The first two chapters of book two

1

Awakening

Time had passed over the body but it had no effect on the flesh. The motionless man remained youthful with fair hair that had once turned golden in the sunshine and skin that gleamed like bronze. Despite appearances the young man was over one hundred years old and even less obvious was that he was perfectly safe and healthy due to the spell that had been cast. While thousands of suns had set and an equal amount of moons had shone through the night, no physical age was added to the almost dead body as he slept soundlessly in a state of neutrality.

Clocks around the countryside started to chime the end of yesterday and the beginning of a new day but they also rung for the hundredth year since a man had been put to rest. Beside a little country village the night seemed to take a breath and hold it. A pair of brown eyes began to open and blinked in the candle light of a room they felt they should remember. A green star surrounded the pupils and fanned out into the coffee coloured iris’ but the more they concentrated the less they could see.

The man rested on a red sofa with a matching cushion under his head. A large pine table reached across the room and displayed a full dining set made of china and crystal. It was all his but his focus on the objects was blurred by someone standing close to him. He strained to see who it was but could only make out that it was a woman of some sort.

“Welcome back, Patrik,” a voice said. The man felt his head beginning to ache and his body turning stiff. He repeated his name as he started to remember but a thought stayed in his mind as it had echoed through his head for a century but was never fully clear. Laughter filled his ears and he saw faint dancing images of his last thought.

“What is happening?” he cried as he swung his legs down to the floor and cradled his head in his hands. Confusion and pain filled him but the voice spoke plainly and unaffected by his wail.

“You need to eat.” Patrik looked up through unreasoned tears to see the shape of the woman move towards an antique chair and pulled it out for him to sit.

“I can’t walk,” Patrik said in a gravely voice. He realised that he could not feel his hands on his legs and that his entire body was numb.

“You need to eat,” the woman repeated. The weakened man hobbled across the floor and fell into the chair. Fruit was placed on the delicate china plate and wine was poured from a silver jug into the crystal glass. Patrik reached out and felt a tingling sensation as his fingers pressed around a grape. He ate it then hungrily stuffed more fruit into his mouth but he could not taste it.

“Where am I?” He asked between mouthfuls.

“Home. This is your house and your furniture. The food you are eating is from your own orchard and the wine you are drinking is from your own vin yard.” Patrik swallowed gulp after gulp of red wine without sensing its flavour.

“Why can’t I taste anything?”

“Because your other senses have not yet caught up with you. I believe you can’t feel or smell anything either. You magic will come back too but you should wait a while before using it.”

“Magic?” Patrik asked and spat out a pip from a juicy cherry.

“Of the Water element. You have been gone a long time.”

“Where have I been? What happened to me?” The woman did not explain but watched while Patrik scoffed as much as he could without feeling its sustenance. The memory that played over in his head suddenly flashed into his eyes and he choked on a grape seed as his mind became clear.

He remembered being in a boat on a river with the sun beating down overhead. There was another man in a second boat beside him laughing and racing him down stream. Patrik fell behind and used his pole to push his companion off the boat in jest. He lost his balance and fell smiling into the cool waters that cascaded out in crystal droplets.

Patrik opened his eyes and blinked as the memory sunk away into his subconscious.

“He didn’t drown,” he said in almost certainty.

“No he did not.” Patrik pinched his brow in pain as the pressure inside his head grew to a splitting ache. He massaged his skull but it had no effect. “I see your sense of touch is coming back.”

“Yes but only in a form of pain.” His words began to slur and he felt the lull of natural sleep pulling him into dreams. “Who are you?”

“You need not know my name but know that I am a Sprite and I offer you one wish just like I gave the woman who used hers on you.”

“Someone wished me to disappear?”

“No. She asked that you be spared from your fate.”

“What fate?” The wine was effecting him and helping his body to relax and drift into sleep. He rested his eyes but listened to the woman who seemed to know what had happened to him.

“Inarshia. You succumbed to that which so many fall under because they take their gift for granted and then blame it as a curse. You are healed but you must control it for there is no other to make a wish for your safety.”

Patrik could ask no more questions as he had fallen asleep. The Sprite looked at him and tried to figure out why anyone would love him enough to waste a wish on him. He was definitely good looking but he was also abrupt and slightly anxious. Maybe the other woman had enjoyed his insecure nature and his constant need of her made her feel loved. Wealthy, intelligent and sensitive, Patrik would have been a fine catch for a woman but while his eyes were as creamy as chocolate the Sprite knew that inside he was bitter.

The reborn man slept through the night in the uncomfortable chair then awoke to the new day that brought hope and fear to the disorientating task of getting his life back.


2

The Cottage

Years from when Patrik had awoke and far across the sea the breeze rustled through the centuries old treetops and cooled the hot grass under the midday sun. The sky was blue and the land lay lush and beautiful basking in the unusually hot summer weather. A young woman dozed in a garden scented by herbs and flowers that were all white: Pure white and gave the appearance of a dusting of snow. The woman lay on a blanket in a white dress and had a book covering her face to shield her from the sun. A waterfall showered down rocks into a wide brook that ran through the garden and disappeared into the woods.

