Part II, Chapter IV
Thaia rounded the corner and entered the hallway that lead to the massive old mirror. As if hitting a wall, her second thoughts screamed at her! Slowing she tried to rationalize her fears. Anytime she had a dream about that mirror it had been a nightmare! Thaia stopped just before she entered the hall. Slowly she gazed into the mirror and saw only herself in the reflection.
"Ok you can do this!" She said trying to find where she buried her courage. Forcing her legs to move Thaia entered the hall, she didn't stop! If she had, she would probably have run the other way. Nothing happened as she neared the mirror. Thaia stopped just in front of it, she strained her neck closer. Maybe, she thought, there was something she was missing. Then with a tremendous boom she was sent to her hands and knees! The hall had closed around her as it had in her dreams. Scared to move Thaia stayed still not daring to even breathe! Then with the force of a large tornado Thaia could feel her body being picked up then pulled through a tight hole. She landed in the same spot, but on the opposite side of the mirror! Still on her knees' Thaia sat froze.
Silently Thaia listened and hoped that she had not just made a very stupid mistake! Daring herself to at least look around. Thaia moved her head a little to the right. She saw the way was cleared, she could get out of the hall. Thaia ran to the stairs only to stop abruptly as she ran into a body standing in the way. As arms inclosed around Thaia she tried to bolt the opposite way to escape the stranger. The arms only tightened around her.
"Thaia, its Michael slow down! Your ok, you are safe." Michael could feel Thaia relax as she recognized him. She tried once again to pull away from Michael, this time he let her go. Thaia took two steps back and searched for answers on Michaels face.
"What is going on?" She forced out just a little more than a whisper, afraid to speak.
"In time . . . first there are some . . . well family here waiting for you." Michael said as he stepped aside to allow Thaias mother and father to pass. Thaia lost her breath as her mother. . . dead mother. . . and father approached her. Thaia took two more steps back and even thought to run for the mirror again! Natalia placed her hand on her childs arm to stop Thaia from flight.
"Thaia, its ok, I have a lot to explain to you, but first you need to sit, and breath!" Natalia moved Thaia to sit on the stairs to regain control of herself. As Thaia allowed her mother to move her to the stairs she noted that she was warm and not cold, like a dead person should feel. Thaia sat down and let her mind take in the new development.
"Ok, so either I am dead or you lied to me about being dead mother . . . and daddy you . . . . what?" Thaia stumbled starring at her parents as they nervously played with their hands. Thaias temper began to burn as she realized she had been lied to! Her hole life she always knew something big and life changing would happen to her! Never in her wildest dreams could she have guessed such a thing would happen! Crossing her arms together and giving her parents the mother look she very effectively used on Kaylee and waited for an explanation.
"Thaia ,I will explain it all after you rest. . . all I will say now is. . . that we. . . well. . . can't die we are immortal per say!" Natalia said as she motioned the four of them. The motion drew Thaias attention to the fact that her first love was standing here with her dead family! Turning to look at Michael she said.
" And what does any of this have to do with you?" Without answering her, Michael turned to go down the stairs. Stunned and pissed off that Michael just walked away from her, Thaia without a word followed close behind him. Tarriance and Natalia exchanged nervous glances before fallowing them. Michael walked down the stairs then through the house until he stood outside in the cover of trees. Michael stopped to make sure they had fallowed him out. To his surprise Thaia walked inches from him. He could feel real pain seep back into his cold heart as Thaia freely released her sorrows on him. Searching for the older Ljosalfars he discovered they lingered inside the house. Now that Thaia was back they would no longer need to stand guard at the house. Michael motioned for Thaia to stay put and to not speak.
He took the opportunity to take a better look at her. She had aged Michael thought, but only just a little! Her face was still smooth and young. In fact Thaia did not look her age, for a human. But without doubt she had grown older and bloomed into a woman. Michael thought she was more beautiful for it! As he stared down into her blue eyes, Michael tried to read her. He found she still had him blocked out, only allowing hurt to escape. Feeling a little uncomfortable as Thaia stared back, he walked over to the edge of the tree line to escape her probing eyes. It bothered him that he no longer could feel her . . . know her! Michael had deeply missed the tingle he received as she neared him. He longed for the pure pleasure of her touch, it still played painfully in his mind!
Before her marriage, even with her so far away in a different realm on a different word he could feel her . . . at first. When he first left Thaia to rejoin Ymir the feeling of her was so strong he could feel all of her pain. Michael knew he was the source of it! After time the tingle he knew was Thaia started to disappear, until one day Michael couldn't feel her. It was only when her mother staged her own mortal death to return to her husband that he understood! Thaia had made her decision, the mortal world. Or did she choose the mortal world? It seemed to Michael that she had no idea what was going on. He thought perhaps Natalia never told Thaia of her heritage.
