Monday, 8 May 2017

Dark Rainbow (Part 4)

Star Corn left Dorothy with a knight belonging to the order of the Fruit Mountain. He felt something burning against his waist, and he removed his belt that contained two swords, arrows and a dagger. There was no sign of flames. "Huh?" he muttered, finding nothing to cause the burning sensation. Star Corn Lifted his belt, ready to tie it around his waist. Then his hand touched the precious metallic sword and it scalded him. "Aargh!" he cried.
The sword was now aflame. He unrolled a blanket and beat it, to no effect. The sword burned a charred black outline in the yellow soil of the path, which stank. He covered the sword with dirt, only that intensified the flames instead of putting them out. A fire rose along the sword, growing tall, smouldering the foliage all around it. The heat coming off from the sword was repulsive and he screamed like thunder.
Dorothy was flung over the knight's back like a sack of oranges, when she saw Star Corn running up the yellow path. She called out to him. Star Corn's face was contorted and angry, and there were scalding burn marks on his hands. He used a cloth to hold the sword and flung it towards the knight's feet.
"Here's your bewitched sword, Dorothy!" he shouted.
The knight dropped Dorothy without care. He could charge towards Star Corn and punched him across the face.
"You're under arrest too, farm boy!!" the knight growled. He pushed Star Corn, and tied his wrists behing his back with silvery rope. Dorothy was afraid. She picked up her sword, which felt cool as ice. The knight's armoured boot smacked down on the sword.
"You're not touching the royal sword, little girl!" said the knight. "You, get up. Put your hands behind your back!"
The knight pushed both Dorothy and Star Corn in front of him. Their hands were tied behind their backs with silvery ropes, and the knight kept the weapons belonging to Star Corn and Dorothy. He was going to take them into the city of Olympia where they would be sentenced to life in a dungeon beneath the sewars.
Night came, showing three splended moons and countless stars. The knight set up camp on the yellow path beside a mountain base, a shaded area protected from wind. He killed a mountain goat and built a small fire, to cook the meat whole including the skin. He took off his helmet and ate large chunks of the meat. He removed the ropes around their wrists but threatened them if they tried to escape. He threw scraps to Star Corn and Dorothy. Totem enjoyed chewing a bone. Dorothy plucked at wild red grass and nibbled on it.
"What's your name, sir?" Dorothy asked.
The knight was almost visible in the fire light. His hair was long and white. His skin so pale and his eyes sparkled like silver. Very broad shouldered, tall and with a handsome face, he seemed to be younger than she thought he would be.
"My name's Stannum", said the knight.
Dorothy smiled. "I'm Dorothy. This here is Star Corn. My wolf friend is Totem."
The knight spoke little after he'd eaten. He sat still, almost like a statue, with his own mighty sword across his lap, gazing at the fire dying down.
By morning the moons faded out. They walked miles through the mountains and came to another set of crossroads. A blue path, red path, green path, striped back and white path. The yellow path continued straight down into a valley with curious grey trees, grasses and cacti. That was where they went. Hours later they stopped for breakfast. Dorothy founf every item of food in her rucksack was eaten, so she nibbled on grass stalks and snails. Totem caught another bird. Star Corn and Stannum were clever at hunting out the rodents in the bushes.
As the yellow gold path dipped low into the lush valley, the rocks smoothed into terraces and broken marble pavements. Far ahead were white pillars, and rubble, houses, palaces. Skeletal remains of a city in faded colours of pink, indigo and beige. There were stone lions all over the ruined city, some overgrown, others destroyed and cracked.
Then a sound that made her blood cold raged from inside the city centre.
"Wait here!" Stannum ordered them. Totem snarled angrily and his fur was sticking up with fright. Dorothy was very nervous, looked around as if hoping to find anywhere to hide. Star Corn had all his weapons confiscated by Stannum, but he lifted some jagged rocks.
Soon, Stannum raced towards them in panic.
"Go!!! " he shouted.
Coming from one of the ruined palaces was a beast the colour of the sun. Dorothy looked at it to see the shape of an enormous lion, but it's head looked human! Star Corn grabbed her arm and yelled at her to hurry.
Dorothy just ran with them.
The sinister sound of footsteps gaining up on her terrified her, and she stumbled. The enormous sphynx like creature leapt across the ground and landed in front of Stannum.
(End of Part 4. To be continued in Part 5).

This story was written by me and it's loosely based on the "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" adventures by L. Frank Baum.

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