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
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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.
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.
To be continued…
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