Thaia watched as Michael turned away from her. He stopped at the tree line in search of her mother and father. She could not help thinking of Kaylee! Thaia knew she made the right choice to send her away for the time. Kaylee would be even more freaked out than she was at that point Thaia thought! Natalia and Tarriance came out of the house, caring carpet bags full of. . . something. They ran in their direction into the cover of the trees. Michael walked over to Natalia and bent over to say something to her. He then turned to Thaia he smiled slyly just as he disappeared. Natalia was next to Thaia.
"I will see you ladies at the cliffs! Call me if all doesn’t go well with the Judge!" Thaias father lovingly grabbed his daughters face in his hands before he also. . . just disappeared in the wind . . . like magic! Thaia did not move or make a sound as she waited for the dream to end.
"Never mind him at this time please, daughter?" Natalia said as she grabbed for her hand and held on tightly before saying.
"Hold on to me and don't let go." Without another word Thaia could feel her body being pulled inside out. She no longer had legs or a body for that matter. Thaia could see earth below her as they glided on the wind to their destination. She was amazed at the level of calmness that she had! Natalia slowed their bodies as they floated down to the ground on the wind. The closer to the ground they drifted the more their bodies turned from a mist back into solid forms. They floated down until finally Natalia touched down. Her mother smiled as the moist grass tickled her feet.
Thaia floated down to join her mother. Pain seized her head forcing her to the ground. Thaia raised her hands to cradle her throbbing head. A flash in her mind of beautiful buildings perched on the highest cliffs she had ever seen. Then with another flash the vision and pain were gone. Thaia stood up and cleared her mind. She took a second to look around her and noticed everything had more color to it there, even in the dead of night! The grass was not just a simple green like at home, it was evanescent almost. Wind blew at the tops of the trees as the large seven moons bathed the amazing landscape! Thaia could feel her mother pull at her for her attention. Reluctantly she turned her eyes from the beauty to her mother.
"You will understand the flashes in your mind soon! Not to mention exploring a different way of life!" Natalia said with a bright smile on her face. Eagerly Natalia grabbed for Thaias hand.
"Soon, mom I don't mind telling you that I think I have lost my mind and have taken you with me! Where are we, I don't think I have ever seen . . . " Thaia at a lost for words trailed off as she pointed to the moons. Natalia knew her daughter was greatly disturbed with the nights happenings and knew to hurry it up before Thaia lost her temper! Not so good now that her magical binding had been broken. Natalia laughed nervously as she urged Thaia on. The night darkened the further into the trees they walked! She fallowed Natalia through the thick woods of extremely large redwoods, aspens, and pines. In the moon light a hidden path that as far as Thaia could tell went almost straight up into the mist! She almost laughed at the thought of the Jolly Green Giant living up there. Natalia stopped just as the path headed up to the cliffs and turned to Thaia. Natalia waited for her child to stop looking around, she was so distracted! Giving up Natalia pushed Thaia over a bit.
"Ok, I need to do some explaining before you can enter. You my dear are a. . . well for lack of better term. . . an elf or what we say a Ljosalfar. We are standing in the entrance to Alfheimr, our home. We live on a planet far away from the humans it is called Vaikipri. For most of the planets existence has been exclusively the home to Ljosalfars. Now there are three different methods to get up to the cliffs. One you can climb up to the top using this path." Natalia said as she pointed to the narrow path.
"The way of all unannounced visitors. Or you can enter through the mountain and she will place you on the cliffs. At least until you re-learn your magic then you can just channel which is the third method. The trick is you have to be a Ljosalfar for the mountain to allow you to the cliffs. Now like I began to remind you when you have your memories back you will be able to channel to the cliffs. That is as long as Mother Mountain allows you to do so! If she does not like what she feels Mother Maintain will not allow you on the cliffs. Thaia you have only entered this world three times and never have you been aware of yourself. It is not only enough for you to just simply be Ljosalfar. Your mind is to shut for your magic to work, it is trapped deep inside. So I will guide you to your past and the memories of our people throughout time. Give me your hand I need to help unlock your mind." Natalia stretched out her hand and waited. Thaia stared at her mother not sure what her reaction should have been. Gazing deep into her mothers eyes, Thaia could see, feel, and hear her mother.
"It is okay, you can trust me. Please, give me your hand’s Thaia." Natalia told her silently as she pulled her child into a dream like state. Thaia stretched out her hands and gave up total control as she allowed her mother to enter her mind in search of memories lost. Natalia walked with Thaia through her memories of her mortal life until they ended up at the family house. Natalia lead Thaia up to the fourth flour then through the mirror.
They came to the other side of a bright light that blinded Thaia! The light started to dim, she could see a narrow oval hallway stretch far in front of her. Thaia followed closely behind her mother. She felt as if she were walking through a dark wooden barrel! Everything the walls, floors, and ceiling were planked with a rich dark walnut wood. Large brass wall sconces light the passageway. Thaia could see doors, thousands of doors on each side. They stretched down the never-ending hall. Natalia went on and on down the hall passing door after door. Thaia stopped at one of the doors as she noticed there was something wrote on a gold plaque above it. She leaned in closer to read it, but did not know the language. Thaia stretched her hand out to open the door, but found it to be locked. She turned to her mother who had stopped a few steps further.
