“Hey, Fiera. Sorry it’s been so long.” I said, coming back into the auditorium.
“So, are you going to have to reread all of this just to get our world’s names back in your head?” Fiera asked, her back to me as she watched a trail of bubbles form in the air around her, leaving a ribbon of foam that settled in a ring around her.
“Fairy ring!” an energetic voice called excitedly, undulating up and down as the speaker sped around the room.
“And that would be?” I asked as I stepped beside Fiera, pointing to the Nexie flying around us.
“The Nexie you left injured last time you were writing.” Fiera scolded, and I held up my hands.
“I know what she is, but I don’t know her name. And I left this story alone so much to let her heal.”
“Liar.” Fiera spat, keeping her eyes on the sparkling trail of bubbles in the air. “You’ve been spending all your time on ‘the experiment.’ No, just leave us in the dust, see what we care.”
“Fiera, you are not the only story I’m working on.” I told her.
“No! We’re not! We’re, what, the seventh, or the eighth? Oh, that’s right, you have so many you can’t even keep your head screwed on straight. So forgive me if I’m just a little put off that you spend all your time on one story!” she ranted angrily. “No, we’re just left to suffer in your mental closet while you have a hay day with the story that takes the longest to write. Oh, and to top it all off, after weeks of work you have two, count’em, TWO chapters to show for all your hard work. So thank you very much!”
“I’ve only spend a few hours typing that story; the rest was just generating story content.” I responded. “Well, now that you’ve gotten that off your chest, do you feel better?”
“Slightly.” she huffed, and shook her head. “Fine, go ahead and say what you want to say.”
“You never told me the Nexie’s name.” I said.
“Her name is…” Fiera began, but the Nexie interrupted her.
“Naia!” it squealed enthusiastically as it left another bubble trail in her wake.
“Well I see she’s healed fine.” I stated, and Fiera snorted.
“No thanks to you.”
“Hey, I did my best. I’m working on this now.” I told her, and she shook her head.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” She walked towards the viewing screen, then stopped and looked back at me quizzically. “You had something to say about Lacuna.”
“Um, well on second thought no I didn’t.” I tried to dodge the question. “Why don’t we get back to Nick?”
“No, Lacuna first. You need to ‘get this off your chest’, remember?” Fiera grinned mischievously.
“Fiera…” I scolded, and she smiled sweetly.
“You were an ornery child, weren’t you?”
“Hey, at least I know to phone home when I get left behind at church.” I retorted.
“Hey! Give her some credit. She was calling all the cellphones.” Fiera defended.
“And she didn’t think to call home when she told me that her sister should have been home by now?” I pointed out.
“Oh, so you’re complaining about how that worked to your favor then?” Fiera asked, and as I reached for the backspace key she slapped my hand. “No! You know the rule: once it’s typed, it stays.”
“No! Rules are rules.”
“But I wrote them.” I pouted.
“Well, you’ll just have to learn to live with it and write better rules in the future.” Fiera stated.
“Fine.” I said.
“So what was it you wanted to say? ‘Missing’ something?” Fiera asked, and I groaned.
“Fiera, saying it that way leads to so many wrong conclusions.” I bemoaned.
“Well, if you’d just told me straight off, we wouldn’t have this issue, now would we?” she said. “So what did you want to say?”
“Well, I’m not saying it anymore, if that’s what you mean.”
“Oh, no. You are not copping out on this one.” she said, and I smiled.
“Naia! Want to go find Nick?” I called up to the soaring Nexie.
“Nick? Yay! Playtime!” Naia called, and zipped into the viewing sheet.
“This is not over.” Fiera said, shooting me dagger eyes before turning to face the image on the screen.
“One, two, forget I do.” I said in a sing-song voice. She punched me in the arm.
Nick stepped into the room, quickly scanning the contents. The room was practically bare, save for two torches in sconces on the far wall, which illuminated a Sword set in stone. A chest sat on the right side of the room, and on the left wall hung a device-less shield.
“Quite the pad.” Nick commented as he walked into the room, leaving a trail of footprints in the dust. [“Hey! Naia’s outside the Tower. She wants in.” Fiera told me. “I can see her doing laps around it outside, but remember that’s what got her sick in the first place.” I told her. “Fine. Nick! You’d better move your hind-quarters or I’m going to do it for you.” Fiera shouted down. Nick glanced up and waved, a broad smile on his face. “Hurrying!” he shouted back up.] “So, this is Elytron.” he said, walking up and placing his hand on the gilded hilt of the Sword. “So what makes you so special?” he asked, pulling the Sword out of the stone block. The Tower rumbled once, and Nick stomped his foot, then started jumping up and down. “London Bridge is falling down!!!” he shouted at the top of his lungs, stomping his feet with each successive leap. [“Nick!” Fiera scolded. “What? I’m just having fun.” he said. “Not that,” Fiera said, “You’ve got Naia outside waiting.” “Oh, right. Sorry.”] He pulled the scabbard off the wall from behind where the Sword used to stand, sprinted over to the shield and grabbed it too, and (for good measure) kicked the chest through the Tower wall and leaped out after it, landing on the ground simultaneously with the oaken box.
“Nick!” Naia exclaimed happily, flitting around him once. “Aubrie! Come see Nick!” Another Nexie flitted over, and the two began spinning giant circles of foam around him, draping the bubble trails over his shoulder. The pair stopped when they noticed the Sword resting in his hands.
“Terrible Sword.” Aubrie (or was it Naia?) said.
“Evil Sword.” the other Nexie agreed. [“You know which is which, mister, so call it straight.” Fiera demanded. “Fine, fine, from now on. No backspacing, remember?” I said, and she made a face. “Oh, go shove it.”]
