Book 9 - The Mist in the Darkness - Chapter 10: A Tangled Web

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httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013

I had the idea in my head what to do for this next chapter.  The ideas kept coming the more I thought about it.  Before I knew it, it was early morning.  Sometimes the price a person pays for being a writer.  XD

 

Hope you enjoy the chapter!

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Book 10 - The Shattered Axe

Chapter 17 - Back on Track

 

The Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series

All Chapter Links
 

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

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Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

httyyd's picture
httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013
Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

There is no mix for this chapter.  I want it to be as quiet as it can be.  You will see why.

 

Note the point of view.

 

The Mist in the Darkness

Chapter 10

 

A Tangled Web

 

Annabeth's Point of View

 

         At some point during the night, I wake up.  Jarl, of course, is fast asleep, though quiet for him.  Also, as always, Jarl has moved away from me and I am lying by myself.  Jarl, has in the past, quipped that he sleepwalks in place.  Taking a moment to look up, I reflect on what happened today.

         Suddenly, I hear a thud from upstairs.  Thinking Elsa or Asvord my have fallen out of bed, I get out of bed to go check on them.  Quietly going up the stairs, I see that what made the noise was simply some books on a desk.  Putting them back on the desk, I then feel a very cold draft behind me.  Turning around, I cannot believe it.  Fog is entering the house from the far wall.  But not just any fog.

         It is the same fog which I saw the night Skygge attacked!

         Fearing this to be true, I run away from the fog as it chases after me.  It is like it has a mind of its own as it follows while I run downstairs.  The fog starts to overtake me as I go to the bedroom and reach for my axe on top of my hope chest.  But instead of grabbing it, I collapse and fall on top of the chest.

         My thoughts race, “It’s happening again!  Wait, I…  I can’t move.  I can’t move!!”

         From my position, something turns me over with my back against the chest.

         It is Skygge!

         I am barely able to move my left hand as I try to claw for my axe handle.

         “Now, now, now,” Skygge talks to me as he kicks my axe away.  “I just came back and you want to greet me with your weapon.  Come now.  Jarl wouldn’t want you to do that.”

         Though I cannot speak, I try to relay in my expression for him to stay away from Jarl.

         “Ooo,” Skygge comments.  “Still as feisty as ever.  Jarl is not who I want right now, it is you.”

         Skygge pulls out a knife and bends down close to my head, “You keep wanting to blame everyone else but yourself.  Why, you even blamed your own husband for me attacking you the other night.  What has gotten into you?”

         My breathing becomes heavy as I try everything in my power to move my arms, but nothing is working.

         “Such determination,” Skygge mocks.  “Yet with all of your power you can’t even protect yourself.  What makes you think you can protect others?”

         Skygge looks down at my stomach, then back up at me, only smiling, looking at his knife.

         I grimace, trying to muster any strength I can to resist.

         “How do you want me to do this?” Skygge lightly drags the edge of his knife down the side of my cheek.  “Shall I take away your future?  Maybe your past.  No, what about today?  Better yet, why not all three?”

         Summoning the inner most parts of my Berserk’ed rage, I am able swing my right arm up to grab on to the back of Skygge’s neck.  Skygge proceeds to grab onto mine and stand me up.

         “Good, good,” Skygge encourages.  “Use your rage, use your built-up anger.  Use what no one else sees but me.  You’re a Berserker after all.  Berserkers were born to be terrors of a land.  It’s in your blood.”

         “Not,” I manage to say in return.  “Any…  More!”

         I take a step forward as I try and swing my left arm.  Skygge merely jumps back into the shadows of the room as I fall to the floor.

         Seeing I am able to break my fall with my arms, I realize my strength is returning.

         “Now, Skygge,” I state.  “Things are different this time.”

         “Oh,” Skygge replies.  “I’m sure they are.”

         To stall for more time to see if more strength will return, I rush as fast as I can over to Jarl, I stumble and fall down on the floor.  I reach up, “Jarl.  Wake up, Jarl!”  I shake him.  No response, “This not the time to be sleeping.  Come on muttonhead.  What if I do hate your mother’s cooking?”

         Still no response.

         Thinking maybe he is affected like I am, I try dragging him out of bed.  Not having the strength to stand up and lift him in my condition, Jarl ends up falling on top of me.  He will not wake up.

         “I know you’re a sound sleeper,” I call out.  “But this is ridiculous.”

         Pushing him off me, I try shaking him awake as I roll him over, “I really need you right now.  Don’t leave me alone.”

         I reach for the middle of his chest to hit him, but I feel something get on my hand…  Something…  Something…

          Turning my trembling hand over, I see…  I see…

         Blood!

         “Jarl.  Jarl, speak to me!” I yell as I look at his face.

         Slapping his face, my eyes well up as he will not…

         “Jarl, please!” I beg as I start to sob.  “Don’t leave me.  Not now.”

         Nothing.

         I fall back, leaning on the bed, not believing what is happening.  I am already shaking, but thinking maybe I was not trying hard enough, I reach out for Jarl again.  But the glow off my right hand reminds me.  I…  Turn my quivering hands around, all I see is the blood from My Heart!

