Monday, November 2, 2009

The River Princess... Part 1

Melanie wasn't the jealous type. Why would she be. She had it all. A father that owned half the town and a mother that owned the other half. She had hair that was perfectly colored... Auburn and full enough to make Rupunzzel jealous. Her emerald eyes dance when she was happy and turned a dark green when she was not. Not to ever forget legs and a butt that filled out a pair of Levi's like a sweet fitting glove. "Hell," she said out loud to no one but herself, "Mirrors follow You around lady, just so they can be the one to have your reflection." She laughed at herself and then frowned again. "Jealous...hardly?! So why am I so upset that Shaun took that bimbo to the movies? IS he blind!?" She waved her hand in front of her eyes.
Shaun Turner... the boy every girl wanted. He was 6'4", cold black hair, baby blues that looked right through you and that ohhh so adorable Elvis smile. The only thing he did not have that Melanie had was the knowing that he WAS gorgeous. He thought himself just an average guy. there was one other thing he did not have. He didn't have Melanie, though that sure wasn't her fault. Her father had disapproved of him from the time they were kids. Why? Simple. She was rich and elegant and he was... the son of a beach bum. Johnathon Kendall built business's and men like Bobby Turner worked in them. It was just a fact, Melanie's father had taught her.
But still, Melanie pursued him for 15 years, all through school and beyond. She didn't even know if she wanted to keep him. But she definately wanted the chance to toss him when she was finished with him. She would make her move completely when the company his father worked for went over seas to start another factory. The company her father owned.
"For the last time, Melanie, please tell me why you would want to go to a place that is sub-standard!? I do not understand it at all!?"
"Daddy, I told you already. It will look good on my application for Miss U.S.A., remember?"
"Sweetheart," her father said in that tone she hated. The one that sounded like begging but was really demand. "You don't need anything but your mothers looks and my money to win that thing. Stay here and help some shelter or homeless person. That will work as well. I will even set it up for you."
"No Daddy, I want to go on This trip! If I can't I will be stressed and then I'll break out and then your daughter will have zit's from one side of her face to..."
"Oh, oh, good God... you don't have to be so nasty and graphic all the time!" He waved his arms at her. "Do what you want because you will anyways! But by God, Girl, this IS the last time! Do you understand me!?!?"
"Yes Daddy" she said in her best "daddy's girl" voice. She was packed and ready to go in less than an hour. The chauffer drove her to her daddy's private jet where Shaun and his father were taking off from. She walked to them and smiled at Shaun.
"What are you doing here, Princess?" That was the name Shaun had called her since grade school. She was never sure if it was a mock or term of endearment. She chose the latter one, of course.
"Oh, daddy insisted I go along this time, you know, to get to know the business and over-see things. I can't fight City Hall," she said with a million dollar smile. "You don't mind, do you Shaun?" She pouted her lip out and swayed from side to side.
"I don't care, Mel, just don't get in the way." Mel was the name he used when he reallly didn't want to talkk to her.
Melanies eyes turned dark green as she looked at him. She turned with a huff and walked away, murmerig under her breath. "By the end of this trip, Shaun Turner, you will be begging for me to "be in your way!"
The flight was uneventful for the first few hours. Melanie sat as close to Shaun as she could and moved in every way she could to catch his eye. She saw him looking her way a few times when she was polishing her toe-nails. This wouldn't take long at all and he would be begging to be with her. Four hours into the flight, Melanie was shook from her sleep when the plane lunged to one side and then to the other side. She thought maybe they had landed. Looking out the window, all she could see was darkness. Darkness mixed with bright flashes of lightening. She screamed out and moved next to Shaun.
"Are we going to crash!? What is going on out there!?"
Shaun was gentle when he spoke. "I don't know Princess. We are in the middle of a bad storm. Hopefully, your daddy didn't under-bid for the pilots like he did everything else in life."
It was cruel and harsh, but sadly, Melanie knew he was right. The plane took one more lunge to the right and then began falling. The nose went face down and they all fell forward into the tiny aisle. Melanie could hear the pilots yelling back to them.
"Try and get into your seats and buckle. We are going to try to land this jet as softly as we can. Our instruments are out. We have no clue where we are going to land. Just hold on tight!"
Melanie saw the tree-tops before she felt the impact. There was no time to do anything but pray and she realized she didn't even know how to do that.
"You make your own way in this world, Melanie! Remember that! Don't give thanks to someone up in the sky when your hard work and smart thinking made it happen!" She could hear her father's words yelling to her over and over, embedding it into her brain. Now, she didn't even have prayer. The last thing she remembered was a man covering her body as they hit the ground with full impact. She looked up into the face of Shaun's father, protecting her body from the crash with his own. And then... everything went dark.

The River Princess... Part 2

Melanie felt the weight of something or someone on her body. She tried to focus on where she was. Her eyes opened and she wondered why the world looked tinted red. As she pulled herself up a little, a flash of light blinded her for a moment. The flash was long enough to bring it all back to her. The plane was falling from the sky. The storm that had come out of no-where. And now... she remembered and knew what was on top of her. She looked down and screamed. She was looking into the open, dead eyes of Bobby Turner. Shaun's father, the man that her daddy said was little more than an Oliver, asking for more soup and that would never be more than a peasant, had protected her with his body. He had died to save the life of the daughter of a man that saw him as nothing more than a worker.
"You were wrong Daddy, very wrong. What else were you wrong about?"
There was a stirring in front of her. She saw Shaun waking and her heart sped at the thought of him seeing his father laying dead on her. She tried to push his body off of her but the man was too heavy.
"He won't hurt you! He never would have hurt you!" Shaun leaned over and slowly lifted his fathers body from Melanie's. He carried him to the open cockpit where the pilots had been before the crash. Melanie watched him as he stepped out into the Jungle that surrounded them. "Are you coming Princess or do you want to be carried out too? I think my family has done enough for you today."
His words pierced her heart and she saw the tears that flowed from his eyes. If he only knew how she wanted to make it all go away. She wanted to bring his father back and run to tell her father what a mistake he had made in judgement. She instead said nothing. She stood up and followed Shaun out of the plane. She watched as he laid his father down gently on the ground. He stood and stared down at him. She remembered a blanket on the floor of the plane. The plane smelled of fuel and sparks jumped all around her. She didn't care.As she entered the front she heard Shaun call out.
"Melanie, don't!!! That thing is going to explode! Get out of there!!!"
She didn't look back nor did she stop. She ran inside and grabbed the blanket. She could hear the snapping and buzzing of the electrical units in the plane. She got out and went to Shaun. She opened the blanket and slowly draped it over Bobby's body. She stopped to place her hand on his chest and then stood. As she turned towards Shaun, the plane exploded into flames. The blast tossed them both to the ground. Shaun wrapped his arms around Melanie until the debris stopped falling around them. Slowly they stood up.
"What are we going to do now?"
"Well Princess, it looks like we wait to see if this thing had an SOS signal or we walk to try and find help. There is nothing here for us to find refuge in so we might as well walk."
"Well Brianiac, in case you haven't noticed, I am not exactly un-scathed! I have cuts and bruises and my legs hurt. We can stay here and wait for daddy to come save us."
Shaun stared at her in amazement. "None of this fazed you, did it Mel? You walk away like you were privileged and just should have lived! Well you might not have been here right now if not for my father!!! You are really a piece of work! And to think I could fall in love with you!! Amazing!"
Shaun's last words grabbed her inside. She was sure she had heard them correctly. She wanted to hug him and tell him she loved him too, but that would show weakness. She just could not do it. instead, she turned the opposite as she always did.
"Go soft, go broke, Melanie!" Her fathers words of wisdom again.
"What makes you think you would ever have someone like me, Shaun Turner? I am a little out of your league, don't you think!?"
Her heart hurt just saying those words. She wished she had just said nothing. His words hurt even more.
"Hell, Mel... you are even out of your own self's league. Stay or follow, I don't care anymore. I am going to look for some help." As he walked into the jungle, she waited for only long enough for some unknown creature to scream from the tree-tops. She followed quickly behind him.
They had walked for an eternity, it seemed when they spotted a tiny shack in a clearing. There was a fire going outside the shack. A large kettle hung over the flames and something boiled inside of it. The odor was like the smell of a bar-b-que at home, Melanie thought. She was starved and hoped who-ever was inside was friendly enough to feed them. As she stepped into the clearing, Shaun grabbed her arm. Pulling away she turned to him with a scowl. "What do you think you are doing, Mister!? Let go of me!!"
"Use your head Mel! We don't know who is in there! They could be unfriendly!"
"Unfriendly? You watch to much "survivor" or something. I will tell them who i am and they can contact my father. You can be Mister scared if you like." She pulled away from Shaun's hand and walked forward. A man stepped out of the shack. He seemed as surprised to see her as Melanie was to see him. he was dressed in worn out clothing and wore no shoes. His face was painted with red and blue and he appeared to be very old. He stared at her and then smiled, empty places in his mouth where teeth should have been. Shaun watched from the trees for a moment.
"Do you speak English? E-e-e-en-n-nglis-s-s-h," Melanie repeated slowly. The man smiled again at her.
"We have known your words for a long time. You are welcome at our home." He motioned for her to sit on a cut tree stump. "We have been waiting to see you come to us. Everything has gone dark and we prayed for a Princess to come to us. Now, you are here."
Melanie smiled at him as Shaun watched from the trees. He was uncertain what this man was talking about and wanted to know more before he revealed himself.
"Well you have your Princess. All I need is to contact my father and let him know where to pick me up. Do you have a phone nearby?"
Suddenly the trees moved all around the shack. One by one, men looking like the first one emerged from the jungle, some younger than the others but none that looked older then what had to be their leader. Melanie stepped back away from the approaching men. Fear now filled her face. She turned to run back towards where Shaun had been. The men surrounded her as she tried to run.
"You must not go away from us. You have been sent to us from our Fathers. We saw you fall in a fireball from the sky and knew we had been heard. We shall replenish our people and take back what was always ours again. No one will take you away, Princess."
Melanie screamed and called out to Shaun. She had wasted her scream though. She looked up and saw Shaun being pulled from the trees by some of the men. He was struggling to free himself when more of them shoved him to the ground and held him.
"Oh God, Shaun! I am so sorry I didn't listen to you. I swear I didn't know!"
"It's o.k. Mel. We will get out of this. Just stay calm and don't upset them."
Shaun felt a hard object hit his head. He went down to the ground again. The man that was their leader stood in front of him.
"So, the darkness sent it's own to take her back from us! We shall show them we are stronger than them. Our magic will make us strong and our princess will make us new, younger men to win back our land. This dark seed will go before the people tomorrow night and then we will decorate our Princess. Call the women to make her beautiful. And the dark seed... tie him to the jungle tree to await his return to the bad place.
"We do have a fix on their last known contact, Sir. But shortly after the signal was sent, we lost it all. As best we can tell, they went down in a hostile area of the jungle."
"Hostile!!!??? What the hell does that mean!? My daughter is out there and someone better find her. Get their people to look for her until we get there!"
"It won't be easy, Sir. They are afraid of the jungle people."
"Afraid!? You tell them they don't know afraid until they have messed with Johnathon Kendall! Tell them that!!!!"

