Here is the second chapter to my new book:
Secret Of The
Abel raced along the coast with Zathuran and Kareem on his back. They had been nearly traveling four six hours now, and it was nearing evening on the water.
“Dang, I forgot to pack meals for myself.” Abel grumbled.
“That is okay, because we packed enough for four people.” Kareem jumped in.
“Good, because I am totally famished!” The massive turtle told them.
“We’ll stop in awhile and eat, but for now we need to carry on in going as fast as we can.” Zathuran assured him.
This enraged the turtle.
“We! Oh no, you got it wrong. It is clearly me who is doing all the work. I will say when we stop and when we continue, got that?” Abel announced.
“Fine, then you need to keep going.” Zathuran tried to take command.
“Oh no Zathuran, I say we stop. After all you are in no position to command me to do anything. Right now I could dive under water and drown you both.” Abel pointed out none too nicely.
“Oh dang, he has a good point there. Guess we have no choice, so we shall stop and eat. Then we will get back on our way, yes?” Kareem nodded at Abel.
“Sure I guess, let’s stop and eat, and then we’ll go again.” Abel answered and nodded.
The weird looking trio turned to head to the shore. They just barely went ashore to where the waves wouldn’t get their food and things wet. They also discussed where their where-abouts were.
“Hey, check this out! See that stone mound rock like thing?” Kareem pointed to a little stone mound, “That is the stone mound on the map! We should reach May Cove at exactly noon tomorrow if we keep going on through the night!” Kareem told them, to get their hopes up.
“I am not paddling all night long! Definitely not, because we’ll most likely be attacked by a pod of seething sharks!” Abel protested, full of distress.
“I thought they were just a myth,” Kareem replied slowly.
“Oh no, they’re just as real as that stone mound. Believe me, I’ve faced them before.” Abel told them very harshly.
“Just do something when we come across them, and we’ll help fight them off with you.” Zathuran said dryly as he took a bite of a scone.
“How will you do that?” Abel asked intently, blinking twice before replying.
“We brought along slings, and a lot of good sharp rocks, plus there are a lot more of them right here, and we brought two blades. If they get close enough, we can stab them roughly.” Zathuran replied.
Kareem blinked and looked around, noticing that Zathuran was right.
“Promise you’ll help me?” Abel asked.
“Yes, we both promise, and we both never break our promise.” Zathuran announced before Kareem could even think of it.
“Okay, I’ve had my full and I am ready to go on. Bring everything on me, and if you are still hungry you can eat on me.” Abel said excitedly.
“You’re getting interested, aren’t you?” Kareem said as he raised his eye brows in a questioning way.
“Yes I am, but don’t push it.” Abel said as they got onto him.
* * * * *
It was now midnight which was very dark. Dark waves rolled and bellowed loudly in the night. Abel was really surprised that it was possible for Kareem and Zathuran to fall asleep. He had heard and felt that activity had stopped. He turned his head and neck to confirm this and he was right. But as he looked back down at the sleeping couple and looked up, a ton of tall black fins stood up in the eerie darkness. A wave of terror fell on him. Those could not be any other than the seething sharks, Abel thought to himself.
“Zathuran and Kareem! Wake up! We’re under attack and are being chased!” Kareem and Zathuran awoke to see half a dozen fins a league away, but they were coming up fast.
“What else can we do to help? Slings and stones aren’t really going to help against those evil looking things!” Kareem yelled to be heard over the storm.
Zathuran just realized the truth of that statement, slings could do a little amount of damage, but they needed something else to fight also. He felt his father’s presence as lightning flashings appeared around them. As it flashed, a bright idea came to Zathuran.
“Berry! We have metal on us! Go to shore because I think I have an idea!” Zathuran shouted.
Suddenly Abel thought of his idea to and sped off toward shore. The seething sharks followed, still coming up quickly.
“Slow down Abel so the sharks can come into range! Kareem get your sling ready and put the metal shards we brought as weapons in it, swords too!” Zathuran outlined the plan.
