The sun was slowly advancing above the horizon as they sat on the dock. As her feet grazed the chilled water, ripples vibrated across the tarn. He grabbed her hand and weaved it throughout his. Her head rests on his shoulder as the wind blows them closer.
“The clouds ruin every sunrise,” Audrey whispered.
“Never a dull moment with you,” said Gavin.
“I feel like everything is wrong. Like something is out of the ordinary. I can feel it. My father never really shared any problems, important or simple. I don’t want to do that.”
“It will all turn out in the end, I suppose. Let's get back inside.”
They rose from the dock and left the sunrise, now above the bright orange horizon, behind them.
Audrey walked into the practice range to watch Clare work her “gifts” as they called it.
“No. You don’t pull back, you drop,” explained Clare when grabbing her bowstring, “If you pull the string back you will make the shot wrong. Furthermore, making yourself shoot out a window, and we don't need that.”
Two years after the last Awakening, and Audrey, Clare, and Gavin have all embraced their true identities. Audrey took her role as “Overlord” and has been anxious about everything to come. When meeting with different city leaders she still uses the amulet to seem more professional or for a change. Clare began to open up about her shooting skills. Half a year after the Awakening, she was deemed the best archery in the Northern Realm after competing against some of the best warriors and trainers. Gavin has been questioning who he really is and where he came from since he never really met his mother. Audrey and Gavin also got married and Clare became the next inheritance of the throne.
“Three fingers under your point,” Clare pronounced.
“Like this?” her novice said.
He was about 17 with black hair and had the eyes of the sun.
“Good job. Now draw back! Close to ur chin! Shoot!”
Clare raced up to the straw target. She observed where the young students' arrows stuck out.
“Draw,” Clare said as she stepped back, “Lift your elbow up. There! Now, shoot.”
The arrow flew past in a whirl of brown. It struck the target with an abrupt thud. Once again, Clare walked to it.
“Again. Draw, Shoot!”
“Again! Draw! Shoot!”
“Wonderful. I’ll see you in a few days.” she said.
The boy ran out. Audrey pushed off the pillar she was leaning on and walked to the rack of bows. She grabbed one and went to where the boy stood before her. She drew an arrow back. The arrow impaled the center of the target.
“Not bad. Just some minor faults,” deemed Clare.
“Thank you, Miss Kingsle,” Audrey responded, “You seem to be quite fond of your student there.”
“Nonsense. He is only a boy wanting something more than making shoes and coats.”
“Mr. Bailey makes the finest shoes and coats! If I were Casey I would want to inherit that company, but each to their own.”
Audrey and Clare, side by side, walked through the Great Hall to dinner. They were joined by Gavin soon after they sat down. He was shaking as he picked up his fork and knife, and they all began to cut into a variety of cuisines. Audrey, noticing something off glanced up at him several times throughout their meal. By the time dessert came, Gavin was sweating and once the plate was sat in front of him, tears began to run down his face as his head dropped into a pair of red trembling hands.
“Gavin! What is wrong?” Audrey bellowed out.
Gavin fell back into his chair and screamed; “Why? My father hid her from me! I have no memories of her! None!”
“Who are you talking about?” asked Audrey.
Gavin gave no response and continued to cry.
“Who?” said Audrey.
“His mother,” Clare whispered.
As Clare spoke, the windows burst open, and the wind blew the flames from the candles. Clouds, in a hurry, covered the sky with a thick blanket of grey.
“At last!” a voice called out, “I have found you!”
“Who are you? What do you want?” called Audrey.
“Your father’s reward from his travel to my burial has not fully been received. I gave him the amulet, you were made as he wished, Euryphaessa was free, and Kingsle was served. My senses have been whirling for years since your were born Gavin.”
“What do you want from us? How do you know us?”
The curtains were flung from their poles and glasses were vibrating.
“You see, when your father followed my voice many years ago, he freed the Titaness Theia. After returning to Rhapsody, he supplied her with amenities for life in this world. They fell in love and you were born. Theia feld your father when Kenelm revived the Scrolls of Mandate. Audrey, did you decide to look over the article before you burned it in front of all your audience?”
“That scroll was brought back in the exact same form it was created as.”
The glasses shatter and Clare let out a cry.
“Wrong. Your father, added the murder of Euryphaessa in order to release her powers into the this world. Until she is revealed, the clouds will cover this land and Euphoria will be fake.”
“What does my fathers have to do with freeing Euphoria?”
“Euphoria is real when light is let through. With Euryphaessa gone, her light is hidden, and now the land is blind. You must find Euryphaessa and free this land of its bland air and sky.”
The candles flickered back to life and the windows closed with a loud bang. Gavin and Audrey looked at each other in confusion. Clare, who was the most frightened of them all, ran out of the dinning hall with her bow clung to her chest.
“Go find her. I have to talk to my father,” Audrey said.
Gavin ran to find Clare dropped to her knees in the corridor. Her face was pale with a blank expression. She fell on the floor, with her heart beating to the sound of Gavin’s voice as he screamed for her.
On the other side of the castle, Audrey raced for he fathers room. He lay, brighter than the light of day with happiness in his voice.
“Hello, darling. How may I assist you today?” he said.
“Where is Euryphaessa?” Audrey screamed.
“What? How do you-”
Audrey cut him off.
“Where is she? I must know now!”
“Euryphaessa? Why do you desire her?”
“That's Gavin's mother and the one who made this world dark.”
“Of course. It all falls into place.”
“So, where is she?”
Kenelm reached for his journal.
“The adventure you are about to embark on, to free this wretched land, how did you figure it out?”
“Did you not hear the glasses shatter, and the windows burst back? Did you not hear the voice? Could you?”
There was pause
“Who?” Audrey whispered.
