30 January, 2018 by katelaity
‘Is that meant to be reassuring somehow?’ I looked at Tansy with all manner of exasperation. ‘What advantage is height if we have just these poor weapons? Shall we disarm ourselves and chuck the weapons down upon them?’
‘Perhaps we have something else to throw at them,’ Chambers suggested with a far too reasonable air. Why was I the only one to see how dangerous our situation was? It’s not as if I were the cool head around here—I knew well from the rising panic in my breast that such was definitely not the case.
The heavy footsteps of the troop below echoed loudly as they drew closer. The terrifying ranks of soldiers looked quite intimidating—of course they were professionals and we rank amateurs. Madness to think we could do anything effective.
‘Well, we must at least look!’ Chambers turned and began to search about us. The ramparts were most devoid of anything useful or even useless to throw down upon the approaching army. We gathered the few things we found—rusty armour broken weapons, a couple of buckets with holes in their bottoms. They would not help us much, I feared. Looking down at the approaching soldiers I despaired and thought bitterly that of all the fairy forts in all the worlds I would have to die in this one. I was much too young for such a fate! Where would my funeral be held? Would I even have one? My family would not be able to attend!
‘Stop thinking of your funeral and turn your mind to more practical matters,’ Tansy chided.
‘How do you know that’s what I was thinking?’ I complained.
Tansy laughed but did not betray his reasoning. ‘Do you not think that we are about to reach the staging of the tapestry’s image?’
Chambers and I looked down. It did indeed seem to be matching the image just about now. How very odd that the black queen had seen the scene so perfectly. We turned to look up to the tower where she and the Lady Judith had been bound. I squinted into the light which made it difficult to see clearly, being so near the apex of the tower.
‘Do you see something up there?’ Chambers blinked his eyes, clearly unable to make out anything. ‘Is it the ladies?’
‘I see something,’ Tansy said scrunching up his face with the effort of making out whatever it was. ‘I think it’s the Lady Judith waving her handkerchief.’
‘A fine time to say good-bye,’ I muttered without much venom for what would a lady do in such a moment but wave us brave men off with a fine farewell?
‘I am not certain that is what she intends,’ Tansy said, a light beginning to dawn upon his fine features.
‘What do you think it means?’ Chambers asked with a curious air, blinking up at the tower.
Whatever answer Tansy had been meaning to give we did not hear. Indeed we were to hear nothing but a ringing in our ears for some time afterward, staggering from a shock that was both unprecedented and wholly unexpected [yes, I suppose it is the nature of a shock to be unexpected, for few expected things could truly be said to be shocking, I suppose—but that might fall into the realm of philosophy and so I shall eschew such discussion to those better equipped for its intricacies as I admit it is far beyond me].
To be brief: there was a huge explosion as the ladies fired a cannon and the ball shot past us to hurl into the thick of the army!