|Swords and Shadows
Author: Allisa Aucutt PM
Two teenage girls find themselves wound up on another planet. A planet that was once ruled by majestic dragons. However, a darkness has plagued the land and corrupted life on Crimson. And they are chosen to reverse the darkness. Given special powers to turn into dragons, will they be able to complete the quest? Read and find out...Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 3 - Words: 13,020 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 03-29-13 - Published: 10-25-12 - id: 3068565
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 2- Please Say This is a Dream...
Those same blue eyes lurked behind the shadows of her dream. The shimmers of light blue danced beside it's darker shade in a display similar to the auroras found up north. Only this time, it seemed to be called to her. It wanted something...and wanted it badly. What it was, Skylar could only guess. However it didn't seem hostile. Was it maybe pleading for help? The eyes opened a bit more. Yes, it did need help.She could only stare at them, useless. This was a dream; nothing could be done. But why did it seem so real? Skylar sat down in the emptiness of her mind beside the eyes and waited for daylight to come and save them both.
Beeping. She heard beeping. An annoying beep at that. Constant and pestering. "Could whatever it is, stop it!?" She screamed within her conscience.Skylar was not quite awake enough to realize that Kristy was calling her cellphone. It was actually when it stopped, that she had woken up. Then the beeping began again. She pulled one eyelid open and grabbed for the phone. The screen was too blurry for her to read, but she directly where the button to answer lay.
"Wake up already you lazy bum! I'm on my way back home from the store and I need you to be here within two hours! Think you can manage that?" Clearly Kristy had been up for a while and was already on the move.
"Yeah." Skylar's answer was hardly understandable due to her face being stuffed within the confines of her pillow. But it was an answer, and Kristy knew that was a start.
The only response was, "Good, now chop-chop and get moving. See ya soon." Then the line fell silent. Skylar sat there, finding the strength to depart her warm blankets, knowing the air around her would be cold. The air-conditioner vent hovered right next to her bed. With one last yawn she was on her feet and rummaging through her clustered and disorganized dressers, all while shivering. Jeans and shirt in hand, she quickly changed clothes. Noon rolled around quicker than she had expected. Most of the day was spent packing and double checking her list. When the time came though, she said her good-byes to her family and strode out the door, ready for the day to really begin.
The town she lived in was moderate in size. A few locally owned businesses lined Main Street, the most used road in town. Houses built back in the 1800's each still held their stories in parts of town. Crowded around the center of town, subdivisions popped up like weeds in a yard. Crime rates were really low, almost to the point of hardly existing. Therefore, people felt comfortable doing whatever it was they felt like doing. Kids could walk across town without worry. Neighbors waved to neighbor. Most would say that this is as close to the perfect town as you could get. This is the town where she grew up. But that didn't mean she liked it.
Personally, she felt like the entire town was brain washed in their safe zone. The only thing that ever mattered to them was money and education. If you weren't wealthy on both subjects, you were a scar on the town. That's just the way things were, though she never judged people that way. It's cruel.
She was nearing the outskirts of town. The last house disappeared from view and she knew that the turn she needed to make was about two minutes ahead. The radio switched from music to talk and commercials, so she quickly turned it off. Kristy and her family owned a big ranch outside of town. In fact, they were the furthest house still within the town's boundaries. And they reveled in that seclusion. Of course, Skylar would too if it weren't for the fact that she lived near the very center of town in a house that was older than her great grandmother.
She took the turn onto their mile long drive way. The pavement rose and fell with each rolling hill that it crossed over. Trees seem to create one large, natural archway along the entire driveway. The scene always took her breath away. She rolled her windows down and let the fresh air flood the cabin. The crisp clean air smelled of moss and leaves and energized the body almost instantly. It could turn any day into a good one.
