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Thursday, July 29, 2010

CHAPTER ELEVEN : THE HEART ASKS HEALING FIRST


{"Life is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination is locked within the safe."
- Peter de Vries.}

As I walked through the heavy darkness, the air around me tingled, and I went stiff.

Mark Twain and Marlene Dietrich materialized on either side of me. “I thought you were back at Meilori’s?”

Marlene laughed sadly. “And had I not linked us earlier, we would, indeed, be trapped there.”

I nodded grimly. “They hadn’t planned on that either.”

Mark Twain frowned, “They who?”

I smiled bitterly. “Exactly.”

Mark looked past me to Marlene. “Can I give him a good swift kick now?”

I arched an eyebrow. “I thought as ghosts you couldn’t touch people.”

Marlene shook her spectral head. “It is impossible to touch flesh. But with great effort , we can touch inanimate objects. Now, Liebling, who are these mysterious others you talk about?”

I shook my own head. “I think I know the why but not the who.”

Mark sputtered, “That did it!”

And he hauled off and kicked me in the butt. I stiffened. I actually felt something.

Marlene smiled as if it hurt her. “Twain did not touch you, Liebchen, only the fabric of your jeans which jostled against your … ah skin.”

Mark grumbled, “I’d have kicked harder if I thought it would get you to that little gal faster, son. She’s not going to be helped by flapping gums.”

The trees were thinning. I slipped my way through the branches and into a small glade. I wasn't noticed. The six Guardsmen in scarlet tunics had other things on their minds.

The woman in a torn dress did, too. As did the struggling little girl. Her dress was still, more or less, whole. I went sick inside.

She was, indeed, the little girl within the older woman back at Meilori's. I smiled as if it were a raw wound. What Toya had meant for evil could possibly come to some good.

I had come back in time to the moment her whole world had been damaged beyond repair. I went colder. Not on my watch.

The mother screamed, "She's only a little girl!"

The tall Guardsman, who held her struggling daughter, leered, "Not for much longer, Gabrielle. I'll introduce her to the joys of womanhood."

"Mama!"

"Rafferty!," screamed the woman, who fought helplessly against the three men who held her, while caressing her body.

The other two Guardsmen started towards the mother, then studied their comrades already there, and finally strolled over to the poor struggling young girl. Less competition obviously. Hell had definitely come to France.

I walked slowly out into the open. "Now, I know why all of you have beards. You can't bear to look at yourselves in the mirror to shave."

It was as if I had spoken a magic spell and frozen them to the spot.

Rafferty, showing the spunk of her father, bit the hand of the Guard who held her and broke free. She broke the spell, and the Guard started after her. I raised her father's sword in my left hand and spoke loud.

"Not so fast there, Sparky."

Rafferty trembled and seemed to vibrate, filled with the need to run away and the need to run to her mother. The poc-scarred face of the Guard went hard. I smiled.

A lesser man would have had every opening in his body shrink to the size of a pepper seed. Ah, actually, I fully expected to be constipated for months ... if I survived, which didn't seem likely.

"Who the hell are you?," the child-molesting guard asked.

"Who do I have to be to stop cowards?"

Rafferty, her pale face going even whiter, whispered, "The Dagda. You are the Dagda."

I must have looked my question, for Gabrielle husked, "My husband was Irish, always filling her head with tales of the son of Elatha, married to both the Sun and Moon."

I winked at the girl, "Well, the ghost I'm with some consider to be both the Moon and the Sun."

Rafferty hushed, "You are courting a ghost?"

And with that, Marlene shimmered beside me. She still wore the Prussian cavalry uniform. She made a graceful bow. The little girl giggled.

The would-be child molester laughed, "I fear no ghost, fool. Did she teach you to fence?"

I raised the blade with my left hand in a fluid gesture that shocked me in its grace. "Actually, she did."

The short, burly man caressing Gabrielle's breast barked, "Enough prattle. Treville, shoot him!"

