Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Family Stone (Chapter 40) (last chapter)

Chapter 40

Teg pulls the door knob out of the ceiling just in time. He hears Alex screaming along with Boon and a loud crash.
He forgot they can’t fly.
He looks down at where they could be and saw that they landed on the king size post bed which is now without its posts. It couldn’t hold Alex and Boon weight.
‘Ow,’ Alex lands squarely on Boon. Boon is facing the bed and is flat against the mattress and the posts. ‘Can you please be more specific with where we will land next time, Teg?’
‘Sorry Alex. I forget that you both don’t fly. It was the only open space I can stab the door knob with. We were in a hurry so I can’t promise to have better judgements when we are trying to run away from flesh eating mobs.’
Alex nods in agreement. ‘You’re right,’ she says as she gets off Boon’s back, ‘it’s better to get away than to complain, I just got a bit scared. Flying’s not really my thing – got heights problem.’ Teg nods towards her, amused.
John and Martha bursts into the room, armed with a baseball bat and a broom, screaming like they were ready for war.
‘Woah! It’s just us!’ Alex says as they came into the room, screaming.
‘Miss Alexandria!’ Martha and John shout in unison.
‘It’s just us! Sorry about the bed, we didn’t know we were going to come in that way.’
‘You scared all of us alright. It’s been a while since we got that kind of commotion. We kind of gotten used to Fortesque checking up on things like that,’ Martha confides.
‘Mother here is still quite paranoid so please do pardon her. I am still learning how to get things done around here but I am pleased to let you all know that we have been looking after Maison de la Mer as we were instructed and there has been no disturbances for the last ten months.’
‘I’m sorry?’
‘There have been no disturbances, Miss Alex.’ Martha repeats.
‘What do you mean, ten months?’
‘You were all gone for ten months.’
‘Ten?’ Alex looks around to look at Teg and Boon. ‘Explain.’
‘Time must have passed when we were in Annwn,’ Boon says, ‘But I can’t be certain. It was the first time I’ve ever been in there.’ Boon looks at Teg in turn. Boon and Alex look at Teg, waiting for an explanation.
‘Ten months, Teg.’
‘But that can’t be right. We were gone just for a few days. And that never happens even if you enter Annwn. Although that is the first time a Balance entered Annwn.’
‘That means time passes more quickly when we enter Annwn? That’s not good, not good at all,’ Alex says as she starts to pace around the room. ‘What if we stayed there longer? It would have been years!’
‘It may have but you didn’t stay very long.’ Teg replies.
‘I’m never going back there again. That just freaked me out,’ Alex says, looking worried. ‘We’ll be back later, Martha, John.’
‘Yes, Miss Alexandria,’ John says bowing, ‘We’ll make arrangements to tidy up the room.’
‘Thank you, John. It was nice seeing you both. We shall catch up with you both later. Your…er, can we have a moment, please?’
‘Yes of course Miss Alexandria,’ John says as he and Martha bows and turn to leave.
‘Oh John, before I forget…’ John turns back his attention to Alex. ‘Please call me Alex or Miss Alex, if you prefer – just like Martha. I feel like my name is too long to say all the time.’
‘Of course Miss Alex. If you insist’ John bows and exits the room, closing the door behind him.
Alex listens and waits until she could not hear their footsteps.
‘We must go see my parents,’ Alex tells Teg.
‘What?’ Boon and Teg turn their attention to her, ‘Do you think they are in some kind of trouble?’ Boon says, concerned.
‘No, I’m the one in trouble! Ten months! I’m beyond shocked! Teg, please, we have to see my folks,’ she begs him.
Teg takes out the door knob from his pouch and punches the nearest plain wall. ‘You just have to say it and I will do it, Alex,’ Teg says, smiling.
An outline of a door appeared and the flower of life lined the door’s wooden panels.
‘It is safe locked,’ Alex says as she studies the details. ‘At least I don’t have to worry so much about my folks.’
Teg opens the door and Alex looks into her old room, looking the same as they left it. As Alex and Boon go through the door, Boon suddenly started sniffing.
‘Someone was here.’ Boon says, whispering. Alex and Teg look at him, wide eyed.
‘No, no, no, no! This flat is supposed to be spell locked, this whole building,’ Alex tells him, starting to panic.
‘No, it’s a different scent. It’s not Chaos. It smells like…’
‘Lulu?’ Alex says. Boon and Teg watches her as she starts sniffing the air. ‘She smells like, something like fresh air? What the heck was she doing here? She’s not an anti hero, is she? She didn’t do anything to my folks coz I swear, I’m going to cut her up! No offense Boon.’
‘None taken,’ Boon says as he continues to sniff the air. ‘She did not do anything to your parents, I’m sure of it but I can’t be certain what she was doing here. I guess we have to ask your parents.’ Just as Boon finishes talking, the door of the room bursts open suddenly and five cats storms into the room, along with two worried looking parents.
