Hayley and the Berserker King

CHAPTER TWO

DATE: 6439 THIRD DAWN
PLACE: CASTLE IRIS, PARTHESIS

“King lris used his gift of alchemy to create the Mirror of Iris that allows the holder to see the future, but at a price. Every time he looks, he loses another part of his mind,” said the fairy Light, who landed on Hazel’s shoulder. “His last vision must have been so terrifying he finally cracked. I think we should leave.” Light turned an anxious gary.


“No way! We at least have to get the mirror,” Hazel said. He wore black linen trousers and a loose fitted shirt. Several belts wound around his waist, each holding small coin purses carrying anything but coins. A rope was coiled around his shoulders with a rusty grappling hook attached to the end. 
 

“Dead, dead, all dead…” the king continued to say as Hazel picked him up and put him in a rickety wooden chair.
 

“Be a good crazy person and stay right here.” Hazel quickly rummaged through drawers, shoving anything of value into his coin purses.
 

“Found it!” said the fairy.
 

“Great job, Light,” Hazel said running over. “It’s just a tiny hand mirror?”
 

“What were you expecting?” 
 

“I don’t know, something a little fancier.” Hazel twirled the mirror in between his fingers. He flipped the mirror back to face him and saw a flash in the polished glass. He lifted it closer to his face. Hazel’s body went rigid. He was frozen as the images burned into his mind. Quick glimpses of the future flashed in front of him. He saw the giants he knew to be peaceful obliterating cities, picking up screaming villagers and popping them effortlessly into their mouths. The mirror shifted to a vision of himself. It held him there as he watched images of his future flash before him. Then the mirror let him go. He gasped for air and met Light’s eyes. Hazel breathless, “they are coming today.”

Date: 5487 Fourth Dawn     

Place: Castle Clifton, Three Kingdoms 

“You are definitely overreacting, Queen Clifton,” said Grand, wings now shimmering a lime green. Her head shot up towards the ceiling, her tiny body becoming still. 


“Hello, Grand?” George asked waving his hand in front of the fairy. 


“What!” Grand said angrily.


“I thought you were going to tell us the prophecy?”


“What do you think I am trying to do? Now hush up and get your hand out of my face. You are making it hard to concentrate,” Grand said continuing to stare up toward the ceiling looking at nothing in particular. George glanced at his wife, who was sitting on the bed staring anxiously at the fairy. As George stared, mesmerized, trying to figure out what was going on, the dark green speck of light began to fly over Grand's head. As Grand continued to look up, her wings shifted from color to color and she began to make high pitched chirps and squawks.


“Is that fairy language?” George whispered to Jen. 


“Shhhh. George,” Jen hushed her husband. 


Grand’s wings began to twitch so vigorously that every color could be seen at once; it looked as though an entire rainbow was trapped within the fairy’s wings. George noticed the speck and Grand’s wings were sparking in unison, changing faster and faster. The fairy's eyes rolled back, leaving only the whites of her eyes to be seen. Grand lifted off of the crib and into the air with her tiny head thrust upward. She spoke in an old raspy voice that boomed throughout the room.


“The first and only Clifton daughter,  
Will bring the soulless end: 
One will fall to mindless love, 
One will fall to blood, 
The last will perish cruelly,
Struggling in the mud.

 

The frog will find the wolf who’s lost, 
Who unites us all—but at a cost, 
To bring about what we all fear... 
The Berserker King is very near.

 

The wolf will love the frog most dear;
 this is what we all should fear. 
A kiss will save, a kiss will hide,
and in turn destroy the dark one’s pride. 
Hayley loves what we all fear. 
The Berserker King is here.

A cat will cry, a cat will call, 
but only the true King will fall. 
Torn apart in her grief, 
only brings about defeat, 
but do not worry there is no hurry, 
to bring down the dark one’s fury. 

The dark one kills and brings the tears
of the Berserker we all should fear. 
The unwanted gift that was gained,
bounds the wretched man in chains.

 

The dark one plays his greatest trick 
using the kings as walking sticks. 
Kai will try to turn aside and let the world abide. 
Without the gods we all should hide 
for darkness is now worldwide.

Time will pass and leave us guessing 
if there ever was a blessing 
from the gods we hold so dear.
Were they ever even here?


A king in stone, a soul reborn 
whose fire brings a lover’s scorn, 
to the dark one who never knew,
that love is always ever true.” 

The glowing speck and the fairy slowly turned back to normal as their wings settled into a soft glowing white. George spun to look at his wife who was ghostly pale. She looked as if she was about to retch. 


“The Berserker King?” George said confused. 


“George, this is bad,” Jen said in a whisper. “This is extremely bad.”


“How?” asked the fairy.


“Jayde the Soulless is coming!”


“Jen,” George said nervously, “Jayde does not exist.”


“She does exist, my good king,” said Grand.


“What!  Are you insane?  This whole time my wife was right! The terrifying Soulless from the stories are real?  Why have you been arguing with Jen this whole time?”


“She said that some prophecies are minor but no prophecy is minor.”


