A Journey In Friendship
Zilean, an older Pirate Krawk and an eccentric sorcerer who calls a clock tower his home, had always had an obsession with time travel. After countless years and failed attempts, he was finally successful at designing an enchantment that made it possible to travel in time. The enchantment took the form of a glowing orb that emitted a green smoke so thick it could fill your lungs. All Zilean had to do was close his eyes, imagine where and when he wanted to go, reach out, and touch the orb. In theory, it was simple enough; however, it was not without consequences. His purpose for designing the enchantment was to prevent battles before they began, help people before harm came to them, and save lives. Sadly, even with limitless time traveling abilities at his disposal, Zilean is unable to change the events of the past. On top of that, time travel came with the unforeseen side effect of repeating the same day over and over again. Whenever Zilean finishes an adventure, he is violently yanked into a whirlwind, spinning through time, until he finally lands back in his clock tower only to repeat the same day that he designed the enchantment once more. This is Zilean's journal. It tells of his adventures in time travel, so while the dates are out of linear order for the reader, they are as they happened for him.
13th day of Storing, Y17 - 4:15pm NST
Exasperated with the events of the day, I was in need of time to clear my mind. Looking out the window of the clock tower I have to come to know as my home, I felt as if the wind was beckoning me to come outside and dance around in it. Perhaps a walk was just what I needed, so after grabbing a light jacket, I stepped out into the cool air. Leaves crunched beneath my feet with each step, and I paused to admire one that caught my attention. Dull green and vibrant red both graced the leaf, as if it couldn't fully commit to changing with the weather. I bent down, picked the leaf up by the stem, and twirled it around in my hand. I began to wonder how something so beautiful could exist in such a broken world. That got me thinking, brainstorming. What could I do to bring some beauty to the world? A spark went off in my mind, and I could not get back to my clock tower fast enough. Racing through the door and across the room, I stretched out my hand and grasped the orb that still floated in the corner.
3rd day of Storing, Y5 - time unknown
Not knowing exactly where or when I ended up, I hesitantly opened my left eye ever so slightly to get a peek at my surroundings. My initial visual inspection revealed that I was in the middle of nowhere, not a creature or building as far as I could see. As a shiver travelled down my spine and chilled me to the bone, I opened both of my eyes and climbed to my feet. Stumbling about, still dizzy from my journey, I took a few moments to regain my composure. With a deep breath, I turned around in a full circle before deciding to go north. I had no reason for choosing north over the other directions, but my gut was telling me it was the way to go. In my many years, my gut had never once let me down, and I was not about to stop trusting it now.
My joints grinded with each step, loudly complaining about the bitter cold air snapping against them. I reassured myself that what lay ahead would be worth the journey, even if I did not fully believe it, and I kept going. At some point, the wind picked up to an absolutely brutal speed, beating against my face with each and every second. Thankfully, as I was about to collapse, admitting defeat, I spotted a small cottage sitting on top of a hill in the distance. It took all of my remaining strength and endurance to climb the hill. By the time I reached the door, my aging body could not take any more abuse. I crumbled into the door, sliding down to the ground before I could manage to knock. The snow cradled my body, providing me with a soft blanket to rest upon. I do not know how long I had laid there before my eyes became heavy with fatigue. When they finally fell closed, I began to drift blissfully off into sleep. Moments later, I felt myself falling backwards through a door way, startling awake in the process. I looked up to see a young Yellow Kacheek standing above me, her hand on the doorknob.
"Mister, are you okay? I heard a thud against the door. I thought it was the wind, so I ignored it at first. When I looked out my window, I saw you sleeping against my door and realized the thud was you," the Kacheek explained.
"Thank you, dear," I began to reply. "My journey was long, and my old bones could not take anymore. I'm Zilean, and I believe you saved me. What shall I call you?"
"It is nice to meet you, Zilean. My name is Eleanor, but you may call me Ellie. Can I offer you some warm tea?" Ellie responded.
