The Next Generation Part 6
Loving And Losing
By Krazy Sam
Sari, Lana, and Tavi searched the fallen mountain for signs of beasts, but there were none. Roly and his family also joined in the search, but they were unsuccessful.
I dont see anything, Sari whined.
Im hungry! Tavi joined in. As if on cue, his stomach began to rumble. Lana sighed and turned to a nearby forest. She eyed it suspiciously, and smiled.
I think the monsters are there, She said softly.
Yeah, Sari! Tavi cried, nudging Sari in the ribs. Why didnt you sense them?
They must be shielding themselves, Sari retorted haughtily. Lana exhaled loudly.
This is another stupid argument, spawned by a stupid phrase, Lana moaned, Shut up, okay? She began to walk in the direction of the forest with Tavi, Sari, and the group of rolies on her heels. They walked quickly over the dark dirt and arrived at the forest in no time.
I definitely sense something now, Sari muttered.
That? Lana asked, pointing to a large mushroom.
That couldnt hurt us if it tried, Tavi laughed. Help! Indigestion! He roared with laughter as the mushroom started toward them.
No? Sari asked, gesturing to the approaching fungus. It stayed there for a minute, and then two gleaming red eyes appeared. Lana gasped and drew the golden gun. She aimed at the mushroom and fired. A huge ball of fire spit out of the gun and the recoil knocked Lana against a tree. The mushroom exploded, spraying pieces of toadstool all over the place. Lana laughed and slowly stood.
I love this gun! She cried, giggling. She joined Sari and Tavi and headed deeper into the forest.
How long has this been? Sari finally asked.
Ten seconds after the last time you asked, Tavi replied. The three trudged through deeper plant life, and Lana took a deep breath and sat.
Im resting here, Lana sighed, sitting on a moss covered rock. The three rested for a while, and finally one of them spoke.
Its too bad that Roly decided to stay with Olana, Sari breathed. I miss the little guy.
Me too, Tavi agreed. Lana nodded and switched her view to a point above Tavis head. It was darker there, and she found it extremely fascinating.
Theres this really cool shadow above your head, Tavi! Lana cried, smiling. Tavi whirled around, and found himself facing a giant monster. It had brown fur, and small black eyes. Its pointed ears were perched on top of its head, and the creature resembled a mystic bear.
Whoa! Sari screamed as she raised her hand, causing her shiny violet bat to materialize. She raised it menacingly over her head and lunged. She smacked it against its shoulder and the beast howled in pain. Take that, you stupid Yawlan!
Whats a Yawlan? Lana asked.
Its name, Sari growled. She paused. Its not really a fight unless you know the other guys name.
Fine, just keep him from devouring us! Lana snapped. Tavi raised his arms high, and shot a beam of light at the Yawlan. Sari added her shadow magic, and the two canceled each other out with a gigantic blast. The Yawlan cried out in pain and Sari suddenly gasped.
Hes got mind powers, too! She whispered as it gave a mighty yell. Tavi immediately fell to the ground, screaming. Bright red blood trickled from his ears, and Lana shrieked madly. She screamed, and fire engulfed the Yawlan, burning it to a crisp. Sari immediately ran to Tavis side and turned to Lana.
Leave us, she demanded. Lana understood what was happening, and silently exited. Tavi looked up at Sari and choked.
Whats happening? He choked out.
You know and I know that youre going to die, Sari murmured, softly crying. Tavi nodded. Yawlan has caused you to bleed internally. There is nothing I can do.
I liked you a lot, Tavi gasped.
I know. I liked you a lot, too. Sari sobbed. She brought her face close to his.
If there was one thing I could take to the afterlife, Tavi started, it would be you. Sari cried harder and kissed Tavi deeply on the lips, her thick hair spilling over his face. Afterward, she sat up again. Tavi was still choking, and he was slowly dying. Sari took his hand in hers and pressed it to her warm cheek.
