A New Eardian
“Dannie!” Wyatt and Aaric called out. They were walking throughout the streets of Janeswater with their flashlights held out.
“Dannie! Where are you?”
It was almost six o’clock in the morning and the Heart family were in search of the missing fifteen year old. They had begun their search immediately after Dannie had first gone missing last night and they had continued until midnight. Then once it became too dark to see, the family agreed to get an early start in the morning when it was lighter out. When five o’clock came around the four split up to begin their search once again. Wyatt and his eldest son, Aaric, went on foot while his wife, Juliana, and youngest son, Felix, took the car and traveled towards the outskirts of Janeswater.
“Damn!” Aaric cursed out with immediate frustration. “I’m still not seeing her.” He tossed his father a hardened, distressed look. “How about you, dad? Do you see her anywhere?”
Wyatt grunted in dismay, “No, I’m not even hearing anything. Darn it all, we may need to spread out our search into the woods.”
“What about Mylan and Chasie? They might have some leads.”
“Your mom and Felix are going to be checking in with them.” Swiftly, the sports writer looked down at his wrist watch. “As a matter of fact, they would probably be heading towards their homes about now. We did agree that we would ask them at 6am if we still couldn’t find Dannie.”
“But damn it all! What do you think happened?”
“I wish I knew, Aaric. However, I’m going to guess that a ghost is involved in this.”
“It’s definitely leading in that direction. But man, that has to be one heck of a ghost to leave a mess like that behind.”
“I know, which is making me a nervous wreck here! Just how in the world did Dannie even get involved with that type of ghost.”
“Well, you know Dannie.” Aaric merely shrugged, “Even when she’s not trying, she somehow always ends up getting involved with ghost drama.” Exhaling roughly, he shook his head, “But I swear, sometimes her being a ghost seer drives me completely nuts.”
“I know.” Wyatt ruffled his hair, “Try being in mine and your mom’s shoes and I’m still shocked that neither one of us got heart attacks from the worrying we’ve been going through.” ′Although, this is the first time I’ve seen something like that.′
Both of them jerked at the sound of a cellphone ringing. However, the two relaxed when they realized that it was just Wyatt’s cellphone, hastily he pulled it out of his jean pocket.
Reading the caller ID, Wyatt instantly gasped, “It’s your mother!” Without a second though, he answered, “Any sign of her Juls?”
“Unfortunately, no.” Julie reported in dismay.
Both her and Felix just got seated in their forest green SUV, which had been parked in the LaDave’s driveway.
Her heart growing heavier, Julie could feel the tears begin to surface as the fear continued to take its toll on her. However, she tried to keep herself calm to inform her husband of what they have gathered. “And we just checked with both Mylan and Chasie and neither them or their families have seen Dannie since 3pm yesterday.”
“Damn it all!” Her husband cursed with irritation.
Once she heard the distress in her love’s voice, Julie could no longer hold back the tears. “Oh, Wyatt!” She began to cry, “I don’t like this! I don’t like this one bit and on her birthday of all days!”
“Neither do I. I swear, when we find that girl I’m almost tempted to forbid her from ever talking to a ghost again.”
“Same here.” Julie whipped the tears away, ′Although, I doubt that will work, since Dannie would most likely fight us on it.′ “But Dannie certainly has met some wonderful friends.” A small smile managed to appear, still remembering the conversation she had with the Ronden’s and LaDave’s. “When I told Mylan, Chasie and their families that Dannie has gone missing, them and their families offered to help us look for her.”
Her husband paused for a moment before he asked cautiously, “You didn’t okay it, did you?”
“No of course not!” She huffed up, “The last thing I want is for those two or their families to get lost or worse to end up getting caught up with whatever Dannie’s gotten herself into. Besides,” She fiddled with her keys and added softly, “I’m not sure if this is something we can ask for help with.”
“Why not, mom?” Felix abruptly asked. He met his mother’s gaze, then tilting his head he eyed her questionably. “Surely, the police would be able to help us, right?”
“Oh, and I’m sure they would, sweetie. However, Felix,” Julie grunted out softly. “We don’t even know what happened. If something supernatural occurred how do we explain it and Dannie’s talent without making us all sound like we are crazy?”
“Oh.” Felix replied, looking away now understanding his parents’ position. “Right. But still,” His face narrowed with determination, “there must be someone who could help us.”
“Felix, I don’t-”
“Mm? What’s the matter, Aaric?” She heard Wyatt ask their eldest son.
“Let me talk to mom!” Aaric hastily voiced in, catching Julie’s interest as she heard him speak again. “Mom, could you head home and grab a notebook along with some colored pencils?”
Finding his sudden request strange, Julie raised a brow. “Why?”
“I think...I may have an idea of who could help us.”
“Mm....” Dannie moaned gruffly as she began to stir from her slumber. Her now silverish, white hair moved with her as she shifted her body slightly underneath the warm, comfortable sheets. Slowly, she opened her bright blue eyes. Her vision was out of focus for only a few seconds before it reverted back to normal.
That’s when she realized she was staring up at an unfamiliar wooden log ceiling. Gasping sharply, Dannie shot up into a sitting position. However, she immediately jerked and hugged herself when she felt a tingling sensation within her body, like something was tickling her from the inside.
“Whoa, that was weird.” She murmured to herself. However, this sensation puzzled her slightly, considering it wasn’t going away.
Her current situation snapped back to the front of her mind as she hastily shook her head. Disregarding her body for a moment, Dannie tossed her gaze around to discover she wasn’t in her bedroom. She was in a decent sized bedroom that made her feel like she was in log cabin with wooden log walls with two windows, one that was by her bed and one that was on the right side of the room. The walls were decorated with beautiful paintings of woodland creatures and landscapes, there was even a small handmade quilt hanging on one of the walls. The room also had wood panel floors with a blue rug set in the center. The furniture in the room looked to have been made of real, old fashion wood like they made centuries ago by the Pioneers. There was a medium sized dresser, that was positioned underneath the window on the right side, and an end table that stood right beside her bed. There was also a wooden cedar chest at the foot of the bed and even an old fashion rocking chair.
“Wha...What?” Dannie gaped out softly, still trying to process her new scenery. “Where...where am I?” ′Just how in the world did I end up here? Wherever this is.′
A thought suddenly struck her as Dannie pulled out her arm and pinched herself. Grimacing softly, she closed her eyes in order to subside the pain and opened them again, hoping to find herself back in her own room. However, to her dismay she wasn’t. Her heart began to tremble with slight fear before she abruptly slapped herself, praying that would finally wake her up. Unfortunately, she ended up with the same result.
“O-Oh, no, no, no! This...this has to be a dream!” Dannie practically cried out, ′But no matter how many times I pinched or slapped myself I’m still sitting in this room. I also felt every single one of those slaps and pinches! S-So could this...?′ Gasping sharply, she shook her head and gently smacked her cheeks. ′Wait, wait! C-Calm down, Dannie, don’t go freaking out just yet. I’m sure there’s a good reason why I’m here...there has to be...right?′
Lowering her hands, Dannie shifted her interest towards the window that hung over the one dresser. Gulping, she carefully got out of the bed and walked over towards the window. She pulled away the curtains only to gape in awe when she learned that this cabin was in the middle of a meadow. With a bright sun and a beautiful, bright blue sky.
“A-A meadow? I’m in a meadow!” ′Ah, wait a minute!′ She peered closer towards the window, suddenly recognizing the area. ′Why does this meadow look so familiar?′
[Dannie yelped in distress and hastily covered her face when she was now just inches away from the bridge. ‘There has to be a reason for this! There just has to be! Right?’ She felt herself pass through something, but it wasn’t hard it was actually quite soft. It almost felt like she went through a water sprinkler, which completely baffled her. ‘Did I even hit the wall?’
Finally, she uncovered her face and gasped in astonishment when she found herself flying into garden field. It was filled with beautiful flowers and the greenest grass she had ever seen in her life. There was also a little cottage that was in the middle of the beautiful garden.]
Dannie inhaled sharply when the memory flashed back to her. ′The meadow that Duzell brought us to yesterday! B-But how...could this...could this be the same garden? Then does that mean that Duzell-′
“So, that’s what you want me to do? Just go over the basics with her?” A male voice echoed from outside of the bedroom.
“Huh?” Dannie darted her attention towards the bedroom door.
