Tolkronieu Simner~The Angel’s Tear: Story Time With Tim

Greetings and salutations, faithful reader! Welcome to another week of Story Time With Tim! This week I have for you an original tale I once wrote back in 2000. I had intended it to be a novel series however I never was able to take the concept any further than this particular story. One day, I may get back around to the story and reimagine my Simner (pronounced: Summer) character with a story worthy of her origins.

But, for now, here is an early attempt to tell her tale. It’s really not very good. Particularly when compared to so many of my other writings around that time. Still, it works as an example of the development of my writing, so I think it’s worth sharing here.

Without further ado, enjoy this offering of Story Time With Tim!

***

TOKRONIEU SIMNER

THE ANGEL’S TEAR

BY TIMOTHY S PURVIS

Somewhere, in the deepest catacombs of time, there exists a place unparalleled in beauty.  At the very core of this world, lies in wait a city-nation.  It is an elaborate city, decorated in the finest of wares from every scape of reality and fiction.  Yet, it exists with quaint simplicity.  The town itself thrives in coordination with nature.  Nature’s abundant greenery grows and supports the city’s landscape.  It is what man has sought out for millennia: Utopia.

Utopia, of course, is not this nation’s name but rather its description.  Its name has been lost in the transcripts of time.  Yet, the elders remember.  While the common folk that inhabit the land pay it of no heed that they have never heard their city’s name.

Nedric Calicdrow is one such common man whom knows not the varied truths.  But, were you to ask him, he would not care.  Nedric is this nation’s chosen warrior.  He is an Elf of highest stature and caretaker to those in need.  It is a fine day of delight as Nedric makes his way up the steps of the mountain sided rise of the monastery.  Within its holy halls, waits his friend and closest confidant, Gothic.

“Greetings, my short-eared fellow!”

“Ah, hail, fellow Nedric!  Tis a marvelous day for this scout.”

“Aye.”

Brief salutations having been exchanged, the two elven men make their way back down the forested ridge and to the fields on the city outskirts.  It is a short walk for the two as they reach the first meadow of the expansive fields.  They stop short of entering the meadow and look out towards its center to see a young girl playing.  Nedric smiles and walks a short distance before yelling out the girl’s name.

“Simner!”

Excited, the girl jumps to her feet and looks in the voice’s direction.  There she sees her father motioning with his right arm for her to come to him.  Simner finishes gathering the flowers she had been collecting and rushes in Nedric’s direction.  It doesn’t take the five-year-old long to reach her father.

“You mind your mother while we are away.  Gothic and I shall return by nightfall.”

Simner leaps into her father’s arms and grabs him in a deep embrace.  Then she looks him in the eyes and holds out her hand full of wildflowers.

“Ok.  Here, daddy.  Got you these.”

Nedric takes the gift and takes a whiff of the sweet pollen.  He can tell that this year’s harvest will be plentiful.  He smiles at the girl in his arms.

“They’re beautiful, Simner!  Thank you.  Now run along home.  We will return afore long.”

With a kiss upon Simner’s brow, Nedric sets her down to the ground and watches her make her way back up the hillside towards their home along the ridge’s edge.  Then he and Gothic hurry themselves off in the opposite direction.  Their destination lying at the river’s bank some distance away.

***

“…so it was some time afore Crhin regained his composure!”

Gothic relates the final bit of his tale of an earlier meeting with a fellow priest.  Both he and Nedric press further down a barely trodden trail overgrown with varied specimens of the local greenery.  Nedric pushes aside a large fern that blocks his progression and holds it long enough for Gothic to proceed past him.  After such he follows after the priest.

“Sounds to me as if Crhin is quite verily well loosing his noggin.  All the fellow speaks of anymore are wars and devils.”

Nedric speaks with a smile and a slight laugh.  He and Gothic had been friends since childhood and both were more than well acquainted with Crhin.  So it was no surprise to Nedric that the man was verbally abusing the townsfolk again.  Even so, the two men resolved to put the fellow in his place.  However, such pleasantries would have to wait until after their current mission was fulfilled.  This of which consisted of the mandatory testing of the waters.

As of late, quite a few of the locals were falling ill of some undetermined reasoning.  And as Nedric was the village warrior, so it too was that he would accompany Gothic to the riverfront.  It wouldn’t be until several hours later that they would finally arrive at the riverfront.  And being such a long trek, more than enough time to vent about local madmen.