“What’s so bad about it?” Nick asked, but the Nexies shook their heads.
“Nick will find out.” Aubrie said.
“You will see.” Naia told him.
“Well, all right then.” Nick said, then looked down at the blade. The metal was an onyx hue, its hilt a dull golden color. The scabbard was covered in dark brown leather, and had a navy blue belt attached to it. The shield, made of a light gray metal, still bore no standard, and the chest remained unharmed, although a ring of dust had fallen off of it from its forceful landing. “I wonder what’s in there.” Nick said, and took a step towards it.
“Ah, ah, ah.” I said, and made the chest vanish.
“Hey! No fair.” Nick pouted, and I smiled.
“That’s for later.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll get it out of the storage closet when he leaves.” Fiera told him, and I glared at her.
“Okay, well, what am I supposed to do with these?” He held up the Sword and shield.
“Bear Elytron for now.” I told him. “And the shield too.”
“But I already have my own.” he said.
“I know. They’re not for you.”
“Then who are they for?” Nick asked.
“All in good time, my dear fellow.” Fiera interjected. She gave me ‘the look’ and said, “He’s not going to tell us until he’s good and ready to, so we might as well wait until the cameras go off to bug him.”
“Fiera, you are messing up the narrative flow by interjecting statements without the brackets.” I told her.
“You’re doing it too!” she countered.
“All right, I’ll stop then. Nick, go back to your story.” [“Hey! Doesn’t his story world get a name now? You’ve been stalling long enough.” Fiera said. “I generated some names just for you. Pick one.” I told her. “That’s perfect! That one.” she said, then added, “Since I’ve been on you to name this place for so long”. “All right, Onya it is.” “Wait! What’s Nick’s horse’s name?” “Don’t know right now, we’ll find out.”]
“Come on, Jess, we’ve got places to go.” Nick called, running over to his mare and jumping into the saddle. She snorted in protest, clopped a hoof, then started trotting forward. The two Nexies swirled around him and the brown horse, draping their bubble trails over the harnesses.
“Where are you going, Nick?” Naia asked.
“Um…I don’t exactly know at the moment.” Nick replied. “I have to give the Sword…”
“Evil Blade!” the two Nexies shrieked in unison and flitted several feet away from him.
“Hey! Where are you…okay, fine. I won’t talk about…it…from now on.” Nick said placatingly. The pair fluttered back, and Naia floated a few inches from the tip of Nick’s nose.
“We can’t travel far from the Ocean. Will you be close?” she asked.
“I don’t know.”
“There are a lot of things you don’t know.” Aubrie said.
Nick nodded, grinning. “Yeah, there are. But hopefully I’ll find them out when I need to.”
“Or before.” Fiera added, jumping into the world next to Nick. She landed in a crouch, and then pushed herself up off her knee to grin at the Nexies. “Nick, apparently you’ll have to face the Scrofas before you find the person that’s getting the…” She clicked her teeth shutting her mouth so fast, and smiled sheepishly. “Phew, almost blew that one.” [“Well, if you’d just let me type like I need to…” I teased her. “Can it and finish.” she snapped.] “Anyway…”
“So, what exactly are the Scrofas?” Nick asked as he started Jess into a trot.
“Flying pigs.” Fiera stated flatly, and shot me an annoyed glare. [“What?” I asked. “Flying pigs. Seriously? Come on, you’re breaking your own rules now.” Fiera scolded. “Fiera, I can do what I want with my writing.” “Not the point.” Fiera replied, and ignored me.]
“Really? Sounds like fun.” Nick said, glancing towards the mountain range ahead eagerly. “Are they across that?”
“I don’t know yet.” Fiera said, shooting me another angry stare. “That’s all I could find out.” [“I keep my notes well-hidden, don’t I?” I asked, and Fiera snorted. “Yeah right. You have absolutely no idea what you’re going to do with this. And you’ve stayed up so late now you’re just trying to fill space.” “Well, the chapter’s pretty much…” I started, but Fiera interrupted me. “Go to bed. Now.”]
They traveled on in silence for a few minutes, leaving the Nexies farther behind. Nick glanced back, and in the sky the Nexies had left a trail of bubbles that said ‘Bye Nick!’ The bubbles gently shimmered, and then slowly popped one by one until the sky writing had disappeared.
“Bye Naia and Aubrie!” Nick called back, waving over his shoulder. He glanced down at Fiera, who had put a hand on his leg. “So…you’re leaving again.”
“I’m going to go kick a disobedient author to bed.” she told him, not trying to hide an evil smile. [“No! Now you’re going to keep me up and blame me for it.” I protested, and Fiera clamped a hand over my mouth.] “Bye, Nick. I’ll be back when I know more about Onya’s plot.”
“All right. Bye, sis.”
“Bye, Nick.” Fiera waved goodbye, and jumped back into the auditorium.
“Go to bed. Now. You told someone else to go to sleep, so now I’m returning the favor.” Fiera stated.
“But I want to get this chapter finished first.” I said.
Fiera shook her head. “You’re going to spend all your time arguing with me about it, and it’s going to be one of the worst chapters you’ve written so far. And don’t you even dare think about transferring your ‘hating everything you write’ feeling into this story.”
“Sorry, Fiera, I’m already starting to feel that now.”
“That’s because you’re so tired and writing absolutely nothing of value!” she cried, and then shivered. “Oh, not again. Your vocab’s bleeding into me again. Go. To. Bed.”
“All right, all right. Good night, Fiera.”
“Good night! Go to sleep!” I saved the document before Fiera could stir herself up anymore and shut off my computer.