The River Princess... Part 3

"Sir, I have their security commander on the phone. He wants to talk with you."
"Give me that phone, Mark! I have a few things to say to him!"
"Please Mr. Kendall, remember... they are friendly to us. We need their industry as well as their purchases from the U.S."
"I am aware of what they are to us! Just give me that phone." Mark, who was Johnathon's front man, handed the phone to Johnathon. He knew all to well not to cross this man, if, that is you liked your job.
"This is John Kendall. Who am I speaking too?"
"This is Commander Cortes. I understand your daughter is in our jungle somewhere. I wish to offer my help in any way."
"I want her found now! That jungles of yours is no place for the heir of my estate! How hard can it be to find a girl and 4 other people!?"
"Four you say? Who are the others?"
"Well, the plane did not fly itself so there are 2 pilots and a worker of mine and his son out there also.I am in flight to your country now! I expect to be picked up and then taken to my daughter when I arrive!"
"And what of the others? If we find your daughter, what would you ask us to do with them!?"
"I don't care! Put them some place and I will send another jet to pick them up. My daughter is first priority! Do i make myself clear!?"
"Yes you do but I will say that the people of the jungle are a fierce people. We do not engage in combat with them unless they come to our area of the jungle. I am reluctant to stir a fire up where there is already smoke. It is a saying we have that means..."
"I know what it means, just get my daughter!"
Johnathon searched the approaching jungle with his eyes, trying desperately to see Melanie. All he could see was Jungle, as far as the naked eye could see. He wondered if maybe had he been a little less demanding with his daughter, maybe she would never have gone on this trip. He had not thought long enough when he had spoken to Melanie last time. He knew he was hard on her sometimes but he wanted her to be able to survive in the world as best she could. His plane began to ascend and he prepared to meet the Commander. Johnathon Kendall would be a force to be reckoned with!
Melanie struggled to fend off the touching of her skin by these people. Who were these men that they could touch her at will!? The ladies of the tribe clothed and readied her for whatever it was that they were getting her ready for. She worried about Shaun and what she could do to save him from certain death in the morning. She wanted to know if the native girls could talk English.
"I" she said, pointing to her self... "am Melanie Kendall. I am worth a lot of money of you can help me and my friend to get away. I really need your help, please?"
"We speak your language and we understand your words but we can not help you. We need you to bring good things to our land. I would wish to free you but then, they would kill all of us."
"Please-e-e-e-e-e-ee, just let me slip away. It is the only way for me to live."
"You will live forever when our medicine works on you. It is a gift we all have cherished here."
"A gift? What sort of gift?"
"We live forever because of our medicine."
"How old are you?"
"I have lived for seven generations. I have many children and great children and their children's children. It is eternal if something does not take our lives. A tiger or the outside man's guns. You will also bring many children to our people and they will blend in with the outside colors so that we can take back all that is ours."
"You people are nuts! You need to get out of the jungle more often. I am not going to make anything for your people and certainly Not babies!"
The curtain to the hut opened and the old man stood in the door-way. Melanie stepped back to the back wall of the hut.
"You are prepared now. I shall present you to the men of our people and they shall take you as their princess. You will be placed on the river in a large boat and they shall make new with you."
"I will not make new with anyone and if you try to touch me, I will kill you!!!"
The women in the hut gasped. They ran past her, shouting things that Melanie had no clue of what they meant.
"You are sent to us to be our River Princess. The water shall rise and the Crocodile will accept you as ours. It is the way it is meant to be."
"Look Doc, I am NOT your princess and I am Not going to meet some Croc God! I am Melanie Kendall and my father is going to kill you!"
The old man walked out with the curtain still opened. Melanie walked out behind him. She watched him motion for the men to do something. She watched as they brought Shaun out of a hut. She screamed and cried aloud when she saw him. Naked except for a loin cloth, his chest had been pierced with needles. His hands had shoots of wood in the palms and his face was bruised everywhere. He looked up at Melanie through blood shot eyes. She ran to him without anyone trying to stop her.
"Oh God, Shaun... I am so sorry for this. God i love you so much and I have been so cruel and wrong. Please forgive me for everything. I will be a new girl if we get out of this. Please stay with me."
"Melanie," he spoke with a weak voice. "I won't leave you. I love you, nasty girl and all. We have to get out of here somehow. As you can see, I am a little "strapped" right now." Shaun smiled a weak smile and touched her cheek.
"We will find a way, Shaun... I promise you."
Melanie was pulled away from Shaun by two men. She was stood in front of the old man.
"Are you ready to go to the river?"
She looked back at Shaun and then stood up straight. "I will go to the river and bring great things to you. I have watched to see that you are true to your people. Now you will do for me as I do for you. I Am your Princess and the river is my home!"
Shaun watched as Melanie spoke and moved around the people. "You all saw me come from the sky! You know I am your River Princess! I will bring more fire from the sky if you do not heed my words!"
The people suddenly turned to her and bowed down. "We are your people, River Princess. What do you wish for us to do?"
"Free this ignorant creature that the skies sent to take me. He has no strength and no will left. He is no danger to us anymore. Free him and let the jungle take him away. The Tiger will not feed on our own for that."
One of the people spoke out. "See, she knows of the tigers and their fierceness. We must do as she asked."
"No!" The response was from the old man. "She is our River Princess but I am still King. The man is needed to appease the river or it will swallow our Princess. Take him to the edge and kill him. His blood will tell the Crocodile that we have a princess! This Will be done!"
Melanie heard a sound from the tree-tops. It was a plane. No doubt, her fathers plane and he would be here soon. The plane drew nearer and she thought to use the sounds of it engine.
"I will then bring another God down to you and he will be bigger than me. You will hear his roar in a moment." She stood silent and prayed the plane would go over them soon. The trees blew and the ground shook from the vibrations of the planes roar. The men of the tribe stopped walking and set Shaun down. They tried to hide their eyes from an unseen enemy. The old man was angered. He walked to where Shaun was and raised a knife to the sky. He began thrusting it downward towards Shaun's bare chest. The knife touched Shaun's chest and then the old man stopped and smiled.

The River Princess... Part 4

The humming sound got louder as the tribe listened. They had heard this same sound only a day ago when the sky had brought their River Princess to them. Now, she had told them she would bring down new fire if they did not release the man. The old man looked around at his people. The women were clutching their babies to their breasts in fear. The men were crouched near the ground, like children in hiding. He could feel his power beginning to slip away from his grasp. Once lost, he would never regain it. Gliding the knife over Shaun's chest, a trickle of blood escaped. Shaun made no outcry at all.
"This is no dark seed sent to take our Princess! He is a mere man that followed her! Listen as he cries out. Then you will know that he is nothing! No dark seed would cry out!"
The old man pressed the knife deeper into Shaun's skin. More blood flowed but there again was no outcry. Instead, Shaun spoke out.
"He will cut me through to my soul and I will not cry out for him. I am not a dark seed. I am sent to protect the Princess from harm. Should he kill me, she will then kill all of you. This is the way of the Gods. They will just start over with new people that Will obey their Princess."
"No! He is a liar! I will show you what you have forgotten! See with your eyes the others that called themselves a Princess!"
With a wave of his hand, the old man made a fire start. Melanie's eyes widened as the flames rose into the air. Then he began to chant words that made no sense to Melanie or Shaun. Secrets of the jungle came alive in front of them. From out of the jungle came 5 women. Each one of them had been beautiful at one time. That was plain to see. Each appeared to be older than the one beside them. Cuts to their faces along with time itself had taken away the beauty that was theirs once. Scars layed where beauty once held it's own. Melanie wondered how long ago these poor ladies had somehow found themselves lost here in the jungle as she had.
"These women claimed great powers too! They called themselves our Queen and tried to control us with their beauty! But when they screamed out and bled, you knew I was your King and I was the one the God's gave insight too so that I would see through them. Perhaps this woman is not a Princess either! We will cut her and see if she too screams out!"
Melanie felt her heart pounding in her chest as the old man spoke. From where she was standing, she was the first to see the huge flood light from landing gear shine from the tree tops. She was quick to use it to try and save her and Shaun.
"Stop! I am calling to the Gods now! I will tell them of your disobedience now and they will hear me." Raising her hands to the sky she spoke out. "Hear me Father! This man is the only non-believer! Do not kill them all for his sins! Shine on me so they know you are with me!"
As if the heavens had heard her plea, the light from the landing gear shone directly on her face. It lit her body up and she glowed in the smoke from the flames the old man had created. The people all scrambled to be as far from her as they could get. The roar of the engines being back-thrusted to slow down frightened them even more. The women of the tribe disappeared into the jungle. The old man knew this was his last chance to hold their fears. Grabbing Shaun, he pulled him to the river. He pushed him as close as he could to the water. Melanie ran to where he was and shoved the old man aside. Grabbing the knife he had dropped, she cut through Shaun's ropes as quickly as she could. The knife fell from her hand but she had cut through enough that Shaun was able to break through the ropes. All the men of the tribe saw was him breaking free. To them, he had broken the ropes by his own strength. This caused them to move back into the jungle.
"Get up Shaun! Get up and run with me!"
Shaun stood and reached for Melanie. The snapping of jaws from huge Crocodiles on the river banks resounded through out the jungle. Hissing and growls could be heard over the rivers flow. Suddenly, the old man rose up again. He ran as hard as he could into Shaun, knocking his hand from Melanie's. He sliced out with the knife he had found and cut her across her face. The knife cut deep twice above and below her eyes. She stumbled backwards into the river and was swept down away from Shaun.
"No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o," Shaun screamed out. His fist crashed into the old man, sending him sprawling across the ground. The old man laughed through a blood stained mouth.
"There goes your River Princess! See if your God's save her now!"
"I will finish with you when I get back! You better hope your God's protect You!"
Shaun turned and jumped into the river and let the flow take him towards the only woman he ever loved.
"There," shouted the roaring voice of Johnathon Kendall. "In the river below us! I saw a body in the water. God have mercy... I think it was my Melanie! Come around and kill those Crocs in the water! Kill them before they get my daughter! God, please don't take her from me! Please!"

