The Road With Two Sides
By Hunter Hitz
Francis was staggering through the dark and dim lighted tunnels underneath the old and half demolished church looking for the Golden Chalice of a God. Francis only light is from a half burned out torch that the flame was starting to make his hands sweat from the heat focusing on the top of the hand. Francis was riddled with arrow and sword holes that he had endured from all the fighting above the tunnels, where many of his brother in arms have fallen fighting the warriors of Allah.
Halfway through the tunnel Francis started to feel very uneasy on his feet. Francis fell backwards against one of the sharp slabs of rocks that used to be the top of the tunnel and part of the church. Laying there for what seemed like hours to him but in reality was only a few minutes. When Francis rolled himself over on the slab, through a crack in the rocks there is a door. The door that Francis sees is different by having carvings on it while the other doors have had no carvings. To himself Francis thought that this had to be the door, and while laying on the rocks he tried to reach for the door. Francis try's to reach for the door as a child his mother, but Francis is too far away. Then as the lays on the rocks and thinks of a new strategy Francis starts to realize that he does not have much time left. Francis is loosing a lot of blood from his injury’s from the battle, and now he is being cut by the sharp slabs. The only plan that he can see at the moment is to move himself up on the rocks; so he could try to reach further and finally reach the door.
On a moist summer day in the kingdom of Europia Francis could be found at any of the local pubs trying to stay cool and try to stay numb to all his problems in life. The pub around him was nothing more then a stray shed with a couple tables and non matching chairs. The pub also had dirt with straw mixed in for the floor with red splotches from the brawl the day before. Francis would always sit either at the end of the bar furthest from the door. Francis would sit there or at the table in the back because he was in the shadows since the pub was lit from some horrible candles. After staying at the pub all day and not being able to pay his tab he would find himself sleeping in a old trough in the pig pin behind the pub. Then Francis would get up and wash himself off in the stagnant brown water that the pigs have been washing themselves off in and head to another pub different from the one the day before.
This is all that Francis has ever known since he was a younger boy who left home to fulfill his dreams to be a great knight and fighter for his legendary and great king Axelus. King Axelus was a middle aged king who has seen his great share as battle as being a king and a prince in his fathers army. Axelus was a skilled and amazing fighter on horseback. According to legend his horse Pontiac was a beautiful white stallion that had a fiery mane and tail and could spit fire from his nostrils. Pontiac also had one more great power in battle where ever his hoofs touched the ground the fallen enemy’s blood would flow like a spring on to the battle field and turn every blade of grass, every person that it touches red. Normally after seeing this the enemy would turn and run in terror of the site that had just unfolded from Axelus horse. This is all that Francis could think about while laying in the back of one of the carts that the merchants animal of burden were pulling. Francis thought that Pontiac should be his horse and that Axelus did not disurb that great of a stallion. While thinking of all this Francis takes a swig from a old jug filled with cheap red wine that he found in the merchants cart and helped himself too. As he goes to take a sip and give his mind a brief break from his want of the stallion;, the beasts pull the cart into a hole and he spills the cheap red wine all over himself. He also spills some wine on the merchants spices, and silk fabrics. Standing up in the cart francis attempts to throw the jug at the beasts of burden and being a drunkard he missed and hit the merchant on the back of there heads. After the merchant pulled the cart to a stop on a dirt road in the middle of a clearing. The merchant and friend grab him and throw him against the cart that he had made the mess in. The two guys take turns at beating him. After beating him they rob him and throw him blooded into a ditch.
For three days Francis laid in that ditch soaking every blade of green grass and staining the dirt with his blood. After Francis was first beaten a Highland Priest passed and did not listen to his cry’s for help. All he told him was that “ He was to busy to help and did not recognize him as a paying church member. So it would be a hindrance to help”. On the second day of laying in the ditch a soldier on a horse passed and only hit him across the back with a club. After being hit with the club he fell back into the ditch and passed out from the pain.
After sometime Francis awoke to find that it was night, at first Francis didn’t know where he was. The pain in his bruised and busted back reminded him of exactly where he was. About when the moon was at midnight Francis started hearing bizarre sounds coming from the woods that are about a hundred and fifty yards from him. The sounds that Francis was hearing was the sound of snarling, a very deep growl and the sound of a human screaming and breaking sticks. After realizing that some sounds are human Francis slowly but surly climbs to the top of the ditch.
While lying there on top of the ditch Francis sees a flicker of light coming from the trees. The light is so far in the trees that it looks like a small orb moving through the trees. The orb is was not like most fires it did not make different shapes as it moved through the trees, it stayed a constant orb egg shape. All Francis could do is lay there in his ditch and watch as the orb would move from one side of the trees, and hear the screams of the man and the howling. Francis started to get very angry at the beasts for hunting this man and try and succeed in killing this man.
