The Sought, the Sister, and the Sorceress: Part Two
Kari stirred feebly. I watched her. She opened her eyes
and found her bearings in this order: She widened her eyes at the chains wound
around her paws. She looked around at the splattering rain. She looked at me and
I watched her face as she slowly recalled the
previous night. Then she turned to me and said, "Sam, where are we? Where are
my traitor friends?" I stretched as best as I could, being bound under our shabby
lean-to beside "Sheila" and company's tent.
"First of all, those aren't your street gang
friends," I said, gesturing at the lumpy figures behind the tent's material.
"They paid your 'friends' to avoid you one night so they could capture you.
Yoraki took the place of Sheila, Akkom took the place of Tony, Lori took the
place of Kate, and Tyrol took the place of Alex." I knew this all from one night.
"Why did they want us anyway?" whispered Kari.
"Correction: they wanted you. I just followed
you from behind, but I was found out. Apparently, you're the Chosen One." Kari
blinked. "It's true," I insisted. "Some Faerie sorceress prophesized this:
"The One with
Lightning Sky fur,
Born when the
Fifth month dies
The Earthen One's
Rival. Born when
The Fifth Month
Kari stared at me. I explained, "Jhudora hired
these guys to bring you to her so that she can….uh, well…" I couldn't bring
myself to say it. She looked so terrified. But she understood.
And she burst into silent tears. She flowed a
river, but without a sound. Finally, she took a shaky breath and stopped. About
that time our captors rose and stretched. Yoraki saw us and grinned evilly.
Kari's face showed slightly more fear than contorted rage.
One by one the other three got up, Lori last,
looking reluctant. I was beginning to like Lori, but I still didn't trust her.
They unchained us and locked us into a Uni trailer
to look less suspicious and we began the long journey up Terror Mountain, against
our will the whole time. "Sam, are you scared?" asked Kari.
That made me think. Ohh, yeah. I was scared.
But come to think of it, Kari must be feeling a thousand times worse. What are
the odds that you wake up to find yourself kidnapped and wanted by one of the
most hated Faeries in Neopia? But I just said, "Yeah. I'm scared."
"Sam, if they don't need you, you're not 'the
Chosen One', too, why haven't they gotten rid of you?" Kari asked. I knew she
was looking for a loophole, or something to prove that she wasn't the Chosen
One. But I couldn't help but admire how she could just say things straight out
and not make her or anyone else feel uncomfortable.
"They're planning on training me to be assistance
to Jhudora," I explained. "That'll take a while," I grinned, and so did she.
Weird. We're in high enough spirits to grin when we're being brought on a silver
platter to Jhudora.
"Why are we going to Terror Mountain?" asked
Kari thoughtfully, looking at the beginning patches of snow in front of us.
"Jhudora's meeting us there," I said, slightly
uneasy. Sure, I was afraid. The Haunted Woods looked like Cute City in my mind
right then. But why was I so calm?
As if to answer my question, Kari said, "I suppose
we're so calm because we half believe this is just a dream." I nodded. Yes,
I half-believed this was all a dream. Suddenly there was an outburst from the
front where they steered.
"I've been guarding them all morning, Lori! It's
your turn," complained Akkom.
"Have I mentioned lately that I still don't think
this is right?" said Lori.
Yoraki answered, bored, "Yes, Lori, exactly 19
times. You better be careful," she said, a sudden tease in her tone. "Or Jhudora
will think you've gone soft."
Lori said nothing. But we heard her move to the
small deck behind the trailer. Suddenly there was a big BUMP! "Whoa!" I toppled
over into a bale of hay. Lori, apparently forgetting she had wings, smashed
into the back of the trailer's door. There was a commotion everywhere until
Yoraki yelled, "Enough!"
"Take a chill pill, guys; we just started climbing
the mountain," she said. I couldn't see her face, but she sounded disgruntled.
Kari attempted to remove herself from the hay net.
