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Sacrifice of the Lamb

The clouds were a swirling red as the swords clanged against each other. The King sat upon his horse as he galloped through the battlefield. He held is sword up high slashing and stabbing. Every time his sword clashed against metal lightning struck against his blade, and every time a kill was made thunder boomed. He let out a battle cry as he charged towards his target….

Derek woke up putting his hand to his head. He climbed out of bed and ran his fingers through his dark brown hair. He glanced at his clock and muttered a curse. It was 7:30 and he was going to be late for school. He rushed to his closet and pulled out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. He pulled the shirt over his head and his jeans over his boxers, jumping up and down as he struggled to do so. He combed his hair with his fingers and ran out of his room grabbing his backpack. The yellow bus gave a honk as Derek climbed in. He found his usual seat and plopped down giving a loud yawn.

“‘Bout time you showed up. I’m not sure coach would like to know his star quarterback didn’t show up to school.”
“Good-morning to you too, Chris.” Derek gave his friend and exasperated stare and rolled his eyes. His dark skinned friend was small but strong his build gave him a great advantage as a running back. Derek was taller, leaner, and very agile the best build for a quarterback. However, he could still take a brutal blow without any major injuries. He noticed Chris was no longer looking at him but at a girl who just walked onto the bus. When she passed by she winked and brushed her hip against Derek’s knee. Derek raised an eyebrow.
“Come on! How come you get all the girls?” Chris exclaimed after she passed by. “You’d think a black would get his fair share.”
“She wasn’t very subtle about it.” Derek answered. “I give her a B.”
“She was more like a B+ that was a pretty bold move, boldness is an awesome aspect in girls.”
“If you like that sort of thing.” Derek looked on lost in his thoughts. Another girl came onto the bus she walked right past him without so much as a glance. Her face was buried in her book. Derek attempted to read the cover. It read “The Bible”.
“What is with all these bible thumpers?” Chris exclaimed. Before long he heard a loud horn. The bus came to a sudden stop and he shot forward. A loud crash was heard and Derek’s head began to spin. The last thing he heard was the sirens in the distance and someone praying as the world faded around him…
The two demons crept along the woods investigating what had just occurred, a strange being just appeared out of nowhere. The female gave a sly smile as she realized what the being was. She glanced at her comrade. “Okay rookie watch and learn. This is by far the easiest way to take a man’s soul.” She slowly transformed into a very beautiful woman as she hid among the trees,
“Where am I?” he asked looking around as he held his head. He spotted the woman and his body felt cold under her seductive stare. She motioned for him and gave a pure white smile. Derek followed helplessly controlled by her beauty. She walked towards him and tipped his chin, her touch cold on her skin. Her face came closer her breath the snow. Suddenly her eyes became cold and hollow. She gave a startled yelp and crumpled to the forest floor. Derek snapped out of his trance and looked directly at the body. A pure white sword stood out of its back. He glanced at his rescuer. She was female dressed in what looked like white armor .Her hood and cloak were also white, her mouth and nose were obscured by a cloth mask. A crimson lion was on the back of her cloak. Derek looked into her piercing blue eyes.

“Um…thanks?”

