Stars Over Llorleya- Chapter 19

Fiction By Anna // 9/8/2008

Chapter the Nineteenth

Aria shivered and bowed her head. Elves and stars crowded around her.
"Back off!" said Raphael. "Give her some air!"
Rayne, who was standing by, began pushing the elves stars back a little.
Aria’s "seeing" was troubled. For days now she had had horrific nightmares to the point where she was afraid to go to bed. But even if she could have stayed awake forever that wouldn’t stop the visions, which were almost worse. She hadn’t glowed for at least three days, and if she hadn’t been used to being a human until a week or so ago, she would have felt even more unnerved then she was already.
"What’s wrong?" an elf asked, as Aria tried to tell them for the umpteenth time what her dreams had contained.
"I don’t know," Aria said in something that might have been a strangled sob of frustration. She buried her head in her arms.
She had been having horrific visions, outside-of-time visions. They were filled with screams, wails, and eerie shadows. There was never any blood or real danger that she could see, except her latest few, which had involved a shadowy shape something like a gallows.
Aria had no idea what the visions might mean. But they were frightening her badly. If only she knew what they meant, maybe she could do something!
Suddenly she was caught in another vision. She felt as though an anvil was sitting on her chest, keeping her from drawing breath. Her lungs were burning from lack of air. Rays of light shot through her eyes, spreading slowly.
There was the gallows-shape again, with a figure being led up to it. Something was painfully familiar about the figure, but what was it? How could she know? It was just a shadow.
Figures were moving, but only as blurs leaving streaks behind them. Only one figure was clearer than the others, and that was only a bit, but somehow this figure was also familiar.
The figure gave a sharp woman’s cry of horror, as though she could see the gallows and person going to them more clearly than Aria.
The figure turned to Aria, and the princess saw that it was Wynd, the silver-winged fairy she had seen only once- a year ago, in the middle of a ring of birch trees. "Princess Aria? What’s going on? Where am I? What am I supposed to do?"
Aria was stunned. No one had ever talked to her in a vision. No one could ever see her. What was going on?
Her sight blacked out momentarily, and the vision ended. Aria fell onto the floor, gasping and sobbing for breath, her eyes burning like the sun on a desert.
**
Wynd cried out.
What was going on?
She was back in her tower room. Stowaway, who had previously been on her lap, was crouched in a corner, teeth bared, fur bristling.
What was going on?
One moment she had been peacefully stroking the cat, the next she was standing in front of a gallows with a young man about to be hanged. She had felt a strong urge to do something, as though someone was telling her to go to this place and stop it from happening. She had looked beside her and seen Princess Aria, frozen as though in fear or pain, looking up past the silver-winged fairy as though pleading for more clarity as well. Then she saw Wynd, and gasped.
All around Wynd were voices. They started as whispers. But little by little they grew louder, crying for help.
"What am I supposed to do?" Wynd had cried to Aria, but Aria hadn’t answered, her face mirroring the same confusion Wynd was experiencing.
Then a swirling, howling blackness had whirled up behind Aria, sucking away the Princess and the visions of terror around her.
And Wynd was alone again.
What am I supposed to do?
It only took a moment.
Then she knew. She would do what she had to do.
Wynd glided to her window and climbed into it. She let herself fall back, face to the sky, backside to the ground, her silver wings spread as far as they could be.
As she began to hurtle toward the earth, the wind caught her wings, and it was carrying her, and she was gliding on it.
So she did what she had done to get to the fairy ring. She was caught in a moment of stillness, in which she closed her eyes and whispered a word in a strange tongue- the tongue of the wind.
The stillness ended, and the wind caught her up again. And it answered, obeying the fairy who had unexpected powers for which she had been named.
**
He was so much gaunter. Paler. Scruffier. They hardly recognized him!
Such were the types of responses Sir Gilligan received.
Gilligan lowered his head, wishing he could also cover his ears, but his hands were tied. He didn’t want to see anyone- Not their shock, pain, sorrow, or pity. He didn’t want to hear the things that came along, either- gasps, sobs, the swish of someone’s hair moving as they shook their head. He only wanted one thing- to say goodbye to Aria, and to hear her say goodbye back. But she was surely dead by now if she had truly been swept into the East Sea, and he would soon be hanged.