Kareem’s eye twinkled in the dark.
“Bright idea, sire, I will do just that!” Kareem loaded the slings.
Zathuran and Kareem twirled their slings expertly. The seething sharks were just out of range, and suddenly were in range. They came up really fast in the blink of an eye. Surprisingly accurate, Kareem and Zathuran aimed and fired. They stabbed right into the tall and sleek fins of two sharks. Those sharks dashed toward them in a fury, hurting badly. Zathuran and Kareem continued this, and all had metal knifes sticking out of fins. Abel made it onto the beach right before their plan had worked. Lightning coursed down and struck each metal shard like they had hoped. Each of the sharks lay dead as they drifted onto the beach, grounded.
“Well, we’re safe now…” Kareem announced.
“I still don’t like to see creatures dead even if they want me dead.” Zathuran thought aloud to his companions.
“Me either, but just think it like this: If we were in their position, they would have no mercy. Seething sharks are the most dangerous in our entire world. Well, minus the beast of course. Still, if they were able to go on land, they’d travel our huge continent and go about plaguing and destroying villages. But then they would also be able to end the life of those creatures in Racath Valley. Those hideous creatures are not but devils that will just destroy everything. I’m glad your old man blocked them off a long time ago.” Abel replied.
“Do you think the water is alright to go through now?” Kareem asked.
“I don’t know, but either way if it is safe, I don’t want to have to face off more of those creatures.” Abel decided.
Zathuran instantly agreed.
“Your right, plus with the action and the excitement, I’d say we need a very good rest and eat in the morning.” Zathuran pointed out.
Kareem was about to protest, but Zathuran was already making a fire. Kareem looked at the map by the fire light.
“Well, we should get there around early evening by the looks of it now. We are nearly off the south coast corner of the Zarath range.” Kareem announced.
Zathuran nodded as he rested his head and closed his eyes.
* * * * *
“By the looks of it you had a good sleep.” Zathuran winked at the turtle.
Abel had just opened his eyes and stretched. Abel yawned before he replied.
“Yup, and I’m very famished. What’s for breakfast?” Abel yawned again.
“I don’t know Kareem took off with the bag with all our stuff in it. He should be right back, because he came to me and said that he found good vegetables in the forest over there.” As he pointed, Kareem ran out.
“We’re being tracked! Some beast large is coming, and very, very fast! We must leave NOW!” Kareem informed them.
Abel didn’t like that, as the enormous turtle had a five times the size appetite. Abel quickly changed his mind when he heard loud sounds on the ground as it rattled.
“Oh my great goodness, hop on me because I really don’t want to meet that creature whatever it is!” Abel changed his mind.
They quickly got on him, and they raced away.
* * * * *
“Darn. We’re too late!” A large creature hissed as it came to a stop.
A larger one came behind him, with several others the same size as the one who hissed in its wake.
“Do not worry, we will catch them eventually. Then we will be able to carry out Ablaze’s wish: We will kill Zathuran, Abel and his servant.” The larger creature growled.
“Yeah, as long as we can get them before his cave…” One behind the largest one bristled.
“Yes we will. Nice words, Savan.” The largest one told the previous speaker.
“It’s what I do, leader.” He hissed.
* * * * *
“Well, we got away from whoever was chasing us…” Abel announced as he glided across the deep sea.
“Who do you think it was?” Kareem asked utterly confused and acting quizzical.
“I’m no expert tracker, but from the sounds on the ground…I’d say it was a score or two of Shard Tigers.” Abel thought as he paddled.
“I thought those were a myth too.”
“Oh, let me guess. They’re just as real as the ground we’re standin’ on.” Zathuran replied.
“Aye, your right.” Abel winked.
“No, you mean the turtle shell we’re standing on. We’re not even on land right now; we’re sailing, or swimming or paddling on the sea water!” Kareem replied.
Before Zathuran could say anything, the turtle spoke.