“Shh…there’s another one.” She whispered. A man dressed in black almost instantly stepped out of the shadows. The girl pulled out a dagger and threw it at him. He fell backwards hatred and evil flashing through his eyes.
“Who were they?”
“Demons, the female was the one who tried to seduce you. She was about to drain away your soul. The male was probably a newbie, not as a powerful as the female.” The girl replied yanking her dagger out of the demon’s chest. “Could you get that sword for me?”
“Sure.” Derek grimaced pulling the sword out of the female demon’s body. The once pure white sword was covered in black liquid. He handed the sword to the girl. She scraped it against a tree wiping the blood off. Derek noticed strange markings engraved along the edge.
“I suppose you want to know where you are but first, your name.”
“Derek Windstorm.”
“Windstorm,” the name seemed to roll off her tongue. Derek noticed she had a strange accent somewhere between Russian and British. “I’m Ravelle and we’d better go.” Ravelle raced through the thick forest. Even for a quarter back it was particularly difficult for Derek to keep up. Ravelle seemed like a blur dodging every tree, while Derek found himself tripping over his feet. He recovered quickly but that didn't stop the pain from his many cuts and bruises. They soon exited the forest and came to a large field. Ravelle gave a sharp whistle and a golden stallion galloped towards her neighing worriedly.
“There, there Valiant I'm alright.” She cooed stroking his muzzle. She swung herself onto the saddle. Derek followed suit although with much difficulty. Ravelle offered her hand and helped him up. Derek was surprised of how strong the gloved hand was. They soon set off across the field at an even pace.
“Where are we going?” Derek questioned his eyes scanning the passing landscape. It certainly wasn't where he had come from.
“You'll see. Just shield your eyes when I tell you to. The city can be very bright to new comers,” Ravelle answered vaguely her eyes set straight on whatever lied ahead. It wasn't long before a bright light came up in the horizon. “Now!” Derek covered his eyes as a warmness washed over him.
“Can I open my eyes now?”
“Go ahead.” Derek did so and stared at the city that seemed to be sculpted out of ivory and gold. The men bargained while the women talked and watched their children play. Every citizen seemed to radiate with purity and when they smiled Derek's body filled warmth. Most all the citizens wore white with a gold trim but occasionally there were some dressed in red with a white trim. A few guards strolled around in silver plated armor with the lion insignia on their chests. While others dressed in white robes had lambs on their chests. These men and women seemed to be calmer than the guards who seemed to jump at practically every cry for help. Derek's thoughts faded away when they got to the castle that stood overlooking the city. It seemed to be made of white marble polished to perfection. Long flags stood high above the towers carrying a red cross on them. When they reached the drawbridge the guard looked at Ravelle with contempt.

“Friend of the King?”

“Long live the King who reigns forever.” at her words the drawbridge lowered slowly. Derek realized the guards had done nothing to cause its movement. It was if the bridge itself had responded to the words. When Derek and Ravelle were inside the castle another guard walked up to them.
“Ravelle, who have you brought here?”
“I found him in the woods. A demon was just about to take his soul. Would you show him to an extra room? He is probably weary from traveling.”
“I'm not a maid Ravelle.”
“Fredric, please, the King is expecting me to give a report. I mustn't keep him waiting.” and with that Ravelle turned around and walked away. Fredric glanced at Derek and gave a small sigh. He showed him a room and told him to freshen up.
“The King will want to see you soon.” Fredric muttered. Derek soon came out of his chambers dressed in a white tunic and brown trousers. He had traded his tennis shoes for boots and walked through the big castle. He came to a pure white door, he assumed this was the throne room. Ravelle soon met up with him and Derek stifled a sigh. She was now clad in what looked like a long white robe trimmed with gold. Her golden hair hung in a long braid down her back. Her lips were full and pink against her cream colored skin. Realizing he was still staring at her Derek turned away quickly cheeks flushed with embarrassment.
“Keep your eyes down when we walk in, we are not worthy to be in his presence. Kneel when I do. When he tells you to lift your eyes do so with haste.” Ravelle explained. She opened the door and stepped inside keeping her eyes to the floor. Derek did so as well and knelt before the golden throne.

“You may lift your eyes.” the King's voice boomed throughout the room yet it carried a kindness that pierced Derek's soul. He looked up expecting to see a warrior king with a gold crown and many expensive jewels but instead he saw a man dressed in a white robe with a red shawl over his shoulders. He had short cropped hair and a beard both of which were white. His eyes were a stormy gray. He wore no crown on his head and Derek noticed he had no guards. What kind of king was this? “No need to explain Ravelle I know everything about this boy. However, Derek what do you want to know?”

“Well your majesty, where exactly am I?” Derek questioned.

