The Curse of the Orthana by Nick Tamboia

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Chapter 10: The Battle of the Glade

Alia’s stay in Narnia was not a long one, and I would assume just as unpleasant as her life had been before she had come here.

After getting over the amazement of where she was, the girl had looked at the trunk she had been in. More shoes had fallen out of it and were hopping around in the grass. Looking at that, Alia remembered Puritan Kane.

She wasn’t sure if the trunk had magically traveled here, if it was in fact, a doorway as she recalled Old Nann and Raven suggesting it was. If it was a doorway, that meant, she guessed, that part of it was still in the cellar in Old Nann’s cabin, and Kane had been breaking down the door to get in there. If he got into the cellar and opened up the trunk, could he too follow her here?

Worried about that, she rushed over and worked to close the trunk lid. As it was now standing up on end, looking much like a doorway, this was difficult to do, and in her efforts, she knocked it down. Luckily it fell backwards landing on its bottom, and she quickly closed the top to it, latching the lion head lock.

With a heavy sigh, she slumped down, a slight smile on her face. From behind her she heard an odd grinding, crackling sound, and when the girl turned around that lamppost she had first seen, was gone.

She frowned at that, looking around, wondering where it had gone. After a moment she stood up and walked over to where she thought it had been standing, but saw no indication that it had ever existed at all. There was no dent or hole in the ground, and the grass was undisturbed.

For a short moment she walked in a slow circle, looking at the forest all around the field, wondering if maybe the lamppost had walked off on its own. After all those shoes in the trunk could dance and jump around on their own and considering everything else that had happened to her in the last few days she would not at all be shocked to see the lamppost walking off into the woods.

The strap on her left sandal broke as she walked around. This would turn out to be a good thing, as it forced the girl to sit in the grass and remove it from her bare foot, looking it over. She could either try using her magic to fix it, or make a new one. Then she remembered the shoes that had fallen out of the trunk and she looked over at those few that were still hopping around in the grass. None looked like girl shoes, and she wasn’t sure if wearing them was such a good idea, as they seemed to be alive.

Something thunked down in the grass beside her. Startled the girl looked over there to see a long, round stick with three feathers on the end of it, sticking up out of the grass.

Another something whistled over her head, and then another something jabbed into the ground beside her. Another long round stick with feathers on the end of it was poking up out of the ground. Frowning, Alia leaned over and pulled the stick out, finding a metal point on the end of it.

An arrow!

Three more stuck into the grass just behind the girl.

The girl looked behind her at them, then from the forest came a loud trumpeting sound, followed by a roar of some large animal. A moment later what looked like a huge, hairless jackal burst from the foliage and came charging right at the girl. Riding atop it was a strange man like creature.

Alia had never seen an orc before, so she had no idea that the man like creature wearing that brass, horn covered helmet on his head and swinging a large battle axe at his side as he raced toward her, riding atop what looked like the biggest, ugliest dog she had ever seen was just that, and orc.

An orc riding atop a large, ugly warg.

With a startled yelp, the girl tossed her sandal aside, jumped to her feet and kicked the other sandal off as she watched the creature racing across the field toward her.

Two more orcs riding wargs burst from the tree line and came racing across the field, and a moment later, several dozens of goblins came running out of the tree line, holding up swords, spears and war hammers as they raced into the glade, as the buzzing hum of dozens of arrows flying over her head, filled the air.

With a shout of fear, Alia took off, running barefoot across the field away from the attacking monsters.

She had not made it far, when from before her another volley of arrows shot into the air, flying over her head at those chasing her. At the same time, from the trees she was running toward a huge, four armed giant, holding up a massive club, came running out toward her.

Alia screamed as the huge monster raced toward her, and then, without thinking she threw herself down and slid in the grass on her rump, right between the giant’s legs as it continued to run toward the lead orc.

Alia looked backwards a she slid to a stop, watching as the huge four armed giant swung his club down just as it reached the orc she had first seen, blasting it off of the warg. At the same time she saw several of the goblins far behind them, fall to the ground as arrows rained down on them.

Another trumpet sounded from the forest before her, and as the girl looked there she saw a wave of creatures come racing out into the field, monsters that looked to be half man and half bull, more giants—some with two heads—and others that looked like gargoyles, all holding up axes, swords and other weapons as they raced toward the goblins and orcs, roaring and cheering. Behind them, small men with long red beards appeared, holding bows up and firing arrows into the air.

Without realizing it, Alia had come out of the trunk right in the middle of a battle between Jadis and the Goblin King’s forces.

Rolling over, Alia first crawled around clusters of fighting beast as arrows stuck into the grass all around her, and then when she reached an open area, she sprang up, and then ducked down as an ax sung by a minotaur flew over her head, the blade embedding in the side of a warg’s head, as the orc riding it went tumbling into the grass.

Jumping back up, the girl rain toward the side of the glade, away from the fighting monsters, watching as a giant Cyclops tackled another minotaur to the ground.