Roanoke 20

Roanoke Chapter Twenty

Edwyn le Fay stepped out of the shadows as close to White Town as he could. He had waited until after sunset to approach the place. It meant that it would be easier to escape, if he needed to. He hoped that Trevelyan was not around. Le Fay thought that Trevelyan would probably avoid White Town. But he was not sure.

He walked down to the town. He went up to the Archard house. They were the people who he knew best, after all. He would talk to them first. Once he had convinced them to accompany him back to his world it should be easier to convince the others.

He knocked on the door, and waited. He felt a little more confident than the first time that he had come here. He did not think that he would get a bad reception.

The door opened. The senior Archard was standing there. It was only then that le Fay realised that he had forgotten the man’s Christian name.

You be returned.” Michael Archard said.

Yes, I be returned, Mr Archard.” Edwyn le Fay said. “I have good news. I have found a doorway on the other side of this world. If you go through it you will be able to go back to the world of your ancestors.”

Le Fay had not expected to see the look of fear on the face of the Archard family which he saw at that moment.

This be our home.” Michael Archard said. “Why would we leave?”

But you could go home.” le Fay said. He had not expected this reaction. He had expected to be praised.

This be our home. We were born unto this world, by the grace of God. We will not leave.”

The other members of the family nodded. Edwyn le Fay scratched his head.

Is there any way in which I can change your minds?” le Fay asked. They stared stony-faced at him. He took that as a no. Le Fay had never considered that the Archards might not want to leave the Red World. He could not understand why they would want to stay here.

But out world is wonderful!” le Fay said. “We have steam ships and steams trains and telegraphy. We have zeppelins flying through the sky, and submersible going underwater. We have cinerama and automobiles and all manner of other stuff.”

We know not of those things.” Michael Archard said. Of course they didn’t. This society was so small that it had stagnated in the past three hundred years. No new inventions had come about in the Red World. None of these people had seen a bicycle, or a zeppelin, or a steam locomotive. They would not have been able to imagine such things. This society was sill how it had been in the late sixteenth century. Le Fay should have realised that.

Edwyn le Fay carried on talking to the Archards for about another twenty minutes. But he was unable to convince them to travel to the doorway back to the other world. If anything they became even more stubborn.

Le Fay left their house. He had not yet given up on his plan to rescue the descendants of the colonists of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. He would get somebody to accompany him back home.

But Edwyn le Fay found the same sort of intransigence from the rest of the people of White Town. None of them wanted to leave this world. They knew nothing of the world from which Edwyn le Fay had come, and they did not seem to want to know about it. He tried to explain things to them, telling them that there were steam trains that could go along at sixty miles an hour. But his description of steam trains only seemed to scare these folk. He tried telling them about zeppelins. But that only served to scare them even more. These people did not understand how something without wings could fly through the sky. A few people made the sign of the cross. Some of the people gave dark glances in his direction, as though he was not to be trusted.

Lots of objections were raised. People asked, if this doorway to another world was over the other side of this world, many miles away, how they were supposed to reach that doorway. Edwyn le Fay had not even considered that matter. White Town was thousands of miles away from where the doorway between worlds was. There was no way that they could have walked that distance, even of there had not been oceans and seas in between White Town and where the doorway was between the worlds.

These people had no vehicles. They had no way of crossing vast distances. It was not as though le Fay could have taken them through the Shadow World, even if he had been willing to reveal that secret. Le Fay had been trained in shadow Magick, and in travelling through the world of shadows. He hated to imagine what would occur if some untrained mind was let loose in that world.

Le Fay asked if they had any boats. But the only boats which they had were small fishing vessels, ones which could go a few miles up and down the coast, but no further than that. It seemed like these people were not even interested in exploring the world in which they lived. Le Fay could not understand it.

He had not really considered the difficulties of getting these people to the far side of the globe, anyway. He had not given a moment’s thought to it. But that was what he was like.

Some of the people began to get angry at his persistence that they should leave White Town. In the end Edwyn le Fay was forced to retreat before things became ugly. He walked away, found a shadow, and returned to his cave.

Le Fay sat down, and wondered whether he should try at the Bishopric. But he was scared of running into Trevelyan. Le Fay was no hero. He did not want any encounter with that Black Magician. There was not going to be some mystical combat, him against Trevelyan, to free the Bishopric from the man’s influence.

Just at that moment the mouth of the cave became a little darker. Le Fay looked up to see a shadow there. The silhouette was of a man wearing early twentieth century dress. Le Fay saw a silhouette of a gun in the man’s left hand.

LUMEN!” Trevelyan commanded. A garish red glow lit up the inside of the cave. Trevelyan had traced some strange Magick to the cavern, knowing that it had to be the pathetic Edwyn le Fay. Trevelyan had come here to defeat his enemy, once and for all, this man who had doomed him to be in this wasteland world, rather than the Hell which Trevelyan had wanted.

The cave was empty, though. Trevelyan stared. He had been sure that he would fund le Fay here.

He cursed, and began the long journey back to the Bishopric.

Le Fay was back in the Shadow World. Despite feeling tired he went all of the way to the other side of the world. There was no future for him in the Red World. No future but death, if he stayed here.

He stepped out of a shadow… and fainted, overcome by all the Magick which he had performed.

When he came around it was night beyond the shadow where he was. When he had appeared, just before fainting, he was sure that it had been day. He did not know how long he had been out. But he was sure that it must have been hours.

He was tired, and hungry, and thirty. His clothes were dusty and dirty, and could do with a wash. He had not shaved since he had come to the red world. He looked an utter mess. But all that he cared about was getting out of there. He feared that Trevelyan might know some Portal Magick, and that the wizard would find him. He had to get away before then.

Feeling half dead Edwyn le Fay walked the miles to the portal back to his world. It was there. It was still open. He decided to get out of there before it closed. Edwyn le Fay stepped into the vortex.