Sword Of Power
In the small town of Elberta during a brutal winter, the fight for our way of life begins. Our warriors don’t even know they have been chosen, they are just trying not to be chosen to answer questions in math. That’s right, our heroes are just kids.
Like many kids in her school, A.B. was looking for a reason not to go to class. They split her and her best friend up this year and they had different lunches. She tried to get out of class to walk by the cafeteria and say hi to Kay.
While walking down the hall of her school, A.B. found a brick with engravings that she had never seen before.
“When two keep each other as strong as ten,
will they find the strength to begin.”
As she read those words, she thought of her friend Kay, because they always were stronger together. A.B. ran through the hallway and found Kay sitting down to eat her lunch... pizza, A.B.’s favorite.
“OH pizza… no wait, Kay, come here I want to show you something!” A.B. blurted out into the lunchroom. Kay looks at her pizza then looks at A.B. “Grrr,” Kay muttered as she ran and dumped her lunch and went over to A.B.
“You know I was really looking forward to that pizza today, right?” Kay said, just a little annoyed.
A.B. took Kay and showed her the brick she found down a little storage hallway, somewhere she really should not be. Today she was skipping class because she hadn’t worked on her paper that was due today.
Together, they saw if they could find more stones around the school. For now, they needed to get back to class. If A.B. skipped math again her teacher was calling her parents... and she really doesn’t want them to know she has been skipping class. A.B knew she would get grounded and had big plans with Kay this weekend.
On the way to math, the girls walked by a statue of the school mascot. As the girls looked up at this giant tiger holding a sword, like he is going into battle, Kay asked, “Why does a tiger need a sword?”
“Well, you know, a tiger with enormous claws isn’t scary enough, let’s give him a gigantic sword too.” A.B. laughingly said. “Admit it is a pretty awesome sword!”
“We have got to hurry, math is about to start,” Kay exclaimed.
At the end of the day, A.B. waited for Kay to give her a ride home. Kay came running like someone said there was free ice cream in the parking lot. Kay blurted out, “I have been waiting to talk to you! I went back to the statue while I was “going to the Nurse.” I wanted to draw a picture of the sword.”
With a glimmer in her eye, A.B. squealed, “Oh, I want to see your picture; I love seeing your drawings!”
Annoyed, Kay grunted, “Forget about the picture. I found something on the sword! First, it’s called the Sword of Power…”
A.B. chuckles, “Sounds… Powerful.”
Getting a little more impatient, Kay declared, “Would you stop, there is more! I found another engraving, and it really sounds unnerving.”
The two shall stand before the protector of good and face Alioth, the Sky Tiger. Once bested, he will surrender his sword to the worthy!
“Ok, so I have a question, actually I have all the questions!” A.B. said in amazement.
“I know! Is it talking about the same two from the other engraving?” asked Kay.
“Who is it talking about? We should ask the Principal, Dr. Quackerman, and see if she knows anything about it.”
“Really, Dr. Quackerman?” Kay said sharply.
“Don’t worry, Ashley, is a friend of the family, she’s kind of like a second mom to me. I stay with her when my parents are out of town. If anyone could help us, it would be her!” explained A.B.
The girls drove over to Dr. Quackerman’s house. They galloped to the door and A.B. knocked with a little too much excitement.
“Girls, this is a surprise! Is everything ok? Come on in and I’ll grab us all some sweet tea.” said Ashley with a bit of alarm in her voice.
Ashley took the girls into the kitchen and poured everyone a glass of good Ol’ southern sweet tea. It really is more like sugar water, but no one was complaining.
“Momma Ash, we found some stuff at the school today and we were wondering if you know anything about it?” A.B. said as she explained everything they found with the engravings.
“Honestly, girls, I have seen nothing like that before, and I have cleaned that sword many times. I’ve worked in this school building for 20 years and I have not seen bricks with engravings either, but I will look on Monday.”
“Well, I hate to interrupt but it is getting late, and I need to get home soon.” Kay announced.
Ashley walked the girls to the door and told the girls goodnight. Kay called her parents and asked if she could spend the weekend at A.B.’s house. On their way home, they swung by Kay’s house and grabbed her stuff. The entire way back to A.B.’s the girls talked about the two riddles they saw at school and tried to figure out what they could mean. It was late when the girls got home and they were both exhausted, so they ate and went to bed early. As the girls fade off into dreamland, a bright light shines in A.B.’s room. There stood a girl not much older than the girls were.
