Quinn was sitting at his desk wondering where his next job would come from. He stood up from his chair and stared out the window when the door opened. A beautiful dame walked in with long flowing black hair and purple silk dress. She was tall and when she moved it looked like she floated. She sat down across from Quinn. “I need you to find my crystal horse. I was admiring it on the mantlepiece when all of a sudden it vanished.”

               This sounds like a job for Super Quinn he thought. “Do you have a picture of the object?” asked Quinn.

               She placed the picture on his desk and stood up. “I can take you to my home and show you where it happened,” said the stunning beauty.

               When they arrived at her house Quinn noticed the air shimmered slightly. ‘What could that be, thought Quinn. He followed her inside and as he looked at the mantlepiece where the crystal horse should be, he saw movement out of the corner of his eye. He immediately followed it but it disappeared through the wall. He began touching the wall, as he got lower his hand went through it. He knelt down and looked but it just looked like a wall and again he put his hand up against it. His hand was gone and he felt a tugging motion, he was being pulled through. It was a matter of seconds when he popped out the other side.

               He could not believe his eyes. This place was not normal. The trees were alive and moving, the creatures were nothing like he’d ever seen, and the sky was red as a ripe apple. In the clouds he could see cities with skyscrapers and vehicles flitting back and forth, from cloud to cloud. ‘Where am I,’ he thought. He started walking not knowing which way to go when something caught his leg and pulled. He stumbled and fell and the vine began pulling him. He struggled to remove the vine all the while it was taking him somewhere, he knew not where but Quinn did not want to be its next meal or worse. Technically there is no ‘worse’ than being eaten he thought. He laughed to himself. He pulled on the vine until his leg was free and jumped away from it. 

               He’d have to be more careful from now on and once again he saw a small creature looking at him and waiting. He started following it but it was quick. He could not get a good look at it.  It was very small but every now and again he noticed it stopped and waited for him to catch up. “Hey, wait up there, little man,” shouted Quinn.

               “Sorry sir, I cannot,” said the creature, ‘I’m in a hurry, must dash.”

               “Well, can you tell me who you are?” asked Quinn. 

               “My name is Throxi, must dash, in a hurry, keep up, keep up,” said the gnome.

               Quinn followed Throxi hoping he would stop at some time. He was getting tired. He was concerned if he could find his way back and get to his world after he retrieved the crystal horse. All in good time, he thought. He’d lost sight of the little gnome and stopped. “Hurry, hurry,” said Throxi. Quinn did not see the little man he looked everywhere and took a step forward when his foot slipped on something wet and he fell through a hole. Down went Quinn, it felt like hours falling but only seconds elapsed. He hit his head on a rock and was rendered unconscious. When he came to, he was surrounded by hundreds of little people staring at him. “What happened?” asked Quinn, “Where am I?”

               Throxi jumped up on Quinn’s chest and stared into his face, “You are in Korana. It is our city and we have captured you.” Throxi was jumping up and down when Quinn tried to stand up. The ceiling in the chamber was too low for Quinn to sit up. He rolled over on his side. The little people moved out of the way quickly. There was very little light and Quinn had a hard time seeing. He squinted his eyes but still could not make out what the chamber looked like. He remembered he always carried a small flashlight in his pocket. He reached into it and pulled it out. The light was bright and he heard the little people scurry away screaming. “Hey, turn the torch off, it hurts our eyes,” said Throxi.

               Quinn pointed the light down onto the floor making it less bright. “Uh, did you say I was your prisoner?” he asked. He wasn’t restrained but the room he was in was small and difficult to maneuver around. First thing he’d have to do is try to get out of the chamber and make his way to the surface but he would try to make conversation with Throxi while he contemplated the situation. “Little man, I’m looking for a crystal horse. Seen one around lately?”

               “I took it away from the lady’s house. It is an old magical artifact that completes my set.” Throxi moved around Quinn while talking. “No one from your world should have them. The relics are ours and have been since the beginning of time but some of our kind have moved them into your world to destroy your kind. We are trying to protect you from yourselves.”