The noose slipped over Gill’s neck.
**
Aria stood and went outside. She needed to get away… to think, and pray. She ran to the gardens- half gliding as she did so- and part-flew, part-climbed onto a large, sun-warmed rock that rose above the flowers, looking over the sea.
She yearned for Gilligan. If only I were a better flier, Aria thought miserably. (At this point she hadn’t worked up full strength in her new star abilities.) I would take off for Llorleya this moment and carry Gill back with me. Or maybe I would drop Torlith into the sea and just stay in Llorleya. She amused herself a tiny bit with the thought, though she realized it took far more strength than she had to lift either Gill or Torlith, even if she could have flown across the sea- and from the elves’ charts she could very well guess that a flight from the elfland to Llorleya would very likely have her dropping into the sea with weariness… Besides, could it be possible to soar when her heart felt so heavy?
**
Torlith stood by Gilligan. As he looked at him, he wondered why he had put off this moment so long. After all, he was quite enjoying now that he had come to it.
At first he had been too preoccupied with making sure the Princess was dead, but even after she had washed out to sea he hadn’t ordered Gilligan to be hanged, because a week or so after the reports came in, he had immediately been preoccupied with more plotting and planning.
Then his attentions had returned to the all-but-forgotten knight. For awhile he had given Gilligan chances to be forgiven, allowing him to swear oaths of fealty, but he had refused every time. Torlith had continued on to threatening and taunting, but Gilligan still wouldn’t give in. Then had Torlith carried out a few of his threats; he had Gilligan beaten, whipped, and even tortured a little. Still the knight would not give in.
Torlith’s patience had finally worn thin.
There was only one thing for it, Torlith thought, feeling almost regretful. He wished he had more knights as courageous for him as Gill was against him. "Are you yet unrepentant of your crimes?"
Gilligan replied without hesitation, "I regret nothing I have done- except, perhaps, not chopping off your head every time your neck was in clear view of my sword."
Torlith ignored him. Actually, he was still admiring Gilligan’s courage, as he was rarely moved to displays of temper by the sting of insults. "There is something I’d like to know before you’re throttled by that bit of rope. How did you know the Singer was in danger?"
Gilligan gazed steadily into Torlith’s eyes. "Besides the guard with the sword at her throat?"
Someone laughed, but it was hollow laughter, and soon died in the air.
Gilligan continued, hazel eyes sad. "When you’re in love, you know these things."
"Ah, then it was love, not chivalry. I thought you had more sense." Torlith turned and faced the people. Louder, he continued, as though teaching them a lesson. "Love makes a fool of people! Love is weak! Look at the man who will die before you now. He used to be a great knight, mighty in your eyes. Love brought him here, to ultimate desertion. Where is ‘love’ now?"
"You are wrong, Torlith," Gilligan said from behind him.
**
Wynd coasted over the ground, riding the wind to Torlith’s castle. She had to get there quickly, before whatever she had seen in her and Aria’s shared vision came true. There! She could see the castle, only barely out of reach! She folded her wings to reduce wind resistance. Clinging to her last shred of sight and direction in the blur of speed, she dove for it-
**
Torlith whirled around angrily. He hated being contradicted.
Gilligan went on. "Love is strong. Love is stronger than anything or anyone you or I or anyone else can know, have known, or ever will know. Because God is love. Love can make a fool of people sometimes, I’m not above admitting that- But in our weakness, is He not strong?" He paused. "I have not come to ultimate desertion, but to Ultimate Love-" in growing strength, the words came, "and He- will- carry- me- home. Home to Love. To all Love in this world or any other."
Something in Torlith snapped. A enraged roar was wrenched from him throat. "Stop him, hang him now!" he cried.
But no one stopped Gilligan.
**
In a blur of speed, Wynd dove for the castle.
She didn’t know which courtyard the hanging was taking place in. She couldn’t have known. As soon as she left the wind’s guiding arms she was helpless, completely on her own as to the "where"s or "how"s.
She darted through a window, only to narrowly miss crashing into a wall. Veering quickly, she found herself in a hallway. Completely deserted. Wynd’s wings flickered with irritation, and she shot back out the window and hovered in midair.
Listening.
Then she heard a large concentration of people.
She knew where to go now. But the "how"s were still completely unknown.

