A Once Distant Memory Chapter 2
By Shaun Curran
I remember so much, it is not even funny. The day that Kamus came to Zeal I never saw Schala so happy before. I never saw such a person dressed in a military uniform before, so he had my respect, if only for a short period of time. Schala, naturally, fell in love with him the first time they met. I remember hiding under the porch, listening to their sickening romances.
"Oh, Kamus, will your father let you?" Kamus gave off a laugh.
"Of course he will, Schala. I love you very much." Silence for a moment. Then: "Schala, will you marry me?" I nearly whacked my head on the porch floor over my head. Marry! That means he'd become heir to the throne, not me!
"Marry you? But..."
"I love you, Schala. I doubt I have ever met such a woman in my life with as much class in my life." I wanted to vomit.
"Kamus, this is so sudden though!" Kamus sighed and sat back on the railing.
"I know it is sudden. I've had a hard life, though, and nothing ever goes my way. I never get what I want." And then Schala sealed her own fate.
"I will marry you Kamus." The bell in the square struck ten.
"I have to go," said Schala.
"You can't stay out any longer?" Schala said that regretfully, she couldn't. So they parted their ways and I crept out from underneath the porch. I looked up. Kamus was staring at me.
"Spying on us, eh?" I got up.
"What? Don't be rediculous," I said. "I was just playing."
"Sure, Janus. I believe you. Your sister and I are getting married."
"I won't let that happen," I said," I will rule the throne."
"Don't be so sure, Janus Zeal," said Kamus," I always get what I want." Kamus turned and walked away. Now I really understood him. He wasn't an honest person. He had said to Schala that he never got what he wanted, but had told me that he always does. A power-hungry leech, a dangerous man. But what people find out about me is that I'm more dangerous.
Kamus lived at the far end of the palace; Schala was as bright as a frozen waffle and decided to let him stay in the left wing, where I slept. So I secretly listened to the door, putting a cup on the door.
"Kamus," said a farmiliar voice. "Report."
"Dalton, my friend, phase one is completed." Dalton! I had a lot of enemies, but Dalton is numero uno on my hit list. He's tried to take over the throne before, but failed. And what is it meant about phase one?
"And what is next, dear Kamus?" asked Dalton. Oh, please do tell!
"Phase two is to marry her, and then you can do what you please with her," Kamus replied.
"I vote for poison," Dalton said," that will look less suspicious."
"Janus." I jumped. Schala was behind me. "What are you doing?"
"Uhh.. nothing," I stammered.
"Were you listening in on someone's conversation?"
"I was listening to see if he snores."
"Is he asleep?"
"I don't know." Schala rapped on Kamus' door. I disappeared behind the curtain. Schala paid me no attention. The door opened.
"Yes? Hello, Schala."
"Were you sleeping?" Schala asked.
"I was just about ready to hop into bed." Kamus led Schala into his room and the door closed. I cursed quietly, going back into my room. Fine, Schala, do what you want to do, but I'll be damned if that's how Dalton's coming to power in Zeal!
It was about a week later that Schala, Magus, and Kamus went out for a picnic. Magus was on my side; he did not trust Kamus. He walked like Dalton, talked like Dalton, and hell, even acted like Dalton. Magus trusted me, and usually my instincts, since they were very rarely wrong. The plan was simple: keep him with Kamus the whole time while I was caught up in mischief, snooping around Kamus' room to see what I could find.
The door was locked, but that was no problem; I had keys for every room in the palace, and I made sure no one was around when I entered.
Kamus certainly was neat, I had to give him that much for a plus. Everything was kept neat and in order. I saw nothing out of the ordinary left around, so I decided to go through the drawers. I pulled out the drawer to his nightstand carefully. Hello? what was this? A small vial. I looked at the label. Arsenic. Poison? For whom? Me or Schala? I took no chances, dumping out the liquid as quickly as possible and washing out the vial. I replaced the vial with molasses. It was the same consistency, and the same color. I wondered what else had been in the vial, arsenic certainly wasn't a liquid. I then remembered something: I usually have milk and molasses before I go to bed at night: he must be planning to put the thick syrup in my milk and give it to me. Schala would definately trust him, bringing up my milk.
I left everything exactly as I had left it; putting the vial away I closed the door slowly and went to my room to review my magic books.
"Janus? You in there?" Schala called.
"Come in," I replied. The door opened. Kamus and Schala walked in.
"Hello, Janus," Kamus said. His eyes fell to my pendant. "What is that? It looks sharp!"
"Its my pendant," I replied," Shadow Guardian."
"Shadow Guardian, eh?" Kamus asked," that sounds...er... important."
