Friday, 19 March 2010

The Man in the Boat

It was a time of legends.  A time that would be talked about for centuries.  One that would be written about, documented in every detail so that those that followed would know what had occurred.  Songs would be sung about this time at night by crackling fires.  Children would be taught the story from an early age.  It was something not to be forgotten.  The Man in the Boat would never be forgotten. 

It was time.  The signs were there for those that took a moment to stop, look and watch, and those that new the history of Carradon.  The ravens were first.  The circular swirl of black as they flew together through the sky at first light, caught those who saw it immediately.  They looked like mini-twisters, spiralling round and round until they hit the ground. Their impossibly tight formation taking them to their destruction.

Next were the clouds.  Dark, thick, hideous clouds rolling in from the sea like a blanket destined to smother all of Carradon.  There were no raindrops, there was no wind.  As foretold centuries before, these were the first signals of the beginning of the end. The Day of Damourite.
The Man in the Boat calmly watched.  He was ready.  He had prepared for this every single day of his life. 
The ground shook as he strode across towards to their gathering place.  It always shook when Boulder, King of the Giants trolled across the land.  A giant amongst giants, he towered above even the tallest of the small band of giants there were left on Carradon.  His voice carried his authority.

"Rufall, are we ready?  You have seen the signs.  It will not be long.” Rufall nodded respectfully as Boulder continued.

“The Sword will form soon and if our enemies reach it first, that will be the end of Carradon and us.  Whilst our friends have promised help, we must be ready to tackle this on our own. I pray the gods look favourably on us today"

He paced.  He was nervous.  When he was nervous he paced.  Paced and wore his hat.  He felt better in his hat. It gave him an air, an air he believed in, could feel it's warmth and security.  Prince Jennin was worried.  He'd seen the signs.  He knew he was vital to the safety and security of Carradon.  It was the task his father, King Dropped, had assigned him from birth.  He was equal to the task, he knew, he hoped.  There was only one thing that bothered him, that gave him sleepless nights.  Carlyonna.  He had loved her from the moment he was old enough to remember her name. From the moment he heard about her powers, buried deep in her flowing red hair, he knew he would save himself for her.  He never thought the prophecy would come true, but now that it was, he had to face his fear or failure with the chance of finding, meeting the one he had always loved.  The dilemma was clear on his serious, studious face.  Inside he felt different, but they would never notice.
They called her The Chaplin. She was revered for her power, she was feared for how she would use it. Her army was gathered before her. She look down on them, smiling laughing and screamed


The mass cheered back. Today would be their day.

“I have built you strong, I have built you fearless, you are my warriors, and I will be there by your side. But he is mine, I alone must destroy him. Part of me will die this day too. He is my brother, but I must destroy him”


The ground thundered as the giants ran across the land. It felt as if the very earth they blazed across would explode beneath them.

“Faster, faster, we must get there before them.”


The charm protecting The Cauldron, the place it would happen, would have to be lifted soon, he knew. Only he and one other could break it, but the Goddess would not be needed today. Or so the Man in the Boat thought.


“This is a good day to die” he screamed at the hoard in front of him. 

They oozed back. They were already dead, but that didn't matter. His army of zombies was ready. He had spent years gathering them, ready for the Day of Damourite, when the Sword of Sarahling would be released. Whoever claimed the sword would rule Carradon forever, unchallenged. He feared nothing. Nothing. Nothing, except her. She'd always known there was something evil inside him. He saw the way she'd looked at him, and how an air always hung over her when she talked to him, smiled at him. She would die. She was his sister, but she would die by his hands today. Revenge would be his.


The clouds grew ever denser, the sunlight almost failing to pierce through. The land was in almost total darkness. Each of them moved as swiftly and as silently as possible towards The Cauldron. They knew the battle would be fierce. The static generated by the clouds fired lightening bolts out in every direction. They bounced off the shield protecting The Cauldron and scorched the earth around it. It was time.


Prince Jennin gathered himself. He knew he had to go, and go now. It would commence at any moment. He knew who held the power to release the charm, but he had only ever been talked about in whispers. He did not fear the Man in the Boat, he knew he was good. His only fear was that of failure, could he sacrifice Carradon for her? He knew he would have to make the choice. He loved Carlyonna, he loved Carradon. He would have to choose. He whispered one last word.



They were all assembled. They waited, ready for the carnage to begin. It would be bloody. They had no idea. They had forgotten the sisters. It would be to their cost.

It was time. The Man in the Boat spoke softly, his words would carry, he knew.

“I release you”

The heavens opened that very second. Hail and lightening reigned down on them all, as sun blazed through the disappearing clouds. The earth ripped open before them in the centre of The Cauldron and light blazed upwards, tearing the sky with a deafening screech. Hands and paws covered ears, lest they be shattered by the sound. The charm was lifted.