“Whatever. What I meant was that those creatures are real. Don’t overlook that terrifying fact.” Abel told them.
“Do you think you could speed the pace up a little bit?” Zathuran asked.
“I think I can. Actually I know I can. I know what you’re thinking, and I want to get there soon as well.” Abel answered calmly.
“That is exactly what I was thinking.” Zathuran turned, “Kareem, can you pull out the map and scroll?”
“Sure thing.” Kareem answered as he rummaged through the big pack.
Soon he had found both. He went charting the voyage first to see where they were.
“Okay, by this we should be just a short league away.” At the announcement, Abel seemed to be excited.
Zathuran and Kareem had to hold on to his shell so they wouldn’t fall off. Even though they were going fast, Kareem was able to read and look at the scroll.
“What is it, Kareem?”
“Well the next line in the rhyme is, “Seek the Warrior in time of trouble,
And he will help you face off evil.” What do you think it means?”
“What else could it mean, but seek the warrior in times of trouble?”
“I don’t know. Except for the fact that we don’t know who the warrior is…”
“That’s a good point. Maybe we just seek and he shows himself?”
Abel butted in at that point, slowing down the pace a little.
“Hold on. He said in times of trouble, so maybe the warrior will find us…” Abel thought aloud.
“No, no it can’t be that. It says, “Seek.” I think it means we search for him,” Zathuran stated in a matter of fact manner.
“I don’t know. We’ll most likely find it out when we need to, don’t you guys agree?” Kareem asked them.
“Yes, I do agree.” Zathuran answered a second before the turtle.
“Yes, it is a very good idea.” Abel answered, bringing up his pace.
“Good. Let’s get on with the journey. Abel, take us as fast as your fin, flippers or whatever can take us!”
Abel speeded along the coast without a reply.
* * * * *
The bay was suddenly in view. Abel took them in it, and they saw the overwhelming waterfall.
“Well that is one sight to behold. But we’re still sort of far. We need to follow the river until it makes a tail ending point.” Kareem described where they where looking for.
“Simple enough, but how are we going to get up there?” Zathuran asked puzzled.
“Climb?” Kareem replied.
“Ha! I’d never be able to climb that! It’s like fifty feet high!” Abel shrieked hysterically.
“What else would you suggest?” Zathuran turned to him.
“I don’t know…What if we went to a shore that is even with the water and then we come back here?” Abel replied.
“It would take to long. I might have an idea…” Zathuran trailed off.
Once again, it seemed that Abel could read his mind.
“I don’t know if I could make the jump either. This is a deep cove, but I’m not sure…”
“Just try to jump as high as you can. Take as much time as you want to dive and make yourself sure. Got that?” Zathuran commanded.
“Yes.” Abel slid into the cove and dove.
He gave a mighty shove off the sea floor, and swam straight up as fast as he could. He leaped higher than the cliff, and came back down with a splash.
“Just so that we don’t destroy our stuff…” Kareem tossed up the big bag by making a catapult out of a tree.
The big bag did not fall short. It thudded over a ring of rocks on the edge of the cliff.
“Okay, you guys are going to need to hold your breath and hold on tight. Let me know once you get a good breath, okay?” Abel waited the signal.
“Okay, I’m ready. Just be quick underwater, alright?” Zathuran replied.
“Okay, yeah just be quick!” Kareem yelled.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Abel leaped into the water. He dove and leaped out of the water with Zathuran and Kareem clinging to his shell. Abel landed on the edge of the cliff and rushed forward as the little cliff part that he was standing on crumbled. Zathuran and Kareem leaped from the shell.
“Well that was an adventure.” Zathuran said as he checked the pack to see that everything was ship-shape.
“Is anything wrecked or gross?” Kareem asked.
“No, everything’s good. Abel, are you alright? We can rest here for tonight.”
“That sounds like a good idea. Speaking of settling down, do you think we can have a meal?”
“Yes. Kareem, go looking for wood for a fire. I’ll cook something over the fire. Hurry up now!”
