Duchess Leaping Lemurs and Kelticmyst - Pals creating a campfire
Lisa quickened her step, about to pass the large antique wall mirror in the hallway of her aunt and uncle’s house. It happened every time she passed the mirror but nobody believed her. Not even Josh, the cousin she was closest to. Even as she passed by, she found herself turning to the mirror, wanting to keep walking but seemed unable to. Her heart thudded in her chest as she moved closer, her breath unsteady. Her gaze was drawn to the symbols on the silver frame. They looked ancient and reminded her of some of the Celtic knot work and symbols she had seen since she first came to Scotland before the school year. Shortly after arriving, her aunt Maria McKenzie – Lisa’s dad’s youngest sister – and cousin Robin had taken her shopping, both in preparation for college and for items to help her remember her time in her father’s homeland. This mirror had been one of the first purchases, found in an antique shop nearly as old as the items sold within its walls.|
There - it did it again! She could have sworn that she saw her reflection ripple making the surface appear fluid. She reached out to touch it with trembling fingers the tips barely grazing the surface. As she did a chill ran through her and she jerked back. Mesmerized and feeling compelled she reached out again. This time her had went through the mirror and she felt herself begin to fall.
|Lisa landed in twilight, her fall broken by something hard. She heard a shout and foreign words. She was thrown free of whatever she had landed on. The strange words continued as Lisa lay still and tried to catch her breath. She was finally able to roll to her knees. Seeing the point of a sword inches from her nose, Lisa froze. Her eyes traveled up the blade to the hilt, up a dark-skinned arm to the face of...|
No way. It couldn't be. They were only fantasy. But here was one scowling at her.
|Lylon scowled as he held his sword to the intruders face. As his golden flecked eyes searched her face he was struck with the realization that she was not of his race. Her build was much smaller than Elven women. |
His voice was tinged with anger as he addressed her. "Who are you and what are you doing falling from the sky and landing on my servant?"
Lisa swallowed hard still trying to process what had happened. She met his gaze and tried not to flinch as she took in his Elven appearance. It took her a moment to realize he had just asked her a question. His voice was deep and rich like music.
With a trembling voice she replied, "Am I dreaming?"
|Another elf, more fierce-looking than the one holding the sword at her nose - though how that was possible, Lisa wasn't sure - moved closer. "You will answer Prince Lylon Greatwind," he snapped. "Who are you and how did you come to fall from the sky?"|
Prince? An elf prince? It was definitely a dream. Like Alice in Wonderland. Seeing that the sword was still in front of her face and probably wouldn't be removed until she spoke, Lisa quickly found her voice. "I-I'm Lisa McGregor. As to how I got here... I fell through a mirror."
"Mirror." Lylon said the word slowly, as if it were strange on his tongue.
Another elf stepped to the prince's side and murmured in his ear in their language. Lylon's eyes, strangely bright green against his dark skin, snapped to the servant and widened. The three conversed quickly, then the servant moved away. Lylon nodded to the other elf - probably a captain or some kind of elven military leader, Lisa decided - who pointed at two other elves.
"Eron. Starsinger. You guard the woman. We will continue on to Bir'Rok. The king and Mara will know what to do."
They're taking me prisoner! Lisa realized. She scrambled to her feet and started to speak. "Now wait just a minute - "
A sharp, piercing cry filled the night.
|Lisa suddenly found herself flung behind the elf Eron. She could hear the sounds of elven warriors drawing their blades and quickly moving. She could pick out Lylon's voice issuing commands in an unfamiliar language. |
"Stay behind me." Erons voice was harsh and she instantly knew she should not disobey him.
Lisa managed to croak out, "What's happening?"
"We are under attack by the Bannilylth. Quickly this way. My Prince has commanded me to guard you and I do not intend to start failing him now."
Lisa felt him grab her arm and pull her through the chaos towards the shelter of the trees.
|They made it safely into the trees, but didn't stop when Lisa thought they might. Instead Eron continued moving, a tight grip on Lisa's arm, until they could no longer hear sounds of battle.|
Lisa finally couldn't stand the silence from her elven guard anymore. "So... who are these Banel - Benlil - "
"Bannilylth," Eron corrected sharply. "They are elves like us, but have turned from our ways and now serve our Enemy."
"Who's your enemy?"
"A being to hope you never meet."
Well what did that mean? Lisa wondered. Was it like Harry Potter and this was a "He Who Must Not Be Named" type being? But she didn't ask aloud, since it was very likely that this elf wouldn't know what she was talking about.
Elf. This has to be a dream.
Lylon held his sword at the ready. Darragh, his captain and younger brother, stood at his side and shouted commands to his warriors.
"One eye on the trees, one on the skies," he said. "Remember, they may have their Flying Beasts with them. Archers be ready."
If they brought the Beasts, Lylon thought, then we've already lost. A grim thought, but the truth all the same.
But all thoughts cleared from his mind as the Bannilylth broke through the cover of the trees, their battle cry filling the air. If it weren't for the savage armor they wore, Lylon may have thought this was his own people he was about to fight. He turned his full concentration on the battle, on removing his enemies one by one.
He'd lost count of how many he'd brought down, how many weapons he'd blocked, injuries avoided, when the moon was suddenly blocked from view, casting the field into darkness.
His eyes shot to the sky. The Beasts! Only one as it turned out. The green one. The Bannilylth cheered as the Beast slowly circled, then landed in the field. As it folded in its enormous wings, Lylon saw that it bore a single rider, though it had been known to bear another three. Its rider dismounted and approached. Even in the quickly gathering dark, Lylon saw the two blades across the rider's back, the feminine figure.
She stopped just feet away. "Hello, Lylon."
The prince stiffened. He knew that voice. The facial features were the same, yet not. They had been hardened by hatred, her dark eyes,still beautiful, had grown cold. He willed the memories to stay away, refusing to confront the pain they caused.
|Priya tried to hold her anger in check as she glared at Lylon. The traitor! She still couldn't believe that he had sided with their father against her. |
"What are you doing in my woods Lylon?" Her voice did not betray the hatred she felt.
"Your woods? Since when and by whose authority do you claim ownership?" The cold glint in his eyes was the only indication of the turmoil of emotions he felt about his sister.
"I am the only authority I answer to now and I claim them by right of birth." There was a note of challenge in her voice and as she spoke she drew both her swords.
|"Right of birth?" Lylon repeated in angered disbelief. "You're the youngest of us and have as much claim to these woods as I do to claim the throne while grandfather still lives."|
Priya snarled as she sank into a crouch, the feral sound coming from her unfamiliar to her brothers. Lylon reluctantly raised his sword. Despite her betrayal, she was still his blood.
With a battle cry, Priya leaped.
Lisa's legs were on fire, her breath coming in gasps. Hadn't Eron ever heard of walking?
"Wait!" she called out, as she stopped and doubled over, her hands on her knees.
"We cannot stop," Eron said. "The Bannilylth may be following us."
Lisa managed to straighten enough to look up at him. "Well, if you want to - carry me the rest - of the way, that's your choice."
Eron's green eyes studied her as she struggled to catch her breath. He turned to study their surroundings, listening, watching. This human was pathetically weaker than his own people, yet the prince insisted this woman be protected? But he would never disobey an order, so here he was.
"Where do you come from that you don't take a good long run?" he heard himself ask.