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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6. Windows to his Soul

Jamie

 

Jamie was not sure how he had gotten back to Terrahgonia. It was evident that this was his location because when he arose from his sleep, he knew it was not the bedroom he had become accustomed to. The double bed was far more comfortable and extravagant than his singular one. He felt groggy and slightly battered, but managed to look around at the spacious room. Light trickled through a window and a silhouetted figure stood in front.

“Good afternoon, James” Jamie lifted his hand over his eyes to avoid the blaring light. The figure stepped away from the window and he finally got a better look. She was tall and slender with her long black hair tied in a braid, revealing the full splendour of her triangular shaped face. Her black, almond shaped eyes glittered with a curiosity. She wore a simple blue V-neck dress but still looked elegant. Struck by this vision of beauty and by his own sudden arrival, what came out of his mouth was a garbled mess.

“And in English that means...?” She questioned.

Jamie wanted to slap himself, but he settled with a deep breath.

“Sorry. Who are you and how did I get here?”

“My name is Taravati” She said, blandly. “You are in Prince Stefan’s palace.” Jamie did not appreciate the rudeness. “He has asked that I assist to your needs whilst he takes care of a few important matters.”

“Oh” Jamie was not used to the idea of having someone wait on him. Having slept past breakfast, Jamie soon joined Taravati for lunch. The garden outside was striking, to say the least. The flowers reigned, vying for attention in a flurry of colours. Butterflies fluttered around, obviously taken away by the multitude of flowers about. Jamie did not recognise most of them but could point out the tulips, roses, and lilies. Others were wilder and more exotic. On the other hand, the grass was mowed down for a tidy look. Trees branched out happily, growing curious looking fruits.  A fountain was in the centrepiece of it all, sprinkling with glittering water. Taravati directed Jamie to a table with a shelter to cover them from the bright sunshine.

“So where did he go and when will he be back?”

“The prince did not tell me of his whereabouts and he could be gone for any length of time.” That annoyed Jamie, but there was nothing to be done. They ate in silence, Stefan’s servants served him, and he ate in silence.

“Aren’t you hungry?”

“No, I will be fine.”

“Alright. So what do I do after this?”

“You can wonder around the palace but the prince has made it clear that you are forbidden from leaving.”

“We’ll see about that” Jamie replied, a mischievous smile on his face.

Jamie had a long streak of directly disobeying authority. He admitted he did it mostly for attention, but in this case, it was different. Taravati was kind. He guessed she had to be, as Prince Stefan’s slave. But Jamie did not want to be cossetted. He wanted to be free to wonder about. So when he was told to avoid the woods, he walked right towards it. Of course there had been guards, but such a thing was a small matter. He found a way to burrow his way underneath the fence, at a safe distance from the patrolling guards. He did his best to hide the hole and the dug up dirt with the foreign looking giant leaves, after he got to the other side. Keeping himself crouched low as possible, he quickly jogged away from the palace fence.

The woods were mercifully less overpowering in scent. It smelled fresh… clean. Trees grew tall and the vegetation remained wild and free. Insects chirped and buzzed about as Jamie trudged forward as the dusty pathway became thick grass. He was having strange flashbacks in his head and they were more than unsettling. There were pictures in his mind’s eye of a girl: A girl with pink hair and a beautiful laugh. Yet too often, there was a sadness in her honey coloured eyes. Then Jamie would be back in the woods in Terrahgonia. He was left wondering who she was and why she seemed so significant to him.

Further into the distance, he could see a clearing approaching, and a picturesque brook with serene water. Then Jamie noticed the tall figure that stood by it. As he walked on, the man stayed exactly where he was, staring straight at him. When he was close enough, Jamie gasped. This was no stranger. He was flesh and blood. There was no denying their similar shaggy blonde hair, but Jamie had green eyes, and the man had pale foggy blue eyes. Jamie did not know what to do. He wanted to run to his father, and hug him tightly but something stopped him. He was afraid of being rejected. His father had not always been there for him and was often out for months at a time until his mother had given up on him. Then one day, he had disappeared altogether. The man smiled at him and mouthed something: ‘I love you’. The cry of a wounded beast cut through the air. Rustling leaves could be heard from a distance, and when Jamie turned in the direction of the noise for just a moment, he saw that his father was gone. It hurt him as much as the many previous times that he had not returned, but this time it was different. This time he could not be sure if the figure that had stood by the brook had truly been his father. He did not believe in ghosts and apparitions, but in Terrahgonia you could never be sure.

A creature broke through the bushes and was quickly followed by two others. They were wolves with darks coats of fur and intelligent, bright eyes. They looked in Jamie’s direction momentarily but he must not have seemed a threat, because they quickly ignored him. The one in the middle seemed to be limping slightly and it whined quietly. The wolves were bigger than anything that Jamie could have imagined. They were all muscles and teeth, yet it was their eyes that he was taken with. They were so filled with fear and yet with a hint of cunning. They were also very human. The one in front with charcoal fur had eyes so green that Jamie could not help but compare them to emeralds. Its ears twitched and when it turned around to hear better, a group of men came running through the opposing bushes with weapons at the ready. The men were suited up head to toe in camouflage. They carried various weapons such as bows and arrows, guns and strangely enough, even swords. In a blink of an eye, they were running towards the wolves, weapons drawn. There was malice in their eyes and it was clear that their intent was to kill the wolves, but Jamie could not fathom why.