The River Princess... Part 5

The pilot flew as low as he could without putting them all in danger. The people that Johnathon Kendall had dealings with over the years were not always of good "manners." He had equipped his planes with defensive artillery in case he would ever encounter an "unhappy" customer. The side windows slid open near the front and rear of the plane. Machine guns slid out of the windows and two of the crew sat behind them.
"Shoot those beasts before they get my daughter!" The crocodiles had already spotted their prey and were moving downstream to claim it. Loud shouting from behind them made a few turn and try to swim upstream. Food seemed as if it were going to be plentiful this day.
"Sir, there is someone else in the water, behind your daughter. If we fire at the Crocs we might him him."
"I don't care who else or what else you shoot! Just make sure my daughter isn't harmed!"
The men looked at each other and then down at the river. They pulled the levers on the machine guns and began to fire. The first shots struck the two crocs that were closest to Melanie. The gunfire was antiquate enough to sink both crocs almost exactly where they were struck in the water. The next round hit in between the man in the water and the next two crocs. A few rounds struck a crocodile on it's tail, causing it to pull it's self half from the river and snap viciously at the air. The sound of it's jaws coming together could be heard inside the plane. Johnathon looked down into the river and saw Melanie struggling to stay above water. He looked upstream and saw the man behind her fighting off one of the crocodiles with his bare hands. As the man rolled to his back to fend off what was nearly a fatal clamping of the croc's jaws on him, Johnathon recognized the man in the water.
"My God... that is Shaun Turner. He is trying to save my daughter. He is risking his life for my daughter! Could I have been that wrong about him!? God, what have I become!?!?!"
Shaun fought his way past the croc that had just tried to kill him. He reached out and grabbed Melanie's shoulder and pulled her to him. He held on to her tight as four more of the behemoth's swam towards them.
"Oh God Shaun, don't let me go, please! I love you. Don't you let me go!"
"I have you now Princess. I am never letting you go. Not ever! We need to make it to that shore and get out of this river! We can decide what to do from there once we are safe."
"Shaun, I am sorry about your father. I am sorry about my father. I truly..."
"We can talk about this when we get to shore. Right now, I just don't want to be on the Croc's menu anymore."
The plane had circled one more time. The machine guns opened fired again and with Shaun and Melanie at a safe distance, they opened fired on the Crocs. Killing two more of the front Crocodiles the pilot told Johnathon he needed to land the plane.
"We will land as close to here as we can, Sir. We can back track in the jungle to where we last saw your daughter. Hopefully the commander isn't far from finding them. I am sorry Sir... we really have no choice."
Johnathon looked out of his window, staring at Shaun as he wrapped his arms around Melanie. Shaun looked up to the plane and saw Johnathon hanging out of the window.
"I have her Sir! I won't let anything happen to her. I promise you!"
Johnathon waved at him and then began to do something he was sure his father and time had beat or filtered out of him. Johnathon Kendall cried. The last sound he heard from the water was his daughters voice.
"I love you Daddy! I love yo-u-u-u-u-u-u-u..."
"Get this plane on the ground and lets' go save my daughter and that brave young man. I have a lot of sorries and changes to make after this trip."
Shaun managed to pull them to the side of the river. He lifted Melanie up onto the bank and pushed her away. He pulled himself from the water just as another Croc was coming in to attack him. Shaun heard the jaws snap shut and then... they were both onshore. Shaun turned Melanie over on to her back. He noticed for the first time the two cuts on her face. The cuts were deep and he had no doubts they would leave scars. he touched them with his fingertips and then leaned down to kiss them. He felt Melanie's hand on top of his.
"It's ok, My hero. They are the very least of what i almost lost. I could have missed a chance of a life-time, Mr. Turner."
"We still aren't safe yet, Princess. We have to stay alive long enough for your father to get here."
"That may be more difficult than you think!"
Shaun and Melanie turned to see who had spoken. There, in front of them, holding a knife and surrounded by his entire tribe, was the old man. Four of the men grabbed Shaun and held him. The old man walked over to where Melanie was laying. He reached down and took her face in his bent old fingers. Turning to his tribe, he smiled.
"Does this look like the face of a River Princess!!?? Does a Princess bleed!? For those of you unsure still, we will wait one night. When the Sun rises, if the God';s have not removed the cuts from her face, they will both die. They will be sacrificed to the River Gods and we shall know abundance and strength again!"
Shaun and Melanie just looked at one another.
"WE won't die, Melanie. This isn't over!"
"I know Shaun. I will spend forever with you."
The Commander stood in front of Johnathon. He was shaking his head as Johnathon spoke.
"They are JUST men, damn you! I watched their "River Crocs" die as we shot them. Those men will die just as easily as the Crocs did! My daughter and possibly four more men are out there right now! I saw them alive and they better stay that way! I can close your borders and make sure you never see another American industry in here again! Ever!"
"I wish you understood the strange powers these jungle people possess, Sir. They can bring terrible destruction to our land and our people."
"If they are so powerful, why do they hide in the jungles instead of coming out here and destroying you!? Either you go with us, or we go alone! If it is alone, you had better not interfere with what we do. We are wasting time. Time my daughter may not have. We are going Commander! Follow... or don't. It matters none to me.
"We are coming, Sir. I will not have your deaths on my dreams for the rest of my life. But... I am in charge! You follow me! IS this understood?"
"Clearly, Commander. Let's go."

The River Princess... Final Chapter

The jungle was thicker from the ground then it looked from the sky. Johnathon was glad to have the Commander to guide them. He wasn't certain that he and his men could have navigated the way to Melanie. Dark took on a whole new meaning in these trees. Sounds came from seemingly no-where and at the same time... right beside you. They traveled along the river and the sounds of Crocodiles fighting and hissing was enough to un-nerve even the bravest soul.
"How far did you fly before landing after you had seen your daughter?"
"We went maybe two or three miles, Commander. It didn't seem long before we saw the landing strip."
"The natives home is four miles in. They must have been near that area when you saw them. Mr.Kendall, I must tell you something. Moments before we left I received a call from one of my patrols. They had located your daughters plane many miles to the north of where we are now. They found the "remnants" of three men. Though the animals of the jungle had torn the apart, it appeared they died in the crash. It is grace that your daughter and this man with her have lived so long."
Johnathon walked on in silence. He thought of all the things he had taught his daughter... no, drilled into her young mind about not giving credit to anything or anyone for something you had done yourself. He knew that he had been wrong so many times and now, after all of those years, he hoped his daughter had not listened well to him. He would be giving thanks to heaven for his daughters life every day for the rest of his life. They walked on without speaking a word.
Melanie sat in the little hut she had been put in alone. She wondered how she and Shaun could get out of this situation. She thought of her father and where he might be.
"I didn't always obey you Daddy," she said aloud as if he were listening. "Whenever you went away, I prayed to God. I asked him to take care of you and bring you home safe. I prayed he would let momma sleep without crying and that you would be good to her. I am praying now, Daddy. Praying that we get out of here alive. I will pray always now. Please Daddy, come and get us. Please." She cried into her hands, wishing morning would never come.
Shaun had been taken to another hut. He had started a fight and let them beat him down. When they moved him, he feigned being weak and unable to walk. Men were set outside his hut to watch him. He watched closely to see how often they looked in on him. He took the time to count the minutes between. he found a window of five minutes was all that was between the checks.He would have to be fast and quiet. He waited once more for them to look inside. As soon as he heard them leave he crawled to the backside of the hut. He pushed himself under the bottom of the wall. The shoots cut into his hands and back as he crawled to the outside. When he reached the outside, he looked around. Seeing men sitting in front of another hut, he knew it had to have Melanie inside. Still crawling on his belly, he slipped into the jungle. He figured it was either the creatures in the trees or the old man in the morning. Slipping behind Melanie's hut, he again crawled under the wall. Melanie, hearing a sound behind her, saw Shaun. He put his fingers to his lips to silence her. Holding the bottom of the wall as high as he could, Melanie slipped under it and out of the hut.
"Oh God, Shaun... We have to..."
"Sh-h-h-h-h-h-h-h, we have to be quiet. Can you run?"
"Yes, I think so."
"When we get into the trees, run! Run as hard and fast as you can! Don't stop, Princess!"
"I won't, but please, call me Melanie. I don't want to be a Princess any more."
In seconds, they were in the Jungle. They both stood and Shaun took Melanie's hand tight in his. As they began to run, they could hear yelling coming from the tribe. They knew they had been discovered.
"Don't look back, Mel. Just keeping running!"
They could hear the trees breaking behind them as the tribe grew closer. They had no idea where they were running to nor did they care. The tribe was gaining on them. They knew the Jungle much better and probably could see better at night. Shaun suddenly felt his arm tighten. He turned and saw Melanie dragging on her knees. She had tripped and was struggling to stand. Shaun tried to pull her up as quickly as he could. Before they could both run again, the tribe broke through the trees behind them. They were on top of Shaun and Melanie within seconds. Dragging them both back through the jungle, they heard the old man's voice.
"Bring them to me! We will not wait for the Sun. We will sacrifice them to the night. We will still be pleasured for their deaths! This is why I am King!"
Tied to poles that stood together, Shaun and Melanie were sure they had run their last run. A huge fire was lit. The old man brought out a huge knife.
"We will give their bodies to the River Gods in pieces so that many can enjoy. This will bring more gifts to us." He raised the knife above his head. Chanting loudly, he began to thrust it towards Shaun's heart. Melanie screamed out as she closed her eyes. She could not watch the man she loved die.
"I love you Shaun!"
Suddenly, a crack rose from the jungle. It echoed through the trees like a huge tree splitting and falling. Another shot rang out. Melanie opened her eyes in time to see the old man falling forward. Blood was coming from his chest and face. The tribes-men stood silent now as they watched their King fall to the ground, dead. Out of the jungle, they saw Soldiers with guns surrounding the tribe. Surrendering, hands in the air, they laid down on the ground. Melanie heard her fathers voice calling her name.
"Daddy! Daddy, I knew you would come!"
Johnathon untied her and hugged her tight. He then walked over to Shaun. He untied him and took his hand. "I know what you did for my daughter. I have no words to thank you. Please forgive this greedy fool. My daughter could not do better than to have you."
As they walked back to the Commanders office, Melanie and Shaun told them all that had happened. "Daddy, Mr. Turner is the reason I didn't die in the crash. He gave his life for mine."
"I will find some way to give back to you all I can, Shaun. It won't bring him back but it is all I have to give."
"If you will allow me to love your daughter for the rest of her life, I will be a happy man, Sir."
"I wouldn't want her with anyone else." Johnathon touched his daughters face.
"It's alright Daddy. Somehow, beauty has a whole new meaning to it for me."
"I have a lot of wrongs to right, Melanie."
"Not as many as you think, Daddy. I didn't Always listen to you."
Johnathon smiled at her and Shaun. "I am thankful for that, Mel. Very thankful to heaven."
Melanie smiled at her father and winked.
"Me too, Daddy."

