I am Annalia: Part Ten

Image result for frozen fireI had never seen Tessa walk so fast. The three of us went down a bunch of corridors, torches with white fire lighting them up like light bulbs. Tessa was carrying the chair, very far ahead of us. I was doing okay, walking at a normal pace, but Liku stayed behind just in case.

The three of us were silent as Tessa quickly rounded the corner. I felt things were getting awkward, and Liku looked mortified. “Uh, Liku?” I asked. He looked down at me, his emerald eyes glazed with tears. “I…thank you. For what you did. Bringing me here. I know, it sounds stupid but…” I wasn’t sure what to say next, and Liku didn’t look any better. “If I do stay, I’ll try my best to live up to what you thought of me.” Liku breathed a quiet sigh through his nose and looked away from me.

After a couple more turns, we saw Tessa standing in the large room the mist had shown me. At the end of the room was Viallanne, sitting coldly on her throne. There were four smaller thrones on each side of her, each corresponding to an element with a human-dragon hybrid on it in their human form. The elements were plants, gems, soil, rocks, water, wind, day, and Liku’s throne: night. All together the thrones formed a U shape.

Liku went to hurry of to his throne, but Tessa stopped him. “Liku,” she said firmly. She was standing in the center, placing down the chair to face Viallanne. The large doors slammed behind us. Liku sighed and stood by the doors.

“Tessa, what is going-” She glanced at me. She had brown eyes like me. But oddly enough, even though her eyes were lighter than mine, her stare was colder. I could feel it in my veins. “Is this…R.J.?”

I opened my mouth to say something, but Tessa luckily cut me off. “No, Your Majesty. That is why we are here. Liku had told me that we were to retrieve Annalia instead of R.J. and bring her here. I trusted that he was right, but I was wrong. Liku has recently told me his story about what happened.”

Everyone was silent, staring at me and Liku except for Tessa. Viallanne returned her gaze to Tessa and went to open her mouth, but Tessa once again was quicker. “Oh! Right! Your Majesty, Annalia, she…” Tessa lowered her voice. “…she destroyed a Normwhaug.” Gasps rose within the crowd. Viallanne looked pleased, yet stunned. And a bit irritated. All eyes turned to me as they whispered anxiously among themselves. I felt myself blush.

Suddenly, the sound of Viallanne banging her scepter on the ground echoed throughout the room, instantly bringing them to silence. As soon as I saw her I could tell how she originally had ice powers. “As important as dealing with Liku is, the fate of our world is more important, along with dealing with her.” All eyes went on me again. Tessa was watching me from behind Liku’s throne, where she normally stood. “Annalia,” She pointed her scepter at the chair Tessa brought in. “Sit.”

I obeyed with fear. All eyes were watching me, examining me as a human. “So, Annalia,” She said my name as if it disgusted her. “What was it like when you were brought here?”

I panicked inside. I didn’t know what to say, or what the question meant. “Like, what was it like before I got here? What it was like in the portal? Or when I first arrived?” I prayed she wouldn’t whip me or zap me fro supposedly challenging her.

“The first one and last one. Mainly the first.” I gulped. I don’t think I was supposed to be brought into Azudacluke in that much chaos…I could get them in more trouble…But if I lie she might kill me…

“Well, I was in homeroom…my first sort-of class of school, when…when, uh,” I looked at Tessa, her face showed no hints or emotion. Liku on the other hand, was horrified. My heart even broke a bit when he nodded his head grimly to go on. “When my friend Beatrice walked into the hall and got frozen. Everyone was freaking out, Tessa was yelling at us to keep calm, then the next thing I knew the door was on Tessa, I rushed over to help her, Dragon Liku came in, froze the class, and then Tessa made a portal and Liku tossed me into it.” Viallanne’s eyes were wide. She glanced back at Liku and gave him a shocked death glare.

After a few seconds, she returned her gaze to me. “And what happened when you arrived?”

“Uh, I was in a forest full of lavender plants. Everywhere. Then Tessa told me where I was. I screamed, freaked out, she tackled me back to the ground where I was laying, then she stormed off, I ran after her, then she realized she somehow left Liku on earth, she left me, I wandered off, not too far-” I took a breath. “Then Haugliea, a Normwhaug attacked me.” Everyone started whispering anxiously.

“Haugliea, you say?”

“Uh, yeah, is there something special about her?”

