Bible Ladies (Part 8): Abigail

 

David Meeting Abigail by Rubens (Getty Museum)

 

It has been some time now since I made a posting in the Bible Ladies Series.  I will try to rectify that here.

Proverbs 31 reads in part,

“A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life (verses 10 -12).”

There are few biblical examples which illustrate this than the story of Abigail in the 1 Samuel 25.  She is introduced as the wife of Nabal a wealthy man in the region of Carmel. Nabal is not just wealthy, but “very wealthy” according to verse 2.  Despite this wealth he is depicted as greedy, and disrespectful.  This is shown when David sends men to Nabal and asks for what he might spare for the up keep of David and his men. Nabal responds, “Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where? (verse 11).”  This was in spite of the fact that David and his men had previously protected Nabal’s servants.

The snub towards the future king does not go unnoticed.  David mobilises 400 men to address the insult.  Here we see Abigail’s character revealed.  Verse 3 had already reveled that “She was an intelligent and beautiful woman.” But she is loyal and virtuous as well.  She,  the account continues,  of her own accord,  . . .  “took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seah of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys (verse 18),” and went out to meet David and his advancing men.

She bows herself before David and offers the food to him.  She then essentially entreats David to spare her husband and household.  She notes that “needless bloodshed,” need not be on the future king’s conscience.  She goes on to make reference that David’s line will be a lasting one.

David said to Abigail, ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands (verse 32)’  . . . . “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request’ (verse 35).”

Later Naban dies (possibly from his own excesses). And, When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.” Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife. His servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, “David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife.” She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants (verse 39 -41).”

Abigail, therefore became David’s third wife, and would go on to bear his second son.

She is in brilliant contrast to David’s other wife Bathsheba.  In her case the king is drawn to a woman willing to cheat on her noble husband, which in time leads to her husband’s  death; while Abigail shows virtue and gains a reprieve for her corrupt and disrespectful spouse.  Yes, both become wives of a great man, but it is Abigail who exemplifies Proverbs 31, even for a husband unworthy of her grace.

Padre

 

 

 

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The Stars Rejoice

This is my first attempt at a timed prompt:

sky

The Stars Rejoice

The darkest nights upon a new moon do fall,

Yet the stars rejoice in the opportunity to shine,

They brighter for the lunar disks absence from heaven’s hall,

And for long nocturnal minutes, they paint the heavens in bright array,

All in prelude of the sun’s coming claim of day.

 

Padre (14 minutes + 4 to find the photo)

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: January 15, 2019 Today’s prompt: Use the words new moon/minutes/prelude in a poem

 

A Visit to Penzance and Land’s End

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Land’s End

During our Christmas break we had opportunity to visit Penzance and the nearby St Michael’s Mount.  Penzance unlike St Ives is an identifiable town with the usual seaside amenities, as well as a shopping precinct and High Street.  We did a little shopping and refueled here, and took in some of the sea views before heading to Marazion to view St Michael’s Mount.

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St Michael’s Mount

St Michael’s Mount is a small settlement and castle complex on an island in the bay.  It is accessed by a man-made causeway which is passable during mid and low tides. I had really wanted to see the island ob this trip to Cornwall, as it completed a pairing with my visit to its namesake Le Mont Saint-Michel which is a walled town and abbey on a similar island off the coast of France.

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le Mont Saint-Michel

Both sites have traditions which link them to the archangel Michael, and in the early Medieval period they islands shared monastic patronage.

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St Michael’s Mount

Today, the English site is managed by the National Trust, thought the castle is held on a 999 year lease by the St Aubyn family.

We had some good photo opportunities an captured various aspects of the island before heading to Land’s End.

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Land’s End Complex

Land’s End is a landmark marking the most western point of England’s shore.  It is in the village of Sennen, and is essentially a tourist trap.  The complex and its adjoining parking is private land, and a hefty parking charge is levied even for a brief photo visit.  There are some shops and a picnic area, but the main attraction is the sign marking the point.

While it isn’t the greatest of visitors centres, it is still worth seeing to if nothing else say you have been there.  What is worth seeing though are the views especially as sunset approaches.

All in all it was an interesting day out, and it allowed me to fill in a previously un-visited part of my travel map.

Padre

 

 

 

Star: A Sisters Tale

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source: Quora

As Gwendolyn clicked the lock mechanism, Maya and Breena gave the door a huge shove.  Thilda stood back a couple of feet and aligned a shot ready to loose it into whatever lay beyond.

