Sekeu did not know when she awoke from her painful slumber, or how she even came to fall into such a deep and peaceful sleep. When told by the others that she had to go back, back to Avalon, back to the fighting and pain, she asked why. She was content here. She wanted to stay here.
Peter needs you.
That three world answer was enough for the young girl. She obeyed and was sent back to Avalon. She didn't know how that happened exactly, just that the next moment she woke up feeling as if her face and neck had been stabbed by some maniac. For the first time in a long time she took in deep, gasping breath.
"Peter," she said over and over again, the only words she could remember saying. "Peter!"
My head hurt so much. Why did it hurt so much? I blinked my eyes and slowly lifted my head, wincing when it throbbed in pain. I groaned and rubbed my sore head, only then noticing a blanket was over me. I pulled it off of me and wondered when I put it over me. Did someone else cover me with it?
Disregarding that, I cautiously got to my feet. I went dizzy for a few light headed seconds until I regained my balance and composure. A cold air hit me then, and I shivered involuntarily, crossing my arms together for warmth. I took the blanket that had been draped over me like for one reposed in death and wrapped it around my shoulders.
I breathed out, and a ball of white air flew out. My teeth chattered at the cold I was experiencing. Avalon could not be so cold. It was always warm, like a calm summer day. The Devils' hiding place was like an ice cave now.
"Peter," I said. "I must find Peter."
But where was he? Peter was nowhere, and so were my fellow Devils. Our place looked as if it had been burned to the ground by a fire and swallowed whole by a thunder storm. All of our possessions, weapons and the like, were scattered everywhere and broken into pieces. Our dinner table was overturned and soaked through, and the small houses that contained the magical blue fairies of Avalon were demolished from the wreckage.
I decided that this was no longer the Devils' hiding place. Whatever happened, Peter and the others must have moved out and searched for a new home for themselves. This gave me some hope, but it also produced a feeling of dread in me as well. If they all left to find a new place, then why didn't they take me?
Did I do something displeasing to Peter? Had I done something bad that angered him so much that he left me behind to die alone? He was a capricious boy with tendencies to go one way or another. I whimpered to myself, something I hadn't done since I was a babe, and tripped myself out of the remains of my former home.
No! Peter would not ever do that. He was not a grown up. He was a good friend, and an honorable comrade in battle. We have been in so many fights, watching one another's backs, that we knew one another as if we could read one another's souls. Peter was my friend – he would not abandon me without good reason.
I had to look for my friends. They needed me. After our fight with the Flesh Eaters, we had to train ourselves even more for the next meeting with them. Peter would go out into the world of man and recruit more new bloods to add to our group. He would require me to look out for the rest of the Devils.
"Peter," I croaked, "where are you?"
I stepped out into the world of Avalon then. It was back into its former glory, blooming with its array of brightly colored flowers and faeries. The grass underneath me was now a dark green and reached to my ankles. Trees, once scorched and burned, were now alive and healthy, producing leaves and an assortment of food ripe for picking. Even the air was improved, free from pollution and the sickness Avalon once held for many centuries.
How could this be? The last time I was awake, Avalon was dying and on the verge on nonexistence. But now, now it was as if it had been reborn, only revealing the beginning of its glory.
I stumbled into the forest, fascinated by the signs of life I was a witness to. Faeries flew to and fro betwixt the tall and foreboding trees, chattering nonsense to one another. The blanket I possessed dragged behind me like a long cape as I weakly walked deeper into the forest, tears sprouting from my eyes.
I do not remember what happened to me a while ago, but wherever I had been in my deep sleep, it was something like this.
"Peter," I called out. "Peter? Are you here? Peter?"
My head began to feel light suddenly. I felt nauseous and weak in the knees. Curse it all, I exerted myself too much. If I did not find help soon-
The tip of the spear was half an inch from my jugular. I calmly stared past the spear and into the wielder's yellow eyes. They narrowed their eyes in suspicion when they realized I too shared their color. Others joined him, bearing spears, swords, and bows and arrows. I straightened my back in front of them to show that I was not intimidated by their silly intimidation.
"Who are you?" the boy asked. He wore clothes similar in a Devil, only more modern and revamped. His face was painted red and brown, the red going across his eyes and over his chin, the brown filling up the rest of his face. More red and brown markings were striped over his lean arms, with his back being the only unpainted area. His ears were pierced with dangling bones, and his neck was covered up with leather.