“I’m not sure, never heard of her. We’ll just have to remember that when the Normwhaugs ask who you are and I’ll say you killed Haugliea. Maybe I can even mock them with it…anyway, how’d you kill her?”

I explained everything, the pain, each phase, but I decided not to bring up how I met Rohtaan. I already had an army of Normwhaugs who were against me, I didn’t need the ruler of the good people to hate me as well.

Viallanne tapped her fingers on her scepter while thinking silently. “Before we deal with you, Annalia, I’d like to deal with Liku first.” I turned around and saw him lift his head slightly. Gosh, I felt terrible for him. “Annalia, stand with Tessa. Liku, come forth.”

I obeyed and was shaking by the time I reached Tessa. I looked at her for any sympathy, but she was too focused on Liku. Her eyes were cold and squinted.

“Liku, is it true that you gave false information to Tessa and brought Annalia here instead of R.J.?”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” he muttered.

“What was that?”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” he said louder.

“Why might you do this?” Liku explained what happened the day he came with the reptile crew and how he just knew I was the one. But with every sentence he said, he grew more ashamed and quieter.

The Queen pondered upon this for a minute. “Liku,” she said. Her voice was softer than normal. “Your service up to this point has been well appreciated.” She paused. Everyone held their breath. Tessa grabbed my hand. Tears were welling up in her eyes. She was trying to look tough and formal, but it wasn’t working.

“But,” Viallanne continued. “Going against the my orders, me being the Queen of Azudacluke, is considered treason.” Tessa flinched. A tear rolled down her cheek. Viallanne stood up, now towering over Liku since her throne was raised on a large platform. “You shall be executed at sunrise tomorrow!” Her voice boomed. Everyone burst into noise. Tessa was full blown crying, her hand covering her mouth.

Liku was trembling, his face paler than snow. Her emerald eyes were bulging, staring up at Viallanne. But he didn’t say anything in return to object. I squeezed Tessa’s hand harder.

Tessa uncovered her mouth and looked at me. She actually stared at me for a while, as if she were coming up with a plan. “Guards!” Viallanne yelled. “Take Liku to the dungeons!” Two guards moved forward to grab Liku.

“Wait!” Tessa screamed. I was suddenly dragged by Tessa to the center, and she pulled us in front of Liku. “Your Majesty,” My heart was pounding even before it was about to break.

As a tear streamed down Tessa’s cheek, she looked at me before saying in a softer voice, “Take her instead.”

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Bullet: Part Eight

two hands reaching out to each other

I slammed the car door shut and buckled up. Bullet was panting, anxiously waiting for me to start the car. I really didn’t want to bring him, but he kept on whining and managed to escape with me anyways. I started the car and pulled out onto the street. I kept muttering the highway over and over in my mind, so I was sure I wouldn’t forget it. I didn’t have time for something like that. I kept feeling my pocket every ten seconds, checking that it was still there. Another thing I absolutely had no time for.

The traffic began about ten minutes after I left home. I jerked to a stop, a red minivan quickly pulling up behind me. “Sh-” Bullet started barking again, seeing a dog in the car in front of us. I groaned and slammed my hand on the wheel semi-reluctantly. BEEP!

“Hey!” A raspy voice yelled. I lifted my hand and looked for the source of the yell. Turns out the guy in the car next to me rolled down his window, and him and his wife were staring at me. “We’re all trying to go places kid! Keep it down!”

I bit my lip and furrowed my brows at him. I rolled down the passenger window slightly, and Bullet immediately tried to jump out. “First of all!” I yelled. “I’m not a kid, I’m twenty-four. And secondly-” I looked at his car. Frozen dead in place. I looked at the cars in front of me. Frozen. I turned around to see the cars behind me. Frozen.

“And what? You’re late for your date with your boyfriend?” The guy mocked me.

“Let it go, Todd,” The wife objected, lightly slapping his shoulder.

“I’ve got better things to do,” I answered. I rolled up the window and unbuckled. I hastily grabbed Bullet and flung open the car door. I hopped out and slammed the door behind me.

“Ay! Where are you going kid? You’re in the middle of the highway!” The man screamed.

