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The Affinity III (standard:adventure, 3153 words)
Author: Ian HobsonAdded: Nov 03 2008Views/Reads: 2637/1466Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Recap: Michael Collington, having inherited his grandfather's house, finds a letter that tells him where to find a sword with the power to propel him into another world, where he rediscovers his other identity: Lord Astavar. But soon after reacquainting

The Affinity III 

©2008 Ian Hobson 

5  Unanswered Questions 

For two nights I had been unable to sleep; my head filled with images of
Layana, Magalo, and Durabel, and the fight with the Oruks.  There were 
so many unanswered questions: Were Magalo and Durabel dead?  Did the 
Oruks kill me, Lord Astavar?  If not, would I, Michael Collington, have 
to return? 

I'd put the sword back into its hiding place and said nothing to
Jennifer, but she kept asking me if I was alright, as did some of my 
colleagues at work; I must have been wandering about the office like a 
zombie.  I wanted to tell someone, but how could I?  It was all just 
too incredible.  I said that I was fine, just a little tired with the 
house renovations.  Jennifer said I should take the next weekend off, 
just relax. 

As the week went by, the images faded a little and I began to wonder if
I had imagined the whole thing.  Twice I had sat at the desk in my 
grandfather's old study and started to remove the drawer, but closed it 
again.  By the weekend I'd got back into a routine.  I was sleeping 
again, though not without dreams: some incompressible, and some where I 
was once again Lord Astavar, drinking in Rumba's waterfront tavern with 
Magalo, or surrounded by the ugly Oruk creatures. 

It was Saturday afternoon when I found the courage to touch the sword
again, and exactly a week since I had read my grandfather's letter and 
then opened the secret compartment in his desk.  Jennifer had suggested 
I come shopping with her and Helen.  I said I'd rather stay at home, 
put my feet up and read, or watch the sport on TV.  It was an excuse, 
of course.  I could no longer resist taking the sword out from its 
hiding place and once more grasping its hilt, though this time I sat on 
the floor of the study and leaned against the wall, so as not to be 
thrown backwards. 

Nothing happened.  I tried kissing the blade but still nothing.  Perhaps
it was the wrong time.  Or perhaps I had failed Lord Astavar, and the 
Oruk's had killed him; there was no way of knowing.  I sat for several 
minutes, with the sword on my lap, trying to remember the details of 
the incredible adventure I'd had just one week before, but the images 
were becoming confused.  The only clear picture I had in my mind was of 
Magalo's bearded face, as he stood before me in the underground vault 
of his ancestors. 

It was then that his voice reached across the void that separated me
from my other life. 

'You must always stand and kiss the blade, Master, or the sword gods may
desert you.  You must always stand and kiss the blade.' 

Keeping my back to the wall, I grasped the sword by the hilt and got to
my feet, and then it happened again: I rested the blade on my left hand 
and, raising it to my lips, I kissed it.  The sparks were fewer this 
time, but again I was thrown violently backwards, through a wall that 
was no longer there, and then down and down through a noiseless 
blackness, until I woke, as though from a dream. 

I thought I could smell fish, but also a familiar perfume.  There were
voices nearby, and as I moved I felt pain in the left side of my back 
and must have gasped or cried out. 


It was the sponge girl, Layana, who had spoken, and her perfume that I
could smell.  I was lying on a sleeping couch on the floor of a small 
storeroom of some kind.  Bright sunlight streamed in through a tiny 
window set high in one wall, and Layana was leaning over me, sponging 
my brow, and looking every bit as beautiful as I recalled. 

Once again I was Lord Astavar, but disoriented and weak. 'Where am I?' I

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