“I am thinking this particular walk is partaking a much longer avenue than usual.”

“Aye, Nedric.  Tis unusual growth in the vegetation as well.”

“Mayhaps the water is bad?”

Gothic looks to Nedric with a curious expression.  And weighs carefully his reply.

“Let us hope not.  It will be a long enough day as it is without beholding the awareness of contaminated waters.”

Nedric merely nods in agreement as the two reach the riverfront.  It is nearly dusk as they begin setting up their gear to test the waters.  Gothic pulls from his heavy coat a corked flask and opens it.  He proceeds to gather a sample of water and recorks the bottle.  Just beyond him, Nedric sniffs the air and perks his pointed ears.  Gothic regards him for a moment.

“Doth thou sense some anomaly?”

“Nay, Gothic.  Yet…the air seems a bit foul.  And, listen…”

“Eh?  I hear nothing.”

“Precisely.”

Gothic quirks his left brow in contemplation and hurries his gathering.  Instruments of a scientific function accept the flask into their workings.  Gothic then reseals the instruments and preps them for the walk back to the village for final analysis.

“Strange the motion of the front this night.”

“How so?”

Nedric asks of Gothic carefully regarding his old friend.  Gothic returns the look.

“Need you ask?  It was you whom brought it afore us.  Tis not right that the riverfront should be so still.”

“Aye…it is as if life is…hiding.”

“In more ways than one.  The river itself is stilled.  Notice you not?”

“The bubbling creeks, I have.  Yet, I would assume the undertow…”

Gothic confirms his fears.  He shakes his head in the gesture of a ‘no’ prompting Nedric to frown.  The undercurrents of the river have ceased.  This would imply that the source of the river is dammed.

“We should investigate the source on the morrow.  For now, let us return to the village.  The air is much in chill this eve.”

With no arguments from Gothic, both the men proceed back to the village.  During the trek, Nedric feels an uncomfortable surge flow through him.  Gothic takes note of his tensing.

“What is it that perturbs you, my friend?”

“A chill in the wind.”

There is a tone to Nedric’s voice that implies far more than a simple blowing of the wind.  Gothic recognizes it.  And turns to view the surrounding forestry with Nedric.  They stand for moments.  Unsatisfied, both men reluctantly proceed back to the village.  They know that they will determine the source of the chill soon enough.

***

Simner patiently stares out the window awaiting her father’s return home.  A short distance behind the young girl, comes the skittle of her mother’s feet as the woman readies the dinner table.  The woman views her daughter looking out into the darkness.

“Come now, Simner, your father will be home soon.”

Simner looks at her mother briefly, and takes note of her smile.  She knows her mother is right.  Yet, an unusual tingly sensation had been nagging Simner all throughout the day.  Her brows furrow tensely as she tries to determine the meaning behind the nervousness.

Tiny ears perk at the rustling of leaves just beyond sight of the hillside homestead.  Then, Simner sees her father approaching the entrance to the house.  She rushes to greet him as he enters.

“Ach, Simner.  You act as if I might never come home again!”

Simner merely looks at her father tenderly.  And he brushes his nose against hers, then sets her back down to the ground.

“I see it is time to dine!”

“Aye, love.  It takes you long enough to find your way home.  What…didst thou and Goth fall in trance with Echo?”

Simner watches as her father and mother share a short embrace.  She notices that her father is whispering something into her mother’s ear.  Then he moves away and makes his response to his wife’s jest.

“Heh.  Funny, my dear.”

The family takes their places at the table to eat.  Nedric begins to relate what he and Gothic had discovered at the riverfront.  He, however, leaves out of the relation the discomfort he felt on the hike back to the village.  All the while, Simner transfixes her stare to the window, and the darkness beyond.

***

A violent and high-pitched scream awakens Nedric from his slumber.  He quickly leaps from his place beside his wife and rushes to the window.  Nedric takes view of an incredible streak of light screaming towards the riverfront.  Just beyond, at the village edge, many denizens have already exited their abodes to behold the miraculous sight.

