Name of the Soul-Chapter One-Soaring At Twilight
The day started out like any other for Hailee. She was counting a drawer for the register for the entire day at Bookends, one of those mom and pop shops and the owners were her aunt Val and uncle Jak. At the age of twenty-one, Hailee wanted to be out in the world. After getting set up, Hailee flipped the sign on the door to ‘Open’ and unlocked it. Let the boredom begin. She thought to herself.
It was about an hour later when she had her first customer. It was a man in his mid-twenties and was sort of lanky in build. He had short straggly black hair, a pale white complexion, and the greenest eyes one could have. Hailee fell into an immediate love. He was dressed in a black suit with a tan trench coat. His tie was untied and he looked as if he just rolled out of bed.
“Welcome, ” Hailee said after letting her mouth drop. “Can I help you?”
“Well,” he said, “Do you have a section on law? Or crime?”
“Uhm, towards the back, in a corner.”
So far, this was the most ordinary day, but it had a feeling of the most weirdest day as well. It wasn’t too long after he had gone to the back, he appeared before the counter again. Something was different though. His eyes were now a tannish brown and his hair was yellow. Hailee’s mouth moved to say something, but nothing came out.
“What is it?” he asked. “It’s as if you’ve seen a ghost.”
“Your hair,” she whispered, “and eyes.... are different.”
“Is it now?” he asked, amused. “How curious. It must be working.”
“What’s working? Who are you?”
“Me?” he asked. “Oh, no one really. Just a traveling man. You?”
“M...me? I’m Hailee. Average woman running a bookstore. Are you going to tell me what happened to your hair and eyes?”
“Why? You want to try?”
“Not particularly no. I’m fine with my straight brown hair and eyes.”
“Oh! That won’t do! Where’s your sense of adventure?”
“It’s been killed,” Hailee replied flatly. “Life tends to do that.”
“It seems like you need an adventure,” the man before me said. He held out a hand and with an enticing smile, said, “Hi, I’m Elroy. Envoy to a king. Care to come on an adventure with me?”
So many questions raced through Hailee’s mind. The urge to leave her dull life was a bit overwhelming. “If I say yes, ” Hailee said carefully. “Can I make a few arrangements before leaving?”
“I don’t see why not,” Elroy said. “I’m sticking around for another seven hours.”
“Then I would love to come,” Hailee said, shaking his hand. “I’ve got so many questions.”
“I imagine that you do, ” Elroy chuckled. “How long will it take you to get things in order?”
“A couple of hours.”
“Know the pizzeria down the street? Of course you do. Meet me there in three hours. I’ve got a meeting to get to now.”
Before she could say anything more, Elroy the envoy was gone. It took Hailee almost ten minutes to actually start putting things in order. There were many calls and a lot of explaining, but within an hour, she left Bookends to finish taking care of things.
After taking care of banking, packing a backpack, and saying goodbye, Hailee headed to the pizzeria. When she got there, she found Elroy waiting. This time his hair was white and his eyes were blue like an ocean. “Seriously,” she said walking up, “What’s going on with your hair and eyes?”
“It’s something of a genetic anomaly,” Elroy mused. “It matches my moods.”
“So... your mood changes quite often?” she asked, sitting down.
“I suppose so,” he replied. “But have no worries. My moods are usually always positive. Unless provoked.”
“All right then weird Elroy, where do you come from?”
“Oy! So many questions and we just met!”
“How else are we going to get to know each other? How else are we going to trust each other during dangerous times if they come?”
Elroy bit his lower lip and said, “I suppose you’re right. The answer to where I come from is better shown than told.” He then looked at the backpack at my feet and asked, “Is that all you’re bringing?”
“Yeah. Figured if I needed more, I’d cross that bridge when I got to it. Why?”
“Just wondering,” he shrugged. “Got things arranged and such?”
“Yeah. How did your meeting go? Whatever it was about.”
“Hasn’t happened yet,” Elroy sighed. “The one I need to meet is an individual named Jak Tye. He’s the head of -”
“Why do you need to speak to my uncle?” Hailee interrupted quickly.
“Your uncle?” Elroy asked curiously, “I didn’t know that.”
“My uncle Jak owns several shops,” she explained, “Why do you need to meet with him?”