Not All Imps Are Demons... Part 1

It only moved once, she was sure. Like a snake through leaves, the rug had moved itself across the floor by an inch. Ian observed her from his chair. Though she was not his most "neurotic" patient, she was definitely in the running for first place. Alisa had come to him less than a year ago. A beautiful young lady, she appeared the very well dressed, well minded business lady she had introduced herself as. It was months later that he discovered she was none of those things.
"You must have seen that, Doctor Lansing. It was so obvious. Tell me you did!"
"I am sorry Alisa, I really didn't see anything. What is it I was supposed to see?"
"The rug!? The freaking rug moved across the floor! You must have been looking away!"
"Perhaps. Or it could be what we have talked about so many times. This could be..."
"Another illusion!? Another trick of my mind. Doctor!?!? Can't you come up with something a little more original?"
"You seem especially agitated today, Alisa. Did something happen that you would like to talk about?"
"You mean like the rug Not moving!?"
Ian stared at Alisa. She was truly a beautiful woman. Her long cold black hair flowed over her shoulders like a cascading waterfall. It fell on the beginnings of perfectly full breasts that accentuated her body. Her long slender legs, crossed at the knees, never stopped swinging from side to side. She had huge doe like eyes that stared through a person as if she could see their soul. And when she spoke, it was like saying "come to my place" every time. Ian reminded himself every visit that he was her therapist and she... was his patient. How he wished it could be different.
"When you came to me a year ago, you told me that there were... things, that followed you. They moved things in your home while you slept and destroyed your house when you would go out. For this reason, you stopped leaving your home. That seemed to help a little, although you said that they began to do damage while you slept. Is this still on-going?"
"They seem to be getting worse now. Last night,which is why I called you, they took every candle I had and placed them in my bathtub. They lit them all and almost burned my house down. I don't know what to do."
"The house seems fine to me now. Are you sure that..."
"Of course it looks fine Now! I cleaned up when you said you were coming over."
Alisa's head jerked to the side. She stared down at the rug that was near her feet. "There! I told you! They are trying to get the rug under me so they can pull it out. They are mean, Doctor... except for Lily."
"Lily? You have never mentioned her, or that any of them have names."
"Of course they have names. Everyone has a name, Doctor."
As Ian thought, suddenly a shade in the bathroom fell to the floor. He turned and swore he had caught a glimpse of something moving under the sink. It was gone as quick as it was there. He turned back to see Alisa smiling. It was a smile that sent chills down his spine. She looked almost evil herself.
"Get a grip, Ian. You are letting this stuff freak you out, and Doctors don't freak. Patients do," he thought silently. "Your cat, I assume?"
"I don't own a cat, Doctor. Want to try again?"
Her stare was extreme and Ian shifted in his chair. "Maybe the wind then."
"With the window closed? Why are you so adamant about Not believing me?"
"Alisa" he stammered, "tiny people that move things around in the night do not exist."
"They do exist, Doctor!"
"Only in your mind and yes, yes, I believe that You believe they are real but they are not! That is what we are working on here. I thought we were making some progress."
"We cant make any progress unless you accept that the Atlantians are real!"
"Atlatians?" Well, we will talk more about them but first, you need to show me your pills. I need to make sure you are taking them."
"I am taking them."
"Alisa, you know the rules. If I don't See the pills, you will have to go into the hospital for a while. You don't want that, do you?"
Alisa reached behind her, never taking her eyes off of Ian. She handed him the bottle. Ian counted the remaining pills and then gave her the bottle back.
"Good, it appears you have been taking them as prescribed. Please continue to do so. As for the issues of last night, perhaps you need to get out of the house and get some Sunlight. It might help to clear your mind."
"I don't need sunlight, Doctor. I need my house to be mine again!"
Ian stood to leave. As he walked towards the door, he heard a sound behind him. It was more of a whisper and he turned to look at Alisa. The voice he heard could have been Alisa. What frightened him a bit was that it also, could not have been.
"Did you say something, Alisa?"
She stared at him for a moment and then smiled. This smile was as sweet as an angels smile. Her eyes spoke silently to him and he again, reminded himself of his profession.
"No Doctor," she answered in a sultry voice. "You must be hearing things."
Ian felt a sting on his ankle and instinctively slapped at it. He raised his pant leg a little and saw the red mark. It hurt terribly.
"Are you alright Doctor?"
Ian looked at Alisa. Again, his body went cold. "Yes, yes, I am fine, thank you. Just a mosquito I suspect. Have a good day and call me if you need me." Ian could not get the door open fast enough. He was outside and heard the door close behind him. He listened carefully. Was that laughter he heard coming from Alisa's house?

Not All Imps Are Demons... Part 2

Ian sat at his desk and poured himself another drink. He wasn't certain there was enough whiskey to calm his nerves. He ran back over the events of his visit to Alisa's house. The sounds he heard and the curtain falling down stuck out in his brain. They hammered away at his thoughts like someone beating him with a sledge.
"That's right, Ian, mix a few pain-killers in with the whiskey", he said aloud to no one but himself. "That will dull the senses nicely."
HE leaned down and lifted his pants leg. The redness was still there. Something for sure had stung him, he just wasn't sure yet what. When Alisa had first come to him, he felt she was a quick cure and away she would go. Now, he wondered if she were curable at all. Perhaps putting her in a hospital where she would be looked after daily would be the best thing for her. At least she would be safe there. A window suddenly slammed shut behind him. Ian tossed his glass of whiskey when he jumped from the sound.
"Damn man, get a freaking hold of yourself." Again, he spoke it to no one. The phone rang and he turned to look at the caller I.D. "Shit..." It was from Alisa. He let it ring several more times before reaching for the phone.
"Hello, Doctor Lansing speaking."
Her voice was panicked now. She had a rasp in her voice that sounded eerie to Ian. "They are taking me away, Doctor. I don't know where they are taking me. Please, please help me."
Ian thought he heard sounds in the background. Voices and shuffling. He heard a door slam shut and then what sounded like a car start.
"Alisa, are you driving somewhere? Where are you going?"
Her voice was now a whisper. Ian had ti strain to hear her speak.
"They are driving, Doctor. They are taking me somewhere to hide me from you. They said you were going to lock me up forever! Are you, Doctor Lansing!? Is that what you want to do to me!?"
"Alisa, listen to me, please. Turn the car around and go back inside your house. I will be there in a few minutes. Can you do that for me?"
"It's about Mark, Doctor. They want whatever he took from them. I don't know where it is or I would give it back to them."
"Alisa, Mark is gone. He is dead. We have talked about this before."
"Of course he is dead, Ian." Her voice had become calm and sultry again. "They killed him."
"Mark died in a car accident, Alisa. I know you miss him terribly, but he is gone. And not at the hands of any tiny creatures from Atlantis."
"He found it, you know."
"He found what, Alisa?"
"Atlantis. Mark found Atlantis in one of his dives. That's what he did for a living. I told you that once."
"Alisa, listen to me. Atlantis never existed. Mark never found anything and..."
"He DID find it and he took some things from there! And now, they want it back! You must find me, Doctor Ian. Look near the ocean for me."
The phone went dead suddenly. Ian swore he heard the same laughter in the background he had heard at Alisa's house. This time, he was sure it wasn't coming from Alisa. She was still talking when he heard it. He drove to her house. The front door was open. Ian walked in and found the house all in shambles. It looked as if someone had gone through every part of the house, almost... like they were looking for something. Ian walked through the house, looking inside drawers and closets. What he was looking for he had no idea. He called out to Alisa, knowing somehow that there would be no response. he opened her bedroom door slowly. A sound came from inside the closet. He thought perhaps she DID have a cat after-all. Standing in front of the closed closet, he noticed the light was on inside. Slowly he opened the closet door. A box on the shelf fell out and struck him in the head. He jumped back and felt his heart racing faster than he thought it had ever raced. He caught the movement of something out of the corner of his eye. There was no cat in this closet, or for that matter, anywhere in the house.
"Damn mice," he mumbled to himself. Inside the box, Ian found clippings from magazines and newspapers. They were from a paper in Spain that probably never reached the United States. They spoke of a Mark Warden, an oceanographer from California, who claimed to have found the lost city somewhere in the Atlantic off the coast of Spain. He claimed to have found artifacts that proved the existence of Atlantis. He returned to America without ever displaying the things he had found. Only one small reference in a magazine made reference to it. It told of pottery and a boat that was found. Ian stared at the next passage and shook his head as he rad it.
{The pottery and boat appeared to be made more for a child than that of an adult. The articles were of tiny scale model, some measuring only an inch to six inches in length. The boat was filled with even tinier items such as watering bags and petite boxes.}
The article went on to say that it was believed the Mark had sold some of the artifacts to a Museum, which brought him Millions of dollars. If this were true, then Alisa would have been Heir to that fortune. Why would Alisa have lied and swore Mark had found nothing? Ian was startled again by the ringing of his phone.
"Ian, you must get out of the house! They will kill you!" It was Alisa again and her voice was a soft whisper again. "I heard them talking about you. They know you are there right now."
Another sound came from the closet. This time it sounded like scuffling of tiny feet. Ian stepped back away from the closet and slammed the door shut. He heard what sounded like a soft wind coming from the closet. How did they know he was here? Who the hell were they? His mind was reeling from it all when the closet door flew open. It exploded in his face, knocking him off balance. Ian fell backwards and tripped over his own feet. He felt the dizziness hit him just before his body crumpled to the floor. He could hear Alisa screaming his name through the phone. The last thing he heard was the laughter. Laughter like tiny demons at a free for all.

