These are the kinds of days I'll remember for the rest of my life:
Horace, Crown Prince of Araluen, Knight of the Oakleaf; that is my friend. Imagine, having Horace Altman as your best friend. Then again, he could say the same about me, I suppose. "My best friend, Ranger Will Treaty of Redmont."
I don't like fame, I almost envy people who have their anonymity intact. Almost. If I wasn't Will Treaty, former apprentice to Halt O'Carrik (most people don't even know his full name!), then I wouldn't have married the most amazing woman in the world: Lady Alyss Mainwaring. If I wasn't Will Treaty, sitting here under a tree with Horace Altman, in a moment of rare leisure, watching the moon rise, then I wouldn't have the memories:
When I climbed the tower wall to read the mysterious paper, and was apprenticed to Halt.
When I first rode Tug, the original Tug, and was thrown off.
When I saved Horace from the boar, and he saved me.
When I was attacked by Alda, Bryn, and Jerome; and being saved by Horace and Halt.
When I received my first mission, and killed the last Kalkara (I still shudder to think of the beast).
When I burnt the bridge, and Evanlyn ( I can't think of her by any other name) ran out to relight the fire while I fought off the wargals and Skandians (unsuccessfully in the latter case).
When we were captured, sold as slaves, and eventually, me becoming addicted to Warmweed.
When Halt and Horace recued us, and we fought the Temujai.
When we went to Arrida, and I nearly lost Tug, won the race, and saved my companions.
When I graduated and received my fief, the mission to the north, meeting Malcolm, all that happened in Macindaw. Those memories are best forgotten though; except for confessing to Alyss: that was truly memorable.
When we found out Halt's true identity, and we saved Clonmel, and defeated Tennyson's cult.
When we tracked down Tennyson, chasing him over the globe.
When Halt nearly died. The most tearful memory.
When we traveled to the mysterious land of Nihon-Ja, and all Horace did there; he became their hero.
When I proposed to Alyss. I was incredibly happy.
When each of my closest friends married the perfect person. Halt and Pauline, Horace and Evanlyn, Alyss and myself.
So, so many more memories. Every day we made them, lived them.
Yes, there are countless memories; some happy, some sad. Some frightening, blurred, scarred; others joyful, timeless, beautiful.
If I wasn't Will Treaty, I wouldn't have the memories. And those are worth any unwelcome fame.
"Will? Are you alright? You're not usually this quiet."
I turned to my friend.
"Just thinking about the memories."
Morgorath, Lord of the land of rain and night, brooded in his gloomy castle of stone. It paled to the beauty of his former castle, Gorlan; this was just dark, dank, gloomy: ugly.
Anyway, he's insane. Yup. Absolutely bonkers.
You see, he thinks he's entitled to the crown of Araluen. He also thinks that he can control creatures called wargals with his twisted mind. He talks to voices in his head, and he thinks that Kalkara are real. Pffft, yeah right. Everyone knows Kalkara don't exist. Just ask any Ranger! He also wanted to build a bridge across three-step-pass. As if. He tried to kill Halt. Ha. Don't make me laugh.
Yup. That's insanity for ya.
Always getting into mischief. That's my Cassie. You'd think that the six-year-old Crown Princess would know better than to play finger paints on the walls of my imperial throne room; and on the day I was expecting emissaries from Celtica too. Well, that's exactly what she did.
Sometimes, I think it was misfortune that gave her to us -My wife and I- she died in childbirth. But I rebuke myself immediately when I come back to our private sitting room, after a long day, and she runs to me with open arms, her waist length hair streaming out behind her, and she pushes me into my big comfy chair, brings me my tea, only spilling it on her dress twice, and nearly scorches my slippers trying to warm them by the fire. Then she climbs up on the arm of my chair, and smooths the hair back from my face, petting and pampering her king. Her Dada.
That's how I know she's not a misfortune, but a gift.
A/N That one kinda went opposite, didn't it? Well, the chal. doesn't say how you have to write about the promt word! *cackles*
"C'mon Halt, smile! Just a little?"
Will was trying to get Halt to smile, because he'd hired the Craftmaster of Art from the castle to draw Halt and Pauline outside the Ranger's cabin, as a wedding gift.
"Look, Tug's smiling."
"No he's not."
"You smiled when I decided to stay a Ranger."
"So I did."
"Just a tiny one? An itsy-bitsy one?"
"Halt dear, smile. Master Geoff* wants to draw us as a happy couple; not gloomy morgue workers."
"Yes, of course Pauline."
And Halt smiled; because thinking that he was married to Pauline always, secretly, made him want to smile.
Also because he didn't want to think what would happen if he didn't smile.
Silence was absolutely necessary. If they failed to remain silent, then their prey would be alerted of their presence, and the hunter would become the hunted.
Crowley did his utmost best to be as quiet as he could. He understood how important that was if his companion did not.
"Shhh! You're making too much noise!" Shushed Crowley in an exaggerated stage whisper.
I can't help it! Animals like myself aren't too good at this sorta thing.
"That makes no sense; we're tracking a dangerous animal, and you say animals are no good at it?"
Be that way if you will. I don't care.
Suddenly, their prey was in sight. Crowley pulled out his massive two foot long spear, and aimed it at the heinous beast…
Woof! There it is! Woof, woof, grrrr-oof!
The creature looked up in surprise, seeing it's terrible pursuers; it ran up a tree, waving it's bushy tail, and chattering accusingly.
"Dang it Growley! You scared the hippy-pot-a-thing!"
The outraged boy howled at his brown, floppy-eared stuffed accomplice. The dog stared at him in horror.
You said the "D" word Crowley!
Growley woofed indignantly.
I'm ashamed of you! Really, an eight year old grown man, swearing!
"Uh, I didn't mean to Growley! Look, don't tell and I'll let you come on my next hippy-pot-a-thing hunt, okay?"
Growley wagged his tail in agreement.
You can count on my silence!
A/N There it is! How many of you were confuzzled at the beginning of 15? *raises hand* Author doesn't count? Oh well. Review plz!