As the door crashed open, the women were astonished to see a lone figure standing against the far wall of a medium sized chamber. The occupant stood braced with a crescent sharped shield thrust forwards, and a scimitar held at the ready above her head.

The woman gave a start on seeing “the sisters,” and her face dropped its defiant glare, and assumed an air of puzzlement. She still stood ready for defense, but her muscles seemed a bit less tense.

Thilda lightened her pull on her bowstring, and all of the women took a moment to make sense of the situation.

Before them was a tall woman, of nearly six feet in height. She was dressed in male armour of the Ralulee style, but her feminine face, and cornrowed hair made her gender apparent.

“Do you speak ‘Common,'” Breena asked in broken Ralulee.

“Yes,” replied the woman.

“We are going to come into the room slowly, and we will not attack unless you do,” Gwendolyn said, with an uneasy smile.

The woman relaxed all the more, lowering her sword, but maintaining the shield’s position.

The party entered the room, and closed the door behind them. The room was empty except for a few pew-like benches along the side walls. A tapestry depicting a beautiful woman being bowed to by adoring men adorned the wall behind the stranger.

“I am Gwendolyn,” Gwendolyn began, “and the one with the bow is Thilda. The fair one is Breena, and the one in green is Maya.”

“I am Star,” the woman responded, lowering her shield slightly. “Star Enwu.”

Star was beautiful in a subdued kind of way. She had a medium brown complexion, deep brown eyes, and her braided hair was partly covered by a scarf in the Ralulee fashion, giving her a mysterious air.

“How long have you been in here?” Breena asked compassionately, looking at the woman’s fatigued vestige. She could see that Star had a talon wound on the upper part of her sword arm, and similar groves had been cut into her shield.

“A week. I think a week,” she said.

“And when did you last eat?”

“Three days ago, though I still have some water,” Star responded.

By now everyone in the room was more relaxed. And weapons were lowered.

Star was still being cautious, however, and sensing this Breena slide a bag of bread towards her.

Star picked it up, without taking her eyes of the other women, then opening it started to wolf down the biscuit.

“Are you Ralulee?” Thilda asked her abruptly.

“No,” she replied. “A bondswoman of the Ral, but not Ral.”

“So why are you here? Why dressed as one?” Maya asked.

“It was my master’s wish,” she said with some bitterness. “Now, he is far away, and his dog of a son is dead.”

*          *         *

Star Enwu’s mother was born in a farming village in the Green Lands south of the Sultanate. When she was seventeen her village was raided by Ralulee slavers, and the girl was sold into bondage. She ended up in the house of a regional official. She was as tall and attractive as her daughter would become, and was favoured by her master who gave her to his wife as a personal maid.

When she was about twenty she fell pregnant with Star. Some believed that the father was the son of the official, who was of a similar age. Officially, however, Star’s paternity was at the hands of the officer’s stable master, a man of non-Ralulee desert stock.

Star was thus raised as the daughter of the stables. She became a skilled horse woman, and as the only child of her “father,” took on many of the duties a son would have. She learned sword play, and other skills necessary in service of her master’s caravans.

It was in this capacity that she had accompanied the official’s younger son on this expedition to the temple. She was meant only to be the horse-mistress, but when the party’s conjurer interpreted the words of the Oracle Stone, it was decided that her presence would be needed inside.

Padre

Sisters 3

 


 

 

 

 

 

The Mead Case: A Roseman Tale

rosemen

 

Sergeant “Lifter” Lifson stood pensively as the “citizen” continued his tirade.

“. . .  and that’s not the half of it,” the man continued. “You Rosies took your sweet time in getting here.  Don’t you realise that I have a business to run here.  It’s not as if I don’t pay my fair share of taxes, not the mention the “donations” I make to the Watch Benevolence Fund. You just ask your Inspector Cruikshank about that one . . . .”

Lifson, an “original” member of the New Watch or what were more commonly known as the “Rosemen,” finally interrupted the man.

“Sir, I understand you distress.  I do need to know more about the actual case, though.”

The man, a wine and spirits merchant, took a breath.

“Very good Sir,” Lifson began. What exactly is missing?”

“Why, nothing,” replied the man, still rather red faced from his shouting.

“Nothing?”

“That’s just it,” said the man.  They didn’t take anything, they just broke in and left a barrel of Golden Mead.  Same damned thing happened last year.”

“Last year?” Lifter queried.

