Finding The Soul Bridge (The Soul Fire Saga Book 1) (10 page)

BOOK: Finding The Soul Bridge (The Soul Fire Saga Book 1)
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19

 

 

Thist brushed his hand over his sleeves.

The air was soft and cool, like early morning spring rain. He took in deep breath after deep breath; it had never felt so fresh before. The dream was clear, vivid but surreal. While he was dreaming he knew that he was walking in the dream world. He had always had a fantasy of being able to control his dreams, to see what he wanted to see, and do what he wanted to do and he felt like he could do that now.

“I’m dreaming.” he said.

“Yes.”
said a beautiful voice.

He turned and saw a gorgeous young lady wearing a pretty summer frock, barefoot with long flowing blond hair. Her skin was immaculate like a polished porcelain doll. She seemed to float over the lush, green meadow, with colourful flowers all around her; bright yellow, white, red and lavender. The birds sang sweet tunes and butterflies flapped at her ankles. As Thist decided to change something in his dreams it changed and everything moved slower. He could see the butterfly wings open and close, the colours became brighter but the girl’s face…he looked at her face.

She was coming to him, he could see her but not, “I’m dreaming.” he said.

“Yes.”
her voice was like medicine for sore ears.

Her face was there but not there.

“Who are you?” asked Thist, his voice sounding far away.

“I am Skyla, one of the forsaken.”

An icy chill passed over Thist like cold water down his neck.

“Forsaken?”

“Yes, I am one of the voices in your head.”

“The old man gave me tea, he said I will see faces, but I don’t see your face.”

“I have forgotten what my face looks like. That is why you do not see it.”

“Do you know the old man?”

“The druid that felled our village is fallen himself; his soul is in a diamond. The shaman who gave you the tea has the fallen druid’s diamond.”

The lady started to skip away, slowly and majestically. Thist tried to follow, he called after her “Skyla wait, Skyla!”

She started to fade away, “The others will come, have some more tea.”

“Wait!” shouted Thist as Skyla faded. “Tell me about the fallen druid.”

“I cannot, it hurts to feel about that, but we have waited for you Thist.”

And just like that she was gone.

Thist fumbled through the meadow calling after Skyla. “Skyla. Skyla wait. Skyla, what do you mean ‘shaman’?”

20

 

 

The hagget was at the old man’s hut. It knew the old man from a life gone by. It needed to infiltrate the old man’s hut and it wanted to reveal itself but it held itself back. The potion had transformed the hagget to an invisible form, but the old man was formidable. It had a primary quest that it needed to fulfil and it needed the old man’s help. They were not adversaries but the old man had a possession that the hagget had coveted; the soul stone of the druid. It was there, within its reach, so close. The hagget clenched its jaws. It had experienced pain in its life and it had suffered defeats and losses but the torture of being so close to a prize and turning away was maddening. It could do only one thing to distract itself, it had to wash. Its affliction was under control by the potion but it was a fragile situation. The hagget had to wash its whole body in rain water every day. It had missed two days of washing as it had clawed its way through the caddels. It had almost fallen to its death in the darkness. It had been blown to its face by Thist when he had screamed for no reason.

It had cursed the boy when he had screamed. It held on to the last thread of sanity that lingered in its potion infused body.
“The quest.”
It had thought.
“Nothing matters but the quest.”
  It had managed to travel with the boys through the caddels without being noticed. It had travelled with them up the hill to the hut and they were still oblivious. Now they were inside the hut and it was raining.

The hagget was outside the hut. The wind was strong and it turned its naked body as the water blasted its skin. It was bliss. It could feel the affliction abate its violent torture. The potion would last longer if it would rain every day. It was prepared. It could make rain as long as its strength and the strength of the potion held out to the end.

But the hagget was scared. If the boys noticed its form or if they noticed the weather, then it could fail. The fear and anxiety were bad for it and it had to stay busy.

