Author: BlueJean PM
Something Lost is a story that revolves around Alanis' discovery of a magical world she never knew existed. She finds herself thrust into that new world one night and nothing has been the same since... She must take the reins of this new world in hand, with hope and courage in her heart before it controls her.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 17 - Words: 45,124 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 08-17-12 - Published: 08-03-12 - id: 3047332
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
We rode as quickly as we could, making most of the remaining hours of the sunlight. Just as the sun was beginning to make its grand exit, James shouted for me to look up. Ahead through a light patch of mist the outline of a town began to take shape. It was enormous and beautiful, just as James claimed it to be. The structures were made from large stones that were cut perfectly to shape, they reminded me of the old stone tower that Anna and I played in as children. My eyes grazed the glorious landscape, hills rolled throughout the city, and small dwellings adorned their slopes. Across the entire city lush vegetation grew like welcomed guests. At the far corner of town was a grand castle, its top nearly spired to the clouds above.
My eyes were wide, I was amazed with its size, thousands must have lived there. Never in a million years could I imagine a place like this, I wondered if Justin knew of this, if he had ever seen it for himself.
"I knew you'd like it. Its beauty amazes all who see it." He tilted his head to the side to look back at me.
I returned a forced smiled as a reply.
We made our way to the entrance of the city. A large wall built of stone surrounded its perimeter. It must have taken them ages to build this place. James stopped in front of the gate and someone called out to from the other side.
James squinted. "Andrew, that you," He questioned.
A large man hustled over to the gate, his hands clenched at the bars. He was tall, towering over the other guards who were readying the gate behind him.
"I thought Cassandra would be with you, she stormed out of here like a bat out of hell. I think she was worried for your safety." He replied with a laugh.
"You're an asshole, you know that?" James replied and glanced back quickly. "Please, excuse my language." He apologized to me.
The gate began to rattle and started to shift up. Andrew released the bars and stepped back as the gate rose. We made our way through the opening.
He began to stare in my direction with curious eyes.
"Who's the escapee?" He asked.
I wondered how he'd known I wasn't from around here.
"My name is Alanis." I replied, hating the fact that he ignored the option of asking me himself.
"How did you know I wasn't from around here?" I asked intrigued.
His hand ran through his shaggy medium length blond hair. "The answer is on the top of your head, my dear." He replied.
I looked around and that's when I noticed all the golden hair that surrounded us, my dark hair stuck out like a sore thumb.
"I see," I replied satisfied with his answer.
"I should apologize for my behavior. It's not like me to forget my manners in front of a lady. My name is Andrew." He flashed a wide smile before he bowed his head.
"Please excuse my appearance, I assure you I clean up well." He added.
I smiled back at him politely. "I've known better days myself."
"I'm sorry but we need to cut this short. I have to get to the castle before the others get here." James intervened, his normal cocky overtone was now riddled with worry.
He pulled up on Ellah's reins triggering her to gallop.
He shouted over his shoulder. "Don't worry, both of you can flirt later at the tavern!"
"What," I roared into his ear, he flinched.
"It was a joke, just a joke." He laughed. "It will be fun, you'll see."
What was he thinking, I didn't want to meet up with any of his friends later. I was tired of his constant gab about how much I was going to enjoy this and that in Berthold. Why did he seem so adamant about me staying here? All I wanted to do was figure out a way to return home, not hang out and make friends with the locales. I prayed on the way to the castle that someone there would be able to help me, at the rate things were going James would have permanent residence for me by nightfall.
When we neared the castle we dismounted and left Ellah behind at the stables and trekked the rest of the way by foot.
We walked up to a long pathway that connected to the courtyard of the castle front. Tall statues decorated the center of the walkway, they were three beautiful women, chiseled into white polished marble. The two to the side cupped their hands in front of their naked breasts, and the center one stood tall with her arms raised above her head, her eyes frozen on the heavens above.
At the castle door stood an old man, the white hair that topped his head was scarce and his eyes drooped into the many wrinkles of his skin. He walked over to greet us, his crisp off-white linen cloak dragged across the walkway. I noticed he wore a golden pin that was identical to the one James had. The one that was used to create the spear with the golden head.
"Sir James, Lord Alexander is expecting you." His voice whistled through his missing teeth.
He hobbled over to where I stood, his tired eyes examined me.
"You have the looks of Princess Charon. You must tell me where you're from." His warm smile was directed at me.
"We've got to make haste, sir. I will introduce the two of you later, I promise." James grabbed my hand and whisked me through the castle doors before I could protest.
