The beast rumbled to life. None who lived in the lands had ever known of the slumbering Titan that provided the mountain range to their valley. Tremors and small quakes had visited the Valley of Old Kings in the past; once every sixty-six years a quake, almost every other year the tremors.
The beast was snoring and the kingdom called it a natural occurrence.
As the earth began to tremble out of its scheduled sequence, heads turned and attention had to be given.
“Sir,” a young knight shouted fervently. “The whole kingdom is being affected by the event!” The knight had just recently been accepted by the kingdom as one of their official protectors only a few days prior to the quake. “According to Riv’Shalé patrols, the whole of the kingdom and further territories are feeling these quakes. No one seems to know what’s going on!”
The captain held his face in his large palms, breathing deeply with a sighs of frustration. “If it were just our own regions,” the captain spoke softly before trailing off. He lifted his head from his hands. Long nights of restless sleep rode heavily upon his face. His grey eyes appeared dark, sullen, and bloodshot. A dark, ragged beard had set anchor as his jet black hair was tussled and matted. “Did anyone have ideas, Howerk, anything at all?”
The young knight, Daveis Howerk, silently shook his head. “Only what might be expected, sir, that we have somehow angered the Ethelions.” Howerk hesitated for a moment before finishing, “But even the Ethelic Council is undecided as to who is right.”
“Leave it to our warrior priests to offer so much yet so little.” The captain rose from his seat, covered in leather and plates of steel. The plating could be moved, subtracted, or added to his armor as he wished it. His broad shoulders were covered by a single, hawk-crested pauldron on his left, with intricate chainmail on his right. “Howerk, I need you to head to Welfrost and petition the Kings for any assistance they may spare,” spoke the weary captain. “I fear we may have trouble in our futures.”
“Yes sir,” barked Howerk. “Won’t I need a sealed letter from you, Captain Seidna?”
Captain Leland Seidna nodded slowly, as he quickly but carefully scrawled out a letter requesting aid. Then, he and his two most trusted officers used their stamps in candle wax to mark the authenticity and urgency of Howerk’s mission. Once the letter was in his hands, the young knight vanished into the twilight of the early dawn.
Once the sun had breeched the horizon, however, the quakes intensified. Riders were sent out to assess the damages, but they never expected to find that their familiar mountain ranges were moving. Long legs with snow-capped knees, ending in craggy, spire-like tips shifted slowly across the sky. Each step it took slammed into the earth with a horribly shuddering wave of dust and debris. Moments later, the violent tremor and deafening crash of the impact would reach the scouts.
The creature’s maw opened, exposing the fiery hell that existed within the colossal beast. Its body existed on a plane taller than the mountain tops behind it, and its back pierced the heavens above. The craters it left with its steps were deeper than the mines the people had dug. But the hole in the earth where this Titan had slept was now a dark inferno of ash surrounding a lake of lava. The towns and people who lived at the base of the mountain no longer existed, crushed by the falling earth as the beast rose and burned away as the land bled from her wound.
Captain Seidna watched as his beloved mountain jutted up into the sky. He watched as the landscape became an instant wasteland beneath the beast. “If this is the work of the Ethelions, then let them try to take their anger out upon us,” he shouted to the men behind him. “If the Ethelions have mercy, they will help us and give us the strength to fight this monstrosity!” His men cheered, even as they wavered in fear. The captain knew they were frightened. “Men,” he spoke through a smile. “I am beyond terrified of what is to come, but know this. We will not be taken without a fight! We make our stand!”
As he finished his speech, the captain turned back to look at the creature. The ground trembled as the air grew warm, the wind picking up speed quickly. Seidna’s eyes grew wide, his jaw slacked, and his stance echoed his sudden sense of insignificance. The bellowing roar hit before the clouds of heated gas and ash did. The Ethelions did not come to their aid.
There was nothing left to give aid to.
© T.A. Rindler 2015
© T.A. Rindler Short Stack Story Time 2015