“What’s the matter?” Flora asked her.
“Really?” Flora asked unconvinced.
“I’m just bored.” Lily finally told her after a moment of silence.
“Well I could always teach you a new spell.”
“I’d like that but I’m still pretty low on magic from our session earlier.”
“Well you did create an awful lot of water dragons and made them fly around the room like they were in a circus act.”
“Hey it was fun. And thanks to you now I can make anything I imagine with my water powers instead of just a ball.”
“Well I’m glad you had fun. Learning shouldn’t be boring in my opinion.”
“I like learning so I don’t think it could ever be boring.” Lily told her.
Giggling Flora said, “You sound like me.”
“Do you wanna get out of this room? I could show you the world above and get out of these caves. See the sky.”
“Lily we’d get caught.”
“No we won’t.” Lily said confidently, “Nobody knows these caves like I do. The soldiers use the main corridors. Me I know all the secret passages and backways. Nobody would even see us. What do you say?”
“Alright I could use a change of scenery.” Flora agreed with a smile.
“Great.” Lily said jumping off the bed. “I’ll be back in a bit just going to get us some things to munch on while we’re out.” Then she ran out the door.
“I just hope we don’t get caught.” Flora thought.
A short while later Lily returned with a leather satchel across her shoulder. “I grabbed some food, water, flashlight, paper and pencil. You know the essentials.”
“Paper and pencil?” Flora asked confused.
“In case we want to play a game we can keep score. Are you any good a tic-tac-toe?”
“I’m pretty good at it.” Flora told her confidently.
“Good wouldn’t want to beat you too bad.” Lily teased. Then went over to the table and grabbed the knife out of drawer.
“And what are you going to do with that?”
“We’ll need it to cut the food. I forgot to grab one.” Lily said placing it in her bag. “Ready to go?”
The two walked out of the cell and down the hall stopping at the corner Lily checked for the guards to make sure the coast was clear. “See that crevice over there.” She whispered pointing to a place on the wall a little ways around the corner.
“Yes.” Flora whispered.
“When I say go we make a break for it.” Lily told her.
Checking for guards one last time to make sure it was safe, “Go.” Lily said.
And the girls ran to the crack in the wall as fast as they could. It was a little snug at first for Flora and she had to walk sideways, but once she got a least a few feet in the area opened up and she was able to walk normally.
“Sorry I should have warned you how cramped it’d be at first.” Lily said as she pulled out the flashlight.
“That’s alright. It wasn’t too difficult.” Flora assured her.
Lily led the way through all the twists and turns of the caverns until finally they came to a large opening. “Well this is it.” Lily said waving her hands in presentation, “The outside.”
Flora took in her surroundings it was nothing but mountainous canyons of dark rocks one after another. The sky was filled with dark grey almost black that blocked out any chance of sunlight from coming through. She couldn’t believe anyone could survive on such a lifeless planet. Stella defiantly wouldn’t last in this place if she were here. Flora thought. Actually neither would she if it wasn’t for the collar that she wore. Flora reminded herself. “Is this Eden the world your father wants me to help restore?” She asked Lily.
“No this isn’t Eden. From what my mother told me Eden is worse than this.” Lily told her.
“Worse than this how can that be possible? And if this isn’t Eden then where are we?”
“I wish I could give you an answer but I can’t. I was born here but don’t know the name.” Lily said, “And I know that seems like a lie everybody should know where they were born but the only thing anybody talks about is Eden and how it used to be. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay if nobody told you. It’s not your fault.”
“If you don’t mind me asking how are you going to help rebuild Eden?” Lily wondered.
“I don’t mind and I don’t know your father hasn’t told me.”
“Oh.” She said, “This might sound like a dumb question but why don’t you use your magic?” Lily asked taking a seat on a small boulder.
“I can’t. This collar prevents it.” Flora told her honestly.
“I don’t understand mom’s never stopped her from using magic. It just kept her safe here because there was no nature.”
“I don’t know Lily maybe your father doesn’t want me to use magic until the proper time.” Flora told her, “That and if I had my magic I could possibly escape this place since I was kidnapped after all.” Though she kept that thought to herself as she took a seat on a boulder across from Lily.
Both lost in their own thoughts but enjoying the company of the other until Lily spoke. “Xander wasn’t wrong about what he said yesterday.”
“What do you mean?” Flora asked.
“About my father not even acknowledging that I exist. He wasn’t wrong in way… I mean he knows I’m there but he doesn’t see me.” She said sadly.
Confused Flora said, “I’m not following you.”