Good bye, Tavi, She whispered. Tavi didnt get a chance to respond. His eyes slowly rolled up in his head, and he exhaled softly- exhaling out his life. Sari gasped, and she felt a cold rush of air brush past her face. She took a small breath, and then another, and tears streamed down her face. She drew in a deep breath, and screamed. Her tortured wail was filled with anger, anguish, and sorrow, and as she screamed, the ground began to shake violently, and twigs snapped off the branches of the tall pine trees. Rocks were lifted up, and dropped down in a repeating pattern, and various objects soared through the air. Her wail ended, and the objects fell to the ground. She took another breath and sobbed hysterically, burying her face in Tavis chest. Lana, hearing Sari, rushed to her aid. She gently pulled Sari up, and was surprised to find that Sari had fainted. She immediately laid her back down, and, trembling, gingerly lifted Tavi. He seemed lighter than a boy his height and build should be, but Lana got over her shock and looked for a deep ditch. Fortunately, there was one created by a rolling rock. Lana placed him in it, and began to cover him with dirt.
For a person I didnt really know, She breathed- a quickly uttered good-bye for a stranger.
Are you okay? Gaspar asked worriedly at the End of Time. Lana had returned with a still unconscious Sari, and dropped her to the stone floor.
Tavis dead, she said in monotone.
Saris in shock, Gaspar noted softly. I have a soft mat and pillow by the wall. She can rest there. Lana thanked him and set Sari there. Maro ran up and put his arm around Lanas shoulders.
Are you all right? He asked.
Yes. Im fine. Sari was so upset! I dont think that shell ever be the same. Ever. Maro sighed and hugged Lana. She smiled faintly and accepted the embrace of her best friend.
We need to rest, Maro finally said, Ill see you in the morning.
A lone figure walked slowly around the End of Time. The lamppost was still lit, but dimly, and the figure was faintly illuminated by the glow. Gaspar, who was propped up against the post, whirled around and found himself facing Sari.
I see that youre up, he whispered. Sari didnt answer. Gaspar then got a good look at her. Her hair was disheveled, and her eyes were red. The set of softly glowing eyes stared ahead blankly, and Saris face showed no emotion.
Tavi? She asked in a small, sweet voice. It was extremely soft, and Gaspar could hardly make out her cry for her best friend.
No, Im Gaspar. Tavis not here, Gaspar said gently.
Tavi? She repeated. Gaspar sighed.
Sleepwalking. I thought Id never see it, he muttered. At that moment, a beep was heard across the room, and Robo approached the two.
Is Sari sleepwalking? Robo asked.
Yes, Gaspar sighed. He gestured to the standing, emotionless girl. Shes crying for her best friend.
Shes just like Lucca Robo sighed. Ill take her. He gently touched Saris shoulder, and her head jerked to the side like an electrical wire suddenly shocked her. Her blank eyes suddenly snapped into focus, and she drew in a shaky breath in fear.
Where am I? She asked.
The End of Time, Gaspar calmly replied.
Wheres Tavi? Sari questioned again.
Hes not here Gaspar answered slowly. Saris eyes filled with tears.
So it wasnt a dream She uttered, lowering her head.
It would be nice for you to remember him for the good things, Robo said in a soothing voice. He gently led Sari over to a corner of the hovering square, and sat down. Sari exhaled deeply and leaned against him. As she did so, her mind wandered back into the seventh grade, when she and Tavi first met. The seventh grade was to sit in the cafeteria for an awards ceremony, and she was stuck sitting next to the class nerd. Tavi went out of his way to sit by her, even though he was sitting next to the most detested person in the seventh grade. Ever since, Sari and Tavi had become best friends. They were always partners in shared classes, and they always ate lunch together. She began to softly cry, remembering Tavi for the great person he was, and cried herself to sleep.
