Tales From Earth:Moonbeam

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This is part of the compilation created for the book Tales From The Third Planet, created by the Cubehunters on Earth, and printed by Lulu. Anyone can buy it here, with proceeds to go to unfiction! :)


Moonbeam

By Jack Smith aka Cronogenesis


The Moonbeams eye filled the glistening lake, rippling as a small school of fish darted around its unfixed, iridescent borders. Several sloping hills encased the glistening pool, casting a shadow across the enclosure during the rising and setting of the sun. The southern hills were combed with long thick grass, which stretched towards its sister hills in the breeze. A group of dandelions stood clumped together, releasing their flying seeds, which ride the wind across the enclosure until they reach their new home on one of the northern slopes. Above, a blanket of stars cloaked the sky, illuminating the darkness that emerged each and every night.

A lone figure sat on the banks, throwing stones at the lake, which skipped along the crystal waters before sinking into its hidden depths. Once the small pile of pebbles had depleted, the man reached into the pocket of his denim jeans and emerged with a bronze coin and began to rhythmically toss the coin into the air, before catching it between his two fingers.

A swarm of clouds began to creep towards the moon, slowly devouring the reflection on the lake, until there was only darkness.

The man stared at the lake for a few moments and then looked at the coin and smiled. He picked up the small brown satchel beside him and began his accent up the slope from which he had come from.



It began a month ago, when the stranger arrived. There weren't many visitors to Llanfachraeth, so any outsider was a sight for the villagers, but the Stranger… He was different. Every morning he would shuffle out of Mr and Mrs Jones' house (As this was where he was lodging), down the cobbled road to the square, where he would sit all day, never moving, never speaking, never acknowledging another soul that passed. Then, once the sun had set, he would pick up his walking stick, and begin the journey back to his room with the Baker and his wife. Of course there were stories about him. Some said he came looking for a lost relative, some say he was working for the government, while a select few believed that he was a ghost who couldn't let go of the past. But as swiftly as he had arrived, he disappeared again into the night, leaving no trace, apart from that letter…

Felix looked at the letter again, but his expression remained as baffled as before.

Dear Mr Felix.

I cannot explain why but I need your urgent help. We don't have long left. I cannot go into detail here but use the coin to find me… Please keep this information to yourself.

It was signed on the bottom but not be any language or style Felix knew. In the bottom left corner were scribbled the initials R.A.S.B Also in the envelope was a small bronze coin. It had sixteen sides and a similar shape cut out of the middle. On one side there was an intricately woven pattern on the bronze, filled with twisting and turning lines. The other site once contained the letters, GIVJRUUWVU KFDS.

Lynda pinched the coin out of Felix's hand.

"Isn't it obvious?" she proclaimed

"If it was obvious I would have figured it out by now!" Felix replied.

"Look here", she thrust her finger at the scribbled initials, "R.A.S.B or rather RA and SB. It's a simple code R=A S=B T=C and so on. Even little Jamie from down the road could solve that!" "No he couldn't, he can't even read!"

"Excuses, excuses. Typical of you Felix. Anyway, let's get decoding!" After half an hour and much scribbling, they finally finished the decoding.

"So GIVJRUUWVU KFDS becomes PRESADDFED TOMB. That's a few miles away isn't it?"

"My my Felix, you are getting clever now aren't you? You should slow down before you're too smart for your own good!" Felix turned his back on Lynda and gave a predominant, "Humph!"

"Err, Lynda I gotta go"

"To Presaddfed right?"

"No! And anyway, why would you care?"

"I take that as a yes then. I wont try and stop you, I know how much of a stubborn git you are", Lynda chuckled, "Just make sure you take some food with you."

"You're not my mother you know. I’m twenty one, not two."

"Somebody's gotta take care of you, your hopeless without somebody to watch your back", she winked and chuckled again. "Anyway it will be dark soon why not head out tomorrow, I will bring some sandwiches around for you."

The golden sun began to slowly rise from its bed, banishing the darkness from the sky. Felix took one last look at the small cluster of red brick houses, the green square where the man had once sat upon the stone monument, the bakers where the aromatic scent of fresh bread arose even the heaviest sleeper, and the hutches; where Patrick kept the small brown and grey rabbits he bred to sell on as pets in the nearby town. For about a mile Felix would follow the road along the farmland. The crop this time of year was a bumper golden. The never ending fields of corn stretched across the fences as they swayed in the wind. Other fields contained mountains of fodder, ready for the frosty winter that was predicted to arrive in a few months. Next to them was a stray goat, cut off from the pack while guzzling the grass. As he left the farmland, Felix was greeted by the towering hills, covered in a luscious green. A cold grey rock spiked out of the side of the third hill, while a flock of sheep rested on the fifth.

After an hour the trail ended. For the last part of the journey, Felix would have to hike through the hills. He stood at the base as the wound engulfed the view ahead. He took a swig of his water and started his climb.

