The Journey To The Middle Stone

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Anger, Chapter 6: Newborn Fire

Author’s note: Ayy it took forever but here’s the next part!


Hilja stood at the broken gate, and watched as the villagers moved bodies and tried to fix up the gate.

“Oi, watch your head.” A tall man said to Hilja, as he almost hit her head with a long log that he had lifted up.

“Noted.” Hilja responded without turning her head from the road. How long had she stood there? For some time, but Hilja didn’t care. She had only heard of these werewolf attacks before, and this was the first time she was in one. Almost got killed too. But at least the girl is alive, Hilja thought and shot a look back to the cabins. That girl took quite a hit to her head, luckily I had spotted her before the hell had broken loose, Hilja shook her head. What a nightmare.

Hilja’s thoughts wandered back to Saga, and she wished from her whole heart that the little one was resting.

“Poor little thing…” Hilja sighed, and moved away from two older women so they could get past her. After them came an old man, who was carrying some firewood on his back.

“Do you need any help with those?” Hilja asked as she saw the man was struggling a bit, but the man just waved his hand: “Don’t worry about an old man like me. Besides, I’m not far away from my destiny.”

“If you say so.”

And so the man continued walking towards wherever he needed to be. Hilja turned her gaze towards the road, and now she could see familiar figures on it.

“Hey!”


----


Ciara took the map, laid it out on the sand and started to carefully study it. It showed her village, the Neighbor Village and other places too. Then Ciara noticed an interesting spot on the map. It looked like dark mountains, and on the map it was named the No Zone.

“The no zone? What a name…” Ciara muttered and Loki landed on the top of the No Zone mark, and let out small hisses. As he would be pleading for something.

“What is it, Loki? Why are you looking so afraid?” Loki hopped on Ciara’s palm, and fear could be seen in his eyes.

“Don’t worry, it’s just a drawing on a map, it won’t hurt you.” Ciara said gently and patted Loki on the head. Loki let out a small purr, and Ciara was happy that Loki couldn’t hear her thoughts.

Because what Ciara was thinking was that she needed to get to the No Zone. She felt like something was calling her there. And maybe she could get some answers from there too.

But she needed to be sure first, and then…, oh god, Peppermint!

“I totally forgot! Come, Loki, we need to hurry!” Ciara quickly rolled up the map, got up and started to run towards the village.


----


“What do you mean she was here?!” Odotte was again near losing it as her look went between Hilja and the empty bed.

“Because I carried her myself here! And look, isn’t that her bag? She was here when I left!”

“Don’t you hear the problem in your words? Yes, she was there when you LEFT. Haven’t we made it known by now that Ciara has the tendency to slip away, or more like run away, when nobody is watching??”

“Okay, everybody calm down! At the stalls we saw Peppermint, so she’s still in this village. So, instead of shouting at each other, why don’t we go look for her?” Moire suggested, and it seemed to silence Hilja and Odette.

“Then let’s go.” Sheela said and took Odette by the hand.

“Everybody out.” Elion said, and they moved towards the door.


----


“Peppermint!” Ciara shouted as she reached the stall. Ciara heard a neigh that came from the farthest corner, where Peppermint had moved herself. Peppermint stuck her head out, and Ciara sighed in relief.

“There you are.” Ciara hugged Peppermint who also seemed happy to see Ciara again. Loki was also glad to see Peppermint, and flew to sit between Peppermint’s ears.

“I’ll get you some food, you two stay here.” As Ciara tried to leave, Peppermint pushed her head towards her, like she didn’t want her to go.

“Hey, I’ll be back soon. First some food and then we could go for a ride? Now, behave.” Ciara scratched behind Peppermint’s ears, and then walked out from the stall. Ciara remembered there somewhere in the middle of the village to be a spot where people would get food for their animals. She started to walk towards the spot, and tried not to bump into anyone or anything on the way. Once she reached the village square, she stopped in her tracks.

Then she heard it again.

“Ciara.”

Ciara turned around to meet a really tired looking Elion.

“Elion.” So Ciara ran into Elion’s arms, and they held each other tightly.

“Never run off again.” Elion muttered against Ciara’s hair, but Ciara didn’t respond to that. Because she knew that she couldn’t promise something she couldn’t keep. Ciara looked up to Elion, and then at the others who had gathered around them. She then hugged Sheela, and then Moire and Odette joined it, and Elion and Hilja stood there at the side.

