A New Sort of Hatred
Chapter Fourteen: A New Sort of Hatred
"That was Penelope!" I cried as I ran toward Kingslee, parked by the stream. I mounted quickly, almost forgetting that Peter was with me and solely focused on reaching my sister.
I started upstream fast and soon heard Peter's voice cautioning me.
"You're sure this is her?" he asked me, cautiously as we crossed over the ridge. Several tents could be seen up ahead. There was clearly some sort of a camp set up.
I looked back at him," I know my sister's scream, Peter," I said to him simply as we pushed forward.
"Alright, I know you want to help her and all, but-" I slowed to a stop and looked at him sideways," You can't do anything…rash."
I raised a brow at him. I knew that I was prone to being rash, but he wasn't exactly the most careful either," And you?"
He chuckled," Don't worry."
After we crossed over the ridge, we dismounted our horses as we snuck toward the encampment that had been built in the middle of those woods. I had rode out on that trail a couple evenings before and there wasn't a sign of a camp. Now, there was a full colony of tents and horses and men everywhere. Apparently, the Telmarines had been traveling over the last few days which would explain why we had not yet been attacked by them.
Peter and I slowly crept quietly toward the camp and hid ourselves behind the bushes a safe distance away from sight.
I couldn't have pinpointed exactly what caused Penelope to scream, but as I sat in the bushes I knew immediately that it was the Telmarines. The way they pranced around the camp in their shining armor. I was rather hoping that it was merely one of our mentaurs she had encountered and screamed at the initial sight of him, but that was clearly not the case. When we had first seen the camp, something in my gut had told me Telmarines, but now I knew for certain.
"I can't believe they're already this close," Peter mumbled as we looked for any sign of my sister or mother," You think they've been here for long?"
I shook my head," If they had been here for long, then they would have already attacked us."
He nodded his head in agreement.
My eyes continued to scan the camp before I saw a struggling figure over by the largest tent which I could assume to be Miraz's. I crawled behind more bushes in order to get closer. Peter was close on my tail as we sat behind to listen.
"Let me go!" I heard my sister's voice squeal, through the branches I could see her being lifted off the ground, her legs and arms flailing.
"Shut up!" a gruff voice growled at her," Do you want the same thing to happen to you that happened to your mother?"
My heart almost stopped, wondering just what he could be referring to.
Penelope continued to flail, despite his threats. She didn't stand a chance against the large, burly man.
"Take her out of here!" another voice called from inside the tent," We're trying to do business."
My mind raced with all sorts of "business" that they could possibly be up to, but I pushed the thoughts out of my head as I watched the brawny Telmarine drag my sister. He pulled her out of the tent and nailed her hard against a nearby tree. I could almost feel the impact from where I watched.
"What do you not understand about 'shut up'?" he growled, this time more fiercely as he pinned her against the hard tree.
Every part of me wanted to grab my dagger and take care of the man right there.
Just as I thought it, I felt a tug at my belt as Peter slipped his fingers onto my dagger and briskly pulled it out of its holder at my waist. I shot him a death glare and he only put a finger on my mouth in order to silence me. I wanted to fight it, but his eyes pleaded me to stay where I was. I reluctantly stayed hidden in the bushes as he started to creep up out of hiding, placing himself in the wide open.
I held my breath as Peter stood up slowly out of the bushes and behind the man who had my sister pinned against the tree. He crept his way behind the man and lifted the dagger. My eyes widened as I watched him bring down the butt of the dagger, but before the knife could meet the man's skull, there was an interruption. It was going much too smoothly.
"Oy!" a voice called from behind Peter, back in the camp," What do you think you're doing?"
Quicker than lighting, the men came storming through the camp toward Peter. It was as if we had just set off the intruder alarm. The man holding Penelope dropped her harshly to the ground as he turned around to see what the matter. I bounded out of the bushes to aid my sister, not caring who saw me or tried to attack me.
"Rosalie!" Penelope cried as she picked herself up from the ground and came sprinting toward me. I met her halfway and quickly embraced her.
"What are you doing?" another man yelled to the soldier that had just dropped Penelope," Grab them!"
Peter's eyes shot to mine as the men starting crowding around him," Get out of here!"
"Peter-" I tried arguing, but he cut me off.
"They can't follow us, go! Please," he called, begging me to leave him.