The child molester pulled his pistol. It was something Mark Twain had obviously been expecting. He reached down to grab the trigger of the pistol. Then, with a grimace of intense effort, Mark pulled that trigger.

The gun went off. The bullet slammed home into the pervert's foot. Squealing like a shot horse, he fell to the ground, clutching his red-smeared foot.

Gabrielle used their shock to break loose. She ran to Rafferty, the two of them hugging and crying silently. I walked forward, and threw her husband's sword to her. She caught it deftly. I smiled at her.

"The first one who comes at you, run him through."

Her blue eyes flashed under her blond hair. "I will."

Jussac grunted, "That still leaves five of us against one of you."

"I know. That makes you outnumbered. But I didn't force you to be shit-eating dogs. You chose that path yourselves."

Jussac snapped, "To Hell with this. Shoot him!"

As Jussac shouted, Marlene frowned, her fists clenching with effort. The saber flew from my hand and soared through the air to slash the cheeks of each of the five swordsmen. And my written curse took effect.

Their fingers became short, stubby thumbs. The pistols fell from their clumsy hands to the grass. Marlene staggered.

The saber came at me hilt over blade, and I barely caught it before it slashed my throat. Obviously, the strain had weakened her.

Mark busily collected the pistols, chuckling like an evil woodchuck. He walked briskly to Gabrielle and dumped them at her feet.

The remaining Guardsmen started for the woman but stumbled as they discovered they literally had two left feet. They pulled up short and stared disbelieving at their pistols then at their betraying feet.

"I hope you guys can keep better hold of your swords, or this will be no challenge at all."

Rafferty giggled, "He's funny."

Mark Twain winked at her. "That's what all the ghosts say about him."

Rafferty gasped, "Ghosts?"

Marlene smiled like a goddess. "Yes, even the Moon and the Sun say so."

Rafferty spun my way. "You are the Dagda!"

Jussac pulled his sword awkwardly, along with the others, and said, "And we are the best swordsmen in France."

"Were the best swordsmen in France. Now, I doubt if you can even keep a grip on those swords."

They snarled. And moving as one, they twirled their blades as if their fingers were not thumbs. Hell, they still were the five deadliest swordsmen in France. They smiled as they closed in on me.

Rafferty laughed as they cursed at their pigeon-toed gait. Jussac twirled his sword in an intricate pattern despite being all thumbs. I shook my head. No doubt about it. This was going to be weirdest sword fight in all of France.
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11 comments:

  1. Yes, this movie ranks up there on my list of all time favorites. Excellent choice.

    I loved how you made your enemies a cliche. Brilliant.

    ........dhole

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  2. Donna :I'm glad you're liking my serial. And these Cardinal Guardsmen are of the 17th century limited mindset, working for a meglomaniac who didn't encourage original thinkers among his henchmen.

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  3. Swords! Rescue! Magical Mythical Creatures! A bit of Ireland! Humor! Curses! This is great, thanks so much for starting off the last day of this very trying week with something so wonderful that I can carry it around inside me. Its magic will surely ward off the stress of even the worst of tantrums and the snidest of parents! My talisman!

    BTW: It took me about 6 tries before I could get here, blogger must be up to something....it's not just you :P

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  4. A-HA! I knew you were something Other!!!

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  5. It just gets better and better. :)

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  6. So many twists and turns. Love the way it pulls together! Thanks for the vid, too:)

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  7. Wonderful action. And Mark and Marlene together--who would have thought, but it works out well. :)

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  8. "Mark busily collected the pistols, chuckling like an evil woodchuck." Hehe, I love this line. Your descriptive narrative puts me right there in the action. I could hear this laugh.

    Thanks for saving the little girl, Olivia

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  9. Okee dokee! Now the real fun begins! Oh but seriously! I was willing y'all to hurry up and save the mum and child in the last chapter!!! ]

    Take care
    x

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  10. Writing is truely the BEST magic!

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