The Ring - Part 1

The Ring

Part 1

by Melanie Brown
Copyright  © 2015 Melanie Brown

A father is asked what he would do to save his son

“You still haven’t found a game yet?” I asked my son Zeb. I was getting tired holding the new game system I was getting him for when he goes off to college in a few weeks.

“Can I get two games?” asked Zeb, holding three regular priced new game cartridges.

“No. I said one used game. Hurry up. This box is getting heavy.” I said. I also wanted to get out of the store. It was mostly empty, but there was one creepy looking guy who kept looking at us.

“I’m hurrying,” said Zeb. He put the three games back. He then tugged on the ring he was wearing.

“Still can’t get that ring off?” I asked.

“No. And it’s driving me crazy! It’s a cool looking ring and all, but I really don’t want to wear it,” Zeb said, struggling with the ring again.

“You shouldn’t have forced it on your finger,” I said. Zeb had found it in the park this morning when he had been out riding with his friends.

“I didn’t!” exclaimed Zeb. “I told you. It just slipped on as if it was a perfect fit. Now it won’t come off!”

“After we get home and using soap to lubricate it, and we still can’t get it off, we may have to go to the emergency room and have it cut off,” I said.

Zeb held up his hand and looked at the ring and said, “It’s such a cool ring though. I’d hate to ruin it by having it cut off.”

I shifted the game system box to my other arm and said, “It wasn’t the ring I was talking about having cut.”

Zeb grinned and shook his head. “Dad.”

I pointed to the used games rack and said, “Go. Pick a game and let’s get out of here. Or I’ll pick one for you. That animal hospital game sure looks fun.”

“Okay, okay! I’ll pick something. Just give me another minute,” said Zeb.

As Zeb started scanning the rack for that perfect game, another oddly dressed guy in a long coat walked up to him. He spoke in a low tone, but I could barely hear, “Cool ring kid. Want to sell it?”

Zeb shrugged and said, “Mister, even if I wanted to, it won’t come off.”

The man stepped back with a look of surprise on his face. He said, “It’s locked? You? You’re the ring holder? How can that be? You’re of this world!”

With a worried look on his face, Zeb stepped back a few paces. As I started to move in his direction the creepy guy started walking towards Zeb as well. As I walked past the cashier I said, “Maybe you should call mall security?” I didn’t wait to see if he did anything.

The creepy guy approached the man, not Zeb. He said, “I’m taking you back, John. You can’t have the ring. It’s locked. Neither one of us belong here.”

The man whose name apparently was John said, “Get lost, Micah. I’m not leaving without the ring. I’ve been searching for it for weeks.” John pulled an automatic pistol from his coat. “You just arrived, so I know you don’t have one of these babies. The weapons on this world are so much better than what we have. Step back, Micah.”

Micah stepped closer to John. He said, “You can’t have the ring John. It’s picked a new holder. That’s why the queen tossed it into the vortex just before you murdered her. Your plan has failed. We don’t belong here. We must return now!” Micah took another step towards John.

“Fuck you!” shouted John as he lifted the pistol and fired point blank into Micah, causing him to pitch backwards. John pushed the gun into his pants pocket and grabbed a startled Zeb by the arm. “You’re coming with me, boy!” John then grabbed at an ornate disc chained around his neck and in a flash, John and Zeb disappeared! There was screaming in the store as well as out in the mall’s hallway.

I dropped the game system box and ran to where Zeb had been just an instant before. There was nothing there except a strong smell of ozone.

I ran over to Micah who was gasping for air. I’m not expert, but I was sure the wound was fatal. His clothes were getting soaked with blood. I grabbed Micah’s shirt collar and shouted, “Where’s my son? What just happened here? Who are you people?”

Micah coughed and blood trickled out of his mouth. In a hoarse voice he said, “Your son is in grave danger. I was to arrest John and bring him back.” Micah started coughing again. Continuing, he said, “What are you willing to do to save your son?”

“Anything!” I shouted. “I’ll do anything to save my son! Where is he? How can I help him?”

Micah reached up and from around his neck pulled out a disc similar to what John had used. He said, “Take this and press the center stone. It will take you to my world. There you must seek out John Banos before he can take your son to the Black Monastery.” Micah started coughing again.

I pulled the disc from its chain and slid my thumb to the stone. Micah touched my arm and said, “A word of warning. The ring, if mated with the stone in the Garden of Light, will return your son to this world. It can only send him. You will be stuck in my world. And, as you are not of my world, going there will change you. Are you still willing to go?”

