The Quest for the Prize, Vol 2
by Keith Dyne
© 2010 K.I. Dyne
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means with out the prior written permission of the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a newspaper, magazine or journal.
In this work of fiction the characters, places and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or they are used entirely fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Printed in the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
Cover Art by Hannah Woollard
Chapter 13: Steady
“Jerry,” announced Albert as he placed his now empty cup on its saucer. “The Guardians’ main role from now on will be to protect you and to help you guard the Prize.”
Jerry looked deep into the Good Lord’s mysterious dark blue eyes. “Oh, ok,” he mumbled, not really knowing what to reply; the Guardians were supposed to be the Good Lord’s protectors, but now that they were to protect him, what about the Good Lord? Would he be all right?
“I will be fine,” stated Albert, benignly smiling at his successor. “There is no need to worry about me, Jerry, but thank you anyway.”
Jerry smiled back at Albert, but then, as if out of the blue, something suddenly hit him, something that had been strangely bugging him for quite some time but he had only just now figured out what it was.
“Where are we going?” he asked, which did seem, indeed, a very strange question to be asking so late in the process, but the thing Jerry had suddenly realised was that he had no idea where the Replenishment would actually take place.
“I wondered when you were going to ask me that,” replied Albert, as he stared back at him. “Can you guess?”
“Well, I can guess,” declared Jerry as he leant back slightly and smiled, “but I doubt if I would get it right.”
“Oh, very droll, Jerry,” chuckled Albert as he rolled his eyes slightly. “If I were to give you a clue,” he continued, “by saying that all Replenishments have occurred at the same place since the second one, then where would you think it would be?”
Jerry stopped to think about this. He wondered why it was ‘since the second one’ and not the first one. The most obvious answer was that the place had not existed when the first Replenishment had occurred, but what had not existed? Jerry probed deep into his mind, and then it came to him.
“I think I know,” whispered Pete as he leant across to speak into Jerry’s ear.
“So do I,” replied Jerry, “Stonehenge?”
“Absolutely!” said Albert as a smile reappeared on his face. “Well done,” and with that they all, except Annie, got up and said their farewells to Jose, who would remain behind at the pub, and then walked out towards the car park, leaving Annie and Jose some privacy to say their goodbyes.
“Keep safe, my dearest,” whispered Jose as he kissed and cuddled his wife, concerned that this might be the last time ever he would see her alive.
“I will try,” she sobbed, knowing full well that an upcoming confrontation with the Evil Lord was highly likely.
The pair of them stood together, embracing each other for several moments longer; neither really wanted to let the other go, but both realised that the inevitable could not be postponed.
“I love you,” she whispered as her hand slowly caressed the back of his neck.
“I love you as well, my darling,” he replied, his own eyes now starting to fill with emotion.
“Hopefully…” she started to say, as her tears began to fall onto his neck.
“Yes, yes,” he replied, now wiping a single tear out of his right eye. “Hopefully today, let’s see how it goes…”
“Yes,” she mumbled in return as they kissed one more time, before parting and just standing, staring at each other.
Jose pulled out a silk handkerchief and tenderly wiped his beloved wife’s eyes.
“Now, now….” he whispered as Annie prepared herself.
“Yes… I am ready…” she declared.
Jose grasped her hand tightly in his and slowly walked her outside to rejoin the others.
“You had best drive, mate,” suggested Jerry as he looked towards Pete.
“Wow! Are you sure?” replied an awestruck Pete, who felt deeply honoured indeed to be able to drive Jerry’s car, his pride and joy, and whilst he was in it and not drunk.
“Yeah, I can hardly drive and keep hold of this, can I?” stated Jerry, as he pointed with his left hand to where his right one was still firmly griping the Prize against his chest.
“Fine,” smiled Pete as Jerry threw him the keys.
Jerry, Jules, Pete, and Diana all got into the car, and then Pete set off towards the motorway whilst the two remaining Guardians, Mystic, and the Good Lord all changed into their bird forms and took off into the sky, flying in formation high above the car, protecting it and its occupants from any unwanted attention.
“Farewell, my love,” whispered Jose as he turned away and walked back into the pub, his heart ripped apart with worry.
