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SparkleSteps - Chapter Fifteen: Part 2 - POLL IS UP!
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Tikanni Corazon



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:57 pm    Post subject: SparkleSteps - Chapter Fifteen: Part 2 - POLL IS UP!  

Here's part 2, which I hope is okay, as I'm losing the muse slightly at the moment. Though don't worry, I'm not going to let it get the better of me this time. ;) Hope you enjoy!


SparkleSteps ~ Chapter Fifteen: Part 2


Milo continued to race through the trees, following the Al'loren'etta's beam to Chanah. His shoulder had begun to twinge again, making it a struggle to keep up the pace, as the constant movement was jarring the wound. The skin beneath the bandage felt moist, and he knew that it had started to bleed again, despite Jem's stitch job. It suddenly occured to him that the smell of fresh blood might attract some unwelcome attention, and he hoped beyond hope that he would find Chanah soon.


The pain in his shoulder burning, Milo picked up the pace a little, all the while getting deeper and deeper into the forest. He knew that the Veeka must be close, and in turn so was Chanah, but how far? He'd been sure he would have met with her by this point and he began to worry, the worst possible outcomes running through his head.

'What if the Veeka has already captured her? He could be slicing her open right now, so that he can use his blood to transform back...he could already have transformed back...what are we going to do if that's the case? How are we going to defeat him then? Even if he hasn't, how am I going to rescue Old Bob by myself, alone?'


They continued to swim around in his brain, like flighty goldfish in a bowl. He became almost conviced of his certain failure, and that the death of all elf and man kind would be his fault. Suddenly, he came to an abrupt halt. A single thought, like a shining beacon of light, had popped into his head, and sat there glowing, warming his soul and giving new strength to his resolve. He placed his hand over his heart, and remembered the words that Tianna had related to him not half an hour before.

"You have to believe, child. You have to feel it in here. Do that and you will triumph over the evil that threatens us."

He opened his eyes again, and gave a determined nod.

"I can do this!"


He was just about to start running again, when he heard a noise to his left. A soft cracking of twigs underfoot, and the rustling of the undergrowth. A mixture of relief and worry fought for attention inside him. His first thought was that it must be Chanah, which made his heart leap for joy. But then the other possibilities returned to him, and it fluttered in his chest like a frightened sparrow. Milo gulped, and began to step away from the oncoming being. His back found the thick trunk of an ancient birch tree, and he quickly scrambled around to the other side of it.


He listened as the footsteps continued to approach, and he realised from the sound that there was more than one set of footsteps. Either it was Chanah and a new friend, which was so unlikey he felt like bursting into tears. Or it was... Dread filled his heart and he looked up at his tree, to see how easy it would be to climb. The nearest branch was a foot above his head.


A low growl reached his ears, coming from the deep shadows, and Milo knew that he'd heard the sound before.

"Harlimane!" he whispered, fear slicing through him at the memory of his earlier encounter.

He took his pack from his shoulders, grimacing as the strap chafed against injured one. Rummaging around, he retrieved the items he hope he wouldn't require, the two torches. He remembered Jem's story from earlier, and thought that having two of them to hand didn't sound like a bad idea. He just had to be sure not to get too big for his boots, and to always keep a look out for other dangers, rather than focusing wholly on the one before him.

He peeked around the tree's trunk, leaning against the bark, which was both rough and smooth. The bushes began to move and part, and a pair of deep, golden eyes appeared, then, to Milo's horror, another...and another, each followed by their owners garishly coloured bodies, and long barbed tails. Wide, open-mouthed grins were fixed on each of their faces, showing off the dozens of needle-sharp teeth contained inside the great maws.


Milo's eyes widened at the sight of the three enormous and truly terrifying creatures, as they padded into the small clearing, filling it with their bulk. One, slightly larger than the other two, paused, and bent it's head low to sniff the ground. Another growl escaped from it's lips.


Milo managed to pull his gaze away, from what he deemed to be his certain doom, and sank quietly to the ground, trying not to panic.

'Right,' he thought to himself, 'Let's try and think of how to handle this...you have two torches...that's good...but there are three of them, and you had enough trouble with just the one the last time...you have a knife, which is another good thing, you didn't have one of those the last time...damn! Why didn't you bring that spear!...Hell, I'm done for, I might as well had just walk over to that huge one right now, and throw myself into his mouth...it'll be quicker that way...'

