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Can Lily ave the world?

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1. Part 1: Lily

"Lily, how about you?" Ms. Kinney, Lily's English teacher. Lily, up until the point which she had heard her name, was staring out the window fantasizing about elves, hobbits, and dwarves.

"Could you repeat the question?" Lily timidly asked.

"Okay," Ms. Kinney said, a bit annoyed, "What is the Latin word for 'to kill a king'?"

'Something with 'cide',' Lily thought, '-cide, -cide, -cide!!!!'

"Lily?" a friendlier voice asked, "Are you okay? You're murmuring about signs, I think. Should I call for help?"

"No, thanks," Lily replied, looking into the eye of the speaker. She was dirty blond with traces of red, and her eyes were the color of seas splashing and waving about, her eyes were the purest thing she'd ever seen.

“Lily! What is the Latin word for ‘to kill a king’?” Ms. Kinney snapped.

“Uh, regicide?” Lily guessed.

“Thank you, now we can move on because Lily has decided to tell us the answer to a really, quite simple question,” Ms. Kinney replied. Lily’s face burned with embarrassment. “Well, now we can move on to identifying unknown words by their Latin roots. Remember, your homework for tonight will be due on Friday, not tomorrow, Thursday. Okay, what does ‘bio’ mean?”

Lily slunk back into her seat and for the most part, her dreams of hobbits were whisked away with thoughts of Latin roots.

‘What is the Latin root for completely bored?’ Lily thought.

² ² ² ² ² ² ² ²

 

At lunch, Lily sat with her normal table group, herself, her food and a book. Sometimes, Lily felt really lonely, but enough time reading could get you inside a book, and talking to the characters, and gradually her loneliness washed away inside a book. Today’s book was “The Demon inside the Glass” and lunch was her usual, an apple, a granola bar, a container of pasta, and a mint. She had finished her lunch ages ago, but, she was still sucking on her mint and reading.

“NO, Jacob, you can’t go in the glass! It’s a trap!” Lily mumbled to her book. “See, told you!”

“Uh, sorry, um, I uh, oh sorry!” the girl with the pure blue eyes stuttered.

“Uh, what, oh, sorry, maybe we should, uh, not talk – the blue eyed girl look down-hearted – but, uh write on paper,” Lily stuttered back. She took out her paper from class and two pencils from her binder. The girl tried to talk, but Lily put one finger to her lips. She began to write: I’m Lily, which you already know, but I don’t think you know me. I like to read and really haven’t had a friend before and don’t know how to act in situations like this. Please excuse that aspect of me.

The girl read what Lily had written, laughed a little, and began to write. I’m Sophie, which you don’t already know. I’m also Glad, very glad I can skip the whole will you be my friend part because I think you assumed, which is great. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be if I asked for today’s homework? I also love to read, especially Harry Potter and Tolkien. You’re doing okay as my friend, for now, you can make me laugh which is something I don’t get to do a lot, except while reading, of course. The only thing I love more than reading are my two guinea pigs, or as I like to call them cutie piggies. They are pretty cute and pretty awesome, you’ll have to meet them sometime. Sophie slid the paper over to Lily in a very secretive manner, Lily read it and the two immediately came over their fear of talking.

Let’s just say Lily and Sophie have been friends for less than an hour, and already feel they’ve been friends their entire life. They talked about food and pets and books. Books, books, books!!  Lily, who was really always friendless, and Sophie who is naturally nice, but keeps to herself, just for the first time in eithers lives, clicked.

 

² ² ² ² ² ² ² ²

 

Lily walked home through the forest with Sophie that afternoon. Lily took giant leaps over rocks, occasionally pretending to hit a troll with her bow. Sophie rattled on about how beautiful and inspiring the forest was.

“I could paint a thousand pictures and still never capture the beauty of this,” Sophie said. “Or write a thousand books and never capture the magic this place emits!”

“Well, I’ll be a thousand dollars you could do either,” Lily stopped to take out the nefarious troll lingering by Sophie.

“Thanks, Lily, but this place is just too magical,” Sophie stared up at the branches, just barely retaining their green beauty, and blossoming into the red, orange, and brown world of autumn. Sophie can to Lily’s aid, wiping out the imaginary trolls still fighting with her sword.

“If I could fight anything for real,” Lily began, “I think it would have to be trolls. They’re just so dumb! Anybody with any knowledge whatsoever could kill a troll.”

“But reasoning with a troll would be a hard feat to accomplish,” Sophie added intelligently. Lily and Sophie put their magical weapons back into their imagination, and walked out of the woods, to home.

