Copyright 2013. PATG LLC. All rights reserved.

Chapter 19


Staying to shadows they followed her

Through the village, till the whirr,

Of walking workers dissipated,

And Persephony fixated,

On a shack of sticks and stone.

Standing there, she thought, alone,

From her bosoms she pulled a key,

And turned her door lock forcefully.

But suddenly, she cocked her head,

Roaming her eyes in steady stead,

Sniffing once and twice again,

Her grim face quick becoming then,

Fully smiled from end to end,

Recognizing foe from friend.

The Blacksmith bid the others wait,

While he went to test their fate,

And then emerged from hiding place,

And went to her with warm embrace.

In the night they quietly talked,

And brisk into her shack they walked.

Poepi and the elves sat tight,

They hardly breathed and watched for sight,

Of any light sent from the shack,

Or passers by, on street or track.

And all the while they thought of what,

Had on this quest their life threads put.

Of Bar and Gar, and cut off hands,

Of Perla and pixie, and the land.

Up, up, up, into the night,

There was no moon, no full and bright,

And all the stars had covered over,

With heavy storm clouds, grey and sober.

Eerily a quiet creak,

Came from the shack and out head peeked,

Of Persephony, her hands in gloves.

“Come come, my friends, come come my loves!”

She whispered low so only bugs,

Could hear the words sent to their mugs.

“But something is wrong” Poepi thought.

She feared that she and elf scouts ought,

To not proceed without Smith’s word,

And so did not do as she heard.

But Willow and Birch, both did comply,

And careful, careful, went inside,

Not noticing Poepi stay behind,

While Persephony too, paid no mind.

Her door then closed with all within,

And Poepi cowered in the din,

Sitting silent, hugging her knees,

Breathed breaths slow, barely a wheeze.

Writ on her face, riddled with fear,

Thoughts of the future, she pondered near,

Changed from a crown, to dirt underfoot,

And fell all around her, covered in soot.

Suddenly, the thunder of hooves,

Broke through the mud, and bodies on rooves,

Surrounded the shack, torches in hand,

Kicking the door down, and in they ran.

Goblins! Goblins! Goblins! Goblins!

Stalky, stubling, mean and thin,

Came out shouting, and bearing brands,

Shrieking orders at their clan.

Smashing and crashing inside the shack,

Blacksmith and elves fought the attack.

While sounds of struggle attracted neighbors,

Desperate for fun outside their labors.

The sounds of struggle carried on,

Until the night returned to dawn,

And when the smith and elves came out,

Bound by goblins and their shouts,

Some neighbors let out jeers and slurs,

Upon the captured prisoners,

Hands and legs both locked together,

Looking straight down, bruised and fettered.

But Persephony, was not bound,

She was frowning, upside down,

Both hands on hips, head poised up high,

She peered about, with scanning eyes.

 “There’s one more traitor, lurking about!”

She scolded the goblins, and in full shout:

“Search the grounds hard! Find the king’s brat!”

She grabbed the head of one and spat.

“Find her tonight, or what I’ll do

Is take her fate, and give it to you!”

The goblin guard shook, hands and feet large,

Slimy skin squirming, bulging eyes charged.

Gnashing teeth hard, he sharp saluted,

Whipping his soldiers, fear polluted.

Poepi kept still, horrified gripped,

The sight of her friends tied up and quipped,

Leaving her helpless, paralyzed,

Forced to watch madly, all that transpized.

Each of the captives were laid across backs,

Of dark goblin horses, and their whips cracked,

Sending them galloping off in the crowd,

Amid jeers and shouts, under dark clouds.

“How does she know I am here?” Poepi thought,

Wracking her brain, desperate, distraught;

But then a sharp cry, pierced from the sky,

And circling down, dark mass came to lie,

On witch’s shoulder, with tight gripped talons,

The vicious bird, the noxious black falcon.

Persephony suddenly peered at the dark,

Straight on at Poepi, meanish and stark,

And took a slow step, toward her body,

Still in the shadows, squatting oddly.

Approaching the back of another shack,

Not daring to breath, or creak or crack,

Persephony grinned an evil grin,

“I have you now” she whispered thin,

Into the dust that floated down,

Left from the horses’ charge to ground.

And as she walked her hard boots crunched,

Upon the dirt and pebbles munched.

“No place to run!” Persephony said.

No place to go, no home to bed!

Your fate will suffer painful ends,

Along with all your treacherous friends!”

And whispering curses mean and stark,

She lunged herself, quickly, into the dark.

Ghosts of Perla, Pixie and horse,

Crossed Poepi’s eyes, this time more coarse,

Mouthing dismay into her face,

Cursing at her, and this bland place.

“But this is not at all what I wanted!”

Dazed Poepi whispered, clearly haunted

By their demise, and they taunted,

With guilt of betrayal, jaded and jaunted.

Poepi’s head spun, as did her mind,

While the sky bent, a twist and a wind,

Her eyesight blurred, ears rang like bells,

Hands went to forehead, legs weight like kells,

And then her nose smelled a sweet smelling taint,

That stole her balance, making her faint.

Then hands reaching from behind,

Caught her as she fell unkind.