|The Fountain of Tears
Author: SpinlyGribblegale PM
Group of friends gets trapped in another world. Reviews are needed to improve the story. May increase in rating- but is undecided.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Supernatural - Chapters: 2 - Words: 5,743 - Reviews: 3 - Updated: 12-20-12 - Published: 08-27-12 - id: 3053666
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Fountain of Tears
"Happiness doesn't always equate to stability" Ulna's wistful side intoned.
All her friends turned round to look at her, she blushed, she had not actually meant for her friends to hear. They turned back to Pascal who was originally speaking.
"Anyway, as I was saying..." Ulna's mind began to drift off again before she could comprehend what Pascal was actually saying. It was not that she had a short-attention span; it was just that 'facts' about who fancied whom now really did not interest her at all.
This was not usual behaviour for Ulna; usually she listened to what people had to say. Even if it was about the antics of popular people in their year group.
The bell rang violently shaking Ulna out of the cosy comfortable corner that was her imagination.
"Burgh! Biology with Mr Gin!" Felicity groaned.
"Could be worse," Rob, mumbled, "Could be Chemistry with Mrs Veil." Immediately all seven friends shuddered.
"Ulna? Ulna what do you have?" surprised to have actually of been asked, least of all by Keith (the most popular of the group). Successfully hiding a blush (experience had come in useful) she rummaged in her deep Blazer pockets for her schedule.
Before she actually had been able to retrieve the schedule from the depths of her Blazer, she looked up at her friends and practically shrieked;
Her friends, who were all very amused at this point, looked at her in a demeaning way.
Ulna suddenly looked crestfallen "with Dr Omm" she grumbled.
"He's not that bad," Alicia noted.
"Doesn't he just go on and on about how insignificant we all are?" Nathaniel asked. Ulna nodded glumly.
"Well it could be worse," retorted Alicia. Ulna nodded again it could indeed be a lot worse she thought retrospectively.
It is hard sometimes, to go through school trying not to be noticed. In a way, it is good if someone notices you, as it give you a sense of self-importance but there are times when one does not wish to be noticed.
This situation presented itself to Ulna before she could comprehend what was going on. That was the thing with inspiration, you have no idea when it will strike, and it could be in the most awkward situation possible.
That is why Ulna had a special notebook just for these little moments. There was nothing particularly special about the notebook; it was a plain ebony hard back with a deep red-brown swirl, sort of the similar colour between copper and mahogany but a lot darker. It swirled across both covers of the book in the manner that brown highlights in black curly hair does, as if to say why you are paying so much attention to me. I am just a dreary attempt at decoration, on a dull boring notebook.
There really was not anything at all exciting about the notebook; it just draws Ulna's attention sometimes away from reality, which overall, was not that hard at all. For instance, right now Ulna is scribbling away, jotting down a fresh shiny idea that has popped into her head down in her dull dreary notebook, right in the middle of a physic lecture. It is not as if anyone has noticed, it is just that it appears that Ulna is taking notes about the lecture. She was not. It had occurred to her that maybe she should pay attention but had realized on account of some strange physics that she had somehow in some way had already heard the lecture before.
There is in fact a good reason for this, Dr Omm had in fact misinterpreted his lesson planner by looking at his plan for last Thursday but let us not get off hand shall we.
To tell you what she is writing about or more accurately whom she is writing about, would be an invasion of personal space and counterproductive.
You see Ulna was a very private person, quite quiet, and very good at being not noticed.
She was the sort of person that thought she owned a rather plain face, which it may have been from a certain angle, light, and point of view.
It was not that she did not want to be in any vague way 'pretty', it was just that she did not need it. Besides, Beauty gets in the way a bit especially in the way of not being noticed, an art Ulna had managed with ease.
"How was your day?" Ulna questioned her friends on the way back home.
"Fine thanks, you?" Rob summarised for pretty much all the group.
"It went well; though I think Dr Omm got his lesson plan muddled up" Ulna told him.
"Again?" Alicia asked; keen to get into the conversation.
"Mmmhmm" Ulna confirmed.
They continued to talk as they reached the gloomy dark dank park they had to short cut through every day. Today someone had tied a silk blue ribbon to the flaking ebony painted gates.
"Am I the only one to notice," Ulna pondered privately. It seemed so but as they walked through the park some of the trees were sporting ribbons of all different kinds of colour.
As the friends progressed, they noticed the odd sight of bands of colour waving frantically on the dark bark as if trying to escape.
