Friends are only here for a season in your life, and when it’s time for the season to change then they will leave when it’s time for the cycle.
However, make the most of it, and try to remember as many names and experience relationships with people as you can, but the–never lose your friend thing–is like saying trees in the fall don’t shed their leaves, or the ice in the winter doesn’t melt, or the trees don’t grow in the summer.
It happens, and when it does, it happens quick.
Written by, Daton L. Fluker
CAMELOT DIMENSION 360
The Long Winter
Written by Author
Daton L Fluker
Flemish Translation done by
CHAPTER 7 WHAT HAPPENED IN THE WOODS PART TWO VII
Hero Leith falls to a knee. Tears stream from his tear-ducts. All the years Leith has been in the Camelot army, none of his men ever saw him break down like that. Ten enemy soldiers are captured in a circle. The swordsmen and warriors from the Marks and Camelot Kingdoms hold their weapons in a guarded position stapling the remaining Barbarians back-to-back. The Camelot lieutenant gets impatient. He wants to know what to do with the POWs.
“What would you like us to do with these prisoners? We don’t have the time and resources to hold them here all winter!”
Hero Leith is a wreck. Lord J. Martin and his men recognize something is misconceiving about the situation. Moonlight ghost into the foggy darkness. In a daze, Leith hears soldier armor clinging together. He stands headless as his headless father. Trampling toward their direction, some of the Mark’s army has lost their way through the forest.
“Sir! Wake up out of your trance! We need to know what to do with the prisoners!”
This is the second time the lieutenant asked. Still the Hero doesn’t reply. With a heart lost in the millions of miles of forest in all directions, for a second, Leith comes from out of a vacated slumber. He casually says,
“Kill them. Kill them all.”
It’s his specialty to slaughter his adversaries, but this time he doesn’t raise-up. He kneels toward his dead father’s body. If any of them could grasp the despondency of the circumstance, then they would probably back off with the tension and let him exhale. Right now, he can only inhale. This man, who he has decapitated, was plagiarizing the traveling kingdoms, taking whatever resources that he could plunder, and leaving much death in his path. However, this is Minaera, and these miniature thefts have been provoked by all Kingdoms before him. Once assets and food run out, then you would have to find something else to feed your hungry armies.
Who did the Hero have to murder to stop these petty crimes? All the men in his father’s regime bow their heads down to Cogan. The strange Language used between Cogan and Leith surprised most of Cogan’s soldiers because Cogan usually speaks with terrible broken English. His language was lost a few years back when the last elder, from the lost kingdom, died of natural causes. Ever since then he stayed on a time-consuming journey searching for his long begotten son. After he stopped searching, he began filling himself with the evils of a deluded world. Before Cogan originated on his unforgiving path, he was always recalled as a kind hearted person. Even the Camelots were baffled when they heard the hero speaking in his native tongue.
In this world, there are no such things as last words. One of the Barbarians looks up at the Lieutenant. Moments like this stay shrewd inside a person’s dreams forever. The last thing the man will ever see, is a chop from the Lieutenant’s sword going toward the center of his forehead, splitting it in half. Within seconds the others are minced into pieces with axes and swords.
With all the commotion going on a person would believe that the hero would be getting in on some of the action. Even so, just like his father, he has murdered thousands of men in the good name of the Camelot Kingdom, the Kingdom of light.
All the P-O-Ws are dead. Lord J. Martin and his troops are not surprised about the events, which have taken place in the last thirty minutes. Lord J. Martin is more of an authority figure; he probably would have let them go, or punished them by whipping them to hell. However, since the Camelot army informed them of the attack–within mutual respect–the Camelots are given the rights to this special occasion. Both the Mark’s Kingdom and the Camelots have been in alliance since the beginning of their two kingdoms, and they always live by the rule, first come first kill.
The Lieutenant holsters his sword. He goes near Leith. Huffing and gasping out tears, Leith continues to kneel and stare at the headless man.
“Sir… What’s wrong?”
The hero lifts his head up toward the sky and puts both of his hands on the decapitated man’s body. Leith answers in a periodic tone-not his usual intensity. Everyone hears him, including the Mark’s army.
