…he actually distills it down to a beverage with a minty fresh taste
Amnesia & Magic
No sooner has my finger hit the button than I realize that without even thinking about it, my other hand is in my pocket touching the ring and the book
Everything around us fades just as the Green Man sends a black lightning bolt towards us. There’s a moment of dizziness and then we’re sitting on top of a mountain on what looks like a gravel logging road. I have no idea where are, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the “mile or two” that the Mage who set the spell up told me.
Dak gets out of the car and starts sniffing the air and listening to the forest sounds. He tells me we aren’t anywhere near the part of California we just left, but he doesn’t know where we are either. Well, at least the air is clear and the view is nice.
We sit there thinking for a bit and then a big old logging truck crests the hill doing maybe 10 miles an hour. The driver sees us sitting in the middle of the road and stops. Dak & I try hard not to laugh at the goggle eyed expression on his face. Big cars driven by women hauling elf kids around probably don’t make it up here much.
I get out and so does he and we meet about halfway.
“Hi there”, I say, trying to act friendly and nonchalant. “Could you tell us where we are?”
His eyes get even gogglier and I can hear Dak collapse into a giggling fit inside Honey.
“Sweet Jesus, lady, you’re on top of a goddamn mountain!” I’m having a real hard time keeping a straight face.
“Well, yes, we noticed that. We were wondering where this mountain is located and what’s the fastest way to a town and main road.”
The trucker is beginning to look at me like he thinks I’m either crazy or pulling his leg. I think he eventually went with crazy.
“You’re in Oregon, lady. Head back down the way I came and after about twelve miles you’ll come to a paved road. Turn right and you’ll hit Medford in about half an hour.”
I thank him and get back in Honey. He stares at us the whole while we drive around him and his truck. I’m thinking that by this time tomorrow, everybody for fifty miles around will hear his story of the crazy lady on the mountain.
The road must be pretty new because the gravel is smooth and there are no bad ruts yet. Sure enough, after a steep drive and a couple of hairpin turns, we reach a two lane road and a sign that says “Medford: 30 miles”.
As we zip along, Dak and I discuss the fact that we teleported so far thanks to the Power of the book & ring.
“Yeah”, he says, “With that much Power, we’re kind of lucky we didn’t pop up in China or somewhere.”
I never thought of that. Of course, I’d never intended to channel that much Power in the first place. I mentioned that to Dak. He nodded and said it was probably the ring and book protecting the Bringer Forth, which is me.
“My Grandparents used to talk about the Great Relics and how they could protect their chosen bearers. But that was a long time ago, because nobody has seen a relic of any kind since the Awakening, and that was over a hundred years ago. Well, until now, that is.”
“So, Dak, what do you know about this Ring of Taeena and Book of Changes? Is it really end of the world stuff?” I’m really really hoping he was overstating things earlier.
He nods. Shit!
“I don’t know all of the legend, but I know that the ring and book come from the Other Time, when Elves could use magic just like humans can, but we didn’t get sick or weak from it. I know that part of the legend says that when the book comes back, it means the end of the world. Or maybe it means the world changes. I’m not sure which.”
Well, I’ll sure as hell take a changed world over an ended one, thank you. I’m about to ask him a few more things he probably doesn’t know when we see Medford coming up ahead. I tell Dak that we’ll get dinner and a room for the night, then head for Mount Shasta in the morning.
Medford isn’t a very big place and it’s mostly a logging town, but it is on a major stretch of road, so there are a couple of hotels. I park the car behind the “Medford Arms” and then we check in as “Mabel Beach” and her ward of the court, “Javin Birchtree”. The old man behind the desk barely gives us a look as he hands over the key to our room.
It’s a nice enough room with two beds and windows that look out on the street. After washing up, we head to the restaurant across the street and have a couple of steaks with all the trimmings. Nobody seems to notice us, which is both a blessing and awfully curious. You’d think that this little podunk town got black women traveling with Elf kids all the time. Something was not right, but I’m thinking I won’t bitch about it. I could use a little anonymity.
Full of food, Dak and go get some things out of Honey, then head to the room for a good night’s sleep. It takes Dak maybe half a minute to fall asleep after his head hits the pillow. Me, I mull over the day as I drift off. Hell of a lot going on and me right in the middle. There are several folks, my family included, who would not find that surprising.
I have no idea at what point I fell asleep, but the next thing I know, I’m sitting on a tree stump in the middle of the woods and I see somebody coming out of the shadows.