It soon became clear that the friends were lost. They slowed down from a casual stroll to an awkward shuffle.
As they shuffled through the unknown part of the wood, they came across a grove. In the grove stood a four-tiered fountain made out of age-old white marble. Moss and lichens had formed on the rearing hippocampi carved out of the bottom tier. Mould and sponges invaded the faces of the merpeople fashioned onto the second tier. The centaurs and fauns fitted on the third tier had seen better days and the beautiful sculptures of faeries had long lost their shine under the dirt they were encased in.
Under all that grime it was no wonder why the fountain no longer functioned. It just stood in all its former glory, reeking of salt.
Ulna carefully studied the mysterious fountain.
"It's beautiful!" gasped Silvia.
"And old," Felicity noted realistically.
Ulna carefully studied the fountain. She noticed that the complexity of the carved faeries hid something. She looked closer.
Finally, she found what she was looking for, behind the faeries was some sort box-likes object.
Before she could climb the fountain to look...
They all swerved to stare at the culprit. A Magpie glared back at them.
"Ulna?" Keith began "Ulna, what were you going to do?"
Ulna glanced back at him. She looked at her feet; it seemed as if she had been walking towards the fountain. "I was going to see what was behind the faeries...," she answered.
"There's something behind the faeries?" Pascal asked incredulously, interrupting Ulna in mid-speech, rather rudely.
"I see it!" Keith confirmed, "It's a kind of box-type thing"
"Well then, Lets go see what it is," Alicia rolled up her sleeves and clambered up the salt encrusted fountain.
When she had managed to stand on the fourth platform, she called down to the others. "It's rather odd," oblivious to the worried glances she was receiving. "Shall I bring it back down?" she asked.
Without bothering to wait for an answer, she climbed back down.
While Alicia was fine, her school clothes now played host to some of the grime from the ages-old fountain. Lichens had fallen into her chestnut hair. She made a gesture with her head that flicked most of them out and presented a grimy obsidian box, her ivy green eyes sparkling. Engraved on the box were mysterious creatures, which only existed in dreams. On the side were several locks each as fake as the last. So how to open the box?
"So, we're lost in the park, with a box we can't open," Nathaniel announced cynically to the air.
The group looked at him, he had been rather quiet recently, and they had been wondering why. He was not usually like this.
"Deal with it," Silvia retorted in her strong willed manner. Alicia beamed at her.
"Just what I was thinking," she told Silvia cheerfully.
"Ribbons," Ulna whispered unexpectedly. They looked at her.
"Ribbons," she repeated then pointed at a small engraving on the box.
Alicia, confused looked at her, trying to connect the dots.
Ulna sighed and pressed the engraving.
There was a short click and suddenly clacks, clonks, and clunks were projected from the box. The top gave out a hiss and popped open. They stared at it intently from a distance.
"Well, what is in it?" Silvia demanded, trying to get a better response than the gaping stares the box was receiving.
Keith, picked up a small amount of courage went over to the box and looked inside.
His eyes almost popped out of his head. The friends ran over to see what was in the box.
They peered in. They saw... nothing.
It was empty...
Something was wrong...
...It was the wrong sort of emptiness.
It implied something had been in the box before...
"Well, that was a bit of an anti-climax," Pascal said breaking the hushed silence, "Might as well put the box back now" she added hopefully, making a futile attempt to convince her friends to leave the box alone. She was receiving bad vibes from the box, very bad vibes.
No one listened to her.
They continued to ogle at the box.
"Right since none of you are listening, and there is nothing in the box, I'm going to close this box!" Pascal declared angrily, while pressing the lid down until there was a click.
They stared at Pascal.
Ulna and Keith nodded to each other before lifting the box and carrying it up the fountain.
What they found almost made them drop the box back down the fountain. The others, including Pascal surprisingly, clambered up to see what was wrong.
In the small enclosure made by the ring of marble faeries was a trapdoor. It was made out of old oak and had somehow withstood the grime encasing the fountain.
Holding the trapdoor shut was an ebony lock gleaming ambitiously at them as if it was declaring to the world, "You will never open me!"
It was wrong.
Ulna lifted up the lock. It was plainly fake.
Underneath the lock was a carving of a series of ribbons all knotted together in an intricate manner none seemed to touch each other.
The carved knot of ribbons seemed too complex for even Ulna to solve.