At noon, he reached the summit, and finally saw the spectacular view. From here he could see the whole valley. To the south the cluster of houses from which he had came from, to the north was Presaddfed, a small market town hustling and bustling as the farmers try to sell their produce to the locals. A few hundred meters away was the tombs. Six stone mounds said to hold the remains of stone-age warriors. Felix sat down and took the sandwich Lynda made out his small brown satchel and enjoyed the glistening view.

After half an hour, Felix finally arrived at Presaddfed Tombs. The tombs were a popular tourist attraction, although Felix had never been himself. The site consisted of six stone mounds, one to the north, one to the east, two to the south and a final two to the west. Only the southernmost tomb remained in perfect shape while the others had toppled after thousands of years. Felix walked up to the information sign:

Welcome to Presaddfed Tombs

Presaddfed tombs were constructed over 4000 years ago by a stone-age settlement…

Felix Read on

A number of runes have been found inside each of the ruins, perhaps a key to who one lay there, but these do not follow the usual translations and have yet to be deciphered.

Below was a list of the runes:

North: KIVRJLIV

East: NRKVI

South: SZX, DFFE

West: YFCV, XLRIU

It is believed that there was once a shrine in the centre of the site, where the warriors used to worship the elements. They would use a prayer similar to this:

Praise the SKY that brings us the sun

Praise the EARTH which grows our crops

Praise the WATER which lets us drink

And the SKY that brings the water to the land.

The WATER brings us fish to eat.

Praise NAGI, god of gods, it is he who watches man.

Felix began to skim through the text until he saw something that struck him.

The leader of this clan was believed to be called Rasb.

"Rasb eh?” Felix thought to himself, "Perhaps Lynda's code might work, well if I knew what order to read the runes in."

He read the sign again, and stopped at the worship rituals. "Perhaps… Just perhaps this is the key. What if each line referred to a shrine? Sky, Earth, Water, Sky, Water, Nagi. If we take the first letter, we get the compass points. S E W S W N." Felix scribbled his idea on his notepad and began to decipher the runes. After an hour of deciphering using ARBS, he got his message. SZX NRKVI YFCV DFFE XLRIU KIVRJLIV or BIG WATER HOLE MOON GUARD TREASURE.

He took out the map that Lynda had given him and looked around. "A big water hole, I'm guessing that's a lake then. The nearest lake to here is Llyn Llywenan, but what does the moon have to do with it?" He set off to the lake, with the Moon Guard mystery flooding his mind.

The Moonbeams eye filled the glistening lake, rippling as a small school of fish darted around its unfixed, iridescent borders. Several sloping hills encased the glistening pool, casting a shadow across the enclosure during the rising and setting of the sun. The southern hills were combed with long thick grass, which stretched towards its sister hills in the breeze. A group of dandelions stood clumped together, releasing their flying seeds, which ride the wind across the enclosure until they reach their new home on one of the northern slopes. Above, a blanket of stars cloaked the sky, illuminating the darkness that emerged each and every night.

Felix stood on the top of the southern hill, staring at the lake. Below a small rowing boat bobbed on the borders of the lake. He looked at the moon's reflection on the water and suddenly realised what he must do. Surely nobody would mind him borrowing the boat for a while.

The small wooden boat bobbed on the water. It had been tied to a peg at the shore by a tattered piece of rope. It didn’t look to healthy either. Most of the boat had been covered in large chunks of wood to patch up holes. The moment Felix picked up the oars, they crumbled under the pressure. He slowly climbed back into the boat and began paddling with his arms over to where the moon cast its reflection. He stopped the boat in the middle of the moonbeams eye and slowly climbed out into the icy waters. After taking a large breath, he disappeared under the waters. A moment later, he launched up from the depths. The fish darted in every direction. He hauled a box onto the boat before climbing back in and heading of to shore.


Felix sat on the banks and looked at the chest, there was a small coin shaped hole where he had inserted the strangers’ coin and turned it, releasing the latch. Inside was a pouch of gold and silver coins like Felix had never seen before. There was also a letter:

Dear Mr Felix

Thank you for coming this far. I put my faith in you and you didn’t let me down. I have so much to tell you, but we shall meet to discuss this. Come to the Old Bull inn at Llanynghened on Saturday night and ask the barman for Aralus. Pay him the correct amount using the coins and he will show you to me. I am entrusting you with matters of extreme importance and I pray that you will come to see me.

Yours sincerely

Aralus


He sat on the banks throwing stones at the lake, which skipped along the crystal waters before sinking into its hidden depths. Once the small pile of pebbles had depleted, he reached into the pocket of his denim jeans and emerged with the coin. The coin which started this whole mess and began to rhythmically toss the coin into the air, before catching it between his two fingers.

A swarm of clouds began to creep towards the moon, slowly devouring the reflection on the lake, until there was only darkness.

Felix stared at the lake for a few moments and then looked at the coin and smiled, Lynda would be surprised. He picked up the small brown satchel beside him and began his accent up the slope from whence he came. Somehow he knew that things would only get harder from now. This wasn't an end. No. This was just the beginning.