“Good bye, Sophie,” Lily called.

“Good bye, Lily,” Sophie answered. She walked quietly on, and began to ponder the next day, what adventures it will bring.

Lily unlocked the front door to find her father home. “Hi, Dad. Why are you home so early?” Lily asked. “Can we play ‘Middle Earth Quest’?

“I want to tell you something, something important,” Lily’s dad said, very deadly seriously.

‘Maybe there is a family disease that I’ve never been told about,’ Lily thought wildly, ‘Or maybe Dad is going to some long trip over the world and not taking Mom!’

“Can we still play a game before you tell me?” Lily tentatively asked. By now, Lily was pretty terrified of what her father was going to say to her. Before her mind could wander any further, her dad interjected.

“Lily, I really want you to pay attention to what I am about to say,” Lily’s dad implored. “I really don’t want to tell you this, but it is crucial information you will need to know. Lily, dark forces are coming, and they want something from us. They want a-“

“Dad, seriously, we can just play ‘Middle Earth Quest’, you don’t have to tell me Saruman wants the Rings of Power and all that-“Lily began.

“No, Lily this is real, and deadly information,” Lily’s dad began again. “The dark forces want a stone, a deadly magical stone. With it, evil could reign over the universe.”

Lily laughed. “Really, you sound like Gandalf, you just need to grow a beard!”

“Lily,” her dad said warningly, “This is a very serious matter! It could destroy the world!” Lily’s dad jumped up from the couch he was sitting in and knocked over the coffee table. Their usual spotless living room was covered in coffee table pieces and broken glass.

By now, Lily was absolutely terrified. She had never seen her dad get angry at anything. The only time he was angry was when Lily’s mother wanted to take her to New York to see a play on Broadway. Her dad said he didn’t want Lily exposed to that nonsense and her parents got into a huge fight about it. But, this was different. Her dad was angry at Lily and they usually got along better than Lily and her mother or her dad and her mother.

“Dad, what are you saying? I have to fight of all evil? My whole life has been books, and now you want me to save the world? I can’t do this!” Lily cried. She held back a sob. “If I find out this is a joke I will be very upset Dad.”

“No, Lily, unfortunately, I must tell you this is real. Any day now, we can expect and attack on us, for the stone,” Lily’s dad explained. The mood in the room had changed considerably now, Lily believed her dad and if she found out he was lying, he would be in a world of trouble. “Lily, I love you, but you need to know this. The forces of evil work in many ways. They can manipulate dreams, or just attack you, plain and simple. My ancestors, I and now you have to learn to protect the people around you.”

“You’ve had my whole life to tell me this, and you choose now, at the time of imminent danger. Next time, if I have to save the world give me a year or so to prepare,” Lily said, her attempt at humor not working. Her dad cracked a grim smile, but continued his explanation.

“You just need to watch your step, go everywhere with something or someone protecting you. The stone you must protect will give you some protection, but you are going to learn to fight,” her dad explained.

“Right, fight, or just run quickly in the other direction,” Lily said, her dad laughing a very humorless laugh.

“What you are eventually going to have to fight is very dangerous if you are not prepared to fight it-“

“So, are you going to prepare me to fight? Do you have swords and bows in the basement? Can we fight trolls?” Lily asked.

“No, yes, maybe. I can’t help you prepare, how you fight and defend must be found inside yourself. Despite what people may think, fighting is not something you can learn step by step from a book.  It must be taught from inside you, not someone else,” Lily’s dad explained.

“Dad, I’m sorry, but you are sounding too much like Yoda and I really don’t want to laugh because of how serious this is, but honestly, if you keep talking like that I might explode,” Lily choked back laughter. “I do understand what you’re saying, Dad, but maybe without the Yoda please.”

“Alright, I can try, but sometimes there is only one way to explain something,” Lily’s dad said exasperated. “I do have weapons in the basement, but I have to show you how to use them.”

“So, fighting I must learn myself, but you can teach me to use weapons,” Lily countered.

“Lily!! Stop making this harder for me! Their will come a time I can’t protect you anymore, and you will be defenseless! Please just listen and stop making those snarky comments!” Lily’s dad shouted.

“I’m sorry Dad, but the only other option for me is complete breakdown, so I took it sarcastically instead,” Lily tried to explain.

“There isn’t time for this! Basically, the evil forces are coming, I don’t know which, could be trolls, demons, or maybe even goblins. Nobody can tell yet, evil has just become stronger, and sooner or later they really will attack.  Or maybe they will wait until we seek them out and lay siege on their land,” Lily’s dad tried to explain in the easiest way for Lily to understand.

