The metal tip of the spear gleamed in the fierce sunlight. My body was frozen and I couldn't draw my magic. Someone shouted my name beyond the mass of green and the raunchy smell of despiration filled the air along with the black blood.
A roar bellowed above us. The sun went dark and fire shot from a black figure in the sky, burning the forest in molten and black smoke. The Green Men froze and turned in horror. Above us was a long, thin lizard with four winds as long as school buses and a tail spiked with long pointed edges. Its human sized teeth snicked when it bit the two Big Green Men in half. The monster landed and enclosed us all in a circle with its wings.
Every thing froze. It's long scaly neck arched up and it searched through us with bright fiery eyes. A tingling sensation rippled thorough out my body in a way that had nothing to do with fear. Then suddenly, I grew. My limbs stretched and I could feel myself getting stronger. The dress faded and my real clothes showed, though they were still much to big on me. I could see over the Green Men and see that Sage had been stumbling over to me and Rowan and Ash were at separate corners of the ring.
The monsters eyes landed on Ash.
No one dared move. There was no way out but to kill the monster that could incinerate us with a sneeze. It's head lowered towards Ash, and now that it was closer I could see soft, none protected ears bent back to look like scales. The ear opening was at the top of the head, just beside the brain. If I could manage to throw something sharp on there I could probably fry it's brain. But it was a long shot. To far and to small a target.
"Prince Ash of the Unseelie Court, Third Son of Mab. Correct?" Against all odds, the monster spoke. Even if the voice was deep and gravely, low and powerful, it spoke.
Ash noded politely. He gripped his sword and tried to keep his fear form showing.
"You are sommoned by Maxilim the Great." The monster lowered his head, giving Ash permission to climb on.
I felt like a failure for letting myself get caught by them. This is all my fault. If I had tried harder and if I had ran faster maybe... Stopped myself from being turned into a child then I could have found a way to stop this. But I'm not good enough to protect them. I can't even out run them.
But if I could just hit where that ear home was then I could make up for it. So I will.
My eyes flick to the spear the Green Man was about to kill me with. That could probably work. And I could throw it. The Green Man was so transfixed by the monster that he didn't notice when I took the spear from his hand.
Ash glanced at me and his eyes open slightly. So he slowly took steps forward, giving me time to throw. The monsters eyes were closed, clearly not expecting a revolt.
Thinking back to the time I saw the movie 300 in history class I mimicked Leonardous's throwing pose. Everyones eyes were on me. The Green Men braced them selves and Sage and Rowan tenced, ready to run on the chance that I hit my mark. I worry that Sage won't beable to run, let alone stand, on that leg of his. He was already bleeding every where and was gritting his teeth.
My heart beat so loud I was sure the monster could hear it. I took a shaky breath and readied myself. Ash was just about to step up to the beast. I thrusted the spear from my arms as hard as I could.
The spear soared through the darkened sky and was the size of a tooth pick in comparison to the huge monster. The spear went straight into the ear hole and the monster jerked its head up and screached fire into the air. The fire went straight for Ash before he could move. I raised my hands and willed a force field to appear around him by picturing a purple bubble around him. The fires force against the shield was heavy and my knees buckled under stress.
Green Men fled rapidly, dropping there sticks and heading for the wing that had lifted slightly off of the ground. After the fire had deminished I pulled down the force field and was forced to the ground from energy exertion.
The monster quickly refocused on me and bared its teeth.
I was lifted into someones arms and we sped of. The heat and glow of fire and molten behind us singded my skin and burned his white cape. The tingiling feeling washed over me again but this time my skin felt tight, like it was shrinking. Rowan repositions me and holds me like a baby. He darts us under the black wing and we take off into the forest. Sage ran with Ash and barely managed to stay up.
The monster spun. It moved to chase us, the insides of its mouth glowing red with prefire spit. Another black figure glided out of the night and slammed into its neck. The new monster was smaller and scrawnyer, but its long tallons tore its throught apart and the two began to fight.
"Jabberwocky!" The second one called out in a shrill, loud voice.
I shivered. Even I knew what a Jabberwocky was. They were the most frightening creaters ever known to have existed. Legend says a Jabberwocky can only be slain by a cerirtain sword. If that's true then that thing that tried to take Ash was about to get its shit torn up.
After a few miles of sprinting we stopped. Ash proped Sage up against a tree and Rowan set me down next to a briar patch. Him and Ash began tending to Sages leg. I watched the battle in the distance. We were up on a hill and I took the spot next to the trees that showed the clearing. Lots of the forest was burning and they were boxing it out. I was somewhat grateful for the distraction because it gave me something elseto focus on besides my smaller form. And I knew if I did focus on it then I would start yelling and probably re-attract there attention. And I would be fussing over Sages leg, get in the way and then try to strangle one of them for not guarding well enough.
This whole day was strange. I don't thing I can recall a time I've felt this much emotion. It was mostly anger and fear, but still, it was emotion. And the fact in feeling it this much is disturbing. Back before I met those three I felt emotion maybe once a week? Less? Once I get settled I will probably be back to normal.
When the grunting and harsh whispering stopped I tuned into there conversation. They were hiding something. Unlike the people back home I couldn't just read there faces and get a message. They concealed it and there emotions well. Something I probably don't have much practice in because I've never need to hide them except for keep my face blank. The way they behaved made me curious about where they lived. Just how dangerous is it in the Unseelie Court?