‘My Alex!’ Alex’s mom runs and embraces her and her Dad embraces them both. Her parents are crying and Alex couldn’t help but cry with them. They let go of Alex and Alex’s mom hits her on the arm.
‘Ow, Mom! What was that for?’
‘You were gone for ten months! Ten months without a phone call, text, email – you have no excuse, young lady. This is the digital age and I made sure I know how to do those things so you have no excuse not to keep in touch with us!’
‘Mom, Dad, I’m so glad to see you too and I am sorry I did not keep in touch. But can I please have something to eat?’
They around on the table with Boon surrounded by the cats, all grown up and fat. Ariel sat on Alex’s lap as Alex is reeling with jealously at Boon. Teg is cooking while her parents are just watching her.
‘What?’ Alex asks her parents. ‘Do I look older?’
‘No, you look more wiser. I didn’t think it would be possible,’ Alex’s Dad teases.
‘Thanks Dad,’ she smiles. ‘I miss you too and Mom.’
‘Well, it’s a long story. It felt like a few days to me, more or less three weeks but I did not expect ten months. You won’t believe where I went and what we went through. I want to but maybe some things are better off not known, just to be safe. I hope you both understand.’
Teg places dishes before Alex and her parents. ‘Breakfast is served!’
‘Mom, Dad, did anyone come here? While we were gone? I’m not talking about your friends though,’ Alex asks casually.
‘Yes, actually there was.’ Alex’s Dad replies as he helps himself with the scrambled eggs.
‘Did you know this person?’
‘Of course we did,’ her mother replies, buttering her toast, ‘she helped Hera do the spell locking.’
‘What? Huh? I thought Terra was the one who helped Hera?’
‘Yes, but there was a young lady who helped her before that. We didn’t ask many questions. She was introduced to us and that was all we know about her.’
‘Was her name Lulu?’ Alex asks, Boon looks on, at the edge of his seat.
‘Yes, that’s her name. She was looking for you guys and I remember Aunt Hera telling me to trust her, if she ever comes back. We didn’t think she’d ever come back though.’
‘But she found this flat. How can she not find us?’ Alex asks Boon and Teg.
‘She was the one who helped spell locked this flat and probably the rest of the other places you have been living in but not the Maison de la Mer.’ Teg concludes.
‘That makes more sense. But if Aunt Hera knew about her, why did she have to look for Terra and not just ask Lulu to help her out instead?’
‘Our timeline is a mess. And it doesn’t make sense that she’s hiding all this time from your Tellūs and Terra.’
‘Why don’t you ask her yourself?’ Alex’s mom asks her.
‘But we don’t know where she is.’ Boon replies.
‘She told us.’ Alex’s Dad tells them, as he wipes his mouth, already finished with his meal.
‘Huh?’ Alex, Boon and Teg say in unison.
‘She says she’ll be in Corvus.’
‘Do any of you two know where that is?’ Boon and Teg shakes their head. ‘Well, that makes sense. Maybe she just said that to get us off her trail.’
‘No, she told us to tell you three that she will be in Corvus.’
Alex, Boon and Teg look confused.
‘She wants us to find her?’ Teg says, finally.
‘That’s what she said,’ Alex’s Dad tells him.
‘Okay. I guess we’re going to have to find this place in order to get some…order.’ Alex says carefully. She still feels it’d be best if her parents not know too many things. She will have to have a word with Lulu when they do find her about getting her parents involved.
‘We have to go now. We can’t stay,’ Boon tells her.
‘I know. I wish it doesn’t get more difficult to leave though,’ she confides as she wolfs down her breakfast.
‘Mom, Dad.’ Alex stands up from the table, ‘we have to go.’
‘Yes, we know,’ Alex’s Dad says. ‘No need to say goodbye, just go. We will see you later.’
Alex stands there for a minute, deciding whether or not to hug her parents before she leaves.
‘Go.’ Her mom tells her this time.
‘Okay. I’ll see you guys later.’ Alex quickly goes to her room, followed by Boon & Teg who nods to her parents.
‘I hope you enjoy the breakfast!’ Teg says as he flies away towards the room.
‘Let’s go.’ Alex tells them as Teg closes the door of her room.
‘To where?’ Boon says as he watches Teg pull out the door knob.
‘I don’t know, to be honest. Can we open the door to places where we’re supposed to be right now?’ she asks Teg.
‘Yes, it’s possible,’ he says as he stabs the wall with the door knob. He opens the door and all they can see is a white blinding light.
‘Are you guys ready?’ Alex asks, breathing out loud as if she’s getting ready to jump off a plane.
‘Always.’ Teg replies.
‘Come on, Boon,’ Alex says as she holds Boon’s hand. ‘Where is your sense of adventure?’ and she pulls him towards the door, quickly followed by Teg who closes the door behind him.