“He is my father.”
The Camelot soldiers fall to one knee bowing their heads. Lord J. Martin and his troops are surprised. They never saw soldiers give so much respect to a hero that never asked for it.
Step into the Kingdom of Apollo
Leith stands up and looks around. He could see his soldiers, kneeling down with their heads toward the icy-bedrock. The moon-subsistence shelters them from being surveyed in absolute darkness. The warrior is teary-eyed. However, Leith finally comes to his senses. He realizes who he has become, his father, a cold blooded killer. His men ardent behavior sooths his wounds, so he shelters his army’s affection.
The Dark-Kingdom of Spolylosys has frozen over once for the hero. However, he has one more quest to conquer before he can call it a day, or whatever you call this vicious time equation for a day in this gesticulated world. Shouting out to them, Leith wipes the tears from his eyes and says,
“Regiment! This is a cruel place. The wickedness that acquired today will get only worse! My father has led me to this occurred occasion to find a remembrance of a home that I have already forgotten!”
He pauses for a few seconds. The army continues to kneel, giving him respect. They raise their heads and stare up at him. It begins to snow.
HERO LEITH (CONT’D)
“This is a jester’s play! So, please be entertained while I walk through this nightmare! This is a big world, but a small playground! Look at my hand!”
He shows them his less fingered hand.
“This hurts! However, not as much as this!”
He puts his hand on his heart!
“So please take your recesses, eat your midnight meals, and prepared to be entertained for today’s events! Because this is Minaera! We are the Camelots! And this is the world of war!”
The men stand up shouting his name.
“Leith Erickson… Leith Erickson… Leith Erickson…
They continue to shout.
Leith turns around to Lord J. Martin and salutes. The Lord is watery-eyed.
“Thank you for today!”
This world doesn’t have large subwoofer-entertainment-systems or big screen television sets, so you can catch your favorite episode of Bones. Only one unique thing is used as a deck to replay and pause for the unlimited acts hanging most of us out to wither in silence. It’s more powerful than any book written, and any play performed, or even any life lived on Earth or Minaera. It’s called the imagination. In this world, if you want to know what will take place, then the mind is the only thing, which can piece together these events, even if you are fully prepared for battle.
“This is a lot to take in even for me. Our Kingdoms together had many battles and both you, and I have killed many men. Nevertheless, not like this. I wish that I could stay and be a part of this dramatic event. However, I still have my people in the forest to look after. Please accept one hundred of my finest swordsman to go on this journey with you. Allow one of my scouts to write in his journal so that he can make a report. I want to know what you experience!”
Standing next to them, one of the Marks Kingdom Hero’s begins to yell out!
“You heard the Lord! One hundred of you break rank, and mix with the other army! Move your asses!”
Leith reaches his left hand out to Lord J. Martin to give him a handshake because his right isn’t doing so well. Leith right arm seems drained. Suffering from the bleeding stubs dripping onto his legs and feet, Leith’s uniform is soaked with blood.
LORD J. MARTIN
“I know who you are? Once you get your mind set on something then you can’t stop this rage! Tell Lord Matchbox that my father passed away and that his son will still continue his alliance between our kingdoms!”
“Sir, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Lord Matchbox and the Queen was ill when I last saw them! When we get back, they probably would have passed! His son should have taken his position as the new Lord.”
LORD J MARTIN
“It’s really sad how people change over the years! Send his son my best regards!”
Lord J. Martin walks in between ranks of his army passing them into the black forest. The rest of his battalion follows.
The Barbarians Home
Bodies with spears going through their anal cavities are hanging from trees. Others are stuck in the ground like a Korean barbecue outing. Like marshmallows melting over an open fire, the bodies have been skinned alive, or dead. The scales of the faceless people have been scraped off.
Mothers and children, who have been trapped inside cages for more than a decade stand in human secretions, which have stained the bottom of their cages. The secretions drip downward.
