Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Silver Flower: Chapter FIVE

Yes, this is actually chapter FIVE, sorry about the mistake in my last post... :( I was being absent minded for some reason... (btw, in case you didn't know, the last post I made was chapter FOUR of The Silver Flower, not chapter FIVE. Got it now?) :P Read on and enjoy!

Chapter Five: The New Mission

Early the next morning, Mary went outside for a fresh breath of air and found Valkin sitting next to the door. She sat down too, and turned to him, her eyes full of question.

“I’ve been meaning to ask ye,” she said, chewing on her lip thoughtfully, “what did ye mean by tha’?” Valkin gave her a look.

“What do I mean?” he asked. Mary clarified.

“What ye said aboot my being able to help.” She said. Valkin’s brow cleared.

“Ah! I remember now. Yes, I think you can help us.”

“But how?”

“You’re a human.” He said simply. “The counselor won’t expect to have humans against him. He only thinks that elves will rise up in rebellion, but he’s wrong.”

“What if we won’t help?” Mary cautiously asked. Valkin looked at her warily out of the corner of his eye.

“Then Elliot would not have sent you.” He said. Mary gasped.

“Then he meant for us to come?” she asked. Valkin smiled at her surprise.

“Yes, I asked him to bring humans he knew and trusted.” He paused. “I was surprised, to say the least, when you and your brother’s happened to be the humans to show up. Your knowledge of our language was an even bigger surprise and I began to see why Elliot sent you three.” Mary allowed herself a small smile of amusement.

“We be somewhat tougher than we look, ye mean?” she asked. Valkin returned her smile and shrugged.

“One might say that.” He replied. There was a moment of silence and somewhere nearby a dog barked, and a horse returned it’s greeting with a whinny. Mary was the first to break it.

“So…” she started carefully, “Could ye tell me aboot yer people and their history? How came this counselor, and why did the king trust him?” Valkin took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. His brow furrowed and he looked darkly up at the castle. Obviously, the topic was upsetting him, and Mary almost told him to never mind, when he began.

“It’s a long and sad history.” He said, and sighed again. There was a long pause, and Mary was almost afraid he wouldn’t continue, but he took another deep breath and plunged into it. “It started, I believe, when the kings mother, may she rest in peace, began to grow ill about three years ago. She could no longer advise the king, and he started to grow power thirsty. He appointed several new officers, and when anyone complained, they were either thrown in prison or killed.

“One man, thirsty for power as the king was, was appointed as his new counselor, and though several of his wise, older advisors warned him against the man, the king rebelled and the counselor was elected.

“Far from happy, the queen went to her son, although ill, and ordered the king to have the man banished. The king refused and grew angry, striking his mother. She never rose again. The king, realizing what his hasty action had caused, fell to the ground next to his mother, imploring her through sobs to arise. He begged for forgiveness, but it was too late. His mother was dead. The only person that he knew was there was the counselor, and the counselor saw his big chance to overcome the kingdom. He started slowly killing the king himself using guilt and blackmail. Unknown to the counselor or the king, there was another witness.” Valkin stopped, and Mary saw a tear run down his cheek. “I was that witness.” His voice hardened, and he frowned. “Believe me; I shall not let the queen’s death go without vengeance, he shall pay for his deed. I shall capture the counselor and fling him into prison. The king shall be forgiven, but he must forfeit his job to someone more able and wise.”

“Like Glevanne Addets?” Mary asked softly. Valkin turned his searching gaze to her, and their eyes met.

“Yes.” He said shortly. “But to gain the throne, the counselor decided he had to keep all other threats under his finger of oppression, so he began to force himself upon the princess, putting guards at her door, proclaiming that he was trying to protect her, but both the princess and over half the elfish kingdom knew it was to keep her a prisoner. Secret letters was the only way she could communicate to her true love, Glevanne, but if any of them where found, it would mean the death of her lover. She and Glevanne entrusted their letters to only the most faithful servants, and they began to correspond. The princess kept Glevanne aware of dangers from the castle, and Glevanne kept the princess aware of new plans from his side. He was a high officer, and he kept himself clean of any suspicion. Thanks to your brothers, it is still that way. If any other human or elf had found the note, Glevanne would probably be on his way to the be-heading tower.” Mary gasped slightly, her face turning white. Valkin nodded grimly, agreeing with her unspoken thought.

