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A Knight's Lullaby
It was a cold night on the moors of Scotland. The wind howled loudly as it hunted through the hills and occasionally let the crinkled leaves travel through his fingertips. Off in the distance a tiny cabin stood. Small wisps of smoke escaped from the leaning chimney as the wind came by. Through the window to the left of the pine door a young mother could be seen. Her slim figure was wrapped in a quilt, and in her arms a tiny baby boy was nestled and sleeping contently. She held her baby closer as a howling wind shook the house, and the faint sound of hoofs hammering against the frozen terrain reached her ears. She looked down at her baby’s fare face, and let a song surge quietly from her lips. The baby’s expression changed to a look of pensiveness, then back to peace. The mother continued to gaze at her child as a fist from the wind gave another blow to the house. The noise of the hoofs got louder. The mother began to sing her song a bit louder, as a tear fell from her eye. The baby squirmed a bit, but was still in a slumber. Then the sound of hoofs stopped…The mother froze, because she knew that the time had come.
“No” she thought, “not now, not yet, I am not ready yet…”She stopped, as somebody knocked on the door of her house. Her heart began to fly, as questions began to form, and she panicked. Should I run…Should I try to hide somewhere…No, I cant, I have to fulfill my vow…The tears collapse down her face because she knew what she must do. She must completed the vow. The mother went to the door, turned to knob, and opened it. A fierce wind blew icy pins at the mother as she stood and faced the man in the dark cloak. He held out his arms toward her. The mother gave one last longing, look at her son Rondivol, shed a cold tear, and handed her sleeping baby into the arms of the man. He nodded under his dark hood, turned and climbed into the black carriage that waited behind him. The mothers hands went to her mouth as she cried for her only child that was now out of her arms. The carriage gave a quick lurch, pulled away, disappeared into the darkness. The mother fell to the ground unconscious with grief, halfway in the freezing weather, and halfway in the warm house. The pine door blew open and slammed against the wall as another angry wind swept through the landscape. It was as if too the wind was grieving.
5 Years Later on Luskentyre Beach in Harris two boys played together. The one boy was 13, and the other 5 1/2. “I cont keep up with ya Jonas.” The 5 year old called. “Well, your going ta have ta Jonathan, if ya expect ta make it ta becoming a squire.” the 13 year old replied a bit to harshly. “Well, I doont want to” Jonathan said quietly, and then he stopped and began to cry. Jonas stopped to and made his way over to his younger brother. He put his hands on Jonathan’s slim shoulders and said in a quiet voice. “Hear me, we were born to be knights Jonathan. It’s our destiny. We will live and die as knights, and bring honor to Scotland, Does that make sense to ya brother?” Jonathan bit his lip and nodded. “We will not put our queen to shame” Jonas stopped to collect himself, and continued “Right now your job is to make your body strong, so you will be hefty enough when they put you into battle” Jonas leaned over and stared straight into his brothers eyes. “It’s all right to be afraid, we just need to answer our call of duty”. With that Jonas gave Jonathan a slight tap on the shoulder, stood up straight and tall, and said with a smile. “I’ll race ya to the big rock…” and with that both boys were off down the sandy beach.
It was on Jonathan’s 11th birthday that a ceremony was held for his graduation from a page to a squire. He felt proud inside knowing that he had finally advanced . It was the greatest thing he had ever accomplished in life so far. Jonas, being 18 who had been knighted one year ago attended Jonathan’ ceremony. He was proud of his younger brother, and looked down at him through his helmet and smiled with formality. Jonathan felt relieved inside that he had reached to point of pleasing his brother. Now he would be placed in the service of his brothers stead. He would aid him until he reached the age of knighthood or did something honorable enough to be knighted. But for now Jonathan decided that he would sit back and enjoy the day. Later on, after the ceremony and festivities he sat on the large rock at Luskentyre Beach just as the sun was beginning to set. A short tune entered his mind and leaked out into a hum. Jonas walked towards him; now relieved of his knight’s suit and quietly listened to the tune his brother hummed. “What is that you sing?” Jonas began “I have never heard such a tune.” Jonathan fumbled with a few small pebbles. “I’m not sure brother, my mind remembers it from a place I know not. If I knew I would have told you.” And with that he continued to hum the sweet little tune.
The time had finally come! The time that Jonathan had been waiting for his entire life. Today he was to be knighted. After many hard years of labor Jonathan now knelt before the pope as he rambled his long speech in Latin. King Fredrick nodded his head in approval of Jonathan and smiled his way. Jonathan’s heart beat quickly with happiness, but also a strange sadness. A sadness that had lingered inside his soul since the mysterious tune. Many questions had filled his mind after that day, but he pushed them aside and savored the moment. For today he was to become a knight! When the pope was finished to king strode toward Jonathan and had him get on one knee. He placed his right hand on his beating heart, bowed his head and repeated a vow, that would put him in service for the kingdom for the rest of his life. This was the moment he was waiting for. The king lifted a long, glittering sword and gently placed it for a second on each of Jonathan’s shoulders. As Jonathan stood the crowd watching cheered, and the king pronounced him as Sir Jonathan of Harris. The ladies threw rose petals at Jonathan as he walked through the crowd, and the men raised their hands in congratulations. This would have to be the happiest moment in Jonathan’s life. A smile waned across his face. If only Jonas could see him now…he would have been so proud.
