Huh. We were standing close to the portal, and I was looking back at the kingdom, hidden behind walls – barely visible. The grass was as green as when I arrived and I tried to remind myself it wouldn’t be bad to get home. Home means I can take care of Tyler, that I can see my little sister, and talk with my Dad.
I sat down on my legs, and picked up a small rock, I could sneak into my pocket. We walked through the portal, my eyes was still looking over the grass, seeing a figure not far away, hiding close to a tree. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to Jaime.
Around us were a human forest – so much different from the one I’m used to. “Where now?” Adrian noticed “We could go home-“ He looked at his parents’ who was looking at me.
“She can’t” Jeremy’s voice said. He was hiding himself in dark clothing; you couldn’t even see his face. “Tonight, her father is throwing her a party, to celebrate her eighteens birthday”.
“Why are you all dressed up?” I asked him confused. I could feel he was irritated, I smiled a bit.
“Then I guess we’ll go home” His dad said, staring at Jeremy “And Adrian you should go with Rachael”. Crish was irritated on Jeremy, I could see it on him – the way he kept making a fist and opening it again.
Adrian nodded, and we started to walk each our way.
The silence was awkward – Adrian kept looking shortly at Jeremy, trying to see under his hood.
“How’s stuff been?” I asked Jeremy “I know you had some trouble-“
“It’s fine” Jeremy said, “Everything is ready for you – we just need you to get dressed properly”.
I nodded and we kept walking. I noticed the bird around us, following us as we walked further into the woods, closer to the portal to the castle.
“I have some questions,” I noticed.
“Can they wait to after the party?”
I nodded, and wondered why he was in such a bad mood. We got into the castle, and I was, quicker than I thought possible, thrown into a room, to take a shower.
Some time past, and when done, I wondered where Adrian was.
I had to wait outside the room, waiting for her being done showering. She came out in a robe, then the cape-douche lead her to another door, this time I could get into the room with her. They were giving her makeup on – so little I almost couldn’t see it after, but it gave her some uplifting signs. It made her look so healthy and so alive. After that, she was taken into another room, to pick a dress. When done they ran around to look for the things that matched it. When done with that, they took her into another room, and this time I wasn’t allowed to go in. She was apparently getting dressed. She came out in a white dress, glass shoes, and was then taking into another room to get her nails done. It was dead boring; even she was sitting looking out the window while it happened. After that, she got a lot of jewelry on, and then got more makeup on. When done, she put gloves on, and her hair was done.
She looked wonderful, but it didn’t show her true self. Sure, she was the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. Her eyes seems so open, and loveable, but it’s not the girl who can make grown-up men bow down, and still be humble and helpful towards him.
“You look beautiful” I told her, she smiled shortly, then she took my hand without a word and led me around the castle.
“You know – you haven’t been her much. And I have been here less than you… shouldn’t we bring a guide or something? We could get lost-“ I noticed, If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t know where we are.
“Don’t worry” She said, her playful smile, made me shut up.
“We only have a short break before I have to be at the party-“ she noticed “and you should change, but you don’t have any-“ she didn’t finish, but just opened up a door. It was her room, she walked across the floor, and towards her changing room.
“Do you have man clothes here?” I asked confused.
“Yeah” she smiled at me and disappeared into the giant labyrinth of clothing. She came out with some white shirt, long sleeved and open at the neck. Then she gave me some black pants.
“Why do you have men’s clothing?” I asked her, with it in my hand.
“Tyler sleeps here as well” she noticed “He might as well have his clothes here…” She turned around, while covering her eyes. “Just change”
I quickly changed. When I told her she could turn around, she ran her hand through my hair, and apparently made me look good, since she smiled proudly of what she had done.
“Who is coming?” I asked “I know… family and friends… but…”
“Different creatures” She said, as she took my hand. “And I have to tell you… it’s going to be hard on you. They aren’t going to hurt you, they wouldn’t dream of it to be honest. But it’s hard for them to be around a lighter, just as well as it’s hard for you to be around them”. Her lips graced mine, and she led me outside her room again. We walked into the ‘great hall’ I guess. There was a long dining table, in a horseshoe shape. It reminded me – weirdly – of the dining room at the palace in Amalion. A throne, beautifully covered in white marble, with silver making shapes and circles on it. Is it her seat? Or her dad’s?
There were room for 150 people. Enough food to feed an armada. And different kinds as well. There were names on every seat. I was happy, when I couldn’t find my name amongst strangers, but confused when I couldn’t find it at all. I noticed a small table, hidden in darkness behind the throne and the seats beside it. There were light, and to seats. To servants were standing by it, and I hadn’t seen them move. I found my name besides Jeremy’s.
Private dinner with him…. Great.
People started to enter. She had let go of my hand the second we entered, and was standing by the gate, greeting people welcome, curtsying, bowing, making funny noises, I guess is other languages. Occasionally she would laugh. Sometimes just, glimpse out a cute smile. On the left side in the horseshoe a table was being set out, and servants accepted gifts as people entered.
