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|A short story about a dangerous jewel. A creature greedy for power and jealous of all fortunate people, goes to any extreme to retreive the parts of the jewel.||
One cold night, when only five of the seven moons shone upon planet Nymph, a stranger entered the town, a dark creature. It hissed a gloomy tune as it headed toward the colossal palace where the great Lord Mahkawn, his dear wife, the kind queen Metubella and their eighteen-year-old son, Derek Serin William slept. The creature peered at the lord and his queen sleeping peacefully and lifted a large, sharp, double bladed sword above its head. Lord Mahkawn awoke.
“Who are you?” he bellowed, terrified.
He looked up at the sword that came crashing down, slicing him in two from head to abdomen. Queen Metubella jumped out of her bed screaming and ran to the door.
The noise had awakened Derek Serin who ran to his parents’ bedroom and stood, frozen by fear on the other side of the door, in the shadows. He heard the sound of the blade go through his mother’s flesh and looked at the blood seep under the crack of the door. He backed away in fear. The door didn’t open. The creature hissed the word “jewel”. The creature looked about the room in search for it but in vain. It let out a blood-curling scream, tore off the bedroom door and stormed down the hall without noticing the boy.
Tears poured out of Derek’s eyes, but still he remained silent and hidden behind a thick column of the palace hall until three of the seven moons had set. Then without looking back, he ran out of the castle into the forbidden forest. He ran blindly through the branches until his feet gave out under him and he collapsed on the forest floor, unconscious.
* * * * *
A stranger wearing a cloak hurried in the shadows to a small, humble home in the town.
“Daacha!” exclaimed the stranger, out of breath, “Wake up, Daacha, you are in great danger here. You must flee at once!”
“Wh-who are you?” enquired the seventeen-year-old girl, half asleep, “What are you doing h-…”
She was interrupted by cries for help and furniture being broken.
“Go!” said the stranger, insistence overpowering his voice.
Daacha headed out the door and into the forbidden forest. She left behind her screams, fear, terror, bloodshed and death. The branches tore at her face like claws. She ran till the four remaining moons had set and the two suns had risen. She fell to the ground exhausted.
A few hours later, she woke up and noticed before her a tombstone at the foot of a huge statue. She moved closer and brushed away the plants from the tombstone to read the old inscription carved in it. “Peace will be made when two pure hearts are joined.”
“What does that mean?” she wondered but suddenly fell forward, hit in the back of the head by a rock.
* * * * *
“Young man, wake up!”
Derek Serin William opened his weary eyes.
“Where am I?” he asked the man standing by him.
“My name is Dûrechoirion, and you are in Oasis, an elven town, deep in the forbidden forest.” answered the man, “The trees hide and protect us. I am aware of what has happened. Let me tell you a story…
Long ago, there lived a great, powerful sorcerer named Belegurion Grey Beard. He had in his possession a jewel that provided its beholder immense powers. An evil creature, greedy for power became aware of the mysterious jewel and attacked the sorcerer. He managed to escape the creature a first time and swore no one would use the jewel. He then smashed the jewel into two pieces. He hid one of them away and threw the other into the depths of the ocean, never to be found again, or so he hoped. The creature returned and killed the sorcerer.”
The elf, deep in thought, closed his eyes.
“He was my father, and the jewel had been in our family for millenniums. You, my young friend, are wearing one of the two shards.”
Derek looked down at the small pendent.
“This could destroy the world?”
“Not exactly. Alone it has little power. You need the other piece. The jewel must be destroyed before the creature gets it!” Dûrechoirion said.
Dûrechoirion’s servant interrupted the two.
“Lord, I have yet another prisoner, a young girl. She wears the pendent.”
“She is here, the girl with the second part of the jewel,” said Dûrechoirion.
The creature suddenly swooped down through the branches.
“Ha, you’ve just made a big mistake, my friend” she laughed, “I knew that jewel would return here someday.”
With one swift move, Chutzpah tore the necklaces from the necks of the two terrified adolescents.
“I made it. I’ll finally rule the world!”
Agile as the wind, Chutzpah flew upward and disappeared into the clouds.
Silence reigned in Oasis except for the sound of the gentle breeze through the leaves.
“No” whispered Dûrechoirion, falling to his knees. “Father, what must we do?” begged the elf to what appeared to be nothing.
A shape slowly appeared in the newly made clearing.
“My son” said an echoing voice, “ you must find her and bring the jewel back to me. The powers of the jewel are slowly being restored and Chutzpah will be invincible!”
“I will go and find her. I have worn that jewel for years. It is partly mine. I must avenge my father’s death,” said Derek, confident.
“Then I shall join him, for I too was the keeper of the jewel,” added Daacha, who freed herself from the servant’s grasp.
* * * * *
The suns were up high in the sky when the two were ready to set off to search for Chutzpah. They stood at the main gate of Oasis. Dûrechoirion stopped in front of them.