“Yes, same thing happened a year ago. In fact it’s the anniversary.”

“So it’s trespass you’re concerned about?” Lifson asked.

“Well that and feeling of not being safe in one’s own business,” the merchant said.

“Do you need us to dispose of the bar . . . ?” Lifson began.

“No, in fact it’s good stuff, I had it tested,” the man interrupted.

“Okay, Sir. I have taken some notes and I will get back with you after I have made some inquiries.”

Sergeant Lifson left the shop and took a quick look around the door and windows.  Cases like this one really made him despair.  “I this why I joined the watch?” he thought to himself.  Things were so different back in the old “Crestman” days, policing was real back then,” he mused.

Then he saw it, the glass hadn’t been smashed as he would have expected.  No, it was melted.  The pane had a hole straight through it, and the glass was blistered around the edges.

He made his way back to the watch house, and went to the case archive.  Sure enough the same shop had indeed been broken into the year before.  Though he noted that no mention of the mead was made in the report.

He read a couple of more pages and saw that a similar “burglary” had occurred at the Weasel Tavern, sometime after midnight the following day.

That was it, he would get Watchmen Binman and Fuller and they would stake out the pub after closing.

The proprietor, a man who bore a striking resemblance to the image on the shingle above the door, was not very supportive of having three Rosemen in his establishment after hours.  His objections centered around them helping themselves to drink, though his real concern was the inability to open out of hours.  The possibility of a barrel of free “Golden” wouldn’t be unwelcome either.

In the end, an appeal to the man’s civic duty, and a mention of a visit from some Trading Standards men, seemed to win him over.

The lights were doused and the tavern doors locked just after midnight.  The three Rosies settled in for what could be a longs night.

About one in the morning, a hissing sound could be heard from the ground floor.  Lifson crept down and positioned himself behind the bar, while the two other watchmen readied themselves at the top of the stairs.

A strange glow came from a window pane, as a wizard of sorts placed the end of his staff against the glass.  The pane began to heat and bubble and the shaft pressed through creating an opening. After a minute or so for it to cool, the wizened man put his arm through the hole and opened the latch.  He then climbed through the window and went to open the front door.

From the corner of his eye Lifson saw four similarly dressed men enter the public bar. A grinding noise accompanied their entry, as they slid a barrel of mead into the centre of the room.

Lifson shrank back into the shadows as two of the codgers went to the upper shelf and helped themselves to some costly shots. Then the taller of the two whispered something and the bottles seemed to refill themselves.

At that moment, Lifson blew his whistle and all three watchmen sprung from their hiding places.

“Stop in the name of the King,” Binman bellowed.

Four wrinkled faces turned to him in puzzlement, then the men slowly raised their hands into the air.

“What do we have going on here?” Fuller demanded.

“Well, um, we  . . . ” one of them began.

He was interrupted by the tall figure, who clearing his throat said, “We were trying to get a little refreshment, Constable,” he said.  “You see we drink the same blasted mead for 51 weeks a year. It gets so, so damned monotonous.”

“And?” Lifman interjected.

“We make the stuff ourselves, bees you know, but you can only take so much of it,” the conjurer continued. “So when the head of the order goes on his annual holiday, we make some trades.”

“Usually when people trade, they discuss it with the other party first,” the sergeant said in an earnest tone.

“Really,” said the tall man with a true look of astonishment on his face. He turned to the short plump wizard and said, “You didn’t tell me that part.”

The short man just shrugged, as if he hadn’t known either.

“How are we going to deal with this one, Sarg?” Fuller asked.

“No one’s going to believe it, no matter how we write it up,” Lifman reflected.  “You guys get out of here, and never “trade” again. For now, your superior and our inspector don’t need to know about this.”

“Are we still going to get overtime, Sarg?” Binman asked.

“Yes, just put in your notebook that it was ‘youths’ that were involved, and that we warned them off.”

“Youths, Sarg?” Binman said quizzically.

“Well they looked young for wizards to me,” Lifman said.

“That’s good enough for me,” Fuller said nodding.

“Just when you think you’ve seen everything . . . .”  Lifman trailed off.

 

Padre

 


The Rosemen first developed as minor characters in The Sisters Tales, but some story lines began to emerge in their own right.  Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s prompt this week gave me some great ideas to work with.

