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The Stones

“Lenora, you must stop with this silly nonsense. You cannot see things before they happen. There is no such thing as insight, you are a perfectly normal thirteen year old girl.” Lenora stood emotionlessly, letting her dark brown hair fall across her face as her father scolded her for informing him of her latest vision. “Father, I did not say that it was real, I was only trying to help. I saw danger coming, and thought you should be forewarned. I regret even having told you.” Lenora whispered as she ran from the cottage. She heard her father arguing with her mother about her visions. Lenora began to walk down the path, her eyes on her feet, and her mind in another world. She wound her way along the dirt path, until she came to a deeply wooded area. Her eyes spotted two peculiar purple stones, which had just a touch of gray slashing through them. As she knelt to the stones, Lenora felt increasingly drawn to them. She lifted the them and, as she did, began to see a vision.

Lenora saw a tall, blue creature with large ears and black eyes running for his life. He was holding the stones, and frequently glancing over his shoulder to see an even taller yellow being with red eyes behind him. The being shot the blue creature with an awful purple laser, and as he fell, the blue creature willed the stones from his world, and into another. Lenora watched as the creature died, and heard his final request. “Please, save my planet. Save my family, though I could not.” As she entered into reality, Lenora found her best friend, Warren standing over her. Worry etched in his deep blue eyes, and the wind ruffling his sandy blonde hair he asked softly, “Are you all right Lenora?” Lenora slowly sat up, her light brown eyes adjusting to the light of the day. “What are you doing on the ground?” Lenora stared at him blankly. “I was having a vision Warren. This one was horrid, and I saw beings that I did not think existed.” Warren helped Lenora to her feet, and dusted her dress. “Lenora, what did you see? What has happened?” Lenora told Warren of her vision, and watched closely for his response. “I do not understand this Lenora.” He said finally, “If there is another world out there, how have we not known of it?” Lenora sighed deeply, “I have no idea Warren, but I am trying to tell you that there is another world that needs our help. A man’s dying wish was for someone to come and save his family. We must find a way to help him.”

Warren was skeptical, but listened patiently as Lenora planned ways to defeat the evil yellow being that had killed the blue creature. The two stayed in the forest until it became dark. Haliana, Lenora’s identical twin sister, arrived at that time. “Father says that you are to come home now Lenora. He says that he needs to speak to you, and that it is far past curfew.” Haliana recited dutifully. Lenora stood reluctantly, and followed her sister home, pausing once to wave good-bye to Warren. When she arrived home, Lenora could feel her father’s anger radiating off of the walls. “Lenora, you are an insolent child.” He said immediately as she entered the room. “For you insolence, you must stay in the cottage tomorrow. You are to study from the time I leave to the time I get home with the harvest. Do you understand me?” Lenora nodded absently, keeping her head down respectfully. She followed her sister to their bedroom, where she silently washed and readied for bed. “Why do you even bother telling Father about your visions Nora?” Haliana asked quietly as they settled into their beds. “I do not know Haley. I just do not know. When I see things that are coming, I want to help. Have you never wanted to help with your mind reading Haley? You have not even told Father about your power.” Haley shook her head solemnly, “I never will tell him Nora. Father is very prejudice about this matter. Now please, we need our sleep.” Lenora did as asked. She slept peacefully, her dreams for once, calm. When Lenora woke the next morning, she cheerfully dressed and brushed her hair. She skipped down the hallway, greeting her mother with a kiss, and her father a wave.

Her father stood, and quickly strode from the room without acknowledging his daughter. Lenora acted as if nothing had happened, and began to clean her father’s breakfast dishes. The morning went along slowly, as Lenora studied and cleaned, boredom washing over her. Haliana and Warren came to the cottage at noon, Haliana smiling brightly. “Haley, you know that I am supposed to be studying!” Lenora whispered, searching for her mother. “No, you misunderstood Father. He said that you were to be studying. As long as you are studying, you cannot get in trouble.” Haliana pointed out. Lenora stifled a giggle, and led her friends to the parlor. Upon the arrival, Lenora began to feel strange. Her stomach ached as if she had eaten a bad fruit, and her throat burned as if on fire. She felt her body being pulled from its world. She looked around, and saw that Haliana and Warren were going through the same dilemma. “What is this Nora?” Haley called, her voice shaking slightly. Lenora opened her mouth to answer, and couldn’t find her voice. She closed her eyes, only opening them when her feet touched the ground. The world around her was dark and gray.

“Nora, where are you?” Warren called apprehensively. “I am here, not very far from you. Follow my voice.” Lenora called and sang out until she heard Warren and Haley stumble their way toward her. “How did we get here Nora?” Haley demanded angrily. “I am not sure Haley. You both were with me in the parlor, and then we were put here.” “So you did nothing to cause us to come here?” Warren asked warily. “No! Of course not!” Lenora exclaimed. The group was silent, and Lenora began to absorb her surroundings. There was a deep wood north of her, and what seemed to be a lake behind her. She could see nothing to her east and west. She then saw a blue creature that looked like the running creature in her vision approaching them. “Earthlings, what are you doing here?” She heard in a strange, raspy voice. “We come in peace, beast. youngg ladies and I were pulled here by an unknown force.” Warren answered courageously. “I am not a beast, I am a Veraston. My name is Oprine. You say you were forced here?” Oprine asked. “We were in my parlor, and out of nowhere we arrived here.” Lenora explained. “Now where might we be?” Oprine’s shoulders sunk. “You are on the planet Veras.”

