Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/campfires/item_id/1225297-A-Dark-Two-Tongued-Tale
Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Short Story · Fantasy · #1225297
this is a tale about wolves, evil faeries, and other creatures in a forest.
In the hills above a village, the forest has many creatures. An evil faerie, a friendly wolf, and several other creatures. The faerie has to decide on her fortune and hope fate is pleasant.
It was a snowy midwinter's day and nothing seemed to be going right. Her cozy alcove was leaking and nothing could plug the hole. Water was taking over and things weren't looking good.

In frustration, Elwie grabbed her forever possesions and stomped out of here former paradise, ready to find a new place. Someplace warm, cozy, and dry!

The going was slow until she raised her wings, dried them off, and tried flying again. The last time was disastarous and the sun almost took advantage of her.

Skimming the tree tops, Elwie laughed as she saw her fellow creatures struggling in the snow. A hare rabbit kept struggling as he was crossing the lane and refused to follow the others and their well worn path.

"Take the path less followed?!" she whispered and the hare looked up in surprise.
The hare was a fluffy creature, with long ears and an expression of surprising intelligence. Elwie found herself almost drawn to the gleam in the hare's eyes, which frightened her. She didn't understand why.

Suddenly, Elwie felt compelled to swoop down and pick up the struggling hare. She fought against it, her wings vibrating infinitesimally in her struggle. But it pulled her down, anyway, until her toes skimmed the cold, slushy snow.

"What are you doing?" she said angrily, glaring at the hare. Its eyes widened until she felt like she was drowning in the black depths of its pupils.

Elwie slid down further until her feet plunked into the snow and she nearly fell over onto the hare. It stared up at her with moist black eyes, its nose twitching. Some strange force made her bend over and pick up the hare, cuddling it against her body.

"Why are you doing this?" she asked, but the hare didn't answer. It just cuddled against her as she flapped her wings and took off again.
The hare relaxed as he took flight for the first time and couldn't believe the landscape laid out before him. He could see luscious clumps of grass growing and yet it was winter.

"Where are you taking me?" the hare proclaimed and his question fell on deaf ears. Elwie heard him but chose to ignore his pleas. Only real questions will be answered she thought. The landscape changed beneath them from a dense forest to a snowy meadow near a rock outcropping. In the rocks, a wanting noise echoed and it puzzled the hare.

"Let me down!" the hare screamed and again, his pleas fell on deaf ears. Elwie turned towards the rocks and began descending. The force seemed to be controlling her but she didn't resist. At the last moment, she veered sharply and pumped her wings to skim the rocks and land at the top of a small cliff.

Elwie stared down at the hare in her arms in mild disgust. It was quivering all over; its claws scratched at her arms. First, it forced her to pick it up, and now it didn't want to be here! she thought in disgust.

"I'm putting you down," she told it coolly, placing it on the rocky top of the cliff. The hare stared up at her, nose twitching. She seemed to see contempt in its eyes. "What?" she said defensively. "You're just a hare."

It looked up at her and twitched its nose again. Elwie didn't know why she felt compelled to explain herself to this quivering, fuzzy little hare that was probably disgusting.

Elwie turned her back and walked off, spreading her wings prepatory to flying again.
Suddenly, the voice compelled her to snatch the hare and direct it over the rocks below. With one swift motion, she catapulted the rabbit into a dark crevice. A feeling of power lifted her higher and Elwie looked fearfully at the sun.

"I don't want to go thru the wing rehab again" She thought as she took off.

"Your wings are stronger" the dark voice compelled and lifted her higher and higher.

Elwie looked down at the rocks below, smiled, and tested her wings in a fancy 720 spiral down and sure enough, she could cut her turns like never before. Hungry, Elwie scanned her landscape and grinned as she peered around.

A 4 legged, glistening white animal stared at her twinkling wings catching the sunlight and she felt her body being pulled towards this magnificent creature. Landing near him, she wondered why this spot was so grassy and everywhere else the snow lay.

"I wondered when you would begin your journey." the white wolf whispered.

"I was quite happy where I was but I needed to find a new place to call home." Elwie thought back to the wolf.

"Follow me and I will show you the best spot ever." the wolf seemed to say as he lowered his head and tucked his tail down, as if to say that he wasn't dangerous. Elwie felt a power come over her that she hadn't felt before and wondered if this was what her family had talked about long ago.

