Thursday, February 23, 2012

Theo Thursday Pt. 6 - Unwilling Guests

 :: Zoeday Evening, the 93rd of Jhyel's Slumber ::
Caught be surprise, Theo depended on his reflexes and was able to draw his weapon. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to saw through the coarse rope with his rapier, so he thrashed as best he could from beneath the net, slashing and thrusting at his unseen opponents. Saw did little but squirm and try to free himself.

Suddenly the two scurries were surrounded by swarms of green luminescent eyes.

Oh no, Theo though, realizing the identity of his attackers. Grovels.

Theo had heard the stories. Grovels were once radiant and beautiful, the God-chosen, the Adjani.  They were mighty and powerful, the messengers and the servants of the gods, but that wasn’t enough for them and they rose up in rebellion. The gods despaired when the Adjani, in their vanity and pride, sought to surpass the gods in their power and there was war upon Zéaon.  But the gods were triumphant and cast down the Adjani, forever humbling their intellects, spirits and bodies by placing them in the bodies of sniveling, little goblin like creatures, grovels. 

But they didn’t seem so snivelly right now, and they clearly had the upper hand. Dark skinned with long sharp noses and oily black hair, the grovels surrounding them were dressed in rags, and crudely armed with rusty swords, wooden spears and notched but long wicked daggers.

He’d heard other stories about grovels as well. Were he and Saw destined to be dinner?

Theo continued to slice the air, but his opponents weren’t foolish, and let the net do its work until finally the butt end of a spear knocked his rapier from his hands. Truth be told, Theo was a bit embarrassed to be disarmed by such crude opponents, even if he was beneath a net.

The two scurries were stripped, and force marched at spear point, surrounded on all side by growls, coarse laughter and guttural grunts. There were no attempts at questions. Theo supposed they’d have time for that later.  Perhaps they were to be honored guests? he thought, allowing himself a grim chuckle as they walked.

He tried to whisper something to Saw once, but the blunt end of a spear against the back of his head cured him of any more notions of speaking.

It wasn’t a long hike to the grovel’s nasty little village. Small greasy children ran around, but paused to throw mud or sticks or rocks at the scurries. They were about what Theo deemed to be a quarter of the way into the village, when suddenly, Saw yelled Theo’s name. 

Theo craned his neck to look behind him. Saw was being taken into a small dirty hut built from sticks and mud.

“Saw!” Theo yelled again. But because he was concentrating on Saw and not where he was heading, he wasn’t able to avoid the shove that sent him toppling into space. The edges of a crudely dug pit flashed past him as he plummeted.

Despite his bruised and battered state, Theo was still able to twist and land on all four paws when he was unceremoniously dumped into a hole in the ground.

Theo shouted Saw’s name, stopping only when a wooden trapdoor slammed into place, causing dirt to filter down. A few wan slivers of light slashed down, providing barely enough room to see. He was sure they wouldn’t kill Saw, otherwise they’d be dead already. Hopefully the grovels weren’t too rough in their questioning Theo worried.

With nothing left to do, he took some moments to survey his surroundings, which could barely be seen in the dim light.

In a shadowy corner, Theo saw a bit of bright fabric. Cory?

Theo scrambled over to investigate.

Peering closer, Theo could see that Cory was in a terrible state.  His clothes, torn and ragged, scarcely clung to his limp form, while his fur was missing in spots and matted with blood.  His chest rose and fell irregularly and fitfully, in time with his quiet, wheezing, breath.

"You've seen better days, Cory” said Theo, recoiling a bit in horror at the sight of his good friend in such a battered state.

Apparently, Cory had been dumped into this cell as casually as Theo had.

"They're not much for manners here...” grunted Theo, while gently as he could, pulled Cory to the relative comfort of the straw pile.

"... and I've certainly stayed in better accommodations” he continued, collapsing next to his unconscious friend, while wincing with the pain of sore muscles and throbbing wounds.

While reclining in the somewhat comfortable pile of hay, Theo mused thoughtfully to himself and examined his less than hospitable surroundings. 

"I don't particularly relish the thought of digging my way out of here.” muttered Theo quietly to himself, pushing himself up onto one elbow and pulling an insignificant clod of dirt from the rooty and rocky cell wall.

Theo began whistling an old romantic song quietly to himself, attempting to take his mind off the fact that Saw was not in the cell (and *he* was).

"My Maiden Fair—that was always a favorite of mine” issued from the shadows, a voice rumbling and heavy, as if the sounds of a blacksmith's forge were turned into words.

Theo spun around, searching for a speaker, but he saw nothing but deep shadows…

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