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Comet Prophecy: Part 3, New Gobben
Qui Heuyel watched from a distance as Heu Frecai, his master, talked to a skinny gobben. The eyes of the skinny one kept on changing color, and there was a girl next to him. She seemed to be the same age that he was and had the same color hair and eyes as he did. There was a silver circle around her neck, making her the apprentice to the skinny man most likely. Something about seeing the silver ring made him touch his golden circle.
Who is she and why does Heu Frecai want to talk to her master? he wondered silently. A woman appeared from behind, a pink circle around her neck. She waited for a moment, then called over to them. The girl turned towards the woman, and for a moment he saw her freckled cheeks and smooth, clear brown eyes. Conversation followed, and Heu eventually left.
“Master Heu Frecai,” Qui greeted as Heu reached hearing range. He bowed his head.
“We’re leaving,” Heu said, grabbing Qui’s hand. “Kia Monsak, what a foolish, magic-wasted, piece of work. She’s a mental case is what she is! How she ever was anyone’s master, yet alone Fil’s master, is a mystery to me. Then there’s Dan Filwer, quite the job. He wouldn’t be able to raise anyone straight even with a library.”
“Is that the skinny man you were talking to and the woman?” Qui asked. “The woman’s Kia Monsak and the skinny man Dan Filwer?”
“Yes, yes, but you won’t see them again,” Heu replied.
Suddenly, a tickling rose around Qui’s neck where the golden circle was. Heu seemed to have the same sensation around his own, and they both stopped. A few other people stopped as well, and Qui wondered if this was a gobben thing.
“A gobben is coming,” Heu whispered as soon as the tingling died away. “There will be a meeting tonight. Primallen will be there, and Dan probably will be too.”
“What about the girl, Dan Filwer’s apprentice?” Qui asked. “Will she be there too?”
Heu looked at him with a fierce glare. “Were you eavesdropping? How much did you hear?”
Qui looked up at Heu in confusion. “I didn’t hear anything. She just had a ring around her neck, and she was with the skinny gobben, so I thought she might be his apprentice is all. I didn’t eavesdrop, honest.”
“I believe you, for now, but don’t consider yourself overly lucky,” Heu said. “If I ever hear another word about Dan Filwer, Kia Monsak, or Zai Danbia, you’ll be drinking Black Potion for three months.”
The thought of Black Potion made Qui recoil. It was a nasty mixture of beetle blood, poison ivy, and mouse meat with some dark words muttered over it that gave Qui nightmares with horrifying images as well as make cuts in his skin. He had to drink it right before bed if he had done something bad.
However, Heu’s mention of Black Potion still didn’t deter him from the matter at hand. “The girl’s name is Zai Danbia, isn’t it?”
“That’s it, Black Potion for a month!” Heu yelled, and continued along the dirt road, his strides incredibly long. Qui had to run in order to keep up.
Why doesn’t he want me to talk about those people? he silently wondered. He seemed to be talking just fine with them before the woman showed up.
Still, he didn’t have time to worry about pointless rivalries and theories. Heu was going to fast for thought, and Qui didn’t want to have to find his way home again.
Zai Danbia stared at her carnation, willing it to speak. Dan Filwer was having a pleasant chat with his and did his best to remember Zai’s struggling speech. Kia Monsak sat silently in the corner, watching her without an expression on her face or any sort of remark. It seemed to be troubling Dan how bored she appeared, and so he did his best to have some fun with his plant while still teaching Zai.
“Why don’t we just give up?” Zai asked. “It’s obvious I’ll never be able to talk plant. Save yourself the trouble and let’s quit now.”
“I’ll say when we quit and right now we’re continuing,” Dan said stubbornly. “There will be no further talk of quitting until I decide to.”
Zai rolled her eyes, but continued to look at the plant, staring at its petals in boredom.
“Are you ever going to talk to me?” she asked the plant, poking one of its leaves. It continued to sit there, not changing in the least. “Please?” She sighed, then began to talk to it. “Look, I’m the apprentice to that man, Dan Filwer, and today’s lesson is all about communicating between a plant and a person. I’m not sure if you’re ever going to reply to me, and you don’t have to, but at least hear me out: the entire race of gobbens are going to be ashamed of me, a gobben, if I don’t talk to you, and it’s a bit frustrating to have to talk to you without any sign that you can even hear me. So, just say something!”
“Something,” the flower said in a sweet, high voice like a resonating glass.
For a moment, Zai couldn’t believe her ears. Then, it became much more believable as the flower continued: “You sound funny, and nice. I like the way you talk. Do say something more.
So Zai told the flower all about herself, a few things about her past, and even some personal thoughts about Dan. Somehow, she was able to leave the world for a moment and be able to freely and openly talk to the flower. It talked back and even told her a bit about what it had endured and some whispered secrets. Zai giggled and cried with the flower.
“That’s enough for today,” Dan said, pulling Zai away from the flower. “You did really good for your first time. Remember, though, that flowers can get a bit too chatty if you’re not careful. Try to stay to a single subject and not jump around as much as you did.”