"My name is Elwie, fair maiden of the 3rd clan of the rank and drag meridian. I need to eat and take a quick flight around before we head towards a better place." Elwie spoke cleanly to the wolf.

"Is meat ok?" the wolf growled.

"Of course, I'm famished!" Elwie spoke and then realized that she was going to have a meal like no other meal she had ever had. The wolf heaved and seemed to have a creature in him working his way out. The wolf backed up a step and laid a steaming pile of red meat on the grass.

"You want me to eat that?!" Elwie asked increduously. She stared at the wolf and he turned towards the rocks as if to think.
With a roil of nausea, Elwie realized that somehow, the pile of meat was the hare. The wolf had killed the hare somehow.

"Oh..." she groaned, dry-heaving. Her wings vibrated anxiously over her.

"Can't you eat it?" the wolf asked innocently, turning back. Elwie shook her head. Not even she could eat that poor, quivering lump of meat.

"Too bad," the wolf sighed. "It might have helped you..."

"What do you mean?" Elwie started to ask before the ground crumbled away beneath her.
Falling in a swirl of rocks and dust, Elwie watched her life pass before her very eyes. Only a few eons ago, she was a flitting young creature with many friends and a nice house. Why had she struck out on her own, for this?

Looking up, Elwie could see the wolf's face fading and she tried furiously to make her wings perform but a dark force seemed to catching her. She felt the cool breeze and realized she had landed on a ledge that veered inwards. It was comforting to be on solid ground but she also realized her wings weren't working. Was this a dungeon she had been warned about? Slowly, Elwie took in her surroundings.

Out on the ledge, daylight was fading, beside her on both sides, a rock wall stood guard, and in front of her, a narrow and well-worn path beckoned. She carefully took a few steps inwards and her stomach growled loudly, still wanting some nourishment. Out of nowhere, a soft light appeared and it lit up a bowl of greens and something red and some dried grass to the side.

Nervous about taking food after her last experience, she took another step towards the bowl, sniffed, and was overjoyed to realize the bowl contained clover leaves and strawberries, her favorite foods! Elwie felt strangely comfortable as she took her first few bites and with each bite, she grew sleepier, until at last, she plopped herself on the soft grass bed and dozed off.

Elwie woke (or was she dreaming?) to hear a dark rumbling, pitch dark surroundings, and her heart thumping out of control. The rumbling came closer and closer. She curled up as small as she could against the rock wall and hoped this would be a pleasant experience. But she knew something evil was happening.
The darkness seemed to intensify, which Elwie had thought was impossible. The rumbling crashed into her ears until she screamed, covering her head with her hands.

"Hello, Elwie," something spoke. Its voice was cold as black ice and shivered down her spine.

"W-who are you?" she stammered, her teeth chattering. "W-w-what do y-you want?"

It moved closer, and she could just make out the gleam of fangs. Terror made her heart pound faster against her chest, until it seemed it must break her ribs.

"You're much like me, Elwie," it said. "Cold...a little heartless...but you have a weak side we must work to eliminate."

"Wh-what do you mean?" she stuttered. It took another step closer, revealing deep crimson eyes.

"You're too weak, Elwie," it said bluntly. "You couldn't eat the hare that I sent you...specifically to eat! Even when the wolf I created regurgitated it for you, you couldn't eat it. So I had to drug you with clover and strawberries...pah!" it spat. "Rabbit food. You could be one of the greatest dark fairies this world has ever seen...but your weakness must be trained out of you. Do you understand me?"

"Yes," Elwie managed to whisper a response. Bewilderment and fear were still fighting in her mind. "I understand."

"Good," it said and moved over her. "Now see what you'll have to face first, dear Elwie..."
Elwie looked around and she was no longer in the cave but had been transported to a forested glen where the sun barely shown. In her view, she could see several creatures and the voice said: "You must convince 2 of these animals to follow you to the seacliffs 3 moons away. 1 will resist and the other will be on a joy walk and not care. There will be many perils and you must not be afraid."

Elwie took a deep breath and saw the animals this dark voice was talking about. There was another rabbit, a billygoat, and a huge buffalo, all eating some green grass clumps on the far side of the glade. Elwie realized she needed the dark power and confidence to pull this off. Brazenly, she lifted her wings skyward and flew towards the buffalo and landed on a branch just over his head. A dagger appeared in her hand and she looked down at the buffalo. "Kill the beast and the others will follow." the voice directed.