“I’m twenty-four!” I yelled back, leaving him and everyone else in the dust. After running for a few minutes, the accident scene was in my sight. It looked a lot worse up close in person. The entire front of Rob’s car was crumpled inward, and the windshield was shattered, only half of it left hanging onto the car. Not to mention the whole thing was tipped on its side.  The blue truck was nowhere near as bad, but it was pretty bruised up.

Bullet started raging and barking as we got up to one of the police cars. The police were talking worriedly with one another, and one of them was talking to a tall woman with a bandage on her arm, hands running through her brown hair with highlights. Before I even realized it, a police officer was standing up in my face, and Bullet nearly jumped out of my arms. “M’am, we need you to leave now, please, and stay away from the accident scene,”

“Uh, but, sir. I-uh…I’m the victim’s sister,” I fibbed, not sure if just saying I was a former co-worker would work. I blinked my eyes slowly, trying to add some fake tears into my worried expression.

“Fine,” he eventually replied. “But just keep your distance.” He motioned for me to follow him, and I did.

“Uh, may I ask something?” I asked.

“Yes?” He turned around to face me.

“Wh-why isn’t there an ambulance here yet?  Are they both alright?” That was probably the dumbest question I asked that week. The police officer glanced over at the white car. I turned my head to look, and saw a woman in a police uniform repeatedly pressing down on something. Someone. I began to walk towards them.

“M’am,” He ran in front of me and put his hand out to stop me. I looked over his shoulder at the woman. “I need you stay away-”

“Rob,” I muttered. It was Rob alright, his usually slicked back, bright ginger hair drooping over his forehead.

“What did you say?” The police officer asked, looking dead into my eyes.

“Rob, that’s his name. Rob Maerring.” The police officer took out a pen and notepad, and started scribbling this down. “But, um, why isn’t there an ambulance?”

“The original one broke down on the way here, so one from a further away hospital is just now on its way,”

“Terrific,” I muttered shakily. I knew they wouldn’t be here in time. And I had to do something. “Wait, I think I might know how to save him,”

“Are you a doctor?” He asked.

“No, but I’ll need your help.” I handed the officer Bullet and motioned for him to follow me as I walked closer to Rob. Of course, he flipped and tried to grab my arm, but it was a bit challenging for him with my dog in his arms.

Being an idiot, I pretended to trip and drop something once I was close enough to the woman and Rob. “Oh, gosh, I’m dumb.” I turned around to face him and started to bend over. I quickly jerked back up and started rubbing my back. “I’m so sorry, I’ve been having back issues lately. Could you get that for me?” I asked. Being a good Samaritan, he bent to the ground, with Bullet, and went to grab the thing I supposedly dropped

“Wait, what did you drop-” In that quick second, I unbuttoned his gun pouch and pulled out his pistol. “Hey!” He set down my dog and quickly stood up. He whipped out his taser and went to shock me, but I put my hands in the air.

“Wait! Trust me! I’m not going to hurt anyone!” He moved the taser a couple of inches from my chest. Bullet starting barking insanely, but I kept shushing him and making sure he didn’t hurt or bite the officer by nudging Bullet with my foot. “I can save Rob with this!” I said, squinting my eyes shut.

“How?” He asked sharply. I could heard thudding footsteps and cocking of guns come up behind me.

I hesitated to ask. “Ha-have you heard of an Enigma Bullet?” I stuttered. He started to lower his taser.

“Yes,” He eventually answered. “Do you have one?” I dropped my free hand and slipped it into my jean pocket. I pulled out the bullet and showed it to him. “Aren’t they just myths?” He quickly asked, lifting the taser again.

“I-I don’t know. But I’m willing to take the risk.” We were silent. I could feel the tense energy of the officers behind me.

“Kill him, you go to jail. Save him, free of charges. Go.” I nodded shakily. I hurried away from the officers and walked towards the woman, still performing CPR on Rob. I unloaded the gun and placed the bullets in my pocket. Thank goodness my uncle was a police officer, or I’d be clueless on how to work this gun. I placed the Enigma Bullet in, not even worried about never seeing it again.

The lady kept glancing at me worriedly, and when I nodded at her, she reluctantly backed away. I looked down at Rob and frowned. He was bruised and cut pretty much everywhere, a huge gash right on his forehead, his tie hanging on by nearly a thread, and his white shirt blood stained, reeking of car fumes and smoke.

