Walking on Water
As Susie sat on the ground near the river she looked a crossed it, and wondered how they would cross it. She was sure that they would come up with an idea soon enough, but she hated to take too long knowing Michelle was in danger. She sighed, "It's so lovely here" she said as she looked over at Michael and Gideon who seemed deep in conversation. "What is it?" she asked noticing the looks of concern on their faces.
Michael shook his head his sapphire eyes narrowed, "We don't know why those monsters stopped at the forest edge. They could just be afraid of daylight, or not leave the forest in general. However if it is the first we only have a few more hours before this becomes a problem" he told her seriously. "We could ride up the river and see if there is another way across but they know we are here. I believe they would peruse us" he told Susie seriously.
Gideon nodded, "I agree with him, but there is no way we can cross at this point either" he muttered. "Not unless the unicorns can part the water and then we somehow walk across the bed of that rive in time. But it looks so deep" he told her honestly. "Besides I don't think the unicorns can part water it's just a statement" he explained and shrugged. He gazed at the three unicorns who seemed to be happy to keep munching on the grass, it was clear they did not feel the danger as of yet. But that did not mean there was no danger.
Susie's attention moved back to the river, "It's too deep and to swim across would hurt the unicorns, after all its so swift" she told him seriously. She shook her head, "You know if this were like the fairytales I'd say this is the perfect spot for a Mermaid to be. I know in general books say the ocean. But this river is deep and who knows there could be caverns or something" she explained and shrugged. "Sorry, I know I'm getting off subject I just don't know what to do" she said helplessly as she looked back at them, and then noticed an odd look on both men's faces.
Slowly she turned to see what they were staring at in shock and even fear, her eyes bugged out, there peering out of the water was a woman's head. Only it wasn't like her own face, the face was willowy and thin, her eyes were massive and golden and she had sharp teeth, and on her forehead was a pair of what appeared to be antenna's with lights that glowed upon them. Susie gasped and stumbled back towards the men. "What the!" she exclaimed and then took a deep breath. "I'm sorry..wow!" she looked closer as the woman swam towards the shore and got up on the grass sitting there with her long deep violet tail, with what looked like frills of lighter violet and more glowing parts, these were etched into her tail, markings, a beautiful greenish blue light that pulsed. The mermaid's hair was long and white and pale green hair that was also glowing, it clung to her pale shoulders.
Michael had been a little irked with Susie's day dreaming, after all they did not have time to waste on silly things like mermaids, they did not exist. He sighed and was about to gently point out that they could not waste time but when an actual mermaid had appeared he had found himself at a loss for words. It was beautiful looking but dangerous too! "I..think we disturbed her" he tried to say but found it hard to speak very loud. She was so real, just like the dragon, just like the unicorns; and he was wondering just what other horrible monsters really existed in this world!
Gideon's heart skipped a beat and he watched as the unicorns approached the mermaid without fear. "Well, if they are willing to approach her maybe we should" he suggested and looked at Michael who was giving him a look that did not seem to agree with him. "Fine you two stay back...let me talk to her" he suggested. He only hoped Mermaids spoke their tongue, there was only one way to know. Slowly he approached and watched her carefully, there were others now, he could see them coming up to the surface. "I am Prince Gideon, and these are our Unicorn friends...and over there is Michael and Susie...and we're not looking to hurt you" he promised her.
Aliania smiled at the humans showing them her sharp teeth, "It is an honor to meet you Prince Gideon" she said in a lovely voice that was melodic. "We heard you mention unicorns, and then the girl Susie, mentioned Mermaids. We thought you knew about us" she admitted. "I did not mean to alarm you" she said as she sat there regally on the ground. "But I thought if you knew of us, you might be able to help" she explained. "I am the niece of the king of our people, and we grow weary and worried for our king, and a few of his subjects who have taken sick. Our doctors say there is only one cure to spare their lives" she explained. "You have an issue, and we might be able to help you, but we must ask for your help in return. We would help out of the goodness of our hearts as well, but this is a life or death situation" she explained hoping she did not sound callous.
