by Brianna G. Harte
PREVIOUSLY, ON “THE KNIGHT OF XEO”
Yes. Why do I get the impression that you’re surprised? You should be all too familiar with them and every other kind of people in this world as one of the – aarghhh! This time, pain shook terribly from his form, as though they were seismic waves from an enormous earthquake. My body trembled in response, and if that wasn’t bad enough, a flash of the glowing stone pulsated in my mind and my chest erupted in a sharp, tearing torment. All I could think about was the agony ripping my soul apart. I fell away from the space as my concentration was obliterated, and began to feel my body, my physical body, convulsing.
My eyes flew open immediately, and if I wasn’t strapped down to a table, I probably would have fallen off and hit the floor.
“Hmmf. So you finally decided to wake up.” Off in the corner of the room slouched a burly man dressed in ragged clothes with his small eyes directed toward me. The light of the stone shining close to the table I was lying on showed that his beard was unkempt, dirt covered his complexion, and his face reminded me of a baby bear. Instead of hardened, I got the feeling that he was broken and lost, just like me. The comparison made me shudder. Why was I even interpreting these sensations anyway? He was the one who strapped me down to the table, and if he didn’t, then he didn’t prevent it. “It was getting boring in here.”
“Who even are you?” I demanded, though I fully expected him to not give me a straight answer, just like everyone else.
The man shifted in his chair that sounded a lot less comfortable than it looked. He began to sit upright, and made sure to look me in the eyes before speaking. “Young lady, I am the lowly Ermaj Oeurmaju Ka’an, tasked to guard you. I have no intentions to hurt you.” Surprise must have radiated from my face because he chuckled. “What is it?”
I rolled my eyes. “If you have no intentions to hurt me, then why did you drag me here to suffer on a table? If you’re going for hospitable and friendly, you are loony.”
“How could you suffer there? It stopped your fall before it began.” The tone of his voice was so sincere that I almost believed he was genuine. “You are far safer there than you would be in those halls. That stone offers more light than the entire underground city does in total.”
“I would feel safe if I wasn’t forcibly put on a table like some experiment. I would feel safe if I knew what was going on. I would feel safe if I wasn’t surrounded by strangers who won’t even give me a straight answer,” I declared. My arms instinctively rose to fold my arms, though they were quickly met with resistance. “And that stone is no safe haven. I can’t describe exactly what it’s doing, but it’s not just a light source.”
Copyright © 2017 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.