As she rounded the last bend, Kristy's house came into view. Three stories tall, the house loomed overhead. Large Victorian windows covered the white stone house to allow sunlight to pour inside. Ivy crept up the sides of the house in delicate patterns adding a more natural tone to the house. Skylar spotted Kristy waving from her window on the third floor. Then she started her sprint down the stairs to meet Skylar. Horses could be heard whinnying from the stables that lay behind the house. The door swung open and Kristy leaped out the huge wooden doors and across the front porch only to come charging at Skylar. She slammed into her while giving Sky a hug. "I'm so glad you're finally here!" Much to Sky's relief she let go after a second or two. "We're going to have so much fun, I already know it."
Skylar could only laugh, "Hello to you too, Kristy."
Her mother called her from the house then. "Come on," Kristy tugged her along towards the house, "My mother has been dying to see you again." And with that, they were headed inside. With a soft click, the oak doors closed behind us. Skylar immediately felt right at home. No matter how many times she set foot in Kristy's home, it was always so much to take in. The fire place had a roaring flame the left a soft glow on the dark wooden floors. Rock walls were decorated with photos of their entire family. Sky's favorite one, one of Kristy, lay almost directly in the middle. She sat on top of her favorite horse, Buster, with the biggest smile on her face. It was her favorite because of the story that lay behind it.
It was on Kristy's sixteenth birthday. Growing up, she had always told her parents that instead of a car, she wanted a horse to call her own. So for her birthday, they had bought her Buster. Buster was only a year old at the time but he had already been through a lot. His previous owners had a terrible fire and the stables had burnt down. Buster was one of the lucky few who had escaped being in death's hand. The owner's couldn't afford him anymore, so they sold him to Kristy's parents. She was thrilled when she found out that he was all hers now. She raised him to be a fine riding horse. Every day you would find her out there spending time with him, talking to him. They are closer than Kristy and Sky have ever been.
However, one night, Kristy had Buster out on one of their trails. Everything was fine, until a storm started to roll in. She could feel him growing more and more tense. Kristy patted him on his neck every now and then to calm him. It would work, but only for a while. Rain started to pour down by the gallons. With only a mile left till they reached the stables, she kept him going. Unexpectedly, lightning struck a nearby tree and Buster panicked. He reared up and Kristy nearly fell off. She gripped the reins with her life while he flew off in the other direction. He ran like hell itself was coming to get him. Hours passed and all Kristy could do was hold on. It wasn't until the worst of the storm ended that he began to settle down again. However, even with control over Buster renewed, Kristy had no idea where they were. She was lost.
Sobbing while leaning over the saddle, she began to feel Buster begin walking. She sat up and wiped the tears away. "Stop," she told him. But he didn't listen. He just kept walking, disobeying Kristy's orders. Soon he walked out into a clearing, and she nearly collapsed. Right in front of her was their house. Buster had brought them back home. It was a touching story that Kristy and her family had told Sky once while she was visiting. Sadly, Buster died of heart problems five months afterward.
Behind every picture there was a story, but this was one of many favorites. Kristy tugged on her sleeve and they continued on their way towards the kitchen. She swept her past their grand marble staircase and around the corner. Rachel, Kristy's too-kind mother, was in the process of cooking up lunch. Her platinum blonde hair was pulled back into a prefect fish-tail braid. It literally shimmered when she turned to greet Sky. "Oh Skylar, it's so good to see you here again my dear. I thought Kristine was joking with me at first when she mentioned that you were planning on stopping by." She laughed. "But I guess I could give her more credit now for not being completely crazy." Rachel winked at Kristy.
"Gee, thanks mom." A perfect white smile, full of sarcasm none the less, hugged Kristy's face.
After a quick bite to eat, Kristy and Sky went up to her room to grab her stuff. Several bags of stuff scattered her floor, making the room feel crowded. Kristy plopped on the floor and began organizing everything in the packs.
"Is all this necessary?" Sky asked her. They were only going to be gone for the weekend. She looked to be packed for a month long vacation.
"I never trust what the weather says. So I have clothes for both cool and warm weather. Smart isn't it?"
"Kristy, it is summer. I don't think jackets will be required."
