Luke Pane and his Anomaly Sister

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The Day Mom and Dad Fell

Grown to young adults, Luke and Esmé Pane lived with their mother and father (Jeremiah and Fiona Pane) in a small village called Arkenshire. The village was built on the edge of the Belluman Highlands; a very green and beautiful place by the ocean. The planet is called Zjordia (Zyor-dee-ah); it has five moons, vast oceans, extreme deserts, many forests, jungles and great, great majestic mountains; each area is inhabited by powerful, fragile, small, large, magnificent beasts; some are things of nightmares, and others, you would think have escaped a mystical fantasy world.

Since Luke was a small boy, it was his dream to travel to different parts of the world; for example, Tanimil–the city of fairies where all magic originates. Esmé constantly studied about it and taught him everything she learned; everything about their culture and how they used magic. He promised to take her there one day, and they could return home with many stories about all the things they saw. They would bring back a few souvenirs too. What a wonderful, fantastically exciting idea!

Esmé often felt like she had a strong connection with magic whenever she imagined the possibility of ever using it. The feeling grew even stronger once she became a young woman. Sometimes, her emotions would be heightened because of this. Never though, did she have the ability to conjure anything. Maybe it was all in her head the entire time. Maybe she imagined it all. Maybe...

It was also Luke’s dream to go to witch and warlock cities filled with alchemists and telekinetics. He learned a bit about Serpent covens in dead-lands too; they were a newer race and had extremely lethal venom. Humans wouldn’t dare cross their paths. Luke read that no one knew where they came from, but that didn’t seem right. Someone had to know. Finding out who... was on his list of things to discover later on in life.
Their father talked about his own travels–not around the world–but close to that. Sometimes when Luke was able, he would speak with the elders around the village; they seemed to tell more fictional stories rather than the truth–and they would usually nod off afterward, but it was always exciting to hear what they had to say.

All these things he and Esmé learned taught them how to question everything, be aware of the many different possibilities in the world, and never back down. She wanted to be a sorceress and he wanted to be an adventurer and a hero.
He even spoke with the great old and wise tree spirit ‘Mother Gianna’ at times for history lessons and advice when he ran out of study books. Oddly, she was only kindest to him, his sister and her son, Joby; she was very obscure to everyone else. What made her seem more secretive and mysterious was her heavy cloak made purely out of vegetation—how it concealed everything about her; she never left her throne that was set within a hole of an old oak tree either. Maybe she was connected to it. The tree was in the far end of the village.

Rumor had it Joby’s father was a different sort of spirit being. No one knew who, or what he was. People often thought his father was a death spirit; death spirits had horns and tails too. It was all hearsay. Gianna never spoke of him. Maybe one day it will finally be revealed, but for now... just for now... the only thing that really mattered to Luke, was that he was his best friend.

Another thing no one knew about Joby was his age; he’d always say he was 10 years old–and that was as far as that went. Also, this would be hard to believe for the average person; even though he was the nicest creature one could ever meet, he did have a tendency for being sneaky and was quite a talented prankster as well. All these undiscovered pieces of information. Whenever there is a question, there will always be an answer.
Luke smiled as he sat on the beach, thinking about all of this and watching Esmé run through the water with her arms out, chasing flocks of white birds and cawing with them.

“One day, Esmé... we’ll go. One day.” He said. Then there were sounds of scurrying and panting behind him. He looked back and saw Joby running toward him, saying, “Hey! Your parents sent me out here to get you!”
“Oh! Alright.” Luke stood up and brushed off, “Esmé, come on!” He waved at her and started back up the hill to the village. She came out of the water, ringing out her long blond hair and pulled a golden necklace with shells and pearls out of the neck of her dress. That was her special necklace; their late grandmother gave it to her ten years ago. Wherever Esmé went, it went with her.

She patted Joby on the head while walking behind her brother. Joby watched with a smile. But that smile slowly became dark and mischievous. He was up to no good.

