It always rained when they went…
This particular story takes place in a village called Kakariko. It was a young village built for the people less fortunate than those that lived in the nearby castle. The castle itself was young as well. The people of the castle and the village did not usually interact…that is, of course…when someone had sinned….
James brushed his hair silently. It was light and golden with a tint of red. Most people would tell this boy of fourteen years that he didn’t deserve such gorgeous hair. But he would disregard it and go about his business. He knew it wasn’t because of him but because of his mother. He hated to think of such things.
His twin brother, Daniel, played with his dirty brown hair as he watched James look at himself in the cracked mirror. Both of them were inside their humble house as the rain fell upon the small village. Like everyone, they stayed indoors in such weather. Not so much to stay dry as they were afraid to go outside when it rained. For when it did, people they tended to see about the village would end up gone after such a storm.
Their mother, however, was not to be found. Both boys, like everyone else in the village, suspected she was out drinking herself, and her sons, out of house and board.
“I think it’s letting up,” said Daniel, almost as if he cared.
James put his grimy brush down. The entire house was run down even though the village was fairly young. The walls were eroding, there were a few holes in the roof, and there were two filthy beds; one of which the boys shared even though their mother wasn’t even home most nights.
Finally, the rain ceased and the sun bled through the clouds. Soon, the entire village was about and doing their daily rituals. James and Daniel also left their house even though they had no such thing to do. “I’m going to go to the Graveyard,” said Daniel.
“What are you going to do there?” asked James.
“I don’t know. Whatever there is to do.”
Daniel went off. His feet made a squishy noise as he walked on the wet grass. James saw reason in what he was saying. The entire village was basically built around that graveyard. The residents of the nearby castle buried their most prominent soldiers there. It wasn’t even that big either. But James didn’t want to succumb to boredom, so he decided to follow them there.
He saw a few people by the well getting their water after the rain. That was the first thing they did when the rain stopped. He caught up with Daniel who was about to enter. To both of them, they could feel some strange feeling emitting from that place. Like someone was trying to say something they couldn’t get out.
They both looked to their left and saw the young grave keeper’s home. It was a tiny shack and neither of them wanted to know what went on in there. Suddenly, their mother stumbled out. She was inebriated as usual.
She saw both of her boys. She stumbled and leaned on the wooden pole on the short porch. They looked at eachother silently for a while. Then their mother spoke. “You both will do well to not cause any trouble.” She bent over and threw up. Then she wiped her mouth and stumbled off to their house.
“I know she’s our mother and all…” said Daniel. “But I honestly hate her…”
James didn’t say anything. He walked up the lonely graves and put a few flowers in front of them.
He brushed off the dirt of a few of them to reveal the covered names. James walked further into the small field. For some reason, every time he reached the back, it began to rain. When he looked behind him, the sky was an eerie brown color and the sun, although visible, was a changed color.
He stood in front of the largest grave honoring the men that served the kingdom. He looked up and saw a cliff that was fenced off. As if anyone would want to go up there anyway James thought. He looked below his feet and saw a patch of dirt in the patter of three triangles.
Before he could asses what it really was, he heard a voice behind him. “Hey kid! Don’t mess with the graves!” He looked behind him, in the place where it was still sunny, and saw the young grave keeper limp over to Daniel.
“I’m not messing with the graves. I’m honoring them,” said Daniel.
“You can do that on your own time,” he said.
“Dampe’, it’s not a problem. I’m not doing anything wrong.”
The young grave keeper glared at him. “What’s yer brother doin’?” He turned his attention to James.
“Nothing. Probably just looking at the graves.”
“I don’ like ‘em over there. It’s not a place fer a kid like ‘em to be at.”
“And why is that?”
“Don’ get mixed up in matters that don’ concern you. My father took every one of these dead soldiers and buried dem ‘emself to honor dem. But beyond these plots…that does just the opposite.” He smiled a crooked, missing-teeth, smile.
“You’re getting to be crazy, Dampe’. Crazy like an old man.”