Nedric instructs his wife and Simner to await in the abode as he goes to investigate the strange occurrence.  It is half-past the witching hour as Nedric sprints full speed through the dense foliage towards the front.  It takes him nearly an hour but his way is slightly illuminated by an unusual light emanating from the river.  Fear drives Nedric to push himself faster.  In his mind, a fire may be raging.

Upon reaching the front, Nedric’s fear is replaced by sheer curiosity.  The spectacle before him is one of awe.  An object tiny and round lays within the water of the river at the center.  Fortunately, the object is within the shallow ends, and Nedric needs not dive for it.  He approaches carefully as the brilliant illuminance fills the night sky.

Kneeling into the water near the palm-sized object, Nedric picks the strange thing up.  It glows brightly for moments in rays blinding to most men.  Yet, Nedric stares at the thing fixedly.  Seconds have passed and suddenly the object dims, revealing its details.  Nedric sees it perfectly now.

He stands up from the water barely noticing how drenched his pant leg is on this chilled night.  Stars shine brightly anew as the illuminance is dissipated.  Now Nedric begins his trek back to the village.

At nearly three in the morning, Nedric arrives back at Gothic’s abode and summons his friend to behold the thing.

“This is what made such a shriek?”

“It is, Gothic.  What do you make of it?”

“It…I don’t know.”

Gothic looks to Nedric in an embarrassing blush.  But Nedric motions his embarrassment away pointing to the fact that it fell from the skies and the likes of such none have ever seen.

The father agrees to take the thing and examine it.  Though he feels it may take several days, if ever, to ascertain its exact nature.

“Take your time, Gothic.  What puzzlement is this?  First the front and now…”

“Indeed.  Verily strange.”

The two men part ways for the night as Gothic proceeds back into his small roomed abode.  His home standing affixed to the village church.  The illumination is light within his home for he was hastened to answer to Nedric’s calls.  Curious yet exhausted all at the same time, Gothic decides to put the objext to the side and catch up on some sleep.  However, the remainder of his night is not as smooth as he would have hoped.

A restless sleep it was that came to Gothic.  It was nearly five in the a.m. when the truth awoke him from his slumber.  Gothic sat up with a fright in his bed.  Around him, he found himself bathed in the brightest light.  At that moment, Gothic turned his head into the brightest of the illuminance.  And to his shock and surprise, floated before him a glorious angel.  And Gothic cried out with all his astonishment.

“Isabelle!!  How…how can this be!?”

Gothic’s right hand was held just above his right brow as he recognized the angel before him as that of his former wife.  Her passing had come just a few years earlier.  That had been during a particularly poor year for joy.  It was also during that year that their son had disappeared along with many other of the village children.

Now it was that Isabelle was before Gothic, looking upon him.  Isabelle smiled at him as he spoke his words.  Light glistened from within her translucent form.  Her short hair as represented in life, flowed smoothly across her forehead.

“Gothic…know you not that in this life…all is possible?”

Gothic slowly let his right hand fall to his side as the luminance of his wife began to fade so that he might see her fully.

“I know this, love.  But…why?”

“So many things…so much to say.  Alas, this will have to wait for the time when you will join me in the beyond.  Now, there is great urgency about.”

Isabelle’s expression of passion changed to that of fortitude.  Gothic listened intently as Isabelle began to explain the reasoning behind her being at his bedside hovering as a ghost in the wind.

“…so it is to say, my beloved Gothic, that this object is of dire consequence.  It must be harbored within great protective rites.”    

With her soliloquy abated, Gothic understood the nature of the thing, which from the heavens fell.  And he knew the importance of its being.  There was only one other he trusted with such knowledge.

“Farewell, my husband…”

“No…you can’t…”

“We will speak…soon enough.  And we will have all of eternity to do it in.”

The angel smiled as she dissipated leaving Gothic in a wary state of mind.  He remained awake for the onset of dawn.  And upon the sun’s arrival, Gothic took himself to the residence of Nedric.

***

As dawn arose, Nedric and his wife were already awake.  They watched as the sun peered from behind the distant mountains.  Neither spoke.  They just held each other as if it were their last moments upon the world.

From atop the old tree stump of large Metalus Oak, Nedric looked to his side to see Gothic rushing up the hill.  Nedric looked to his wife beside him and she knew that the priest had dire information for her husband.  Nedric stood up as his wife remained seated.  He strolled down the carved stairs within the side of the stump and met Gothic coming up the side path to their home.

