Two worlds that have been living separately for thousands of years collide disastrously when the protectors of an ancient secret are found dead. Now, the new protectors must reset the balance. Although they are all greatly gifted, there is one that surpasses them. The only human protector, Midnight manages to overcome her insecurities as she struggles to survive in the new and unfamiliar situation she finds herself in.
The Patrons were worried. You could tell by the way they kept their faces hidden underneath their hoods, so deep that all you could really see were the tips of their noses.
When Lamilay entered the Chamber, he froze mid-step, not sure of what to do next. He wasn't used to this kind of atmosphere, even if he'd been around Goblins for 200 years.
"Well? Speak up, boy!" a voice broke the silence like a thunder.
Lamilay shuddered but didn't say anything. He wasn't sure it was the right thing to do. There was a moment of deafening silence, and then the sound of water caught the Elf's attention. Someone had spilled water on the floor, to allow the Mermaid to join the Council.
"Lamilay? What news of the Keepers?"
The Elf swallowed and finally spoke:
"Dead." his voice broke off at the end. "One missing."
"This is an outrage!" someone shouted and more voices joined in. "How was this even possible? Who is responsible for this mess? Let him come forward and be punished!"
"Patience, my good friend Arragus. Patience.."
"The time for patience is long gone, Marcus, long gone! It's time for action and reaction..." but he broke off as the man named Marcus rose to his feet. He was the only one not wearing a hood over his face. He had a long, dark blue beard that must have been about 3 feet long, and his cloak was black and golden, falling in waves at his feet.
"Still, I must insist on your being patient. What good is it to curse every other man, when we have no proof against anyone?
Arragus looked ashamed and ever so slightly irritated.
"Nonsense!" a woman's voice cried over the voices of the others. "You know..we all know who it was. And for you to claim otherwise...it's...it's...outright scandalous!"
Marcus opened his mouth, but another voice cut him off:
"Still, even if it was Zarina, it would do no one no good to go after her unprepared, when she obviously has more power than we originally considered, Valrya. We should at least have a plan.."
"I believe that you do?" a small, blue-skinned man with a crooked nose and glimmering black eyes said, looking at Marcus. Everyone was quiet instantly.
"WE WHAT?" the voice all said in unison.
Almost like an answer to their question, the doors opened once more . The mist entered the room, and along with it, an old woman with a baby in her arms, supported by a young, beautiful maiden with jet black hair filled with stardust.
The old woman spoke at once, her voice unexpectedly strong and arrogant, for she was the eldest of them all, the wisest one they all depended on.
There was another stunned silence.
"You fools!" the old woman cried to the Patrons. "This Witch has turned you onto one another! You're weak, but your pride blinds you so badly that you can't see anything. You think you can defeat her...well I'm telling you now: you won't! Not now, at least."
The baby in her arms started crying; the young girl picked him up and rocked him gently.
"But...maybe..." the mermaid shot a glance at the baby."In the...future?"
Right then and there, the baby stopped its fussing, its eyes directed to the one who had called it by its name. There was a bright flash of light and the baby's eyes turned from dark blue to deep black. There was a voice that came from nowhere in particular, and the mist started rising, taking the Patrons away from the Chamber, and into a meadow, where a little girl was picking flowers. She looked about seventeen years old, her hair a fiery red tinted with orange, her skin pale and her eyes the deepest, truest green there was. It was an odd combination of physical traits, none connected to the other, but somehow they looked harmoniously beautiful on the girl's oval face.
"Midnight! Where are you? Come to dinner! Oh...what lovely flowers you have there!" a woman cried out to the girl, as she turned and ran back home, a cottage right at the base of the forest, built into the mountain.
The mist rose once more and the girl was gone. The Patrons were back in the Chamber. There was no speaking for a few moments, everyone pondering upon what they had seen, all thinking the same thing, stupor written on all of their faces.
"But she's...a...she's not a Lost One!"
"Isn't she?" the young girl spoke for the first time. "And you say that simply because she doesn't have pointy ears, Valrya, or half the body of a horse, Arragus, or the tail of a fish, Aphariel, or the hard skin of a dragon and the power of transformation, like Marcus, or perhaps the blue or red colored skin of the Goblins and Elves, then she can't possibly be magical? You forget where you came from!"
The words seemed to have somewhat of an effect on the Imp Faerie, because she bowed her head and was silent at once. Then, everyone looked at Marcus, impatience still written on some faces.
"Marcus, do you think it wise to wait for seventeen long years?" the Centaur Patron Arragus asked, but his brother merely smiled and continued to stare at the girl with stardust in her hair. She shook her head once and some of it fell on the floor, where it turned to a thin layer of silvery water. There was a sound of a baby crying, but not like before. It was...almost common...plain. Almost.
"Oh what a beautiful girl you are! I wish your mother were still here to see you. Here you go, drink this, it will make you feel better."
The watery surface reflected the face of and older woman, her fair skin wrinkled in most places, holding in her hands a baby with sparkling green eyes. Then, the woman vanished and the silver water turned to mist.
"The child was born at the last Tween hour."
There were several gasps, as the information began to sink in. A few members of the Council let their hoods fall from their faces in surprise. The young girl continued:
"You know the legends better than anyone. If a Lost One dies, and their power does not find another magical body to reside in, it will pick whatever body it can find. The Keepers died at Tween. There were five Keepers, but only four children were born in this world at the time. That left one power unprotected, and it was naturally drawn to the girl."
There was another long pause, as the voice of the young woman echoed softly.Then someone spoke:
"This is madness! A power bestowed on the Tween..."
"Is twice as great, as are all things at that time of existence."
"But the girl is in danger, then. We have to do something, Marcus, for the sake of sanity itself! If Zarina finds out about her, she won't last another two heartbeats."
"Zarina is an issue that has already been dealt with" the old woman said, thoughtfully. "Yes, the girl has power, but she is not aware of it, for powers only work inside this world. And as long as she remains where she is, she will be safe from harm. Zarina won't be able to sense her in any way. And even if she did, she still couldn't harm Midnight until the Tween of her seventeenth birthday, for she cannot take away a power until it becomes active and to kill the bearer of such a thing will destroy all the force within them. That is something that even she cannot afford to do."
"So what do we do until then?"Arragus asked, impatient once more.
"You wait, as you have already been told!" the old woman snapped at the Centaur. "But be warned: the girl will be fiercely protected by that which she holds within her, for now. But on the very moment of her seventeenth Tween, that very minute of it, she will be as vulnerable and defenseless as any other of those humans. Zarina also knows that."
With those final words, the woman, followed by the young girl with the baby in her arms, walked through the big brown doors, mist crawling after them all.
"So we wait." the Head of the Council said, sitting back down in his seat.