Light came over the town of Richardson where a small inn at the edge of the town lay. A mother was preparing dinner when the husband entered the inn with two letters. He sat down and smiled at the delicious aroma of dinner. The mother had black to light grey hair and the husband had little hair but it was brown. He was average build and carried a fruit bag with him on most of his outings.
“How was your day, dear?” asked the wife when he sat down at his seat at the table.
“Same as the others days; Met more of those strange wizards from Richardson castle. Nothing special, I suppose,” answered the fruit picker.
“There is one for me and one for Alexander. Let’s see the one for me,” said the fruit picker looking at the two letters.
He opened the letter with a knife and looked at it. He grinned at it and smiled and waved it at his wife.
“It’s from my brother. He says he’s doing well up in the North. He may visit us some time soon,” he read from the letter.
The door to the inn opened again and a young man entered. He was taller than his father and had a good build for his age. He sat down at the table and the fruit picker passed over the letter to his son.
“There’s a letter for you, Alex. See who it is from,” he said with encouragement.
Alex sliced the letter with his finger and opened up the paper. He read it and a smile came upon his face. He waved it in front of his father pointing at it.
“It’s from the Richardson Castle. They want me to be one of their knights!” he cried.
“That’s wonderful, dear. But you don’t have a horse. A knight needs to have a horse,” said his mother bringing the dinner to the table.
“That’s ok, I can find a horse for Alex. Tomorrow we will find one at the town hall,” smiled his father.
Alex got up and walked over to his sword and shield. He saw the symbol of the Richardson Castle and looked at it. His father turned around to watch him.
“I know you always wanted to be a knight Alex, I think it’s a good job to have. It’s an exciting one too, isn’t it?” his father said asking his wife.
“Yes, it is exciting. Not that Richardson has had much action in the past but there’s always something happening.” she answered “Now eat up everyone.”
Alex returned to the table and began to eat with his parents.
The next day came and he and his father travelled to the Town Hall where Alex was to find a horse for his trip to the Richardson Castle. The Town Hall was small like their inn. The journey to the castle was long because of the distance they were from the castle. The hall was grey and had green poles around the town. Like a symbol for their town. His father entered the hall and walked around the stale with the horses in his sights.
“They’re all pretty good to me, Alex. What do you think?” asked his father.
“Yes, they are. I like them all, but which one shall I get?” Alex asked.
“I don’t know Alex, see if the horse likes you first” suggested his father.
One horse was walking near Alex and he noticed him. He patted the horse on the head and he was calm. He seemed to have spotted his horse already.
“That was quick.” smiled his father, walking up. “Well, we’d better buy him.”
The two found the shopkeeper and pointed to the horse they wanted. “That one? Ok, good pick. Never causes trouble for me that one,”
he said and he unlocked the door to the horse’s stale. “There you go, have fun now,”
The two walked out with the horse and headed back to the inn. Their walk was long but they had plenty to talk about. What adventures Alex would undergo at the Richardson Castle. The sun started to go down and the orange sky appeared covering the edges of Richardson and the two travellers. Alex’s father stopped near a large stone and then sat on it. Alex stopped too with the horse and looked at his father watching the sun.
“Do you ever wonder that there is more to life? That the sun was created by someone or was watched by a supernatural being?” his father asked.
Alex sat down next to him and smiled. He watched the sun too and wondered as well.
“I don’t know but I keep an open mind about things,” asked Alex.
“That’s what I do. You get that from me. I think there is something out there. That watches us, or does something to this planet. It’s that feeling you get when you’re walking in the woods, or by the waters. Even with the wind in your face you feel there is a being out there controlling that.”
Alex went quiet and watched the rising moonlight and his father went on. “I know this is strange but sometimes when I walk in the woods I feel someone is there. Watching me or doing something. Even when it rains, the lightning never seems to hit us. Like we’re protected or someone is doing it. It’s the magic of believing in such things, Alex, that boosts our hopes and dreams,” his father said.
“I get that feeling too. Sometimes you feel you know them, or they are like…”
“Like you?” asked his father.
“Yes, like us in someway,” smiled Alex.
Alex looked at his father and for the first time he looked aged that the time for Alex to be a man was near. His time to be a knight was close.
“There is a fantasy belief that people out there like us Alex control the weather. I wonder how true that is. Maybe you might find out for yourself Alex,” he spoke.
His father turned to him and gave a weak smile.
“I’m sorry for being something so humble, a fruit picker. I’m not cut out to be a knight or an adventurer. I feel something about you. Something very special in you. I feel almost you might even push the direction of this world somehow,” smiled his father.
