Monday, July 17, 2017

Once Upon A Time - Part 1



Once upon a time, in a land that only lives in the imagination, dark clouds were gathering in the sky….

King Boroff leaned out of the castle window and gazed upwards. Never before had he seen a sky like this. He had seen one filled with sunshine, and one filled with fluffy white clouds, even a sky filled with a blood red moon, not to mention a dragon filled sky, but never in all his days, one where dark clouds gathered like a heavy curtain waiting to be drawn across the heavens. He called for his Page.
 “Sire?” 
“Fetch me Magico.”
“The Wizard?”
“Yes, boy, the Wizard. Hurry!”

He watched the Page leave, then went back to the window and cast his eye over the land below. The market had began to assemble itself. Brightly coloured stalls dotted the landscape like sugared sweets on a cake. People went about their business, slower than usual. He noticed their furtive glances upwards. King Boroff looked towards the sky again, and shivered. 
“The darkness is coming. But what does it mean?”

The Page tried to scurry across the town square, knowing the King would be watching from the window, but his legs didn’t seem to work as fast as they should. He weaved in and out of the market stalls, heading towards the far corner of town and the Wizard’s house. He was making fair headway when a hand reached out and grasped him.
“What’s your hurry boy?”
The Page turned. The broad figure of the pig farmer stood behind him. His tunic sleeves were rolled up and his hands bloody from laying out his meaty produce.
“I’m on the King’s errand. Best not stop me, you know how the King’s temper is. He beheaded three peasants last week just because they delivered a vegetable that wasn’t to his liking.”
“Where’s he sending you?”
“To fetch the Wizard.”
“The Wizard? It wouldn’t be anything to do with that sky up there, would it?” He pointed a podgy finger to the darkening canopy.
“I never asked. I know better than to ask. The sky is weird though. My mother would say it was an omen.” The Page looked up and shuddered.
“It’s a sign all right. Something bad’s a brewing. Have you noticed how everything seems to be slowing down?” Indeed the boy had, his legs for a start. The man scratched his beard as he too stared upwards. “You best be off; get that Wizard and get that sky sorted out before something nasty ‘appens to us all.” He pushed the boy forward and waved him away.

It wasn’t long before the Page was facing the wooden door of the Wizard’s house. He reached out for the brass dragon’s head knocker. The eyes on the head snapped open just as the boy’s hand touched its surface; a bolt of smoke and flame burst from its mouth.
“Ouch!” He snatched his hand away and shaking it, stuffed it under his arm. “What did you do that for?”
“How’d you like somebody banging your head against a hard surface?” The dragon stared at the boy.
“But you’re a knocker. That’s what’s supposed to happen.”
“That’s all very well for you to say. It’s not your head.” The dragon closed its eyes.
That’s ridiculous, thought the Page as he reached out again, but hesitating, held his hand in mid air before dropping it back to his side.
The dragon lazily open one eye and said, “Good choice,” before closing it again.
The Page hammered on the door with his fist, then waited a few moments before banging again. “Come on,” he whispered. The King will be livid if I don’t get back soon.

The door creaked open. “What’s all this noise?”Magico looked at the boy. “No need to hammer like that. There’s a perfectly good knocker.”
“It wouldn’t let me use it sir.” He looked at the knocker then back at the Wizard. “It burnt my hand.” He held his red palm up for him to see.
“That’s strange. It hasn’t done that before. I wonder why it’s misbehaving? A magic spell will fix it.” 

Magico waved his hands and muttered. Sparks flashed from his finger tips, only to dissolve before they touched the knocker. The dragon open its eyes, stuck out its tongue and made a rude noise, then closed them again and started to snore.
“Nothing seems to be working right today,” said the Wizard shaking his head. “What do you want boy?”
“The King commands your presence.”
“In that case I’d better come. I’ll just fetch my hat.” 
Magico disappeared and reappeared wearing a pointed black hat festooned with magical symbols. He slammed the door closed; the dragon snorted and puffed out a coil of fiery smoke. 

To be continued......

Part 2: HERE

Photo of sky by Helen 

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