The adventures of Sacha, a short story by Raccoon. Date added: 2012-08-10. Times viewed: 428.
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- Intro: It's a short piece of writing I undertook to relieve the boredom of summer holidays. Enjoy and leave comments pleaseee! :D
“Settle down, settle down!”
It was early, and the morning light danced lazily about the brightly lit room, producing a warm, welcoming environment. The wooden chairs were bleached where they were met by the sun on each rise, and their leather cushions were scratched and split from stress of the hundred behinds that had rested upon them over the years. The thick glass did little to expel the noises of the outside world, and daybreak cheerily whistled its way through the panes. In the centre of this long, bright room, there stood a grand dining table, rugged with age and empty save for a bowl of fruit, the contents not dissimilar to the condition of the chair seats. Dust was welcomed into every inch of the room, for it rarely saw polish, despite its regular use. Around the table were the ten ancient chairs, all of them occupied, each creakier than the last, and none of them ever moved more than is necessary to allow a man in and out of his place. Four wrought iron sconces held disused candlesticks on the three walls that were lacking in windows, and a great, oak-panelled door gave the room an air of quiet authority it required.
Master Fildsey pottered into the noisy council room, his long, grey beard almost dragging on the floor behind him, around the grand mahogany conference table, and settled into his timeworn chair at the head of the meeting. At either side of him, the mutterings of the council eased to a low hum, and in his usual, awkward fashion, he stood immediately again, to clear his throat. The exchange of glances about the room confirmed the invisible decision by the gathered members to humour his arduous ramblings, as usual, before nine weather-beaten faces turned to face him.
The two youngest members of the council, Matthias and Sacha, lifted their heads from the early morning fatigue to commence with the meeting. Fildsey was everything the two wished to avoid in their future: half-senile, fragile, and irksome – an arrogant old man, who used age and superfluous wisdom to command the respect of younger members. Regardless, as responsible members of the village council, they had a duty to contribute (but mainly adhere) to the rulings and judgements of the elder members – whom, coincidentally, happened to be everyone but themselves.
“I’m aware of the stir that recent events have caused,” Fildsey began in his usual demeanour, “and I am disappointed that intelligent members of the council such as you should become so embroiled in what our ancestors would surely have deemed a trivial issue.”
Master Mossarin and a number of his supporters lifted an aged hand in objection to such a generalisation, though Fildsey carried on regardless, “It is time we brought it to the attention of the entire village, and together we may resolve the issue. It has been over two-hundred years since the council has been unable to resolve a problem by itself, but this matter seems to have you overwrought.”
Sacha lowered his head back down to the memory-soaked table. He had forced himself through council meetings every week since the age of acceptance at seventeen, and though he had been told by his mother that one gets accustomed to these things, after six years, he had not, and still pined for the carefree days of playing on the village green. He had never been in a situation of urgency, but now, with reports of the Dark Prince back in the area, it seemed unusual and shameful of the elder members to be acting so irrational. “Why are they fearful?” he had said to Mayor Ogshaw, “if the Shadow has been before, yet we have had so many years of peace, what is it that the council cannot amend?”
When the meeting finally adjourned, it felt like evening. Sacha and Matthias lumbered outside into the sweaty summer morning and wiped their brows. The mayor’s hall, where the meetings take place, was situated high on the hill overlooking the village of Ferndell, and from here one could see all the way to Pineshore and the coast, and on the other side, the mountains and pine forests lining perfectly to the East for the most beautiful sunrises in western Mythasia.
“Fildsey is an old fool,” Matt groaned, wiping his hands on the seat of his trousers.
“He sees a slight disagreement as an utter failure. There’s no reason for him to be so concerned.”
Sacha nodded his head in absent-minded agreement and stared out to the mountains. As midday moved sluggishly closer, and the sun climbed higher, he felt his throat tightening and his skin itch under his coat. Council meetings demanded some kind of formal dress, and the standard coat, tie and breeches that he wore were particularly uncomfortable this day.
“Are you working today?” asked Matt.
“It’s rest-day. I won’t be helping mother in the Inn, though I might do some cleaning for her. What about you?”
“I was going to find what the fuss is about. Search for this Dark Prince, and what he’s doing back in the Valley.”
Sacha let out a laugh. After all, Matt was hardly adventurer material, and the Dark Prince was a figure who could strike fear into the hearts of the noblest warrior.
“Don’t be stupid. He’d kill you, straight off.”
“No,” he replied, “I’ve been thinking about this, a lot.”
“You can think now?”
“When have you ever heard of the Dark Prince murdering someone from Mythasia? He’s a warrior in the North, in the wastelands. He fights our enemies,” there was excitement in his voice, an itch desperate to be scratched.
“Stop there,” said Sacha, “just because he doesn’t kill us, doesn’t mean he’s good. Get a hold on yourself. He might be a wretched man.”
“I think he sounds extravagant. How romantic, to be royalty, yet so mysterious, fighting battles and returning here…”
“You know what it means when he arrives, you know what always happens when you hear of him in folklore and fairy tales.”
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