The front door came unlocked and Lily’s mother came home from work.

“Lily,” her dad urgently whispered,” This is yours now.” He handed Lily the stone and began setting the coffee table back up.

“Hey Lily! Have you finished all your homework yet? I would really like to see you do the dishes afterward, too,” Lily’s mom shouted from the kitchen. She walked into the living room saw the mess, then saw her husband. “Hey, honey what are you doing home?”

“Boss let me out early, and I decided to come home and buy a special someone some flowers for her anniversary!” Lily’s dad said. He reached behind him, and sure enough, in his hand was a beautiful bouquet of roses.

Lily’s mother blushed then said, “You always know how to impress a lady!”

“I did when we met, and still know how!” Lily’s dad replied. Lily made a face and went up to her room. She could still here her parents’ ‘conversing’ as she lugged her backpack up the stairs.

“But can’t impress a carpet, though,” Lily’s mother said.

“I’m sorry, I’ll clean it up,” Lily’s father said.

‘What homework do I have?’ Lily thought as she shut the door to her bedroom. The posters and calendars shook when the flopped onto her blue tie-dye bed. ‘Oh right, Ms. Kinney gave us extra homework to study all the Latin roots she has given us all year. And I have math homework.’ Lily took out her binder and stared at the words that were apparently in Latin.

Lily decided it was enough English, and went to do her math homework.

‘3x +2y = bxy. How would I go about solving that?’ Lily asked herself.

“LILY!” her mother yelled up the stair. “Can you come down here a moment?”

“Alright!!” Lily called down the stairs. Lily rushed down the stairs and came into the kitchen where her parents were sitting. “So, what’s up?” Lily asked.

“We wanted to know if we could go up to Washington, D.C for our anniversary weekend,” Lily’s father inquired.

“Yeah, sure. But, won’t I be alone?” Lily asked.

“Yes, Lily, you will be alone for a weekend, but only the weekend,” her mother said.

“Dad, you’re okay with this?” Lily asked, for leaving her alone for two days when evil forces will be getting stronger is not a very smart thing to do.

“Well, Lily, you will be able to train, um, he he-“her father began.

“For school, right dad,” Lily saved him.

“That sounds like a wonderful idea, don’t you think!” her Lily’s mother said, oblivious to what just happened.

“Yes, wonderful,” her father rasped. “Hey, honey, don’t you think I could get something to drink? My throat really hurts, now.”

“Sure, darling,” Lily’s mother said, and then bustled off into the kitchen.

When he was sure Lily’s mother was gone, he urgently whispered to Lily,” When we are gone, you must, must learn to do fight anything. You just need this weekend to prepare. Don’t worry about school work, I can write your teachers a note saying you were sick, or something. Just please learn to defend yourself!” Just then, Lily’s mother came back into the main room and handed Lily’s father a glass filled with water.

“Lily and I were just discussing how important it is to do her school work and not lag just because

her parents are gone,” he winked at Lily.

“Yes, and I told Dad not to worry because I am always on top of things! Right, Dad,” Lily winked back.

“Alright, go back to your room and finish your homework,” her mother dismissed her. Lily ran back up the stairs. She could not wait to tell Sophie! Lily could almost see the reaction on her face already. Sophie’s jaw would drop the slightest but, and listen with intensity to Lily. Then afterward, she would have a million questions of why on earth her dad would do that to her!

About an hour later, when Lily had finally found out what 3x +2y = bxy actually means, her mom called upstairs.

“Lily, dinner is ready!” her mom shouted.

“Coming down, Mom!” Lily shouted back. She came tumbling down the stairs and ran to the table.

“Lily, you are on set-up duty today,” her mom informed her.

Lily groaned, but did as her mother asked. “Mom, what are we having tonight?”

“Pasta with broccoli,” her mom replied.

“Do you or Dad want a spoon to go with that?” she inquired.

“Sure,” she replied. Lily never quite understood why a spoon was necessary to eat pasta with, but her parents always like too. It made her feel like a slob when her parents were neatly eating there spaghetti with a spoon and a fork, and Lily just used a fork and got pasta all over her face.

Lily went into the silverware drawer in the kitchen and took three knives, three forks and two spoons. She brought them over to the small table right outside the kitchen and set the silverware up appropriately. They never used the dining room table, though they had one, it was mainly used to serve guests or whenever her grandparents can over from Washington State or Belgium, but Lily hardly knew her grandparents from her mother’s side, and they never really came down from Antwerp.