On the third day of being in the ditch, Francis awakes to the sound of a prostitute
walking down this road. So with all of his strength he asks her for help and she rushes over to him. Francis then awakes again in a panic thinking that the women had left. Then Francis notices that he is on a bed, in fresh cloths, and not in the ditch anymore.
Francis try’s to get up and knocks a glass of water off of the old broken down wood table. Then Grace rushes in and tells him to lay back down and rest that he has been asleep for three days.
Grace sits on the cot right beside Francis, and Francis gets a really good look at Grace. Francis is blown back by what he see. Grace is very beautiful with long flowing brown hair and beautiful red lips with just the perfect smile to go with her lips. When Francis looked into Graces eyes, he things that they are like a gateway into a world in which he wanted to get lost in. Her lips were as red as fresh strawberries that Francis wanted to taste. Graces smile could light up the sky on a cloudy day. Francis was so struck by her appearance; that he neglected the fact to listen to the conversation that Grace had started with him.
Frances finally snaps out of his daze when Grace gets up and begins to walk off into another room. Right as Grace pulls the curtain back to leave the room Francis calls to her in the sweetest voice. Grace is stopped cold in here tracks after hearing his voice call to her. Francis tells Grace that he was sorry that he did not answer her question because he was distracted by her amazing beauty. Grace turns to him blushing and takes the complement and nods in gratitude.
While eating supper one night Francis asks Grace what does she do for a profession, since he has not seen her leave the house. Grace stops with the spoon halfway from her mouth and the bowl and looks at him. Grace just looks at him with a look of really? U cant tell what I do?
Grace answers him by saying ” I don’t work during the day, I work during the night”. Francis is confused by Graces answer. Francis asks “What profession has a women working at night? You could easily mistaken for a prostitute”. Grace asked him “Do you really not get it? Its not that hard to figure out, I am a prostitute.”
Grace then eats a spoonful of stew and asks Francis “By the way how did you end up in that ditch anyway?” So Francis starts to tell her about how he got beat up. Also about what he saw and heard while in the ditch. Also Francis tells her of how the priest and the soldier passed by and did not help him, and how the soldier struck him and beat him with his club. Francis finishes the story with how on the third day he was found by her. After dinner
the Grace goes and blows out the only candle that she has and the whole house goes dark.
The next morning Grace awakes to find Francis blanket folded on his cot and a note placed ever so gently on top of the blanket. Grace springs out of bed in a panic and calls for Francis, and pulls the curtain back and finds that he is not there. Grace runs back into her room and picks up the letter that he left her and begins to read “ Dear my sweet Grace, the time has come for me to leave your dwelling and continue on my journey. But I can say that due to you that I now know where I am going. I would like to tell you how much I appreciate your hospitality and leave you this as a sign of my appreciation for all that you have done for me. Hopefully I will see you again, good bye”.
Francis walks to the pub, as Francis walks in he notices something autocratically different about this place. Francis notices that everyone in this pub is happy, and not the normal people he would see in a pub.
Francis sits at a middle table away from where he normally sits in a pub. Francis liked the singing that he was hearing from other patroons in the pub.
He noticed and paid great attention to this particular song because it was about a women who lost her man and never got over him. Francis looks around the pub and everyone has stopped dancing and all the happiness has gone away. Everyone is watching and listening to this woman’s song and all on the verge of tears including Francis. Francis begins to doubt himself and starts to regret leaving Grace, and wonders should he go back? Should he keep going? A flutter of emotions start to trigger in Francis. One side of him wants to go back and stay in this town and love and marry Grace; and the other is should he continue on and try to fulfill his journey? His heart is hurting, because either way there is a piece of him that is empty.
As Francis gets up to leave the pub he looks around and starts to walk out of the pub and decides that he is going to follow his dreams.
As Francis gets to the end of Graces street on the way out of town he looks at her house for one last time for what looks like for the last time. Francis looks and sees people running in and out of Graces house and hears people screaming “Get the Medicus.” “Get the doctor, Grace has been stabbed”.
Hearing this Francis rushes to Graces house and pushes through the people to reach the house. When Francis finally makes it into the house he looks to see Grace lying in her bed holding something. Francis runs to Grace and the sees that she has been stabbed in the abdomen. Grace begins to rolls her head to look at him she is surprised to see Francis.
“What are you doing here? Grace asks. From your letter you left, how did you know I was hurt?” Francis tells her “ I never left, I went to the pub and thought about what I was doing and decided to come back for you. I could see the people running this way and screaming you where hurt.” Grace looks at him and smiles, she looks at the wall and them Francis again and says “I'm dieing, nothing is as it seems.
Francis puts her head in one hand and picks up a glass of water and the other and Graces drinks the water. As soon as Grace drinks the water it leaks from her stomach all over the floor. But now the water is not clear it is a maroon color with some fragments floating in the mix.
