Finish the Story contest 1- Escape by Moonlight
Beginning written by me
The black stallion’s hooves pounded the gravel track, sending stones flying up in showers as he galloped through the clear summer night. Clinging to his mane, Carlotta urged him onward, onward, faster and faster. She must get away from the peril she’d escaped in the last hour, she must!
The path led deeper into the wood, thick brambles clutching at the horse’s legs, and overhanging branches threatening to knock his rider unconscious if she didn’t stay alert.
At last they reached a clearing where Carlotta pulled up, allowing her faithful steed to rest, the breath snorting through his nostrils gradually slowing.
“We’ve done it, boy.” She patted his sweat covered neck, the ring on her third finger glistening in the moonlight. She wanted to rip it off but that would waste time. Instead, she climbed slowly off Arturo’s back and led him to a clear stream, tinkling over the rocks and he drank deeply.
Then he lifted his head, ears flicking. Carlotta strained her own ears. Was that the faint sound of barking dogs, getting closer? She leapt upon the stallion’s back and urged him into a trot, his tired legs moving stiffly.
They trotted into the trees again and she looked for a place to hide. Oh thanks be to God—a ruined stone farmhouse stood to the left. Most probably the scene of a battle between the loyalists and the rebels, but no time to think about the reasons why. She pushed Arturo into a canter and they rounded the corner of the wall.
There stood a man, a broad brimmed hat pulled low over his forehead and a shabby long coat buttoned tightly round him.
Carlotta pulled Arturo’s reins so sharply that he stumbled, and the man leapt forward and grabbed them.
“Easy boy,” he murmured, and glared at Carlotta. “You shouldn’t do that to a horse.”
“We have to hide.” She climbed down from her faithful stallion and led him to a doorway, then peered to see what was inside the room.
“Careful.” The man followed them silently. “The roof may fall on you.”
“Anything’s better than what I’ve escaped.” She led the horse into the dark, rubble filled room just as the baying of hounds grew very loud. “Come in if you’re a friend, don’t if you’re an enemy.”
“I’m neither, thank you.” The man followed her into the room and removed his hat, then the shard of moonlight streaming through the glassless window fell on his face. Carlotta gasped. How had she not recognised Javier, even after all these years?
Entry 2 continues…
“Well, well look at you my fair maiden; I have been waiting for you. Oh my you look very much like you have just seen a ghost.” Javier proclaimed with a wholeheartedly deep sounding chuckle, whilst he peeled back the drenched water logged riding cloak from around Carlotta’s slender shoulders.
Carlotta watched as her riding cloak was flung easily onto the coat stand with a quick flick of Javier’s wrist Carlotta could feel herself about to go wreak at the knees with the way Javier looked so strong with broad shoulders and a wide manly chest. He had quickly turned to grab a wooden bowl from the cluttered mounts of unwashed dishes from off the sinks sideboard.
“If I had known you were coming I would have given the place a quick tidy” Javier said filling the bowl to its brink with old slabs of mouldy bread.
“Here have something to eat Carlotta” he said ushering the bowl towards her with a huge wide grin on his face.
Carlotta reached forwards feeling a sudden unexpected urge of hunger surge up from the depths of her belly.
“Well we should cerebrate Javier boomed letting the bowl of bread fall to the floor and away from Carlotta reach The clatter and thud of the bowl not doing much to help the already unstable roof with it’s vibrated sound as it hit the old stone floor of the farmhouse.
“Do you remember me Javier?” Carlotta asked.
Javier laughed and stood tall catching Carlotta within his looming but smoothing shadow.
“Why yes of course you were my one and only true love my beautiful Carlotta. I will always find a way back to you each and every time that you need me.”
Carlotta nodded as Javier stood before her making sure he caught the gentle wisps of her tears in amongst his fingers. The tears of loss of sorrow the tears of love their love.
“I have and always will love you Carlotta”
“Me too, no I mean I loved no still love you Javier everyday. Oh why oh why did you have to go and die and leave me?
“I’m here now my love” Javier said as he pulled Carlotta within the deep folds of his muscled arms.
Carlotta slowly lifted her head allowing her long soft rain glistened soaked black hair to fall across her face blanketing her slightly rosy blushed cheeks from Javier’s eyes.
As he looked at her stood before him Javier could still see that magical glint within Carlotta eyes the glint he had come to so love and adore so much, even though it was that same magic that she processed inside that had gotten Javier killed. Carlotta tilted upwards slightly onto to the tips of her toes and placed a soft lingering kiss to Javier smooth warm lips, as a way to make her sadness known of her sorrow for catching him off guard within a crossfire of chaos that had resulted in causing his death.
