Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#REN3 / Rule Of Three - Chapter 3

The Messenger - Chapter 3

Rule-of-Three prompts chosen:
- betrayal is in the air
- relationships unravel or strengthen
- the impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laughs at it

Prologue (not part of the challenge)
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3 (here)
Chapter 4

word-count: 599

"By the pyramids, that was quite a storm, wasn't it?" Like everybody else in Renaissance, I had hurried inside as soon as a regular evening suddenly was turned into the blackest night. Most of them believed it was just a bout of weird weather, which wouldn't be unusual in this season.
"I wasn't afraid at all!" Several other young voices seconded this brave statement. They all belonged to a crowd of children that had gathered around me as soon as I had crossed the little bridge near the pub. I offered some praise and allowed two of the girls to take my hands.
"Keo, will you continue the story? The one about Star, the Traveller?"
By now, even some adults were following me. If asked, they would pretend that they just had some business to attend to at the market - of course they did not waste their time by listening to my tales. That's why I made sure my voice carried well enough over the whole place, despite the merchants and other entertainers.
The annual Midnight-Market was always a great event. However, why it was held in a season that was prone to sudden weather-changes was beyond me. But I've learned fast that the locals were a little weird. It suited me well, just like all the strangers that passed through it on occasions like this.
"All right, listen - listen to me. Catch the words, before they catch you. What do you know about Star, the Traveller?" My voice had them under its spell immediately. Not all of them, that would have been to obvious. Just the little ones, they were easy.
"It is a shooting star!" "It is magical!" "No, I know! It's an enchanted prince!"
Pleased with my audience, I let my gaze sweep over them, trapping a few more in my net. The older girls were especially susceptible to my pale blue-grey eyes.
"Yes, there is truth in all of that. And yet, the true nature of Star was about to become his doom."
I hesitated - the entranced crowd didn't mind, believing it was part of the story. But what I sensed in that moment was worth a tale of its own. I hardly believed this was happening, although the signs had been unmistakable for those who could recognize them. Just a storm from the Roundeli Mountains - indeed.
"His light shone strong and a long tail of glittering dust was Star's companion. Unerringly, he headed towards the Crystal Castle, which already shimmered at the horizon."
There she was. Her blue eyes locked with mine and I knew she had been caught by my voice, too - a sound that could break even her bond. She was small, if I had not towered over the crowd, she might have had to come closer to see me. Instead, I could do nothing to keep her from turning away, reconnecting with her master - not unless I revealed more than I wanted right now.
"Star was so close to his goal, he could almost touch it." Like I could touch the tender cheek of a little boy on his mother's arm – both such an easy prey.
"But the Shadow was closer."
Eyes widened, a collective sigh betrayed every single one of my listeners and at the far side of the marketplace I noticed a fish-merchant warding off evil with a gesture.
“Star's light shall scorch the dark fiend!” cried someone nearby.
For an instant, all was silent - until my laughter broke through it and welcomed the Shadow which was descending on me.


This third part for the "Rule Of Three Blogfest" was not easy, because this character is brand new and did not feature in the original idea of flash-fiction "The Messenger". I had to do some brainstorming and let my Muse run quite free, until Keo finally came alive.
I'm curious about the other "3rd character"s and of course what kind of prompts we'll get for the finale. If you don't know yet about the rules for this challenge, look here for example.

So, please review if you like it or even if you don't! Speculate on what will happen in chapter 4, if you want - I know it will depend at least partially on the prompts ;)
If you want to get an eMail whenever I post something or about something specific on my blog, just contact me, please.

(this was original posted first in my Livejournal, including comments)  

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