21

 

 

Kelvin cringed.

He had been trying to get the knots out of his long hair as he bathed. Jem had bathed first. There was a spout outside where one could draw warm water that was piped from a hot spring. While Kevin groomed himself, Jem was over by Thist trying to wake him. He had slept for a long time and the other two had left him to sleep.

The old man was stoking the fire and uttered in an irritated voice. “When yous are done cleaning up then I think it’s time you fellows get going.”

“Why?” asked Kelvin “We only just got here yesterday.”

“Boy, I is a loner man and if yous squatters wants to camp out here I is going to have to makes yous work. There is no being no freeloading ‘round here is.”

“Don’t worry old man.” said Kelvin. “We won’t stay long, the only reason we would linger is if you could teach us a valuable skill. Do you have any of those?”

The old man faced Kelvin with a glaring stare and scrunched up face, “My boy, I is have skills that few peoples even knows of.”

Kelvin grinned back at him. “I know.”

“I know you knows summing,” said the old man “I is wish I could peer into your head, see what you see.” The old man’s eyes darted when he spoke; looking directly into Kelvin’s eyes, the old man continued “Take care of yous friend there. Get him cleaned up, then I is show yous around.”

Thist, Jem and Kelvin gathered at the table. It was a struggle to get Thist woken up after such a deep sleep but once he had washed, he felt refreshed albeit hungry.

The old man had cooked up a hearty broth for breakfast. They sat at the table and started to eat. Jem had baked some beer bread, which tasted bad normally, but fine when smothered in soup.

The old man was the first to speak at the table. “Yous are the first travellers to come up here in many years. I usually do not allow strangers to approach so close but I sensed your hearts is good.”

Jem made a gesture to the other guys with his index finger swirling it in a circle around his ear.

“Yes.” said the old man. “I is a little loose in the head but that is because I is old and yous young folks is not understand.”

“He is okay.” said Thist. “Give him a fair chance.”

Kelvin peered into Thist’s eyes to try to glean some meaning from them. Whether he did or not he didn’t say.

“When I is first came up here…” The old man continued, “…I is a broken man. I is lost much. The world is changed and I thought I is done for. I is built this here hut by myself improving it year after year. I is learned new ways, living for too long on ones self will change a man. It is either make yous very good or very bad.”

“How long have you lived here?” asked Jem.

“Oh very long, you wouldn’t believe me if I told yous exactly how long, but I can’t remember how long it is.”

“You do look very old” said Jem.

Kelvin hit Jem on the shoulder, “Have some respect you idiot this is a wise man.”

The old man looked at Kelvin then he glanced at Thist, then at Jem, “The art of wisdom is not come with age is. It is something yous can learn and something yous can be practiced. I is old when I is discovered the art of wisdom. I wish I is found it sooner.”

The broth was good and soon it was finished. The old man had spiked it with a mild ‘pick me up’, something to give them all energy. “Good food is medicine for hunger is.” he said.

A silence ensued as the boys scraped their dishes of the last drops and then Kelvin broke the silence with a loud burp. This startled Thist who was in a daydream and dropped his spoon on the floor.

“Excuse me.” said Kelvin “You said you would show us something before we leave.”

“Yes” said the old man, “I can’t wait to be rid of yous, I is cherished my solitude for a long time and today I is realized why in many new ways. Stay at the table. I is fetch my things.”

The old man looked at Thist. “This one is for yous. I will give yous some dreaming tea.”

The old man handed Thist a leather pouch with draw strings. He pulled on the lips of the bag and the mouth opened revealing the spicy odour-producing shavings. Embedded in the ground up tea leaves was an odd looking hand carved spoon. It had a gnarled handle, some ornate carvings and a single bead of gold circled the neck. Thist stared at the spoon for a while, then gave a long winded and sarcastic, “Wow.”

The old man leaned forward on his creaking chair, “That is a magical spoon is. It is imbued with a special ability is, it only dispenses the absolute correct amount of tea is.”