The woman removed the book and blinked in the sunshine. A few freckles were daintily dotted on her pale skin and her eyes shone a pale grey. Her hair was lightening in the sunlight as it had turned to a golden brown. She sighed as a man walked out of the house and stood with his arms folded.

“Lilly?” The woman sat up and turned to face him. She gave him a weak, little smile.

“Simon?” she teased.

“You’re supposed to be studying.”

“I’m having a break.”

“For the past hour?”

“But its boring, can’t I have the day off? Come and enjoy the sun with me.” She patted the blanket next to her playfully.

“You’ll burn,” he said flatly, “Anyway you don’t like the sun.”

“It’s better than leafing through this.” She tossed the book at the man’s feet.

“Lilly you have to-”

“You’re always pushing me learn the theory! Teach me something practical or just leave me alone,” Lilly snapped. Simon walked back into the house and slammed the door. Lilly flopped back onto the blanket and sighed angrily. Then calmed herself and felt like she would cry.

“Sorry,” she whispered to no one. She did not mean to snap but she was getting frustrated with her studying. She had recently advanced in her study of magic and therefore advanced enough to do ‘more interesting things’ as Lilly put it. However, she had just moved onto another book and was taught how to turn rain into snow without disrupting the natural balance. She wanted to ‘run before she could walk’ as Simon, her mentor put it.

Lilly cringed in the bright sun light and felt her skin heating up. Simon was right; she would burn badly in the hot weather. She stood up and wandered over to her own private bit of the garden which was a section set aside for growing herbs. Although Simon could not understand why, Lilly spent her spare hours learning about herbs and their own secret powers: Sage, feverfew, ladies mantle, fennel and of course - her favourite - mint. The mint had a separate lot to itself. An old barrel filled with earth was overgrown with common mint that flavoured the air and scented the breeze.

Lilly picked a sprig of sorrel from a dark corner and chewed on the citrus tasting leaves. The river looked tempting so she stepped into the shallows to let her feet feel the shingle grinding under her weight. The cool waters flowed clear and the suns heat could not penetrate the glassy reflection. The deep end beckoned; she stepped forwards and knelt in the water. A cold wash of heat flooded up to her waist. The chill was satisfying but the waterfall cheered her to go deeper. Lilly gave in and fell forwards into the crystal waters. The current was strong but she could put her feet down at any time to feel the slimy rocks lying on the bed. She ducked beneath the surface and held onto a heavy rock on the bottom to anchor herself while she let her body drifted with the current.

A thought suddenly hit her. Simon had warned her not to go swimming because the last time she had accidentally frozen herself underwater so she reluctantly drifted back to the surface. Once on the safety of dry land she looked at the watery landscape and flexed her fingers just once and froze the scene.

The waterfall stopped still and gleamed in moulds of ice and frost. The ripples on the waters surface were perfectly captured, but it only lasted a few seconds before a fresh supply of water cascaded over the frozen falls and started to flood the lawn. Lilly thawed the ice and concentrated on herself. The water froze on her then crackled off as she spun her dress and flicked her hair. Little crystals splintered out into the air then melt into the grass. She thawed what was left so her dress and hair were just damp instead of soaking then crept back into the house.

Simon was in the library so she went upstairs and changed. Her room was nice: White walls, white cotton duvet and white curtains. Lilly loved white but had allowed Simon to paint her wooden bed and windowsill blue. The rug was dark blue and the wardrobe was left as polished oak. Lilly stripped down and hung her dress over a corner of the wardrobe. She flopped backwards onto the bed and watched the ceiling. She had made a glass and mirror decoration round her window, which reflected the light into the room and danced on the ceiling. She watched the rainbows float across the roof as the crystals caught the light. She was tempted to have a snooze but thought it was best not to so she snuggled down under the covers to warm up.

She dozed off anyway and by the time she awoke it was growing paler outside and the bright midday sunshine that cast rainbows across her ceiling was heading away behind the trees. Lilly pulled the covers tightly round her and enjoyed the comfortable warmth.

A curse from outside drew her attention to the window again. Simon was fishing in the pool and had just thrown his rod into the waterfall in frustration. He stormed up and down the banks in anger, then stopped and sighed. He looked at his fishing rod sticking out of the rocks in the falls then sat down on the grass with his head in his hands and chuckled at his own stupidity. Simon very rarely laughed but it was a nice enough sound when eventually heard; like a snort or a mild choking noise.

Lilly got dressed and ran downstairs where she peered out of the kitchen window at the man who had climbed out onto the rocks to try to reach the rod. Lilly concentrated and let her power freeze across the grass and into the water. The plunge pool froze solid. The waterfall still ran and flooded the ice pack but it allowed Simon to step out and retrieve his rod without the hazardous task of balancing on the stones. Once safely back ashore, he scanned the cottage to see where Lilly was hiding. He spied her in the gloomy kitchen window.