Kristy ignored the comment with a quick shrug. When she started humming, Sky knew that she still had a while to wait until she'd be done. Lying sideways on Kristy's bed, Skylar began thinking about the weird dreams she'd been having. That eye, it meant something. It saw right through her, she had felt it. "But was it hostile?" No, it didn't seem that way. In fact, Skylar thought it seemed helpless. A deep sigh escaped her lungs. Why was she so worried about it? It was a stupid dream. She's had other dreams before, why worry about this one specifically? Skylar's arm draped over her eyes when she decided to drop that train of thought.
"Should I bring this top or this one?" Kristy looked at her holding up two tank-tops. One was neon pink; the other was gray.
Sky knew she would have to choose. "The gray one, it matches your eyes."
Satisfied, Kristy tucked it into her last bag the jumped up. "Okay then. I think we're ready. Let me go grab my keys and we're on our way." Each of them grabbed as many bags as they could and headed down stairs. Her parents sat at the bottom of the stairs, knowing that they were on our way out.
Both her mother and her father grabbed hugged her good-bye "You know to be careful, right?" her mother whispered.
Because she was locked in a hug, Skylar could barely hear Kristy speaking with them. "Don't worry. Skylar will take care of me." Two pairs of eyes met Sky and suddenly she felt a wave of responsibility rush over her. They were just leaving for the weekend, right? They way they were acting, Sky would almost swear that everybody was treating this like they were moving away or something. Skylar continued her way out the door to put the shoulder aching bags in the trunk of her car. Kristy soon followed and did the same. Once seated in the car, Kristy handed her a piece of paper with the address to lake they were going to stay at. Sky put it into her GPS and soon the road was laid out before them.
According to the GPS, it was about a two and a half hour drive. Estimation led Sky to guess that they'd get there sometime around sunset. "We're staying at your family's lodge there, right?"
"That's the plan. Unless there's some place else you'd rather stay?"
"Nope. A lodge sounds great to me. Besides, knowing your family, I'm sure it's a really nice place to stay at. Am I right?"
"You know us too well, Sky. All too well." Kristy gave her a mocking smile before she continued to look out her window. Thankfully the drive wasn't as boring as they thought it would've been. Sure Kristy and Sky talked but it was the scenery that kept them both entertained. The flat land slowly became more and more rugged with each turn the road took. Brilliant, green trees scaled steep and rocky cliffs at angles that seemed impossible. Campgrounds could be seen springing up every now and then, full of tents and campers.
"You know, I wouldn't mind camping one day. Seems like an interesting time for families." Desperation rang in Kristy's whispering voice.
Sky's jaw nearly hit the ground. "You've never been camping!?"
"Nope. Not once." She looked at her then. "I take it you have?"
"At least once a year with my family. It's pretty much a tradition."
"That's awesome. I wish my family would do something like that."
"Yeah, but I'm sure your family vacations are a bit more luxurious than camping."
Kristy started fiddling with a strand of her light brown hair. "Actually, we haven't been on a vacation for at least four years. Not with my dad's business meetings taking up all his time. My poor mother also seems to be at work at the hospital all the time. That's why I'm so excited about this trip. It's my chance to get away for a bit. Even if it means going without my family." Sky then realized how stressed Kristy really was. Between her family and her boyfriend, Sky was surprised that she hadn't blown up yet. Suddenly this trip felt very important for both of them. "I just wish that we had more than three days to enjoy the lake. A week would be nice."
Sky nodded her head in agreement. "Yeah, it would be."
When they were less than a mile from the lodge, electric energy seemed to radiate from both of them. The sun already hugged the horizon, so there wouldn't be much they could do outside right now. But they didn't let that dampen their spirits. They had all day tomorrow to do whatever they felt like. Finally a clearing started coming into view. The place took Sky's breath away.
The shimmering lake still held the color of the sunset and seemed to dance with fiery colors to a song unheard. The black shadows of the trees hugged the lake and surrounded it in a complete circle. But the lodge held both of their attention. It sat across the lake from them; lights illuminating from the rooms, making them look so warm and comforting. It almost seemed to be fake.
"Are you serious? This is your parent's lodge? It's amazing!"