I found a nice dark corner of the room where I could see her, without being creepy, and without feeling too close to the other creatures.
“Hello” She smiled brightly as a guy, in a suit, stood before her. His eyes were red, His smile honest, and old. What is he? 30? He hugged her, like they were close, and she didn’t push him away. Another old friend? For someone locked up at home, she knows a lot of people.
“That’s the first vampire who ever existed” Jeremy told beside me “He is called the vampire king, because he is the first of his kind. He is also the strongest. He is normal very stiff and uptight, but Rachael made him more relaxed”.
“The vampire king, huh?” I just said, and hoped he would leave my little spot. She kept greeting people. More and more people entered, but it weren’t crowded in here. I could feel their eyes on me, their long stares.
They seemed so relaxed around Jeremy. He didn’t hide in the corner like me. He was moving around time, talking to the staff, occasionally talk with bypassing people.
“He’s use to us,” a voice beside me noticed. I turned around to see the ‘vampire king’.
“Hello” He smiled “We haven’t met, You must be her white protector right?”
I nodded, and just looked back at her.
“She’s beautiful” He noticed “She’s more a princess now than she was then. But then again, she doesn’t fight the dresses as much as she used too” He laughed for himself.
“Yes, she is beautiful” I just answered back.
“You know, it’s punishable to love your lighter?”
I looked around, and glimpsed Adrian and the vampire king chatting. Not that Adrian was answering much, thank gods for that!
I went to look at her presents again. Everything will be placed in her room later, when they have been inspected.
Some gifts were beautifully wrapped; others were out, floating above the rest. Clearly magical.
She is chatting with some natural creature. I walked past her, and towards the door.
“How many have arrived?” I asked Jim. He smiled for a second before announcing everybody had arrived, and that we could shut the gate now. I took a deep breath of the cold night air outside, before I ordered the guards to push the gates close together, but still letting air through.
“Thank you!” She was hugging some guy, Magi-creature. No threat.
I walked over to the waiters.
“Is all the food ready?”
One nodded, the other was looking confused for a second.
“I think we have mixed some of the vampire’s blood with the wine for the rest of the guests,” he admitted.
“Where?” He led me to a place where it was vampire, natural, vampire, vampire, natural. I lifted the first glass. I looked up quick. Dancing with her dad. Sniff. Blood. Sniff. Blood. Sniff. Wine. Sniff. Blood. Sniff. Wine. I switched the wrongs and clapped him on the back, to tell him he made a good call. I looked up, searching the room for her. Cloaked. Someone is walking around in a red cloak. I started to move towards the person. Covered in the cloak the person was moving towards the present-table. From underneath the cape a vase with red roses was pulled. The hands indicated a him. He placed the red rosses on the table, and sneaked out the open door. I walked over to the roses and tried sniffing it. No poison from inhaling. There was a card. I flipped it open. Congrats, Angel. I smiled and looked up again. She was dancing with the V King. No reason to be afraid.
I looked at the center of the room. The platform, needs to be here… I thought they had it ready? It needs to be moved in while everybody eats.
I went out back and found the people in charge. I send them out to the middle to prepare the locks.
Walking into the room again, I relaxed up the back wall. She looked curiously at the red roses. Across the room she somehow managed to sneak herself over to the gift-table. She sniffed to the red roses, and smiled as she read the card. She knows him?
I’m glad. My eyes moved to Adrian, who was still sulking in the corner.
I got the waiters ready, and told the lord they were ready to let the people eat.
“If everybody would please find their seat, Dinner is served”.
I got in my seat, there were nothing on our table, except from the dinning-stuff. And wine. I didn’t drink, I just asked for water.
The waiter asked me what I would like to eat, and I couldn’t help but letting my nose decide. It smelled wonderful. Her dad was holding a speech. I didn’t really pay attention. I let him speak without eating, but all I could concentrate on, was Jeremy still covered in his dark clothes, covered completely, helping some waiters doing something on the floor.
He returned to me, and started eating quick. When done he turned towards me.
“When he is done speaking, you and I have to move to her “ he was pointing at the chair next to the pretty one. It was silver, and looked like something taken out from a fairytale.
“She is going to perform a ritual” He told me “It’s a long story, but she is going to see her sisters. And we are going to see them as well. Every Katena there have been and will ever be. We’ll also see her soul, don’t be too shocked”.
I tried to listen to her dad after that. I didn’t want to be wrong on the timing. Jeremy was polite enough to point up with his hand when I had to get up. I got behind her, her left side. Holding on her shoulder like Jeremy. “And now to the reason everybody here has stopped listening to me” Her dad continued. “My beautiful daughter has something to show us”.
I didn’t want to look confused as people looked at us. I was relived when I could feel they weren’t the slightest interested in me. They only looked at her. I got curious when she got up, and I still had to have my hand on her shoulders.