         “Oh, he has definitely left you all alone,” Skygge remarks with a chuckle.

         Throwing everything to the wind, I stand up and rush Skygge.  He simply avoids me and pushes me past him, as I have no coordination to react.  Sprawling out on to the floor, I climb to my feet to rush Skygge again.  Same result.  Though this time, he shoves me to collide with Jarl.  Remembering, I kick and scramble to get away from the body.  I look back to see Skygge, but he is not there.

         About to look behind me, I feel an arm come around my neck.

         I claw at his arm, but I am too powerless to subdue him.

         “If it is any consolation, you will go just like he did,” Skygge says.  “This is what happens when you run away.  This is what happens when you run away from fear.  This is what happens when you should have stayed behind.  This is what happens when you are all alone.”  He then pushes me forward and I hear a dagger unsheathing.  “This is what happens when you should have been dead.”

         Trying to run away, I then feel something pierce through my own heart as I scream, “JARL!”

 

         I lean forward as someone grabs hold of me, “Annabeth.  Annabeth.  It’s alright.”

 

         A few moments pass yet I do not fall over.

         “Annabeth,” they repeat.  “Annabeth.  I’m right here.”

         I look to my right only to see…

         “Jarl!” I yell as I tackle him for a hug.  “I thought I lost you.”

         “Lost me?” he echoes.  I bury my head into his chest as I feel his hand stroke my hair, “Shh…,” he says in a soft tone.  “It is alright.  Whatever you saw, it wasn’t real.  I’m right here.”

         I lean back as I bring my hands up to his face, holding My Heart, “Is it you?  Is it really you?”

         “Yes, it’s really me,” Jarl wipes my tears away, also brushing my hair out of the way.

         “I needed help,” I start to say.  “You weren’t moving…  I tried to run away.”

         “Calm down, Annabeth,” Jarl takes the back of my head, laying it on his shoulder.  “Calm down.  Take a deep breath.”

         Leaning back, I take that deep breath.  I close my eyes and open them, “You’re still here.”

         “Of course, I am,” Jarl replies.  “Although, I have been thinking.  If Dagur knew what I did, I may not be here for long.”

         Between the cries, I do laugh at the remark, but demand, “He would have to go through me first.”

         Just then, someone sat down next to me, reaching around to hold me.  It was Svana, Jarl’s mother.

         “Sweety, we are all here,” she comforts.  “Everything is fine.”

         Filling my hands with my head, I weep a few moments more before raking my hands back through my hair to comb it out of the way.  One more deep breath and I think I have calmed down.  Jarl’s sisters rushed in starting to ask what was going on but immediately stopped once they saw me.

         Jarl being curious but not wanting to push, “Can you tell us what happened?”

         I hesitate but Svana assures, “There’s no need to tremble.  All you were having as a bad dream.  We are all here for you.”

         Jarl lays his hand on my right leg, “And we always will be.”

         He reaches for my right hand, which is still trembling.  Yet when he grabs hold of it, his firm grip stops the tremble as I look at him.  His look is all I need.

         I jab him in the shoulder, “You’re going to make me start crying again.”

         Everyone gives a few short laughs as I take another deep breath, answering, “Now I know the attack the other night bothered me more than I realized.  So much so, I must have dreamt it happening again but not the same one but as if for a new attack.  Skygge definitely was treating it like the second time.”

         Sigvald kneels, quietly asking, “Skygge was there?”

         “Yes, he was my attacker the other night,” I remind.

         Sigvald challenges, “But you said you didn’t see who did it?”

         Jarl answers for me, “I found Skygge’s light green bandana on one of the tables in our home.  The first assumption would be to say Skygge did it.  Yet after seeing Throst show up and talking with Harold and the words he used, I would have to include them in with who attacked Annabeth the other night.”

         “It had to have been Skygge,” I adamantly reply.  “It couldn’t have been anyone else.”

         Sigvald stands up, “The mind is a very mysterious place.  With all of our past experiences and clues our mind is sorting out, we sometimes hear, see, smell, feel, or taste the things we think we want.  What is true and false can be skewed by our biases which can make us see something that is in reality false.”

         Jarl translates, “Basically, a bad dream of something horrible happening which felt real enough to be the real thing yet isn’t.”

         “Exactly,” Sigvald goes on.  “Reason I ask you this, Annabeth, is the things which our minds latch on to can bring with them hidden meanings, references, or connections to a real facts or the truth.”

         I wonder out loud, “The interpretation of dreams?”

         “Not exactly,” Sigvald corrects.  “The dreams we dream are part of the inner mind, the part that tells our lungs when to breath and our heart when to pump blood.  We don’t actively tell our body to do certain things, these things are done subconsciously.  The subconscious is an even more mysterious place where even more strange things can happen, making reality a blurred picture introducing gray where once there was only black and white.”

         Kind of following along, I question, “Are you saying that something I heard or saw could be a clue as to…  What would I be looking for to remember?”

         “Any secondary picture which sticks in your mind,” Sigvald lists.  “A throw away line said by you, Skygge, or anyone else in your dream.  An object that should not be there.  Our mind can use both truth and lie to paint a picture we think we want to see.”