“Yes, it’s a dangerous job, and a lot depends on the deliverers of the letters. But it’s been going on under the nose of the counselor for at least a year, probably more now. We have stayed safe for a long time and it will continue until the king finally has enough nerve to get rid of the counselor.” He stopped, and ran a hand through his hair. Mary looked thoughtfully at her shoes.

“Who did the king marry?” she asked, “Who was the princesses’ mother?” Valkin smiled, his face clearing for a moment.

“The princesses’ mother was one of the wisest decisions the king ever made. She was a wonderful wife, I’m told, but she died of childbirth before I was born. She was a young and beautiful bride. The king married only once, but his marriage was a happy one, though short. The princess looks a lot like her mother. It’s a shame the king doesn’t realize what a precious thing he may be hurting.” There was another pause and Mary again studied her shoes thoughtfully.

“But how can my brothers and I help?” she finally asked. Valkin raised an eyebrow.

“How can you help?” he said. “You could go into the castle and speak to the king alone, without his counselor. Tell him that other’s know what went on at the queen’s death, tell him that the counselor no longer has any power over him, tell him that he is free to be rid of him forever, just two words, and this land will be rid of its worst enemy.” Mary sighed, and she bit her lip. Valkin looked at her. “Afraid?” he asked softly. Mary returned his look.

“Aye.” She replied truthfully. “I am afraid, not only fer myself, but fer my brothers, fer this kingdom, fer the princess, fer Glevanne, fer Dusak an’ his wife, fer everyone who is involved with us. One wrong word an’ the whole kingdom may be destroyed.” Valkin nodded.

“This is true, and I have often felt the same way. It is not a shame to be afraid.” He paused, and a slight smile shadowed the corners of his mouth. “I am afraid too.” Mary let out a breath, watching it hang in the still, cold air, before dissolving into nothing again. There was movement inside the house, and Valkin stood, brushing a few fallen leaves off his shirt. Mary also stood.

“I will speak to my brothers. If they will come, then we shall help.” She said.

“And if not?” he asked. Mary paused.

“They will.” She said sturdily. Valkin smiled and the two went inside.

* * * * *

Her brothers were both at the table. She approached the subject slowly, but as she had expected, they both agreed eagerly. It was arranged for them to leave for the castle as soon as breakfast was finished, so they hurriedly ate and donned on their jackets, shawl, and boots. Valkin escorted them as far as the first gate, but he left them before suspicion would arise. Mary went boldly up to the gate and slapped her hand against it as she had watched Valkin do.

She stepped back, and the siblings waited for the guard to come, their breath held, and their hearts racing.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Silver Flower: Chapter Four

The long awaited chapter four right? Just kidding...please, read on and enjoy! :)
Chapter Four: Shetta Gloriheem

Valkin had explained to the children the best way to get into the princess without the king finding them was through her window in the dead of night, so they had formed a small plan.

Quietly slipping through the wood, helpfully growing right beneath the princesses’ room, the small group of adventures soon made their way to the base of the tower in which the princess slept at night.

Dusak, who had brought an elfish rope, tossed it up into the lowest window, the rope made no sound and held tightly to the window as Valkin climbed up the sheer walls with amazing agility. He was soon followed by Dusak, who then turned and helped the three humans that were still down below. In a short amount of time the five adventurers were safely inside the castle tower.

Valkin, who seemed to know the way well, led the other elf and the siblings up a staircase of stone and through a long hall. They nearly got caught by a guard, but thankfully, due to Valkin’s quick thinking, they were saved by slipping behind a few handy suits of armor.

They soon found the princesses’ room, heavily guarded of course, but the guards were sound asleep so they crept around them gingerly and opened the door. Once inside, they closed the door behind them without a sound and slipped over to the bed. The princess was not in it; she was sitting by a desk, her hair framing her beautiful face. She was unaware of their presence, her head bent over a letter. Valkin cleared his throat softly, and the princess jumped up and spun around, clutching the precious letter in her hand.

“Letka fes adeck?” (Who are you?) She asked, startled.

“A denae,” (A friend,) replied Valkin, extending a hand, palm upwards. The princess, though still wary, touched the palm of his hand with hers, the sign of agreement.

“Hald fetik adeck hesik?” (What do you want?) She said, still clutching the unfinished letter in her hand. Valkin turned to Mary, who in turn looked at Duncan, the bearer of the two letters from Glevanne Addets. He took them from his pocket and handed them to the princess. She took them, looked at them casually, then gasped and ran her eyes over it hastily, then dropped it into the fire, letting it burn. The second letter she devoured as the first, and it quickly followed the other into the fire. Her face flushed in high excitement.