“Yes, that’s the best way to start out.” A gentle, feminine voice followed. “We can’t throw everything at her all at once. We need to ease her into it without overwhelming her, otherwise it could potentially scare her off and that’s the last thing we need.”
“Yeah, right.” The male grunted out.
′That voice.′ Dannie walked over towards the door as she recognizing the male voice. ′It almost sounds like Duzell. Could it really be...?′
Slowly and cautiously, Dannie opened the bedroom door. She peeked out to notice a short hallway with three other doors, that she guessed lead to other bedrooms. Her eyes traveled until she noticed the end of the hallway that lead to, what she assumed, was the living room. Carefully, she tiptoed out of the room and quietly made her way towards the end of the hallway.
“How long will this meeting of yours take?” The male questioned indifferently.
Dannie heard the female sigh before the woman answered. “I’m honestly not sure. It would all depend on what everyone has to report and if anyone has any good ideas of how to handle this. But I promise I’ll try to get back there as soon as I can.”
“Well, it’s not like you have to rush or anything. You have a life there as well. There are just somethings I might not be able to help her with.”
“I know, just do what you can in the meantime.”
“That’s what I planned on doing anyway.”
Dannie finally reached the end of the hallway and peeked around the corner. She gasped softly when she realized that she was right. There was Duzell standing in the middle of the living room in front of a cozy looking stone fireplace that had a big screen TV hanging above it. However, the TV really stood out from the rest of the living room, considering all the rest of the furniture appeared to be the old fashion, homemade type that made the young girl feel like she was in a history movie. But the one thing that truly shocked Dannie was not the furniture or Duzell it was the woman that the blue-haired man was talking to.
The female appeared to be close to middle-aged with voluptuous looking features. Her skin was a grayish blue and her silverish colored hair appeared to be very long, but was held back in a high ponytail. Her eyes were a dazzling gray color. Her attire was a light blue tunic that had a white ribbon that wrapped around her torso.
′Whoa, what? Who...no what is that woman?′ Dannie pondered to herself. ′I swear, I’ve never seen a person with her type of coloring before, at least not in reality.′
Emiko hummed when she caught a glimpse of something from the corner of her eye. A small, gentle smile gradually appeared when she noticed the young girl, “Oh, I see our guest has woken up.”
Dannie’s body instinctively tensed up when the woman spotted her.
“Yeah, had a feeling.” Duzell replied, tossing the girl a blank glance. “I could smell her moving around, so I figured it was only a matter of time before she made her way out here.”
′Smelled?′ Dannie eyed him strangely, ′He could smell me from out here?′ Her face suddenly lit up with realization. ′Oh! Right, Duzell’s the Animal Eardian so...I guess that his sense of smell would be advanced like an animal’s.′
“Oh!” The woman gaped out, catching Dannie and Duzell’s attention. Her eyes snapped away from the screen, “Looks like the meeting is about to start.” She turned her interest back on the blue-cat eared man, “I’m leaving this in your hands, Duzell. So remember,” She brightly smiled, “go easy.”
That response caused Dannie to arch a brow, very puzzled by that comment.
“Yeah, yeah, I got it.” Duzell roughly returned with a quick eye roll. “Good luck with the meeting and let me know the outcome.”
“Will do, see ya.” That was the woman’s last words before the TV went black.
Duzell merely exhaled as he grabbed a remote from one of the end tables and turned off the TV. He then averted his interest back towards Dannie and caught her flinching once they made eye contact.
He snorted gruffly at the action, “Alright, was it really necessary to flinch like that? You know I’m not going to hurt you.”
Dannie could feel herself relax when he reminded her of that.
“So,” Duzell gestured her to come near him, “stop hiding behind the corner.”
“Oh!” Dannie moved away from the corner. “S-sorry about that, it was an instinctive reaction. But I’m glad.” She smiled brightly, “I’m so relieved that I didn’t wake up in an unfamiliar place. So, I take it we’re in that dimension underneath Jane’s Bridge?”
“Yes, we are.”
“Well, then I must say this cottage is really cute!” Dannie complimented, taking in her surroundings. “Although,” She lightly chuckled and pointed at the TV, “that TV definitely stands out compared to the rest of the place.”
“Maybe in the living room, considering the furniture that’s in here.” Duzell commented in slight agreement, “But this cottage is actually very modern despite how it looks. The owner just likes the pioneer made furniture.”
Tilting her head, Dannie eyed him questionably, “Owner?” ′You mean, he’s not the owner?′
Duzell noticed the girl’s gaze and merely shook his head. “I’ll explain later. So,” He crossed his arms, “how are you feeling?”
Finding his question strange, Dannie answered in an odd tone. “Um...I’m fine. Just confused really, I mean,” She gestured her hands around the room, “why did you bring me back here?”
“Hm?” Duzell furrowed a brow, “Don’t you remember what happened last night?”
“Huh? Last night?” ′What happened last night?′
“Your body basically went nuts.” He replied, hoping that would spark something.
Another loud, sharp gasp escaped her as Dannie felt her body pound. “What...what was-”
Dannie gasped again when her body throbbed for the second time. Utter terror erupted within her as her body continued to pound like someone beating on a drum, but after each pound it became more frequent, more violent. The wind sensation also hadn’t gone away, but instead of drifting away it intensified, blowing harsher than ever before and it suddenly felt like little needles poking through her bloodstream.
“AH! My God what is this!?” She asked herself in a loud, terrified cry. Dannie let out another distressed cry with her eyes squeezed shut, but something blue caught her attention.
Opening her eyes and instinctively she looked down only to learn that a bright blue light had emerged around her arm. “What?!” Dannie raised her arm to inspect the light, “What’s this light?” Another blue light caught her interest as she looked down at her other arm to discover that it too was engulfed with the light as well. “Oh my God! What-”
The wind, like needle sensation abruptly turned into a wave electricity as it shocked its way through her.
“AHHHHHHHHHH!” Dannie immediately screamed as the electricity burst out of her body and formed itself around her. Suddenly a golden shield crest appeared where her heart was and it lit up in a silvery, blue light.]
Dannie gasped sharply as the memories came floating back to her. “That’s right! My body was pounding, pulsing, shocking me, and causing me to feel so much pain and unusual sensations that I could hardly move.” She raised her hand slightly and stared at it. “It even produced this bright blue light, something I’ve never seen it do all my life!” Combing her fingers through her silver locks, Dannie sighed softly. “Here I thought that was all some scary nightmare.”
“Nope, definitely not.” Duzell commented bluntly. ′Her appearance is proof of that. I wonder if she’s even noticed it?′
“But man!” Dannie retorted in dismay and held her cheeks. “That was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever experienced. I seriously thought I was going to die!”
“Well, you obviously didn’t.” The blue-haired man reported the obvious. “Otherwise you wouldn’t be standing here right now.”
“Yeah, right.” The young girl murmured. ′But how did Duzell-′
[Something suddenly crashed through her window.
Her eyebrows shot up when she heard the familiar male voice call her name with urgency. ‘No, that...that can’t be!’ She peered over her shoulder only to her shock to find Duzell in her room, crouched down on the floor in front of the now smashed open window. ‘No way, Du-’ “Duzell?!” Dannie managed to say through her painful grunts.
Dannie gasped sharply as realization hit her, “Duzell!” She cried out loudly and used every ounce of her strength to pounce herself up and turned towards him. The girl leaped herself towards him and grabbed onto his vest tightly, “Help me!”
His face softened with sympathy towards the girl, gently he grabbed her shoulders. He then told her tenderly in assurance, “Don’t worry, this will be over soon.”]
Another sharp gasp escaped Dannie and snapped her finger at Duzell. “You!” She watched him suddenly jerk in surprise, but went on loudly, “You also showed up didn’t you? I remember you breaking through my window.”
Now understanding the girl’s abrupt reaction, Duzell roughly answered. “Yes, I came at the last few minutes of your body’s episode. Then once you passed out I brought you here.”
“Why would you-” Dannie began curiously before her face lit up as something dawned on her. “Do you possibly know what happened?!” ′Come to think of it, Duzell did sound like he knew what was going on last night.′
“Then what happened!?” Dannie demanded loudly, grabbing a hold of the Animal Eardian’s vest. “Why did my body react like that?” An idea struck her, “Did that monster have something to do with it?”
Duzell was taken back by the girl’s rough reaction. But he merely snorted and grabbed her hands, causing her to let go of his vest. “Technically, yes.” His face narrowed, “But not in the way that you’re thinking.”