Kareem went off looking for wood. In awhile, Kareem came back and soon they had a good blaze going. Zathuran was a good cook. He cooked noodles in one pot hanging on a branch above the fire. In another pot, he boiled broth and spices together with lettuce. Finally they had a good noodle soup for the making.
“This is delicious. Where did you learn to cook like that, Zathuran?” Abel looked at him with a good smile on.
“Ask him over there.” Zathuran pointed at Kareem.
“From me.” Kareem said honestly and sincere.
“Well, absolutely yummy. If you guys don’t mind, I’d like to sleep now.” In a minute he added with one eye open, “Warm and nice fire.”
Then Abel was completely out of it. In a matter of fifteen minutes, Zathuran and Kareem were completely out as well. Several ordinary lynx loomed into their camp, all five of them very hungry. They realized that this trio was the ones their master was looking for. The leader of the five grinned with delight. But right before they rushed in to the kill, a dark figure leaped from the trees. The figure whirled a sling, sending one of them out. The four lynxes that were left turned at their adversary. The leader suddenly lost his grin as he realized who this was. He didn’t have a chance to call out as the figure thrust a spear at him, taking him out. The three that were left fled in terror at what they just saw. The figure turned to leave slowly. The one who had been knocked out by the flying rock charged at the unprotected back. The figure whirled around, slicing the lynx up with the saber. The trio slept on, totally unaware of what just took place.
* * * * *
Zathuran woke up with a dead lynx by his side.
“AHHHH! How did that get there?”
Abel and Kareem leaped up at their comrade’s calls.
“What? Oh disgusting!” Kareem backed up.
“Two dead lynxes, huh, normally there is five in a troop…How did those two die, and where are the other three?” Abel asked.
“Useless to worry about that, you’re lucky I passed about when those five were here. Actually, I’ve been watching you guys for awhile now…”
They looked up at the trees, determined that’s where the voice came from. A large squirrel leaped out and rolled as he landed on the forest floor and stood up on two legs.
“No need to be afraid. I’m only a squirrel as you can see. My name is Skarlath Goldfern.” Skarlath said quickly.
“Are you a warrior squirrel?” Zathuran asked dumbly.
“Of course I’m a squirrel, do I look like a duck? Yes, I’m a warrior who roams these parts. I am known to most as the dark ghost, and almost every vermin that have been this way and meets me but gets away never wants to come back. Oh, I also have a squirrel army that is just for terrorizing the bad lot.” Skarlath answered.
Kareem read him the rhyme riddle scroll.
“Gosh, that’s a poser. Yes I guess I’m the warrior in the riddle. People also know me as Thousand Arms, because I’m good with just about any weapon you put in front of me.”
“Do you know a quick way to get to the tail of the May River?” Zathuran asked him.
“The quickest way is through the trees, and actually the path in the trees is big enough for you, I’d reckon.”
“What about me?” Abel asked the squirrel.
“You could walk…Or you could just not go.” Skarlath replied.
“But there are vermin walking all over this place. Of course I can probably fight, but they could get more numbers and take me down!” Abel yelled.
“There is actually a cave down this ridge. Right behind the waterfall is an entrance.” Skarlath leaped and caught a branch.
He started climbing the tree, and leaped off down to the water holding a vine. While he was up, he had grabbed a sharpened tree limb. Zathuran, Kareem, and Abel watched him intently. Skarlath saw the boulder marker that he and his army had made to keep the big cave marked. Hurling the tree limb, the others saw where the stick went. Abel made note of where it went through, and heard something. Skarlath was awarded a little scream as he tugged the vine, and went sailing back up to the ground. Finally he was safe beside the others.
“What made that scream?” Abel asked Skarlath.
“Oh, a two score clan of stoats lives down there. They are a little bit bigger than my smallest squirrel, but about the same size as most of my average squirrels. It is said that there is a secret too it, but me and my squirrels didn’t really want to find it.” Skarlath replied.
