Read The Willbreaker (Book 1) Online

Authors: Mike Simmons

The Willbreaker (Book 1) (4 page)

BOOK: The Willbreaker (Book 1)
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              “True prophecy pages are written in the Blood of the Seers! Oh my, this is beyond my wildest dreams! Do you have any idea of what that is worth? Where did that come from?”

              Brandon held his palm up to Edward, signaling him to stop.

              “At first I thought this was just a coincidence. I mean, that saying could have meant anything. Year of the Fire, it says. There is no such thing. The fact that the dragon fires were burning everything down was no indication at what that meant. I was doubtful, until two years ago. My best friends growing up was Matthew; we spent our youth getting into trouble. We did everything together. Well, it was festival time, and our town was jumping with excitement. We were young and excited to see what trouble we could get into. Matthew got a hair-brained idea to grab a hornet’s nest and drop it in old lady Schumacher’s fortune telling tent. There were many people there. As quick as he thought it up, he turned his idea into action and headed out to find the nest." Brandon’s eyes dropped to the floor. Sadness and regret weighed upon his face.

              “We couldn’t find the nest. We were well into the forest’s edge when we heard it." His eyes came up and met Edward’s.

              “A black bear stood thirty paces from where we stopped. She had cubs with her and she roared at us in defense. We ran as fast as we could, but it was not fast enough. The mother bear chose Matthew that day. As I ran for help I could hear him screaming. We found his body the next morning, some sixty paces from where I remember him being. It was the 27
th
day of the month, which hits home when you read something like this." Brandon flipped the page around one more time for Edward to see.

 

             
“The love for a child will bring blood, and another broken heart will be born.”

27
th
Day, Season of the Festival, Age of War.

 

              Edward shook his head with disbelief. “I am so sorry for your loss Brandon, but the prophecies can't predict
when
they will happen. We are lucky if we know an age, let alone a season, or a day! It is impossible!”

              Brandon pulled the page back again and began reading.

              “
A man branded in the name of the dead on his left hand must be trusted. If he is true, Edward will be his name
. It is dated, for today.
Night four, Spring, Age of War
." Brandon looked up. Edward’s jaw hung open in complete shock. Edward tried to speak, but he could not make a sound. He closed his mouth, swallowed, and tried again.

              “I don’t understand,” Edward said, frustrated. “The degree of certainty and the amount of detail put into this prophecy is overwhelming and substantial. No one has been able to envision names, and the ability to give exact dates is simply impossible. Edward shook his head in skepticism and raised his eyes as if something new had come to him. “Wait. There was one man. Hion Starseer.” Edward about fell over with shock when he heard Brandon speak the name at the exact same time as he did.

“His name is written up here,” Brandon explained, as he pointed to the upper right hand corner of the page within his hands.

              “There are more, three more, actually." He looked back down to the paper as he quoted.                “
For he who bears the Red Star, these three signs signify change. Embrace of the change will lead to life
.
Death will come on the wings of She of the Grey Eye within one spin of the Keeper’s Glass from the final sign
. Moreover, the last one is incomplete; it appears the rest must have been written on the next page. Unfortunately, this is the only page I was given, so I do not know how it finishes. It says,
When White and Red are One, White will turn Red as the Hand of Eight drops.
That is all I have. I have searched my house high and low trying to find any other pages, but they are not there.”

              Edward sat still, looking like he saw a ghost. All of a sudden, a shocked expression shot across his face.

              “Did you say
he who bears the Red Star
?" He spat out urgently.

              “Yes, it’s in the next writing after the script that tells me about you,” Brandon said casually, apparently not getting what Edward implied.

              “How do you know it’s you then? I mean, are you the one who bears a red star, are you him?” Edward had trouble saying his thoughts. “Do you bear a red star?”

              Brandon looked at him briefly, and brought his forehead down to meet his rising hand. With his fingers, he tipped his leather skullcap back and pulled it off. Brandon’s feathery hair reached a peak at the top of his forehead. Edward narrowed his eyes as he stared. From underneath Brandon’s widow’s peak, two lines went up out of view into his thick hair, about an inch apart, and streamed down to the center of his forehead in a point. It had a faded, blue outline, similar to an aged tattoo, and a faded red filled the inside. Edward looked at the design with scrunched eyebrows.

              “It’s a four pointed star. When I shave my head, you can see it. I have had it as long as I can remember. Margaret told me I was born with it.”

              Edward took in a long breath as his eyes opened wider and wider.

              “You are the one! Oh my, you are the one!" Edward’s eyes shot to the left and to the right. The burly patron behind him turned his head and scowled in their direction, showing his distaste for Edward’s loud excitement. Edward hushed his voice as rambled words in quiet mumbles to himself, faster than what Brandon could understand. He seemed to be asking himself questions, then answering them and then rebutting his own answers.

              “What are we going to do next, Edward? Do we have a plan?”

              Edward stopped gabbing to himself, and with his thumb and forefinger, he pinched his lower lip into a point.

              “Hrm. We must get to Victorville. My sister lives there. She will help us make sense of all this prophecy. She is gifted, too. We should get some supplies ready and leave first thing in the morning. This won’t be a problem, will it?”

“Edward,” Brandon said gravely. “Death is coming. Soon. We have fewer than twenty-four hours.”

              Edward stopped dead when he said this.

              “Twenty-four hours, where do you come up with that figure?" Edward now looked concerned.

              “The prophecy says
Death will come on the wings of She of the Grey Eye within one spin of the Keeper’s Glass from the final sign.
As far as I can tell, meeting you was the final sign. One spin of the keeper’s glass is twenty-four hours. Tomorrow, death will come on the wings of She of the Grey Eye, whoever that may be,” Brandon explained.