“Rob?” I said softly. My hands were trembling, the gun in my hand almost hitting the ground. I took in a deep breath and closed my eyes. “Rob. I…I wish,” Raising my voice with every word. I opened my eyes and looked at my half dead enemy, relying on just a scared girl to save him. I squinted my eyes shut again, not ready for the dreadful fate we might face. But I raised the gun and pointed it at his heart anyway. “I wish that you would live a long, healthy, and prosperous life!” And with those final trembling words…

I pulled the trigger.

 

Bullet: Part Seven

caffeine-coffee-800x450

I let out a frustrated mix of a scream and groan and sat down on the couch. Bullet hopped up next to me and started licking my leg. “Thank you for that Bullet. You sure did save my neck today.” I ruffled the short fur on top of his head and leaned my head back on the couch.

That criminal. First he betrayed me and got me fired from my job, then he makes me feel sorry for him, and then he breaks into my house! Honestly, my life really would be better off without him. 

I sighed and stood up. My coffee was still on the kitchen counter, so I went over to it and took a sip. The coffee was bitter and cold on my tongue, so I spat it back into my cup and poured it out in the sink.

“Could anything else go wrong today?” I muttered. “No coffee, I’m apparently a secret sort-of-but-not-really criminal, loud dog, that did save my neck, but also ran away, reignited rivalry, what else have you got for me universe?” I rinsed out my coffee mug and went to my bedroom.

The bullet was still there on my bed, the comforter colors bleeding through the glass. I sat down next to it and took off my shoes. Now that everything was dealt with, for now, I finally had some time to think about my wish. I mean, I could wish for anything. Money, wealth, fame, world peace; but they all seemed too cliche.

I picked up the bullet and fiddled with it in my fingers. I probably would’ve wished something by then, but the only problem was what I had to do in order to get that wish. “Maybe…oh my gosh. Rob.” I stopped the bullet in my fingers and then thought about it. “Oh my gosh! No, no, no, no, no! Dear Lord no!” I threw the bullet down and stood up.

“Okay, enough thinking for now. Let’s just…pretend this never happened and have my lazy Saturday.” I walked out of my bedroom and sat on the couch. Bullet was curled up next to the pillow. I stroked my hand on his back when he tilted his head back to lick it. I laughed and let his small tongue lap away.

A few minutes later, I grabbed the computer from the kitchen table. I brought it back over to the couch and Bullet looked at me. “Relax,” I whispered. I knew I should have analyzed the legend websites about the bullet again. But…I didn’t feel like it. Instead, I just pulled up some YouTube videos and binged away. I’m not even sure how many random videos I watched. Home decorating, DIY’s, makeup tutorials, dog training…you get the idea.

But it was in the middle of my sixteenth video when it happened. Something so crazy and coincidental that even stupid me couldn’t think of.

My video froze, so I pressed the play button. Nothing. I tapped it twice. Nope. I smashed my finger into the space bar a little under a billion times. Zilch. I groaned and clicked the refresh button. Instead of it going back to my video, it froze for half a minute and then exited out of the server all-together, returning me to my home screen. “Are freaking kidding me…” I muttered bitterly.

I re-opened the server and it brought me to the search bar. I didn’t feel like typing YouTube in again, so I went to my Favorites list. I glanced at Bullet, who looked so adorable while sleeping, right before I clicked on YouTube. But when I turned to look at the screen, my finger slipped a bit to the left and I selected my local news station.

I let out an exasperated groan right before I really looked at the screen. The main story was about a terrible car crash on a nearby highway. I clicked on the video and let it play. That’s when I really examined the two cars. One of them was a blue pickup truck while the other was a small, glossy, pure white car. Just like Rob’s. I knew it as soon as I saw it and skipped a heartbeat.

I slammed the computer lid shut and threw it onto the kitchen table. I burst into my room and looked at my bed. The bullet was still there. “I…I never shot anyone!” I picked up the bullet and walked back into the kitchen. “And…and it was j-just a thought! A dark thought. But-”

Then it hit me.

It was crazy.

It was stupid.

It was near impossible.

It was insane…

But it had to be done.

