An epic inspired by the work of J.R.R. Tolkien
Chapter one: The sleepy village
The crisp autumn air whisked down the hollow to this village, where people were busy setting up stalls and games in a field in the center of the village. It was the autumn’s eve festival in this sleepy village of Landenshire which sits in a hollow. Everybody who has ever lived there has been a hard worker, and today was no exception. As they worked to set up the stalls in the hours of the morning, a person came and greeted them, a man everybody knew, and a person who knew everybody. None other than Cahir Caddock, who comes from a long line of bankers, businessmen, entrepreneurs - but he was none of those, he was a man who lived on the outskirts of this village and had no job to show for, no kin around and nothing to do with the local affairs in the center of the village Landenshire.
Cahir shook hands, bowed and smiled his fair share to the fellow people who live in his village. Everybody seemed to be happy today, festive and ready for merrymaking (The only time of year the people in this usually dull village are ever having true fun is during this festival), and Cahir joined in, helping until dusk, when the festival started. In the festival, there were fireworks blazing, smoke filling the air, and Cahir thought they looked like a dark cloud over the festival but dismissed it when he saw the wonderful stalls. There were stalls selling roast mutton and pork, some selling cakes and teas, and some were selling general goods. He walked over to a particularly small stall in the circle of merchants, and smiled at the man behind the bar.
‘How much is one of those fireworks in back?’ asked Cahir, his finger protruding out to point at a firework in a small box in the back of the stall on a shelf.
‘That one is eight pence. Or two for fifteen pence. It’s a great deal, I say so myself.’
‘That’s very charitable, but I only want one’ chimed Cahir as he put the coins on the bar and walked off with his firework in hand.
He put it onto the ground where children were also shooting off fireworks into the air, and patted his pockets for a match which he used to ignite the flame which set the firework off in a multi-colored explosion which lit up the area for the time being. Children were setting off fireworks and dancing, adults were drinking mead (which is quite different for them here, it’s usually tea!) and everybody was screaming and cheering, saying goodbye to the summer which nobody liked. For in this hollow the summers were sweltering hot and nobody could bare it. The men seldom worked out in their fields for the day and the women, instead of sewing or things of the sorts fanned themselves off, and the children laid around all day and did nothing except sit there and complain. The sun would beat down upon them with no mercy, and this is why the people in Landenshire didn’t enjoy the summertime. They were happy to get rid of it, and when the autumn and winter months came it was cool enough to bare living. The spring months, as you’ll learn later were a damp time and nobody enjoyed them much either.
After the most of the festivals inhabitants had left, save a few drunk men who laid there sleeping Cahir walked away from the now emptied out stalls, its vendors and goods cleared out. The path that he chose to walk was one that was seldom traveled, but it was a shorter way to the outskirts of their quaint village. He was used to the usual black bear or other forest-dwelling creatures that he would usually see in the wood as he walked by them to his small house. But this time was a different kind of noise and shadows in the wood which he would always walk by. He peered into the forest to try to see anything, but to no apparent avail. He got up to his house, opened the door and got ready for the night.
As he sat inside of his smug home, he used a match from the same matchbook which he lit the firework with to light a fire in the fireplace. The wood crackled as he set a cast iron piece above the fire and on top of that, a tea kettle filled with water. He was changing out of his daytime clothes to his sleeping clothes, which fit loosely and were a light shade of blue which would of blended in with the sky of a beautiful autumn day like the one in which he had just experienced. The tea kettle started to wail and he sat down afterwards with a hot cup of tea in front of his fireplace which was to the right of a window. The shape of his house was rather peculiar because it was in the shape of an L, with the fireplace and chair on the smaller part, and on the bigger wing there lay his bed, and all of his drawers and cabinets and pots and pans. He sat at his chair at the fireplace, and out of the window he saw commotion which looked like a pack of wolves, or some sort of canine walking outside of his window.
There were about fifteen or twenty of them he guessed and tried to count the shadows but he couldn’t, and all of this made him awfully drowsy. Soon his tea was in his stomach, which warmed him up because the autumn and winter nights were very cold, but everybody preferred them over the hot summer nights where it was so hot you would not even need to wear a blanket, and try to fan yourself off with your hand as you slept. He opened his window just a crack as he blew out the candle with lit the wing of his house where his bed was. He climbed into his bed, and got snugly tucked under all of the covers and sheets, and his head felt heavy on his soft pillows after the big day on the festival. Soon he was fast asleep, and he turned in his bed as he slept, it would of been quite a sight to see, a man moving to and fro on his bed for a night!
In the world of dreams, his day was not as good as he hoped it would be. He had a terrible dream that during the festival as he ate a delicious leg of lamb, the festival was shut down suddenly, and everybody disappeared. In his confusion in his dream, he walked to one of the empty stalls only to see a masked man with a bow in his hands. The man didn’t seem to notice Cahir, or it seemed as if Cahir was a spectator in this raid of some sorts. People were being killed by arrows and slain by swords. The men were setting fire to the stalls, and the children ran away. As hard as he tried, he could not get the masked men who terrorised his village to leave, and it seemed all of his punches missed, all of his screams were silent and as fast as he ran to find the people, he went nowhere. He finally caught up to one person, who was a man who Cahir had never seen before.
‘Save yourself! They’re coming to kill us all!’ screamed the man, as he was shot down by an arrow.
As more people began to panic and die, he heard a shrill scream which sent shivers down his spine to the point where he began to weep in agony. He was watching the people in his village he always loved get killed, by swift sword going across the gullet of men, into the guts of others and in every way arrows penetrated the skin of the inhabitants of Landenshire. As he heard another scream coming from a man who sounded very much in pain thought Cahir, he woke up with a jolt, to find the scream was in the real realm, not in the one of the dream. As he hurried out of bed, he looked out of the windows to see nothing, but he heard screaming from men and women. He got changed as fast as he could and as he put on his hat and boots, and put the kettle onto the fire, there was a slam at the door. Cahir jolted, not expecting it.
‘Who is it?’ asked he but to no response.
‘I said who is it!’ once again he asked, but again to no response.
He rushed to the window to try to find a way to escape if need be, for after all he wasn’t a very important man in the village of Landenshire and he could easily be targeted for extortions or some other type of wicked deals. He saw nothing but a little patch of smoke towards the center of town, which he thought reminded him of the fireworks smoke last night. That clicked in his mind to lead him to think it was just a prank being pulled on him, as sometimes people were still merry after the festival and want one last thrill before going back to their lives. As he sat on the bed, waiting for the jesters to stop there was another slam on the door, which once again made him jump. He was rather angry nobody even had the courtesy to answer him when he asked who it was, even if they were jokesters, they could of been more polite, and to what Cahir thought, thought of a better joke than breaking down some bodies door in the early hours of the morning. But still people were screaming outside, which led him to wonder what was happening, and if it was a group of people pulling a prank on the whole village, or if anything had seriously happened.
‘This isn’t funny anymore, I am asking you to either leave or tell me who you are at once!’ shrieked Cahir, who was honestly afraid at this moment.
‘I’m giving you one last chance to tell me who you are or i’m going out there to find out myself!’ said he, although he didn’t mean it. He wasn’t the bravest man in the village, or the strongest.
Then, in one more slam the doors top hinge came loose and fell, and he ran to the long wing of his house since the door was in the shorter part. He kneeled low to the ground and waited for it to stop, he figured it was still a dream and he just realized he was sleeping. As he begged for himself to wake up for breakfast and a morning tea, another terrible slam at the door knocked its bottom hinge off, and the door fell straight down to the ground, and Cahir in one swift movement jumped back and hit the wall.