“You must know that Chutzpah was unaware of your existence until now. Derek, Chutzpah was jealous of your dear mother, who had beauty, friends and many admirers. Therefore Metubella never told her of your birth, in fear that she would make Chutzpah even more jealous. Metubella’s wedding with Lord Mahkawn awoke in Chutzpah an old ambition that she had virtually forgotten, her deep desire to get the jewel. Remember this, both of you, jealousy is like rust, it will eat through the body like rust does through metal as will greed. Find the jewel and bring it back here. My father will do what he should have done right at the beginning, destroy the treacherous thing!”
He then bowed low and backed away.
“Go now; you know the way to the castle. Free the world of evil. You have little time. Soon the world will be locked up behind bars of evil.”
The two dashed away on borrowed horses. They galloped for long hours until finally, they reached a gloomy castle. The atmosphere in the area was very different. The air was crisp and cold. It froze the lungs of the two. They tied the horses to some branches and looked at the castle. It glowed a deep red glow.
“Here it is, Chutzpah’s castle,” said Derek.
“It’s time to give that beast a lesson,” Daacha said.
All around the castle stood people, rotting, walking, yet not alive nor dead.
“Cadaver, I’ve read about these with my father. They will jump at your neck and suck the life out of you,” exclaimed Daacha.
They remained low and quiet behind a tree. The cadaver moaned a lonely tune that sent chills down their backs. They crept toward the castle always staying in the shadows cast by five of the moons. Derek opened the large wooden door. It creaked and cracked.
“Oh no!” hissed Derek, turning to see if the cadaver had heard.
“They didn’t hear,” sighed Daacha, “we are safe.”
They entered the dark castle.
“She’s in the highest tower, I saw her,” whispered Derek, “let’s go this way.”
Daacha followed Derek through the narrow corridors and staircases until they reached the door that led to the tower.
“I can hear her,” Derek said.
“What is she saying?” asked Daacha
“I don’t know the language. Sounds like a spell. We must act quick, dear Daacha, for we have little time till the jewel regains all of its power,” answered Derek.
He peered through the keyhole and saw a beautiful woman clothed in a long white gown. She wore the necklace that glowed red. Without thinking, Derek barged in the tower, swinging his sword, running madly toward the woman. Chutzpah grinned and turned into an awful beast. She grabbed the prince and flew upward.
“NO, YOU BEAST!” yelled Daacha.
Chutzpah swooped down and closed her claws on Daacha as well and both were carried up into the sky. Daacha swung her sword with her free hand and cut the creature’s leg open. The beast let go of her and Daacha climbed up swiftly to the neck. Before Chutzpah could react Daacha tore the jewel off.
“YOU FOOL!” shrieked Chutzpah, pulling Daacha off her and throwing her down.
“Daacha!” yelled Derek.
The fall toward the jagged rocks below was a dreadful one.
“I must tear these apart!” shrieked Daacha, knowing it would probably be useless.
The ground got nearer.
The creature soared down to get the jewel from Daacha. The girl looked up
“Ahhhh!” she yelled, “ Derek, HELP!”
Derek freed his arm, lifted his sword and plunged it into Chutzpah’s heart.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” she screamed, dropping to the ground.
The beast lay dead by Daacha’ s motionless body. In her hand were the two parts of the jewel.
“Daacha, my dear Daacha,” whispered Derek, holding the girl in his arms.
He brought the body to Oasis. As he approached the elven town he saw Dûrechoirion running toward him.
“Derek, you have returned. Have you the jewel?” asked Dûrechoirion.
“Yes, here, take it,” he answered as he handed the two parts to the elf.
Dûrechoirion looked at Daacha.
“Daacha…the poor girl.” he said.
“She sacrificed her life for all of us,” Derek said
All the elves of Oasis closed their eyes as Dûrechoirion spoke.
“We must never forget Daacha. She was killed by jealousy itself. She should not have died that way, but at least she died doing a honourable deed for the whole world.
At that moment Belegurion’s spectre appeared.
“The girl deserves to live, for her heart is pure and should live long years; wake up young one,” it said.
Daacha opened her eyes and gazed around her.
“We made it,” said Derek to her, smiling.
Dûrechoirion handed the gem to the spectre, which then disappeared with it.
The trees were already starting to bloom; the planet was alive again. All cadavers came to life once more. Everyone from Oasis went to the town led by Derek and Daacha. It was a great surprise to see all the villagers, alive.
“Mother, father!” yelled Daacha at the sight of her parents.
“Father, mother!” exclaimed Derek when he noticed his own parents.
Lord Mahkawn and queen Metubella hugged their son. Not a scar remained on them or any of the villagers of the evil Countess Chutzpah. They announced to everyone that a ball should be prepared at once to celebrate the return of peace. Fresh food and drinks were brought out on tables in the palace gardens. Musicians began to play and all the courtiers, dukes, counts, their wives and children and the farmers started to dance. Laughter and joy filled the air.
That very day, during the celebration, Derek asked Daacha to be his wife. The town people cheered and threw their hats up in the sky. They were wedded that night under the stars and moons. Peace had been made by the two of pure hearts who had conquered Chutzpah, now known as…Jealousy.
|The Sixth Land|