“The Great Warrior that was lost in the land of Azazel. The one who gave the amulet to Kingsle.” Kenelm said as he pointed to a page in his journal. He pointed to a drawing of what seemed like a floating set of armor
“From the children's story?”
“We have no time to waste. Euryphaessa... I know where she is. She is the land where you would least expect her to be.”
“Least expect he- Euphoria!” Audrey said as she ran out of her fathers room.
As Audrey ran down the hall, she finally laid her eyes upon Clare being carried into her room. She ran to Gavin and stood beside him.
Hours later, after a doctor had been calmly tending to Clare’s unconsciousness, he stood up, and said “There is nothing more I can do,” and left the room.
“We know where she is Gavin,” Audrey whispered, “ She will be fine. Go to Euphoria. May her light guide you.”
Just as the doctor did, he rose and rushed out the door. The castle doors flung open and with a horse ready, Gavin climbed onto its saddle and sped off.
Over the hills, were the sun rose that morning, drew in deep, depressed clouds which signaled the awaited destination. As the horse galloped faster and faster, up and down through the hills, lightning struck and rain fell in certain sections. Glimmers of sun forced its way through to the other side of the thick clouds and radiated hope of a brighter future.
The horse came to a sliding stop at the gates of the fake land. Gavin hopped off the horse and pushed open the pearlescent gate. He thought back to when he was last here with Cassian. Trying to remember any signs of his mother. Buildings, houses, shops, faces, and clouds ran through his mind as he walked on down the streets. People passed by with ugly stares of confusion and curiosity. He walked down the road, not paying attention to where he was going. Looking forward a tiny shop stood with a bright yellow sign that read “Titan Winds; Gift Shop and Emporium.” The street in front of it lay bare, and in the window, of the shop, candles flickered and an open sign hung. The rain poured onto Gavin and increasingly got heavier. Running into the shop he closed the door behind him.
“Welcome in. Feel free to browse around. Coffee and Tea are complimentary. “ said a voice from behind the counter.
There, was a tiny old lady sweeping the day away. She looked like a witch but had an approachable sense.
“Do you know where I might find a woman by the name of Eurypheassa or Theia?”
“Hm? Oh, no dear I suppose I don’t,” she paused, “What would you want with her any-how?”
“We have some business from the past we must discuss.”
“Ah. Coffee? Tea? Scone?”
“No, thank you. I suppose I will be on my way.”
“With that weather? You ought to stay and warm up. I’ll put a few logs on the fire. You can hang your coat on the rack behind you.”
The woman went through a door, and moments later came back with three logs in hand, walked up to the fire, and tossed all three in. She reached for the table that sat near the blazing flames, and plucked a bottle from the many that sat there.
“And just a dash of “lavender" should do the trick,” the woman whispered.
Once the small amount of liquid hit the flames, they turned blue and purple. Just glancing at them could almost cause you to fall into a trance.
“Don’t stare too long,” muttered the woman,”What brings you to Euphoria?”
“ I came in search of the woman I asked you about. I come from the Northern Realm.”
“That’s a long ride away. I used to know a man that lived there.”
“Anthony Kingsle. Tell me, is he still around or did he venture out to the sea once again?”
“Unfortunately, my father died a while back.”
“What a shame. Wait… did you say father?”
“Yes, I did. He was a great man.”
“That means… Gavin?”
“How do you-”
“I will return. Do not go disappearing.”
The woman almost sprinted through the door she had brought logs from earlier in the conversation. The curtain that covered the doorway, blew back as she entered and rays of heavenly light belted through the curtain.
The woman then entered into the front shop once again, this time a younger version of herself.
“Um… Who are you?” Gavin said very softly.
“I am Theia.”
“You… Oh my.”
“Yes. When you came into my shop I had never thought it would be you, my son.”
Gavin’s eyes were the size of dinner plates. His thoughts chased each other back and forth.
“Let Euphoria go. Free what once was yours,” a voice called. The same voice as the one from dinner.
“De Gevallen! We meet again.” Theia shouted.
“Come Euryphaessa! We must cure this weak land.”
“Mother, please, come,” Gavin pleaded.
Theia’s complexion changed to white, and with that the blue and purple fire blew out.
“I can’t. Everyone will hate me. It's been so long since I’ve even left this shop as myself.”
“Fear overcomes all of us, but this world is suffering once again because of your mistake made so long ago. Your curse was lifted once, you received the gift of life and your son was the gift to Kingsle. Come out and let everyone be free. Restore your heavenly light.”
Silence broke out, then Gavin began to speak;
“Mother, I have long awaited this moment. So has my wife and your granddaughter. Come home with me. Ple-”
Interrupting Gavin, Clare fell through the front shop door.
“Please!” she screamed as she wheezed, “Free us.”
“Clare!” Gavin called. He rushed over to his now, unconscious daughter. He looked up to the still empty street, and saw Audrey nearing the shop on her horse, and behind her another horse galloped.
“AUDREY!” Gavin screamed with tears running down his face.
“I’m here!” she answered.
Her father was the one on the other horse.
“Euryphaessa!” Kenelm deemed.
“Kenelm? Why are you here?” Theia said with fright.
“You must free these people. Our grandchild is suffering!”
Clare began to scream in pain, and the wind, and rain grew more intense.
“Clare is part of Euphoria. Just as the clouds, lightning, and rain strike down from the sky she too feels its pain. She will one day be like you Euryphaessa. FREE HER!” whispered De Gavallen.
Theia bolted out of her tiny shop and rolled into the remote street. Everything turned to white.
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Whatttt??? Is there more? What a rich plot line for a short story! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, and yes there is more!
Do tell!! Are they part of your other stories?
Yes. All the stories I have submitted are connected in some way! Thank you for being interested.
Finally read them all. What an intricate world you're building!