Broken Wings Still Fly

Image result for firefly magical

I am clumsy yet beautiful

A firefly flying high in the sky

Only visible in the void of the night

When people dare to admire my light

But, no one can shine the brightest

My left wing is bent, broken and bruised

Curved to the ground where the people shine too

In their own strange, greedy ways

Screens light up their faces

Day through night

Night through day

A box of wires blocking them from the meadows beneath their feet

I slowly sink lower, my eyes seeking the stars

Like drowning in quicksand

A frayed rope just inches away

I gave one last grasp towards the sky

Hopelessly falling into the dreaded fate of the norm

But she sees me and my fading green beam

Her soft hands catch me

And hold me close to her face

Electric blue eyes glimmering at me

Holding a world of her own

Her light

Lighting up mine

We hold that simple moment for a while

Our curiosity growing

And in that fragment of the universe

I then realize

Maybe I don’t need to be somewhere to be free

I need the spirit, the drive

The joy of having a light to be seen

The gratefulness to be given a chance to fly

And the trust to come back down and find my peace

I am Annalia: Part Eight

coreopsis

I gradually opened my eyes, a blur of a very light yellow right up in my face. Something cold was gently resting on my left hand. I blinked a few more times, but I still couldn’t focus my vision. Glasses. I remembered. “Annalia?” I heard someone softly whisper.

“T-Tessa?” I weakly guessed.

“Yes…yes it’s me, Tessa,” I tilted my head slightly towards her. “Oh! Your glasses.” I watched as Tessa put on my glasses and I could finally see her. Her light brown hair was up in two braided space buns, with one stand of hair left loose on each side. She was no longer in her clothes from earth also. She wore a flowy light cream shirt with the shoulders cut off and the sleeves gradually growing larger until they hung off of her wrists.

“What…what happened? Where…”

“Wait, do you remember what happened?”

“Yeah, I just…wanted t-to make sure.”

“Okay, save your breath, you’re still weak. Anyway, I’ll explain what happened since I don’t know how much you know. While I was away getting Liku, you supposedly disobeyed me and didn’t stay put,” I wanted to object, but there was no point. “So, when I came back with Liku, I didn’t see you anywhere, so I called for you. Then Liku said he heard a very faint whisper from you?” I nodded. “Okay, cool. Liku searched through the woods for where he heard you and I followed after him. We found you lying on the ground next to one of the trees. Liku opened your eyes and saw your irises were slightly greenish-yellow, so we knew you were attacked by a Normwhaug. But-”

“The trees…are they magic?”

Tessa looked at me weirdly. Seemed like everyone was doing that today. “How so?”

“When…I was attacked, my hand on the tree…deduced the pain, and was helping to keep me alive,”

“They can do that, but not very often. Only if your hand is firmly grasped on it and it senses you’re in danger,” I nodded. “Okay. Anyway, I…got upset since I assumed you were dead. No one has survived a Normwhaug attack before until now. I held you in my arms while Liku looked around for where the Normwhaug went. That’s when I felt the slightest pulse from you. You weren’t dead, Annalia. Do you know how amazing that is?” Tessa gave a quick, relieved laugh and held my hand.

“Tessa.” She looked up at me. “You know I killed it, right?” The color drained from Tessa’s face as shock and graveness washed over it.

“You…you-you…killed it?” I nodded. “It’s true. A fear stronger than itself…”

“Huh?”

“I’ll have to have the council explain. But, let me finish the story, I’m almost done-”

“Wait, Liku. Was he in human or dragon form?” Tessa looked even more shocked.

“Human…but…but how did you know…” Tessa grabbed my other arm and looked at the inside of my wrist. There was surprisingly a tattoo there: a large black teardrop with a smaller one inside. “The blessing of Rohtaan,” She muttered bitterly. “Of course.”

“What’s wrong?” Tessa looked down at her lap silently.

“I…it’s a fragile subject.” Tessa fiddled with her fingers. I tilted my head towards the ceiling, now seeing that there were daisies literally growing from it, dangling over me.

“Did…did he lead you into a dark room with red mist?” she asked kindly and sadly at the same time.

“Yeah,”

“Makes sense…Moving on, Liku shifted into dragon form and brought us here, the Court Palace. Here lives Viallanne and the council, rather than her having the castle and power to herself. We brought you here, the recovery room, and just…waited. The council has been talking for days about you. Now that I know you didn’t merely survive the Normwhaug, this will definitely prove Viallanne’s point of human’s purpose here. I mean, I haven’t been included in the meetings, but Liku has caught me up on it. Now that I think about it, they didn’t include me in the meeting when they specifically chose you…I was just whisked back to earth after receiving the message about it from Liku… Anyway, now, finally, after three long days-” I whipped my head at Tessa.

