Fighting Talk

The silence hung thickly like a grey smog between us, it was the kind of deafening silence needs to be broken yet nobody was prepared to speak. Both of us jumped startled as a booming loudspeaker announcement chorused around the town. Seconds later the TV which had been happily talking to an empty room chorused the same message like an echo.
My face dropped as a few seconds later Layla’s eyes widened. I had hoped desperately to get out of here before this happened. I knew she would find out eventually but I wanted her to be a long way away, safe, where she wouldn’t try and follow me, where she wouldn’t try and stop me. The chorus of “Important news, Important news, the Queen will address the kingdom” still rang through the streets when Morgan and Katha rushed downstairs thankfully causing a break from the terrible and draining silence that was still looming between Layla and I despite the noise. "Dad!" "Mum!" Came two seperate calls.

“Please tell me this isn’t anything to do with you Mike?” she stammered, holding back a large well of tears. I couldn’t bring myself to answer her.

“MUM?!” Katha ran into the room and grabbed her mother’s arm. “Didn’t you hear what the speakers said? We have to go listen!” She appeared not to notice the tension between us, which was at least a relief. I stood in the livingroom doorway behind the three girls and watched as the perfect image of Helena appeared slowly upon the screen, dressed in full golden robes with the same petit head garment  she had donned at our meeting.

She began by smiling and slowly and slightly bobbed her head in a greeting to her kingdom. I could only assume she was trying to brighten the mood in any way she could to try and make the announcement seem less difficult. It also gave her a much more engaging quality. Layla darted me a quick worried glance as Helena opened her mouth to begin addressing the kingdom. Her voice was sombre as she spoke.

Friends, kinsfolk. It may not be apparent at this time, but I fear we are under a terrible threat. Our ancient allies The Van Helsing family, are tragically no longer the powerful force for good they once were. Their power has corrupted them for many years now. Our allegiance has been betrayed and our trust broken.” She paused for effect. “It has come to our knowledge they are plotting to turn against us, and are amassing their armies as we speak, with only one goal, to eradicate all other sources of magic in this world, and to rule. This may come as a shock to many of you as until today it was also a shock to us. However this is unfortunately the truth. This sadly brings me to ones of the most important decisions made in our history. After long discussion the Council and I have reached the conclusion that we only have one option, Warfare. Our informants have supplied us with as much information as we can get, they themselves have experienced the evil of the Van Helsings first hand, there is no doubt of their honesty. Based on this we cannot waste anymore time ignoring them.” She paused once again to let the information settle in. I hadn’t been able to avoid noticing the way Layla tensed up when Helena spoke of informants.

Our defences are strong yes, and our soldiers brave but when we are the only ones left we will have no chance of survival by hiding behind our mountains. This is our time, the elves will stand by our side in battle, together we may have a chance to beat the treacherous Van Helsings. Alone we will be crushed by the ruthless strength of the Van Helsings. They will not negotiate, they will not accept peace, and they will never settle till they have destroyed our families, taken our freedom, and ended our lives. We have two defined choices, kill or be killed. War is not our custom but my people, we are a proud, strong nation. Are we going to lie down and let these power-mad murderers sweep us aside to the dust? I say No, not while I am alive to defend our land. The black hour is upon us and we are being called up to battle, and I ask now, who of you will stand with me?

As the image of Helena faded from the screen there was no noise, not a chirp from the birds, the wind stopped whistling between the trees outside, nobody moved until a loud cry came from the street. The noise chorused around, it became clear it was not from one person but many, all across the cluster of houses and the village beyond, a united cry of strength, and loyalty to their queen. A fearsome cry of battle.

 

The End

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