Chapter Twenty

on February 5, 2010 in Evermist

© 2010, Patrick Hester.  All Rights Reserved

Chapter Twenty

Elias’ first view of Evermist was indeed through a misty fog that had rolled in while they crossed the channel.  Like the dream, the temperature had dropped, the wind had died and the only sound was that of the oars in the water.  Unlike the dream, there had been no attacks by giant trees; only a sailor high up in what Narut told him was the eagles nest, shouting something every few minutes until someone out in the fog started shouting back.  Then a light appeared in the distance that would wink in the fog.  Each time the light appeared, the ship shifted her course slightly towards it.

As the mists parted, he saw an impossibly tall wall of black stone that stretched as far as he could see left and right and high into the sky.  Far above, on the edge of the clouds, he could just make out a keep carved within the rock of the Wall.

Eli stared up, finding it difficult to swallow.

The Seaspray slid in next to an ancient stone pier that stretched far out into the water.  Several buildings were clustered here, but Eli found his eyes creeping back to that impossible wall.  However it had been made, there did not seem to be enough stone in all the world to have built it, and that bothered him more than he could say.  He squinted, trying to see the seams of the stones or some sort of discoloration that would indicate stones from a different quarry the way bricks sometimes looked.  There was none that he could see.

Suddenly shivering, he pulled his coat tight.

Narut stepped up beside him as he stared.  “They’re tying off.”  Elias nodded, taking his eyes from the wall and running along the pier were he saw men in uniforms gathering and pointing at The Seaspray.

“Looks like we’re here,” he said idly.

“Looks like.”

“We’ll get through this,” he added.  Narut clapped him on the shoulder.

“Together,” he said.

“Together,” Eli agreed.

Eli and Narut made their way down the gangplank and looked out where several men were shouting out squad names.

“There,” Narut said, pointing to a man with a dark, short beard that only framed his mouth.  Eli followed him over.

“Fourth squad to me!  I am Sergent Klen!  Form up!”

Eli fell into formation with the other men of his squad.  There was a nervous silence once everyone settled down.

“Welcome to Evermist,” said the sergent.  “We’ll be spending the night in barracks L, then moving out at first light to make our way up the Wall.  It will take the better part of the day to get to the summit and the keep.  It will be colder on top than it is here by at least half if not more so keep your thermals at hand.  Questions?”

No one spoke.  Eli looked around at the other men and saw blank expressions reflected in their faces.  He felt much the same.

“When you hear the bell chime four times, report for chow – building S.  For now, report to your barracks and get settled.  Dismissed!”

Eli shrugged his duffel over one shoulder and his rifle over the other as his friends stepped up.  Everyone looked at each other, but the silence stretched on.  Narut was the first to start walking, then the others fell in around him.

They were finally here.  Evermist.

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