Mars Wings Part 3: Flash Fiction Friday Post

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You can find Part 1 here: http://wp.me/p6LAko-Om

Part 3 of 5

Photo by https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/images/index.html

We changed the subject. None of us had the answers. It bothered me that people wanted to separate from Earth. I mean, that’s where we’re from, right? I was alone reading my homework assignment on a public terminal, when my comm chimed. It was the Korian’s. I glanced at the time. They’d taken three hours. Good for them. “Hi, David.”

“Hi, Helga. We’re ready for some questions.”

“I’ll be right there.” I closed my book and hustled off. The door opened as soon as I pushed the announcer button. Ali was in the doorway. She must have been standing right there.

“Come in.” She grinned and waved me in.

“Yes, Helga. Tea?” Idai was in the kitchen.

“Thank you.” They’d found the cupboards and their starter supply of groceries.

We sat around the kitchen table and the questions started. David wanted to know about the lab schedules, Idai was concerned with water rations and the cost of air. Zane wanted to know about sports groups. Seems he was into basketball. Ali’s only question was, “Does Mars celebrate Christmas?”

“Of course. You’ll see on the Main Concourse. It’s decorated, you can buy gifts at the stores. There’s an increase in the sugar rations for the holiday so stock up now.” I could see everyone visibly relax.

Then David asked. “Is it safe? The video talked about a separatist group.” Idai stopped smiling.

I shrugged. “There’s some discussion. Why?”

“No attacks on new arrivals? On government offices?” David stared hard at me.

“Nothing. It’s safe. You can go anywhere that’s not restricted. No one will bother you.”

I watched Idai take David’s hand. “It’s just,” she paused, “a little unnerving to get here and find out there are people who don’t like Earth. Maybe they don’t like new colonists.”

“No way. We’re growing. We like to have new people come.” I finished my tea and stood up. They didn’t look totally convinced. “Shall I walk you to the Main concourse?”

Ali leapt from her seat. “Yes. Can we, Mom? Dad? I want to see it.”

Idai and David exchanged glances. “Yes.” David stood. Idai and Zane did too. “Let’s look at our new home.”

I made them open and close the few closed doors. Most stood open all the time except during drills or emergencies. I had to spend a whole day last year in the garden when the pressure dropped in my tunnel. All the doors slammed shut while I was working the compost pile. I was the only one in there. I’ll admit I was afraid with only the periodic announcements to keep me company. The garden was in the best shape ever by the time the doors were opened.

Ali was delighted. She danced up and down pointing out the different shops and the holiday decorations.

I pointed out the public terminals. “I was doing my homework here while I waited for you.”

Zane looked interested in that. “You can log in from anywhere?”

I nodded. He nodded back. I finally impressed him.

We walked the length of the concourse and back again. “You ready to be on your own?”

David nodded. “I think so. Appreciate the tour. We’ll stay a little while. Idai wants to do some shopping.”

“Sure. Keep your rations in mind as you buy. Use your comms to keep check.”

Idai smiled. “The same as Earth, really. Rations there too.”

“Have fun.” I waved and left. Mom would be making supper and I was hungry.

At dinner dad asked how my sponsoring went.

“Good. They were a little prickly at first but they seemed good when I left them in the Main Concourse.”

“Scared, Helga. They had all the training and briefings but still, they’re on a different planet, in a hole in the ground.” Mom passed me the potato mash.

“Sure. I was nice. They have a daughter my age, Ari.” I took my share of the potatoes, Mom had made gravy to go with it, my favorite.

“What’s the father do?” Dad took the potatoes from me while mom passed the green beans.

“Biologist. The mom, Idai didn’t say what she does.”

“We’re expecting a couple more computer techs in this wave. Maybe I’ll meet her.” Mom said.

We were nearly done with dinner when the separatist conversation came to my mind. “Do you know anything about the separatist movement, Dad?”

He stopped mopping his plate with his roll and looked at me. “Why?”

I shrugged. “I heard some of the kids talking about it. That Earth is taking stuff from us. It was in the video’s the Korian’s watched and David asked if there was any danger.” I ate the last of my soy-beef while dad composed his answer. As a security officer, he’d know the truth.

He took a deep breath. “There is a sentiment running through the colony that Mars should be more autonomous.”

“What’s autonomous?”

“Independent, dear,” mom answered.

Dad nodded. “Right. There’s no organized group, per se. But there are members of the council who have broached the topic. They believe we’re strong enough to govern our own affairs.”

It sounded dull to me. “Oh. So Earth government doesn’t take our research and inventions from us for nothing?”

Dad scowled. “They pay for a lot, it’s only fair they get a return on their investments.”

Finance. That sounded more boring that government. “Sounds fair, I guess.” I picked up my plate and headed for the dishwasher. “I’ve got homework to finish. Great dinner, Mom.”

“Thank you, Helga.” She stood up and grabbed empty bowls. “I’m glad you liked it.”

Dad laughed. “You made potato mash and gravy. She thinks it’s great every time.”

“I do!”

Later in my room I finished my homework and started a game. As I shot alien ships from the screen I thought about what Amber and Tayln said in the concourse. They seemed pretty upset about Earth. I wondered if maybe Dad was holding back information. Maybe I’d ask around in the morning.

 

 

Thank You!

1000 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

 

 

 

 

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Friday Flash Fiction Post: Images of a Black Flame

Images of a Black Flame

I dredged up this prompt from long ago and for some reason, it spoke to me now. I have written a chapter of what seems like a longer work. Do you like it? Do you want to read more? Let me know. If there’s no interest, I’ll let the story drop, never to be seen again.

Chapter 1

Anrak woke with a gasp and sat straight up in her bed. She pulled her russet hair, come loose in her sleep, back from her face and flipped her braid to her back. Deep calming breaths, just breathe. She looked around her tiny room, the embers of the fire close to gone, and tried to reorient herself while her heart beat slowed. The dream had seemed so real.

In the morning, she rose from her pallet and began the day’s work. Breakfast for Master Eddan and herself was first before they began the task of taking down the dried herbs and putting them into jars and boxes.

Eddan came into the main room as Anrak scooped oatmeal into bowls. “I put dried cherries in it this morning.”

Eddan sat at the table and nodded. “I’m pleased.” He eyed her, his face, wrinkled with time, showed concern. “I heard you call out last night. The dream again?”

Anrak swallowed. “Yes.” She sighed. “I wish I knew what it means.”

“Just the image of a black flame? Was it on a table, an altar, in a building, the woods?”

