Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chapter 3: The plan

        Caden walked through the empty streets. He kicked a loose stone and it clicked down the cobble stone road. He didn't want to leave the party. But he didn't want to stay either. He didn't want to stay in Erdon anymore. The quiet town, in the corner of the Kingdom. The only view of the outside world he had were Sir Eric's stories of the Dragon Knights.

        Harron seemed to understand it. Why didn't anyone else in town? Maybe he could get Father Coteson on his side. Next time the Dragon Knights came through, he could talk to them. They would hardly turn down a direct request from the church. They served the church even before the king.
        Caden stopped by a horse trough. He could see himself in the dark water. He would be a great Knight, and honored by the King above all others. Earning a seat in the royal court. Captain General of all the Dragon Knights, standing atop the bodies of countless slain dragons who attempted to return and free their Dragon Queen.
        Yes, that was his plan. He walked to the temple. Father Coteson wasn't at the party, so he had to be the temple.

        He reached the temple, and it was glowing in the night. Every window was lit up with a green glow from inside. The doors were open, and dozens of kids, all under ten harvests, were walking into the temple. Their eyes glowed with the same strange green fire.
        Caden ran back to the town square. He was halfway there when he stopped. Something strange was going on. If he wanted to prove to Keilee, to all of them, that he had what it took to be a Dragon Knight, he knew that he could not run away.
        So he returned to the temple.

        Inside, there was no one. The dead still rested in the side alter, so that everyone could pay their respects for the next three days. The temple was quiet. A cold draft of night air blew through the open doors. The green fire was gone.
        Caden walked down the long center aisle, past the rows of stone benches. He listened for any movement, but only heard the soft footsteps of his boots on the slate floor.
        Clack. Caden stopped. He looked around the temple. Nothing changed, yet the shadows seemed deeper. As the wind blew a tree outside, Caden saw shapes moving from shadow to shadow.
        He stepped up onto the first step. "Father Coteson?" he called. "Are you here?" Skrr... Caden ran up the last three steps. He moved behind the altar so he could see all parts of the temple.
        He tripped as his foot failed to meet the floor. He fell down a hole behind the altar, and tumbled down a circular stair well. His head hit the stone stairs. As pain shot through his body, everything went black.