Letting go of her hands, Duzell advised, “Before I explain,” He pointed at her, “I think you should take a good look in the mirror if you haven’t already.”
“Huh? Why would that make a difference?”
“Believe me, I think it’ll give you an idea of what has happened to you.”
′What has happened to me?′ Still very puzzled, Dannie raised a brow, “I still don’t-”
Duzell’s rough exhale got her to stop mid-sentence as he reached his hand out towards her hair. Dannie’s body tensed up while her cheeks turned a light pink when she felt his fingers comb through a few locks of her hair.
“Believe me.” He held a few strands of her hair between his clawed fingers and held the strands up in her field of vision. Seriousness gleamed in his expression as he empathized, “You need to see your appearance for yourself.”
Dannie’s heart stilled at his words, ′My...appearance?′ Her eyes lowered and took notice of the strands of hair that Duzell had held up in front of her. She inhaled sharply when she noticed the color, “Huh!?” Hastily, she snatched the strands from the blue-haired man to finally realize that they were not brown like they were supposed to be. Gulping, Dannie stuttered out, “Is this...this can’t be my....”
Duzell stayed silent as he watched the girl use her hand to follow the strands to see if they were indeed connected to her own head.
Her eyes shot wide open with utter shock and terror when she discovered that those strands of silver hair were indeed from her. She began to pant as her heart trembled with panic, she then grabbed a whole bunch of her hair and pulled it forward to see that all those strands had turned silver.
Darting her eyes up to meet Duzell’s golden amber eyes, she lightly demanded, “Where’s the mirror!”
Duzell pointed towards the room behind the girl, “The bathroom’s behind you.”
Without a second thought, Dannie whirled around and dashed into the bathroom. She quickly found the light switch, turned it on and ran to the mirror that hung over the sink. A surprised yelp escaped Dannie and covered her mouth when she finally took a good look at herself.
′Is that....′ Lowering her hands, Dannie leaned towards the mirror to get a closer look at her eyes while she combing her fingers through her silverish, white hair. ′Really me?′
Duzell crossed his arms and leaned against the door frame of the bathroom door. He was emotionless as he observed the girl as she inspected herself, feeling her hair and keeping her eyelids open to see if all of these changes were real.
The tingling sensation that had lingered since she awoke increased as she panted, panic struck by the sight. ′No, no this...this can’t be real!′ Gently, Dannie slapped her cheeks, hoping that would snap her out of her overactive imagination. However, when she looked in the mirror she still saw the bright blue eyes and silverish, white hair.
Hastily, she pinched herself, hoping that would do the trick. However, she ended up with the same result. “No.” Dannie barely whispered out. “This can’t....” Slowly, she backed away from the sink with her hands holding her cheeks. “This can’t be happening.”
A sharp gasp escaped Duzell when he saw an electric blue light emerge around the young girl. ′Oh shit!′ He practically leaped towards her and just as she was about to open her mouth. Duzell wrapped his one arm around her torso and covered her mouth with his other hand. “Don’t scream!”
Dannie muffled a surprise yelp and held his one arm that was wrapped around her.
“Please,” Duzell pleaded softly, “don’t scream, not in here or you’ll hurt my ears.”
Dannie caught a glimpse of Duzell’s car ears twitching from the top of his head.
“Look, I know this is frightening.” The Animal Eardian went on in a stern yet gentle tone, “But you need to calm down.”
Dannie shot him a piercing glare before she elbowed him in the gut. Duzell let out a sharp wince immediately jerking away from the girl which caused him to release her from his grasp.
“Calm down!?” Dannie whirled around, “How can you expect me to calm down when I look like this?!”
Duzell grunted, holding his stomach. ′Okay, I was not expecting her to react like that.′ “Look, I get it, really I do. But you being all panicked like this isn’t going to change the situation. So please calm down before you cause any more damage!”
“Huh? Damage?” Furrowing a brow, the girl eyed him strangely, “What-”
“In case you haven’t noticed, although I have no idea why. But,” He pointed at her, “You’re producing an electric blue energy and if you don’t calm down it will react and cause a huge mess.”
“Hm?” Dannie finally looked down at her hands only to gawk at them. Duzell was right her hands were engulfed in this electric blue light. “Wha-What...what is this?”
“That’s your energy.” Duzell simply answered.
“Or another term for it would be your powers.”
Dannie’s eyebrows rose, “P-Powers...?”
“Yes.” Duzell nodded and subconsciously moved closer to her, “In short, what happened to you is that you now have powers. You...” He paused for a second before he finished cautiously, “have become an Eardian.”
Dannie’s heart stiffened as her eyes shot wide open. “Wha-” She then practically screamed, “WHAT!?”
When Dannie screamed Duzell winced, but was on his toes when he saw her electric energy burst out of her. He pounced towards her in order to cover her when her energy went into the fixtures and caused them and the lights to dangerously pop.
Dannie yelped in surprise, but subconsciously held onto his vest. However, just as quickly as it happened it stopped. When it did the two noticed that the room was completely dark, the only source of light was the open door.
Duzell sighed with relief when he learned nothing major had happened. However, he hurled a glare down at the girl. “This was exactly why I told you to calm yourself down!”
Dannie returned the harsh glare. “Well, excuse me! How exactly am I supposed to calm myself down when I just get told that!? I mean, me,” She placed a hand over her chest, “an Eardian?! Honestly, I’m still wrapping my head around you being an Eardian and now suddenly I’m one?!” Groaning, she held her head and shook it. “That just can’t be possible!”
“Well, believe me it is.” Duzell retorted, releasing her from his hold. He leaned down to stare her straight in the eyes, “What you went through last night is almost exactly what had happened to me when my powers were unsealed.”
Her heart stilled. “What?” Dannie’s eyes abruptly followed the blue-haired man as he ventured out back into the living room. She followed him, “Really? You went through something like that?”
“Yes.” He replied, turning to face her. The two now stood in the middle of the living room. “Obviously I didn’t always have these powers, before I became like this my abilities basically consisted of me being able to communicate with ghosts and animals. That was mainly it. But then a year ago when I turned sixteen my powers were unsealed because I also got mixed up with a fight with one of those monsters that would have killed my whole family if I didn’t do something.”
“So I went through the same painful transformation that you had. Then once it was said and done I also didn’t want to believe that this had really happened, that I had truly become an Eardian. The reality of it all didn’t hit me until I actually had to use my Eardian abilities to take down one of those monsters or else be killed and allow it to eat what I was trying to protect. So again, believe me with everything that I had experienced up until this point, all of this is the truth.”
Dannie’s heart raced anxiety as the blue-haired man reached the end of his tale. Now panting, she slowly began to back away while she shook her head. “I still can’t...this just can’t-”
“Argh! Will you get it through that head of yours?!” Scowling with slight irritation, Duzell marched up to the girl and grabbed her by the cheeks. “Look, you!” He forced her to look up at him, disregarding the girl’s startled expression, the Animal Eardian barked on. “I’m sorry, but all of this is true! You’re an Eardian just like me, which is why you suddenly have this new appearance. I know this is a hard pill to swallow, but trust me this is all real! I was there when we determined that you were one and I was there when your powers got unsealed. The powers have chosen you to be the next hero!” He heard her grunt in dismay. But Duzell saw a certain gleam in her eyes the urged him to continue. “But deep down you know this is true. No matter how many times you pinched or slapped yourself you saw the reality right in the face. You, Ms. Silver Hair, are a real, full blown Eardian.”
Dannie stared at the blue-haired man long and hard and slowly began to tremble. His stance, the seriousness in his tone and expression, she could feel that he was telling her the truth. But he was right, deep down part of her knew that this was real. This transformation happened right after that monster appeared and right after Duzell told her about the Eardians and that he was searching for the other members. It was too much of a coincidence.
Releasing a distressed breath, Dannie’s legs gave out as she plopped down on the floor. This action startled Duzell.
“Hey.” He gently said with concern.
“I just can’t believe this.” Dannie murmured to herself, lowering her gaze to look at the floor.
Duzell’s ears twitched at her comment, but took note of her trembling body. Sympathizing with the girl, the Animal Eardian sighed lightly and sat down in front of her. “I really am sorry about this.” He met her gaze as he admitted, “To be frank, I was hoping we wouldn’t get you anymore involved with this than you were.”
“But why me?” Dannie practically yelped, gesturing her hands towards herself. “Why was I chosen?”
