Depth Life #13: Road Ends

I could only see the horse beside me carrying Reas and Ord with hands tied.  Ord had his head on Reas and Reas was looking at me.  I was bound.  Turning to see who was beside me I saw Vity’s lifeless body.  “Vity! Vity!”  Her eyes fluttered and closed.  The horses stopped.

“Get ’em off,”  a voice from ahead called back.  We were pulled off and placed on the cold ground.  It was dark and I couldn’t see our captors very well.  Soon the children were sitting next to me.  Then one man’s body, Shako, was roughly thrown at our feet. “Shako, are you all right?”  He didn’t answer; his eyes closed, hands and feet bound; he was still.  Two men in long coats came over to me.

“You ‘is wife?”

“No.  I’m not.  Where are the other two?”

“We left ’em sleepin’.  One of them ya’ husband?”

“No.  They were visiting us.  I think you made a mistake.  Please take us back.”

The two men laughed. “Not until we get to Adoa.”

“You’re Hadens?”  Vity spoke in a groggy voice.  I was relieved to hear her.

“Yes.  You Scree?”

“No.”  I was firm.

I couldn’t stop thinking about how Kal would be worried.  Could he get into the cottage?

A fire was going near us and one of the Hadens poured water on Shako.  He awoke to find himself bound and weapon less.

Ord nudged me, “Mommy they have his sword an stuff on that horse.”  I could see it.

“Master Erder, you will lead us to Adoa or these will die.”

Vity began to cry. “Hush, Vity.  Time to be brave.” I kept eye contact as she began to mouth the mantra we’d practiced when she was hurt or scared: I’m tough.  I’m brave.

The two Hadens laughed and began to push Shako.  Then they grabbed Vity and held her up with a knife to her throat.  She was rigid and pale.

Out of the darkness came three men.  “Put my daughter down.” Kal was clad in his khaki’s and polo shirt, his usual office wear.  Mano and Hake closed in beside the two Hadens.  Kal walked slowly towards the Haden who held Vity; his eyes holding the potion poacher in a bold, determined gaze until he stood two feet in front of him.  The Haden dropped Vity at her father’s feet and aimed the knife towards Kal, who moved to the right and stepped back leading the Haden away from his family.  Mano grabbed Shako’s sword and threw it at Kal.  Hake, having dispatched one man to the ground unconscious, joined Kal in pursuing the Haden with the knife.  As the battle commenced in steel clanking, Hake cut Shako free.  Shako took his sword from Kal and headed into the battle.  Kal scooped up  Vity all balled up and brought her to me.  Hake cut Reas and Ord free.  “Come on boys, lets tie them up,” Kal calls to his boys.  As they are tying up the two men the unconscious one begins to wake with a potion aimed at Kal and the boys.  Vity grabs a rock and I a log moving fast to conk his head.  He is struggling when Mano comes to grab the potion and administer a well-aimed hook to the man’s jaw.  Vity and I stand on him until they other men can tie him up too.

“Don’t mess with me!” Vity demanded when he grabbed her ankle.  She quickly kicked his hand over and over until he released.

I am always against violence but I did teach my kids to defend themselves.

We followed the Erders; Vity and I on one horse, Kal and Ord on another and Reas rode with Mano who was quite light, thin, and tall, while Hake and Shako took up most of their saddles being muscular men.  We went through several rivers to lose any one trying to track us and Hake would back track often to cover our trail, by what means I do not know.  We camped at night and proceeded the next day until late afternoon when we climbed a barren ridge and there it was-the dragon graveyard.  So many carcasses in varying states of decay.  Shako gave each of the children a scale and made leather bags out of dragon hide for them to put them in.  They offered us gifts which we kindly refused.

When we had arrived back at the cottage it seemed like we had been gone a week.  We closed up the cottage and descended through the floor.  Kal checked his phone, it wasn’t working while we were in Resoun and Adoa; the time was 11:59 pm on Friday, only about eight hours since we had entered the cottage.

As we ascended through the basement floor into the laundry room Ord said, “Can we do that again.  Best Vacation Ever.” Reas and Vity agreed.

“I’m glad it’s the weekend.” Kal put his hand in the small of my back as we herded our little adventurers up the stairs and off to bed.


About jjbailey

Professional Parent, Author, creative homemaker, and endangered species.
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