"It's one ribbon," Nathaniel realized suddenly.
They turned to study him, intently encouraging him to chase this trail of thought. He ran his finger along the twisted twine trying to figure out whether his guess was correct.
It was. The door shifted. It creaked. Finally, after a series of sounds, the intricate knot work slid back and the door swung open.
Everyone took a step back. They looked into the space upon which the trapdoor had opened.
"Let's go down," Silvia begged eagerly.
"Let's not go down!" Felicity snorted.
"Screech!" the magpies called
Startled Felicity tripped and fell through.
They looked at the trapdoor.
"Only one way to save her," Silvia decided. She dived down after Felicity.
Alicia mumbled something in agreement. She plunged in too
Keith sighed and went down too.
Rob and Nathaniel looked at each other.
"The sensible thing to do would be to..." Nathaniel began.
"Let's not be sensible," Rob interrupted, jumping into the trapdoor. As Rob jumped in Nathaniel lost his footing and stumbled down the trapdoor.
"I, for one, refuse to go down," Pascal riposted. Even though she was a bit of a gossip, you had to admire her practicality.
Ulna shrugged and whispered, "Suit yourself" and jumped down not hearing what Pascal yelped down worriedly after her.
Pascal was worried. As she waited for her friends to retrieve Felicity, she fretted about what could happen to them. She even considered going down after them but that should not happen. It could not. She would not let it happen. As her problem overwhelmed her, she turned away from the trapdoor that now was swinging ajar with innocence.
Not knowing what to do, she burst into tears.
Splash! An undisturbed crystal blue lake was disrupted in its stagnant stillness by a rather shocked Felicity falling into its depths. As she struggled against the backwash of the wave she created by falling rather unorthodoxly into the lake. When she somehow managed to regain balance, she swam to the lakeshore.
Thatch exploded everywhere as a thatch cottage roof broke Silvia's fall. Silvia groaned and plucked a few strands of straw stuck in her hair. The speed at which she had hit the roof had left her dizzy. She could barely make out a slim silhouette.
"Are you all right, my dear?" croaked an unfamiliar voice.
Alicia blinked. She stared at the old crone whom looked at her pointedly.
"Where/What/How?" Alicia mumbled incoherently.
"Which one first?" the old woman cackled, finding humour in Alicia's confusion.
"Where?" Alicia replied almost immediately.
The wise woman sighed and produced a map from the deep pockets concealed by a midnight black gown that hung shapelessly from her aged form.
"You my dear" She told Alicia brandishing the map with a flourish, "are in Bob!" Alicia stared blankly at her,
"What...?" she murmured.
"Get off me!" demanded an angry fairy godmother.
Keith grumbled and obliged not even bothering to complain. 'Twas not his fault he landed on the overwhelmingly bright pink blob, which was the fairy godmother.
She softened. "Sorry, it's just that I have to go on a quest, apparently" she complained.
Ruins and broken blocks of granite stood scattered around Rob and Nathaniel, whom were groaning and rubbing their heads. Lichens had abandoned the granite ramshackle that obviously used to be a tower. Sand had replaced them in the joy of being a burial shroud for the carcass of the tower. "There's nothing here," complained Nathaniel from his sprawled out position on the sand, before realising that Rob had already gotten up and walked some way off.
"Sure about that?" Rob asked sardonically pointing to a charred skeleton crushed under a large block and a pile of ashen locks, which threatened to crumble at the slightest touch.
Ulna was falling. The only thing she could hear was the 'whoosh!' of everything around her. Everything was a blur.
Suddenly a flash of light blinded her as something sticky swept across her. She could hear the sounds of a forest as she fell across the night sky...Wait, the sky?
She hit a canopy. Branches broke. Twigs snapped and Ulna fell down a series of branches.
When she finally hit the forest floor, she was bruised and aching, so it was not surprising that when her head stopped spinning, she fainted.
As Pascal's tears spilled from her sapphire eyes, down her face and onto the white marble masterpiece, that was the fountain, they rinsed away the grime that coated the faeries surrounding her. A faint glimmer of shine brought Pascal's attention towards a spot on the fountain where most of her tears had fallen; it sparkled longingly as if the fountain wanted to be rid of its prison of filth. Obliging it, Pascal began to scrub with a previously white handkerchief she found in her deep blazer pockets.