And then, the door fades away.

(Written for 2012 NaNoWriMo.)

The Family Stone (Chapter 39)

Chapter 39

Terra stands in the field, looking afar.
‘I feel quite useless now,’ she says under her breath. Gwyn is standing not far from her. ‘I didn’t even know my daughter is alive.’
‘She is quite powerful.’
‘She always has been. She was the first Libra that Tellūs and I made. She had all the gifts and it came naturally for her. She was the one who we initially chose to bond with Stēlla but she refused,’ Terra smiles at the memory. ‘She was also the first one who openly refused to do what we asked. But we love her so much that we did not even argue with her and gave Stēlla our second born instead. Perhaps she was jealous of Stēlla. Tellūs & I did have that suspicion but we did not even bring it up.’
‘Did she ever have a Bond?’
‘She never did. Not from what I remember. The bonding would have made waves in the cosmos.’ Gywn nods his head in silent agreement. He remembered her during the war. She barely spoke and others called her the Silent Libra because of how quickly she eliminated her enemies and without any trouble. She and Stēlla, along with Boon, would have finished off the war if they wanted to. The thought troubles him to this day because that very idea never happened although they had that wild expectation.
‘I know what you are thinking, Gwyn. Two powerful beings, one lone Libra and the most powerful human being to have ever been born bonded with another Libra, unable to stop the army of Chaos. Perhaps you can blame me and Tellūs for that. We were too proud and there were too many things that we have ignored,’ tears in Terra’s eyes appear. ‘It could have been prevented if we wanted to but we didn’t. We realized our mistakes too late.’
Gwyn bows, ‘Empress-Queen, now is not the time for regrets. What’s done is done. We may have all made mistakes in the past that we cannot undo but do not forget that we still live and may still have a chance on changing the fate of the world.’
‘Oh, ignorance is bliss Gywn! I wish I did not know this. How the people of the world go on about doing what they do, ignorant of what is happening to their world now. What would happen if they knew?’

‘Chaos.’ Gwyn answers without a doubt. 

(Written for 2012 NaNoWriMo.)

The Family Stone (Chapter 38)

