Weaving Moonlight

The first in the Tales of Terrahgonia series.
Lux Robertson has a destiny.
Prince Stefan wishes to shape his own.
Jamie Cooper just wants to belong.
What do these three teens have in common? They all have a legacy to uphold. But to do this means braving a war against the tyrannical false queen of Terrahgoina, a mystical land long ago forgotten by mortals. But with hidden secrets and traitors in their midst, they may not survive to save the kingdom.

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8. Revelations

Lux

By the end of the day, Lux was in her usual routine. She was heading to her locker rather warily in case Shadow made another appearance. Instead, a friendlier face was there. Jamie Cooper stood by her locker in his messier version of the school uniform; long sleeved shirt rolled up and not tucked in, with his tie hanging loose and his top button undone. His blazer was nowhere to be seen, which would have been bad enough, but the trilby hat alone would have made the Headteacher implode. Jamie really knew had to stand out of the crowd. Lux smiled at him as she approached, and he returned it, but for a moment something in his eyes looked dead and hollow. With a few blinks, it was gone and Lux found herself wondering if she had been seeing things, or overanalysing.

“Top of the morning to you!” He greeted.

“It’s the end of the day, Jamie.” She laughed.

“Thankfully. How was your day?”

“You’re the new kid, I should be asking you. So how was it?”

“Alright actually. The P.E. teacher wants me to join the football team. I’ve never been part of a sports team.”

“That’s great. Did you pop by my locker to say anything more?”

 

Jamie did something a little bit strange at that moment. He leaned in closer than she would have preferred and whispered very quietly in her ear.

“Do you hear that? Something isn’t right.” Lux was not sure what he was talking about. All she could hear were the other students around them, trying to get to their lockers, whilst the others lingered with their friends.

“What are you...?”

“Stop talking and please listen.” So she did, not truly knowing what he wanted her to hear. She became aware of the many melodies surrounding her. They had never disappeared but she was getting slightly better at ignoring them. There was a distant song playing above that of everyone else for a while. Lux concentrated on it harder and it became clearer. A clarinet and flute played two conflicting melodies with one another, creating a polyphonic texture. The tone was both sad and hypnotising, alluring and terrifying. Another flute and clarinet joined in and it became organised chaos, a series of tension and resolutions. Fear and sorrow seeped deep into Lux’s heart. Something was wrong with Jamie and it was clear that he was trying to tell her. Reaching in deeper, she tried to sense his ka. It was certainly strong, about as strong as hers. Then something dawned on her. It was too strong to be that of a mortal. Looking into his eyes, a tear trickled its way down his cheek. “I’ve given away too much. If she finds out she’ll kill me.”

“Who Jamie?”

“Goodbye Lux” He stalked off, but the melody continued, becoming quieter as he walked further. Whatever was going on, it was clear that Jamie was a part of it all. Unfortunately, it was not a simple puzzle. It was a Rubix cube.

 

As Lux made her way to leave school, Cammie approached her.

“Are you still coming around my house this weekend?” She asked. They had planned a sleepover weekend and it would be the first time that Lux would visit. Something in Cammie’s eyes looked a bit nervous.

“Of course I am. Why would you think otherwise?” She asked.

“No reason. Just wondering.” Cammie tried for a smile but it was obviously not quite as sincere as she had hoped. “But we’re going to have fun, aren’t we?” Cammie put her arm around Lux and they walked towards the gates together.

“Definitely, and I hope you’ve chosen a good movie for us to watch.”

“Nothing but the best for my Lux.” Her words were playful but not her tone. It sounded reserved, almost wistful. Whoever was in front of Lux was not her friend, but merely the ghost of her. Lux stopped walking and looked at her friend in the eyes with what she hoped was equal parts conviction and concern.

“You know if there is something you want to tell me, I’m always here for you.” She held Cammie’s hand to comfort her.

“Have you ever had a secret that you have wanted to tell people, that you just can’t? I’m not sure what is worse, telling or not telling.” Cammie admitted. Her amber eyes were not as warm as they usually were. They were mysterious and distant. If eyes were windows to the soul, then Cammie was keeping her windows shut, with the blinds drawn.

“I guess…” Lux could not help thinking about her own secret, about the things she could do that mortals could only dream of. Magic they called it. Terrahgonians had adopted the word but it was just a word, nothing more. A word to describe what mortals could not explain.  