Still, it made no difference. Something in Jamie wanted to protect the wolves. He knew not why, but at that point being rational was the least of his concerns. The hunters pursued the wolves and so the Guardian followed. The woods were cold and unforgiving. It was clear that it was the sort of habitat that would chew you up and spit you back out if you were weak. Jamie ran, no longer caring about his favourite high tops being ruined as he trampled past mud. He heard a gunshot and then a howl. Fear seeped into his blood and he was afraid that he was too late. He approached a clearing and he witnessed as four camouflaged strangers stood over a massive whining golden wolf. The other wolves were nowhere in sight. Jamie could hear a deep thumping in his head, like a heart beat. It was slow and faint, but it was there. The men glared at Jamie, but said nothing. One cocked his gun towards the wolf, arrogantly.

“Step away from the wolf,” He demanded, his voice even. The men only laughed at him.

“Leave now, boy and we’ll allow you to live,” The one with the gun replied. The sane side of Jamie wanted to take up the offer. Who was he to stand in the way of assassins? It was clear to him that the wolves were more than just wolves. They could not have eyes like that and not have some hidden secret.

“Thanks for the generous offer but I’ll have to pass.” The other two men grinned at each other as they stepped up to attack him. The one on his right swung with his sword, and Jamie quickly ducked. What had he gotten himself into?

As soon as Jamie got back up, he used all of his strength to trip the man over with his leg. A smirk crept its way on to Jamie’s face, but then he was shot in his right arm from behind, and it diminished. He turned to face the man who had shot him. This man was dark-skinned, but he had the same cold, reserved facial expression as the others.

“What made you think that you could best us, boy? It’s four against one.” That is when a black beast tackled him, with a mighty growl. His gun flew up in the air and was deposited in a bush. Three other wolves then leapt out of the thickets. Jamie recognised two of them as the ones that had abandoned the injured golden wolf. They had searched for reinforcements. The three remaining men were wide-eyed.

“It looks like the odds have been reversed.” Jamie grinned. The black wolf walked in Jamie’s direction but kept its distance. Its fur was streaked with blood, especially around its muzzle. Jamie shivered. Who was to say that they might not see him as a threat?

 “That’s right, the boy was here because he wanted to kill the wolf himself,” One of the other men lied.

“They understand you?” Jamie asked.

“Yes. We…we have specialised equipment.” The black wolf growled at the man, and he whimpered. It continued to assess Jamie, and all of a sudden, his head hurt.

“You were both brave and foolish to attempt to stop these men. Thank you.” As Jamie looked closer into the wolf’s dark eyes, something happened. The face of the wolf seemed to become super-imposed with a man’s face. The rest of the body followed.

“Who are you?” Jamie asked.

“We are the lycanthropes, a people long ago cursed to live our lives as wolves. One of your ancestors lessened this curse many centuries ago so that we may only change every full moon, and even at will. We are yours to command, should you ever need our help.”

“How do I contact you?”

“Just howl” The wolf was but a wolf again and it turned to the members of its pack and seemed to nod. The remaining men were swiftly executed. Just as they were about to leave, the injured golden wolf turned to Jamie, and he saw her for whom she truly was a young beautiful woman.

“Thank you, Guardian” Then she reached out to him and kissed him on the cheek. But what he felt on his skin was rather more like a dog licking him with a slobbery tongue. The illusion of the wolf-woman vanished, and she set off with her pack. But one wolf remained. This one was lighter than many of the other, in a warm shade of brown fur. When it too revealed its true identity, Jamie gasped. The wolf was his father. It had the same sapphire eyes as his father. It should not have been possible, not on a wolf. Yet the wolf did not speak in Jamie’s mind as the others had. He merely stared at the boy, muscles rigid, and mouthed once more- ‘I love you’. Jamie tried to slowly approach him, but then he heard someone running towards them. It made his father panic and his holographic form faded and then his wolf self ran away. Jamie was once again alone.

Taravati’s voice could be heard loud and clear. “James! James!” When at long last she found him, she gasped, horrified by Jamie’s wound. “I had one job, just one. But could I do it?” She panted, out of breath from running through the forest. “No, because you ran away and nearly got yourself killed! What were you thinking?” Jamie neither responded nor looked towards her.

“James, please answer me. What happened?”

“Hunters… wolves. My dad… I though he was dead. He says he loves me but he’s abandoned me again.” James was once again heart broken. He didn’t understand why his father had not truly spoken to him. He had come so close to getting him back, and all too soon, Fate had changed its mind.

“Let me get you out of here. Come on.” She steered him the other way, and as they walked back to the palace, Jamie heard a distance howl.

 

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