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Untitled Fantasy Novel (Chapter 5)

Updated: Apr 19

Chapter 5


 

Aslan slipped into a dream, something that he rarely had anymore. 

Shadow and he were fencing in the throne room of the palace. A crowd of people circled them, some screaming out cheers for Aslan, some for Shadow. Shadow held a real sword, and apparently knew how to use it. 

Aslan struggled to keep him away, feeling more sluggish than usual, like his feet were in mud. Shadow pressed him, backing him up. He narrowly evaded, as Shadow poked at him, moving in and out of range with ease, before coming forward with a series of powerful strikes. 

“That’s it, Shadow Man!! Get that greasy son-of-a-bitch!” a man missing his front two teeth yelled out from the growing crowd.

Greasy? I’m not greasy, am I? Aslan wondered. That guy is the greasy one!

“He deserves it for what he did!” another man yelled out, shaking his fist at Aslan.

I didn’t really do anything, though, he thought, as he blocked another series of blows from Shadow. 

He’s an abomination!” a pregnant homeless lady screamed.

Shadow moved so fast, and he seemed to be growing to Aslan. 

We should be the same height, the same strength, the same speed; the same everything! 

Aslan ducked under a strike from Shadow, and stumbled. He tried to recover by rolling away from Shadow and into the crowd, but the crowd pushed him back, towards Shadow. He stumbled forward. 

Shadow circled him with the point of his sword scraping the ground, making a horrible noise, and even omitting sparks at times. 

He’s taking this so seriously. 

Shadow lunged at him and Aslan barely parried in time to block his strike. 

“Cut out his liver and eat it!” a hungry looking man shooted out.

Aslan cooked his head to the side and looked at the man. 

That seems a tad bit extreme to me. The man licked his lips. 

“Shadow! Enough!” Aslan finally yelled. Shadow responded by picking up his dragging sword and pointing it at Aslan. He took his stance, balancing his weight evenly on each foot, with a slight bend in his knees. 

He nodded at Aslan. “Enough,” he said with a deep voice, almost a growl. 

Aslan blinked at him. “You can talk??”

“Shadow . . . has . . . had . . . enough,” he hissed the last word. And the crowd stopped their cheering, and started to slowly back away from Shadow. 

“Wait, what is that?” Aslan heard one of them say as they backed away terrified of Shadow. “A demon?”

Shadow stood feet above Aslan now. Shadow’s shadow lay at Aslan’s feet, as he towered over him, growling. 

“Hey, pal, is this because I made you workout for me? This is a bit of an overreaction though, don’t you think?”

Shadow growled again. 

Aslan whistled sarcastically. “You really got a stick up your arse tonight. Alright . . . I am sorry I made you do so many pushups. I didn’t know it would bother you this much. If this is how you communicate, pal, we are going to have major issues.”

Shadow shook its head.

“If this isn’t about the workout thing, then what is it about?” he asked shadow. 

Shadow looked up at him, and then, in an instant, his sword was through the stomach of Aslan. 

“What will you really do with your freedom, Aslan Reetrant?” Shadow whispered into his ear. 

Blood poured out of Aslan, as Shadow pulled out his sword. He grabbed at his stomach, coughing up blood and stumbling backwards as he did. 

Ohhh . . . he thought, as he coughed up more blood, that is what this is about . . . Makes sense, I guess.

“S-Shadow?” Aslan asked, barely able to speak. “. . . W-Were all of these theatrics really necessary? We could’ve just talked about it, right?”

Shadow looked down on him, his own shadow covering up all of Aslan, as he lay in a dark pool of his own blood. Shadow shrugged and walked away.

Sonofabitch. 


***


Aslan woke up covered in sweat, holding his stomach, anticipating blood gushing out of it. He looked at his hands, and then up to Shadow. 

Shadow was sitting down, watching him curiously. His raspy voice, from the nightmare, echoed in Aslan’s head. ‘What will you do with your freedom, Aslan Reetrant?

He took a couple deep breaths. His heart was still pounding. The voice continued to echo. What will you do with your freedom, Aslan Reetrant? . . .

Shadow cocked his head as Alsan glared at him. “What the hell was that?” he asked Shadow. Shadow shook his head, not understanding the question. 

“Were you really there? . . . Can you speak to me in my dreams?”

Shadow shook his head again. 

“Damnit, Shadow!! You stabbed me in the stomach, you ass-hole!”

Aslan got up and started pacing back and forth, still clutching his stomach. 

“Are you okay over there, Aslan?” Rexx asked from his cell. 

“Yeah, yeah, just Shadow murdering me in my dream. No big deal . . . Hey, Rexx?”

“Yeah?”

“What will you do with your life after you get your revenge?”

Rexx didn’t respond.

“Rexx?” Aslan tried again.

Rexx cleared his throat as if something big was stuck in it, before saying, “I hadn’t thought about that . . . I guess I don’t expect to survive afterwards . . . I’ll be a King killer and there is no place in this world for a man who kills Kings . . . they’ll come after me, and I’ll probably let them . . .”

“Because you have no balls?”

“What?! No! My balls have nothing to do with it!” Rexx protested. 

“A life without sex,” Aslan let out a long whistle, “I can’t imagine that . . .”

“Haven’t you been living a life without sex for a year?”

“Oh yeah, I guess I have.” Aslan laughed hysterically, and then suddenly stopped. “. . . I want to prove my innocence, and . . . I do want revenge, but . . . I don’t know if that is enough. I don’t know if the people I want revenge against are worth my life. And . . . Beatrice . . .”

“Who’s Beatrice?”

“She is my wife. She is my one true love. She is . . . my missing piece.”

“And what happened between you two?” Rexx asked him. “She was the woman at your trial, wasn’t she?”

Aslan stopped pacing and looked down at his feet. He breathed deeply. “I don’t know what it is she wants. She— . . . I don’t know what she was thinking . . .”

“You don’t have to tell me, Aslan.”

“No, I will. I might need your help too, Rexs. So, I’ll tell you everything.”

“Help you? Help you get your revenge?”

“You’ll see . . . So, it all started when Beatrice and I tried to find a wife for my brother . . .”



CH 4/15/24





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