"Yeah, wait till you see the inside." Automatically, Skylar sped up a bit, anxious to see where they would be staying. She pulled up to the beautiful residence and bolted out of the driver's seat as soon as it was possible to do so. Kristy popped the trunk and they each grabbed their bags. Both clomped their way up the smooth wooden steps and onto the porch. Sky observed the place while Kristy tried to pull her keys out of her too small pockets. However, before she actually unlocked the door, she turned to Sky. "Skylar...?"
"I just want to thank you for always being there for me."
Sky could feel a warm smile spreading its way across her face. "No problem. That's what friends are for, right? To be there for each other?"
"Yes, but even friends get tired of each other sooner or later. Yet you've helped me through all the bullshit that clouds my life. It takes a strong friendship to do that you know. In fact, it doesn't even seem to phase you."
Skylar thought about the length of their friendship. All the crap they've been through together. And she was right. None of it really seemed to phase Sky at all. Not once did any of it stress her out or have her worried. She just knew that everything would be okay in the end. "Maybe I'm just born that way. Maybe I was meant to be a shield to protect you from the harsh world of high school." They each shared a laugh.
"Well, here's to the next chapter in our friendship. Let's make it a good one, shall we?" With a soft click the door became unlocked and Kristy swung the door open to reveal a masterpiece of architecture. Dazzling oak floors reflected the light coming from a beautiful chandelier that hung an entire story above our heads. A wooden staircase rounded the wall to our right and led upstairs. The far back wall of the lodge was covered in large windows, perfect for watching the sunset. And by the windows was a cozy looking living room, complete with a fireplace and large flat screen television that hung above it. The walls came in a variety of patterns. Some were covered in wooden panels. Others were a soft evergreen color. The wall that held the fireplace was made entirely of rock. It felt like the outdoors had come inside.
"Home sweet home." Kristy laughed. "I'll show you the grand tour in a moment. But first, let's head upstairs to our rooms so we can put all this crap down." Sky nodded and followed her up the staircase. Running her hand along the rail, Sky noticed how smooth the wood actually was. Almost as smooth as glass. "Whoever had made this sure had a talent for woodworking." Once upstairs, Kristy began walking down a hallway full of pictures. This time, instead of it being their family, it was photos of scenery and wildlife. Skylar found the décor to be very fitting. Kristy stopped at the last door on the left. "Here's you room for the weekend. Mine will be right here." She motioned to the door across the hall. "Unpack what you want and get yourself comfortable. In the meantime, I'm going to head back downstairs and start cooking supper. Anything in particular that you'd want?"
"Whatever you feel like will be enough for me."
"Alrighty then. Come downstairs when you're finished. The kitchen is downstairs and to the right. Okay?" And with that she bounded back down the hall and back downstairs.
"Feels more like I'm staying at a hotel than a friends house." Sky opened the door to her room and went inside. The room was a decent size, complete with a queen size bed. A dresser and mirror sat on one wall. And the other wall was occupied by a large window and a door that led out to a small balcony. "Why don't they live out here all the time, I wonder? I'd only ever dreamed of having a home like this."
Sky unpacked her clothes and put them in the dresser in an organized manner. Never once had she ever done anything without it being organized. Her room was always tidy and clean. Her closet was organized entirely by color. And all her school work each had it's own folder according to subject.
So with the clothes put away, she made her way to the kitchen. Halfway down the stairs she could smell something delicious. Her mouth immediately began to water. Lunch had escaped their schedule today in the rush to make it here. But hunger had reclaimed both of their stomachs and demanded to be satisfied. Like Kristy had said, the kitchen was through a door at the bottom of the stairs on the right. Sky could hear her humming a energetic tune while she cooked and the sound of steam rising out of a pan. Sky opened the door and a waft of aromas hit her all at once. Vegetables and meats lined the counter-tops of the master kitchen. Kristy stood at the counter stirring a large pot of boiling broth.
"What are we having tonight?"
Startled, she glanced up at Sky with alarm but quickly relaxed when she realized it was her. "It's a stew that my dad always makes when we come out here. The day we decided to visit for the weekend I started a craving for it. I hope you don't mind."