Felicity reached the lakeshore with ease. She pulled her drenched body out of the water with her school clothes hugging her body as if they wanted to be dry and the way to be dry was to cling to Felicity's body, making the drops of lake water that dripped from the uniform run down her legs with an icicle-like touch. She glanced around her. She lay for a moment on a concrete dock installed on the lake long ago.
"Go away," someone snapped.
Felicity glanced around. She could not see anyone, so where did the voice come from.
"You're not welcome, so just go away," snarled the voice its owner nowhere to be seen.
"W...wh...wh...Where...where are you?" Stuttered Felicity through chattering teeth. Her inky black hair hung like wet indigo seaweed dragged out of water. The voice, finding pity in her suffering state, decided,
"Fine...Come to the edge, and you'll find me." She did as the voice requested her to do. Just from a distance from the harbour, treading water was a young maiden around Felicity's own age at least the top half of her was. The bottom half was a scaled dolphin tail. She had bloodless skin paler than paper, devoid of any blemishes, freckles or moles; instead, scales were patterned round her arms and torso glittering in rainbow shades. Her hair was the colour of angel feathers but razor sharp blade-like fins protruded from the unpigmented strands. Her lips were a pale line above and below her mouth. Her eyes glowed like underwater lanterns guiding drowned sailors to their doom. She opened her bloodless lips and begged timidly,
"Please don't kill me."
Silvia's fawn eyes fluttered open. Straw stuck out in her brick orange mane, like burning splints in a chemistry experiment.
"Fairy godmother, now that you're awake, I've been considering what I want and..." a stereotypical Barbie-like blonde-haired woman sat next to the lumpy mattress Silvia had been placed on, chattering on and on about what her wish was. Silvia stared blankly at the girl for a moment. The person in question promptly shut up.
Silvia spoke bluntly, "I'm no one's fairy godmother girlie."
The girl was quiet for a moment, and then shrugged. "One can only hope," she explained sheepishly. Silvia grinned in agreement.
The girl continued to talk "It's just that there's nothing to do on this farm, it was left to me by my father you see," Her eyes started to water.
Silvia leaned up from the bed and gave her a hug.
The girl continued talking "He wasn't going to, said that I was too irresponsible, step-mum told him to said it was only right, she said. I guess he was right in a way...I can't even look after the farm properly, and I was willing to abandon it without a second glance." at this point she started to cry. Silvia comforted her by hugging her tighter.
"So how did I get from Hampshire to Bob?" Alicia questioned the old crone, who turned out to be a rather good host.
"Beats me," the old woman snorted, "but I believe you're here to save the prince,"
Alicia stared her, "Interesting...Tell me more about this prince."
"Quest?" Keith asked puzzled. The fairy godmother analysed him from his mousy brown waves of hair to his odd socks.
"Hmm... you can come too if you wish," she offered. Keith considered this.
"Well I need to find my friends, but what will this quest entail?" he queried. She stared at him, and then looked glazed of into the distance.
"Well I need to gather some chosen ones and then instruct them to find a prince who is protected from marriage by an overly protective king turned dragon, who steals magic from a powerful source and locks any rescuers of the prince in 40 feet tall towers,"
Keith grimaced. "Oh," he whispered feebly. The fairy godmother grinned a hackneyed tooth smile before linking arms with him and waving her sparkly purple wand to magically whisk them away.
Vultures began to circle Rob and Nathaniel. Nathaniel had found a big charred stick and was waving it threateningly at the supposed predators. Just when all seemed at a lost for the two boys and the vultures surrounded them like easy play. The vultures flew off. Rob and Nathaniel looked back at whatever scared the vultures. They were almost blinded.
The most beautiful bird swooped down with an inhuman laugh of joy. "What are you doing lost in the desert," it asked in the most beautiful singsong voice ever.
"W...w...we just went down this fountain and ...came out here" Rob told the bird, losing faith in why they had gone down the fountain in the first place.
The bird threw its gorgeous head back and sang
Once it had finished, the bird beamed at them. "Did you like that?"
The boys were dumbstruck. The bird sighed "Pity..."
"Just great" Nathaniel sighed cynically. Rob looked at him
"What?" he asked. Nathaniel looked at him, "We're stuck in some fairy tale land with some puffed up parakeet to guide us," Rob listened to this quietly. He then took Nathaniel's hand in his own. Nathaniel looked at him.
"Bit of a sucky fairy tale land if you ask me," Rob told him coyly.
