Chapter 24 Saved by the Guardian of Memories
“Out of my way!” I shouted, trying to get pass the large group of smog creatures in front of me. I have to get to Jamie and the others fast! They were in danger!
I swung my staff while sending a bolt of energy at the smog, blowing them into puff of snow. One after the other, I blasted the smogs, but they kept coming after me.
“You think I’ll let you go so easily, Frostbite?” When I heard Cinder’s voice behind me, I turned around and was just in time to block his lantern pole from crushing my head.
Our weapons collided onto each other. I held my ground, keeping the lantern pole from pushing me any further.
“Lantern! Stop this right now! You’re making a huge mistake right now!” I shouted at him.
His black coal eyes glared at me coldly with this nasty grin on his face. “Mistake? You’re the one to talk. You can’t even say my name right. Your memory must be that crappy.”
“Why won’t you listen?! I swear you’re not yourself right now!” I tried to reason with him, but it didn’t seem to go through that thick skull of his.
“Still talking crap again?” Cinder glared at me with this annoyed look in his eyes. Then he kicked me in the stomach, sending me backwards, forcing air out of my lungs.
I gasped and coughed for air from that attack. While I was trying to catch my breath, I suddenly felt something slam into my back really hard. It was like I was hit by a car out of nowhere.
“Argh!” I gasped in pain. I was pushed forward and almost knocked out of the sky, barely balancing myself in time. The pain in my back was a killer! If I was human, I think I would’ve broken my spine! I looked back at what hit me and it was a smog in a form of a bull and it seemed that it still wanted another go at me.
Then three more appeared by its side, staring at me with their burning fiery eyes and their sharp horn pointed at me. “Holy winter...”
They got into their charging position and then came at me at full speed. I quickly flew higher into the air while barely dodging their horn attacks.
“Lantern! Cinder! Oh whatever!” I was having enough of this name business. “You have to stop Pitch! Your sister is here with the kids he’s targeting!”
“What sister? I don’t have any sister,” Cinder said, confused. “Is this another crap you’re trying to mess with me?”
Ugh! Why won’t he listen! It’s like trying to talk with a brick wall! But an evil brick wall that’s preventing me from getting to the kids in time! Evil or not, this guy was persistent as ever! I would have called it admirable if it wasn’t for the fact that he wasn’t on our side and that he was fighting blindly without questioning anything. Pitch must have put on quite a show to convince him they were the one and same, although I did remember the Nightmare King having a way with words. He was very good at using fear as a tool to manipulate people, but for Lantern’s case, it was his memories.
“You HAVE a SISTER!” I shouted at him, getting seriously fed up with his stubbornness. “And she’s been worried sick about you!”
“SHUT UP! I DON’T HAVE ANY SISTER! The only family I have is Pitch! Get it through your thick head!” I lashed back at me, sending waves of fire.
I had to quickly dodged those flames while trying to blast those bulls that kept charging at me like some red cape at a bull fight. I blasted at one that came at me from the side and ice slashed another one from the opposite side. When I poured a lot of my energy into the staff and hit a smog with it, the creature would blow up into puff of snow.
Then I went after Cinder, who was hovering above me. I seriously didn’t want to hurt him or even fight him. But no matter how hard I tried to talk to him or convince him, he just won’t listen at all! He trusted Pitch so much that he wouldn’t listen to anyone else. If this was how it was going to be, then I have no choice but to use force and make him remember.
As I flew closer to Cinder, the fire spirit quickly sent several fire balls at me. There were so many of them that I had to stop in my track and summon up a large amount of energy in my body. Once I release it just a second later, a strong cold blast of wind blew towards the fireballs and caused an explosion of steam. While the steam hasn’t disperse yet, I quickly flew into it to use it as a cover. It was like how Cinder used the same method against me, but now I’m using it against him.
Since the steam helped cover me inside for a few seconds, Cinder didn’t see me coming. I was able shoot out from the mist and right in front of the unexpected spirit, who stared at me in surprise.
While he was still shocked to find this surprise attack, I quickly sent a blast of blue energy at him and it hit him right in the chest. The blast hit his chest full on and blew up upon impact.