Three?

“Uh huh,”

Days?!”

“Yes. Well, sort of. Time is kinda weird here compared to earth. While three days have passed here in Azudacluke, only three hours have passed on earth.”

“Oh.” I adjusted my glasses. “I’m not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.” After a moment of silence, there was a soft knock on the door.

“Come in,” Tessa replied. The door quietly cracked open. A shiny, emerald green eye on a pale face peeked through. The eye scanned the room and quickly widened once it noticed me. The opened all the way to reveal a some-what tall young man, around twenty-one-years-old I’d guess. His hair was shaggy and furry but somehow slightly spiked up so it wouldn’t touch his forehead. That’s when his features got weird. His hair was a mixture of blue and purple, shining with stars in it. His skin was pretty pale with patches of fur the same style as his hair in random spots on his body. He wore a black t-shirt, neon blue galaxy jeans, and surprisingly, white Converse. Tessa probably got him those, that’s my guess at least.

“She’s awake,” He said, looking at Tessa. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“She just got up a few minutes ago so I was explaining what happened to her,” Tessa replied.

“Is this Liku?” I whispered to Tessa. She nodded in reply. “Liku, uh…thanks for helping to save me,”

“Oh uh,” Liku scratched the back of his head. “It was no problem, really,”

“Thanks anyway,”

“Hey,” Tessa began as she examined my face. “Are you up to walking at all? Because I should probably tell the council soon, I’ve heard they want to talk to you, especially since out of everyone in the council, only Liku has seen you so far,”

“Uh…I’m not sure.” I swung my feet over the side of the bed and shakily stood up. I immediately grabbed for Tessa, just in case my legs would collapse. What? I didn’t know the side effects to killing a Normwhaug! My legs were a bit shaky and my head somewhat hurt, but that was about it.

“Okay, I’ll have someone bring an extra chair to the council,” Tessa said.

“No, really, I’m fi-”

“Just in case.” Tessa sat me back down on the bed, and quite frankly, I was glad.

“Are you sure about this?” Liku asked. His face was extremely pale now, and I thought it was pale before.

“Why? What’s wrong?”

Liku sighed a shaky breath and paused. “I screwed up, Tessa-” Liku glanced at me worriedly. “really bad.

I am Annalia: Part Nine

Related image“Liku, what in  Azudacluke are you talking about?”

They both glanced back and forth from me to each other. Even though it apparently wasn’t my fault, they sure weren’t making it seem like that.

Liku turned around and pulled out a key from his pocket. He inserted it into the door handle and locked the door. Tessa was terrified. “Liku, what are you-”

“Please, Tessa, just let me explain,” Liku grabbed a chair from a table in the corner and pulled it up next to Tessa’s chair.

“Okay then. Start talking.”

“Okay, just, please don’t be mad at me,”

“I’ll try,” Tessa muttered.

“Okay, here it goes…uh…you know how…you haven’t been coming to the meetings lately?”

“Uh huh,” Tessa answered.

“And how I’ve been filling you in on the information,”

“Yes…”

“Well…” Liku squinted his eyes. “I lied,” he blurted.

“What?”

“About everything,”

“Liku!”

“All the information I told you was false,”

“Liku! How could you do this? Why did you do this?” Liku opened his eyes and held up his hands defensively towards Tessa.

“Okay, okay, please don’t get mad. I’ll explain, even though it sounds pretty stupid. Basically, the last meeting you went to was when we narrowed our heroes down to R.J.,” Liku motioned towards me. “Your classmate. And you, Annalia.”

I already knew that, but I nodded to be respectful. It seemed like this guy was already having enough trouble today. I wouldn’t want to put any of my secrets and facts on top of that.

Liku looked back at Tessa. “Some of the council thought you might be biased since you made friends with Annalia,”

“Seriously?” Tessa scoffed.

“Hey, I wasn’t for that. Anyway, they excluded you from the meetings, and I was ordered to relay information to you and not collect your opinion. As the meetings went on, we were still pretty torn between who would be chosen-”

“Hold on, wait,” I interrupted. “Can I stop you for a second?”

“Uh, sure?”

“I was wondering, why did you guys narrow it down to me and R.J. to save your dimension? We’re just kids!”

