A Once Distant Memory Chapter 9


By Shaun Curran

I stopped for a breather and cleared my throat deeply from the prolonged use of my voice. I looked at Quelchen.

"Does any of this help?" I asked.

"I have a question," said Quelchen, not directly answering my question, which made it fairly obvious," why didn't Magus go after Dalton?"

"Magus firmly believed that Dalton would not try to overthrow the throne. Heck, I believed that, and so did Schala. We had a large army, in case Dalton's footsoldiers tried anything. But Dalton never attacked, directly. I never thought, and neither did anyone else, that Dalton would have been able to attack from within Zeal."

"What was Kamus like?" asked Schala. "Was I really that infatuated with him?"

"Schala, yes, you were. You were deeply in love with him, and I tried my hardest to protect you; to protect Zeal, and I did everything I could not to go against you, but I did it because I loved you. I failed."

"You did not, Janus," Schala replied," you succeeded." I glanced around the room.

"And our success brought us here." Schala was stung by my remark, and began to whimper. "I'm sorry, Schala," I said.

"Janus..." Quelchen said," we have to get out of here."

"I agree," I said," but we can't escape. My binds are too tight, and I can't use my magic without my hands. Schala, can you remember any of those spells you learned?"

"I remember heal." I looked at her intently.

"Please use your healing spell. We could all use it."

"Wait a minute," said Magus," won't that drain your energy?"

"No, it won't, if I take energy from the ground." Schala closed her eyes. A bright hue appeared around her. A greenish glow appeared on the ground in the form of a circle, spreading out on the floor. The circle began to encase us with its brightness. I suddenly felt healthy, with the exception of my binds. I no longer felt cold and hungry, and I felt a little surer of myself.

The glow vanished and Schala smiled at me.

"Feel better?" she asked.

"Yes, I do." My arms still throbbed from the chains. Magus looked up.

"Janus, please continue with the story."

"I hope you don't think I'm making this up," I said.

"I know you're not, Janus," replied Sarbll. "You have no reason to." I took a deep breath. Just as I was about to continue, the door opened and Dalton walked in.

"Well, my friends," he said," the airship Raven is in position. At exactly seven, tomorrow morning, you will be killed by guillotine. When that happens, the Raven will attack Zeal and send it crashing to the ground. Any questions?"

"I thought you wanted the throne," Schala said.

"Ah, but I don't, well, I did. My original plan was to brainwash everyone into thinking that I cared about them and then sending them off to work for Lavos. Who, by the way, should be awakening any time now."

"The year 1999," said Magus.

"Yes, and no one knows precisely when that is. Neither do I, if that's what your next question was. Any last requests?"

"I'll take a cherry cheesecake," I said, hopefully. Dalton smiled.

"I will grant your last request. Any others?"

"A steak, medium," said Quelchen," and a Harper."

"What are you, an alcoholic?" asked Dalton. Quelchen laughed.

"Why does everyone think that?"

"I'll have a slice of ham roast," Sarbll said," rare." Dalton nodded, and then pulled out a small notepad from his back pocket. He jotted down our orders, I guess, and then turned to Magus.


"Egg Cream Pie." Dalton made a yucky face at Magus' order, but wrote it down anyway. Dalton then smiled.

"Funny about last requests," he said," they're the only thing you have waiting for you, other than your graves, of course." Laughing, he walked out of the room, shutting the door tight behind him.

"Do you think he'll come back with them?"

"I honestly would like to think so," replied Magus," I'm quite hungry."

"The healing spell works well, but it leaves you hungry, I'm afraid," said Schala. "Janus, please continue."


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