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EndingArrow: Part Three


by sara_mossflower

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Visions

Stone surrounded me. Torchlight flickered on the walls. A voice filled my mind - a murmur of words, which I could not distinguish. I didn't care about the sounds; I wanted to leave this place. Suddenly, the phrases became clear, as though my disinterest had opened for them the gateway of my mind.

     "I can't believe I trusted her…it's gone too far now…nothing left to do but prepare…leave me alone…I hate her…she threatened them…desires are too great…ruin…the Storm…I must…"

     Silence.

     *

     And then reality.

     I didn't remember opening my eyes, just that I awoke to a wooden ceiling above me and thick, musty-smelling sheets around me. Beside the bed was a nightstand, and on it burned a candle in the dim winter light. I was in either Terzin or Aly's house - I could figure out that much. Groaning, I sat up and felt the side of my throat. There was gauze wrapped all around it.

     I struggled to stand, and found that I was steady on my feet. I still wore my usual shirt and tabard that had become my basic visiting-through-the-WindRoads outfit. I made my way across the room to the door, and although I could walk, I still felt drained and tired.

     Opening the door, I strode down the hallway, past the closed door of another bedroom. I groggily wondered what time it was. Wandering into the main room, I found that it was deserted, only another tiny candle burning on a table. It appeared that everyone was asleep.

     Knowing that the last place I was headed was back to bed, I opened the door and stepped out into the chilly air. Snowflakes floated sparsely down from the clouds, and when I exhaled, steamy fog formed on my lips. I gazed up at the moon, only the thinnest crescent visible. What had happened back at the tavern? Knowing that I'd almost died unsettled me, because the only reason anyone would have to kill me would be for Frey's sake. I was the Windstorm, and my purpose was to die for her. Why did it have to be that way? My fate was a burden for not just me, but my friends. Memories of Dayne's terrified face flooded back to me, and Terzin and Aly's disbelieving countenances upon discovering Frey's true bloodthirsty motives. I'd been so gullible, as had all of us. Ignoring the prophecy would have averted the disaster that haunted me each day.

     I felt cold tears turn to ice on my cheek.

     "She betrayed me, too."

     I raised my head at the sound of the voice, my eyes darting around, scanning my surroundings for the speaker. Who else had dealt with KeenBlade the traitor?

     There was nothing but the frosty night.

     I was sure I'd heard something, and I wanted to answer. Normally, I would have felt stupid talking to empty air, but it felt as though someone who understood my fate completely was standing nearby, and I wanted to share words with them.

     "What happened?" I finally asked.

     There was a long pause, and I had almost decided that I'd imagined the voice. Suddenly, "I trusted her, and she abused that trust."

     "That's what she does," I cried back into the evening air. "I've learned that by now." I then added, more quietly, "All she knows is how to make others suffer."

     "I'll stop her."

     "What?"

     But this time, I received no answer.

     *

     I awoke indoors in the morning. I had come back inside once it had become too chilly for my liking. When I entered the main room, which contained a kitchen, I recognized it as Terzin's house.

     Everyone stared at me as I entered the room.

     "Are you okay?" Aly gasped, sitting up straighter.

     "I thought you were dead!" Dayne blubbered, over-reacting as usual.

     Terzin's muzzle curled into a smile. "I guess my healing skills were better than I thought if you're up and walking."

     "I'm fine," I assured them, taking a seat at the table. I grabbed a few slices of the grainy bread, cheese, and cold cuts they were using to make improvised breakfast sandwiches. No one spoke as I bit into my sandwich, and it was obvious that the previous day's events had unsettled them.

     I finished chewing and observed their countenances. I placed my food back on the plate. "We all know what happened," I stated. "Frey's out to get me again."

     The tension in the room seemed to half-evaporate, everyone relieved that the issue was out in the open, but still unnerved about what this meant. Conflict with Frey, and perhaps the League, was sure to ensue for a third time.

     Aly gave me an even stare. "We have to stop her this time. This has gone on too long."

     Terzin sat up a little straighter, hackles rising. "Definitely. This time we can't wait for it to get any worse. That dart was a failed attempt at drawing us into another plot, and we should seek her out before she comes looking for you again."

     "So where to?" I asked, then suggested the place we were all thinking of. "The field?"

     "That's my best bet," agreed Terzin. "Maybe we'll be able to detect any disturbances in her aura."

     It was the best thing any of us could think of, so we finished our meal and headed towards the field. Padding around the perimeter of the site, Terzin sniffed the ground, pricked his ears, and closed his eyes from time to time, as though tracking the magical presence like it was a stealthy Chia.

     Aly covered another area of ground, and I noticed that the two were slowly circling inwards towards the sword Sirocco as they sought out any trace of Frey's resurfacing malevolence. Were they being drawn there? Or were they just using this as the most logical pattern to search in?

     I stood there with Dayne, waiting for them to finish. I didn't know how to help, and still didn't know for sure whether I even had mage abilities. I felt pretty useless, so I began to walk towards the blade as well. I was Frey's Windstorm - maybe I had a stronger connection to her than Terzin or Aly. That was my theory, and I could see no harm in trying it out.

