Chapter 34

Second Chance


Persephony trembled, scared unbalanced,

Ascending steps to Giants palace.

Leagues and leagues, she had traveled,

At his summons, mocked bedraggled,

After news of smith’s escape,

Spread to the giant’s island cape.

Each step deep as three broad men,

She topped them, slowly, pausing then,

To stand before, two more doors,

That rose to sky, from gilded floors.

Flanked by massive Reywal soldiers,

Larger than Humrecs, meaner colder.

They stopped Persephony, in her tracks,

And banged the doors, with massive whacks.

Bolts and clicks, sounded lowly,

And a creaking, increased slowly.

Solemn magic words were spoken,

And massive doors, slowly opened.

“Proceed”, one frowning Reywal said,

“The giant awaits, on ahead!”

And so, Persephony went on in,

Full with fear, gaunt and thin,

Humbled over, and penitent,

For her failures to repent.

“Come!” the Giant’s storm voice boomed,

His shadow cast, across the room,

As his galactic, sky tall figure,

Took its seat, from feet to meet her.

Leading to a parapet,

Reywals lined up, tall and set,

Their armor strong, their long claws wet,

Thinking of what may come yet.

“Is the blacksmith, now delivered?”

“He escaped…”, she said a shiver.

And oh, the silence, was most deafening,

And oh, the breathing, was most threatening,

As Giant grunted, and angry said,

“I am listening!” at Persephony’s head.

Bowed to touch the floor, she plead,

“Vitiguph tricked me, with his magic,

I could not catch him, the foolish tragic.

I do not know his whereabouts,

But I am working to find out.”

“We know, where he is, Persephony!”

A man’s voice said, deliberately,

And Bar Kamal Kamock stepped out,

From a curtain, blue and stout,

“He is at, port city’s arch,

Building an army, soon to march,

Across the passes, to eastern sea,

And challenge us most foolishly.”

Persephony took a few steps back.

She remembered, before the attack,

A special time, late in May,

A summer sky, a wedding day,

A crowd of friends, and lovely basking,

A promise exchanged everlasting.

And then came other memories, frail,

Of broken words, and betrayal,

Of cherished years, cast aside,

Of love for duty, before bride.

And of a child, only half grown,

In need of father, never home.

And last of all, of the Giant’s coming,

And in the carnage, of Smith running,

Not home to them, but instead leaving,

A frightened family, crying grieving,

To meet the call, of a traitorous king,

Sacrificing everything.

“Where is he now!” she shouted raged,

“I’ll bring him back, bound and caged!”

“You tried that already” Kamal Kamock countered,

Sneering, at this dirty scoundress.

This time the giant sends me too,

And I will flow his orders, to you,

We’ll meet them with a fighting force,

Of Humrec, Reywal and a course,

Of vicious Srellik infantry,

And thundering, charging, cavalry.

Against uprisers, we will push,

Until they’re vanquished, dead or crushed,

And their leaders are all caught,

And put in chains, and brought to rot,

Deep in Giant’s darkest dungeons,

And made to talk, with whips and bludgeons.”

Persephony thought of Vitiguph,

Her husband and enemy, wondering if,

To purge her hate, for the man she loved,

This task of hers would be enough.

As she thought about her penance,

Bar stepped back - he saw the menace,

In her body, the way it coiled,

In her eyes, the way they boiled,

In her teeth the way they bit,

To her lower lip, and slit,

Through the dry cracked skin to bleed.

“Let’s go!” she said and turned to leave.

“Yes! Go!” the Giant spoke at last,

“Go! And be not coming back,

Until the task is full complished,

For otherwise, you will have wished,

That you had never live been born!”

And as she walked out, anger torn,

Bar did not follow to the door,

But quietly stood, waiting for,

The Reywal soldiers, to stand erect,

So their armour, would reflect,

His image walking down the rows,

Hot to meet the Giant’s bellows.

He’d put and end to this distress,

And advance his own success.

But as he left the sacred chamber,

Bar stopped and turned, and faced the danger,

Of the Giant’s terrible visage,

And said to fearsome horrible image,

“Reywal, Humrec, and Srellik are ready,

And I will lead them true and steady,

To victory, across the sea,

Without or with Persephony.

We will sail within the week,

So winter’s snow and windy peaks,

Will block our enemies, from retreat,

And ensure their quick defeat.”

Then Bar turned, and walked back out,

Of the chamber, without doubt.

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