“I’ll do anything to save my son,” I said through gritted teeth. “But changed how? How will I know my son if he’s changed?”

Micah nodded and said, “The change is random, but the ring will prevent your son from changing. You must find your son before the Ring of Jared is used by the high priest of the Black Monastery or our world will be plunged into war, chaos and darkness.” Micah coughed a few more times and then every muscle in his body suddenly relaxed.

Mall security suddenly burst into the store, weapons drawn. One pointed his weapon at me and shouted, “You! Hands on your head. Don’t move.”

I pressed the center stone.


*          *          *


I plopped down hard into some mud. The impact knocked the wind out of me and I just laid there in the mud trying to catch my breath. I was disoriented and heard strange sounds and noticed strange odors around me. I also felt wrong.

I grunted as I tried to lift myself up on my elbows. A strand of blonde hair fell across my face. Where did that come from? I then discovered two other things at once. I was lying in the mud completely naked and I had breasts. Micah had warned that I’d be changed, but I sure didn’t expect to have breasts.

I didn’t have long to ponder where I was or how I was changed as I heard some steps coming up from behind me. A rich, deep voice boom, “Girl! By Rotter’s Ghost, how the devil did you get here? Who are you? Stand up!”

Since I now had breasts, I assumed he was addressing me. I stood up and turned to face the voice. I could feel mud slowly oozing down my front and legs. The voice belonged to a large, burly guy with an unkempt beard and longish hair. He appeared to be dressed in soft leather, obviously an animal skin. There was another man with him, smaller, wiry and he kept his hand on the hilt of the sword that dangled from his belt.

“I ask again, mud girl. Who are you and how did you sneak into my camp? Trying to steal food?” the big guy bellowed.

I looked down at my hand and the disc had dissolved into a powder. I looked around and saw several wagons gathered around, smoke from several camp fires. I apparently was also in some kind of forest.

I straightened myself up and said in a girlish voice, “My name is Robert Cramer. I’m here to find my son. I need to find where John Banos is.”

The burly man said, “Never heard of him. But I’ll wager if he took your infant, he’s already sold it or disposed of it.”

“My son’s not an infant!” I said. “He’s…”

The big guy reached out suddenly and grabbed a handful of my long hair. He said, “You best forget about him, girl. And Robert is hardly a fitting name for a girl, but it doesn’t matter. You have no name now.” The man, holding my hair in a tight grip that caused pain all the way down my neck, lifted me off the ground slightly. The pain was horrible. The skinny guy hurriedly tied a leather collar around my neck.

The burly man laughed and jerked on the rope leash attached to the collar. “You’ll fetch me a good price, I’ll wager, with all that blonde hair and no markings. Whoever owned you before is going to be pissed that you’re gone, but you know what they say about finder’s keepers and all that.”

“I’m not owned by anyone!” I shouted.

The burly man slapped me across my face with his open palm. He sneered as he said, “Says the naked girl covered in mud. Well, girl. Until I sell you, I own you. You will address me as Master, understood?”

“I have to find my son!” I cried. “He’s wearing the Ring of Jared and it’s about to fall into the wrong hands.”

The man jerked on my leash and started leading me into his camp. He laughed and said, “That’s it? That’s the best you can do is bring up a fairy tale? The Ring of Jared is a bedtime story!”

“I’ve seen it!” I shouted. “It’s real and my son…”

He slapped me again. “Not another word out of you except to say ‘yes Master’ and ‘no Master’. Understood?”

I stood there, shaking from a mix of fury and fear. He started to raise his hand again and I meekly said, “Yes, Master.”

“That’s better, girl,” said my new Master as he lead me past a few wagons. There was another girl at one wagon who looked like she was preparing food. She had a cloth wrapped around her covering her breasts and crotch. Master tied my leash to that wagon.

As he tied me to the wagon, I said, “Do I get clothes, Master?”

He said, “No.” He turned to the other girl and said, “Shitforbrains, clean this girl up. I want to sell her as soon as possible.”

Shitforbrains bowed slightly and said, “Yes, Master.”

I watched the girl take a small bucket and fill it halfway with water from a larger barrel on the wagon. She fetched a brush from a box on the side of the wagon and returned to me.