He held his head in his hands.

'Why the hell can't I just do as I'm told for once?'


He could hear the Harlimane behind him, wandering around the clearing, growling and bickering at each other as they did so. He leaned back heavily against the tree again, his shoulder suddenly paining him all the more. He reached up to touch it, and his hand came away wet. He could see the dark coating of the liquid on his palm, in the dim light, and knew that Jem's stitches had failed him, and the wound had torn open again. He knew too that it wouldn't take the Harlimane long to pick up on the scent of fresh blood.


Suddenly, a warm feeling filled his body, and surrounded him, like comforting arms holding him in a loving embrace.

"...Child of the Allington bloodline...do not be afraid...I will let no harm come to thee..." The voice was like a whisper, soft and low, and distinctly female. Not daring to speak, for fear of alerting those that hunted him, Milo spoke back in his mind, hoping it would work.

'Who are you?'

"...I am of the Ancient Ones...those who guard and protect the forest...though I have been sleeping deeply for a long time...we have awaited your coming for many years..."

'Where are you? Are you a ghost?'

"...I'm here with you...I will protect you, both now and on your quest...we all will..."

'How can you protect me against those...those...things!? They will rip me to shreds when they...' Milo paused in his thoughts, as soft tendrils of some invisible being, touched upon his injured shoulder. The strangest sensation filled him, as he felt a painless throbbing throughout the wound, and a pulling as the flesh began to knit back together. He remained frozen in shock, until the event had ended. He gently tested the shoulder. It was completely healed. He placed his hand inside his tshirt, and removed the bandage, feeling underneath to check the skin. It was whole and smooth once more, and he nearly laughed out loud in shock and delight. Then the voice spoke to him once again.

"...And now to deal with the other problem..."


Suddenly, the ground beneath Milo's feet gave a lurch, and he fell forward. Beneath his hands, the ground looked and felt like it was made of snakes, writhing and slithering under his palms. It took him to realise what the 'snakes' really were...

'Roots! Tree roots!...You're a tree?'

"Of course...what did you think I was?..." A chuckle, like a symphony in his mind, such was the beauty of the sound, seemed to float through the air around him. He stood shakily, trying to keep his balance on the moving ground, and turned to look around the tree's trunk once more, and was astounded by what he saw.


The roots had grown to considerable lengths, and were currently battling the three Harlimane, and easily winning. One of the creatures already hung limply from one set of roots, having been throttled to death. The other two were both fighting, but quickly being overcome by the tree's unquenchable strength and stamina.. As they fought off one root, another quickly replaced it, and very quickly the creatures had had enough. One managed to shake off one of the roots that was tangled around it's leg, and ran swiftly away. The other, seeing that it was now alone, cut it's losses and followed suit.


The tree, it's short battle over, laid the body of the dead Harlimane on the ground, and Milo watched in astonishment as the roots dug into the soil, created a large hole, and dragged the body inside, sweeping the freshly dug soil back over the top.


"...All living things deserve a burial, child...even creatures such as these...They're only doing what they need to do to survive..."

Milo turned to the tree.

"Thankyou," he spoke out loud this time, looking up at the birch tree's lovely silvery trunk. "You saved my life."

"...You are entirely welcome, child of the Allington bloodline..."

He opened his mouth to speak again, but before he could, the tree's voice reached out to him again.

"...I know of your quest, child...know this...we will help you if and when you need us...you only need ask...now, time is of the essence...you must continue on, and do that which your family has refused to do for generations...and return this forest to a place of lush and green and safety...for your children, and your children's children...GO!"