Pete had already entered ‘Stonehenge’ into Jerry’s satellite assisted navigation system, so all he had to do was follow the directions that the kind woman was now calling out to him. Diana was sitting in the front seat, next to Pete, and Jules was sitting in the back of the car with Jerry, who was still holding the Prize, and her, firmly against his chest. All this time, the Prize had been giving Jerry energy; he could continually feel its power flowing throughout his body, giving him strength, giving him belief.
The journey to Stonehenge did not take that long, as the roads were not very busy, and the driving conditions were good. Pete parked the car close to the entrance, and they all got out, ready to walk the short distance up to the stones. The others transformed close by and joined them.
Albert looked over to Mystic. “Where is he?” he asked.
“He is not far from here,” she replied. “Over there,” and she pointed to an area to the right of the main stones, on the edge of an area of forest.
“Come with me,” stated Albert as he looked around the group, “and keep Jerry protected at all times.”
The three Guardians and Mystic immediately formed a protective circle, a sort of human shield, around Jerry so that at least one of his protectors could always see an oncoming attack, no matter from what angle it came. The Good Lord led the way, followed by Jerry and his entourage, and behind them a rather nervous looking Jules and Pete.
Suddenly, as they were approaching the area Mystic had identified, a red flash of energy shot out from behind a tree on the edge of the forest and headed straight for the Good Lord. This did not surprise him at all; he had been expecting it or something like it. He simply raised his hand and easily deflected the oncoming bolt, causing it to glance off and collide with another tree, which subsequently exploded into dust.
“It was foolish of you to come here tonight, Ivor,” called out Albert as he listened hard, trying to locate his position. “You must leave here, or you will become even more weakened.”
The Evil Lord just laughed at him and fired several more bolts of bright red energy directly at the entourage surrounding and protecting Jerry. Mystic deflected two of them, and Diana the other.
“Is that the best you can do?” called out Mystic.
“Just beginning, fortune teller!” he called back, before turning on the spot and in an instant, vanishing.
“Be careful, everyone,” commanded Albert as he looked around, trying to see where the Evil Lord had gone. “Move closer to Jerry, and Jerry do not let go of the Prize whatever happens.”
“Yes, Sir,” replied Jerry as he felt his protectors close in; they were now pressing against him on all sides, meaning that he could not move alone in any direction. Jerry felt trapped and so gripped even harder on the Prize. Then, as if answering his fear, he felt a new surge of even more energy flow into his body; it was as though the Prize were charging him up, making him ready for battle.
Then, a red flash came from behind, and Annie jumped straight into action and deflected it. A flash appeared from the left, deflected by Fiona, and then suddenly another, this time coming from the right, headed straight towards Diana, who was not quick enough to react as it hit her chest, causing her to emit a soft yelp as she crumpled to the floor.
Albert came instantly across to stand in front of where Diana had fallen, to complete the circle again to protect Jerry, who by now had bent down and extended his hand out to Diana, to help her up. Diana looked up at him with tears in her eyes. She reached out her hand and grabbed hold of his. As she did this, the wound and pain vanished completely from her body, allowing her to spring up and resume her place defending him.
Albert looked at Mystic and smiled. “It has begun,” he whispered.
“Yes,” she nodded back to him.
“Be gone from this place, Ivor,” called out the Good Lord.
“NEVER!” came back the reply, just as several more bolts of pure red energy flew towards them. Mystic got the first one, Albert the second, but Fiona this time had moved out of position and the third was now heading straight for Jerry.
Jerry instantly held up the palm of his hand and a white bolt of energy shot from it, heading straight towards the Evil Lord’s oncoming bolt. The two bolts collided and immediately exploded, releasing what sounded like an almighty clap of thunder as they both dispersed into and lit up the evening sky. Albert looked at Jerry, both impressed and surprised at the same time, for he had not been able to do that before he had replenished the previous Good Lord.
