Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Brothers Tuerl & The Staffs of Zeus - 21

Chapter 21-Good News At Last
Irgen turned distractedly as he heard the gates slam shut.  He looked around to see if someone had just entered, but upon seeing no one he quickly turned his attention back to blocking Helen as she sprinted towards his goal.  He thought it was a strange sensation, playing soccer.  His whole life he had grown up around kids who had only ever known American football, and now here he was, playing soccer with this beautiful woman before him who had wanted to play football, or what she called the noble sport of soccer.
Once they were off the wall, she had asked him if he wanted to play, and after only getting an offended look out of him.  She made two magical soccer goals appear, with a ball directly in front of her.  She had given him a playful look and darted off towards a goal.  It was then that Irgen’s pride took control.  He did not care how good of a girl she was, or even if this was her sport, not his.  All he knew was there was no way that she was going to beat him…  Well at least unless he let her.  So taking this as a personal affront to his athleticism, he took off as well, and the game had been going for some solid minutes before the distraction of the gate drew his attention.
He turned back just in time to see her plant her left foot, while deftly bringing her right foot into solid connection with the ball.  Irgen froze watching the ball soar gracefully through the air in front of him.  Suddenly he felt anger rise in his body.  With this goal, Helen would pull too far ahead of him.  She had already scored numerous goals, but this one was the last straw for Irgen.  Suddenly fire erupted in his heart and the ball before him leapt into flames, before finally disintegrating in front of the goal.  Helen turned around with an angry look on her face, “What did you do that for?”  She demanded in a very imperious tone.
Irgen’s anger dissipated under the fiery glance.  “I-I’m sorry.  I just got carried away,” and then he added softly as he turned his attention to studying the grass around him, “I just didn’t want to keep losing like I was…  I’m sure you could tell, but I’ve never played soccer before in my life.  I just didn’t want to admit that you were better than me.”  He stopped as he nervously clasped his hands in front of him.
“Hmmmph.  Well perhaps this can teach you a lesson in humility Irgen Tuerl.  You know, not even the Tuerls are perfect.”  Her anger subsided as she conjured another soccer ball in the air, now come on Irgen, and I’ll show you how to play the real game of football.  She kicked him the ball and he lifted his eyes to meet hers as though in a token of gratitude, but as he did, he found himself having to punt the ball to the side and chase rapidly after it to avoid being tackled by this frenzied woman who used to be Helen Leshore.
After being thoroughly thrashed by Helen, Irgen finally threw up his hands in exhaustion and defeat.  “All right Helen, you’ve proven your point, but remember you are lucky we are not playing an American sport because if we were it would be you, not me, who would be getting humbled.”
“Soccer is an American sport my dear friend.”  She said mockingly as she made the equipment disappear.  “Everyone else in the world calls it football or futbol or something to that affect, but we Americans won’t relinquish our own beloved football’s name so instead we call the sport where you actually use your feet soccer.”  She gave Irgen a lighthearted shove as he smiled mischievously.
They walked back to the castle, each teasing the other good-naturedly.  As they came within a couple of feet of the castle a great horn sounded making them both jump.  They looked around shakily, preparing for the worst.  “It can’t mean another attack… Can it?”  Asked Irgen.
“I don’t know, but I don’t think I have ever heard that horn.”  She paused looking up at the four towers surrounding the middle turret.  “There is a mighty horn imbedded in each of the four towers surrounding the castle, each stands for one of the four elements.  To be honest I have only ever heard the water and the earth horn sound, and to the best of my knowledge, the other two have never been used.”  Her voice trailed off as Irgen too stole a peak into the sky, and then of a sudden a loud clang stunned the two even more.
They turned and saw the pudgy figure of Alexander come running out of the now wide open door of the Citadel, onto the street towards them.

“Idus is awake, Idus is awake.”  A soft thud broke into the echoing of Alex’s voice off the walls.  Helen turned in joy.  Finally able to be truly excited for Irgen, but to her surprise she found him lying on the cobblestone street.  Ironically his body had collapsed from too much stress and shock, on hearing the wonderful news.

Chapter 20               Chapter 22

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