“Well . . . according to a prophecy that the head of the Normwhaugs said to Viallanne in a night vision–”

“A dream?” I asked.

“Yeah, whatever. Moving on, the Normwhaug said to her that only a fear greater than fear itself or a bravery that can bring down the strongest walls of this world can stop them. So, after Tessa performed a lot of research on kids and adults in your . . . county?”

“Yes,” Tessa said.

“County, she somehow managed to narrow it down to you two. No offense, but you’re not the bravest kids, but when necessary, you can be pretty tough. We would have brought both of you, but there was one problem: you two are arch rivals,”

“Oops,” I muttered.

“I hope that answers your question. Getting back on track, uh . . . right! We were debating on who to choose, and the council was leaning more towards R.J. Don’t ask why even I don’t understand. He’s just an immature brat.”

I couldn’t help but laugh in agreement. “Finally, the truth is spoken,” I added.

Liku gave me a half-smile and continued speaking.

“After a few more meetings, the council . . . the-the council,” The color quickly drained from his face. Liku looked at me, and then Tessa. “Annalia,” He looked at me. “You’re not supposed to be here,”

“Wh-what?” I asked softly.

“They chose R.J.”

“They did?” Tessa asked. He nodded. “But . . . Liku, then how-”

“They assigned us to retrieve R.J. like how we did with Annalia. But-” Liku turned his attention towards me again. “Do you remember those people that came to your school one day with all the snakes and reptiles?”

“Uh-huh,” I replied.

“I was the guy that brought out all the animals for the lady to talk about and show you.”

“Really?”

“Yup. And, I don’t know what it was, but when I first saw you . . . you had this . . . glow. Not literally, but you seemed to just, light up the room with your presence. I knew you were special. And in that moment, I knew that I would fight for you to be chosen. I tried everything for you to be chosen, Annalia, but it was no use,” Liku looked down in shame.

“So, Tessa,” he looked up at her. “I . . . I lied to you. I said that we were assigned to retrieve Annalia since she was the chosen one.”

Tessa shot up from her seat. “Liku! How could you!”

“I’m sorry, Tess-”

“Not only did you betray the queen, but you got us both in serious trouble!” Tessa glanced at me. “No, you got the three of us in serious trouble. Especially her,” I was speechless.

“Can’t Viallanne just have the pixies-”

“It’s not going to work that way, Liku.” Tessa walked past Liku and put her hand on the door handle. “Not only are R.J. and Annalia special, but they’re very stubborn. So trying to convince Annalia to do that is probably not going to work very well,”

“Convince me to do what-”

“You’ll find out later,” Tessa cut me off. I watched as Tessa grabbed a key from her pocket and inserted it into the door handle. She unlocked it and turned around to face us. Her face was fiery red with rage, but her eyes had the slightest gleam of worry.

“Come on guys.” Tessa grabbed the last white chair from the table in the corner. She walked with it back to the door and opened it. “There’s no way I’m going in alone to fix this mess.”

I am Annalia: Part Seven

Hand holding fire

I turned around and headed back to the door, my hands folded, close to my heart. I only had one question answered, and that answer sparked a bunch of new questions. I found the handle in the dark and shook it.

The door then unlocked and Rohtaan was standing outside. “Sorry bout that,”

“It-it’s fine, I guess,”

“It’s really not. I should have warned you,” I walked out of the room and down the dark hall. Rohtaan hurried behind me, fire still dancing on his fingers.

“Well, at least I mostly understand why I’m here.” We walked in silence for a moment when I suddenly stopped in my tracks.

“What’s wrong?”

“In my vision,” I snapped my fingers, trying to remember something. “That…leader, lady. Of the…council?”

“Did she control fire and ice?”

“Yeah,”

“Her name is Viallanne,”

“Okay, Viallanne. If she controls ice and fire, how come you can as well? It seems like she’d be the only one that could.”

Rohtaan seemed to tense up. “Well, I…I mean…”

“Are you related?”

“Related? Oh, no, no, no. Definitely not.”

“Then how come you control fire?”

Rohtaan looked down and walked past me. “Wait!” I said as I caught up with him. “I don’t want any secrets between us. Who knows how long I’ll be here. You can tell me. I won’t tell anyone,”

Rohtaan sighed and the hall was silent for a moment. He then suddenly stopped in his tracks. “I loved her,” I froze.

“Really?”