Merely shrugging, Duzell answered, “I don’t know. That’s a question I’m still asking myself. But,” He spread his hands, “the powers have spoken and all we can do is either comply or not comply. If you’re anything like me it’s definitely hard not to comply after fighting those things after a while.”
“How though?” Dannie hid her face in her palms and shook her head, “How is this even possible?”
“Heh, the legend tells you how.” Duzell roughly replied. “The original Eardians had their powers sealed and their abilities would remain dormant throughout the bloodline. So in short, you and I,” He waved a finger between her and him, “are descendants of the original Eardians.”
Dannie’s eyebrows rose, “Descendants?”
Duzell nodded, “Yup.” He then snorted, “But I don’t think I need to tell you how the original Eardians got their powers, since the legend plainly states it.”
Gasping sharply, Dannie replied, “The Heavens and the Elemental Dragons. Whoa, wait a minute!” She waved her hands towards him, “Are you telling me that the Elemental Dragons actually exist?!” ′Sure, I can believe that the Heavens exist, but...the dragons?′
“Well, duh.” Duzell bluntly retorted, “If the Eardians exist then you can bet that the Elemental Dragons do as well.”
Her eyes shot wide open in astonishment, “No way.” The silver-haired maiden suddenly arched a brow as a thought came to her. “How can you be so certain though? The dragons could have just an altered part of the story.”
“No, trust me, it’s not just a random thing someone put in for kicks.” The Animal Eardian commented with high assurance. “They exist. They were the ones that have been training and helping me all this time. I was also with them when they unsealed your powers and only the Elemental Dragons and the Heavens can unleash the Eardians.”
Lowering her gaze, Dannie took that into consideration.
“You also just saw one of the Elemental Dragons a moment ago.” Duzell pointed out.
“What!?” The silver-haired maiden snapped her awestruck gaze back up at him. “Are you serious? I did? Really?”
“Yup, you know that woman you saw me talking to earlier on the big screen?”
Fidgeting at the reminder, Dannie gaped out, “Oh, yeah! The woman with that grayish blue colored skin.” Her eyes went wide with realization, “Wait! Are you telling me that woman was-”
“Yes.” Duzell nodded, “That woman was actually one of the Elemental Dragons, a sky dragon to be more specific.”
“But she looked human!” Dannie abruptly defended, stunned with what she had heard. “Well, minus the gray skin.”
“Yeah.” The Animal Eardian blankly commented with light humor in his tone. “Not something you would expect when you hear someone say dragon, right?”
Dannie shook her head, “Definitely not.”
“That’s honestly what I thought when I first saw them.” He admitted, but tilted his head as he added. “But, then again, the legend didn’t really go into any specifics of what the Elemental Dragons actually looked like. We all just assumed they looked one particular way.
Bobbing her head, Dannie had to agree. “That’s true.”
“Now I can’t speak for every dragon in the universe. But as far as the Elemental Dragons go, they can alter their forms in order to hide their existence. One of the forms, and one that they prefer, is a human like appearance that features their dragon clan colors. They prefer it since that’s their base form so it takes less energy and doesn’t attract any attention, they only go into their big monster forms if it is truly necessary.”
“Oh.” Dannie simply replied, still astonished by this information. “But why hide their existence? Is it so it doesn’t cause a panic among us humans?”
“Pretty much, they thought it would be for the best to keep their worlds hidden. That way they can work in peace without causing an alarm, I mean, could you imagine if the human world knew that the dragons existed? People would be putting themselves at risk just to find their villages, the dragons would also be on everyone’s watch list so if a situation like this arose and if anyone caught notice of it there would be immediate panic.”
“Yeah.” She softly agreed, “That would definitely be hair raising situations.”
A thought came to Dannie and she asked curiously. “So, how did the dragons determine that you and I were Eardians? Did they automatically know?”
“No, they didn’t. They basically searched for people with very abnormal abilities and looked to see if they had a crest.”
“Crest?” Dannie eyed him strangely.
“You see, when the Elemental Dragons and the Heavens sealed the original Eardians’ powers they placed a crest onto the seal. A crest that would only be visible when the next Eardian has been chosen. That’s where the line the powers will reveal the next Eardian comes from, because that is basically what happened. The powers have chosen you and me and it revealed it to the Elemental Dragons by making the crest visible to them.”
“Here.” Duzell grunted as he stood up. “Let me show you.”
Her eyes following him, Dannie slowly stood up as she watched the Animal Eardian move to one of the end-tables. He opened one of the drawers and pulled out some type of magnifying glass with an electronic handle with buttons and a dial.
“What is that?” She pointed at the device with an arched brow. “A magnifying glass?”
“It looks like one doesn’t it?” Duzell quizzed, knowing that was the case. Turning to face her, he held up the device. “It may look like one, but it’s not. This is called an X-ray Glass.”
“Yup, just as the name suggests it’s a device that can look inside your body just like the ones at the hospitals, only it’s portable. However,” He tapped the device, “this X-ray Glass can also detect any abnormal things that are inside your body.”
“Abnormal things?” Tilting her head, Dannie asked curiously, “Like what?”
“Allow me to demonstrate.” Duzell turned on the device and held it up to his forearm.
Dannie took that as a cue to move closer to him. Keeping her eyes on the glass, she now stood just a few inches in front of the Animal Eardian. She gasped, “Whoa!”
The glass revealed the inside of his forearm like an actual X-ray machine. It showed not only his bones, but also a misty looking white lines that appeared to be actually moving in his arm, like some type of wind.
“What are those misty white lines?” She asked, pointing at the glass.
“That is my energy.”
“Whoa, really!? Dannie gaped out, her eyes darting up at him. “Are you serious?”
Duzell nodded, “Dead serious. This device can help you see the energy that is circulating in your body, to see if someone placed a spell on you or if you’ve been poisoned. You know those type of abnormal things.”
“Wow, that is actually pretty darn cool.” The silver-haired maiden praised with a satisfied nod.
“And with this I’ll show you the crest, since it’s classified as a spell. So this thing will detect it. I’ll show you mine first.” The Animal Eardian informed her as he held the glass in front of his chest.
Once the device was there it revealed the inside of his chest and right where his heart was that was where the crest was present. The crest shined a bright orange and it was in the shape of a shield and had random images of animals set in the center.
“Whoa!” Dannie exclaimed, getting a closer look. “So that’s the crest?”
Merely nodding, Duzell answered, “That it is.”
“But what’s with the random animals? For a crest that the Elemental Dragons and the Heavens created I would have expected to see something related to them.”
“That’s because my powers have already been unsealed.”
“The Elemental Dragons told me this just recently, but when the powers are sealed the crest has the shield shape but the image carved inside are two heads with a pair of angel wings behind the heads. One is the shape of a dragon while the other is in the shape of a human’s with a halo above its head.”
“Oh, so when the powers have been unsealed that image changes?” Dannie questioned, assuming she was right.
“Yup, that’s right. The image changes to reveal what element that specific Eardian is. So,” Duzell gestured his other hand towards the glass, “you can probably take a guess of what this crest is showing.”
Dannie nodded, “Yes, that you’re the Animal Eardian?”
“That’s right. So now,” He moved the X-ray Glass away from his chest, “let’s take a look at yours.” Swiftly, he dug his hand back into the drawer where he got the device from. Out of the drawer he pulled out a cord.
Eying him oddly, the silver-haired maiden questioned, “What’s the cord for?”
“To hook the device up to the TV so you can see the image on the screen.” He gave her a knowing gaze, “It would be hard to see the crest when you basically have to bend your head all the way down in order to see the image.”
“Oh, haha.” Dannie lightly chuckled, now rubbing the back of her neck. “That’s true.”
Duzell glanced at her, acknowledging her words before going back to his task. He went over towards the TV, hooked one end of the cord into the TV and plugged the other end into the bottom of the device’s handle. The Animal Eardian fiddled with the buttons and dial until he had the X-ray Glass set up the way he wanted it.
“Okay.” With his attention now on the silver-haired maiden, Duzell made his way back towards her. “Let’s take a look.”
He held the glass up in front of her chest, once there it an image showed up on the glass. The two instinctively looked up at the TV screen to see the exact image that the glass was showing.
“This is much better.” Duzell commented with slight pride.
“I’ll say.” Dannie agreed, thankful that she didn’t have to struggle to see the image on the glass.
