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lady of the harvest part 3

i covered my face with my hands quickly as Painter bounded over moss-covered tree roots and plants and bushes of all kinds. loose twigs and branches smacked me in the face as my dog dragged me through the forest. i stumbled, awkwardly trying to get to my feet so i could at least try to keep up with Painter. i looked ahead and could make out a break in the trees where the sun shone so brightly it made one wince. "PAINTER!! STOP!!" i shouted. finally she did, but i had no idea if it was because she decided to listen to me or because we were on the edge of a massive clearing. i shaded my eyes and looked around; nothing looked familiar, but the scenery was gorgeous. gophers and rabbits frolicked on the grass, of which every blade gleamed in the radiant mid-morning sun. the mountains in the distance, which looked more blue and purple than shades of dark green like they should have, majestically watched over the land. i was jerked back to reality as Painter started sniffing the ground furiously. "jeez, what the hell painter, you're not a blood hound so why are you acting like one?" i wondered aloud. 'follow her, she knows what she's doing.' bella told me inside my head. i sighed. painter padded forward, towards an immense boulder that stood a few feet from the edge of the glade. i cautiously followed her, my curious impulses getting the better of me. at the edge of the boulder she barked suddenly, and started to dig, sniffing even more ferociously. i stooped down beside Painter and helped her to dig. after digging about one foot into the ground my fingers brushed against something hard and rough. after digging some more and brushing away a lot of the loose dirt i discovered that the object was a small box about six by six inches. i dusted off the remains of the soil and noticed that the box was made of what looked like silver. my eyes widened as i traced an intricate flower and leaf design wrapped around the lid and bottom half of the mysterious box. i tried to open it; but alas, it was locked. the box looked old, really old, like it was maybe a hundred years old or more. then a thought dawned on me: the key! my hands shook with anticipation as i grasped the silver key from inside my pocket. i carefully slipped the key inside the lock and slowly started to turn it...to my utter surprise it worked! i cautiously opened up the box...inside, a thin sheet of velvet covered two objects. i lifted it to find a small glass bottle with a piece of paper rolled up inside it, and marvelously bright, clear blue stone that looked like a sapphire but was so clear and more violet than blue that i couldn’t be sure. the stone was round, and gave off an ethereal energy and glow. i carefully and slowly reached my hand inside the box and clutched the stone in my hand...i closed my eyes and instantly a powerful fire rose in my belly and consumed me...i was flying, high above the clouds...my head was spinning and i felt as though the wind pushed and pulled me in every direction. disoriented as i was, i desperately tried to keep ahold of both the box and the stone...i opened my eyes yet i could see nothing; i could see nothing of my surroundings, as they were black as a midnight winter's sky. i dont really remember much after trying to open my eyes; i believe i blacked out, and i cannot recall for how long i was unconscious.
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i awoke to two odd little faces studying my face, and little hands tracing my jawline and my hair. i gasped, bewildered...where am i? i wondered. i seemed to be laying on some sort of fur blanket on a mattress made completely of wood....yet it was still somewhat springy, like my mattress at home. i stuck a hand underneath the blanket and found that indeed the mattress was made of wood, just the springy part was made of thin slivers of wood.
"y’ little ones better not be pestering the poor lass, y' hear? ill smack the livin’ daylights outta ye if ye frighten her." i heard a woman with a really thick accent that sounded like a cross between British and Irish shout from another room. "aye, Mama, she is astirred!" one of the little children to whom the faces that had been observing me sleep belonged answered their mother. as my eyes became accustomed to the dim light of the room i was in, i noted that the little children seemed to be roughly six or seven, and both of them had strawberry blond hair and large golden-brown eyes. they were lanky and lean yet looked strong for their age. as they pranced around the room their curly hair bounced, and-i could not be sure, but-i thought i noticed pointed ears! the woman who had been speaking to them before now entered the room. i assumed she was their mother; she was built the same way the children were yet she had a bit more weight on her; however, she was still beautiful, and moved with a grace that i couldnt believe. her eyes were the same golden-brown that the children's were, but her hair was more of a dark brown and fell elegantly to her small, yet homely hips.

“So, yer awake now, are y’? hit yer head quite hard, didn’ ye?” the woman gave me a warm smile. “Um, yeah, I guess….could you please tell me where I am?” I inquired. “Aye, you’re in Trent, one of the smallest villages in Solum Pulchra. We only ‘ave roughly thirty families livin’ ‘ere at the moment. Would you like somethin’ t’ drink? I just made a fresh pot of mungleberry tea.”
I gave her a baffled look. Mungleberries? Solum Pulchra? Where in the hell was I? I obviously wasn’t in Montana anymore. I felt like Alice, plunged down below the earth to a strange and mystical world. But I didn’t even think I was on planet Earth anymore. “By the way, me love, my name is Adelle, what is your name? Sorry I didn’t introduce myself earlier, darling.” I gave her a shy smile. “My name is Arianna, but you can call me Ri or Rianna if you like. Um, you wouldn’t happen to know how I got here, would you?” I asked. “Why, yes, my son Darren found ye at dusk yesterday, lyin’ on the edge of the Tenebrae Forest. Good thing, too, if he hadn’t who knows who or what could have found ye! You were holding a peculiar stone and box in your hand, which I have hidden for ye in a false bookshelf in this room. You would not want those to fall into the wrong hands, I trust. Now, would ye like something to eat?” I decided not to trust her completely right away, but…well, maybe I would soon. Something about her energy assured me she meant no harm. “Sure. I was wondering…what are the little ones’ names?” Adelle smiled. “The girl’s name is Jade and her brother is Aidan. They are twins, and about to be ten years old soon.” Upon hearing their names, the children giggled, and scampered energetically to a different room of the house. “All right, im goin t’ fix ye yer breakfast now sweetie. Do ye like hot cakes?” I grinned. “Yeah, sounds great. Thank you very much.” I replied.




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