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The Eclectic Pen - Have Mead... Will Travel - Chapter 1

By: Stephen L. (TheDali)   + 2 more  
Date Submitted: 6/23/2009
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy » Fantasy
Words: 831

  Chapter 1 - Alone in the dark

The room was dark. Well, dark might be an understatement. The room was completely devoid of light. Black. The kind of place where your eyes can't even adjust and make out vague shapes. Just nothing.

Markus was lying on what felt like a dirt floor. He couldn't feel anything nearby, just dirt and darkness. The air felt damp, kind of like a wine cellar.

Ha, I feel like I spent a week in a wine cellar... uggh....

His hand went to his throbbing head as he sat up. His head was pounding. It didn't feel like a normal headache, it felt like his entire head was three-times too big for his skin to hold.

What the heck happened last night? His hand was pressing against his forehead and he winced in pain that shot through his entire body. His hand came upon two sections of his head that were sticky and wet. Again, pain ravaged his head and he immediately withdrew his hand. Touching a finger to his lips he tasted blood.

Great. I must have fallen last night. But where the hell am I?

Markus was no stranger to waking up in strange places, but this was a little more than strange. He stood up and his world started spinning, which was kind of disconcerting considering how could see anything move in the darkness. His eyes played games and conjured up colors and lights where none existed. After a moment to gather himself he dusted off his legs and felt around in the darkness. He didn't touch anything in his general vicinity so he started to walk straight ahead with his arm thrust out in front of him. Just then he started to hear faint voices. He walked in the general direction of the voices. After a few shaky steps he found that the sound was coming from directly above him. He resisted the urge to shout out and simply listened.

"... to get going. You have everything?"

"yeah, yeah... I'll go get the horses"

It sounded like only two men talking. The voices were not familiar at all. Light footsteps could be heard tread across the floor above, and then a door closed.

This isn't good. What the hell am I doing here? Agghh, stupid drinking. Markus again tried to feel around him for something - anything - that might lead him out of the cellar. he had surmised that must be where he was... and he was pretty sure it wasn't at a friend's cottage. He still couldn't remember anything about the night before, but he was fairly certain he didn't want to meet the owner's of the two voices.

A few moments later a door opened above. "Ok, the horses are ready. Let's go," stated a the voice that had presumably left the building a few minutes earlier.

"Yeah, yeah... give me a second," replied a gruff voice.

The first voice returned, "so what do we do about the drunk?"

"Ha...that bugger went down hard last night, didn't he? He's fine down there for now. Maeltus said not to do anything for a few days until the heat's off. We can probably dump him tomorrow."

"Well I think he was drunk anyway. He's still alive down there you know," replied the first voice.

"You didn't kill him? I thought I told you to kill him last night? What's a matter with you? I'm going out to the horses, go take care of him," replied the tough guy voice. Footsteps could be heard and then a door slammed.

Markus definitely knew he was in trouble. To his right he heard the rattling of a lock and then the rustling of a latch. A splinter of light erupted which quickly took the shape of a door. Markus immediately fell to the ground, feigning unconsciousness. He made sure his head faced away from the door so the light wouldn't give him away.

A man descended the stairs and approached Markus's crumpled form and gave him a swift kick in the back. Markus held his breath as best he could given the pain that shot from the impact of the kick. He exhaled a small groan but kept still. Dammit!

"Freakin' drunk. Don't worry, it'll be all over soon," the man chuckled. The sound of a knife unsheathing broke the silence in the cellar.

Just then a loud commotion could be heard from upstairs. Muffled shouts and general disorder rang out and the figure above Markus dashed up the stairs. Markus took the opportunity to scramble under the stairs and listened to the melee. It sounded as though a few men were fighting, but he couldn't tell if they were actually in the house or just outside. After a few moments the fighting ended and Markus could hear distant voices shouting to each other with ragged breath followed by galloping horses. In a few more minutes all was quiet and the cellar door swung back and forth on its hinges with the light breeze running through the house.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Stephen L. (TheDali)

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Claudia (BrokenWing) - 6/28/2009 8:07 PM ET
An engaging beginning to your story, but if you want your reader to believe it takes place in medieval times, you'll need to edit for anachronistic language.
Comments 1 to 1 of 1