Alright so to try and get rid of my writer's block, I've written this one shot. Hope everyone likes it. READ AND REVIEW!
Disclaimer = I don't own The Night of the Solstice!
The battle was raging. Nothing could stop it. Magic filled the air as the sorcerers attacked Morgana Shee. Thia Pendril still held Claudia, who was now limp in her arms, against her will, the Silver Staff to Claudia Hodges-Bradley's neck. Alys, Charles and Janie Hodges-Bradley just stood there, looking at the battle. Just as soon, Cadal Forge turned away from the fierce battle and strode towards Claudia. Oh no, Alys thought, looking at the scene ahead. Cadal Forge approached Claudia, a red stone that shone like a ruby in his hands, with a focused look in his eyes. He was after something and that included Claudia.
Cadal Forge lifted the ruby up to Claudia's face but there was no reaction from the little girl. "You guys help Morgana," Alys instructed as she lunged off the gallery. Once Cadal Forge realized that he wasn't getting anything from Claudia, he backed away and raised his Red Staff to point at Alys's sister's heart. I will not let that happen, Alys thought. She dropped on the councillor, wrapping her arms around Claudia and dropping the Silver Staff. A sharp pain erupted through Alys's body as they both landed on the ground roughly.
But Alys could not move. She felt so tired.
Charles and Janie ran down the staircase, reaching Morgana in time to find the sorcerers attacking her. As Charles and Janie arrived close to her, Morgana attacked all of them and they fled simultaneously. Why would they flee? Janie thought when the sorcerers fled the battle and left them alone. Their actions were quite mysterious but they weren't to be questioned. Now was the time to head home and sleep this whole thing off. However, something felt wrong. Both Charles and Janie felt it. "Do you—"
"Yes, there is something wrong in the air. I can feel it," Morgana replied as she looked at the sky above her. Charles and Janie exchanged a look before deciding to rejoin the others. Maybe Alys had the same feeling Janie had.
"Alys, come on. Wake up." Janie could hear Claudia pleading as they arrived at the scene of the beginning of the battle. But everything was wrong. Claudia was kneeling beside Alys, who lay against her side, her face unreadable. Elwyn was standing behind Janie's sister but her face was saddened, a start for her. "Please Alys, wake up," Claudia pleaded once more but Alys would not move.
"Claudia?" Janie asked while approaching the party. But what came next shocked them. Alys was lying on her side, her face beaded with sweat and her eyes were closed. Her breathing had become laboured and it worried both Janie and Charles. "Alys?" Janie asked, her voice etched with worry. Suddenly, just as Janie had begun to shake her awake roughly, Alys's eyes peered open so slightly that you would have never believed she was awake.
"Thank goodness!" Claudia exclaimed with extreme happiness. Alys tried to look around but seemed to be lost. Her eyes seemed glassy and gone.
"Claude...?" Alys whispered so low it took everything they had to hear her. Morgana kneeled beside the eldest Hodges-Bradley sister and examined her thoroughly, delicately and carefully. "Is it... over...?" She asked as her eyelids started to fall once again.
"This is not good..." Morgana said as she looked at Alys's stomach. Even the sight of it made Janie gasp in shock. Just centimetres beside the navel, a large needle stuck out of the eldest sister's stomach. The wound bled and seeped into her shirt dangerously. But there seemed to be a collision of colour within the blood. It was red but also tainted with a dark green colour. Morgana's hand hovered above the wound but never touched it. For all they knew, it could be contagious.
"Morgana..." was the only word that escaped Alys's lips but her voice was so frail, so fragile. Never have Janie or any of Alys's siblings heard their eldest sister so weak in their entire life. Alys had always been the one to fight with them and stand up for what seemed right. But now, the moment where she was at her weakest, was a frightening moment for everyone. "What's—"
"Do not try to speak, young one. It will only quicken the process," Morgana replied while tearing a piece of her clothing and placing it around the needle, making Alys wince loudly in pain. "This will be hard..."
"What's going to be hard? What process? What's wrong with Alys?" Janie asked frantically, worried sick about her sister. Alys hadn't moved since they found her like this. One of her arms was lying against Claudia's lap in a protective matter. But when Morgana wouldn't respond automatically, Janie felt anger boil inside of her. "Morgana, what's wrong with Alys?" Janie screamed at the Quislai, afraid of what the answer would be.
"Cadal Forge poisoned your sister. She has less than twenty-four hours to live if we don't hurry and get her to a healer," Morgana said as she placed her hand around the cloth and whispered an "I'm sorry" to Alys and yanked the needle out of Alys's stomach, making Alys grind her teeth together to prevent from screaming. Claudia cringed away as her eldest sister slumped in weakness.
"What can we do?" Charles asked, eyeing Morgana and Elwyn carefully.
"We need to bring her to Arien. She will be able to heal her," Morgana replied, turning Alys around gently. The pain in the wound made it difficult for Alys to even breathe. Wincing at the pain, the eldest Hodges-Bradley began breathing heavily and her strength was seeping quickly. Claudia clutched Janie's arm with fright and desperation, desperation for Alys to make it out alright. Morgana turned her head towards Elwyn and said: "Gather your maidens. We will need their help to bring Alys to the marsh."
