Stormy – Another World Ch. 7

Archival Note from The Jewel Riders Archive: This story is presented as it was originally published on Stormy’s “Avalon” fan site in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is presented for archival purposes and for the enjoyment of the Jewel Riders fandom. If you are the author of this story and wish to have it removed from the Jewel Riders Archive (or wish to share more!) please email us at archivist@jewelridersarchive.com. Happy Reading!


Another World seven, by Stormdance

 

Claimer: they’re mine all mine.

Stormy says: <grin> and don’t I just pick the most cliché place to end a chapter! But on a more serious note– Trina dead? Can it be true? And btw, the girls’ choice of car music is the “Flood” album by They Might be Giants. <grin> thank you, Hilly-chan!

 

“Not even.” Forest said, “It isn’t good plotting in a game for kids to kill any main characters.”

“Uh, Forest-chan, this is not something they wrote, they made the game around what happened.” Tas replied, slipping back into Japanese-enhanced speech for a second.

“We’re not going to be able to find the answers to either of those things until we actually get to Avalon.” Kitty said, trying to get off the subject, seeming not worried about the fate of her alter ego. “And we’d better get to Avalon…”

That was hardly a new idea from Kitty, but this time the words were weighted with something more than usual. “What’s up?” Tas asked.

Kitty sighed and tapped the table leg with her feet, “Guys, I might be moving.”

There was a collective “Whaaaat?!”

“My dad’s job keeps transferring him and mom all over the country, well now they want him to be officially ‘travelling’ for a year or two instead of officially settled down. But the problem is the company won’t pay extra money for me to travel with them so I’d have to stay with my lunatic cousins until Mom and Dad get their new place to live decided on. And it won’t be in this city; Mom was talking about New England so she could be closer to her family… It’s a big mess.”

“Yeah it is!” Forest exclaimed, “You can’t move, your life’s here!”

“I told them that. A couple times.” Kitty did not add that she’d also yelled and walked out on the whole discussion the night before and then dived into her story to escape how powerless she was in real life.

“Great, just great.” Tas grumbled. “I guess it’s Avalon or nothing.”

That was what Kitty had been thinking, but she hadn’t expected anyone to say it. Saying those kinds of things was a sure sign you couldn’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

Then the professor called to say he’d decided they could borrow the chalice, if they were careful with it and agreed to tell him all about what happened, if anything interesting did. When Gwennie hung up they all rushed out to ask her mom to drive them back to the university.

 

_*_

 

That night Tas was cleaning her room, really making an effort to clean it without being told, something that hadn’t happened in at least a year. She put the plastic wand on its shelf on its cardboard stand, along with three others like it but less gaudy. The fifth wand was at the end of her bed where one of the bedposts had lost its knob and the wand had happened to fit perfectly. Tas retrieved it, posed with it held above her head, then put it away.

They had not been spirited away to Avalon the moment they had the Grail in their possession. Kitty had said that was only natural that they’d have to do some kind of a spell to get there. She and Forest had left Gwennie’s house discussing what sort of a spell and where and when they could cast it. The cup itself was in Gwennie’s little safe in her room, wrapped up in cloth so it wouldn’t get scratched.

And for a while Tas didn’t think about Avalon or anything full of unanswerable questions; she just figured out the easiest way to get her homework done and tried to think if her parents had a reason to go to the mall so she could go and look for a video she’d been wanting.

 

_*_

 

Sunday they met at Kitty’s apartment, since her mom was being super-nice and agreed to drive them to the place Forest told them would be perfect for the spell. But true to mom-form she had to do some long thing on her computer first so the girls were left to wait in the kitchen.

The day was very windy, bright sun and gray clouds. Gwennie came in wearing her big coat with her hair in a windblown ponytail. Her mini-backpack hung heavily over her shoulder.

Kitty had been at the kitchen table waiting for all of them and working on a picture of another angel, this one with six wings unfolded in a circle around her. The background behind the angel was vague lines that reminded the viewer of water.

Forest and Tas showed up together, Forest explaining about where they were going. “It’s called the blind trail, because there are Braille markers on posts, so blind people can go along and read about the stuff they’re passing. It’s a canyon for a long way, then opens out to a kind of meadow. Not a long hike.” “We’re gonna freeze.” Tas lumped a hat on over her red poof of hair.

Kitty ignored their banter, first bent over her drawing then staring hard at the door onto the balcony. “Guys.” She said, her word carrying some weight that set the air humming with electricity.