The apprentice rubbed an eye. “There might have been a candle, or that’s just wishful thinking on my part. I don’t understand why it terrifies me.” She scooped oatmeal into her bowl and sat across the table from her master. “It’s as though the flame is alive, can see me.” She stirred the mush around the bowl. “Or that there’s someone near, in the same space with the flame.” Anrak shook her head. “It makes no sense.” She ate a spoonful of the oatmeal.

Eddan stroked his beard, gone white in the twelve years she’d been his apprentice. “I’ve been thinking about your flame. I’ve read through all of my books looking for a reference. It might be time to go to the Mage Council to collaborate.”

“Is that wise?”

Eddan snorted. “They’ll have to get over themselves. They know I was right, it just galls them that I saw the dragon coming before the rest of them did.” He scooped up a spoonful and ate it.

“Good thing you did. Otherwise the land would have been seared from one end to the other. The King was happy.”

“Yes, but I’m concerned that you keep seeing this image and are fearful of it. It could be a portent. That’s why I took you as an apprentice. Your dreams are strong and even as an untrained child, could foresee events. We’ll go today. After breakfast, pack us some travel food, prepare our bags. We’ll go to the council and get some help.”

#

After four days walk, Eddan and Anrak reached the castle where many of their brother and sister mages lived and studied. It was located in the capital city, making it easy for the King to summon them should he need counsel or assistance. They were ushered to the rooms of the head of the council.

“Gar’dyne!” Eddan strode across the carpets strewn across the stone floor like pools of color. “So good to see you.” The two men clasped each other’s arms and hugged in greeting.

“It’s been too long, Eddan.” The mage held his friend at arm’s length and studied his appearance. “You’ve gotten grayer.”

“And you’ve gotten thinner. Doesn’t your apprentice feed you?” Eddan laughed.

“He does, but I don’t always remember to eat what he brings me.” He looked past Eddan. “And this is Anrak?” Gar’dyne walked to her and gave her a gentle embrace. “You have grown into a fine young woman.” He studied her face. “But you have dark circles under your eyes. Are you well?”

She smiled at the kind old man. “I am well.” Anrak looked to her master.

Eddan spoke up. “She is dreaming. We want the council to help us.”

“Come, sit.” He led them to a table and chairs. “Tell me everything.”

#

After the tale, Gar’dyne called for tea, bread and cheese. “It seems to me, this black flame is a symbol, a warning perhaps.”

While they ate, Eddan said, “That’s my thought also. The library here is large, there may be some reference to a black flame and one or more of the council may have knowledge of this image.”

“We’ll meet after supper in the council chamber and tell the rest of the mages. He stood up. “I’ll have Yawo escort you to your chambers. Rest, have a quiet supper and meet us after.”

Eddan shook Gar’dyne’s hand. “Thank you. I feel this is a threat. We should be prepared.”

#

At the meeting of the mages, they hashed over Anrak’s dream. By the time they finished, she was exhausted.

“I don’t know,” Tankal, a middle-aged man whose main talent as a mage was creating flame, whined. “None of us seem to know what this image she dreams of is about.”

“Belsing,” Gar’dyne called out. “You’re the one with the best knowledge of the library yet you’ve said nothing.”

Anrak turned to look at Belsing. At least ninety, he looked as fragile as the ancient manuscripts he studied.

“There might be something, a prophesy, very old. Something about a war with black flames. I’d have to research it.” He scratched his liver-spotted bald head. “I would suggest a dream reader stay with Anrak tonight and view the dream with her.”

“Excellent idea, Belsing.” Gar’dyne turned to a woman that was near his age. “Releh, you’re the best dream follower we have. Would you help us tonight?”

Relah looked at Anrak. “If the young woman gives me permission, I’d be happy to help.”

Anrak nodded. “I would appreciate that service. Thank you.”

“Then it is done.” Gar’dyne clapped his hands. “We’ll reconvene in at mid-morning to discuss what has happened over the night.”

 

End of Chapter 1

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Serial: Lost Rainbows Chapter 16 – Shamus Receives His Reward

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Chapter Sixteen – The Leprechauns Win (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 16 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

Shamus Receives His Reward

That night in the great hall, the King called each leprechaun that had taken part in the battle to the dais where his throne sat and gave each one a reward and the recognition of the kingdom. Shamus was the last one to be called forward. He bowed before the King.

Mac Shadenan waved for Shamus to rise, then took his hand and made Shamus to stand beside him. “People of the Sidhe! I have called Shamus O’Malley to my side last. Not because he is the least, but because he has done the most. It was Shamus who followed the evil wizard, Bannon, to a strange land and recovered both our gold and our rainbows. It was Shamus who brought to us Miss Becca, descendant of the Tuatha De Danann.” The crowd cheered. Becca was popular within the hall.

The King continued. “At the battle of the Castle Ruins, Shamus assisted Miss Becca in magic to help destroy the robots giving us a chance to win the battle. He protected her from harm throughout the entire fight. It was he who recognized the return of the Tuatha De Danann in our just battle.”

The crowd in the hall cheered again. Shamus blushed bright red.

“So, in keeping with his efforts, I grant Shamus O’Malley a pot of gold, an estate next to my own, and an appointment as one of my Advisors.”

Shamus stood stock still, eyes wide. Later, when the dancing had begun, he turned at a tap on his shoulder. Princess Lyeen stood there, a smile on her face.

“Congratulations, Advisor O’Malley.”

“Thank you, Princess.” He bowed low as he kissed the back of her hand. “Your father, the King, was most generous.”

“You’ve risen in rank, Shamus O’Malley.” Lyeen was tapping her toes to the music drifting through the hall. She smiled up at him, a twinkle in her eye.

“It seems so, Princess. Would you care to dance with an Advisor to the King?” His eyes searched hers, hope springing.

She held out her hand. “I would, Advisor O’Malley.” A grin spread across her face.

Shamus took her hand and swept her into his arms. “I think I’m going to like being an Advisor.” With that, he kissed her full on the lips. They danced the rest of the night.

