Just a couple news items and reminders before I proceed to today's story:
After this post I will be taking a break to prepare for and celebrate the Christmas season. When I return to blogging I will begin posting part 2 of Quests.
Also, when I resume the story after New Year's I will be switching to a new episode every month rather than every week, though I may have an additional post every few months.
This is the last episode of Quests part 1. I hope you have enjoyed reading it here on the blog.
Now back to the story...
Read the series prologue.
Read episode fourteen.
Episode Fifteen: “They’re in the Woods!”
“Lilac, wake up.”
It was late at night with only the smallest sliver of the moon casting light on the sleeping depths of Fairy Wood but someone was shaking Lilac’s shoulder. She woke and turned to look into a freckled face.
“Reuben!” she cried in a loud whisper. “What are you doing here?”
“I was out flying and I saw something,” Reuben replied. “I wanted to tell you.”
“Come back in the morning,” Lilac growled, rolling over.
“It can’t wait ’till the morning. It’s really important.”
“Well then hurry up and tell me!” snapped Lilac, impatient to get back to sleep.
“An army of goblins and trolls is marching into the woods.”
“What!” cried Lilac pulling herself into a sitting position. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I saw them.”
“Do you remember where they were? Could you show me?”
“I think so,” Reuben replied.
“Then let’s go,” said Lilac jumping to her feet.
“Yes,” she said turning to face him. “You were right. This can’t wait for morning.”
A little later, Lilac and Reuben perched on a tree branch overlooking a large group of marching goblins and trolls.
“How many do you think there are?” Lilac whispered.
“I can’t tell,” Reuben whispered back.
“This isn’t good,” said Lilac. “They must have found out that we know they were the ones who poisoned the water.”
They watched in silence for a minute before Lilac added, “They’ll have to camp somewhere out of the sun during the day. They have trolls with them.”
“Yeah,” agreed Reuben. “I hadn’t thought about that.”
“I’m sure they did. Come on, let’s see if we can find out where they’re going.”
They flew out of the tree and moved toward the front of the army. Suddenly a goblin cried out, “Look there, it’s a pixie!”
His captain cried, “Quick, catch it!”
Lilac looked at Reuben in alarm, wondering why the goblins hadn’t seen her also. Suddenly she understood.
“Reuben they can see your light!” she cried. “We have to get out of here, fast! Take my hand. I don’t want us getting separated.”
Obedient for once, Reuben grabbed the hand Lilac held out to him. They flew into the thicker parts the woods as fast as they could. Behind them, goblins crashed through the trees and undergrowth trying to find the fairy spies. As they passed a hollow log Lilac tugged on Reuben’s arm, pulling him inside the small space with her. They landed at the bottom of the log, hiding Rueben’s tell-tale light.
Lilac waited until the sounds of shouting and stomping faded into the distance before whispering, “So long as they don’t find us we’ll wait here until morning. They should make camp when the sun comes up, so it will be safe to go out then.”
Reuben nodded. He glanced at the opening in the log as if he expected a goblin to reach in and grab him. With a shudder he pulled his legs to his chest trying to hide the fact that he was trembling. Lilac regarded him for a minute, taking note of all this.
“When the light comes,” she said at last, “we have to fly as fast as we can to find the fairy queen. A Dark army in the woods means only one thing.”
“What?” asked Reuben with a mixture of fear and fascination.
“War,” Lilac replied.
End of Part 1
Continue to episode sixteen.