"She looks like she's three, Ash! Don't you think Mothers going to have something to say on this?" Rowan was probably the only one who was open with facial expressions. But he's like one of those poker players that use looks to there advantages. Smile when you get crap and look nervous when you got a good hand so people will bet that they got better cards then him.
He could have made it good in a casino.
"The potion will wear off. If she ingested it then she would have been stuck like a two year old to begin with." Ash kept his face and his emotions hidden through and through. The only time I seen any kind of emotion from him was when that thing was trying to steal him and when Rowan was almost spanked by Hala.
"And you, little brother, know that it could take half a century for her to be normal again. But tell me, why did you not try to kill Goodfellow when you saw him, perfectly vulnerable and distracted? Could it be that you don't want to kill him?" Rowan pries and sounds like he's trying to get Ash to snap.
Nothing. He didn't hesitate to answer and didn't give any indication of what he was feeling. "We have more important things to do."
Then there argument about this mysterious girl Ash had once failed to protect. If all the arguing gave away one thing it was that those two absolutely hated each other. And I can't help but wonder if this new family of mine is even more fractured then the old.
We arrive in Tir Na Nog not to long after. I was mesmerized by all of the snow and trees and ice. It was paradise. The temperature was comfortably cool and I got he sense I was stronger here. Live a home field advantage granted by the snow.
I wound up wearing that puffy silver Gown again and they wouldn't let me walk at all because I was to slow with these damned legs. The worst part was that I got the feeling some lady was going to be stuffing me in all of these 'cute' dresses and force me not to cuss and bite.
I just better get my own sword.
When we arrived in the City people everyone stopped to stair. Sage was healed and showed no traces that he was ever injured. Rowan's cape was suddenly whole and he refused to let Ash carry me in. So I was stuck with the one, who I'm still mad at, who screwed my sister and made sure I was listening.
The palace was huge and made of stone and ice in the underground city. It was by far the nicest thing I have ever seen.
"When you speak to the Queen, do not question her or address her as Mom. You will refer to her as Queen Mab." Sage instructed quietly so the hordes following us wouldn't hear.
I nod. What ever it takes. Besides the fact that hordes of people were following us and I didn't know if this was normal, but I might change back to normal any second. And since I only had a shirt on I didn't really want to grow at this instant.
We climbed the steps to the place door. I looked up to see how it was snowing inside. Lights danced at the top of the cavern and hung fluffy flakes of snow fell from the sky.
Two ogres stood next to the door. They were hung and had blue skin, beady black eyes trained on us. They opened the two doors for us and bowed there heads. When we passed through the doors they closed them, locking the mobs out and leaving us alone.
"Is it normal for people to do that here?" I ask Rowan. My voice was still small. It made me cringe inside. Fifty years is a long time to go through puberty twice.
"Only when you bring in a princess, sister." His lazy smirk made me uneasy.
We walked through the palace and I tried to memorize every single door and pass way we passed so I could know my way around when that thing tried to take them again. Creatures sat in the hall way playing games and everything was dark. They scattered when they saw us but there hungry eyes never left me.
"My boys, welcome home." Cried a feminine, not so welcoming voice. A lady sat on the throne, who I guess Is Mother. She was t tall and willowy like a lot of the sidhe that had tried to follow us. Instead she was curvy and filled out. Like us she had full mulberry lips and ink black hair that had been tied into an elaborate bun. Her skin was as pale as snow and she had long elegant fingers. She smiled at us and it lit up the room.
I realized where we all got our looks from. She is the kind of woman that man launch wars for and that girls cut themselves because they can't look as good. She was the impression of winter its self.
Sage, Rowan and Ash bowed. I did the. Best I could, being held in someone's arms.
When she wasn't in my sight I noticed tons of other kinds of creatures in the room. Creatures I recognized, after they gave me a small lesson on creatures, as Red Caps and Boogies and Goblins, the kind that almost killed me and bite Sage.
"Rise, my children." We did. And as soon as i looked at her again I was captivated. She wore a long, fluffy winter gown that was a mix of White, purple and black. Her black eyes settled on me. "Is this my Daughter?" She asked. "What happened to her?" Some of the cheer in her voice turned predatory.
"Goodfellow was there. He spilt a vile of Forever Young on her, Your Highness." Sage spoke. Faint snickers in the crowd echoed out.
She was silent for a moment. Not smiling or frowning. "Leave. I wish to speak to my children alone." Mom commanded to the fey crowd. They scattered and fled in less the a few seconds. "Tell me everything that happened."
So we did. All the way from me chasing Rowan to us walking through the front doors. They left out no detail and didn't even leave out the parts that made me dislike Rowan. The. She asked me why I ran away from my brothers. That wasn't hard to answer. I just didn't state my anger at her for risking them for me. And they didn't put in any details that had indicated that.
When we finished she sat there. "Ash. You are not to leave Palace grounds. No matter the situation. Maxilim will to take you from youngest to oldest. There is no question about that. Your sister, as nieve as she may be, will have to train to kill her father and the Serphent." A pause. She takes in our reactions. "You three will be in charge of her training, starting tomorrow. Tonight, we will have a ball to introduce Crystal to the Court. And remember children. The Court knows nothing about the deal or her God heritage. Keep It a secret."
Alright! This is what I call a chapter! Though I think I didn't add enough detail to the winter Court. Did I? I tried to easy on it because I already spend so much of the chapter detailing and painting pictures with words.