The End

 

~~~~~

Lost Rainbows

Thank you for reading my story, Lost Rainbows. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this book, please spread the word, tell a friend or share the link to the story by using the share buttons to your right. The author is part of the Forward Motion Flash Fiction Friday Challenge and the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

You can read more of this story serially on this website for free or you can buy it and read it now at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

See more at: www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts

© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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Serial: Lost Rainbows Chapter 15 – The Leprechauns Win

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Chapter Fifteen – The Leprechauns Win (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 15 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

The Leprechauns Win

It was then she realized she and Shamus weren’t alone. Beside them marched tall people, dressed in armor that looked as ancient as her own. They carried lances of blue flame and shields that were so bright white that Becca couldn’t look at them.  She looked into the face of a woman warrior passing by. “She looks like me! Shamus…” She turned to her protector. “They look like me!”

He watched the newly arrived warriors pass them by. Becca saw his face fill with wonder. “Attack!” he screamed as he waved his sword around his head. “Attack and win this day! The Tuatha De Danann are with us!”

The leprechauns charged forward with renewed energy through the dark, the freezing rain and across the cracks in the earth. Becca could see all along the ranks, the tall people, grim-faced and fearsome, charging forward with them.

The companies hit the robots hard. The clash of metal on metal carried across the battlefield to her. She saw the leprechauns race through the robots and charge the wizards. Now a fierce wind blew, icier even than the rain had been. Becca leaned low over the neck of her pony who had put his head down into the wind. It was hard to see what was going on at the front line. She and Shamus picked their way across the now ice-covered meadow to where the King was fighting. The tall people were at the front and surrounded the wizards. A glow appeared from the tall warriors, golden against the darkness the wizards were throwing.

Becca sat up as the wind died down. There was tension in the air, like the way the day felt as a thunderstorm built up. The golden glow grew brighter and the darkness increased around the wizards until she couldn’t see them any longer. With a huge thunderclap, the glow sparked outward and the darkness disappeared. The rain and wind and darkness vanished and the day was again sunny and warm. The tall people were gone, too. Becca searched all around the meadow but they were nowhere to be seen.

The companies stayed two days in the meadow, nursing the wounded and repairing the damage done to the land. Then they moved through the ruined castle’s gate and back to the sidhe. The next day the Princess met Becca at breakfast.

They ate in the rose garden. The morning was full of sunshine but still cool. The scent of the roses filled the garden. “You have recovered well, Miss Becca.” Princess Lyeen buttered a scone and spread honey on it.

“I’m still a little tired, but yes, thank you. I have recovered.” Becca nibbled at a fresh strawberry. “How are the wounded soldiers?”

“They are well. Our physicians are treating the broken bones and the frost-bite.”

The two of them listened to a bird-song. Becca thought the song sad. They hadn’t been able to find the soldiers that had fallen into the earth. “I’m sorry about the soldiers who died. I wish I could have done something.”

“You did what you could with only a month’s training, little one. Their families are being cared for and the soldiers will be named among our honored. I’m sorry about your uncle.”

Becca put down her scone and wiped her hands, a faraway look in her eyes. “He was a good uncle. I’ll miss him.”

Lyeen reached across the table and patted Becca on the shoulder. “I understand. No one is all good or all bad. I’m just sorry he didn’t come to us in friendship.”

Her eyes began to tear up and Becca quickly wiped them, turning to a new topic, embarrassed to grieve for the man who would have destroyed her hosts. “Were those really Tuatha De Danann?”

Lyeen spoke softly. “It’s all right to grieve, little one. He was your family and you deserve time to remember him.” She took a deep breath. “To answer your question, I believe so, from what you have all told me. There is a legend that they will return to fight beside us in a just battle. I envy you, Miss Becca. The Tuatha De Danann have not returned to fight among us in all of our long history. I wish I could have been there to see them.”

Becca reached across the white linen tablecloth to take Lyeen’s hand. “The battle was horrific, Princess. I would not wish for anyone to have seen it. But I am sorry you did not get to see the ancient gods among us.”

Princess Lyeen smiled. “Thank you, Miss Becca.” She took a deep breath and grinned. “Let’s finish our breakfast. We’re preparing a welcoming home feast for the returned warriors. There hasn’t been a feast like this in many a year.”

 

~~~~~

 

Lost Rainbows

To be continued…

Come back for more! Look for the next exciting installment each Wednesday.

 

You can read more of this story serially on this website for free or you can buy it and read it now at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

See more at: www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts

 

Thank you for reading. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this chapter, please spread the word, tell a friend or share the link to the story by using the share buttons to your right. The author is part of the Forward Motion Flash Fiction Friday Challenge and the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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Serial: Lost Rainbows Chapter 14 – The Battle Goes Poorly for the Leprechauns

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Chapter Fourteen – The Battle Goes Poorly for the Leprechauns (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

The Battle Goes Poorly for the Leprechauns

Becca shut her eyes and tried to block the screams from her hearing. What did the Princess tell her about calling lightning? Becca took several deep breaths. She thought about a stormy sky, how the clouds turned black and blended together. Twice she lost her concentration as the screams broke through her focus. The third time, she had the picture firmly in mind. She raised her hands and visualized lightning streaking out of the sky and hitting the robots. Over and over again, she pictured the lightning falling from the sky onto the robots.

Like the time she did this magic with the Princess and the Advisors, she felt her fingertips tingle. Becca took another breath and as she flung her arms forward, fingers outstretched; she screamed a word she didn’t know. Lightning flashed down from the sky and the robots in front of them began sparking and exploding. The leprechauns that were still standing dashed away from the fires and watched as the robots fell.

“You did it!” Shamus screamed as he controlled the rearing pony and his own horse, both animals frightened by the electricity.

Becca dropped her arms and slumped in the saddle. She was so tired.

Horses under control, Shamus jerked his water-skin from his side and raised her chin. “Drink, regain your strength.” He poured water into her mouth.

She didn’t think she had enough energy to swallow. Half of the water ran out of her mouth onto her armor.

“Becca! Drink!”

She swallowed a little, then a little more. “Enough,” she said weakly. “I’m fine.” She pushed the skin away and struggled to sit up. “How are our people?”

Shamus surveyed the field. “The robots are down. The soldiers still whole are running to the King’s side. It looks like about fifty are still able to fight.”

“What about the other companies?”

“I can’t tell, Becca. They’re behind the ruin.”

She took a breath and rubbed her eyes. “That was very hard.” Becca spotted the King. He and the remaining soldiers were near. The wizards had retreated behind the ruin. “Uncle will have a plan, Shamus. We need to join the King.”

When they reached the rear of the King’s remaining company, Becca could see that the Captain’s company had the same kind of trouble as the King did. She stared. “Shamus, there aren’t as many robots here. I know I saw two companies of them march around the ruin.”

“The leprechauns made them disappear. We have that much magic at least. The problem is that they’re so large, it’s hard to do. Like you, Miss Becca, magic drains our strength.”

As the two of them watched, they saw the Commander’s company working its way toward the King. The wizards were nowhere in sight. The fighting was difficult. This part of the terrain was overgrown with trees and thickets. Becca watched as many a leprechaun soldier tripped over a bush as he tried to fight. The robots also found the terrain tough going. “Look, Shamus!” She pointed. “The robots are having a hard time moving along the uneven land.”