               Okay, well, that’s something, thought Quinn. He rolled onto his stomach and began inching around the chamber, there must be an opening somewhere. “I have a job to do. I must return the crystal horse to its rightful owner.” 

               Throxi leaped on Quinn’s back and walked up to his head and began plucking out a strand of hair. “Mister, you cannot have it, it belongs to us.”

               He was getting annoyed at Throxi. “Ow, stop that, you mean little man.” He couldn’t get his hand up to his hair to push him off so he kept moving inch by inch until he finally found an opening. He inched his way through the hole. On the other side, the room was large and well lit and he stood up. His arms and legs felt stiff and he realized Throxi had fallen off. When he looked down, he noticed Throxi wasn’t moving. He picked up the gnome and shook him. He must have been knocked out when he fell off or, was he dead? He didn’t know how to check Throxi’s pulse, his fingers were to big. Quinn placed the gnome in his shirt pocket and saw a ramp leading upwards.

               The sky was dark when he reached the surface. Nighttime was upon him. It was hard to see which way to go or which direction he came from. No way to tell North from South, or East to West. He felt tired. He desperately needed some sleep, but where? He walked on and tripped on a stump and Throxi fell out of his pocket. Throxi was beginning to stir, “Hey Mister, where are we? I don’t recognize this place.”

               Quinn combed his hair with his fingers, “I’m not sure, but I’m glad to see you are alive. You had me worried for awhile. So, can you explain to me about the crystal horse and how it’s magical?”

               “Our world has magic everywhere and sometimes it leaks into your world and if you noticed when you approached the lady’s house the air surrounding it felt different. I must seal the leak before it causes devastation on your side. The crystal horse was seeping out its’ magic, that is why I had to retrieve it. Now that it is once again here the magic will dissipate and I will plug the hole, but before that happens you must get to your world or you will remain with us forever.” Throxi walked around looking for something that might give him a clue as to their whereabouts. The giant could have gone miles before coming to this place and nothing looked familiar.

               “Throxi, I still need to return the crystal horse to the lady. If I don’t, I won’t get paid. I really need the money, isn’t there something you could do to help.” Quinn was pacing back and forth careful not to step on the gnome.

               “I’ve been thinking,” said Throxi, “There may be a way but I need to figure out where we are so I can locate a man that might be able to recreate the crystal horse without it containing magical qualities. Can you tell me which direction we came from?”

               Quinn pointed and they were off. The little man could not cover as much ground as he could and suggested to Throxi that he carry him. Throxi agreed and so they walked on. Quinn was careful not to fall and used his flashlight for guidance. Minutes passed as they went on until finally Throxi shouted, “Hey, stop big guy, I think I know where we are.” Quinn obliged and waited. Throxi asked to be put down on the ground and was quick to leave but as he did, he turned around and yelled, “Wait here, I’ll be back as soon as I can.” 

               He wasn’t sure if Throxi was coming back but he waited anyway. The little gnome sounded sincere but only time would tell. A few minutes passed when he saw Throxi. “Hey there, big man, my friend has made you a crystal horse and a fine job he has done. Just look at it, great workmanship, is it not,” said Throxi with excitement in his voice. “We need to get you back to your world, follow me,” and at that they were off. The gnome pointed to the spot Quinn entered. Quinn darted through the hole quickly without looking back. 

               The dame was standing at the same place she was when he left. She didn’t seem alarmed by what she saw. “I’ve got your crystal horse, here,” he said as he handed it back to her.

               “This is not my crystal horse,” exclaimed the dame. “It doesn’t contain any energy. Where is it? What have you done with it?” She grabbed the horse and threw it into the fireplace, shattering in to tiny slivers of glass. “Get out of my house, now,” she yelled.

               Quinn turned around and hastily ran out the door. Damn, I’m not getting paid and all that work for nothing. He did wonder though, how she knew it was different. As he walked to his car, he noticed the shimmering air was gone. Throxi must have sealed the breach, he thought, as he sped away.

January 15, 2020 18:43

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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