"No, not at all. Stew sounds great." And with that she resumed her humming and diced up a few potatoes. The stew was pretty good once it was finished. They sat at the table with full stomachs not much later and discussed what they wanted to do tomorrow.
"If the sun is out I really want to visit the lake for a while. Then maybe we can go for a hike or whatever." Kristy said while putting the dishes in the dishwasher.
"A hike sounds pretty good. Nothing like exercise and fresh air to get you going. Anything else that you want to do?"
"We'll figure that one out on the hike. I'm a little too tired to be thinking hard at the moment." Simultaneously, they both turned their heads to the clock. Eleven-thirty at night. "Well," Kristy sighed, "If we've got a busy day tomorrow we might as well get some sleep now. We're going to need the energy for sure."
"That is very true. Guess we'll call it a night for now, huh?"
"Yep. I guess so." They both groggily made their way to their bedrooms and said good night to each other before going inside the rooms. The sheets were clean and cool against Sky's skin and made her eyes feel as heavy as lead. Not a minuet passed before she slipped into the trance of sleep.
The next morning, they woke up wondering what the day would be like. Early morning birds were already on the fly and the sun had just peeked over the surrounding hills and cliffs. Sky found Kristy already up, eating a small breakfast and watching the news. "What's it calling for today?" Sky asked her, hoping they had already shown the weather.
"Don't know yet. Should be coming up here shortly."
Sky sat down on the couch and watched the news with her. Then it struck her, "Why don't we just check online?"
Kristy just shook her head, "We don't have internet out here. All part of my dad's Get closer to nature plan. We also don't have phone service either." Sky pulled her phone out just to check. And sure enough her phone, which had one of the widest service areas, had absolutely no bars. "I told you." Kristy laughed.
"So what if something bad happens?"
"We have a house phone, but that's about it. That's our only connection to civilization out here." She stuck her tongue out at nothing in particular at the horrid thought of being cut off from socialization. However, she knew what she was getting into when she thought of visiting this place.
When the news came on, they both tuned into what the meteorologist had to say. Fingers were crossed in a silent prayer for a rain free day. "Later this evening we have a low pressure system headed our way resulting for a few showers for those city's in the lower half of the region. However, most of the day will be sunny and warm with a high of eighty-seven today."
Kristy and Sky both jumped up at the good news. "Let's go get ready!" Kristy bounded off the couch and sprinted up the stairs, leaving Skylar laughing at her sudden enthusiasm.
They were walking up to the lake two hours later with bags in hand. Towels, swimsuits, sunscreen, Kristy's tanning lotion, and a small lunch to eat when the time called for it. The grass felt amazing beneath their bare feet. Each blade was crisp and cool thanks to the morning dew that still clung to the short blades. "I hope the water's not freezing cold. A cool temperature is nice, but not freezing." Sky didn't like cold water at all.
"Yeah me too," Kristy sighed. "Normally it's pretty warm, but then again we usually went swimming in the evening after the waters been sitting in the sun all day. We could just hang out down at the dock for a bit and let it warm up. It's only eleven-thirty, I doubt it's warm now."
"That sounds pretty good to me." The air was already hot and humid. Though the water would feel good for a bit, Sky doubted she'd be able to swim for more than ten minuets before she'd become numb. The wait sounded nice anyways. There was nothing rushing this day.
They reached the dock and sat on it for a bit, enjoying the weather and the warmth of the sun. Sky could feel her skin becoming warmer and warmer over the course of time that they sat there. Sky hardly ever got sunburned. The sunscreen that they had brought was more for Kristy than for her. After about an hour they decided to eat their lunch while they had the time. "I see you already gained a nice tan." Sky glanced over at Kristy, who had gone from a light skin color to a lovely shade of tan in that small amount of time.
"Yeah, I tan at an unusual rate. Just one more reason the girls at school despise me." She examined the color of my skin. They shared a laugh then enjoyed the peacefulness once again. Some time passed until Kristy glanced at her watch that lay beside her. "Two o'clock. Think we should get in?"