“How is Glevanne? Is he safe? Was he watched?” she asked quickly in the language the children could understand, her eyes scanning over the faces of the two elves and the three humans.

“He is fine, he is safe, and they do not suspect him of anything yet.” He replied to the princesses’ questions. She sank into her chair, the excitement too much for her delicate state. The children looked at Valkin quizzically, not knowing why the princess acted in this strange manner.

“Glevanne and the princess wish to marry, but this is impossible until the evil counselor can be taken away from the king. They can only sometimes write, and otherwise see each other at no time lest suspicion rise against Glevanne and he be thrown into prison or killed.” He explained quickly. The siblings exchanged glances again; this news explaining a lot of things. The princess, suddenly rising from her state of collapse, finished the forgotten letter with haste and sealed it, handing it to Duncan.

“Deliver this back to him, please. Tell him that I wish to have a reply.” She laid the letter in his hand. “This is a precious note; don’t let it fall into the wrong hands.” Valkin motioned to the children that it was time to leave. The guards were still sleeping, so they escaped the same way they had come.

Once outside the castle, and on the way back to Dusak’s place, they all breathed a long sigh of relief. Mary walked with her brow furrowed and her teeth biting into her lip. Valkin turned to her.

“Are you puzzled about all this?” he asked softly. Mary looked up, startled, from her musings.

“Aye,” was her reply. “Why cannae the elves rise up against the evil man. Why doon’t the princess refuse to marry him right oot, and why cannae Glevanne marry her iffin he wants to? It just doon’t seem right!” Valkin nodded understandingly.

“It seems hard to believe, but it’s not just the evil counselor of the king. That man has many agents, some of them under cover, working for him. If we were to fight back, they would all come down upon us, in the king’s name. The only way we could truly defeat that man, was if the king himself realized what the counselor was doing to him, and stopped him.” Mary sighed as Dusak’s house came into view.

“I just wish that I could do somthin’ aboot it.” She said. “But I’m afraid I cannae.”  They entered the house and Vinea relived them of their jackets, shawl, and cloaks. Before retiring to bed, Valkin turned once more to Mary.

“You can, Mary, you may not know how, but you can.” He then left to his room, leaving Mary in doubt and the boy’s curious.

“What did he mean by tha’?” Justin asked. Mary shrugged.

“It had to do wi’ a conversation we were havin’ on the way back fro’ the castle, but that last bit I have nae idea what he meant!” She shrugged and went over to the window beside her bed. “Let’s all get some sleep. I’ve a feelin’ we’re in fer a real good adventure boy’s.”

Long after her brothers were asleep, Mary tossed about in her bed, thinking about what Valkin may have meant when he said that. What did he mean, and what were her and her brother’s in for?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy Fall!

Sitting in a comfy desk chair, sipping my mother's oil concoction for my cold, and thinking deep thoughts about October and what its been like for us as a family, I'd like to tell you that I am so sorry for neglecting you, my faithful followers...I will endeavor to fill you in now on some things my family and I have been up to. 
Family Photo Opp.!

This last month, not only have we been enjoying fellowship within family circles (My Uncle Richard, Aunty Christy, Cousins: Oliver, Colin, Jubi, and Graham just came back from Indonesia where they were missionaries), but also went to a pumpkin patch run by our dear friends the Blossey's,
Pumpkins, pumpkins, and MORE PUMKINS!!!
and a trip to Miracle ranch with our Aunty Christy and the cousins, and Aunty Sarah. It was fun to see people we knew there, and especially fun to hang out with the Asa family (at least, most of the Asa family... :P).
Friends and Family

Havin' fun on the hay ride

Jubi with the ponies: They were just the right size for her! :)

Jubi and Me

more fun w/ cousins and Asa kids!

The Archery place was the boy's favorite stop! (go figure)

Another favorite place: finding toys and candy in the hay!
We also had a harvest party at our church and that in itself was fun. I got to help in the kitchen and then "help" my friend Kathryn Stephenson with her game. ;) All in all, our family had a wonderful, but busy, month. Hopefully November will prove less busy, but more fun! I'd better go, but before I leave, I'd like to say one last "Random Remark" for this post: Remember that God is always with you, no matter where you are, or what you're doing. So just keep that in mind as you continue your day by day life...

Blog Tour for Project Canvas!! *cue intense celebration*

GUYS, I couldn't be more excited to share about this incredible book that is going to be available for you to get your hands on in just ...