"Not yet, come on it isn't far now!" Thaia heard her mother say slowly as if time had slowed. Thaia also noticed Natalia turn, she almost floated down the hall in a haze. Thaia saw that they were coming to an end at a massive antique mirror at the end of the hall. The mirror appeared to be just like the mirror in her house.
"This mirror opens not only your memories of your people, but your stored away essence. When you pulled away from me and married Parker at such a very young age, I had to bind your powers! Now you will have to trigger their release in order to use them. You will have to fight for the right to get them back! You must pass through this mirror and you must not hold back, let everything happen. The mirror will judge wether you may unlock your powers. Only he can decide if you are worthy of your destiny!" Natalia moved aside to let her daughter pass. Thaia did not move so Natalia gave her a gentle nudge. Natalia nearly had to move Thaia closer to the mirror.
"Daughter, you must not die in there!” Thaia turned in fear to her mother.
‟What, die . . . ‟ Natalia turned Thaia around again and continued.
‟ When you feel the pull, grab it and pull the force to you! You are the only one that can open these doors" Natalia turned and pointed down the long hall.
"Your mind is the key to the doors. Open them all to defeat the Judge. And by the way hold on when the black orb comes to you. The power will knock you on you ass my little farlling!" Natalia said with a knowing smirk. Thaia slowly turned to the mirror and entered. Her body was out of her control once again as she entered. Not that she minded, her body seemed to know what to do more that her brain did at the time! As Thaia passed through the mirror she could feel thousands of needles poke her from the inside out. It was mind binding pain as her body twisted in odd positions! Thaia tried to remember what her mother had said.
"Grab and pull the force to you". Confused she tried to wait the pain out and cleared her mind, over and over she repeated to herself "mind over matter, I feel no pain, I feel no pain". The pain started to disappear, she opened her eyes for the first time as the pain disappeared. Standing in front of her was a gigantic fifty or so headed giant with at least one hundred arms towering over her. Fear seized Thaia she stopped breathing. She closed her eyes and focused for the "pull". The unnatural sound of his horrible monstrous scream throw her body back as a gust of fowl breath hit her! Thaia dug deeper and deeper for courage! Then there it was, she found it. . . the pull! Throwing her head back and her arms out Thaia did as her mother instructed! She pulled, with all her will, and called the forces to her core!
Natalia gazed into the mirror and watched Thaia as she tried to regain control. Natalia heart jumped as she could feel that Thaia found her force. A burst of wind slammed all the doors behind Natalia opened with violent force. Swirling brightly colored orbs flew out of the doors and moved towards the mirror. Thaia pulled and pulled feeling stronger as the orbs of light enter through the mirror and into her body. Thaia finally had the missing pieces of her life, her waiting soul could breathe. Thaias eyes snapped open as the facts of her existence panned across her body and into her soul.
A sort of calm took her now as she faced the monster, confident, and knowing. He didn't move, just stared at her with his many different heads. Thaia noticed that she could hear him, but he was not talking . . . yes she could hear his mind Thaia remembered! The monster was about to attack her.
Ready she raised her hands as he jumped through the air trying to smash her under his giant feet. Thaia stopped him in mid air. The Judge just hovered, spiting at her, thrashing around in the air trying to escape. Thaia started to walk around the beast thinking how to best destroy him. Then in the wind Thaia heard "Kiama", it was her mother! Yes, she thought as if she just remembered another old forgotten memory. Thaia was Kiama, a shape shifter.
Circling the monster Thaia concentrated on a shape. A picture of a jaguar flashed in her mind. That was it Thaia thought, as she took another step. Thaia circled around the monster, she thought of a jaguar in her mind. She could feel her body grow hot and powerful as she now stalked on all fours. The monster broke Thaias spell and dropped to the ground. Shaking the world as he fell.
Thaia watched every step he made. The monster raised his hands and clapped with all of his massive hands. The sound and sheer force sent Thaia flying backwards. Lost was her concentration, she changed back into her former self. Thaia flew through the mirror, then through the never-ending hall. She landed back in consciousness in front of the mountain. Natalia stared at Thaia as she stared confused and dopey eyed at her mother. Natalia beamed with pride.
"Are you ready to go home?" Natalia asked smiling as she tilted her head up to the misty, light speckled cliffs above. Thaia nodded her head now aware of herself with the knowledge of her kind! The holes in her life seem to almost be complete Thaia thought with a sigh of relief. Thaia was home finally after years away. Just as Thaia had done hundreds of times before she entered the mountain.
Copyright © 2007 Stephanie Renee
Extracted from Speculative Vision Forum
Interview with Craig Schaefer [Part II] (Interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo) - *Official Author Website* *Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Long Way Down * *Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The White Gold Score * *Read Fant...
1 week ago