I have not updated in a long time. I forget about this story on this account unless people remind me! Hahaha

Nice quick authors note, because I have to leave!

The sun was out, shining brighter than it had for the last few days. The sky was a deep azure blue, specked with a few white puffs of clouds floating lazily. Gently the wind blew through the grass, ruffling the shining green coat dotted with deep reds, blues and yellows of the wildflowers growing around.

A little man emerged out of the gloomy woods. Humming a merry tune softly to himself as he went, he strode out into the empty fields around him. They were still spotted with many trees, which he picked his way around, jumping over small ditches and picking small wildflowers as he went.

He sat himself down in the shade of one of the trees, staring through the gently ruffling canopy above his head into the blue sky, absently chewing on a small stalk of grass. Lazily, his eyes began to close.

While he was peacefully dozing in the warmth of the sun's heat, the small man was suddenly jerked wide awake by sounds of footsteps; they were approaching this direction too!

No-one else should be out here. Not this far out of the city.

Crouching in the dense cover of a bush, so as not to be seen, he waited quietly for the person to pass. He held his breath he held in just in case it gave him away, and tried his hardest to ignore the sensation to sneeze as the bush leaves tickled his nose.

The culprit finally came into view, and the little man let out a huge sigh of relief. It was a boy. He was wandering along in a sort of dazed daydream world of his own.

"Oi, you, rapscallion!" cried the dwarf at the boy, as he jumped out his hiding place and advanced. "What are you doing out here you?"

Turning around to face the little dwarf, the boy's emerald eyes, slanted like a cats, gave a sort of sparkle in the sunlight as he said, "I'm sorry Theod, I can't stay cooped up inside." He ran his hand through his dusty brown hair, which was falling in spiked mops all over the place, trying to defy gravity in all sorts of directions.

The dwarf stumbled over to him, muttering, and grumbling as he went. He spoke firmly to him, even though he had to have been only half the boy's size. "Now you listen to me," grumbled Theod, "You were lucky to get away in the city the other day, and even as we speak they are probably looking for you. Griffons could be hunting from the sky at this very instant to try find you again." The dwarf reached up to poke him hard in the chest as he spoke.

"I'm sorry Theod." Genuinely he sounded it.

Theod rubbed his brow with the palm of his hand. "Ah, you a funny one lad. Not even a full man yet but you act so much older at times. And goodness help, yer the most restless person I've ever met! Can't stay in one space for more than a second."

The boy smiled.

Theod's tone grew a little darker, "But yer wanted by the Master, goodness knows what his evil plans are. You have to be careful Cloud, especially when you don't know what that rotten tyrant has hidden up his sleeves for ya."

Cloud folded his arms and looked up into the sky, his eyes moving slightly with a glazed look, as if searching for something in the deep blue depth. "I can't help it Theod."

"I know lad, I know. We best go back now though. And no more wandering off. We gotta keep low, alright? You hear me on that?"

Cloud nodded.

Theod grunted, and then took off at a nice leisurely pace, which was a slow walk for Cloud. That was okay. The more time they took, the less time it meant he would be cooped up inside out of view. Absently he ran his hand through his hair again, catching the pointed tips of his ears. It must have been a strange sight to see, a middle aged dwarf and a young elf twice his size, walking alongside together like this.

Though Theod had been so strict about his worry of searchers in the area, the fields around them were so scarcely used, the countryside close to them empty of anyone else. This desolate, almost forgotten area, was their home and their protection. If it were to be invaded by others, then no longer would it be safe.

Sun speckling through the tree tops cast glinting rays down on the grass below, trampled beneath their feet as the two walked in pace.

It was a sudden breeze ruffling the canopy of the trees which allowed the sun to glint off something, catching the corner of Cloud's sharp eyes. He turned his head sharply, and tensed.

Grabbing the dwarfs arm, he hissed darkly, "Theod. Someone's under the trees over there."

Theod instantly stopped his humming, eyes widening as he faced the direction Cloud was looking in. He then relaxed a little, waving Cloud off his arm. "Oh, it's probably just one of the twins. Galvan, he likes to sit out here. Look, I think he must be sleeping."

He began to hobble over towards the figure that was lying underneath the trees. Cloud followed closely, still tense, fists clenched slightly.

It wasn't who they thought it was though.