“I will double the guards,”  George said as he walked around the bed to a nightstand and picked up a small blackboard. He quickly scribbled ‘Scott, Eva, come quick’.


“Doubling the guards is not going to do anything. What we need to do is get out of here,” Jen said as she picked up Hayley. 


“Don’t be silly. Where would we go?”


“We have to go down to the sea and pray to Kai! If our god ever loved the Three Kingdoms, he will help. We need to go now, George.”


“My dear, no need to get so worked up,” said Grand. “You will be safe right here. Spark and I are going to put some powerful spells on the castle.”


“Your weak fairy magic is nothing to Jayde’s, and if she catches you, she will bleed you out to make arch-berserker potion!”


“What? Who are you to say my magic is nothing!”  Jen opened her mouth to retaliate just as the big wooden door on the far side of the room flew open and ten knights came running in. All of the knights were in Clifton’s shiny light blue chain-mail except for one, who was dressed in plated armor hand-painted with Clifton’s Great Shark.


“My lord,” said the knight in plated armor bending to one knee as the other nine followed.


“Scott, where is Eva?” George asked.


“My lord, she gave birth to our boy last night.”


“Congratulations, Scott,” George said as he gave Scott a pat on the back. His mind quickly jumped back to reality. “I need you to pull in all guards to the main towers. Have the men walk in groups no smaller than five. Send messengers to our lords. Have them each send three squadrons to the castle at once. Ready a bird for Prisoner’s Tower and The University. Tell them we will pay well for powerful protective spells.”


“Yes, my lord,”  Scott said getting to his feet.


“John and Luke, stay here. Scott, get a group of fifty men to escort my wife and me down to the sea. And send for Priest Malco immediately.”


“Yes, my lord.” Scott turned and ran toward the door to fulfill his orders. 


“Scott,” the king said as the knight turned back around to look at his king, “What is your boy’s name?”


He smiled, “His name is Scott, my lord.” And with that, Scott was gone. 


George turned to Grand. “Now what are we looking at here? Is my wife right? Could Jayde the Soulless be on her way now?”


“Oh no, Jayde is on the other side of Terra,” Grand laughed obnoxiously. “She has been there for over two-hundred years. Besides, she only goes after the men in our prophecies. Jen and your daughter will be fine. No need to worry so much about things that never happen.”  


“It’s not just the men; she uses everyone, George,” Jen argued.


George turned to his wife. “Is she on her way now?  I need to know if we are overreacting.” 


Jen paused and thought for sometime before she spoke. “Most likely she is not coming now. Jayde will wait until our daughter is older. Although if someone is calling himself the Berserker King, she will drop everything to retrieve him. The last time there was a king of prophecy was when Parthesis became the Land of the Dead. We should let the waggard of a fairy put up her spells. We need to be on our toes.”


“A waggard!” Grand said under her breath. “I have never been so mistreated in my life.”


“All right then. Grand, will you please put up your protective spells.”


“Of course, anything to keep my little princess safe,” said Grand as she took off into the air.


“Jen,” George turned to his wife, “one day you need to tell me why you know so much about the world.”


“I actually listened in school.”  She smiled back at her husband, feeling a little more relaxed. He sat down next to her and held her hand as they watched Grand use her arcane magic to protect the room. Once she was finally done, she looked exhausted. “That should do it.” Grand said.


“Thank you.” Jen replied. 


Grand smiled weakly, “We need to go back to The Island of Dreams and rest, but we will be back as soon as we can.”  The little fairy flew over to the sleeping baby and kissed her on her forehead. Then with a sigh Grand flew towards the balcony and out of sight leaving the glowing speck to trail behind her.


“I really hope we don’t see a lot of them,”  George said to his wife who was now looking at Hayley in her crib. “I can’t believe she’s still asleep after all that commotion.”


“Me too ,” agreed Jen, as she lay down on the bed. 


“Don’t worry. I will protect both of you.”


“I know you will. George. Please close the balcony doors before we get any other uninvited guests,” she said still uneasy. 


“Luke,” George said to one of the men standing statuesque next to the wooden door, “please close the balcony doors.”


“Yes, my lord,” said the taller of the two men as he swiftly walked over to the doors. A loud POP exploded through the room. George jumped at the sound and slapped both hands over his ears. He found himself distraught for just a split second, then straightened back up and looked towards the balcony. Luke’s body slumped onto the floor as his head skidded across the polished wood landing by the bed. Jen screamed and stumbled to the crib, grabbing for her baby. John drew his sword and ran towards the balcony to protect his king and queen. A metallic rope slithered through the air and sliced off his head before he could make it halfway there. A young woman flew through the balcony doors, floating for a second before landing gently on her bare feet. A grin danced on her face. 


The woman was incredibly  beautiful. She had long brown hair and unnatural piercing black eyes. She was tall and thin but her tight black dress showed curves in all of the right places. Her beauty radiated, casting everything else in dingy light. Everything in the room—even Jen and George—looked old and shabby. The only thing that kept its normal beauty was the sleeping infant. Jen’s jaw dropped as the word fell out of her mouth like vomit and echoed throughout the room. “Jayde.”