Without a word, she dunked the brush into the bucket and started scrubbing the mud from me. As some of the mud started coming off, the girl said, “Welcome to the camp of Wallace the Weasel. That’s our Master’s name, but don’t ever say it. Did Master give you a name?”

I said, “No.”

She nodded and said, “He doesn’t bother with names for girls he plans to sell right away. You’re lucky. There can’t be many hell holes worse than this camp.”

“I have to get away. My son was kidnapped and I have to find him,” I said.

The girl looked at me with sad eyes and said, “You don’t have a son anymore. Babies don’t sell well. Sometimes a high-born will buy babies and give them to the females they own to raise. Not often. And whoever you were, whatever life you had before Master put that collar around your neck, is no more. The Weasel is stupid mostly. He can’t tell that you were never owned before. You carry yourself like someone who is free. Well, you’ll never be free again.”

“Maybe you can help me escape?” I said. “You don’t like being here anymore than I do. Together we can find my son.”

Shitforbrains stopped scrubbing on me and leaned in close and said in a hiss, “Your son is dead. They kill run-aways. The sooner you realize that your life is nothing the better it will be for you. Forget your son and forget who you were.”

I shook my head and said, “My son is not dead. He’s not an infant.”

Shitforbrains looked me up and down. She said, “You’re about my age. At most your son is five. Which means he’s probably dead.”

“My son is eighteen,” I said defiantly.

“And they call me ‘Shitforbrains.’” said Shitforbrains. “That’s not even possible! You would have had to have gotten pregnant before you were born!”

“Look. I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I’m not from this world,” I said seriously. “In my world, I’m forty-five year old man.”

Shitforbrains just stood there and stared at me for a moment. And then she burst out laughing. “That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time.”

Frustrated, I said, “It’s true I tell you! I have no idea where I am. Until just a few minutes ago, I was in a shopping mall buying my son a video game system for college.”

Shitforbrains just stared at me with vacant eyes. She said, “You were dropped on your head recently, weren’t you?”

Wallace the Weasel popped his head around a wagon across from us and bellowed, “Shut up you stupid whores. That girl better be clean. I’m taking her into town tomorrow to sell.”

Shitforbrains bowed slightly and said, “Yes my Master. She’s almost squeaky clean.” She slapped me with the harsh, wet brush again. The cool mist swirling around along with the water from the brush chilled me to the bone. The slave girl picked up the bucket and poured the cold water over my head. She then worked her fingers through my wet hair to wash it.

In hushed tones, the girl said to me, “Well there you go, you lucky bitch. You’re the guest of the Weasel for just one night. No matter who your new owner will be, can’t be half as bad as the Weasel.”

Shivering, I said, “What makes you so sure I’ll be sold?”

Shitforbrains barked a laugh. She picked up a few wet strands of my hair and said, “Blonde hair. Fair skin. Blue eyes. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody doesn’t knock the Weasel in the head and steal you long before he gets you to the market.”

My teeth started to chatter with the cold. I said, “If I can, I don’t plan to be here for him to sell. If I can get away, would you come with me? I need a guide on this world.”

The girl frowned and slapped the palm of her hand against my forehead. She said, “What you need are some brains, girl. The Weasel might not beat you for running away because that would lower your value. Me? He’ll just kill. He doesn’t like me anyway.”

With a cry in my voice, I whispered, “I have to get away! I have to…”

Shitforbrains gave me a soft slap on the cheek and said, “You have to find your son. Yes, I know. Stop saying it. Let me say this slowly. Even if you had a son older than you, he’s dead. Whoever you were before Wallace the Weasel put a collar around your neck is no more. You’re not a human any more. You’re property. Just a girl. Unless you’re high-born, a girl is nothing but stock.” She laughed coarsely and spread her arms wide. She said, “Embrace your new life!”

“Shut up, girl!” shouted Wallace the Weasel. “I’m about to toss you into this fire.”

The slave girl picked up a bowl from a box on the wagon I was tied to and used it to scoop up some thick, whitish liquid with the consistency of oatmeal. She handed the bowl to me and said, “Eat this bitch and shut the hell up. Go to sleep and thank the gods that you’ll have a new owner by this time tomorrow.” She turned and walked away, dragging the rope tied to her collar behind her.

I sniffed the bowl. The liquid didn’t smell all that great, but I then realized just how hungry I was. The gruel had no taste, but it was hot and warmed me on the inside.