“Well that is what this secret is for me. I’m sorry to keep things from you, but then I suppose you have your own secrets too.” In that moment, Cammie’s eyes pierced through Lux. Although not quite accusing, they knew things. What did she know?  

 

Cammie peered away from her, in search of something. They were still holding hands, and Lux could feel the sweat that had accumulated on hers. They indicated her guilt, her anxiousness, and her fear.

“It looks like my ride is here. I’ll see you tomorrow then.” With one last smile, Cammie began to walk away towards a nearby Mercedes-Benz. The driver looked over at Cammie as she crossed the road and then he gazed at Lux. The man had olive skin, with short black hair. His dark eyes did not waver even as Cammie got in the car, sending a horrible shiver down her spine. They had such intensity that it was difficult not to be drawn into them. It was not the first time Lux had seen him, as he picked Cammie up from school sometimes. She had told her that he was her uncle. He gave her a smile void of any warmth before he started up the car and drove away. What was it about him that chilled me to the bone? She had pondered over this before. Lux had questioned Cammie about him but she did not have much to say. Her parents had passed away and he had legal guardianship of her. He had a boring accounting job and was a single bachelor at that. Although he was usually busy, Cammie had told Lux that he did his best to make time for her, as he genuinely cared about her. Then she realised something startling. Like Cammie, the man had no song. Not a single melody, not even a note. His mind was closed from her and it left Lux wondering whether she had been thinking of the wrong questions. It was not so much how they could have no song. It was clear that they did, Cammie and her uncle both. The questions were how and why were they hiding them?

 

When Lux got home that day after her usual bus journey, she was still left with more questions than answers. All she wanted was some peace. She had never asked for any of this. Realising her own selfishness, she tried to think of all the good things being a powerful Terrahgonian meant. If anyone was to save the kingdom from Yolanda, it would have to be her. Shying away from her responsibilities may no longer be an option. Even her father had hoped that she may one day be what the people of Terrahgonia needed. The phone rang that moment, cutting her thoughts short.

“Hello?” All Lux could hear was heavy breathing. “Hello?” She repeated.

“Lux? Darling, I’m sorry but they have me. The queen, she...” The connection was cut in that moment. The voice was her father’s. Lux’s hand was shaking, and her blood ran cold. Her dad had said something about a queen. He was talking about Yolanda, he had to be. The queen had her father. Lux did not wail or scream. No one was home to hear her anyway. Her mother was still teaching the saxophone at some all boys’ school, and her sister would not be back for another hour or so, as she was at netball club. Lux finally exhaled, not realising that her breath was held in a gasp. All she could think about was her father being tortured by one of Yolanda’s men, and Prince Stefan, who would stand idly by his queen.

 

Telling Zelda was out of the question, as she was engaged, but Lux felt that her mother had a right to know. She desperately hoped as she made the call to her mum that she would not pick up, that her phone would be turned off.

“Please don’t pick up, please don’t pick up.” She whispered.

“Lux?” She almost swore out loud. “I’m kind of busy at the moment. What did you want to say?” She couldn’t chicken out, not now. It would be harder face to face.

“Dad is missing. He just called, and he says he’s been kidnapped.” There was no reply on the other end of the line. “Mum? Please say something to me.”

“He’s gone?”

“Yes mum, dad is gone.”

“The police. We’ll call the police.”

“No mum, we can’t do that. This is not a normal kidnapping. She did this, Yolanda, the queen of Terrahgonia. She took him.” There was a pause for a moment as the realisation hit her mother.

“I’m coming home Lux. Stay where you are. Where is Zelda?”

“She’s still at school, at netball practice.”

“She has to come home. I’ll call her, but you stay there and I’ll pick her up on the way. We are going to get through this. We will get through this.”

“Of course mum.” Lux was not sure of this but she could not find it within her to diminish the little hope that her mother was trying to find. “Bye mum, I’ll see you soon. I love you.”

“And I you”

 

That night was particularly difficult for Lux and her family. Their mother tried to be strong but Lux could hear the dissonance in her song, loud and clear. It spoke volumes, louder than any words of reassurance ever could. Lux knew that if she stood by any longer and did nothing, her father would only be the first casualty in their family. It was time to contact Prince Stefan and tell him that she had changed her mind. He was her only hope now.

 

 

 

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