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Eternal Spirit: Part Two


by erileen

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It was midday before the carriage finally pulled into the main city of Meridell. Never before had I seen so many people, and so many shops. Living in the countryside all of my life, I suddenly realized how much I had missed…all of the people and shops and things. I looked around…it was like a dream city, out of storybooks Mama had read me when I was younger than little Katia.

This memory made me bite my lip and hold back the tears that taunted and teased and provoked at falling down my red furry cheeks. But I wouldn’t let them. Never would Keena, the Ixi, let her new home see her crying like some oversize ba—

“Keena,” a gentle voice said. “We have arrived.” I was shocked to see that we were suddenly at the gigarium palace gate. The Eyrie came to an abrupt halt, and I grabbed my suitcases and stepped out.

A tall Techo faced me sternly. “Miss Keena…thank you for coming.” He took my bags and swept around to the palace.

I was in all of the gigantic structure that loomed over me and faced me like an angry teacher. Sir Draiken patted my shoulder reassuringly. “Don’t worry, Keena. It’s quite homey.” I gulped.

Sir Draiken started inside. I noticed the blue eyrie and the carriage were still out front, and I called to him about it.

“The servants will get it…” he said.

I went over and looked at the eyrie, and reached out to touch it. He jumped and jolted the carriage, turned his great head and snarled at me. I screamed in utter surprise and fear, and jumped backward. The eyrie suddenly had a calm look come about its face. “Oh…” it sighed contently. “It’s only the Ixi Girl I pulled. Hello, young Ixi I pulled. What a brilliant day, isn’t it?” he stretched.

I was shocked at the Eyrie’s suddenly docile—and downright strange—behavior. But, I decided that I should make an effort to be polite. “It is a brilliant day.” I said, looking up at the sky, which was covered in a soft marquee of gray cloud.

I looked at the eyrie. His face was cold. “You are lying.” He said. I was stunned. “I—I no! You really don’t under—”

The eyrie tossed me an exasperated look. “I thought you’d be different.” He said. Then I realized why he had acted so odd; he had been testing me! He had tried to see if I would do anything that he said. “Don’t—”

But the eyrie ignored me. With a sigh, he looked up at the sky and closed his large, amber eyes. Suddenly, sunlight streamed through the gray bedding. “Better. Much better.” He said.

***

“These will be your sleeping quarters, young child!” an old Moehog said. I couldn’t tell if it was a male or female, because it was wearing a thick, brown balaclava. “I am much obliged to suit to your daily needs and wishes. Dinner will be served in the Grand Diner tonight, at 6:30 sharp. Do not be late, young child.” It said. Then, it promptly spun around and walked down the hall in its odd, hunched way, clicking it’s hooves the entire way.

I sighed and stuck the golden key she had given me in the lock, opening the door to my bedchamber.

I must say, my jaw dropped.

In the center was a large canopy bed with lace and pink frills. I had never thought myself much of a “girly-girl” but that bed was fantastic! There was a small fountain near the entrance with a Noil standing with his mouth wide open looking at the pink ceiling of my room, with water flowing brilliantly from his mouth. A large, wicker desk stood proudly facing a humongous picture window, that gave you the whole splendid view of the rolling grounds.

I sighed contently. The room was the most beautiful thing I ever had the wonder to lay my eyes on.

Suddenly, I saw something. It was two Draiks yanking a blue eyrie across the grounds, his claws desperately trying to hold onto the ground. They were yelling things with their odd, hollow Meridellian accents. I opened my window, and listened.

“C’mon, Eyrie, we’re going to the back!” one yelled roughly.

“Never!” the Eyrie cried as he struggled. “Don’t take me…” he yelled as he restrained.

“C’mon Eyrie, we’re goin’ and that’s that!” one Draik said exhaustedly.

“No! Don’t!” I screamed. Suddenly, both guards stopped pulling, and the eyrie stopped restraining.

“Wha--?” one guard said.