Sunday Writing Prompt “5 by 5”

Anniversary, Blistered, Despair, Grinding, Something Seen in the Periphery

Gallery: A Sisters Tale

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©Padre’s Ramblings

 

A long vaulted corridor lay before them. At varying points along its course galleries overlooked it transit of the cloisters. A large wooden door with a wicket stood at the far end. It hallway received some subdued light from narrow windows but this was made even dimmer by the coloured glass panes which filled the frames.

In this gloom, the party could make out what seemed to be three additional prone bodies about fifty yards away. They lay clustered together just shy of the wicket. The “sisters” cautiously began their way towards the figures.

“Something is not right,” said Breena to the others.

“I feel it too,” Maya said in confirmation.

Then there was a scraping, grating sound from the ceiling above them. They paused and looked up, but nothing but the stonework could be detected. The slowly resumed their passage. Suddenly a shadow passed across the corridor near the closest gallery, and a Harpy jumped up and perched on the stone railing overlooking their path.

She screeched loudly and two others appeared in other balconies along the way. The first jumped and hovered, her wings nearly filling the width of the passageway. Thilda was quick with an arrow which caught the creature in the shoulder causing her to land in the hallway. Gwendolyn fired a bolt which struck the figure in the hip. It recoiled and raised a razor-sharp talon preparing to strike. A second arrow from Thilda almost simultaneously struck the Harpy’s breast. It screamed and retreated, trailing blood behind her.

As it passed under the next gallery, the second harpy took her sister’s place. As she landed, Maya began to rapidly spin her left index finger in a circular motion. She then pointed at the Harpy and a whirlwind shot from her fingertip expanding as it approached the fiend. It struck her squarely in the chest and lifted her with such force that she slammed into the ceiling, showering the corridor with feathers. The creature quickly recovered and once again advanced towards the party. It was met this time with a bolt from Gwendolyn’s crossbow which struck her firmly mid chest. She screamed and attempted to rush at Gwendolyn before she could reload. The beast knocked Maya aside as it lunged for “The Washer Woman,” only to receive a sharp stab from Maya’s twisted kris in its flank. The creature tumbled onto its face just short of Gwendolyn.

The third Harpy joined the fray. Its advance was slowed by an icy blast from Breena, who then prepared her quarterstaff.  It moved amazingly quickly, and jumped in a zig-zag pattern from wall to wall in its approach. This would have been an impediment to a lesser archer than Thilda, but she skillfully placed an arrow into the creature’s stomach. Gwendolyn’s shot, however, struck stone and ricocheted down the corridor. As the Harpy reared to strike at Breena, she laid a surprisingly forceful blow across the creatures face.  This set the Harpy back for a moment, and allowed Maya to bring in her kris for a blow to its chest. She struck well, but not without receiving three parallel cuts across her own thigh.  Maya fell to the floor, but another arrow from Thilda struck the harpy in the eye before it could pounce of the stricken Maya.

The party now had to turn its attention to the original attacker, which had backed up against the far door, and stood hissing at the comrades. Caution seemed the sensible strategy, so rather than a frontal attack, the party finished the creature off with missiles from the distance.

Maya’s leg wound was bleeding profusely, and needed Breena’s immediate attention. Thilda and Gwendolyn prepared their weapons, and diligently scanned the galleries for any other movement.   Breena applied pressure and the bleeding slowed, and it was then bathed with a water and wine. Her silk wrap had stopped one claw from doing serious damage, but the remaining two looked bad. Under the circumstances it seemed the perfect time to test the effectiveness of the “Reviving Potion” they had discovered. A small amount was mixed with water, and Maya took small sips. The wounds began to close on their own accord, and while it left two thick white scars, and a thinner mark behind, she was “cured” within ten minutes.

“This is astonishing,” Breena said. “Far more powerful than I had expected. I am glad I diluted it.”

“I am just glad it worked,” Maya replied.

There was much to do in the hallway. The arrows needed to be collected. The Harpies needed to be confirmed as dead. And the figures near the wicket needed to be examined as well.

When they arrived at the far end of the corridor, it was confirmed that the figures on the floor were three Ralulee warriors. Each like their earlier colleague has wounds consistent with the harpies’ talons, and their organs had been devoured. One of the figures was wearing robes rather than armour, and the staff next to him seemed to Maya to be a rather second rate standard. He had a couple of scrolls in a pouch which too were of rather amateurish quality.

“We have a novice conjurer, here,” Maya said after examining the man’s belongings.  If they were trusting him for protection, it explains the results”

The other men included a man of about twenty-five with gilded armour, and a well-groomed pointed beard. The other was a man of about fifty, whose belongings were rather ordinary.

