"Very well then," said Bariso importantly.
"If you would please follow me.." Elizabeth thought Bariso was being a bit rude, but she decided to follow him. Maggie, who seemed slightly less dazed and more aware of life in general than she normally did, followed behind.
Bariso led them over to the Hole. Which was, apparently, now a portal.
Now that Maggie was closer to the Hole, she could see that it wasn't exactly black. It looked almost shiny, like a beach ball, almost. Elizabeth tentatively reached out to touch it, but Bariso stopped her arm.
"No touching," he said loudly, and then he proceeded to mutter rude things under his breath. Elizabeth was fairly disappointed in him so far. He was the first mythical (as far as she knew) creature she had ever met, but he seemed to just switch between being afraid, arrogant, or rude.
Another aspect of Elizabeth's personality was that she did tend to judge people. Of course, she would never gossip, and she would try and behave politely, but she just had the sort of personality that was extremely loyal to some and not to others. It was one of the defining characteristics of her personality, actually, along with being mostly honest, generally pleasant, a tad meek, excellent at cooking, and only really at home with people she knew very well. And then, remember (for I am sure my tale is not boring enough for you too have forgotten already), she had this odd sort of spark in her otherwise bland, but pleasant personality- a longing for magic and adventure and excitement. Now that she was older, remember (again), she had sort of hidden that away, but it's amazing how fast magic will make hidden aspect's of one's personality come out. Elizabeth was fast becoming braver and bolder, fiercer and ruder, louder and wilder.
And she did not really like it at all.
Anyway, Bariso, in his muttering, suddenly started speaking funny words that sounded like a mixture of Chinese and birdsong, with a dash of German. Which is hard to imagine, but that was how Elizabeth thought of it. Though, in all honesty, it was probably closer to Japanese, but Elizabeth did not have much experience with Asian languages and dialects, as she only spoke English, so we must forgive her for now.
Suddenly, Bariso grabbed Maggie (who jumped) and Elizabeth (who gasped), and, pulling them by their wrists, tugged them into the Hole.
What followed was a very strange sensation.
In books (that I have read, anyway) teleportation is described as feeling a bit like being squeezed and smashed and pulled and stretched all at the same time. But that's not quite how it felt to Maggie and Elizabeth (Lord knows what it felt like to Bariso.). It was more like floating, only sort of floating in a direction. Also, you can't see anything when you teleport. Your eyes are shut and you're just floating along. Like in a pool, where you're all relaxed, but there's a slight current folding around you like a blanket and gently sweeping you to mysterious places.
After a while, Maggie spoke. Her voice sounded a bit higher than usual.
"Bariso," she said,
"Who were your parents?"
Elizabeth thought this was rather an odd question to ask. Not at all straightforward. There were many better ones, like where are we going? and who are you really? and why are you taking us?
Bariso spoke (also sounding a bit higher, but Elizabeth couldn't really tell because she hadn't known him long).
"My father was Death and my mother was Life."
"I thought it was the other way round," began Elizabeth,
"And besides, how is that even possible?"
"Well," said Bariso exasperatedly, "To be specific, my father was the guardian of death and he was there whenever anyone died. He would hold their hand while they went. It was his job, and he got a nice salary too. But he didn't know where they went next, anyway. An my mother was there when people were born, to hold young mother's hands and tell babies how to cry. My mother and father got married, and my mother gave birth to the race of dwarves, of which I am one. It is not really so complex that I need to explain it to you, is it? Humans..."
This confirmed Elizabeth's assumption that Bariso was a rude person, and Maggie didn't say anything more til they arrived.