Sitting cross-legged on a giant bridge in a eerie floating city, I sat looking at the starry sky. For some reason, my dreams were being haunted by my father and how he died, and I apparently found it hard to sleep without bawling my eyes out. To take my mind off of things, I reflected about what had happened a few days ago. Why had Max suddenly done just that, steal the mother crystal? He had become very close to me, almost what I could call my best friend, and then he just... used me.

A tear trickled down my cheek and turned to fog in the chilly night air. Then my mind wheeled back to when I was talking to that old man about being ready for war. I felt more scared than ever. I was wrong. I, a twelve year old red head, was not ready for such a thing. Why did dad have to die? If he didn't, I would have never have gone to this stupid world, never have gotten that blasted amulet, never have-

Another tear fell. I would have never had met my nice, reassuring friends, never have gotten self confidence, never have received such kind words of encouragement from the voice of the stone. As if sensing my sorrow, the amulet began to glow a velvet pink and floated up to my face. The magic behind the academy walls had faded, allowing me to speak to my amulet once again.

"Young Master." The stone's voice was particularily gentle. "Why so glum?" Another tear dropped into my lap.

"You don't know why."

"Of course not."

"Then why bother to speak to me about it?"

Silence. The stone seemed to be thinking about something, from the way the pink light is flickering. Then, "Silas used to say something like that. He used to say, 'my friend, I appreciate your concern, I really do. But I ask you this once to leave it to myself to figure out.' But I was still worried."

I blinked. It reminded me of that time that my mom told me that grandpa Silas locked himself away after his wife died. "Was that when great, great grandma died?"


I blinked again. Curious, I inquire, "How did she die?"

A long, uncomfortable silence stretched once again. Then the amulet broke it by saying, "The elves found the portal into the other world and invaded their home. Silas fought them off, but then... then Lugar's great grandfather had found Azuli hiding under their bed and..." It's voice shook, so I finished it's sentence.

"She was murdured." I felt surprise prickling in my skin; I did not stop once and think about whether the stone had true emotions or not. But I guess if you were to stand by and watch someone get murdured, you might as well feel some stress collecting in your throat. "That's terrible." I whispered. The amulet bobbed up and down as though it were nodding. Suddenly, I lunged out and grabbed the Amulet, giving it a tight hug against my chest.

"Someone's coming, Emily." It warned, turning back into an ordinary necklace.

"What are you doing out here?" A familiar voice broke the silence, and I turned around to see Leon stalking up to meet me at the edge of the bridge.

Unable to think of an excuse right away, I turned back around and allowed my eyes to rest on a tree that was so dangerously close to a cliff. I let the tears form again. "Nightmare. What are you doing up here?"

"Hmmm." Without answering my retort, he took a seat beside me and followed my gaze. "I noticed that when we were at those mountains before we came to Ceilis..." The fox cleared his throat. "That you were looking at the same type of tree." I felt a flicker of sorrow pass through me, but to cover it up I glared at him defiantly.

"So?" I seethed, disappointed when I knew that he'd seen the grief in my eyes.

He turned his head toward me. "What is wrong? Every time that I asked about it, you always seemed so livid." Sighing, he rubbed the back of his head. "You know, if you keep this up, you'd probably end up like me."

"Really?" My muscles loosened and I relaxed completely, up for a story for the second time that night. "What do you mean, exactly?" I definately didn't want to end up with fur and a snout.

Chuckling, Leon shook his head as though he were reading my thoughts. Then he told me, "When I was younger, sort of your age, and when my dad died, I kept to myself and yelled at everyone for trying to get details on what exactly happened. Then my mother one day told me, 'Tomorrow will follow any route, but your promise is today.' I didn't know what that was supposed to mean, but when the next person to ask me what became of my father came along, I knew perfectly well."

"It meant, 'tomorrow is brand-new, but today is when you can change.'" He chose the words carefully, aware that I was beginning to sob. Swiveling his ears toward me, he took my hand. "What's wrong?" He asked softly.

I wiped the tears away and explained through clenched teeth, "M-my father, h-h-he..." I began to cry again but forced out the words anyway. "He d-d-died of a-a car crash-sh. W-we..." Leon listened intently. "We crashed into a t-tree like this one." Gesturing to the tree that I was looking at before, I started up. "Mom and I g-g-got out, b-but my dad's l-legs w-w-were s-stuck behind the w-wheel." Bawling my eyes out, I shook uncontrollably. "The t-t-tree loosened and fell, taking the car with it." Still shaking, I hiccuped and rubbed my eyes. "I-I m-miss him so much."

Hugging me tightly, Leon pulled me up and led me back to my home, where Mom and Navin were staying with the rest of the group. Once I was back in my bedroom, I yawned and tucked myself in, but not before listening to my stone murmur, "So that's what you were crying about." As it's voice morphed into my dreams, and I suddenly found myself standing in my dream in front of the humaniod Amulet.

It did nothing but smile at me, so I tackled it with another hug. Taken by surprise, the black shape got disoriented for a moment, then pulled itself together. "You see, Emily? There are friends and family everywhere."

I smile up at it. "Yeah."