Not All Imps Are Demons... Part 3

Ian woke to find himself sitting in his car. He wondered how he had gotten there. The last thing he remembered was the closet door exploding in his face. The tapping he thought was coming from his head he now realized was coming from outside of the car. He looked out the window, straight into the face of a police officer. "Great," he mumbled to himself.
"Are you alright, Sir?"
Ian stared at the cop for a moment. He wondered exactly how was supposed to answer that question. He sure wasn't going to tell him he was attacked by a bunch of tiny men from Atlantis. He wasn't really in the mood to be locked up right now.
"I am fine, Officer. Just grabbing a cat nap in between houses. I umm sell Real Estate."
"Did you mean to leave the door open at your last place?" The officer pointed at Alisa's house. Ian looked at the open door.
"Actually Sir, I was going to call someone concerning that house. I was suppose to show it today but it looks as if someone has been inside of it already. Would you mind going in there with me?"
"I can do that, as long as you give the o.k."
Ian nodded and he and the officer walked to house. He had no intention on going back inside by himself. As the officer walked in, he turned and looked at Ian.
"You have not been inside this house yet today, Sir?"
"Yes, I was for a moment but when I saw the mess, I decided to call the owners before looking around too much."
"You say you were going to give someone a call?"
"Yes, I tried to call the owner but she has not returned my call yet."
"I can send a car over to where-ever she is and bring her here."
"Well she is a sales Rep for a stationary company, so she is always on the go. All I can do is wait for her to call back."
"This appears to be a crime scene so I am going to ask you to stay outside until I get it called in."
"I would really like it if you would just do a walk through with me real quick. I left my note pad and folder in the kitchen."
Suddenly Ian's phone rang. He had no doubt as to who it would be. Did he answer it and chance the officer hearing a strange conversation? If he didn't answer it, Alisa might be in terrible danger. He knew he had to take the call.
"Hello Alisa. Where are you?"
"Listen to me, Ian. If that cop goes inside the house with you, he is going to be hurt. You have got to keep him outside!"
How did she know what was happening at the house. There had to be someone watching his every move. Forgetting about the cop standing behind him, Ian began asking questions.
"How the hell do you know what is happening at this house!?! I need some answers and I need them now!"
"I told you they weren't just demons in my head! I tried to tell you that so many times! You wouldn't listen to me Ian!"
"Tiny men did not carry me out to my car, Alisa!!! You need to tell me what is going on here! I can not help you unless you are honest with me!"
"I have been honest with you. You just have not been listening to me Ian!"
"Honest??? Really? You said that Mark had not taken anything from these little Imps! You said you didn't know anything! Then, you tell me he DID take things. I found the articles, Alisa. I know the truth about the find! What I do not know is what else you are keeping from me!"
"Excuse me Sir."
Ian spun around and looked right into the face of the officer he had forgotten was with him. He could feel the blood drain from his brain all through his body.
"Maybe you need to explain a few things before we go into this house. Why don't you step over to my car."
"Yes, yes. That is perfect Ian. Keep him out of the house and he and you will both be safe. You must come and save me. I need you Ian. Please come and save me."
"Where are you, Alisa? I can't save you unless you tell me where you are."
"I am at the Ocean at dock 31. Come there as soon as you can, Ian. I Need you here."
"Sir, is that the owner of this house? Let me talk to her!"
"I am your doctor, Alisa. I am nothing more. I need to send the police to find you."
"Sir, I want some answers Now!"
"I am her doctor... her therapist. She is not well and i am trying to find her."
"And the tiny men that Didn't carry you to your car? Are they your patients also?"
Ian looked at the cop. He knew this was not going to be easy to explain.
"Alisa, I need a little time to get things settled here. Call me back soon."
"Alright Mr., enough of this." The cop grabbed his handcuffs and got one on Ian's wrist. Ian broke away in a panic and ran into the house. The cop followed Ian inside. As he entered, the door suddenly slammed behind them both. The cop turned to look at the closed door. A look of confusion came over his face. He turned back towards Ian.
"I am going to find out what is going on here! You have some questions to answer Mr. and I don't really care where we do that! If you try to run again, I Will shoot you! Am I clear!?"
"Believe me Officer, that isn't as big of a threat as you might think it is."
Ian heard the laughter again. He wondered if he were the only one to hear it. His answer came quickly.
"What the hell was that? Is there somebody else in this house?"
As soon as he had asked the question, things began to happen. The sound of laughter got louder. Books began falling of of shelves. Pots and pans were being flung through the kitchen by an unseen force. The officer stood still, his mouth wide open and his eyes suddenly filled with fear. One of the frying pans made it's way from the kitchen to the living room where the two men stood. It struck the officer hard in the side of hos face. One second later, the officer laid at Ian's feet, blood flowing freely from the huge gash in his head. The man lay bleeding to death at Ian's feet. Ian leaned down to try and stop the bleeding. No longer a whisper or laughter, Ian heard a voice from behind him.
"Leave him be. You were warned to keep him out of here. His blood is on your hands. And now Your blood... shall be on ours!"