Gideon nodded, "We can do our best" he promised, and wished with all his heart Michelle were there to see this mermaid! He knew she would be thrilled, then again if she were here they wouldn't be needing to get across the river and find her. "You see, the woman I love was abducted by an evil sorcerer...and we are trying to rescue her, and while the unicorns have been a huge help, they are unable to pass over this river as well" he pointed out gently. "I would be most grateful for your assistance, and in turn we will do our best to help. What is it you need?" he asked and watched as Susie and Michael both moved closer.
Aliania touched a hand to her heart, the pain on the prince's face broke her heart. "You truly do love her. I promise we will help you. What we need comes from the horns of a unicorn, and a special berry that is just over that way" she said and pointed. "Unfortunately we do not have legs there for we cannot get it" she explained. "It also requires three drops of human blood" she admitted. "As it was a human that somehow managed to pass this disease on to us" she explained. "Just three drops of human blood, mixed with water from the river touched by the horns of three unicorns, and three berries of reddest color, you know them as holly berries" she told him seriously. "Once the potion is made, then we can help you cross" she vowed. "It won't take long" she promised as hope showed in her golden eyes for the first time in a month. "I know it is allot to ask for blood, but it must be done and no one will find harm" she promised him. "The drops of blood must be yours, as your journey has to do with true love, we need loves blood flowing through our potion" she explained.
Gideon blanched a little but nodded, "Absolutely I trust you" he assured her. "I do not know anything about the plants you speak of but Michael and Susie might have better luck" he said flushing a little. "Can you both go find them?" he asked turning to his friends, he pulled out a small dagger, "Where is the bowl?" he asked the mermaid and watched as she produced a large bowl that was now filled with river water, and waiting the rest of the ingredients. "What order must this go in?" he asked Aliania.
Susie walked towards the direction the mermaid had pointed, "I will get the berries, Michael you get the unicorns. I am sure they understand" she mused. "But just explain it to them" she said simply as she walked away leaving Michael alone with the unicorns who were now staring at him openly. She giggled a little, it felt absurd talking to what looked like horses, and meeting mermaids, and going up against a dragon! Such an epic adventure, it had been so surreal, but it was real! That made it so very amazing, Michelle might never believe them when they told the story, she hoped one day to bring her friend back to meet the mermaids. Hope danced in Susie's mismatched blue and green eyes, she pulled her black hair away from her face and shoulders pushing it back behind her as she spotted the berries. She grabbed more than three, maybe the Mermaid would need something specifically the reddest. So she would make sure to cover all bases.
Michael turned to the unicorns, "We need you to dip your horns in that bowl" he explained, "To help the mermaids with a cure for their ill king and country merpeople" he said seriously. "In turn they will help us cross this river before those monsters return to find us" he explained. He stroked their noses, "I promise you are safe with us, as we know we are safe with you. I would not ask this of you if it was not needed" he explained seriously and smiled a little as they each nuzzled him and then moved eagerly towards the mermaid and her bowl.
"We need the unicorns first, then the three berries and at last the blood, just three drops" she told him seriously. Aliania watched eagerly as each unicorn dipped their horn in, and the water began to glow and boil as they somehow managed to do it together, then she watched as the darker skinned girl with two different colored eyes droped three of the reddest berries into the solution, her eyes moved to Gideon who held the dagger to his forefinger deciding it was the best way, he cut the top of the finger, and watched and counted carefully the three drops. As each ingredient hit the water, it boiled and glowed, and altered colors, when the unicorns had touched it the water had gone white and bright, the berries had changed it to a pale pink, and the blood had changed it to deep red like a wine.
Gideon watched the transformations, "Did we do it?" he asked Aliania as he held a finger to the cut to stop any bleeding. It was worth doing, even if it was a little gross, they needed his help and he realized a moment later even if they hadn't needed their help he would still have helped. "I hope this helps your people. How do you suggest we get across?" he asked her curiously. What would they do? He had no idea of what Mermaids could do as far as magic but it was clear they had some. He watched her hand the now covered bowl to another merperson, a male this time, who was a varation of blues and greens.
