Write a story ending with: "... Now I realise the value of a true friend."

- by Abigail Shannon Chua
Wesley Methodist School Melaka
Melaka

It was midday and we were out in the woods making our daily patrol. The forest was quiet as we rode horseback down the path, whispering among ourselves. Eruvan and I headed the group and all of us were armed with bows and arrows.

"This routine patrol is so boring," Eruvan moaned for the tenth time that day. "Ought we to do it every day?"

I sighed and replied, "These are the dark times, Eruvan, and we must guard our borders for the safety of our people."

He mumbled as we trotted down the path. Suddenly, one of our men cried out as an arrow was imbedded in his chest. He collapsed onto the ground just as a swarm of trolls burst out of the trees.

"Ambush!" I yelled as we scattered and ran for cover.

Some of our men were hacked to death by the trolls as we tried to make it to the clearing of the forest.

"Sound the horn!" I yelled and Eruvan blew the horn, signalling to the others to come to our aid. We shot down some trolls on the way to the clearing. Upon reaching the clearing, we saw a nearby town in flames and the townspeople running around in panic. The trolls had distracted us from saving the town earlier by ambushing us in the forest.

"We have to warn the king," I said as we made our way towards the palace.

"How can we even sneak into the palace?" Eruvan asked frantically. I pointed towards the entrance of a small cave behind the waterfall.

"The catacombs?" Eruvan trembled as we rode towards the waterfall. "That's the only way into the palace without getting caught," I said as I dismounted my horse and tied him to a tree. I took out my dagger and reflected the sunlight into the cave. Eruvan held his bow and arrow as we moved quickly inside the catacombs. We hurried down the rocky path leading to the underground entrance of the palace. The dead surrounded us. Except for the sound of our footsteps, there was silence all over. I shivered as we passed by my family tomb, my family insignia partly burnt. I stopped at the entrance.

"Amon, what are you waiting for?" Eruvan grabbed my arm as he tried to pull me away.

Without thinking, I pushed the gate open and entered the tomb. Suddenly, a troll charged at me, knocking me down.

"Ambush!" Eruvan yelled as he started to shoot down a group of trolls coming out of the nearby tombs. There were nearly 20 trolls in total. I stabbed my troll and helped Eruvan with the remaining ones. We raced down the path, shooting down trolls as we went. Ahead I saw the entrance to the palace. Its guards lay dead on the ground and I quickly knelt by one and removed the keys from his belt. I fumbled with the key and lock. Eruvan cried out, "Hurry!" The door opened but before I could do anything, a troll swung its club at my head. I fell to the ground with my ears ringing. I was unable to hear Eruvan sounding the horn and calling out my name. Suddenly, I saw a troll armed with a sword rushing towards me. I tried in vain to get up as I was too weak. All of a sudden, Eruvan shielded me against the attack and consequently, he was hacked. He collapsed to the ground just as reinforcements came down and got rid of the trolls. I scrambled over to Eruvan and held him.

"Don't worry. You'll be alright," I said as he shook in my arms.

"I'm sorry," he whispered as he shut his eyes. I held him tight and thought, "Now I realise the value of a true friend."