Rowan and Lily grew up in the small town of Lardon. They were well protected by their parents and by day lived rather sheltered lives, but at night their true selves show. But one night the unexplainable happens, leaving one sister on the brink of death and the other missing...and it isn't until several years later does the truth finally come to fruition.
"Come on Rowan!" Lily hollered up to her.
She was all ready on the ground, waiting for her, albeit impatiently. Rowan clung to the railing of her balcony for dear life, her arms beginning to feel like jelly. Everytime she looked down her stomach wrenched and twisted into several knots. The ground was so far away, teasing her. Lily crossed her arms and began to tap her foot, a signal for Rowan to stop playing around.
"I'm leaving without you!"
"No, don't!" Rowan whispered, nearly losing her grip.
She swallowed hard before she swung her leg over and pressed her stomach to the rail as her other leg came over. She shimied around the corner before, and slowly turned around to face the tree that was behind her. She watched as a gently wind made the branches and leaves sway, before she leaped off and went crashing down.
Luckily she had managed to grab a branch, halting her descent. She looked to the ground below and then over to her sister. "Do you think I'll break something if I let go?" she questioned.
"Ugh, Rowan, stop worrying so much and get your arse down here,"
"Rowan I swear you'll never get far in life if you don't stop worrying. Have a little backbone!"
Roan sighed and frowned. Everyone had told her that she never truly understood what it meant. When she had asked her father what it meant, he snapped at her and told her to stand in the corner. The corner was her biggest foe.Well beside her bossy older sister.
Finally getting up enough nerves the small child dropped to the ground with a hard thud.
"See! That wasn't to bad!" Lily said making her way over.
Rowan looked up at her older sister who towered above her. Lily was a foot or so taller than herself and her long black hair hung in ringlets that came just past her shoulders. Dressed in a snug pair of trousers and a neatly knitted sweater, she looked older than she actually was.
Rowan was the exact opposite of her sister her. Her hair was long and flowing, the color of rich chestnuts. Where here sister wore pants and a sweater, she was dressed in a dress and a pair of leggings that her mother had picked out.
"Ok,now that your out of that lovely tree, how about we go meet up with the others?"
"What do they want? Everynight they want us to come out and we don't do anything!" Rowan snapped at her sister.
"For one it's fun. Two we don't have to listen to adults and three Lardon is our domain!" she said as she stretched her arms into the air.
"No, it's not! Lardon-"
"Don't start! Now come on let's go!"
Lily grabbed her little sisters hand and pulled her down the hard cobblestone street of Lardon. The city of Lardon was quite beautiful, but when the darkness comes the city is dangerous and dreadful. Every shadow looked like a kidnapper. Every noise was the sound of a shotgun going off. Everything was cold, unlike Lardon when light filled it's veins.
She shook all over before she clung to her sister who just sighed and continued to plow down the street. They wove their way through the twist and turns of the city, before arriving at a rather dark alley. Weeds and trash covered the ground in piles and the stench was overwhelming.
Why can't we find a better smelling hang out? Rowan asked herself.
Coming to a stop, Lily finally let go of Rowan's hands and crouched down, beginning to look through the tall grass. There was a moment when curses flew from her sisters mouth, but suddenly she hollered, "Eureka!"
She pulled up a can and Rowan watched as a string raced up the side of the building. Her sister tugged on it twice, before they heard a loud clanging from above, and a rope and ladder dropped to the ground in front of them.
Dropping the can Lily, proceeded to climb up the ladder, that took her half way up the side of the building and then took hold of the rope and pulled herself up the rest of the way. Rowan followed after her, but instead of climbing all the way up, she steppd onto the first rung of the ladder and banged it against the wall. It shook foor a moment, before she was pulled up into their hideout.
Reaching the attic of the building Rowan found her sister all ready getting caught up on what was to be another boring night of running around the streets of Lardon. But something felt odd, all most out of place. She shook for a moment, before she felt someone tap her.
"Is everything all right?" Cole asked.
"Yeah, everything's fine,"
"Good, so are you excited?"
"For what?" Rowan questioned.
She prayed to God that he wouldn't say something about his eighth birthday and go and rub it in her face, because he was a year older than her. Instead Cole just smiled and ran a few fingers through his short blond hair. He turned around on his heels before sitting beside the twins who were playing one of their ridiculous games.
Today it involved the two having some extreme staring contest and playing rock, paper, scissors at the same time. Rowan decided to take a seat and watch the unfolding action, making a bet with Cole that Moran would end up losing. That was usually the case, considering Miranda was a pro at games like this.