Jem rolled his eyes and shook his head. Kelvin leaned forward and made a finger gesture, waving his index finger ahead of him. This was meant as a comical ‘take note’ sort of gesture often used in what Kelvin called ‘serious jest.’

The old man shot Kelvin a scolding look. “Is yous have a problem boy?” asked the old man.

“I beg your pardon.” said Kelvin.

“It is nice to indulge in the past is.” claimed the old man “But wait, there is more is.”

The three boys glanced at each other, each knowing what the other was thinking.
“What will the strange old man do next?”

The old man shuffled to a more disorganized area of the hut and rummaged through a pile of dusty hoard. He produced an odd-looking leather case. The leather was cracked and frayed, and it was covered in repair marks and a nasty looking gouge in the middle. “This was my grandfather’s is.” the old man’s eyes glazed over with tears as he remembered. “The pain never goes away.”

He approached the table cradling the case and put it on the table.

“Many years ago…” the old man’s voice was croaky at best but faltered with the added emotion. “… my grandfather is gave this to me…I never used it…it was his hunting bow.” He opened the case and lifted it out. It was dark brown, had no shimmer or shine like a polished prize possession. It was unassuming and boring. It was also unstrung and looked backward and had been poorly wrapped in a filthy oil cloth.

Jem and Thist looked disgusted.

Kelvin’s eyes grew wide, “Is that a master stealthling bow from the legend?”

The old man’s tears stopped and turned to joy. “I knew you is the one, but the legend of the stealthling bows is wrong is. There is only ever one master stealthling bow is.”

Kelvin made a movement to pick up the bow and the old man met his eyes with a trusting smile.

Kelvin picked up the bow and took the special rubbing cloth, “May I string it?”

“Yes.” said the old man.

Kelvin went down on one knee, placed the bow in front of him and started to rub the bow with the rubbing cloth. He rubbed the bow’s entire length, slowly at first then speeding up to a frenzy. The bow started to shine as Kelvin polished at it and revealed the fine lines along the entire shaft.

The old man looked on in wonder as he nodded his approval. “This lad knows his bows.”

As Kelvin rubbed the bow it warmed up the fibres making it ready to be bent for stringing. Kelvin strung the bow and then stood up in a firing position. He held the bow above his head with the string facing down and made the movement of fetching an arrow from a make-believe quiver on his back and bringing it forward to meet the bow.

“This is awesome.” Kelvin grinned.

“The bow,” said the old man, “is imbued with three special powers is. It helps the bowman to hit the target is.”

“That’s just one.” said Jem.

“Lout,” scolded the old man, “what is do yous know of imbuing?”

“Nothing really.” said Jem.

The old man ignored Jem but answered the hanging question. “Firstly, if yous can feel, it is incredibly light is. As the burden of the bow is at the end of your weary hand worsens the longer yous hold it out. This bow becomes lighter is the longer you hold it up is. This gives the bowman stamina and control is.”

“The second thing,” the old man spoke lovingly, “every time yous draws another arrow it becomes easier…” he paused, “…however if yous do not have command over the skills is, then yous cannot pull it, stopping children and fools from hurting themselves is.”

“And thirdly,” the old man paused, his voice faltering again, “if yous think about yous target and shoot without aim into the air then the arrow is find it’s mark is, but this one is tricky is.”

“How?” asked Kelvin.

“Yous have to know yous bow.” said the old man, “And yous must practice the bow to perfect it, so as to make yous and the bow one.”

The old man looked into Kelvin’s eyes and put one hand on the bow, “Kelvin, I give yous this bow.”

As soon as the old man had said this the bow glowed at the handle for a second and at that moment Kelvin knew that the bow was his, as if the bow knew him.

“Thank you.” said Kelvin. “This is a treasure.”

The old man nodded and then turned to Jem, “I have something for yous too.”