“Hey, Mom,” Lily started “When you and dad go to D.C., can you leave behind or bring some donuts? I mean I rarely get any sort of sugar, and you wouldn’t be around to” – Lily was about to say ‘lecture’, but decided better of it – “encourage me not to eat too much sugar. I mean, it’s only a weekend, right?”

“Sure, Lily, that can be arranged,” Lily’s mother surprisingly agreed, though the way she said it wasn’t altogether reassuring.

“Thanks, Mom!” Lily exclaimed, jumping up a little. Just then, Lily’s dad came to the table and began to explain the details of the trip.

“Well, I ordered train tickets because I don’t think we should take a plane or drive to Washington D.C from Vermont, right?” her dad said rhetorically. “Anyway, the plan will be to leave for Essex Junction early in the morning on Saturday, and then we can come back late Sunday night, if the train doesn’t break down or anything.”

“Don’t jinx it, honey!” Lily’s mother said playfully.

“Sounds like a lot of fun for you guys,” Lily said, slightly jealous.

“Well, we will leave you pizza money, dessert money, and disaster money, but what you actually spend it on is not our decision,” Lily’s father explained. “Just don’t o wrecking the house!”

“Can I invite someone over?” Lily asked, thinking of Sophie.

“Sure, but no parties and only one person at a time,” Lily’s mother said, trying to hold back surprise at the fact that her daughter had a friend!

“Alright!” Lily cheered. “Can you leave any earlier than Saturday?”

Her parents both laughed, and then exchanged glances. “Come on, let’s go get some dinner!”

The family went into the kitchen and got plates, served themselves, and went to the table, one by one. Lily sat down at the table first, and began to eat. After all the days’ adventure, she was starved. All in all, making a new friend and being told about evil forces sure can make a girl hungry!

Lily’s mother and father both came to the table discussing eagerly the plan for the trip. “We definitely need to see the Capitol!”

“And don’t forget about the Lincoln Memorial!”

“What about the Smithsonian?”

“And all the art museums there!”

“Wow,” Lily said. “You guys are all excited for the boring parts of Washington! Why not go to the fun stuff, like the Air and Space Museum! Or the National Aquarium? We don’t have any aquariums here, and when you go so close to one of the most exciting aquariums, you want to go to an art museum? ”

“Now, now, Lily, don’t get too excited,” her dad tried to calm her. “Remember, your mother and I are going, you are staying home.”

“Don’t get your hopes up,” Lily’s mother added. “But, we might get you a little trinket from the National Aquarium!”

“Don’t get me anything really dumb that a toddler would like. Remember, I am 13!” Lily explained.

“Don’t worry Lily, I have excellent taste!” her father teased. Lily stuck her tongue out at her dad, and then began to eat again in silence. Her mother and father continued talking about all the amazing sites they could see, and left Lily’s mind to wander.

‘Maybe, once my parents leave I can just read all day and pretend I was doing school work in front of mom, and fighting for my dad. But, seriously, I need to fight whether I like it or not,’ Lily thought. ‘If what Dad said is true then I need all the help and practice I can get while Mom is gone. I guess the only other time I can really practice is when Mom is out, or if Mom and Dad are both out together. Maybe, Dad is just trying to get Mom away from the house so I can train! Or maybe-‘ Lily’s thoughts were cut short by her mother.

“Lily, what do you think?” her mom inquired.

“What?” Lily asked, thoroughly confused.

“What should we do go to the Lincoln Memorial or the Botanic Garden?” her mom repeated, a little vexed.

“Definitely the Botanic Garden, I’ve always been one for nature,” Lily replied, a blush creeping up her neck.

“Alright, Lincoln Memorial it is,” her dad teased.

“Don’t ask then, for my advice!” Lily cried, a little more annoyed than she intended.

“Lily, your father was just teasing, right?” Lily’s mom said, hinting with her eyebrows her husband best agree.

Lily’s dad caught the eyebrow motion and immediately apologized. “Lily, I’m sorry, just teasing a little.”

“It’s fine, Dad,” Lily said, by now very embarrassed. The blush threatened to completely cover her face, so she ducked her head down and began to eat more vigilantly. She finished her broccoli, and moved on to devour her spaghetti.

“Lily, slow down, eat mindfully!” Lily’s mother scolded. She frowned at her as Lily began to make an exaggerated eye roll to her dad. He hid a snort in his pasta.

“Really, it isn’t funny!” her mom began again. “You could swallow down the wrong pipe and choke! Did you know some people don’t have enough to eat?” By now, Lily and her father had completely giving up hiding their laughter and just began to split their sides.