Without hestitation, she flipped the dagger inwards, swept towards the shoulder of the animal and plunged the dagger into the buffalo. A crimson stream flowed onto the ground and the animal staggered. The other animals looked in fear at her and Elwie knew she had their full attention. She twisted the dagger and felt the animal release his spirit skyward and plunge to the earth. She deftly pocketed the dagger and grinned at the other animals.

"Don't fear me, the buffalo killed my sister and he deserved everything he got." Elwie crooned.

The 2 other animals stepped back in fear and Elwie swept towards them, almost rushing them. They scampered and Elwie felt her wings grow strong and she corraled the 2 animals in the thickets and beckoned them to come out.

"I won't hurt you, I need to talk to you." Elwie cried. The 2 animals, a goat and a rabbit cautiously looked out and the goat ambled forth.

"Come on rabbit, she won't hurt us, hell, she'll protect us." the goat bleated. The rabbit was very nervous but stepped out anyways.

"Follow me to the sea and I will protect you on this journey." Elwie told the 2 animals and both agreed. She took them out of the thickets and along a path that led west and towards the ocean.

Elwie felt surprised but gratified that the animals followed her. She had half expected them to leave, no matter what she'd done to the buffalo.

Her wings began to tire as she herded the goat and the rabbit to the ocean, but she refused to stop. For one, she didn't know if the animals would continue to follow her if she stopped. For another...she didn't know what it would do. She shuddered, almost losing control of her flight for a moment, then continued on.

The sky began to darken and Elwie realized that she would have to stop soon. The rabbit and the goat wouldn't be able to go along in the dark, and she didn't think she could, either.

"Let's stop," she called to the animals who gratefully stopped as she fluttered down to the ground. "We can't go any further," she told them. They agreed, nodding their heads. The rabbit reminded her uneasily for one moment of the hare, but she shook off the resemblance.

Just as Elwie looked around for a place to sleep, something blotted out the moon and a high, unearthly screech sounded over the forest.
All three creatures were alarmed and Elwie said: " Follow me under these boughs and I will protect you."

The 2 animals scurried to keep up with Elwie and huddled close to her. "Stay close, I will slowly cover us with my darkened wing, whatever you do, don't look up!" Both animals felt her wing cover them and the goat let out a quiet shew and relaxed. Elwie was curious what was out there but knew the bird would see her eyes if she didn't time her view properly. The screeching came closer and seemed to hover over them. A moment passed, all was still and then the flap of wings signaled Elwie. She quickly stole a glance upwards and saw a magnificent bird taking flight upwards and away. It flew to a solitary dead tree in the distance and roosted.

"We will stay here tonite and leave at first light. The night is too dangerous to travel. There is a few blades of grass to nibble on but don't venture beyond these boughs." Elwie stated. The animals settled in and Elwie kept a curious eye on the mystery bird.

The bird seemed to be asleep, the 2 animals were asleep and Elwie was curious. She ventured out a few steps, all was quiet, and she decided to get a closer look at this bird. Her wings felt strong and she took off, keeping to the trees and closer to the roosting bird.

Finally, she was in view of this bird and she could see a nest! A fresh poached egg would be delicious. She knew how to make an invisible fire from her schooldays. Now, she had to make it to the nest and steal an egg or two. The bird kept quiet and Elwie approached from the backside.

She was right behind the magnificent bird and the eggs glistened in the faint star light. She waited for a minute and the slowly lowered her hand towards the egg and grapsed it firmly. As she did, the bird stirred and Elwie froze.
Don't wake up, don't wake up, Elwie prayed, her fingers frozen around the egg. All of a sudden, she was deeply regretting having the urge for a fresh egg.

The bird sighed, and settled back down. Elwie almost let out a sigh of relief, but managed to clamp it between her teeth just in time.

She lifted the egg up out of its gentle cradle, careful not to squeeze it too hard, and brilliant golden light shot out of it, bathing the entire tree in an eerie lemony glow.

The bird woke up, glaring at her, its beak opening in a challenging cry. Elwie backflipped off the tree, abandoning the traitorous egg, her wings flapping madly.

