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Rated: E · Novel · Fantasy · #1562831
Liope discovers that Young Jernigan has a crush on her.
Chapter 9 Young Jernigan

Scene 1 of 9: Development of relationship between Rogoletti and Olivia.

It was seven O’clock and Rogoletti and Olivia sat eating breakfast. The two had an unusual relationship. Tristan was her security chief, butler, personal secretary, messenger and any other additional duty that cropped up. He liked his job and made himself indispensable. Being in love with his boss added to the incentive. Olivia was sifting through a mess of papers as she drank her tea.

"Something in the wind?" he asked

"Maybe" she replied,

'Something big?"

"Big enough." she answered.

"Another calling?"

"Thank goodness no! Cateyln is giving her Scarab to Miranda."

"What's wrong with Mirandas'?"

Olivia picked up the Scry-velum she had received. A Scry-velum was a means for sending hard copy messages among the Witches. A piece of velum with the message was place in a scry-bowl and sent to one of the six main offices.

"I told you earlier that her son, Cracious, is dead." She said reading the message. "He was carrying Mirandas'. He gave it to Morgolic and after that we don't know what happened. However, they must have found it, because Cate says here that the one from Miranda's line is... "no longer servicable."

"You think they found the Sword too?"

"Time will tell. I want you to get in touch with Giles Standaloft."

"I know him. He commands my old Company. What has he done?"

"He's the Steward of Cateyln's relic."

"Any relation?"

"Her first son. He came here when he was eight... Became a cadet at Finsterwald. It's a long sad story." she said in a dismissive tone.

"What's the message?"

"Have him drop by around ten AM tomorrow. We'll do the exchange here?"

"Miranda's in town?"

"No, but her daughter, Climatus is. She'll see that her mother gets it."

"Climatus is Miranda's daughter?"

"...And a wonderful friend."

"She's georgous."

"Don't be getting any ideas."

"With Clematis?" Rogoletti said rolling his eyes.

"I'm just agreeiing with your assessment. She's strikingly beautiful."

"A bit of a temptation, I must admit, but a wallflower, next to you."

And her blood line is impeccable.

"Only you would notice that...To bad Lord Kulrick couldn't cash in on it. Why wasn't she called?"

"You know we don't discuss those matters."

There was a pause. "Sorry, a mental lapse..."

Shifting the subject he asked for the millionth time. "When are you going to marry me?"

"Soon," she answered smiling.

He stepped backward in shock.

"I think I’ll have one more baby and call it quits."

"I thought you exhausted all the names in your little black book," he stammered.

"This name isn't in the book."

"Who is he?"

"Who do you think?"

"Perhaps we should discuss this further, upstairs."

"You’re going to have to wait until tonight."

"Then I'm off to find Giles."

"Not so fast, tell me how your meeting went with Demetrio?"

"It wasn’t exactly a meeting. It was two guys sharing a pint."

"What did he have to say about last week?"

"He didn’t mention it."

"What?"

"He was too busy talking about how Pluto and Bedelia kicked ass yesterday."

"They passed tier two….?"

"Yeah, I was going to mention it, when you got home last night."

"Tell me what happened."

"Last night?" he teased.

"No! Silly, with Pluto and Bedelia."

"They went through the series like shit through a tin goose. Demetrio couldn’t get over how easy they made it look."

"So he was impressed?"

"Yes and no. He says they work well together as a team…."

"But?"

"He’s awkward and she’s weak. Those are two fatal flaws..., that are about to catch up to them."

"Hmmmm."

"Sorry, I know you have your hopes up."

"He is such a good kid and she is a sweetheart."

"Sorry to be the messenger."

"Not your fault, now leave me alone for awhile…. I need to catch up on the paperwork. Call me when Bedelia gets here."

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Scene 2 of 9: Bedelia and Olivia discuss how to help Pluto.

Later in the morning.

Knock Knock

"Come in Bedelia, Olivia is waiting in the dining room. I have some tea and pastries on the table."

"How good to see you again, said Olivia from her desk at the dining room table. Please join me. There's so much we have to discuss…there now, tell me how things go with Pluto."

"We passed Tier Two yesterday."

"You did?"

"If you could have seen him throw those trolls around. Demetrio said he's never seen anyone do that before."

"It must have been exciting."

"I was so proud of him."

"Is he still, you know…."

"In love with me?"

"Yes, That."

"It’s gotten worse Lady Olivia. He doesn’t show it with words, and its not written on his face or anything like that, but his heart is pining…..I swear he’s eat up by the love bug."