“Good eye, Miss Becca.” He left her alone and rode up to the last line of fighters, pointing at the robots and waving his hands. In a moment, the leprechauns surged forward, swarming a robot and tricking it into tripping over fallen pieces of castle, bushes, and downed trees. Shamus returned to Becca. “That helped.” He wiped his face with a handkerchief. The early summer sun was beating down on the fight, making it hot. He drank a swallow of water. “Are you recovered, Miss Becca?”

Becca felt light-headed and too hot. What she wanted was to lie down and take a nap. “I think so, Shamus. Look, the companies have joined, now they can eliminate the robots.”

They saw the King directing the soldiers as the Captain and the Commander’s companies merged. They were nearly in battle order when the wizards appeared around the ruin from the direction the Commander had come. This time, they all had staffs.

“We were afraid of that.” Shamus reined in his excited horse. “If they all have staffs, they must all have magic.” They heard the King’s signaler blow the horn blast for retreat. “We’re going back to the meadow, Becca, where there’s room to fight.” They wheeled their horses around and raced back to the meadow where they’d started.

The King stayed in the rear guard and Becca saw him fighting off the remaining robots so that his soldiers would have time to get to the meadow. The soldiers raced past the fallen robots and their friends who lay wounded on the field. There was no time now to provide aid.

The leprechaun army formed up at the far end of the meadow, where they had descended the hillside behind them earlier in the day. There were only half the soldiers forming up compared to how many they had started the day with. Becca and Shamus joined the King when he arrived. She asked, “Can you make the wizards disappear, like the robots?”

The King shook his head. “Not living beings, no. More’s the pity.” They watched the robots form lines in two groups, one group on each side of the wizards. The wizards began to pound their staffs on the ground.

“What are they doing?” Becca had to sharply rein in her pony. It began to rear and squeal.

Shamus was having the same problem with his horse. “I don’t know, but the horses don’t like it.”

Soon the leprechauns could hear the pounding, a low rumble at first, then growing louder until it sounded like thunder. The companies grew uneasy. Then the ground began to shake.

“Earthquake!” Becca screamed. Her pony reared and whinnied.

“Charge!” The King waved his sword over his head and pointed it forward. The soldiers charged. Before they had gone fifty feet, the ground opened up in great yawning cracks. Several of the leprechauns fell in, screaming. The sky grew dark and lightning began to strike randomly among the charging soldiers.

Shamus held Becca at the rear of the charge. “Can you do something?” He had to yell to be heard over the quaking and lightning and now, a torrential rain.

Becca had nothing. She’d only studied for a month. There was no way for her to counter the magic of one hundred well-trained wizards. It was all lost; her uncle was going to win and conquer the leprechauns. Tears began to fall, mixing with the stinging, cold rain.

 

~~~~~

 

Lost Rainbows

To be continued…

Come back for more! Look for the next exciting installment each Wednesday.

 

You can read more of this story serially on this website for free or you can buy it and read it now at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

See more at: www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts

 

Thank you for reading. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this chapter, please spread the word, tell a friend or share the link to the story by using the share buttons to your right. The author is part of the Forward Motion Flash Fiction Friday Challenge and the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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Serial: Lost Rainbows Chapter 13 – The Battle Begins

 

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Chapter Thirteen – The Battle Begins (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

The Battle Begins

The soldiers rode off, the Captain of the Guard to lead his company to the right and the Commander to lead his company to the left. The last company remained with the King, Shamus and Becca.

Becca leaned over to pat her pony on the neck. She hoped her uncle would retreat, but she didn’t think he would.

The company with the King, in the center front line, broke from their cover and rode down the hill. Shamus and Becca were at the rear. Becca was near enough to use what magic she had but was as safe as being on a battle-ground could be.

As they charged down the hill, an alarm sounded from the ruins. From two directions, men in long robes exited the ruins, flanking the mechanical men on either side of the formation. One man lifted the tent door drape and strode with purpose out of the tent. He marched to the front of the mechanical men and waited. He wore a sword belted to his right hip and in his left hand he carried a staff.

Shamus recognized the staff from his last encounter with the wizard.

“Is that your uncle?” he asked Becca as they rode forward.

“There’s a lot of dust, but yes, that looks like Uncle David.”

“The other wizards, do they look like him?”

Becca shaded her eyes and stood up in the stirrups to get a better look. She sank back into the saddle. “Yes. They look like clones of my uncle.”

“Clones?”

“Yes, copies of a living creature.” She sighed. “I don’t know how he did that.”

Shamus nodded. He and the King, with the Commander and the Captain, had been planning for a month. He hoped the–he wrestled with the new word for a moment, clones–didn’t have the power the original wizard possessed.

The King rode to within two hundred yards of the wizard and held up his hand for the company to halt.

“Wizard Bannon,” the King called out across the meadow. “I’m King Mac Shadenan, King of the Leprechauns. Return to your own land.”

The wizard laughed. “I will not. I will claim this land for my own and recover my kidnapped niece!”

“The girl came with my representative willingly, wizard. We do not kidnap children.”

“You’re a thief, King. You stole my gold and rainbows.”

“I recovered what was rightfully mine, wizard. Return to your home.”

Bannon waved his staff, and the mechanical men’s eyes all began to glow red. “No matter, King. Soon, the whole land will be mine.” He pounded the staff on the ground. The mechanical men began to march forward.  The wizard hurried back to his tent where the clones surrounded him.

Shamus frowned. “We cannot tell which of them is the true wizard,” he told Becca. “He will be hard to stop.”

“What about the robots?” Becca had to be firm with her pony to stop him from marching forward with the rest of the company.

Shamus stared at her.

“The mechanical men. Another name for them is robot.”

“Ah,” he shook his head. “With luck, the company will be able to knock them down.”

As they watched, two companies of robots marched forward, toward the King. The other four companies of robots turned around, split in half and began to march in opposite directions around the ruin.

“They are preparing to meet our other companies.”

“Uncle studies battles,” Becca told him. “He understands troop movements.”

Shamus sighed. He hoped the King’s plan would work.

The King rode forward, a mounted bodyguard on each side of him. Right behind the King was the standard-bearer. The King’s standard, a triangular pennant, bore a bow crossed over a pot of gold with a rainbow over all on a background of clover green. It snapped in the breeze of the noon day and the ride into battle.

Becca listened to the horses neighing with excitement. The leprechauns were chanting and pounding their swords on their shields. Dust rose from the company and drifted to the east blurring her vision of the mass of wizards behind the robots.

Her mouth grew drier as the two forces marched toward each other, the tension drawn tight as she waited for the groups to clash. What would Uncle do?

It seemed like it took forever for the leprechauns and the robots to meet. At the first clank of sword on metal, the whole thing went too fast to see. Leprechauns and horses screamed. Metal screeched. She could see dust rising from two locations behind the castle ruin. The other companies of leprechauns must have also begun battle.

“Look.” Shamus pointed at the clones. “There’s the staff in the middle.”

Shamus was right. Becca could see her uncle’s staff raised high. She saw a flash at the top of the staff and the robots began to get larger. “Oh no,” she whispered as the robots towered to twice the height of the leprechauns. “Shamus, their chests are out of reach!”

Shamus led her pony with him toward the rear of the leprechaun company. “What other powers did you learn?” he yelled over the sound of the clash in front of them. “What can you do to help?”

Fear of the fight wiped her mind blank. Think, she scolded herself. Do something! “I was able to make a breeze. I could make fire. I did lighting once.” Her eyes were wide as she focused on the fight in front of her. Only a few of the robots were down. She could see many of the leprechauns were on the ground, legs or arms broken and screaming in pain. “Lightning. The robots work on electrical power. Maybe I can overload their circuits.”

Shamus drew his sword. She could see from the look on his face that he didn’t understand what she’d said. He asked, “How close do you need to be?”

“Close! But what about the soldiers?”

Shamus grabbed the pony’s reins. “I don’t know. Do what you can. I’ll control the pony.”

 