“Please do not be afraid! My name is Remi, and I am the Great Great Granddaughter of Merlin. I am here about the Sword of Power! I come from a time long ago, you might know it as the Dark Ages. There are 5 swords scattered around in your time. I had to get them away from a great evil before he could destroy them. Ragnar and his army will come, looking for these swords to destroy them. They are the only things that can stop him. We must find them first. Only the worthy can carry the swords and the price it will cost to be chosen.”
“I’m going to regret this, but what is the price?” A.B. moaned.
“A friend closer than family. If you are successful, I will spare their lives, but shall you fail, they will have no choice but to join Ragnar’s army!” replied Remi.
A.B. and Kay looked at each other as if they were having a conversation, but no one spoke for several minutes.
“I don’t think we have much of a choice here Annabeth. It really scares me, but if we don’t go through with it, the world will be in danger. This is our chance to do something that matters, something bigger than us!” Kay confidently exclaimed.
“Yeah, I guess you are right. We will be the unknown heroes that saved the world. No one is ever going to believe that two teenage girls from Elberta fought an ancient evil and saved the world. Let’s do it anyway!” A.B. said, less confidently.
With a bit of worry in her voice, Kay muttered, “Honestly, I don’t even believe we are going to do this. I can’t even imagine trying to tell someone about this. They might put us in a padded room if we tell people.”
The girls again look at each other for a few minutes with so much weighing on their minds. On one hand, they could just walk away and hope this is all just some prank and all will be ok. They know if they don’t do something now and then when the world is in trouble, it will be all their fault.
“We must go retrieve the sword tonight. I don’t want there to be innocent people around to get hurt!” Remi announced with some urgency.
“HURT, what exactly are we getting ready to walk into!” yelled A.B.
“Battle Alioth, the Sky Tiger, also known as your school’s mascot. If you truly are the one to wield the Sword of Power, then when you battle him, you will have all the skills and power transferred from the sword to you, and you might defeat him. If you are not the chosen one, well let’s just hope that doesn’t happen.” revealed Remi.
“I believe in you Annabeth! You are an amazing person. No one could pick someone more deserving of being the chosen one. You are kind, caring, loyal, and strong; all of which show you can handle all the power without being corrupted.” declared Kay.
“Ok...let’s go do this before I throw up or pass out!” whimpered A.B.
A.B. drove everyone to the school, but she really doesn’t remember much of the drive. All she could think about was fighting Tony the Tiger or Alioth or some tiger with wings. When they looked around the school, they found a window cracked open and climbed in quietly. A.B. and Kay were used to sneaking in and out of the school for lunch, which made this a breeze, but Remi got stuck because she forgot to take off her staff.
“Girls, can you give me a hand, I’m stuck!” Remi pleaded.
The girls struggled to get her through, but once they could turn her staff and get it through, they all stood in Mr. Zu’s math classroom. Kay peeked out the door and spotted the night custodian walking down the hall, away from them. He had headphones on and didn’t seem to notice any of the noises from their struggle. They quietly snuck down the hallway, past the cafeteria, and into the gym. The Tiger statue was in the gym’s corner, right under the scoreboard.
“They always bring the statue into the gym for basketball games, it should be over here.” commented A.B., “How are we supposed to activate this... battle.”
“It should activate once you touch the sword. As soon as you pull the sword from his hands, hopefully you will feel the power flow through you, but be ready even with all that power it won’t be easy to defeat Alioth, the protector of the sword.” warned Remi.
“I... can’t...make...it...budge! Maybe if I climb up and stand on top, I can pull the sword up and out of his hands. (A.B. grunts and pulls but still nothing happens) Kay, come give me a hand and help me work it loose!” A.B. stated.
A.B. and Kay push each other and try harder. This makes the two as strong as 10 people and allows them to pull the sword from Alioth’s hands. A.B. swings the sword around like she has been doing it all her life.
“Wow, this sword is so light. I feel the power of the sword. This is awesome!” A.B. squealed.
All at once everyone froze like a deer hearing an acorn fall from a tree. The heavy footsteps of a 7-foot-tall beast stepping down from his stand got everyone’s attention. His face was somewhere between a man and a tiger. The eyes though were all tiger, and it focused them on A.B. He was a massive figure, and he was ready for a fight. He let out a loud roar and charged at A.B, and in a blink of an eye the two met with a sound like thunder crashing. Claws and blades were flying wild, and it seemed an equal match. Alioth knocked A.B. to the ground, and her sword skidded across the floor. Alioth moved in to finish her. In that moment, you could feel the air get thick like molasses, and no one breathed. Before Alioth got too close, he stopped in his tracks as Kay’s shoe flew across the gym and struck him in the head. Alioth turned with fire in his eyes and began moving towards Kay. Kay picked up the sword as she stood under the basketball goal, waiting, ready for a fight to save her friend. A.B. lept to her feet and rushed to her friend’s side.