They entered the village where children were laughing as they ran with each other, parents and elders were planting in their gardens, and others were talking with each other at their fences, or building things. The breeze carried the scent of flowers, fruit, baked bread and vegetables. The day was perfect.
While walking behind Joby and watching the children run by, Luke started to wonder something. “How old do you think Mother Gianna really is?” While holding the necklace and admiring it, Esmé said, “I don’t know... Maybe she’s hundreds of years old.”
“I wonder why we haven’t seen more like her. Wouldn’t she have family? Or do you think she is the only one of her kind, sent down from the gods?”
“I think so... Maybe that’s why she watches over us like she does.”
“You might be right. It sure is something to wonder about. But getting her to talk about something like that would be pretty difficult, I’m sure.”
“Yeah... definitely.”

When they arrived at their small one-story home, Joby said he had to go help the neighbors build their shed.
“Good luck! Don’t drive them mad!” Luke joked. Joby giggled and rushed off. The twins then raced inside and found the place was empty. No one was around. Esmé called out to their parents. It was so quiet... Quieter than a mouse. ...What was going on?
“Let’s check outside.” Luke said. Esmé nodded and they went out the backdoor. There was a wheelbarrow filled with freshly pulled weeds near the burn pit by the fence. They both looked over to the right and... The sight-! The sight, so shocking it made them jump. There, their parents laid face down on the ground by the fence. It was unnatural. Were they sleeping? It looked like they were... dead! DEAD?!

“Mom?! Dad!” Luke hurried over and pulled them around to see their features were completely—at ease. He looked all over for injuries, only to see there weren’t any at all. They were breathing very calmly. They were deep asleep. How weird, how peculiar, how unreal. Confused and panicking, he tried to shake them awake. “Mom, Dad, wake up!” They weren’t responding. He shook them some more, “Mom, DAD! Wake UP!” They weren’t responding. He looked back at Esmé, eyes shaking.
She was just as petrified; still as stone, skin whiter than a pale horse, her expression much like a portrait of a tormented soul locked in time. She stuttered over herself, stepping back toward the house, “I- I’ll get some water!” she rushed inside, and came back almost with superhuman speed. She had a pail of water and a cloth in her hands. Luke had started checking their pulses, feeling their foreheads and listening to their breathing. Everything was so calm and relaxed. They were so deep asleep. He imagined they couldn’t have had a heat stroke, he knew they hadn’t been harmed, they didn’t have anything different to eat (that he was aware of)... What happened to them?

He breathed out long and hard in frustration, grabbed the pail and said to them, “Come on!” He gave it a sudden jerk, throwing water on their faces. “WAKE UP!” They choked a little, but didn’t do anything else. Both he and Esmé’s eyes grew huge. The fact they did this was a sign that maybe something was keeping them asleep.

Esmé quickly looked to her brother, “Again?! Splash them again?!” He stared down, thinking ‘what sort of trickery is this...’ There was no way this could’ve been a joke. “Luke, AGAIN!?” Hearing her, he felt his eyes welling up in disappointment in himself. He quickly, violently threw water on them. STILL, they weren’t waking up! “No no no,” Esmé quickly got down on her knees next to them to dry their faces. “What are we going to do! We need try something else! A pain test. Go get a needle!” she said. “Yes...!” He put the pail down and ran inside. She sat them up and patted their backs, trying to get them to cough up the water.

Luke shortly returned with the needle and she laid them back down. Taking it from him, she winced to the thought of how this would feel to them. “I’ll poke their arms.” She rolled their sleeves up and pressed it to their mother’s arm first. Seeing her do this and being overwhelmed that nothing had worked so far, Luke began to pace. He looked over once every few seconds to see if anyone was watching. This, what she was doing, sure didn’t seem like any help at all. Nothing was waking them up! “Oh for crying out loud Esmé, be more forceful! It’s not working! Stop being so gentle!”
“LUKE, I’M TRYING! I DON’T WANT TO HURT THEM!”
He stomped over and took the needle from her, glaring, “Keep your voice down. I don’t want anyone over here right now! This has to be handled quickly! Watch me!” He got down next to Jeremiah and paused for a moment, then he swallowed down his fear and jabbed him hard enough for a bit of blood to seep out. Esmé gasped. He wasn’t reacting. No flinch, no yelp. Nothing! She and Luke looked at each other again. Luke glanced at Fiona and tried the same thing on her. Nothing was happening.