“Gothic, old fellow.  Are you out of breath?”

Nedric chided as a winded Gothic made his way to Nedric’s side.  A smile crossed Nedric’s face though none appeared upon Gothic’s.  This let Nedric know that his younger friend had more than important news of a grave nature.

“Nedric…*whew*…”

“Hah.  More exercise is needed I see!”

“Aye.  However, now…now is no time for jests.”

“Bout this object?  What hath thou discovered?”

Gothic takes Nedric by the arm and leads him to a private segment of trees surrounding Nedric’s home.  It is then that the priest unveils a key and hands it to Nedric.

“This key will unlock the Angel’s Tear.  It is within a chest stowed away in mine cellar.”

A quirked brow crosses Nedric’s forehead.

“This object has a name?”

“So to speak.  Last night, my wife beseeched me to care for this object at all costs.  She instructed me to secret it away.  I tell you what I have told you because it is you who found it.  Truly, it is a gift from the heavens.  It will bring peace to the lands.  So it is said.”

“So it is said?  But your wife has come to you?  A vision?”

“In spirit.  She was.”

Gothic gasps for air as his chest continues to heave and steady itself.  His heart rate begins to slow.  Nedric rests his hand upon gothic’s shoulder.

“Then it is we will protect it.”

He turns to put the key in a safe place.  Gothic grabs Nedric by the arm.  He pulls Nedric nearer him to speak more softer of another thing.

“There…is something else.  This…this no one else may know.  It will be important to know when you hide this key.”

“Aye?  What is it?”

The sounds of the forest are all any possible bystanders may hear as Gothic silently relays his secret to Nedric as he begins to turn to some extent…white.

***

Sun pours in through young Simner’s window, beaming into her eyes as she tries to maintain slumber.  Unfortunately the day has other ideas.  So the little girl gets up and gets dressed.

Minutes later, Simner is raiding the kitchen for something to eat because she loves to eat breakfast.  It is her favorite time to eat.  Plus she has always heard it was the most important meal of the day.  And she is one to value importance.

A short time later, as Simner sits at the table eating her breakfast, her head barely visible over the table top, Nedric enters the house.  He amuses himself for a moment at the sight of his daughter and at her vertical ineptness.  Simner sees her father and waves.  Nedric just smiles back.  He waits for a few moments before requesting Simner’s presence in his study.  Nedric, of course, let’s Simner finish her breakfast first.

Simner enters her father’s massive study and sees him knelt before a homemade cross.  She has always had a fascination for his cross and hopes to one day be given it.  Right now, however, Simner cautiously and silently approaches her father and awaits for him to end his secret prayers.

Nedric’s head raises and he stares at the cross for a moment before turning to view Simner.  He smiles and motions for her to join him on his couch.  Which she gladly does.

“What is it, daddy?”

A moment of silence permeates the room.  The only illumination in it comes from streaks of light pouring through a stained glass window.

“I want to give you something.”

Nedric pulls out the key he received from Gothic.  He hands it to Simner.  She somewhat plays with the string attached through the key.  Then she looks up at her father.

“What’s this?”

“It’s a key.”

“Well, yeah, I can see that!  What’s it too?”

He chuckles to himself over the bluntness of his child and begins to explain to her the importance of maintaining possession of the key.

“You have to make sure to keep it hidden.  Tell no one about it.  It is a matter of peace and war.  Someday, you will know its importance.  For now, stow it away.  It opens the box in Gothic’s cellar.  Open it not.  Least…not until you know when it is to be gotten.”

“Ok.  And when will that be?”

“In time.  You will know.”

The little girl doesn’t say anymore.  She knows her father has entrusted her to something very important.  Looking in his eyes, she can tell he knows what truths the mysterious key hides.  She closes her eyes as Nedric kisses her on the forehead.

***

For the majority of the morning, Simner notices quite a few denizens in the town rushing about madly as if searching to fulfill some dire need on time.  She had never witnessed such an occurrence before.  Now she wonders where exactly her father went and if he is involved with whatever madness is occurring.