He was sent flying backwards and falling several feet through the sky. Then he was able to catch himself in time and was now hovering several feet below me. He was clutching his chest from the pain of the blast. Apparently, he didn’t appreciate being blasted right in the chest, because when his black coal eyes shot up to look at me, it was filled with anger and hatred.
“You DAMN SNOW BASTARD!” Cinder cursed loudly and then shot up towards me like a bullet.
I was already expecting this and quickly had my guard up. Cinder swung his pole at me again, but I blocked it with my own staff. Then he tried to kick me again, but this time, I was prepared for it. I did a backflip up in the air and over his head when he tried to sink his foot into my mid-section, missing me by inches. Then I came back down and gave him a good kick with both my feet slammed into his back.
Cinder was forcefully pushed forward, crying out in shock. Not giving him any time to pause, I quickly shot a blast of light blue spark at him. Unfortunately, Cinder quickly rebounded himself in the air and shot back his own blast of fire.
The two opposite energy collided and created another large amount of mist. Knowing what was going to happen next, I quickly flew into the air to change my position. Just as what I expected, Cinder came shooting out of the mist after me.
“Don’t you dare run away from our battle, Jack Frost!” He yelled behind me.
While I was trying to out run him, out of nowhere, several orbs of fire surrounded me, blocking my path. They were flying around me in some sphere shape path, preventing me from getting out. I was trapped.
“This is a new trick I learned while training with the Nightmares,” smirked Cinder from outside the fire trap. “I was thinking of using it when all the other guardians were here, but I guess I can use it on you early.”
Then with a snap of his fingers, all the fireball suddenly froze in place. I stared at the fireballs in confusion, not knowing what to expect. Even the fireballs themselves stopped blazing in the cool night like someone came into time itself and stopped it with a flick of a command. I found myself distracted by the odd phenomenon, too shocked to fly away. I watched Cinder smirk as his eyes shone maliciously at me. Then the fireballs all came shooting at me from all side like a bullet. There was no way I could dodge them.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
While Cinder was dealing with Jack Frost and preventing him from interfering with my plans, I rode to the Town of Burgess with my Nightmares and some of Cinder’s Smogs
behind me. I was on the rooftop of a building to scan the streets for any sign of life. I could still see the lights shining from the windows and street lamps. Shadows of people moving about.
Seeing how everyone should be indoors due to the dark weather and strong winds, then my search shouldn’t be too hard. Having humans running around would make my search more complicated. Though the idea of watching panic and terrified crowds was very tempting, but my plans come first.
“Search every house and buildings. Make sure no shadow is left unlooked. Find me those children and bring them to me!” I ordered the Nightmares and Smogs.
My dark army cried out in excitement for their hunt. Some jumped down onto the streets and ran in every directions. Others went into homes and buildings, searching for their targets. I could hear screams and cries from the human children echoing around me. I can feel their fear and my powers rising with every scream.
My plans were going very well. Once I get my hands on those brats, I’ll make them remember why they should fear me. Then when those guardians arrive, they would already be too powerless and exhausted to fight me. Then I’ll make them suffer what I had suffered for so many centuries. They will taste the same defeat I went through.
Abby was running through the streets, trying to not lose sight of the little flame flying ahead of her. The little fireball was darting away like crazy like it was in a hurry. Even though she was getting tired, she was more scared of losing the wisp. So she kept on running and running with her small little feet.
“Abby! Come back!” Jamie yelled behind her. “It’s not safe out here!”
Abby didn’t seem to hear him as she continued to run after the wisp. She was so fixated on following the wisp that she didn’t realize they were already in town where all the shops were. They were very much far away from Jamie’s house.
The streets were empty and quiet except from the loud wailing of the wind. No one was there due to the bad weather the town was having, so almost everyone was indoors. It was creepy and disturbing somehow.
“Pwetty wights! Whe you goin’?” Called Abby, trying to keep up. She was running out of breath and her muscles were starting to hurt.
“Abby!” Jamie called again.