The final word was said with such force, that Milo didn't have a chance to think otherwise. Without a moments hesitation, he turned, and pelted off in the direction of his destiny.

~~~

Jem stood, looking out of the enormous window, in Milo and Winnie's lounge. After several hours of trying to sleep and finding himself unable to, he'd wandered through to check on the children, and found himself drawn to the window, and the still pulsating light coming from the forest. Though it was slowly dimming, it was still distinct against the darkness, and it prickled insecently at Jem's curiousity. What on earth could it possibly be? The force with which it had exploded through the window and upin them, had been immense. There had been a point when he thought he was going to die, from the sheer pressure, pushing against his body.


He sighed wearily, and stumbled over to one of the large armchairs, sinking down into it, and leaning back against the feather cushions. He closed his eyes, and allowed his mind to go over the past five days. For that was all it had been, five short days, since those children had entered his life, and changed everything. He chuckled softly to himself, at the impact the two of them had had on him and his feelings. He'd spent years cooped up in this huge great mansion, alone, aside from the staff, ever since his sister and John had left. Though he'd never made it known, he'd been heartbroken on that day. His beloved sister and his childhood friend had left him, promising to return frequently for visits. But they never had. He'd grown bitter and lonely, keeping himself to himself at all times, and never letting his feelings get in the way of anything. Not even those he felt for...


He brushed the thought aside, and decided to do what he'd gone there for, and check on the children. He strode over to Winnie's room and opened the door. The little girl was still soundly sleeping, her soft breaths carrying through the silence of the room. He flicked on the bedside lamp, and took a closer look at her. Now that a little time had passed, he saw a large bruise reaching from her left temple, and down across her cheekbone, ending at her jaw. He frowned in concern, as he regarded the bloodshot purple mass. It didn't look good at all, and was very likely the reason Winnie remained unconsious. He suddenly worried about concussion, and knew he should probably rush her to the nearest hospital immediately, despite the current goings-on at the estate.


His mind made up, he moved quietly back through the lounge, and entered Milo's room. The closed curtains in the room made it all the more overshadowed, but as his eyes adjusted to the darkeness, he realised quickly that the boy wasn't there. For a moment, he was stunned into silence and frozen to the spot. After all the boy had been through that evening, how on earth could he not be exhausted. Tendrils of dread began to creep into his mind, as he wondered where Milo had actually gone. He tried to convice himself he would merely be downstairs, getting a drink or a snack from the kitchen, or maybe checking on Mot. He continued to try and drum these thoughts into his mind as he left their quarters and made his way down the hall to Mot's room.


He knocked, and heard the groggy response from within. He opened the door, and poked his head around it. Nobody besides Mot, who was blinking sleepily at him, was in the room. The elven man yawned, then looked at Jem enquiringly.

"Sorry to bother you," Jem said quietly, "but I wondered if you'd seen Milo."

Mot shook his head.

"No, I haven't seen the boy since you were all in here earlier. Is he not in his room?" Mot's youthful face crinkled into an anxious frown.

"No, but not to worry. I'm sure he's just downstairs doing something or other. I just wanted to check."


With that, Jem left the room, and rushed downstairs. His assurances to Mot had been merely for the elven man's peace of mind, he himself knew they weren't true. He checked all of the downstairs rooms anyway, calling out Milo's name every so often and praying that he would get an answer. But he didn't, as, deep down, he'd known he wouldn't. He backed up against the wall in the main hall, and slid down it to the floor, running his hands through his golden locks.

"Christ Milo! Why the hell can't you just do as I tell you for once?"

He held his head in his hands, as he struggled to think what to do. Milo had clearly left the house, and gone off in search of the source of the light, which meant he was in the forest, which in turn meant that he was in constant danger of capture or death. On the other hand, he also had an unconsious, most probably concussed child in his care, and no one to take care of her should he decided to go after Milo. And Winnie also needed proper medical treatment as soon as possible.


His eyes were drawn to the window, and, once again, the forest. The smallest flash of daylight slivered upon the horizon, a light splash of purples and mid-blue. With another sigh, he pushed himself up, and got to his feet. He'd made up his mind what he had to do, and he needed to get going.


Okay, your second dp for chapter 15 is just that. What has Jem decided to do?
Thankyou for reading, I appreciate it! :)
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Andolyn



Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 852
Location: sitting barefoot in a tree in the beautiful land of Ardara, writing my tales...

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:34 pm    Post subject:  

go! GOOOOOOO!!!!! go find Milo! save the day!! do what his family had vowed to do and be the hero!! =D

saw a couple menial mistakes, but i'm sure one of our lovely, bloodthirsty citizens will point each and every one out for you. haha!! ;)

loved it girl! keep going!
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Tikanni Corazon



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:51 pm    Post subject:  

Thanks Andi! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I've gone over the whole thing to see of I could find the mistakes, and I think I may have done, but if anyone spots anymore, just let me know.;)