“The kingdom of Algoria. Well right now it's only a half kingdom. You see we are in the midst of a war. We fight against the forces of Luther. What you saw in the woods were just two of his hundreds of men and demons. The men that are in his army were the ones that had their souls taken just as yours almost was. Ravelle has agreed to train you so that next time that happens you can defend yourself.”

“I have? Oh I mean I certainly have. We start tomorrow break of dawn.” Ravelle replied hastily under the King's knowing glance.

“Derek I trust you have had food and water?”

“I have King, sir. I mean your majesty.” he neglected to add that it was the best thing he ever tasted but the King seemed to understand. The King motioned kindly for him to leave and Derek did so heading back to his chambers. He undressed climbing into the soft feather bed. His body drifted off to sleep while his mind filled with vivid dreams. He saw three people standing over him saying things that he couldn't make out. One of them was crying. The image flashed like lightning till it suddenly went black. To crimson eyes glowed through the darkness.

“Turn to me, Derek.” a voice echoed through his skull. He woke up to see Ravelle standing in the doorway and it was clear that she was concerned.

“One of the maids was frightened by your cries so I'd thought I come to see if you were okay. You are okay aren't you?”
“Yeah I'm fine just had a bad dream that's all.” Derek replied hastily climbing out of bed. He noticed Ravelle looked away as he did so. He realized how embarrassed she was to see him in his underwear and quickly donned a tunic and some trousers. I wouldn't have done that if she were just any girl. Why her? He wondered.

“Glad to see you’re alright. You'll get breakfast soon. Don't eat too much or you will regret it. Come down to the training field once you feel you're up to the challenge.” Ravelle smiled coolly and left the room. When breakfast came Derek was eager to eat it. The unleavened bread tasted like honey when Derek took a bite. The taste was just enough to cause Derek to want to eat more but he heeded Ravelle's advice. He didn't feel the training would be too difficult after all he had endured some grueling football practices in the past. However, when he got to the training field he found he was very wrong. Ravelle acted as his personal trainer and made him run through the woods he began in. Once he finally grew fast enough to keep up with her, they moved onto sword fighting.

“Most of the time we Algorians don't approve of violence but when the King deems it necessary we must take up our swords.” Ravelle explained handing him a wooden sword.

“Aren't you going to show me the basic moves?”

“You will learn as you go. We haven't much time.” Ravelle replied as she settled into a battle stance. Derek made a jab at her with his sword but she blocked it easily. He noticed that a small group of spectators had gathered around them eying him expectantly. Ravelle made a swipe to his side then suddenly moved her sword in a series of spectacular movements. Soon Derek was on his knees in defeat. “Yield” she said solemnly and walked off. Over the course of the week Derek improved on his sword play yet his nightmares seemed to get even more frightening every day. Eventually word was sent for him to speak to the King.

“Derek, my time is coming near I can feel it in my soul.”

“What are you talking about your majesty? Aren't you immortal?”

“No I’m just a man like you and just like any man I bleed and die the same. Being a king does not make me any more than that. A sacrifice must be made.”

“I don't understand! Whatever must be done I will do for you. I will stand by you always.”

“Please, Derek just do what I tell you to do. Ravelle and you will lead the troops to the Field of Eternity and set up camp. When the sun begins to set on the fourth day prepare for battle and remember if the world hates you know that it hated me first.”

“Yes your majesty.” Derek muttered. He sadly left the throne room and met up with Ravelle. After relaying the King's instructions they set off to gather the troops.

“It's time you learned horseback. Valiant's not going to be able to carry both of us during the battle.” Ravelle stated when the troops began to pack up. Derek explained that he already knew how to ride. His mom had taught him. A black mare was given to Derek to ride and he was surprised at her stubbornness. “What are you going to name her?” Ravelle asked riding up alongside him. He noticed that she was wearing her white armor and mask, her white cloak trailing behind her. He looked at his own plated silver armor. He fingered the pure white sword in his scabbard.

“I'll name her Stormy, for her attitude.” Derek replied.

