The Last Sorceress and the Amulet

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Adventure Gear

The next morning it had stopped raining, so Emma and Sam spent the morning in the garden as it was a sunny day. They spent the morning pulling out weeds and harvesting the vegetables that were ready, whilst Sam told Emma about all the adventures she had gone on at her age.

Once they were done in the garden, they went back up into the attic, where there was a large trunk of clothes.

‘The most important part of going on adventures,’ said Sam as she dug through the trunk, ‘is looking the part.’

‘Both Mum and I went on adventures for years, and Mum always used to keep all the different clothes in the attic. Different outfits for different time periods and genres.’

‘On any adventures after this one, we should have time to pack you a case with all the stuff you’ll need before you go.’

The trunk was full of the strangest assortment of clothes, and all of them looked like they were the right size for a teenager.

It looked like a huge dressing up box full of fancy dress, but there was no Disney princess dresses or fairy wings.

Some of the clothes looked fairly normal, warm jerseys and plaid skirts with matching knee-high socks and Mary-Jane shoes. A bit old fashioned, but Emma could still have worn those clothes out of the house without getting any strange looks.

But some of the clothes were beautiful, cream lace Regency styled dresses unless Emma was much mistaken, she even saw a Roman dress.

Emma smirked as she saw a tie-dye halter neck top with a pair of bell-bottomed jeans.

‘You can very well laugh,’ said Sam, ‘but you never know what the books got in store.’

‘And that’s going to include me be a hippy from the 1960s?’

‘You never know,’ said Sam who was still riffling the trunk.

‘And Mummy doesn’t know about any of this?’ asked Emma.

‘Nope,’ said Sam.

‘What does she think's in here?’

‘She doesn’t really care what’s in here as long as it’s not strewn all over the house,’ shrugged Sam.

‘Ah-ha!’ exclaimed Sam finding what she was looking for.

She pulled out several heavily embroidered long-sleeved velvet dresses.

‘Medieval/Fantasy gear,’ nodded Sam looking at the dresses.

‘This one should fit you,’ she said passing a dark red dress embroidered with silver thread.

The dress was slightly smaller than the others, but it was beautiful. It looked fit for a princess.

‘Are you sure?’ asked Emma.

‘Mm,’ nodded Sam who was riffling through the trunk again looking for a secret compartment.

‘Got it,’ she beamed as she found the panel at the bottom of the trunk which revealed a whole over layer.

Emma’s mouth dropped open. Inside the trunk was a small assortment of weapons, including a small dagger, a bow and arrow with quivers, and even a tiny catapult.

‘These are for self-defence only,’ said Sam passing Emma the small dagger with a leather belt.

‘You never know what you’re going to face in the book.’

‘You’re giving a nine-year-old a dagger?’ stammered Emma.

Sam nodded firmly.

‘I only hope you don’t have to use it,’ she muttered.

‘Have you ever used any of those?’ asked Emma as she did up the belt and put on the dagger.

‘Yep,’ said Sam casually doing up the trunk, ‘and my Mum before me.’

‘Your Granny used to use a huge sword, I preferred to battle with my wits rather than a sword.’

‘I used to be pretty handy with a bow and arrow when it came down to it though.’

‘Cool!’ breathed Emma.

‘Cool indeed,’ laughed Sam.

They had a quick lunch, and then Sam helped Emma do up the dress, and redid Emma’s hair so that it was plaited into a half up.

Sam looked her up and down as she finished doing Emma’s hair.

‘Perfect,’ said Sam, ‘you’re ready for your first quest.’

‘Thanks, Mum,’ beamed Emma hugging Sam.

‘I’ll call you back in time for tea, now go enjoy yourself, and good luck.’

Emma secured the belt with the dagger tightly over her dress and checked she had the amulet on and then opened the book.

The room began to disappear around her again, and the next thing Emma knew she was standing in the forest by the camp again with Eirwen and Elthered.

Eirwen had her arms folded and was looking severely unimpressed.

‘What are you talking about?’ sighed Eirwen, ‘we can’t hear anything!’

‘Strewth!’ exclaimed Elthered looking at her clothes.

‘You really are a sorceress!’

‘What do you mean?’ asked Emma.

‘There’s something very strange going on here,’ muttered Eirwen, ‘one moment you say you can hear voices, and the next thing we know your clothes have changed.’

Emma stammered for a moment. It seemed that the story was continuing from the moment she had left yesterday. Even though it had been nearly a whole day since she had been in the book, but Elthered and Eirwen were acting as if not a second had passed.

‘Um magic,’ muttered Emma, ‘I needed to change my outfit so I would blend in better.’

‘You did stick out like a sore pin in that strange raiment you were wearing earlier,’ said Elthered, ‘a maiden in breeches is hardly normal.’

‘I wear trousers’ said Eirwen fingering her sword getting ready to draw, ‘do you have a problem with me Sir Elthered?’

‘No of course not,’ chuckled Elthered, ‘I know you’ve never liked wearing dresses.’

‘But that’s not normal for a princess,’ laughed Eirwen, ‘I know.’

‘Whereas you fair Emma,’ said Elthered, ‘look beautiful in your fine gown.’

‘Thank you, Sir Elthered,’ giggled Emma trying to curtsy and almost tripping over her long skirt.

‘You’ll get the hang of it,’ said Eirwen patting Emma on the back.

