Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Zlidni at the Stone Bell! ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Clara and Alyssia Travel the World 2

The Zlidni at the Stone Bell!

Clara Beaufort, a warrior, and Alyssia Orloj, a mechanic and an
alchemist, were sitting in Alyssia’s workshop. It was a stone room
with arched windows, tables, benches and shelves full of clocks,
watches, clepsydras, hourglasses, astrolabes, quadrants, armillary
spheres and orreries and their parts like wheels, shafts, rims,
plates, rings, tubes, reservoirs, flasks, and tools like saws,
files, lathes, pliers, calipers, pincers, soldering irons, chisels
and so on. Clara was sitting on a bench and examining an astrolabe
with admiration, and Alyssia was sitting at a table and making a
small wheel in a small clockmakers’ lathe, turns. Clara was smiling
at Alyssia. Some time later she was taking a stroll here in the
lovely old city of Evanorra, capital of Almeria, when she ran into
someone, saw that a wooden box was falling onto the cobblestones of
the little winding street with bright ornate small houses, and
instantly caught it with her quick warrior’s reaction. The person
she ran into thanked her cordially, Clara said welcome, and they
introduced. The person she ran into was Alyssia Orloj and she was
carrying an astrolabe for the famous Captain Lindor and she was
testing it on high Petrin Hill. Alyssia invited Clara to her place,
showed Clara her mechanisms including the magnificent astrolabe for
the Captain Lindor, and treated her to coffee and strudels she made
herself. Then a customer came to Alyssia, Alois, the Warden of the
Clock Tower near the Hay Square, he called because the tower clock
has suddenly stopped. Alyssia came to look into the matter, Clara
went with her. Alyssia examined the clock movement and saw there
was nothing wrong with it, but then Alyssia saw a gremlin on one
wheel and called to Clara. Clara fired her pistol into the air and
the gremlin fainted from fear. Alyssia threw it out. The Warden
paid thousand crowns to Alyssia and Clara and Alyssia went back to
Alyssia’s place where Alyssia showed to Clara more mechanisms and
her workshop and her laboratory. Clara always was hanging out at
Alyssia’s since then. Alyssia was merry and interesting and made
wonderful things, and Clara liked her very much and knew Alyssia
likes her very much also.

‘What it’s going to be again, Al?’ Clara smiled broadly.

‘A lantern clock, Clara.’ Alyssia smiled broadly.

Clara nodded smiling broadly.

At this point a bell sounded.

Alyssia put off the wheel and the turns and rose instantly. Clara
put down the astrolabe and rose quickly too. They ran into the
corridor with rose leather wallpaper with flowers and down narrow
stairs into a shop with tables and shelves full of clocks,watches,
clepsydras, hourglasses, astrolabes, armillary spheres and orreries
and so on and with a dark wooden counter along the far wall. A
stout red faced man with short brown hair, in a green wide long
robe lined with brown fur and in a brown fur hat, looking very
worried, was standing at the door.

‘Maitress Alyssia?’ he asked tentatively looking at Alyssia.

‘Yes, how can I help you?’ Alyssia asked smiling broadly.

‘Oh, I’m Radomir, the purkrabi of Princess Matilda at the Stone
Bell,’ he explained breathing heavily. ‘Princess Matilda’s
favourite clock has stopped suddenly. Please help, Maitress
Alyssia!’

‘Of course, Master Radomir.’ Alyssia smiled broadly.

Radomir sighed with relief.

‘And you would be?’ he asked tentatively looking at Clara.

‘Lady Clara Beaufort of Tillandia, a warrior,’ Clara introduced
herself proudly.

Radomir nodded in acknowledgement.

Radomir, Alyssia and Clara left and walked along the little winding
cobbled streets with little bright ornate houses. At last they came
to the large Old Town Square, cobbled and with little bright ornate
houses, one golden with white murals, the largest of them a king on
horseback and with a banner, a tall dark Gothic City Hall, a tall
dark Gothic Tyn Temple with two towers, separated from the square
by a golden house with rounded gables and a small golden ornate
quadrangle tower with a roof like tall black conical hat with
upturned brim, and with crowds of people and many street vendors
selling sausages, beer and so on. Radomir walked quickly and
resolutely to the little tower by the Tyn Temple, the House At the
Stone Bell. Alyssia and Clara followed him resolutely. The House At
the Stone Bell, called so because of its looks, was the residence
of a member of a cadet branch of the Royal House of Almeria,
Princess Matilda, a gentle, dreamy lady, and Radomir was her
purkrabi, or steward. Radomir climbed the high steps, opened the
heavy dark wooden door and entered. Clara and Alyssia followed him
resolutely. They saw a large dark wooden carved staircase with
shields, armours, swords, halberds, maces, deer antlers and
pictures on the walls. Radomir climbed the stairs, Alyssia and
Clara followed him resolutely. From the top landing of the
staircase with dark wooden chests of drawers and chairs, they
passed through a door and came into a room with dark wood panelled
walls and carved wooden ceiling, with a large dark wooden carved
bed with a crimson cover and a crimson canopy with golden lining, a
dark wooden carved dressing table with a square mirror in dark
wooden carved curly frame, a large green tile stove, some dark
wooden carved tables with books and dark wooden carved chairs with
crimson cushions, and a crimson carpet with golden flowers on the
floor. A tall slender lady with large sad blue eyes, in a blue
violet dress with deep V neck lined with brown fur and with a white
inlay, with tight long sleeves lined with brown fur, a golden belt
and a full long skirt with orange lining of diamonds with black
middles, raised in the front, and a green underskirt, and with a
tall blue conical hennin with black net pattern, golden lining and
a large long veil, her hands tightly clasped in front, was siting
on a chair. She raised her eyes desolate.

