Sunday, April 24, 2011

Love and the Land of Melcor (Part One - Peter's Story)

So today I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into my own twelve year old mind. When I said I had stories squirreled away from my childhood. This is one of them. I don't promise it is good. I deliberately presented it in it's unedited form, so you can see the writing skills I had at the time. I only corrected my spelling. If you like it and want more, I might work on adding more over the weeks. I have no intention of ever publishing this as a book, but thought I'd share it...


Peter swirled the wine in his mug as he sat musing. He had watched three life-long friends led off in shackles, one executed for a murder he did not commit, one for a purse he did not snatch and on for adultery she did not commit. Prince Jack had to be stopped.

"Forgive me, Father," he muttered as he went to his sister to tell her of her upcoming nuptials.


Peter watched as the prince eyed Kimberly. The Bentons both had red-gold hair and silver green eyes. He eyed Kim's hair bobbing from its piled mass of curls. Her well tailored red dress was cut low and accented with fire opals, glittering at her neck, wrists, ears, and dangling from the chain in her hair to the middle of her forehead. She was beautiful in the bright sunlight.

He was a more masculine version. His matching hair was cut short and his features were more masculine. He wore blue silk trousers and a coat with golden embroidered brambles on the sleeves and the collar.

"No! I'm not going to marry Prince Velcro! He's... he's... he's... Quite unsuitable!" He hated when they argued. He wanted to keep her ignorant of the true reasons.

"You have no choice!" he shouted harshly. Then his voice softened. "Kimmy, you're a lady. He asked for your hand, refusing your dowry. What could I say?"

Kimberly was relentless. "How about no? It's worked before," she added with sarcasm.

Peter lost his temper with her childishness. "Kim, you'll swallow your attitude and marry the man. He come's for you at sunset."

"Please, Petey, no. Please, I'll do anything!"

"My mind's made up. You shall marry him. Go home. You need to prepare for your wedding."

Kim ran off in tears.

He was sorry he had to do it, but it was necessary.


Peter had riled the villagers and gone to the palace. It had been a month since he had married his sister to Jack and the unnecessary killing hadn't stopped. Today another man was led off for a theft that had not even happened.

He marched to the castle at the head of the men. A a short, red-haired woman stepped out, the villagers prepared to attack. A cry was raised as they realized it was indeed a woman. Peter felt hatred for the man who would send a serving girl to do his work.

"Go find your husband, woman," he said scornfully. "This doesn't involve serving girls."

The girl clenched her fists and her eyes flashed. Then a curious look spread across her face, followed again by anger. "Peter Michael Benton, how dare you speak to me this way! If Father heard you he'd roll over in his grave! I wake to see the home you sent me to being attacked, so I came to divert it. Little did I know it was my rude, insulting, inconsiderate, incorrigible big brother!" She turned to storm back inside.

"Kimmy?" Peter asked in disbelief.

"No there's more than one red-haired woman who knows your full name and is your little sister!" she spat sarcastically. "Dolt!" She turned again to go, then looked back over her shoulder. "Why are you attacking the castle?"
"We can't afford to let our king kill us one by one. We're fighting back!" Peter yelled hefting his ax and hating Jackson Tremain. The villagers chorused agreement.

"Let me speak to Jack. Stay put." She disappeared inside and the men waited impatiently.

When Kim came back out she was fuming and carrying a suitcase. She handed it to Peter and turned to the men. 

"Kill him."

Peter held Kim as she sobbed, then helped her mount his horse.


Peter stopped his horse and stood in the stirrups. He shielded his eyes from the sun with his hand."

"It's about an hour's journey," he said, glancing at Kim. Her mussed red hair and ruddy cheeks nestled inside the yellow cloak reminded him so much of their mother. 

"Goody! Warm beds, hot baths, soft pillows, clean clothes... Let's go!" She heeled Sunrunner, her horse, into a run.

Peter felt dirty from the two week journey. He followed with a laugh.


An hour later, he no longer felt like laughing. The beautiful palace of Tredom was in ruins. The outlying buildings still smoldered. The building was a hollow shell in the warm spring sunlight.

The surrounding garden was rubble. The once beautiful courtyard was littered with dead bodies. Peter felt anger swell within him. He'd kill whoever did this.

They entered the castle through the kitchen. Peter led the way with his sword drawn.

Hot stew was still cooking on the stove. Kim tasted it as Peter poked around. If the bandits hadn't left, they were dead.

"It's delicious!" Kim exclaimed. "Definitely royal!"

"They haven't been dead long. Their bodies are still warm."

"You touched one? Ugh!" The look of disgust she gave him made Peter have to smother a laugh.

"Well, let's take advantage of the situation and eat, sleep, and have good hot baths. Besides, you want to clean your gowns."

Kim brushed at her blue dress self-consciously.

"I'll clear away the dead bodies so we can stand it."

They dined in the strangely silent kitchen, bathed in an empty wash chamber and shared a large bed in a damp, dark room. As they lay falling asleep, Peter felt the loneliness close in around him and he fell asleep praying for love.


Peter came into the sitting room, rubbing the small of his back. They'd slowly been turning the rubble into a home. It was beautiful, once they had cleared away the bodies. It was a rather pleasant place to live. Kim had sewn golden flags that fluttered and snapped in the wind. The few rooms they used were scrubbed until they gleamed. Kim had mopped for hours to clean them.

As Kim cleaned the palace for suitable living, Peter buried the dead. It was back breaking labor. As he flopped into a chair, Kim practically pounced on him.

"Peter, we've got a problem," she said, her eyes swimming with tears.

"What's wrong?" Peter felt panic chase away his pain and exhaustion.

"I'm pregnant!"