“I had an older sister her name was Calisto she died before I was born. She fought against the Ancestral Witches when Eden was attacked they killed her.” Lily explained. “In the beginning we were all happy. My father would smile at me tuck me in and tell me bedtime stories. But as I got older my father would look at me with such sadness and distance himself from me. I didn’t understand why so I asked my mother. She told me that I looked so much like my sister that it made him sad but it didn’t mean he didn’t love me. He was still grieving for my sister, and me looking so much like her brought it all to the surface again. After my mother died he shut himself away and rarely spoke to anyone. I would purposely get into trouble so he’d have to punish me just so he’d speak to me… but he didn’t call me Lily he’d call me Calisto or daughter. Every time he speaks to me I’m never Lily. I’m always Calisto and daughter to him. Just once I’d like for him to call me by name like he used to when I was small.” She said and broke out into tears.
“Oh sweetheart.” Flora said as she went over and gathered the sobbing girl into her arms comforting her.
“I wish I had the courage to tell him that I’m not Calisto that I’m Lily.” She said between sobs, “But every time I try nothing comes out.” Then started crying again.
“I’m sure in time…you’ll be able to tell him.” Flora said unsure of what else to really say but sometimes saying nothing is the best way to go and just support the other person. So she just held Lily until her crying subsided.
Lily sniffed wiped her eyes, “Sorry I shouldn’t put that burden on you.”
“Don’t worry that’s what sisters are for.”
“When will I get my wings?” Lily asked after a moment clearly wanting a different topic than her father.
“It’s different for everyone.” Flora told her. “Some get it just thinking about it. Others get when they’re in a dangerous. It just depends on the fairy.”
“That sucks I want my wings. I want to know what it’s like to fly.”
“Well I can tell you that once you get the hang of it you might never want to walk again because it is fun.”
“I like fun. Fun is good.” Lily said.
“Yeah fun is good.” Flora agreed, “So shall we play a game? I bet I’ll beat you at tic-tac-toe.”
“Actually that’s not what the pencil and paper are for I lied.”
“Then what’s it for?” Flora asked curiously, because honestly she couldn’t think of what else to do with it in a place like this.
“Well… I remember you told me that you and Helia kept in touch by writing letters. Then folded them into paper cranes and sent them to each other. So I figured that maybe… you’d want to write him one. Then you could teach me how to send it to him magically.”
“Oh Lily… Thank you!” Flora said and hugged the girl fiercely causing them to lose their balance and fall off the boulder and the girls laughed.
“It’s the least I could do. You’ve been teaching me magic and I haven’t done anything for you in return. Plus I figured it’s my sisterly duty to help you keep in touch with your boyfriend.”
“Thank you Lily everyone must be so worried at least now I can let them know I’m alright.”
“Why wouldn’t you be?” Lily asked as she handed the paper and pencil to Flora, “It’s not like you were kidnapped.” Lily joked.
Flora just turned her head away and said nothing.
It hit Lily all at once why Flora was unable to use her magic and keeping her in a prison cell. Her father had her kidnapped, but if he needed Flora’s help why not just go and ask her nicely instead of abducting her it didn’t make sense. Sighing Lily voiced her thought. “You were captured and forced to come here weren’t you?”
“Yes.” Flora told her honestly, “Do you want this back?” Flora asked holding up the paper.
“No.” Lily said sternly “Write your letter I’ll send it. And I apologize for my father taking you against your will was wrong.”
“Don’t apologize for your father Lily. Only he can do that.” Flora told her as she began writing the letter. “I don’t blame you for any of it you’re innocent.”
Lily nodded and let Flora write her letter. After she was finished she folded it in the shape of a crane gave it to Lily and explained how to send it.
“We still have some paper left shall we eat and play tic-tac-toe?” Flora suggested.
“Okay sure.” Lily agreed happily.
Once they used up the last of the paper and ate all the food they headed back to Flora’s “room”. Lily again leading the way. When they got to the entrance Lily checked to make sure there were no guards and gave the go ahead for them to make a run for it. When they walked into the room they gasped sitting on the bed was none other than King Adonis himself.
“Where have you been?” He asked calmly.
“I was showing her the river canals deep in the caves. Since she’s a guest here I thought she’d like them.” Lily lied.
“Did you like them?” The King inquired.
“Yes.” Flora said quietly going along with the lie.
“Good.” He said, “Feel free to move about this place as if it were your home. I thank you for teaching my daughter how to use her magic. Here in the coming days I’d like you to have dinner with me nature fairy and we will discuss how to bring Eden back from the ashes.” With that he got up and walked out the door never giving them a sideways glance.