“Yes. I thought we were bound to be soul mates. We met in the forest one day, she was gathering berries and I was just taking a stroll. This was before she was ruler, when our land was filled with peace. As soon as our eyes met, it was love at first sight. We went on dates and got to know each other better and fall in love even more. After almost a year of dating, I proposed to her,”

I gasped. “Did she say yes? Did she?”

Rohtaan laughed slightly. “Yeah, she did alright. In fact, I gave her half of my fire-powers along with a ring made of lava, which is why she’s so powerful and has two elements,”

“Oh, makes sense,”

“And a year or so later, we decided to start a family and we had all of these wonderful dreams and plans…” Rohtaan voice began to drift and fade as the light in his face disappeared.

“But, one day, a little after she gave birth to our daughter, she got news that her father, the king, had perished. She was devastated. I was being foolish, my head up in the clouds, thinking about our future. I was too busy to care…” A tear slipped down his cheek. It looked like he had aged forty years within the past few minutes.

“I don’t remember exactly what I said, but something cruel and terrible slipped out of my mouth and…and that was the final straw. While I had gone to take a walk after we had a huge fight, she told the council that she’d accept her role as the new queen. So, I came back to an empty…dark house, with only a note and her ring on the kitchen table…” I walk up next to him and stood on my toes to put a hand on his shoulder.

“I…I’m sorry. I mean, everyone makes mistakes. I certainly do. She shouldn’t have just left you like that for one mistake,”

“Oh, no. That’s not even the end,” He said bitterly. “I immediately went to the Court Palace, where Viallanne and the council live. I guess the guards didn’t know about Viallanne and I yet, so they let me in. I begged her for mercy and to forgive me, but she refused. She wouldn’t even let me see our daughter! So, after tons of pleading and begging and apologizing, she said she had enough. So, since she said that I had ‘no conscience’, she banished me to here for eternity: keeper of lost consciousnesses.” I took my hand off of his shoulder and placed it in his hand.

“Wow, I…I can’t believe she had the nerve to do that, she sounds terrible! No offense, or yeah, uh…how do you feel about her now?”

“It’s weird. I’m mainly angry at her, but I do miss her when I think about the wonderful times we had. I guess I wish I could just turn back time to when things were good and happy.”

“I understand. I wish I could do the same.” I began to walk forwards, bringing Rohtaan with me. Once we reached the end of the hall, Rohtaan put out the flame on his other hand and sighed. That’s when I realized something important.

“Hey,” I looked up at Rohtaan. “I just realized, that as much as we want to turn back time, we shouldn’t. I don’t know if you guys can here or not, but you can’t on earth. Even though it may seem good for you back then, you never know what someone else was going through at that same time. Maybe while you were having fun with your new family, someone was dealing with a great tragedy. And I wouldn’t want to put anyone through anymore suffering than they need to. And I know you would too. So, basically, as much as we want to turn back time. We can’t. And if we could, we shouldn’t. We need to let time flow on it’s and work things out. Because, in the end, it will all be okay. Even if it’s not in the way you expected.” Rohtaan’s purple eyes glistened brighter than I had ever seen them.

“You know, you’re a lot wiser than most people would see you as. I respect that,” I tried to keep myself from blushing, but it was hard not to. Adults backs on earth didn’t say stuff like, “I respect you” to me ever. “It’s going to take time for me to fully embrace what you said. But, hey, time is on our side, isn’t it?”

Suddenly, I felt a jolt go through me as I disappeared for a moment. “Rohtaan? What was that?”

“That means you’re going back to Azudacluke, kid,”

“Really?” My body flashed and disappeared briefly again.

“Yeah. If you were dying, you’d be flashing red. But you’re flashing white, which means you’ll be fine.” I flashed three times with a grin.

“Thank you for taking me into that room so I could see what I needed to know,” I flashed twice.

“No problem. Thank you for teaching me something that I’ve needed to know for a long time,” I flashed four times.

“You’ve been super nice, Rohtaan. I’ll miss you,” Three times.

“I’ll miss you too. Don’t tell anyone this, but you’ve been my favorite visitor,” Five times, with myself blushing. I looked at my arms to see that they were now half-visible. “And hey, no offense or anything,” Six times. The room was getting darker. “But don’t try to come back anytime soon.” We both smiled as I waved goodbye and the room faded to a soft black glow.