Filling the air with a sick stench, smells of rotten human-flesh revolves the soldier’s stomachs, burning a hydrostatic hole into their navel cavities. A couple of the Camelot soldiers upchucks their afternoon lunches. Not because of the sight of things. They throw-up because of the disgusting smells. Rotten carcasses of animals are spread across the foliage buried underneath the mud. Contaminating the forest water with petrified diseases, some of the carcasses hide between the roots of trees.
Predating fear to all, three moons smile at those that travel through its borders. It gleams on the blood stains misted over the snow from a newly fallen regiment, who has been taken into the woods and slaughtered like piglets.
Blending with the darkness, hatred, and illusions, it’s a ghostly recording on what took place during these frightful happenings, which could make any normal person scream in terror.
Holding his father’s separate head, Leith rides his horse to the front of the army. The Camelot Lieutenant chases after him. They both get off their horses. Screaming at each other, they want everyone to hear them.
“Halt! Everyone, take your positions. This place is filled with traps! I’ll go in alone from this point on!”
“What will happen if you don’t come back?”
“If I don’t come back in thirty minutes or if I yell out charge! You move in, and don’t stop until everything’s dead!”
“These people won’t listen to reasoning. I say we charge them now, and get it over with. Some of the men are restless and would like to see their homes, or the Kingdom of Trilyonois.”
“If this city doesn’t open its gates, and surrender its borders, it’ll be scorched to its foundation! This is their judgment day! Every man, woman, and child, who doesn’t submit when we breech the city, shall be murdered, and judged for their awful crimes! However, we’re the Camelots, and we’ll give them a chance to surrender. Their leaders should pay, and not their people!”
“I see you’re determined to go in alone. Sir, be careful!”
The Lieutenant turns to the front of the crowd.
The Lieutenant gets back on his horse and rides to the back of the formation. A worker takes Leith’s horse. Walking down a cinderblock pathway to an unfamiliar Kingdom, he leaves from out of the trees into an open area.
The enemy Kingdom understands that their army has been ruined. The enemy could feel the presents of their predecessors stalking them from a distance. A two-inch layer of ice buries the horrors underneath it. Not straying off into the blind areas, Leith stays footed, stepping hastily toward the gate.
At the top of the towers, only one archer remains. The Archer doesn’t seem to pay any attention about the intruder. This city doesn’t have a head-chief. The kingdom’s loyalty rate is between five to zero percent. The citizens won’t fight back. Furthermore, what he holds in his hand makes any feud the citizens have left inside diminish.
As he holds-out his father’s separate head, his broken sword clings to his side. Squealing as the gate descends; the chains continue to make a husky noise as it drops every five meters. When it lowers, Leith sees a familiar face. He believes he has seen her before. The informal woman is plighted with fairness. She is six-feet tall, and her red-hair falls over her armor. It gives her an exquisite hue. She looks like one of the women from his passed life. However, he can tell that she’s an imposter, due to the complexion of her skin, the color of her hair, and the shades of her eyes. She has a low skin tone, and all of his people have darker pelts, and jet black hair. However, her hair is red, and she has dark blue eyes. The mystery that needs to be solved is, “How can he fall for her now?”
The red-hair-woman holds her sword toward the ground in a prudent posture. It looks like she is insecure, and if anyone comes near her, she will hack them up in fine pieces.
“We came to take your city!”
Ravaged about the head he is holding out, they stare at him.
HERO LEITH (CONT’D)
“You must surrender! This Kingdom is the property of the Camelot Army!”
“What if we don’t?”
“I’ll be forced to take it! My army is on the perimeter! If you decide to fight, then your borders and everybody inside of them will pay for your ignorance!”
Hiding behind her, a small squad comes out with the lady. They quiver in their boots. The elder’s recently passed on, so the new group has taking charge. The squad does something he wasn’t suspecting. The lady places her sword on the ground, and the rest of them follow her lead, placing their weapons down. The gate falls to its final notch.
Leith places his father’s head down in a pile of snow, and pulls his broken sword from out of its holster. He walks over to them. A deep lagoon underneath the gate is frozen over on the top solid enough to walk on.
It’s wonderful that it’s so cold because the temperature calms his injuries. However, he would probably enjoy it more if he could feel the pain.