Thanks again! :)
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Mattheus



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 51
Location: Sydney, Australia

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:06 pm    Post subject:  

Well I've only read this chapter and need to go back and read the others but I like it alot :D

Yep, I think the thing to do is and find Milo, although I reserve the right to change my mind after I've caught up with earlier chapters :lol:
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:32 am    Post subject:  

I think he's actually taking Winnie into the forest with him. He's got to have some other resources in that forest and would know exactly where they are, even if there was some little risk in getting there (the tree itself perhaps - she needs medical attention, no?)

This way he can kill two birds with one stone. He's going to have to trust that Milo can stick up for himself enough to buy him enough time to catchup with Winnie strapped to his back with a makeshift rope harness. BRING THE DANG SPEAR this time! lol

Ok, so this chapter was WONDERFUL! The way you played out the Harlimane scene was amazing. It acted on the previous encounter so well and gave that first, surprising, frightening, and almost abrupt run-in with a Harlimane such an added depth. Now, we are one and they are three... tense and creepy in the extreme... LOVED IT!

I was following along, thinking, how the hell is he getting out of this one. And about the time I thought to myself, well, if I were a DM running this as a game session, I'd have a treant come to the rescue... blam... you had a treant coming to the rescue. Does that make you predictable or does it make great minds think alike... I couldn't tell. Either way it was about the only reasonable out I think you had and it introduced the tree lady nicely. I found it humane how she dispatched the creatures although it did come off then as a little anti-climactic it didn't seem inappropriate in any way. It was kinda like a train roaring down the tracks, you're tied up, and then the train turns to mist right before hitting you... Not bad... just how it went down.

Anyhow... I think that's about all I can say really. Well done and looking forward to more.
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Tikanni Corazon



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject:  

Thanks guys! I really was quite worried about this chapter, because, as I said before, I was having real trouble finding the inspiration. And when I did, I just kept getting interrupted. Itís very reassuring to hear that you enjoyed it all the same. :)

Thanks very much for the suggestions too TB and Mattheus! Iím really glad you enjoyed it, and thanks so much for reading! And an extra thanks to each of you, TB for being so encouraging, and Mattheus, for having the intention of reading the entire thing!
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Mattheus



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 51
Location: Sydney, Australia

Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:19 am    Post subject:  

Well after having gone back to the beginning and read every chapter, I now have a better idea of what is happening. this means that my thought of going after Milo hasn't changed either. Although I don't think he needs that much help the way he's been going.
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crazybookgal



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 196

Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:44 am    Post subject:  

help milo! wahoo go jem!
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:05 am    Post subject:  

Finally caught up - didn't realise how far I'd been left behind. Milo could do with some help I think. But before he goes, Jem needs to move Winnie into Mot's room, so that Mot can keep an eye on her.

I still don't trust Chanah.

Go catch up with Milo!
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Tikanni Corazon



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:34 am    Post subject:  

Thanks CBG and Crunchy, for reading and for your suggestions! :)


I'm currently in the middle of writing part three, and will hopefully have that up soon! Then it's onwards to chapter 16, and a rather BIG moment in the story! *is saying nothing more* ;)


Thanks again!
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Lilith



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 1597
Location: Happily curled up in a Daemon's lap

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject:  

Ahh finally! Managed to bully my eyes into reading. :)

So.. Jem should... dang, tough choice. Winnie-hospital or Milo-help. Ah! Drag Mot up to sit with Winnie but so he can rest too and keep an eye on her! Then mount up with archaic weapons galore and run off? Or maybe a magical one that Uncle Jem has hidden away? ;)
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PopeAlessandrosXVIII



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 1858
Location: Surrounded by many beautiful naked men

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:35 am    Post subject: I Think.......  

Yay! Jem time!!!! *Dances* *Giggle* He's still my fav character! Hmmmmmmmmmm..............

Jem Jem Jem....Such troublesome children no? And you wonder why you never got visits. Heheheheh, they'd have driven you nuts! But still....

Chapter wise, this was a lot of fun, and the kick-butt tree was a real treat! I always like the re-occurring badguys, so the fight was a nice little nudge for me.

DP...DP....*Shows the faith* I know I'm gonna kick myself for this one later, but....Drop Winnie off at the hospital, then nab up the mystic weapon and off to the woods! It may all be over by then, but at least Winnie'd live to see her brother again for sure!

Keep'em up!
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Tikanni Corazon



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:13 pm    Post subject:  

Here's poll number 2! Like the last one, please don't forget to vote on the other. :)
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