While the wisp was still flying with only its senses telling him where to go, he wasn’t aware that the street wasn’t as empty as it seemed. Out of nowhere a dark black figure came jumping in front of it, blocking its path.
It was a Smog creature of a panther. It was staring at the wisp and children with it’s bright yellow eyes. Its sudden appearance caught the wisp off guard and the little fireball barely stopped in time before it could fly smack into the skeleton face. The wisp was able to stop in front of its face, a few inches away from it’s jaws.
Aaaaaaahhhhhh! The wisp screamed at the top of its lungs before it quickly flew back and hid inside Abby’s hood, shivering in fear.
“Uh oh,” exclaimed Abby, when she saw the Smog before her.
“Oh shoot! A Smog! Abby, this way!” Jamie quickly pulled Abby by the arm and ran to the side. As they ran, the Smog Panther followed right after them. Then from another direction, two more Smog Panther appeared from the shadows.
Their cries can be heard close behind them and the hard pounding sound thundered on pavement, echoing through the streets.
Jamie didn’t look back as he held onto Abby’s hand tightly. He just kept looking forward, trying to find any paths to out run the dark menacing beasts.
Abby, on the other hand, was already reaching her limit. She’s been running for so long that her little muscles was starting to tire out. Finally, her legs got so tired that she misstep and tripped onto the hard cement sidewalk.
“Oof! Ow!” Cried Abby when she fell. This caused Abby to loose her grip and her hand slipped through Jamie’s hand.
“Abby!” cried Jamie, shocked. He quickly ran to pick Abby up, but it was too late to run away. The Smogs have now caught up to them and had them surrounded. The dark evil creatures’ eyes glared at them menacingly. Jamie tried to push Abby behind him protectively, but even he was nervous that they won’t be able to escape. “Stay behind me, Abby,” he told her.
Abby could only gasped onto his clothes, shaking. She was staring nervously at the Smogs, unsure what to do now.
Splat! Splat! Splat! Splat! Splat! Splat! Splat!
Out of nowhere, the Smog Panthers were getting shot with what looked like paint. They were practically covered in red, blue, and yellow blobs. Now the Smogs were no longer just plain dark gray. They now came in splatters of primary colors.
Jamie turned around to see who their savior was and he was shocked to see who they were.
“Guys!” He gasped in surprise.
All his friends were there with their own defensive tool in hand. Both Caleb and Claude had paintball guns in their hands while cupcake was swinging what looked like a jumprope. The look in their eyes didn’t show any fear for the Smogs. Their piercing glares were burning with confidence and fearlessness.
“Jamie! Over here!” alled Claude.
“Hurry!” Caleb rushed them.
Jamie quickly grasped Abby’s hand and ran towards them while the Smogs were confused and blind from the paint in their eyes. He felt relieved to see his friends, but at the same time, surprise to see them out here.
“Thanks guys! You really saved us there,” thanked Jamie.
“No problem, bro, but let’s get to your house first before we celebrate,” told Claude.
“What about Monty and Pippa?” Jamie asked, wondering what happened to his other two friends.
“They’re at home, looking after Sophie,” answered Cupcake. “Let’s get a move on.”
So they dashed down the streets in the direction they came from, hoping they could reach safety before something bad happens. Right behind them, more dark creatures started to appear from the darkness and chased after the children.
“More of them are coming!” I cried out when I looked back and saw several Nightmares and Smogs pursuing us.
Then Claude and Caleb turned around with their paintball guns aimed at the dark creatures and fired.
“Eat this, Nightmare scums!” Shouted Caleb when he pulled the trigger.
Splat! Splat! Splat! Splat! Splat! Splat!
A Nightmare and Smog creature that looked like a large cat were hit in the face and legs, causing them to trip and fall in confusion.
Then Caleb and Claude gave each other high fives before running off again. Two down, ten or more to go.
“Can’t we defeat the Nightmares like we used to do? Like ya know, touch them and they go ‘poof!’ like last time?” Wondered Caleb.
“Do you wanna try with those Smogs with them?” Replied Claude, running behind him. “We don’t even know if we can get rid of those Smogs like how we get rid of Nightmares.”