With a keen since on the arrangement of things, everything seems normal to Leith. Furthermore, the calm atmosphere is not what he suspected. Beggars and the homeless are scouring the streets, forging through garbage. The sick and dying are laying out in the cold because there’s no more room in the cottages to take asylum. Divided on each side, two archers climb down from the archer-towers. The archers look to be around the ages of 15 or 16. Their armor doesn’t fit properly. Either they have a bad case of malnutrition, or they are just two skinny boys.
The thirty other swordsmen, behind the lady, are not even old enough to be soldiers; they are teenagers.
The swordsmen kneel; they are warned out because of the heavy armor they are forced to convey.
“Please don’t kill them! They are only children! Take me as a sacrifice, and allow the ones, who can still walk, leave! We won’t fight you back! It’s your choice… Do whatever you will with us!”
Leith waves his sword out to two blind beggars lying next to a building.
The beggars begin to un-wrap the bandages from around their heads. Three other homeless men follow behind them. They stop in front of Leith.
“There is an army in the forest! Tell the swordsmen from the Mark’s Kingdom, that they’re dismissed! Inform the Camelots to come inside, and tell the King’s scout to come in as well!”
Leith holsters his weapon then goes back outside the gate. The spies follow him out. However, they head to the forest, and Leith retrieves his father’s head. The red-head-lady and the teenagers are frightened because of Leith’s actions. His behavior seems deluded, similar to a salvage person.
Leith comes back holding his Father’s head. The group is still kneeling down.
“Why are you carrying the Elder’s head?”
Because of the loss of blood, Leith’s mind goes into another world. He is thinking about how he used to go out with his father hunting.
Leith is nine. He and his father are in the forest. Cogan teaches Leith how to shoot a bow-and-arrow. A 300-pound warthog is a few meters away. It devours truffles between some tree roots. Leith pulls his bow cord back and releases. The arrow lands in the dirt next to the animal. Alarmed, the warthog runs in the other direction. Cogan aims his arrow. Falling to the ground screaming, the warthog’s mobility is shot. The arrow sinks into its neck.
“Are you ok?”
Leith is badly injured. His heart is big, but it’s in no condition to coast an attack on his father’s village. His mind is remembering how it used to be. He believes that he has been here before. However, he has seen a lot of the world and when he was a boy, he thought this place was all there ever was. It’s all he ever needed at that age.
Leith crumbling resemblance of what once was, sticks into the back of his mind. He lost these memories because of the many decades he has been working in the Camelot army. His adventures made him forget. He never believed he would be able to meet his father again. He thought he would meet his parents on different terms in his afterlife, and not like this.
The loss of blood makes Leith slip into a standing catnap. His vision is blurry. He can barely make out images around him. They project out like a black and white motion picture strip. Leith drops his father’s head and falls on his knees in front of the red headed lady.
In a delusional state, he says her name.
Before he plummets to the ground, she catches him. Leith falls unconscious in her arms.
“Help me take him to the hospital!”
The teenagers are confused about her actions. One of the swordsmen speaks.
“He wanted to kill us! Why should we help him? Look what he did to the elder!”
The other teenagers agree with him.
“Confine your tone and follow orders! The elder was his father!”
The teenagers didn’t understand Leith before when he said the Elder was his father.
Shocked, they all run to help him.
The Camelot infantry breaches inside the gates. They can’t destroy anything until someone takes command and gives them the order. The second in command is the Lieutenant.
The Camelots break their formations, and start tending to the hurt soldiers being carried. The lieutenant takes his sword out and walks toward Elizabeth and the others, who are carrying Leith.
“What are you doing with him?”
The Lieutenant puts his sword back into his holster when he notices the soldiers were only children.
“We’re taking him to the hospital. He is badly hurt. You can kill us if you want! However, if he happens to wake up, he won’t be happy with you killing a childhood friend!”
She pauses for a second, out of breath.
“So back off and let us help him!”
“We all are compassionate for him! He has been a good friend to all of us! Please do your best to save him! This is the strangest battle that any of us had ever witness! You’re ok with me! We won’t attack, unless he gives the order to! Do what you can with him, but make sure he understands who is helping him!”