Shimmering particles appeared in the stream of light, gathering in to a ball high above the ground. Eyes were transfixed, it was amazingly beautiful and terrible all at the same time. All knew the Sword of Sarahling was forming, and what it meant. The particles swarmed around, gathering pace, blinding everyone with their brilliance.



The battle was a scene from hell. The Chaplin unleashed her creatures, giant six-foot tall demented rabbits, no-one would ever call them bunnies. Their paws were covered with shining steel claws, ready to rip anything to shreds. Their teeth were long, razor-sharp, and they bounded across the ground with a pace that belied their bulk. They were fearsome indeed. The Chaplin herself waded in, firing spells in every direction, occasionally hitting one of her own. She didn't care, she wanted the sword, wanted it more than anything else. She hated the giants above all, would do anything to destroy them. She had never forgiven their leader, Boulder, for spurning her years before. This would be the day he paid, paid with his life.

The giants waded in, their enormous clubs swathing through the rabbits and zombies like they weren't there at all. Boulder was surrounded by them, his club swung and connected with two rabbits, sending them flying in to the air, crashing in to the onrushing hoard. He screamed as one sunk it's sharp teeth in to his back. There were too many of them, he knew. Rufall was already lost to the enemy. It pained him to see his friend go, but he would not let them win.

“You will never win, Chaplin”

Wytch and her army of mechanical zombies entered the fray. She's promised Boulder that they would be there for them, help them survive the battle and claim the Sword. She would be happy for the giants to rule. She immediately sent a battalion to him, surrounded as he was, and the rest of her legions towards The Chaplin. The were other zombies on the battlefield that were not hers, but she could not see him yet. But she could feel her brother's presence. She could feel his glare.

A great noise echoed around The Cauldron as Prince Jennin arrived with his legions. They all knew he was key to the day's events. Both Wytch and Boulder made a beeline for him, knowing he would be a target. They were not the only ones.

“You are my prisoner Jennin”

Seemingly from nowhere, Kirstin Queen of the Vampires, swept down and snatched Jennin from the grasp of his guards.

“He's mine now, and the Sword will be too, ha ha ha” And as she carried Jennin off, her throng waded in to the battle, laughing, thinking they had won.

It was bedlam. Bodies of all sides littered the field while the devastation continued. Rabbits swarmed everywhere, there was more of them than the other sides combined. Their claws and teeth were reeking havoc and despite the best efforts of the giants, they were winning. The Chaplin was in her element, screeching as she watched her hoard destroy the opposition. Wytch battled valiantly with her inventions, but she was running out of ideas and support. They were doomed.

The glittering ball began to form the shape of an enormous, beautiful, shimmering sword, and as it solidified, it began to vibrate emitting a call that only the man chosen to release it could hear, Prince Jennin.

His head snapped round when he heard it. The sound he had waited for all his life. But he'd given too much away.

“You hear it? You hear the Sword! It is calling to you. You will release it for me or I will kill you”

“Then you will never have the Sword, Kirstin”

“Do you think I don't know who you desire? Do you think I don't know who you have waited for all of your life? To touch her, to look deep in to her eyes and soul? To kiss her?” His face drained on hearing her words. How did she know?
“Carlyonna, my sister, yes my sister will be here today. Do you wish to die before you see her?”

Jennin was torn. He wanted more than anything to see her, touch her, but how could he release the Sword to Kirstin? She would destroy the land but he desired Carlyonna so.


The Man in the Boat could feel the vibrations. He could feel the indecision. It was this moment he feared.


Time froze as she appeared. Carlyonna, red hair blowing gently in the breeze, piercing steely-blue eyes beholding all who saw them, stood on the top of the hill surveying the devastation below.
As she watched, the melee resumed it's frantic pace. She had to find him, save him, kiss him.

She had searched everywhere for him, but her brother was not to be found. His zombies were still tearing life and limb from anything they could grasp, but he was invisible. Wytch turned to see Boulder grab The Chaplin by the throat and lift her clean off the floor. The rabbits immediately turned on him, swarming all over him. Wytch tried to help him, but was sent sprawling by the surge heading towards them. As she rolled on to her back, a foot planted itself firmly on her chest, pinning her down.


“Get off me, get off me now” she screamed.

“I like your army, pity they're not as good as mine. Pity you'll not live to see what happens”

“I feel sorry for you brother. You'll never be happy. You can kill me and part of you will die too. There's good in you Rich, you know there is. Where is the love we shared when we were kids?”

“Ha ha, you think you can distract me sister? You think I have any good in my soul? Let me show you how good I am?” And he raised his sword, preparing to strike.

 And he uttered one more word.



