A Once Distant Memory Chapter 4
By Shaun Curran
Sure enough, daylight fell upon us unsuspecting fugitives, and we were off like a herd of jackrabbits, well, a herd of snakes. Schala's foot was still bothering her from the twisting she had encountered; my arm was as sore as ever, and Quelchen did little more than whine and gripe about problems beyond my control.
"I'm hungry," Quelchen said for the millionth time. Magus told him to shut his trap, and none too nicely, either. Up ahead was a clearing. I slowed down as Schala hobbled next to me. I rested my weight on my knees.
"What do you think?" I panted," do we risk the open field?"
"I say yes. If they're out there, they'll catch us soon enough anyway. Better to be able to run in the open field than to stay hiding in the bushes."
"We stay in the bushes. I don't trust any of their tactics."
We began to walk. Staying close to the bushes, we crept silently. I heard something whiz through the air. Schala gave a gasp and collapsed. I rushed over to her.
"Schala!" Another whiz filled the air. Magus fell. I inspected Schala. A dart stuck out of her throat. Quelchen fell.
"Damn you!" I screamed. It had in fact been an ambush! Something struck me in the chest. I looked down at the dart sticking out of me. I felt weak and dizzy. I fell, and lost consciousness. Alfador licked my face mournfully.
I didn't feel dizzy anymore, but my arms had fallen asleep. I opened my eyes to see a very dimly lit room. The walls were covered with green algae; the window was very close to the ground and covered with bars. A dungeon.
I moved my hand slowly, but it hurt bloody hell and I stopped trying to move it at all.
"Janus, you're awake." I became oriented with my surroundings. Ahead of me was Magus, on the opposite side of the wall. About ten feet away was Quelchen. On my side of the wall were Schala and Sarbll.
"Yes, I'm awake. A dungeon, huh?"
"It was an ambush," Magus stated clearly," and a damn good one too. We should have gone further around."
"Janus..." Schala started to say.
"I don't know," I said, before she could ask what was going to become of us." The door at the far right hand corner of the dungeon opened.
"Well," Dalton said, walking in," nice to see you up and about!" He guffawed in a voice I thought would never stop. He had orange pants, a purple shirt, and a khaki cape over his shoulders.
"You," I said, carefully," have a serious wardrobe problem." Dalton walked up to me.
"Really? I don't think so. Schala here would agree with me, wouldn't you, honey?" He ran his hand through his neatly shaved goatee. Schala did not make a sound. "Wouldn't you, Schala?" he asked again, and when Schala didn't answer, Dalton slapped her across the mouth.
"Damn you!" I yelled," I'll kill you!" I wished I had not been so brash.
"Doubt that," Dalton said," you're a little.... tied up at the moment." He turned around. "Ah! The great Magus. And how are you today, you dumb pile of turpentine?"
"Feeling more of a man than you ever will be, Dalton."
"Well, it looks like you're not being treated like a man, Magus. Better talk to the people who care about that. And you'll see them when you get around to it. The problem is.... no one cares!" Dalton laughed again. Magus spat at Dalton and caught him clean in the eye. Dalton backhanded Magus and grabbed his hand in agony. He glared at me, and then walked out the door, slamming it shut.
"Nicely said, Magus." Magus smiled.
"Thank you, Janus."
"Janus," Schala said," continue with the story."
"I'm tired, Schala!"
"Janus," Magus said," please. I would be able to rest in peace knowing what brought us here." I nodded and began to tell away.
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