“Wow, thanks dad. I don’t think I will do that and you are important to me. You’re my father,” answered Alex.
“One thing in life you can always do. You can make your own choices. No one else can. Remember that, Alex. If you feel in your heart when someone tells you to do something and it feels wrong to do so, then don’t do it, because it must be wrong.”
“I’ll try my best to be good to the world. That’s the only thing I can do and wish to do,” said Alex looking at the new night sky.
“I know you will and good will come to those who are good in their nature. Think with your mind for battles, think with you heart when the mind doesn’t answer. Look at the time. We must be going!” cried his father.
The two dusted themselves off from the stone and got the horse moving back to the inn.
The break of dawn appeared and it was time for Alex’s life to begin. He had his horse ready for the trip and his mother was blowing into her hanky. Alex was dressed up in a silver plated suit his mother made.
“Oh my little boy is all grown up now,” she wept.
“Don’t worry, dear, he’ll be back for visits,” said his father.
His father walked over to give Alex his sword and shield and pulled him to one side.
“If you happen to never see us again, we’ll be over there,” he said pointing at the stars in the sky.
Alex said nothing and nodded. He jumped up on his horse and waved goodbye to his parents and trotted off. His father turned back to his wife and smiled.
“Our boy will do everyone proud. Who knows what adventures he may go to but I know there is a special role for everyone in our lives. Some are small and some are big. But any role despite its size can change the course of our time,” he said.
The two hugged and walked slowly back into their inn.
It was early and the night was still alight in some towns to Richardson. Alex rode along with his horse quietly and not with speed. He watched around the cold dust area and came towards the ocean edge. Not many came to this place because of the fear of falling into the dark seas. Even during the day it was dark and black looking.
“What is that in the distance?” Alex asked himself looking at the shining light across the sea.
The images flashed every now and again. A dark and terrible looking castle shone from the other side. A dark horse rode outside the castle with a figure on it. Alex’s horse shrieked in fear and the new knight tried to calm it down.
“Who is that man on the horse?” he asked himself.
He never knew there was another castle than the one he was traveling to but then he didn’t know how far the castle was from him. A sudden flash of lightning hit the other side and Alex’s eyes lit up in shock. He quickly jumped off his horse and stood by the very edge of the ocean and watched the castle.
“It’s gone, I can’t see it,” he cried to himself in wonder.
It seems that a new land was manifesting right in front of his eyes. Trees were growing around where the castle was and tall bushes appeared around the edge of the other side.
“Is this the creators of the weather or evil magic in play?” he asked himself.
He slowly climbed up onto his horse and kept watching the edge. His heart was beating fast, wondering what was happening on the other side. He suddenly remembered about the Richardson Castle and quietened down. He needed to arrive at the castle in the morning to appear before the King and the Queen, some of the things told by his father. He started to ride off away from the castle as more lightning strikes appeared around the other side but this time it was green. Alex turned around on his horse in shock again.
The wind picked up in a terror of speed and the bushes and greens were pushed backwards on his side of the ocean, not only the lightning strike where the castle was but it circled the castle and created a form of the castle image with it.
Alex’s eyes showed the ghostly image of the castle. A fear grew over his face; he turned his face to the side not to see it again.
“There is something wrong. I see it with my own eyes. The image of a pure evil. The weather is seduced by its awe and sheer weight of power. What terror lives near where I will serve?” he asked himself.
Alex rode his horse hard away from the area and tried to forget whatever happened out there near the ocean. He started to see the area of Richardson and he smiled to himself.
“Some goodness I see now. I hope,” he said to himself as he rode down the hill towards the town centre.
The morning sun rose over the Richardson castle as knights walked around the castle grounds. Some knights were working and practising for battle as the drawbridge of the castle was drawn down.
A young knight on a horse rode into the castle and looked at the area. He got off his horse as he sighted the area. He saw an old man walk towards his way. He led his horse to the man as he spoke to him.
So what’s your name lad? I’m Alfred the wizard of the castle and you are?” asked the wizard.
“Alexander. Pleased to meet you,” smiled the young knight as they shook hands.
“Well follow me to the castle. The king and Queen are expecting you,” said Alfred smartly.
Alexander was worried about how he needed to look good for the royals so he straighten his clothes and hair and hoped that he would pass the mark for the King.
Inside the castle it was old and grey; the castle looked ancient and needed new things to brighten up the place. Alexander held on to his sword and got into the royal throne room. The King and Queen leaned forward to get a look at the new knight.
“This is Alexander, King Richardson,” bowed Alfred as the king got off his seat to shake his hand.
“Welcome to Richardson Castle, Alexander. We have a history of some of the best knights in the land,” said the king.
