Advent in the Arcane Forest

Reads: 606  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 6 (v.1) - The Land of Souls

Submitted: November 09, 2017

Reads: 28

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 09, 2017

A A A

A A A

The next thing I knew was that I was already in another unfamiliar place. I found myself lying against a bunch of hay. I pushed myself to sit and scanned the place with my eyes. It was dark and gloomy, even worse than the impression I had when I saw the ruined dungeon. It looked like a ravaged and abandoned land. Even the scent of the place badly stank. There were plowed parts with dead crops; others being feasted over by flies which were twice as big as their original size.

I stood up and shook off the dirt. My head immediately pulsed when I stood up. Then I started recalling the green witch and the dark hole that swallowed me up and brought me here.

“Ligian! Oh, I’m glad you’re safe.” A little voice said.

I turned around and saw Twinkle Bell! How glad I was to know that Twinkle didn’t disappear!

“Twinkle! I’m glad you’re here. What is this place? What are we going to do now?”

“Well, seems like we’re in one of the weirdest places in Forestierre.”

“What? I mean, there’s not even one place in Forestierre that’s normal so far.”

“This is the Land of Souls, if I’m not mistaken. This is where the spirits go after death.”

I shivered after hearing what Twinkle had just said. If we were at the Land of Souls, then there might be ghosts roaming around!

“Hey, I know what you’re thinking, missy. Don’t worry, they’re not scary you know?”

"Let’s just find the way out, alright?”

“Um… well I think it’s the well located in a certain jungle. But, let’s just move. Let’s decide which way to go afterwards.” Twinkle said.

“What? Are you saying that you’re not sure about this?” was my anxious question.

“Yea- not exactly… but we’ll see alright? Don’t be so pessimistic there.”

I didn’t really want to rely on Twinkle Bell. In fact, he seemed like he wasn’t sure about anything. But as my guardian, and the only companion that I had at that moment, what else could I have possibly done? 

We walked until we reached a long, deep river. The darkness of the place blinded us of the river’s real color. Everything appeared in two shades only--black and gray. From there we saw three boats.

“What? There are such things in the land of spirits?” I asked.

“Yes. That gondola is where new spirits ride to go to where the judge is.”

“Ah! Now that I think about it… yes! That is a gondola! I saw it from one of the books in the library before.” I said.

“Yeah, and you didn’t tell me, huh? Anyway, let's get on that boat."

I was really shocked. But Twinkle had just said that it was for the delivery of new spirits to the judge. So did he mean that we’re going to see the judge?

“What? Why? We’re still alive, yes?” I asked anxiously.

“Yes, of course! We just have to go to the Jungle of Souls.”

“What is that place? How would the gondolier know that we’re going there? And is that really possible?” I asked.

“Just tell the gondolier the name of the place. And oh, don’t breathe. Breathing is a sign of life. We'd just be brought to the lake of fire once he finds out that you're alive. Well since you can’t do that for such a long period of time, you’ll just have to breathe when the gondolier isn’t looking around. You see, he mustn’t see you breathing.” Twinkle explained.

I got even more terror-stricken and petrified upon hearing those from the firefly. One mistake would toast me up in the lake of fire! I’d never felt this way before. Just why wasn’t I waking up yet? I could never accept all these as real. Would I be able to remember this dream, if this ever were a dream, when I wake up?

Before I realized it, we were already approaching the gondolier. Twinkle signaled the speech.

“U-um, Mr. Gondolier, you shall deliver me to the Jungle of Souls.”

 

The gondolier was like a fisherman. He was wearing a hat that covered his eyes. He was always staring at the ground, as though he was scared of looking at the faces of the spirits. When I asked him about taking me to the Jungle of Souls, he didn’t speak a thing, but nodded. I was really cold that moment, as if I were about to collapse.

I held my breath as I rode the gondola. We started moving, but I didn’t notice the movement that much. The river was not like a river at all. It was more of a lake- the water wasn’t moving. I was feeling the cold air around, and we could hardly see anything from the boat. Yes, the fog added up to the darkness of the place. The cold and fear nauseated me, and I had an agonizing time fighting against vomiting along with the other unwelcome emotions that I was feeling.

Holding my breath wasn’t as easy as I thought. I felt as if I were going to die, so I took a breath quickly and held it again just before the gondolier noticed me.

The trick worked, and after a long journey in the deep, we finally reached the jungle. I alighted from the gondola with unfathomable surge of relief. I took a quick glance at the gondolier, but he was still as usually staring at the ground. However, I refused to stay longer for fear of actually throwing up in front of him. We hurriedly went on our way.

I was really confused about the jungle. It was very dark. It had tall trees, and the silence was overwhelming. It gave off a negative aura that made me feel sick.

“Hey Twinkle, this is the jungle right? But it’s dark. Is it possible to make a torch here?” I asked.