“I think we have to fight together! It took both of us to pull the sword, it’s going to take both of us to defeat him!” Annabeth said with some fire in her voice.
The girls rushed into action, fighting Alioth, passing the sword back and forth, overwhelming Alioth. As he fell back against the bleachers he said, “finish me, I am no match for the both of you!” A.B. takes the sword and points it at Alioth. He closed his eyes in anticipation, but nothing happened. When he opened his eyes, he saw both girls kneeling against the sword.
“We will not take the life of such an amazing protector. Instead, we would love for you to fight with us. The true enemy is Ragnar, and it will take all of us standing side by side.”
“You truly are the chosen ones and are worthy of the Sword of Power. It would be an honor to fight next to you.” Alioth said as he stood and bowed to the girls.
“Well, now that the simple part is finished…” Remi barely spoke before being cut off by A.B.
“Simple part… are you serious! Did you miss us fighting this big fluff ball… no offense! How much harder can it get; I mean, we almost died!” A.B. furiously announced.
“Now we must find the other four swords and their bearers. Then we must learn to fight together as one unit, and finally we find Ragnar and his army and hope we are strong enough to defeat them and save our world.” Remi said solemnly.
Everyone sat quietly for what seemed forever when A.B. broke the silence and said, “SOOO easy peasy…”
Kay rolled her eyes and laughed a bit. But the weight of Remi’s statement made it hard to enjoy A.B.’s quirkiness.
“Thankfully, one of these swords is not far away in Castleport. The rest, though, will take some time and travel to find. I am afraid you will not see your families for a while once we start on our journey. Take tonight to spend time with them, hug them and prepare for the possibility you may never see them again.” Remi knew what she was asking of the girls, but she also knew what would happen if she didn’t ask.
Annabeth was the only one who slept, but to be fair she could sleep through a hurricane. I guess battling an Ancient Protector can make you tired. The next morning, they all met at A.B.’s house and loaded up A. B’s car. Remi gave A.B. directions to the school where the next sword would be hidden. With farm fields all around the school, they were truly in the middle of nowhere. Before entering the school, Alioth changed forms to look more like a teenage boy.
“Hey A.B., doesn’t your dad work here? Do you think he would believe us? Do you think he will get mad and send us home?” probed Kay.
“There is only one way to find out. Let’s go see my dad!” A.B. expressed with a bit of anxiety in her voice.
The group walked in and went to the front desk and spoke to Jan. A.B. has talked to her many times when she would come with her dad to work and has learned that Mrs. Jan is a very sassy and sometimes blunt woman, but she is also extremely sweet and kind once you get to know her. While A.B. talked to Jan about finding her dad, Kay spotted Mr. Lee heading down the hallway.
“Hey Ya’ll, is everything ok? Did something happen? I don’t see any police so either you outran them, or you are not in trouble…” joked Mr. Lee.
“Dad, first off, it’s not funny, secondly we really need your help. Can we go somewhere and talk?” said A.B.
“This is sounding like maybe you outran the police; am I now an accessory to your crimes…” Colt continued to joke.
A.B. getting a little more annoyed “Dad seriously we need to tell you something!”
They all step into the empty art room and the girls tell A.B.’s dad everything that has happened, but the more they told him, the more puzzled he looked.
“I don’t know if this is some elaborate joke or what, but like I told the girls from my class, I just don’t believe it. I couldn’t see any engravings and I really find it hard to believe y’all battle some giant tiger man…” Colt stopped speaking as Alioth changed back into his Tiger form. “I must be losing my mind, my students finally got to me!”
“Dad, meet Alioth… you know, the giant tiger man we battled. Don’t worry, he is on our side now; he was just protecting the sword before.” Said Annabeth.
In his best impression of McConaughey, “Alright, Alright, Alright, let’s say I believe you. Is there anything I can say or do that will stop you from trying to save the world? And as I ask it, I know my answer. You girls don’t back down from a challenge. I’m guessing you won’t be home for dinner tonight, huh?” Colt knew he wouldn’t see Annabeth for a while. “I had two of my students come in earlier telling me a story kind of like yours. I thought they were crazy and told them to go play. I think we need to go find them and let y’all talk. Just remember they are only 5th graders, try not to scare them too much.”