Skylar sat up and dipped her foot over the edge of the dock. The water was a bit cool but it had warmed up quite a bit. "I think we're good."
"Awesome." Kristy stood up and hesitated at the edge of the dock. "Here we go." She backed up a few steps and then jumped into the waiting water. She disappeared under the ripples that she left behind. Sky's breath caught when she didn't resurface after a bit. A whole minuet had passed. "Should I jump in after her or is she just doing this to scare me?" She stood completely up and went to the edge of the dock trying to see if she could see her. However, the ripples and the reflecting sunlight made it impossible to see more than a few inches down. Heartbeats before she jumped in after her, a breath full of bubbles popped up on the surface and then Kristy finally reappeared gasping, "Oh my god, this feels great!" She noticed Sky's pale face and concern reflected on her. "What's wrong?"
Sky faked a smile and waved it off, "Nothing. I take it the water isn't too cold?"
"Just right if you ask me." She ducked under the water again. That was good enough for Sky. She ran to the back of the dock and spun around. The water sat waiting for her. With footing in place, she took off towards the water in a short sprint. Being airborne for those short few seconds was the greatest feeling she could ever imagine. The freedom, the joy, the exhilaration, and the defiance of gravity all combined together to form one giant wave of euphoric happiness. But the cool water ended the moment way too soon. Emerged in the sudden darkness of the water, she lost all sense of direction. Only at a moment like this would darkness seem so enticing.
The water really wasn't as cloudy as it seemed from above. She could see all the way to the bottom though it wasn't very distinct. Shapes of fish could be seen swimming back and forth towards the middle of the lake and a patch of plants swaying back and forth. Her lungs tightened so she made her way upwards only to find Kristy hanging out by the dock ladder. "Did you jump all the way out there?"
Sky estimated the distance between the dock and herself. Nearly ten feet separated the two of them. "Yeah, why?"
"Let me see how far I can make it. You stay there so we have something to judge by. No moving! That would be considered cheating."
"You have my word." Sky crossed an invisible X over her chest as a promise. Kristy stood, waiting at the end of the dock, ready for the short sprint. Sky saw her take a deep breath, then like a bullet, she took off. She didn't remain airborne as long as Skylar did, however her leap was more angled. She landed about a foot from her.
"Dang it! I was so close!" Kristy cried when she seen how close she had come to beating it.
"Close enough I'd say. I don't want you hitting me." She laughed at that.
The rest of the day was spent cooling off in the water and hanging out at the dock talking about their usual stuff. Well, her usual stuff. Boys, drama, the whole gossip girl scenario. Sky just sat and listened to her, throwing in words of advice every now and then. The sun began to set when she had finally finished venting. While Sky was listening though, her eyes had come across something she hadn't noticed before. "Where does that trail go?" She pointed across the lake to a small trail that could barely be seen through the trees. It seemed very intimidating. In fact, she had just come to realize that she had been staring at it for the past hour now without really noticing it.
Kristy stared at it pretty hard too. "I...I don't know. That defiantly wasn't there last time. Want to go look at it?"
"It's almost dark out. We should look at it tomorrow."
"I said look at it, not walk it. Come on, I'll only be for a minuet."
"Okay, okay. I'll do what every scary movie does and follow your silly plans. As long as it's really only for a few minuets."
"Deal." After a quick handshake, she pulled Sky up and they headed off to go investigate. It was indeed a narrow trail. Small enough that two people could never walk side-by-side.
"It might be an animal trail. Deer and other animals end up making small trails like this when they move about the woods. Think that could be it?"
"Maybe. I at least want to walk in a bit to see if it goes anywhere. Not too far."
"Oh come on. It's not like we're going to get lost. And if we really do somehow get lost, we just follow the trail back."
"True. And I will admit that this is actually pretty fun, so it would be wrong for me to say no."
