Sails – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is part five of the story, Towards the Light.  Click here for previous.  Go to the Table of Contents. Or start at the beginning: (click here for part 1 – The Tunnel)

So I am now up to part six of the story and there is no end in sight.  All of these are written to Sue’s #writephoto prompts.  Here is part one and here is part two and then there was part three followed by part four.  Last week we hit part five.  OK, OK, I will create better navigation soon!

— —

I was surprised to discover that the council room was very small and paneled in wood.  When the door closed behind me, the only others still in the room were the wizard, Whindell, the king of the fair folk, and the daughter, Princess Alashina.  After the cavernous Throne Room, the council room was warm and cozy.

The king and Whindell immediately started to argue in a strange language.  At first I listened intently to the music of the fight.  They would soar up and twitter like piccolo before diving down to double bass and bassoons.  But even as music it was nonsense.  John Cage, in his wildest dreams, would never write something as riotously, randomly, cacophonous.

As I sat, being swayed by the mad music, I began to feel a bit vertigo.  I stood up and walked around the room.  To my surprise the walls were not plain, but hid shuttered windows.

It didn’t take me long to figure out how to open the shutters on one of the windows.  Once open, though, I shut it right away.

It couldn’t be right.

I opened it again and peeked out.

We were surrounded by mountainous waves.  I could see a few strange sails.  A large raven, which I somehow knew was Rawcliph, kept pace beside our vessel.  I realized that my vertigo had more to do with the room moving with the ocean than the strange discourse.

A celestially beautiful voice broke through, making me slam the shutter closed.

“We are being very rude to our guest,” Alashina said.

“Ah yes,” Whindell said.  “I need to get him up to speed on what is going on.  Sit, please.”

I took my place at the table, next to Whindell and across from Alashina.

“I have told you about the Treaty of 3427,” the wizard said.  “In the treaty, both sides gave up many things.  For instance, the Fair Folk gave up their size and shrunk down to become Little People.”

“But they are big now,” I said.

“They are.  Your people gave up its cultural memory and so you think you only discovered agriculture and such maybe eight thousand years ago.  You remember very little about the wars except in some of your so called fairytales.”

“OK.  Seems right.”

“Two points,” the wizard said.  “As you pointed out, the Fair Folk have regained their size.  So your people are getting back some of their memories.  Not all, just a few select memories.  You see, Glumoric didn’t just send out just one Emissary.  The ones he sent to your people, though, have been more hidden.  However, they have been influential.”

He held up his hand.  For a moment I could see the front page of the Times.  The headline read, “War! Strange Underground Civilization Declares War on All Humans”.

“Your people are mobilizing for war.  They know that you are being held captive.  It doesn’t matter if you return and tell them to back down, they are convinced it is all out war.”

We sat in silence.  I could feel the ship rising and falling with the powerful waves.

“The second point,” Whindell said, “is that your kind still has very few real memories that will help them.  For instance, you don’t know how Glumoric was put to sleep all of those eons ago.”

He help up his hand again.  This time there was a necklace made of leather with a crystal tied to it.  I was immediately pulled into the shining depths of the stone and felt myself being pulled under when the wizard dropped his hand, making the vision vanish.

“The Stone of Forgetfulness affects all creatures to varying degrees.  We wizards feel the power 20 times less than Humans and Fair Folk, but Glumoric feels its power 100 times more.  We used it to put Glumoric to sleep before, but after 100 thousand years, one of his minions was able to remove it from his presence.  Was this demon immune to its powers?  We don’t know.  I feel that the only chance we have of defeating Glumoric is to find the stone while he is still weak and bring it back to him.”

The King let out a “Hrumph” to show his opinion.

The wizard, ignoring the king’s outburst, continued.  “There are problems beyond finding the stone.  Blavour is well guarded.  We can’t rely on the stone casting the demons in our path into a sleep the way we did the first time.  The stone, you see, both helps and hinders.  Its influence puts those opposing us into a stupor, even a slumber if they see it.  At the same time, though, it affects any close to it.  A being carrying will eventually forget their mission and finally fall into a dep sleep.  Makes it difficult, no?”

“Too difficult,” the King said.  “I cannot risk any of my people on such a fool’s errand.  We did it before, but the stakes are much higher now, if for no other reason than Glumoric is expecting it.  No.”

“But Father…”

“No, my child.  We have to figure out something else.”

“There is nothing else.”

“I’ll do it.”

Everyone turned around and stared at me.

“That is impossible, human,” the King said.  “This is a magical journey into a magical land.  Humans have no magic.  You lost what little powers you once possessed long before your 10th time removed grandmother was born.  How will you deal with the magic?”

“I have magic,” Whindel said.  “I’ve been cooped up for much too long.  I need to get out and stretch my legs….”


“But Father, it is our only hope.”

The King looked at his daughter and I could tell he was wavering.  “You are only saying this because you want vengeance,” he said.

“Yes, Glumoric’s beasts lured my husband to his death, but it is more than that,” Alashina said.  “I love the Earth and all of its creatures.  I do not want to see it destroyed.  I have seen wastelands beyond the imagination of most of our people.  The entire planet will become like that.  It will be Blavour brought out into the sunlight.”

“I will give this wizard and his human three days.  In the meantime, our people must prepare for war. The humans are mobilizing against us.  I will not strike first as long as we have hope.  But once that hope is gone…”

“So be it,” the wizard said.  “We must begin immediately.  Let us off here, why don’t you?”

“Let us off?” I asked.  “Are we really on a ship?”

“Of course,” the King said.  “Rock has ears so all important discussions are done under sail at sea.  Our sails protect us.”

“Come this way,” the wizard said to me, pointing to the door.

“Good luck.”

The more I looked at Alashina the less she resembled Lisa.  She was both darker in complexion and more full of light, almost as if she glowed from an internal source.  But then I saw the eyes, the mysterious eyes, and understood why I had thought of Lisa when I first saw the Fair Princess.    I understood that our paths were linked.

“Thank you, my Princess,” I said.  She smiled brightly, but Whindel grabbed me by the elbow and pulled me through the door.

We were in a filed at sunset. An ancient windmill stood silhouetted on a hill in front of us.  I could hear the wind filling its sails as it slowly turned.

“There is one of the beasts now,” the wizard said, without explaining how we had gotten to this place, or where we were.

I followed his finger and realized he was pointing at the windmill.

“Damn quixotic quest,” I said.

— — —

What strange adventure have our heroes found themselves on?  Will they fair better than the Don of old when they go tilting windmills?  Have I gone completely out of my mind writing this twisted plot?  These questions, and more, will soon be answered!  Stay tune for our next exciting episode – same blog channel, same blog time!!

(Towards the Light – <–PreviousTable of Contents –  Next–>)

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This was written for Sue Vincent‘s weekly #writephoto challenge.

22 thoughts on “Sails – #writephoto

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      If this keeps going like it is, I may have to do a trilogy! How long did the werewolf/vampire ladies story you were doing with these prompts go? It must have been getting close to book length.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. willowdot21

        It is and I am thinking of doing something with it as the story keeps popping into my head! I came to a natural break in the story and I will bring it back 🤗 Good Luck if you decide to work on it . 💗

        Liked by 1 person

        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I always do to some extent (yes, I’m a “Pantser”), but with this it is even more so – I try to keep an open mind until I see and read the prompt, then I write from there. It’s been a lot of fun!



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