Instead, it was a young girl. Sprawled at the foot of a large tree, her blonde hair tossed over her face. She also wore some of the most outlandish types of clothes to ever set eyes upon, patterned with crazy designs on her loose fitting shirt. She didn't move at the sound of their approach.

Cloud knelt down next to her, tapping her gently across the cheek, "Miss?" There was no response, meaning she wasn't sleeping. Her chest moved up and down slightly, so she was still alive though. He murmured, "She needs help."

Theod said, "We'll take her to Ma, she'll be able to help."

Cloud nodded, though with slight reluctance. This girl, whoever she was, was nothing but a stranger, and strangers were dangerous to them. However, he carefully lifted her up into his arms, and as the movement swept her hair from her face, they both got a glimpse of it for the first time.

Theod's brow furrowed, "Now that's odd," he mumbled, starting to hobble along as Cloud picked up a pace. "She has no Scarscis mark. I thought she was a magician though. Most peculier. Cloud, is it possible for a magician not to have a mark?"

Cloud didn't say anything. He wouldn't have had a chance anyway as Theod carried on talking to himself. The only thing he did, was focus on getting the unconscious girl back to their home, and trying to shake off a growing feeling of discomfort.

***

"She's certainly hanging on in there. I reckon she's going to be just fine."

"Well done Ma."

"Thankyou Galvan. Josie, can you pass me that bowl there please."

"Here."

"Thanks dear. Now all of you, stop crowding. She's going to wake up soon, and I wouldn't have thought the first thing the poor girl wants to see is you lot staring at her. Come on, out you go!"

The large rounded blue woman very easily managed to push all of the surrounding members in the room out of the door, much to their disappointment. Except just the one. Cloud.

He hadn't said a word since he first came in holding the unconscious girl in his arms, leaning against the wall and watching from the side of the room.

Ma shut the door, before coming back over to place a wet cloth on the girl's forehead. As she did so, she turned her head a little to look at Cloud. "You've been so much more quieter than normal Cloud. What is it?"

"Nothing," he replied, but the entire time he just kept staring at the girl, frowning slightly.

Ma sighed, and went back to dabbing at the girl's forehead. She didn't even try to ask Cloud to tell her what he was really thinking. Cloud kept to himself far too much. It was hard to think he was so young at times when he acted more like a much older man. His eyes had seen a lot in their short time, she was sure, although he rarely spoke of it.

Trying to work him out always gave Ma a headache, so she learned to stop trying long ago.

The silence inside the room was only making the whispers outside of the door all the more audible. Ma gave a smile, reaching down beside her to relight the dimming crystal. Living underground, they relied on the light from magic crystals to keep the place lit.

The girl moved slightly.

"Cloud, pass me the potion next to you," Ma pointed a large blue finger, "The purple one please."

He did so, before folding his arms and remaining beside her for a moment, as if a statue frozen in place. Ma could swear she saw a wink of metal at his side, from a dagger. Clearly any curiousity he had about this girl was one of a mistrusting nature, unlike the others who were overly intrigued by her. He stepped back against the wall as Mas turned and attempted to trickle the purple potion between the girl's lips. "There we are."

The girl gave a brief cough as the potion started to work. Her eyes fluttered open.

Yasmin felt like she had been hit over the head with a sledgehammer for a few seconds. Moaning, she then looked into the face of a woman staring over her, and bolted right up into a sitting position. It was not a wise thing to do, when a pain slammed at the side of her skull.

Ma placed a hand on her shoulder. "Now dear, easy! You've been unconscious for a while. Here, drink some more of this." She passed the same cup of purple liquid to Yasmin.

Cautiously Yasmin accepted it, eyes watching Ma's every single move very carefully.

Ma noticed, jabbing a thumb towards herself, "My name is Ma Sentona, but you can just call me Ma dear. Everybody does."

Yasmin nodded shakily, and fingered the cup. Ma smiled at her, "Drink, it will make you feel better."

Obeying her, Yasmin did so, instantly feeling better as the purple liquid washed down her throat. In her reeling mind, she kept going over all possibilities of where she could be that included large blue woman, but nothing that made sense popped up. Aside from a coma.

"Now, what's your name love?"

"Yasmin," she replied quietly, slipping her feet off the edge of the bed into an upright position.

