Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 194,351,425 Issue: 761 | 16th day of Celebrating, Y18
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Nonlinear Companions: Dawn: Part Four

by _starryeyedsurprise_


      I t was an early start, but I was so excited I couldn't sleep. I waited in my bed until 4am, at which point I finally gave up and headed into the kitchen for some coffee. Westron was supposed to be arriving to collect me in an hour and a half, so I spent the time checking through my suitcase, ensuring I hadn't forgotten anything. Lucky that I did, otherwise I'd been spending a weekend in Terror Mountain without a toothbrush!

      Westron arrived earlier than I'd anticipated and I was still rushing about the place looking for random items I might need. He came in through the front door and I hadn't even noticed until he loudly told me "Chill out, Rae!"

      "Oh, hiya, didn’t see you there, I was just looking for my thermals. Come in." I replied.

      "You packed them last night, Rae." he told me.

      "Oh yes, I remember now." I exclaimed smacking myself on the forehead.

      "Look, you need to calm down, if you’ve forgotten something, it's no big deal, I can lend you anything you need... you have your toothbrush though right? I'm not lending you that!" He said playfully.

      "I do have that!" I said triumphantly, apparently a little too loudly, because there was a funny noise from Priyia's room and her door opened onto the hallway where Westron and I stood.

      "Oh, are you off now?" She asked with a vague hint of jealousy.

      "Yea, sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you." I apologised.

      I looked at Westron, he was staring at Priyia, I could see why, the usually immaculately groomed alien aisha, looked like she'd been sleeping in a hedge. Her hair was all over the place and she had make up smeared all over her face. Her nightie was on backwards and she had a sleep mask tangled around her neck. Westron's mouth was involuntarily mouthing 'wow'. I nudged him, he tore his eyes away from Priyia.

      I stifled a giggle as she noticed that Westron was standing with me, and with a panicked look in her eyes she slammed the door.

      "C'mon," I said, still trying not to laugh, "Let's carry these bags down."



      The ferry journey to Terror Mountain was pretty dull. Albeit long. We spent the five hour journey lazing on the deck chairs on the balcony at the rear of the ferry. Staring at the waves it left in the sea, spotting the occasional delfin jumping out of the ocean and playing in the waves. Being on the balcony according to Westron, was well worth the extra neopoints. I personally couldn’t see the justification in the price hike, that was, until a spotted lupe in a grey waistcoat and red bowtie, came over to us and provided us with complimentary snacks and drinks. Westron grinned at my stunned face.

      "What?" He asked sarcastically. I smiled back, and leaned into my deck chair wondering what I had done to deserve such a wonderful friend.

      "When we get there, what do you want to do first?" I asked Westron.

      "Well, that depends," he replied. "Do you want to walk around Happy Valley straight away, but not be able to do anything because of our bags? Or do you want to head up to the cabin and drop everything off? I personally would like to get settled for the evening, it'll be quite late when we arrive, and I don’t know about you, but I'm pretty tired." He stifled a yawn.

      I suddenly realised how sleepy I was myself. Maybe settling in for the night and then rising early for exploration of the wonders of Terror Mountain was the best idea.

      "Good plan." I agreed. So it was settled.

      Once the ferry had docked we disembarked with our cases, a darigan bruce greeted us in the port.

      "Good afternoon, Master Westron," he announced haughtily, "How was your journey?"

      "Wonderful, thank you Drake." Westron replied.

      I stood there feeling silly, the bruce named Drake turned his gaze toward me.

      "This must be young Janurae? Pleasure to meet your acquaintance, Miss." And with that he took our cases and piled them onto a nearby sled. I stood open mouthed, I'd never been greeted in a manner like that before, and since when was Westron a master of anything?

      Westron leaned over and with his hand manually lifted my lower jaw to meet the upper one. He was grinning at me. I silently followed his lead as we clambered onto the back of the sled. Drake sat up top and directed the pure white bika pulling the sled through the snow toward a brightly coloured, homely looking store, with a huge sign above that read 'Gift Tags'.

      The sled passed many wondrous sights and I didn’t want to blink in case I missed anything. There was the ice rink, I pointed it out to Westron, who was sitting back, casually in the sled.

      "Yeah, we can go there tomorrow if you like?" He said nonchalantly.

      The sled took us between the 'Gift Tag' store and the 'Scratch card Kiosk' and up a steep slope. I saw a sign that simply read 'Top of the Mountain'. I squirmed with excitement.