That was a good question. How do we defeat a Smog? We already knew how to defeat Nightmares from our last battle with Pitch, but what about Smogs? Are they like Nightmares and feed off fear as well?
Suddenly, a Nightmare jumped out from an alley and landed in front of us. It cried out and raised its forelegs into the air, causing us to stop in out tracks in surprise.
Cupcake was surprised at its sudden appearance at first, but then her face turned mean looking and charged at the Nightmare with no fear at all.
“Aaaahhh!” Cupcake cried out as she dashed towards the Nightmares.
Of course, the Nightmare didn’t expect this and stared wide eye in shock. It even tried to walk back a bit nervously, but Cupcake already smacked her palms on the black creature’s chest.
Then the Nightmare started to turn bright gold, spreading from where Cupcake touched it. The gold areas spread quickly and within seconds, the Nightmare was no more. What stood in front of us was now a golden unicorn. It wasn’t like those magnificent creatures you see in artwork, but more of a cartoony kind with thick legs and body. It was jumping playfully and excited before Cupcake as if it was happy to see her.
“Looks like I haven’t lost my touch,” grinned Cupcake, petting the unicorn. Then she hopped onto its back and told us, “Get on! Hurry!”
Not sure if that Unicorn can carry five kids on its back, but at a time like this, it was a good chance to test out its weight limit. I quickly carried Abby and gave her to Cupcake, who took Abby and put the little girl in front of her. Then Caleb, Claude and I quickly climbed onto the unicorns back before Cupcake told it to dash off.
“Let’s go!” Cupcake ordered the gold unicorn and they were off.
It looked like the unicorn was sturdier than I thought. It can carry five kids on its back with no difficulty at all.
We were ridding through the streets on a unicorn with a group of Nightmares and Smogs right behind us. The unicorn made sudden turns at almost every corner that some of us almost got thrown off a few times.
“Can’t you stop making those hard turns?! Caleb almost fell off three times already!” Complained Claude, irritatedly. When the unicorn made another sudden turn, Caleb was almost thrown off again.
“Wah!” Gasped Caleb, but Claude was able to grab his brother by his jacket just in time.
“Make that four!” Claude
“I’m more worried about outrunning those things than worry about my steering skills here!” Cupcake argued back.
Then the unicorn made a jump over a pile of trash bags and suddenly stopped.
“Hey! Stop squishing me!”
Some of us cried when we were pushed forward by the force from the sudden stop, squishing into the front. Just when we thought we couldn’t get anymore squished, the unicorn raised its back legs in the air in a kicking position, squishing us further into the front even more.
“Oh god! I can’t breathe!”
Then the unicorn kicked the trash bags with its powerful hind legs, sending the bags into the Nightmares and Smogs. The trash bags blew up upon impact and the dark creatures were covered in garbage and... I think I just spotted a happy face pattern boxer.
Once the unicorn was done with its garbage-disposing kick, it immediately dashed off again. It made a quick turn in a corner and into an alley. It even jumped onto dumpsters and fences to slow down our pursuers.
We were able to slow down the dark evil creatures a little bit, but it seemed that more of them are appearing out of nowhere. They were not just coming from the shadows of the streets, but also from the skies.
Claude and Caleb fired away with their paintball guns while Cupcake was steering the unicorn. I also borrowed Cupcake’s pink jumprope and swung it around, hitting any Nightmares or Smogs that came too close.
“There’re just too many of them and they’re gaining on us!” Cried Caleb.
“Thanks for stating the obvious, Sherlock!” Snapped Claude.
I started to feel worried and even panicked a bit, wondering if we’ll ever get out of this safe and sound. There were too many of them and they kept catching up to us. Just when I started to lose hope, Abby started to shout out something.
“Wook! Wook!” Abby pointed at the sky.
I stared at her for a second before looking up, wondering what she meant. Then something green and blue came shooting out of the dark cloudy sky and slashed at two Nightmares and a Smog that were running right next to us.
Slash! Slash! Slash!
The said creatures burst into sand and smoke with one slash from those two blades, held by a beautiful feathery woman with wings. It was the Tooth Fairy!