Sari stood up once more in the End of Time, to find it empty. She looked around nervously, and found another door, one that led away from Spekkios room. She opened the door, and found three eight foot high pillars created by a pale blue light. She stepped inside the one in the middle, and she felt her body being pulled up, and set down again. She saw a sandy desert, and decided to run out of the blazing sun overhead. She ran for a minute when she saw a pale figure.
Sari, it called. Sari gasped and ran toward the figure. It got larger and larger with each step she took, and she recognized the face of Tavi.
Tavi! She shrieked. She ran to hug him, but her arms went through him.
Why did you let me die? He asked solomnly. Saris eyes filled with tears and overflowed.
I didnt let you die she argued. There was nothing I could do. You were too far gone.
Why didnt you kill Yawlan when you had the chance? He questioned.
I I-I couldnt do it, Sari wept.
I dont know, She wailed. Tavis face contorted into a mask of hatred and a large ball of light materialized.
I will bring you to the afterlife with me! Tavi shrieked as the large ball of blinding light hurtled toward Sari. She screamed in terror as her vision was destroyed and the ball engulfed her in flames.
Sari woke up screaming.
Sari! Robo called, shaking her, youre just having a nightmare! Theres nothing to worry about. Sari clung to Robo and sobbed.
Tavi blames me for his death! She wailed, he wants to kill me!
Its probably your own guilty conscience, Robo explained, you blame yourself for his death.
No, he blames ME! Sari choked out. Maro, Lana, and Elena woke to Saris screams, and Maro knelt by her side.
Whats wrong? He gently asked.
Tavi blames me for his death, Sari moaned. Maro frowned and hugged Sari tightly.
Its going to be okay, he murmured. Lana, standing behind Maro, began to get angry. She didnt know why, but she didnt want Maro to hug Sari, even if she was his descendant. She was about to step forward when Maro pulled back.
Thanks, Sari sniffled. She leaned back and went back to sleep.
We should go and try to defeat the beasts by the Singing Mountain, Lana muttered. Her voice got louder. Elena, you and Maro are with me. She turned to Robo. Stay here with Sari. Lana, Maro, and Elena ran to the Epoch, and were gone.
Im so sorry about your friend, Olana said sympathetically back at the hut in 560 BCE. Lana lowered her head.
Saris the one who is most affected, she muttered. Maro nodded, and Elena frowned.
Will you help us? Olana seemed taken aback by the request, but finally nodded.
Sure. If you would wait for a minute, I will get a weapon, she answered. She ran to a small room, and emerged with two daggers.
These were my fathers, she explained, twirling both daggers expertly. She started to go out the door, and suddenly thought better of it. She looked down at her robe, and dashed back into the room.
Whats she doing? Maro asked curiously. Lana and Elena shrugged, and waited. A few minutes later, Olana emerged, with her short blue hair pulled up, and wisps of stray hair fell softly over her face. She wore a long white vest over a tight purple long-sleeved shirt, and tight black pants that went down into the heavy black boots she was wearing. She swiftly placed both daggers in pouches sewn onto a wide black belt. She also carried a large pouch, which was full.
Whats in the pouch? Maro asked curiously.
I have Tonics, Ethers, Shields, and Barriers, Olana explained.
Whats a barrier? Elena interrupted.
Barriers block against magic, Olana clarified. Lana smiled.
Do you have any magic? She asked.
Only what was handed down through the generations, Olana muttered, fingering the dull pendant which she still wore.
Which kind? Lana questioned.
Something called wind, Olana answered dimly, Im not very good at it.
Thats okay, Maro laughed. Olana giggled and led the three visitors to the forest where Tavi was killed.
What are we looking for? Olana asked when the four arrived in the forest.
Beasts, Elena answered quickly.
Legend has it, if a person dies here, a beast gets stronger, Olana voiced.
Great, Lana muttered. She led the four deeper in the forest, and a large bird swooped down from the tall pine trees.
