Checkmate Ch.6 The Saving Heart

February 2, 2011
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I awaken on Nena’s lap feeling rejuvenated and full of life. I look up to find her radiant smile already looking down at me. Then the light turns to dark and her head begins to droop. I try to speak and ask her what’s wrong but no words will come out of my mouth. Blood begins to drip from the corner of her mouth. A drop lands on my forehead and my blood rushes into a frenzy. I jump and her body slumps over. I try to shake her awake when I notice a sword sticking out of her back. No, how did this happen and why not me. All a sudden I feel a sharp pain in my back. I look back and an arrow sticks out from my back. Two more fly through the air and pierce through me. My body drops over Nena’s and I wonder where it all went wrong. How did we let our guard down like this after all this time? I turn my head and I stare into Nena’s eyes. Usually so bright and full of energy, but now they grow dull and lifeless. I try to move my head towards hers to be closer to her but I can’t move. Another arrow has struck my spine and left me motionless. I want to reach out to her so badly as my eyes well up with tears. I promised I would protect her, that no harm would come to her. It seems in the end not only couldn’t I keep my promise but I couldn’t save either one of us. I slowly open my mouth to speak but still no words are heard. I close my eyes in defeat waiting for my world to go dark.

N-“Redwan! What’s wrong Redwan?” I hear Nena distressed and calling to me. I work up the strength to open my eyes and look at her but still her lifeless body lays there unmoving. “Redwan, Redwan!” Her voice keeps calling me and yet still her lips are cold and still. I must be hallucinating; I want to hear her voice so much that I’m imagining it in my head. I wont let this hallucination drive me crazy in my last moments. Again I close my eyes and wait for death to come but I cant seem to shake off the voice. “Redwan wake up, you need to wake up.” The taunting will never seem to cease and again I open my eyes in hopes of her revival. I find myself looking up into her beaming eyes once again. Could this be another hallucination?

N-“Redwan are you ok? You were shaking in your sleep and I couldn’t get you to wake up. Were you having a nightmare?” There was a concern in her voice as to what I had just gone through. Which now I know must have all been some kind of dream. She was sitting up against the tree with my head still on her lap.

R-“Yes…..yes I’m ok. It was all just a dream.” My voice is shaky as I try to recover from the horror I had just seen. I try to sit up but she places her hand firmly on my chest and gently sets me back down.

N-“No sit lay back down your still shaking, just rest for a few minutes. Now what did you see?” She sounded sympathetic but also confused as to what had just taken place.

R-“I saw us, right here, and we were… dead. It seemed so real.” I cant hide the sadness in my voice or how frightening the experience was. My body still shakes from being upset.

N-“Its alright It was just a dream don’t worry, were both fine.” She caresses my head in her arms and pulls me close to her chest. She lowers her head and rubs her cheek against my forehead. Her soft black hair sways back and forth across my face. A feeling of security rushes over me. My heart calms and my body stops shaking. “Its ok we’ll stay here as long as you need. You just need to take it easy for a little while.”

R-“Thank you but I’m fine now” I would like to stay in her embrace forever but I know we really must get going. “Lets go.” I get up this time resisting her trying to set me back down.

N-“No Redwan you need to rest. You cant just get up and go after that.” I can feel her concern for me but for some reason this time I don’t care.

R-“Well I don’t have a choice we need to move, now lets move.” I pull her to her feet and start to march forward with determination in my voice. I push through some brush ignoring Nena’s protests.

N-“Redwan we need to think about this. Your not in the best condition to be traveling right now. Cant we please just stop and talk about this for a minute.” She tries to keep up with my harsh pace while pleading with me to stop. I turn around to face her.

R-“Don’t you understand there trying to kill us?” There is anger in my voice as I want her to just follow me. “They want us dead and we need to get away as fast as possible. So just shut up and keep moving!” I yell at her with eyes ablaze. Why I yell at her I don’t know but I see fear in her eyes. She looks down in dejection at the words I’ve just said. How could I have done that?

N-“I… I’m sorry.” There is sorrow in her voice as if she’s just let me down so badly I’ll never forgive her. There’s no way I could have just said what I said. I would never do something like this and yet I just have.

R-“No I … I didn’t mean that.” She turns away from me and sits down. I can hear her sniffling to the tune of the breeze. “I’m so sorry I don’t know what came over me.”

N-“Its fine I deserved it.” She still wont turn to look at me just solemnly looking at the ground while she pulls the grass through her fingers.

R-“No there was no reason for that. I shouldn’t have yelled and I should have listened to you. Your right lets rest for a minute.” I crouch down next to her and then fall backwards. Now im sitting next to her but slightly behind her waiting for some kind of recognition. “Are you alright?”

N-“Yes” She nods but wont turn towards me. I don’t know how badly I’ve hurt her.

R-“Please look at me.” I just want to know she’s ok and wont know until I can see it on her face. She slowly turns just her head towards me and I can see one watery eye but her hair is covering the other. I slowly raise my hand and push her soft hair to the side. I place my hand under her chin and wipe her tears with my thumb. A smile washes over her face and I know that she is mine again. “I will never hurt you like that again. I promise you. Can you ever forgive me?” I bring her close to me and kiss her ever so lovingly on the lips.

