The Hidden Village

October 14, 2008
By , Sacramento, CA
Danger Camilla’s owl Dream screeched as he soared over the Black Pine Hills where she lived. Danger, coming will be here soon. Camilla looked at him worried. She had sent her cats, Jinx and Spark to check the nearby woods but just as a precaution she had also sent Dream. Now it was assured that danger was coming. She walked back with Dream perched on her shoulder. Camilla thought of what the danger could be, trying to push it out of her mind was useless, she could see the signs of animals running away and hear their voices. Camilla walked through her village watching the children play in the mountains. She knew that danger was coming and she had to stop it. Camilla walked to the edge of her village and slipped into her friend Margo’s tent. Camilla watched as Margo, dressed in ridiculous clothing, spun around and looked at her crystal glass ball in front of a dozen children dressed just like her laughing loudly. “I think I can see the future! Children, can you see the future that I see?”Margo said in a sing-song voice. Camilla watched smiling hoping that Margo really would be able to see something of the future, her friend was clairvoyant. Though her gift of shape shifting and talking to animals was wonderful she would need something else to see what danger was coming. Margo then proceeded to start tackling the children then said, “You are dismissed gifted ones!” The children marched out of the tent with huge grins on their faces. Camilla walked closer to Margo then determined to get right down to business said, “I need you to have a vision.” Margo looked at her puzzled and replied, “Camilla, what is wrong? Why would you need a premonition?” “I really need you to have a vision...premonition, whatever, I really need you to,” Camilla said desperately. “Well I need to know what about, I am clairvoyant not a mind reader.” Camilla sighed, she didn’t want to tell Margo about the horrible news, but she wouldn’t get the vision any other way. “Dream, Jinx, and Spark sensed danger.” Margo looked worried then closed her eyes and started concentrating. She was very still for a few moments then she started saying, “Men and women, guns weapons so much destruction. Chains, people run, guns too powerful...tonight come tonight!” Margo opened her eyes, filled with tears, her body shuddering from the horrible vision. Camilla was sure now, “We have to go tell the council!” The council were the most powerful members of the village, they advised the village on what to do in times of crisis. Camilla ran out of the tent while Margo pulled herself out of her ridiculous clothing and followed behind Camilla. The girls reached the house where the council lived by day. Camilla looked up at the huge house and hesitated but then briskly walked into it. Margo looked around then followed Camilla into the large house. Margo had been to the council once before so after a while she led the way. There were many twists and turns and other rooms but finally they reached the council. They were greeted by one of the most powerful members of the council, Faye whose gift was hypnotism. She moved her brown curls behind her ear then said, “What are you two doing here?” “We need to talk to you about something, it is very urgent!” Camilla blurted out. Faye looked at her, and then called the other council members, Jonathan, Joseph, Madeline, and Paige. Faye, staring at them with her piercing black eyes, then said, “What is it?”“Margo had a vision, and Dream,” Camilla started pointing to the hawk perched quietly on her shoulder, “said he saw danger.” Paige, whose gift was telekinesis, said worriedly, “Well what is this danger that you both speak of?” Camilla looked at Margo her eyes imploring her to tell what happened in the vision. Margo stepped forward then took a step forward. She could feel the tears stinging in her eyes as she thought of the horrible vision then said, “People with guns carrying us in chains, it was horrible.” Jonathan, whose gift was invisibility interrupted and said, “That is ridiculous. Our ancestors escaped to this village to get away from the persecution. There is a force field around the village almost no one knows about this place how could we be captured? We are gifted for goodness sakes!” Camilla looked hard and him while Margo looked down in embarrassment. “We know it sounds crazy but it is true!” Camilla insisted. Suddenly there was a huge booming sound outside. They all started running outside when Faye grabbed Camilla’s arm. “Camilla, if anything happens to us...go to the Oracle.” Camilla nodded then ran after the others. Camilla gasped as she saw the men and women that Margo described with guns in their hands. The council had gone to the front of the village and were starting to attack them. Those who didn’t have active gifts moved the children to the back. Camilla growled as she saw one child pushed to the ground blood running down his face and legs. She could feel herself changing, hair started sprouting up on her back and neck, her gentle hands shrunk into paws, her ears jumped out of her head, and she was now fully a wolf. Camilla growled deeply then she attacked the woman who pushed the child down. The woman swung the gun towards Camilla and started shooting. With incredibly amazing speed Camilla darted over to the child. She motioned for him to go back with Margo and the others. The child looked at her thoughtfully then ran back to where Camilla had motioned. Camilla looked back to the child then turned to the woman. The woman’s face was covered in a