|"Yes I'll have the roasted duck please," I told room service
over the phone. After a second's pause, I concluded the order with a strawberry
Hey! What about me! I wanted the grapefruit,
thank you very much!
I chuckled, and gave him his request.
After hanging up with the man, I jumped into the bed and got comfortable. The
last few days were welcome changes from the painful weeks preceding them. In
little more than five minutes, a Buzz maid pushed a cart into the room, wafting
scents of roasted duck in sweet raspberry sauce. A dainty little cup held pink
ice cream, and Shard's grapefruit (which he had developed a fierce passion for)
was the oddity on the corner of the table.
"Thanks!" I said brightly. She
nodded and left, and Shard didn't wait for any further sign to dig messily and
noisily into his grapefruit.
Faeries above, could you be
ANY less noisy!?
Nope! He proclaimed proudly,
his face covered with pink grapefruit.
I laughed, and bolted down my duck.
It was very good, and I had discovered that I had a passion for it only slightly
less than Shard and his grapefruit. The sweet, creamy ice cream washed down
our dinners well.
I can't take the pressures of food
and exhaustion. I'm going to bed, I yawned lazily. Shard's snores alerted
me that he was already dozing off his meal. I pounced into my bed, only stopping
to turn off the light, and drifted peacefully away.
I wandered through my head as my mental
self took shape as a white Kougra. In this dream, my head came as a house, with
many different rooms and corridors. As I drifted aimlessly through the house,
I realized quite how empty it was. The kitchen shelves were bare, and not even
a speck of dust touched the counters.
'Why is there nothing here?' I wondered
to myself, but the answer came as soon as I asked the question. Nothing was
here because I wouldn't let anything be here. I refused to let myself become
hindered by attachments. The echo of silence drifted through the house, and
it was so extreme that it was as if I had gone deaf.
One thing I did find interesting however,
was when I passed a room that seemed to be a bedroom, as there was a bed with
no blankets or mattress. Three pictures stood on a dresser, the only objects
in the entire house besides bare furniture. One picture held Shard, his eyes
displaying his personality proudly. I smiled at him. Looking at the rest of
the pictures however, I paled. One held my old mentor, a jagged crack marring
the glass. The Eyrie was on his deathbed, never to open his eyes to the world
again. I shuddered and moved quickly to the next picture. Sohra and Wahre stood
by the waterfall, wearing expressions of pain and terror. A destroyed glass
sheet covered the photo, but its destruction was somehow different from that
of the last, where only a single jagged crack cut across the glass. The glass
was smashed over Sohra and Wahre in such a way that the glass itself was clouded,
and uncountable cracks danced across the surface like lace. My hackles rose
and I shivered as I realized that these three pictures represented how I remembered
In fear, I swatted the last two pictures
and bolted out of the room as they fell upside-down on the floor without a single
noise. I trotted through the house then, not stopping to look at anything, almost
with a sense of purpose I could not determine. The rooms grew in a winding fashion,
and as I came to the last room, I noted it was the direct center of the house,
as if everything else revolved around it. Before opening the door, I felt the
amulet from behind it, and I knew what this door contained.
I didn't even bother to open the door:
I just walked straight through, watching the bare house disappearing from behind
me. As expected, the tornado that was the amulet blazed and spun in fury in
this circular room. Claw marks marred the walls and cut deeply. Something was
different however; something was in this room that was not last time I was here.
Walking around the maelstrom, I turned
to see the striped Scorchio. Rage grew deep inside me. Would she never leave
me alone? Would I be forced to have her trail behind me, trying to help things
that didn't need it?
"What are you doing here?" I snarled.
Then I saw what she was doing.
With her hands, she was diverting the
backlash that the amulet had to bear upon its bearer, lest the souls be loosed
across the first dimension. Some of the backlash was pouring into her, and each
of us was bearing half of the force.
My rage grew like kindling on a flame.
Did she not think I could handle my own burdens? Everybody had problems; mine
were simply more potent. I did not need to run to some random bystander to help
me. What business of it was hers to go rummaging around in my life, my house,
no matter how empty it was?
She turned, surprised at my voice,
and her scales flashed their pastel colors.
"Amita! I knew that you needed help…
you just wouldn't let me…" she stumbled to explain in a rush.
I stared at her, my fury piercing my
gaze and making her fall silent. The whirlwind that was the amulet seemed to
"Needed help," I said in a deep, deadly
voice that was barely my own. "I do not need help. I have dealt with this my
entire life." My voice started to rise in volume, but not losing the deadliness
it possessed. "What right do you have that you would plunge into other people's
lives, with no thought about what they want?"
Now she was starting to get a little
irritated, which was evident in her voice. "I do not care what you 'want'. I
have pledged my life helping creatures in need and you do need help. I am not
going to stand by and watch your petty reasons destroy your life."
I turned and watched the tornado. "Look
at it," I commanded her, and she obeyed wordlessly. "Isn't it deceptively pretty?