Esmé stood up with her hands on her head, “Why?! Why won’t they wake up!” Also standing, Luke kept his eyes on the needle, “I- I don’t know. We need to do something else, and fast!”
“What should we do?”
He put the needle in his pocket, “Hold on, I know something!” He motioned her to assist him in taking them inside, “We need to get Mr. Thomson. He can help us. Here, help me put them on their bed.”
“Ok, good idea!” She grabbed Jeremiah’s feet and Luke reached under his arms. They grunted as they carefully carried him inside the house.

“What do you think happened?” Esmé asked as they went through the main room and into the master bedroom. Luke shut his eyes, shaking his head, “I have no idea. It makes no sense to me at all.” They put their father on the bed and Esmé raised her hand over her mouth. “How long do you imagine they’ll be like this?” her voice cracked a little. Luke looked at her seriously, sternly. “Let’s get Mr. Thomson first, ok?” He went out the door. “Help me with mom!” he said. She looked at Jeremiah one more time, then clutched her dress and ran out. “Yes, I’m coming!”

-Joby-

“I did it! I did what you told me to do!” the little imp ran to Gianna as she held her viney hand out to him. He took it and rubbed his face into her leaves, purring like a cat. She smiled down at him, remembering their small exchange earlier...


She said, “Do you remember when Luke and Esmé Pane were born, and that conversation we had about Anomalies?”
“Yes... It feels like it was just yesterday.”
“I know son...” She lowered her head in satisfaction, holding her hands out and closing them, “That special day has come.” A moment later, she reopened them to reveal a small bowl made of leaves. The look on his face changed immediately to a sort of astonishment when he saw glowing yellow liquid in it.
Gianna explained, “Dip your tail in this, walk past Jeremiah and Fiona Pane and prick them with-” “Poison?!” He frowned. She looked at him and then slightly tipped her head to the side, “Why no... of course not. This is not a poison. It’s... a very sweet sort of nectar.”
“What will it do?”
“They will go to sleep for a while. Don’t worry... they’ll be fine.”
“What will happen once they’re asleep?”
“Well, you will see... when Luke comes. He will. Now do as you’re told, Joby.” He looked up into her eyes; she was becoming impatient with him. It made him a little uncomfortable.
“Yes mother.” He slowly snaked his tail around his body and poked the tip of it into the liquid, never looking away from her. She sat back in her throne, smiling warmly, endearingly.


“You did it. Good boy...” she said as he stepped back from her hand, gazing at her in a worshipping way. Such a sweet creation, he was. He said, “I made sure Luke and Esmé were gone and then I sneaked behind Jeremiah and Fiona in their garden. I hope I didn’t hurt them... because once I poked them, they fell really quickly... down on their faces.” He became a bit upset at the last few words, twiddling his small thumbs and searching the ground with his eyes. Gianna’s smile only broadened. She patted his head, “I told you... they will be fine. Now they will sleep... You did well.” She reached up to get a flower off one of the vines. He slowly looked up to her and the worry on his face was instantly replaced with pure excitement. She knew he would do this. He stretched his arms as high as he could to take it from her. As she gave it to him, she saw he was beginning to drool. “Thank you mother, thank you!” he purred again and she rested back in her throne, watching him eat the petals. A few growls escaped him here and there as he licked and chewed on it. How he loved these flowers... They were like the ultimate fruit. Too much power for humans to consume, though. That very thought made Gianna wonder what will become of the twins once her goal is accomplished. How different would things be for everyone she knew? The fact her name will go down in history meant worlds to her. It was about time something changes here...
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