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The Ring of Protection

2006-12-08

Category: prose

A long-nailed, boney finger moved through the dim candlelight to turn the page of the ancient tome. ?Put the food on the table and get out,? said the raspy voice.

The knight, who had just entered the room, looked around to see to whom the wizard spoke. Not seeing anyone else he resumed his dramatic, out-sticking chest pose. ?I do not bring you food, old creature. I bring only death.?

?Then leave that on the table and get out,? said the old man as he turned another page.

The knight shifted uncomfortably for a moment, not sure what the wizard said. ?I?m here to put your reign of terror to an end. No more will you hold these lands hostage to your whims. I, this very night, will kill you.?

The wizard looked up from his book. ?What was that? Kill me, you say? Hmm.? He looked back to his book.

?Yes, uh, kill you; that?s what I am going to do,? stammered the knight.

The wizard turned another page.

The knight, noticing that his dramatic pose was not working, turned his left side toward his victim. He drew back his sword and held out his left fist. ?Do not seek salvation in your evil books; you will not find it. I have a ring that will protect me from your magic.?

?Magic ring, you say? Are you sure??

?Uhm, uh, yes, it?s a magic ring. It will protect me from your magic while I slay you in your lair.?

The wizard turned another page. ?That sounds very impressive. May I see it??

The knight looked down at his left hand. ?Well, I suppose? No! It?s a trick. You are just trying to get close to me to defeat me through treachery.?

?You are the clever one,? said the wizard. ?I was going to bop you on the head with my book when you got over here. Oh well, if you don?t want to get close would you consider tossing the ring to me? Surely I cannot harm you from way over here.?

?Well, I guess that would be all right.? He tugged the ring from his left hand and tossed it toward the wizard.

The old conjurer?s boney hand darted like a frog?s tongue to catch the ring in the air. He raised his head from the book again to peer closely at the ring. ?You?re quite right; this is a very powerful ring. It could protect one from all sorts of unpleasant things. I think you will be disappointed though. I don?t think it will protect you from my magic.?

The knight straightened his posture and put his hands on his hips. ?Do you think your magic so great that the ring won?t stop it??

?No,? said the wizard, ?My power is not so great. The ring will not protect you because you have to be wearing it at the time.?

Smugness smeared a smile across the knight?s face. ?Ah, but I am wearing??

* * *

The wizard sat the ring on the table and looked back down at his book. A long-nailed, boney finger moved through the dim candlelight to turn the page of the ancient tome.


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