"I think that’s wonderful news."

"You do?"

"Yes, I do, and you should too. You like him, don’t you?"

"I really like him a lot."

"Then just accept it for what it is and enjoy the happiness while you can."

"But I’m afraid.."

"I know, about his parents and what everyone else is going to think."

"It scares me to death, not so much for me but for him. This is going to be very difficult."

"Life is difficult..., but if you bring a ray of sunshine to his life...well then that's a much needed improvement."

"You think so?"

"I know so."

"How do you know so much about Pluto?"

"Because I’m his mother… that’s how."

"Huh? But Lady Climates’ is his mother."

"I'm his biological mother. She's his adopted.

"Oh my goodness gracious, I didn't realize...."

"And I know Climates very well and she's going to love you to death."

"You think so?"

"I sure do….now lets talk about Pluto."

"Yes ma’am."

"You've been a good partner ffrom all I can gather, but the word is that he' clumsy and you're not very strong. I do hope that speaking bluntly doesn’t offend you."

"No lady Olivia, the truth wears no mask."

"Why do you suppose he's such a plodder?"

"Because he’s big, real big."

"No! It's because he’s all balled up inside. He's a veritable tangle of nerves. We're going to have to get him unballed."

"What can I do to help?"

"We’ll get to that in a minute. You on the other hand have to develop more strength."

"How do I do that?"

"I'll get to that too. But first I need to ask you some very personal questions."

"Go ahead."

"You said you can read minds and feel emotions."

"I can."

"You implied that you can do more." she said looking about nervously. Can you levitate objects?"

"Yes."

"Show me."

Bedelia raised her cup from the saucer, canted it at her lips and took a sip. Her hands remained on either side of her plate.

"My God!" exclaimed Olivia?

"Can you mind meld?"

"What’s that?"

"Can you enter the mind of another?"

"Yes."

"Sweet goodness, have you told anyone of these gifts?"

"Nobody’s ever asked."

"Oh me, oh my! Promise me you’ll keep this to yourself."

"I promise."

"Now, I want you to begin practicing... slipping in and out of Pluto’s mind."

"Yes ma’am."

"And I also want you to give him access into yours."

"Are you sure?"

"I’m sure. When you meld I want you to begin teaching your spirits how to dance with each other."

"How do I do tha?"

"Just be receptive to it…. Spirits know all about dancing. All you have to do is try and stay out of the way."

"Yes ma’am."

"Then you need to start lifting stones."

"Stones?"

"You know the stones the men lift in the gym? I want you to start lifting them. Let Pluto help you."

"Yes ma’am."

"Finally I want you to take this box. Inside is a snarled ball of finely woven gold threads. I want you to go to work unsnarling them. As you do I want you to braid them together into a necklace for Pluto to wear. Do you know how to braid?"

"Yes ma’am."

"Now tell me what you’re going to do."

"Repeat what you just told me?"

"Yes, repeat it."

"I’m going to practice mind melding with Pluto, I’m going to let our spirits dance with each other. I’m going to lift stones, unsnarle the golden threads and make a necklace for my beloved."

"Exactly. Now we have busy times ahead and we need to get started right away. Can I expect to see you next Saturday at the same time?"

"I’ll be here, Lady Olivia."

"I’ve put a lot on your plate."

"I won’t disappoint you."

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Scene 3 of 9: Council Reviews bidding...sends Uta to Middletown.


Kulrick: I have convened the council at this early hour to discuss some exciting new developments. However before we get to Morgolic I would like to discuss the issue of Liope’s mother, Cateyln. Ubo, if you will be the spokesman I'm ready to begin.

Ubocastor: Albiano’s investigation revealed that Cateyln, is a phenomena that the Valley Dwellers call a Stray...That from time to time a female appears, mates with one of the men and once she has a female child goes back to wherever she came from. The origins of these Strays begs the question... Are they related to the Original Witches of Nirvana... who have somehow preserved their lineage over the past thousand years through a process the Deputy, claims to have been going on forever. While this seems unlikely, everything about this case borders on the bizarre and the unlikely keeps rising to the surface and becoming the alternative of choice.

Kulrick: Please elaborate on that further.

Ubocastor: Finding Morgolic alive and being ministered to by Liope’s mother, a Stray, gives support to the hypothesis that she's a Witch. We need to take a look at the size of her feet and see if they match the size and shape of those we call "The Little Feet.” Further the manner in which the last two Snagar were killed, suggests the use of an explosive force. It is written that the Witches could command such powers.

Kulrick: So where to from here?

