Morgan’s first thought was how could her dream have been intruded upon by such a one that stood before her. How could it desecrate this place; this place that was hers and Ash’s? A blast of wind knocked the creature back in her anger as her hand went to her pendant instinctively. In the clearing mist it showed her a different person.
“Ash?” she whispered, her vision switching between the horrible creature he was to the man he used to be. “Is that you?”
Every instinct told her to run. But what kind of lover was she, if she could not love him even in this state? Morgan stood her ground as he looked from her. She forced herself to look at what he’d become, accept it. So what if he no longer looked human and all. So what if, but a sob escaped her throat.
“Ash,” she cried, letting the barrier of air between them dissipate. She stepped towards him, light as a feather. Her hand extended out to him. “Ash,” her voice broke softly unable to contain the anguish and heartache she was feeling for him.
"Hey!" A voice broke the rapport between Morgan and Ash. "Get out of here! Go on, get out!"
Gloria came storming upon them, ignoring how dangerous the creature before her was. With a howl that Morgan felt to her core Ash turned and fled, his body blending with the mist. Morgan sobbed.
“Morgan!” Gloria came up and hugged her friend. “That beastie didn’t hurt you did it? God that thing was ugly. Hideous.” Morgan only sobbed more. “It hurt you,” Gloria turned from concern to anger. She stepped back looking to where Ash had fled. “If I’d had known I would have given him a shaking. Upside down in the air and...”
“No,” Morgan commanded and her friend turned surprised at her tone.
Morgan sighed and looked at Gloria, tears still streaming down her eyes. “That was Ash. That’s what they did to him. That’s...” Morgan turned towards the fire which flared with her anger. Turning back to Gloria, fists clenched she continued, “We have to defeat them, somehow, we have to find a way to heal him.” Her voice nearly broke into a sob again at the hopelessness of it all.
“You can do it,” Gloria stated as a matter of fact. “You healed him before, under that Oak tree.”
“But that was simpler. It was human bones and muscles and organs, this is, this is an utter transformation.”
“You can do it,” Gloria’s faith in her friend did not waver.
“Gloria!” Morgan felt exacerbated by her friends confidence. “I don’t even know if I passed my test yet!”
“But you have wings,” Gloria looked perplexed, “Didn’t Mike say you wouldn’t get your wings until you had passed?”
“Wings?” Morgan twisted her head and sure enough she could see two wings out of the corner of her eye.
“You need a mirror to see them properly.” Gloria stated. “They are Gorgeous!”
“Well water’s reflective,” Morgan pondered as the fog began to dissipate.
She collected droplets of water to herself. They laughed and danced and slowly began to form a solid surface, shimmering to become a large oval mirror.
“Look,” Morgan giggled, “it’s a standing puddle.” Then she turned from it and concentrated on making a smaller version in front of her face. “Water, water in the air, show me the wings that I wear.”
Gloria giggled with her. “They are amazing, see!?”
Morgan had to agree with her. Her wings stretched out half a meter to either side. Their golden pattern gleaming in the moonlight, matching her hair. The color of the transparent skin was iridescent, shimmering with aquamarine and violet. Her wings fluttered slightly and streaks of fuchsia flashed around the gold.
“Wow!” Morgan breathed, letting the water dissipate back into the night air from whence it had come.
“What else can you do?” Gloria began a barrage of questions. “What was the test like? Did that bully Zack Hack or whatever give you any trouble?”
“Zackary Hackensack?” Morgan giggled. “Not enough to matter.”
“So? Tell me!” Gloria bounced in excitement.
And Morgan did. They sat cross legged as she told Gloria all about the testing. She left out nothing, not like she had for her father. She told Gloria about how Zack had cheated, and how Cecil had laughed when it seemed She was going to drown.
“OOOh when I see those two!” Gloria’s hands curled into fists.
Morgan laughed. “Gloria, I don’t think you need to. I made it didn’t I and Queen Helena said I would pass and...” Suddenly Morgan stopped and her face became serious. “What happened with Sarah Morgan?” She leaned forward taking her friend’s hands. “I heard her scream, I think Dad did too. You’re not nearly as frantic as I expect you to be.”
Gloria’s face fell. Her excitement and anger faded, replaced by the deep lines of worry as she told Morgan all that had transpired. The prophesy, the two ‘boys,’ a dragon and shape shifter, coming to take the child. The way they prepared the two and let them have Sarah Morgan, how they hoped they would be able to find and rescue Ash.
“But if they don’t know about his transformation then how will they know it’s him?” Morgan looked wide eyed at her friend.
The two stared at each other, shocked by this realization. The well thought out plan suddenly wasn’t so good any more. They had sent Sarah Morgan into danger needlessly. The two friends stood as one.
“Dad and I will be heading back to Peace Island as soon as I get official word I’ve passed. You get Sarah Morgan back!”
Morgan hugged her friend before turning on her heel. She raced for the cliff. At the edge her legs bent powering her upwards and forwards as she leapt. Splaying her to slow her decent as she dived into the welcoming the water.