“God, you look horrible.” Odette laughed, and Ciara smiled a little bit, but soon after that the memories started to come back to her mind, her mood shifted for the worse. Moire took Ciara’s hand in hers and looked at her before asking: “How are you really feeling?”

“I don’t know…, too many emotions are coming up now…, but the food! I need to feed Peppermint!” Ciara was about to go away to get the food, but Moire helt tight to her.

“I think Odette and Sheela can handle that. You need to lay down, and if you want we can talk.”

“Okay.” Ciara said quietly, and so Odette and Sheela went to get food for Peppermint as Ciara and Moire went inside the cabin. Hilja and Elion looked at each other, and Hilja just shrugged her shoulders before she joined Ciara and Moire.

Elion joined them too, because he thought that Odette and Sheela would do just fine.

Once the four of them stepped into the cabin, Moire helped Ciara to lay down on the bed. Elion gave Moire a chair that she placed next to the bed. There was a second floor, and Hilja looked at the stairs going up there and then she looked at the front door. Then Hilja gave Elion a look that they should probably leave, to give Moire and Ciara some privacy. So Elion cleared his throat.

“So, we’ll go outside to see if anyone could use our help. You two will probably be alright here…?”

“That sounds great, and yes, we’ll be.” Moire answered and so Hilja and Elion left.

Once Elion had shut the door, Moire turned her look at Ciara, who was lying still on the bed, staring at the roof.

Before Moire could even ask her first question, Ciara spoke up: “I’m sorry I ran away from you guys. But I really needed some answers…”

Moire thought for a second before she asked her question: “Did you find them?”

The first tear rolled down from Ciara’s eye. She started to shake, wrapping her hands around her body.

“Yes…, or no. I’m not really sure, not anymore at least…” Moire waited till Ciara had calmed down a little bit before she would continue. Moire took a tissue out of her dress pocket and gave it to Ciara. Ciara wiped her eyes with it.

“Would you like to tell me more about that? What makes you think that you aren’t so sure about the answers?”

Ciara looked away, took a deep breath and tried her best not to burst into tears.

“I…, met and lost a possible friend last night…, and it was my fault.”

“It was your fault?”

“Yes, if I wouldn’t have come here, she probably would have-”

“She was a werewolf, wasn’t she?” Moire cut Ciara’s beginning rambling, and with a surprised look she looked at Moire and then nodded.

“How did you…?”

“I have met several people like her during my life. And I also have seen many that have ended like her…, but not always. But answer me this, why do you think that it was your fault?”

“Because if I wouldn’t have met her, she would still be alive…”

“Ciara, no. I’m sorry for saying this, but what happened to her would have happened in some way, in the end. Yes, it is and can be treated but it’s a very long journey. And a hard one too. Sadly, help comes often too late, when it’s not really visible to the naked eye. Often the symptoms are masked really well. But tell me, do you want to talk about your friend? And how did it make you feel?”

Ciara sighed, and started to tell about her feelings, thoughts over the short time that she had known Loreley for. Moire listened and once thought what she would say next.

“She sounded really lovely.”

“She was, I just hate what happened to her, she had so much to live for…, same as Vida…”

Moire was taken aback by Ciara’s comment, because it was the first time she had heard say it.

Would this be it? Probably, but better not pester her more for now, Moire thought as she glanced at the door.

“Ciara, I’m going to go find Hilja now, to keep you company and look after you as you rest. She will help you for a while, since I have a few things myself that I have to take care of. But if anything happens, just send a message my way. Can you promise that?”

“...Yes…” Ciara muttered but a spike of anger stuck in her mind. Everybody getting tired of me?

A new feeling crept over her chest. It stung like fire, making her irritated and in a way strong at the same time. Ciara wanted to do something, but here she was ordered to be still and rest. Like a corpse.

“Good. But before I go here are the last herbs. I need to get more. Take care.” So Moire left and once she had closed the door behind her, Loki crawled from under the pillow. Loki noticed Ciara staring straight up to the ceiling, so it went closer to her face and liked her cheek.

“At least you’re here.” Ciara smiled a sad smile, and patted Loki on its head. Loki purred, and at the same moment the door swung open. There in the door frame stood Hilja, who had a strange look on her face.

“Hilja…?”

“Where did that come from?!”

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