Monday, September 6, 2010

Morgana Continues!

The next three chapters of Morgana follow.  First, though, I'd like to make note of the fact that I started a new short story last week, alleviating my fears that revisiting this catastrophe would permanently stunt my writing.  Anyway, onward:

Chapter Three
    The ball was nearing its end; only one event was left: star reading.  The reading of the stars was the most exciting part of every centaur gathering, but tonight, there was only one message.
    “Morgana Stargazer, the soon-to-be warrior will be sent on a quest with a dragon and a fairy.  She shall be a heroine for all eternity.”
    All eyes turned to Morgana; she couldn’t be a warrior.  Only men could be warriors!  Morgana felt her world crash down on her as the stares and rude comments kept coming.
    “Calm down, my friends!” Morgana’s mother shouted over the noise.  “Morgana can’t be a warrior, so we must be reading the stars incorrectly.”
    This seemed to soothe the centaurs, so gradually they left the ball, leaving Mrogana alone in the clearing.
    Though Morgana was crushed, she wasn’t staying away from others out of shame; she had noticed something else.  Next to the spoken star message was another one.  Some sixth sense told her that no one else had been able to see it; it was meant for her.
    Morgana scanned it quickly, and then write it down on a small piece of parchment. It appeared to be a riddle.
    Straight away to the North,
    Keep the rising sun to your right,
    And the setting moon to your left,
    Sleep as the stars dance at night.
    Three weeks on the path you’ll be,
    Until you arrive at the guarded gates.
    Go straight away;
    Your destiny awaits!

*    *    *

    Morgana realized immediately that she must run away.  Her mother would never give her permission to go on a quest.  Nonetheless, she was hesitant to leave her family, friends, and land.  She sat on the cool grass and pondered the inevitable deed.  She had no choice; she had to go.
    The centaur grabbed her cloak, enough provisions for three weeks, and the family sword.  Morgana’s father had not taken the sword for fear the sly dwarves would rob him.  Nonetheless, the sword was said to possess magical qualities to those who used it wisely.  Unfortunately, Morgana had never even held a dagger before, let alone the family sword.  Still, something told her that she would need it, even though she would have to steal it.
    At around midnight, Morgana set out on what would be the greatest adventure of her life, but first, she had to do something.  Hiding behind a bush, she pulled out a piece of parchment and a pen and began to write.
    “Tell no one about the contents of this letter.  I must leave.  I would tell you where I’m going, but I’m not sure myself.  Tonight’s message was no mistake.  Pray for my safety and know that you will always be on my mind.  I will come back safely, so try not to worry.
    “Love, Morgana.”
    Morgana slid the letter under the door of Thomas’ house and stole off into the night.

Chapter Four
    Morgana had been traveling through the Myst forest for almost a week.  Other than direction, Morgana had been ignoring the stars’ message.  They had said to sleep at night and travel by day, but in all good adventures, the hero traveled at night so as not to be seen.  Besides, Morgana couldn’t think of anything dangerous at night that wasn’t a threat during the day.  So she traveled by night.
    All was going well until her seventh night of travel.  Morgana had been casually walking through a clearing when two huge trolls grabbed her!
    “Unhand me, you brutes!” Morgana cried in fury.  “Put me down in the name of the Stargazers!”  She paused to view her captors and gasped in horror.
    Trolls, as you probably know, are very ugly creatures.  Morgana had only seen pictures of trolls, and was hardly prepared for the sight.  The troll that held her was about 25 feet fall and was covered in brown scales.  Two pointy horns grew behind a pair of tattered ears.  Yellow, deadly teeth filled its gaping mouth.  The other troll looked the same, but was slightly taller.  It promptly grabbed Morgana.
    “What an interesting little horse we have here, Oog,” the taller troll remarked. He was obviously the leader of the two.
    “I’m not a horse, you monsters!” Morgana screamed.  “I’m a centaur!”
    “What’s a centaur, Uug?” Oog asked.
    “I’m not quite sure.”
    While the trolls were occupied, Morgana clumsily drew her heavy sword.  “Let me free,” she stammered, “or I’ll slice you both into ribbons!”  While she said this, she raised the sword and swung wildly.  When she finally stopped, she realized that the most mortal wound she had inflicted was a small nick on Uug’s finger.  In her dismay, she again flung the sword, which caused it to fall to the far-away ground.  The trolls glanced at each other and burst into laughter.
    “You are the most pathetic horse that I have ever seen!” Oog chuckled.
    Morgana was too exhausted to correct the trolls.  She simply groaned in protest.  The trolls examined Morgana with a childlike curiosity for several hours.  But in their interest, they forgot the most important rule of trolls: if a troll is in direct sunlight, they will turn into stone.
    Morgana had just been falling asleep when the hand that held her grew tighter and she heard a shriek.  She opened her eyes to a bright morning sun and Uug and Oog statues of rock.  Unfortunately, she was now stuck in a hand of stone.  She was also very cold.
Morgana dug her fingers into the pockets of her cloak and gasped in surprise – her crown!  Somehow it had ended up in her pocket, but Morgana had never been happier to see it.  Slowly and carefully, she began to chip away at the stone fingers with one of the crown’s diamonds.