“You shouldn’t use your magic for that,” he chided as Lilly emerged from the cottage.

“You shouldn’t throw your fishing rod into the falls,” she smiled smugly.

“Good point. That bloody fish broke the line!” He smiled but was obviously annoyed with the line.

“Do you want me to thread it again?” Lilly forced back a laugh.

“Yes please.” Simon handed her the fishing rod with a minute pout that could only be noticed by Lilly.

“You caught one,” Lilly said pointing to the trout lying lifeless on the ground.

“I want to get the big bugger, he snapped my line,” Simon glared at the water. Lilly smiled and took the rod inside to get another hook then expertly threaded the line through the tiny hole.

“Do you want keep fishing or call it a night?” asked Lilly as Simon sat at the table.

“No, he’s getting too smart. I’ll give it a rest for now but come tomorrow,” he clenched his fist in forced enthusiasm and grinned momentarily but it soon subsided. Simon had recently tried to become more amusing because Lilly had called him a “boring sod,” which wounded his ego.

He was naturally a quiet and boring character but his life had placed him in an unfitting role of some one who should be interesting and keen. He had low patience and low excitement.

Lilly studied all magical influences in the natural world like herbs, astronomy and palm reading while Simon had an extensive library of historical studies of minor magical events: A collection of dull and highly articulate books with titles such as, “Liquid epitome utilization,” and “Epochs of mineral lineage.” “Voltage memoirs of oceanic derivation,” contained numerous boring facts but the most pointless one, which Lilly liked the most, was when a small plant on the seabed created enough Fire magic to burn a passing krill.

“Are you gutting it or shall I?” Lilly said as she watched the slimy fish lying limp on the table.

“I’ll do it,” he sighed and gingerly picked up the cold fish. “You still can’t do it can you?”

“No, nor do I want to.”

“So why do you offer?”

“In case you don’t want to.”

“I don’t want to,” Simon tried a smile.

“Fine. Give it here,” Lilly stepped in front of the fish and tried to avoid looking at the jelly eyes and dismissing all fears that it might start twitching. She picked up the gutting knife and breathed deeply to keep her calm then noticed the fish smell and held her breath. Simon stood behind her, watching in amusement.

“Are you going to gut it or shall I?” He quoted. Lilly rapidly put the knife down and leapt aside.

“You can!” Simon smiled a genuine grin and it stayed. Lilly could make him smile but if he tried it himself, it never felt real. Lilly was over exaggerating but it was fuelled by the repulsive scene of the freshly suffocated fish.

She went outside and picked some dill from her herb garden. The bees were tending to the lavender and the flies were congregating around the water to feed the swallows that swooped and rolled. Simon prepared the fish so only fresh white meat remained so as not to disgust Lilly. He left her to make a fish soup with potatoes, dill and the left over cream from the milk. It tasted wonderful.

After dinner they went into the library where Lilly picked out the book she had been reading him and got comfortable on the rug. Although it was still light, the spring days were not warm enough to be outside in the evening. The fire roared and the candles flickered. Simon sat in his chair and listened intently as Lilly began to read.

            It was not a scientific or factual book contrary to Simon’s usual taste but a novel about a secret cave and a magical ring. It was probably more of a children’s story but had been written in an advanced scripture that no child would understand. As Lilly read, she began to forget her surroundings of the fire and Simon and enveloped herself into the story. Simon could always tell when she was enjoying a book because the floor would cover in a faint film of ice.

Lilly read and Simon listened until the fire reduced itself to glowing ashes that rustled quietly. As the last page was turned Lilly glanced up for the first time to see Simon slouching in the chair, head down and snoring gently. Lilly read the ending to herself then stood up and kicked the pins and needles out of her toes as a thin sheet of ice slipped back into her without her even noticing. She crawled over to her mentor and placed a cool hand on his shoulder. He stirred and patted her hand gently then continued to snore on her palm. Lilly was so surprised by the unexpected gesture that she accidentally froze her eyelashes. Her eyes were glowing in their silvery light and her lips had gone pale. She blinked and struggled to thaw her eyes but the mini icicles remained on her lashes and weighed them shut. She sighed and blindly felt her way to the door.

She left Simon to sleep in his chair and went up to her room. It was cool yet cosy so she wrapped herself in the cover and went to sleep with a smile on her face. Her lashes thawed and her smile turned back to raspberry pink.


Comments:
 
WAN   WAN wrote
on 6/23/2009 8:28:28 AM
oh this is so sweet...

Ve
Novel / Novella
Other
writing Ve
We are all here to make our own mistakes :)
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Synopsis
The first two chapters for your preview to the second book about Lilly her and adventures into the Realm of magic.
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