Lord Dell had also seen this, and he too was impressed. ‘Who is this Jeremy Dumbarton?’ he thought to himself. ‘Only the Good Lord has been able to do that to me before’. He wondered for a moment longer; he had, of course, seen Jerry fire a bolt at him in the car park when he was torturing Pete, but now he was deflecting his bolts. Jerry’s powers had clearly grown, but there was no time to lose; he was in the middle of a battle and had to try to prevent the Replenishment from occurring. He turned slightly on the spot and vanished again.
This time, it was Fiona’s turn to look at Jerry with tears in her eyes, although this time they were not tears of pain but of embarrassment. “I am sorry,” she whispered to him.
“It is ok,” he replied. However, something was not ok; something was terribly wrong and he, Jerry, could now sense it.
“What is it, Jerry?” asked Albert, who had been carefully watching him.
“I can sense him,” stated Jerry as he stepped away and out from the Guardians immediate protection.
The Guardians looked concerned, but Mystic smiled at them. “It is ok,” she said, but they were still not sure and looked now to the Good Lord for direction. He just nodded back at them, as if endorsing Mystic’s comment.
Jerry moved slowly over to the place where he sensed the Evil Lord. “I can feel you,” he called out softly, as if trying to taunt him, tease him even. Suddenly, however, he was gone again. Jerry looked around, scanning the area, the others also.
Then, from behind, Jules suddenly let out a scream as the Evil Lord held her in his grip.
“Give me the Prize, or I will kill her,” he called out to Jerry.
Jerry walked slowly towards them. His eyes were alight with pure anger as an aura of white was beginning to emanate around his body. The Guardians, Mystic, and the Good Lord were all staring at him.
Lord Dell also did not understand what was going on. The text of Lucifer had stated that Jerry would be more powerful than the others had been, but he had assumed that this was referring to after the Replenishment. Now, here was the Chosen One displaying major powers before he had replenished the Good Lord.
Jules was crying, screaming, kicking, and struggling hard, trying to break free from Lord Dell’s grip. As she struggled, she caught her finger on one of the buckles on his cloak, and it started to bleed. Jerry stopped about ten metres away from Lord Dell and stared at him. He then stretched out his hand and pointed his forefinger towards him. Lord Dell in return instantly released Jules, who then fell to the ground, as he also raised his forefinger towards Jerry. Almost simultaneously, bolts of pure energy left their fingers, each heading towards the other: pure red from the Evil Lord and pure white from Jerry. Both bolts of power met in the middle, causing a huge explosion of noise and light that lit up and reverberated throughout the evening sky.
Again and again, bolts of energy charged towards each other, colliding in between them and exploding into the sky. Each time this occurred, however, the Evil Lord seemed to weaken, whilst Jerry just continued, seemingly unaffected.
Suddenly, the Evil Lord stopped firing, and one of Jerry’s bolts hit him directly in the middle of his chest, throwing him at least ten metres backwards, where he landed on his back next to a small bush.
Jerry stopped and walked over to where he lay on the ground. “Leave here and never come back,” he commanded.
“For today, Chosen One,” replied the Evil Lord as he struggled for his breath. He knew that for now, he could not fight any further, but tomorrow was another day. He grinned as he looked at Jerry, almost in admiration, before twisting slightly on the spot and vanishing.
“He has gone,” called out Mystic as she ran over to Jerry, who was now emanating even more power. “Well done, Jerry.”
“We must go on!” called out Albert, “the time approaches.”
“Wait,” said Jerry as he turned back and walked over to where Jules was still shivering on the floor. “Here,” he said to her, as he bent down and gave her his ‘J.D.’ embroidered handkerchief, the one that she had given to him as his birthday present. “Wipe your eyes, and stop the bleeding with this,” he gently whispered to her and then gave her a firm kiss on her lips.
“Thanks,” she whispered back in return as she ran her fingers down the side of his face.
“It is time,” said Albert as he looked up towards the darkening sky.
Jerry stood up.
“Follow me,” commanded Albert, as he set off towards the main ring of stones.
Jerry turned back to face Jules, grinned rather nervously, and then stretched out his hand towards her. Jules grasped it tightly and pulled herself up. After brushing herself down and giving Jerry a short affectionate kiss on the side of his face, they hand-in-hand, followed the Good Lord as he led them up the small incline towards the outer ring of stones.