Chapter 2:

A Dark Sleep

Keenah was the first to react. He summoned up Mental Magic and used his mind to lift up one of the guards. Keenah's mind then tossed the flailing guard at the front wall of the Palace. The man made a blood-curdling cry as he slid down the wall.

Maisa made her move next. She conjured up Mental Magic for herself. The whites, iris, and pupils of her eyes all blended together to become an eye-shaped blue light. She focused the magic on the second guard's mind and sent it signals of immense pain. The thin, burly guard writhed like a worm as if he was under torture, which, in fact, he was. After minutes of squirming on the ground, he finally passed out.

"That was close!" Keenah pointed out.

"No kidding!" Maisa replied.

The two friends went back to their hiding place. And they watched, stunned, as the scene taking place before their eyes unfolded.

"Expendable little brats," Shadow hissed. "We need better guards! Back before I was imprisoned in that god-and-goddess-forsaken jar, we had beasts as Royal Guards that could shove a giant claw into the heart of an enemy and kill him instantly! Those guards were MUTILATED by those weak Magic Spirits! At least those brats ran away….

"Now! Hasu, I officially send you into exile within the fog boundary of Kubonnitoh! If you're still standing there like a fool in sixty seconds…you don't want to know…" The dark mass turned away; well, technically, the large red eyes moved to the opposite side of the mass, and the hands swung around. "MOOTEGRAW!"

"Yes, Father?" the bald sorcerer said obediently.

"YOU ARE DISMISSED!" Shadow boomed. Mootegraw swung around on his heels and left the Palace through the immense doors. His father turned back to the throne. King Hasu was still standing in front of the important chair looking pretty important himself. Shadow's eyes were the only hint that the darkness that was Shadow was smirking. "Typical."

"You have no right to banish me from my home, even if you were a general in those god-and-goddess-forsaken wars, you now-big-and-faceless-thing!" Hasu declared. "I was born into the Royal family and I have the right---no, requirement---to stay here in the Palace!"

Shadow laughed a gross, painful-to-the-ears laugh. "Sure you do." And then it happened.

A hole opened in Shadow that didn't go all the way through. All of a sudden, the hole began to suck everything into itself like a black hole.

As hard as he tried, Hasu was unable to withstand the great suction Shadow had conjured. He tumbled head-over-heels into the floating darkness. He felt himself falling. He couldn't see anything. Except something odd below him. The darkness through which he fell seemed to flow below him. It wasn't until he made contact with the flowing darkness that he found out it was the bottom of wherever he was…and that it was cursed.

The King of the Spirit World felt a sudden wave of weariness wash over him. All that mattered now was going to sleep. And he gave in…and slept. The curse had taken its toll and put the Spirit World's most important citizen into a deep, dark sleep.

"Let's go," Keenah said, "before that black hole thing gets strong enough to wrench us out from our hiding place." The two Magic Spirits of Mental Magic scampered away from the great, golden Palace.

"I'm going home," Maisa told him. "Want to come? My father has a new potion he would like somebody to try out."

"Sure!" The two friends made their way back downtown and made for the edge of the city where Maisa's father, Onotoa, was waiting with a potion that would taste like anything they wanted it to. Maisa and Keenah enjoyed it very much after their long and traumatic day.

Author Note: The main part of this chapter introduces the main plotline of "Maisa's Secret."

Origins of the Spirit World: The entire ordeal began in Summer 2004 when a friend of mine, probably either as a joke or as something to fool me with---I was very gullible back then---told me that he and I were actually from 500 years in the future when an evil guy named Mootegraw, apparently a rabbit (not a three-eyed bald guy), had blown up the world, and we had survived by having cockroaches all over us. So, while the idea of AitSW was not sparked until a year later (Summer 2005), that fictitious story was technically the origin point for the series. (Continued in next chapter of AitSW)

This is a work of fiction. Any similarities between the events and characters in this story to real events and people is entirely coincidental.