~~~~~

 

Lost Rainbows

To be continued…

Come back for more! Look for the next exciting installment each Wednesday.

 

You can read more of this story serially on this website for free or you can buy it and read it now at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

See more at: www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts

 

Thank you for reading. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this chapter, please spread the word, tell a friend or share the link to the story by using the share buttons to your right. The author is part of the Forward Motion Flash Fiction Friday Challenge and the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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Serial: Lost Rainbows Chapter 12 – The Leprechauns Face the Wizard

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Chapter Twelve – The Leprechauns Face the Wizard (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

The Leprechauns Face the Wizard

The Leprechaun King’s army exited the magic road one stop away from the ruin where the wizard’s mirror sat. The Captain of the Guard formed three companies of one hundred leprechauns each and posted them across the southern end of the valley where the road continued toward the sidhe. The King’s small pavilion had been erected and the King was inside with Shamus, Becca, and the army Commander when the Guard Captain reported his deployments.

“Well done, Captain. Join us at the map table.”

The King and the others were at a table in the middle of the pavilion, maps spread out across it. The Commander pointed to the spot on the map where the wizard Bannon was still spewing the mechanized soldiers through the mirror. “Spies tell me the wizard has at least three times the soldiers that we do. They come through the mirror, line up in perfect rows and stand there.” He ran his hand across the top of his red hair, pulled back smoothly into several braids that hung down around his shoulders. “We don’t know how to fight these machines, Sire. How do we kill them?”

Becca spoke up. “If you will permit, Sire…” She looked to the King for approval to go on. He nodded. “Machines use power from devices hidden within their chests, usually. The metal of the chest will be very hard.” She looked at the leprechauns, forehead furrowed. “The metal may be too hard for your lances or swords to penetrate. Chopping off legs will cause them to topple, then it would be easier to find the access door to their chests, either on the front or back, open it and destroy the inside.”

The Commander shook his head. “That takes a lot of time, miss. Our men would be killed as they fussed over getting inside the chest. At least the machine would be down, though.”

The group all nodded.

“What about the wizard?” the Captain asked the girl. “Will he have other wizards with him?”

Becca shook her head. “I don’t know. I didn’t know until Shamus came to my house that my uncle even was a wizard. I have no idea what power he has or how many other wizards there may be.”

The two soldiers’ faces were grim. Shamus and the King frowned. The King asked, “And you, Miss Becca, what powers have you mastered since your training with us?”

She took a deep breath. “The Advisors and your daughter, have been very patient with me. Princess Lyeen has been suggesting powers that she’s made note of in the archives. I’ve tried to perform each of the powers. I’ll have to admit, the only one I’ve come close to mastering is the making of fire.” Her hands twisted in front of her and her eyes were downcast. It was a poor showing from her and not helpful in the least. She was surprised by Shamus’s next remark.

“Well done, Miss Becca.” He grinned at the others around the table. “Without someone with the power, it’s very difficult to even attempt so many uses of magic. Well done. No doubt we’ll be able to use whatever magic you can control to great advantage.”

Becca raised her eyes to see the leprechauns all smiling. Perhaps she wouldn’t be useless. She stood up straighter as she resolved to do whatever she could in the fight against her uncle. Since she’d been in the sidhe and the King’s Hall, she’d encountered nothing but kindness and generosity. She and Princess Lyeen, despite the wide gulf in ages, had became good friends. The Princess explained life in the sidhe and Becca told the interested Princess all about life in the modern world. The girl was grateful for the kindness and the friendship. It was so different from her life with her uncle.

The next morning, the King rode to the front of the deployed leprechaun companies. The plan was to approach the castle ruin and prevent the wizard from sending his mechanical army into the nearby Road Gate and on to the leprechauns’ main stronghold.

The day was beautiful with a warm early summer breeze and sunshine pouring out of a clear blue sky. Puffy white clouds floated overhead as song-birds sang from the hedgerows and trees they passed. Wildflower heads bobbed in the breeze in drifts of white, yellow, orange and purple. It seemed unreal to Becca that soon they would have to fight with her uncle. Her heart was heavy. While he had never been fatherly, he had been kind and interested in her school-work and hobbies. The difference between her cold existence at home and her life with the leprechauns was extreme. She understood now that her uncle had been preparing her as a weapon to use against her new friends. Becca pulled on the reins of the pony she was riding as he reached for a bite of grass from the side of the road. Shamus dropped back from the King’s side to ride with her.

“Miss Becca, you look very sad.”

“I was just thinking that my uncle was going to use me as a weapon against you.” She waved a fly away from her face.

“I think he was, Miss Becca.” He looked at her with concern. “But that is not you. We would not fight your uncle if he was not attacking us.”

“I understand.” Becca’s voice grew tight. “But still, he is my uncle. I wish he had not come.”

The sun was high in the sky when the leprechaun army reached the hill overlooking the Magic Road gate. Out of sight of the activity below, they saw rows of highly polished silver man-like machines standing stock still in the meadow in front of the ruined castle. A pale yellow silk tent stood next to the ruin.