He was right…the soldiers at the How needed time to prepare for an attack. I had to respect him, yet again, for putting his people before himself.
I started to pull Penelope toward the horses, but I watched as Peter continued fighting off the men. I wanted to help him so bad, but in the side of my eye, I could see the burly man coming toward us once more. My heart wanted to stay with him, fearing that if I left him I would be placing his life in danger...which was the last thing I wanted to do. I felt Peter's eyes on me once more, begging me to go and as a piece of my heart fell from my body, I pulled Penelope along to the horses.
We ran quickly away from the man, who was rather large and once we reached the horses; he would not be able to keep up. Penelope quickly cambered onto Peter's horse as I mounted Kingslee. I kicked Kingslee once, but couldn't help looking back one last time before we rode off into the woods. Penelope had kicked her horse as well, but stopped as I stopped to look back.
He wanted to stay in order to protect his people, the time he had done it before for me, he had gotten away safely…the same could not be said this time.
As Kingslee carried me off into the night, I watched them destroy him. I watched them beat him. I watched them take the small weapon he had. He was not dead, but he had taken a very hard knock to the head. I couldn't help but let my eyes fill with tears as Kingslee ran alongside Penelope's horse into the night.
"Rosalie?" my sister tried as we journeyed back. I don't know how many times she tried getting me to talk, but all I could seem to do was mentally press replay over and over again of Peter being brutally beaten.
We walked into the Tomb room, the only person appearing to still be awake was Caspian. The atmosphere when I was in the room with him was normally tense and very awkward, but Penelope lightened the mood greatly. I almost forgot that I was upset with him as I watched their embrace. Penelope had probably asked me plenty of questions as we entered the How, but I was in no shape ready to answer any of them. My mind was still drifting elsewhere.
"Caspian!" my sister squealed, after we had once again reached the How, much later that evening.
Penelope ran across the room and embraced Caspian hard. He enveloped her in his arms as he picked her up and spun her around, planting a kiss on her cheek. Both of their faces were very joyful. Caspian had the largest smile on his face that I had seen in a long time. I had forgotten that Caspian had practically been a brother to my sister as well and that it had been quite some time since she last had seen him.
"Penelope, you have grown so much!" he exclaimed as he let her out of his embrace.
"Caspian, it has been so long!" she cried, tears of joy almost coming to her eyes," They've been telling me you are dead for so long, now."
He smiled as he tucked a stray hair behind her ear," Well, I am still here."
"Thank goodness," she replied as she turned away from the prince.
For the first time in days, Caspian looked up at me and took a couple of steps toward me. He gave me a polite nod before continuing on.
"Where did you find her?" he asked after clearing his throat nervously. He was being very tentative.
I swallowed as well as I wrung my hands, anxiously," The Telmarines. I-I was going on a ride with Peter in the woods and we happened to hear a scream. We traveled upstream and, sure enough, there was the whole Telmarine camp. Less than an hour's ride from here," I answered him, trying to sound as cordial as I could.
"How long do you suppose they've been there?" he asked as he leaned against the stone table; he placed a hand on his forehead in contemplation. Hearing that the Telmarines were close, immediately lessened his ease.
"I can't imagine for much longer than a day or so. Had they been there for any longer we would have already heard from them," I explained to him, taking a seat on a larger rock in the corner.
"Seems logical. It can't be long before they strike...I just wish we had more time," he said with a sigh before raising his head to ask another question," Where is the High King?"
My heart stopped at the mention of Peter. A replay of Peter falling at the hands of the Telmarines came to my thoughts. An immense amount of guilt rushed through me and I guess Caspian could tell my answer by the expression on my face.
I sighed and he cut me off.
"Please don't say it…" he grumbled as he ran his fingers through his hair.
"They've got him and mother, Caspian," I said to him, quietly.
The conversation between Caspian and I had flowed easier than I predicted our first one to go. Now, granted, this conversation was more of a professional tone and on matters more than that of personal matters, but it was more than what we started with. Both of us needed Peter, in some way. As much as it bothered Caspian, in order to run the army, he needed him and I needed him, well, emotionally, I guess.
"They've got her again?" he asked me, hoping that it wasn't true. Mother was another factor that connected Caspian and myself. She was like a mother to him as well.