"What marsh?" Charles asked as Elwyn walked away to gather her troops. But Charles never got his answer. Elwyn returned moments later with many of her maidens and what looked like a leaf-made gurney with no wheels. But this 'gurney' was being carried by two very large men. "They look like Tarzan," Charles whispered to Janie but earned a slap in the stomach. A hard slap. "Ow!"
But Janie never retorted a sarcastic remark back at him. All she could do was stare as her sister was being lifted painfully onto the lift. Morgana kneeled down next to Alys and placed pressure onto the wound, making Janie's sister cry in pain. At the painful sound of her sister's cries, Janie shuddered. To hear Alys in such pain was unbearable. Already that it's hard to consider the fact that she was weakened but to know that she could die was just unthinkable, unimaginable. Old, responsible Alys… on the verge of death. What would Mom and Dad say? Janie thought as Elwyn placed a blanket onto Alys and the two men lifted her up gently and slowly.
"Will she be alright?" Claudia asked, walking up to the gurney and enticed her tiny hand through Alys's. A shiver ran through the youngest Hodges-Bradley child and fear captured her. "She's getting colder."
Morgana's face became blank, unreadable. "Then we don't have much time. We must start moving now, if we are to save her." Removing a strand of hair away from Alys's face, Alys's face scrunched up in pain and sweat ran down her forehead, making Morgana look deeply worried. She cared deeply about these kids. Even though they have caused much trouble since they have met the Quislai, she cared deeply for them, no matter what Morgana would say in her defence.
"Where are we going?" Janie asked worriedly.
"To the edge of the marsh. It's a place of healing," Morgana explained, eyeing all three Hodges-Bradley children carefully. "It will heal your sister's wound. And hopefully save her in time."
The walk to the marsh was agonizing. All they could do was walk, never run. If so, it would jostle Alys's body too much and Alys would only be in Death's hands quicker. Janie became impatient and, quite frankly, angry. She hated waiting. If she had a choice in this, they would have arrived there in half the time. Claudia kept a strong hold onto Alys's pale hand. Janie kept pace right beside her eldest sister. But now, the anger built inside her diminished to worry and fright as she looked at her sister.
Alys's face was covered in sweat as she breathed deeply and raggedly. Her hair clung to her pale face, sweat continuing to pour down her forehead, even with the blanket covering her. Alys's eyes were closed, indicating that she was either asleep or unconscious. Janie became more and more worried as time flew by. Alys hadn't spoken a word since they had departed from the battlefield.
Janie, wanting to make sure her sister was still alive, walked up to Alys and placed a gentle hand on her sister's cold shoulder. Alys Hodges-Bradley was getting colder. That's not a good sign, Janie thought while looking down at her sister. Alys hadn't waken at Janie's touch.
"Alys?" Janie asked, hoping her voice would wake her up. Nothing. "Alys, come on honey." Janie had never called Alys such things. But, at the rate Alys was dying, it didn't matter what Janie called her. Alys was her sister. "Wake up."
Suddenly, Alys gasped for air and her eyes fluttered open slightly. Sweat fell down her forehead as Alys turned her head and faced Janie. "Janie…?" Alys's voice came in ragged breaths. "What… what's happening to me…?"
"Don't try to talk. Look, just listen for a second. You've got to pull through this alright? I know it really hurts right now but you can pull through this. Don't leave Charles and Claudia, and Mom and Dad, and… Don't leave me. We'll be crushed. All of us. I know I haven't been the best sister to you but please, you've got to make it through. Alright?" Janie asked, pleading with every ounce of heart Janie had. It scared Janie to see her sister like this, even worse than her original state when they had found her on the battlefield.
Alys looked at Janie through glazed eyes. Breaths of pain escaped her lips as they kept walking. "I… I'll try… It… just hurts…" Alys whispered closing her eyes with pain. She was losing her strength quickly. When would we get there? Janie thought as Morgana came towards them, eyeing Alys worriedly.
"How long Morgana? She's fading quickly," Janie said; her voice levelled although it wanted to break at any time.
"Not very long. We're almost there." Morgana looked up and showed everyone a large swamp. It seemed eerie but the smell was insufferable. But Morgana knew that this place would heal Alys. It just had to. Janie placed a comforting hand on Alys's shoulder as they walked into the swamp, sinking their feet into the mud in some places.
Suddenly, a creature with a supple body that was much longer than her arms and legs arrived in the swamp. The creature had small, clever-looking hands with fur on the backs but not on her palms. That same fur covered her body and it also framed her face, which made it look like she was wearing a hood. Her only clothes were something like an open, sleeveless coat made of something like gossamer material.
"Arien," Morgana said, stepping in front of everyone to greet her. The creature smiled at the Quislai but Morgana never returned the kind gesture. No, the Quislai was too concerned over Alys to say anything else.
"Morgana, what a surprise. What can I do for you?" Arien said, eyeing her curiously. Morgana stepped to the side and Arien could see Alys's practically still form.