The so-called parakeet ruffled its glowing amber feathers and yelped angrily, "I am not a parakeet! I am a phoenix! A phoenix! A P-H-O-E-N-I-X!"
"Okay, okay, we appreciate you're not a parakeet," Nathaniel apologized tiring to soothe the worked up bird.
"Parakeet! What cheek!" the self-proclaimed phoenix muttered darkly.
"W...w...wake up f...f...friend," stuttered an odd but friendly voice. Ulna woke to find herself covered with a blanket made out of discoloured leaves.
"You like the blanket?" a different voice asked, "We weaved it out of decaying leaves and spiders' silk," it slithered.
"Is the live one still alive?" an entirely new voice whispered its sound similar to the gentle flow of a silver stream. The voices began to natter among themselves. Ulna could identify around 7: a whispering one; a stuttering one, one sounding as if every utterance was an eulogy; one that slithered , a wailing one, one that spoke with a calm but calculating demeanour, and finally one that sounded like crying, as if deeply upset about everything, as if nothing mattered. To Ulna, this voice sounded like depression.
As the faeries on the fourth tier were scrubbed by Pascal's hard work, they began to gleam as they once did before age contaminated them. She scrubbed and cleaned until she had cleaned the entire fountain. You could now see some of the exquisite detail etched into the fountain. Pascal sighed and got back to work. The fauns and centaurs wanted to be clean as well.
"Screech!" A magpie called overhead before dropping a bottle of cleaning fluid next to Pascal. Pascal looked at the magpie, and waved. It crowed yet again before flying off. Pascal sighed and got back to what she was doing.
Felicity stared at the girl in surprise, "Why would I kill you?" she stammered in surprise. The girl stared at her disdainfully.
"You're a walker, of course you're here to kill Me." she retaliated as if it explained everything, "your kind kills my kind for multiple reasons." Felicity was now terrified of the girl,
"Who are you? What is this place?" she snapped, she had had enough. Apparently, it was the girl's turn to look shocked,
"What do you mean?" she asked nervously, now clearly afraid of Felicity.
"I'm sorry for your loss," a choked up Silvia whispered.
"It's okay," the saddened girl murmured, "I had step-mother to look after me. She was wise and caring .She told me that I was beautiful no matter what, and then..." The girl began to tear up again.
Silvia comforted her quietly before asking. "Who are you? And what is this place?"
The girl answered, "I am Elloise and this is my farm, I guess. The reason I thought you were a fairy godmother is that you're wearing weird clothes and I thought that was what all fairy godmothers wore," Silvia looked down, sure enough she saw she was still wearing her school uniform even though it was covered in hay.
"The prince was the king's only child but then something happened and the king was enraged. He locked the prince in a tall tower in the middle of the desert and any available suitors in similar towers closer to the castle. No one knows why the king was enraged, just that they never wanted to witness the king's wrath." The old crone paused for effect. "Help yourself to the cookies, my dear; they're made with orange and lemon essence." Alicia looked at a black fogged glass bedside table. Upon the table was six fruit shaped cookies still warm from baking. The hoary woman continued, "Once a knight tried to rescue the prince but then the king found out. He got so enraged he metamorphosed into a dragon and burnt the knight alive. The prince was moved to a secret location and has never been seen since!"
"Wh...WH...Where are we?" Keith said scared.
"In a special place," the fairy godmother answered. Keith looked around. He and the fairy godmother were in some sort of cave. Half-hidden gemstones glinted temptingly. "It's where I boost up my magic," she explained before picking up a couple of jewels, they gave an odd aura of shine that lay underneath their rough edges. She tossed them in her hand a couple of times before eating them. Keith stared at her bug-eyed as she began devouring piles of jewels. As she ate, she sparkled more and more until she began to leave marks imprinted in Keith's eyes.
The boys looked at the Phoenix, "Apart from phoenix what do we call you?" Rob enquired.
The noble bird looked at the pair, "Call me Aine," fluttering its prominent lashes. Nathaniel snorted, "Isn't Aine a girls Na...Oh" he replied before realizing that the Phoenix in fact was a girl.
Ulna opened her tired eyes and saw...
Pascal paused her grimy handkerchief was about to give out, it had begun to fray on the ends.
"Screech!" Pascal looked up, above her was a magpie holding something which looked like moss.
"Squawk!" A different magpie appeared holding another piece of moss. It took Pascal a while to realise where these pieces of fungi were coming from.
Suddenly a whole tidings of magpies swooped down at the fountain plucking off whole pieces of lichens and moss.