“It’s a very long story,” Elroy sighed.
Elroy groaned, “You’re not going to let me see him until I tell you, aren’t you?”
Elroy sighed and sat silently. Hailee could see him thinking. He eventually replied with, “I don’t know how much you know, but your uncle is an informant. I need to see him and ask a couple of questions. ”
“An informant? What kind of informant? Who are you exactly?”
“Jak is an intergalactic informant. He’s the head informant here on earth. And I’ve told you who I am. Elroy, envoy to a king. Can we see your uncle now?”
“What king? Intergalactic? Are you some sort of alien?”
Elroy sighed and groaned in frustration. “How many more questions are you going to ask me?”
“Do you have an easier way?” I snapped.
Elroy’s annoyed expression very quickly changed to a look of thoughtfulness. “Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Close your eyes, Hailee. I’m about to give you knowledge.”
Hailee was confused by this sudden change, but she did as he instructed. As she closed her eyes, she felt Elroy place a hand on her head. In an instant, she had a wealth of knowledge. She learned that there were other worlds like Earth, but they were led by kings and councils. Elroy also showed her how things were run and how her Uncle Jak fit into the whole mix. By the end of it, she wasn’t sure if she had questions or not. “That’s, uh, quite a head full of information,” she eventually said.
“I know, right?” Elroy asked. “Questions would have been endless.”
“But what do you want with my uncle? What sort of information are you looking for?”
“It’s in regards to the mission I have been given,” Elroy answered. “Top secret from the king himself.”
“Can I help?” she asked. She felt as if she may have asked a bit too quickly and may have been a bit too enthusiastic. “I really want to help.”
’You do, do you?” Elroy asked. “Well, then, let’s go see your uncle.”
“Okay,” Hailee replied. She gathered her things and they were off.
They ended up finding Jak at the mall. It took several calls to him before they met in the food court. By now, Elroy’s hair was gray and his eyes were bright orange. After Hailee greeted her uncle with a hug, he asked her, “Who’s this with you?”
“Uncle Jak,” Hailee said to him, “This is Elroy the envoy. He wishes to speak to you about some mission he has from the king.”
“It’s a pleasure meeting you Jak Tye,” Elroy spoke as he held out a hand. “I’ve heard much about you and I am hoping to speak to you.”
Uncle Jak shook his hand and when he let go, he sighed and asked, “You just had to use my niece didn’t you? Couldn’t just find me on your own?”
“She’s in this on her own free will,” Elroy answered in a defensive tone.
Hailee could actually see Elroy’s hair start to turn red and could only think that it meant that he was mad. “Settle down you two,” she replied quickly “Uncle, don’t get testy. I am in this of my own free will as Elroy said. Deal with it. Now, will you please speak with him?” She could see Elroy’s hair turn a shade of magenta and his eyes became a brown.
“Fine,” Uncle Jak answered. They all took a seat nat a nearby table and Jak asked, “What can I do for you, Elroy?”
“I’m making my rounds to several informants,” Elroy began, “and I’ve been told you might know some things about the child and the sword.”
Child and sword? What could that possibly mean? Before Hailee had the chance to go through the information Elroy gave her, Jak said, “I’ve been wondering when someone would come asking about that. Afraid I don’t know much.”
“What’s so special about a child and a sword?” As soon as she asked this, Hailee couldn’t help but feel as if it was a stupid question.
“The king only told me that there was born a child that could wield a sacred sword. Only this child had the ability to wield it,” Elroy explained.
“And whoever controls the child controls the sword,” she suggested.
“That’s the theory,” Uncle Jak replied. “I don’t know what to tell you, Elroy. I know what you know. I’m sorry.”
Elroy sighed and sat back. “It’s okay,” he said, “I knew it was a long shot. Thanks anyway. At least I gained a travel companion.”
“So I’ve heard,” Uncle Jak answered as he looked at his niece.
“I’m sorry Uncle,” Hailee replied immediately. “I... just need some time to find myself.”
“I sort of figured when your aunt called me in a panic,” Jak said. “To be honest, I was the same way at your age.”
“Thanks, Uncle Jak,” she replied.
They talked a while longer before they start to part ways. Hailee gave her uncle a hug and when he and Elroy shook hands, Jak said, “You take care of her Elroy.”