Quick as lightning, she flashed through the castle. And there it all was. The crowd, the gallows. Torlith. Gilligan. She couldn’t name them to herself, not knowing them, but she knew what she had to do. She had to rescue the man at the gallows. After that, well- she would just have to concentrate on getting him away from the soldiers she saw posted everywhere. She dove down, straight for the gallows.
In plain sight to everyone. She hadn’t taken into consideration that these were humans who had, in all likelihood, never suspected that fairies even existed.

The crowd stood mesmerized. No one moved, stunned at such an impossible thing. Gilligan and Torlith were for the time completely forgotten. Though Wynd was right before their eyes, they couldn’t comprehend it. But Torlith did not seem as surprised as he should have been. He was silently unsheathing his sword.
Wynd dropped to her knees behind Gill and began untying his hands. She stood and lifted the noose over his head.
"Why are you doing this?" asked Gilligan. He was in no more of a state to understand what was going on than the rest of them, but somehow…
"You have to trust me," she whispered.
Torlith found his voice. "Kill the man, but leave the woman alive!"
The trance was broken. A guard seized Wynd, but she broke away, and stretched out her hand to Gilligan. "Hold onto me!" she cried.
There was a moment of hesitation. Then, at the last possible second, Gilligan grabbed her hand. He met her gaze. "I trust you," he said.
Wynd held his hand with both of hers, and with all the strength she could summon, lifted them both into the air.
****
Aria’s visions stopped. So did the nightmares. This might have been a bad sign. Maybe it meant she had failed at whatever she should have done. But somehow, she felt peaceful. She sensed she wouldn’t feel that way if something were wrong. Maybe- maybe sharing a vision with Wynd had been all she had needed to do, and Wynd had done the rest. Or maybe she was completely wrong and something terrible had happened. But somehow, she didn’t think so.
She walked back to the treehouse and told Gyld about it. He was one of the best elf healers, and the first elf she had met upon arriving at the Elf Havens. "I think I’m going to be fine," she said. "What do you say?"
Gyld examined her. "You look fine. Your eyes- they’re silver again. Do they burn?"
Aria admitted slowly that they did, but she thought that would wear off soon.
"Are you sure you don’t want me to give you a salve for them?"
Aria shook her head. "I’ll be fine."
Gyld was determined to ask one more question. "Do you think you’re you well enough to attend the council?"
Aria nodded. "Yes. Besides, I wouldn’t miss it even if I wasn’t fine." Her thoughts were quickly caught up with reality instead of visions. This council may decide Llorleya’s fate, she thought to herself.
**********
Wynd collapsed onto the floor of the tower-room, exhausted. Gilligan stood, not bothering to brush his windblown red-brown hair out of his face. His eyes held a mixture of astonishment, awe, and distrust. His arms ached and his back was burning from the flogging he’d been given- among many other things- but he could barely concentrate on any of that.
"Who are you?" he said, backing away.
"I am Wynd," gasped Wynd, pushing herself in a sitting position, leaning against the wall.
"You’re a fairy," he said. It was obvious, but he said it anyway. If only to convince himself. Why was am I not more surprised? he thought confusedly. "Just like in the old tales."
Wynd smiled her sorrowful smile. "Something like that." Still breathing heavily, she lapsed into silence for awhile. Finally, she said, "Yes, I’m a fairy. And you- what is your name?"
"Gilligan," said Gilligan slowly.
Wynd’s eyes lit up. "I know you now. Aria spoke of you, when I saw her last summer. She thought you were dead. She must know you’re alive! I must tell her! I’ll fly to the place I saw her last, and-"
"Don’t bother," said Gilligan softly, bowing his head. He could feel the pain rushing in, and knew he was just as in love with Aria as he had ever been, and always would be. "Aria was killed by Torlith. It was months ago."
Wynd’s eyebrows creased. "That’s not possible. I saw her earlier today. Well, sort of…" Quickly, she told Gilligan all about the strange vision.
"Aria is alive?" Gilligan’s eyes grew rapt, then the light died again. "It can’t be true. How is that possible- again?" He looked back at Wynd. "You’ve had a dream, or a vision- and no doubt there’s magic at hand, I can see that much- but are you sure Aria is alive?"
Wynd looked at Gilligan steadily, and she said, "It is possible I just dreamed Aria. But Aria- she’s different. I’ve always known it. She has the star-circle, and that is why I gave her my book in the first place. I don’t think I would have had that vision if Aria were dead. Sometimes, a fairy just knows." Wynd sank back against the wall again.
Joy surged through Gilligan. It was hard not to believe something he wanted so much. "Where is she?" he cried. "I must find her."
"Of this I am not sure…" Wynd trailed off. "You’d better tell me what happened to Aria. And how you know Torlith ‘killed’ her."
So Gilligan did. But his mind was not on the tale. His love could still be alive. And not only that- she was the Princess. Maybe, maybe Llorleya would soon be free again.