The inside of the castle was dark and smelled of oils and spices, the scent was both strong and pleasant, it left the atmosphere with a warm and inviting sense. When my eyes adjusted to the candlelight that illuminated the giant room, I looked around at all the beautiful tapestries that clung to stone walls. Scenes of events were weaved into each of them, I wondered curiously of what stories they told. It seemed every corner had a thing of beauty that decorated its space. I didn't have time to fully appreciate them, James would pull me along every time I stopped to admire them.
Finally, we reached the end of the grand room and at its end stood two large wooden doors with Berthold's Crest carved onto them. Two Knights stood in front of them. James bowed to them. They nodded and opened both doors, inside was a very large room that opened to an outside court. He led me to the end where a throne crafted from a large tree stump sat. It was marvelous, beautiful images were meticulously carved throughout it.
The sound of a faint melody drifted throughout the chamber. I looked around, but couldn't tell where the lovely tune was emanating.
James stopped walking. "Where is he? He should be here." He said while releasing my hand.
"It's beautiful in here..." I whispered, my eyes trailed along the walls to the roof above.
Vines intertwined through the old lattice roof and tumbled to the floor below. I walked over to them, examining the budding flowers that sprouted from them. I felt some sort of connection to these plants, as if they were beckoning me to them. I touched a crimson blossom gently with the tips of my fingers, half expecting it to greet me with that touch. If it had, it wouldn't have surprised me, nothing was set in stone like it was in Larska, here the impossible was a possibility - or so it seemed.
The doors we had walked through earlier opened, shedding a faint groan. He walked in, and I could tell instantly that this man had to be the one we were waiting for. He wore a suit of half-armor made of silver that matched his long mane. His gray eyes peered attentively ahead to the throne where he would take his seat. Following behind him were three men who wore the same style cloak the old man outside the castle had worn. Their eyes were low as they took their place behind his throne, they stood silent and still. Later, I would learn those men were his Council. When they were settled, the man with the silver hair took his seat on the wooden throne, sitting tall, he was both beautiful and gallant.
James bowed somberly. I stood behind him having no idea what I should and shouldn't do, so I bowed my head in a respectful manner, hoping that would suffice.
"Please rise, Sir James." He said in a strong assertive voice.
"Lord Alexander, I would like to apologize to you for my failure." James apologized sincerely.
"Did I say it was a failure?" He asked.
"No, your grace."
"Then don't assume that it was."
"I see that you have brought company with you." His eyes grazed past us both.
"I apologize, her name is Alanis. She is from a settlement in the South."
"Which settlement?" He sat forward, his eyes seemed to direct to me.
I assumed he wanted the answer to come from me and not James.
"I'm from Larska, Sir." It took a moment for me to answer him, I was unsure of how I should address him without offending him.
"Larska, that's a first. I do believe you are the first to break free from that settlement. How did you escape?"
"Escape," I replied puzzled. "I didn't run away if that's what you're implying."
Why was it that everyone assumed I broke free from there? It was my home and I wanted to return to it, certainly not stay here.
"They never just let you go. You escaped, you'd be lying if you claim otherwise." Cassandra said from behind making her presence known to all.
I grimaced in reply to her statement.
She walked past us to Alexander, she bowed at his feet, her eyes never left him. I could sense her strong feelings for him through that stare.
"I'm not lying, I really don't know what happened." I replied, all eyes were now on me.
Their stares made me feel like a young child trying to defend my innocence.
"I woke up on the shore of the river with no idea of what had happened. I had been ill for several days before that."
"Hmm," she sneered at me. "How convenient, just the cover one would go with to hide their true intentions." She marched near me.
"What do you mean by that?" Her accusations were starting to enrage me.
"You're a spy, I can tell. Your story is unbelievable, a mere child could come up with a better cover story than that." She replied, her cold blue eyes gave away her contempt of me.
"A spy, you have no idea what you're talking about. What I have told you is the truth. I never knew this place existed until James told me about it."
She walked toward Alexander again while I was in mid-sentence.
"Lord Alexander, I suggest we make her leave Berthold, before any misfortune is bestowed upon us."
"That's great, I have no intention of staying here anyway. I just need safe passage back to Larska." I glared at her, her eyes shifted quickly from Alexander back to me.
I was getting bewildered glances from everyone now.
"Are you crazy? If you're not a spy for them they would slay you where you stood when you returned."
She sounded as astonished with my request as I was with her statement.
"What are you talking about, why would they kill me?"
She sighed smugly. "You really are clueless, you know that?"
I lunged at her wanting to strike her, but I held back. "What the hell do you know?" I shouted at her.
She held her ground. "A lot more than you obviously." Her hand reached for the blade at her side.
"Enough Cassandra, you know better than to act like this. Please leave, I will deal with you later." Alexander's stern voice echoed through the chamber breaking up what was bound to escalate into a fight.