Chapter 38

Two and a half weeks has passed. Alex and Boon finally recovers. Alex can finally get off the bed without any trouble of passing out as quickly. After three days, Gwyn calls for a meeting.
Alex got out of the bathroom, clean with a fresh clean shirt and shorts. ‘I can’t believe we’ve been sleeping for over two weeks! It felt just like a day! I feel good now!’ Teg is looking at her disapprovingly.
‘You may have to dress up a little bit more for the meeting,’ Teg tells her.
‘But I always wear what I want.’ Alex says defensively.
‘I understand but this meeting is also a celebration for your victory. Nothing too showy, in case, something gets a wind of it. Anyway, I am merely suggesting that wear something else but you don’t have to.’
‘Psshh! Too late! You’ve already insulted my dress choices!’ Alex walks towards her closet and quickly goes through her stuff, took a purple dress and goes straight to the bathroom.
Teg laughs quietly and shrugs at Boon. ‘Women.’
Alex quickly changes into the one strap purple dress she used for a wedding. Her hair is tied up to a bun which complimented the dress well.
‘You look wonderful!’ Teg says proudly.
‘Pssh! I don’t like you!’ Alex says, crossing her arms.
Just as they were about to leave the quarters, there was a knock on the door. A group of servants were at the door.
‘Yes, what is it?’ Teg asks.
‘Sir, the King insists that you all wear the traditional royal clothing of the people of Tylwyth Teg for this occasion. He would like the Kingdom to know you are all his honorary guests.’
‘Alex? It’s up to you,’ Teg says.
Alex thinks for a moment. ‘Why not?’
Just as she says this, she was surrounded by smaller fairies. They lift her by a foldable screen stand. They work their way to her dress by taking it apart. She wanted to protest but she did not want to make it obvious that she was naked behind the screen. They quickly sew clothes around her and for a moment, she feels like one of those girls in fairy tales. It’s as if she is Cinderella and these fairies were her fairy godmothers or fairy godmother minions. She watches them make the dress on her while she stands there and watch in stunned silence. The details of the dress was beautiful, she’s never seen such beautiful materials either. It can’t be recycled from her cheap dress. When they were done with the dress, they quickly went through her hair, fixing it gently and she assumes that they have given her some kind of make up to freshen up. When the fairies were done, they admired her and nodded at each other. How she wishes she understood what they were saying. Maybe she will in the future, perhaps not. They quickly disappeared from her sight and suddenly they wheeled in a mirror.
Alex couldn’t believe how she looks. She could actually pass for a decent forest nymph.
‘Wow! Thank you! You guys are amazing! How did you do this?’ Alex watches the small fairies, agreeing with each other and they glow as they murmur happily to each other. Alex steps out of the screen and she saw that Boon and Teg are also changed into handsome robes.
‘Can I have some pants instead?’ Teg begs the small fairy that is shaking its head from side to side, clearly looking annoyed that Teg doesn’t like what their group made for him.
‘You look very decent, Teg,’ Alex reassures him. ‘It looks great!’ she tells the fairies, giving the group two thumbs up. The fairies smile and glow towards her and leaves Teg, looking at his robes with dissatisfaction.
‘I hate dresses!’ Teg says under his breath.
‘You look great too, Boon!’ Alex says as he looks at his robes with uncertainty.
‘Thank you, Alex,’ Boon blushes. ‘This is the first time I am wearing clothes all the time,’ he tells her honestly.
‘You know, if I don’t know you so well, I’d think you’re a creep and a very big pervert for saying that to me.’ Alex says thoughtfully. ‘Just remember that you shouldn’t say that to anyone else…they will get wrong ideas.’
This terrifies Boon and nods his head.
‘I’m just kidding, Boon! Take it easy.’ Alex tells him, giggling. ‘But do remember the last part.’ She takes her pouch and dusts it clean. She resizes the cabinet-box to its travel size and puts it back to her pouch.
They did not notice that the small tailor fairies are gone when there is another knock on the door. Another servant, a soldier, appears before them and informs them that King Gwyn requests for their presence at the dining hall.
As they were escorted to the dining hall, the trio realizes that the entire kingdom has gathered to see them. As they walk through the crowds, they either curtsies or bows to them as they pass. They nod back at them in return.
‘Is it just me or do they look like holograms?’ Alex asks Boon and Teg.
‘Holo…?’ Boon says, slowly, obviously not knowing what the word is.
‘She means like an illusion, Boon,’ Teg informs Boon, trying to help him. ‘But you are right, Alex. This is quite strange.’
‘You did say that it was a low-key celebration, maybe that’s just their way,’ Alex theorizing.
‘These are my people, Alex. I would know how they are, even if I was gone for quite some time. I already feel that this is quite an odd way to celebrate.’