I nodded my head. The mention of mother made me wonder once again just what they might've done to her. I hadn't a clear vision of what had happened, but I could assume something did because of how the man warned Penelope.
"From what I heard," I said.
Caspian turned his attention from me to Penelope, who had now planted herself atop of the split table where Queen Lucy usually sat. I stepped closer to the table to hear what he had to say to her.
"When did you meet up with the Telmarines?" he questioned her.
She looked up to the ceiling, contemplating her thoughts," Just yesterday," she replied," We had been traveling non-stop for quite some time and mother needed to take a break. She really wasn't in any state to be traveling, but she was better traveling than staying there."
Caspian nodded his head," Yes, Edmund has informed me of much of this. Did you stumble upon the camp just yesterday or did they attack you?"
"I would predict that we were quite a bit away from their camp," she told us," I wouldn't know for sure because one moment we were crossing the river and the next everything sort of faded and went dark. It was night time and the last thing I saw before being knocked out was the soldier's boots as I fell to the water below."
"And you woke up in the camp?" I asked her, folding my arms over my chest.
Anger was prevalent throughout my body, but I had been so bitter toward the Telmarines for so long that I was just glad that my sister was safe now. My main worry now was of my mother and Peter.
She nodded her head," Yes, mother and I were bound together in one of the tents. I had a nasty headache when I woke up and after a few moments, someone pulled me to my feet after cutting the ropes loose. Father and King Miraz entered into the room, I was still a little confused. All I remember is trying to fight my way free, but soon being escorted out of the room. Escorted being an understatement. They treated me horribly, I'll have bruises for weeks. When you heard me scream, it was one of the first times they had me unsupervised. They kept mother in the room and I haven't seen her since then, Rosalie," her voice sounded quite strong when she started, but I could tell a slight deterioration in her confidence as she continued.
The last words hung with me. It was only yesterday and I'm sure that she was still somewhere hidden in that camp. In their clutches. At least, I hopped that was what Rosalie was hinting at. Surely...she could not be hinting something...worse.
However, I was wrong. I was more than wrong. I looked right at Penelope and a sudden sadness came to her eyes. Tears started falling out of her eyes as she pulled her legs tight to her chest," Do you know what I'm telling you, Rosalie?"
Everything hit me at once. Tears flooded from my eyes as I ran toward my sister to embrace her.
"They kept me close, Rosalie," she sobbed into my shoulder," As they were escorting me away, I looked back and saw them holding her. I could see through the thin barrier them hold the dagger to her knife. I watched her fall to the ground…lifeless," she wailed," I watched the shadows and knew it was her! I knew it was!"
Tears fell from my eyes as I held my sister close. She was the last of my family that I had left and I was never going to lose her. I felt her tears fall onto my light dress, but I did not mind. My tears were soaking her own clothes as well. When I looked up, I noticed Caspian watching us, awkwardly. I could tell that he was in shock, but his emotions were hard to read. He looked like a mix of anger and sadness. For that moment, I forgot about my anger toward him as I watched tears fall from his eyes.
I was then orphan.
We stayed up most of the evening talking and crying. Caspian tried to offer as much comfort as he could, but none of us could seem to say anything to one another. We could hardly even look at each other without bursting into tears once again.
Mother had never done anything wrong. She hadn't ever done anything that made her deserve to be killed. She was such a sweet and tender woman. There was no reason that she be murdered. She had only done what was right…
I was bloodthirsty. I wanted my revenge and I wanted it right then as I sat in the corner of the Tomb room, tears still streaming down my face. I wanted them to come and face me again. I wanted this war to happen right now so that we could destroy them once and for all. Perhaps I was being too confident, but pain masks all sense of knowing, seemingly. All I wanted was for them to give up Peter and to pay for what they did to my mother. Was that so much to ask for?
Was it not enough that my family had turned against me? Was it not enough that I had lost my closest friend? Who was it that kept on torturing me? Why was all of this happening to me? I wanted to stay curled up forever. I wanted to stay secluded away from every thing. I wanted to mope and cry and sob.
Reality was soon to strike again, however.
I could only imagine what Queen Susan and Reepicheep felt early the next morning as they came running into the Tomb room.
"Caspian! We've got-" the little mouse cried, looking all around for Caspian," Where is he?"
Caspian looked up from his place on the ground, we had all migrated away from one another to our own places of solitude. His eyes looked heavy from lack of sleep and sorrow," Yes, Reepicheep?"