“Hush, Ligian. I’m actually trying to examine this place. I don’t feel good at all.”

“You sensed that too?” I was surprised.

“We can’t make a torch, sorry. Worry naught, we’ll be able to find the well. We’re together, right?”

I didn’t respond. His poetic line there only aggravated the negative emotion that was already overwhelming me. But then again, I had no choice.

As we were walking our path, we heard some rustling of leaves just behind the bushes. We stopped and lingered for a moment to observe whether there were other creatures around or not. It might be the wind, but how come we didn't feel it?

Suddenly, a huge creature came right out of the darkness, between the two tall trees that the monster had just split. It was taller than those trees! It had red eyes that glimmered in the dark. Its wrinkled face, with skin that looked like it were made of old wood, expressed a heinous intention. Its overwhelmingly gigantic hands were holding tight onto the two tall trees, and the trees, despite their massive size, were as if they were as small as pencils in the grasp of the revolting being. It was a complete abomination right in front of our eyes!

“Wh... what the...” I stammered.

“T-that… uh… RUN!” screamed the frightened firefly.

His mention of "run" triggered my adrenaline rush. I made the fastest run I had ever made in my life.

Wait a second, why am I running? I have my protection right? He-!

My eyes widened in terror when I realized that the Cyclops' eye was no longer with me!

“No! Twinkle! The Cyclops' eye is gone!” I exclaimed.

“What? Oh no… we’re doomed!”

“But what was that, Twinkle? Why is there such monster in this jungle? I thought that only spirits live here!”

“As I thought, there really is something wrong in this place. That’s it. That monster’s name is ‘Tame’. He guards this jungle and often misled the spirits who came here. It's very dangerous for a living being like you to be chased by that monster. There’s only one thing to do, Ligian. Let’s find the well before it catches us!” Twinkle explained.

“What about the eye?” I asked.

“We’ll solve that later. Right now, we have to survive!”

I could feel my heart pounding hard against my chest. Without the sound of my feet stepping on fallen leaves, I bet we both would've heard my heartbeat. The place was just too dark, and we could really hardly see the path.

How are we supposed to find the well in this darkness?

“I think we’re fine now, let’s slow down here.” Twinkle said.

I stopped. I was panting, tired of the long and fast run. Twinkle flew slowly, lighting up the path. I followed Twinkle Bell.

“The monster won’t eat us, right? It’s just meant to mislead people, right?” I anxiously asked.

“Well, that holds true for the spirits. You're a living human, though, and I can't be sure how dangerous he may be. But we’ll be fine, believe me.”

“Didn’t you tell me that I have a running time in this game? So, can you tell how much is left as far as now?”

Although I was still thinking, hoping, that this was a dream, I couldn't brush off the idea of all these being real. Asking the time left for me was the worst thing ever. I felt the heavy pressure pressed upon me, and I couldn't help feeling stressed.

“Ligian, I tell you… you better not know for now.” Twinkle replied.

“What? Ugh, whatever.”

Not telling me made me anxious. But perhaps he's right about not telling me, 'cause shortly after our conversation, we heard heavy footsteps. I was extremely terrified by it. I knew that the monster was nearby!

“What do we do?!” I nervously whispered.

“Don’t run, just walk quietly. I don’t think that it had spotted us yet. Follow me.” Twinkle whispered back.

Again, I was reluctant about relying on him. But in this kind of situation, I’ve got no choice other than following his lead.

After all my doubts, the noise disappeared slowly. I thought Tame had gone farther from us then. But alas! It suddenly appeared in front of us, extending its arms, as though it was up to crash us between its palms!

“Twinkle!” I shouted.

“Run, Ligian! Run!” Twinkle instructed.

I ran immediately, and was fortunate enough to have escaped the deadly hands of Tame. I barely escaped from his palms as I felt that my hair got lightly pulled between his clasped hands. We heard the giant tracking us down, and its footsteps sounded heavier and closer! I was really doing my best to accelerate, but I couldn't run any faster.

“Twinkle, I can’t keep up! The monster’s going to catch me!” I cried.

“No! Look, Ligian! The well is right there!” Twinkle exclaimed.

I was shocked, and felt a slight relief. Now that the well’s finally there, I must do my best to get there before the giant catches up!

I was successful in reaching the well, but I was terribly shocked when I saw what was inside it. There were leeches and dead worms floating on the dirty water! I almost puked, and didn’t know whether I would dive in or not.

“Twinkle! T-this… This is gross! I-is it really safe to dive in? T-there are leeches and dead worms, and it stinks!”

“Just dive! The giant’s coming!” Twinkle shouted.

I looked back and saw that the giant was really coming. So I had no choice but to hold my breath, close my eyes, and finally… dive in.


© Copyright 2019 Stephanie Kaplan. All rights reserved.

Chapters

Add Your Comments: