Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Princess of the Shadows - Part II: Miss Artichoke Meets Mr. Reglin and the Gang

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By Lime Green Giraffe Social Director, Emily D.  
Part II: Miss Artichoke Meets Mr. Reglin and the Gang 

Mind you when I jumped out of the window, I was only on the first floor. I fell only a couple of feet. I fled out of the gardens and into the street. The town was hustling and bustling and so it was quite a hassle to make it to the inn. I ran through the door and slammed it shut, breathing in gasps. I walked over to the check-in desk.  
“Hello? I am here to meet a Mr. Reglin. Is he here?” I asked the girl behind the counter.  
“I do not know if I’ve seen him,” she replied. She was short, with a dark tan and black hair. Her eyes were sea green, like, well, the sea. A voice from behind startled me. 
“I am Mr. ReglinReglin Santi. And you are?” 
I turned to face him. He was rather tall with a clean-shaven face. His hair was messy and unruly, black as midnight. His face was pale but his eyes were the most startling. They were yellow. I had never heard of any person with yellow eyes before. “Um, hello Mr. Reglin. I am Miss Artichoke, Shadow Artichoke. May we have a private chat in those chairs?” I asked him, doing my best to sound like my mother would.  
“Of course, Miss Artichoke.” I led him to a pair of tawny leather chairs, over in a corner. 
“Now, Mr. Reglin, I was told you were able to help me on a quest?” I asked. 
“Yes. Sombra, let me introduce myself properly. I am War, son of Death. My father sent me to help you on this quest.” I stared at him, mouth agape. 
“You mean to tell me that you’re one of death’s sons?” I stammered. “May I still call you Reglin? To keep your identity safe?” 
“Of course. And I will keep calling you Miss Artichoke then, for the same reason. Now then. In my briefcase, I have a new disguise. It contains a red wig, blue contacts, an ivory dress and some makeup. You are to put it all on and travel over the mountains. I will travel with you and do my best to protect you,” he said, handing me his briefcase. I walked to the restroom and changed outfits. I put on the wig, the contacts, and applied the makeup. I studied myself in the mirror.  
“Hmmm. I look different. Perfect!” I exclaimed. I proceeded to walk out and meet Mr. Reglin 
“You look nice,” he said. We walked out of the hotel together and headed out to find a transportation device. We discussed along the way what to get. 
“A car would be nice. We could carry everything that way,” I said. 
“Well, yes, but we’re going through the mountains. Do you expect a car to last long through those extremes? I say we walk.” 
After some more discussion, we finally settled on two horses and a pack mule. My horse was a palomino mare named Cress, while Mr. Reglin had a black gelding named Thorne. It was very fitting for him. We loaded my travel equipment and my pills onto the mule. Her name was Ruby. She was very shy and gentle, a trait rarely seen in mules. We set off, on a path only Fate himself could have designed. 
We traveled the mountains for a few days. One day, we ran into a bear. The next, it was a group of rabid raccoons. Next, it was an angry fish! On day five, we were very tired and weary. We found a perfect spot to pitch a tent. It was next to a sparkling blue lake, surrounded by pine trees. The ground was level and flat, perfect for camping. The mountains loomed around us like a cage, except we knew we were free. The next morning, I awoke before Reglin. I sniffed the air. Something wasn’t right. Off in the distance, a cloud of smoke grew up into the sky. I burst into Reglin’s tent. 
Reglin! Wake up! There’s something you need to see!!” Reglin shot up out of bed, his hair messy, and his once clean-shaven face now with a stubble. 
“Miss Artichoke! What is it?” I led him outside. 
“See? That shouldn’t be there. I bet someone’s following us.” 
“Princess, did you take your pills this morning? Because you are jumping to conclusions faster than a racehorse speeds from the gates.”  
“Oh yeah? Then explain it!” 
“Fine then! Follow me!” He led me on a trail, winding around the lake and into the forest. Soon, we came across a petite cottage. It seemed to be made of cedar, with a small porch and a red roof. Reglin led me to the door and knocked. No one answered. He knocked again. Still, the cottage remained silent. “Harmony, Grave, Cheer, open up! I know you’re in there! This is War and Sombra!” Finally, the door slowly creaked open. We were greeted by a small blonde girl, her face dotted with freckles and her blue eyes shining. 
You’re here! Finally!” she exclaimed. She threw open the door. “Harmony, come greet the guests!” She skipped back into the house. 
“That’s Cheer.” Reglin said, stepping inside. Soon, a teenager, probably 19, came into the sitting room and offered us tea. 
“Hello War, hello Sombra,” she greeted us. “I am Harmony, daughter of Life, and War’s cousin.” She glared at Reglin. “Your brother is acting like a nincompoop!” 
A second teenager, this one around my age, walked into the room. 
“War! You’re here!” he said, sitting down on the couch. He extended his right hand to me. “M’lady, I am Grave, son of Death, cousin of Harmony, and brother of War. How do you do?” I slowly shook his hand. 
I am good, I believe.” I replied. “You have quite a group Harmony.” She opened her mouth to respond when Cheer bounded back into the room, talking a mile a minute.  
“Hello Grave! Hello War, Hello Harmony! Hi again Sombra! You look nice. Is that a new dress? Its cute on you.” She plopped down into my lap. 
“Um, hello Cheer,” I said. 
“You can call me Gracie. It sounds more real.” She replied. I was shocked. This could have been me, if Fate hadn’t been so cruel. I started braiding her nice, thick, shoulder-length hair.  
We spent the rest of the day at the cottage. When Reglin stood up to leave, Harmony pushed him back down. 
“War, you and the Princess can stay here as long as you need. We will continue on with you during your quest and help you when you need. But, please, stay the night with us. You will need a good night’s rest.”  
“Harmony, thank you for your offer” began Reglin. 
“Sure. Thanks for letting us. We’ll stay here, and you can travel with us. It’ll be great,” I interrupted, glaring at Reglin. 
We settled ourselves in our rooms. Mine was directly across the hall from Reglin’s. Harmony and Gracie shared a room and Grave stayed alone, sleeping on the couch in the living room. 
The next morning, the five of us set out to cross the next mountain range, directly on the border of Gailia and the Shadowlands. The Shadowlands were the lands beyond Gailia, where Magic, Evil, Despair, Death, and Shadow were the four beings. We had five creatures of light, including Death, who shared his time. No one could live without dying, after all. The borders between Gailia and the Shadowlands were clearly visible. One side, the Shadowlands, was darker and just, more evilGailia was still light and happy. There is a line between light and dark, night and day, evil and good that stands between Gailia and the Shadowlands- the Line of Shadows. To enter the Shadowlands, one has to cross it.  
As we continued our trek, the borders came closer and closer and closer, until we were directly upon them. Our group shared a look. None of us had ever crossed the border into the Shadowlands before. I took a deep breath and jumped, right over the Line of Shadows.
**Chapter 3 - The Shadowlands**

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