His smile vanished. “Well I gots a few ‘ears before I’ll be an old man. Now tell yer brother it’s time fer both of ya to leave. And tell yer mum that she can come back anytime she likes.” He smiled again and limped back to his house.
“James!” Daniel called, “Let’s go!”
James shrugged and ran off. The rain stopped when he left the back of the graveyard. He followed Daniel when he was turning to leave as well. Both walked beside eachother. Their family of three was hated by everyone in the village.
Their mother was a drunk and would do special favors for some of the village men to keep herself in more alcohol. Their rundown house was all they had to their name and everyone assumed that her kids were just as bad as she was.
However, she didn’t want her children to be away from their father, whom she figured lived in the village anyway but had no clue as to who he was. But she didn’t care to look.
The secrets of the village puzzled the two however. They go inside when it rains and after it did, someone from the village would have vanished. James came the conclusion that before they disappeared, they had done something bad before.
That is why both took it upon themselves not to do anything bad and do whatever they could for the village to help clear their names. They would pull weeds and help with some of the new houses being built. When they were done, they never got a thank you. But not getting an insult from the carpenters at the end of a hard day’s work was enough for them.
At the end of the day, both retired to their home. James settled on reading an old, torn book while Daniel went straight to bed. The village was also empty at night.
But not this night.
Daniel and James’ mother was about, stumbling over rocks and other houses in her intoxicated state. She was disoriented and didn’t know what to do. She was bored and exhausted but didn’t want to go to bed.
She looked at one of the houses James and Daniel helped build. Inside was one of the men she had slept of with. He was reading his children a story before they went to sleep with his unknowing wife sitting beside him.
It sickened her. She was just as beautiful as any of the women. All of the men wanted her, and most of them already had her. She was furious that she was being used constantly. She saw him blow out the candle. She clenched the bottle in her hand.
She looked at it closely. She poured what contents were left in front of the door and looked around for some sticks. She rubbed them together and, after many intoxicated tries, was able to get a small flame burning and put it by the puddle she had just made.
She watched the fire slowly grow. She smiled a wicked smile. Then she saw it grow ever larger. Then she heard screaming on the inside. Then she started to panic. She looked at the bottle in her hand and put it where her house was, her sleeping boys inside.
She then darted off. She ran out of the village and didn’t even look back.
James awoke to rain falling upon the house. Water had seeped through a hole in the roof and fell upon his forehead. Their mother, of course, was not found inside their home. He sat up and wiped his forehead dry. He looked around and found many empty bottles about. It did not surprise him. They were always there.
Daniel, however, was not to be found. James stood up. No note or anything was about. James was worried. He went outside to get James to get him out of the rain. He made sure he wouldn’t be seen by anyone even though no one was about.
He saw some movement from the corner of his eye and went to the side of the house. He poked his head out from the side and saw hooded men carrying Daniel’s limp body! James did his best not to lose control and go after them. He stayed hidden and decided to see where they were taking him.
They moved toward the well. James cocked an eyebrow and wondered why they were going there. All the well was was a place to get water. They had Daniel over one of their shoulders’s and then went down, as if they were going down a ladder.
James came so close to just forgetting about it, but he couldn’t. Daniel was all he had and he was going to get to the bottom of whatever was going on. Once the last hooded person disappeared, he ran toward the well.
When he reached the edge, he looked down. It was dark, but he grabbed hold of the metal bars and climbed down. He made it half way down when he felt the well shake. He went the rest of the way down as fast as he could. As soon as he felt his feet touch solid ground, he saw that water was rising to his knees, and quickly.
Then he looked up and saw a long, dark corridor and a metal door-like thing shutting his way off. He quickly ran under it when a large wave of water washed him out to the other side. The door closed behind him and he was on all four, coughing and wiping his face.
He was soaked, but he was able to steady himself and stand up. Before him was a narrow hole. He wondered how the hooded people were able to all crawl through it. And so quickly at that. He was able to squeeze through. If he were just a year older, he’d be too big and it would be impossible.