“Thank you my lord.”
The King seemed to be nice. He was a short tubby character and had a black beard. His crown leaned to his right and the same with sitting on the throne. The queen was in a light orange dress and was brown haired. She had a tender smile that made the room seem soft and safe.
“Your first job shall be easy. You can guard the garden that we have here in the castle. Then I’ll think of giving you some out and about jobs,” said King Richardson.
Alexander bowed down and he left the room. Richardson to him seemed like a nice guy, smart looking and good enough to lead an army. Alfred had Alexander in his mind. He watched him walking away while the two royalties chatted to each other in peace.
“I like that kid,” he said to himself.
Alexander was in the garden guarding the area as he looked at all the flowers and trees.
“What a beautiful garden. No wonder why the king wants to guard such a place” said Alexander.
He sat on the ground as his legs were cramping him. He looked over the place as he closed his eyes. The garden was special in the way it made one relax. Then after a couple minutes, he heard a tree branch crack. His eyes lit up as he saw a shadow in the garden. He followed the shadow and saw it was a girl. She was dressed in a green dress down to her ankles and swiftly moved through the garden. He followed her around the place wondering what she was doing. Then they met eye to eye. She looked at him and moved up to him.
“You must be Alexander, the new knight,” she smiled. Alexander smiled back and asked, “Who are you?”
“I’m Princess Celia, King Richardson’s daughter,” she answered. “You like this garden?” asked Alexander.
“Yes, it’s the only place where I can be in peace,” she said.
“There must be something or someone who makes the gardens. I wonder who,” thought Celia.
“Maybe someone does do it,” said Alexander.
“Gosh look at the time. I must get ready for the dinner party tomorrow night,” said Celia looking at the sundial at the centre of the garden. She turned around and walked off.
“You’re not doing anything tomorrow tonight, are you?” asked Celia.
“No, not really,” he answered.
“Would you be my date for the dinner party?” asked Celia with a smile.
“Um, sure,” said Alexander rubbing the back of his neck. “See you there” said Celia as she walked off.
Alexander stayed in his spot and continued to guard the garden of Richardson.
Near the garden lay the throne room and King Richardson was in a fight with his other wizard, named Morcar. Alexander was keeping guard there while he watched the two in talk. The King has been trying to tell his wizard what he had been saying was not true.
“You don’t understand what you are saying. This is all false. It is all lies what you say. There isn’t such a thing!” reasoned the King.
“This is disgusting, King Richardson. My statements are true. There are people in this world that can control the weather. You must understand now!” shouted Morcar.
Morcar started to march out as the king cried out.
“Don’t come back, Morcar. You are dangerous to people,” said King Richardson.
“You’ll be sorry, Richardson!” shouted Morcar as he slammed the door behind him. Alexander shut his eyes in fear.
“You can go to breakfast now, Alexander. I need a rest especially now that I’ve talked to Morcar” said King Richardson as the young knight walked out the throne room.
Richardson was alone in his room for once and tapped his finger on his throne thinking to himself.
“Morcar seems to remind me of another strange wizard I heard of before. Who was he?” he asked himself in silence.
Alexander got to the breakfast room with all the knights as Alfred was eating.
“Morning, Alexander. How are you?” asked Alfred. “Ok,” smiled the knight.
Alex sat down to his meal and started eating. Alfred was thinking to himself and was tapping the table as he thought. He then jumped up from his meal with a question in mind.
“You know Alexander. Do you believe in the Season Elements? They control the weather” asked Alfred.
“Do they? And pigs fly,” said a knight laughing from near a table.
“Don’t think I’m old, young knights. The season elements are real” cried Alfred as he stood up from his chair.
“I believe you,” said Alexander getting him to sit down again. “Don’t think I’m stupid now,” warned Alfred getting back down again.
Alex remembered the fight between Morcar and King Richardson and spoke to Alfred about it.
“Morcar was saying the same thing that you said,” said Alexander.
“That Morcar you say. I don’t trust that man. The king and I never understood his rules of life. A dark and selfish wizard he is,” commented Alfred.
“Don’t you ever trust him, ok, Alexander? I like you kid, you’ll are good man” said Alfred as Alexander promised him.
As they ate, Alexander asked him something. “What would I wear to the dinner party?”
“I guess your date is Princess Celia?” asked Alfred as Alexander nodded.
“She’s a bit of a flirt with the knights. She only picks the good looking one” commented Alfred as Alexander smiled at him.
“I’ll get you a good looking suit, Alexander, ok? Don’t worry about it. Be yourself. It always works,” advised Alfred getting up and leaving. Alexander turned around to watch the wizard leave as he thought of Celia.