The bird screeched as the egg flopped back safely into the nest, then took off with a ponderous swish of wings.
Elwie managed to gather her wings about her and slunk off to the safety of the trees. She could see the bird soaring magnificently above the silhouetted tree that held the nest high above.
"I need that light, it is power and if I can get my cloak over it, it will be mine." Elwie thought and looked towards her sleeping minions. A thought crossed her nimble brain, what if I had an animal distract the bird and take the powerful egg? 'That billy goat would do just fine and hell, he might even escape,' she laughed.

The stars crossed the sky slowly and finally, light crept up the eastern sky. Elwie woke quickly to the light and saw her neighbors were sleeping soundly. "Wake up mr billy goat" Elwie nudged him and sleepily, the goat raised his eyebrows.

"We need to see if the river by the big tree is passable." Elwie stated.

"Why don't you fly over and look?" the goat stammered.

"Hello, you don't remember the screeching? That bird will pick me out of the sky in a second. You can keep to the trees and not worry." Elwie smartly told the goat. The goat shrugged and went over to the treeline and started towards the solitary tree. Elwie knew he would get the bird's attention when he left the trees and crossed by the solitary tree.

Elwie looked for the bird and saw it tucked into it's nest, sleeping. As the goat ambled towards the lone tree, he paused by the last stand of trees and looked around. Then casually, he lifted his leg and let out a stream of overnight relief that Elwie could hear from her perch. The bird also picked up on this unusual whizzing sound and looked down. Spying the goat, the bird took off the other direction and high into the sky.

The goat finished his business and almost trotted towards the tree and the eventual river. Elwie could see the bird circling high overhead and prepped her wings for a quick flight to the nest. The goat passed by the tree and kept a straight path towards the river. The bird tucked her wings tightly and dove straight at the goat. The goat never saw his demise and in the same motion, Elwie pumped her wings as hard as she ever had and beelined it to the nest. She landed on the nest with it's gleaming eggs and looked down to the see the bird spread over the lame goat below. The eggs looked so tempting and she wondered if they all contained such power. As she grabbed the same egg as before, she carefully grasped it and lifted it slowly. The glow began again and she looked into the nest and noticed a brilliant sphere glowing as well. She laid the egg back down and the glow stopped. "Maybe they are connected" she thought and this time, she grabbed the egg with one hand and the sphere with the other and nothing happened. She tucked both into her pouch, looked to see the bird having the meal of the month, and laughed.

The bird heard her laugh and looked up in alarm. Elwie took off towards the trees and safety. She landed by the hare, who was still sleeping! Her heart racing, she took a deep breath, looked in her pouch, saw the egg and sphere mixing in nicely and gently with her possesions. Relaxing a bit, she hummed a ditty that woke the rabbit.

"Come fine rabbit, our friend the goat has walked off and we must continue the journey to the sea." Elwie told the rapt hare and together they started towards the sea, using a different path.
A thrill of excitement shot through Elwie as she guided the rabbit. She had the egg and the glowing sphere, which surely was magical, and she was right on task with guiding the stupid rabbit.

"Did you hear something?" the rabbit whispered, its long ears twitching violently.

"No," Elwie said, frowning. "Why? Did you hear something?" The remembered terror of the giant bird kept her at least civil to the little creature, although she wanted to tell the rabbit to be quiet.

"I hear something," the rabbit whispered, trembling in the grass. Elwie sighed and fluttered down, her feet delicately touching the ground.

"What?" she asked, trying to keep her patience.

"Something...bad..." the rabbit said, wide eyes staring off into the distance. "It's very bad..."

"Well, if you can't tell me anything more," Elwie started to say, exasperated. Don't tell me anything at all, trailed off in her mind as a loud crashing sound echoed through the forest. It reminded her of the thing in the cave and she shuddered.

"What is it?" Elwie whispered, bending down and picking up the rabbit. It was a tiny, compact bundle of fur that reminded her again of the hare, but she swiftly suppressed the thought.

Elwie dived into a bush by the side of the path just as something huge and dark and panting crashed onto the path from the other side.
Elwie stare at the monolith in front of them and anciet memories came flooding back to her. This creature was Nememthith and from the old book. The sacred and deadly book. He stopped in his tracks, sniffed, and whirled around to face the fairie and rabbit.

"What do we have here? You have avoided me for many a moon and your time has come. Give me the egg and the jewel." Nememthith commanded. Elwie reached into her bag, palmed the egg and wrapped her fingers around her stunning ring.