“Really, it is funny!” Lily’s dad countered. Her mother tried to hide her laughter, but eventually, she had to join them in their wild cackling.

² ² ² ² ² ² ²

Lily got ready for bed, brushing her teeth, putting on pajamas, and finally jumping into bed with her hair brush and a book. Today’s book was still ‘The Demon inside the Glass’ and Lily was determined to finish it tonight. The book was perfect for Lily, a combination of tons of action, plot twists, friends and hints of love, but not nearly enough to be considered a romance novel. Lily propped the book open with her foot, and began to read and brush her hair at the same time. This was basically the only form of multi-tasking Lily was capable of. When she tried to read and eat, Lily always just got lost in the book, letting her cereal grow soggy. It was because of this Lily was often too late for the school bus, and therefore must briskly jog to school to be on time. The only other form of multi-tasking Lily was capable of was singing in the shower.

Lily became very into her novel, but kept brushing until there were about negative eleven knots. She just kept brushing to have an excuse to keep reading way past her ‘bed time’. Though Lily never had a real bed time, and by now was really too old for her parents to confine her sleeping hours, she always liked going to bed at the same time every day. It helped create a pattern in her life, and she loved constant things in her life. Her lunch has been the same every day for the past eleven years of her life; she had an apple or banana, a granola bar, the container of pasta, and a mint for the end of lunch. Her bed time and lunch were the only things in her life she could really control. Her mother and father’s jobs required them to travel a lot, though surprisingly, they had never both gone on a business trip at the same time. That really made Lily wonder.

Lily put her hair in a ponytail, as she always did at night, it kept her hair from being a complete rat’s nest in the morning. Lily became really tired (and had finished her book) so decided it was time to fall asleep. The air conditioning went on, and the comforting sounds of home lulled her to sleep.

² ² ² ² ² ² ²

Lily dreamed she was in the forest by her home, playing with Sophie, jumping through invisible obstacles, and dancing around in a mock sword fight with sticks against Sophie. Lily thrust her blade towards Sophie, but she nimbly and Sophie tried to cut Lily, but she parried the sword out of her way. Just then, three ‘trolls’ came rolling from Lily’s imagination and into the woods to fight them. But, as Lily was fighting with the nonexistent trolls, they became real! They were as solid as stone, and the sticks Lily and Sophie were using before became real blades, swords knights from Mediaeval Europe would kill to have. The sword in Lily’s hand came much heavier, but she somehow managed to kill one of the trolls. Sophie, however, did not have as much luck as Lily. The two remaining trolls went after Sophie, and she screamed and ran. Lily went towards Sophie and knocked out one of the trolls with the back of her sword, and went towards the last remaining troll. Sophie regained her wits, and began to fight the troll. She thrust her sword at it, but it deflected her blade like it was nothing more than a toothpick. Lily came, but the troll using its own blade swung and hit her in the knee.

² ² ² ² ² ² ²

Lily woke up very startled to a sharp pain in her leg. She went limping to the bathroom, turned on the light, and then put the cover to the toilet up, and inspected her leg at the site of intense pain. She saw a huge cut on her knee, where the troll in her dream had slashed her. Looking at the wound made her feel woozy, for Lily was not one for blood. She rolled out some toilet paper, and covered the wound. The blood seeped through the makeshift cast, while Lily was wetting more toilet paper. She pushed the old toilet paper down on the cut, then removed it from her leg. Lily then put the wet toilet paper on her leg. She fished around the cabinet for gauze or band aids or something else that could stop bleeding or prevent it. She reached the jackpot in the cabinet behind the mirror that her mom thought she didn’t know about, but really Lily always did. She found band aids galore. She took two large ones, stuck them on the majority of the cut, then took some medium sized band aids, and stuck those on the tips of the cut that the larger band aid didn’t cover.

Lily limped out of the bathroom, trying to find her dad, while not waking her mother.

“Dad? Dad?” Lily audibly whispered into her parent’s room. When no one responded, Lily crept as quietly as one can with a huge gash on their knee, to find her father. She looked on both sides of the bed, and on the right lay her father. Lily gently, but urgently shook her father to bring him back to the mortal world.

“Uuhh, Lily? What’s going on?” her dad whispered.

“Nothing, Dad. Well, actually, something very important. Can you come to my room without waking mom? I have something I need to tell you, or really show you,” Lily whispered urgently back. Without another word, she crept back into her room, hoping to goodness her father followed. Sure enough, their he was a moment later wrapped in a blanket. He looked like a sleep walking zombie that loved blankets.

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