“How many do your squirrels number?” Abel asked.
“So many questions! We number about four score, and if you’re asking for warriors, than we have three score.”
“Think you can lend me some able-bodied warriors?”
“Yes I will, but if you are pretty fit, and then all you need is about a score and a half o’ my squirrels.”
“Okay, that is good. Zathuran and Kareem, I can handle this cave secret with those squirrels, while you two will make your way to the tail…” Abel blinked.
“You mean three. I’ll come, just incase if there is any trouble. I have a couple of swords you two can borrow. Plus, we’ll only need just us three. I am good enough to take on a full scout of lynxes, which is about the only thing that patrols here, besides rats that is. They can be evil, but they won’t be much a problem.” Skarlath announced.
A score and a quarter of squirrels dropped down suddenly.
“Never mind, you’ll only need those. They are my best soldiers. But don’t lose any of ‘em, or you’ll have me to answer too, got that?” Skarlath didn’t wait for Abel to answer.
He turned to climb the tree with Zathuran and Kareem, and soon they were out of sight.
“Do we have a way to get in there easily?” Abel asked the largest one.
“Yes, bring the platform ladder! Oh, I should introduce myself. I am Skarlath’s second in command, Arven Twilight at y’service!” The burly squirrel replied.
A group of squirrels brought down a ladder attached with a big platform at the bottom. They nailed in hooks and placed the top step on it. The platform reached the big wide mouth of the cave. Two sentry stoat guards rushed out to see what was going on.
“Okay, I don’t think I will fit on that ladder of yours. I’ll leap into the cove and try to leap into the cave.” Abel told Arven.
“Good idea. You get in there and hold off the mouth of the cave, and then we’ll come down one by one to help.” Arven replied.
Abel leaped into the cove with a resounding splash. Arven got out his primary weapon, which was a pike. The two stoats started climbing the ladder. Arven moved to the side. Then a squirrel named Slot let two stones fly, knocking the stoats off the ladder. They fell screaming. Abel leaped into the water. He then leaped back up and landed on the mouth of the cave. Arven never liked ladders. He tied a rope to the top step of the ladder. He threw his pike down onto the wood. Then he leaped and grabbed hold of the rope and shot down. He grabbed his pike and went to Abel’s side. Stoats scurried down the stone hall right for them. Abel noticed that there were stones right by his flippers. The ranks of the stoats charged with rapiers, sabers, pikes, and spears out in front. Slot came down the rope next, followed by more squirrels. Abel hit the stones into the air with his flippers.
A big space in the front stopped with the shock of the four stones coming speedily at them. Four fell, and others tripped over them. Arven realized what he was doing, and he caught on Abel’s idea. There was a circle of stones around him. Arven kicked one up, and slammed it with his pike. The stone went accurately into a small stoat. Slot was whirling his sling. He let one fly, and was rewarded with a scream in the front rank. While whirling his sling, Arven backed up to where he could see the ladder.
“For now on, let all the slingers come down first, and hurry!” He shouted.
He charged back in, and sent another stone flying. Once again, a stoat screamed and fell transfixed. More squirrels dropped in and started slinging stones at the stoats. The stoats were unable to move forward because of so many of their comrades done for in front of them. Suddenly Abel came up with another idea. He wanted to call out a war cry, but he had none. So he just called some random war cry.
“ABELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!” He yelled as he charged.
It was as if a giant boulder had shot forward into the stoat ranks. Stoats flew everywhere as the relentless turtle was in the midst of them, just running through. Most were stunned with the throw, but some got back up. The squirrels dealt with those.
“Arven, I can’t go far at all. And nothing important of scroll or something else is in reach where I can go.” Abel informed him.
“Well I don’t know what we’re looking for, so we should wait till Kareem, Zathuran and Skarlath get back.” Arven replied.
“Well I’m hungry, so let’s go back up and have a meal, shall we?” Abel asked.
The squirrels and massive turtle went to go have a meal.