Ma clapped her hands together, "Now that is a pretty name. Oh, I think I'd best let the others in before they break down door. They've been dying to meet you."

She opened the door, and in walked the strangest bunch of people Yasmin could have ever met. Or for that matter even thought to have existed. Ma introduced each one of them.

Firstly, Josie. She looked like a sea nymph, blue skinned and hair that flowed around her shoulders like water.

Then Theod, an incredibly short dumpy little man, who had the look of a wrinkly but kind old man.

Finally, the two twins. Ratcha and Galvan. Ratcha had skin and hair that looked like molten flame, and he crossed his arms as if the exert an air of toughness. Exactly the opposite of his twin. Galvan had leaf green hair, and muddy earth brown skin, but almost instantly Yasmin could feel his cheeky light sense of humour, by the way he plunged himself down onto the seat next to her and grinned like a goofball. A Yin and Yang if ever you saw one.

They were all staring at her in fascination. Yasmin felt very embarrassed, as well as a whole lot of other things at the moment.

"Um, what are you all looking at?"

"You of course," Galvan said, before he reached over and poked her in the forehead, "Where's your Scarscis mark?"

Josie slapped his hand away, "Galvan, leave her alone!"

"Scarscis mark? I don't have one of those, I don't even know what that is," Yasmin said. At the same time she edged a little away from the too-upfront, green haired guy.

"A magician's mark. Hmm, so what are you then? We haven't seen one of your likeness around here before," Theod said.

Yasmin rubbed her arm where she had desperately been pinching it, both happy and rather afraid that she could feel the sharp pain.

"Look, am I dreaming?" she said.

"Um, no, don't think so," Theod said, scratching his beard.

"Why?" asked Ratcha.

Galvan grinned, and leant over next to her to whisper, "Bet it's cause you saw his mug and thought you were having a nightmare, isn't it?" Ratcha gave him a glare.

"No, it's," Yasmin rubbed her temples, "Don't take this the wrong way, but it's because I've only ever seen pictures of people like you in books."

They all looked around one another. "What, us, only in books?"

"You know, stories, fairy tales." This wasn't going too well.

"Well lass, I can tell you one thing. We ain't a fairy story. How can you think that? You never seen us dwarves or nymphs before?" Theod asked her. Yasmin shook her head. He frowned a little, and then asked, "So, you've only seen your type of magical being before?"

"Magical being? I'm not a magical being," Yasmin said, shaking her head a little, and putting the cup down onto the small table.

"Well then what are you?" This came from a voice that Yasmin hadn't heard yet, from someone she hadn't seen before now.

It was a boy, or it would have been if not for his pointed ears and slanted cat like eyes. He emerged from the shadows of the room.

Recognition blazed through Yasmin instantly. "You!" she said, standing up and crossing over towards him, finger pointed his way. "I've seen you before!"

He frowned a little, "I've never laid eyes on you. How do you know me?"

"I had a dream, you were there. Being chased by these soldiers in the city. And then you came out, into the woods and there was this hidden staircase."

She was as confused as he was. Cloud knew the night she meant, the night he escaped from the Master's capture. But there had been no-one else, except….

"You! You're the one on the stairs that tripped. I saw you before you disappeared."

They stared at each other, wide-eyed.

Yasmin just put her hand to her forehead, turning back to sit back down on the bed. "This is weird, I must be hallucinating. I mean I'm dreaming about creatures out of books and having nightmares about elves!" She buried her head in her hands.

The others stared at one another and then at her.

Galvan couldn't quite contain himself, poking her in the arm so that she looked up at him. "So, since your not a magician without a mark, what are you exactly?"

"I'm a human," Yasmin sighed, playing along with her hallucination.

They each gave a gasp, looking a little shocked by her answer. She asked them, "What?"

"Ha, you called us fairy tales," Galvan snickered. "Humans are just a myth."

"They don't exist," said the elf. He was staring at her in the exact way a teacher looks at a student when they know they're lying.

"What do you mean 'don't exist'?" Yasmin underlined her words sharply, brow creasing.

"I mean, they aren't real," he shot right back at her. "A mocking storytale version of the elves, with rounded ears and dots for eyes."

He said it in such a hard, spiteful way that Yasmin suddenly felt angry.

"What's wrong with my eyes, pointy ears?" she spat back, voice dripping with venom.