Relief flooded him. She'd had him worried. "Don't worry, Kimmy. I'll take care of you."

Kim curled up in his lap, the way she had when they were children. "I'm scared Pete."

"Don't be. We'll get through this," he said reassuringly. Somehow, he added mentally.


Peter ran to Kim's room and urgently shook her. She looked startled as she saw the wild look in his eyes.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"Quiet. We're being attacked! Take my ring and go to Eltar, Astar, everywhare! Warn the people. Go!"

"Where will you go?" Kim asked annoyingly. Why wouldn't women just go?

"The other way. I'll draw them away and warn people along the way."

He helped her stand and pack in the darkness. They went to the stables then sadled their horses. As they were about to seperate, they had a softly whispered conversation.

"Be careful," he said. "They aren't from around here."

"Ok Peter. What about the baby? What if I go into labor?" she asked, frightened.

"Go to the nearest town." He glanced toward the torch-bearing intruders. Dread crept through his stomach. He felt tears burn his eyes. "Be careful... I love you Kimmy."

"I love you too Petey." Peter felt her tears as she hugged him. He never wanted to let go. Before she could see his tears, he spurred Charger into a gallop.

"God speed," he whispered to the night wind. "Keep her safe."


The rising sun woke Peter. He rubbed his eyes and sat up. The dirt didn't make a very good bed and his back hurt. He rose and went to the nearby stream. He tore a piece off of his shirt and wet it, cleaning the wound in his side he had laboriously hidden from Kim last night. After trying to stop the intruders, he supposed he deserved it. He winced as he stood and mounted. He had to keep going.


Ninya Meyers had been raised by her mother. Her father had been locked away in debtors' prison when she was very young. She had been taught herbs by the old woman in the village. When the plague had come, Ninya was the only one to survive. 

As she roamed through the empty streets, a man with longish red-gold hair and silver green eyes bright with fever appeared. He was wearing a torn, blood-soaked green silk shirt and filthy silk pants. He was slumped in his saddle. 

Ninya ran forward and grabbed the reins of the horse. She pulled the man out of the saddle. She felt for a pulse. He was a alive - but barely. She pulled him into a house and pulled off the filthy clothes. She gasped at the enormous hole in his side. She got some cold water and cleaned the festering wound. As her hands touched his skin, she realized he was icy cold. She ran into the bedroom that she used and grabbed every blanket she could find and took them to the man. Then she went and pulled the mattress off her Mom's old bed and drug it in front of the fire. Tugging steadily she pulled the man over to the mattress and lifted him into the soft, hay filled mattress. As she did so, her hand brushed his cold clammy skin.

As an after thought, she undid the buttons on her home-spun blue and gold dress and pulled it off. Her slip followed. Steadily she undressed, then climbed under the covers, using her own body heat to warm him. She didn't realize she was tired until she fell asleep.


As Peter woke, he felt a light pressure on his chest. As he lifted his hand he felt a gauze about his waist. Someone had bandaged his wounded side. As he lifted his hand higher he felt silky hair. His eyes snapped open. 

Slowly the blur above him began to take shape. The high ceiling was criss-crossed wit wooden beams. He closed his eyes and looked down at himself. Then he opened his eyes. The covers were pulled up to his waist, leaving his chest completely bare except for the bandages. His eyes widened as he saw the girl. Here blond hair was braided and came to the back of her knees. He scanned her delicate features and gave a start when he realized he was as undressed, as was she.

His movements having woken her, Ninya darted out from underneath the blankets. She was convinced he would survive. His skin was fiery hot. It sent heat from her head to her toes. She hastily dressed as she thought this. She fumbled with the buttons of her dress, then turned around.

"I see you are awake," she said.

"Yeah... Who are you" Better question, where am I?"

"I am Ninya, and this is the once proud town of Polk."

"But all the inhabitants of Polk were killed," he declared, standing up.

"I'm the only one who survived. I tried to save them, but none of my herbs worked. Only I survived. I still regret it." Her voice was cold, miserable.

"I apologize." Peter said. "Truly. I am sorry."

Ninya studied him. His red-gold hair was slightly grimy and he had a slight beard. With his large build he towered over her. Her dainty violet eyes met his large silver-green ones. Suddenly, without having broken eye contact, she was in the iron circle that was Peter's arms.


Twelve months later, Peter, having gotten others to warn everyone, had built a good population in Polk. He was content as their mayor. He paced the room as waited for Ninya, now his wife, to give birth. She had been in labor for six hours.

The midwife came out. "Lord Benton? You are the proud father of a bouncing baby boy."

"You're kidding!" Peter could not control his excitement, and he kept babbling. 

After he calmed down, they led him in to see Ninya. Her blond hair was pony-tailed and the escaped strands were plastered to her forehead with sweat. I her arms she held their child.

"Hey gorgeous. How are you feeling?"

"I want to go to sleep, but I don't want this day to end. Just think. Yesterday we were just two married people. Now we're parents."

Peter kissed her forehead and took their son. "Hello Dylan Carter Benton," he whispered.

"I like that. Whatever made you think of it?" Ninya's voice was quiet.

"My father's name was Dylan. Your father's name was Carter." He held his son in one arm and, sitting on the edge of the bed, pulled his wife close with the other. "I love you Ninya."

"I love you too Peter."

In the midst of their extreme happiness, Peter missed Kim very much.


  1. Ahh .. a glimpse to the future. Excellent!

  2. That was a fun read! At some point I really hope to go back to The Chronicles of Umberland, a series of books I wrote when I was 11. It would need a lot of work, but I'd love to rewrite it all these years later.


  3. I may actually go through and edit this. I had a lot more fun than I thought I would working on it. This is the whole of Part One, Peter's Story. There are four parts.