Hours passed since my sisters and I learned of our strange and exhilarating magic powers. Since the frightful attack of the mountain lions, we all remained alert and silent, as we walked through the dark and dank Eternal Mountains. Though they look beautiful and inviting from afar, they were nothing in the least bit like what they looked they should be.
The terrain was rough, and I could only imagine how our furry companions' feet felt; they must feel raw. And, because of the height of the great mountains, it remained virtually gloomy the entire time, unless the sun was directly overhead. It wasn't pitch-black, but it could have been dusk for all we knew. This would, indeed, be a dangerous journey. Marie's earlier words rang through my head: This is no game... It will be dangerous... It is very important that you survive... Everything depends on you... etc.
I'm cold, Sara complained.
Me too, Sabrina and I tried to comfort her, but I doubt it did anything.
Farah padded up to me, and pressed against my legs, attempting to keep me warm. Though it worked on my legs, it made the rest of me colder than before.
It felt as though winter had come exceedingly early, being it was mid August.
Is either of you hungry? Sabrina asked.
Yes, now that you mention it. I hadn't thought of food at all until now. I told her, laughing in my head.
Yeah, me too, Sara established.
Sorry, but I'm ravenous, Sabrina told us.
Well, at least our minds our off the coldness, Sara insinuated.
Great! Now I'm cold and hungry. I thanked them both.
We need to rest, and Sorry, came from Sabrina and Sara.
I agree, and it's okay, I approved and forgave my two sisters.
Just as I was getting ready to announce that we should rest, Marie beat me to the punch, by stopping silently, and getting out the water and an orange for us, then some meat for our furry friends.
My sisters and I nodded our thanks and began to eat. After we'd finished, and our water had thawed out enough for us to drink it, we continued on in more silence.
Another hour passed, and what little day light we had faded a little bit more, leaving us with almost no light at all. Then, about a half hour more and the sky had turned a bright and brilliant pink.
"It is sunset. We should sleep for the night. We'll travel just a bit further for a good place to set up camp, and tomorrow we will have passed Felix, and be half way to Anthony. If we stop in either of the two cities, we mustn’t stay more than an hour. David is getting sicker with each passing of the hour. He has maybe sixty more days left in him," Marie explained.
So, fifteen minutes later, everyone was sitting around Marie, who was trying to get a fire going.
"Let me try?" I suggested in a voice barely audible.
"Okay..." Marie handed me the two sticks she was using.
I placed the sticks with the rest of our pitiful amount of fire wood and closed my eyes, thinking hard about a fire being right in front of me. I could see the flames with my mind's eye, hear the crackle of the fire as the flames licked the wood, smell and taste the smoke. When I opened my eyes, there was a nice small fire burning.
"This won't last long; is there a way to make it last all night?" I asked Marie.
"Yes. But it requires a charm to be placed on it. I can do that if you like," Marie offered. I nodded my thanks.
Marie closed her eyes as I had done and a second later, the flames expanded hugely, turning an icy blue, only to reduce to its first size and color.
"We will need to take turns keeping guard," Marie advised as Jaen came and landed next to Sara.
"I can keep first watch. Kimberly will take second, and Malice will take the third. Then, at dawn, we can wake you," the great falcon said.
Marie nodded before saying, "I think we should be up an hour before dawn, if that's alright with you."
After this, I remember nothing in the realm of reality. That night I dreamed of such terror I have never witnessed other than in that dream.
I didn't see anything but a black darkness that pulled at me; telling me to come to it; whispering words in my ear. I was terrified. Every part of me was cold, and numb, and I felt like I was slipping away into a dark and icy sea. I tried and tried to escape, but a cold and clammy hand just kept bringing me back. There was no escaping. Out of thin air, a pair of eyes, blood red against the black of my surroundings, appeared; though there was nothing else, I could tell that the face they belonged to was smiling. A deep and gurgling laugh carried me back to reality.
Gasping, I looked around me to see a brilliant scarlet covering the sky fresh of dawn.
We've all overslept. Apparently Malice tried to wake us, but she couldn't without causing us great pain, Sara explained to me. I nodded my understanding.
The fire was already put out. Marie was gathering the bags of our food and water. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes. My dream was the only thing on my mind. I know I slept all through the night, but I felt like it was only a blink.
What's wrong? Sabrina asked, eyeing me with concern in her bright blue eyes.
Something's wrong? Sara asked curiously.
No, there's nothing wrong, I lied to them, sharply.
An eagle screeched from afar, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. Sara and Sabrina looked at me, worry clear on their faces. I shook my head at them. Sabrina shrugged, and I sighed with relief as we gathered our bags and started off in the same direction as we were going yesterday.
As we walked, I noticed Sabrina glancing at me from the corner of my eyes. She didn't say, or think, anything to me, but I could sense that she was worried about me.