Okay...so I'm trying my hand at Fantasy again! I wrote fantasy as my first few novel...terrible things really, but anyway. Here is the start of my new story, with my new characters! And all new fun!
The thick walls shook. A rumble echoed through the spacious rooms. In a panic, an older woman raced up the stairs and into a sunlit chapel. She held a tightly wrapped bundle in one hand and gripped the skirt of her white dress in the other. She skidded to a halt, reverently walking down the marble aisle, gazing at the well-worn wooden pews and then up to the golden ball hanging above her. She reached the front of the chapel and joined the others waiting there. A woman with fair hair and watery blue eyes gripped the arm of a brunette man. He patted her hand, trying to comfort her although his own pain was evident in his sharp sapphire gaze. The older woman handed the bundle to the man and backed away. He gently moved the blanket to reveal a tightly swaddled infant. The baby's tiny face was peaceful, unaware in sleep. The walls shook again. Thunder ripped through the halls as the man turned dark eyes on the others in the room.
His closest friend stood with one protective arm around his wife and the other gripping his young son's hand. The boy looked much like his father, with his messy black hair and soft brown eyes. The two families stood under the golden ball, feeling the heat that radiated from the holy object. The walls shuddered again.
"Jacob," the fair woman gasped as a crashing sound and a tremble spread to them from the front rooms. "They're inside," she whispered, tears filling her eyes. She turned into her husband's grasp and sobbed.
"There is no time," Jacob growled. "Where is Lucetta?" he asked, handing his child to his wife and looking among the people gathered around them.
"She's coming." He glanced at his friend, Duke Winslow.
"She needs to hurry," Jacob muttered.
"I can hear them coming," Winslow's wife, Patricia, whispered. She knelt on the ground and gathered her son to her chest.
"Why?" the agonized cry came from Jacob's wife. He placed an arm around her and held her to his chest.
"Everything will be fine, Madeline." His promise was false, everyone knew that those on the opposite side of the door came to kill them. "Where is Lucetta?" he shouted angrily.
"I'm here, your majesty." The woman walked briskly into the room. Her blonde hair was in disarray, but her robes were unwrinkled.
"We need your help," Jacob began.
"I am aware, your majesty. If I may be so bold to tell you that leaving your world will be seen as cowardly. The people will never again adore you as they have." Jacob raised an imperious eyebrow.
"I wasn't planning on running, Lucetta. I was planning on sending my child to safety. Madeline cannot even leave because the people will dislike her and me for it." Jacob stared at the priestess with hard eyes.
"It is very brave of you not to run, your majesty."
"I am the king, what do you expect?" he snarled in anger. Then he sighed. "I'm sorry, Lucetta. This is very hard for us. Will our lord Circen let the children through?"
"Children?" Lucetta asked, her eyes sought the other child and stopped on the Duke's son.
"Lord Phillip will be going through with my daughter," Jacob explained.
"Two children, all alone?"
"Circen will watch over them." Jacob looked up at the golden ball hovering above them. He prayed that his god would watch over his child.
"How will they ever return?" Lucetta asked, walking to the alter and lighting incense.
"We have cast two spells," Winslow said solemnly. "My son will not forget anything that has happened, and he will remember this world and all its secrets. The princess wears a locket that cannot be removed from her neck. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, it will open and she will know the history of our world. She will be possessed with a desire to return here."
"Will she know who she is?" Lucetta asked, dropping flower petals in a circle under the floating ball.
"There wasn't room enough in the locket," Jacob murmured. "We will rely on Lord Phillip to explain." He turned and looked at the boy. "Will you take care of my daughter?"
"Yes," the childish voice said. He was only four, but in his eyes was every event from past and all the possibilities for the future.
"Why not just endow the child with the same spell as Lord Phillip?" Four pairs of eyes stared at her.
"We are ashamed of the spell that has been cast on Phillip," Patricia snapped.
"He will not have a childhood," Madeline whispered.
"The women," Jacob added as an explanation.
"The poor dear," Madeline sobbed. She clutched her baby to her and cried softly. No one knew if she spoke of her own child or of Phillip.
"Don't worry for me, Mother," Phillip turned to his mother and smiled. "I will keep the princess safe, and I will bring her back here someday." Patricia knelt and gathered her son into her arms. She kissed the top of his head.
"You are my brave boy. I know that you will do just wonderfully." She looked up at her husband with tear-filled eyes.
"Jacob, we have not even named our daughter," Madeline whispered. She brought the baby over to him. He gazed into her blue eyes. She was bald, so there was no way to tell if she would look like her father, or her mother.
"We cannot name her, sweet. She will be named in her new world. When she comes back, she will find us."
"If we still live," Madeline whimpered.
"Enough!" Jacob cried. "Are you ready Lucetta?" The priestess nodded.
"I will need the children to stand in the circle." Phillip hugged his mother and then stepped away to look at his father. He bowed gravely and then smiled. His smile was that of an innocent, something he was no longer.
"I'll be back," he whispered, and then walked over to his king and queen.
