Friday, August 28, 2015

Alice & Alyssa: Part Twenty

One more chapter post... then the Epilogue, then we're done!!! Can you believe it? It seems to ME like we've been going through this story FOREVER!!!
But anyways, after I finish giving you the rest of Alice & Alyssa, I will finish The Magic Saber. Sorry for dropping those posts... :-/
Then we'll have a vote for what you want next!! :D

Chapter Twenty:

Alyssa opened her eyes to the sun shining brightly. As usual, she was the first one up. Yawning, she stretched and it was then she remembered what had happened the night before. A grin spread over her face and she glanced over at the sleeping forms of Raynold and Eliana. Now wide awake, she stood up and walked over to her sister. Surprisingly, Alice was awake and blinking in the bright sunlight.

“Morning already?” She asked groggily. Alyssa nodded. Alice sighed. “And I was having such a wonderful dream.” She yawned, stretched, and caught sight of the look on her sister’s face. “What happened? What did I miss this time?”

Alyssa filled her sister in on all that had happened the night before. Soon Alice was grinning almost as widely as her twin and both girls chortled together over the obvious success of their scheme.

Diana rolled to her side and opened her eyes. “What are you two laughing about?” She asked after a yawn.

“Nothing,” Alice giggled.

“Liar,” Diana accused.

“We can’t tell you,” Alyssa explained. “Another author secret.”

Diana sighed and sat up. “I’m gonna be really glad when all this mystery is cleared up. You two have been cooking up something in your book, and I’m itching to find out what it is.”

“Oh, you will soon enough,” Alice said, giving her twin a significant look. Both girls burst into laughter.

“Good grief!” Diana muttered.

Just then, Eliana woke up, as did Raynold. The latter began to make the fire, and Eliana made breakfast. The daily breakfast of hot meal, which Bettina and Raynold’s mother and so sweetly provided, cooked into a thick paste was getting tiring but no one complained this morning.

When Eliana gave Raynold his bowl, he said “thank you” and their eyes met and locked for a moment. But that moment was enough for Diana to begin to figure out what Alice and Alyssa had been giggling about earlier that morning. Besides, both of the watched persons looked as if Eliana’s salve had been applied to their cheeks every time the other one spoke to them.

At last, when the meal had been put away and their blankets were packed back into their bags and put on their horses for what all the adventurers hoped was the last time, they mounted their horses and began the trip home.


The whole village came out of their homes to greet the returning travelers as they rode in triumphantly. Raynold paused in front of the village hall and he dismounted, tied Peace to the hitching rail, and walked inside. The others followed his example and also dismounted and walked into the village hall.

Father Thaddeus was waiting for them just inside. “You have the stone?” He asked.

Raynold nodded and took the stone from Diana’s trembling fingers. The council member’s present gasped in awe.

“It is a miracle!”

“Can it be true? We have the weapon in our hands now?”

“We no longer have to fear our dreaded enemies, the gliefs?”

“What will it feel like to be free from the fear of them?”

Hushed whispers circulated the room. Father Thaddeus turned to Raynold and the girls with tears in his eyes. “Thank you,” he said simply. He caught sight of Eliana, who had hung back when they entered the village hall. “But, tell me, who is this with you?”

Raynold turned red as if on signal, and then led Eliana forward. “This is Eliana, Guardian of the Fire Stone, and our very good friend. Without her we would not have been able to come back here alive with the stone.”

Father Thaddeus placed a hand of blessing on the young woman’s head. “Then we also owe our thanks to you, my daughter,” he said with a smile.

“I only wish I could have done more,” Eliana replied.

“You can,” Raynold prompted. “Tell them the truth about the stone!”

Eliana nodded. “I have come to tell you that this stone is not the only thing that can kill our enemies, the dreaded gliefs.”

There was a general gasp, and Father Thaddeus frowned thoughtfully. “Then our belief has been wrong? Other weapons can kill gliefs?”

Eliana nodded again. “Any weapon you use to kill ordinary, every-day animals can kill gliefs too.”

More doubtful mummers arose. But then, doubts passed and a wild, joyful cheer arose from the throats of the council members.

“Pass the glad tidings!” Father Thaddeus ordered some of the younger council members. “And tell the people that we have in our possession the legendary Fire Stone that will keep us safe from gliefs until the end of this world!”

The men chosen left amidst deafening cheers and wide grins.

The travelers again mounted their horses and Raynold led them to his home where he was welcomed with open arms by his parents and siblings. The girls were also welcomed as long gone daughters, and the warmth of their welcome caused a lump to rise in Alice’s throat. It reminded her of the times when her parents had welcomed them home from summer camps and nights they had been away with friends.

Corbin came up to his brother with shining eyes. “Did you kill any gliefs?” He asked eagerly.

Raynold grinned and ruffled his younger brother’s hair. “No, but we got chased by one that was bigger than our house!”

Corbin’s eyes grew wide. “Tell me about it,” he ordered, his voice filled with awe.

“Alright,” Raynold said. While he kept Corbin enthralled with exaggerated tales of their adventures, Bettina, her mother, and Eliana gave the girls the first promised lesson in cooking. Alyssa noticed how often Raynold’s gaze settled on Eliana, and how she blushed whenever their eyes met, but she kept her thoughts to herself, since as the author she knew how it would end.

By now, everyone knew that Raynold and Eliana were in love, it was only a matter of time before they would have the marriage ceremony in the small chapel in their village. As Raynold had predicted, Bettina and Eliana had become fast friends, and both his parents were thrilled with his choice of wife.

It was a sad day when Alice and Alyssa said that it was time to go home.

Diana sighed. “Must we?”

“We must,” Alice said firmly. “After all, my sister and I have a book to publish.”

“But how?”

Alice and Alyssa shared a grin. “Hold our hands,” Alice said.

“Close your eyes,” Alyssa added.

“And now we’re home,” they said together and then sighed.

A cool night breeze lifted the hair from their faces and waved them around their faces. Their eyes opened in unison and with a reluctant look back behind them at the tree that they all knew was no longer there, the friends walked home.

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