She turned her attention back to him, "Your unicorns will walk on water" she said with a big grin. "Mount up, what we will do is harden the river's surface, you only have a few minutes of time, but unicorns are swift" she assured him. "You will get there safely and by the time darkness falls those monsters will not beable to persue you" she promised him. She took his hand a moment later and squeezed it, "Thank you, you have no idea what your contribution means to me" she said seriously. "Though I am sure you have some idea, perhaps" she mused. "I hope you find this woman you love, you must let me know what happens" she said seriously. "Now you must mount the unicorns" she told him seriously.
He moved to his unicorn and mounted, and watched as Susie and the animals mounted and Michael also in turn mounted the unicorns. "I promise one day I will bring her to meet you" he vowed. "You would like her and I know she would be thrilled to see you" he promised her. "Her name is Michelle" he added. "Thank you once more for your help, I hope that the potion helps you and your people" he said seriously. "One day soon we will return" he promised her, and watched in awe as she returned to the water, the mermaids with her all raised their hands up under the water which was now full of glowing mermaids. It was mezmerizing and he almost forgot to start across but the unicorn didn't hesitate. The water took on an oddly peaceful look and true to her word it was hard, but not slippery like ice, just hard. He laughed and looked back at his friends. Susie was staring adimantly at the glowing mermaids.
Her blue and green eyes widened, and her mouth dropped, "So beatiful" she said her spanish accent was thicker than usual. She could not believe the magic they held, and the way they glowed, she imagined at night it was like watching fireflies in the water. This was more mind blowing than any book she and Michelle had ever read. No description of a mermaid had matched this at all! "Good bye Aliania" she called out and waived as they finished crossing the river, she watched as it suddenly flowed normally again. She giggled as Aliania popped up on the surface and waved to them. "Goodbye!" she called out again.
Michael had taken up the rear to make sure everyone made it across in safe timing, once his unicorn was off of the water the water suddenly flowed. It was amazing! Susie couldn't have put it any better! "After this I think I will believe most any story about creatures" he muttered. "Good bye Aliania" he called out and smiled as she blew them all a saucy kiss and then dove into the waves. "Susie, I don't know how you knew mermaids could be here, I am sorry I even doubted you" he said seriously as he touched his friends hands. "I am still getting used to the fact that these creatures do exist" he said and shrugged. "Now that we are safe, we need to travel as far as we can before dark" he said seriously. "Michelle has suffered long enough" he said suddenly feeling dread knotting his stomach for his sister.
Gideon's smile vanished and he nodded, "Yes we need to make haste" he agreed, as he recalled with a swift stab of sorrow to his heart, that Michelle was still so far away. He had hoped when Aurian had said two days that it was all it would have taken. But it seemed that they were slower than he had hoped, even with the unicorns, he knew that they could not just rush head long into Dezmond's domain, they had to come up with a plan, to make sure they could get to Michelle as undetected as possible. He stroked the neck of his unicorn, and sighed heavily as he looked to the sky, it was well past noon but he could not be sure of the time, there were no clocks nearby. "Even if we did get there tonight we can hardly attack in the night" he muttered. "We would be risking too much" he mused as he looked to Susie and Michael.
Michael rode closer and put a hand on his shoulder, and tried to reassure them both, "Michelle is stubborn, and tough, and stronger than you or anyone knows, I have seen that strength in her time and time again" he assured him. "She will be fine, we'll find her, we'll kill the sorcerer, and we'll take her home. Then you two can tell me together about this spell, and your story" he said with an assuring squeeze of Gideon's shoulders. "Now we must be going, and I agree attacking in the night would be foolish. This is a dangerous enough mission" he said seriously.
