LEGEND OF THE LOST

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Chapter 16

We Must Hurry

“This is not going to end well.” said Astrid, riding on Tesmorlah’s back, as Gremoff and her, flew onward and into a storm of raging chaos! The sky roared with thunder, and lightning flashed from behind the thick dark clouds! It was as awful, as it was beautiful, at the same time. A bright orange glow, flickered from beyond in the Forest. The cause of it had appeared, as they got closer, and realized the trees were set on fire!

Tesmorlah took in a nostril full of the air. “The evil is growing stronger!”

Suddenly the wind was gone, and even though they flew fast, they created none of themselves. Their wings felt naked by this phenomenon; in this deep silence and eerie calm. Thousands of the Forest’s trees below them, were dead or had fallen; all the plants though, had been one, of either dead, trampled, or dying.

They flew on... it only got worse! Now there had been no life at all; no plants, or even moss, or a sign that there had ever been… just dead trees, dirt and rock. It was desolate, the very skin of the Forest, had been stripped. After a while now, they had come to see skeletons, and then, dead Creatures; that were scattered here and there abroad. Blood smears, stained the trees, of where, for days, a gruesome battle had taken place. And this is what was left… a graveyard of thousands upon thousands of the dead. The varieties of Creatures, had not been seen throughout the Forest like this before… by Tesmorlah, nor Gremoff. The numbers became greater and greater, until there were millions and millions of carcasses, scattered, and stacked upon each other. The empty Forest floor, was now completely covered over, and piled up high with bodies.

The sight of them began to turn Astrid’s stomach, but she couldn’t look away, for there was nowhere else to look; they were everywhere. Even the sky seemed to be covered with the dead, reflecting them like the ocean.

The illusion of the silence of death, had been broken, by a violently cracking thunder! Astrid peered up into the sky, with a well-placed, fanatical expression. The first drop of rain fell from the clouds, and splattered hard on Astrid’s face; as if to say: I’ll be the tear you should be baring. Then the rain started to pour down, and Astrid drew back her hood, and let it drench her long, silvery-blonde hair. A sudden wind current, swooped up from under Tesmorlah, and pushed her higher into the sky. Gremoff hesitated for a moment, then, swiftly followed.

As Gremoff rose higher into the sky, it was unexpected, but not a total surprise, of what had happened, considering a storms behavior. A freakishly extreme wind, tore a branch off a tree, from below, tossing it at him, twirling in the air! Gremoff had been knocked unconscious, and dropped like a rock to the earth! Tesmorlah and Astrid, continued on. They didn’t know that, or hear the branch strike Gremoff, for the rain, the thunder, and wind, had drowned out the sound; they hadn’t known anything of what had happened to Gremoff.

When Astrid finally realized, that Gremoff wasn’t there with them by their side, she had become overtaken with distress. She looked back and around, in every direction, and found nothing; but that he wasn’t with them!

Astrid quickly declared to Tesmorlah, concentrating on keeping her control; though struggling to do so, in the obnoxious storm. “Gremoff has vanished… he could have been attacked, or captured.” It was unknown, what went wrong. Something on the ground, had taken him though! “We must go back for him!” Tesmorlah glanced to her sides, and saw that he wasn’t there! She tried to turn her head to look back, but the wind and rain, was still fighting against her! She wrestled once more to turn her head. “Are you sure he’s not behind us?” Astrid answered, confirming. “Yes! He’s not behind us… above us, under us, or aside of us; he’s disappeared!” Tesmorlah quickly turned around in the storm, with all her might and mane. “Then we must go back for him!”

A furious bolt of lightning struck the ground just ahead of them, and there was an angry cracking thunder, that had rumbled after it! Tesmorlah started down to the trees.

Astrid looked upon all the dead Creatures, and tried to spot him, but there were too many dead dragons that looked just like him! Tesmorlah grew weary after a while. “Do you see him?” Astrid replied with great disappointment. “It’s hard to tell! We’ll have to land, and search on foot!” Tesmorlah began to glide down, as steady as she could go. The trees had been so far apart from each other, she could keep her wings completely stretched out as she flew, so that was helpful to her, in these extreme conditions.

They drew nearer and nearer to the ground, and the stench of the carcasses, became worse and worse, steaming up from the rain. The stench of decomposing flesh had become unbearable; Astrid couldn’t breathe! But just as Tesmorlah had landed, Astrid waved her hand out over her head, and with the last of her breath, of which she held in, she whispered something in the same tongue she spoke all her magic; always had sounded like strange gibberish to Tesmorlah.

Astrid had stopped speaking, she took a deep breath. “This is much better!” Tesmorlah was struck by amazement; the air was fine. “The smell… the awful smell is gone!” Tesmorlah continued to breathe, taking deeper breaths, and then, Astrid shimmied down from off her back. She took a few steps, and then, brought up her hand, in a fist. Tesmorlah heard a knocking, like the knocking on a door, and turned her head towards Astrid, to see that she was knocking on some sort of invisible wall, of something that completely surrounded and shut out the forest. It made the sound, of what would be undeniably glass!

Tesmorlah stared at Astrid’s hand, which had knocked three times, then stopped. Astrid sensed that Tesmorlah was staring at her, so she turned to look at her, and said. “We’re in what’s called, a Breathing Dome!” She then, turned back away from Tesmorlah, and touched her fingertips to the invisible dome wall. “Now we can search for Gremoff! Come on, do as I do. Knock on the dome wall three times, and then, touch your… your claws to it! The dome will split into two separate domes, and we can split up and find Gremoff faster, cover more ground.”

Tesmorlah knocked on the wall of the Breathing Dome, and touched her claws to it, just as Astrid told her to.

Astrid started walking away from Tesmorlah, and then, Tesmorlah stood up on all four limbs, and walked away in the opposite direction.

Suddenly, a dream-state, a premonition came over Tesmorlah! She was having a vision of her, Astrid and Gremoff, flying towards the evil force; they were polluted by the dark, and were turned into Dark Creatures, before reaching it!

Tesmorlah shivered in fright, then, swung her head to look at Astrid behind her. She hesitated for a moment, but then, quickly got back on track. “We don’t have much time! We must hurry!”

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