The glass revealed the inside of her chest and just like Duzell they saw a crest where the heart was located. This crest shined a bright sky blue and it was in the shape of a shield. However, the image carved in the center was a cloud with a lightening bolt striking out of the cloud.
“Wow.” The silver-haired maiden was amazed by the sight, “So that’s my crest?”
“Yup, that it is.”
“I see a different image in the center.” Dannie leaned forward, attempting to get a better view.
“Yes, a cloud and a lightening bolt.” Duzell murmured, slipping into his thoughts.
“So, what does that mean?”
“Well, I can only think of one thing that associates with the clouds and lightening bolts.” Duzell glanced up at the ceiling. “The sky.”
“The sky?” Dannie’s eyebrows rose, “So could that mean that I’m...the Sky Eardian? That is one of the five Eardians.”
“I would assume so.” The Animal Eardian lowered his gaze to meet hers. “Don’t know any other Eardian that would have clouds represent them.”
“So that would mean that your powers will associate with anything that involves the sky.”
“Like lightening bolts?”
Duzell’s eyes went wide as it dawned on him. “The weather.” Eagerly, he informed, “Your powers may be weather related.”
“Weather related?” Dannie eyed him mysteriously, “How?”
“I think a couple examples would be making tornadoes with your own hands. Creating random fogs and making electric bolts come out of your hands.” He aimed his thumb towards the bathroom, “Like what we saw in the bathroom a few minutes ago.”
“Oh.” Instinctively gazing down at her hand, Dannie flexed it. “That would make sense.” She looked up at the screen again and her face wrinkled with puzzlement. “But,” Her eyebrow rose curiously, she pointed at the screen, “why was yours shining orange and mine’s blue?” She glanced up at him, “Is that a code for something?”
“Actually, yes. That orange and blue are our powers.”
Duzell nodded, “Yes, but they only light up like that and in those colors when we are in these Eardian forms.”
“What?” Dannie pointed at herself, “Wait! Are you saying this form isn’t permanent?”
“No, it’s not. This form is just something you can transform into, but you’ll always be able to revert back to your original looks.”
“So this Eardian form is just a secret identity? Like those superheroes on TV and in the comics?”
Sighing in relief, Dannie replied, “Thank goodness. Otherwise I would have to figure out a way to explain this to my parents.” ′I would also hate to imagine going to school like this, it definitely wouldn’t have left a good impression that’s for sure.′
“Well, at some point you may need to tell your parents about this.” Duzell advised her before he gently shook his head, “But we’ll wait on that.” ′I have a feeling this would be the last thing that her parents would want to hear after she gets home.′
“Okay, we saw what we needed to see.” Pulling the device away from Dannie’s chest, Duzell shut the X-ray Glass. “So I’ll put this away and we’ll move on to the next thing.” He strolled over towards the TV.
“Which would be?”
Tossing her an obvious glance, he snorted, “What do you think? To teach you how to control these powers of yours and have you learn how to go back and forth between your original looks and your Eardian form.”
“Ah! Right, of course.” Dannie flinched when he reminded her of that. ′That would definitely be a good thing to get into.′
“So,” After unplugging the device from the TV, Duzell instructed the girl. “While I’m putting this away, why don’t you get changed. I doubt you would want to train in your pajamas, right?”
Immediate blush appeared on Dannie’s cheeks when she remembered that. “Uh, right. So...um...” Tilting her head curiously, she asked, “are there even clothes for me to change into?”
“Yes, I don’t know if you saw it, but there’s a cedar chest in the room you woke up in.” Duzell aimed his finger down the hall, “In that chest is a change of clothes that the sky dragon you saw earlier put in there specifically for you.”
“Oh, awesome.” Dannie praised as she turned towards the hall. Giving him a small smile, she replied, “Then I’ll be right back.”
“When you’re changed meet me outside so we can begin.”
“Alright.” She motioned to walk away.
“Oh!” Duzell suddenly spoke up, immediately grasping her attention again. He met her gaze and advised, “While you’re changing I would suggest you come up with a name for yourself.”
Suddenly arching a brow, Dannie asked, “A name? Why?”
“Well, try saying your name.”
“Huh? What would that-”
“Just try it.” The Animal Eardian retorted with a quick eye roll. He eyed her blankly, “Believe me, you’ll understand what I mean.”
Dannie caught a certain tone in Duzell’s voice that actually got her curious, but still kind of mystified by his request. “Um...okay. I’m-” Her mouth opened to say her name but for some odd reason the words vanished. Startled by the result, Dannie paused for a moment and placed a hand on her throat.
However, she tried again this time with more force. “My name’s-”
Once again the words vanished, it literally felt like every time she attempted to say her name something stopped her. Like whatever this was it was taking the words right from her.
“What the heck?” She murmured, gazing down at the floor strangely. ′Why can’t I say my name?′
“Can’t say your name, can you?” Duzell asked, knowing the answer. “You know it, but for some reason you can’t say it?”
Raising her mystified and perplexed expression, she admitted. “Yes, I can’t.” It suddenly dawned on her as she commented, “But I take it you know why that is?”
“Obviously, considering I also can’t say my actual name when I’m in this form. I also can’t say your name when you are in this form, even though I know it as well.”
“Oh.” Dannie replied, even though she was somewhat expecting that it still surprised her. “So, this is because of our Eardian forms?”
“Yes, when we are in our Eardian forms we literally can not say our birth given names. Even the people who know about our actual names and know we have these forms also cannot say our birth names when we are in our Eardian forms. The Elemental Dragons and the Heavens added an extra spell to make sure that we couldn’t in order to keep us safe.”
“Oh, right, since if we revealed our real names people could come after us. So it could potentially not only put us in danger but the lives of the people around us.”
“Exactly, so they’re trying to make sure we don’t accidentally slip them out. The only way for us to say our actual names is if we are talking about ourselves as a separate person.”
“I kind of figured that. So, you’re basically telling that I have to name my Eardian form?” Dannie raised her arms, gesturing his attention towards her new looks.
Duzell nodded, “Yes, once you figure out a name all you have to do is introduce yourself with that name in your Eardian form and this form will be forever known as that particular name.”
“I see.” She replied, gazing down at the floor about to slip into her thoughts.
“Also that whole can not say name thing applies to your original form as well.” The Animal Eardian continued to inform, getting her attention again. “Once you name your Eardian form when you revert back to your original looks you can not say your Eardian name unless we are talking about it as if they are a separate person.”
“Whoa, they are really crossing their T’s on this one aren’t they.” Dannie commented in astonishment.
“Yup, but you won’t hear me complain about it. I’d rather have them take extra precautions than none at all and we end up getting our families in deep trouble because of it.”
Dannie nodded, “Can’t argue with that.” Sudden curiosity struck her and asked, “How did you come up with yours?” She pointed at him, “Duzell Wolverine. How did you come up with that?”
“Um, well.” Glancing up at the ceiling, Duzell crossed his arms, “In the legend the original Animal Eardian’s last name was Wolverine, Reynard Wolverine, and since I’m basically his descendant I figured to keep that the same.” Lowering his gaze, he met hers, “But Duzell was a name the dragons gave me, since I honestly couldn’t come up with anything. Duzell in the dragon language meant ‘warrior’,” He merely shrugged, “so they thought that was a good fit.”
The Sky Eardian hummed as she went into her thoughts.
“But you can honestly name this form anything you want.” Duzell reassured her, “Whatever you think would fit your form.”
Dannie merely nodded, “Okay.”
“Well, while you’re thinking about that why don’t you go change and I’ll meet you outside, okay?” Duzell re-instructed her, “I really want to get cracking on this so you don’t have to stay here another day.”
“Ah, right.” She quickly replied and turned towards the hallway. “I’ll go get changed.” She then dashed back to the room she was originally in.
Duzell exhaled when she was out of sight. ′Wow, she took in all this better than I did. Maybe it did help that I was here, someone who has gone through and experienced all this. Though I suppose it also helped that she actually saw one of those monsters and saw me fight it. It already gave her the hint that something big was going on.′ “Anyway,” He tucked the X-ray Glass back into the drawer of the end-table, “hopefully this will go smoothly. I want her to get home as soon as she can.” ′I have a feeling her parents are freaking out about now. So we need to get her back to normal so she can get home and put their minds at ease. The last thing we want is for them to venture out in places they shouldn’t because of this.′
As Duzell cleaned up the area, Dannie was back in the room she woke up in. Once she entered the room her eyes landed on the cedar chest that was at the end of the bed. She bent down and opened the chest and inside she found a whole bunch of clothes, but up on top was a pair of clothes with a note on it.
