Grammar Garden Last Campfire Entry
As Ms. Katz concentrated on the transparent rose tinted ball, thin clouds began to form inside, swirling and growing in density until the globe was filled and opaque.
"She does know her power," Gwenc'hlan muttered.
The clouds slowed and took on color, resolving into a view of snow covered mountains.
"That's the Matterhorn!" Ms. Pat said.
Ms. Katz nodded and concentrated again. The image softened into clouds before reforming into an image of a study. Against the back wall was a curved stone with the ruler sitting on top. A man walked from the side to admire the ruler, smirking in satisfaction.
"Morfran!" hissed the High Druid.
Hont paled, as much as a phantom can, at the mention of the renegade Druid's name. "Fantom told me about him. He's more terrifying than the ruler."
"I see banishment did not help him see the truth." Gwenc'hlan sighed. "He knows what will happen to the place on which stands the academy, should the talisman remain outside the wards for too long. He stood in the circle that dedicated the academy grounds for the furthering of the art of prose and poetry."
"What will happen?" asked Cloud.
"The academy and the grounds will become a wasteland but that is minor to the effects on the world at large."
"The world?" said Ms. Pat. "Do you mean the world will also became such a place."
"No, Ms. Pat. Worse than that. The dreams of humanity, the spread of ideas and the desire to write center on the stone beneath. They radiate from there, resulting in people writing and others reading." Gwenc'hlan shook his head, tears glistening in his eyes. "Can you imagine this world without writers—without stories?"
There was absolute silence. The group in Ms. Katz hidden study shuttered, almost as one.
Someone whispered, "No, not that."
"But why would he—" Ms. Winnie asked, just as quietly.
"As the centuries passed, Morfran came to believe that dreams and storied should be controlled, and that he should decide what was sent forth from this place. Others before him had thought such things. That is why the Stone of Dreams was brought to the new world and buried far beneath the ground. New Horizons was built on the ruins of many places of learning that have stood here."
"We can't let that happen," said Breach, who stood at the door with all the students filling the stairway behind him. There was a mumble of assent from the group.
Ms. Katz snapped her head towards the stairs causing the image in the ball to fade, her brows pinched in disapproval. Her expression slowly softened, ending in a sigh. She looked up to the High Druid. "The student are right, we cannot allow the world to sink into despair. Dreams and the stories to spread them, keep hope and joy alive."
A slow clapping came from a dark corner of the room. Morfran stepped into the light holding the ruler in his hand.
"You don't think I sensed you watching me?" the disgraced druid said. Gwenc'hlan stepped towards Morfran who thrust the talisman forward holding it between his hands as if ready to snap it in half. Cloud and Hont jumped back from Ms. Winnie's dreaded ruler."
"Ah, ah, ah," he mocked. "You make me break this and see what happens."
Donna, who stood next to Breach, asked, "What would happen, that's not the stone."
Morfran smiled, looking thrilled to share his knowledge. "This talisman is the gate. It controls the outpouring of inspiration from the stone. Break it and the control is lost, all the force held within, meant to last until the end of the Earth, would be released within a day. Oh, sure. There would be many stories started, hope would abound, joy would fill the earth... for a day. After that, no more. An abrupt stop to the stone's effect. I predict the world will feel despair; like I did all those centuries locked away."
Neva, who stood on the other side of Breach asked, "You have felt despair. Why would you condemn the world if you have felt its effects all these centuries?"
"Ask your High Druid. I believe he has guessed."
All present looked at Gwenc'hlan who stared at the ruler clasped in Morfran's hand. "By leaving his place without being released, he will fade to nothing in a short time. He intends revenge."
Morfran shook his head. "Only partially correct. I offered to make all the dreams of men happy, all the stories cheerful and uplifting by altering the casting on the stone. I was rejected and will face only despair and then—nothing. I will give the world what it—and you, High Druid—gave me."
Morfran yelped and jumped back, dropping the ruler. Georgia and George sat by his legs, blood dripped down his ankles, a bite mark on each calf. Everyone's eyes snapped to the ruler on the floor. The group tensed and many started to move toward the talisman. Both Morfran and Gwenc'hlan raised their hands as if to cast.
"ENOUGH!" yelled Ms. Katz. Everyone found they could not move, frozen in place. Ms. Katz retrieved the ruler, polishing it as she straightened. She placed the inspiration gate into the High Druids hand, stepped back and looked him in the eyes. "You will take better care of this in the future."
Gwenc'hlan's eyes frantically looked around dropping to his hand where lay the ruler. His fingers had not yet moved to hold it firm. Ms. Katz stated at him as if expecting an answer. Glancing around the room seeing everyone still locked in place. She waved her hand and the High Druid jerked free closing his fingers around the ruler.
His stare shifted to the school headmistress and he whispered, "Who are you?"
Mr. Katz smiled. "Someone of whom the dreams and stories speak: whose responsibility it is to further their spread." She closed her eyes and the others except Morfran found themselves free of restraint. The two teachers stared at the Headmistress as if wondering where they would go from here.
"Morfran, you have a choice," Ms. Katz said, turning to face him. You may return to your place of banishment or fade away. Those here and all the Druid guardians will not allow you to harm men's dreams." She waited a moment and asked, "I assume you choose banishment?"
Morfran slowly closed and opened his eyes in acquiescence. Ms. Kats looked at the two Druids and said, "See to it." The phantoms bowed their heads in respect, accepting the charge.
"The Druids will please remain here. The rest of you may return to what's important: teaching and learning. I believe there are online students that need your attention," she said to the two awestruck teachers. "And you student have the final unit to turn in." No one moved until Ms. Katz said, "Well? Go!" They all left except for the four Druids. Elizabeth still stood at the door staring for a moment before closing it behind her. Ms. Katz shifted her gaze in turn to each still in the room, finally saying, "We have some things to discuss, don't you think?"
Word count: 1196