The mouse gasped," Why, your honor! What has happened?"
Caspian tried his hardest to pull himself up without looking very forlorn. Unfortunately, he did not succeed, but Reepicheep disregarded it," Nothing to worry about, Reepicheep."
"Caspian?" Susan started, but he shot her a glance that begged that she not push any further.
I pulled myself up off the ground as well and wiped away a stray tear.
"Your honor, we've tracked a group of Telmarine soldiers coming toward the How. They're carrying a white flag, sir," the mouse reported.
Susan stepped into the conversation," We think they've brought Peter with them, from what we can see."
Without looking at any of them, I started toward the exit. This was the perfect opportunity, get rid of them right there. Let their families feel the pain that I had felt, it might not have been fare, but at the time it felt like the best plan. They were marching themselves right up to us. It was too perfect of a chance for me to pass up. I was mourning, yes, but what I wanted more than to mourn was to get my revenge. They were like my own personal present sent to me from above. I could have just gone out there right there and had them killed and then had Peter returned. Everything that I desired sat a few hundred yards (as well as some walls) away from me. Talk about tempting.
"Rosalie!" my younger sister called, bounding off from her perch and stopping my one-person rage," You can't just prance out there!"
I wish I could have.
"And why not?" I yelled back at her, sounding harsher than I would have liked," Look at what they've done to us, Penelope!-"
"And just what are you going to do about it?" she spat at me," You think you can take them on? They would crush you, Rosalie."
Her words stung, but they did ring true. She had a point and even as I stared at her, hard. I stopped dead in my tracks and looked back at Caspian, who still wore a somber look on his face.
"She is right, Rosalie," he said softly as he started walking forward. He looked at Susan," Gather the archers and have them ready to strike if anything goes wrong while we go out to meet them. Don't let them see you, but watch casually from the overlook; you will know if anything goes wrong."
"Let me come along, they've got my brother, Caspian," Susan pleaded with the prince, but he shook his head," Perhaps, let them come in here?"
"Susan," he looked right at her," Please, for the security of us all. Can you please do this? I do not want to lead them in here…it would be much too risky."
Her blue eyes looked attentively into his. She yearned for action, just like I did, but she nodded her head. She reluctantly sauntered out of the room to gather the archers, as Caspian had ordered. Caspian then turned his attention to Reepicheep," And you, will you keep a watch out as well? Get a troop ready to strike, if necessary."
"Of course, your honor," the mouse said and with one last bow, he was off to gather the troops.
It was then the three of us. The three Telmarines who fought for Narnia leaving to negotiate with the Telmarines who fought against the Telmarines. We started our journey to the field where the Telmarines waited for us. Just as we reached the doors that led the to the field, I stopped and turned my attention to Penelope. There was no way I would allow her to come along.
"I want you to stay here," I told her, sounding like a mother.
She furrowed her brows and crossed her arms," Why? Rosalie…"
"Listen to me," I pleaded," They've already captured you once and almost killed you too. I don't want anything to happen to you. You're only thirteen, Penelope. Don't forget that. I know you've received a lot of respect as of late for all of your wisdom, but as your sister I have to protect you."
I could tell that an argument was building," Rosalie! This isn't-"
"Penelope," Caspian's voice spoke," Your sister is right."
I never thought I would have heard those words from his mouth again. Naturally, I shot him a confused look.
Penelope looked between the two of us and shook her head," Why are you two being like this?"
Caspian took a step to where he came face to face with her, he placed a hand on her shoulder," Please, just trust us."
She crossed her arms tight over her chest as she took a step backward, away from him. King Edmund had now come into the room and appeared beside her," Fine," she pouted.
"Make sure she stays," I commanded Edmund, who gave me an approving nod.
And with one last look to one another, Caspian and I continued walking to meet the enemy. I wanted them dead. Every. Single. One.
Author's Note: Alright, so here it is! I can promise you one, long chapter every Friday, as of now :) Perhaps another later on in the weekend, right now it is just hard to post during the week. Anyways, have I mentioned that I love your feedback? Thanks to all who have! You've really been great so far.
I thought that this chapter had a little action at the beginning and then became dramatic toward the end. The next chapter will start out a little drama-filled, but by the end of the next chapter...we've come to the battle, which means lots of action! Keep reading!