N-“How can I not when you put up such a good argument.” She smiles slyly and kisses me again.

R-“So we ready to get going?” She raises her eyes to me in a condescending manner. “Right probably not the best time.” We both laugh at my insensitive remark. I feel as if were there for hours before she finally starts to get up. I get up and we both continue through the forest without a word. Each shadow that every tree casts seems as though it holds some hidden foe waiting to take us just as we move by. As the wind blows through the leaves it feels as if our enemies are whispering to us. Telling us to leave this place or meet our end here. I wouldn’t want to disappoint them so we make haste for the edge of the forest. Finally I see the light and I run quickly pulling Nena behind me. We erupt from the forest on to find ourselves in a completely open plain. There are only a few trees scattered along the vast grasslands.

N-“Where to we go from here Redwan?” She looks around the plain as it seems we have no destination. I point my finger out in front of us.

R-“There.” I set my hands on the side of her head and move it in the direction I was pointing. “We will head for those mountains.” There are snow covered mountains in the distance across the plains. “That’s the direction of the Black king’s kingdom so we must pass through the mountains. We are far to in the open here so we must make our way quickly across the plains. I would hate for the Black knights to catch us out here in the open.” My voice is slow and soft as I hear a noise from the forest behind us.

BK-“Aww what you mean you wouldn’t want to see us. That hurts you know and after I was gonna invite you to my party you go say that and hurt my feelings.” The knight has a smirk on his face as he mocks my playful banter.

R-“Alright knight it seems as though your in a playful mood so lets play.” I smile at him as the challenge is set. He wont win me at my own game.

BK-“Yes lets.” He raises his arms and ten pawns walk out of the woods behind him.

R-“Oh reinforcements I see. I thought you wanted a real fight.” I step backwards towards Nena to make him think I’m intimidated.

BK-“This is a real fight, your just really outnumbered and going to lose.” He chuckles under his breath as he draws his blade from his side anticipating an easy fight. I step next to Nena and grab her hands in mine.

R-“I might need this.” I pull her in close to me.

N-“What are you…” She wonders what I’m planning but before she can ask my lips encircle hers. The heat is so intense you can almost see the flames coming from our lips. I turn and face the knight with lips held tight.

BK-“Ha nice try but I have heard rumor of your legendary fire breathing and it wont work here.” He says confidently and yet still while slowly backing away from me. “There is to much grass and forest lands you will burn everything to the ground.” He moves his arms outward pointing to all the green that surrounds us.

R-“Oh well good thing I wasn’t planning on it.” When I open my mouth to speak you can see a fire burning inside. You can see the fear on there faces as they watch in amazement.

BK-“Well don’t just stand there go get him he cant use his fire here.” He barks orders at the pawns but none of them want to move an inch while I hold this power in my possession. “Fine you incompetent fouls I’ll do it myself. Then when you see how powerless he is come in after me.” He turns and walks towards me at a brisk pace.

R-“Alright commander but don’t say I didn’t give you a chance to escape.” I open my mouth so that he can see the fire and he slows his pace.

BK-“You wouldn’t risk burning everything down including your dear queen would you?” He is just a few feet away now and angles his sword towards me as I still don’t make a movement.

R-“Try me.” I grin at him as I see the fear in his face that cant be denied.

BK-“I know you wouldn’t.” He says trying to convince himself of something he cant be sure. He raises his sword to swipe at me head.

R-“Your right, I wouldn’t.” I duck to dodge his sword as it slices just over my head. I kneel down and blow on my hands. They ignite into blue fire and I rise landing a flaming uppercut underneath his chin. He flies back on the ground stunned at what has just taken place.

BK-“Pawns attack now!” He gets up off the ground and the pawns all come flooding towards me. The first to reach me are afraid to come to close at the sight of my hands. So I make the first move. I run forward as they slowly back up. I kick one in the chest and swipe another’s legs from underneath it. The next one goes for a jab to my stomach and I grasp his arm before it reaches me. He screams as I sear his arm. I knee him to the head and he drops to the ground unconscious. Another pawn grabs me around the neck. I jerk my arms backwards and the fire travels up my arms covering the complete top half of my body. He lets go rolling on the floor with his arms badly burned. The knight orders a retreat and the pawns are way ahead of him. They all run back into the forest much quicker than they came. The knight still stands in front of me at the edge of the forest.

BK-“Next time king, next time.” He grins and turns to enter the forest. I don’t like how he grinned like he knew I was already dead.

R-“No we finish this now!” I yell as I run towards him. The wind extinguishes the fire off my body as I run. I jump in the air yelling. “Dieeee!” I am right over him about to land on his back. He kneels down and angles his sword up between his arm and body. I don’t have time to react. I come down and the sword lands right into my chest. My feet don’t even touch the ground as I dangle there on the tip of his sword.

BK-“Poor choice of words my king.” He turns and drop the sword so that I fall to the ground.

R-“My…king?” I barely get out the words as I lay there breathless. Why would he call me his king?