“As if she were my own family sir,” Elroy promised.
“Good,” Jak answered. He gave Hailee another hug, but as he let go of her, he said to Elroy, “Now that I think about it, you might want to check out the Guardians. I knew someone that passed through there and heard some sort of whisperings.”
“Great,” Elroy said. “Thanks. We will check it out.”
With that, Jak left them and Hailee asked Elroy, “Now what?”
“We will have to wait till twilight to leave,” he sighed. “I suppose till then I can show you around and we can catch a little shut-eye.”
“Show me around? What? Where?”
“Come on,” he clucked, “I’ll show you.”
What he showed her, she would have never suspected. She had been expecting him to travel in something of a spaceship, but what he led her too sure was something else entirely. He led her to a field that could only be reached by the hiking trails. At first, it was just an empty field, but when Elroy snapped his fingers, a tree appeared. It was a big tree, strong, and the kind you build a treehouse in. That’s exactly what stood in front of Hailee. A tree and a treehouse.
“What the heck is that?” Hailee asked as she dropped her things.
“What do you mean?” Elroy asked. “It’s what I travel around in.”
Hailee’s mouth moved to say something, but nothing came out. When she had picked her things up, she sighed and said, “Okay.”
Elroy turned to her and said, “Come on. I know you have questions.”
“I don’t even know if I want to know the answers,” Hailee said.
Hailee honestly thought about it before replying, “Yeah.”
“Okay. Let me show you around what will be your home for a while,” Elroy said with a whimsical grin.
Hailee couldn’t do much but follow after the crazy man she had agreed to travel with. Instead of climbing a rope ladder or any other form of ladder to the treehouse, Elroy had pushed a brown button that emerged as he approached. It revealed an elevator that they took up. When the door opened, Hailee nearly dropped her things again. The inside of the treehouse looked like an actual house. As she stepped out of the elevator, she could see a kitchen and a living area. Both of which had seen better days. There were clothes, trash, and books strewn across every inch of the place.
“It, uh, looks as if a tornado came through here,” Hailee remarked as she set her things down.
“I wasn’t expecting anyone to be coming along with me,” Elroy said sheepishly. “Typical bachelor pad I’m told.”
Hailee couldn’t help but shake her head. “Well, I’m going to give you a heads up right here and now,” she sighed, “I can’t live like this. You don’t mind my cleaning some do you?”
Elroy pursed his lips in thought before replying, “I suppose not. Just know that there might not be any help from me. I abhor cleaning. Mother was a clean freak while growing up and I grew a disdain for it.”
Hailee scoffed. “That’s fine,” she replied. “So, are there more rooms than the living room and kitchen?”
“Of course there is!” Elroy exclaimed. “Come, come!” He took her hand and began whisking her around the place. He showed her where his room was and then her room. Both of which were just as bad as the living room. Then he showed her his control room. Before long, Elroy excused himself. “Since I’m the only pilot, I need to get some shut-eye,” he said. “Help yourself to whatever. You know where everything is.”
“Yeah,” Hailee sighed. “Just let me know when we take off.”
“Done deal,” Elroy said with a yawn. He walked away from Hailee, leaving her amidst new surroundings covered in mess.
Hailee looked around, groaned inwardly, and sighed. Gotta start somewhere, right? She thought as she tied her brown hair back into a ponytail and began an attempt at cleaning.
Hailee woke with a start. She looked about as she sat up and was momentarily panicked about where she was. When she saw Elroy enter the living room, she instantly remembered. That’s right, the adventure of a lifetime. She thought to herself. She stood, stretched, and then turned to Elroy. His hair was now green like grass and his eyes were red. “Hi,” she sighed.
“Ready to go?” he asked her. “It’s just about time.”
“Yeah!” Hailee replied excitedly.
“Let’s get to the control room then,” Elroy answered.
Hailee went to follow after him and before leaving the living room, she took a good look around. She could finally see the carpeted floor. She had gotten things into piles and trash into bags she had found in the kitchen. There was even a couch and a coffee table that she unearthed. She smiled at her handy work and went on to the control room. She found a seat to sit in and buckle up next to Elroy. She watched him hit a few buttons and switched a few switches before sitting back.
It wasn’t long before they found themselves leaving Earth and soaring into space at twilight.
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