As they enter the dining hall, King Gwyn and Queen-Empress Terra are waiting for them at the table, standing very still. The trio stands before them and bows to them as the guards close the door. When they hear the lock turn, Gwyn and Terra runs to them.
‘We have very little time to chat.’ Gwyn tells them, urgently.
‘Wait, what? What’s going on now? I don’t like this already.’ Alex asks, confused at the sudden change of disposition.
‘Ims is in Tylwyth Teg,’ Terra tells them, horrified. ‘He’s somewhere but he’s definitely in the kingdom.
‘I haven’t heard that name since the war!’ Boon says, shocked. ‘Since when was he here mother?’
‘About two hours ago. We did not want to alarm him that we already know he’s here. So we made the necessary arrangements as if we are preparing for a celebration.’ Gwyn informs them. ‘We had a feeling that they will know about Vtl’s death sooner or later,’ Gwyn explains. ‘He’s already gone through the barricade at the entrance and I don’t think any of you are in a position to fight him off.’
‘What about the Fair Folk?’
‘They are already at Annwn.’ ‘It is I and Queen-Empress Terra that are still out here.’
‘Why are you telling us this?’ Teg asks, suspiciously.
‘Because we cannot take you with us,’ Gwyn looks grave at his reply.
‘And why not?’ Alex says confused all over, once again. Why can’t there be any good news, she thought to herself.
‘You are under a curse.’
‘Am I going to turn into a frog?’ Alex asks horrified. ‘I will make an ugly frog and something will eat me because I am not good at being a frog.’ Alex shakes her head. ‘A curse? How can that happen?
‘It can happen very quickly. Ims is very good with curses.’ Terra replies.
‘But I feel fine and I feel better than before.’ Alex is beginning to feel like everything is spinning out of control so quickly. Two and a half weeks of no worry and she was asleep the whole time.
‘If I bring you three back to Annwn, you will die. You will not resurrect,’ he looks at Alex when he makes that point. ‘I promise you, I myself am unable to tell you what is going on. My best priests cannot even lift the curse. I have tried my best to lift the curse on my own but I don’t understand it. It’s quite complex, even for me. I will need time to study it.’
‘When did it start? How did I not know of it?’ Teg asks, suspicious of his King again.
‘It started three days ago, when Domina and Boon woke up. I felt a change in the wind but I overlooked it. I was celebrating our victory. We may have gotten unwanted attention, I am still unsure. It is too soon to tell and all I have at the moment are theories.’ Gwyn is looking regretful and Terra looks forlorn. ‘I did not tell you because I did not want to alarm you and in turn, alarm Domina and Boon. They have just recovered. I was doing what felt right.’
‘What do we do now?’ Alex asks, hoping they will be able to tell them what their first step is.
‘The safest place for now is the Maison de la Mer,’ Teg says thoughtfully. ‘It’s the only way we can lose his trail to us.’
‘I still have so many questions!’ Alex says, worried.
‘That will have to wait for later.’ Gwyn replies.
‘And I have questions about Lulu, mother,’ Boon demands.
‘And so do I,’ Terra replies.
‘Why can’t you come along with us to the manor?’ Alex is feeling desperate.
‘We cannot. There is a possibility that they will find a trail to the manor if I and Empress-Queen come along. We cannot risk your safety.’
There was a long silence. Terra looks towards the distance, wide-eyed. It can only mean one thing.
Ims is near.
Alex can feel her heart beat like crazy.
‘I understand,’ Teg answers finally. He takes his door knob from his pouch and stabs the floor with it. ‘Be safe my King. Please protect the Queen-Empress.’
‘You be safe too, all of you. Teg, please look after the Balance as you always have.’ Gwyn commands as he takes Terra’s arm. They start to fade from their vision.
‘Let’s go!’ Teg tells them as he opens the door on the floor. They all jump in and the door on the floor closes. As it fades away completely, the large doors of the dining hall flies open, crashing onto the table.’
‘Tsk. They’re quick critters,’ a severely thin man with dropping eyes, stares at the empty room with contempt. ‘No matter,’ he tells similar bug-eyed minions that Vtl had, ‘we will find them eventually and they won’t be as quick the next time.’
‘Ceb,’ a figure calls out, with a low booming voice. ‘Don’t tell me they got away…’ his words laced with a tinge of anger. Ceb is visibly irritated at his predicament and terrified at the voice behind him.
‘Don’t worry, master Ims. I will get them for you,’ he assures the voice. A large figure appears from behind the dark shadows. Ims is as large as a black bear with large fangs protruding out of his mouth.
‘Look at me, Ceb,’ he commands the tiny Chaos, ‘look at me!’ Ceb looks at Ims and his eyes start to bleed black almost immediately. Ceb tries to look away but he’s locked on the spot, Ims eyes glows in red. ‘I do not like going in circles and I certainly do not like to waste time. The Libra is awake and another has escaped. Find them both or you die.’