She pulls his face and they lock eyes and with out saying a word he sees what she wants him to do. He tells her “ No I can not do that, I would not I can not I lo...lov...love yo..you”. She looks at him and says “ That's why I want you to do it because I feel the same way. Just do it.” He asks her “Can I kiss you?” She nodes with a smile, so they begin to kiss. After a few kisses he stands up and draws his sword and plunges it into her chest.
She just looked at him and gently closed her eyes and died with a suddle smile on her face and the feeling of being loved.
The doctor looks over to see Francis crying and puts two and two together and sees that Francis killed her. The doctor asked Francis what happen and he told him that he stabbed her in the chest and killed her like she wanted. The doctor asks Francis “How many times did you stab her?” Francis shows him with his finger once. He looks at the body and looks at Francis and back to the body. Then the doctor asks “Who stabbed her the first time”? Francis looked at the doctor and shrugged his shoulders. The doctor move so his back is blocking Francis from seeing the body. The doctor grabs the sword handle now sticky with blood and pulls it out. The doctor hands the sword back to Francis and tells him to clean it. Francis gets up and sheaves his sword and leaves the house and starts down the street.
In his mind he is all tore up inside, he thinks of finding the person who killed Grace and kill them. Francis starts to go around the town threatening to kill people if they don’t tell them where the murder Is. Francis does this to everyone on the streets of the town, until he asked the wrong person and they pull a sword on him. The man who pulled the sword was not a skilled fighter he was just a tall, long armed, and powerful man. The two men lock into a fierce fight, in which both of there blades are hitting off one another. Sparks fly from the collision of the metal at a fast pace and with such power behind each blow. They slash and stab at one another, while they make there way down the street. Now a great crowd had amassed and watched in amazement as these two men fight to the death. As they move there way down the streets of the town swash buckling and running into merchants stands filled with fruit and spices; he pulls away from attacking him and waits for the other guy to lunge towards him. When the other guy does this Francis does a perfect fencing perrie six and re-post and stabs him dead center in his chest. The man stands there but drops his sword and looks at Francis and retrieves his sword from his chest. Then stands there and watches him falls to his knees and then falls over to the ground. While he is laying there he tries to get up again and gets almost all the way up and then falls and dies. Turning the dusty dirt around him red.
After the man fell dead the crowd became really angry at Francis for killing this man in cold blood. All of the men in the crowd drew there swords and begin to walk towards Francis. Francis bolts out of town with the men following him. Right outside of the gates of the city Francis has made some space on the men following him, and sees a big bush and jumps behind it.
As the men approached the bush they start to slow down due to them being out of shape and no longer see Francis. So they poke around and look behind bushes and trees but they can not find Francis. As the men are looking in the bushes Francis is just laying there being as quite and still as possible. At one point in the mens search for Francis one of there boots are no more six inches from his face.
As they stand there and come to a consciences that Francis has ran off, they turn back toward the town and to there homes.
After seeing that he had given them enough space he stands up and comes out from behind the bush. Then Francis continues down the road that leaded him out of town. Francis walked down the road to see which town it brings him too, he walks by a bush and hears a sound of something moving in the bush. Remembering what he had happen to the person he in the forest. Francis quickly pulls his sword which was still stained with the blood of the man he killed back in town; and stood looking at the bush. As Francis stands there he begins to sweat nervously, the sweat is starting to make the sword handle very slippery and starts to slide out of his hands.
A snake comes out from the bush and halfway across the road and stops and curls up and looks at him with his red eyes.
Not letting his guard down Francis moves a little closer to the snake, then the snake says in a deep voice of anger “Stop, you have come close enough”. Now really freaked out Francis jumps back and now the only thing between him and the snake was the blade of his sword. The snake said “I heard that you were hungry and thirsty. Am I correct?” Suddenly the snake looks to his left and a loaf of bread appears and to the snakes right was a jug of the finest wine. The snake said “ All you have to do to get these things plus....”. Then the snake took him through some kind of vortex that took Francis to the future and he could see that he was ridding Pontiac and leading Axelus army into battle. Now the snake takes him back to road and says “All you have to do to get all of these things and your dreams to come true is to bow to me and praise me and say my name”. Francis looks around to see if this was a joke and asks the snake “What is your name?” The snake looks at him and said my name is “Samial”.
Francis tells him “I don't know who you are or what you want but I bow to no one, not even a vortex carrying people snake. Also your magic trick was horrible.” Then Francis tries to walk off and continue down the road. The snake had another idea and jumps in front him and tells him to stop, and that he does not know what he is doing. Francis while still having the sword in a strike position swings at the snake and cuts off his head. Then Francis picks up the body of the snake skins it and decides that the snake will be his dinner.