Alys had gone even paler than before, which made Janie even more worried. Claudia tried to poke Alys once but there was no movement. Alys was completely immobile. Her limp hand laid on her stomach. Claudia held another hand but there was no response to the pressure the youngest Hodges-Bradley enforced on the oldest Hodges-Bradley's hand.
Arien came up to Alys and pressed two fingers to the pulse on her neck. Suddenly, the creature's face scrunched up in worry. "Her pulse is very weak. She won't last very long. We need to bring her to the marsh now, before it's too late." Arien placed her furry arms under Alys, jostling her slightly and lifting Alys in her arms. Alys's head lolled off of Arien's arm and her body, limp as it was, never made a motion. Arien walked away with Alys in her arms. Janie, Charles and Claudia started walking with her, Morgana right on their trails. As they followed Arien, they saw that a few creatures, similar to Arien, around a small pool of clear water. Flat gray rocks surrounded the pool that held only an inch or two of water.
A sweet smell erupted from the pool, surrounding everyone with that lovely aroma. Well, it's better than the swamp, Janie thought as Arien approached the pool, Alys still limp in her arms. It didn't look like Alys was still alive. There wasn't even a lift of her chest as her breathing slowed quickly.
Arien placed Alys in the pool and kneeled by the rocks around the pool.
Alys's wound was deep in the water while her legs and upper body were out of the pool. Her head laid against the rocks around the pool, unmoving. Alys's lips were slightly parted and her eyes were closed, some sweat still pouring down her face. But it had stopped. Everything about Alys had seemed to stop. Her breathing, her movement, everything.
Oh no… Janie thought, panicking. They waited and waited but nothing seemed to help. Alys lay motionless in the pool.
Claudia and Charles stared at their sister's limp form but Janie was already in motion. Unfortunately, as Janie was about to approach the pool, Morgana held her back, enticing her arms around Janie's waist. "Morgana, what are you doing? Let me go! Alys!" Janie said, frantically trying to get out of Morgana's reach. She can't be dead… Alys can't be dead… Janie kept repeating to herself as she watched her sister's lifeless form. Arien placed a hand on Alys's forehead and her grave expression made Janie's heart shatter. Alys was not dead! "Alys, wake up! Come on Alys! Wake up!" Janie kept struggling, fear creeping in on her as Alys never made a sound or a reply to Janie's screaming.
"Morgana, lead the children to my cabin," Arien said as she placed two fingers on Alys's throat, seeing if there was any pulse.
Morgana dragged Janie and the others away. But Janie kept struggling, a few tears running down her eyes as Alys still didn't move. Her sister's form became smaller and smaller as they walked away from the scene and went to a cabin. It had been the first time that Janie cried over her sister. Alys might have been a large pain but she was still Janie's older sister. She can't be gone, was the only thought that ran through Janie's mind as they entered a cabin and Morgana brought the three Hodges-Bradley children into a tight embrace.
Alys was gone and there was nothing that they could do about it. She was gone…
"What are we going to tell Mom and Dad?" Claudia asked, sniffling from the crying. They had been in the cabin for a while now, waiting for Arien to come back. Janie and Claudia had been crying since then while Charles paced the cabin. Morgana sat on the rock in the far corner, elbows on knees and hands together. She was thinking, thinking of a way to save Alys. But there wasn't. Alys had died a few minutes ago in that pool.
Janie held her sister, unable to say anything. She was in shock. It was hard to believe that old responsible Alys was gone. "I don't know Claude…" was the only thing Janie could say. There was nothing to say. A Hodges-Bradley was out of the family and there was no logical explanation behind it. Janie ran her hand along Claudia's hair soothingly, trying to calm her sister down but it was hard. Claudia was still young and it was harder for her to see such a tragedy happen in front of her own eyes.
Just as Janie continued soothing Claudia's shaking form, Arien stepped through the curtain that posed as a door. Her face was still graved as she stood halfway in the door. "Morgana, I'll need your help." Arien said, making the Quislai approach her. Janie stood up and looked at the creature with red-rimmed eyes.
"Where's our sister?" Janie asked, her voice cracking because of the tears.
"Come and see…" Arien said as she stepped outside and one of the Tarzan-men came in, holding… No, it was impossible…
"Alys," Janie said, her eyes widening at the sight of her eldest sister.
Alys was leaning heavily on the man holding her, her face still pale. But the wound was healed and covered with white gauze. The gauze was only stained red now, instead of green and red. Her skin was still clammy in the small light and it only glowed slightly with the sweat. But she was alive. She was really alive.
Claudia ran up to her sister, wrapping her tiny arms around Alys's waist. Alys indicated to the man that she was alright and he let her go. Now Alys was leaning heavily on the wall of the cabin, holding Claudia with all of her strength. "Claude…" Alys said; her voice stronger than before. Janie finally ran up to her sister along with Charles and they all wrapped their arms around her, unbelievably happy that she was back to life. "Janie, Charles…" She said, holding them as tightly as possible.
"Don't ever do that to us!" Janie scolded with a happy tone. "Ever!"
"I won't… I promise…" Alys said, clinging to them for dear life. Everything was right again. They were a family again.
Alright so what did you think? Good? Bad? Not worth it like my other stories? Let me know in reviews!