“As a tradition, when ever my birthday is held – or any other Katena’s for that sake – we’ll show our light to the people. And when I say people, I mean you. Normally it’s rare to see a lighters light, in some peoples world, it’s unforgivable to show your light to other people than your family. But I’m a Katena. And a Katena is everyone’s. Therefor I will share everything with you” She blushed, as she raised her hand, and mumbled some ancient lighter language. I was staring at the light. Her light. Above the white platform in the middle, the light was shining bright. It was white as the wind is in physical form, and purple, like the ferikes. Every other light in the room was turned off, and I couldn’t help but being a bit worried. Exposing her light is very dangerous. But at the same time so beautiful. This is her true essence. Everything that makes her… her… This is it. Her magic, her powers, close to her soul. But not her soul. I smiled and noticed how it shinned brighter and brighter until at last it disappeared, and she fell back in her chair. Afraid for her, I almost let go of her shoulder, but Jeremy shook his head, and held my hand on her shoulder.
“She’s fine” he whispered.
The platform was shining, as if her light was holding on it. A stair, from the ceiling, white and silvery emerged from light, and was still lighting up, like it was all a dream. A woman was walking down the stair, beautiful, silent, but beautiful. Her hair was blond, her eyes blue. She had little freckles on her cheeks, and her skin looked otherwise perfect. She was smiling bright, with tears in her eyes.
She said something that sounded more like a song than words. Then another woman emerged – a bit younger. Maybe the 24 years old. Her hair was gold, her skin brown from the sun – her eyes light silver.
She said a similar sound as she reached the other woman. Standing on a line on the platform,
“They are saying their names” The vampire king noticed, loud enough for everyone to hear.
A girl, younger than Rachael appeared. Her hair was purple and her eyes as well. Her skin was white, as had her skin never met the sun before. She looked so pure, so innocent that I wanted to lock her up, so she would never get hurt.
A sound appeared out of her mouth, not as strong and confident at the first, or as beautiful as the second.
A girl followed, looked like a year younger. Blond as well, but her eyes were green as Amalion’s grass. Her face was shaped like a strawberry it seemed. She was light brown, and she was smiling brightly with tears in her eyes as well as the first have had.
The next girl appeared. Her eyes were tired, blue hair like the ocean, blue eyes like the sky. She was smiling tiredly and her sound reminded me of a mix between a yawn and a song.
A girl younger than the last came down the stairs. Her hair was black as the raven, and her eyes as red as a fire. Somehow, she was frightening beautiful.
I was shocked when a spirit girl got up from Rachael’s seat. Her hair was silver as the chair, and her eyes more golden than any golden coin I have ever held. Her shapes were more like a time glass, than Rachael’s own. She was wearing a dress that look like something taken out of a Greek-history book. White and golden covered her. She said the same song as the entered the only hole in the line: The one before the second oldest and after the third. She was so beautiful. It was hard taking my eyes of her. She made a sound that made me wonder if she was an angel.
“Rachael have joined them” he kept on narrating.
Suddenly the girls all met in the circle and started hugging and talking fast ( I guess the sounds are talking?).
“They are all saying how they were worried, not hearing from her. How they have missed her, and she is telling them was happened” he told. I looked at what had to be Rachael; she didn’t even look my way. We’ll also see her soul, don’t be too shocked. This is her soul? She was smiling with tears in her eyes, embraced by the others.
“I know I have lost a lot of years, but don’t worry. I won’t fail my mission” Rachael was the one talking. The oldest padded her on the head. “Just promise me you won’t get broken a long the way” his translation was to manly for the girly voices they had. But it had to do.
“We miss you, your garden is still standing. Ready for you to come back” The youngest one said. She looked pouty for a second “How much longer does it have to wait, for you to come home?”
Rachael smiled, and my heart skipped a beat.
“We talked with death. He is telling us to tell you that you have to die, before you die” Even the vampire king looked confused for a second.
“Die before I die?” Rachael looked confused, but then she smiled. “If I die, before I’m suppose to die, then I would have failed”.
“Not completely” the oldest one said “if you can fight your opposite before the original date, and fail, then she will not be able to take over the kingdom. You will have succeeded and not let your garden stand alone forever”.
She smiled, and took the oldest hands. “I know your sources are valid. But I don’t see why I would leave my garden stand alone, just because I wait for the final battle?”
The oldest sighed, and hugged her.
“She is saying: ‘we don’t know how, only death knows. And he can’t tell us. But try. If not for the garden, then for your lonely sisters”.
Rachael smiled to them. “I will investigate before doing anything. I’m sorry but even though I love you more than anything, then my garden must wait for me, until the final battle. I will come, wait and see”.
Rachael walked around each of her sisters, kissed them on the cheek and hugged them.
“But if it should happen, that I do not return to my garden” She said when she was holding hands with the oldest “Will you then watch over it for me?” Her sisters’ cheeks were overrun with tears.
Rachael was the only one not crying.
“Don’t be sad. You’ll be able to manage”