Enchanted Stories: Terror on the Mountain - Part Two
Their leader stepped forward and bared his teeth in a malevolent grin. He demanded that they turn over all their money and valuable possessions. The people did as they were told; they knew that they had no other choice. After they had deposited their things in a pile, the bandits gathered it up and turned to leave.
At that moment, a small boy broke from the crowd and ran to the leader and began to beat against his legs shouting that he couldn’t do that to them. The leader picked the small boy up by his collar and laughed.
“Well, look what we have here, boys! This one’s got spunk, I think I’ll keep him as a pet.” He laughed out in his harsh voice.
The others joined in with his laughter. The boy’s father raced forward and tried to extricate his son from the bandit’s grip, but he was clubbed over the head by another and lost consciousness. No one could stop them from taking the boy with them.
When the father awoke the next morning all they could do was give him the bad news. His son was gone. Determined to get his son back, he headed for Happy Valley to seek help.
When he arrived there two days later, he was disappointed to find that no one could help him. The bandits were a problem for the entire mountain; no one had been able to stop them yet. He was able to learn that their lair was somewhere in the Ice Caves. Despite the hopelessness of the situation, he began a trek up the mountain to find their lair in hopes of saving his son.
After two days of climbing, a blizzard cloud appeared on the horizon. There was nowhere to shelter from the storm, so he simply resolved to walk through it. Minutes later the full force of wind and snow hit him. Hours passed and he could feel his body seizing up. He tried to stay awake and keep walking, but it was useless. He collapsed in the snow and drifted off to sleep, knowing that he would likely never wake again...
I stopped, puzzled; the book just ended there. There were many more pages, but they all turned out to be blank.
“Sorry, guys, I guess this is why this book isn’t out yet. Too bad, what a cliffhanger.” I ended my sentence with a yawn.
I was suddenly very tired. I looked around and noticed that all my pets were asleep. That was weird, why would they have all fallen asleep? I tried to fight my fatigue and failed. I felt sleep coming and was taken by it.
I awoke feeling curiously out of place. I sat up and looked around and realized I was not in my home. The surroundings were familiar, but it was not a place I had been before.
“Oh, you’re awake. How are you feeling?” said a well-known voice.
I turned around and Taelia was standing there. She smiled kindly and somehow she seemed not to know me. For a moment I wondered if this was some kind of prank.
“What’s going on?” I asked slowly.
“I found you out in the blizzard. You must have been caught in it. It will be a bad year of it,” Taelia explained.
I tried to make sense of her odd explanation. I had been at home, not in a blizzard. The blizzard was in the book. I wondered if I was still dreaming. I looked around and noticed my pets lying on the floor. I quickly jumped up and started checking them; they were all only asleep.
“Don’t worry, they are all right,” Taelia said.
I noticed a blue Gelert lying on the floor by the fireplace. He was wearing a heavy parka and thick boots. He looked like he belonged on the mountain. It was then that I noticed that I was wearing a heavy winter coat and my pets were all dressed for winter as well.
“Who is he?” I asked as I pointed to the Gelert.
“I don’t know. I found him not far from your party, so I thought that he was part of your company. If you’ll excuse me, everyone else should be waking up soon, so I would like go prepare some soup.”
“Of course and thank you. Just one more thing, what is the date?” I asked.
She gave a date that included the year. She walked away without noticing my stunned expression. The date she had given was one from fifty years ago. My mind started racing. How could we have ended up on Terror Mountain fifty years ago in the exact circumstances as the book left off at? I understood why I hadn’t recognized Taelia’s house; it was the same house, but the décor was completely different.
My pets began to wake up at that moment and I quickly filled them in on the details. They looked shocked and then we started discussing it.
“It would take some pretty strong magic to create a fantasy world this realistic. The question isn’t how we got here, really; it is how do we get out?” Anita said.
“That is a good question; I’ve been so preoccupied that I didn’t even think about getting out. What do you think, girls?”
It was Bluejay’s timid voice that piped up. “Well, to finish a story you have to read to the end of the book. So, if we are in a book, don’t we have to complete the story? After all, you said that the ending was still unwritten. Maybe our actions will write it.”
I looked at him in amazement. “Blue, that is a brilliant idea.”
Yanli pointed to the Gelert and said, “I guess this is the dad. What is he going to do, Kristy? He can’t rescue his kid on his own.”
My heart ached for him. I knew how devastated I would be if it were me. I knew what we had to do; I knew what I wanted to do. I couldn’t walk away from a situation like this.
“We’ll help him. We can do it. It’ll take some strategy and maybe some help from Tae, but we can do that. Are you girls in? Bluejay, Yanli, you’ll have to sit this out; it’s too dangerous for you.”
The four older girls quickly pledged their help and just then the Gelert started to stir. He sat up and rubbed his head.
“Hey there, you okay, sir?” I asked.
He looked at us and nodded. “Where am I?”
“You’re at the home of the Snow Faerie Taelia. You were caught in a blizzard. Same here. I’m kristykimmy.”
I introduced my pets and then he said, “Nice to meet you, my name is Daniel. I’m from Blanc Town.”
“Oh dear, we heard about what happened. Why are you up here, though? Wouldn’t it be better to simply stay there and try to recover?” I asked, feigning ignorance.
“They kidnapped my son,” he said. The poor man sounded so drained.
“They what?” Taelia cried.
She had just entered the room, trays of soup floating around her. They whisked their way over to each of us. While we ate, Daniel told his story and I made up mine in my head. I was thankful for my quick imagination at that moment.
“So, Kristykimmy, what is your story? It is highly unusual for a human to come to Terror Mountain. They don’t normally come up here at this time of year.”
“We’re a family and we were on a case. We are affiliated with a freelance detective agency located in Neopia Central. We had just wrapped up that case when we were caught in the blizzard. I can’t discuss the details of the case because all of our cases are confidential,” I told them.
Taelia nodded. “So do you just solve cases?”
I could see her mind was working the way we wanted it to.
“Well, the cases do get messy on occasion, especially when our cases involve apprehending the suspect. You wouldn’t believe it by looking at them, but these two Cybunnies are the muscle of our little party. The unbelievability of it is why they are so effective. Who’s going to expect the two little pretty girls to wallop them? The two youngest are just along for the ride,” I explained. “We aren’t used to this kind of weather, which is why we were caught in the storm.”
“I see. So, would you be open to helping Daniel here? Would it be possible?” Taelia asked.
“Well, it’s possible for us to bring them down, but we would need authorization from the proper authorities, of course,” I said slowly, as if thinking it over.
“I can authorize it. If you can take them out, I can have them brought to justice,” Taelia replied.
“Well, we’ll need a few supplies to complete the mission,” I said.
“Tell me what you need and you’ll get them,” Taelia said.
“Okay then, do you know the exact caves they dwell in or at least the general area?”
To be continued...