‘Your Highness, Maitress Alyssia Orloj and Lady Clara Beaufort, a
warrior!’ Radomir announced.

Princess Matilda looked up.

‘Maitress Alyssia? They say that you are the best clockmaker in
Evanorra, I hope you can help me! You see, my favourite clock has
broken, it seems, for it has stopped suddenly today! First my dear
cat Mateusek has died, then I tripped on the stairs and nearly fell
down to my death, and now this! Please, Maitress Alyssia, help
me!’

‘Of course, Your Highness, I will help you,’ Alyssia said
resolutely.

‘Wonderful, Maitress Alyssia! Here is my clock!’ Princess Matilda
waved to her right side.

Alyssia looked there and saw a golden quadrangle lantern clock,
with golden twisted posts, golden face with black Roman numbers and
black ornate hands, and a bell shaped top. It was standing still
all right. Alyssia walked to the lantern clock, produced a
screwdriver out of her sleeve, took the clock in her hands and
unscrewed the back plate. She looked at the movement with verge
escapement, a pendulum, weights and striking mechanism, and
frowned. Everything seemed to be in pefect order.

Clara meanwhile was looking around the room, and suddenly she saw a
little shaggy old man in rags that was peeping from behind the
stove and waving his hands. Clara gestured to Alyssia. Alyssia
noticed the creature and nodded to Clara. Clara fired her pistol in
the air. The creature fainted from fear. Clara seized the creature
and threw it out of the door. Alyssia pulled one weight. The weight
slid down and turned the shaft of a crown shaped wheel, the wheel
touched one of two lapels on a horizontal stick, the lapel pushed
one tooth of the wheel forwards, and the wheel, turning, pushed
another wheel, this pushed another wheel, and the minute hand on
the face advanced, then the hour hand. Alyssia smiled, screwed the
back plate in place again and put the clock back on the table.

Princess Matilda looked at this all in wonder.

‘What was it?’ she then asked timidly.

‘Oh, it was a Zliden, Your Highness,’ Alyssia explained smiling
broadly. ‘The Zlidni are spirits that settle in a house and harm
its inhabitants, but if you get rid of them they never return, so
be assured, Your Highness, you shall never meet it again!’

‘Oh thank you, Maitress Alyssia!’ Princess Matilda exclaimed.
‘Radomir, please give to Maitress Alyssia a thousand crowns!’

‘Thank you, Your Highness, you’re very kind!’ Alyssia smiled
broadly.

‘Not at all, Maitress Alyssia,’ Princess Matilda returned smiling
gently.

‘Oh, and thank you too, my Lady Clara,’ Princess Matilda said
gently.

‘Don’t mention it, Your Highness,’ Clara answered solemnly bowing
deeply.

Alyssia smiled broadly.

‘Maitress Alyssia, please come with me,’ Radomir asked
solemnly.

‘Of course, Master Radomir. ‘ Alyssia smiled broadly.

Clara and Alyssia came with Radomir to the landing. Radomir
produced a puffy crimson purse from a chest of drawers and gave it
to Alyssia. Alyssia smiled broadly and took it. Clara smiled
broadly too. They descended the stairs and left the House At the
Stone Bell.

‘What a story!’ Clara grinned broadly.

‘Yeah!’ Alyssia grinned. ‘Say, Clariska, what was the most fearsome
monster you’ve conquered?’

‘Oh, Al, it was a huge red dragon with bat wings, long barbed tail
and large fangs! ‘ Clara shared smiling broadly. ‘It terrorised
Alnair, a town in Arranta, carried off cattle, girls and children.
I was travelling across Arranta at the time, and the qadi of Alnair
heard this and called for me, promised a hundered dinars. Well, I
agreed, came to Alnair, went to the hills near it, searched and
found a cave around which many bones were strewn. I came into the
cave and saw the awful dragon. It attacked me and I fired my Stella
Maris into its eyes, into its throat and belly, all the least
guarded places. At last it fell. I tore off some scales and took
with me, then returned to Alnair. The qadi thanked me profusely and
with flourishes and gave a hundred dinars to me. He said they were
holding a feast in my honour. I thanked him and took the hundred
dinars and stayed for the feast. It was magnificent, with baklava,
Turkish delight, pilaf, roasted mutton and so on. Then I left
Alnair and continued travelling.’

‘That was great, Clariska!’ Alyssia grinned broadly.

‘Yeah, Al,’ Clara confessed smiling broadly.

‘Say, Clariska, be my neighbour,’ Alyssia proposed grinning
broadly. ‘We hang together all the time already! And I have plenty
of rooms in my house!’

‘All right, Al!’ Clara nodded smiling broadly.