Tuesday, July 18, 2017

When the door opens - Storytime Part 3


Falken smiled, the door opened, and a massive wooden log shaped as a battering ram swung down straight into Falken’chest.

The kid flew back and hit the wall with a loud crack and hit the floor with a sickening thud. He felt his ribs shifting in places they shouldn’t, his lungs heaving and hurting with every single breath. The all too familiar taste of copper started sliding through his teeth after a painful cough showed him his own blood, now spattered on the floor.

Falken tried to get up, but the pain was too much. Lying face down in a pool of his own blood was not new to him. The streets of Waterdeep were ruthless and unforgiving if you didn’t know how to take care of yourself. Thugs, guards, people bigger and stronger than you in general, always found a way to remind you of your place. More often than not, your place was between the sole of their boot and the ground. He had learned to avoid these situations, to sneak away from people bigger than him, usually taking something of theirs with him as well.

This time he had messed up. He ran through all the reasons why the trap, the annoyingly simple trap, had sprung; however, as much as he thought about it, he couldn’t change the fact the trap had sprung, and now he was losing blood, fast.

His arms and legs were responding but the pain in his chest was too much to get up and move, so he started crawling towards the corridor’s wall, scraping across the stone floor. With some effort he sat upright against the wall and looked left and right, trying to weigh his options. His friends were still waiting for him downstairs, he could try and crawl his way down the stairs, it was just 4 stories down until he reached the Rookery. He wasn’t sure he would not kill himself going down those stairs, but it was the best chance at he had.

That’s when he heard footsteps.

For a second he thought there was only one set of footsteps, then he heard two, three, a whole group of people were getting up from their barracks and clattering around, probably alerted by the loud sound of the battering ram that had hit him. The trap was probably rigged to sound off some sort of alarm in a separate room in the tower as well.

Falken closed his eyes and held in a painful groan. That was it… the trap was made to seem simple so whoever looked at it would think it was easy enough to disarm, when in fact the trap was a more complex mechanism, made to disable whoever was picking the lock and to alert any nearby guards. Now he could barely move, was bleeding internally and externally, and would be a very easy mark to track down.

“If I wasn’t sturdy enough I could be a very nice wall decoration by now”

Falken closed his eyes, let out a small painful chuckle, coughed up some more blood and tilted his head back against the wall. He clutched one of the daggers he was using to pick the lock, held it against his chest and gritted his teeth. If this was it… he might as well go down fighting.

The footsteps got closer, Falken tightened his grip on the dagger and his breathing got faster. His eyesight was failing him now, he felt dizzy, and his eyes were getting foggy, everything looked white and just as suddenly as the battering ram hit him, he felt himself slip away into a cold sleep.

The fog surrounded Falken’s body and obscured the whole corridor, as Lauren entered and almost tripped over the boy’s body. She had heard the boy’s grunts as she was going up the stairs, but she also caught the sound of footsteps coming from above. Thinking fast she concentrated on the air’s moisture and added some of her own body’s water to it, creating a thick cold fog in the corridor where she presumed Falken would be. If the guards would come in she would at least have a few extra seconds to try and help the kid before they were spotted.

She had to fight her urge to audibly gasp when she finally saw Falken bloodied on the floor. She checked for a pulse and placed her cheek next to his mouth to see if he was breathing. After a second that seemed like an eternity she could feel the warm wisp of his breath on her face. Choking back her tears she placed her hand on his chest and spoke to the water spirits in the fog, and within herself to channel enough energy to bring the boy back from the brink of death. His bones started to realign themselves and the internal wounds slowly began to close. The loud footsteps startled her for a moment and broke her concentration. They were heavy, unusually thick and loud.

The Goliath stood behind her squinting through the fog

“Lauren? Is Damian with you?”