"Here you go oh ancient one." Elwie snapped and flashed the egg and her ring at Nememthith. He put out his hand and suddenly he felt the stun and fell on his back. Elwie wasted no time and climbed ontop of him, feeling his pockets for treasure. He had to have treasures! Nothing, nothing, and then in his breast pocket, she found the paper she was looking for. She unfolded it in the moonlight and it read:
"The fairy Elwie has met the Old Master. Care must be taken that she does not complete His quest alive. If you meet Elwie, kill her and any companions she might have with her." The signature was illegible.

Elwie felt stunned, like she had attacked herself with her own stunning ring. The thing that had sent her with the animals was the Old Master? What was the Old Master, anyway?

"I have to get out of here!" Elwie told herself. Nememthith was going to kill her as soon as he woke up. Apparently, he had just been attracted to the power of the egg and the jewel, so had wanted that first.

"Come on, rabbit," she whispered, scooping it up and taking off, her wings making long, sure swoops. "Let's get out of here."
The creature lay prone on the ground as our small group flew away. Elwie had curled the rabbit into her pouch, gently so as not to break the egg. The sea seemed so far away, she thought, I will never make it there. And what am I suppposed to do when I get there? Who is this Old Master? Questions filled her brain and she stole a glance back. The creature was out of sight and blue skies were ahead.

After an hour of flight, Elwie felt her body tiring and needed nourishment. Scanning the hills, she found a small clear pond and lush flowers growing. They settled down to the earth and she let the small rabbit out to stretch his legs and find some grass to nibble on. Her pouch felt a lot lighter and she opened the smooth bag to see the egg resting comfortably against her side and her possesions scattered around, almost protecting the egg. She could see the rabbit stretched out on grass, content to let the sun warm his backside.

Elwie looked around and found some small strawberries growing nearby and ambled over to have a bite. The first one tasted delicious and she sat down to enjoy herself. As she squatted down, she heard a crack and a dreaded thought entered her head. I broke the egg! She cautiously opened her pouch and saw that the egg wasn't broken but hatching!
Elwie quickly scooped out the hatching egg and laid it carefully on the grass. Small pieces of shell flew everywhere, and she could see just the tip of a beak.

"Whoa," she breathed, staring in amazement at it. The rabbit hopped up and joined her, unusually still and quiet.

A thin chirping sound emitted from the cracking egg. Elwie brushed away the useless shards of eggshell, and finally the chick burst through.

She gasped, the sound surprisingly loud.

The chick was a scintillant purple.

"Mama?" the chick asked, peeking up at her. Elwie shook her head, too shocked at the baby's color to realize the chick was talking to her.

Don't forget your mission, the Old Master's voice echoed through her head, freezing her. Get to the sea. Leave the chick.

But-but it will die! Elwie protested mentally.

Are you dark or not? the voice demanded. Leave the chick.

Elwie stared down at the brilliant purple bird, her mind in turmoil. What could she do?
Thinking long and hard about the small bird's options, Elwie heard the bird talking to the rabbit and made up her mind. Dark voice or not, this was not the place to leave this bird. Plus, she wanted to find out more about this brilliant purple creature, she knew it had to be a magical bird.

The evil dark voice entered her head again and told her her path would be trouble with this bird. She thought back: I will take these two to the sea and find out what powers this bird has on the way.

Kill the bird! the dark voice shrieked and Elwie took her first step away from the voice in her head.

"Come rabbit, we must move on and find a safe place for the night." Elwie called out to the animals. The bird understood her and helped move the rabbit towards Elwie. How nice, Elwie thought, someone who works with me. "I will carry you two and fly, we can cover a lot more ground that way." Elwie told the two.

Elwie's pouch swelled as she placed both animals in her pouch. "Can I stick my head out and talk with you while you fly?" The brilliant bird asked politely.

"Sure, let me help you" Elwie gently grabbed the bird and set him on top of her possessions, comfortably resting. They took off and Elwie wondered what lay in store for her, the dark voice quiet for the moment.

"Why have you left the path?" the young bird asked.

"What path are you talking about?" Elwie replied.

The little bird paused and then his voice darkened: "Use the yellow jewel where the tree forks." Elwie didn't know what to think and flew straight west, not noticing the ground below her had changed to a rocky landscape.