Jem stood up in respect and said. “You are a kind old man.”

The old man shuffled to his odd pile of clutter and brought forth a small wooden box.

The box produced a shiny tube with gold trimmings and the length of the tube was coated in alabaster. The old man handed it to Jem and said. “Never drop it or even bump it hard, this item is unique is. It is only for a seer like yous.”

“What is it?” asked Jem “What does it do?” Jem had been called a seer before when he caught a trickster cheating at cards. The old man had not spent any plausible amount of time with Jem and he had to ask. “And how do you know that I am a seer?”

“All these question.” said the old man as he shook his head. “Just shut up and let me says my things. The three of yous is unique, Kelvin is a knower, Thist is a hearer and yous Jem, is a seer is. Together the threes of yous is destined to change the world is. I is only hope that it will be for the good of everyones.”

“Are you a seer or a knower?” asked Jem.

“I is all three.” said the old man.

Thist had been quiet for a long time. “Why do I get a lousy spoon?”

The old man looked perplexed for a second and then assured Thist. “The spoon is mightier than the bow is. It is not so much the one or the other but if yous use these items together then yous will find the answer that yous are is looking for.”

“What answer?” asked Thist.

“Oh, yous is not discovered the question yet.” said the old man, “Just wait. I is have something else for yous.”

The old man shuffled off and returned with a tattered binder. “This binder is filled with all the engineering drawings of a castle that is built in the far west is, the direction in which yous is travelling.” The old man’s gaze drifted. “As far as I know the castle is inhabited by an entity of evil is. He won the castle as the prize of war. Its lands and peoples he forced into work for him is. I will not go over these drawings with yous as I is no longer sees good. Between the three of yous and these drawings, I believe that yous will find a way to defeat the evil one.”

Jem looked most perplexed out of the three friends, “Why would you tell us this?”

“I am not long for this world my boy.” said the old man. “I is believe that if ever I is have a chance to right a great wrong then this is my chance is. Yous three all with unique and interesting skills is crossed my path and I is believe that it should be no coincidence why yous is here. I want yous Jem, to take these drawings and keep them, but I also would asks yous to seek out some help to take the evil one and his castle.” Then the old man looked straight at Jem and said, “I think that person is yous is.”

Thist shook his head. Kelvin shook his head. Jem shook his head, and then Jem said, “Sure old man, I will do this for you.”

Kelvin shook his head at Jem, “Really?”

Jem nodded, “Really!”

Thist jumped and said, “You know what? I think we should do this; we are travelling that way anyway. Let’s take the plans with us and see who we meet along the way, maybe we can make a good thing out of this.”

Jem and Kelvin looked over at Thist for a moment and then nodded. The conversation lightened and the old man and the boys spoke at length for hours after sunset. Thist asked about the dream tea and the old man showed him how to prepare it. Jem flipped through the four scrolls of drawings and Kelvin oiled his bow.

Thist sipped the warm tea. He had made it for himself in a stone mug.  The old man had warned him to only use the tea sparingly and only before he was to sleep long and restfully. The boys had decided to leave in the early morning to catch the good weather. It wasn’t long before Thist could hear the others snoring. He had tried to fall asleep but was excited about who or what he would meet in his sleep, he mumbled to himself “What an ironic moment.”

He had hardly uttered the words when he found himself standing on a mountain of treasure. He was knee deep in gold coins, rings, jewellery, crowns, pearls, stone gems and gold castings with imbedded jewels. He stooped and scooped up handfuls of the treasure, it was cold to the touch. He let it flow over him in a cascade of treasure rain.

He tried to walk across it but found the treasure cumbersome to walk through. He fell over landing with a splash on the mountain of treasure. An avalanche ensued and the colours sparkled in the light. All the colours of yellow diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and blue and purple shades of all colours in-between, sparkling and shimmering in the light.

BOOK: Finding The Soul Bridge (The Soul Fire Saga Book 1)
9.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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