The Lady of the Tower: Part IV

The Lady of the Tower: Part IV


The moon was a great white disc, high in the dark blue sky. It was full—at least, fully pompous and utterly too pleased with itself to the stars that night. It shone so brilliantly that they appeared rather dull. Some had disappeared out of resentment.

The party of three stood just outside of the forest at the base of The Mountain, having a conversation by moonlight.

Idior grinned up at Dumbee: it was the sort of foolish grin that is too wide and too lopsided to be considered quite sane. His friend Dumbee was staring up at the mountain with a vacant far-away look on his face. The light of the moon glinted in his eyes, making them look as if they were gently burning in the dark. “Tonight is the night,” he whispered in the midst of his far-away dream.

“—‘k,” Idior said, while still grinning hugely. Not a single acknowledging thought of what his friend had said passed through his mind.

The third boy there mumbled, “As long as you’re sure about this—” quite unsure of anything that Dumbee had planned for them to do that night. Only, of course, that they were going to deceive whatever it was that was lurking about on the top of that mountain. There were certain stories that everyone had heard in Cacklewitch… Each one depicted a dark ominous being which guarded The Tower.

“I know that this is right,” Dumbee muttered coolly and forcefully. Cilious glanced up at Dumbee uncertainly—at least he had intended to only glance—but his eyes stayed on Dumbee’s face as he stared at Dumbee’s still moonlit eyes, even after he had turned away from the moon itself. His face was grey and dark and his eyes were startling.

Dumbee noticed Cilious’ staring as it had occurred a moment too long for his taste. He also saw the uncertainty in Cilious’ shallow blue eyes.

“Do you doubt me, Cilious,” Dumbee demanded—trying not to, and almost letting his anger spill over into his words, and therefore having a scarily even voice that almost erupted in places. He stated this demand not as a question, but as if he already knew what the answer was to be.

The poor Cilious said rather hurriedly, “no—no! Dumbee—er—our rightful King, I could never doubt you.”

“Good,” Dumbee said. Cilious flinched as he started up again—“because if either of you doubt your rightful King,” Dumbee roared, and then took in a breath and adjusted his voice into nearly a whisper, “you will not live to see the light of the next morning.” After a moment, he said, “Let’s climb this mountain now.”

The party entered the forest and disappeared into the trees and shadows and dark.


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