“A fitting name.” Sir Fredric remarked. They stayed at the Field of Eternity for three days and on the fourth day they prepared for battle. It wasn't long before they could see Luther's army in the distance. At first it seemed as though there were only a few hundred men but as they moved closer the hundreds changed to thousands. The Algorian troops looked nervously at Derek as if expecting a retreat.

“Listen all of you!” Derek yelled. “Today we face a great battle that we may or may not win but that doesn't give us reason to act in cowardice. Today we fight for Algoria and our KING!!!!!”Derek cried. The Algorian troops were silent at first but soon a large chorus of whoops and yells were heard. “FOR THE KING!!!!!” they all yelled and they charged forward. Ravelle and Derek made their way through the battle field killing whatever demons they could. The demons did not shape shift in appearance but strength and might was greatly modified. This made it all the more difficult for the Algorian troops. Suddenly a loud voice boomed through the field.

“You cannot win without a king. Where is he now? He has abandoned you and left you for dead. What is a shepherd who can't even take care of his sheep? Join me!”

“NEVER!” Derek screamed charging forward at an even greater speed. Suddenly, the fighting around him ceased. A large black cloud appeared before him and a man appeared in the shadows. The figure had crimson red eyes that glowed through the cloud with such evil and hatred that Stormy reared knocking Derek to the ground. Picking himself up he raised his sword.

“I wouldn't try that, kid.” the figure said with a growl. “You might get hurt.”

“What have you done with our king?!” Derek asked angrily.

“He made a choice. I told him he could either live and all of you would die or he could pay the price and you'd live in peace without us bothering you. I think you know what he chose.” the figure gave a cynical laugh. “I grow weary of this talking. Arthur, finish this boy off and you,” he said inclining his head towards the rest of the demons. “make sure no one interferes.” the black cloud blew away in the wind. The one called Arthur strode up to Derek and raised his sword. Derek followed suit and jabbed his sword towards Arthur's stomach. Sparks seemed to fly everywhere as the swords clashed and clanged against each other. The two were evenly matched but Derek lost his footing and Arthur used the opportunity for a kill. Derek fell on his knees as the man raised his sword and swung. Suddenly, a sword clashed against Arthur's. Ravelle had somehow managed to push through the demons and enter the fight. Yet she was no match for Arthur who quickly overwhelmed her and slashed her side. Derek heard a yelp of pain as she crumbled to the ground. He rushed to her side and held her in his arms.

“Ravelle, please don't leave me!”

“Derek remember that the King will rise and bring end to suffering and pain. He exists in your world you just have to know where to….” Ravelle breathed. Her breaths became slower and slower and soon they were gone. Derek felt tears roll down his face as he held her now dead body.

“Now it's your turn.” Arthur growled. Suddenly a bright light filled the sky. An agonizing scream was heard followed by a chorus of them. The demons began to slowly sink into the earth as the light shined.

“No you can't do this! Impossible! You're supposed to stay dead!”

“It's over Luther, you've lost.” another voice echoed. This time though Derek recognized the voice as the King's, as he pondered this his sight became blurry and then pitch black.....

“Derek! Oh Derek you're alive!” his mother cried wiping tears from her eyes.

“Where am I?”

“The hospital dear! You came here after that terrible bus accident. You've been in a coma for two weeks.” his mother blubbered through her tears. Derek tried to sit up but he found himself with a broken arm and leg.

“Easy there Mrs. Windstorm. We don't know how much information he can process yet.” the doctor said adjusting Derek's leg cast so that he could sit up. “You are very lucky to be alive son. You must have someone looking out for you,”

“Yeah, I must have.” Derek replied vaguely as his gaze reached the window. Someone walked into the room. She carried a Bible and had golden hair. Ravelle? “What about Chris?” Derek asked trying to take his eyes off of her.

“He’s fine. Remember? You put your arm in front of him in the crash.” The girl said. “Derek would you like to pray with me?” Derek nodded his head.





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arringtonmom said...
Apr. 26, 2011 at 11:41 am
Wonderful piece! Very captivating!
 
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