Olana pulled her daggers out, and Lana, Maro, and Elena prepared to fight the strange green bird. Olana leapt up into the air, and sliced at the bird with both daggers. One pierced the claw of the strange creature, but it seemed not to care. It dove for Olana, and pecked a tiny hole in her arm. Maro swung at the avis, but missed.
What is this? Elena asked.
We call it Avan, Olana answered. Elena raised her arm, and a bubble flew toward the bird. Just before it hit, Maro shot a beam of ice at it, and the bubble was transformed into an orb of ice. It struck the Avan, and it fell to the ground, dead. Bright red blood poured out of its wounds, and a single gold piece lay beside it. Maro bent down and picked it up.
We just became a gold piece richer! He exclaimed. Lana giggled and began to lead the group to a small stream. The water within the stream sparkled and shimmered, and it looked inviting.
We should camp here, Olana insisted, the suns beginning to set. There were no arguments, and Olana began to search for supplies with Elena. Lana stooped down and scooped some of the cold water into her hands, and drank thirstily. Maro did the same.
This is a pretty spot, Lana remarked. Maro nodded in agreement. Lana sat on the bank and waited for Olana and Elena to return. The wait wasnt long, and the two returned shortly.
We found a cave nearby, Olana called. Maro nodded and Lana smiled.
Great, lets go there! Maro exclaimed. They followed Olana and Elena to the cave, and sat for a while.
Im hungry, Elena complained. Olana fished around in the pouch, and her hand emerged with four tablets.
They dont look like much, but they fill you up, she explained apologetically. Lana took one and placed it in her mouth. Maro and Elena did the same, and their eyes went wide.
Wow, it really works! Maro claimed, Im stuffed! Lana and Elena nodded in agreement, and Olana grinned. Lana stretched her arms in front of her, and gasped.
Im filthy! She cried, Im going to the stream, okay?
Fine, Olana replied. Lana started to leave, and Olana abruptly stopped her. There are white shiny berries that we call Unka. It is a cleansing plant.
Thank you, Lana called, walking out of the cave.
Lana stood on the bank of the stream, and watched as the fiery sun sank lower. She slowly removed her clothes, and, clutching a handful of Unka, stepped into the water. She immediately jumped up, surprised by the coldness, but she made a fist with her delicate hand, and a red glow emanated from it. The water instantly became warmer, and Lana sighed with relief. She set the berries on the bank, leaving one in her hand. They were large, and one was about as large as a marble. She proceeded to rub the Unka over her arms and face, and immediately felt a tingling sensation. The water was shallow, and she was able to stand and have her eyes and nose completely above the water. She lost herself in the peacefulness of the dusk when she heard a soft splash behind her. She was about to turn around when a familiar voice called to her.
Its just me, Lana, the male voice said softly. Lana slowly turned to find herself facing Maro. She looked past him to find his clothes on the bank. She self-consciously blushed, and Maro laughed softly.
I just thought that I could use a bath, too, he explained. Lana shrugged and went back to scrubbing the dirt off her skin. She was stopped a few seconds later. Maro placed his warm hands on Lanas bare shoulders, and she didnt mind. She turned back to her friend, and he tenderly leaned forward with his hands still on her shoulders. Lana also tilted forward in anticipation, and suddenly stopped. She lowered her head, and, thinking better of it wrapped her arms around Maros neck and kissed him. He accepted her embrace, and the kiss grew deeper. Lana suddenly felt warmer, and the water in the stream began to steam romantically, the cloud-like wisps of steam rising up into the purple sky dotted with a few stars. Lana didnt want to leave Maros arms, but she ended the kiss with her lips brushing against his cheek. She giggled softly, and Maro smiled kindly. Lana waded toward the bank, and she gathered the remaining Unka berries. She handed a few to Maro, and he started to scrub his arms, but decided against it. He abruptly started to rub the Unka over Lanas back, and massaged her shoulders while he was at it. She felt another tingling sensation up and down her spine, but it wasnt the Unka.