BK-“Oh you haven’t heard, how sad? All the men in your kingdom have turned to serve the Black king since you’ve gone. I was once a Red knight don’t you recognize me your majesty.” He laughs as he mocks my predicament.” Oh how the mighty have fallen. Right my king.” He continues to call me king in jest. “We got tired of waiting for you to return from defeating the Black king and decided it was time to join the right side. How does it feel to be all alone? Well I guess it doesn’t matter much now that your dead. But think about your queen and what’s to become of her. Maybe ill give you the honor of dying together.” He walks past me slowly towards Nena.

R-“You will not touch her.” My voice is gruff as I struggle to get the words out.

BK-“Oh now I don’t think that’s your call anymore sir. I’ll let you know how she died though if I come back to find you still breathing.” He walks over to her and she falls to her knees on the ground. “Your not even going to try and run your highness?” He wonders if this is some kind of trick Nena is using to gain the upper hand.

N-“No, if I am to die it will be here with my king.” She lowers her head in defeat waiting for him to strike the final blow. She doesn’t even cry or show sign of sadness as if this is how she knows it would be and is ok with it.

BK-“Well that is very honorable of you.” He raises his sword. “Now look at me, let me see the fear in your eyes as I saw in your king before he met his end.” She keep her head down and he grows angry. He grabs her hair and pulls her head back so that she is looking towards him. He puts his face in front of hers and places the tip of his sword under her chin. “Aren’t you scared to die?”

N-“Not at all.” She looks straight into his eyes and there is not the slightest sign of fear in her eyes or voice. The knight grows more angered as he wants to be feared.

BK-“Well you should be.” He grabs her by the neck and lifts her into the air. He looks into her eyes and notice they glance over in my direction. “Oh I see, you worry more for your king then you do for yourself. Well then lets see if we can bring out this fear.” He walks over towards me still carrying her. He kicks me in the side and I roll over coughing. “I’m surprised to still see you alive my king. Are you ready to watch your queen die?” I don’t make a sound as I lay face down in the grass. He kicks me in the head and still I don’t make a sound. “Hmm maybe he is dead.” He laughs and throws her to the ground. “Don’t worry though my queen you’ll soon be joining him.” I look over to see her lying there on her back staring back at me with tears forming in her eyes. Blood streams from my mouth as I reach out my hand. She places her hand in mine and I smile, the grass around my head stained with blood. “Oh how sweet you are alive. Now you two can die together I’ll end you both with one swipe.” I roll on my back away from her still holding her hand so that she is pulled into me and I place my other arm around her. “I almost hate to break up such a beautiful scene.” He laughs. “But not that much.” He raises his sword and Nena grips my hand tighter, so tight my hand turns to solid steel. He slices the sword downward and I let go of Nena’s hand. I reach up and catch the sword in my hand. His face is utter bewilderment as his sword is dented in on contact with my hand. “But how… your…”

R-“Dead? Yeah look at the end of your sword do you see any blood?” I smile at him as his eyes look to the tip of the sword which has the tip broken off and no traces of blood on it.

BK-“But how?” He looks at me in amazement at the thought of me cheating death.

R-“Well lets just say that love never dies.” I look at Nena and wink. I crunch his sword in my hand and throw it to the side. “So you still up to fight?”

BK-“I…I ...” To astonished to speak he clumsily walks backwards before turning and running into the woods.

R-“Aww thank goodness cause I did not have it in me to fight.” I laugh as I lay my head back down. I turn my head to find Nena staring at me.

N-“I thought his sword went through you? How did you survive?” Her eyes light up as she realizes I’m ok.

R-“So did I actually but then I took a closer look at my chest and look.” I open my shirt which is already torn most of the way down the front from the sword. I reveal a heart shaped necklace with the tip of a sword stuck in it.

N-“That the necklace I made you!” She yells in excitement at the sight of it knowing she help save my life. “But how did the sword not pierce through it? It was only made out of wood?”

R-“I also wondered this and realized that it had so much mud and dirt on it from my fights that when I caught on fire it superheated the necklace. The mud hardened onto the wood creating a rock hard substance that the sword couldn’t cut through. I’m sure the love you put into it couldn’t have hurt my chances either though.” I smile and nudge my head against hers playfully. She reaches her hand over and flicks me in the head. “Ouch what was that for?”

N-“Well for one making me think you were dead and two if you weren’t hurt why didn’t you get up to help me?” She says lightheartedly as she elbows me in the side. We both laugh as she keeps nudging me.

R-“I said I didn’t die I didn’t say it didn’t hurt. I still landed on his sword, that’s enough to leave me a little breathless and warrant some down time don’t you think?” We cant stop laughing as I nudge her back.

N-“Ok I’ll let it go this time but next time you better save me.” She giggles as I pull her close to me.

R-“Oh should I now? Well don’t worry.” I tease her as I lift her with my arm that’s around her. She rolls onto me and stares into my eyes. “I promise that with me, you will forever be safe.” She lays her head down on my chest and I put my arms around her. No more words need to be said as we lay there. Our breathes becoming one and the air seems to gather around us. Taking us away to a location where we will never have to come back. We close our eyes and drift away to a better place.





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