The Seekers – A World Turned Inside Out (Part 3)
Metterling Mountain (continued)
The seekers stayed the night and slept next to the Grand Oak before starting out once again. Only now they were seven in all. The young fairy, who had shaken Lisette’s finger with complete trust, would accompany them to Metterling Mountain. Each fairy, you see, possessed a magical power – the Grand Oak pronouncing that Florette’s camouflage ability would serve the seekers well on their journey.
The mountain was located to the east of Evergreen Forest. Few had ever traveled that far east, and no one had ever ventured beyond Metterling Mountain. Not a single map in the whole of Wrunwicks explored further east. To the west were the neighboring forests. Some maps also showed the body of water surrounding the land of Wrunwicks. No one knew exactly how big or how deep it was.
Those who had journeyed that far said it stretched as far as the eye could see. It was referred to as Thomas Waters – so called after the man who had ventured into the waters with his horse, only to turn back when he could find no place to cross without drowning.
The elders would sometimes gather to discuss what might be on the other side of those waters. Some speculated that another land existed, while some remained unconvinced. The difference of opinions always led to a lively debate.
Some books held stories which occurred in that fantasy land. The Millenia series was one such story, which took place in New Found Land. Approaching the halfway point, Lisette was hooked by the writer’s vivid imagination. She loved the idea of handheld libraries. If only she had one for her journey, she mused before turning her attention back to reality.
The Road Ahead
Since leaving the Grand Oak, the seekers had fallen into a reflective silence. Even Florette, who was never quiet for long, had been lost in thought. This was her first time leaving the Grand Oak and her parents. And while she was excited, she feared the wrunwick as much as the next fairy. Rising from Lisette’s hood to sit on Daisy’s neck, Florette sat facing Lisette, holding the horse’s dark brown mane to steady herself.
“Do you really think the wrunwick have returned and have set up camp at Metterling Mountain, Lisette?”
“I fear that it may be so, Florette, but we must not rule out the possibility of something far less strange. The encampment at Metterling Mountain will tell us the truth. And we must face that truth – which means the wrunwick if necessary.”
“But there are so few of us, how can we ever hope to defeat such fierce creatures? When the wrunwick first ruled this land, no one could stop them.”
“As a little girl, I read about the wrunwick and the terror that reigned over the people. No one dared to confront the wrunwick because of their size and strength. I, too, am afraid, but we cannot allow our fear to keep us from fighting back. If the wrunwick have truly returned, we cannot allow the age of terror to reign once again.”
Interrupting their conversation, Ewart addressed the group in his usual efficient manner. “Those clouds suggest heavy rains. I propose that we keep watch for possible shelter as we travel. We may need to concede this day earlier than planned.” He estimated their journey to the mountain would take nine days under a sunny sky – ten or more if they stopped at the last village along the way. And despite the urgent nature of their journey, he saw no point in arriving at the mountain weakened by the same determination which lead them here.
The others looked to the sky, and saw that the clouds were indeed very pregnant – giving them anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours before the clouds broke open. Rainy season was not due for another month, but Mother Nature often followed her own timeline. During the rainy season, villagers respectfully stayed inside while Mother Nature washed and tended to the land.
Turning her attention back to their newest member, Lisette was quick to act. “Florette, I need you to see if there are any caves nearby. Do not stray too far and be careful. We are not familiar with this part of the forest. Can you do that?”
“I can, Lisette. You need not worry about my safety, for I will be camouflaged. Nothing or no one will know my presence.” Happy to be of service, Florette flew off in search of shelter while everyone wished her luck and a most swift return. Although new to the group, they had already grown quite fond of Florette. The young fairy’s lighthearted spirit lifted their own.
To their relieved smiles, Florette returned thirty minutes later, her wings fluttering with excitement. “I found what appears to be a cave nestled inside a giant rock. It’s about an hour’s ride from here. I can take you there, but I must warn you. Outside the cave stands an extraordinary creature with the upper body of a man and the lower body of a horse. The creature carries a bow and arrow. He looks angry and a little confused.
A World Turned Inside Out
Lisette remembered reading about this creature. The books called them ‘centaurs’ – stories that were largely accepted as myths. Yet, after meeting the Grand Oak and befriending Florette, she was open to the possibility of anything. She was beginning to feel as though she was upside down in a world turned inside out.
“Did he see you, Florette?” Accepting the soundness of her friend’s observation, Lisette didn’t waste time on surprise or speculation.
“No, he did not. I was camouflaged the entire time as promised. And as soon as I found the cave, I hurried back.”
“What do we now?” Aspen asked no one in particular. She was still digesting the news of a half man, half horse.
“We still need shelter during the rains. And we have already committed to facing the wrunwick if they have returned. Surely we can face this one creature.” Roy declared, raising his sword as he spoke.
“I have read about these creatures. In books, there are both good and vicious centaurs, as they are called. Perhaps it would be wise for us to approach with caution, until we know more about this centaur. With the help of Florette’s camouflage ability, we could approach unseen to observe the centaur before acting.” Lisette fell silent, letting her words sink in.
“Let us hope this centaur is one of the good ones,” Ewart said with a wry grin. “But we cannot know until we see for ourselves,” he concluded.
“To adventure!” Roy saluted, raising his sword once again. Followed by Aspen, who raised her sword along side Roy’s. “To courage!” she added.
“To truth!” the others joined in, raising their swords in unison. “To us!” Florette sang out from Lisette’s hood, raising her hand to the sky.
In case you missed parts 1 and 2 of this story, I’m including the links below. Until next time, be kind to yourself. You’re worth it!✨