Now mind you, I was tired. We had been walking uphill for the entire day, and now I was fully running, trying to catch up to the guys. I had to- I had to warn them before they were all killed! I began questioning everything I had ever done to that point. Should I have stayed on the farm? Was this really what being an adventure was all about? Fully!
So, I finally catch a glimpse of them, and I see that they have all stopped. At first, I was relieved. Then I realize that the men are all gathered in a circle of sorts, and who do you think is in the middle of it? Yeah, Baruk and Captain are going at it. Baruk had pulled out his sword, which looked just like one we had sold to him. Can you believe the irony in that? I mean, being killed by your own sword?
Well, Captain was not having any of that, and he has out his weapon as well. I could tell he was messing with Baruk, trying to give him the idea that he had a fully chance to beat him when really Baruk was outclassed. Baruka saw what was happening and screamed, but that was a mistake! Baruk looked to see if she was okay, and Captain clobbered him over the head! Baruk just crimpled to the floor, and now Baruka was screaming while I tried to hold her back. Captain looked from Baruk to us, and I could see that he was not pleased with me. Like, fully!
What? What is the matter, Anny? Why can’t I say, “fully?” Well, what have you been doing that for! You mean to tell me that you’re still writing “fully” for when I say fully?? But I want to say, “fully” this time. See how confusing that is? Okay, so then write something else. Write “entirely” when I mean “fully” and “fully”… you know what, just write it as I say it. No, it isn’t that hard!
Can I get back to it then? Okay, write it properly. Fully! Let me see what you wrote. What does that say? “Fully?” Perfect. Just keep writing what I say…
Anyway! Where was I? Oh, yeah! Baruka is screaming, and I am holding her back, but it was not easy since she was a good foot taller than me. The other guys are laughing so hard at me that they are falling over. Captain calls out to us, “Restrain her, you fool!” So, the guys do just that, coming over and grabbing her and tying her hands behind her back. I notice they are doing the same to Baruk, so he must not be dead like I thought at first.
“Where have you been”? Captain starts just entirely laying in on me. Then he made some speculations on where Baruka and I had been, which included some rather tawdry things! I was blushing at the suggestion, but since the men were finally looking at me like a hero, I just went along with it. The Captain finished by informing me that I ought to think with my head. You know how that goes!
So, I said, I looked right at him in the eyes, man-to-man, and I said, “Captain, you do not understand! We are walking into a trap! Baruka…”
“Of course, we are!” Captain snaps at me. Then, pointing towards Baruk, he adds, “Isn’t that obvious? You about to tell me the sky is blue too?”
I was flabbergasted and flummoxed! I mean fully shocked. How did he know? What was it that had tipped him off? Something must have happened while I was gone. It was getting late at that point, so Captain ordered us to settle down for the night. We went to a rocky clearing a ways off the trail. Kent and I were told to keep an eye on Baruk and Baruka. Like a true friend, Kent fell asleep right away, leaving me the first watch. Baruk was still lying there with blood running down his forehead. I wasn’t sure if he was unconscious or faking it. Baruka finally calmed down, but she looked pretty upset.
“I won’t let them hurt you,” I assured her, whispering so that Kent wouldn’t wake up and the others wouldn’t hear. Then I started to make a campfire.
“You should have killed me when I asked!” Baruka hissed at me. I mean, fully hissed! Here I had tried to help her, but now she is mad at me! What else could I have done? Wouldn’t Captain have just offed them both if it wasn’t for me?
I tried reasoning with her, but Baruka was staring at her brother. So, I went over and gave him a shove, and he just sort of groaned a little. See? He was fine! She should be thanking me! I had no doubt that if I had not intervened, Baruk would be Ba-dead! Baruka did not see it that way and started arguing with me. I don’t even remember what we said; it was so stupid.
Finally, I just got up and walked back to the edge of the woods. See, the clearing was too rocky- I had to go back a ways to grab some of the dry underbrush. I was still keeping an eye on them, but suddenly I notice that Baruk is standing up! Baruka was standing up! Kent jumped up, but Baruk knocked Baruka into him and ran the other way. The only thing was, the other way was right at me! Kent is screaming for me to grab him like he really needed to do that!
I don’t think Baruk even saw me. I crouched down like this, like a frog ready to pounce! As soon as he was close, I leaped at him. He dodged me! Ha! Spry little thing, wasn’t he? Then, he took off into the woods. It was for the best, though. I followed him and had an advantage because his arms were still tied behind his back. He started yelling, like help might be nearby. He was screaming, “It’s me! It’s me! Baruk! Help!”
So, I stopped, grabbed my ax, and just listened to the sound of his voice. It was like that was all I needed to see him. I raised my arms over my head and just let it go. BAM! Baruk gave out a shriek and fell to the ground. By the time I caught up to him, I could see the wound was bad. It was really, really bad. Fatal even.
I rolled him onto his side, and his eyes were all glassed over. “Tell Baruka I am sorry,” he sputtered.
I wasn’t sure what to say, so I was like, “Hey, you’re going to be fine! Come on!” But Baruk knew. He knew, but he seemed at peace with it.
Then he whispered, “Bring my sword to the village up the road. It belonged to my nephew. Do not let Baruka see. My nephew… they will listen to you but only if you bring the sword…”
For Part 13 Click Here!