After she sat down, it didn't take long for Moran to give up and walk away to cry. Cole and Miranda broke into a fit of laughter, that only ceased after Lily and X told them to. X was the oldest in the group, and by far the most mature. When the group first started he said, that whoever was the oldest, should lead them. Amazingly they had all agreed on him. In fact Lily was the first one,considering she had had a crush on him, since they were in diapers.
"All right, now that you guys have quieted down, we are going to change up the gameplan just a bit. Considering that we are kids, and we know just about everything, it is impossible for adults to keep anything from us. The famous Randolf is coming to town night with new and luxurious items and we are all going to pitch into get something,"
"Yay!" Moran and Miranda hollered at the same time.
"So what are we going to get X?"
"Hmmm...that is a good question. Actually he is suppose to have some sort of magic box or what not. Whatever, we'll see when we get there. Now hurry up and grab a hand full of money and let's get going,"
They all took a handful of gold coins and then made their way down to the ground. Quickly taking a look around the group made their way through the back streets before arriving at the town square where the famous Randolf was entertaining a crowd.
Randolf was a stout man with a mustache that curled upwards at the end. He had a double chin was clearly balding even though he tried to hide it under his rather large hat. Rowan looked him up and down before their eyes met and she cowered behind X and her sister.
"Cut that out Rowan!" Lily said.
"Let her be," X said with a grin as he watched the crowd.
They ooed and awed at everything that he had. His inventory was filled with different potions and such. A large mirror was in the back of his stand, which a woman was trying to get at a lower price. After a while of waiting the crowd dispersed and they decided it was time to seize there prize.
X took the lead and quickly said that he should do all the talking. Lily disaggreed but with one look from X she was put back in her place.
"And what can I do for you children?" Randolf asked, not even turning around.
"It would be nice if you turned around and spoke with your best customers!" X said sternly.
"Oh, X! Oh I see the rest of the crew is here as well. I thought you guys had forgotten all about me!" he said with a chuckle, his large belly bouncing up and down.
"Please, we would never forget you Randolf. So what do you for us today? Show us the goods!"
Randolf grinned, opened atrunk and began to look through it. He tossed things aside, the items scattered across the floor. He cried out after a few moments and turned around with, holding a small box in his hands. All at once the childrens eyes went wide and they all reached for the box. But as Rowan looked at it she saw a strange purple glow surrounding it.
She took a step back and shook her head back and forth. Randolf's eyes focused on her for a moment before he grinned and crouched down in front of them.
"This my sweet little friends is one of the last artifacts from Salaka,"
"You're pulling our leg. This can't be from Salaka, no one has ever found it!"
"Are you so sure of that? Why don't you take a closer look at the insignia..." he trailed off.
X raised and eyebrow, and then took the box into his hands. He turned it around in his hands before he found the insignia and nearly dropped it to the ground. Their right in the front of the box was the insignia of Salaka. It was an intricate design of flames, wind and earth and all along the bottom was the water. Small purple orbs represented the magic that followed through Salaka.
Is this really from Salaka?Did Randolf really find the forgotten city? Rowan thought to herself.
"Careful son, this thing can go for alot of money..."
"How much?" X asked.
"X, don't buy it!" Rowan spoke up after being quiet for the entire time.
"Why not?" X snapped at her.
"Theirs something on it...no around it....X you can't buy that..."
"Rowan what the heck are you talking about?" Lily asked turning towards her sister.
"Don't mind her Lily," X said, before he turned back to Randolf," How much for it?"
" 200 gold coins!"
"Really, is that how much those archieologist would pay for that?"
"No, but I believe that these items belong with the young and the strong,"
"That doesn't make sense,if you can get more money for it from those archieoligist, then why not sell it to them?"
Randolf raised a hand to stop X before he cleared his throat. Rowan stepped closer to Lily and wrapped her hands around her sisters arm. Lily tried to fight her off, but Rowan clung on for dear life, as Randolf began to speak.
"I'm one of those people who believe that the children are the answers to the past. Many do not believe that. But in many cases it is children that through all means unlock the powers to the past and I believe that you all will be able to unlock these secrets. That is why I want you all to have it,"
"Do you really think we can figure out the secrets to this?" Rowan sakded quietly.
"Yes, yes I do," Randolf said with a gleam in his eyes, now, if you guys have 200 gold, let us have this exchange,"
And so the children continued several pockets of gold and luckily they had just enough to buy the box. Randolf smiled and depoisted the money into a large trunk before turning back towards the children.
"Oh yeah, I suggest you try and use that box tonight. I have heard that things like this only work on full moons,"
Rowan instinctively looked towards the sky and sighed. It was a full moon tonight. She cursed beneath her breath and readied herself for what would turn into a long night and the beginning of the end.