At this point in the story, everybody was into it. Even the scrutinizing Marcy was transfixed with the way Jack’s hands and body swayed, jumped and moved with enthusiasm. His energy reverberated around the room as he placed them under a magical spell with his oration. Eyes of wonder and awe focused on Jack and he was loving every minute of it. Every. Single. Minute.
“Meanwhile,” Jack continued, “at the front, Marcellus and his group weren’t doing too well either. The warrior’s hailstorm/snowball combination steamrolled Marcellus’ men and he too was forced to retreat. He called all the soldiers still able to move and everybody cleared out. The warrior stood alone at the front then sensed something was off. He felt that something was being disturbed within the mountain and then it hit him.
“Some soldiers made it into the bottom cave. He turned and left the plateau to go back to his cave at the top. He sat there and meditated for hours until he heard footsteps heading in his direction. It was the moment he was waiting for. He went down the hill that’d been made in the cave thousands of years ago that led to the room with the sacred treasure. The Strawberry Jewels.
“The soldiers, on the other hand, made it to the top of the cave and saw nothing. It was empty except for a view of the plateau. One soldier called to the others to follow him down the passageway he found, and they all went. The warrior heard the soldiers coming and hid on the ceiling and waited. When the soldiers came down and saw the jewels they were awestruck.
“The Seven Strawberry Jewels were before them and within their grasp. Never before had they seen such beauty and radiance that were these Jewels. They sparkled like stars in the night sky and were as red as a kid’s rear end after a thorough spanking. The soldiers surrounded them and looked at them with so much amazement they couldn’t touch them. They were simply too gorgeous!
“The warrior watched them keenly and decided that as soon as one of those soldiers touches the Jewels, he was gonna kill them all, drain their blood, and throw their bodies off the mountain. One soldier beheld the Strawberry Necklace and went to touch, but, just before he was about to lay a finger on it and seal the fate of him and his comrades, he had a vision. He saw what was going to happen if he touched the necklace or any of the other Jewels.
“He saw the horror and bloodshed that would take place. He saw the brutal death of his comrades and the terrifying might of the warrior. People being ripped in two and gutted like fresh game, entrails jutting out of punctured stomachs like party favors, people being drained of their blood like a kid downs a pitcher of ice-cold lemonade on a hot summer day.
“He even saw his own death. A death that was slow, painful, and paralyzing. He saw the warrior thrusting him in the gut with his sword and slicing him open, the blood pouring out like a waterfall and the last thing he would’ve seen would’ve been the warrior mutilating his body further and then darkness.
A wave of fear and suspense permeated throughout the room, Jack paused for a brief moment as the deafening silence took hold on everyone’s minds and hearts. Gray’s mouth was practically salivating at the juiciness of the story, Bobby looked like he was hypnotized, and Marcy seemed to be frozen in time, her expression that of someone who was in another world. Welcome to my world. Jack thought. Jack had a knack for being in front of an audience. He was a storyteller, after all.
“He moved his hand back quickly and told the soldiers not to touch the Jewels. They asked what he meant, and he told them they were in danger, that the warrior is in the room right now waiting for them to make a move for the jewels. His comrades laughed and one of them grabbed the Strawberry Necklace from its display area.
“Then all hell broke loose.
“The warrior descended upon the soldiers with such overwhelming force, might, ferociousness, and ruthlessness that the soldier who warned them was so scared he became a stone. He couldn’t move a muscle. The warrior killed his comrades one by one, right in front of his eyes, drained their bodies like he was pouring a glass of Kool-Aid and threw their remains off the mountain.
“The warrior looked back at the one who saw the vision and walked up to him. The fear in his eyes, mind, and heart was so crippling, so total, that it bordered on Godliness. The warrior’s gaze bore into his soul and he prayed the hardest he ever prayed in his life that the warrior would spare him. He closed his eyes because he was too afraid to face his own death. Then, he heard a whooshing sound and he opened his eyes and the warrior was gone.
“The soldier left the cave and descended the mountain. When he got to the bottom, he looked up at the warrior who stood atop the plateau and looked him in the eye. They maintained eye contact for what seemed a century and the soldier knew why. He knew why the warrior existed and protected the mountain.
“He knew why his comrades were killed, drained of their blood, and thrown off the mountain. He knew why it snowed on the mountain every day at noon and why it was red. He knew it all.
“The warrior that protected the mountain and the sacred jewels were the myths and legends he used to hear about as a kid. The warrior’s name, the soldier remembered his father telling him before he left the mountain and never returned. . . was Strawberry Snow.”
Everybody had a blank look on their faces as the silence permeated the room for two minutes. It seemed as if they were mulling over their opinions in their heads about the story. Marcy snapped out of her suspended state and put on a facial expression resembling the phrase you can’t be serious.
Bobby seemed to still be processing the story and making his way out of Jack’s spell while Gray seemed to be transfixed and mesmerized, his face seemed a bit sad that the story had ended. Jack stood patiently as he waited for everybody’s opinion like he was being judged by a panel.
“Well,” Marcy said blushing, “It’s not the best story but, it’s good enough to where we gotta pay our own lunches.”
Jack chuckled and shook his head at the front she put on. Why can’t girls just admit when something’s awesome? he thought and grinned.
“Seems like you tried on that one, Jack,” Bobby said. “It was actually a cool story, nice one!”
Jack nodded in thanks to the compliment. Tried? He thought. I worked my ever-loving butt off!
“Alright, I’ll admit it.” Gray blushed in embarrassment. “It was an awesome story.
Jack smiled, “And that, ladies and gentlemen, is The Legend of Strawberry Snow!” He yawned and added, “Good night!”
“Good night.” Everyone said in unison as they got their pillows and sleeping bags, turned off the lights and went to sleep.
Tell me what you think in the comments! I read and reply to all of them and welcome feedback for improving my stories, poetry, and insights. Thanks for reading!