mask but Camilla knew she was smirking. The woman cocked the gun then fired it again, rapidly. Camilla ran around then leapt up on her back, clawing at the woman and biting her head and shoulders. The woman threw her gun over her shoulder, and hit Camilla in the head. Camilla fell to the ground, her head throbbing. The woman pointed the gun at Camilla again and fired. Camilla roared as the bullet hit her in the shoulder. Camilla pushed herself up but Dream soared down from the sky and started clawing at the woman’s face. Camilla growled and leapt at the woman tackling her to the ground. Dream picked up the woman’s gun in his talons and dragged it over to a bush. Camilla pinned the woman down, bit her, and then moved on. Camilla looked to her right and saw Margo and all the children that had been with her in chains. Camilla bounded over to them and started to attack when a man with one of the guns in his hand held it at Margo’s head and said, “Do anything funny and she dies!” Camilla backed up growling. She flicked her ears and sniffed the air; something was heading towards her from behind. Suddenly she was stabbed in the shoulder with a syringe. Camilla could feel herself going weak and knew she was going to faint soon. Camilla picked up her body and tried to follow the villagers in chains. She stumbled around and finally blacked out. Camilla woke up the next morning her head throbbing but she was no longer a wolf. She looked around but there was nothing, just emptiness the tents, houses, and huts were all burned down but the fire had stopped at the forest. Camilla got up and dusted herself off looking around for any sign of life. Nothing was anywhere though; Camilla called out, Dream, Jinx, Spark? Is anyone there? Please someone!! Camilla sighed then remembered what Faye had said, “Go to the Oracle.”Where was the Oracle though? Luckily though Jinx padded up silently to her and said, All gone, all of them. Why did they do this to us? Camilla frowned then replied, I don’t know all I know is that Faye told me to go to the Oracle. I don’t even know who that is. I don’t know where it is! What am I supposed to do!? Camilla put her hands in her head then sighed she knew she was going to start crying and that made her feel helpless. She hated that feeling. After she cried for a few minutes Jinx said, When I was young my mother told me of the Oracle. She is said to be a magical being that is clairvoyant, not even clairvoyant she knows the past, present, and future. Yet it is beyond your wildest dreams...she tells people whatever they want to know. She doesn’t live here in the Black Pine Mountains but somewhere else. I think a few miles from here. Camilla thought for a few seconds then replied, All right I’m going to find Dream you find Spark then bring her back here. Camilla felt her long thin arms growing hollow and feathers sprouting on them, her head started shrinking, and her mouth protruded into a beak, and finally her feet grew small then extended into talons. Now an owl she flew up into the sky and started looking for Dream. Dream! Where are you? She cried looking for him desperately. After a while of searching she saw an owl perched in the uppermost branches of a tree. On further notice she realized it was Dream. Dream! Come with me. The owl looked behind him then saw Camilla flying towards him. Dream lifted himself up into the air then followed Camilla as she turned around and flew back to where she and Jinx were. Dream and Camilla landed just in time to see Jinx and Spark waiting for them. They landed then Camilla shape shifted back to her original form. We’re going to find that Oracle. Then wordlessly she started walking away from the village she had known her whole life. Camilla looked at the woods around her, they looked like the woods she used to live in but they were completely unfamiliar to her. Dream slept perched on her shoulder while Jinx and Spark followed close at Camilla’s heels. Camilla walked on for a few minutes then realized that she was lost. Camilla climbed up one of the oak trees to the upper most branches then cried out in the language of sparrows, HELP ME! PLEASE, COME TO ME. After awhile of waiting about ten sparrows flew towards Camilla taking perches on the lower branches of the tree. Who are you? One of them asked What do you want? Another asked Quiet she can’t hear us! one other screamed above the rest. Finally they were all quiet. I need to know if you know where the Oracle lives. Camilla said. I know where she lives...I can take you halfway there. Camilla nodded then jumped down from the tree. She followed the sparrows as they flew down closer to her. Could you tell your cats to keep their distance? the sparrow requested politely. Don’t worry they don’t eat meat. A few minutes later the sparrow said, Well this is the halfway mark, I have to let you go. Just keep going in this direction until you see a small hut and that will be her. Goodbye. Thank you! Camilla called back. She walked a little farther and saw the hut that the sparrow described. It was plain white with one window. Stay out here. She told Dream, Jinx, and Spark. All three of them stubborn to the core kept as close to Camilla as possible. Camilla rolled her eyes but entered the cottage. She heard noises from a small room in the corner and followed them. Camilla entered the room and saw a woman in a black cloak eating a plate of grapes reading an old book. “Are you the Oracle?” Camilla asked. The woman looked up and smiled than said, “I was wondering when you were going to come, took you long enough. I wish the