To show that I have not abandoned the story or writing, here is an admittedly small preview of Chapter 11. Sorry, but real life takes priority and the last couple of years has not been easy for me.
Chapter 11: An Age Ole Play Preview
Kira awoke to the sound of someone banging on the back door of her shop on the bottom floor. Throwing on a robe to cover her sleeping gown, the apothecary made her way downstairs and towards the back of her shop. "Alright! Stop breaking my door!" She called out, undoing several locks that kept out thieves and drug seekers. "This had better be important," she declared and opened the door. Her wizened eyes opened in surprise at what she found on the other side.
"I did it, Kira! I did it!" Paige claimed excitedly, a hooded figure at her side. "I saved Sarah." Paige lifted the hood from the diminutive captive to reveal a worried green haired girl. Pushing the Kokiri inside, Paige turned to the still stunned Kira. Keeping a tight grip on Saria's small shoulders, Paige looked at Kira imploringly. "Now, we just need to break the evil spell they placed on her!"
Kira eyed the cursed child. Few could lay claim to having met a Kokiri and kept their sanity to talk about it. Kira was surprised to see that though worried, the girl was taking her abduction with a surprising amount of decorum. Kira could also see the resemblance, despite the passage of years to the child's "younger" sister. Still somewhat shocked at this turn of events, Kira forced Saria to repeat her request a third time before Kira heard her.
"Please, let me go. We Kokiri are not permitted to leave the forest. We cannot survive outside its protective magics. Also, Sira will be upset if she doesn't know where I am. I don't want her to cause trouble out of worry."
"That's right!" Kira recalled in alarm. She quickly turned to Paige, who was looking at Saria with disapproval. "Where is Sira? Did you really capture her?"
"Sarah, I told you! You're not a Kokiri. Your name is S-a-r-a-h Parker. We're sisters! Please remember." Paige dropped to her knees in front of the small girl, tears streaming down her face.
"I'm sorry." Saria reached out to wipe away some of the tears with her small hands. "Though I do not remember, I do believe you were my sister once." When Paige looked at her with hope in her eyes, Saria returned the gaze with sorrow. "But that person is gone."
Faylinn gasped as Link's head stuck the ground causing the young elf to wake and rub his head in confusion. Faylinn was gobstrucked for a moment as she could not believe the Hylian child had done that. Malon, for her part, merely crossed her arms and glared down on the confused boy. Though she wasn't completely sure why the sight had caused such an extreme reaction, she hid the feeling well. As luck would have it, two figures stepped from the brush who demanded Faylinn's complete attention.
Sheik with Impa at "his" side stepped into the clearing, their hard gazes not leaving the two adult size fairies in front of them. 'One of these two must be the Fairy Queen,' Impa thought.
"Impa," Link nodded in greeting. "Sheik," he snickered. He still found the disguise funny, mostly because it had fooled him so completely the first time.
Impa returned the greeting with her own nod, not sure what the young tracker found so funny. There was even less levity in Sheik's eyes. Sheik took a deliberate step forward but stopped with an increasingly hostile glare marring her features when Faylinn interposed herself between Sheik and Link. It had been a very long time since these two faced each other on the mortal plane.
Not sure at all what was going on, Link turned to his most trusted source during such times. "Navi?" he said in a questioning tone.
"Nothing to worry about, Link," she advised, taking up her smaller form so that she could sit on his shoulders. "At least… I think that it isn't."
Malon was just as confused. It had only been a couple of days ago that she had learned fairies and magic were real.
"Have you come to apologize?" Faylinn asked, trying her best to keep her emotions in check. "That's a new look for you." She noted Sheik's masculine appearance. "I like it. It suits you."
The Triforce of Wisdom glowed hotly and in a flash, Princess Zelda stood before them or at least her body did. "And why would we apologize?" There was a slight tone of pity in her voice. "How many times must you lose before you understand your place?" The deity in mortal guise smiled as she saw the effects of her words on the Fairy Queen. "To the victor go the spoils, yes?"
Faylinn bristled, her chest heaving at the sight of the "woman" in front of her. Here was the cause of her loneliness. In front of her was the source of her years of pain. She wanted nothing more than to feel her hands around that pale slim neck, until she was reminded that there was something that she wanted more.
Sensing things were about to take a turn toward the violent, Link softly took the arm of the stranger in front of him and placed himself between the two. Truth be told, he was uncomfortable with the vibe coming from the Zelda in front of him. Malon's thoughts were the opposite in nature, as she found herself gravitating towards the newly revealed princess. She had no more idea why she felt more comfortable next to the child princess than she did of her desire to burn the fairy standing behind Link into a dry husk.