Another arrow shot in front of Jonathan's face, just barley missing him. The sound of battle was all around. It had been tow years since Jonathan’s knighting, and now he and his men were in a battle against a rough group of Scottish zealots. The cries of other knights echoed across the broken moor. Men fell dead every second on either side of the black horse that Jonathan’s rode. Jonathan raised the Scottish flag high in the air, and held it steady even with the turmoil all about him. He reared his horse to the right as another flaming arrow whistled by. It passed in front of him and lodged itself in the hard earth. Suddenly Jonathan felt a stabbing pain in his right leg, and looked down to see an arrow that had pierced his uncovered thigh. Dark blood seeped from the deep wound, and Jonathan started to feel the increasing loss of blood get to him. He began to feel lightheaded, and his eyes began to sag. As his figure began to slope one of the last thoughts that went through his mind was that he must get somewhere safe. He dropped the flag. Jonathan gave one painful kick to the sides of his horse, and with that they was off. The horse’s legs pumped with amazing speed as it carried them across the war grounds. Jonathan thought he could see a small cabin off in the distance but he wasn’t sure, everything was a blur. He held onto the horses neck with both arms to keep from falling. His eyes began to close, and he could feel himself sliding off the horses back. Then everything went dark.
Elisabeth was crouched inside her house with frightened hands over her head. Tear of fear streamed down her cheeks, and her heart beat wildly. Battle had broken out just that morning, and she had no time to escape her home. Her small, frail body shook with terror as the screams of battle echoed through the cabin. Just then the sound of a galloping horse coming towards her house peaked her ears. She fearfully got up and tiptoed to the window. She gasped as she saw a black horse walking toward her door, and a fallen knight was being dragged on the ground with one foot caught to the stirrup. His leg was drenched in blood, and the knight’s face was ashen. Forgetting her fear for an instant Elizabeth quickly opened the door and ran towards the knight’s limp body. She had to help him! Her left hand went to her mouth as she examined his pitiful state. Her hands went toward the part of the sattle where his foot was trapped. She lightly touched his foot and it came loose and fell to the ground with a thud. A groan exhaled from the knight’s lips and his head flopped to the side. Elizabeth flinched. She bent down, and put her hands under each of the knight’s arms, braced herself and began to drag him toward the open door of the cabin. After Elizabeth got him into the house she laid him out straight on the floor, and began to look at his wound. The arrow that was once lodged had been ripped down and out, and it left a deep gash leading from his mid thigh down to almost his knee. Blood continued to seep out of the open wound and leak on the floor. Elizabeth prepared wet rags and ripped cloth for bandages. With great difficulty she removed the armor that enclosed the front of the knight’s leg. And ripped the leg of his pants to fully expose the wound. When she was almost finished cleaning the wound the knight’s eyes snapped open, and his hand shot towards his leg wound. As soon as his fingers touched Elizabeth’s his upper half rose and he looked at the face of her. Her face was covered in deep lines, and her thin colorless lips where pressed together. He looked into her big sky blue eyes, and they looked familiar. As soon as Elizabeth looked at the face of the fallen knight she knew him. The same sandy blond hair, the same few freckles that were sprinkled across his nose, the same dimple to the left of his mouth and the same large gray eyes. Her eyes filled with tears, and her mouth formed the name Rondivol. The knight looked at the strange woman with a blank expression.
“Rondivol, you’re my son…”her voice trailed off, because she knew that this knight had no idea what the woman was speaking of.
“They took you away from me when you were still a baby” She tried to explain, while wrapping the knight’s leg.
“But…” the knight began in a groggy voice
“I was born and raised in Harris, my mothers name is Luisa, and my name is Jonathan.”
“yes, that is what they told you.” Elizabeth nodded as another tear escaped from the corner of her eye.
“I suspected as much…”
Jonathan looked upon the woman with compassion, and wanted so much to understand her meaning.
“please,” he began. “please tell me…” he laid his head back upon the floor.
“Whenever I was betrothed to your father he became suddenly, fatally ill and was on the verge of death.
I then called upon Sir De’ Von Mark of Argyll and made a vow that if he called upon the Great Healer in my stead and healed your father I would promise him anything. Sir De’ Von Mark said he would only If I would give up my first son to him so he would be brought into knighthood. I promised him, and the next day your father was healed. Two months before you were born your father was killed in a horse accident. He left me in debt, and seven months pregnant. A few months after you were born Sr. De’ Von Mark came to collect the payment of the vow…you” Elizabeth stopped and shed a sad tear. “He took you away, and left me here alone.” With that Elizabeth bowed her head and finished pinning the bandage. A soft tune flowed from her lips, as she began to pick up the bloody cloths and other materials. Jonathan's head turned toward the woman and his eyes widened.
“I know that song!” he stammered
Elizabeth turned toward the knight on the ground and her face went blank.
“You, you sang it to me just before De’ Von took me away,”
Then the memories flooded back into Jonathan, and he faintly remembered a young, beautiful face looking down as him, and…” nothing else came. That one memory was all he needed. Jonathan looked at the woman.
“Mother!” he said.
Elizabeth rushed toward her son, and Jonathan's arms went out toward her. She fell into her son’s arms, as happy tears rushed out of her eyes. This would have to be the happiest moment of Jonathan's life…