Haliana finally began to speak. “What happened to your planet? My sister saw it in a vision, and it was nothing like this.” Oprine frowned, “We have been overtaken by Troices, the evil Quolute. He has been trying to extinguish us for centuries.” “That must be what I saw in my vision! A Veraston was running with these.” Lenora took the stones gingerly from her pocket. “And Troices shot him with a laser.” Oprine stared in awe at the stones. “The Verox. You found the lost Verox!” Lenora jumped at the proclamation. “What are Verox, Oprine?” Warren asked. “They are the keepers of the Verastons’ power. They are our world. The holder was my brother, Kadrone. He was thought to have gone into hiding.” Lenora bent her head. “I am terribly sorry Oprine. Kadrone is dead.” She whispered in remorse. Oprine smiled, and shook his head. “But my brother has done one good thing in his life. He sent me you.” Lenora was pulled roughly into Warren’s grasp, and felt her sister beside her. “What do you mean Oprine?” He asked protectively. “The prophecy said that three humans were to come and save us after the Great War. The Great War is over, and here you are.” Oprine explained with a smile. His brief happiness ended when they heard heavy footsteps behind them. “Oprine, you are not meant to be here.” A rough voice boomed. Oprine’s eyes widened, “Troices, I am sorry. They just appeared.” Troices smiled slickly, and stepped toward Warren and Oprine.

“The humans are here, and I was not notified. That is a shame Oprine.” Suddenly there were many of the Quolute, and the humans and Oprine were surrounded. Haliana gasped, but not with fright. “Nora, Oprine says that we must get the Verox to Najila, the wise one. We must go north, and she will be waiting. He says not to worry for him.” Haley whispered, reading Oprine’s thoughts. Lenora nodded, and looked to Warren to see if he had heard. He nodded, and Lenora, Haley, and Warren dashed quickly under the Quolutes’ tall legs, and into the forest. Quolutes were chasing behind. Lenora raced ahead when suddenly she was stopped. “Young Earthling, you do not wish to save the Verastons, do you?” The Quolutes asked cynically. “I intend to do just that.” She answered coldly, concentrating on moving her feet. “That would not be the best thought Lenora.” Lenora looked up to see Troices looming over her. “The Verastons are odd beasts, and have no sympathy for your kind.” Lenora stuck out her chin angrily. “Those odd beasts are the only beings to show me compassion on this planet. I will do all in my power to save them.” She spat venomously, her eyes turning icy. The bound that held her was broken, and Lenora ran as fast as her legs would carry her. She found her friends, and hid close by. “He’s calling for us.” Haley said almost soundlessly. “What should we do?” Warren breathed. “We find Najila, give her the stones, and help her save Veras.” Lenora whispered. After a moment, the humans ran again.

“Which direction is she?” Lenora asked as they ran far north, the Quolutes not far behind. “Oprine said that Najila would be there when we reached the end of the trees.” Haley answered breathlessly. Lenora swerved west then, her friends following her. They stopped in a densely wooded area, and rested. Lenora could not stop pacing as she waited impatiently for her friends to rise. “Will you sit down Nora? They are going to hear us.” Warren hissed. Lenora did as asked, and waited for twenty minutes. Then, she and her friends rose, and prepared to run again. “You humans actually thought that you could run from me?” The familiar voice asked. Lenora spun around, coming nose to nose with him. “This is going to end Troices.” She whispered, her throat dry and achy. She held her hand behind her back, where Haley took the Verox. She heard Warren whisper, “On two we run.” Lenora then stepped back to a tree, and grasped a pointed tree limb. “This will end!” She screamed, swinging the limb in front of her and striking Troices on the head. He fell to the ground, and broke into pieces before her eyes. “We have got to get out of here!” Warren warned, glancing behind them. “The other Quolutes have seen Troices!” The three ran quickly, searching everywhere for the wise one. “Children,” They finally heard, “Come here, give me the Verox.” Haliana rushed toward the voice, her arms outstretched in front of her. A withered arm appeared, followed by an elderly Veraston. She took the stones from Haley, closed her eyes, and whispered, “Our world has fallen, the prophecy unraveled. Please Verox, make us whole once more.” The Verox disappeared. Lenora felt the anxiety lift from her chest, her lungs filled with air.

“Is it over?” Warren asked thoughtfully, smiling at the change in atmosphere. Najila nodded once, and smiled. “Without all of the Verox, the Verastons’ power is weak. I read in the prophecy that the Quolutes were going to rob our Verox, and so I sent Kadrone with two of them long ago. Now that we have them back, the Quolutes can never penetrate us again. Thanks to you humans, we are alive, and forever in your debt.” Najila spoke with such relief the children could not help but smile. “But, how are we to find our way home?” Haley asked, her smile faded. Najila stared into her eyes. “You will find home the same you came. Lenora will guide you through the portal, and help you find home.” “Me?” Lenora squeaked. “Yes, you brought them here to save us. Take them home, now that the deed is done.” Lenora nodded, and took her friends’ hands. Inhaling deeply, and closing her eyes Lenora led her friends back to her planet, and back to their home. They appeared in the same parlor, and it was as if nothing had changed, though the hour was later. There was a noise, and Lenora looked up. “Thank you Lenora. Thank you for saving my family.” She heard Kadrone say. “You are welcome Kadrone.” She whispered. When her father came home, he ran to Lenora, and embraced her. “I am so sorry Nora. So sorry.” He whispered so low that only she could hear. “I will never doubt your visions again.” When his horses were spooked in the fields, they nearly trampled her father. Because of Lenora’s warning, he jumped out of harm’s way. The Verastons were free, her father no longer doubted her, and for once, life felt balanced for Lenora.



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