Beyond Simner, sitting quietly upon a chair staring into nothing, her mother silently prays to god.  She is afraid.  The woman doesn’t know what of.  She just knows that the fear is there.  She knows that somewhere in town, her husband is negotiation a deal with the Council.  But what of no one knows.  She also knows that several members of the Elven militia have been scattering themselves abroad for many hours for some reason or another.  Before he left, Nedric had told his wife to not leave the house regardless of the noise abroad.  And she had agreed.  He looked pale and panicked.  And the woman is afraid of what that means.

***

The noon sun shone brightly in the sky as the common folk were busy with their everyday tasks.  All was fine and well until half past noon.  It was then that the inevitable took place.

Above in the sky, the sun was blotted out by an unknown source.  Panic soon engulfed the village as a massive horde of Jrim Limn soldiers invaded the townsquare.  What guards had been placed on the outskirts of town had been quickly eviscerated.  Now the common folk were at the mercy of the Jrim Limn forces.

Despite the early warning, the Council hadn’t realized the true danger they were in until this moment had arrived.  As the elite members of the Council hurried themselves to help what people they could evacuate town, Nedric began the counter assault against the horde.  He had already put together a large group of young combatants eager to prove their worth to the guard.  Nedric knew it would take more than sheer bravado to conquer the day and live.

“Hurry!!  Hurry!!”

The priest Gothic cried to nearby townsfolk trying to escape the bloody and brutal carnage unleashed by the Jrim Limn horde.  As many denizens found their fates shredded upon the ground, those that could rushed into Gothic’s sanctuary.  None of the horde dared enter the grounds.  Fear prevented them.

That is, the entire horde knew this fear save one.  The lord of the horde, Taalius.  The most gruesome of the horde, Taalius had met his fate a long time ago.  And now he was here to take what he was sent for, that which was sent from heaven.

Satisfaction was not one of the words in Taalius’ vocabulary.  And he demonstrated this fact with every ill-conceived answer he was given on the object’s whereabouts by rendering from limb from limb his hapless victims.  Shrieks of terror emanated from his vicinity.  And he savored it.

“Nedric!”

Gothic cries out to his friend who draws nearer the church.  Nedric places his hand to Gothic’s shoulder as he takes in the fates of his people.

“Gothic, I have failed.”

“Nay.  There are too many.  As we are too few.  But…I hear tale from a few of the injured that the leader is Taalius.  Somewhere in the heart of the city is where I presume him to be.”

Nedric looks down and shakes his head sternly.  He breathes heavily and brings his Metalus Oak bow to bare.

“Then we shall have to even the odds….Taalius…”

With no further words, Nedric races to the town’s center to find his quarry.  Gothic watches him run off and shouts out his words of caution.

“Careful, my friend!  And Godspeed to you…”

***

Simner looks out the window to their living room and sees the smoke rolling off the roofs of buildings in the not so far distance.  Tears fill her eyes as she hears the screams of villagers.  Simner looks to her mother who has her head in her hands.  She grieves deeply with light sobs.  Simner can’t stand to see her mother cry and she remembers what her father told her about the key.

“They must be after the box!”

The little girl shouts out as she races to her bedroom.  Her mother looks up to see Simner heading to her room.  She cries after her,

“Simner!  You stay in your room!  Your…your dad wants us to wait here!”

“Ok”

Simner yells back seizing the key from her dresser and silently crawling out her bedroom window.  She rushes down the back path as fast as her little legs will carry her.  Her destination is the church.  It is where Gothic’s cellar is as well as his wine collection.  Now she knows and feels the urgency to protect what is in that cellar.

***

Flames rise all about Nedric as he bares witness to the Jrim Limn horde setting the buildings ablaze.  He vows to stop them after he deals with one loose end.  Then, he sees his target.  Nedric comes over the rise on the path quickly and darts unto the top of one of the low ground slopped houses.  He leaps from one fiery roof to another until he is close enough to take a shot.

Nedric draws his bow and cocks his arrow.  It doesn’t take long for him to make his mark.  The arrow flies through the air and strikes Taalius through the shoulder.  The beastly creature draws back in anguish and grabs his shoulder.  He see Nedric leap down from the building top nearby.  And he finds himself in awe as the living elf flails himself through leaping fire to get to him.  The wound upon his shoulder heals itself and the pain ceases in Taalius’ right shoulder.  It is then he gives his greeting to,

“Nedric!”