Comments

YES!!!

I've been waiting for Gilligan to show up for ages! Thank you, Anna!
(And thanks for not killing him!)

James | Mon, 09/08/2008

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

*dances around happily*

yea! I knew you didn't have it in you to kill Gilligan! Hooray!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes

Sarah | Mon, 09/08/2008

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

Hooray!!

Yay!!! I've been waiting impatiently for Gilligan. Way to go Wynd!!!

Clare Marie | Mon, 09/08/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

...

but little do you know Anna's going to kill him soon...

kidding. (I think... you never know with Anna).

Keep 'em comin', Twizzler!

Kyleigh | Tue, 09/09/2008

Whohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh man, Anna, I KNEW you wouldn't kill Gilligan, I just KNEW you wouldn't...but my heart was racing all the same. My poor heart is never going to be the same.
I love the rescue! Go Wynd! (Thanks for having her show up again!)
I love Gill's speech about Love! Go Gilligan!
Heck, I love this story! Go Anna!

Heather | Wed, 09/10/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Ky, what have I told you

Ky, what have I told you about revealing my secret plans?
JK :D
But as you all know, I do delight in twists...

It was actually a relief to finally get this chapter out... unfortunately I have next to nothing afterwards... so it could be awhile. I'll probably post Brey in the meantime.

Oh, and Heather... sorry about your "poor little heart." :) And thanks... You bestow much encouragement.
*********
Love me, love my friends.
-Anne of the Island

Anna | Fri, 09/12/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Way to go Anna!!!!!!

Wow was that great!!! I have been reading this story for awhile, I can really see your style developing throughout the story. Needless to say this chapter had me on the edge of my chair! Very exciting, dramatic, and overall great!!

marie (not verified) | Sun, 09/14/2008

K's comments

It's about time Wynd made an appearance. And Gilligan for that matter. I was worried.

Loved the (almost)hanging scene.

Anonymous | Tue, 09/23/2008

He's alive! I knew you

He's alive! I knew you couldn't/wouldn't kill him....again...Yea for Wynd!!!!! Such a nice fairy.

"As first things always come first, I will start with the first thing" Kendra

Alecia | Tue, 03/17/2009

It awoke with a shrill shreak that can be trnaslated "How dare you leave me in this bed, when I am asleep and helpless?" My sister

Go Wynd! And...GILLIGAN!!!!

Go Wynd! And...GILLIGAN!!!! *Happy dances around room. Joy!

This comment was made by Erin!

"Never, never give up. Unless you get really tired." -Ellen Degenres

Erin | Tue, 03/31/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Go Wynd! And...GILLIGAN!!!!

Go Wynd! And...GILLIGAN!!!! *Happy dances around room. Joy!

This comment was made by Erin!

"Never, never give up. Unless you get really tired." -Ellen Degenres

Erin | Tue, 03/31/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Phew! *pats forehead with

Phew! *pats forehead with hankerchief* You had me scared to death halfway through! THANK YOU!!!! I am forever grateful, for Gilligan's sake.

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute, I am just about to be brilliant." - Cosmo, from Singing In The Rain

Bridget | Mon, 04/06/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

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