One half of the first Dozen Adventures. I needed to upload something, so you can have the first half for now. I did not realise how much time writing takes, I have been preoccupied with gift knitting this month. I will come back with the ending when I have reached it.
Once upon a time there was a husband and father who loved his family dearly. His wife loved big ball gowns and trinkets. His sons; Nato and Geoff, loved their parents more than the world. They lived on the farmlands in the Ongoing Plains. Derry worked hard to feed his family and keep his wife in the jewels she held so close to her heart. One day, in the harshest of winters, there was no work in the farmlands, the family began to struggle.
‘Where is my gold necklace? You always give me a necklace for the Winter fair.’ Said the wife to her husband.
‘We can’t afford it my love. I had to pay the rent and feed our growing boys’ Derry replied.
‘Don’t you remember what you promised my father? You said I would want for nothing or does our love mean nothing to you now?’ She spat bitterly. Derry knew the wrath of his wife and knew no words would soothe her. He had to think fast to fix his problem.
Derry took himself to see the Baron of the Ongoing Plains, Errol, a young but caring man. He made his plea.
‘Baron Errol, the winter is hard and this time of year gives us no food, could you please loan me twenty gold coins. Two weeks is all I ask.’ The Baron said nothing as he begged to keep the roof over his family’s head. ‘Please take pity on me sir. I have been loyal to your great family since I was a boy.
Errol thought hard before he spoke. A boy would be useful to him; he needed an opportunity to test his power.
‘What can you give me in return for my coins peasant?’ He spoke these words down his nose to Derry.
‘I have a house you can hold against me, that is all I own.’ It took a lot to bet your home against you.
‘That tiny thing?! It’s not enough.’ He grinned. ‘I will take one son and if you do not pay me back, I shall take the other.’ And with that Derry was dismissed and passed the gold by a servant who whispered in his ear. ‘Take heed; do not squander which you have already lost.’
Derry rushed back to his home to find one wife moody by the fire. He handed her the purse, she squealed in glee. Dreams of the wonder she would wear exploded in vivid colour inside her mind. As she spoke of all the things she would buy, Derry searched the house and grounds for his blessed sons. Only Nato was found, he did not know where his brother had gone and the pair worried.
Baron Errol had Geoff, locked in his keep. He had a spell brewing, one he had been dying to try. The nature of this potion would turn the victim into a wolf under the control of the potion master. The cauldron had been bubbling for over two weeks before the Baron visited his captive. Geoff was chained up, confused, starving and alone. Errol had had the cook make a grand meal for Geoff using the potion, he had starved the boy in the hope that he would shovel the plateful. He stood by the door in the shadows, keeping himself hidden, he kicked the plate over. Geoff looked up and then back to the food, he fell to the floor as Errol released the chains. He sat up with a grunt; the food looked fit for a king. ‘Why is it in front of me?’ He questioned himself. Errol watched the boy nibble at a carrot and left him in peace as he made plans for his new beast.
Geoff stopped eating as soon as the shadow had left the door. He scrambled himself up and pulled his new skinny wrists from the shackles. Breathing deep and flexing his aching bones. Geoff’s only thoughts were on escape and ran to the open door. He ran.
Derry’s wife had wasted the money; there was still no work in the farmlands. He began to panic. Nato had been depressed ever since he lost his brother. He spent any spare time searching the woods for him. Little did he know that he was next. Derry sat by the fire with his wife shouting at him about the empty purse, he sat in silence watching his other son scouring maps looking for place his brother could be hiding. He could not take anymore; he rose from his chair, ignoring the constant belittling and put a hand on Nato’s shoulder.
“I know where he is. If we don’t free him soon, you will be sure to join him.” Derry admitted his foolishness and told his boy just what he had done.
“Father, I cannot forgive you for what you have done, but you must help me rescue my brother.”Nato rose and put on his cloak. Derry followed him, feeling like a shameful child.
Geoff made it out of the keep, before he fainted. He began to shake and his very being began to change.
Nato and Derry were running across the Ongoing Plains racing to Errol’s keep under the guidance of the caring moon. They reached the gate and the servants were running wildly, frantically looking for something, no one heard their pleas. The baron found them, he marched over and Derry froze in fear. Nato squared up, stood his ground he looked Errol in the eyes.
“Do you not remember what was said to you Derry?” Errol smiled, he had lost one experiment, now he had gained another.
“Take me Baron Errol. Please spare my boy.” He fell to his knees. Errol reached a hand over to Derry’s head.
“Do not squander which is already lost.” He tightened his grasp and pushed Derry down into the mud. Nato went to strike Errol but he cast a spell that stopped him in his tracks.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. If you want to save your brother, then you need to come with me. Calmly.” He tutted and turned in a swirl of his robe. Nato could not control his feet he followed the Baron leaving his father weeping in the mud.