“King Hunthjof’s hounds have finally caught up with me this time my dearest Javier” Carlotta said sighing which made Javier laughed loudly.
“Oh Carlotta my love you sound like you have been defeated. Do not feel that way you have always been a thorn in that stupid King Hunthjof’s side. You made me laugh like never before when you cursed big scarring boils to break out upon his once handsome face when he tried to lay his hands upon you.
“I did that for you Javier Hunthjof couldn’t get away with lashing at you with his whip so terribly I only pretended to be his whore so I could earn the revenge that you were destined to have” Carlotta said with a joyful little snigger.
“Oh I had my revenge my love, how else did you think I was able to look after you while we were running from his armies? I stole from him I was able to sneak within the walls of the palaces vaults and take a fair amount of his golden coin fortune. After all something good had to come for being Hunthjof’s much trusted slave boy” Javier said as he smiled.
“I remember Javier but there was no need I had my magic. There was no need to show me what a rebel you could be.” Carlotta laughed. Javier stepped away from her as Arturo’s sheer shriek of jealously at the two of then talking made him jump.
Carlotta ran to her stallion to try and ease his need to be close to her. The hounds were here with their risen pitchforks and they would see to it that Carlotta’s existence upon this realm of earth was to come to an end. There was no doubting she was a danger the gapping hole in Javier’s chest where she had accidentally blasted him while he was trying to save her from Hunthjof’s hounds long ago. That was all the reminder she needed to realise how dangerous her magic could be.
Arturo himself was a creature of Carlotta magic. The mystical creature had taken on many different forms over the course of the centuries. Carlotta had lost Javier long ago within the mists of forgotten time, Hunthjof’s armies had been chasing her ever since the day that Javier had helped her escape his castle.
Javier stepped forwards and took Carlotta’s hand.
“Javier this isn’t real is it you aren’t really here are you?”
Sure I am Javier said pressing his hand firmly to her chest
I’m in here in your heart I will always be there just you remember that Javier said as he stepped away smiling Carlotta watched as the mists of her oblivion spiltered apart
The fresh crisp icy air welcomed Carlotta back into the present where she could hear her own voice sounding dark and dangerous as the rising heat of the burning fire beneath her tied feet slowly rose
“Stop that muttering you won’t get a chance to cast any more of your wretched spells now witch.” someone stood amongst the large gathering crowd shouted
“I think you should stay quiet. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go angering the witch even more” another person from the crowd whispered nervously.
King Hunthjof lifted a hand impatiently to await the crowd’s silence.
“Miss Carlotta Wrinklebum you are now going to die for committing the crimes of witchcraft within the boundaries of our forsaken land” Hunthjof said rather smugly. Carlotta let out a chilled fuelled high pitched witches crackle as she pointed at moon.
“Oh you will not escape me Hunthjof, I am like the moonlight it always shines and I will always live on and hide within your darkest dreams. Let your scar ridden face of boils be that reminder for you of my presence Hunthjof. You may think me evil but I have loved and still love unlike you Hunthjof you will always remain ugly and alone”
“Oh who has been unlucky enough to have loved you witch?” Hunthjof demanded to know.
“My dearest Javier”
Carlotta didn’t wait for Hunthjof’s answer, for she was busy glancing across into the moonlight’s glow from the horizon, where Javier was floating within its brightness.
Hunthjof stepped back as a sudden smoky mist engulfed around Arturo. Hunthjof gazed shocked as the smoky mist cleared and Arturo stood tall as a large fire breathing dragon, Having been transformed once more as a aid to help Carlotta flee from Hunthjof’s clutches.
Javier had once again returned to save Carlotta in her hour of desperate need, alerting her to be aware of the danger of her almost certain death.
Arturo had taken flight over the tops of the heads of people who were busy gaping up at the grand sight of the dragon hovering above them. The massive fireball that shot from Arturo mouth acted as a shield as he tore Carlotta’s tied feet loose from the char black rope, which had been holding her tightly to the long pole in which she had been hanging from. Once upon Arturo’s huge and scaly skin Carlotta glanced back and crackled loudly back at Hunthjof.
“You will never catch me, not while I have my guardian Angel my love Javier watching over me. Carlotta glanced forwards towards the sliver of the bright moonlight. Javier was only a faint wisp of mist now, but Carlotta could just about see that his spirit was smiling relived that she had survived once again.
“Oh I love you Javier, you might have died but there’s no denying that true love never truly dies you are proof of that.” Carlotta said letting her tears to free fall onto Arturo back. And there the tale ends with Carlotta and her faithful dragon Arturo vanishing into the darkness of the cold and starry night.