“Huh?” They looked. No one was there.

Kitty edged open the door and crawled outside to look through the railing at the street below. “It’s her.” The quiet words carried back to the three in the kitchen door.

“Great, how’re we going to get out without her following us.” Forest muttered.

Gwennie unwrapped their Grail, and got out her Sunstone.

“What’re you doing?” Tas asked.

Gwennie didn’t answer. She fit the Sunstone into the cup, where it fit perfectly, almost clicked into place, and began to glow. Tas quickly shut the kitchen door so no parents could see. Kitty, sitting on the balcony, beckoned them all out.

“C’mon, we should all be together for whatever you’re doing.”

Gwennie nodded, “Yeah, for Jewel Rider magic.” She pulled Tas and Forest outside with her; the balcony was small so they were forced to stand close, like they were getting a picture taken.

Gwennie held out the Grail and Sunstone. Kitty muttered, “OK guys, make like Jewel Riders!” and grinned. They held out their jewels, and just for a flash Kitty appeared in that other clothing with the strange winged helmet…

Gwennie said in a melodious voice unlike her usual one, “Lights show the wizard the peace of being without evil, of being a normal person.” Light gathered in to the sunstone she held, then flared outward, a soft flash that was lost in the ordinary sunlight.

They looked down. The strange woman was walking away shaking her head as if dazed. Gwennie wondered: had she really been a wizard from Avalon? Or just a person who had been there for some real reason? They’d never know.

Kitty grinned and stuck her fist in the air, “C’mon guys, let’s go to Avalon!”

 

_*_

 

They were a little nervous, and that nervousness translated into hyperness. In the car Kitty’s mother said she wouldn’t turn on the radio but that they could have a sing-along if they really wanted. This was a big parental mistake on her part.

Tas struck up a song her brother liked playing in the car: “Blue canary in the attic by the light switch, who watches over you! Make a little birdhouse in your soul!”

That particular song had lyrics so nonsensical they were memorable, and all the girls had heard them once or twice, so they headed into the mountains with a rousing chorus of “There’s a picture opposite me, of my primitive ancestry, who stood on rocky shores and kept the beaches shipwreck free!” The three in the backseat bounced back and forth in time with the beat, “Though I respect that a lot, I’d be tired if that were my job, after killing Jason off and countless screaming Argonaughts!”

That song and the “rock to wind a string around” song lasted them up to the dirt parking spaces at the head of the trail. The girls hopped out, and Kitty assured her mother many times that they’d all be careful and be back soon.

Even in October it was beautiful. The little stream was flowing, the moss around it still green. Trees in evergreen or brown and orange stood along the path and up the hills on both sides, making a canopy overhead. One blue jay called; otherwise the place was in churchlike silence. Forest stopped to run her brown fingers over a Braille plaque next to one of the trees and the others crowded around her whispering what a totally cool place this was.

Gwennie got her sunstone out and held it up. For some reason its bright color didn’t clash with the cool naturalness around them. She led the way down the trail, over the little bridge across the stream, and up. The trail opened out in a meadow on top of a kind of cliff. Kitty turned in a circle in the yellow grass, taking in the mountains all around them. “Feels like halfway there already…” She murmured.

Gwennie set their Grail down carefully on a rock. “Um… any last words?” She said, to delay the moment.

“If this works we’re gonna wish we had a camera. But ours had no film.” Tas offered with a little grin, trying to be cute-annoying. Kitty walloped her and showed her a brand new notebook and pen.

“At least we can draw stuff and write descriptions. Besides, the gov’ment would just take away photos to try and prove they were faked.”

“Yeah, wouldn’t it be fun to see their faces!”

“You guys are unbelievable!” Was Forest’s opinion. “We’re supposed to be serious here.”

“OK. Serious.” Kitty set her jewel down on the rock and knelt down in front of it. The others slowly joined her until they were sitting in a little circle. The sun went behind a cloud.

Gwennie looked down and closed her eyes, holding out one hand to the center of their circle. “Magic we call, heaven earth ocean.”

“Stars within us.” Tas added, doing the same..

“Webs of past and future connected.”

Kitty could see like even though her eyes were closed. “Take us where we’re needed most!” Gold angel!

Their hands touched in the center of the circle. The sun came out from behind the clouds.

The meadow was empty.

 

–The End–

 

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