Eying it strangely, the Sky Eardian picked up the note and read it. “Dannie, I’m sure by this point Duzell has told you the basics of what has happened to you. From here on out the road ahead won’t be an easy one, but Duzell, us Elemetnal Dragons and the Angels above will be behind you every step of the way giving you as much support as you need. So rest assured, you are not alone in this.”
Dannie couldn’t suppress the smile when she read that. “That’s certainly good to know.” She saw more to the note and continued to read, “Now underneath this note is a pair of clothes that I had personally made for you for your training, the clothes are made of specially made material that will protect you. It may not look or feel like it, but these clothes are tough like armor so not even a sword can rip through these clothes. But once I get to the cabin and meet you in person I will help you figure out a clothing idea for your Eardian form. But in the meantime put these training clothes on and do your best. Sincerely, Emiko Skokie.”
A sharp gasp instantly left her when she read the name. “Wait, Emiko?” Dannie looked away from the note as she recalled a memory from yesterday. “Wasn’t that bluebird, the one that was with Duzell, called Emiko? Is that a mere coincidence?” She sat in silence for a moment before she abruptly shook her head. “Oh, I’ll think about that at another time.”
Setting the note down on the bed, Dannie went into the chest and pulled out the clothes that were underneath the note. Getting up onto her feet, she strolled over to the bed and set the clothes down on it. The clothes consisted of a sky blue and white top and black pants, Dannie unfolded them and laid them out on the bed to get a better look. The sky blue and white top was basically all white with sky blue trimming and it looked like it was half of a Japanese kimono, only it was just the top. The next thing that she laid right next to the kimono top looked like a corset only it was longer and it looked it was something she could just slip on it also came with a white sash that she could wrap around it. Next to the corset and sash was a black body suit only the top part of the suit had a tank top look.
“Wow.” Dannie propped her hands on her hips, “They have quite the set up here. Hm.” She hummed when took note of something, “Wonder if there are any shoes that go with this? Or am I going barefoot?” Instinctively, she strolled back to the cedar chest and looked inside.
A mere chuckle escaped her when she saw a black pair of boots that were where the clothes originally were. “Well, that answers my question.” Grabbing, the boots and moved back to the bed. She set the boots down on the floor and looked back down at the clothes. “Alright, let’s get dressed.” Dannie pointed at the body suit, “Guess I’m putting this one first.”
She began to undress herself and went off into her thoughts. ′A name, huh? Wonder what I should name this form?′ Her eyes lit up when an idea came to mind, she smiled, “I think I have an idea.”
“Come on!” A young ghost girl squealed with excitement as she flew in the sky. She looked back at her friends, “Catch me if you can!”
The boys and girls laughed as they chased after the faded girl.
“Oh we’ll get you alright! Just you wait!”
More laughter echoed throughout the abandoned playground as the ghost children slowly began to appear. Some were playing out in the fields, some were playing over in the sand and while others were playing on the equipment.
Alex watched the other kids as he sat over by the swing set. “Lively as ever.”
“Alex?” He heard a young girl call out to him.
Shifting his gaze, he found a five-year-old girl floating up next to him. “Oh, hey, Yuna. What’s up?”
“Why are you over here?” She asked curiously, “Don’t you want to play with us?”
“Yeah, of course I do. I’m just relaxing for a bit.”
Cutely tilting her head, Yuna asked, “Why?”
Alex sighed and gave her a small smile, “I had a bit of a rough morning, so I need some time to unwind.”
“Oh.” The girl’s face softened with sympathy. “Missing your mommy?”
Alex was shocked that she saw right through him. But his own gaze softened, knowing she has felt the same way. “Yeah, I do. So just give me a moment and I’ll be playing with you guys in no time.”
Yuna smiled, “Okay.” The girl was about to turn to fly away, but stopped dead in her tracks when she heard car doors. She tossed her attention towards the street only to gasp in shock when she saw an older man and woman with one teenage boy and one boy that looked to be Alex’s age. “Those are fleshes!”
“Huh?” Alex snapped his interest on her.
Yuna noticed the boy’s stare and pointed towards the street, “Look over there.”
The boy hummed, following the girl’s finger and gaped when he saw the people. “Holy dragon! Those are fleshes.”
“What! Fleshes!?” Some of the ghost children yelled out who were nearby.
Those shouts caught the attention of the rest of the ghost children and were all stunned and frightened by their appearance.
“Oh no! What are they doing here?”
“You don’t think they’re planning on taking away our playground again, do you?”
“Hmph, well if they do they’ll have to get through me first!”
Alex squinted his eyes and gasped when he immediately recognized the live humans. ′Wait those are-′
“Come on guys!”
He heard one of the ghost boys encourage and watched the children as they all hardened their gazes on the fleshes.
“Let’s scare them off so they won’t dare to try and take this park from us!”
“Yeah, let’s do it!”
Fear struck through Alex as he shot up from the swing and zipped between the ghost children and the fleshes. “Wait! Don’t scare them off!”
“What!” The boys gaped out before one challenged.
“Why shouldn’t we? If we don’t do something they’ll-”
“They’re not going to take away our park!” Alex defended.
“What? How would you know? You don’t even know-”
“Come on you guys, use those brains of yours. Do they really look like people who have the authority to decide this parks fate? They are just three boys and one girl who are not wearing any suits or construction uniforms. They look like normal townies.”
“So!? That doesn’t mean anything.” One of the girls argued, “They could still be plotting something!”
Alex scowled furiously before he shouted, “They’re Dannie’s family you idiot!”
“WHAT?!” The children darted their interest towards the group, “Dannie’s family!?”
“Yes!” Alex snapped his finger towards the live humans, “That’s Dannie’s parents and brothers! So if you scare them Dannie will no doubt holler at us.”
One of the boys hummed with uncertainty before he gave Alex an odd look. “Are you sure?”
Alex merely rolled his eyes. “Duh, you nimrod, of course I’m sure! I know her family anywhere!”
“But,” Yuna spoke up with immediate fear, “why is her family here?”
“I don’t know.” Alex looked back at the family, now feeling very nervous. “But I’m getting a bad feeling about it.”
Over by the entrance to the abandoned park Wyatt, Aaric, Juliana and Felix gathered up and cautiously looked around the playground.
“Aaric,” Wyatt began anxiously, “why did you want us to come here?”
“To get some help.” Aaric simply answered.
Wyatt eyed his son strangely, “Huh?”
Ignoring his father’s response for a moment, Aaric shifted his interest towards his mother. “Mom, did you bring the stuff.”
“Um, yes.” Juliana nodded and carefully handed her son the notebook and bag of colored pencils. “Here.”
Aaric gladly took the materials from her.
“So, what exactly are you going to do?” Felix quizzed his older brother with an arched brow.
“I’m going to try and communicate with the ghosts.”
“What?!” Juliana gasped out while Wyatt and their youngest son gawked at him. Immediate fear erupted as Juliana hastily reacted, “Aaric, I don’t think that’s a great idea!”
“I’m not so sure about this either.” Wyatt retorted. “We don’t know what these ghosts here are capable of and we already have one kid missing because of a ghost.” He shook his head, “We certainly don’t want another.”
“Oh, relax.” Aaric countered with a quick eye roll. “If the ghosts in this park were really that dangerous, I doubt Dannie would still be coming here.”
“But still there might be more than just the ghost children here.” Juliana whimpered, not wanting her son to go through with his plan.
Aaric rolled his eyes, “I really doubt that. Besides,” He averted his interest towards the playground, “this isn’t the first time I’ve done this.”
“What.” Juliana gaped out in a soft whisper, not pleased with her son’s abrupt confession. “Aaric, what do you mean by that?”
Aaric exhaled when he heard the instant worry in his mother’s voice. “Mom, please, would you just relax.” He shot her a warm, reassuring smile and waved, “Just trust me, I got this covered.”
“Aaric.” Mrs. Heart reacted softly and was about to run after him when someone grabbed her shoulder.
Darting her gaze upwards, she found her husband staring at her with a stern expression. Without saying a word, he merely shook his head mentally telling her to not follow.
“Stay back and let Aaric handle this. As much as I don’t like the idea of possibly putting him in danger, this might be our only way to find Dannie.”
