Failure. That was the word that crashed around in Lorry’s head like a cannonball. His hands shook, and he struggled to breathe. Failure.
His heart thrashed in his chest like some caged animal. He was desperate and scared as he followed Eric carefully up a hill.
Mere moments after the Yellow Woman had stolen the Amulet from his neck, Eric had bundled them into a rental car and drove out to Glassheart’s prison.
Lorry forced himself to look up at the guard compound in the distance, and beyond that, Glassheart’s prison. He felt what little strength he still held flee from him. The compound was engulfed in flames.
His head began to throb, as the pounding of his heart filled his ears, accompanied by one word. Failure. Over and over again it banged in his brain in time with his frantic pulse. Failure.
“Lorry!” Morrigan’s hand gripped his arm painfully, “Calm down!”
She relaxed her hold on his arm and slipped her hand into his to still its shaking. “Deep breath. Come on; take a deep breath.”
Lorry forced himself to suck air into his lungs as Eric peered down over the hill.
Eric muttered something under his breath and turned back to the group. “The guards are distracted with the fire. The prison’s unguarded!”
“What’re we going to do?” asked Michael.
“We’ve got to stop the Yellow Woman,” hissed Morrigan.
“But what can we do?!” replied Michael, “We’re severely outmanned, and only one of us is an actual soldier.”
“You three aren’t going to do anything,” answered Eric, “I’m going after the Yellow Woman alone.”
“But-” protested Lorry.
“Stay put,” Eric returned, “If I’m not back in two hours, go back to the inn. An Organization troop will be coming there. Tell them where I’ve gone.”
“Eric-” started Lorry again.
Eric put his hand on Lorry’s shoulder. “I need you to do this for me. Stay put.”
Lorry nodded, and Eric began to creep down the hill towards the compound.
Once Eric was out of earshot, Michael leaned over and whispered, “We’re not really gonna stay here, are we?”
Lorry’s eyes locked on Eric’s shrinking figure, “Of course not.”
Lorry, Morrigan, and Michael followed carefully after Eric, dodging through patches of shadow, until they came to a massive wall of stone. In the wall, there was a large, circular metal door.
“That’s the door to Glassheart’s prison,” whispered Lorry, as they crouched low in a clump of tall grass.
“Look!” Michael pointed to the base of the door.
Lorry’s blood froze. Eric was fighting the Yellow Woman and her lackeys and he was losing.
Lorry watched as the Yellow Woman’s lackeys held Eric back, as the Yellow Woman moved over to a small stone tablet and placed something on it. Lorry knew what it was almost instantaneously: the Amulet. The circular door slowly began to open. Glassheart was going to be free.
“We’ve got to stop her!” said Lorry. The others nodded.
“Anyone got a plan?” asked Michael.
“We just need to get the Amulet, and the door will stop opening,” replied Morrigan.
Lorry nodded, “Let’s go get it then.”
The trio took in a deep collective breath and flew as one towards the Yellow Woman.
“Get them!” The Yellow Woman yelled to her spare lackeys.
“We’ll deal with them, Lorry!” called Morrigan, “Just get the Amulet!”
Lorry nodded and dodged a blow from one of the lackeys. He shoved the man off balance and sprinted for the tablet. His hand reached out for the Amulet, and he found himself face to face with the Yellow Woman.
“The little Guardian has come to reclaim his Amulet,” she sneered, “It’s too late.”
Eric slammed into the Yellow Woman. In the confusion, he had freed himself from his assailants.
“The Amulet!” he cried, “Lorry, get it!”
Lorry dashed up to the tablet, and froze. The door had rolled open enough for a hand, and through that crack, Lorry could see glowing eyes, smoldering like a fire in the darkness. Glassheart.
A ragged hand shot out of the crack reached towards the tablet that was just beyond its grasp. Lorry shook himself free of Glassheart’s piercing stare, and grabbed the Amulet.
Instantly, the hand withdrew into the darkness, and the door snapped back closed with a thundering boom.
The Yellow Woman and her men stood dumbfounded as Lorry looked down at the Amulet in his hand. He had succeeded. Glassheart was defeated.
Three Weeks Later
Lorry took in a deep breath, closed his eyes, and let the sun wash over his face. He was sitting on the front step of Claiborne Books, just enjoying life, the now-familiar weight of the Amulet around his neck.
“Lorry!” Michael’s voice roused from his reverie. He opened his eyes and spotted Morrigan and Michael coming up the street. They joined him on the steps.
“How’s your mom doing?” asked Morrigan, as she settled down next to him.
“The doctors say she’s gonna be fine,” replied Lorry, with a smile, “Doctor’s Burnes’ cure worked.”
“That’s great, Lorry!” said Michael, “And what’s Eric gonna do?”
“He’s going to stay with us for a while,” answered Lorry, “I think he thinks I’ll run away again, if he’s not around to keep an eye on me.”
Michael and Morrigan laughed.
“Well, are you?” asked Morrigan, jabbing at him with her elbow.
“Am I what?” answered Lorry.
“Going to run away again,” she said.
Lorry’s smile turn wry, “Well, I might have to, if the Organization doesn’t find my father.”
“You’ll be taking us with you, right?” said Michael.
“‘Course I will,” answered Lorry, “After all, what’s an adventure without friends?”
Picture from Honustyle123 from www.pixabay.com