“I-I need to see my son.” Nisha coughed out. “He’ll be here soon.”
Joshua nodded. “I’ll bring you inside first.” He said as he grabbed Nisha in his arms and walked inside. Joshua saw Emily and Karissa sitting on the sofa when he walked inside.
He placed Nisha gently on the couch and went over to Emily. “Are you alright?”
“They took her Joshua,” Emily said with wide eyes. “They took Hannah.”
Joshua nodded. “Yes, I know.” He replied sadly. “But we will get her back. I promise.”
Joshua turned as the front door burst open with a young boy rushing through. He had spiky muddy brown hair, pale white skin with small flecks of black dots scattered around and wide forest green-blue eyes. He spotted Nisha lying on the couch and ran over to her.
“Mum.” He cried when he saw her wound.
Nisha smiled slightly. “Thomas it’s good of you to come,” Joshua said as he made his way over to him.
Thomas ignored Joshua as he stared sadly at Nisha. "Mum, you’re going to get through this.”
Nisha slowly shook her head. “No I’m not son and you know that.”
“I don’t want you to go.”
“It’s my time,” Nisha replied back hushing him. “I’ve lived long enough. I am not scared. I want you to take over my duty. I want you to take care of the people of this mountain. Will you do that for me?”
Thomas nodded. “I will.”
Nisha smiled. “Thank you my son.” She closed her eyes and slowly stopped breathing. Thomas bowed his head as he wept.
Joshua grabbed a white sheet and placed it over Nisha’s still body. “I want to bury her.” Thomas said.
Joshua nodded. “We will give Nisha the burial she deserves.”
He turned to Emily and Karissa sitting on the sofa and made his way over to them.
He could see that Emily was struggling to get comfy with her new tail and large wings. ‘I wonder why she hasn’t changed back.’ He thought.
“How are you doing?”
“I’m sorry Joshua,” Karissa said sadly.
Joshua huffed. “I had enough of apologies for one day so I don’t want you or Emily to apologize to me. We will get Hannah back.”
“But she’s with Reiki now,” Emily said with wide eyes. “I’m not ready to face him.”
Joshua looked at her sternly. “You look ready to me. I believe in you, Emily.” He glanced at Karissa. “We both do. Hannah believes in you too. So did Nisha. You can do this.”
Emily took a deep, steady breath and nodded. “Alright! I do have a question, though?”
“And what is that?”
Emily looked to her tail and wings. “How do I change back?”
Karissa chuckled. “It takes energy and concentration to camouflage your appearance. I struggled when we first met. You’ll find that you would want to stay in that form. Close your eyes and focus.” Emily closed her eyes and inhaled deeply as she focused.
She felt her tail and wings slowly growing shorter and shorter. Emily opened her eyes and looked down at her skin only to find that the black spots were still there.
“Seems like you won’t be able to fully camouflage everything,” Karissa said.
Emily waved her off. “I don’t care.”
Joshua turned back to Thomas when he heard his name being called. “Can we bury her now?”
Joshua nodded. “We can make a sign for her to mark her grave.”
Thomas smiled and was about to reply when the TV turned on and dark laughter emulated from it. There was no picture shown only static.
“You’re all fools.” Came a voice from inside the TV.
“I know that voice,” Karissa said as she came to stand with Joshua.
Joshua nodded in agreement. “Yes, I do too, unfortunately."
“Who is it?” Emily asked as she came over to Karissa’s side.
“Reiki.” Joshua and Karissa said together as the static changed to a smirking man.
Reiki was completely different from the Spearkanans that Emily had seen. He still had the grey skin like the others of his kind but he didn’t have thorns sticking out. And unlike the baldness of the Spearkanans he had sharp pointy raven black hair. He still had the frightening yellow eyes but had flecks of black added to it.
“Hello, Joshua.” Reiki snickered. “It’s nice to see you after all these years.”
“What do you want Reiki,” Joshua asked.
Reiki ignored Joshua as he looked to Emily. “And this must be the Changeling that I’ve heard so much about.” He grinned showing Emily his pointed teeth. “I have three special loved ones that are dying to see you.”
Reiki turned to three figures bound and on their knees behind him next to three Spearkanans. Emily recognized them immediately.
“Mum, Dad, Hannah.” She breathed.
“Emily don’t come!” Hannah yelled. “It’s a tra-” one of the Spearkanans who stood next to her placed a gag over her mouth before she could finish.
Reiki chuckled as he came back into view. “If you want to see them again then I would suggest that you come and get them. But they won’t be themselves when you arrive.” He laughed darkly as the screen turned black.
“No!” Emily cried out as she turned to Joshua. “We need to save them.”
Joshua nodded. “And we will.” He looked to Thomas. “Once we bury Nisha.”
Emily shook her head. “No, I can’t wait that long. My parents and best friend need me.”
“And my younger sister needs me.” Joshua burst out. “I know what you are feeling Emily. I want to save my sister just as much as you but right now the right thing to do is bury Nisha first. We need to respect Nisha’s bravery. Do you understand me?”
Emily looked down towards the ground. “Yes.”
Joshua turned to Thomas. “Have you chosen where you want to bury her?”
Thomas nodded. “Yes.”