Not All Imps Are Demons... Part 4

Ian turned to see where the voice was coming from. He could see no one at all. He was walking towards the Kitchen when his foot slipped out from under him. Catching himself on the door jam, he looked down to see what he had slipped in. He reached down and picked up what looked to be leaves. Looking closer at it, he smelled the small cluster of greenish-blue leaves.
"Seaweed" he said aloud. "What the hell is sea-weed doing in Alisa's living room!?!" He walked the rest of the way into the kitchen. That's when he saw them. Little men, dressed in miniature armor, armed with spear-guns. They lined the kitchen cupboard like tint toy soldiers lined up to do battle. Ian knew they were Not toys.
"You just killed an innocent man back there," he said, pointing towards the living room behind him.
One stepped forward. From the difference in his armor, Ian figured he was their leader. "You place far too much importance on an others life, Doctor. You should be only concerned with yours and Alisa's."
"And you should stop hurting innocent people! Why haven't you just killed me and been done with it?"
"Alisa trusts you, Doctor. We need you to make her understand the importance of returning the things taken from us by her, well, dead mate."
"She does understand it. She simply does not know where it is!"
"You are wrong Doctor. We searched her mates mind before killing him. He transferred his thoughts to Alisa's before he died. We can not retrieve them from her with out your help."
"Why would you need my help?"
"You are the one that convinced her we were not real for a time. That we were just demons that were in her mind. She still half believes that and fully trusts in you. If you can convince her now that we do exist, we can go into her mind, take what we need and leave."
Ian stared at the little man, standing bravely and confidently on the edge of the cupboard. "Why don't I believe you when you say it will be done when you acquire your missing artifacts?"
"They are NOT artifacts!!!!!!!" The little man's voice echoed through out the house. "Hew took the means to sustain our lives in Atlantis! He took the only way we have of continuing to live at the bottom of the ocean!"
"the articles did not say anything about special items being taken. It mentioned a boat and some tiny boxes and pottery. That is all it mentioned. And why are you so small!?!?"
"We had to minimize our selves In order to save as many of our people as we could. The air bubble that formed as our island sunk into the Atlantic was not large enough to sustain an entire nation of our people. Our scientists worked non stop to find a way to reduce our size to a place that more of us could live. Alisa's mate took from us a reducer that we have to walk through each week to maintain our size. Without it, we will begin to grow again. Some have already begun to grow and if they grow to large, we will have to kill them. It is the only way to save our race of people from being entirely wiped out."
"What does this thing Mark took look like?"
"It looks like a tiny boat with boxes in it. The boat passes through a chamber and causes us to remain small. We need that boat back. It is made of a special material that we do not have any more of to make a new one."
"You are said to have possessed incredible powers like healing. Is that true?"
"We can do many things concerning healing. Why do you ask?"
"Because the only way I am going to help you is if you save that officers life in the living room."
~~~Somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean~~~~
"Please, let me talk to Ian! He is the only one that can save you and I!"
The creatures sitting in front of Alisa was not like those Ian had been talking to. These creatures looked like something out of a Weird Science comic book. They were terribly mis-shaped and their faces were anything from a lions face to that of a sea-serpent. The one that appeared to be in charge shook his head at Alisa.
"We will tell you when it is time to talk to the good doctor. Until then, you might think about telling us where the stuff your man took from us is."
"Where do you come from? Why don't you look like us? I don't understand any of this."
"You are going to die anyways, Alisa. I guess I can tell you a little bit. We are from Atlantis... but not the Atlantis your husband discovered. We are from a side of the island that was shunned and banned by our own people. They wanted cures for illnesses and a way to live forever. We, the "scientist" of the island gave them that. What we didn't know was that every time we did give them something new, we had to pay a price for it."
"Pay a price??? To who??? Who did you pay!?"
"Our knowledge was not given to us free. We had to make sacrifices in order to gain more knowledge. In the very depths of the ocean, where the crust and core core meet, evil dwells. There, in a "hell hole" of sorts is one that rules the darkness and controls the bottom of the sea. It is him that we pay with lives to. He is your devil and our master."
"Then you are demons, just as Ian said you were!!!!! Oh God, what did Mark get himself into?"
"We are not Demons!!!! We are men that were lied to and deceived. We are people that were used by our own in order to save their own souls. We serve no one!"
As the words finished echoing through Alisa's head, a burst of fire exploded in front of her. The tiny creature was suddenly engulfed in flames. His screams were 10 times louder than his size should have aloud for. Alisa jumped back and screamed. Suddenly, out of the fire came a creature far more frightening than anything the little ones were. It appeared to be a serpent and a lion and eagle all shoved in to one body. It approached Alisa and sniffed her. The growl was more of a grunt. Alisa found herself backed into a corner. Her heart raced as she tried to turn from the horrible breath that was coming from this creature. It's talons took her face inside and turned her towards it.
"Look at me, little lady! Eleona was very wrong!!! HE did serve someone and that someone was Me! Let us hope your good doctor does Not make the same mistake as he just did. If he does, well then... I am afraid you will see your husband much sooner than you thought!"
Alisa crouched in the corner, away from the putrid smell of this creature.She cried to herself. "Please Ian, hurry and find me , please..."

Not All Imps Are Demons... Part 5

Ian watched as the tiny soldiers surrounded the police officer. The blood that had been lost told Ian that there was no one the Officer could be alive. The soldiers closed in around the body until it was covered in them. All Ian could see was his shows. The soldiers began to glow and as they did, Ian watched in awe as the blood from the floor slowly seeped under the officers body. As more blood disappeared, Ian saw the officers foot began to twitch. The glowing subsided and the soldiers moved away from the body. The leader stuck what appeared to be a needle inside the officers ear. The officers eyes fluttered and then opened. He laid motionless, breathing calmly.
He will be fine now. He will not remember anything. We need to go now before he fully wakes. We have done what you asked. Now you must come with us."
"Where are we going?"
"To see Alisa. Hopefully, we are not too late."
"To late for what?"
"The one that gave us our superior minds wants his things back. Without them, He has only half of his powers."
"Where does he come from? IS he one of you?"
"He is NOT one of us. He comes from very deep in the earths core. He lives in fire and dwells in the hottest volcano under the sea. We don't know his origin. We know only that he can destroy us should he chose to do so."
"If the things that Mark took made him weaker, why would you want to give them back to him? Wouldn't it be better to destroy him while he is weak?"
"Even weakened, his size and strength are to powerful for us to harm. He rules our world and we dare not raise our arms against him."
"What did Mark take that was so important to him?"
"Inside one of the boxes in the boat is a tiny medallion. The medallion was made from hells own pits. If we are to touch it, the power would cause our tiny bodies to explode. Only he can touch it. But many want it and so we keep it safe for him. By doing so, he allows us to live."
"So this thing is some kind of demon?"
"He is what we have become. HE is an Imp."
"The same thing as a demon where I come from."
"You must understand something Ian. Demons obey their ruler, Satan. Imps are rouges that went off on their own to rule. They are of little concern to Satan as he has all the servants he needs. They are free to do as they please as long as they don't interfere with Satan's tasks. Just because something looks bad or evil, that does not make it a demon. We would go back to our side of the Island if we could but we were banished after we did the deeds asked of us."
"So you began as rouges or became them as you did the deeds?"
"We were once good men, just like the rest of Atlantis. We took things into our own hands when we realized that the Islands might be in peril. This was our payment."
"What do you need me for? I have no special strengths or powers."
"We hope you can reach into Alisa's mind and find where Mark hid the things we need. In doing that, we can make our ruler calm and perhaps things will go back to quiet for a while."
"Let's go find Alisa and see what we can do."
~~~ On an Island off the Atlantic Ocean~~~
"Perhaps this could all be fixed if you would simply tell me where your thieving mate took my boxes, Alisa. I will just turn you loose and everyone will be happy."
"What could anything My husband took from you cause you to destroy everything I have?"
"It is of no concern to you. The only thing you need to worry about is getting it back to me."
"I told you... I have told you all that I do NOT know where this stuff you want is!!!"
The waters around Alisa began to shimmer. Waves splashed onto the shore where she sat. She could see the water turn red and boil where an under water Volcano seemed to be erupting. Anger was in the eyes of the creature in front of her. Alisa felt the sting of heat on her cheek as he reached out to touch her face.
"You do know, little one!!!!!!!!!!!" His voice thundered across the shore, causing the Palms to lean and bend, almost as if they were trying to get away from him. "You DO know and you WILL tell me soon. My patience wears extremely thin."
Alisa coward as far back against the trees as she could. She wanted Ian here with her. She wanted Mark beside her. She knew one was gone for ever. She wondered about the second one. She wondered in her heart if Ian had survived the on-slaught of the Imps at the house. She wanted to hear his voice, to know he was alright.
"You want to hear Ian's voice, little one??? I can help you with that."
"Please, yes, I want to hear him! I need to him!!!"
"Then listen."
Suddenly, Alisa's ears were filled with screaming. Not just any scream but screams associated with great pain. Her eyes welled up with tears as she listened to the sounds. She could hear words mixed inside the screaming. She strained her ears to try and filter out the screaming so she could hear what was being said. her heart sped up as she heard the words and she felt as if her heart were being torn from her chest. She tried to block the sounds now. Her hands went as tight to her ears as she could, but the sounds were Inside her head and could not be silenced by mere hands covering the ears. She could only listen, and Cry...
"Help me Alisa!!! Please help me! It hurts so bad! Tell them, tell them what they need to know!!!! Please, if you care... if you love me as I do you, tell them all you know!!!!"
Alisa crumpled into the sand. Her whole body shook as she tried desperately to block the sound of Ian's voice from her head. She reached as deep into her soul as she could. Slowly, she began to remember.

Not All Imps Are Demons... Part 6

Ian felt the spray from the Ocean water soaking his face as the boat raced across the water. The Imps seem to have everything under control. He was certain that they were actually moving at a speed not considered nautical in any way. Islands passed by in a blink and new islands appeared in the very next blink. He was sure they were not truly as close to one another as it would appear. The beauty of the islands was lost to the speed they were being passed by. Ian wondered if he would know when they arrived at the place Atlantis was suppose to be located. His answer came quicker than he expected. In the middle of what Ian considered no-where, just water as far as any eye could see, rose an Island filled with beauty. Trees filled with fruits of every shape and size adorned the trees. The skyline was covered in the brightest colors birds he had ever seen. The sounds of the jungle filled his ears and he swore he was in Paradise. The boat stopped as it hit the sandy beach.
"This is where we tread tenderly, Ian. The ruler can not see us on this side of the Island but he will know we are here if we disturb anything."
"How are we going to find Alisa if we can't look for her?"
"She will come to us. The ruler must return to his habitat at the bottom of the ocean every few hours. When he does, we will call to her."
"And we will know he has gone, how?"
"He is gone now or the Island would not have raised from the ocean for us. We have called her already. She will be here soon. Our people are bringing her here now. But we only have a short time before the ruler will return. What we must do, we must do quickly."
A large flock of Macaws took to flight suddenly. The red, orange, yellow and blue colors were brighter than anything Ian had ever seen. Clean and fresh. He suspected this was the colors that the earth had been when God first created it, before man had a chance to corrupt it all with his grime and filth. From the trees came a small army of soldiers, all looking like the Imps that had brought Ian to the Island. Behind them walked Alisa, her eyes filled with tears and her face drawn in sadness. She looked up and saw Ian. Her face changed as she ran to him. Her arms went around him and she kissed him. Not just a kiss, but one that screamed into Ian's soul and made his body react. Ian returned the kiss in like. He held her tight until her body stopped trembling.
"He said you were dieing! I heard you screaming... telling me to do whatever he asked of me!"
"It was a lie, Alisa. He wanted you to tell him the secrets."
"I don't know any secrets. That is NOT a lie, Ian. Please, you must believe me."
"I believe that you think you do not know anything, sweetheart. I am going to try and find the secrets you have hidden away to try and protect yourself. When we have done that, we can go home."
"Yes Ian, I want to go home, with you."
"I won't ever leave you, Alisa. I have been in love with you since the day you walked into my office. I will always be in love with you."
"Ian, we must get this done now before the ruler returns. If he finds us all here, he will kill us all."
Ian looked at the tiny soldier that appeared to be the leader. "Yes, you are right. Do you have a name?"
"I was once called Imel. But I have not been called that since I sold myself to the ruler."
"You are Imel to me. What do we need to do?"
"Thank you, you are too kind. You must go inside Alisa's mind and find what she can not see. Once you have the knowledge we need, you will be returned to your world."
Ian took Alisa off to a secluded area. He took her hand in his and kissed her softly. "Do you trust me, Alisa?"
"More than anyone in this world, Ian. I trust you with my life."
"Then trust me just for a little while with your mind. I am going to see many things, some very private. But I have to see everything to be sure I don't miss what I am looking for."
"I have no secrets from you, Ian. Please, go inside so we can leave this place."
Ian closed his eyes as he held Alisa's hands. He had always had the ability to see into anothers mind but only if they were willing to allow him too. A gift and a curse at the same time. AS he probed her mind, he saw her childhood. Nothing from the ordinary. Her parents were not wealthy but not poor either. Her teen years were spent cheer leading and living life to it's fullest. She study abroad in Italy and Spain and did research into the lost cities and places like Pompeii, learning everything she could of the world past. She met Mark while doing an internship from Yale, studying the lost city of Atlantis. It was here he hoped to find what he was looking for. His mind was taken away a few times by the memories in her mind of past loves and of their touch. He had to concentrate, see past these things if he was to find what he was searching for. He heard a voice. It was Marks voice, whispering to Alisa. He had placed thoughts, memories in her mind as she slept at night. This was his way of protecting her, Ian was sure.
"Ian, you must hurry. The guards say that the ruler will be back soon. Please, hurry."
"I am doing my best Imel. I need a little more time!"
"Time is something we have very little of."
Ian probed deeper. Alisa struggled to free herself from his hold. He had heard from some that the deeper the probe, the more pain it caused the subject. He did not wish to hurt her. Suddenly, Mark's voice was echoing in Ian's head. He was hearing what he had come to find. The words made Ian shudder and he fought not to release his hold on Alisa. He could see Mark in his car. He saw the horrible creature that sat at his side in the vehicle, taunting him, burning his flesh with it's touch. The Ruler, Ian assumed. A much scarier, more filthy creature than the Imps. A Demon, for sure.
"Aghhhhhhhhhh!!!" Ian felt a terrible pain ripped through his mind. The pain was like a hot poker being inserted directly into his brain. The Demon sitting in the vehicle with Mark suddenly turned it's blood red eyes towards the window. The grin on it's face, the sickening drool that dripped from it's mouth and putrid teeth were enough to gag Ian. He held tight to Alisa's hands. And then he heard it. A voice that was not Mark's An evil voice that caused Ian's heart to speed.
"I see-e-e-e-e-e you, Ian. Naughty, naughty boy!!!!!!!!!"