"Not really." I went back to reading my books. "How was your date?"
"It wasn't a date," Schala said," it was just a picnic. Why didn't you come along, Janus? It was a beautiful day."
"I could care less about the weather, Schala. Picnics are a waste of time, and a field day for ants." Kamus blushed.
"We did see quite a lot of them," he commented. I dropped a hint that I wished to be left alone and they left.
Later that night I crept over to the stairs. Every single night around this time, Schala would come up the stairs with my milk and molasses. Don't ask stupid questions like why I like molasses, I just do. I had a hint I knew what Kamus was going to do, he had followed Schala up the stairs to my room the night before.
"Hello, Kamus," I heard. I retreated to the hall, where I could just barely hear their voices.
"Hello, dear Schala. What brings you out here?"
"Janus' milk, remember?" Kamus pretended to remember.
"I will take it up for him," Kamus said," I want to talk with him anyway." I silently prayed that Schala would say no, and that would be the end of it.
"I don't think that is a good idea," replied Schala," he always wants me to do it."
"Please. I insist." Schala must have given him the milk because I heard his heavy footsteps coming up the stairs. I dashed back into my room with audacious speed and climbed into my bed. The door opened.
"Janus?" Kamus asked, coming into my room.
"Don't you ever knock?"
"My apologies, Janus; you were expecting this?" I glanced at the milk.
"Schala usually brings it in." Kamus walked up to my bed and handed me the milk. I hoped that he hadn't had more vials of that damn poison that I dumped out.
"Thank you." I gulped down the milk and handed him back the glass. Kamus grinned and left. I didn't think much as I blew out my candle on my night stand, and fell asleep.
The next morning I woke up feeling fine. I wondered why I had set my alarm so early, and then realized that I wanted to be up before Kamus was so I could make fun of him. I got washed up in my dishbowl and got dressed.
"Alfador? You awake?" I asked. Alfador yawned, opened one eye at me, and fell back to sleep. Even he wasn't up that early.
I stepped out into the hallway and bumped into Kamus.
"Watch where you're going, you little brat," he snarled. I tripped him and he went sprawling. Then he came to realization that I was still alive. His head slowly turned to me.
"J... Janus?" he asked.
"What is it?" I demanded, giving no sign that I knew anything about his little scheme.
"Janus?" Schala asked, coming up the stairs," what are you doing up so early?"
"Couldn't sleep," I said.
"Oh," Schala said. "Kamus, what are you doing on the floor?" Kamus stood up.
"Nothing... I er... nothing!"
"Janus... did you hit him?"
"No," I replied. "I did nothing of the sort." Kamus bowed deeply and went down the stairs. I leaned close to Schala.
"I don't trust him. I heard him talking to Dalton."
"Get real, Janus!" Schala skipped down the stairs. A heavy hand rested on my shoulder.
"Janus." I looked up to Magus
"I, too, heard Kamus and Dalton talking."
"What were they talking about?"
"Something about giving you posion. However, you mentioned about the posion and replaced it, correct?"
"Correct," I replied. Magus looked at me, gleefully.
"I say we kick him out of here," he said," whether Schala likes it or not."
We marched down the stairs and straight into the throne room. Kamus had been sitting on the throne chair, thinking.
"And what do you think you're doing?" Magus demanded. "Off of there!" Kamus rose.
"Nothing that concerns you," replied Kamus.
"We both know about you and Dalton," Magus said.
"Really?" asked Magus. "And what do you plan on doing about it?"
"Kamus," drifted a voice clearly in distress," you know Dalton?" I turned. It was Schala. Kamus bolted toward me in a flash. The next thing I knew I was on my back, panting. Magus raced out the door, not caring, or not bothering to check on me. I heard the footsteps fade. Schala was next to me.
"Janus!" she screamed.
"I'm okay," I replied,"I'm fine."
"What?" I asked. She pointed to my neck. I looked down. My pendant was gone! I gasped and raced out the door after Magus. But just as I had turned the corner, Magus bumped into me.
"Magus!" I shouted. Magus shook his head gently.
"He stole my pendant!"
"I know, Janus," replied Magus, bending down to look at me in the eye. "We'll get it back."
"How, Magus? Dalton and Kamus could be everywhere." Magus looked at me.
"What is so important about that pendant, Janus?"
"When I turn ten, I become the Guardian Shadow. That's tomorrow!" Magus stood up and looked at Schala.
"Schala," he said," we have to leave at once for Mirana."
"Is that where they are headed?"
"No, but my friends Quelchen and Sarbll can help us."
"Who and who?" I asked. "They sound like they were named after drinks." Magus blushed. I didn't realize how close I had come...
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