‘Yes…master,’ Ceb answers, pleading to be let go, his eyes feels like it’s going to start melting. Ims looks away and slowly walks back towards the shadows and disappears. Ceb falls on the floor and in tremendous pain. When Ims is completely gone, Ceb’s minions run towards him to help out their master. Ceb wipes the blackness on his face, ‘We’ll go after the girl first,’ he tells his minions. Scout ahead and inform me of your findings. Go now!’ The minions fade and disappear, leaving Ceb on the floor of the sabotaged dining hall, still wiping his black bloodied face and picking back up his pride. He gets up from the floor and looks around at the damaged hall. ‘I’m going to kill them all,’ he says as he goes through the floor, leaving the now empty ancient dining hall of Tylwyth Teg.

(Written for 2012 NaNoWriMo.)

The Family Stone (Chapter 37)

Chapter 37

Alex wakes up with a start and falls off the low tree branch. She quickly gets up with her hair everywhere, looks around her with her arms up, ready to fight,
‘What…what happened? Where’s that biatch? Where’s Boon? I can farkin’ do this!’ and as quickly as she regains consciousness, she collapses. Teg manages to catch her before she fell on the ground.
‘I hope she doesn’t do this all the time,’ Teg says as he slowly lets her down.
‘I think she is just a bit disoriented. Or maybe she’s just…being her.’ Gwyn says, amused.
‘You have to admit, that was a close call.’ Teg replies.
‘Indeed.’ Terra clearly relieved. ‘For a moment, I was quite ready to leave Annwn until…’
‘Empress-Queen,’ Gwyn bows to Terra, ‘A thousand apologies for the interruption but may I suggest we speak of her later? I know there are a lot of questions on your mind and I’m sure we all have our questions. Let us all recuperate for the mean time. You must be exhausted. My people will serve you and help you to get back to the kingdom,’ he bows and claps three times. And the kingdom of Tylwyth Teg packs up for the journey back home.
‘Why is it that every time I wake up after using magia, I get a killer hangover the next day? Alex says as she nurses her heavy head around the pillows they stacked on her. She, Boon and Teg are at Teg’s quarters, recuperating from the fight earlier.
‘You have just begun your magia training and it will take out a lot from you but just in the beginning.’ Teg reassures her.
‘Don’t you have some sort of magia pill to make this all go away? A magical painkiller, perhaps?’ Alex groans. ‘Maybe I shouldn’t talk to loud. It feels like my voice is echoing in my head and is bouncing around in the process.’
‘If it makes you feel any better, you didn’t do so bad.’ Alex looks at Teg, looking unimpressed with his compliment.
‘Oh, alright then! You kicked ass! Happy?’
‘Yes!’ Alex groans, burying her head onto the pillows.  
Boon has his head on his bent knees, and is sitting beside him. ‘I hope she recovers soon because this is not exactly a good feeling.’
‘You always complain too much.’ Teg tells him, cheerfully, and smacks him on the back. This makes Boon cough a bit.
‘I think I am too old for this.’ Boon tells him. ‘By the way, how is Mother doing?’
‘She is in a state of shock, although she will not admit it. Finding out another one of her children is still alive is great news but she is astonished that she did not know.’
‘I agree. How could she not know? Could I not know?’ Teg is shaking his head in disbelief. ‘Perhaps we were too busy looking out for the Chaos that we did not look into other possibilities that there is another Libra alive.’
‘Guys,’ Alex still has her head on the pillows and her voice is muffled. ‘I really feel like I’ve consumed an incredible amount of alcoholic beverages. Is this why you guys don’t drink?’ she lifts up her head and points accusingly at Teg and Boon, who looks like he’s suffering from a migraine.
‘I do drink occasionally. Actually, the last time I drank was after I found you two in the woods. I wasn’t sure what to make of it from afar. I was afraid that you too might have been dead.’ Teg confesses.
‘But we aren’t,’ Alex says as she puts her head back to the pillows, suddenly sounding serious. ‘I think I’ll take another nap. Boon, take a nap as well.’
‘But I…’
‘I know you don’t sleep but just close your eyes and meditate or whatever. Relax with me.’
‘I will get things ready. The King would like to call a meeting as soon as you both are well.’

‘Thank you Teg.’ As soon as Alex thanks him, he hears her snoring. She must have used a lot of magia, Teg thought. 

(Written for 2012 NaNoWriMo.)

The Family Stone (Chapter 36)

