#4 Ava

| November 4, 2010 | 1 Comment

The clomp-clomp-clomp sound of the battalion’s shiny black boots traveled left to right above their heads in unison, the peering sunlight slatted across their faces flickered as their shadows passed through them. They held each other, embracing tightly and holding their breath, trying desperately to exist as ghosts would — incorporeal and hidden. The thudding cadence halted.

“Check the crawlspace underneath,” barked one of the soldiers.

Ava could not help but gasp at the order. Realizing what she had done, she caught herself and buried her face into Alistair’s shoulder. She could feel the prickle of his day-old stubble on her cheek. She could smell his skin. Her grip on his hand tightened turning it white above the knuckle. She thought back to her mother and the Sundays they would spend baking pastries and cakes for her father and brothers who were out for the day on a hunt. They would return with a pheasant or a rabbit, and she and her mother would roast it with mushrooms and apples. Afterwards they would partake in dessert and her father would comment how Ava was a marvelous baker, a wonderful daughter.


The footsteps stopped directly above Ava and Alistair. Ava retreated even further into Alistair’s arms, if even possible. Alistair looked up through the slit spaces between the dull brown floorboards. Bits of debris and dust tumbled down through the cracks and Alistair used his sleeve to rub them out. Blinking several times to reset his focus and moisten his eyes once more, Alistair looked back up at the soldier, who was now looking directly back at him.

“Here, sir! The boy is here!” The soldier shouted, eager to please his superior.

“Pry them out.” The voice was deep and stern, not unlike Ava’s father’s.

Alistair put his hands on either side of Ava’s face, and directed it at his. He could see her eyes glassed over with frightened tears, darting back and forth to each of his own. Her lip trembled, her delicate and fair eyebrows were arched both upward and inward, desperately seeking hope. He swallowed down his fear and noted how soft her cheeks were against his fingertips.

“I love you, my Ava.” His words were frantic and hurried. “Our passion is my energy, your being my vindication.”

A crowbar penetrated the floor with a clang, prying up a splintering board just behind Ava.

“Do you remember the first night we met? Do you remember? Beneath the sprawling oak tree on my father’s land.” Unfeeling black boots were suddenly in Alistair’s view as the soldier stomped clear a hole in the only barrier between he and they. Ava blinked once, a salty bead somberly traveled down her cheek.

“I was a man whole, that day. I had never known true joy until I had known you, Ava.” Alistair’s pulse had quickened and muscles tensed.

“I love you, Alistair.” Whispered Ava with what little breath she had left to give.

“My love for you is undying Av-” Alistair’s words were interrupted by a resonant bang!and a flash of light.

The crimson line slowly drew itself over Alistair’s brow and down the front of his nose, drip-dripping at the tip. Pat-patting onto the dust below. Ava’s jaw hung in disbelief, her breaths short and involuntary.

A large gloved hand came down onto Ava’s shoulder and clenched it tight. Instinctively, she whipped her head toward it.

“My queen, the king will be pleased to hear you are safe once again.”


Category: Drama, Fantasy

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  1. Mike Gallagher says:

    this was a good read
    loved it

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