Juliana groaned in dismay, even though she knew he had a point. But even though her fears were tugging at her heart, she stayed put and placed her hand on her husband’s for strength. ′Please, be careful, Aaric.′
Alex and the ghost children merely watched the teenaged boy as he continued to stroll up to their playground. His face narrowed with determination when he stopped right in front of the equipment.
Then raising his arms, Aaric called out, “Ghosts of the abandoned park, I come in peace!”
“Oh seriously?” One of the ghost girl’s roughly complained while crisscrossing her arms, “Is that really necessary? We’re not aliens ya know?”
“Well, how else is he supposed to let us know that he means no harm? Hm?” Alex retorted.
“Allow me to introduce myself.” Aaric spoke up, grasping their attention, “I’m Aaric Heart, Dannie’s older brother.” He waved his hand back towards his family, “The people behind me are our mother, father and younger brother. I apologize if we are interrupting anything, but since we know Dannie comes here a lot to hang with you all we figured you’d be the best people to ask about our dilemma.”
“Dilemma?” Alex recited with a raised brow. ′Why do I not like the sounds of that?′
“First, before I continue can you give me a sign that you ghosts are present here?” Aaric asked. “Unfortunately, unlike my sister, Dannie, my parents, brother and I can neither see or hear you. So please give us any sign, this is very urgent!”
“Whoa.” One of the ghost boys commented. He crossed his arms and eyed the teenager with concern. “That’s a very serious face.”
“Oh no!” A ghost girl exclaimed with immediate terror. “You guys don’t think something may have happened to Dannie, do you?”
All the children gasped while Alex’s eyes shot wide open.
“Could that really be it?”
“It must be! Or else why would her family show up here of all places?”
Alex jumped closer to the live teenager and darted his gaze around. His eyes landed back on the swings, an idea struck him and he flew off towards the swing set.
“Whoa! What’s the deal, Alex?”
“Yeah, what’s with the rush?”
“Duh!” Alex retorted loudly and tossed the confused children a glare. “To give him a sign so I can help him!”
Aaric, Felix, Wyatt and Juliana watched the playground, looking for any signs of movement.
“Hm, nothing’s happening.” Felix pointed out and looked up at his parents, “Are the ghosts even here?”
“Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.” Wyatt answered his young son. “Although,” He tightened his grip on his wife’s shoulder, “I really hope those ghost children are here, we really do need the extra help.”
“And hopefully it’s just the ghost children.” Juliana reminded in distress. ′A vicious ghost is the last thing we need right now! We’ve run into plenty of those to last a life time.′
Suddenly the sound of chains shaking caught their attention. Aaric, Wyatt, Juliana and Felix darted their gazes towards the sound and gaped at the sight of a swing violently shaking.
“Whoa! There really was one here!” Felix exclaimed in amazement
Alex was the one over by the swing set, rattling a swing. He kept his firm gaze on Aaric as the teenager came closer to him.
“Okay,” Aaric began, now standing right in front of the swing. He pointed at the swing, “Are you indeed a ghost, shake the chain twice if you are.”
Alex obeyed and shook the chain two times. ′Probably wants to make sure they weren’t imagining things.′
Nodding, pleased with the answer, Aaric went on. “Good, now,” He raised the notebook, “since I can’t hear you I have a notebook here so you can communicate with me. So when I ask a question pick a colored pencil from the bag and write your answer. Got it?”
Swiftly, Alex grabbed the seat of the swing and bobbled it back and forth, making the swing look like it was nodding.
The four gawked at the swing.
“Wow, that ghost really wants to communicate.” Felix murmured.
“Maybe that ghost has something to say.” Wyatt suggested with high hopes, “Maybe something that has to do with Dannie.”
Juliana gaped at her husband’s suggestion and took the quick initiative to make her way towards her eldest son.
“Ah, Juls?” Wyatt hastily called out her name. He glanced over towards Aaric and got the vibe of where she was heading. He tossed his gaze down at Felix, “Let’s go, Felix.”
Felix merely nodded before the two followed in pursuit.
Aaric smiled, “Glad to see that you’re very eager to help us. So, first,” He opened the notebook and held it and the pencil bag out. “Could you please tell me your name? So we know who we are speaking to?”
Alex dropped the swing and grabbed the notebook from him and pulled out an orange colored pencil. He then wrote his name, while he did so the other ghost children migrated towards him and the living humans.
Aaric watched the ghost write in the notebook while the rest of the Heart family came up behind him.
Once Alex had his name written, he held up the notebook for the teenager to read.
Aaric read out loud, “Alex Fredrickson?” He suddenly gasped at the name.
“Wait!” Juliana abruptly gaped, catching their attention. Wrinkling her face with astonishment, she waved her finger at the ghost, “Isn’t that the name of the ghost that Dannie always hangs out with?”
Instinctively, Alex nodded, but hastily went to the notebook when he remembered that they couldn’t see him. He wrote in the notebook and showed it to Aaric.
“Yes, I am.” Aaric read.
Wyatt and Juliana released a sigh of relief.
“Well, that certainly puts me more at ease.” Juliana commented with a hand over her heart.
“Yes, since if he’s here then we know it’s safe for us to be here.” Wyatt agreed, crisscrossing his arms pleased with this turn of events.
“Oh, knock it off with this chatter!” A ghost boy complained as he flew up to Dannie’s father. Crossly, he demanded, “Just tell us what happened to Dannie before I give you a wedgie!”
“Hey!” Alex yelled, pointing his orange pencil at the boy. He caught the boy flinching before he scolded, “Don’t even think about it or I’ll make you regret it!”
Aaric, Wyatt, Juliana and Felix furrowed a brow when they saw the orange colored pencil point in their direction.
“Um...just where is that ghost pointing?” Felix questioned, following the direction the pencil was pointing.
Alex flinched, realizing his actions. Hastily, he wrote in the notebook and showed it to them.
Aaric read, “Sorry, the other ghost kids here are getting a little anxious and really want to know if this has something to do with Dannie or not.” He grunted softly and answered the ghost, “Yes, this definitely has something to do with Dannie.”
Narrowing his gaze, not liking the sounds of this, Alex wrote some more in the notebook and had the teenager read.
“What’s going on? What happened to Dannie?” Aaric exhaled after he read the ghost’s question out loud. “Unfortunately, Alex,” He shrugged, “we don’t particularly know, because she’s missing.”
Alex and the other ghost children raised their eyebrows with shock.
“Yes.” Juliana voiced in and gazed over in the ghost’s direction. Her face softened as her fears resurfaced, “She’s been missing since last night and we haven’t seen one trace of her all night.”
“So we were hoping,” Wyatt added with high hopes. Cautiously, he asked, “if maybe you children have seen her at all or have any ideas where she could have gone.”
′Missing? Dannie’s missing!?′ Alex thought to himself with his own concerns. He then shifted his interest towards the other ghost children, “Have you guys seen her at all lately?”
They all shook their heads.
“No, not since 6 o’clock last night when you took her home. What about you?”
Alex shook his head, “No, I haven’t seen her since then either.” He wrote his answer down in the notebook and showed it to the Dannie’s family.
Aaric read, “Sorry, none of us have seen her since 6 o’clock last night.”
The Heart family exhaled roughly.
“Are you sure you none of you have seen her since then?” Felix re-asked very anxiously. “I mean, it’s not like you ghosts need to go to sleep so surely there were some of you that stuck around here all night.”
Alex hardened his gaze and furiously wrote in the notebook and showed it to Aaric.
“Sorry, pal! But even though we are ghosts and can’t do normal things anymore doesn’t mean we don’t travel to other places. We do still have families in this town that we are watching out for. So EXCUSE us for wanting to be with them.” Aaric whistled after he read that and glanced down at Felix, “Sounds like you angered him, Felix.”
Felix immediately raised his arms in defense. “Hey! How was I supposed to know that? I’m still new to all this ghost stuff. Usually you, mom, dad or Dannie are dealing with them, not me.”
Wyatt lightly chuckled and moved up next to Felix. Patting his young son by his shoulder, the sports writer replied, “We apologize for Felix. He really doesn’t mean any harm, he’s just worried about Dannie like the rest of us.”
Alex’s face softened and wrote in the notebook and showed it to them.
“I get it.” Aaric read, “So would you mind telling us what exactly happened to Dannie? Maybe we can help out in some other way.”