Chapter 36

Boon knows he’s near the entrance. The feeling he got when he was in Annwn is the same feeling he is feeling right now. It’s close. Vtl is also closer. They may die. He knows that his mother will never forgive him if he kills himself but he will die with Alex.
He hears the THUD louder this time. He’s trying to run faster than he had.
THUD. They can’t be that far now. Run faster, he tells himself. It’s not so far.
THUD, closer. He doesn’t dare look back, Vtl might surprise him and he might drop Alex. Alex will kill him if she finds out. For a moment, he thought it was amusing that he’s more scared of an angry Alex than a murderous Vtl.
THUD, she’s here. But where, he thought. One more forest clearing, a tunnel of trees and they will be safe.
He remembers the clearing well. It’s the last one you need to go through and on the other side is the entrance to Annwn. He hopes that Vtl doesn’t catch up to him before they can get into the entrance. They have to get through the entrance together. As he enters the clearing, Vtl is waiting for them, standing by tunnel of trees that leads to the entrance.
Vtl stands there with her legs crossed. She stands before him like she stood there waiting for them for a long time. ‘And where do you think you are both going?’ she asks slyly. ‘Do you really think you can escape?’
‘Let us go, Vtl. I am no use to you. You are already so powerful. And you cannot do this. You will surely die too.’
‘Do not tell me what to do, foolish Libra! You do not know what you are talking about. Only I know what the consequences of my actions are and I am willing to go through it. I have gone through so much to fail. I waited for so long. You think I will become anyone’s slave again? Think again! Becoming what I am today is glorious. And you – you are a coward for bonding with another human. Weakling! What is it with you Libras, wanting to impress low life like them? Don’t you feel suppressed? There are so many without intelligence. I have proof of that lack of intelligence. Take her ancestor for example. The only stupid human to ever think that she can turn me back into a Libra – poor Georgina! She was still a child, so naïve. It was easy convincing her. I told her I used to be a Libra and she took the bait. It was so easy to find her too. She was using up all her life essence even using obscure magia. I waited. I patiently waited for my time, to make my grand entrance. I made her think that she summoned from the cosmos itself! What a reckless child and it’s one of the things I’ve always wanted to encounter. Such sweet corruption of the mind. I was the Libra that she has been looking for. She and I will be the Balance that the world was waiting for. It was perfect, don’t you think? She believes in harmony, she does and all the good sparkly things that keeps you warm in a cold night. She also believes that she would go down in history as the first mage to successfully turn a Chaos back into a Libra. With her own doing. Her own power. Her own devices. What a fool! Although I have to say I was quite sad to see her go so quickly. I didn’t even get to play around yet. I think I was expecting too much too soon. I didn’t think she would retaliate so quickly. Too bad she had to fight me off. She could have just let me take over. We could have been the best team. She was intuitive, I will give her that. She took out Stella’s essence along with hers just to defeat me. That is why I only have partial of a beautiful face. She was a cunning fox. But that doesn’t matter. I will get my face back. Now, enough talk Boon. Let’s not get into any fight, shall we? We were once siblings. We still are – aren’t siblings always different from each other? And I don’t like fighting my own kind. Now, don’t be foolish like everyone else. Be a good Libra. I rather that you hand yourself over and perhaps, I will spare her life.’ Vtl glances at an unconscious Alex.
‘You lie. You will not spare her life. Do you think I’m stupid?’
‘Here we go again. Boon – you were my brother once. Don’t make me forget that. You can try and you can fight until your last but it will not matter. I will still bond with you after I rip you both apart. We will be very powerful Boon; we can even rule the world together if you like. I don’t think the Elders will mind.’
‘The Elders?’
‘You’ve been gone too long, baby brother. You have no idea about the world today. So many different ideas. Civilization has flourished, just as we have. We are many, Boon. I am just the tip of the iceberg. But with you and her, I may just be able to make this world mine. I deserve it. I waited long enough.’
Just as Boon is going to cast a spell, Vtl shushes him. Boon holds his throat frantically. He doesn’t have any voice. ‘Don’t worry handsome, it’s temporary. I wouldn’t want to have nothing to talk about. We have a whole eternity to know each other. You won’t feel a thing – maybe just a little burning on your skin. I can’t promise anything for your friend though. She might feel worse than the binding.’ Vtl chuckles and looks as if she’s forgotten something. ‘You know what, now that my patience has dried up, maybe I’ll reconsider having her for a meal, her flesh I mean. Of course, I will take her soul. That’s going to be the main course. And the rest of her will go to my dogs.’ She laughs maniacally.
She does a gripping action towards Boon’s throat and Boon felt the air come out him. He manages not to drop Alex, tightening his hold on to her. He is fighting to stay where he is standing.
‘You are pretty stubborn, baby brother. You still protect the petty human. Remember she will do nothing for you but I will!’ she says impatiently. ‘I’m beginning not to like you very much. Why do I always have to force people to give me what I want?’ she tightens her grip to his throat. ‘Maybe I should just end it right here but slowly…you know, so it’ll be more fun,’ she says as she runs her snake tongue around her mouth. ‘and I’d really like you to watch what happens when you are finally separated. Then I will make you watch me eat her flesh, just tearing it out and chew it slowly.’ Boon is edging towards losing his consciousness. He suddenly feels the grip loosening a little bit.
‘Did you tell her my name? I don’t really like my old name. It sounds odd. It doesn’t match my face now. Georgina is a nice name. I will make all creatures remember me as Georgina. But I guess it doesn’t matter how she found out.’ Vtl starts gripping his throat tighter. Boon can see black dots, knowing he’ll collapse soon.
‘Alex, forgive me…’ he thought. Then, he heard it. It is a sound of a small bell ringing when a smooth wind hits it.
Vtl looks around in alarm, ‘who’s there?!’ Vtl drops her hand, taking the grip from Boon’s throat. ‘Show yourself!’ Vtl looks around and her and when she sees what she was looking for, she starts to cackle, ‘Well, well, well. This is interesting. I haven’t seen or heard from you since the war. I thought baby brother is the last one around.
‘Stop calling me…baby brother…’ Boon says, struggling to get the words out.
‘Silence!’ Vtl shouts at him, not taking her eyes off at what she is looking at. ‘If I knew you were still alive, I would have hunted you down instead.’ Boon can see that Vtl’s preparing for an attack but is still. ‘Not talking now are we? You were not much of a talker since anyway. I guess you never liked me either. How did you hide yourself away, hmmm? What do you want? Do you want some of this merchandise too? There is no movement from the figure nor is there any reply. Vtl is beginning to look impatient. ‘I don’t like to repeat myself but I don’t think you heard me the first time. What is it that you want? Why are you here? Are you going to try and save the day? It is futile, Libra. You will never win.’ Vtl looks murderous, she is preparing to attack then suddenly; the figure speaks.
‘Incendere,’ a voice booms from above.
A powerful, concentrated funnel of light smashes onto Vtl.
‘What…what…is this…NO! NO! You can’t do this! I No! I’m BURNING! AHHHHH!! SAVE ME! SAVE ME!’ Vtl burns quickly and when the light fades, there is nothing left of Vtl.
Boon is still holding on to Alex and he can feel his body slack. He looks towards the direction of where Vtl was looking but he could not see the figure there anymore. He looks around and above him. He knows that voice well. Vtl was right. He hasn’t heard that voice since the war. Finally, he sees a woman with long brown hair that went past her height, standing on a large branch on one of the tree tops. He suddenly feels heavier, and collapses onto the ground, still holding on to an unconscious Alex.