"Zelda," Link began with a questioning tone. "I wanted to ask this earlier, but never had a chance to find you alone."
Faylinn's frown deepened at his words, which brought a titter of a laugh from the heretofore dispassionate visage of the princess. Moving her gaze of triumph from Faylinn, she smiled at the cause of so many hardships for her and her sisters. "Yes? What would the Hero of Time ask of me?" It was only Impa's years of experience that prevented her face from showing surprise at the revelation of the Hero of Time's identity. Once again she had to wonder about the Triforce's sometimes roundabout way of doing things.
This was not the princess that Link knew and yet there was something he could not quite describe that was familiar. It was like trying to remember through the fog of a dream. "I wanted to know, if you knew what was happening in Termina? Or who was responsible for the attack on the camp?" Is what he asked, but what he really wanted to know if Ganon was involved. However, with the audience that surrounded them, he felt it best to reword his inquiry.
Zelda stepped forward and looped her arm with Link's own. "If you wish to know what is occurring in the lands of Termina," she guided Link around to face the increasingly enraged face of Faylinn. "Then know that your enemy stands before you."
Despite her anger and the mostly truth in the possessed princess's words, Faylinn was not about to back down or cede ground. "Do you truly expect him to believe the lies of the monster who attacked this camp? Just how many Hylians and men from Termina did you kill?"
Those words truly confused Link and Impa, as Link's gaze moved from Zelda to the familiar stranger behind him. Not willing to put too much stock in what either was saying at the moment, he turned to the one person that he trusted implicitly with his life as he had done many times in the past. "Navi, if you know what this is about, then I would like you to tell me."
The tone of his voice was more than enough to break through the indecision and divided loyalties that paralyzed her. Link's eyes were not the only ones that widened in surprise when Navi flew from his shoulders and resumed her adult sized form. She lifted Link off the ground and into the skies to parts unknown.
Paige could not stand the words coming out of her sister's mouth. She shook her head in denial and just as violently, shook the shoulders of Saria. "Stop it! Stop it! Can't you see what… that… that…," unable to come up with an invective vile enough to assign to Sira, Paige simply spat out the word, "…fairy has done to you? What it did to our family?!" It was Kira who finally prided Paige's hands from Saria's shoulders. Free, Saria scrambled behind Kira for protection. Seeing the fear in her sister's eyes, Paige's hatred for Sira and personal despair at losing her sister grew. "Please do something to help Sarah!" Paige implored the apothecary. "There must be something you can do!"
Hoping to placate Paige so they could at least begin to talk about the situation with some rationality, Kira nodded her head. Turning her head to meet Saria's gaze, she tried to pass an unspoken message to the cursed child with her eyes. "I'll try my best to solve this." Watching Paige nod at her words, Paige turned completely to Saria, who seemed to be taking her situation a lot better than Paige. 'Or I would in her place,' Kira thought to herself. In addition, Kira would be lying if she said that she wasn't more than bit intrigued at the opportunity to meet one of the Kokiri and not just any Kokiri, but the chosen companion of Sira. She had had enough conversations with the curvaceous fairy to know that her relationship to Saria bordered on obsession, if wasn't there already. This last thought caused Kira to physically pale. "Sira?" She had asked earlier about her, but the conversation had moved so quickly that she forgot that she hadn't received an answer. Given Sira's looks and demeanor most men wouldn't get past her cleavage and most women would perceive the only threat posed by Sira being to their husbands' fidelity. Kira knew better. This time it was Kira shaking someone by the shoulders. "Paige, what did you do with Sira? Is she still in the bottle? I think it best we discuss this with her as well."
Sira was the last thing Paige wanted to talk about. Freeing herself from her friend's grasp, she spun around angrily. "Who cares what that demon thinks or feels," she yelled.
A dulcet voice answered, "We all should." All eyes turned to the eternal child. "Sira does not always think rationally when it comes to me."
'She isn't the only one that can be said of,' Kira thought with no amusement. "Where is Sira? Why isn't she with you?"
"I don't know! I didn't see her," Paige continued to rant. "What does it matter! She had no right to take Sarah in the first place!" She stormed over to her former older sister and was heartened when the small girl didn't back away.
"You didn't capture her in the magic bottle?" Kira asked with a note of dread.
Paige shook her head as she began to calm down. "No, I saw Sarah coming out of the woods alone and took the chance the Goddesses had given me to restore my family." She returned her full attention to her sister. "She robbed you of your father and mother. She took from you your chance to grow and fall in love… to have children of your own. Can't you see the evil that she has done to you?" Paige could see in Saria's eyes that her words were having an effect, but not for the reasons that Paige thought.