We were getting closer and closer to the Ice
Caves on Terror Mountain. We were in past the Ice Crystal Shop…. past the Neggery…
past the Scratch Card Kiosk… past the Snowager… back into one of the many caves.
I shivered, but not entirely from the cold.
The cave we were in was vast and spacious. Standing
by a purple and green tent, clad in a purple coat, was Jhudora. She grinned
evilly when we drew near. Yoraki and Akkom threw open the door and soon our
chains held fast.
"Well, Neopians," began Jhudora. "My last mistake
was letting the psychic Lily the Gelert escape." She once captured the Great
Lily? "And trust that I will not make that mistake again." She laughed her famous
maniacal cackle. Then she turned to Kari.
"You are the Chosen One that was prophesized
to overthrow me. Well, little one, I've waited a long time to find an enemy
I could respect as an equal. And I'm still waiting." She and her cronies, all
except Lori, laughed at this. Kari's hazel eyes were wider than Draik Eggs.
The Dark Faerie saw me and said, "Who is this? There are not TWO Chosen Ones."
Tyrol piped up, "We have brought you a gift,
mistress. We caught this-ah-charming Wocky spying upon your plans. We
have brought her to you to train as an assistant." Jhudora examined me like
you would examine a Faerie Queen Doll: with great interest. She cupped my chin
in her hand and tilted it up to look at my face. I snarled and was SO close
to biting her.
But she just laughed for the umpteenth time.
"This one has spirit! She'll make a fine assistant. Good work."
I glowered and said, "I will not break easily."
Every word dripped with pure venom.
Jhudora merely hissed in her throaty voice, "I
can already tell, little one. But I have my ways…"
"Haven't you read all the old stories?" I asked
coolly. "Evil never wins."
Jhudora smirked and said, "Yes, in the old stories.
But this is a new story. A fresh start. There is no possible way that you can
escape." She gestured first at Yoraki and company, and then jerked her head
towards a part of the cave I hadn't seen before. About fifty ugly Myncis and
Skeiths were leaning against the icy wall or sharpening spears, looking like
they would jump up at any moment at Jhudora's word.
I searched vainly for a loophole in the guard,
but could not find one. Our only hope would be of mutiny towards Jhudora, but
that was like hoping for snow in the Lost Desert. Jhudora saw my crestfallen
look. This time she merely chuckled and walked away, saying, "I'll execute 'The
Chosen One' tomorrow." She spoke to Kari when she said, "Get a good night's
rest, little one. It'll be your last." And, cackling, she turned a corner of
the cave and was gone.
As we were led away, I didn't know what to say
to Kari. I didn't know what to do to her. But one thing I could just imagine
was what was going through her mind.
Suddenly I was awake. It was early. So early,
in fact, that I could see no light. What woke me was a gentle but urgent shaking
of my shoulder. I felt hooves. "Lori?" I whispered.
"Shhh!" she hissed, sounding frantic. I watched
her silhouette wake Kari.
"Huzzbnhya…?" she mumbled sleepily. Lori shushed
"There isn't much time," she said. "Your execution
is in an hour." By now both Kari and I were fully awake. My eyes adjusted to
the darkness. A turquoise light formed. It made me feel wonderful and afraid
at the same time. The light illuminated the face of a Halloween Ixi. I looked
closer and saw that the light was coming straight from Lori's hooves.
she placed the light on my chains and they fell away. The same was with Kari's
Lori beckoned us to follow her. We went quietly
out of the cave. "My real name is Lorelei," Lori began. "But I wish for you
to call me Lori. It's shorter."
I thought of her glowing hooves and asked, "Are
you a witch?" She shrugged.
"I'm more of a sorceress. I'm here to help. I'm
a spy sent from Faerieland to find the Chosen One."
She gestured at Kari and said, "I'm here to get
you two back home. I'll explain as best as I can later, but right now we need
to get as far away as possible." This was just weird. So I looked at Kari for
reality relief. And for the first time, I saw the Chosen One in her.
To be continued...