“Majesty, there must be six hundred of the machines,” the Commander said quietly.

“What do the spies say?” the King asked.

“Sire, the wizard has been bringing through men that look exactly like the wizard. There are at least a hundred of them within the ruin. The wizard Bannon went into the tent three hours ago and has not emerged.”

The King turned to Becca. “Is it possible for the wizard to copy himself?”

Becca wanted to cry. “I’m sorry, Majesty. I don’t know.”

The King scratched at an ear. “We don’t know if the other men are wizards or not. If they can use magic, we will be in dire straits indeed.” He turned to the Commander. “We need to know where the other men are, wizards or not.”

He turned to Shamus. “Stay with Miss Becca. She is a prize I will not allow the wizard to have. If it goes ill for us, get her back to the sidhe and assist the Princess with the defense of our land.”

King Shadenan spoke to Becca last. “Miss, I’m sorry I must do this. You understand your uncle is attacking us?”

Tears formed in her eyes. “Yes, Sire. I understand.”

He looked on her face with sorrow. “I must protect my land, Miss Becca. I ask that you help me do that.”

She swallowed the lump that formed in her throat. “I will help you, King Mac Shadenan.” A tear ran down her cheek.

He nodded, face grim, and turned back to his Commander and his Captain of the Guard. “Gentlemen. We’ll circle around the ruin, a company each at a third of the way around. I will attempt to talk to wizard Bannon. If he refuses to return to his own land, I’ll give the signal to attack. Use Plan A.” He looked down the hill. “May the wind be at your back.”

 

~~~~~

 

Lost Rainbows

To be continued…

Come back for more! Look for the next exciting installment each Wednesday.

 

You can read more of this story serially on this website for free or you can buy it and read it now at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

See more at: www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts

 

Thank you for reading. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this chapter, please spread the word, tell a friend or share the link to the story by using the share buttons to your right. The author is part of the Forward Motion Flash Fiction Friday Challenge and the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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Serial: Chapter 11 Lost Rainbows – They March to War

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Chapter Eleven – They March to War (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

They March to War

Shamus began with his examination of the treasury and ended with his return with the gold late last night. No one interrupted. Becca thought it was because he told the story as though it happened to someone else, long ago. She was captivated by the story, even though she was in part of it. He made it seem as though it were someone else.

When he finished, the King nodded. “A good tale, Shamus.” He looked at his counselors. “Any questions?” The three of them picked at Shamus’s story. Why he did one thing and not another. Soon the King interrupted. “It seems,” he said, giving the advisors a glance, “that aside from some very minor points, we accept your tale.” He sighed and looked directly at Becca. “That leaves us with your assessment of Miss Becca and, more importantly, what to do about her Uncle Bannon.”

“I’m sure, Sire, that he will be back. We didn’t destroy his mirror and he wants Becca to assist him in conquering our land.”

“The question is, how soon?” The King turned to his daughter. “You have the best knowledge of the Tuatha De Danann. Is it possible that the gods can return?”

Lyeen nodded. “It’s part of the lore that the Tuatha De Danann intermarried with the Formorians, the ancient race of giants that were the original inhabitants of this land. So, they may have intermarried with humans. Of course that would have diluted their blood line. It’s not inconceivable that within the families, they would have maintained records of their own kind and intermarried to bring the true line back. It would have taken hundreds of years, maybe thousands.”

The oldest advisor spoke up. “They’ve had the time. It’s been thousands of years since the Tuatha De Danann were led underground by their leader, Manannan mac Lir after their defeat by the Milesians.” He raised a bushy red eyebrow at Becca. “We’d like to test the girl, of course.”

The King scratched his beard. “I agree some testing should be done.” He turned to his daughter again. “Lyeen, you will accompany the girl and the advisors. She’s not to be hurt. If she is indeed the Tuatha De Danann returned to us, she needs to be kept safe and trained in whatever power she might possess or grow into.” He rose from his chair, and the others followed. “Shamus, with me. We need to plan for the return of her uncle.”

Shamus turned to Becca. “Go with the Princess and the advisors. They will not hurt you.” She nodded as the Princess joined the two.

“I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Becca.” Lyeen held out her hand.

“Nice to meet you, Princess Lyeen.” Becca shook hands with the Princess and did a curtsy before they left side by side.

 

#

 

A month later Draum, son of Fitz, hurried into the King’s office. Draum had been assigned with three others to keep watch on the wizard’s mirror. “Sire,” he called out as he entered. “Mechanical beings are coming through the mirror.”

The King turned to the guard standing at his door–“Sound the alarm.”

The guard hurried off.

“Tell me what you saw,” the King told the young scout.

Draum caught his breath. “Machines, Sire, in the form of men, coming through the mirror, one after another. They were lining up on the field in front of the ruin when I left. It looks like an army.”

The King nodded. “Where are the others?”

“They stayed to spy, Majesty. Another will come to warn us when the machines are finished coming through.”

“Good. Arm yourself, Draum. I fear a battle is near. Send a courier to the others. Tell them to fall back to the next road gate. That’s where we’ll come out.”

Draum gave a brief bow and hurried from the room.

An hour later the King was in the courtyard, dressed in battle armor. The courtyard was a mass of confusion. The signal had gone to the outlying farms and holds and leprechaun families were flooding into the Keep. The King’s pages, too young to go to battle, were directing them to the rear of the sidhe, out of the way of the fighters.

The fighters, armored like the King, were milling around the courtyard checking each other’s gear and saying their goodbyes to family.

His advisors, all too old to fight, were with the King. He was giving directions to them for the defense of the sidhe. Princess Lyeen, also in armor, stood by her father, with Becca beside her. They’d found ancient armor for her in the small Tuatha De Danann memorial hall. It fit her perfectly.

Shamus strode up to the small group. “Sire, your commander is ready.”

“Thank you, Shamus.” The King turned to his advisors. “Princess Lyeen will remain. She and I have discussed what needs to be done.” The advisors glanced at Lyeen and gave a short bow. “Should things go ill, she is my heir. Follow her in all things as you would follow me.”

The advisors began to protest that nothing would go wrong. “Nonsense,” King Mac Shadenan, said. “It’s a battle. Things always go wrong.”

The advisors bowed and retreated to the steps of the Hall.

“Father.” Lyeen put a hand on her Father’s arm. “Take care.” She looked into his eyes. “It’s too soon for you to leave us.”

He nodded. “Take care of the Kingdom, Daughter.”

She bowed, turned and walked to the Hall steps to join the Advisors. Shamus stopped her half way. “Do you have everything you need, Princess?” he asked.

Lyeen smiled sadly. “Enough, Shamus. I fear for Father.” She looked into his eyes. “And for you.” She reached out and toyed with the scarf she’d given him on his search for the treasure. “You still wear it.”

“I do. It brings me luck.” He shuffled his feet. He wanted to kiss her goodbye, but knew that would be overstepping his bounds.

“Keep Father safe for me, Shamus,” the Princess said. Then she leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.

He stood in shock, the kiss burning on his face. She turned and joined the advisors. The King called. Shamus took one more look at Lyeen on the steps. She smiled and gave him a nod. Then he turned and hurried to the King, heart still pounding. “Here, Majesty.”

“Stay close to Miss Becca. The Advisors tell me she has great potential but she’s still untrained. Protect her as you would me. I will not have the first Tuatha De Danann return to us only to lose her in a battle.”

“Yes, Sire.”

“Let’s march!” the King called to the company of leprechauns dressed for battle. The gates opened and two by two they marched out of the sidhe, the Guard Commander in the lead, the King in the middle with Shamus and Becca right behind him.

 