He wore the same Devil clothes like my friends, only with man made boots and a belt that held three types of daggers. Scars decorated the boy like badges of honor, crisscrossing over his arm, neck, back, and the part of his chest that was revealed. I looked at him straight in the eye, unflinching even when he pressed his spear forward and grazed my neck. He looked to be about seventeen – a bad age for those in Avalon.
"Who are you?" the boy demanded. "Are you one of Avalon's, or one of the world's? Answer me, or you lose your neck."
"Where is Peter?" I asked. The boy gasped softly in surprise. A few of his lackeys looked at one another in concern, whispering to each other.
"Does this girl know Peter?"
"Is she one of us?"
"She has our eyes."
"What should we do?"
"Do we tell Peter, or do we kill her now?"
"Who are you?" the boy insisted.
"I am Sekeu, a Devil," I answered. Everyone in the group gasped in shock. They came closer stealthily, their weapons still poised for a fight. I was clearly outnumbered. Having no weapons and being weak in body, I was at their mercy.
"Impossible," the boy snapped. "We're the only Devils here. You're a fraud."
"Look," I ordered, dropping the blanket from my shoulders. It fell around me like a puddle, revealing my uniform and thick and thin scars. I lifted my chin up and crossed my arms at the boy, who lowered his spear clumsily and stared at me in surprise. Everyone dropped their weapons to their sides at the sight of their fellow Devil.
"Peter would be ashamed to know that you would try to hurt one of your own. Do you not see I am one of you? Do my eyes not give enough proof? Do I have to go so far as to point out each and every mark I have won from my battles alongside the Devils?" I retorted, glaring at each and everyone.
"Hey, guys?" a familiar voice called out farther out in the forest. That voice! Innocent and mischievous at the same time, accompanied by light laughter. It had to be him. It had to be!
"Peter!" I shouted with all the strength left in me.
My knees buckled underneath me then, and the rest of my tired body followed suit. The soft ground of the forest cushioned my fall. The sweet smell of fresh grass filled my nose. It was almost like some sleeping tonic that helped my consciousness give into sleep faster. Slowly, my eyes closed, but not before I met a familiar pair of sewed in shoes and a voice I could identify always.
"Peter," said Jasper, "I found this girl in the forest. She-"
"She's cool, Jasper," I cut in. Jasper clamped his mouth shut and nodded before moving to the side to let me approach the girl. The other Devils watched me wide eyed curiosity, craning their necks and heads up and down to see what I was doing. One kid, an eight year old boy, spoke.
"She has our eyes."
"Does she?" I murmured, not really paying attention to anyone at the moment. I reached out and pushed away the locks of dark hair that covered the girl's tan face. She was sleeping now, probably from lack of energy and strength. The blanket behind her seemed to spark a memory in me . . .
That's it. It was the blanket used to cover up Sekeu after she was – No, it couldn't be her, could it? Nah, no way. My friend was long gone. She passed away with the old Avalon.
So how could Sekeu be here, lying in front of me? How could she be in the forest with me and the other Devils? It has been twenty years since the old Avalon passed away. Why then was Sekeu here with me?
Firm determination hit me, and I grabbed Sekeu and hauled her onto my shoulder log style. Her limp body was lighter than I imagined it to be.
"Grab the blanket," I ordered. "Jasper, continue the patrol with your guys. I'll be at the tree house."
"What are you going to do with her, Peter?" Jasper asked.
"What else? I'm going to wake her up," I replied. "Watch out for the Captain and his kid. They should be lurking about by now. Keep your guard up."
"Alright. We'll come back from patrol soon," Jasper said. "I'll keep an eye out for any more kids like her too."
"Good. I'll see you then."
"Is she going to be a Devil too, Peter?" one of the boys asked.
"Oh, another girl. That'd be great!" exclaimed a girl.
"I can totally teach her how to fight," a boy stated proudly.
"Please, it took you a week for you to even lift up your own sword!" snapped one of my Devils.
"You shut up!"
Jasper sighed and shook his head in disappointment at his group. I took off then, impatient to confirm if this girl on my shoulders was really Sekeu. I strode purposefully back towards the tree house, silently hoping that it was her.