The doorway behind them had several deep gashes as well which looked as if the Harpies had tried to gain entry.

“I wonder if anyone made it to the other side?” Gwendolyn said. “It would explain the marks.”

“Only one way to find out,” Thilda said, as she gave the door handle a hard turn. “It’s locked. Looks like a Gwen job.”

Padre

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This tale follows: Threshold

Sisters 3

 

Threshold: A Sisters Tale

 

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©Padre’s Ramblings

The sisters stood before two massive oak doors on the East end of the temple. The right hand door had a smaller wicket gate built into it. Maya stepped forward saying, “Allow me.”

Maya produced a small cage from the folds of her saree, which contained two white mice, each about the size of a hamster. They blinked and looked expectantly at her.

As she removed the first, which had a single black line of fur across its neck, Gwendolyn asked, “Is that a, um, familiar?”

“No it’s better than that,” Maya responded, setting the rodent down in from of the door. “It’s a Trap Rat.”  The mouse moved surprising quickly along the threshold, sniffed, and then climbed the posts and lintel, then climbed down and sat by her foot.

“No traps on the exterior,” Maya announced.

They readied their weapons and Gwendolyn gave the wicket gate a push, it opened smoothly and quietly despite its weight and age. The peered into the gloom beyond, which had an eerie glow to it rather than the total darkness they had anticipated. The foyer chamber, a space about ten feet square was empty, and they could see the towering nave beyond.

Maya again let the Trap Rat loose, and it scurried about the space, it stopped in four places and deposited a pellet which gave off a weak glow of its own.

“Don’t step in the poo,” Maya instructed. They entered the space, keeping the edges of the chamber avoiding the area between the glowing pellets. When they were safely in, Maya took her short staff and gently pressed on the floor in the isolated area. Immediately a trap door opened and they could briefly glimpse a dark pit before it snapped back.

They cautiously moved into the nave.  At each side of the foyer chamber was a small alcove. The two were designed the same with a granite table at its back wall with a tray of three identical glass decanters upon it.  There was a strange inscription written is gold lettering above each table.

“It’s written in the old tongue”, Breena said. “The one on the left says, ‘Traveller be refreshed.’ The one on the right reads, ‘Devotee be revived.'”

Maya for the third time let loose the rodent.  It repeated its investigations, but returned with out leaving a marker. Maya then took the second mouse from the cage, and stepped into the “Traveller’s” alcove. This mouse bore a vaguely skull-like patch of dark fur on its back. She set the rodent on the table, and it went to the first bottle, sniffed its stopper, and then suddenly fell on its side, with its tongue hanging out.

“Poison,” Maya announced.

“Is it dead?” Thilda asked.

“Sort of,” Maya responded, just as the mouse shook and regained its feet.

It repeated the test on the middle bottle, with no reaction, and then “died” again on the third.

“We can take the middle bottle, it is a strengthening potion,” Maya said. “It makes the weak stronger and rives the fatigued.”

In the “Devotee’s” chamber two bottles were similarly found to be “reviving potion,” which gives some measure of healing to those who are injured.

Breena nodded knowingly as Maya explained it to the others.

“They are yours Breena,” Gwendolyn promised, “unless we need them to get out of here.”

Beyond the alcoves were rows of wooden pews facing an elaborate sculpture at the West end of the nave.  At its centre stood an eight foot tall marble statue of a beautiful woman.  Her figure and features were of the type which occupy teenage boy’s fantasies. At her feet were life-sized granite figures of four men, each was bowed face down before her. The men were positioned at the four non-cardinal compass points and had the garb and features of different lands. Gwendolyn readily saw that one represented the kingdom. a second was Ralulee, but the others were in outlandish attire she didn’t recognise.

Throughout their investigations, nothing stirred except for the party and the mice. To the north of the statue was a narrow doorway. The party moved towards it with care. As they passed through they could see it was a long passageway to some sort of cloisters. But, immediately past the doorway lay the body of a Ralulee warrior. He was not more than a week dead, and was fairly well preserved as it seemed that his organs had been removed. Closer investigation revealed that he had three large talon wounds across his chest, and another set on his right thigh.

“He has been eaten,” Breena declared.

Padre

Sisters 3

This tale follows: No Man Shall Pass

Many of the ideas contained in this episode were inspired by the Wizard Mortidor, long may he and his mice prosper.