In reality, we both know it's not pretty." I turned back to her. "Don't you
see? I'm already gone; there is no help for me. Do not waste your efforts; my
life cannot be fixed by anyone. I would rather not destroy others' lives when
they try to help me."
She turned back to me. "It's not too
late Amita, it's never to late for a second chance."
"Second chance? You think this is what
I need?" I paused. "No one gets a second chance, everyone is already on their
first chance." I stopped my mechanical voice and turned on her, my claws out
and anguish clouding my voice. "There are no second chances, Maithon!" For that
was her name. "No one gets second chances."
"I did." A new voice entered the room,
it's thoughts laced through with age and wisdom. "I got a second chance. Everybody
gets second chances, if they will accept what's right in front of them."
Shard's true form morphed into the
room, though much smaller than it had been on the ship. Maithon recovered from
goggling at the newcomer quickly.
She looked into my eyes again, those
sapphire blue eyes flushing through my soul and searching me. I resisted as
I did before, but this time half of me wanted the comfort, wanted the help she
"No one can bear this alone, Amita.
Will you let me help you?" She asked gently.
I nodded my affirmation, my inner thoughts
betraying my protections. A keening wail of misery split from my throat before
I could stop it, and soon I was being rocked back and forth by both Shard and
Maithon. Echoes of their voices laced through my mind as I sobbed relentlessly.
"We will help you. You can have a second chance."
* * *
The fireplace reappeared in front of me as I stared at Amita, waiting for
him to continue. The sun had set long ago, and darkness flooded our living room.
"I barely remembered what happened
after that, but I suppose Maithon introduced me to mom and you, and you formally
adopted me, he said in a distant voice. "Only mom and Maithon know about the
amulet, and now you. Sky has no idea. Both Maithon and Shard have been buffering
the backlash for me, so I could go through life.
"Hyacinth, of course, found a way
back into the first dimension, as you just found out. I have no where near the
power I had when I joined with the amulet that day on the ship, so I can not
force him out permanently the way I did then. And I am not willing to join with
the amulet again."
The finality in his voice signaled
me that this was the end of his story. I felt sympathy for Amita, yet approved
of his choices. He had done the best he could with what he had.
"I don't blame you for not wanting
to join with the amulet again," I agreed belatedly. He smiled.
"So what do you think I should
do now?" He said, his question taking me aback. "Maithon and mom think I should
wait, but now that Hyacinth has proven to be a hazard to those I love…" He trailed
off, biting his lip.
I considered his question, and
did not want to let him down by giving him a quick answer. "I think," I began
slowly. "I think that you should go to the second dimension. Take the fight
to Rasifath and Hyacinth."
I saw his raise his eyebrows in
surprise at my reply. "Yes…" he considered slowly. "I suppose that might work.
But what if he forced me in battle before I was ready?"
I shrugged. "Then so be it. Better
sooner than later, especially now that Hyacinth has found our house."
She's right Amita. It would be better
to take the fight to him, attack him at his own grounds instead of yours - it
would be a disadvantage to him.
Shard was back, slithering across
the floor to sit on Amita's lap. My eyes widened and I looked at the Bluna with
new wariness. Amita looked vaguely surprised.
Yes, I modified my speech so that she
could hear too.
"You're both right," he concluded.
All was silent, until the question I had been dying to ask burst out.
"Can I come?"
"What?" he looked shocked. "No!
It's much too dangerous… it's not going to be a pleasure trip."
"I know," I said, slightly irritated.
"I could be of use somehow though."
"No it's…." he trailed off, a distant
look in his eyes, and I looked at him curiously, waiting for him to continue.
"Alright," he said heavily. "Shard
just gave me an earful. Apparently he thinks it's a very good idea that you
come, though I cannot figure out his reasons."
I grinned, and he continued, "We'll
tell mom, Sky, and Mai when they get back, they should be back soon." We both
looked at the window, and watched the ocean ripple and wave against the rocky
shore. The steady clicking of the clock on the wall only broke the deafening
Suddenly, the door burst open and
both Amita and I jumped. Mom came whooping in, brown ponytail a mess and hair
blew in her windswept, flushed face. She was panting; her eyes alight.
"Sky took me for a ride on the
way back from the grocery store. Wow… it was amazing!" Mai came in, grinning
at my mom's enthusiasm and we giggled.
Amita stopped first. "Mom, I need
to talk with you." Our mother's grin faded and she and Amita walked into his
room to talk. Her dismayed yelp echoed from the room and all three of us stared
at the door. I hopped from the chair to help put away the groceries, none of
After half an hour of arguing,
of fierce voices wafting through the door, Amita came out with Shard on his
shoulder. Mom looked sad, though determined. She hugged both of us, whispering
that she loved us into our ears. "Be careful," she warned. "I'll explain everything
to Sky, and tell where you've gone to Maithon." I waved enthusiastically, not
being able to hide my anxiety and excitedness any longer. The kitchen dissolved
and wind whipped past us, colors and swirls displayed before our eyes.
When a bare land materialized before
us, the sky a dark purple and red dust getting in between our toes, I realized
that I recognized this place and did not want to be here.
To be continued...