Kia Monsak stood and walked over to Dan, her gray hair sweeping behind her. “The flower was trying to turn you into a flower.” Without another word, she left out the door.
“That’s Kia for you,” Dan said, shrugging. “Now, let’s water these flowers and be off to Gra Tersue’s house. She had something to tell me the other day and I want to find out what exactly it is.”
Zai nodded to Dan, then picked up her flower pot and stood, quietly whispering a few words to it as a good-bye. The flower whispered back, and then became still again without any sign it had ever spoken.
Gra Tersue served them tea. Zai didn’t like too many types of tea, but the type that Gra served just happened to be her favorite.
“Tell me, Gra, what have you been doing?” Dan Filwer asked. “I haven’t seen you for a few weeks. What’s been taking up your time?”
Gra looked at him and blushed, her cheeks turning the same color as the red circle around her neck. “I’ve been working on new potions.”
“Like?” Dan persisted.
“Well, like love potions and predicting potions as well as a new kind of Black Potion that isn’t as hard to make as the current one. Oh, and a speaking potion, memory-loss potion, memory-gain potion, and—”
“You work yourself too hard, Gra,” Dan interrupted. “There are already plenty of potions and the current Black Potion isn’t extremely hard to make. It just takes a trip to the market or two.”
“ Enough about me,” Gra said. “Let’s hear about how you and Zai are doing. How have things been going?”
“Today Zai learned how to talk to a flower. Her training’s been going pretty smoothly without any hitches and I plan on taking her to see the ceremony that a new born gobben goes through. I’m not sure if she remembers her own though. Anyways, you told me there was something you wanted to talk to me about or tell me.”
Gra didn’t respond right away. She seemed to think it over for a moment, as if trying to remember what exactly he was talking about. “Well, there’s going to be a new gobben, as you mentioned.”
Dan nodded. “Yes, and what about the new gobben?”
She fidgeted with a fold in her dress, trying to smooth it out to the best of her ability. “I’m going to go to the ceremony and try to see the gobben. Is it alright if I tag along with you?”
“That’s fine, but there must be some other reason you called me over here. A tea party is for enjoyment, and conversation is as well, but the conversation I think you’re trying to make isn’t for fun. What else did you want me over here for?”
Gra’s leg bounced up and down, revealing how anxious she was. “It’s just that I wanted to test out my prediction potion on Zai to see if it works. You know, and to see if she’s the one who…”
Dan seemed to understand. “Alright then. Zai,” he said, turning to her, “what does a person need if they are to properly predict someone’s future by means of a potion.”
Zai thought back to a lesson they had, trying to recall if it was hair, a precious item, or both. “Um…a precious item to the person?”
“Good, very good,” Dan praised. “Give me your bracelet.”
Reluctantly, Zai took of the bracelet around her wrist and handed it to Dan. It was a precious gift that a stranger had once given her She had hardly taken it off since and the crescent moon charm always made her feel better. It seemed almost wrong for it to be in someone else’s hands instead of hanging faithfully from her wrist.
“This won’t take long or damage your bracelet, I promise you,” Gra swore as Dan gave her the bracelet. She stood from her chair and went over to the cupboards. From the top shelf, she pulled out a bowl. It was filled with some sort of silver liquid that gently sloshed around in the container. Gra brought it over to the table and placed it down in the center. With delicate hands, she placed the bracelet into the bowl.
“Now we wait,” Dan whispered to Zai. “We won’t have to wait long, though. It doesn’t take up a lot of time.”
He was right, of course. In no time at all, the silver liquid and became clear, resting on top of an image. There were words and a line began to glow.
I can’t look at my own future! Zai suddenly remembered, and shielded her eyes from the glowing bowl. It’s against the gobben rules! She heard Gra and Dan mutter a few words to each other, but she didn’t pay attention. The subject of their conversation was most likely about her future, and even if she heard it by accident, then she would become corrupt as well as whatever tomorrow held. At least, that’s what Dan Filwer had told her.
“Alright, you can look now,” Dan said, touching her hands. Carefully, she put her hands down and looked at Dan, curious. “Here’s your bracelet.” He handed her the same locket, but the crescent moon glowed slightly.
Probably from the potion, she thought, taking her bracelet and replacing it onto her wrist. The light gently throbbed gently, like a continuous heartbeat. It was incredibly calming to her, making her feel good and warming her very core. It must be a good future for the light to be so nice.
“Let’s get back and get some lunch,” Dan said, standing. He looked a bit sad and disappointed. Maybe he had expected something big or perhaps Gra’s prediction potion hadn’t worked as fully as he hoped. Either way, there was no hiding his disappointment.
Zai stood and followed Dan as he left out the door. Most of the time they would have stayed at Gra’s and eaten lunch, but whatever Dan and Gra had seen distracted them from any kind of typical routine. Normally, Zai would have asked what they had seen, but Dan would scold her for such stupidity with the mood he was in.
So she followed silently behind him back towards their house.