Another Faithwriters story. Enjoy and please comment!
The watchtower on the mountain served us well. We saw the Vikings a full day before they arrived and had time to hide out in the forest, taking all that really mattered with us.
But in our haste, we forgot one thing; the most important one of all.
“Forget it,” the others said.
“We can copy another,” they said.
“It’s to late to go back and fetch it anyway,” they said.
I, of course, ignored them.
It felt like a knife was stabbing into my side as I ran. My breath came in searing gasps and my booted footsteps didn’t fall half as lightly as usual. Still, I didn’t slow up, the thought of my mission and the short time I had to complete it was heavy on my mind.
I staggered to a stop as I approached the back of the monastery. Fog swirled around the steeple, snagging on the tip and swirling in different directions. It was a very peaceful morning; one in which I would have usually taken a hike up the mountain, not spent it running my legs off from Vikings.
I heard a clank of swords and a far off battle cry muffled by the fog. I didn’t have much time.
I opened the back door, which opened with a moan of objection, and slipped inside the dank warmness of the monastery. The door thudded shut behind me, echoing dully in the gray, half-darkness.
I took a few seconds to let my eyes adjust, then ran for the stairs. My foot hit the first step and it creaked loudly. I jumped back for a second, but then continued up the stairs.
The noise of all the shifting steps echoed around in a cacophony of shrieking, which did nothing at all to calm me down. I finally reached the top and the noise died down inside, but the yelling outside was now closer. I ran to a wooden chest in the corner and threw it open.
There was the precious Bible: copied by hand and passed down for generations, unassumingly sitting in its jeweled cover.
Outside, the battle cry and clanking weapons were deafening and I could hear the crackling of burning houses.
I snatched the Bible up in my arms and started for the stairs. But just then, I heard the door smash open and the war cry amplified. I froze.
There were a few smashing sounds, then unmistakable shriek of the stairs started up again.
I silently panicked. Where could I escape? The stairs were obviously not an option. Hiding? Would that work? No. He’d smash everything anyway and find me. Then I’d be dead for sure.
The feet stomping up the stairs were getting closer. I then saw my only possible option: the window. I looked out and thought quickly. I could jump out, catch myself on the branches and swing to the ground that way. I was pretty good in the trees anyway. If I could . . .
A hand grabbed my shoulder. I yelped and spun on my heel, smacking the Viking backwards a few steps with the heavy Bible in my hands. He held his face in surprise and lost his footing for a second. That was all the time I needed.
I threw open the window and hurled myself out into the tree branches. For a second, I felt like I was flying, until the tree came.
And being a law-abiding citizen of gravity never works in your favor when down is the last place on the world you want to go.
Branches smacked me from all sides as I spun downwards. I grasped wildly with the one hand that wasn’t holding the Bible, but wasn’t getting a grip and the ground was coming fast. Reflexes kicked in and I let go of the huge volume to try and grab a branch.
The Bible hit the ground first, and I landed on top of it. I gasped and held my head, fighting pain from all the whacks I’d taken in the tree. I stayed down for a few seconds, then slowly stood and ran off to rejoin the rest of my town in the woods.
There would be time for recovery later.
At least the Bible was safe.
G’bye for now!