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The Tavern (standard:fantasy, 2151 words)
Author: ZatoAdded: Apr 26 2001Views/Reads: 1781/1027Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A man runs from the brotherhood, a deadly organization composed of the undead. To escape he must flee to his past, The Tavern.
 



Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

“I am sorry to come here Abby, but I am in trouble now, trouble of the
worst kind. I beg of you Abby please don’t throw me out, I must hide.” 
“Throw you out?” Abby said in surprise. “Come now don’t talk 
foolishness, come with me to my room and by the fire.” 

I nodded silently, fear still etched in my voice and skin, the image of
danger still on the breath of my words. And there was a fire, behind 
the bar in a room that served as her home, the home of her father too. 
I hated to come here and expose Abby like this, the best of people, but 
I had no choice, I wanted to survive. 

“Tell me what’s the matter dear Jalin,” Abby pleaded, “please.” 

“I went to the brotherhood Abby, and now they want retribution.” I
mumbled and even I didn’t miss the gasp that escaped the lips of her 
mouth, the horror etched all over her face. “I didn’t know what to do 
Abby, I needed them.” 

“What did you do?” 

I walked over to the fire and sat down on the stool there, looking down
at the fire itself. As I watched the embers die out, and the sparks fly 
into the air and disappear, I told her. I told her of how I had agreed 
to do jobs for them, to hold back nothing, to get them into places they 
could not. I told her of the way the brotherhood had expected something 
in return, of how I had confronted them telling them that they were 
just using me and never meant to pay me, of how I ran and hid certain 
of my death. And it was silent then, the room coming to a dead silence 
as I finished my story; the horror that appeared on Abby’s face now 
replaced with the white dead of terror. 

“Oh Jalin, Jalin. No one confronts the brotherhood and lives, no one.
What were you thinking? What led you to do such a horrible thing.” 

“I did it for you Abby,” I turned around and stepped up, holding back
nothing now, she would know. “I did it for you, to become more worthy 
of you, to become your champion.” 

“What?” Abby replied back, a weird look on her face as she looked back
at me. 

I stepped up and held her close, whispering in her ear now silently. “I
did it for you Abby, my dear Abby. You never knew how I felt about you, 
but I always loved you. But I did not feel worthy of you. How could I, 
being a poor street orphan.” 

“You did not have to go at such length Jalin, you know how I feel, I
would have loved you just the same.” 

“But I did Abby, I had to be the champion once again, I had to raise to
the call. You deserved more than me Abby, and something always tore me 
back to you.” 

She tore away from me in anger, turning toward the flames, “And now you
die Jalin, don’t you see we cannot stop this now, the brotherhood will 
not stop at such an insult, you will die.” 

“But I will not Abby, I will run. We can go together Abby and leave my
mistakes behind. I realize now that we only need each other and damn 
the rest if they don’t agree. I never needed wealth, only you.” 

Abby roughly turned toward me and tears flew threw the air as she fell
into my arms, crying into my chest. “This is not a fairy tale Jalin, we 
cannot just forget what you have done. We cannot just forget about the 
past, run away from our fear.” 

“And so your love comes at a limit.” 

She shook her head at that, continuing on. “This is not a game Jalin, a
thing you can go to sleep now and forget about it tomorrow. We cannot 
run from this!” 

“But we can Abby, don’t you see.” I looked down into her eyes, more
certain now than any time before of what I wanted. “We can run away, 
just you and me and the world will not stop us. We be not nobles of 
birth, but we can find a living, a place of our own. I never thought I 
was worthy of you, but seeing you now here, like this, I cannot let go 
now.” 

“We must confront the brotherhood, make a deal, somehow you will live. I
know of it Jalin.” 

I shook my head, finally looking at what she was hinting at. “You know
the price they hold for betrayal, the price is to become one of them, 
the living undead. But nay, I cannot.” 

“You hold me in danger each moment you hesitate Jalin, you knew about
this price the moment you stepped on my doorstep. What has become of 
you Jalin, have you become a coward?” 

But I was not swayed by her angry words, attempting to save me. “It is
you I cannot live without, you who I cannot stand to be away from. If I 
pay the price, it will be at leaving you behind. I know the right thing 
to do is look away,” My eyes started to water and I spoke on “but don’t 
you see it is you I love, not the dream of riches.” 

And so we held each other, certain of the impending doom, against all
hope and wishes. If only our love could last a lifetime I would be in 
heaven, the world would be a better place, for with her in my arms I 
felt I could fly into the sky like a dragon. To have her again, against 
all odd seemed like a dream, but it was a dream that was never to be, 
for moments later the door to the backroom creaked open, footsteps loud 
on the hard wooden floor. 

My back was to the opening and Abby alone could see who was coming. But
we did not move from our spot, did not attempt to hide, and instead 
held each other, and I whispered. “My whole life has been because of 
you, I cannot lose you now. It is now and forever my dear sweet Abby, 
now and forever.” 

Suddenly I felt a sharp pain on the bones of my spine, a sharp needle
that went deep into my body. I felt as if I was stuck on a stick, like 
some meat roasting over a fire. At that moment I thought only of her, 
and the promise of us, of heaven. Slowly I reached around and felt 
Abby’s arms, intending to throw her away from the danger. But slowly I 
felt how Abby’s arm wrapped around me, felt how Abby had held something 
in her arms, and slowly, in horror, felt how Abby held the knife in my 
back. 

And I was frozen a dead statue. I lived still, for blood was still
flowing, but it was confusion then. It was as if all I had lived for 
was a lie, it was as if my whole entire life purpose was something of a 
joke, a secret that the universe shared and I was left out of. And I 
died. 

If I had of lived I would of seen the tears that lined Abby’s cheek, the
feeling of betraying oneself etched on the contours of her whole body, 
I would have seen a man enter from behind me, all shrouded in a black 
robe and hood, and I would have heard the words that would bind my 
life’s meaning forever. 

“I have delivered him to you like I promised, now let my father go.” 


   


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