‘Lulu…you’re…alive…’ he whispers, trying to say it out loud and then all he saw was darkness.

(Written for 2012 NaNoWriMo.)

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Family Stone (Chapter 35)

Chapter 35

Boon carries Alex and runs. He doesn’t know where he found the strength but he is running faster than before. He runs as fast as his feet can take him. He has to be strong. This is how he will redeem himself to Stēlla. Even to Alex. He promised her he will never leave her. He sees a medium sized gap and he doesn’t stop to think whether they will fall in or not. If they do, they do. If they don’t, they get on the other side faster. Boon makes the jump and he doesn’t stop running. He thought about the possibility of Vtl catching them. What if he can’t make it to Annwn in time, he thought. He wished he told her that they shouldn’t go but he trusted her as she trusted him. He makes a sharp left turn down the hill. He should be close to the entrance. If ever, Vtl manages to unbind them, he knows how to kill himself. Very quickly too. It was a forbidden ritual but Stēlla told him about it before when he enquired about it.
A suddenly has a flashback of that night. It was one of the peaceful days after the Flood. There is just peace and he lived with Stella in Helike.
She sang songs at night that even he couldn’t understand but he thought it was beautiful. He watched the full moon that night, wondering what would happen if something happens.
‘Under some circumstances, we tragically happen to unbind, what would you do?’ Stella asked him suddenly.
‘A thousand apologies Domina,’ he starts to hoot, after all he’s an owl, which she wanted his form to be, ‘I was under the impression that I was keeping these thoughts to myself. Forgive me for such morbid thoughts.’
‘No, don’t be so apologetic. I understand your concern. It concerns me too. If you unbind with me, you will no doubt become a Chaos if you are influenced by dark forces. We both do not know how much resistance you will put up. I too, may fall into the wrong side of the fight – with enough convincing and rage in my heart. We humans are flawed with our emotions. Even if I am part of the Balance, not even the cosmos can save me from my human instincts. Do you understand what I am trying to say?’
‘I will be lying if I tell you that I understand completely.’
‘Sometimes, I wish you would lie to me Boon. It would probably make my life easier but then, what kind of life would I lead if all I hear are people agreeing with me and praising me every opportunity they can.’ Boon nodded in reply. He’s seen her look nonchalant when she is surrounded by royalty and other people of the kingdom. She is seldom seen in banquets that are held for victories. She preferred to go home to her family and have a quiet simple meal as they always do.
‘Boon, if I teach you how to take your own life, to prevent yourself from becoming one of the Chaos or being bound to one that will make you into one, will you not tell your mother?’ she asks simply.
‘I will not tell my mother, Domina. She will kill me and will surely never forgive me.’

‘Then, come and hop onto my hand so I may whisper it to you.’

(Written for 2012 NaNoWriMo.)