She apologized and stepped away, bowing her head in respect. Alexander waited for her to leave before he spoke.
"You must be frightened, for this I am sorry. If what you said is true then what I am about to tell you will only make things worse." His words were delicately selected.
James stood next to me again, I looked over at him and was troubled by the stare he was giving me. I glanced back to Alexander to hear what he had to say.
"I'm afraid Cassandra is right," his eyes lowered. "You would never be welcomed back into Larska, the only thing that would await you there would be a swift execution."
His statement took me aback, I stood there stunned. James took my hand for several seconds until I jerked it free.
"Execution, what the hell are you talking about?" I didn't care about formalities anymore, my emotions had taken over my words.
"What did you think happened to all of your friends when their so-called illness struck? They were taken out of sight and murdered."
He sat forward on his throne, his silver hair moved with him cascading over his shoulders to his polished breastplate.
I walked up the steps to where Alexander sat, his gaze followed my movement curiously. I stood on the last step cautious not to break past its peak, afraid one of his Council would take me out if I did.
"Liar," I muttered.
He sat tall. "Speak clearly while questioning my honor." He replied sternly.
I knew he had heard what I said, I wasn't about to repeat it again.
"You're wrong they were sick. There's no way they would do that to us." I shouted, my fists shook at my sides.
"Did you see them die from it? Please explain to me why you are still alive if everyone else has fallen from it." His question stumped me, I was left with no answer to give him.
Everything in Larska was kept a secret. Whenever someone started showing signs of the illness they would be whisked away before any of us ever noticed, but that didn't mean they were all secretly being murdered.
"Well since you don't know I'll give you the answer." His eyes seemed disconnected to everything, his gaze fell through me.
"You may believe it or you may not." He leaned back into his throne. "I can assure you, that in time you will come to know it as a truth."
I wanted to doubt his remorseless statement without hearing it through.
"We all go through a change that wreaks havoc on our bodies, most of the time this change happens before adulthood. When the change is complete it leaves us connected to nature and able to wield its power." He paused.
"You said you were ill a few nights ago, since then has anything strange happened to you?"
"You'll have to be more specific, the past few days have been filled with strange events." I replied coldly.
"I'm sorry, what I meant was, have you noticed strange changes within yourself."
"She's wielded." James spoke up answering the question Alexander had asked.
"That orb I created?" I asked.
"Yes, if you are able to wield that means that you have gone through transcendence, the change that I mentioned earlier."
"What does this have to do with Larska, why would they execute me?"
"Because you have gone through the change." He paused.
"You see the only reason why they want to murder you and your friends is because they think of you as a potential threat. You were going to turn into something they didn't understand, something they couldn't control, so they did the only thing their weak savage minds could think of, they lied. They called it a disease and told the infected they would die from it, so it would be easier to cover up their murder when the time came."
His hard-hearted statement gave me a horrible feeling, the sudden rush of adrenaline that pumped through my veins screamed for release.
It took several attempts to speak before the words came out. "That's a lie, there's no way they would do that!" I shouted at him in disbelief.
I fell to cold stone floor, I could hear only my ragged breathing.
"This is horrible, it can't be." I repeated in-between breaths.
James rushed over to my side, I rose my hand to shoo him away, but he stood his ground close at my side. I glanced up at him hoping he could clear up some of my confusion. He stood there silently, I could feel the pity he felt for me in his stare back.
His hand extended to mine, I grabbed it.
I had no idea what to think, I couldn't believe that everyone who ever got sick were secretly being executed. If what he said was true then it would mean Justin and the other Officials had always known what was going on, how could I believe that? I wanted desperately to believe that Alexander was lying to me, but what would he gain by telling me these false stories? I had no way to prove if what he said was right or wrong.
And I couldn't discredit the fact that I had been ill and magically gained powers just like he said would happen to those going through the change.
Alexander's Council began to whisper to each other, I watched them wondering what they were discussing so intently. They stopped, and one of the three men stepped forward and whispered something into Alexander's ear.
Alexander's lowered eyes rose, he nodded soon after.
"There will be a New Moon in six nights. On that night, I will be able to perform a ritual that could bring your blocked memories to surface. This would help you recall what brought you here."
James helped me to my feet. "You could do that?"
He nodded and stood up.
I was intrigued by his offer but couldn't tell if I should trust this man to help me just yet.
"I will expect your answer soon, so I can prepare. I hope you at least consider it. It would help ease the confusion I know you must feel right now." He replied.
"I'll need to think about it."
"When you have made up your mind, have Sir James tell me of your choice."
Alexander began to descend the stairs, he stopped ahead of me.
"Until then, I bid you farewell." He bowed his head.
He continued down the stairs, his Council followed behind him.
I watched silently as they disappeared behind the doors.