"Well for one thing, I just fell into a freezing lake and then got accused of attempted murder," Felicity noted summarising, "So who are you? Moreover, what is this place? I don't think I can make it any clearer." The girl stared at her blankly.
"I'm Aea and we are by the whispering lake,"
Felicity looked stunned, "In what country?" she asked. The mermaid looked puzzled,
"In Bob, of course." she replied. Felicity looked at her bemused,
"Bob?" she giggled, clearly amused by the idea of a country named Bob.
"So um do you have more suitable clothes," pleaded Silvia, keen to get out of her now grubby uniform. Elloise hurried out of the room to come out with a pair of breeches, a polo shirt, and dull green boots.
"It's all we got," she explained, "sorry." Silvia looked at her and shrugged.
"What country are we in?" she asked curiously. The girl smiled at her and went into a different room of the house, gesturing for Silvia to follow her. Silvia scurried after her. Elloise came to a big library, before she allowed Silvia to enter, she turned and said, "I'll tell you the basics of this country, but all you need to know is in there," she said pointing at the library.
"The name of this country is called it Bob. It was named so by Princes Lionel and Bob of the Eightspell islands when they discovered it. Is that enough history for you?" she inquired. Silvia nodded, It was more than enough, she thought to herself.
Alicia looked at the old yet elegant woman.
"Oh!" she said.
The old woman winked at her, "I'm not finished" she nagged impatiently, "I haven't introduced my self. I, my dear, am Monique Cynthia Genovefa". Alicia stared at the old witch as if she was crazy.
The Fairy Godmother had transformed. Her transformation wasn't the prettiest of things to see. Her clothes were now rags covering the obscure parts of a beast beyond imagination. Its large amber eyes glinted with evil amusement. Its large yellow fangs was enough to scare Keith out of his mind. His instincts took the better of him. He ran.
"So..what do we do know?" Nathaniel asked cynically. Rob just shrugged, he really didn't know, why the heck was he supposed to know?
The phoenix ruffled it's bright plumage and said in a sing-song voice, "Let's eat! I'm fammished." The boys looked at the bird expectantly.
She got nervous. "Why are you staring at me?" she panicked.
"What are we supposed to eat?" Nathaniel demanded.
The phoenix realized her mistake "Follow me, boys!" she called. After a few miles Nathaniel and Rob became tired. They stopped for a rest while Aine flew back down for them and waited for them to rest. After a while she flew back to leading them to food. There were a couple more hours of this until they reached a beautiful opalescent oasis. At the oasis, date palm fronds drooped under the weight of the exotic fruit, lush reeds grew with a flourish, vibrant blooms decorated the harsh desert softening the cruel edges of the desert. Upon the tallest palm lay a nest of firey feathers.
Ulna opened her mouth to ghosts hushed her hurriedly.
"Hush, an Aerie Stript may find us" whispered the most visible one.
Ulna's xanthous appearance was now characterized by the light mud of the forest floor. Her shock of the situation caused her to tremble silently.
Suddenly, all sound ceased.
Pascal had an idea, she started wiping her finger in the shape of a rectangle on the floor where she was. The magpies copied her. She smiled, There was a lot she could do with this power.
Felicity had no idea what had happened. First she was laughing about the ridiculous name of the place she was in. Next thing she knew, she was dragged by her hair into the lake and was now struggling agaisnt the strength of Aea. The last thing Felicity felt was Aea's cool hands as she snapped her neck.
Elloise didn't realise things could progress this quickly or so abruptly. It just happened. There was no flirting, there wasn't really anything. Then something changed and so sparked a kiss, which had initiated a whole new can of worms.
Keith trembled in sheer fright, seconds before the beast chasing him roared in frustration and hunger. He could hear strong oaks being crushed by the gargantan monster about to eat him.
The oasis was on fire. A symbol of hope burnt causing Nathaniel to weep from the solitude that now crushed upon him. Within the crack of the blaze emerged the sound of a bird of prey tearing apart it's meal. Through blurred eyes, Nathaniel could make out the charred body of Rob being devoured by the phoenix before him.
Ice crawled up Ulna's skin as the very essence of her life was yanked from her body.
Alicia's conversation with Monique had taken an unexpected turn. They started to talk about magic.