The lieutenant turns around and goes back toward the Camelots. The woman and her group take Leith into the hospital. Her memory is a little faint. However, she remembers him.
Around the age of three, the younger boys play a role playing game with Elizabeth. She is too young to really do anything fun, so she gets to play one of the boring parts. Their mothers are away in the cottages having their afternoon tea. The sun is blazing. The temperature usually doesn’t turn until the weather changes direction. The leaves in the forest show their unique bounty.
The lilies in the lake have a soothing smell, which lets off a sensational aroma.
Today Elizabeth is a kidnapped princess. Her cousin plays the part of the Dark Lord. He has five participants on his team. They hide her in their affective kingdom deep in the forest.
Leith and his crew search for her. He also has five members. Instead of staying together they walk through the woods alone unaware of their surroundings.
One at a time, Leith’s crew are picked off and brought to the enemies’ terrain. The older boys on the other team are more experienced with this game than Leith’s team. They have played it many times before, so they have better tactics.
“Bring me the one they call Leith! I want him to bow, and give me respect. His men should watch him be humiliated!”
The Evil Lord shakes his wooden sword out to his men.
EVIL LORD (CONT’D)
“I want them all to bow! Even if they do not, I still want them to be thrown into the lake! Go and find him now!”
The Dark Lord yells at his soldiers, who have brought the last of Leith’s men into the enemy camp. They jokingly say.
“Yes my Lord!”
They go into the woods after Leith.
Dispirited, Leith’s soldiers sit by a tree with their hands tied behind their backs. The ropes are made from banana tree shavings. One of the boys has a black eye.
Leith watches the Dark Lord’s performance, from a distance. He giggles.
(thinking to himself) “Amazing…”
Leith climbed up a tree earlier and gathered all the other boy’s weapons before they got captured and hid them in bushes near the Dark Lord’s Kingdom. Lying down on the ground, the Evil lord falls to sleep.
When the boys searching for him passes the tree he’s hiding place, Leith decides it’s time for him to have a little fun. He climbs down, and goes to the bushes, where he hid the weapons and retrieves his sword. The weapons are packed tight in a leather bag. He throws the bag across his shoulder, being very careful not to make too much noise. It doesn’t take him long to get situated. He takes off running toward the Dark Kingdom.
THE DARK KINGDOM
Leith hides the weapons close to the camp. He looks around observing everything. Tip-toeing to his soldiers, Leith hides behind the tree they sit by. He ducks out into the open. The Dark Lord sleeps comfortably.
Leith frees the boys’ hands. They run into the woods to retrieve their weapons. Unexpectedly, the Evil Lord Wakes up. Elizabeth laughs because she likes to see when her cousin gets angry.
EVIL LORD (CONT’D)
(screaming) “Come Back! They have escaped!”
The Dark Lord springs to his feet. He grabs his sword lying beside him. However, before his army could make their way back and retaliate. Leith’s army comes from out of the woods, running full speed toward the Dark Lord’s direction. Five against one, you would think this is an unfair number, but even so, the older boy’s swordsmanship outweighs theirs magnificently.
What the dark lord hasn’t figured out yet will shock him. This was the whole plan after all.
Leith didn’t run out of the woods with the other boys. He used them as a distraction. When the Evil Lord stops paying attention to his cousin then that is when Leith makes his move.
Racing out of the forest, he snatches her up.
He runs back into the forest. Leith soldiers stop fighting and they race behind him.
IN THE CITY OF LIGHT
Leith and his soldiers have made it back to the kingdom of light. Their kingdom poses near the cottages.
“Hip-hip-hooray. We have saved the princess.”
The Evil Lord is pissed. Instead of giving Elizabeth sticks and dirt to play with, Leith gives his little princess a grass doll.
She sits in a tiny chair made of bamboo. Leith plots next to her. He lunges to his feet when the enemy races from out of the woods. The dark kingdom’s army had gotten lost. They couldn’t find their way to the right path. Leith’s soldiers ran them in a circle while they were being chased, allowing Leith to escape with the princess.