"Do you have a name young bird? Soon you will be able to fly and have your own adventures." Elwie asked the young bird, changing the subject.

"I do not know my name."

"Scintilly shall be your name" to which the bird could be perked up proudly.

"Look over on the ridge, a marking tree" Scintilly cried and Elwie looked and saw a forked tree with something roosting on it. Elwie glanced and saw nothing else and then she heard the voice.

Fly to the tree and spend the night here. The voice told Elwie. She couldn't disagree and headed towards the tree. The animal in the dissapeared over the ridge as they approached. Must be scared Elwie thought, little did she know the animal was going to alert the others. Elwie landed gracefully in the tree and let the animals out of the pouch to find their spot. The sun let out it's last rays and darkness fell quickly. Elwie told the two to stay put and she would find them some food nearby. She took off and slowly circled, her wings wearing heavy. She spied some grass a short ways away and flew there. Landing, she could see the tree and figured she could be there in 10 seconds. She scooped up some grass and headed back.

As she approached the tree, darkness had cast it's spell and Elwie had to focus on her landing. After a hesitant fly by, she made her landing and quickly fed the two. She glanced down the ridge and could see several animals staring at them, yellow eyes piercing the night.
Fear darkened her mind as she stood by the rabbit and the bird. Now, she could understand the little bird's warning about the forked tree.

The voice lied to me! she thought angrily. Now I'm surrounded by who-knows-what!

Use the yellow jewel, the bird had said. She dipped her fingers into her pouch and pulled out the jewel. It felt strangely warm against her hand, like she'd put it in her invisible fire.

A loud hiss sounded through the night. The legions of yellow eyes around them didn't like the soft, muted glow of the jewel, apparently. Encouraged, Elwie held it up, allowing the lemony light to bathe the tree. The rabbit looked up happily, all of its fur smoothing out. The chick nodded at her, little eyes glinting in its light.

What can I do now? Elwie thought. The light could keep the creatures away for a while, but not forever. What if the light gave out?

As if responding to her doubts, the light flickered, dimming. The animals pressed closer to the tree. Now she could see more individual features, like tufts of wild fur sprouting from the tops of malformed heads, and teeth glinting in the light provided by the jewel. A spark of terror flashed through her body and her wings drew in close to her, trembling.

The light flickered again, then went out.
Panicked, Elwie closed her eyes and let her mind relax. 'It can't get any worse' she thought.

As if on cue, the animals charged the tree and screeched right beneath her.

"Give us the bird!!!!" They uttered in unison. The dark voice rumbled in Elwie's head and the nasty deformed animals looked up in the faint light. She could see their eyes glistening intently, almost salivating.

Elwie climbed up to the animals who were shaking with fear and tried to grab the both of them. They resisted and Elwie said mockingly: "You wanna go down there? Get over here and help me!" Elwie commanded. They both looked at her in amazement and let her grab them smoothly.

"We are reasonably safe high up in the tree, they can't climb it and if they do, we have our claws to scratch their eyes and paws. Let's climb a bit higher on the branch and defend ourselves." To which the animals clung together and Elwie pulled them in closer.

"Cast your withering drool far and wide oh numb fools!" Elwie commanded and didn't know where that came from. The animals eye's were not visible but she could smell their stink below her. Puzzled, she reached into her bag and found the yellow jewel. Motioning for Scintilly to come closer, she practically put the jewel on Scintilly's beak and the yellow glow grew bright, she motioned for Scintilly to look downward and the yellow beam went down. The animals were still there but facing outwards, as if protecting her. She felt strong, putting the jewel back in the case, her hearbeat slowing down.

The night slowly passed, no one slept well in the tree and first light led to a strange scene. The animals could be seen heading off the ridge but a mangled bird could be seen a short distance from the tree, feathers everywhere. Apparently her spell had worked quite well, killing Scintilly's lone parent. 'I can't let her see that' Elwie thought and the little bird groggily shook his head. Quickly, Elwie scooped the spectacular bird, found the rabbit snoring and tucked them both into her pouch and took off low and strong, hoping the sun would rise soon.

'What a night' she thought, 'I hope we make it to the sea today and I can be free of these two and on my own again, with a nice place to stay!' She intoned.