~~~~~

 

Lost Rainbows

To be continued…

Come back for more! Look for the next exciting installment each Wednesday.

 

You can read more of this story serially on this website for free or you can buy it and read it now at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

See more at: www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts

 

Thank you for reading. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this chapter, please spread the word, tell a friend or share the link to the story by using the share buttons to your right. The author is part of the Forward Motion Flash Fiction Friday Challenge and the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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Serial: Lost Rainbows Chapter 10 – Becca Meets the King

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Chapter Ten – Becca Meets the King (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

Becca Meets the King

He opened the door and they stepped out into the midday sunlight. It was hot. The birds were quiet. When Shamus closed the door, it disappeared into the hillside. Becca looked closely. Barely visible in the green grass, she grinned at Shamus. “I can see it!”

“Good. You’re developing your magical talent. Let’s go to the King.”

She nodded and they walked to the left along the dusty road. When they approached a small hill a voice called out. “Halt! Identify yourself.”

“Shamus O’Malley and a guest. We have news for the King.”

Becca gasped as the hill dissolved in front of her and a wooden gate appeared. Two leprechauns, dressed in uniforms of red and green with brass buttons down the front, appeared in the gate. One guard said, “You I know, Shamus.” He eyed Becca. “You bring a human to the sidhe?”

“I do, Morest. It’s a long tale to be sure. But first I must tell the King.”

The guard gave Shamus a look that meant he was doubtful of that course of action. “I’ll send Dan with you.”

Shamus nodded and led them off to the King’s Hall. Becca marched beside him and Dan trailed along. The guards in the hall called out his arrival. Two more guards joined Dan. By the time Shamus reached King Mac Shadenan in the gardens, there were five guards. They were announced as they entered. The King stood up from pruning his roses. “Shamus!” he called out,–then stopped as he realized Becca and a troop of guards were with his representative.

“Sire,” Shamus swept his hat off in a bow. “I’ve recovered your gold.”

The King stepped forward. “Well done, Shamus.” He eyed Becca. “You bring a human to the sidhe?”

“It’s a long tale, Sire. But I believe she’s Tuatha De Danann.”

The King stared. “A tale indeed.”

“Before we discuss that, Sire, the gold is hidden in a castle ruin, six hours away by the leprechaun road. I think your first order of business sould be to secure it.”

“Good advice, Shamus.” He looked at Dan. “Get a squad together and fetch the gold.” He turned back to Shamus. “You’ll have to go with them, of course.”

Shamus nodded. “I understand, Sire. I recovered the rainbows as well. Then, after I bathe, I’ll tell you the whole tale.” He glanced at Becca. “This is Becca, Sire. She’s thirteen and has had a long, hard trip.”

“Of course,” Mac Shadenan said. “We’ll get her bathed and fed and rested. She’ll be treated with respect, to be sure.”

Shamus bowed. “Thank you, Sire. I’ll be back as soon as I can. We’ll store the gold here until a new treasury can be built.”

The King raised his hand in blessing and Shamus and all but one guard turned and left. “Miss Becca,” the King addressed her. “The guard will take you to a room where you will be able to clean up, eat and rest.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty.” She curtsied and the guard led her away.

The next morning Becca was in the garden. The leprechauns had set up a breakfast table where Becca was having tea and scones with butter and honey. She was enjoying the garden. There were birds and butterflies here she’d never seen before. A butterfly landed on the table and was delicately sipping at a drop of spilled honey when Shamus approached.

“Shhh, Shamus,” the girl whispered. “A butterfly is sharing my breakfast.”

Shamus moved quietly and stood behind Becca’s chair. “A beauty, Miss Becca. It’s a Peacock butterfly. The red color and iridescent blue eyespots are how you can tell.”

“It’s beautiful.”

The butterfly, satisfied with its breakfast, fluttered off across the garden. Shamus moved to the table. “The King will meet with us in his chambers. Have you finished breaking your fast?”

She popped the last bit of scone in her mouth and washed it down with the last of her tea. “Yes,” she said just before she hiccupped.

“You didn’t have to hurry, lass.” Shamus laughed. “The King will be there.”

Becca wiped her mouth. “No, I’m done.” She stood up. “What will the King want to know?”

They began the walk back to the hall. “He’ll want to know the tale. By the time I got back last night, it was late and the King was abed. I had word to wait until this morning to meet with him. I’ll tell what I know. The King–his name is Mac Shadenan–is addressed as Your Majesty or Sire, and may ask you questions. Answer them truthfully. He’s King for a reason. Don’t lie to him.”

Becca nodded.

The two traversed the large building. The King’s apartments were in the center, behind the main hall. There, Shamus and Becca entered his office. The Advisors were already there, as was Princess Lyeen. The King stood up from his desk, walking around to greet Shamus.
Shamus bowed and tapped Becca, who bowed as well.

“Rise, Shamus. My counselors tell me the gold is all accounted for and secure. They’ve put the rainbows back in place and they’re recovering. Well done, my man.”

“I’m sorry we were back so late, Sire. We did not want to disturb your rest.”

“No need to apologize.” He looked at the two of them. “Come, we’ll sit and talk about your travels.”

The King led them to a group of armchairs and a small sofa in front of the cold fireplace. Becca noticed a large bouquet of flowers filling the space where a fire would usually burn. She sat on a footstool next to the chair where Shamus sat. The King chose a large, green brocade chair while Princess Lyeen sat beside him in a wooden armed Queen Anne-style chair, the seat and back covered in matching needlepoint flowered upholstery. The advisors, all three of them, sat on the sofa.

