Shadow Temple of Zeal Chapter 7

Marle's Idea

By Demi-God

When Marle awoke, she found herself in a cold, dark place, with a strange taste in her mouth. She stood, and found that she couldn't see well enough to know that she had. She moved her tounge in her mouth to try to identify that taste... charcoal? "Oh! Lucca's meat." Marle tried to look around for Lucca or Magus, but couldn't see anything at all but darkness surounding her. She stod for a moment, not sure what to do. Then she heard a familiar sound. Lucca was snoring less than ten feet away. She stumbled toward the sound, and ran into the tent that Lucca had set up. She then opened the zipper and crawled inside. "Lucca, Lucca, Wake up! It's time to rise and shine!" Her friend muttered and rolled away. "Wake up! LuccaLuccaLuccaLuccaLucca!" Lucca mumbled "Ok ok, I'm up. What do you want?" "I need you to light this torch i made, Lucca. Sorry, but we have no other fire!" Lucca pressed a little ball of fire to the torch, grumbled, and fell back into the bedding. Marle backed slowly out of the tent, and held the torch aloft, trying to get a better view on the situation. Something was missing. She walked slowly around the campsite. There were the bags, her extra clothes, her food, tonics, and elixers... There was the burnt-out fire... What was missing? She shrugged, and yawned. She must have gotten up too early. She laid the torch down in the firepit, and crawled back into the tent. She lay down oppisite Lucca's sleeping body, and drifted off into dreams.

Pale shapes floated around her. It was dark, cold, and empty. Where was she? What was going on? "Lucca? Magus? Crono? Where are you?" Marle was scared. She realized that she was simply floating, there was no floor, cieling, walls, anything. Just, blank space, with hideous ghouls floating around everywhere. One was flying straight towards her face! She raised her hands to block, and the ghould turned away at the last second. But her hands... they were turning pale and clearish... was she turning into a ghost? Was she.... dead?

"Aaah!" Marle woke with a shout. At first she panicked, it was still dark and cold... she raised her hands and touched her face... still real. She breathed a sigh of relief. It was simply another dream from that time when she had not existed, before Crono, Lucca, and Frog has saved Leene from Yakra... She shook her head. She was wet with a cold sweat all over. She felt for Lucca's body near hers, but Lucca was not in the tent. Marle crawled out. Nothing. She could see nothing... but she could hear footsteps approaching. "Marle! I heard you shout, Are you Ok?" "Yes, I'm sorry Lucca.... I was having another one of those dreams." Marle reached out to Lucca. Lucca took her hand and squeezed it. "You're Ok now, Marle... But I'm worried about Magus. He's still not back. I know he's not the most friendly guy, but he's never away this long." Lucca looked worried in the torchlight. Marle shrugged. "Lucca, he's the most powerful magician I know! He's not going to be in to much trouble. But still, I hope we find him too." Marle sat down in the dirt. "What should we do right now? We can't get over that gap, going backwards is pointless." Lucca sat down, cross-legged, next to her, and jump-started the fire. "I don't really know, Marle. I don't think there is much to do but to sit and wait."

An hour passed in silence, both young women just sitting and staring into the fire. Suddenly a sharp, biting breeze woke them both from their thoughts. "Lucca, How can a cave this size exist under the swamp? Isn't the ground here too soft?" Lucca looked at Marle and sighed. "Yes, it is. This cave makes no real sense to me at all. It's too dark, even my torch doesn't make much light. Something is wrong, Marle. I think that it's time we find a way to start moving."

"But Lucca, how? I don't know how to fly like Magus. Unless you have another invention to pull out, I don't see how..." Marle trailed off in her speech, trying to think of another way. Both girls sat for a moment, thinking. Marle felt something roll down her forehead. She instinctively touched it, finding it to be a little drop of water. "Oh! I know how, Lucca!" Marle walked to the edge of the chasm, closed her eyes, and issued cold from her fingers, freezing the humidity in the air into a bridge across the pit. Lucca jummped and gave a little clap. "Good Job, Marle! Let's go!" Lucca re-lit her fingers, took her bags, and handed Marle's pack to her. They proceeded across the black depths.


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