"Goodbye," Madeline cooed to her child. She kissed the baby's head and then handed her to Phillip.
"You will take care of her?" Jacob asked. Phillip nodded. "Thank you."
When Phillip and the princess were inside the rose petal circle, Lucetta came to stand next to them. She drew a circle on each child's forehead in rosemary oil. The baby started to fuss as the smell assaulted her nose. Phillip clutched her to his chest and looked up at the golden ball.
"Circen, please keep us safe," Phillip whispered in prayer. He closed his eyes and whispered the prayer over and over as Lucetta knelt before him.
"Lord of all, God Circen, please save these children from certain doom. Lord, please help them to cross the barriers of the worlds and protect them from the harshness of the world." She bowed until her face was pressed to the ground. All the adults in the room followed suit and bowed to the golden ball that represented Circen. Soft murmurs filled the air as each added their voice to Lucetta's prayer. Brilliant light started to emanate from the ball, washing over all in the room, all except the boy and girl in the rose petal circle. The air rippled as the light suddenly shot at the circle. It hit a wall, created by the flowers, and began to build up around the children. The air solidified into a wall, turning opaque and then shielding the children from view. The sound of thunder split the room again, making the adults turn and look at the door. It was failing, falling to splinters before them. The thunder was blotted out as the sweet chords of harps filled the air. The music was soft at first and then louder, a crescendo of holy music. They were awed and fell to their knees. The column that hid the children stretched up to engulf the ball. In a blinding flash of light at the climax of the music, the column was gone, as were the children.
The sudden silence in the room hurt their ears. Jacob slowly stood, staring at the place his child had last been. She would be safe now. Safe from death here. He helped Madeline to her feet and then pivoted to face the door. The thunder had ceased, which meant the intruders had come through the door.
"Jacob," the man in the lead snarled, stepping forward into the room. "You have lost, old man." Jacob stood taller, looking down on the younger man with all the arrogance he possessed.
"I have not lost, Esau. As long as the people know that I am their true king, I have not lost."
"Then I will simply have to make them believe that I am their king." He motioned to his soldiers and they spread out in the room.
"You will never take the love of the people from me," Jacob said, pushing his wife behind him. "It is not something that can be taken, Esau. Have you not learnt?"
"Do not presume to lecture to me," Esau snarled. His brown hair was long and matted. He had spent many years trying to overthrow Jacob. Now that he was within reach of his goal, his blue eyes were as ice chips, cold and unyielding.
"I never lecture you, Esau. I simply state the truth."
"Take them!" Esau ordered, scowling as the adults were gathered. His eyes darted among the people, stopping on the Duke and Duchess and then travelling over the King and Queen. The priestess lay on the floor, sobbing. As a man lifted her, she screamed bloody murder and ran from the room. The men stepped out of the way, unwilling to harm the follower of the God Circen.
"You come here, into the sanctuary of a chapel and take me and mine," Jacob roared. He felt the restraining hands on him tighten and strip away his sword and daggers.
"Circen shines on me," Esau hummed, smiling with grim happiness. "He has allowed me into his chapel to take you and to take the country that is mine." Esau's eyes traveled around the room again. The nurse stood in the back of the room, clutching her white dress in her hands. Her hat was askew and her cheeks were red. She looked around nervously, as if waiting to be caught. He motioned for her to be brought forward. The men at her sides pushed her into walking. "Nurse Hopkins," he commented, scanning over her again.
"Foolish boy," she spat. "Did I teach you nothing as a child? Did you not learn your place among the stars?"
"Where is the princess, Nurse?" The woman raised her chin and looked Esau in the eyes.
"Dead," she growled. "I drowned her myself."
"Dead?" Esau turned pale.
"Dead," Nurse Hopkins repeated.
"No, I need her. I need that child." He gripped her arms and shook her. "She had power, and it was to be mine! Mine!"
"She is beyond your reach now," the nurse laughed harshly. Esau threw her to the ground and looked at Jacob.
"You would never allow your child to be killed." He stepped toward the king, but saw the pallor of his skin. The man closed his eyes softly, and then looked over at his wife. Tears fell from her eyes.
"I did not allow anything," Jacob whispered mournfully.
"Where is young Lord Phillip then?" Esau turned to the Duke.
"I lost him while coming here," Patricia cried, sobs racking her. "He is undoubtedly dead now."
"No. I need those children." Esau whipped around and looked at the golden ball. "Circen, I beg of you. Bring the children back to me. Give me back my chance at power, the chance I deserve." He looked at the parents. "I will wait however long Circen decrees." He turned and looked at the ball again.
"Sir, shall we take them to the dungeon?" a soldier asked, jerking the king into a tighter hold.
"Yes, be gone with them." Esau watched as the royal couple and their closest friends were taken out of the room. He gazed down at the nurse and then spat on her. "You taught me well, Nurse. You taught me to find my own place, and I have. I am King."
Alright, the start of a new story! Yay. I haven't written fantasy for a while...so we shall see how this goes, give me your opinions? Review? Tell me if it's good...or if I'm just grasping at straws!