Not All Imps Are Demons... Part 7

Ian tried to shake off the vision as well as the voice that was so vivid and echoing through out his head. A scarier place he had never been. The Ruler was close, Ian could feel that. How close was any ones guess. Or was it?
"There is no time left, Ian. You have to get what we need and then go!!! He is coming back to the surface!"
"You don't have to tell me, Imel. I am very aware he is coming back! I will have what I need a moment!"
Ian probed once more into Alisa's mind. Her pain was terrible and he knew it. HE wondered if she would Love him after all of this. It came to him just as another burst of pain shot through his head. He felt what he thought were tears seeping from his eyes. A tour in Nam had opened his senses to what this was. Not tears at all. The stench of blood filled his nostrils. Not just any blood. This was his own blood and Ian was very afraid."
"I got what I needed from her, Imel! You get her to a safe place now! You don't need her anymore!"
"How do we know that the..."
"Get her to safety or I will take what I know to my grave! Do it Now!!!!"
As soon as Ian said the words, Alisa suddenly disappeared from his arms. Ian suddenly felt very much alone and scared. The waters around the sandy beach turned dark green, as if the ocean floor were rising to the surface. A wave that seemed 100 miles high raised up out of the water and smashed itself on to the beach. Ian was lifted from the sand and tossed 300 yards further up onto the island. He choked on the salt water he had swallowed in the toss. As he regained some composure, he saw the shadow before ever seeing the creature.
"Oh My God!!!!, was all he could say as he looked up at the behemoth.
"Farthest thing from it, Ian!" The voice was as loud outside of his head as it had been inside. "It is time you and I had a little talk!! I think you have something of mine!"
Ian stared up in awe of the size of the Ruler. He knew that running was not even an option. He stood up to face the creature.
"What I have is mine to keep, Demon. We do have a few things to talk about." Ian did his best to sound sure and unafraid. He doubted if it was working very well.
"I will kill you if you play with me, little man!"
"And with me will go what you need."
For the first time, Ian seem to have the Demons attention. "Alright Ian, what would you have from me for the knowledge you hold? But I warn you, my patience wears thin!"
"I want these soldiers freed of the curse you put on them. I want them to go back to who they were before you stole their lives away with your disgusting foul lies!"
The Demon looked down at Ian and then at the tiny creatures hiding in the trees.
"They seem to be un-willing to help you! Why would you help them!?!?"
"They were good men at one time. You tainted that with your touch. Give them back their lives and then I will give to you what it is you seek!"
"Done! They are of no consequence to me!" With a wave of his talons, the Demon changed the creatures back to the people of Atlantis once again. The men looked at one another in shock. It had been forever since they had been this way. In a moment, they all disappeared into the trees.
"It would appear that it is just you and I now, Ian. Your friends have left you to your demise! Shame..."
"Alright Demon, you sought the knowledge of where your little box of powers went. I found them inside Alisa's mind."
"Give them to me Now!!!'
Ian stepped back. "Not so fast, Demon. It seems that Mark discovered more than just your powers. He found your weakness also. It seemed strange to me that you, a creature, a Demon with all of your power would be concerned over such a tiny box. But then I saw it. It wasn't the box of power you wanted back. It was the boat! The boat that had flowed under the firewalls of Volcano's and into the deepest parts of hell. A boat that could enter Hell's gates, where you could not. You were a banished Demon! A Rogue that The true Ruler of the fire no longer had need of. You floated the boat in and out of Hell's gate and stole tiny pieces of Hell's power. You took it and hoped that one day you would be more powerful than the true Ruler. While you slept, Mark found the boat. Just a "boat" to him, but the only way You had of getting more of what you wanted. And in the boxes...? The boxes contained souls of good men that you took and used as payment for the powers you were stealing from Hell. You would soon go back to being just "another demon" if you didn't have that boat and those boxes. You could make more and steal more but that would take precious time from your powers. And besides, if you took too much too fast, Satan would catch on and destroy you."
"If you know all of this, Ian, then you know also that I would Kill you without thought!!! Now Give me what I want!!!!!!!"
The voice was so loud that Ian felt the tears of blood running down his face again. He knew that he could never give to this Demon what it wanted. He was prepared to take it to his grave now. Alisa was safe and the men had their lives back. The Demon would never survive long enough to hurt them any more.
"Kill me, Demon!"
The demon squinted it's bloodshot eyes at Ian. It reached down with it's talons and scooped him from the sand. Bringing Ian directly in front of it's face, it stared into Ian's face.
"What did you say, tiny man!?!?!??"
"I said... Kill me! Just do it and we will end all of this, now! I have no fear of death! You have nothing to take from me! Do it now, Demon! Kill me!!!"
The Demon shook with anger. He opened his mouth and began to place Ian inside. "I will do it, you fool!!!"
"Then do it, damn you!!! Do it Now!"
And then, there was a commotion coming from the trees. The ground was suddenly filled, nearly every inch, with the good people of Atlantis. And leading them from the trees was Alisa.

Not All Imps Are Demons... final chapter

Ian looked at Alisa as she walked out of the trees. The tiny soldiers followed her as if she had been their leader always. The Ruler turned towards them.
"What do you think you are going to do!?!? I will crush you all with a single wave of my Talons!!"
The soldiers stopped where they were. Fear filled their eyes as each of them had once felt the terrible anger of the Ruler.
"Don't back away from him!!" It was Alisa that spoke out. "He thrives, no, he lives on your fears. His strength is only as much as you allow him to have. He has no control over you unless you give it to him. I have a secret! A secret that even Ian could not go deep enough into my mind to find. And You, Demon, know what it is!"
"Do not toy with me, woman! I will cut you down as I have so many before you. If that isn't enough for you, then I will kill another you love... just as I did to Mark! Would you like a replay of that death before I kill you?!?!?!?"
The Demon reached back and grabbed Ian by the throat. "Do you wish to watch this one die? Pity you could not have been there to see the other."
Ian struggled to free himself but the Demons hold was to tight. He could feel his life ebbing away.
"He may die today, Demon, but with his death will be our victory! I can not stop what you do to him and though I Love him with my heart and soul, your death is the most important death here today."
The Demon tossed Ian to the sand. Ian gasped for air as he watched the monster creature walking towards Alisa. "Run... please Alisa, run!!!"
"I will not run any more Ian. This Demon has taken enough from me. I will NOT allow him to take any more from me. The Secret, Demon. Shall I tell them all the secret that Mark embedded in my heart before he died?"
The Demon growled and slime dripped from it's teeth. He reached out with his Talons and ripped through Alisa body. Huge gaping wounds opened and blood poured out from her body. Ian screamed out.
"No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!! Damn you monster!!!!!!!!! I will kill you myself!"
As Ian stood to attack, he saw Alisa walking towards the Demon. He watched and could not believe what he was seeing. Alisa's wounds were healing as she walked towards the Demon. The Demon himself seemed shocked and confused.
"How is it that you heal in this way!??? It is not possible!!!"
"It is possible Demon. You are seeing it happen before your eyes. You see, Mark discovered the way to destroy you. That is why you wanted me. That is why you needed your "goodies" back. He knew that if one did not fear you, you would cease to exist. You would be returned to the true Ruler of Hades and He would then deal with you in his way. I, have over-come you Demon. I no longer fear you, therefore you do not exist."
As Alisa spoke, the tiny soldiers began to change. The grew in size a little at a time. The Demon stepped back from them.
"You Do fear me!!! You know I can destroy ALL of you!!!! I will not be defeated, not by You or anyone else! I am the Ruler-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r!"
As the soldiers reached full size again, they stepped forward in Unison. The leader, Imel, and three others reached down and took the boat in their hands. They lifted it up and tossed it into the fire behind the Demon.
"No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!!! You fools! Do you know what you have done????? You will bring the Master here now! HE will kill you all!!!"
"I don't think so Demon. We are of no worries to him right now. I think he wants You!!!!"
Suddenly, out of the fire rose a creature that dwarfed even the Demon. His face was never seen, but his arms reached out of the flames. His legs were that of a Goat. His hands were filled with razor sharp talons, longer than that of the Demon. When he spoke, his voice shook the ground.
"Beltheania... you have caused me much grief! I tire of your antics and your wish to rule. I myself did the same eons ago. Long before any of you were even conceived in my mind! I was cast out and made to live beneath the worlds created by he who is the creator. I need not speak his name! I have little time for you any more and no need of these mortals at this time. They have overcome their fears and therefore are under the creators covering... for now! You will steal from me no more, Beltheania! I cast you away into the fires to exist, No more."
In a single hand swoop, the Demon was gone. Only his screams could be heard as the fires of Hell consumed him. And then, the fire was gone. Satan spoke to Alisa and the soldiers.
"I can not touch any of you for you are under "His" covering for now. Do not ever think me gone. I am always near to try and take your soul. But I cursed you Atlantis, long ago, for your part in destroying many of my demons. You Will return to the bottom of the Ocean until you find a way to defeat me. This is Your curse. As for you, woman and your man, you may return to your land. I have no hold on you. I am finished here... For Now!!!!!"
In an instant, he was gone. The soldiers all gathered around Ian and Alisa. Ian touch her in his arms and kissed her deeply. "I love you, Alisa. I always have."
"And I love you, Ian, always and forever."
Imel walked over to them. "I don't want to interrupt but the waters are already covering the beach. If you don't get into the boat, you will be pulled down with us."
"Is there anything we can do to help you, Imel?"
"Thank you, Ian, but this is a curse we must continue to try and free ourselves of. This medallion will give you safe passage to our home under the sea should you ever wish to see us again. Do not let it fall into any ones hands."
"Where did you get this, Imel."
Imel smiled at Alisa. With a wink he answered. "We too have "friends" in higher places. God speed to you both and his blessings on you. Perhaps one day we will meet again on the surface world."
Ian and Alisa left in the boat. They watched as the Island slowly disappeared beneath the ocean. Where the island had once been, with in minutes was calm seas.
"Do you think they will ever be released from the curse, Ian?"
"Well, we learned that just because they were Imps, it did not make them demons. Perhaps once they learn that, they will free themselves. I am thankful to Mark for the strength and courage he gave to you. He will always be remembered.
Alisa wrapped her arms around Ian's arm. Her tears wet his shirt sleeve as the boat continued across the vast ocean. He held her close and laughed to himself.
"What is so funny, Ian?"
"I just noticed something. There is no-one steering the boat."
"Well love, not that You can see." She smiled and winked at him. Ian... said nothing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Forest Has Ears... Part 1