     I strode straight towards Sirocco, unnoticed by the Lupe and Zafara mages who were lost in their scrutiny of the environment. I was trying to focus, trying to make whatever was hidden here show itself to me. The steel of the weapon gleamed threateningly, as if warning me to come no closer. This warning only tempted me to defy Frey further. I inched forward, on foot contacting with the dusty earth, and then the other. One footstep at a time.

     I was still at a far distance from the sword, but as I moved forward again, a sensation like a bolt of lightning coursed through me. As if consumed by heat waves, the world around me shifted as though liquefied, and I found that I could not move from the spot I stood on.

     Then the field changed.

     Grass sprouted from the bare earth, and suns and moons spun through the sky, taking the landscape back to its youth. Around me, the bodies of fallen warriors littered the meadow, staining the blades of lush grass. A few living creatures also stood nearby.

     Sirocco lifted itself free from the earth, and there was Frey, swinging it aloft in victory, smiling as though all the world's glory was hers. She looked different than I remembered - truly alive, not a deceased Zafara forced back from death by her own doings. She appeared fresh and rejuvenated, despite the slashes and bruises embellishing her pelt at the time.

     I realized where I was - this was the end of the war between the West and the East, the war whose aftermath had brought with it Frey's death. She had just seemingly won at this moment, and she was oblivious to the doom that would soon be upon her. I almost felt sorry for the mage and warrior that stood before me; for a split second, it felt as though all the things she should have regretted doing in her old life were my problems to worry about. She could have been carefree, could have lived a full life, but she wasted her extraordinary talents on her own thirst for power.

     I was drawn out of this reverie as I realized that I was moving, although not of my own free will. I suddenly had a bow in my paws and was raising it, aiming it at Frey KeenBlade. I suddenly panicked, but it took just as short a time for me to figure out what was happening. Gazing at my own paws, I noticed the unfamiliar colours - those of flame and coal. I was Tasson. I was going to kill her.

     It was strange; this wasn't real, and even if it had been, I would have been achieving my pre-destined goal: slay Frey before she slays me, and yet I was scared. This felt wrong. I hated her, and it felt wrong. Tasson, who had been her one-time friend, must have gone through agony, loosing an arrow at his comrade.

     I had no more time to think. My fingers seized the shaft's fletching and stretched it back until it rested under my eye, which was squinted in concentration against my own will. Against my fur and skin, I felt tears which were not my own.

     Then my fingers let go, and the missile flew.

     I saw it strike Frey's chest, and then the scene faded.

     "Sisslio! My gosh, are you okay?" Aly had raced towards me and was now waving her hand in front of my face.

     "What?" At least I wasn't unconscious.

     "Don't do that! You were in this freaky trance! That's the second time you've scared me since yesterday! Although that dart wasn't really your fault…" She trailed off and stood there, fixing me with an exasperated stare.

     "Relax, Aly," said Terzin. "Might as well get used to it - seems our Windstorm is always collapsing or something." He forced a weak chuckle as he realized that his false humour wasn't helping.

     I wasn't listening. Looking down at the ground, I shifted my feet, and was shocked at what was revealed beneath them: deep impressions of footprints in the earth, similar to a Zafara's but not quite identical. Terzin spotted them as well. "Those are Cybunny prints," he stated, but I already knew that.

     "Where'd they come from?" asked Dayne, trying to fit herself into the conversation.

     "They're Tasson's," I told them. "This is where he stood when he shot Frey, and killed her."

     "How do you know?" inquired Terzin, his eyes narrowing with interest.

     "I…I had a vision." I knew that this sounded crazy, but it was true.

     "A vision?" Aly repeated, incredulous. "About Tasson killing Frey?"

     "You got it," I responded, barely believing myself. Why was this happening? I'd had dreams filled with Frey's threats before, but visions of Tasson were something new. I'd never given the Fire Cybunny much thought before now. I then realized that he had played a major part in my fate. Had he not acted and fired that arrow, Frey would have probably died of old age and have no purpose to live out the rest of her life in an unseen future involving me, her Foreseen Windstorm. But, had Tasson not slain her, the world I now stood in might have very well become a warring, chaotic place with Frey as its overlord. I was suffering with this fate, but I decided that it had been for the best of Aly and Terzin's home.

     "I just don't know why I saw it," I said. "There's no way that Frey sent me that vision. It showed her previous defeat. She wants me to fear her next move, not see any of her past failures."

     "Maybe we can get a psychic to figure it out," suggested Dayne. "Y'know, like the Mystic on Mystery Island."

     Aly glared at my roommate. "Dayne, don't tell me you believe stuff like that. That Kyrii's a phoney. I mean, come on. 'You will totally forget a Kau Plushie in Faerieland.' Gimme a break!"

     "Actually, Dayne's got an idea there," said Terzin.

     Aly stared at her friend as though he had Meepits crawling out of his ears. "You want to go to the Island Mystic? Are you crazy too?"

     "I'm not crazy!" cried Dayne huffily, trying to defend herself.

     "Guys, could you break it up?" asked Terzin, trying to get his point across. "I think I know someone who could help us."

     Dayne, Aly, and I all looked at him and demanded in unison, "Who?!"

     "Well…my mother."

To be continued...

 
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» EndingArrow: Part One
» EndingArrow: Part Two
» EndingArrow



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