              The look on Edward’s face purveyed confusion and misunderstanding. Brandon caught the look, and explained.

              “Matthew’s mother runs The Lamb and Axe Handle." Brandon nodded his head north. “It’s the first inn by the north gate. Matthew and I used to run through there as if it was our personal playground. She always had small hourglasses up by the key wall, which she would flip whenever a patron would come for a room. They paid for a room for twenty-four hours, and that is what they got. They were called the Keeper’s Glass." Brandon snapped the hourglass in his hand down to the table; its sand began falling down to the empty space in the bottom. “The timer is ticking. Death will be coming.”

 

 

              The sun would not rise for an hour, but people tended their pastures and fed their animals. Brandon sat at the kitchen table, stuffing a small wool blanket into an already full backpack. He had not slept, not because he could hear Edward loudly snoring from the small couch he had in the entry room, but because his mind could not stop racing from all that had landed in his lap the night before.

              “Good morning,” Edward said, sleepily. Brandon glanced over his shoulder to him. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, and his hair stuck out in tangled disorder around his neck.

              “Good morning, Edward. How did you sleep?”

              “I slept fine, thank you, didn’t sleep too heavy, though, I had too much on my mind.”

              Brandon chuckled as he moved the wool blanket to the side of the backpack to fit two long candles inside.

              “Could have fooled me, you snored like an angry bison,” Brandon said, still smiling.

              Edward looked to the floor, embarrassed.

              “Sorry friend, I’ve had that problem for countless years. I hope I did not keep you from your rest.”

              “No problem, I couldn’t sleep anyways. I have put a few things together that we will need for our trip to Victorville. Help yourself to some of that flatbread; it has cinnamon and raisins it. I made it yesterday, but it is still soft.”

              Edward gave a pleased nod as he walked over to the flatbread sitting on the counter. Edwards's voice sounded with worry.

              “You realize what this means, right? If you are the true one bearing the mark of the Red Star, then the things you do are weaved throughout the prophecies. Amazing things can happen to you, friend. Amazing, and possibly horrible things." Edward took a big bite of the flatbread.

              “I like to think that I have some say in what happens in my life. I do not know how much control I really have, but I hate to think my life is a story that is already written. If we can use the prophecies to guide us, then wonderful, but it scares me to death to think that we don’t have a choice." Brandon went over to the wall, where a thick leather belt hung on a nail. Two short swords were hooked on either side of the buckle. He lifted the belt and stared at the swords. He nodded slightly to the swords, as if saying something to them, unlatched the buckle, and fastened the belt around his waist.

              “Are you any good with those?” Edward asked in curiosity. Brandon chuckled.

              “I don’t consider myself a sword master by any means, if that is what you are asking, but I like to think that I could hold my own against someone else who wasn’t a master either. Matthew and I used to spar for hours on end when we were kids. We fought all the time; fighting was one of the few things we both loved with a passion. We fought all the way up until the night before he . . .” A distant look glazed Brandon’s eyes.

              “Again Brandon, I am sorry for your loss." Edward tried to change the subject. “There is a weapon master in Victorville. He is well known for his skill in weaponry and his ability to teach that skill to others. He owes my sister a favor and I’m sure we could use some of his knowledge." Edward snickered.

              “What kind of favor does he owe her?” Brandon asked, looking at the old man with a crooked glare.

              “The story is kind of comical. My sister is a wonderful cook, and she is known around town for her famous berry pies. After baking them, she would put them up in her window for cooling. The aroma of her pies filled the city with smells of cooked fruit. She made him a special one so that he could please a woman he was interested in. He said he owed her one. He’s always asking her if there is anything he can do for her. Maybe he’ll help us out.”

              Brandon split a small smile at the story.

              “Why would we need the help of a weapons master? You talk as if we are going to hack down all the denizens of evil, and free the world of tyranny and destruction,” he said, jokingly. Brandon froze still when he heard nothing back from Edward.

              “We have a lot to discuss, dear boy. We will talk on our way out of town.”

              Brandon’s eyes slowly glided up to Edward.

              “You’ve got to be kidding me. Please tell me you are joking." Brandon shook his head doubtfully. “I am a nobody in this world. It is full of people who can do mind blowing things. There are people out there that can make someone want to do things they wouldn’t normally do, and not think twice about it. I am not talking about persuasion; I am talking about actually changing someone’s free will. There are people out there that lead thousands of soldiers into battle, knowing where they all are, and conquer foes bigger and stronger than them. These people have skills and abilities that dwarf anything I have even dreamed of having. I am no one to save anyone else. I could not even save my best friend, or Margaret. You’ve got the wrong person if you think I am going save the world.”

              “Brandon, don’t kid yourself, I am a Sensor, remember? I know you are gifted in the sphere of Will, although I am unable to tell to what extent, which is odd.” Edward scrunched his eyebrows at that thought, as if it just hit him. “You are the first person that I haven’t been able to read; maybe it’s because of the power of the prophecy page you are carrying. I am not sure really. You are
gifted,
Brandon."

              Brandon nodded slightly. “I am a healer. I have known it ever since I was little. Anytime I would get a cut, or a scrape, with a little concentration, it was as if I could speed up the body’s natural healing process. Just because I can do that does not make me anyone special. Matthew was special, and he was not gifted. My talents don’t make me the one who will save the world, Edward,” Brandon spoke as if finished with this conversation.

BOOK: The Willbreaker (Book 1)
7.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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