Flying over the hills, the air began to change and she could see the sea on the horizon. She was tired and hungry and knew they needed nourishment soon. Just as quickly she thought that and a grassy knoll appeared. 'Perfect' she thought and they landed peacefully. Letting the animals out of the pouch, she crinkled her nose at the putrid smell coming from the ground.
Yuck, Elwie thought. The air smelled horrible, like something had died here. With a sinking feeling, Elwie realized that something probably had.

"Don't go anywhere," she warned the two animals as she started examining the ground. It was strangely soggy, like a marsh or swamp, but it coudln't be that. All around was perfectly fine, dry land. It was just right here that was marshy and bad-smelling.

Uh-oh, Elwie thought, backing away. She had a bad feeling about this.

"What's wrong?" the bird asked, tilting its head to one side in alertness.

"I don't know," Elwie started to say, just as the ground bulged upward and a thin stream of something dark red and noxious-smelling trickled out.
As the earth heaved, a black oily shape rose into the air and stared at the 3 creatures with beady eyes.

"That is my bird and she needs to learn the dark side." The shape cried.

The amazing little bird cocked her head to the side, looked at the smelly shape, back at Elwie and said: "Ha, travel far and wide, I will be mine in due time, let's get out of here!"

Elwie had no problem with that, scooped the animals up and tried to lift off. Something was holding her down! Elwie tried desperately, pumping her wings but she was going nowhere. The black spirit moved closer and closer. She became sick with dread and collapsed.
"Get up, you have to get up!" the bird chirped in her ear. Elwie sobbed with fright, her wings curling in close to her body.

"I can't," she told the little bird as the black spirit glided closer. "I can't..."

"Yes, you can," the bird insisted, pecking her ear. "Get up!"

The bird's courage and determination suffused her body and she managed to get up, pumping her wings strongly. The black spirit fell farther and farther behind as she soared up into the sky.

"Thank you," she said with real gratitude to the little purple bird.

"You're welcome," the bird sighed and cuddled against her.
Flying just above the treetops of the valley below, Elwie found her direction and pointed west again. What a scare, she was still numb from the fainting, her only friend tucked in close besides her. The mist grew heavier and the ocean was close! Where was she supposed to go? Would she find her destiny?

The noise grew in intensity and Elwie just knew the crashing sounds was the nearby surf. There was no turning back, she just had to find the cliffs and her destiny... The trees left their sight and the bright white light of the ocean surf blinded Elwie and the little precious bird. Elwie squinted and the light was so bright until she saw the high perch.

Calling to her, the dark space clamored and seemed to pull her in. Elwie could no longer feel her wings as they steadily pulled towards the lonely perch. Her wings settled in nicely and she landed gracefully on the sharp chalky cliff edge. Her nose cringed as nasty odor creeped up her nostrils..
Not again, Elwie thought, remembering the first bad smell. Hopefully, nothing would come bursting out of the cliff.

Well? she thought. I made it to the sea!

You didn't obey, the voice blasted into her head, making her stagger. Scintilly stared at her anxiously, cheeping at her. I'm all right, she mouthed at the chick.

You were supposed to kill the chick, the Old Master told her. You didn't.

It has a name! Elwie flared at the voice. It's Scintilly.

Do you want to die with Scintilly, too? the Old Master asked, its voice dripping sarcasm with the chick's name. Well? Answer me!
Elwie let her mind relax, looked at to see the crashing surf below, and the voice screamed: Jump! Elwie took a step forward and the little bird bravely yelled: Think not but be with me!

Elwie stopped, looked back at the chick, and felt the voice pull her to one side. She had the bird pulling the other way! She was ready to go on with her life but she needed to escape with the bird to do that. The rabbit hopped nervously into the corner. Out of the depths of the crevice, the black spirit oozed outwards, letting his raunchy essence overwhelm the creatures yet again.

Elwie staggered and felt her body overcoming itself. The little bird hopped on her shoulder and whispered in her ear: Take me away!

Elwie looked at the rabbit and the creature and knew what she had to do.
Elwie jumped. She held Scintilly in one hand, the rabbit in the other, and she jumped up in the air, her wings flapping madly. The chick gave her strength, seeping through her bones.

No! the voice howled in her head. You're ruining everything!

I don't care, Elwie retorted bravely, backwinging over the cliff to solid ground. The black spirit below bubbled angrily. I'm not jumping, and I'm not giving up Scintilly or the rabbit to you!

Then pay the consequences, the Old Master's voice echoed against her ears.

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