He made it to the other side and got up. He was in a room with grates on the wall. He walked to the ledge and saw that the floor looked like it was on fire or was made of lava. It was glowing and it frightened James. But he didn’t stop, he had to see what they were doing to Daniel, or else he was certain he’d never see him again.
He climbed down the grate below him and the floor was just fine. It must’ve been an illusion. In front of him sat a skeleton. It made James’ heart jump. He felt his heart beat quickly. There was a wall before him. Where did those people go with Daniel?
Then, for some reason he couldn’t explain, he heard the skeleton speak to him. Its mouth didn’t more or anything, but it was like he could hear him. “Look for the eye of truth! The eye of truth!”
James was scared, but he had to think about what he said. Was what he was seeing deceiving him? Uncertain, he picked up some dirt and threw it at the wall. Just he thought, the dirt didn’t splatter on the wall. It was a false wall. He pressed his hands in front of him and walked right through the wall that way.
The contents of the well were quite odd. It was like he was in a hallway that led in two directions: forward and left. He had no clue where to find Daniel, however. He didn’t hear anything and he walked forward.
He heard splashing and looked down. The whole floor was flooded. It didn’t surprise. Being underneath a well, you’d expect that. But the water made noise so he had to make sure that no one would be able to hear him.
He went back to the corner where he came and rolled up his baggy, ragged brown pants. He rolled up his long-sleeves and pinned them up. He tightened his vest so his shirt wouldn’t sag either. He took off his boots as well. Although they were crude, they were the nicest things he owned.
He stood up and saw the pool of water in front of him. He figured there was another part of the well under there too. He didn’t have time to look, so he walked to his left as fast as he could without making much noise.
He saw various corridors and to his left, he saw a place to go. He didn’t know where it led, but he had to try everything. He already made it this far. He opened the steel door and went inside. What was in there made his heart stop.
Coffins. Six of them. They were all closed. In horror, and panic, he went over to all the graves. He took of the top of one. There was a wrapped up dead body inside. He became intoxicated and heaved right by the grave. The body was too big to be Daniel’s.
He moved to the others. Gaining his composure more with each one. Two of the coffins were empty; the other three were the bodies of the villagers that wound up missing. None of them were Daniel’s, he was certain.
He ran out of the room as fast as he could until he was in the main hall again. He went to his left and saw a purple face high on the wall he was going towards. “Danger Above” it seemed to call out. Then, suddenly, a huge spider came from the ceiling.
James fell back on his bottom. He felt the blood drain from his face. He stood up, shaking, then the spider went above to the ceiling again. James tried again, but it came down again. This time, James wasn’t afraid. He was angry.
He took his hand and drove it through its mouth. The green blood spilled on his hands but he didn’t care. He took his hand out and looked to his right. He found the source of the water. He ran up in front of it. It was a strange lizard-like head having water poured from its mouth.
He looked down by his bare feet. The same symbol he saw the day before in the graveyard was painted in yellow. He could see it through the water. Then he heard something behind him.
He turned around. There was another wall. “Well it worked once before,” James thought. He poked only his head through. Thankfully, although there were people in there, no one saw him. There were two wooden stakes in the shape of an “X” in the center of the room with chains on it. There were two cells on either side of him, and two rooms on the other side of the room.
The hooded people were taking someone off. It wasn’t Daniel, but whoever it was, he was stripped naked and appeared to be beaten. They carried him to one of the cells that was on James’ side, so he had to pull back to make sure he wasn’t seen.
He heard them say, “You’re next, young one,” to someone. He didn’t know who, but he heard a steel door slam. With great risk, he poked his head through the hollow wall again, and saw that everyone was gone.
He stepped in completely. “J-James…” he heard Daniel’s voice moan to his right. In shock he ran around to him. The cell wasn’t even closed off. There was a part that was left off so someone could just go right in.
He ran up beside Daniel. He knelt near him. “Daniel…are you okay? What did they do to you?”
Daniel leaned up. A small line of blood leaked from the left corner of his mouth. James wiped it away. “James, listen carefully. We don’t have much time. The well is a prison. This is the room where they torture them. They think that I set a house on fire. They took me right from our house while you were sleeping and then they knocked me out and threw me in here.”