After I finished eating, licking the bowl clean, I found a burlap sack in the wagon. I wrapped it around me and crouched down under the wagon. It certainly didn’t get any warmer after the sun went down, but the wagon blocked the wind.

As the evening darkened into night, I found I couldn’t sleep. I searched the ground for any sharp rocks. I discovered that the Weasel wasn’t quite as stupid as he looked. All large and sharp rocks or even sticks that could be used as a weapon or used to cut ropes had been removed from the grounds of the camp.

Or maybe he was. I examined the leash that tethered me to the wagon and found it was merely tied. There was no lock or any other method to secure it. The knot was elaborate and tight, but after picking at it for several minutes, I managed to untie it.

I was standing behind the wagon, holding the loose end of the rope when I heard a noise from behind me. As I started to turn, a gruff voice said, “Girl. What are you doing?”

I turned around to face the man. He was just one of the Weasels henchmen from what I could see in the dark. I smiled weakly and said, “I can’t sleep.”

The pointed a finger at me and said, “You’re lucky the boss wants to sell you tomorrow. Otherwise I’d pay the difference to him and take you to my wagon.” He slapped me across the face and said, “Get on the ground and go to sleep. Don’t let me catch you up again.”

Meekly, I said, “Yes, Master.”

As he turned his back on me, a sudden thought shot through my tired brain. I quickly looped my leash and dropped it over the man’s head and jerked it as tight as I could. He gagged and couldn’t yell out. I started winding the leash to make it tighter and tighter. The man struggled briefly and then passed out.

I quickly searched the man as he lay on the ground and found a knife. He had a sword, but there was no way I could lift it. I cut the leash where it connected to my leather collar. Placing the blade of the knife in my teeth to free my hands, I quickly tied the man’s hands with the leash. I stuffed one end of the burlap sack I had used into his mouth so he couldn’t call out when he woke up.

I found Shitforbrains hunkered down besides a tree. I ran over to her and cupped my hand over her mouth. She awoke immediately with wild eyes and tried to shout. I hissed into her ear, “Shh! I’m blowing this pizza stand. You coming?”

Looking confused, the slave girl said, “You’re what? Where did you get that knife? You’ll be killed for holding that, blonde or not.”

“Only if they catch me,” I said. “I’m leaving now. You coming with me?”

Her eyes wild, she said, “I…I…I can’t. I’ll be killed. They’ll kill me anyway if they think I helped you. Hit me with the butt of the knife. Knock me out. I beg you.”

“I’m not going to hit you,” I said, growing impatient with the growing urgency to leave before I was discovered.

“If you knock me out, they’ll know I didn’t help you,” she hissed through clenched teeth. “You may have a death wish, but I don’t. Hit me!”

Heaving a huge sigh of despair, I gritted my teeth, raised the butt of the knife and struck Shitforbrains hard against the side of her head. She groaned and went limp. I checked to make sure I hadn’t killed her and turned and ran into the forest.

Running naked in pitch black darkness through the woods is a very bad idea. Twigs and branches slapped my arms, legs and face. I constantly tripped over rocks and tree roots. Odd and frightening noises surrounded me.

In the darkness, I had no idea where I was running. I could be going in circles for all I knew or about to fall off a cliff or even walking into the mouth of a viscous animal. I slowed down from my panicked pace and tried to calm down. Tripping and spraining an ankle or breaking a leg wasn’t going to help me.

I stopped to catch my breath. I looked up at the sky. Through the tree tops, I could see a sky brilliant with stars. But they meant nothing to me. A breeze chilled my sweat covered body. Fear began to grip me as the realization of my situation finally started to set in no matter how crazy some of it was.

I had no idea where I was. I could be on another planet, in another time, another dimension, or just somewhere in Eastern Europe. Intellectually I rejected all these, but I couldn’t deny what I saw and felt. I could speak and understand what was said but what does that mean? I’m naked and most fantastic of all, I’m a girl. How is that even possible? Until now, I couldn’t fully process who I now was. I felt one of my firm breasts and felt the nipple erect in the cold. I slid my hand down between my legs to confirm what I already knew.

I started shaking almost violently with fear and I started to cry. I’ve never been so vulnerable in my life. Standing there, naked, cold, lost and being a young girl was absolutely horrifying. I was utterly helpless.