 

The Siblings of Dark and Light

man standing on rock near on seashore

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

In a looking-glass we seek clarity,

Light bent back to us by Reflection, our images to see.

But Reflection has two siblings, each darker in their tone than she,

Silhouette, her lovely name a mockery –

As her inky form stands obstructing all things bright,

And so too their brother Shadow, who hides from truth and light,

He lurks behind us mimicking the shades of night.

 

Padre

Sammi Cox Prompt: Silhouette and 65 words

The Well: A Sisters Tale

 

Image result for desert well

source: Beck’s Baptist

The storm finally broke, and it took some effort to move the piled sand from the doorway, but fortunately the door opened inwards. The landscape had been transformed by the days of blowing sand, but the forlorn towers still provided useful landmarks for them to get their bearings and to find the well.

It was a clear, hot day and the companions needed to squint against the brightness. The sand was nearly flat, without any disruptions say for the ripples left by the wind. Under these conditions it took them two hours to make the shadow of the first tower. This structure was shorter than the one they had recently occupied, it lacking the fifth signal level. In its place were more pronounced battlements, and the fourth story was laced with archers’ loops.

It was decided that they would forego a search of the tower, and after a brief rest set off after the much needed water.

They made the second tower just before noon. It like the first they had encountered was a signal tower. The third tower was clear in the distance, and they hoped to make the well and set camp by late afternoon.

The sand continued to take a uniform appearance until they were about a half mile from the next tower. Then three sets of eight indentations in parallel linear patterns became evident. Each set was divided in pairs of four, and occasionally a long grove would appear in the centre of the pairs before disappearing again. What made the discovery more disturbing is that each hole was about the size of a goose egg.

“Anyone have any ideas,” Gwendolyn asked, as she checked the horizon in each direction.

“They are definitely tracks,” Thilda concluded, “and they seem to be going the same direction as we are.”

They continued on their course and tried to stay out of the direct path of the imprints. Then as they started to climb a small dune, they could hear a clicking noise ahead.  They dismounted, and Seymour crested the dune, and called back to them, “It’s only scorpions.”

Yes, they were only scorpions, and each one was the size of a Great Dane. The creatures raised their tails to strike, and Seymour readied his axes. Just then Thilda and Maya topped the mound.

Maya’s jaw dropped, then she exclaimed, “I detest scorpions.” She then let a fireball loose at one of the beasts. It was knocked backwards, but not killed. Thilda shot an arrow into the head of a second creature, as Maya prepared another shot.

Breena and Gwendolyn had by this time had joined, leaving Wil with the animals. Breena muttered an incantation, then said “Freeze.” A blast of blue-white crystals formed on the shell of the third creature and its legs buckled. It fell on its side motionless.

Gwendolyn and Thilda both shot at the second scorpion at the same time. Thilda’s shaft penetrating its flank, and Gwendolyn’s its belly. It too staggered, but then lunged forward to sting, but Seymour’s axe sliced the barb of the creature’s tail. It then collapsed, but not before showering Seymour with fluid from its injured tail.

The previous singed animal, had recovered and was raising its pincers in a threatening gesture when a second fireball rocked it. It began to sputter boiling liquid from its mouth, and then fell head first into the sand.

“This kind of burns,” Seymour said holding up one arm which was beginning to blister.

“Bring whatever water we have,” Breena said as she started to douse the burns with her own water bottle.

They flushed the wound as best they could, and Breena put a salve on it. “We need to get him to water soon.”

They quickly recovered their arrows, and made for the third tower with more haste than was prudent in the hot conditions. Once in the shadow of the tower, they located the well only about twenty yards away.  They were lucky, the map had been accurate, and the water was sweet. They drew several buckets full and irrigated Seymour’s arm. Then Breena applied more salve, and bandaged it carefully.

The animals were then watered, and drinking containers filled. Rather than forcing the door of the tower, the companions pitched their tents in its lee. Seymour would sleep that night, and Gwendolyn would take his watch.

Padre


This Sisters Tale follows: The Tower

Word of the Day Challenge: Forlorn
Sisters 3

The Red Knight

 

The Red Knight

 

Here lies Red Knight –

Sacrificed on behalf of his queen.

A rook he did block, setting himself in between –

All for the sake of three little squares –

His untimely demise, though few were aware –

Led the queen to bring mate to the ebony throne-chair.

Here lies the Red Knight –

His quiet honour – forever shall gleam –

A model to all  – of service extreme.

 

Padre

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Thursday photo prompt: Honour #writephoto