"Good, then let's go." And so they began a small hike. The sunset caused the leaves of the trees to be twice as vibrant and the shadows enhanced. It was like walking in a fairy tale forest. There was even a light, misty fog crawling across the cool ground. However, there were no birds. No animals at all. Kristy stopped and leaned up against a giant oak tree that rested next to a bubbling brook. "It sure is beautiful here.
"Almost seems fake."
"Well, this is about thirty feet in. Wanna turn back around now?"
Skylar's skin started crawling. The kind of crawling you get when your watching a scary movie and you know something bad is about to happen. "Yeah, we need to start heading back. As beautiful as this place is, I'm getting this really weird feeling. Something here isn't right."
"Yeah, suddenly I feel kinda worried too. Let's head back before it gets dark." So they both headed back down the trail. The eeriness picked up when it felt like they should have been back already. They had only walked for about ten minuets to get to the tree, yet now it felt like they had walked twice that. Kristy stopped walking and turned to Sky. "The trail never branched did it?"
"No, not that I noticed. Unless it was a branch that would have been impossible to see walking the direction that we did." Panic set into both of them. Sky tried to keep a calm mind, knowing that was what most emergencies told you to do. She focused her eyesight on a single leaf that hung from the darkening canopy until it was all she could think about. "What can I look for that would give us some sort of direction?" Stars were out of the question. The canopy was way too thick to see any higher. She looked for moss, but found the woods that they were in to be moss free. Her hand reached into her pocket for her cell phone. "Are you kidding me? I left my phone on the dock with the rest of our stuff."
"You and me both." Kristy ran her hands through her hair. Both of them took a deep breath. "Well, this trail has to go somewhere, right? I say we keep on walking."
"Well it better go somewhere quick. In a half hour it's going to be dark. If we're going to go, we better do so now." With a nod of her head she started leading once again. The trail wound through the trees endlessly. With the falling light it got harder to see. Constantly they were tripping over exposed roots and running into vines that grew from tree to tree. Outlines of shadows were the most they could see now.
Kristy stopped and put her hand on a tree. "Skylar, check this out."
"What do you think this is?" Her hand rested on a carved wooden sign full of weird symbols. How she saw it, Skylar had no clue. But it was visible once she pointed it out.
"It's not any language that I know of."
"Creepy. What would this be doing out here?"
"Can't say for sure." Sky put her hand to feel the traces of the symbols. In doing so, however, her hand began to grow really warm. She returned her hands back inside her pockets. "Come on, let's keep moving." They walked a bit further but stopped when they heard something out of place.
"Do you hear that?" Kristy's face lit up
"Yeah. What is it though?"
"This is going to sound weird, but it sounds like ocean waves..." And it did. Skylar listened a bit closer and heard what sounded like waves slamming into rocks.
"We live in the middle of the Midwest! There are no oceans out here!" But they both ended up running to find out what it was. The sound grew louder and louder with each running step. However, the running soon came to a screeching halt. There they both stood, on a cliff, overlooking a wide body of water. Moonlight highlighted the churning water. Ocean or sea, the salty spray hung in the air now. "Impossible." It came out as a soft whisper, though Sky felt like she should have screamed it.
"Where the are we? This is not my family's lake!" She grabbed the sides of her face as if to retain the fear and confusion.
"I-I don't know. My only guess is that we fell asleep on the dock and this has all been some wild and crazy dream. At least that's what I'm hoping."
"I'd believe that. Except for the fact that I'm here too! And people don't just share dreams like this!"
Sky sat down on one of the many rocks to think for a second and sort everything out. Arms folded across her chest, Kristy soon sat beside her. "What do we do now?"
"I say that we go there." Sky's head snapped up to find Kristy pointing at something off in the distance. It took her a second to comprehend what it was. Along the same cliff-line and a few miles down stood a structure that looked to be an old castle, though the rock that the ruin stood on looked like it would crumble into the waiting waters at any moment. How could she have not noticed that before?
"Well, since it's dark now, we do need to find somewhere to spend the night till morning. That looks to be as good of a place than anywhere else around here." Sky grabbed Kristy's hand and pulled her up off the rock. "Off to the mysterious castle we go."