Ubocastor: First we must hasten to Morgolic. We must arrest his descent into the darkness and nurse him back to recovery. Varnack and Albiano are being told to take the matrons to the cabin. In addition we need to send a healer at once.

Kulrick: All the healers are with the Cisterians.

Ubocastor: Then we must send Uta the Midwife instead. Before her powers started to diminish she was foremost among the healers. We need to determine the state of Morgolic's health. Does he retain his essence or did he return it to the earth. Once he’s out of the darkness and we confirm that the Witch and the one with "The Little Feet" are the same; then we need to get back to our original plan. What’s emerging as the most likely hypothesis is that Morgolic probably gave Liope the stones... maybe the Scarab too.

Kulrick: Send Uta to assist them....

Ubocastor: At this rate we'll all be moving to Nirvana.

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Scene 4 of 9: Martha and Guiles sword fight.

By the time Martha realized what was happening it was too late. The last thing she wanted was a contest. She had learned from Rogoletti, how fragile a man’s ego could be. Instead she had been looking forward to the Luncheon that afternoon and getting to know Guiles better. She had been role playing some dazzling conversation, at the expense of paying attention to what was going on around her.

When she heard the sound of Guile's reply, her hopes faded. The words stuck in her craw. She had heard that patronizing tone often and it never failed to push her "hot button." Had she known Guiles better she would have attributed his “talking down” as another jerky quirk in his character. Since she didn’t, that Amazon spirit took charge and she resolved to set him straight.

The training session had been focused on the Single Handed Sword and Buckler. A warrior held the sword with one hand just above the cross. With the other she grasped the buckler, never allowing it to fall away from the body.

They bowed politely and came on guard.

Guiles took his stance with right leg back and sword low…his buckler covering his sword hand, knuckles up.

Martha faced him, her right leg forward, sword extended, buckler in line with the hilt.

Guiles took to the offense, cutting diagonally upwards beneath her wrists, while stepping forward onto his right leg.

Martha avoided the swing by stepping back. She was quick and his blade passed without the need to parry. She stepped forward in response, thrusting deep.

Guiles countered, stepping back, beating her parry with his buckler. Then he cut across for her stomach, passing forward with his right leg.

Martha jumped back.

Guiles followed with a cut to her head.

She side stepped to his left with a sloping parry, down and to the right, countering with a slash at his abdomen.

He leaped back, weapons on high, landing on balance. With a counter he stepped forward, thrusting at her chest, passing on his right leg.

She sidestepped, parrying downwards. The distance closed between them.

She aimed a pommel at his face, springing forward. He beat it to the right with his buckler, and countered with a stomach thrust.

With her buckler she beat the blade to the left, thrusting in turn.

He traversed to the left and with a circular parry came over her blade. Springing forward onto his left foot, he swung his buckler towards her kidneys.

She jumped backward, in a blurr of motion. It was a strong blow, intended to strike its target and when it missed his momentum carried him around.

“Oh Shit,” he muttered.

He saw the point of her sword aligning with his groin. In slow motion he realized the gravity of the situation. He dropped his buckler, desperate to counter the anticipated move.

Instead she stepped forward slamming her shield into the side of his face.

It was not a particularly powerful blow but one delivered solid, unexpectedly and from close quarters. He was off balance and the impact threw him backward into a table. The edge buckled his knees and the momentum carried him across the top, flipping him backwards onto the floor. He lay face down and dazed. Then he gathered his wits and raising up saw Martha dropping her weapons onto the table.

“Are you OK, Guiles?”

The females tittered and the young men were thunderstruck.

“I’m fine, Martha,” he answered, getting to his feet.

Looking intently into her eyes, he bowed graciously. Someone had actually outwitted and bested him in a physical contest; A woman at that. How interesting. Without a trace of angst, he smiled…

“That was fun…We need to try it again sometime.“

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Scene 5 of 9: Varnack changes plans discovering Morgolic is alive.

Varnack’s party had lost several hours of darkness passing the amazing developments to the Council and waiting for their reply. At length Albiano looked up and spoke.

"We must put our immediate plans on hold."

"What now?"

We're ordered to make haste to Morgolic and do everything in our powers to save his life. Further we are to confirm if “The Little Feet” belong to Cateyln. Finally we are to report if Morgolic attempted the unspeakable."

Varnack stood, issued the necessary orders and the party set of in haste for the Cabin.

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Scene 6 of 9: Orin tells Liope of decision to take Cate back.

