By: Lime Green Giraffe Social Director, Emily D.  

“Well, well, well. What lovely little romance we have here. Oh, splendid!”  
I whirled around. “Jok! Um, you’re back!”  
“Of course I’m back you little witch! Your ‘pwetty wittle pwincey’ here couldn’t even stop me! I’m too powerful!”  he cackled. Then I realized my mistake. I’d left the Staff of Legends on the ground, less than 10-yards away from Jok! He noticed it too. I bolted toward it, faster than my weak legs had ever moved before. It felt like I was flying! Jok whirled into shadows and out came a raven. Its eyes were a beady red, and its feathers looked like a night sky dipped in blood. I ran faster, reaching the staff just as the stupid raven grabbed it with its knife-like talons. The raven was enveloped by the shadows and Jok emerged as himself once again. In his clutches was the Staff of Legends. 
“No!” I cried, lunging toward Jok and the staff. Jok stepped back and cackled. 
“Ha! Sombra, you are no match for me!” He then started chanting. “With me in this fateful hour, I call upon the staff of power! To save me from my soul’s disgrace, I ask thee my enemies erase! Clearing evil from their soul, be with me now as on I go! Thine’s power courses through my blood, staying straight like a river’s flood!” My heart twisted right where it sat in my chest, thudding, pounding, beating, running. I watched as time folded in on itself, creating an unbearable weight on my soul. I suddenly knew how I had lived. I watched myself be born and I watched when I was first diagnosed. I saw myself slowly falling in love and I saw my heart be broken because I loved too hard. I saw a journey of trouble and friendship and fun on the back of two horses and a mule. I saw the crushed bits of my broken heart mended in one moment, one kiss, one passion. I realized I had lived so much already, I couldn’t just turn around and return to the unknowing, naive child that I was. I had what it took to reach the end from hope and love rather than depression and failure. I realized that I had to become a true princess. And to do that that I must defeat my enemies, one at a time! 
“No!” I cried, standing up from where my body had crumbled as Jok cast the spell. “Jok, you cannot defeat me! I am strong! Powerful! Hopeful! Kind! Giving! Loving! Beautiful! There are many things you can do but defeat me and my friends when we are together is NOT one of them! Give me the staff Jok, and we will finally see who truly belongs!” I finally saw a glimmer of emotion in Jok’s eyes. He was afraid. He knew I could defeat him if I wanted to. “Hand it over!” I ordered. 
“Never!” hissed Jok. His body slumped suddenly and with a cry of pain, Jok was face down on the meadow floor. And suddenly, Jok’s body jerked and twisted as though he was a puppet being controlled by a puppeteer. His form writhed and shook almost like he was the earth during an earthquake. I half expected his limbs to come falling off! Suddenly, he was gone in a puff of smoke. In his place was an immense black raven, just like the smaller one that had grabbed the staff. Because I had been frozen in shock, I now bolted into action. The raven did not have the staff and I was right by it. I flew across the ground, my hand clasping the staff just as the raven noticed what I was doing.  
“No!” it cried. Light flooded the clearing. I felt myself lifted up as the light enveloped me. A wind came out of nowhere, blowing my hair angelically around me. Wait. HAIR? I had HAIR!! The curse was lifted! I felt the years of life I’d missed come flooding back into my soul. I felt renewed, energetic, alive! My feet touched the ground, and the light faded. My hair was thick and black. It curled gently to the bottom of my waist. I ran to Reglin, hardly noticing the small form on the meadow floor. 
“Oh Fate, I love you! I’ve loved you ever since the river, since the inn, since the line of shadows, since our kiss. Do you promise to always be mine?” I asked, looking into his eyes. Our moment of privacy was interrupted by a moan a few yards away. A hunched figure was lying in the grass. There was smoke. I knew him. I believed he had died before, but he was alive! It was my brother! “Solis!”I cried, racing toward his still body. Solis was my brother, three-years my senior. He was experimenting in the palace garden, six years ago when I was 10 and he was 13. I heard a blast and I looked out my window. The rose bushes were on fire and a hunched figure was staggering away. He didn’t make it far. He collapsed and that’s what I thought was the end of my brother but I was wrong. He was here! Alive! “Solis, are you okay?” I begged.  
“Yes,” he croaked, coughing.  
I began CPR, pushing my brother’s chest up and down, dispelling what was left of the shadows within him. When he was finally looking normal, I asked him what was on my mind. 
“Solis, what happened in the garden? How are you Jok?” 
“You see Sombra, I was trying to find a cure for you. I knew that Moonflower had magical properties, so I was out studying it when it exploded. Apparently, there was an evil spirit inside one bush, so because I freed it, it joined with my soul. The only way to cure me would be to find the opposite property of Moonflower, Suniron. Because Suniron was so hard to find, I had to use the staff of Legends, which is made out of Suniron. The only person who can weld the Staff of Legends correctly though is one with the chosen one’s blood.” 
“Wait,” I interrupted. “Are you saying that I’m the chosen one? And what about the Suniron that Mom is fastened with?” 
“Yes, you’re the chosen one. You even get a cool prophecy. Though darkness rises out of time, the only one to cross the line, is one who chains can never bind. One who lives a life fulfilled, one who can forever rebuild, the curse upon Fate’s lips has sealed, letting time again be healed. And, the iron on Mom wasn’t Suniron, at least, I think. If it was, it should have healed me, right?” 
I stared at Solis slack jawed. “You mean, I’M THE CHOSEN ONE? FOR THAT PROPHECY?!?” 
“Yeah, but can we get back to the fact that Mom is trapped in a cave? With some kind of metal bonds in a cave of Death?” 
“Oh, shoot!” I exclaimed. I leapt up and bolted for the cave, Solis and Reglin right behind me. When we reached the entrance, I could hear moans from inside. 
“She’s gotten worse,” said Solis. We slowly edged our way inside. Our mother, Queen Eliana Grace Solangelo Levesque, was always very controlled. This was not like her. I peeked around the corner, into the chamber where she sat, tied to a chair. She was howling like a mad wolf, chanting unknown lines and verses from who knows what. 
O me miserum! Non sum liber? Tantum puer solis et umbra de his liberabo vincula possit a me? 
“Mom!” I cried, springing from my hiding spot. “Hold still. We’re going to set you free.” I ran over and untied her. Solis, Fate, and I led her out, slowly, one step at a time.

** The End**

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