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The Calling - Merry's Apprentice

By Jrrm64 All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Blurb

It was foretold that the Once and Future King would return in times of great need. Had that time finally come?

Chapter 1

The Time has Come!

____________________________________

I had been nodding off in the backseat with my face pressed up against the cool glass window when I felt the change in car speed, as my father slowed our Chevrolet Trailblazer. Waking up I saw what my dad was reacting to, unexpectedly a mist had formed around our car. It was clear, yet white and it was too thick to see through clearly making driving at night even more difficult.

With a slight jerk on the breaks, he changed the speed of our car. My mom, dad, and I were on the road back to our home in Stonington from Portland where we had ended the summer before school started with a treat of a dinner and movie. From the backseat, which was hidden in shadow, I noticed my mother’s face. Her expression was scrunched up with more than just concern on it; she was frightened. I could see her frightened expression, which made me feel uneasy. My father’s forearm muscles bulged, as he tightened his grip on the steering wheel. It was then that I knew something was truly wrong and it was more than just some white mist coming off the water of Penobscot Bay.

“Ma,” I said hearing my own voice croak as I did, “what’s happening with the car?”

“Don’t worry, Sean. Your father will take care of everything, so you just stay calm,” she said in a voice that barely held onto calm, which was unusual for her. She was always calm and positive, as my father was always patient and strong.

“But, Ma...”

“Sean, be strong and calm right now. You can do both. It’s in you,” she said then she turned her head to look into my eyes.

I saw in my mother’s eyes that she was scared, not for herself, but for me. There was something about this mist that scared her for my life. It was a look I’d seen every time I hurt myself in some accident, from the time I fell out of a tree in the backyard and landed on my back and she was afraid I had broken something important to the time I broke my collar bone playing tackle football without equipment with boys that were much older than me. All her fears were for me.

I turned my head away from my mother and looked out the window. No longer could I see the trees of Deer Isle, Maine, only a thick ominous mist that now completely surrounded our SUV. This strange mist seemed to come from nowhere, yet it was everywhere all around us. Suddenly, something bumped the right side of our SUV with enough force to leave a good size dent in the side. My mother turned her head again and looked at me: “Sean, scoot over and sit behind your father’s seat and buckle up tight.”

“Ma,” I replied in a weak voice that barely hid the tears of fear that were starting to burn my eyes.

“Sean, be strong. It’s in you to be strong and we need you to be that now,” she told me again.

I didn’t say another word, but instead I scooted over behind my father’s driver’s seat and buckled up tightly. The SUV was bumped hard again. This time the back wheels screeched violently, as my father tried to keep the car straight on the dark roadway. There was more mist in front of us. The SUV swerved hard to avoid it almost careening out of control, but my father was able to straighten out the car.

“Ma,” I whispered to myself because I was afraid.

“I love you, Sean,” she responded in a soft voice, but she didn’t turn her head around this time to look at me.

My father took his right hand off the wheel and reached into his right pant pocket. Taking out his cell phone, without looking he pressed a speed dial button and put the phone to his ear: “They’re here in Maine. They’re attacking. The time has finally come. Now you must protect my son!”

That was all he said. He hung up the cell phone then he dropped it onto the car floor not caring what happened to it and he put his right hand back on the wheel holding on tightly.

“Sean,” my father’s clear, strong, calm voice spoke up. “No matter what happens you will be all right tonight. You have to know that, son. You will be all right. Do you understand me, Sean?”

“Yes, dad, I understand you,” I answered hesitantly, though I didn’t really believe what my dad said.

“Son, you have an important destiny. Remember that and know that I believe in your destiny and in you,” he stated with pride then suddenly our heavy SUV was bumped harder than before and thrown off of Old Country Road towards the thick woods by the side of the road.

I closed my eyes, as my stomach churned and knotted with fear. Destiny, yeah, I thought, I have a destiny to become part of a tree. Looking out the window I saw that the mist had somehow formed a giant hand which had grabbed our SUV, picked it up off of the ground, and now tossed it into the air straight at a thicket of trees. The Trailblazer tumbled helplessly in the air. One moment I was sitting upright in my seat, and the next I was being held in place by my seat buckle, as the roof became the floor and then back again. The tumbling finally stopped with the loud screaming sound of metal crunching and buckling from impact, as our SUV hit a Spruce tree, which it then ricocheted off of to continue on until it cracked up into a Fraser Fir tree.

Much to my surprise my seat belt buckle broke apart, the metal buckle bursting open, as if someone had ripped it open, and the thick fabric, which held me in place was ripped apart. It was almost like someone had taken the seat belt apart, then the door beside me unexpectedly opened and I was forcibly propelled at least ten feet from the still moving car, which was suddenly being tossed again hitting a Fir tree and breaking it into two before being propelled towards yet another tree. Landing awkwardly in some thick bushes and with enough force to take all the air our of me, I rolled in the opposite direction of our Trailblazer and my parents for another five feet until I was stopped suddenly by the wide and thick trunk of a Fir tree. Lying on the rough ground, I didn’t know if I was hurt or not, only that my parents were still in the SUV under attack.

Lifting my head off the ground, I looked at the Trailblazer. I saw the mangled and crushed SUV in the distance wrapped around a thick tree trunk, where it had finally come to a stop. Placing my hands on the ground I tried to lift myself up with all my strength, but I only managed to get my torso partially lifted off the ground before I fell back onto it. My body was aching and sore and I knew I probably had broken bones. Not wanting to be stopped, though, I tried once again to get up to get to my mother and father, but I stopped as I noticed that mist stopped moving then it gracefully traveled through the woods towards the SUV. I paused and watched as the mist moved towards the SUV. It was alive, I thought, the mist was alive.

The mist moved quickly, as if it had a predetermined purpose and intelligence. It sped around and through trees until it was close to the Trailblazer then its movements ceased, as it hovered for a moment like it was reviewing the scene of the crash. Suddenly, it enveloped the SUV then it backed way. I watched this all with a mix of great disbelief and complete and utter fear. I tried to convince myself that mist was not a living thing; it was a weather phenomenon like I had learned about in school and nothing more than that. It had no real intelligence; at least, it shouldn’t have any. This could not be happening.

Without warning, the mist turned and started to move again, as if it had just spotted me on the ground. It was coming towards me: a white, ghost-like cloud coming at me with great speed and determination. My vision began to blur, as darkness started to overtake me. I was blacking out from whatever injuries I had, while this mist was now coming straight at me. Although I didn’t want to do it, I laid my head down on the ground and waited for this strange mist to come and take me. So much for having a destiny, I thought to myself.

Just as the darkness of unconsciousness was about to overtake me, a tall figure in a long hooded robe appeared out of nowhere between me, and the mist. The hooded robe was pitch black, darker than even the night, and seemed to allow whoever wore it to meld into the night without being seen. This figure raised his right hand and the mist that had attacked my mother and father stopped moving. I wasn’t sure how this happened or what really was happening, but it appeared as if the mist was afraid of this hooded figure. I tried to get up again, but finally I fell into the darkness of unconsciousness, which had been waiting for me.

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