Anacrusis

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Of The Glade

Of The Glade



For many an Ahboneer, all concept of night and day is forever lost, as it is constantly dark. People get up whenever they want, most on completely different schedules and for differing lengths of time. The only people this does not apply to are school students, teachers and a few other occupations that require a strict schedule. A twenty-four hour world clock does run (with an hour break after each twenty four hour revolution, to let the clock rest (or so they say)), but for most the concept of morning, afternoon, evening and night are entirely lost.

Something else that should be noted, is that despite not really needing to stick to a sleep schedule, another sort of denizen that wakes up at the same general time every day are those who get annoying wake-up calls from sad old teachers...

Mulberry stood peacefully by the river, illuminated by her oil lamp. Yes, torches were far more efficient, but the lamp was old and rusty from neglect, and she felt bad for the lonely old thing - which, thanks to that crew of goons that had so gracefully waltzed through, she had found whilst pretending to look for a map in the attic. A white wick burned quietly in the oil, and in her other hand she held her staff (which doubled as her broomstick, when the bristles were attatched).

She looked to the purple glow of Atlantis, where she knew Eigengrau was very, very busy.

Though he had called her this morning, the old sod. She had been looking forward to a nice lie-in.

It was a strange old day, Mulberry noticed. Usually the woodland morning began when she awoke, but the long grass didn’t bare the same dew today, and only a couple of birds were singing over the cold air’s whistle through the hollow trees. Still, she bashed the staff off of the ground to get a better grip, approached the river and dipped it very lightly into the water, sending light ripples out across the two-dimensional plane of water and into the umpteenth dimension when it collided with the banks.

The river was as calm and as misty as usual, the tree that had been pushed down across it had been swallowed by it’s black waters.

-Good, good. - Thought Mulberry, and waited for the stepping stones to emerge.

They did, as silent and as delicate as the ripples that had summoned them, and the Witch crossed the water, parting her way through the mist, and the seemingly useless waterwheel creaked slightly behind. And when she looked back and saw the warm lights of her little millhouse, she wished she had brought her camera to capture such a beautiful, rare sight before the mist closed like theatre curtains and the stones submerged themselves once again. Though the sight was not so good that she was actually going to go back and get her camera, she just could not be bothered.

The path to the well had closed up now that the Hero had walked it - Mulberry had fogotten about that spell - but she was confident that she could find her way through. Plodding through the woods, she wondered how Toven was getting on. Though she trusted in the prophecy (which was so vague, one could easily find it in a budget-store pack of fortune cookies) she couldn’t help but get ever so slightly worried now and then.

Then, her mind became more distracted by the fact that it may have not been a good idea to come out here in a night gown and slippers. Her hair was undone and rose from her head in all directions like a mulberry bush, and it knotted in places.

A half-hour trudge later, the Witch came out onto the forest clearing, completely covered in dusty brambles and bits of leaf. “It’s good to be here again, old friend.” She told the Glade, after taking a swig of whiskey that she had found in her nighty pocket.

The Glade responded with a delicate black leaf that perched itself on the Witch’s shoulder, before lifting back into the dark forest roof.

Usually a pretty blue flower illuminated the empty radius, but now only her rusty old oil lamp shone light on the rusty old trees. Only a dim stalk lay where the flower used to be, though the sun was where it should be now.

Well, not quite, but it was on it’s way.

“Don’t ch’eh feel sad now, old friend. It’ll be alrigh’t. No matter what ’appens, I’ll always come back for yeh, I promise.” Mulberry smiled sadly and looked up into the center of the opening. It suddenly got very chilly, but in the distance she felt the usual birds chirping and the dew return to the grass.

“Now, let’s take a look at this well.”

It was a stone well - circular, cold and hard, as stone wells tend to be. In it was a small layer of leaves, followed by a sliver of icy water. Mulberry dipped her finger in, which hit the bottom after about an inch of water. It was never a very efficient well.

The consistency still seemed the same - watery as ever. She raised the lamp above it’s leafy surface and looked into it. Yes, it was still as murky as ever. Setting the lamp down now, the Witch cupped her hands and took a small sip of the water. Yup, it still tasted like dirt.

Well it seemed that her inspections were just about complete, but the Witch still had one more test to perform on the well. She hit it with the end of her broomstaff, and it gave a woody clack as wood tends to make upon collision with stone.

“Peh, y’still don’t really make a good bongo, eed’r.”

This concluded Mulberry’s pre-portal-closing research, and she noticed that not much had changed since her last visit to the Glade. That was good, it meant that the well was not a shapeshifting well, I suppose. Which is good because then things might have gotten a little complex. Anywho, the Witch decided to sit in the silence for a while before returning home.

She would leave a message on old Eigengrau’s phone, just to say that all was as expected...

And arrange for the portal to be forever closed, ensuring that no longer will any being - living, dead or in between - come to walk into that dark, eternal night.

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