would have greater difficulty slipping through their ranks. Creeeeeeeeek, moaned the door as it bulged in the center. Wood splintered as iron rods bent from the weight pushed against the barricade. Sweat poured down the men’s faces while they gripped their weapons and raised their shields, bracing for the death that awaited each of them.
But suddenly, everything fell quiet. The door stood without showing any sign of breaking further while the cries of swarming undead lessened in volume. It was as though a miracle had stopped the battle that raged for longer than any of the men preferred to admit.
“Captain – have they gone?” Questioned one of the soldiers.
“I’m not sure, though it would appear that would be the case. Then again it may be a trap, so let’s check from above.” The Captain then motioned for one his men to ascend the stairs towards the rooftop.
“I just don’t understand. Why would they stop if they were triumphant? We were easily beat!” Cried another soldier.
“Be thankful you still draw breath, and stay your worry. For it will not help the situation.”
“Yes, Captain! I apologize for my transgression.”
“You needn’t worry, nor repent for displaying fear at time when it is most appropriate. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and we’ll see this to the end, I assure thee.”
“Thank you, sir. It is true that I am afraid, though I am more fearful of what awaits us beyond the confines of this keep.”
“As am I, as am I. Though fear will do little to help us in our hour of need if we allow it to overtake our senses as our foe has done with our defenses, yes?”
“Right you are, Captain!”
“We’ll see this to the end. But for now, let us hear the word our friend brings. What is it you saw from the rooftop?” The Captain asked the returning soldier.
“You’re not going to believe this, but our foe has turned its attention away from the fortress.”
The men cheered as questions soon arose regarding the change in events.
“To where?” Asked the Captain.
“Towards the fields that lie just beyond the walls! And it looks as if something or someone has taken up the fight against them!”
“It would seem as though the divine has smiled on us this day. Alright men, gather yourselves. We shall meet our foe once again!” Yelled the Captain as the remaining fighters joined in unison.
The men then made their way through the fortress grounds while the scene left before them only served to quell their newly kindled spirits. For the bodies of their comrades littered the streets as few undead remained to feast on the scattered hunks of flesh. Crows swooped throughout the valley as the stench of death riddled the air with its foul and potent aroma, although both foe and bird alike were easily driven away by the survivors.
The stillness that enveloped the land simultaneously brought peace and concern to the men as they neared the walls that had fallen moments earlier. Each soldier walked through the ravaged iron gate, both twisted and disfigured from the hordes that breached it without much difficulty. A testament to the power of entropy – that which constantly battled the forces of creation.
It wasn’t long before the silence was broken. For the wind soon picked up as torrents of energy flooded the valley, kicking up dust and stone alike as walls of debris encircled the region the undead focused their attention. The corpses were easily overcome by the force that ensnared them, and thus fell before they could reach their target – knocking down their own ranks while bodies flung like rag-dolls.
Suddenly the blackened sky ripped open as a pillar of light connected the torn battle field with the heavens above, and the undead that were left standing soon erupted in flames as the light enveloped their wretched forms. Thousands burned to a crisp as smoke erupted from the simmering flesh that vaporized from the heat of the light that grazed it. The men raised their shields to protect their eyes from the blinding light, lest it potentially rob them of sight!
It wasn’t long before the light disappeared along with the cries and moans of terror associated with the undead forces that plagued the men and their stronghold. The dust then settled prior to the moment the soldiers felt safe enough to lower their shields, at which time they did so without trepidation. For the sight that befell the men only served to amaze them.
Two warriors stood among the charred remains, seemingly unaffected by the undead legions that attempted to overwhelm them. One stood taller than the other, although both were clad in blackened armor that was covered with intricate details – possibly binding spells that served to protect the wearer? The shorter of the two carried a massive hammer while the other held nothing.
Regardless, the Captain felt safe enough to approach the saviors who prevented the unholy legions from acquiring that which the soldiers were tasked to defend.
“I am Captain Farrell – defender of the keep before you, and I thank thee for helping us combat the foe that lies at your feet. Had you not come when you did, my men and I would most certainly be without life. But who art thou?”
“Our names are irrelevant, though it is our pleasure to help those in need. However, we have also come to acquire a sword of great power.” Recounted the smaller warrior.
“You mean the Sword of Light?” Replied the Captain.
“You know of it?!” Shouted the taller warrior.
“Well yes of course. It is our sworn duty to protect that which our enemy has sought for some time now. For if it were to fall into the hands of the entropic forces that lay waste to our lands and our people, creation would have little means to prevent its foe from entering the gates of Heaven!” Exclaimed the Captain. “Why do you seek it?”
“To rid these lands of the entropic forces that plague it, and to restore light and order to the world at large. Though we cannot meet entropy face to face without the presence of the divine. For to do so would see that both my companion and I would die sooner than preferred!” Replied the weaponless warrior.
The men laughed alongside the warriors, although they felt greater relief knowing the enemy that nearly killed them was entirely dispatched. The Captain then led both his men and the warriors back into the confines of the keep. From there men began clearing the debris as the duo followed the Captain to the chamber which housed the sword.
Bang, bang, bang! Shook Michael’s door.
Featured Image: Giphy