Eternal Spirit: Part Two
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
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
“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
“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.
“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.”
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.
“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...