“What sort of things are they doing?” asked James.
“Remember that man that was accused of beating his wife and children?” James nodded. “Well that was him just now on the cross. They were beating him with rocks.” Daniel pointed to the ground just under the cross. “That’s his blood right there.” Daniel choked on his words. “I don’t think he made it…”
Daniel pointed to the cell on the other side. “There is a false bottom in that cell. They threw him down there like they did with the other dead bodies,” he said.
“But I just saw coffins in another room with bodies wrapped up. Why would they throw them down there?” asked James.
“I don’t know…but James…” Daniel clutched the collar of James’ shirt. “They said I’m next…I…I don’t want to die James…” Daniel started to tear. “Don’t let them kill me.”
“I won’t, Daniel,” said James, tearing up himself. “I promise.” James tried to pull Daniel up. “Can you stand?”
Daniel did so. He wasn’t badly injured, but he was noticeably in pain. “We have to get out of here, now!” said Daniel. They were making their way to the false door when they heard the steel door open again.
Both of the boy’s heart stopped. They turned to see the hooded people looking at them. “Oh, there are two that will be punished now…” One of them said, eerily calm.
“Come with me!” said Daniel, taking James’ hand and taking him to the other cell. As soon as they both stepped in, they plunged to the bottom. Both fell on the hard ground. They could hear the tormentors above them scramble about.
They came up to their feet and looked around. It was like a cave of some sort. There were four different small caves. In the center of the place was a puddle of some odd greenish blue water. There were some wooden poles in there as well.
To both of the boys’ horror, they saw the man’s body that was just thrown down there, disintegrating in the water. “Don’t touch the water,” said Daniel.
“Smart move,” said James. But how are we going to get out of here?”
They looked around. “Look, there’s a ladder on the other side,” said Daniel. “We can cross by staying on the pieces of wood.”
“Let’s hurry then!” said James, urging Daniel forward. They both made it very careful not to touch the water. Daniel made it to the ladder first and began to climb up it. James followed. He almost stumbled into the puddle, but gained his balance and made it to the other side.
He followed Daniel up the ladder. When both were at the top, they went through the steel door. They found themselves in a room that seemed to be closed off. Daniel and James looked for the false wall. They found it and went through.
James knew the place slightly better than Daniel did, so he led the way. Keeping quiet was useless now. They ran down the corridor. Their feet splashed as they did. To their right, James recognized the place he came in. His boots were still there. He slipped them on.
“This way!” said James as he put the last one on.
“Not so fast!” said a hooded tormentor. “Escaping will not be so easy!”
James looked at a frightened Daniel. “Daniel, I need you to go through this hole and find the way out! It’s straight ahead, you mustn’t hesitate. I’ll hold them off!” James shoved Daniel to the crawlspace. Daniel reluctantly went ahead.
James lunged at the hooded people. He beat as many as he could. But he didn’t hold them off for long. But he managed to slow them down enough so that Daniel could get through safely.
They bound James up with chains. Blood ran from his mouth and some from his arms and chest. “What should we do with him?” said one of the guards.
“His punishment must be more than what we can give him here. He has seen too much and we will make sure he has remorse for stumbling upon a place that no villager of Kakariko should ever see…”
“Surely you can’t mean…” said one of the tormentors in horror.
“Yes…take him to the temple…”
"But...he's just a boy-"
"Do as I say!"
"Yes sir." The man bowed and reached for James.
Daniel’s feet met with more water below he soles. He climbed up a grate in front of him. He looked back behind to make sure he wasn’t being followed. He saw a skeleton there and wondered how James passed that without showing fear when he found him.
In front of him was a metal wall. He looked to his right side and saw a lever with a few chains dangling from it. He pulled it down and suddenly torrents of water gushed from behind the opening wall. He held on the lever for dear life as the bottom part of his body swayed with the current.
When the flow ended, he was saw rain coming down into the well and a ladder leading up. He quickly climbed up. He could only pray James was going to be okay.