Hi! I didn’t have my computer with me this weekend, but I still wrote down my 500 words. So, here’s a special three in one update. I hope you enjoy reading!
“Don’t upset our guests, boy,” Sannier warned her son.
“I think a gaggle of batals are way more scary than you!” Gabbie uncharacteristically stuck out her tongue.
“How about we not aggravate the people who can levitate giant rocks?” Ginger told her sister. She calmly followed Silverskin, her head held up high.
“I’m not,” Gabbie stuttered. She rubbed her face furiously and shook her head. Alastair patted her on the back and smiled.
“You’re fine, Gabbie. Come on. We don’t want to hold up Sannier. I don’t know how rock lifting goes, but I think it might be pretty difficult to keep up.”
“Oh! I didn’t think about that.” Gabbie turned to the matronly elf. “I’m sorry!” She scuttled off and was directly followed by the rest of the party. Glue Pot and Adriei were the last to take a deep, calming breath and cross over the the sturdy household ledge.
Sannier gracefully jumped onto the edge, landing on her toes, and gently dropped her hands. The rock elevator descended with ease to the very bottom of the mountain floor back to its original leveled setting. She brushed her hands together with a satisfied smirk.
“Pop right in. I’ll make a batch of stew and fetch something cold to drink. I’ll have you all rest before you meet with sub-queen Faeley. You’ll need your wits about you for that encounter.”
True to her word, Sannier went about her elaborate kitchen like a clumsy puppy attempting to make a stew. After Silverskin watched with a pinch of pent up amusement, he joined his mother in their endeavor to whip up an edible meal. Alastair and Lila decided to combine their knowledge of food, all thanks to their father’s weekly lessons, and together, a delicious meal bloomed.
“Whew, thank you all. I’m not usually the one to make our meals,” Sannier admitted.
“I make the food here,” SIlverskin said. He puffed out his chest with pride.
“Good for you,” Gabbie said under her breath.
“What?” Silverskin deflated.
“It’s nothing, right dear sister?” Ginger eyed her twin.
The twins helped dole out the stew and drinks. Digitalis grabbed utensils. The rest of the group sat around a low standing table. Silverskin set out gray, soft pillows for his guests to kneel on. He eyed Glue Pot, disappeared from the rather comfortable living room, and came back with a fluffy yellow blanket.
“Oh, thank you, young man.” Glue Pot adjusted the blanket and then kneeled on his stalky legs.
Alastair looked around the table. There were so many different faces he wouldn’t have imagined he could have dreamt of. A man with fox ears, a pretty girl with pointed ears, a fox with four eyes, two guards with bright white hair, to elves, and a centaur. Despite this, Alastair, his sister, and his friends were the ones who stuck out the most. He lifted a spoonful of stew to his lips and let the food nourish him. He closed his eyes, content for just this moment.
The room was larger than he thought it would be from within a mountain’s insides. The rock had been polished and cleaned where everything was reflected with perfect clarity. There were floating specks of rocks at the ceiling, swirling around in an image resembling a map. Alastair smiled and looked at the floor. There were pieces of rocks there, too. They swirled around the table and the guests like energetic pets. Sannier explained to her guests that the rocks were bespelled by sub-queen Faeley to aid with each family living in Rockestel. Alastair smiled. Those rocks would have been helpful if they could have done his homework for him.
“Thank you so much for your hospitality,” Tipper said once he finished his meal.
“Oh, no need. Soielle has become a dangerous place. We have to look out for one another.” Sannier clapped her hands. The rocks shuddered as if they had been struck with a bolt of electricity. Then they trundled over to the dinning taxable to clear the plates and cups. “Now, I don’t have enough room for all of you. You’ll have to do with sleeping on the floor. Rockitts, please get more blankets for our guests.” She waved her hand at a cluster of rocks that had yet to move. They shuddered again like they were nodding, and flitted around the corner of the living room.