Chapter Five
    It had taken Morgana two weeks, but she had finally reached her destination.  Morgana hadn’t been sure what to look for.  She envisioned a large building where all kinds of creatures gathered in times of joy and crisis, but she didn’t know what to expect.
    As Morgana walked up to a humongous set of gates, she stared in awe at the building she was to enter.  It was like a castle!  There were hundreds of pillars, windows of stained glass were everywhere; meadows and brooks surrounded it all.  Towers jutted out in just the right places, and a faint song could be heard from within.
    “It’s like a dream…” Morgana gazed in wonder.
    “That’s what many people say about the Embassy of Drynthia.”
    Morgana was jerked into reality and looked at the speaker.  It was a male fairy; Morgana had never seen one before.
    “I am Ravion, the guardian of these gates.”  Ravion flittered his large, clear wings several times.  “Are you Morgana Stargazer?  How did you get her so quickly?  The notices were just sent out yesterday!”
    “She’s a centaur, Ravion!  She read the stars and left ahead of time!”  A woman fairy had emerged from the building, turning towards Morgana she said, “My name is Olivia.  This is my brother.”  She pointed at Ravion and continued.  “You don’t even know why you’re here, I assume, but no matter.  Come with me.”
    Morgana followed Olivia obediently into the “Embassy of Drynthia.”  Whatever Drynthia was.

*    *    *
    Morgana had been left alone in, Olivia had said, the Embassy’s humongous library.  While snuggling on a large cushion (centaurs use these as opposed to chairs), she read the letter Olivia had given her.  The fairy had said it was an extra copy of the letter everyone else had received.  Morgana unfolded it and read:
    “Evil is abroad in the land, and it is very near the land of Drynthia.  Goblins, vampires, wizards and other such evil have banded together and formed an enormous army.  But the worst is their leader, a wizard.  His plan is to take over the world of Feary.  Then he can make all good creatures become slaves and serve him.  If we are to overcome them, we must join forces immediately.  I ask you to send one of your people to the land of Drynthia.  Others have been sent for and when everyone is here, we will have a meeting and tell you what you must do.  Consider: separate we become droplets of water, which can be scattered with the flick of a hand.  Unite us and we become a river, even able to wear away large rocks.
    “Sincerely, Lillia, Queen of the Fairys.”
    “Interesting, isn’t it?” Olivia had walked in unnoticed.  “Every letter was a little different.  Yours, of course, would be personalized, but this is an extra copy.”
    “Is it true?” Morgana asked meekly.  “I mean, about the war?”
    “Every word of it.”
    “That’s why we summoned you all: a centaur, a dragon, and a fairy.”
    “But why those exact creatures?” Morgana shuddered at the thought of a dragon.
    “I think that it would be best if you wait for Queen Lillia to tell you at the meeting.”
    “Oh.  So Drynthia is…”
    “Our country,” Olivia said with pride.  “The country of the fairies.  The Embassy is equally amazing because it is different to everyone who sees it.”
    “The Embassy was built with many spells.  One was that it should appear however you want it to.  For me, it is a large cottage.”
    “For me, it’s a castle.”  Morgana had never learned magic (centaurs frowned upon it), but she was growing excited at the thought of a building made completely of the stuff.
    “The inside is splendid to all.  The Embassy has almost 500 rooms, but you never get lost.  More magic, I suppose.”
    The two talked for hours about many things.  Finally, Morgana’s head began to droop and Olivia’s voice became slow.
    “I’d best show you to your room,” Olivia yawned, and they left the library.  After numerous twists and turns, Olivia stopped and opened a door towards the end of the hallway.  “Here we are.”
    Morgana gasped in amazement at the sight that lay before her. Her room was beautiful.  It contained a large, deep green canopy bed (specially made for centaurs), a corner of purple cushions, a small oak desk (with quill, ink, and paper), and a full length mirror.  On the wall that Morgana’s bed faced was a tapestry of what Morgana figured was (and she was right) the history of the Embassy of Drynthia.  But the most splendid of all was the balcony.  Great double doors swung open to a rounded balcony.  And the view!  As if in a dream, Morgana trotted slowly across the softly carpeted floor and stepped out.  She could see a small stream surrounded with heather.  Further on, she could see many meadows and beyond that, the beginnings of a forest.  Looking even farther, Morgana saw the outlines of mountains with snow-covered tips.
    “It’s…” Morgana stumbled to find words that could properly describe this paradise she could now call ‘her room.’  “It’s perfect!” she finally managed.
    “I know.  Everything about this place is perfect.  Maybe that’s why we’re in grave danger.”  Olivia turned and Morgana saw her brush away an escaping tear.  But she heaved a sigh and smiled again.  “Feel free to explore the Embassy tomorrow.  Almost all of the doors are unlocked unless someone is using it as their bedroom.  Breakfast is at ten in the Great Dining Hall.   You’ll know where it is.”  Olivia winked.  “More magic. Goodnight.”
    Morgana bade her friend a goodnight, but didn’t sleep yet.  Something about the tapestry was odd to her.  Morgana stared and thought, but she was too exhausted from her journey and soon gave in to sleep.



Erica said...

I have just realized how very fickle Morganna is. I'm pretty sure, despite her promises, she never gives poor Thomas a second thought. For shame.

Anonymous said...

I think her heart is constant until "hot guy" #2 strolls on to her balcony. Sigh. Women.

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