sparrows had come the whole way I haven’t seen birds in the longest time.” The woman pulled back her hood to reveal her chestnut hair tied in a bun. “Well, sit down, please,” she said motioning to a chair that was next to her. “Well I’m not really the Oracle, that’s just what they call me. My real name is Ginger but I kind of like Oracle.” “Well I need you to tell me all about-”“Oh it’s all right, I already know about all that. I’m the Oracle remember? Well I can tell you a few things but not everything because that would change your destiny but I can tell you what I am supposed to because that is what is supposed to happen,” Ginger interrupted. “Well those people who took your family and friends are called Rachises. They kill magical creatures or make them slaves and torture them and use them for their own purposes. You have to save them.” “What...? Oh my gosh...I know I have to save them! What if they hurt them I could-” “This is much bigger than them or you. The Rachises have destroyed so many species. Your village holds the balance, if those people are killed then every magical creature on this Earth could die.” Ginger said grimly. Camilla closed her eyes for a few seconds then murmured softly, “Will you show me what Margo and the rest of them are doing?” Ginger thought a few minutes then replied, “Open your eyes.” Camilla opened her eyes but didn’t see Ginger, the Oracle. She saw Margo, her friend. Margo was sitting at a machine with little plugs on her head. Margo sat in front of a screen and every few minutes what was obviously one of Margo’s visions appeared on the screen. She shuddered violently and when she toppled over her chair one of the people who invaded Camilla’s village would prop her up. In the background Camilla could see Faye next to her hypnotizing animals in cages. Camilla cried out and reached towards Margo but just as it appeared that she was going to touch her she was pulled away from the vision. Camilla spiraled and spiraled until she appeared in front of Ginger in the cottage. Camilla opened her mouth but nothing came out of it there was just silence and a slight croaking sound. Finally her head collapsed on the table and she sobbed, hard. All of the emotions that she had been trying to hold in came out and she didn’t care, she was being brave enough wasn’t she? Couldn’t she have one good cry...just one? She lifted her head off the table and wiped her eyes and face. “I’m so sorry. I hate when I have to deliver bad news but it is part of your destiny, I can’t control it,” Ginger said comfortingly. Camilla nodded in response her voice still not able to form words without her breaking into tears again. “Now you can’t save your friends alone, no matter how powerful you may be. You have to get the elves to help you.” Camilla looked at Ginger questioningly. “Well the elves are the only magical creatures that haven’t been hurt or killed by the Rachises. They are way too powerful so the Rachises are using the other magical creatures to defeat them, that’s what your friends are for.” Camilla cleared her throat and said, “Why are the Rachises doing all this?” “They hate magical creatures, despise all of them. Their ultimate goal is to eliminate all of them and if they aren’t stopped soon they might,” Ginger replied. “They tried killing me once. But I’m too powerful, besides it wasn’t their destiny,” she said smiling and winking at Camilla. Camilla kind of smiled back at Ginger then wondered aloud, “What is my destiny what happens to me and my friends.” Ginger frowned, sighed then said, “You know I knew you were going to ask that question but I was hoping you wouldn’t ask it now.” Ginger then put something in Camilla’s hair and with a wave of her hand Camilla was back at the halfway point where the sparrows had left her. Camilla put a hand in her hair and searched it looking for whatever Ginger had put in it. That was a very strange woman. Dream said before brushing his beak through her hair. Why wouldn’t she be? She has a hard and powerful job. Basically she watches people’s lives; past, present, and future and she cannot exist in that world herself. I think if I had to do that I’d be a bit strange. Jinx snapped a pang of sympathy in her voice. I’m worried about those elves she mentioned. If they are as powerful as she said they could be a very nice ally or a horrible enemy. They don’t know us and we don’t know them what if they don’t trust us? I can imagine they are very careful and cautious; they have to be, those Rachises are trying to kill them. They don’t know us from them we might get killed, I just don’t know about this. Spark said darkly. Guys Ginger is the Oracle, you three aren’t. Besides don’t you think we should wait a little while before we start making assumptions about the elves? Camilla said sourly. Besides she was already nervous enough, she didn’t need their help. Gotcha! Dream exclaimed, interrupting the tension. In his beak he held a little human figure with wings. Camilla squinted at the little creature then grasped it in her fingers and held it next to her ear. What is it? Jinx asked trying to jump up. It looks like a tiny human with wings. Dream said flying down to the cats. Shh! Camilla said. I can’t hear it...I think it is talking. “Let go!” she could finally hear the creature say. “You’re squishing me, are you trying to kill me!?” Camilla let the thing go and it went flying right in front of her. She looked at it closer and recognized it from the story books her mother had read her as a child, “A fairy?”

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