Saria's eyes began to tear and she placed her small hand on her younger sister's cheek. "Yes, there have been sacrifices," the childlike voice began. Her mind drifted to her own plans to finally correct the lie of so many years… to cast the spell that would make Link a full Kokiri not just in name now that the tasks fate had asked of him were complete. Who was she to judge Sira for doing what her own heart bade her to do. It was for this reason too that Saria held no animosity for the woman in front of her. "But they were necessary… are necessary… and I do know love." She stared into Paige's eyes trying to convey the utmost sincerity. "You must let me go. There are reasons why Kokiri are not permitted to leave the forest. More importantly, Sira will come looking for me," Saria placed both hands on Paige's cheeks to ensure she had the woman's complete attention. "Sira can be very dangerous."
Paige glowered at her sister, before turning to the apothecary for guidance. "How do we fight that demon? Surely you must know of a way." Hearing this, Saria made to break away, not wanting anyone hurt, but Paige quickly grabbed her with both arms.
Kira cursed silently to herself. She shouldn't have gotten involved, but it was too late for such thoughts now. Though she obviously did not know Sira as well as Saria, she had learned quite a bit about the Great Fairy of the Forest from her visits to Castleton. While in her adult guise, Sira gave the appearance of a carefree curvaceous flirt; her passion was reserved for Saria. The apothecary feared what manifestation that passion would take to get Saria back.
Just on the edge of the clearing, Tier was shaking his head in empathy at the scene he had just overheard. Ah, they were so alike, he and Link, others could only sympathize. Just as Tier had to suffer through the useless throng of young women who would hound him in hope of becoming wife to the Inglez heir, Link too had his trials with the dumber sex. Tier would rescue Link from their clutches if it took all his money and the last of his breath. His heart skipped a beat as he watched Link's fairy, Navi, take on her larger form and speed off with Link to some secret hideaway no doubt. 'Ah, if it were only me in Link's arms,' he thought with a blush. He was about to step out and make his presence known, after all it was rude, though profitable at times, to eavesdrop, when this latter point proved true once more. He had to thank his lucky stars that Princess Jylene had been called to the side before they had gone too far in their search for the young tracker.
Malon did not know the source of her rage as she watched Link fly off in the arms of that fairy. She just knew that the feeling was very real. The feeling became unmanageable when her gaze turned to the only fairy still present, Faylinn. "Well, if you would excuse me, I need to reacquaint myself with a certain young man on a more personal level." Her bird like wings unfurled behind her like banners of victory as she too lifted from the ground. But before leaving, she could not help one last message to two of her three most hated beings. Bringing her hands together and slowly moving them a part a long dagger materialized into view. The blade was dark gray, with fae writing engraved that glowed with a sickly pale blue light. Faylinn had spent an eternity on its magic, imbuing it with every ounce of hatred and hope she had. Hatred and hope because the dagger had two purposes. Malon and Zelda involuntarily took a step back at it sight.
Impa had drawn her own weapon at the display, but Zelda raised a hand to prevent her guardian from moving forward. "Planning to end your own miserable existence?" Zelda asked of now armed fairy. "Whether you attacks us or plunge that horrid blade into your own chest, you must realize the results would be the same."
Faylinn laughed. "This, Whore…" she emphasized, holding the blade before her for the world to see. "…Is the key to my Lover's shackles." She brought the blade close to her chest and Malon resisted the urge to rush forward and shove it into her gut. "And when he is free, I will delight when he uses it to saw through your necks." No longer wishing to look at them, Faylinn sped off in the direction Navi had taken Link.
Malon's teeth gritted at the expression on Faylinn's face. 'Who does that woman think she is?' Malon thought with derision. When she was done with Fairy Boy, he wouldn't remember what that gnat looked like much less her name. The preteen girl's thoughts were heading in directions she had little control over and even less understanding, though she calmed when Zelda placed a hand on her shoulder. "That witch… if she succeeds…"
"What?" Impa who at first thought she understood what was going on now found herself lost again. "Now that the Fairy Queen and the Hero of Time are together, what will happen to Hyrule?" she asked earnestly. "Is it already too late to stop them? We can still inform the Termina delegation. Together we may…"
Zelda ignored the mortal, Hyrule was a tertiary concern. What was torn asunder could always be rebuilt. Teaching Faylinn and Link their place was far more important. Faylinn's place was in despair and Link's… well if she had the answer to that. Her gaze moved over to her sister. "It may be that you and Farore will have to intervene as well."
"What?!" Malon, still angered, had no idea what the Princess was talking about. "Who?!"