“Now,” Shadenan said as they settled in. “Tell me the whole tale.”

 

~~~~~

 

Lost Rainbows

To be continued…

Come back for more! Look for the next exciting installment each Wednesday.

 

You can read more of this story serially on this website for free or you can buy it and read it now at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

See more at: www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts

 

Thank you for reading. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this chapter, please spread the word, tell a friend or share the link to the story by using the share buttons to your right. The author is part of the Forward Motion Flash Fiction Friday Challenge and the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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Serial: Lost Rainbows Chapter 9 – Becca Tries Magic

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Chapter Nine – Becca Tries Magic (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 9 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

Becca Tries Magic

In a blink Shamus found himself back in the castle ruin. Becca looked around. There wasn’t much she could see though; night had fallen here. Shamus drew his sword, which gave off a soft green glow. Becca stared.

“We need to get the gold to my king. But I cannot carry it alone. I wonder…” He pointed the sword at the cart and lifted the sword. The cart shook, but didn’t rise. He sighed. “Well, it was an idea.”

“Where are we?” Becca asked.

“A castle ruin, not far from the leprechaun road.” Shamus raised the sword higher to allow Becca to look around. “The problem is I need to tell the King I have recovered the gold but I can’t move it myself.” He scratched at his beard. “How much do you understand of what your uncle said?”

“He called me a goddess, I understand that. But the Tuatha De Danann, I don’t know about.” She sat down on a nearby block of stone. “I don’t understand Uncle David and the conquering of your land. It doesn’t make sense to me. Why would he want to do that?”

Over the hours Shamus had come to like the girl and trusted her. She hadn’t made an unfriendly move the whole time. He sat on a nearby block. “Legend has it that many generations ago, Eire, Ireland as you call it, was founded by people who came on clouds and had great magical power. They used that power to keep the land safe against invaders. We leprechauns worked with them and life was good until the Milesians came and drove the Tuatha De Danann underground. We thought they perished. But some must have gone into hiding and then to your land. Intermarriage must have occurred with humans. Somehow the lineages came together and your uncle found out. You are the result of many inter-marriages, each one bringing the Tuatha De Danann bloodline closer back to the original.”

Becca shook her head. “But why would Uncle want me to invade your land?”

“I suspect he wants the power and majesty that the Tuatha De Danann commanded.” Shamus sighed. The legends were still strong and the leprechauns still grieved the loss of their partners. “He was greedy.”

Becca nodded. “We already have so much. But it doesn’t matter. I’m here now and know about his plot. He cannot hurt you or your people.”

Shamus doubted that but didn’t answer her. “I have a suggestion. Would you be willing to try magic? If you are Tuatha De Danann, you might be able to move the gold.”

Her eyes grew round.  “I guess so.”

“Stand up,” he told her. “Hold your hands out in front of you.” Becca did as she was told. “Now think about the gold rising and going where you direct it. Get a good picture of it in your mind.”

He watched her close her eyes. Soon a soft green glow emanated from her hands. A few of the coins began to rise. She opened her eyes. “Oh,” she whispered. Her hands began to shake. The glow flashed in a final effort, then stopped. The coins dropped back into the pots with a clink. “I’m sorry, Shamus.” She dropped down on the rock and wiped her forehead. “I could see it but I couldn’t make it happen.”

“That’s alright. I’ll hide the gold. My magic is strong enough for that.” He waved his sword over the pots of gold. They shimmered, then vanished.

“Oh,” Becca cried out. “That’s amazing!”

“We need to get to the King. Can you walk? It’s going to take us about six hours.”

She shook her head. “I’m so tired. I would have said yes earlier but trying the magic has made me sleepy.”

“Ah, I should have known. Yes, we’ll camp here. I’ll make a small fire. I have some travel food in my bag we can share. I’m tired myself. We’ll get a good night’s rest and leave at dawn.” They fell asleep to the sound of crickets singing in the night.

The next morning they broke camp. Shamus examined the site from every angle. The gold could not be seen. Becca skipped along beside him in the morning light. Song birds sang from every bush. The land was lush and green and the sun shone down on them. Shamus felt good. He needed the rest. Even the poor meal of travel rations helped restore his good mood.

It didn’t take long for them to reach the leprechaun road. Becca was surprised when he opened it. She couldn’t tell it was there at all. “How do you know where they are?”

“It’s the magic. When you look closely, you can see the green glow of it. There’s a rune there on the hillside. He held his sword next to it so it glowed brighter.

“I see it,” she exclaimed. “That’s so cool!”

Shamus laughed. “I assume that’s a good thing.”

She nodded. “How long will it take to get where we’re going?”

“About six hours. The road goes were we need it to, but there are fixed end points so we always know where we’ll come out or go in.”

Becca peeked into the tunnel. “It’s green.”
“We can see,” Shamus explained, “but there’s nothing really to see. It’s boring but fast. If we had to walk in the real world, it would take us days to get to the sidhe.”

They entered the tunnel, Shamus in the lead.

“You’ve mentioned Shee before,” Becca said. “What is a Shee?”

“It’s our village, the castle, where we live. We spell it S-I-D-H-E.”

Becca giggled. “I would pronounce that ‘side’ not ‘shee’.”

Shamus shrugged as he walked beside her. “That’s Gaelic for you. It’s a very old language. That must be the reason.”

They walked for three hours, then sat down on the floor of the tunnel to have a drink of water and another bite of travel food. “I didn’t ask this morning,” Becca said. “What is this? It’s kind of hard to chew.” She gnawed off a corner of the bar Shamus handed her.

“It’s a mixture of dried fruit, fat, and meat. It’s a little salty but that helps preserve it.” He chewed on his piece. “It travels well.”

Becca nodded, concentrating on chewing. She ate half of her bar and tucked the rest in a pocket. Shamus handed her the water bag and she drank, wiping her mouth with her sleeve. “I haven’t seen any markers on the wall. How will you know when to leave the road?”

“It’s magic. I know where I want to get off and the road opens the door.”

“Hmm.” Becca scratched her head. “I’d love a shower. My hair is all itchy.”

“We’ll get a good welcome when we return. Come, let’s get moving.”

She continued to ask questions about Eire as they walked. Shamus was hard-pressed to explain why the leprechauns lived the way they did and had the customs they had. It had never occurred to him to ask why about anything in his life. The girl was providing an interesting lesson for him.

Nearly three hours later Shamus spotted the door ahead on the right side of the tunnel. “We’re here,” he told Becca. She perked up.

 

~~~~~

 

Lost Rainbows

To be continued…

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© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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