Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Episode 7

In a moment of panic, Ember struggled against the vines until one of the leaves whispered into her ear, “Be calm or the Shahinian will hear you.”

“Ember, What are we doing hanging by our feet up in the tree tops!? Oh, I think I'm getting a headache!” Ember glanced over at Tami and realized that she had heard the voice in her head, because Tami’s mouth was covered as well.

At first she tried to speak aloud and then realized her own mouth was still covered. “I think the… trees are trying to help us from something called the Shahinian” she thought to Tami. She heard Tami gasp in her mind as she heard scuffling below them.

“Those are the shifters the Queen and Arial warned me about. They are below us.”

“Why are these tree thingies hiding us from them and how can we hear each other’s thoughts and where is Perhluna?”

“Whoa, slow down. One questions at a time,” Tami thought to her. “Perhluna vanished into thin air right after he woke me by shoving a berry in my mouth. Did you eat the berries? I think that is why we can hear each other’s thoughts. You have to be careful what you eat in faerie realm. I’m not really sure what the Shahinian are exactly. Arial referred to them as shape-shifters and said they are dangerous to our kind.”

“That sounds like Perh. First sign of trouble and he does his disappearing act. I did eat the berries. They were delicious and I think it’s a good thing we ate them since we can’t speak out loud. What do we do now we can’t stay like this forever.”

Below them on the forest floor the dark shuffling forms were beginning to take shape. They seemed to grow right out of the ground and underbrush. They had a humanoid form that was stooped. Their mucky brownish skin appeared to be covered with a mixture of hair, leaves, mud and debris. Almost like a walking bird’s nest with a face. The faces were very flat and dark making their eyes seem enormous. Looking at them made Ember blink and that is when she realized they didn’t seem to have eyelids but above their eyes where eyebrows should have been they had what looked like small trees growing out of their foreheads. Their ears reminded her of a bat and seemed to move in direction of sound. Because of the darkness on the forest floor it was hard to tell how many were below them. Ember had a hard time seeing them as dangerous because they looked so sad.

Suddenly the leaves got denser and blocked the creatures from view. Tami & Ember looked at each other but before they could say anything the leaves around them began chattering. If they weren’t in the midst of all the leaves it might have sounded like wind rustling them, but this close, they could make out distinct faint voices. One of the leaves close to them began to speak to them directly.

“You must remain silent, the Shahinian must not know you are here. It will be very bad if they catch you.”

“What are they? What do they want with us?” Ember asked.

“ The Shahinian are cursed. They have lost souls and are unable to feel. They live in the swamps of the dark forest and only venture out to steal the souls of other so they can experience what it is like to feel again. You are human, therefore the most prized to them. Your life force is like a beacon that draws them out. If they catch you they will steal your souls and you will become one of them and be trapped here forever. Only the Dryad races are immune to them, which is why we are hiding you.”

Another leaf face added, “but you will not be safe here for long. We must get you out of the out of the forest.”

“How can we get out of the forest?” Tami and Ember said in unison.

“Shhhhhh. You humans are so loud. You must trust us we will move you through the tops of our limbs until you are safely away. But you must not make any sounds.” With that Ember and Tami found themselves being lifted higher and passed from vine to vine, limb to limb over the top of the forest. As they went, they would occasionally catch bits of conversations among the Dryads. Ember kept her eyes closed, never liking heights and tried not to think about being whisked through the air so quickly.

After what seemed like only a few minutes, Ember felt a change in their direction and her eyes flew open as she instinctively braced herself for the fall she sensed. She realized they were at the edge of a clearing. Stretched out before her was a kaleidoscope field of flowers. As her feet touched the ground she saw Tami running ahead of her towards a swirling cloud in the center of the field.

“Tami, wait!” Fearing for her new friend she ran after her, but as they got closer she realized what had looked like a cloud were hundreds of faeries.

“That’s Arial and the fae.” Perhluna said in her ear as he appeared on her shoulder when she came to a stop.

“Perhluna! Where did you go?”

“I was around. You know here and there.”

Ember walked slowly up to Tami and the faeries flitting around her. “Ember, come meet Arial and my friends.”

“Welcome Fiery One. We are indebted to you for saving the Kind One and bringing her safely here,” Arial said as she hovered in front of Ember’s face.

Ember giggled at being called the Fiery One. “It was the Dryads that saved us really.”

Before anyone else could say anything the wind seemed to pick up tossing the faeries about and a dark shadow crossed over them.

As she landed next to them, Illustratia called, “Ember, it’s time to go. The Druid Derrick sent me to bring you to him. Hurry, we must not make him wait!”


“Hurry, we must go. Say your goodbyes.” Illustratia puffed at her.

Ember turned to Tami, “I guess this means goodbye…”

“For now. We will see each other again, friend. I am sure of it. Any message I can pass on back in our world? Tami said as she embraced her. “And thanks for saving my life back there.”

Fighting back tears, “we will. If you happen to run into Aunt Elspeth, tell her I’m okay and I miss her. She speaks to faeries too.”

Through a swirling pool at the edge of a lake in another realm, a darkly cloaked figure watched Illustratia take flight with Ember & Perhluna on her back…..

Seth also watched the trio fly off from his computer screen. Having watched this latest adventure unfold, Illustratia’s creator had an idea and began typing code to see if he could send Ember a message… 

(Originally Posted  3/8/10 on CC-Chronicles.blogspot)

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