"Think of Magic like a form of energy" The witch said. "There are many different kinds, Changing magic, Teleportation magic, Growth magic, Element magic, but the most dangerous and delicate of all magic is Soul magic. It creates ghosts, kills gods, and can change people in so many different ways. Four different beings use soul magic. Fairies (including fairy godmothers) use a form called Destiny magic and are characterised by three glowing antennae sprouting from their heads. Djinn use Wish magic; they are mainly believed to be extinct. Slayers use destruction magic and it is widely thought that Aerie Stripts are thought to use a form of death magic. This is incorrect. If an Aerie Stript touches you, the magic within you increases until it can not be contained and splits you from your body. This doesn't kill you.."
"I'm confused" Alicia interupted.
Monique Cynthia Genovefa raised an eyebrow in feined annoyance.
"sorry" Alicia muttered.
"As I was saying the moment when you split from your body you're free to create whatever earthly form you wish to inhabit.."
"So you become a bit like a god then" Alicia asked.
"No, nothing like that" Monique answered hurriedly steering Alicia away from the idea. "You become a true Shapeshifter,".
"Is there such thing as a flase shapeshifter?" Alicia pondered.
"Not exactly but the changing magic version of a shapeshifter is different. You need a medium to change your body while remaining able tochange back into you're original form, a true Shapeshifter has no need for their original form and each form they partake can be left as an empty shell. Noone is quite sure what these shells do, but.."
"You mentioned Mediums," Alicia backtracked trying to get her head around it. "What do you mean by a medium?"
"In terms of magic, a Medium is an object that can hold...stuff. The stuff varies from magic to magic, but a shapeshifter who uses changing magic needs a medium that can hold forms to transform into. These forms are generally collected from other living creatures and stored into the medium. Once a creature is stored it stays within the object regardless of whether it's body is being used or not."
"So it's more like the shapeshifter possessing a creature rather than creating a new body" Alicia concluded.
Monique grinned inanely. "I guess so my dear, I guess so"
Elloise realized what was wrong. She clambered off of Silvia and grabbed something that appeared to be chicken from it's hiding place. Slivia blinked.
"What is that" She asked slightly miffed that Elloise ended their making out session so quickly.
"That, Silvia.." Elloise announced somehow picking Silvia's name correctly though she hadn't been told it, "is a cupid!"
"Well done," The pirate-merchant told Aea in a gruff tone muffled by his short straggly brown beard that did not match with his platinum blond hair that reached his shoulders, "These are high quality finger bones." He toyed with them in his hand. "I can give you 120 Silver Speels for them"
Aea nodded. It was not much but she needed that money more than anyone could know.
"Humans!" Frederick thought derisively. His feline sliver eyes watched the crying boy decisively. He pondered for a second and walked toward the weeping lad.
Keith's life flashed before his eyes. It was not very dramatic. It was actually a bit boring. He closed his eyes and hoped his death would be quick.
It was everywhere.
The rustle of the trees.
The song of the birds.
The flow of the wind.
The lazy autumn buzz of the bees.
The chatter of the animals.
The cacophony of voices from the next village at least 8-9 miles away.
The crescendo of waves of a stagnant lake less than five miles away.
All way too loud.
It almost deafened her.
Ulna shrieked in pain.
"Shut it out." A ringing voice told her.
She tried to. She failed.
"Try focusing your sense of touch," The voice instructed.
Ulna focused on the cool breeze flowing in the forest, on the moist layer of dead leaves beneath her.
"Who are you?" she asked.
"Your new teacher" The voice informed her, while the owner of the voice appeared in view.
It rang in her knuckles, in her neck and in her chest.
She spluttered out the last of the water that had filled her lungs.
"Did I Drown?" She thought to herself.
Just as Keith was about to die at the clutches of the huge demonic beast, a very handsome man appeared. Armed with two spears and a large broadsword, he did not look like he had the right attire to slay the beast tormenting Keith. His clothes looked like regular hiking gear, with beige leather boots and cream trousers that did not really match the boots. His checked red shirt seemed to give him the air of a lumberjack, with the top few buttons undone showing part of his hairy well-sculpted chest. His face looked like the cross between a sexy lumberjack and a Greek god. His dirty blonde stubble showed he had been out for a couple of days.
Keith was in awe. His mind willingly grabbed at the distraction from death and he soon found himself imagining various inappropriate situations involving him and the anatomy of the sexy stranger.
The rain plummeted down, flooding the saturated park. The birds had already left her. All alone.
Abandoned. She silently sobbed the pain away.