Standing there crying wasn’t going to help me either. I pushed onward, hoping to put enough distance between me and the Weasel. I was on foot. He had horses. I bet I was leaving a visible trail of broken limbs and twigs.

After several minutes of stumbling through the woods, I came to a clear area. It was a narrow, rutted clear area. It took only a moment to determine I had come across a road of some kind. Roads go places. Places like towns. The Weasel was going to take me to a nearby town to sell me. Would a town be a good or bad place for a lost naked girl?

I decided that anyplace was better than where I was. I was cold and getting hungry. I had no idea which direction was best. I picked one and started running. The road was soft dirt compared to the forest floor. I knew I’d be leaving foot prints, but maybe they weren’t obviously mine. I stepped in a pile of what seemed to be horse manure, so the road had been recently traveled.

The light around me gradually started to change from black to gray. I looked up and the sky was starting to get lighter. This wasn’t completely good news. While I could now see where I was going, it meant that most likely the Weasel was up and discovering I’m not in his camp any longer. I needed to get off the road.

Cautiously, I stepped back into the woods. Returning to the rocks and twigs and God knows what else of the forest floor made me almost decide to return to the relative softness of the road. But the forest offered the only protection I had at the moment.

As the light brightened, I picked up my pace. After running for what seemed like hours, I knew I couldn’t be more than a mile or two from the camp. I had to get more distance.

Suddenly my leg caught what felt like a tight string, causing me to fall onto the rough ground. I heard jingling sound, like rocks in a can. What the hell? I raised my head up from where I was laying on the ground and saw a pair of boots.

“Well well. What have we here?” I felt my hair being grabbed and then painfully jerked on. My head was pulled back to where I could see the face of the man who had spoken and who had my hair securely clinched in his fist. He had longish hair and looked like he hadn’t shaved in a few days. A scar running down the length of his cheek was the only mar on an otherwise handsome face. He studied me a moment with his blue eyes with more of a look of amusement than anything else.

He jerked my hair and said, “Well, girl. Can you speak?”

Scared shitless, I said, “Yes. Please sir, can you help me?”

The man chuckled and said, “Help you? You’re obviously a runaway. It’s a serious crime to help a runaway.”

“Please help me,” I pleaded. I took in a deep breath. “I have no idea where I am or how I got here. I was caught by someone named Wallace the Weasel. He was going to sell me. Please I need to find my son. He was taken by someone named John Banos. Please help me find them!”

The man felt the leather collar around my neck. He frowned and said, “So you belong to that scoundrel eh? I’m sorry for you girl, but I can’t help you. You should have let him sell you. I don’t know anyone named John Banos. Stand up.”

He pulled me up by my hair. He held it tightly. I managed to look around at my surroundings. I saw a bedroll on the ground. A horse tethered to a tree nearby. The remains of a small fire pit and a string with what looked like small metal cans attached that he used apparently as an alert.

He looked at me again as he held my hair and grinned. “Quite a beauty you are. No wonder he wanted to sell you. I’ll bet he’ll pay me a bounty for your return.”

“Please. I beg you,” I said, starting to cry again. I hated being helpless. “My son has the Ring of Jared. Does that mean anything to you?”

His expression flickered for just a moment, and then he said, “No. I stopped listening to fairy tales while still on my mother’s knee. I…” he stopped speaking and looked at something over his shoulder.

I turned and was horrified and I started shaking uncontrollably. Crying I said, “It’s him. Please don’t let him take me back! I have to find my son!”

Riding between the trees where Wallace the Weasel and several of his men. Dragging behind him on a leash was Shitforbrains, looking tired and miserable. As he approached, the Weasel called out, “Thank you, stupid girl, for leaving me such an extraordinarily easy trail to follow.”

Jerking on my hair, the man holding me said, “Is this your property?”

Still sitting on his horse at the camp’s edge, the Weasel said, “That it is indeed. If you would be so kind as to return it?”

Pulling on my hair, the man said, “Such a fine specimen. You were very careless to let it wander away. A girl like this should fetch a high price. Is there a reward for catching it?”

The Weasel grinned and said, “Sir, there are four of us and one of you. I’m more inclined to just retrieve my property and go.” He had pulled the leash tight on Shitforbrains. She looked horrified.

The man holding me casually slid his other hand to the hilt of his sword which did not go unnoticed by the Weasel. The man said, “How do I know she really belongs to you. I know you, Wallace the Weasel and you do have a reputation of being a thief. I just found this girl and you know what they say about finder's keepers and all that.”