* * * * *
“Well, there it is. May River’s tail.” Skarlath pointed.
Skarlath, Zathuran and Kareem were on a hill, and they were looking at the May River. The side they had been following went straight out, curved into a point and went straight back at them, and then curved to the left, appearing to look like a dog or otter tail.
“I’d say it was, but what is the secret? How do we find what we’re looking for?” Kareem asked doubtfully.
“You are right, that’s about only half of the answer.” Zathuran replied.
The squirrel was sure they would find out what was next to find.
“Don’t worry; it will come clear in time. Wait, I think I see something! It looks like a piece of parchment!” Skarlath darted down the hill, with Zathuran and Kareem a few paces behind him, running their fastest to try and keep up.
Skarlath was holding the parchment when finally Zathuran and Kareem came to a halt beside him.
“Here I’ll see it and read it out.” Kareem took the paper and read:
“At evening’s final light,
Come across a beech and an oak.
Twisted together and then breaking apart,
Find the trees’ secret point.
Look up and a sword will point above you,
Don’t eat quite yet because you are not done.
Look at the sword from all angles,
Notice something you will, take the weapon as you need…
Well, do you know what it means?” Kareem asked.
“We have to take it piece by piece. At first it says final evening’s light, and then an oak and a beech twisted together.” Skarlath answered.
“You are right, but what would a twisting tree’s secret point be?” Zathuran replied.
“Normally a twisting tree’s secret point would be where the trees separate.” Skarlath replied as he peered intently at the tree.
“There it is! What now?” Kareem pointed at the beech and oak secret.
“Oh, wait I see a sword too!”
Zathuran looked at where he was pointing. It was a bright sword of neat design, but it looked holographic. He looked harder and saw a beam protruding from the sword.
“I see a light beam coming from it!” Zathuran followed the beam.
It led to a magnificent sword that the hologram was being made from the sun shining off the sword.
“I haven’t seen a blade like that in my lifetime!” Skarlath squealed with delight.
They decided to eat. They finished in a couple of hours, still stunned by the blade. Skarlath’s face came alert again.
“You’ll be using that blade before we thought!” Skarlath pulled Zathuran out of the way as an arrow hit the ground where Zathuran was.
They looked up to see Pine Martens leaping down and whirling spears and pikes. Zathuran, Skarlath, and Kareem found themselves back to back as they were circled.
“There are too many of them. We won’t make it out…” Skarlath cried.
Zathuran knew that statement was right. There were at least five scores of martens surrounding them. The martens started moving in. Zathuran and Kareem weren’t experienced warriors yet, and they didn’t see a big hard battle yet. Skarlath was carrying two knifes, a spear, a javelin, and a sword. Skarlath saw that a marten was approaching Zathuran with a spear raised. Before anyone could blink, Skarlath’s knife protruded from the vermin. Zathuran’s face was a state of horror.
“Look, if he had got one more second, he would have thrown that spear at you. They’re too deadly with spears!” Skarlath yelled.
Skarlath did a rush, and threw his knife, javelin, and spear within two seconds.
“Redriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!” This war cry made both sides aghast.
Sling stones flew down at the martens with numerous of them. A ton of creatures vaulted off trees onto the martens. Five flew into the middle. In a charge of fear, the martens tried to charge into the middle. Zathuran recognized that these creatures were none other than fierce red pandas. Sabers, spears, and axes flashed in the night air. Now the martens were totally outnumbered. No martens were left alive. But over another hill, a ton more came down at them. Not just martens though. Shard Tigers that Abel had described leaped over the hill and sped down.
“Come on guys, follow us, we’ll go to my camp. Retreat!” Skarlath yelled.
The one last to retreat pulled a cord, and then grinned from ear to ear as he rushed for the others. Boulders and boulders poured from the trees, heading towards the charging vermin who charged the other way. The red pandas, the squirrel and the two men fled for their lives.
* * * * *
Okay, editors, here is the next chapter.
How was it?
Mac Over 'n Out