“I’ll—I’ll take him.” I said in the most dignified manner possible of a young girl who had just interfered in private matters. “I’ll care for him and train him, and raise him as…well, as my own.” The Draik shrugged. “Whatever. Less work for us. Have fun with him, lass.” He untied the eyrie and looked at me sharply. “Don’t you dare set ‘im free…bad Eyrie, this is. You watch ‘im gut.” He said. With that, he and his partner turned on their heels and walked off.

I rushed out of the room and down the grand stairs to the Eyrie. To my utter shock, it was the eyrie that had pulled my carriage. He saw me and a knowing glint filled his large, amber eyes.

“Ah…” he said. “How did I know that I wouldn’t have seen the last of you?” I laughed. The Eyrie shook his feathers. “You know, Young Lass, what happened between us before hasn’t been erased.” He said, biting nonchalantly at his feathers. I nodded.

“Yes…I know that.” The Eyrie looked at me wisely.

“Time can never be erased, young girl. Time is like a phrase, engraved on gold…never to be removed. Time and what it reads shall never escape us, Young Lass.” Then he smiled a warm smile. “Young Lass, surely you’d like me to call you something else…do you have any suggestions?”

I thought for a moment before saying, “Keena. Just Keena.”

***

Dear Mother,

I miss you and Katia terribly! How I wish I was home!

I must say, though, the castle is beautiful! The gardens are huge and blooming with lovely flowers! My room is like something from a Fairy Tale…it has a marvelous canopy bed and a wicker desk (where I am writing this letter from!), and a beautiful picture window that lets me see the entire grounds! It’s awe-inspiring! It’s truly a princess’s room…I’m stunned and happy and joyous! I feel like true royalty…and that’s a marvelous feeling to feel!

The carriage ride here went well. It was terribly long and boring, but there were no “unexpected surprises” as you would put it. Sir Draiken was very kind to me, though we didn’t speak to each other for most of the ride. I ate lunch you packed me…it was delicious!

I groaned and crumpled up the letter, tossing it into my already overflowing wastebasket. “Who am I to lie to my mother like this?” I yelled to no one. “And why can’t I hide my feelings better?” Those thoughts echoed through my room. An awful feeling of aloneness invaded my stomach and pounced on me. I felt tears drip down my face, but I refused to cry. I would never cry.

Instead, I picked up my pen and turned it over in my fingers, trying to concentrate on it to refrain from crying. I couldn’t let tears fall…I just couldn’t. I dipped it in ink and began again.

Dear Mother…

“Child,” someone said. I whipped around at the sound of a voice. It was the Moehog who had showed me my room. “Child, dinner is ready, Child. You can go eat down, Child.” She surveyed me for a moment and then said, “But please, Child, brush your fur, Child.”

***

“And that’s how the War went.” King Skarl said, drinking deeply from his pure gold goblet with encrusted jewels. I nodded, to be polite, and looked down at my platter and touched the foods daintily with my fork. The only thing I had eaten at home was soup. All of these fine foods before me made my stomach do somersaults…it wasn’t, it couldn’t be, natural.

“Well,” I said, setting down the gold-plated fork. “Thank you kindly for your dinner, Sir. But I tire, and I think I shall check in for the night.” Skarl nodded and I walked out of the dining hall.

Except I didn’t go to bed; and I wasn’t tired. I just had no interest in the food that was set before me, and no care about the talk Skarl threw out.

Impulsively, as if I was sleep walking, I pushed open the two heavy doors and walked outside, onto the freshly mowed and cared-for lawn.

My thoughts immediately went to the stables, where the Eyrie was resting. I ran to the stable, loving the feeling of the raw, pelting wind whisking through my fur. Suddenly, I could feel myself back home again, battling mock battles with the other children.

At the memories, my knees seemed to crumple and I fell onto the soft, dewy grass. I closed my eyes and, without warning, let out a sharp sob.

That sob turned into an all-out crying spree. And, I shall admit, I probably would still be there on the ground had something cold not touched my back…

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Eternal Spirit: Part One
» Eternal Spirit: Part Three
» Eternal Spirit: Part Four



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