Dark Waltz: Part Two
Part 2: In the Womb of Winter
All Colour Runs Together
Amandus sat warming her toes by the fire while Zo’koll read aloud from a book of fairy tales. Though it was cold without, it was warm within and the hobbit was content. The memory of her past shame was almost forgotten.
Suddenly, breaking the stillness like a bolt of lightening rends the sky on a clear night, a horde of masked figures in black broke through the doors and windows of the cabin and carried Amandus and Zo’koll into the bleak night before they even had a chance to scream. Their pale hands were as cold as ice and froze the young hobbit’s blood. Then all was darkness and she remembered no more.
* * *
When she awoke Amandus found herself in some sort of dungeon. It was dark and very, very cold. A single window let in a patch of cold, pale sunshine which did little to warm or cheer the room. Amandus crawled to the window, pulled herself up slowly and painfully, and looked out. Winter had come that night and the land lay covered in a shroud of snow. She leaned her hand against the wall for support and the warmth of her hand caused the wall to melt ever so slightly. Then the truth dawned upon her: she was imprisoned in a tower of ice.
“I know where we are,” she said.
Zo’koll, who sat huddled in the farthest corner of the room, stirred at the sound of Amandus’ voice. “Where?” she asked, in a frightened voice.
“This is the land of Michigan, a land of perpetual ice and snow. It is said that the snow only melts once every thousand years.” The hobbit fell silent. An evil laugh echoed through the room.
* * *
Sir Tisdale laughed. He had little reason to laugh; he had long been exiled from his home in the south, doomed to wander in the northern wild and help those he may. Yet still his heart was light and he laughed.
“Sire!” shouted his squire, Jack, who rode ahead. “Come see this!” He pointed to a clearing ahead where an abandoned cabin with broken windows stood.
The knight rode ahead and dismounted. “Der Nachtfalter’s work,” he said disgustedly, eyeing the two blood red leaves pinned in the shape of a moth to what was left of the door.
“I found this,” said Jack. He handed Sir Tisdale a small blue velvet cloak. “There are hobbit tracks around the cabin as well. A hobbit was here. A hobbit from the Ever Living Lands.”
Sir Tisdale looked very grave.
“The heart of a hobbit from the Ever Living Lands will beat and stop beating as any other heart,” said the knight. “But, if you eat it. . . .”
He stopped and swung himself into his saddle.
“Where are we going?” asked Jack.
“To rid the world of darkness and despair!”
To be continued. . .