      The sled pulled up and stopped outside one of the larger cabins. Drake got down and pulled out a small set of steps, he set the steps up by the side of the sled. I stood up to disembark, but Westron held onto my arm.

      "Wait, just a sec," he told me. So I sat back down and busied myself by watching the darigan bruce.

      Drake had marched through the snow with our bags toward the cabin, unlocked the front door and gone inside, I looked at Westron.

      "What are we waiting for?" I asked him.

      "Just wait." he instructed me, grinning.

      Drake emerged from the cabin, relieved of our bags, but with a spade in hand, he began to dig a pathway from the entrance of the cabin, toward the sled. I watched mesmerised, I couldn’t understand why the bruce was going to so much trouble. I wanted to walk in the snow. I looked over at Westron. He was watching me, giggling silently at my wonderment. Eventually Drake reached the sled and held out his hand to help me down the icy steps. I thanked him, and waited for Westron to follow. They were having a hushed discussion.

      After a short wait, Westron joined me, "He's going to come back at 9am tomorrow to take us back down to the ice rink. That is what you'd like to do first right?"

      "Perfect." I said.

      "Good." Westron replied, then he turned to Drake, nodded at him, and the bruce left.

      I shot Westron a quizzical look, which he chose to ignore. He led the way up the freshly dug pathway toward the cabin.

      Inside the cabin was incredible, the outside door lead into a main sitting room, there was a roaring fire at one end, which had a big fuzzy rug in front of it, and there were four wing-backed cosy looking chairs facing the fire. There were four doors leading off of the main room, Westron grinned at me and gestured that I should follow, he gave me a tour of the rooms.

      The kitchen, had a huge range cooker and plenty of cupboard space, there was also a breakfast bar with four stools. The bathroom had a luxurious looking free-standing bathtub as well as a separate shower.

      Westron's room was the grandest of all though, it had its own fireplace and a huge four poster bed that could probably sleep at least six neopets. My room was a little less grand, but still bigger than my dorm room, my Tyrannian hut, my room back home, or any other room I'd ever stayed in for that matter. There were two large beds, each big enough to sleep two with ease.

      I could feel Westron waiting on me to say something. I turned and hugged him. Words were not good enough for the joy I felt. This was so amazing, I was flabbergasted. When he had mentioned that his family owned a cabin on Terror Mountain, all those weeks ago, I hadn't imagined anything as grand as all this. It was too much. I sat on the nearest bed, shell-shocked.

      Westron sat beside me, "Is it okay?" He asked me.

      "Okay? I replied stunned. "Okay? It's... it's..." I searched my vocabulary for the best word I could think of "….it's EPIC!"

      Westron threw himself back on the bed, "Phew, for a moment then, I didn’t think you liked it."

      "How could I possibly not like this? Its gorgeous!" I grinned at him, "This is quite simply the most amazing place, I have ever been."



      As I hung up the last of my sweaters in the wardrobe, Westron sneaked up behind me.

      "Hi!" He shouted, making me jump. "How are you getting on? Are you all unpacked? Is it time for marshmallows on the fire?" He asked excitedly.

      "Oooh, yes please," I said, "That sounds like the perfect dinner."

      So we retired to the sitting room, I got myself comfy on one of the big wing-backed chairs, and covered my knees with a pink blanket I had brought with me. Westron was on the chair next to me, with a purple blanket over his own knees and a bowl full of marshmallows on his lap. He passed me a skewer and the bowl. I threaded a giant fluffy marshmallow onto the skewer and held it over the roaring fire.

      We sat there for a few hours, cooking the marshmallows and discussing our itinerary over the next two days. Something was bothering me though. And I was working out how to broach the subject with Westron, when he suddenly announced..

      "Oh, look Rae, its snowing outside." I turned to look out the small round window and could see the little white flakes drifting toward the ground.

      I decided it was now or never, I needed to ask him, it had been bothering me for a while now.

      "Westron." I started seriously.

      "Yes, Janurae." he smiled back.

      "Why are we here?" I asked, "I mean like, why do you have this cabin, and for that matter, why have you brought me? Who is Drake? And why did he bring us all the way up here?"


      To be continued…

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Other Episodes

» Nonlinear Companions: Dawn: Part One
» Nonlinear Companions: Dawn: Part Two
» Nonlinear Companions: Dawn: Part Three

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