The Weasel’s eyes went wide as he took a closer look at the man’s sword. The Weasel looked him up and down and gasped. Nervously he said, “You’re a Knight of the Realm! What are you doing in these woods? This is not a good omen.”

Pulling my hair tighter, the man said, “I think I’ve taken a fancy to this girl. I get tired of tavern girls, don’t you?”

Beads of sweat started to form on the Weasel’s head. He said, “Yes. That’s why I keep the taverns supplied with new ones.” He paused for a moment and swallowed audibly. “Take the girl, Knight, with my compliments.”

One of the men riding with the Weasel said, “You’re just going to let him have the girl? She’s worth at least five gold! That’s more than a normal three month’s take!”

“Shut up, Norman!” The Weasel looked over at Norman with a scowl. “He can kill us all in heartbeat. If he wants the girl, he can have her. Let’s go.”

As the Weasel started to turn his horse, the man holding my hair said, “I fancy the other girl too.”

The Weasel looked down and said, “You want Shitforbrains? She’s just a worthless little cunt. She’s not even a good fuck. She makes a mean stew though.”

The man tugged at his sword’s hilt. He said, “Yes. Her as well.”

The Weasel shrugged and said, “Be my guest. You won’t get much for her.”

The man said, “Tie her to that tree next to you and be gone.”

The Weasel tied Shitforbrains’ leash to a branch of the tree next to him and with a hand signal to his men, they turned and rode away.

“Oh, thank you!” I said to the man still holding my hair. He didn’t say a word as he pulled a large knife from his belt and quickly cut away the leather collar from my neck. It was like heaven to feel that awful thing fall from my throat. “Thank you for freeing me…”

Looking amused the man, still holding my hair, deftly swung a metal band around my neck. With his free hand he snapped it closed. I heard the obvious click of a lock it closed. He pulled a small chain from his pocket and attached it to the metal collar.

I just stood there in shock. I said, “I…I…I thought you were freeing me!”

He chuckled as he let go of my hair. He said, “Maybe you should be the one called Shitforbrains, eh? I own you now. No man in his right mind would ever free a slave.” He tugged on the chain to make sure it was secure. “My name is Anthony, but you may call me Master.”

Oh my God now what? I felt numb as I realized I wasn’t going to be free. How was I going to find Zeb now? Anthony, while not as gruff as the Weasel, still considered me his property. And he obviously wasn’t as stupid as the Weasel. How was I going to get away now?

Without a word he led me over to where Shitforbrains was tied. He walked up to her with a smile. He said, “I thought I recognized you.” He pulled another metal collar from a pouch he had slung over his shoulder. He deftly put it around Shitforbrains neck and locked it into place. He took another small chain and attached it to her collar and the other end to mine. With his knife, he cut away the leather collar still around her neck.

“You…you recognize me?” said Shitforbrains as she felt around the metal collar. She looked at him with confusion. She tugged the chain between me and her.

Anthony smiled and said, “I knew your father. We fought together. I met you and your mother once, many years ago.”

Tears welled up in Shitforbrains eyes. “I don’t even remember my mother or father.”

Looking wistful, Anthony said, “He was a good man. He saved my life, just before he died. Look, you know I can’t take you back to your family. They’d never take you back with the stain and shame of being a slave on you. But in honor of your father, I will take care of you.”

Crying and staring at the ground, Shitforbrains said, “Thank you, Master.”

Anthony said, “Your name used to be Lisa. I like that better than Shitforbrains, so for now at least, I’ll call you that. Displease me and I’ll come up with something worse.”

Still looking at the ground, Lisa said, “Yes, Master.”

Turning to face me, Anthony said, “And what shall we call you?”

“My name is Robert Cramer. Can you help me find my son?” I said, feeling a bit more relaxed.

Frowning, Anthony said, “Did I ask you what you used to be called? That’s an awful name for such a beautiful girl anyway. I’ll call you Caldi for now with the same warning for displeasing me.” I learned later that Caldi was the name of a rare and beautiful flower that only grew in one region of this stupid world I was on.

The sun was now shining brightly through the trees. Anthony led Lisa and me back to his camp. As we walked the short distance, he said, “Thank you girl for giving me John Banos’ name. Now I know who I’m hunting. We have little time to keep the Ring of Jared from falling into his possession.”


*          *          *


The End of Part 1

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