“Glad you asked, Alex.” Wyatt praised and pointed at the ghost. “That’s something we were going to suggest as well, since...” He sighed as his expression fell, “we don’t think we can go to the police for help. So if you ghost kids can give us a hand that would be definitely be appreciated.”
“Alright.” Aaric released a sigh before his face narrowed with determination. “Here’s what happened.”
Duzell was outside in the meadow setting up two dummies that looked a bit like scarecrows only they looked more like monsters then the cute ones in the farmers’ fields. Once they were set up the way he wanted them, he nodded with approval.
“That takes care of that.” ′Although, I’m not sure we’ll be getting around to using them today. But it’s good to have them out just in case.′
“I’m ready!′ He heard Dannie call out from the direction of the cabin.
Turning completely around to face the log cabin, Duzell spotted the silver-haired maiden as she rushed over to him. Her hands were busy tying the sash around her corset top.
“Sorry it took me so long.” She commented, now standing in front of him. Averting her attention back down at her sash, Dannie added. “The kimono and the corset took me a bit to figure out.” Once she had it tied so twirled around. “Does it look okay?”
Raising a brow, Duzell eyed her strangely, “Why are you asking me? It’s not like it really matters these clothes are just for training.”
“I know, but I just wanted to make sure that nothing was crooked or anything.” Dannie explained still adjusting her top.
The Animal Eardian sighed, “It looks fine, so don’t worry about it.”
“Good.” Dannie replied with relief.
“Anyway,” Crossing his arms, Duzell curiously asked, “did you come up with a name for this form? I would like to call you something other than Ms. Silver Hair.”
Dannie chuckled lightly, “No, I suppose not. Well,” Merrily, she held her hands behind her back and answered, “in the legend the original Sky Eardian’s last name was Shameka, Itzel Shameka. So like you I’m choosing that for this form’s last name, I am a descendant after all so might as well keep it the same.”
“Okay, and the first?”
She smiled brightly, “I’m choosing Regenia.”
Duzell’s eyebrows rose slightly and murmured, loud enough for her to hear him. “Regenia?”
Nodding, she explained, “Regenia is the name of the main character in the superhero cartoon series Serica Jane. That TV show was my ultimate favorite and figured it would fit. The show is based on the Eardian legend with the main character, Regenia, being a combination of all five Eardians.”
“Hm, so Regenia Shameka?” Duzell repeated, making sure he had it right.
“Yes, that’s right.”
He merely nodded, “Alright, if it sounds good to you it’s fine with me. So then,” Duzell gestured his hand towards her, “fully introduce yourself in this form.”
“Okay,” She inhaled deeply before placing her hand on her chest, “my name is Regenia Shameka.”
Just as she revealed her Eardian name her whole body suddenly lit up with her sky blue aura. Dannie gasped when she felt her body abruptly pound sharply. She could feel that tingling sensation she felt earlier intensify as it swirled around inside of her like the wind. The tingling sensation traveled all around the inside of her body from down to her toes and up to her head. Then in one quick flash her eyes lit up with her sky blue aura, but just as quickly as it came it vanished. Once it did the sensations that she had felt immediately disappeared, besides the tingling feeling, that lingered but it wasn’t as intense as it was before.
“Whoa.” She whispered, gazing down at the ground. Holding herself still in awe, Dannie commented, “That was weird.”
“That was the Elemental Dragon’s spell finalizing your name.” Duzell clarified. “So from this day forward your Sky Eardian form will be known as Regenia Shameka.”
“Well then,” Lightheartedly, Dannie rubbed the back of her neck, “that was a lot easier than I thought it would be.”
The Animal Eardian merely snorted before he loudly clapped his hands, “Okay!” His face narrowed with determination, “Now that we have that all taken care of, let’s move on to the basics, Regenia.”
“Yes, all the basics you will need to know as an Eardian.” He raised one finger, “The first thing I will explain is the Eardian Sense.”
“Eardian Sense?” Dannie eyed him questionably.
“To simplify, a warning sense to alarm us when an enemy is nearby.”
“Oh!” The Sky Eardian’s face lit up with realization.
“So when an enemy as appeared your body will literally pound, it will feel like every organ, every bone and every muscle had slammed itself against you.”
“Like how it pounded when my powers awoke?”
“Hm, kind of only the Eardian Sense will be sharper and it won’t repeat unless multiple enemies show up at once.”
Dannie grimaced at the thought, “Does that happen a lot?”
Wrinkling his face with uncertainty, Duzell rubbed the back of his neck. “Not a whole lot, but that could easily change considering the circumstances.”
“Yeah,” She lowered her gaze, “right.” ′That is why my powers have been awakened.′ She looked back up at him, “Is this sense exclusive to the Eardian form?”
“No, the Eardian Sense can happen in both your original form and the Eardian form. We do need to stay alert in both forms.”
Bobbing her head in agreement, Dannie replied, “That’s true.” ′Even without any magical senses the superheroes in the shows and comics always had to be on alert for trouble. Whether it was in their basic forms or in their hero identities, so obviously this would be no different.′
“Anyway,” Duzell crossed his arms, “I figured to inform you about that so when it happens for the first time you’ll know what it is.”
Dannie nodded, “Okay. So is that it or is there more that I should know about?”
“Well, regarding the senses that’s all you need to know. But now we’ll get into how to control you powers then once you get the hang of them I’ll teach you how to revert between your forms. Then once we get that squared away you can go home for the day.”
“Huh?” The Sky Eardian gaped out, “Really? That’s all we’re going to do today?”
“Well, duh.” Duzell scoffed out, “Don’t want to keep you any longer out here than I have to. I do have a life that I would like to get back to today, I’ve been away from home for practically two days.”
“Oh!” Dannie shied her gaze away, feeling sympathy towards him, “I see, your family must be worried about you, huh?”
“Heh, not just that, but we do have some major stuff going on that I would like to help them out with.”
“But I’m sure your family is just as worried, if not more so, than my family.” Duzell eyed her with a hardened gaze, but had a hint of sympathy in his expression. “So I just want to get this part of the basics taken care of so you can get home and ease their minds. Besides that, didn’t you mention that today was your birthday?”
Dannie gasped when he reminded her of that. “Yes, that’s right!” Instinctively, she rubbed her head as the plans for today came floating back. “My friends were going to come over today to celebrate with my family and me.”
“Then again, let’s get this over with as soon as possible so we can both head home.”
Nodding in agreement, Dannie eyed him with determination, “Yes, let’s do it!” ′My family...gosh I can’t imagine the turmoil that they are going through right now. After hearing me scream in pain last night and then most likely seeing me vanish from my room...they must all be so frightened. I must get home before they do something crazy.′ “Okay, so how do these powers work?”
“For starters,” He pointed at her, “inside your body do you feel a tingling sensation?”
Furrowing a brow, she answered with a questionable tone. “Um, yes? But why-” She inhaled sharply when it dawned on her, “Don’t tell that tingling feeling is-”
“Yes.” Duzell nodded, “That tingling feeling is your powers and that is what you are going to learn to control.”
“So the key to controlling them,” Duzell tapped his head, “is your brain. Your powers are basically energy so you’re going to be moving it around like you would with normal energy. The only difference is that you’ll actually be able to feel it.”
Duzell eyed her before he released a minor frustrated sigh when he saw her puzzled expression. “You’ll understand soon enough. So the first thing I’m going to have you do is move that tingling sensation around inside of you. I want you to get a feel for it.”
“Move it around?”
“You’re basically using your brain to move it around so,” He gestured his hand towards her, “try it out.”
Still uncertain about the whole thing, Dannie eyed him strangely. But she nodded, “Um, okay.” She then closed her eyes in order to help her keep her focus on the tingling sensation, her powers. Using her mind, she began to move her powers around in a circle in the pit of her stomach.
“Whoa!” She hastily exclaimed, wrapping her arms around her stomach. Her eyebrows rose in shock, “That...felt really weird.”
“Yeah, it’ll feel like that for a while.” Duzell commented, grasping the girl’s attention. “But once you get the hang of it the sensation will be less noticeable.”
Dannie merely exhaled, “Alright, if you say so.”
“Okay, Regenia.” The Animal Eardian went back to the task at hand. “Now continue doing what you were doing, move that tingling sensation into your toes, your arms, your head, move it everywhere in your body. I want you to keep doing it until you get the hang of it, since once you get the feel for your powers they’ll be easier to control.”
The silver-haired maiden’s expression hardened and nodded with determination. “Got it.”
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