Susie smiled, "The pendant says we're going in the right direction" she tried to reassure Gideon, "We'll find her before you know it" she said and stroked Dareau's head and smiled as Lily flew to Gideon's shoulder and nuzzled against his cheek. Chirping and trying to comfort him, it was so darling to watch the lark accept Gideon as they had all come to do. Did Michelle realize just how lucky she was, she knew Michelle had tried to tell her that GIdeon wasn't prince charming, but as far as she could tell he was. He might have made mistakes in the past, but deep down he was surely a good man. He had just needed the nudge in the right direction. "We should just move forward, and we will face the plan at that time" she said and rubbed at her unicorns neck. "It's just a few more hours till night, and then we can camp and come up with a plan then" she agreed. "Now enough talking, lets see how fast these unicorns can run, I bet I can beat you both to the end of the field" she called out and urged the unicorn forward with a woop of laughter as Darua clung to her.
Michael laughed and nudged his steed into a run, "Not fair you cheater!" he cried out and was delighted with how quickly the unicorn's covered ground when they ran. He did not know what their stamina was, and he hoped this would not wear them out, but now was the time for speed, Susie was right! He laughed and watched as her long black hair streamed out behind her, mingling in with the white main of the unicorn. It was magical the way they looked together as one, Dareau did not look as happy, and Michael chuckled as the cat clung to Susie.
Gideon nudged the unicorn, though it didn't seem needed as the unicorn practically sprang into a full run on its own. Clearly eager to catch up wtih its herd members, he couldn't help the rush of admiration as the unicorn's hooves moved swiftly and gracefully over the ground. They were fast creatures, and maybe it wasn't a bad idea to have them run for a while, so long as it wouldn't wear them out like a normal horse. "Wait up!" he hollered and watched as Lily clung to his shoulder, looking a little uncomfortable, he chuckled, "You will be alright Lily, and the faster we move the sooner we will find Michelle" he reassured the lark, he smiled at her, and she seemed to calm down a little. The field came to an end before he knew it but they didn't stop, even when Susie whooped at their lose, and teased them, the unicorns seemed determined to keep going and with Susie's pendant it was best she lead them along. Soon they would find the lair of the sorcerer, and he would find Michelle and he would die to protect her if he had to. He was not going to let her pay for the crimes that the sorcerer said his father had done. She was an innocent, and he would do anything to protect her. He could not help but wonder as they rode swiftly acrossed the terrain of trees and fields, how Michelle was, and what had happened to her. He couldn't help but imagine the worst, and it broke his heart to know that she suffered in some dungeon or tower, held prisoner by a monster.
The hours seemed to meld together in a horrible torture that Michelle was getting weary of feeling. She didn't know how Celestina had kept her sanity for so long. Just a day or two and she was ready to go mad with the boredom and fear and hopelessness that filled her time. She stood up and screamed as she beat her fists against the glass. "Let us out you stupid mirror!" It hurt to hit it like this, but she couldn't take it anymore! When she wasn't being tortured by horrific nightmares that felt so real, that they ripped your heart out and left it bleeding! Then she was dealing with endless time and fear of those horrible nightmares! There was no relief! She screamed and swore and tried to break through.
Celestina grabbed her hands and managed to pull her back, turning her around she shook her head. "You'll only waste your time" she warned her. "Don't try that again. From the inside, the mirror is too powerful for us to break" she pointed out. "You don't need to waste your effort on breaking it. I tried believe me" she said seriously and stroked her friends arms to comfort her. "Shhh I know it's hard Michelle I do" she promised and pulled the woman who went from fury one moment to helpless weeping the next, into her arms and held her close. "You said it that Gideon is on his way we just have to wait. There is no other way out" she said softly. "If only I had my powers" she muttered.
She let Celestina hold her for several moments longer, and sighed as she leaned against her friend. "I feel so badly for you. I don't know how you are still sane" she said honestly. Then wiped at her eyes, "All I can think of is how badly I want to leave, and how I have no idea how long it has really been. Or what that pig is making me do! So much of the unknown is just driving me insane" she whispered and hung her head in shame. She needed to be stronger! Celestina had done it all this time alone, surely she could manage it. "I know Gideon's on his way" she said and sighed. "Thank you for reminding me" she said seriously. "When this is over I will find Dezmond myself and punch him" she muttered. "I've never gotten physical like that but he deserves it" she informed her with anger in her voice. She had to focus on something besides sorrow and hopelessness.