Liope served her father breakfast the next morning as if walking on eggshells. If he had made a decision regarding her mother he must have shoved it into a dark corner of his mind. He ate his eggs and sausage and at length got up...put on his apron and started for the door.

"Father... don’t do this to me... tell me what you’ve decided."

He sighed a deep breath and shrugged his shoulders. "I've never locked the door on your mother."

"Oh thank you father!" she cried out and rushed to embrace him.

"I know its what you want..."

"And you too," she broke in, for she saw the light of his hopes shining once more.

"Plus I miss her sunny smile and cheerful deposition."

Liope laughed at his jest...clapping her hands.. Her mother's personae was hardly what her father described.

"Won’t it be wonderful to be a family once more?"

"Promise me you’ll stick close to home."

"I promise I promise!" she answered joyfully.

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Scene 7 of 9: Introduction of Young Jernigan.

Young Jernigan was busy setting up his booth. He was a tall slender lad who had yet to develop into the full strength of his manhood. He was very handsome and had a presence that could turn a girl’s head. However, he was not interested in just any young girl... he was interested in Liope. He hoped that she would be coming to the market today and he had spent the last week summoning the courage to invite her for a walk along the river. There was a joy in his heart as he thought whistfully about her.


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Scene 8 of 9: Liope sizes up Young Jernigan.


Liope busied herself around the house and when there was nothing left to do decided to go shopping. She wondered about taking the ruby but decided she had enough of men’s minds and instead decided to leave it in the pouch, safeguarded in the keep. Opening the door she was beset by the smell of lilacs and the song of the birds. Putting on her cape she stepped into the street happier than she could ever remember and began walking into town.

As she had the week before, she purchased a rabbit and some vegetables, before once more coming to the baker’s stall being tended by Young Jernigan. He seemed happy to see her and she reached out for his mind before realizing the ruby was still at home. To her surprise it didn’t seem to matter. He was hardly two feet away and she had no trouble seeing what lay behind his forehead. What she encountered came as a complete surprise. He had a crush on her and his mind was spinning.

"Hello Liope... We finally got some decent weather."

"Yes," she answered, waiting for some obscene thought to filter up.... or feel his imagination groping her breasts. When she saw none, she replied

"It’s a beautiful day.... thanks for the baguette last week... I thought of you all the while I ate it."

Hastily he grabbed three sticks from the shelf and pressed them into her basked.

She opened her purse and began counting out the reckoning.

"No.... please... we're having a... ahh sort of promotion....for our most exclusive customers...no charge."

She knew he was lying... but with such a beguiling smile. She decided to accept his offer with grace. Several other customers began pushing up... wondering about the promotion. He stuffed baguettes into their baskets as well and bid them a good day. Liope smiled... he was so cute.

Encouraged by her smile, Young Jernigan blurted out the question.

"Would you walk with me this evening along the river?"

It was the custom for a young couple to walk along the bank and by accepting Liope knew she was encouraging him.

"I’ll have to ask my father," she answered.

"Will you ask him before I come by tonight? If he says no you can shake your head out the window and I’ll keep on walking."

"I suppose," she answered and taking her bag continued down the row of stalls.

"Yes! Yes!" He muttered barely under his breath.... but his happiness cried into the ear of her imagination... So loud she had to squint her eyes closed.

"He's more than nice looking," she thought to herself, and without realizing it began considering the possibilities.


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Scene 9 of 9: Matron's arrive at Cabin to minister to Morgolic.

It was a forced march that left everyone exhausted. It was particularly telling on the matrons but they were consumed with determination to make all possibe haste. After two hours they burst into the Cottage and set to examining Morgolic.

Cateyln stepped back, grateful for the help.... she had watched her mother die and was beginning to see the same scenario playing out for Morgolic. He was in a deep trance and hardly seemed to be breathing. He was drifting close to oblivion and soon there would be no calling him back. Both matrons had skill in healing but Karla was the more accomplished. She took charge, worried only that her skills would be insufficient to arrest the process.

"You’re doing fine," Walinda encouraged... "Much better than I would have dreamed possible."

"In the land of the blind, the one eyed maid is queen," answered Karla.

"All we have to do is keep him going under, until Uta gets here. Don’t let him drift further... we’ll give her the honor of dragging him back."

I don’t think I can do much more.”

At length they had done all they could and Walinda asked her friend.

"Can you smell the essence?"

"It’s still discernable," Karla answered.

She sniffed about his chest. Where the Scarab once attached the wound still oozed, The scent was very pronounced around the open sore that had yet to scap over. "Has anyone checked his manhood?" she asked about. Her answer was a room full of blank looks. She reached down into his britches and felt. " Still there!" she confirmed.