         Thinking for a moment, I answer, “There was the fog.  It was like it had a mind of its own.”  Thinking some more, “I saw my hope chest and my axe at the foot of the bed.”

         Jarl catches on to what his father is talking about, “The things you were looking for when the fog came over the house on Berserker Island.  You were attacked, so you went to the tool in which you could defend yourself.”

         Sigvald goes further, “You were searching for a place that felt normal and safe when there was a threat where you were, a place which was the opposites, unfamiliar and unsafe.  Even your mind was trying to fight these thoughts.”

         Thinking about what happened next brought more tears to my eyes, but I mustered through, “That’s when I tried to go to Jarl for help.  But…  Skygge must have stabbed his heart like he tried to do mine.  That’s when I woke up.”

         Jarl slides over to hug me again, “I am so sorry you had to see such a thing.”

         “I know this has to be hard,” Sigvald gently pushes.  “But did Skygge say anything which sticks out.”

         Thinking back, I remember something, “Can’t remember exactly what he said, but it has to do with me being alone.  He said I should have been left behind somewhere instead of running away.  Right before running his dagger through my heart, he said that I should have been dead.”

         Svana remarks, “What on earth could he be talking about?”

         “I’m not sure,” I reply.  “But if Skygge was talking like that the other night, this must be very personal.  So much so, he would have nerve enough to come into our home, by himself, with no back-up.  These words you say he used insinuates he wants to stop both my past, present, and future,” I lay my hand on the small bulge on my stomach.

         Jarl’s tone changed to vengeful, “Your past meaning something about how you should be dead.  Your present, taking me away from you.  And your…  Our future.  –  Something in your past is connected to Skygge.”

         Sigvald shakes his head, “Not necessarily.  What Annabeth’s mind was trying to do was to bring to the surface what was being indirectly suppressed from her memory:  Knowing what Skygge said during the first attack.  Based on that information, Annabeth could have been reminded of her past based on what Skygge said.  While it doesn’t have to be something specific to Annabeth’s past…”

         I finish, “It could be something specific to Skygge’s past.  Maybe Skygge’s past has something similar to mine.”

         “That could very well be the case,” Sigvald concludes.

         “If that’s true,” I say as a flood of memories of my childhood I have not thought about in a very long time come to mind.  The weight of those memories feels like a Typhoomerang sitting on top of me.  “Then for as hard as it might be, something in my past could help us find Skygge.”

         Jarl waves it off, “All that can wait until the morning, or later for that matter, until you are ready.”

         I smile at Jarl’s willingness to wait even though we just found another clue to this tangled web of a mystery we have, “Tomorrow…  Or rather… later this morning will be fine.  After breakfast or even during, we can talk about this some more.”

         We all bid each other goodnight.  Jarl’s sisters give me a hug before returning to their room.  Once everyone is gone, I look down at my hands, now only a small tremble of what they were as I see nothing on my hands.

         Now the tears start gushing again as my voice cracks into a whisper, saying, “I saw your blood on my hands.  I thought I lost you.”

         Jarl gives me a hug, holding me tight, “We will find Skygge.  We will make reap what he has sown.”

         I resume the sitting position I was in while Jarl keeps a hold of me; we stay there.  I gaze into nothingness for a while, an amount of time which felt like an eternity.

         “We should probably go back to sleep,” I tell him.

         Laying down, this time looking at each other with our foreheads leaning on each other.

         Both of our hands layered like a sandwich, mine then his and then our other two hands, Jarl softly chuckles, “You should have been in my dream.  Dagur found out about what happened and challenged me to the Battle of Love which was anything but.  When the designated time of you showing to support for me or not had passed without you showing, Dagur counted down the time as I pleaded, chomping at the opportunity to chase me down in a battle he where he was going to kill me.  Even if I didn’t want to fight, that egged him on even more to go through with it.  If not for the part of supporting me, I wish you could have seen my running away skills.  Knowing it had to be a dream, I could stay ahead of a tired Dagur for days.  Although I knew it to be a dream, I tried jumping up to fly like the dragons, but ended up face planting.  Nearly was my downfall as I heard Dagur suddenly yell my name.  Turned out to be you coming awake too.”

         I cannot help but laugh, “I’m sorry, but you’re not wrong.  Dagur would totally do such a thing.  If it wasn’t a part of Berserker law to have such a battle, he would make one right then just for you.”

         “Thanks for instilling me with the confidence to face Dagur again,” Jarl sarcastically remarks.  “The exact thing I needed before going back to sleep.”

         “Oh, you could go to sleep in a snap,” I respond.  “Jarl.  …  Jarl…”  Now a rough sounding whisper, “Jarl.”

         No response.

         I can only shake my head, “You are the fastest sleeper in the whole archipelago.  The fastest muttonhead sleeper who the moment before their head hit the pillow, they were basically asleep anyway.  But…  You’re my sleepy muttonhead.”

         Closing my eyes, I hear a few seconds later, from Jarl, “Goodnight Mrs. Muttonhead.”

         I do not bother opening my eyes, I smile as I return, “Thanks.  That’s Mrs. Sleepy Muttonhead to you.”