Celestina laughed, "Well let me join in" she said seriously and shook her head as she wrapped her arm around Michelle's shoulder and sat there with her on the ground of the mirror. "One thing I miss the most aside from my body, is the bed, or other physical items such as food" she pointed out. "It is so strange how much you miss the ordinary that you always took for granted" she admitted with a shrug.
Michelle nodded, "I miss chocolate" she admitted and giggled a little awkwardly, "But I agree its amazing what you take for granted when you have it" she said and stroked Celestina's arm, "Together we will get through this, I beleive it now, I just lost hope for a moment. Thank you for reminding me" she said seriously and hugged her close. "Together we can get through this, we can do it Celestina, we're not completely powerless" she promised her. "Hope is the strongest of all magic you know that" she assured her.
Celestina nodded, "Yes it is, and I adore chocolate" she agreed and smiled wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "You are right, power is in hope, we just have to fight the mirror making us forget it. The nightmares we've seen, the mirror takes power from our fears and our doubts, everything that ever dragged us down, whether a real event or something that was just in our mind as fear, it feeds off of it, it festers and takes what it wants" she told her seirously. "We just cannot forget again" she agreed, and then motioned for Michelle to sit with her on the ground of the mirror, "Lets talk about nice things in our past" she suggested, and smiled when Michelle willingly joined her, the two of them spent the rest of the night talking about childhood dreams and joys to help pass the time.
Dezmond walked into her room, and looked at Michelle, she was wearing a red dress, that bared her shoulders, and though she was not thin and curvy in the same way as Celestina, she was beautiful in her own way. It was no wonder Gideon had fallen so quickly for such an innocent looking maiden. Her face was round and soft, her eyes large and round with a slight almond shape to them, deep brown eyes that were accented by soft features and full lashes. He watched her turn around towards him and purse her lips. "I just wanted to make sure you were still here safe and sound" he told her and motioned towards the sword on her bed. "Don't leave that too far from yourself. That monster could be here at any time" he reminded her seriously.
Michelle frowned softly, and pushed her lose hair back, "I promise I won't leave it too far from myself, I have gotten somewhat better, but are you sure I can fight him?" she asked Dezmond and bit her lower lip nervously as she watched him. "I will do my best, but if I cannot fight him, you will be there right?" she asked him hopeful that he would not stray too far from her. He was dangerously handsome, she mused but felt she had no intensions of falling for him like she was sure many women did. She didn't need her heart broken like it had been when her parents had died.
He smiled reassuringly at her, "My guards at the very least will be there" he promised her. "I will do my best, but there are no promises" he informed her. "The only thing you can do is to keep on practicing and to remember, no matter how good you are or are not, you need to be confident and passionate when you fight. Remember, if you lose, he wins you" he told her seriously and took the sword and put it back in her hand and kissed her knuckles briefly. "You will win, I know it, I can see it in your eyes" he told her seriously. "You are quite a feisty young woman, and that is what it takes to win sometimes, to be fierce enough to take the other down. Don't lose your urge to defend your honor" he said seriously. "Otherwise the evil in this world will win" he told her. "Now I will leave you alone, I have rounds to make, to make sure he has not gotten past the boarders" he said seriously. "If you need anything Michelle, Celestina is nearby, just ask her for help" he said and then vanished in a wink.
Michelle clutched the sword in her hand, and then took it in both hands, she held it up and looked at the long silver blade, and let herself feel the weight of it. It was heavy but she was getting used to it, her brown eyes were full of determination as she turned and looked at herself in the mirror. Prince Gideon would not win, he would not take her and he would never posses her the way he wanted! She would die to defend her honor, royals got their way too often when it came to a woman they had taken an interest in. She closed her eyes and forced herself to calm down, and set the sword back in the sheath he'd given her, that was attached to a belt around her hip. "You won't know what hit you, your majesty" she sneered, and turned to walk from the room.