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Scene 10 of 9: Cateyln and Karla have talk. Karla subtly checks out Cates feet.


Cateyln sat on her stool by the fire...staring off into space.

Karla walked over and began rubbing her feet.

"I noticed a fresh grave outside."

"My mother’s," Cate answered.

"She helped save Morgolic. Didn’t she?"

"We couldn’t have done it without her."

"We?”

"Me and my furry friends."

"It killed her. Didn’t it?"

"She was old, the task was great and the strain on her heart too much."

"What did she try and do?"

"She raised the mists."

"The mists?"

Cateyln didn’t answer and kept staring vacantly into the fire.

"We are deeply indebted for all you have done." She took Cateyln's hand and squeezed it.

Looking once more at Albiana, she pointed to her feet and nodded affirmatively. Morgolic’s sister went outside to pass the word to the council.


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Scene 11 of 9: Liope asks father to walk with Young Jernigan.


That afternoon Liope went into the forge and spoke to her father.

"Young Jernigan asked me to walk this evening along the river."

Orin sighed at the inevitability of it all."You have my permission," he answered.

"I’ll leave your supper on the table."

"That'll be fine," he replied.

"I won't be late."

"See that you’re not."


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Scene 12 of 9: Council reviews bidding... decide to send matrons to check if Liope has Essence and Stones.


The council received the latest news with interest.

Kulrick: Speak for us Ubo.

Ubocastor: Cateyln is the one with the little feet. Further, she has well developed powers. She was able to dispatch the two Snagar and her mother seems to have been involved, doing something referred to as” raising the mists..”. whatever that means. By “furry friends” I take it that Cateyln is referring to the two wolves. The essence of Morgolic is still within him but greatly diminished. It is most difinitive at the site where the Scarab was attached. The good news is that he did not slit himself. Karla says the reservoir of his essence is in a state analogous to a groom on the morning after. We still don't know the whereabouts of the Scarab and the Stones. We hope to answer that when and if Morgolic comes out of the coma. However, we won't wait for that to happen. Once Uta gets to the cottage we will redirect our assets to get to the bottom of what happened to them.

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Scene 13 of 9: Young Jernigan shows up for date.

Young Jernigan showed up a half an hour early. Liope saw him coming and went to the door to greet him. She extended her arm and he took it. Arm and arm the walked down to the river.

"I’m so glad you asked me to walk."

"I’m so glad you accepted."

"My life has been out of sorts lately."

"You were lucky to escape the Snagar. I can’t imagine how terrifying that must have been."

"It was pretty scarey, but I’m getting over it."

"Do you like me?"

"I'm here aren't I?'

"Would you think about being my girlfriend?"

"I’ll give it some thought"

"Would you be offended if I kissed you?"

Her heart leaped.... "I like you Young Jernigan... but there's plenty of time to get acquainted like that."

"Of course," he stammered, "I don’t know what came over me."

"Let’s take this a day at a time."

"Can we walk again tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow," she answered squeezing his hand.


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Scene 14 of 9: Orphious and Dumar discuss increased Elfin activity.

Orphious sat at his desk. He had been receiving a steady stream of reports on Elf sightings He was not surprised by those from the High Pasture but these were coming from all over the realm. Dumar had told him about Albiano’s interest in Liope’s mother and everything seemed to keep coming back to the Orin's daughter. It was very disconcerting.

"They just aren’t going to leave her alone." he said shaking his head.

"You say something?" queried Dumar..

"I just been thinking about all this Elf stuff that’s been going on."

"If the traffic gets any heavier, we’re going to have to open a hotel."

"Now that’s a possibility," joked the Magistrate.

"Seriously!" answered Dumar...."they’ve been camping out West of Dead End, East of Middletown, up on the High Pasture and even up on the Western boundary. We’ve seen them in town and along the river...and oh... There has even been a sighting of two wolves. How long has it been since there’s been wolves reported in the Valley?"

"Not in my lifetime," answered the Sheriff.

"What do you think's going on?"

"Something’s afoot that’s bigger than an Eleven messenger getting knocked off."

"I get the same feeling... wonder what it could be?"

"Let's just keep our eyes open. If it's bad news, we’ll find out soon enough."

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Scene 15 of 9: Uta crosses the border.


That night Uta, the midwife, and a party of four Elves crossed the Eastern boundary and camped West of Dead End.


© Copyright 2009 percy goodfellow (trebor at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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