So this is what love feels like, She thought to herself. She sighed happily and relaxed. The massage that Maro was giving her felt great, and she felt better. On a sudden impulse, Lana ducked down into the warm water, her long hair floating gracefully around her head like a halo. Maro followed, and she slowly turned to face him. His red hair was also floating around his face, and his eyes shone mischievously. He reached toward her, and she could only grin as his arms went around her waist. She felt her body being pulled to the surface, and when she and Maro emerged, she stared into his eyes and found a tenderness that she had never seen in his eyes before. She leaned forward once more, and Maro smiled, doing the same. Lana wrapped her arms around Maros muscular waist, and the two kissed once more, deeply and intensely. Lana felt her heart go up in flames, and also felt Maros heart beat harder. Her wet hair fell limply down her back, and Lana lost herself in happiness and love.
Were back! Maro called ten minutes later. Elena and Olana had built a roaring fire in the cave, and looked up in surprise as the two walked in. Olana eyed the pair suspiciously, but Lana and Maro tried their best to act like nothing happened. Olana smiled and walked to Lana.
How was it? She asked.
Cold, but I heated up the water. If you guys want to go, now is the time, Lana replied.
Okay! Elena cried, and ran to the stream. Olana smiled and walked out of the cave.
Ill cool the water after were done! She called as she left. After Lana was sure that the two had gone, she turned to Maro.
Do you think they know? She asked softly. Maro smiled and shook his head.
Not a chance, he replied. He and Lana sat on the stone ground by the fire, and Lana put her arm around Maros shoulders. His hand shot up and grasped Lanas hand. She felt the flames grow stronger as he did so. Maro turned to Lana, and reached for her other hand, putting both of her arms around his waist.
Where do you think we left off? He asked slyly. Lana moved closer and sat on Maros lap.
I dont know, she replied impishly. She smiled as Maro wrapped his arms around her waist.
Lets start right here, Maro whispered as he brought his face to hers.
Okay, Lana whispered back as their lips met once again.
Olana sensed that Lana and Maro were hiding something, but said nothing as she scrubbed Unka berries over her skin. Elena was doing the same, and giggled because the Unka tickled her.
I like the way this feels, she laughed.
Our people have used this for centuries, Olana explained. Elena used the last of the berry, and suddenly began to pull herself out of the water.
Im done. Lets go back, she insisted. Olana nodded and also pulled herself out of the stream. She did her best to cast a cooling wind over the water, and the steam ceased to exist. She and Elena dressed, and walked back to the cave.
I hear something, Lana muttered between kisses back at the cave. Maro stopped, and listened. He heard the sound, too, and Lana climbed off his lap. Twigs outside the cave snapped, and two voices were heard.
Quick, try not to look suspicious! Maro hissed as Lana smoothed her drying hair. Maro and Lana both sat up straight, and pretended to be interested in the blazing fire. At that moment, Olana and Elena walked in.
Im sleepy, Lana murmured, yawning, and Maro did the same. Olana nodded, and looked around the small cave. She looked around once more, and sighed.
There seems to be only enough for two people, she apologized.
No problem, Lana exclaimed. She raised her index finger, and a red glow surrounded her hand. Maro and I will sleep outside. She and Maro walked outside, and gathered several large green leaves. They then carried them to the side of the hut, and set a few down as a ground covering. Lana lay down on half of them, and Maro did the same on the other half beside her. They pulled more leaves over themselves, and Lana shivered.
Its cold out here, she whispered.
I know, Maro whispered back. He and Lana faced each other, and moved closer together. Lana draped her thin arm over Maros waist, and fell asleep. Maro kissed Lanas forehead tenderly and pulled her closer. He sighed contentedly and also fell asleep. The crickets chirped noisily, and a soft breeze rustled through the trees. The night sky grew darker, and dimmer stars appeared to watch over the sleeping teenagers.
Go To Part 7
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