‘It’ll be dark soon,’ said Elthered, ‘we’ll be starting off in the morning. Could you two go collect some firewood?’

‘Where are we going in the morning?’ asked Emma as she and Eirwen collected firewood.

‘We have to move every few days,’ said Eirwen, ‘otherwise the Black Knights might find us.’

‘Who are the Black Knights?’ asked Emma.

‘The Black Knights,’ said Eirwen shuddering slightly, ‘work for my Uncle, King Gryffyn.’

‘They ride around the kingdom, looking for magic wielders. They kill anyone who looks even vaguely suspicious.’

‘But how do they know that they’re magic?’ asked Emma.

‘They don’t always,’ said Eirwen, ‘half the people they kill are innocent peasants.’

‘But that’s terrible!’ exclaimed Emma, ‘it’s wrong.’

‘It is indeed unjust,’ agreed Eirwen.

‘But then why are you hiding from them, you and Sir Elthered, neither of you are magic.’

‘I’m the true heir to the throne,’ said Eirwen, ‘Uncle Gryffyn doesn’t want me around so I can challenge his right to rule. As long as I’m alive his claim to the throne is unstable.’

‘He wants me dead,’ said Eirwen.

‘And the feeling is more than mutual,’ she muttered.

‘You want to kill your Uncle?’ stammered Emma.

‘He murdered my parents,’ said Eirwen through gritted teeth, ‘he’ll get what he deserves.’

‘But killing people is just wrong,’ said Emma, ‘it’s unthinkable!’

‘He ruined my life,’ said Eirwen, ‘he killed my parents and took my throne. In one night I went from being a princess to being a fugitive. And he has ruined Aeolgoyryn my kingdom. He deserves his comeuppance.’

‘I agree with you Eirwen,’ said Emma, ‘he does deserve to be punished. But does he have to die?’

‘Can’t you just exile him from the kingdom? Or imprison him?’

Emma has starting to like Eirwen, and they were becoming friends. Emma didn’t like to think of her friend having to kill people unless she had to.

Killing in defence was fine if it was a matter of life and death. But killing just for the sake of killing was wrong, unjust as Eirwen would put it.

‘We’ll have to defeat him first,’ said Eirwen.

‘But we’ll see,’ she said smiling slightly at Emma, ‘maybe we won’t have to kill Uncle Gryffyn.’

They finished collecting the firewood and went back to the camp.

Sir Elthered showed Emma how to build a fire properly, and Emma watched in fascination.

Not long after the fire was built the sun began to set, and Eirwen was sharpening her sword again. Elthered was trying to help Emma control her magic, at the moment it only worked when she was really upset about something.

‘I want you to think of a memory,’ said Elthered gently, ‘try and think of a time when you were angry.’

‘Angry?’ asked Emma confused.

‘Yes,’ nodded Elthered, ‘at the moment your magic seems to be attached to your emotions.’

‘Ok,’ muttered Emma closing her eyes and trying to think of a time she had been particularly angry or upset.

It didn’t take very long. All she had to think about was Kate. Kate calling her Freak. Kate tripping Emma up on purpose so Kate could win the 100 metres on Sports Day.

‘Ye Gods!’ exclaimed Eirwen standing back.

Emma opened her eyes and saw that her fingertips were not just shooting sparks, but actual flames of fire!

The fire didn’t hurt or burn Emma at all, but it was burning quite a few dry leaves on the forest floor.

Emma blinked, and her fingers had stopped shooting flames.

‘Well that worked,’ chuckled Elthered as he stomped out the tiny fire from the dead leaves.

‘So angry equals fire,’ said Eirwen, ‘good to know.’

‘Why don’t we try a happier memory?’ asked Elthered.

Emma took a deep breath and closed her eyes again. A happy memory, a happy memory. Of course!

Meeting Sam and Meghan a few days ago, going home to her new house. Being curled up on the sofa next to Meghan last night. She was just so calm, so peaceful, so happy.

‘Amazing!’ exclaimed Eirwen.

Emma opened her eyes again. This time, her hands were spouting streams of water from her fingertips.

‘Cool!’ beamed Emma as the water stopped.

‘It is indeed wonderful,’ laughed Elthered.

‘I think you’ve done enough for today, perhaps in time you’ll be able to do magic without it being connected to your emotions.’

‘I hope so,’ said Emma.

‘Come on Emma,’ said Eirwen putting an arm around her, ‘we’ve got a long day tomorrow.’

Eirwen and Emma went into the tent, as Elthered took the first watch duty. Inside the tent were two rooms, one was a smaller room and had Ethelred’s armour which he only wore when he was riding or fighting, and Ethelred’s bed.

Through the tent flap though was another room, with Eirwen’s trunk and a large double mattress spread out on the floor with blankets.

‘I don’t mind sharing if you don’t,’ said Eirwen taking off her sword and going to bed fully dressed.

Emma took off her belt and put her dagger next to Eirwen’s sword, and laid down at the opposite end of the mattress from Eirwen, her head at the same end of the mattress at Eirwen’s head.

‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ laughed Eirwen, ‘you can come up the proper end!’

‘Sorry,’ blushed Emma moving to the other end, ‘I didn’t want to take up any of your space.’

‘Don’t be silly,’ said Eirwen, ‘It’ll be nice to share.’

Emma and Eirwen got comfortable under the blankets properly, and the bed was so comfy, that Emma fell asleep almost instantly.

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