He felt the warmth on his wrist as her hand wrapped round his. He turned to see a beautiful, raven-haired woman staring straight in to his eyes.

“Spare your sister. You cannot survive without her. Spare her or I cannot spare you”

But his anger and hatred, built up over so many years was not to be put aside.

“No, she will die now, at my hands” 

He tried to free her grip, but she was too strong. As he wrestled, her grip intensified, but not only on his wrist. As her hand tightened he felt his internal organs being squeezed, squashed. He couldn't let go, he couldn't breathe, he couldn't let the anger go, wanting to strike his sister down. And as he fought, his rage consumed every last ounce of his life.


She could feel him. The quickening of her heart told her he was close. The man she'd waited for, knowing she would meet him this day. She had to save him.


Tears fell from her eyes as she looked down at him, his hand still round her throat.

“Why did you never love me, Boulder? Why?”

But he couldn't answer, he looked in to her eyes as the creatures attacked him, speared him. He saw the tears and stopped, paralysed by what he saw. He couldn't take any more punishment, and as their eyes locked, the creatures sank their claws in one last time. The giant fell, crushing several of the rabbits and The Chaplin as he died.


The mayhem continued. Leaderless, the zombies and rabbits lost control, attacking anything and everything. The situation was becoming desperate. So intent on searching for him, she failed to notice the vampires waiting for her.

“I know you can feel her, as I can. But I have captured her, your precious Carlyonna. Release the Sword of Sarahling or I will kill her before your very eyes.”

He had no choice. He couldn't live without the thought of her. He knew Kirsten would destroy the land. He didn't know what to do.

“Trust your heart, Prince”

He didn't know who the voice was, where it was, but it spoke to him again.

“Prince, trust your heart, there is only goodness in there”

“No, I will never give you the Sword. I would rather die”

“I would never give you that pleasure, Prince, you will watch her die instead then”

They hoisted Carlyonna up for him to see, and for the very first time, their eyes met. She was bound and held, unable to move, but her beauty reached out to him, melting his soul.

“Trust your heart, release the Sword. We will save Carradon”

“No, I can........ I cannot, I..........”

But he could not see her die. To be this close, to have looked deep in to her eyes and not been able to be near her would destroy him. He trusted the voice that spoke to him, though he knew not who it was. How could he abandon the land of his fathers to this, this monster? He didn't know which way to turn.

“I release you”

A clap of thunder shook the earth. The bond surrounding the Sword of Sarahling was broken, it was free, unlocked from it's chains of thousands of years. The holder of this sword would rule Carradon. As it fell and landed in soft earth, Kirsten reached out and grabbed the handle, lifting it high in the air.

“It is mine”

The ground shook, and the skies grew dark. Lightening bolts flew across the sky as her voice rang out.

“Carradon is mine” 

A great wind swept across the battlefield, gathering all the creatures still alive. In a second, they were all gone and the only sounds were the rushing of the wind which carried Kirsten's laughter.

“We cannot let that happen sister”

And there in front of Kirsten stood her three sisters, Carlyonna, Goddess and Clarity.

“You think you can match my powers now I have this Sword?”

And with those words, she shot spells out of each of them. They battled hard, the three against the one, but it was soon clear they were now no match for them.


He waited. It was almost time.


“I shall finish you all now. You will die knowing I am the better one, I am....”

“The Sword was meant to rule in peace, Kirsten”

She turned, the only one she feared stood facing her.

“You cannot defeat me. I have the sword, you cannot”

“Surely as I stand here, I can defeat you.”

“But they only way is to sacrifice yourself. Why would you, for these people, they mean nothing to you.”

“Don't make me angry.  You won't like me when I'm angry." He closed his eyes to begin.

The wind whistled around them, spiralling round him, lifting him up, spinning him. It was if if the wind was filling him with energy, with life, with power. When he could consume no more, it ended.

The earth shook one last time, and a cold wind ripped across the plain.

As the clouds cleared and bright warm sunshine returned, he was gone. Queen Kirsten had also disappeared, never to return to the land of Carradon. The Man in the Boat had won.

Clarity found the Sword at her feet, and hoisted it high above her head, it's blade glinting in the beautiful sunshine.

"There will be peace in Carradon forever."

She turned to hug the Goddess, and they both turned to see the scene they had longed for for years.

“My Prince.”

“My Carlyonna.”

And as they stared deep in to each other's eyes and kissed, peace returned to the land of Carradon.

The End.

Thank god.


  1. hahahahahahahahahaha! I freakin' love it! You have way too much time on your hands :0)

    Well done.


    You rock!


  2. Thank you Cxx

    You guys inspire me, feed me, I'm just the guy who jumbles it all together.

    Good to have your feedback and so glad you enjoyed it. Costume update on the way.