For a moment, Cloud only stood there. Then with a withering look at her, he stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

Yasmin watched him go, glaring the entire time, and no trace of guilt in her face of what she said whatsoever.

"Wow, that was awesome!" Galvan put his arms around her and hugged her, much to her sudden shock.

"Galvan!" Josie scolded.

"What?" he said. "She's been awake for less than two minutes, and she's already done what we're too afraid to do!"

"And that is?" Yasmin queried him.

He gave her a cheeky smile, winking an apple green eye, "You my fabulous darling, have insulted Cloud! You have more guts than any of us!"

"Why would that take guts?"

Ratcha gave a small dark chuckle, "Oh trust me, if you knew Cloud, then I wouldn't have thought it was a good idea to get on his bad side."

Josie sighed, "Ratcha, you make him sound like he was going to whip up a whirlwind." She turned to face Yasmin, "Ignore these two, trust me. And, as for Cloud," she half raised a hand, "I don't know why he acted like that, but he's a good person."

Theod said, "I think it's because she looks so much like him. No mark, she looks more like an elf than anything." Yasmin didn't get it, but the others obviously did.

Yasmin couldn't get rid off her cold feeling towards him though. It evidently found it's way into her comment, "Was he rude and scared them off as well?"

Their faces suddenly told her maybe she was a bit hasty with her comment.

"No. They're all dead. Cloud's the last. It just…had to be a bit of a shock to see another person who looks so like him, myths or not."

Silence.

There was an incredible plunge of guilt washing over in Yasmin's stomach now.

"There are no others?" she asked.

"None," Josie replied.

Galvan said, "Well one."

"Galvan, you know that's not true. Unless you really do want fairytales to leap off the page." Ratcha frowned at his twin.

Yasmin immediately asked, "What?"

Josie said, "Supposedly there is one more elf. It's just a myth, no-one ever actually saw her, so none of us know if she really did exist in the end. It's too long to explain right now."

Yasmin stood up, "Would you be able to tell me?"

Ma suddenly bustled in between them, "No, not now! You dear need your rest! Goodness knows what you've just been through. We can all swap stories later, but until then, rest!"

She turned to the others, "Come on you lot. Out, out!" She swept them all out, shutting the door behind her. It suddenly left Yasmin alone, in a unfamiliar place, playing the entire thing from when she woke up in this nightmare, til now.

Just a dream, she told herself. I'll lie down, fall asleep, and then wake up to find myself back home having fallen asleep at those dumb archery tryouts.

With those thoughts driving in her mind, she fell back into a light slumber.

***

"What do you mean you lost her?!"

The gargoyle felt the stinging wrath of his Master's anger, pelted with the burning red hot coals from the fireplace. Every single one felt like his skin was being branded.

"Sire please. The Shadows, they came back without her! She must have gone when they came for her!"

Another red hot coal hit him, close to the temples, very nearly blinding him.

"How can you lose a human girl?!" the Master roared furiously.

The coals kept coming, and Ramon was fighting tears of pain in the Master's presence.

Suddenly they stopped, giving the whinging gargoyle time to nurse at his burns gently.

"Ramon, this cannot go on. One more slip, from you and you will have to pay the consequences."

"Yes, Sire."

The Master was sitting far back into his chair, lost in the casting shadows. If his face could have been seen, the brow would have been furrowed into a deep crevice. "I don't know how this might have happened, but I will find out!"

Ramon, bowed on his knees as his Master waved a dismissal, then scurried out.

The Master laced his fingers together, frowning into the fire, as he vowed to himself, "The girl, she will be found."

***

Yasmin awoke to a light knocking. Immediately she was bolt upright, expecting sunlight to pierce her vision as she found herself asleep under the tree at the archery tryouts. That's not what she saw though.

The knocking came from the door, which opened a crack, and the large friendly figure of Ma came in, a fresh set of clothes in her arms.

"Good, your awake! Some clean clothes for you love, so you can remove what your wearing and come to dinner." She thrust them into Yasmin's arms, gave her a smile and left again, shutting the door behind her again.

Yasmin sat frozen for a moment, before she sighed.

This wasn't a dream. Which meant she was going have to live this out. Heaven help her.

Reviews are golden!

So is gold, but meh! xoxox