Chapter 22 - New Winnings
It was silent. As if I pressed pause and everything froze. I flung myself over Audrie. My body shaking with sobs as I cried for everything that I would never have. For the years I could have spent with my sister, that was rudely cut short. I hugged her and felt her hugging me back.
“It can’t be, I’ve gone crazy that or I’m hallucinating. I feel her squeezing me so tight and her hair rubbing against my neck.” I smiled through my tears at how crazy I sounded.
“Leave go,” Audrie gasped for breath “definitely back.”
My hands limply fell to the side as my mouth open, “You’re back, how?”
“Love will break the heart of stone.” Dad explained, “My girls are back.” He whispered, I pulled back from another round of hugs.
“Okay.” I said putting my hand in, “We are going to win this.”
Audrie, Dad, and Ziri put their hand in and we jumped up.
“Okay, so how are we going to catch up with mom?”
“Transform,” Dad offered.
“I… only… um, I never practiced, I have no idea what to do.”
“You never practiced that?” Ziri was shocked.
“Carlos did not want that I should learn it.”
“Say any spell in a rhyme of any animal.”
I racked my brain.
“I wish to be a unicorn with a gold horn.”
A mauve light circled me. I tried raising my hand but instead flapped a wing.
“Well, duh” Audrie laughed.
“How do I fly?”
“It’s easy, you push In and out with your wings as I pushed you on the swings.”
“You did not do that.” I pointed out.
He climbed on my back followed by Audrie and Ziri.
“Well, I wanted to push you on a pink swing until you touched the clouds and came back in a park lined with rose bushes,” Dad said wistfully.
I was shaky at first, but then I was zooming across the milky way against the black backdrop. I wanted to grab the shooting star and make a wish. Wish that all would end well.
Somehow, I knew it would.
I waved just in case a boy or girl looked out of a window in a penthouse in Manhattan, crying while counting the cows flying across the moon and would see a flying unicorn and laugh instead.
Ziri pointed east, “There she is.”
I nodded; I shot a beam of light at mom.
“Come back to the moon. It’s battle time and you will lose!”
Mom stared in amazement. I could tell Carlos was weak, weak.
It felt good to stand on the firm ground again.
“Mom, your end starts now.”
We stood in a straight line. Gems lay in our outstretched hands the bright light mixed creating a strong beam of light.
Ten feet away Mom countered our light with one of her own. We pushed our rainbow of colors inched towards mom
In another few minutes, we would be able to laugh about this, another few priceless minutes.
A bright green light enveloped mom. through the fog, she flew out a…dragon breathing fire.
“It’s over.” Audrie cried.
“Where is your heart? You went through so much, don’t quit now.”
She exhaled the fire hit me as I fell. I tumbled over and hit my head. I blinked once, twice.
I opened my eyes slowly. My head hammered as I got up, the light was making me weak. I took slow steps to Audrie they were still holding on.
Dad, Audrie, Ziri, and… Carlos!
“Your strength is good as none when it stands before a family, whose hearts are one.”
There was an explosion of light as I sank to the ground. Then it was over.
“Where is Mom?” I asked.
“She’s in a good place.”
“Will she come back?” Audrie asked. She had just seen her mother for the first and probably the last time.
“If she learns to love.” Was Dad’s reply.
I stared in the emptiness ahead and of the moon’s gray sand merging with the inky blackness.
I felt happy, yet the void in my heart grew until it was impossibly big.
Carlos groaned, I forgot how mad, angry, and disappointed I was in him and hugged him.
“Oh, you’re alright,” I said in relief.
I saw the flush of color creep up his cheeks, indicating that his strength was slowly returning.
It was so joyous, yet I felt I lost a part of myself. Like when Jaden left me, Jaden I would give anything to have her, well almost.
I had a sister.
Audrie held my hand, and I held hers. I did not want to let go.
“We’re good together?” she questioned.
“We’re good together?” I throw the ball back into her court.
“We’re good together.” It was determined and sure.
Ziri put an arm over Audrie’s shoulder, “It’s alright,”
“Your mom,” said Wad “will come back if she – “
“learns to love,” I added miserably still staring ahead. In the distance, the road was still long and full of bumps, but I had family and friends at my side what more can I ask for.
I rubbed my eyes.
“Let’s go it’s late and we all need rest,” I said.
“We need something for your burn too.”
I looked down at my wrist, a bright red burn mark in the shape of a heart.
“Mom, you would come back. I know you will, you know love.”
“Yeah, it’s been one long day.”
Though I was not going to admit it, my burn hurt a lot.