With a nod to Ellie, I picked myself up off of the ground, my body stiff and difficult to maneuver. Hunched over and holding my back, I took the few steps needed to reach the red plaid couch ahead of me and collapsed into it, a shiver racing through me. Ellie returned with a plain brown blanket and placed it over me before leaving the room once more.
"What brings you out this way? I do not see many visitors," Ellie called from the next room.
I debated what to tell her. If I told her the truth, she would possibly consider me insane and send me away. Worse yet, she may ask questions that I am unable to answer or ask to join me.
"I was out on a walk, and I got lost," I decided to tell her. It was not my best work, but at least it was believable.
Ellie returned to the room a few moments later holding the handle of a mug in one hand with her other hand underneath it. The mug was a vibrant yellow complete with a happy face, and steam poured from the top of it. I reached out to take it from her, thanked her, and took a sip of the tea inside. Warmth instantly spread through my entire body, and I could not be more grateful. She sat down on the opposite side of the couch, leaving a cushion between us. She glanced at me as if she meant to say something before looking down at her lap. I thought I saw a hint of sadness in her eyes as she looked away, which was confirmed as she took a deep sigh. I did not want to make her uncomfortable, but it seemed like she could use a listening ear, so I gently pried.
"Are you doing okay, Ellie? I know that we just met, but I would be happy to listen."
"That is kind of you, Zilean, but you need not worry about me. I will be fine," she softly spoke.
Everything about her body language told me otherwise. Something was seriously troubling this young Kacheek, and my gut told me that I should show her that I care. Slowly to avoid intimidating her, I reached out and placed my hand on her shoulder. Immediately, tears began to roll down her dainty face. We sat in silence for a long time, her crying, and me providing what little comfort I could give. Ellie's bright yellow fur began to fade, and the fur on her right hand began to turn tint to blue. Panic hit me as I realized that her deep sadness was literally turning her blue, a transformation that could not be reversed once fully complete.
"My dear, what is troubling you? Please know that even though we just met, I care about you and want to help you through this," I tried.
"Really?" Ellie sniffed and looked up, the tears slowing down. "I have been alone in this cottage for quite some time now. Nobody comes to visit me, and I am so lonely. "
After giving it a little thought, I came to a decision that I knew I may regret, and I offered to accompany Ellie on a journey to find others of her kind. Her eyes sparkled as a smile spread across her face. She was overjoyed by my offer and agreed to join me. As she grabbed her pink polka dot coat, I saw that her fur was beginning to reverse back into a bright and happy yellow. The journey was anything but easy. The wind continued to howl and whip against us, and the freezing cold air chilled us to the core. With each other for company and support, we managed to overcome each obstacle hand in hand. By the last light of day, we reached a small city and a magical sight within it. At least a dozen Kacheeks stood in a circle in front of their homes, admiring an ornately decorated tree in the center, and singing songs filled with messages of happiness and hope. Ellie squealed with delight and raced to join them. I stood nearby and watched as they accepted her as one of their own. Moments later, she raced back over to me.
"I am going to stay here for a while. Thank you so much for changing my life," Ellie said as she embraced me in a warm hug.
"You are welcome. I will always remember you, my dear," I replied.
After we exchanged our goodbyes, Ellie returned to join the Kacheeks, and I made the exhausting journey back to where I entered this world. As every part of me protested the cold and wanted to stop moving, I pushed forward. Despite my situation, I could not help but smile as I grew to understand that even though I was not spreading beauty throughout the world, I was making a world of difference in one life. Upon reaching my entry point, I closed my eyes and let the whirlwind of time and space yank me away.
13th day of Storing, Y17 - 8:30am NST
With a crash, I tumbled to the floor like a ragdoll. Once I regained my composure, I attempted to stand up, only to fall back down to the ground. Why was I dizzy? What had happened to me? Shaking my head, I slowly sat up, hesitant to try to stand up again so soon. I took in my surroundings and realized that I was in my clock tower. A glance at the calendar on the wall revealed the date to be the 13th day of Storing, Y17. What was I doing? Of course! I was working on designing an enchantment to allow me to travel in time. I had lost count of how many times I had failed at it, but I wasn't ready to give up hope. Someday, I would travel in time and change the world!