Taalius holds his arms wide open as if to give Nedric a large and long bear hug.

“Neddy!  How ya been?”

Nedric pushes the comment to the side of his mind and cocks another arrow.

“Taalius…I don’t believe thou were invited here.  Take your force and leave.”

Nedric points the arrow straight for Taalius’ chest.  The creature laughs mightily.  His long dark hair flows around his shoulders hiding what’s left of the arrow wound.

“Please, Nedric.  I have come for but one thing…I would ask you for it, but I doubt you would willingly hand it over.”

“Never.”

“Of course not.  Which is why I spared us both the bother of negotiations and just took your little village by storm.  And now, you WILL tell me where the object is!”

Taalius wastes no more words as he rushes Nedric.  The cocked arrow Nedric had held flies loose and penetrates the heart of the rushing beast.  Taalius stumbles momentarily then lets loose a smile.

“You always said I didn’t have a heart!”

“I was hoping you’d prove me wrong.”

Nedric replies to Taalius’ chides just as the beast backhands the smaller elf.  Nedric gets flung backwards and into a building side.  Taalius draws from his scabbard a long and sharp broadsword.

“For you, Nedric.  I will do you the honor…of your dying by the sword.”

Nedric grabs a wooden pole of Metalus Oak and brings it to bare just as Taalius brings down his sword.  The pole absorbs the impact as Nedric uses his sideways momentum to knock Taalius backwards several steps.  Then he swivels around into another parry as Taalius swings the sword again.  Nedric slams the pole into Taalius’ ribcage forcing the tall creature down unto the ground.  Nedric swivels the pole into a swing and batters the Jrim Limn lord’s jaw.

Taalius swivels around to avoid another punishing blow.  He counterattacks with his broadsword cleaving clothing from Nedric’s right arm.  After several thrusts and parries, Taalius manages to push Nedric back several steps allowing him to take in the view of the village burning to the ground.  Screams of terror continue to permeate the midday’s air and Taalius is loving it.  He thanks the dark lord for allowing him to blot out the sun so as to savor this victory as he would in the night.

Nedric rushes the momentarily distracted Taalius in hope of using the pole to impale the creature through the throat.  Taalius however deftly brushes aside the long pole with his left hand and thrusts his broad sword out with his right hand in one movement.  The broadsword finds its mark impaling Nedric through the heart.  Nedric lets loose a surprised expression.  Yet, he doesn’t make a sound as he drops the pole he had been brandishing.

“Evil has permeated your heart, Nedric.  And let it be known that that is no pun but truth.  Had you not sought my throat, and only my unconscious body, you may yet still be alive!”

Nedric swallows as his yes begin to dim.  He knows that Taalius speaks truth for once in his dark existence.

“Oh.  And I know where the ‘Tear’ is.”

This statement prompts Nedric to view Taalius with his mouth agape.

“Yes.  You see, I knew you would take it to….where else, but the church!  I just wanted you here…so that I….might defeat you once and for all.”

As Nedric looks past the large beast towards the church, Taalius withdraws his sword from his chest cavity.  Nedric’s body falls limp to the ground as Taalius stands triumphant.

***

Simner rushes to the church.  She hears the sounds of battle starting to trail off.  She is not sure why, yet.  However, she sees the church’s back way and opens the door to enter its darkened halls.  She navigates the church’s maze of halls until she finds her way to the dark cellar.  She is not tall enough to reach the light switch, so, instead, she lights a candle and makes her way through the incredibly large cellar.  It runs the length of the church and the box could be anywhere in the room.  Her instincts tell her to proceed further though.

Soon enough, she has found what she had been looking for.  Simner prays that the object, whatever it is, is still in the box.  She uses the key to open the box.  Suddenly a glow illuminates the entirety of the cellar.  Frightened, Simner shuts the lid back and locks the box.  She holds it close to her as her heart thumps.  Whatever it was that she saw, it was important enough for the beasts of the night to attack the village.  She heard several villagers talking of the event in rushed tones, about how the Jrim Limn hordes had come.  And that scared her.  She’s still scared.

“I sense your fear, child.”

A dark and sinister voice culls from behind her.  Simner doesn’t turn around, only she looks up to see the most demonic elf she had ever seen staring down at her.  Upon his hands, at the tips of his fingers, she sees long claws.