EVIL LORD (CONT’D)
“I don’t believe you played fair! You are a cheater!”
“Can you explain the rules to me? Why did you give me all the younger boys, and you take all the older ones? Someone needs to get their priorities strait!”
“If both Lords believe that either side cheated? We as lords should battle for our prize. In less you’re a coward? Give me back my princess and surrender your kingdom!”
“There is one problem with your made up laws!”
Leith isn’t like the other younger boys. He has been training with his Father over the summer gaining superb swordsmanship.
“I’ll never cower from you, even if you make these silly accusations!”
Holding his sword down to the ground in a guarded position, Leith moves toward the Dark Lord.
They walk in a circle. The Evil Lord catches his breath and pulls his wooden sword out of its holster.
“I’m not a coward, and I’ll never submit any of my winnings to you! She is mine.”
Elizabeth holds her grass doll tightly, blushing because of the principles they are fighting for.
“You liar! Are you not the same Lord that allowed your army to be captured? What if your little plan backfired? All of you would have been giving me bloody homage on your knees.”
“Do you know what your problem is Heron? You can’t accept defeat! This attitude you carry will affect any engagement that you take charge of! If you live to see another tomorrow, then any kingdom that you’re a part of shall crumble and be overturned!”
“Shut up! And feel my blade!”
Heron high swings at Leith knocking him off balance. However, Leith uses a high block to counter his attack then punches Heron in the stomach. Tumbling backwards, Heron gains control of his footing before he falls to the ground. Throwing a strike to Leith’s left side; Leith blocks it with his right. Furthermore, Heron moves out of the way of Leith’s huge swing. Heron comes after Leith with a left-right, left-right combo swing. However, the move made him lose his breath. Leith comes back and does the same exact combination but with more precise swings.
The Evil Lord tumbles back-first into the dirt. Leith backs away, guarding himself. Brushing the dirt off his clothes, Heron gets up smiling. He is surprised about Leith’s strength and endurance. However, before they can continue with their small battle, Heron’s mother calls out.
“Heron… It’s time for dinner! Bring your cousin!”
They holster their weapons and walk over to each other. Leith reaches out his hand and Heron accepts it, they shake hands.
“I like what you said today! You have courageous words! You’re such a good nobleman!”
“And you were an awesome-participant as well; same time tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow it is!”
Leith goes over to Elizabeth and gives her a big hug. He picks her up and brings her to Heron!”
He puts her on the ground next to him.
“Take care of my beautiful princess!”
“I will! Have a great day! Say bye, bye Elizabeth!”
She waves to Leith. Falling to the ground placing his hand over his heart, he pretends to faint. Holding hands, Elizabeth and Heron walk back home.
The other boys pick up where they left off. They begin to battle. Leith pauses-them-out when his father calls him.
“Leith Erickson; come here!”
He runs toward his father!
Silver Bells are Ringing
Elizabeth’s mother was raped by one of the outsiders during a battle between the barbarians and another kingdom called Fear. They have been rivals since the beginning of their two kingdoms. Her mother was accepted back into their kingdom, and her daughter was accepted as a mixed race. The elders considered that those were immoral acts toward her mother and those men, who did those awful crimes, will be punished by their Gods.
A beautiful child shouldn’t suffer because of these misguided doings. The men who committed the crimes toward Elizabeth’s mother probably won’t suffer for what they have done, and what they are about to do now.
Silver-bells are ringing outside. They hang from a post on the porch.
Elizabeth cries gazing out the door at some commotion outside. She sits in a pool of her cousin’s blood. His head has been stabbed through. Heron lies on the floor next to her. However, her mother is still alive.
“Leave those children alone! If you touch her, I’ll…”
She gets gagged. A man stuffs some clothes in her mouth and ties them inside. They throw acid on her mother’s skin. It boils and fries her breast, melting them off.
Stripped of all her dignity, Elizabeth’s mother is raised into the air on a cross. Iron steaks are nailed into her hands and feet. She tries to fight it, but she can’t break loose. Her nerves are numb. A man comes inside of the cottage and takes Elizabeth away.