“I’ll hold them off! Get to safety! Quick!” She hurried us.
“Alright! The Tooth Fairy is here!” Cheered Caleb.
“That means the other guardians are coming, right?” Asked Claude, excited.
“They’re on their way. When we got Jack’s message, we came as soon as possible,” told Tooth. Then she flew towards the other dark evil creatures behind us and took them out in a flash. Her swords flashed by quickly in lightning speed. I could barely keep up with her fast movement.
“Hey! Look!” Called Cupcake pointing to the sky as well.
We all looked up and there before our eyes, a bright golden plane came flying through the sky with several golden manta rays, dolphins, and fish followed behind it. Their golden bodies shined brightly in the dark sky like a ray of hope within a dark time like this.
Not far behind the golden army, was a sleigh. I can hear the jingles of bells coming from it even from this distance.
“Help haz arrive!” I heard, North, the Guardian of Wonders yelled out.
Then I noticed something being thrown off the sleigh and exploded into burst of light upon hitting the ground. Several burst of light swirled into some kind of bright vortex and suddenly, yetis and elves came jumping out of it! It was one of those portals that North uses! I was awestruck from seeing yetis and elves charging into the streets with clubs, hammers, and toys!
While I was amazed by this sight, I suddenly heard a rumbling sound in another direction. I turned to look and saw half a dozen holes appearing on the ground. Then several large egg statues popped up from those holes.
“Sentinels! March!” I spotted the Easter Bunny, the Guardian of Hope, dashing towards us. “Get to safety, mates!” He told us before he went and joined the Tooth Fairy.
Once the sentinels got their order, they joined the yetis and elves like a large army. This was an amazing sight to see! It was almost like the last battle we had last year!
“Oh my god! They’re here! They’re all here!” Caleb cried excited with his fists raised in the air.
“Now Pitch is going to get his butt whooped!” Claude joined the excitement.
Even the unicorn got excited and raised it’s fore legs high into the air. I wished it didn’t do that, because we almost fell off. Luckily, we grab each other in time or some of us would’ve tumbled right over.
“Down pony! Down!” Cried Caleb, barely hanging onto his brother.
“Cupcake! Make it stop!” Begged Claude, grabbing onto me.
“I can’t hold on much longer!” I shouted, hugging onto Cupcake.
“Wheee!” Abby laughed happily.
Cupcake had to quickly order the unicorn to calm down before some of us fall over and get injured. Once the unicorn got its front legs on the ground, we all sighed in relief.
“Sorry about that. She just got too excited,” apologized Cupcake.
“Well, just don’t let it do it again,” told Claude.
“Seriously,” added Caleb.
“Do you want me to throw you guys off? I’m willing to do that right now, you know,” threatened Cupcake, cracking her knuckles.
Both brothers gulped nervously and stopped complaining right then and there. I sighed in exhaustion since I was in the middle of this. Like literally! But at least their relationship was getting better... I think.
While the wisp was watching in amazement of the Guardian’s army charging into the Nightmares and Smogs, it felt that familiar feeling again. That was the master’s! The wisp can tell that its master was not too far away. Like the Jack O’Lantern radar that it was, it quickly knew where to go. The wisp quickly popped out of Abby’s hood and flew off again like crazy.
“Oh no! Pwetty Wights!” Cried Abby, noticing the wisp flying off.
“What? Oh not again!” Jamie whined, since he also spotted the wisp flying off.
“Folwow wights!” Ordered Abby, pointing in the direction where the wisp has gone.
“Seriously?” Whined Caleb, looking very unpleased about this.
“Oh come on! We were supposed to get to a safe place!” Complained Claude.
“I said FOLWOW WIGHTS!” Demanded Abby, with a more forceful tone.
Then all older kids went silent in shock. Even though they just met her today, Abby being so demanding was... unexpected.
“But Abby...,” Jamie tried to reasoned with her, but was cut off by Abby’s determined look. “Alright, fine.” He finally gave in.
And so off the unicorn went dashing through the streets with the wisp flying up ahead. No one knew why the wisp was acting this way, but they will soon find out. Very soon...