“This is where we’ll take our leave,” Agile said. They stood up and brushed off their pants. “We need to report to sub-queen Faeley.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Sannier.” Adriei waved to the remaining group. “Pleasure meeting all of you. Will see you later.”
The Rockitts returned with comfy blankets by the time the two Royal Guards left through the back door. Alastair caught a glimpse of the hallways that ran deep within the mountain’s heart. The hall looked like the beginning of an ant maze. The image of an ant maze flashed behind the boy’s mind when he eventually fell asleep from beneath a comfy yellow blanket.
Gabbie stared from behind her blanket cocoon. She watched as her friends fell into a deep, exhausted slumber. Coming to Soielle had been an amazing dream come true, and so sleeping in this brand new world was becoming more and more difficult. There was an imitation sun in a mountain with scattering rock maids dancing on the ceiling. There was a race of elves living in rocky caves high above sea level, as if they were floating. There were crazy, lethal bat camels, a wacky forest covered with blue fog, and humongous trees with palaces built right into them. Why would she sleep?
Gabbie smelled the coppery scent of the rocks encircled around them, and she sighed in content. Truth be told, Gabbie did not see why the others wanted to go back to Earth, palace where magic was cast through electricity and apps. So mundane, and so monochrome.
“Hey. You still awake?” Came a familiar and annoying voice.
“Yes,” Gabbie admitted. She turned to face Silverskin. “What do you want?” Despite her aggravation towards the elf, she still couldn’t help but think ‘Wow, I’m actually talking to an elf!’
“Do you want to see the lake with me?”
“What? I thought the lake had a god or something in there. A not so nice god, that is.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that, too. I never saw it, though. I was hoping you’d like to go with me and find out.”
“You don’t seem to like me very much. I’m not if if I should go with you.”
“Yeah, you’re not my favorite person,” Silverskin admitted. “You seem to think that you know everything about elves when you just don’t.”
“But—“ Gabbie wanted to tell him them she never met a real life elf before. She wouldn’t have known otherwise. But if she said that out loud, her only cover of being a half-human would be blown. Not even Digitalis or Glue Pot knew about who the kids really were. So Gabbie bit her lip and let Silverskin continue.
“Still, I can see that you like it here and are curious, Just like me!”
“So what you’re saying is,” Gabbie grinned as she connected the dots, “that you never went to the lake alone and want to take someone with you.”
“Sharp as a knife, I’ll give you that.” Silverskin crossed his arms and stroked his chin as if he had a beard. “Yeah. My mother never lets me out of Rockestel or the Heights unless its with a patrol group. We don’t get near enough to the lake for me to properly see for myself.”
“What’s this god suppose to look like?” Gabbie couldn’t hide her interest. Who could say that they’ve seen a god?
“He used to be the god of marshes and lakes. He’d create marshes to make peat for his subjects ad lakes to provide bounties of fish. The god is suppose to have purple scales and huge, hypnotizing green eyes.”
“Wow,” Gabbie chirped. She blinked. “Wait, you’re not persuading me, are you?”
“Ah.” Silverskin kicked at the group. “About that. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been quick to judge you. I ended up being like the others.”
“It’s nothing.” Silverskin clapped his hands lightly. He didn’t want to wake up the others. “Anyway, are you in?”
“My sister wouldn’t want me to go,” Gabbie relented. “But since when have I ever listened to her.” The children smiled at each other in shared glee. “Let’s go find that lake god!”
‘And maybe,’ thought Gabbie, ‘I can see a merman.’ Because the description of the god sounded an awe full like one. And there was something else she couldn’t shake. Purple scales. We’re those the same as the scale they saw at the Mermaid Waterfall so long ago?
Silverskin helped his new friend up to her feet. Gabbie let the elf boy take her by the hand and lead her to the back of Sannier’s house. He gingerly opened the sliding door and hastily brought her through the opening out to the mountain’s hallways.