A Sign of Hope
Rose had been sitting by the cave on her own for several hours now. The tears had come and gone several times. She just didn’t know what to do or what to look for.
The woods were so peaceful and the light that shone through the trees made beautiful changing patterns that danced across the ground as though it were part of a graceful symphony. There was the occasional sound of birds singing in the trees above and rustling of the bushes and leaves as squirrels scampered around her. A couple of times a deer had walked close by and stopped to stare at Rose before moving on in it’s search for food.
Normally this would have brought Rose peace but she knew that she wasn’t able to find peace right now. Not while she knew that her friends were stuck inside Nerrez’s clutches. She closed her eyes and lay back in the grass facing up to the sky. It wouldn’t be long until the sun started to go down and she would have to leave to get back to the house. There was no way she could stay out in the woods after dark. There wasn’t much time left. Maybe she should just do one more search of the caves.
She sat up and noticed that a butterfly had landed on her foot. It was a beautiful, radiant, multi-coloured butterfly that seemed to glow as the light hit its wings. She sat watching it for a few seconds and then realised that it wasn’t the light that was making the butterfly glow. It flew off her foot and hovered in front of her eyes for a few seconds and then flew to about three feet away and landed on the ground. Suddenly a soft beam shot out of the front of her tiara from the Rainbow Crystal and covered the butterfly in its radiant light. At first nothing happened but then gradually the butterfly started to grow and change and before long Rose realised that it was Alex. He had somehow managed to come back and wow was she pleased to see him!
“Oh Alex, Alex you made it back. You’re alright!” said Rose as she hugged him and kissed him on the cheek. “What happened to you?”
“Well, I managed to escape through Maura’s portal crystal” began Alex. “I had to leave the others behind, I had no choice. They’re ok though. None of them have turned bad. Maura and Nerrez have them locked up in a large cage but none of them are hurt. Oh Rose it was so weird. As you know I had been trapped almost since day one inside the crystal kingdom and I was so scared, but Sunny seemed to know exactly what to do and he sent a spider and a chameleon to come and save me. After watching them for hours I realised that there was nothing to be afraid of. Nothing bad had happened to me I was just worried about what might happen. I could see clearly that what happens to us is all in our mind in a way. I am the one who gets to decide what happens to me and as soon as I realised that I was free! Sunny told me everything that had happened and then he sent me to Maura and Nerrez’s palace to see if I could help. This time I didn’t hesitate, I just flew straight to the dark palace and the crystals were sitting right there in Maura’s chamber. Oh Rose it’s so good to see you and to be back here. What do we do now?”
“What do we do now? Oh no Alex, I’m so pleased to see you but I thought you were going to tell me. Seeing you gave me hope and now…” Rose’s words tailed off and she looked straight at Alex. “A sign of hope”.
“What do you mean a sign of hope?” asked Alex.
“I was told by Abner and Alva in a letter to come here and to wait for a sign of hope. You, Alex, are the sign of hope. Oh Alex, they are coming. They are coming here. I can feel it.” Rose hugged Alex again and stepped back and as she did so her whole body started to glow. It was a soft pink that took over her whole body and transformed her back into the beautiful pink alicorn she had been inside the crystal kingdom.
“Jump on Alex” she cried. “We have to go and find the true King and Queen of Velaro Fore”
Alex jumped on her back and instantly she rode off deep into the woods. Faster and faster she rode until everything around her was a blur. They passed trees and rivers hillsides and valleys until suddenly they came to a large stream with stone steps across it and Rose immediately slowed down.
Right in front of them were two magnificent horses and they were walking towards them. The stream flowed strongly underneath them and Alex jumped down, the water reaching up to his knees. The sun had almost gone down and everything looked magical and calm in the glow of the twilight.
Rose bowed her head as the two horses approached and as she did so she once again transformed back into her her human form. The two horses also did the same. Their form fading in front of their eyes and then emerging as two beautiful people, radiant and pure, smiles beaming from their faces.
“Rose, we have missed you so much” said Alva as she ran the last few steps and grasped her daughter into a big hug, followed very quickly by Abner who wrapped his arms around them both.
“I’ve been hoping for this moment for so long” said Rose tears welling up in her eyes.
“Oh Rose, we love you so much” said Abner before turning to Alex. “Alex you have been so brave. We cannot thank you enough. We always knew you could do it and now you’ve demonstrated that you can turn back from fear to love, there is real hope for everyone in Velaro Fore. We must all return there at once. There is no time to lose and no time to explain. We will first go to the others who are waiting patiently at the house and then we must return to Velaro Fore. There is not much time left.”
Gradually they all changed back into their true form as majestic alicorns and Alex jumped again onto Rose’s back as they sped through the forest and back into the garden at the house.
Alice was the first to spot them and she almost dropped her coffee in shock as she saw three pink horses with wings and horns in the back garden with Alex riding on one of them. She called all of the adults over and as they came closer to the house they watched them transform back into people right before their eyes.
As they walked through the back door and beckoned them to sit, all of the adults were completely speechless, including Mrs Johnson who just stood there open mouthed. Rose was the first to speak.
“I found them. I found my Mum and Dad. It’s them, the King and Queen of Velaro Fore. Alex came to me, when I thought he would be the last person to come back from the crystal kingdom.”
“Rose so much has happened, I’m struggling to take it all in” said Alice as she looked round at the others. “Abner, Alva it is so good to meet you but I’m so worried about all of the children and what is going to happen next. Please can you bring them back here.”
“Unfortunately that is not something that we are able to do right now, nor can we guarantee that we will be able to” began Abner. “The only thing that we can do is return to Velaro Fore at once and hope that Rose is ready to help us to set them free. This is not something that she can do alone. She needs all of us to come, including all of you.”
“You mean we need to come with you to Val...Velire...” asked Alice looking even more shocked.
“Velaro Fore,” Abner corrected her.
“All of us?” asked Anthony, clearly uncomfortable with the idea.
“Yes” continued Abner. “If we are going to overcome Nerrez and Maura we are going to need all of the help we can get and Rose will need your support. I’m afraid there is no time to lose. You must come with us and you must come right away. We have one last portal crystal with us. The combination of this and the Rainbow Tiara will take us all to Velaro Fore immediately and you will all become your equivalent magical animal. Together we can prove ourselves too strong for our enemies. Are you ready to come with us and fight for our freedom. For your children?”
“Well when you put it like that” said Anthony looking around at the others, “there is only one answer. We will all do anything for our children. So come on let’s go!”
Abner nodded and placed the final portal crystal on the ground and it started to glow. The crystals in Rose’s tiara started to glow and a great beam of light shot up into the air and one by one they all began to change into animals and floated instantly, heading back into the crystal kingdom.