She didn't even know why she was sitting at the table. Karen knew she had at least 20 other things she could and truly, should be doing right then. She stared down at the picture again. She choked back the tears as she remembered. She was so beautiful, so spirited. Her long auburn hair was only paled by the sparkling of her emerald eyes. Her long legs led up to a body that was perhaps not so perfect to anyone else, but to Derek, it was always right. Her weight fluctuated the entire seventeen years but Derek always only saw beauty. Derek was the very love of her life and so very much the reason she rose every morning from her bed. Seventeen years with him seemed more like seventeen days now. Time had gone by so quickly but she had only realized it now. She touched his face with her fingertips and traced the outline of his body with her thumb. She was outspoken but never rude, soft but not weak and she was well versed in dressing to look elegant but never, ever over-dressed nor under-dressed.
The lights flickered in the kitchen again. She was glad to be getting out of the house. The last few days the house seemed to have decided to fall apart all on it's own. Karen moved her fingers to reveal the faces of their children. Mark, sixteen and sports savvy, shared only his looks with his father. He had Karen's out-going personality as well as sharing her gift to put a person "in their place" and make them feel as if he had complimented them. He was tall like Derek and fast on his feet. She looked down at seventeen year old Jessica. Standing beside her brother, the photo stoled her true height. At five foot, ten inches, tall for a girl, Mark made her look shorter. His six foot two inch frame towered over her. She was all her mother in looks. Watching this beautiful young lady move across the basketball court at school made a lot of guys turn their heads. She was Derek in every other way. She had his smile and his desire to laugh and make others smiles. She helped out with the after school programs and gave any extra time to causes for the less fortunate. She cried seeing a squirrel hit by a car. Too much like her father perhaps, Karen thought as she stared into the picture. So perfect a family. So very much her life. So very much...Gone. The lights went off and then on again.
"Damned old house" she murmured out loud.
"Karen, we need to get finished here. I want to be at least half way before dark."
Ellie tried so hard to keep Karen focused. Her only sibling, she was 3 years older than Karen. Their parents dying when Karen was six, Ellie had mothered her through out her growing years. She was there for Karen's tears and triumphs and there when she married Derek. She was always thankful she was there for her.
"I know, Ellie, and I am trying. It is hard for me."
She hugged Karen. As she did, she felt the muscles in Karen's body tense. She began to tremble and Ellie cried silently as Karen squeezed her. She knew she was at the fire again. She always knew.
"Karen, there was nothing you could do! Neither was your fault! How many times must I tell you that before you believe me?"
She held her tighter as she relived the fire again.
"It was me they wanted, Sis! It was always me! They killed our parents and then my family!!!! They took all I ever loved from me except for you. I never asked to be this way!"
"Karen!" she said, pulling back from her so she could look into Karen eyes. "You were born special. We have always known that. Mom and Dad knew it, Derek knew it and so did your children. There is nothing you did to make that happen. It just happened! Now we have one chance to get out of here and start fresh. But if we don't go soon, we won't make it out of here! Please, I need you to focus. You've seen the lights flicker. We need to go."
"Yes, yes, I know. I am so sorry. Let's gather our things and get going.They must be close enough to cause the lights to go out. Damn!"
She watched as Ellie made her way across the front lawn. She had loaded the SUV and was walking back to the house. Karen was never so grateful to have her sister with her as she was now. Ellie smiled as she came up the front steps. Karen reached out to hug her and thank her. The expression on Ellie's face hit Karen even before the sound did. She watched as Ellie stumble across the threshold of the house. She reached out and caught her before Ellie could fall to the floor. Her blouse was red in seconds. Karen laid her down and searched frantically for an entrance wound. When she was certain there was none to be found, she laid Ellie's body gently on the floor. She poured oil over the body and watched as Ellie slowly began to breathe again.Reaching for her wand, she closed the door with Ellie still lieing on the floor.
Outside, she saw the two young women walking away from the house quickly. As one looked over her shoulder, Karen saw the fear in her eyes. She tried to pull the other woman with her. Ellie stretched out her wand in the women's direction. The sky above them turned dark and the wind began to stir. Lightening flashed around the women as they began running away. The flashes danced all around them, barring their way in all directions. They stood clinging to one another, crying, begging Karen to turn her wand away.
"I will let you live long enough to tell the others Not to send little girls to take down an Elder. Me nor my sister will be harmed ever again by the sister Coven. You tell them that! You tell Melody that! Feel my anger now before you go!!!"
Karen swirled her wand in a circle and tossed the energy at the women. In an instant, lightening exploded where the two women stood clinging tight to one another. In one more instant there was a scream of pain. The next moment... they were no more.

The Forest Has Ears... Part 2

The sky cleared almost as quickly as it had darkened. Karen turned and went back in to check on Ellie. She was sitting up, leaned against the wall of the kitchen. The only sign that she had been hurt was the blood stain on her blouse.
"Stupid, stupid me! If my head had been on right I would have seen that coming, Ellie. I am very sorry."
"Stop it, Karen. There is nothing we can do about it now. Thank goodness I have a little bit of mom in me or I would have been dead for sure. Thank you for the touch healing. That helps."
"What are we going to do, Ellie?"
"Right now, we are going to get out of here before that witch with a B sends more of her flunkies to mess with us. We can't go where we were headed, that's a given. Melody has eyes every-where. We need to find a safe place where she can't feel us for a while."
"Derek was a fool... A wonderfully, brilliant, handsome fool."
"O.k., where are we going with this, Sis?"
"He knew. He knew all along that one day being with a wiccan would cost him his life. He knew and still he stayed."
"He loved you. He always did, Karen."
"And it cost him his life! What kind of exchange was that!? Seventeen years of ducking and diving and hoping the next lightening bolt wasn't meant for you. When we walked the right of passage into Marriage, he knew then. No one has their broomstick break in half just from stepping over it. He said it was because our Love was so strong. I knew better and so did he. It foretold of his death even then. And still, he stayed."
"You have to remember that a lot of things were different with you, Karen. You were confirmed before you were ten years old. Unheard of. You were born with five stars on your shoulder, for cripes sake! At the initiation, we suddenly had a lunar eclipse. Your second Saturn return came to you before you were thirty. Anyone else is 58 to 60 years old, Sis. That's fact! No one really knew what it all meant. Mom and Dad maybe, but if they did, they didn't pass the knowledge on. All we can do is survive as long as we can. You didn't step out of the coven, remember? That was Melody and her followers. You tried to fix the tear in the fabric and..."
"And it cost me my husband and my children! What a price to pay for something I should have walked away from years ago!"
The lights began flickering again. Both ladies looked at the front door.
"Karen, we need to get out of here. We can not stay any longer. Take us to a safe place now."
Knowing the lights were not because the house was old, Karen knew Ellie was right. They finished loading the van and Ellie drove away from the house. As she turned the first bend, an explosion happened behind them. In the rear view mirror she watched as the house turned quickly to ashes. Quicker, she knew than was normal.
"Is it gone?"
"Yes Karen, completely. Where are we going? Point the way."
"There is only one place that Melody can't feel us. Head North to the forest. We can find refuge there while we figure out what we are going to do."
As they drove, a car suddenly appeared behind them. Ellie watched it in the mirror as it got closer to them. The car moved into the passing lane as it approached.
"I think we have company, Sis."
Karen looked at Ellie and then through the back window. The car was like any other car to the naked eye. To Karen, it shimmered and turned from silver to copper color and back to silver over and over again.
"It's more of Melody's girls. I can feel six of them. Keep driving and do not look back, Ellie. Do not even look into your mirror."
The car hit the back of the van. The van lunged forward as Ellie gripped the wheel tighter. "Just hold it as best as you can, Ellie. Keep your eyes glued to the road!"
Karen climbed from the front seat to the back of the van. She glanced up front and saw Ellie watching her. "Damn it, Ellie! I said keep your eyes on the road. Do you want to die!?"
"I am sorry... I am scared!"
"Me too, but I need to concentrate, please!" Ellie turned her eyes back to the road. She kept them focused on the highway in front of her, though she wanted so to watch what Karen was doing. Karen kicked the back door of the Van open just as the car struck it again. She grabbed the side of the door to keep from falling out. A bright light came through the back door and struck the floor. With a wink, the flames were extinguished. Karen stretched out her wand. It was long, longer than the traditional wand. It was a foot long and covered in every color that existed in a witches "tool kit." It was covered in Gold instead of brass and the shine from it could blind a person. The driver saw the wand first. Karen saw her eyes widen as she tried to back the car away from the van. Karen smiled.
Should have done that before you tried to kill us! Now it's my turn." Flashes were coming from every window of the car. They were striking the van on all sides and Ellie struggled to keep the Van on the road. Karen suddenly left the van and in an instant was seated next to the driver. The girls in the car began trying to hide on the floor of the car. Wands were being dropped and the driver could barely keep the car on the road.
"Don't you hate it when your leader forgets to tell you how nasty I am? You girls should have stayed in bed this morning. Now, I have to get mean. How shall we do this, ladies? Do you pull over and try to run or do we do it right here? Trap you like you did my Love and my children."
"It wasn't us, Karen, I swear it wasn't!!!!"
"Then I guess you should have just said "No", Tara. Too late for that though."
As the car came to a screeching halt, all the ladies reached for the door handles. As their fingers gripped the handles, they all heard the door-locks snap down. "Now that wouldn't be nice of you if you left just when I was about to start class, would it?"
With a wave of her hand, the car began to heat up. The windows fogged over quickly. Suddenly, Tara disappeared from the front seat. Karen turned towards the back seat.
"Tara is on her way back to Melody. She is going to tell her what happened here today. Unfortunately, you 5 will not be joining her."
"Please, please, don't hurt us!"
"It will only hurt for a minute, Selena. Much nicer than you were to my loved ones. And please don't deny it. I can still smell their presence on all of you. Bye ladies."
In a bright flash, Karen was back in the van. She watched as the car and all inside, turned to ashes. She crawled back into the front seat.
"Is it done, Sis?"
"For now. Let's get to the Forest. We can listen from there."