“Let me have that box, girl.  Or I will render you about as useful as a skull doorstop.”

Simner nearly screams when off in the background, a battle cry emanates.  The dark creature, Taalius, looks to the left momentarily by the cry.  This is all the opportunity for Simner as she darts off into the dark.  Taalius doesn’t waste a beat as he chases after her through the dark maze of wine bottles.  He cuts through the bottles with his claws, sending glass sailing all over the room’s floor.  Simner, however, doesn’t hesitate as she leaps from the floor evading the glass and pushes her tiny body through an open vent that she had hid in before.  She maneuvers herself through the shaft just as a long, clawed arm swipes beside her.  Simner pushes further into the vent ignoring the yells from the beast.

***

Within the city’s confines, the wave of Jrim Limn soldiers are on the run from a fiercer foe as an entire battalion of dwarven warriors has arrived to assist the elven village.  Jrim Limn upon Jrim Limn is laid to waste under the Dwarves more brutal assault.  The Dwarven lord, Garnell, recognizes the body of Nedric the village warrior.  He rushes to Nedric’s side to find that all life has fled his body.

“What insult is this!?  Find the being who did deliver this final blow so that I might smite him!”

Several Dwarven warriors heed his command and search out the assassin amongst the Jrim Limn horde.  Whilst the remainder of the horde is being snubbed out of existence, Taalius is making his way from the depth of the church.  He wastes no time with the sickly warriors within or the weak priest, he is after the cause of the commotion beyond.  Gothic places his body in front of several small, injured children.  Taalius ignores him as he walks out the front door and screams for his second in command.  None answer.  Then he knows the reason.  Several Dwarven warriors rush Taalius.  He skillfully drives them apart and slays them, but he knows he cannot possibly hold his own against a whole battalion and chooses to abandon his quest.  He remembers the child…and her scent.  He knows that she is the daughter of Nedric.   And he will come again for her.  Taalius rushes out of the city limits as fifty Dwarves give chase having seen him defeat two of their own.  Amongst the fifty pursuers is Garnell.

***

It is well into the afternoon three days after the assault.  The village will take months to recover from the physical loss.  And to most, there will never be a recovery for the emotional loss of that day.  This is no truer than with Simner’s mother who grieves heavily over the loss of her husband.  She lays hunched over her couch end with her head and face into the arm.  Gothic gives comfort the best he can.  While, just before them, Garnell explains the best he can how Taalius escaped over the southern edge of the city-nation.

***

The woman doesn’t blame him.  Nor does Gothic.  He looks to Garnell and thanks him for his help and asks him to spread that message to his people.  Garnell gives his people’s salute and turns to leave the building.  He knows he will attend the funeral, for Nedric was a friend of his too.  Garnell reaches the door and is about to open it when he looks to the left towards the largest window in Nedric’s home.  He sees Simner staring out the window fiddling with a key around her neck tied to some string.  He shakes his head and feels a loss for the child as well and proceeds out of the house.  Simner continues to stare out the window towards the village for several hours.  Then it comes time to give honors.

The sun is waning as the coffin is lowered into its grave.  This is the coffin of Nedric.  And Simner stands at its head.  It is her duty to wish her father a good journey into the afterlife.  Gothic stands aside to offer any support he can for the little girl since her mother had grown ill over the course of the day and was not physically able to give the prayer of the past village warriors.

Simner fills this position easily and gives the prayer openly.  Then she secretly gives her own prayer and vows vengeance against he who killed her father.

Many prayers are spoken this day as many graves are set.  The village was nearly destroyed and if not for the Dwarves, no one would be alive to tell the tale.  Simner will always remember this day.  It has changed her life, though she hardly shed a tear.  She feels a strange sensation.  That tingly sensation from the day before the assault.  Only this time, it promises something beyond death.  And she figures that’s a good thing.

The End.

Yet again Story Time With Tim has come to an end. Hope you found some entertainment within its reaches. Next week, I’ll have the beginnings of a new novella! So, see you next week!

~Timothy S Purvis

While you’re here, why not slip on over to my author’s page at Amazon.com. Just click on my name right here and you’ll be zipped right on over–> Timothy S Purvis

Also, here’s a book you might be interested in:

Check out the paperback version as well: Tales From A Strange Mind Volume One

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