Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)
TITLE: DOGS OF THE SEA
By mick dawson
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A seventeen year old waif by the name of ‘Telba’ stood in the back alleys of the sea side port of ‘Adella.’ It was an evening like any other, where she stood around the inn in hopes of alluring half drunken mariners so that she would have enough coin for food and a bed for another night.
She raised her gaze to the lonely house at the top of the hill displaying a yellow glow through the window and shook with foreboding. It was the home of ‘Moxatol’ the most powerful sorceress of the age.
She listened to the revelry going on inside the tavern. Voices were raised in song or fights had broken out over some maid or other, but what ever the reason, voices were always raised.
She hugged herself against the cold and tensed as the voices reached a level of hysteria.
Telba peered around the corner to see pirates had disembarked and begun to ravage the town.
Any brave men, seeking to protect their daughters and wives were cut down without mercy and the tavern was immediately ransacked of its best ale.
Young girls were dragged from the streets to be later sold on the slave markets.
Leading them was the famed corsair ‘Zorava.’ Telba did not know the man by face but there was only one brigand of the sea she knew of who wore a cutlass blade permanently fixed to his arm where his right hand should have been.
She gasped when his gaze fell to the comely girl and she fled through the streets, her bare feet slapping on the cobbled stones.
The pirate slapped the arms of his two nearest men.
“Seize the wench!” he ordered.
Telba heard their booted feet stamping after her and threaded through the back lanes in hopes of losing the marauders.
Fear overwhelmed her and she fought back the urge to faint and moved on.
Her fleeing took her by the mission. Could she seek refuge there? What did they call themselves, Christamens?
The only protection she would receive from them would be a barring of the door and pray that the pirates would leave.
She looked once more to the house on the hill dreading the choice she felt compelled to make and sprinted up the road. When she reached the house, she found it empty with the fire still burning.
Barring the door, Telba frantically flicked through the leaves of Moxatol’s books, hoping to find a spell of protection. She found one already opened and as she hurriedly scanned the page, she saw that a spell was already prepared. There was only the rolling of dice made from human bone to be cast.
She gasped and dropped the dice as the pirates pounded on the door and demanded that she come out and when she looked down at the number cast, she saw it was a two.
The book read for ‘dogs of the sea.’
She sighed in relief. Surely it was a spell to eradicate pirates.
One of the corsairs tapped the arm of the other causing him to turn around irritably and look where his comrade pointed.
Small wispy clouds drifted past the full moon, then to his horror, an all too familiar sight wafted across the face of the white orb…a shark glided by and at the sight of the two men its body jerked around in their direction and swiftly descended on them with open jaws to be followed by a score of other black shapes.
The pounding began anew causing Telba to back away. Panic was evident in their voices and the door began to pound with a new intensity.
The waif believed that the door would leap from its hinges at any moment, but as suddenly as it all began, the pounding ceased.
For the longest of times she stood in the eerie silence before she braved opening the door. There was no sign of the pirates. Telba stepped outside, trying to gage what had happened, then felt a nudge against her leg. She spun, then froze in horror at the school of sharks that circled her at waist height, before finally succumbing to unconsciousness amongst them.
The theme is simple. Look for refuge anywhere but in Christ will only lead to death.
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