The Octology of the Seven Hats
Part One: An Odd Beginning
Chapter Two: The Meeting
The Arectori closed in on the two frozen men to form a solid circle.The Arectori raised their sticks to shoulder height lifting the two men into the air. Malbo and Vilhaun were paralyzed at the prospect of being lifted into the sky without the ability to move.
The Arectori lifted the two men along with them and then began to move forward, parallel to the ground. Malbo and Vilhaun were dragged along while the Arectori stayed in a tight circle. They watched in horror as they flew over the land. Faster and faster they flew, high above the surface of the earth. The darkness around them never lifted, but they could tell that the star returned over the area the Arectori did not block with their power.
They flew on for what seemed like hours. Soon, they finally began to descend and slow down. They landed at a gate in front of a dark-looking building and stopped. The Arectori kept walking, while Malbo and Vilhaun fell flat on their faces.
As soon as they landed, the two men were unfrozen. Malbo was unconscious, however, Vilhaun, who was not unconscious, leapt up, pulled out his powerstick, and started to yell a spell. The Arectori, who were unlocking the gate, noticed him and whirled around, flicking their powersticks towards him. Vilhaun went flying backwards and lay sprawled 20 feet behind where Malbo was lying. When Vilhaun landed again, he was unconscious. The Arectori opened the gate and entered, bringing Malbo and Vilhaun with them.
Vilhaun and Malbo awoke a while later, still dazed by their excursion. They were lying in a cell about 12 feet square with a ceiling stretching 20 feet above their heads. About 15 feet up on the wall was a small window which allowed a small stream of light to come in.
Malbo sat up and looked at his watch. The time was still only 5:00 P.M. on the same day he had left his home.
Vilhaun sat up as well and stared at the window. “The Arectori are gone,” he announced.
“Really?” Malbo exclaimed. “How do you know?”
“There is light coming in the window,” Vilhaun replied. “Wherever there is an Arectorus, darkness follows it.”
“Oh, right,” Malbo said. He then surveyed the cell. Seeing a door at one end of the cell, he stood up and walked to it. He tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge. Then he walked back to where he had been before and sat back down.
“That door is locked,” Malbo said.
“Maybe I can fix that,” Vilhaun said. He got up and walked to the door. He withdrew his stick from his right pocket, and pointed it at the door. “Tortlo toron goto abo!”¹ he yelled. The door didn’t budge. Vilhaun, frustrated, then yelled, “Tertlo toron goto abo!”² The door bent outwards, but, because it was locked, it did not open. Vilhaun yelled again even louder than before, “Tortlo toron goto abo! Tertlo toron goto abo!” The door still did not open.
In frustration, Vilhaun punched the wall. Instantly, all four of his knuckles broke and began to bleed. Vilhaun yelled in pain and frustration.
After having taken out his anger out on the wall and the door, Vilhaun returned to the back wall with a bedraggled and tired appearance. Malbo moved over a bit to make room for him, and to get away in case Vilhaun decided to take his anger out on him. Vilhaun calmly sat down and pulled out his powerstick. In a calm voice, he said, “Queranalo toron palom ma’i’atsi.”³ His hand immediately was fixed as good as new.
Vilhaun slumped against the wall. “I hate those Arectori. They always find a way to aggravate you.”
“I hate them too,” said a voice somewhere near them. Malbo and Vilhaun looked at each other accusingly, then, noticing nothing else strange, shrugged and went on staring at the wall.
Suddenly, a giant spider dropped from the ceiling right in front of them. Malbo and Vilhaun screamed and tried to push backwards to get away from it.
The spider was absolutely enormous. It was at least two feet in diameter with eight long legs sticking out of its sickeningly brown body. It was extremely hairy and had eight large green eyes. Again it spoke, saying, “I said, ‘I hate the Arectori, too.’ Did you not just say that? Most people who come to this place say that, and I’ve seen an awful lot of people.”
Malbo and Vilhaun ignored the spider, but continued to scream.
The spider gave them an inquisitive look, and said, “Is this how you humans greet someone? If so, it sounds strange to me. It hurts my ears as well, so would you please stop? I think that you’ve greeted me enough.”
Malbo and Vilhaun stopped screaming, but did not stop trying to escape their cell.
“Is there anything I can do to help you?” asked the spider. “If not, then I will leave you alone. I don’t need your company anyway.”
“Uh,” Vilhaun stammered. “Yeah, you may be able to help us. Can you help us get out of here? We’re not designed to be in enclosed spaces; instead, we wish to go out into the world and do good for the good of all.”
“Certainly,” the spider said. “How about you try that door? It looks broken, but I’m sure it will still work.”
Vilhaun rolled his eyes. “We already tried. It’s locked. Is there any other way?”
“Not that I know of,” said the spider. “Of course, that window up there is always open a crack, but I doubt you can climb up there.”
“What if you made us a ladder out of your web?” Malbo suggested. “I’m sure that would work.”
“Hmm, that sounds like a good idea. Let me get to work then.” It wasn’t long before the ladder was built. In no time at all, Malbo and Vilhaun had climbed the ladder out the window and into the sunny outdoors.
“Thanks!” they yelled to the spider, as they scrambled to safety. Fortunately, since their cell had been underground, the window was not too far from the ground. The spider waved one of its legs at them as the two men continued their journey.
“Have fun!” they heard it yell as they walked out of sight. Malbo thought to himself, ‘I sure hope we do have fun or else this trip will be awfully boring.’
¹Unlock this door.
²Open this door.
³Mend my hand.
The Octology of the Seven Hats copyright 2018 by Stewart Forthofer. All rights reserved. All likeness of any characters in this book to any person, past or present, is purely coincidental.