Chapter 21

On my own

Crack, the blades of the swords connected.

The vibrations shot down my arms and shook through me.

I skid backwards. "Ha- nice shot."

Dione grinned, her blood red lips adding an eerie look to her face. "Oh- if that was luck- I am the luckiest person in the world."

I frowned and gripped the hilt of my sword. "Bring it."

She swung- I used the blade of my sword to stop her strong blow, which made me slide a little farther.

I tried to swing my legs past hers but she jumped back and sliced at my arm. The blade ripped the sleeve off my wind breaker and cut into my arm.

I hissed in pain and stepped back. "That's just the beginning," she sneered. "I won't stop until you're dead at my feet."

I grimaced. "Creepy wish ya got there…" I swung the sword toward her legs, she jumped and the blade missed her feet by an inch.

I frowned. Crap- what can I do? I thought as I dodged her blade and used my blade as a shield.

Danny yelled, but it was muffled by the gag in his mouth.

"Hey, Claire?" Dione asked with a strange tone.

"What Dione," I frowned and narrowed my eyes.

She swung again, just missing my neck by three inches- too close for comfort. "I'm impressed…"

I stopped. "What do you mean?"

"Usually-" she took another swing, cutting my cheek. "My competitors don't last this long."

I put my hand on my cheek. "Ouch- but- same to you."

I glanced at my bleeding arm; it didn't look like it would reseed anytime soon.

We fought for another twenty minutes, each getting a shot or two in.

I finally stepped back and took a deep breath, the loss of blood was starting to wear me down.

"I can tell you are tired," Dione said simply as a line of blood ran down her cheek.

I took a shaky breath, "I'm not tired," I could feel weariness ebbing into my bones.

"Ha-ha-" she laughed coldly. "Don't lie to yourself. You can feel the heavy pull of sleep, the urge to just curl up and rest your head."

I blinked a few times trying to pull the sleep out of my eyes. "No- I'm fine. Just- sore."

"I wonder why?" Dione said slowly.

"'Cause we're in the-"

Dione jerked her sword toward me and the world seemed to slow down. All the color seemed to turn to black and white and I could feel my whole body relax. But suddenly I felt a pressure in my side. My slow world suddenly was spinning, faster and faster.

I looked up at Dione. "Lucky shot-" I coughed and I let my sword fall from my hand. Then I fell.

I rolled onto my back and covered my side with a hand, I looked down at it, and it was soaked with blood.

I laid my head back and sighed, "Okay Dione- you win."

She laughed from above me and I saw the tip of a blood-covered sword appear in front of my eyes. "I told you I would win; you just had to be bratty and selfish."

I groaned and bit my lip as I tried to move. "Okay, Dione. Just let Danny go, and then you can kill me."

She sighed, "Curse my good heart- I will let you two have a moment before you die."

I was too tired to make a remark, I heard a shuffled sound, someone got punched. Then Danny was looking down at me.

I managed a weak smile. "Hey Danny-" I coughed and noticed blood on my hand after I wiped my hand across my mouth.

"Claire- you're an idiot!" He cried. "Now you're gonna die."

I laughed a little, but it turned into a pained sound,. "It's okay, everyone dies in the end." I looked at him and smiled. "Never take life seriously-" I coughed. "No one gets out alive anyway."

He cried and wrapped me in a hug. "Claire- I can't believe you… you're on your death bed, and you're cracking jokes."

I smiled and pulled in another ragged breath. "Sorry- can't help it."

He looked at me. "Claire?"

I groaned, "Yeah?"

"I love you."

I smiled a little, "I love you too."

Then he kissed me. I closed my eyes why do I have to die now! This is perfect!

He pulled back. "Now- you have to live!"

I managed to open my eyes a little more, "Danny?"

"What?"

I coughed violently, "Find my Grandmother."

"What?" Danny asked softly.

But then my eyes drifted shut.

"Claire! Wake up! Wake up!"

Then I fell into a deep dark state.

)()()()(

"You think you're done?"

I opened my eyes. "Hello?"

"Claire, you can't give up that easily. Not yet at least."

"Who's there?" I asked as I looked around the small circle of light I had around me.

"I'm you."

I groaned. "Great- a riddle."

"No-" a figured stepped into the light circle. "I am seriously you."

I gasped as I walked into the light. But I was older, my hair was longer, and I looked stronger.

"I'm the Claire that you replace with when you go into "dream mode" or whatever you call it. I am the Claire of the future, if you want to call it that."

"So- why are you here?" I asked slowly, I still couldn't get over the fact I was looking at myself.

"You are barely holding onto life and I came to tell you, you can't die! There is a kingdom that needs you. There is a family that needs you, people need you, so you can't die."

I sighed, "I know that- like I want to die! No- I'm perfectly fine with livin'!"

She laughed, "Good- now- go back there…" she grinned. "And- give Danny a kiss for me."

I blinked in alarm. "Excuse me?"

She held up a finger and smiled, "Just wait- the future pays."

"Okay-" I said slowly, as she started to fade away. "Hey!" I yelled to her.

"Yes-" my voice replied back softly.

"Is Mark an idiot in the future too?"

She laughed, "Ha-ha, sure is." Then she totally disappeared and I was thrown back into darkness.

)()()()(

I groaned and opened my eyes. Danny was asleep next to me on the floor and Melody and Ivory were passed out on the couch.

I was back home.

I was in my bed.

And Danny, Melody, and Ivory were all in human form.

I propped myself up on my elbow, I noticed the bandaged around my arm and the tightness around my stomach. I leaned over the side of the bed and looked at Danny. He snored softly and his hand twitched over his stomach as he dreamed.

I sighed and lay down on my stomach and looked down at him. After he didn't move I let out an angry puff of air and whispered, "Danny? Time to wake up."

"Five more minutes-" he mumbled and turned on his side.

I smiled and counted down in my head…5…4…3…2…

"Claire!" he shouted as he sat straight up, he whacked his head against the end table sending a shower of water to cover us both.

"Crap!" I looked around to find my bracelet but saw it nowhere. I waited, I didn't change. Why didn't I change?

"Don't worry, you control when you change now," Danny grinned and wrapped me in a hug. "I thought you were dead!"

"I thought I was too."

He sat back down on his heels. "So- umm- how ya feelin'?"

I laughed, "You always know what to say, don't 'ca Danny?"

Ivory moans from the couch and sat up slowly. "Danny- stop talking to yourself."

"Do you seriously think I'm Danny?" I asked with a frown.

Ivory looked up quickly. "Claire!" she scrambled off the couch and tackled me with a hug. I pulled in a pained breath when she hit my side. "Sorry!" she apologized. "I was just happy!"

I laughed, "Hey Ivory- is my family here?"

She nodded, "Want me too-"

"Hold on-" I held up a hand. "First- where's Dione? Is she gone?"

Danny sighed, "Sadly- yes. She took the Glass Dolphin." He looked up at me. "But she said she'd have her revenge."

"On me?" I asked slowly.

He nodded. "And she's hell-bent on getting it too."

I sighed and looked at my bandaged arm. "Well- that's another battle, for another day. But right now- I have a new mission. I need to survive, not be so naïve, and I need to get my grandmother back." I looked at Danny. "Unless you found her."

Danny bit his thumbnail nervously. "Okay- bad news. Dione has your grandmother."

*The End*

Wow! I finished a SECOND book! I am sooooooo happy! I want all you anymomus readers to review! If you don't I won't write book 2! Ha-ha blackmail! But seriouslt I want to know how you liked it!

Thanks for all the good times!

DC