Last Line(s): Maybe there was a cure to the curse. There had to be. There’s always a cure to a curse. That was his motto and he had to live up to it. Maybe the Painter and Writer could help him find a cure and get over his psychotic state. They would be life savers if they did. He wouldn’t ever know how to repay them.
Once he found the cure, he’d make sure never to fall in love again. It was too much to bear.
The next morning, Zoya woke up with a start. She’d just had a very vivid dream but now she couldn’t remember any of it. Running a hand through her tangled hair, she sat up on her sleeping bag.
She looked across the tent at Audrey and Will. They were both still sleeping, backs towards each other.
Zoya’s heart tore. She knew exactly what was wrong with Will and it was driving her crazy. Maybe, just maybe, Audrey would be smart enough and she’d figure it out herself. But Zoya doubted it. “Fat chance,” she muttered. She itched to tell Audrey what had happened but she had to be a good royal advisor and not break King Akolxohez’s promise.
She reached for her wand that was on the ground and magicked her teeth clean. A mirror popped up in front of her after her command. She looked at her teeth. Perfect. The mirror vanished in a swirl of purple mist. Soon enough, Zoya tip-toed out of the tent to get something to eat.
The sun wasn’t up yet. Only its rays were brushing the horizon. She breathed in the fresh air as she listened to the birds sing. Then she froze.
Zoya scrunched up the left side of her face and backed up. “What the…” She stared at the Angel. She was laughing and stroking air that was right in front of her face. Zoya backed up some more and tumbled into the tent which only woke up Audrey.
Will looked worse than before and for some reason, looked two times thinner than he really was. Not much time had passed. The poor guy -
“Dammit, Zoya, you scared the guts right out of me.” Audrey placed her hand on her chest. She had bags under her eyes and she looked flustered.
“Sorry…” For a second the girl forgot what she was doing here. Then she remembered. “Obraya is petting air as if it’s her lost puppy.”
Audrey twisted her face into confusion. “What?”
“I said she’s -”
“I know, I know, but are you sure? She didn’t seem that crazy.”
“I mean, she has gone through a harsh break up…” Zoya shrugged. “And she looked like she was in a lot of pain the other day. She’s got Pains, Aud, and when a non-Human gets a Pain, it’s impossible to heal it.”
Audrey raised an eyebrow. She rubbed her eyes and got up, walking out of the tent with Zoya at her heels.
Audrey gasped at the beauty. It was a pegasus and unicorn mix. It had the feathery wings and the twisted horn. The creature had a long wavy mane that reached down to its shoulders. Its coat was shining under the three almost-gone moons. “It’s gorgeous,” she breathed.
The Angel jumped around in surprise. “G’mornin’!” she chirped. “He is gorgeous, ain’t ‘e?” She led the pegasus/unicorn - Audrey still didn’t know what they were called - towards Audrey, who squeaked in delight. The creature spread out its left wing and put its head under it, doing whatever it was they did.
“Can I touch him?” Audrey asked, giddy. Obraya nodded.
Audrey did. She bit her bottom lip. “He’s so soft,” she said quickly. The Angel chuckled.
Zoya was staring right at Audrey. “Have you gone mad as well because of Will or something?” She turned around to look at Zoya.
“No!” Audrey glanced at the creature then looked at Obraya. “Does he have a name?”
“Suki,” the Angel said lovingly, taking a bunch of Suki’s mane and she started braiding it.
“Don’t you see him?” Audrey asked Zoya. “He’s right here.”
Right then, Will came out of the tent. The sun had started peeking out of the horizon now, shyly making its hike up to the top of the sky. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Suki. “Heck. This thing looks like God carefully hand-crafted this Himself.” His voice was throaty and low. He didn’t come near Suki but instead sat down on a nearby log.
“His name is Suki,” Audrey said.
“He comes from the skies. We’ve been best buddies fer a while,” Obraya explained. “I asked fer ‘im to come earlier today ‘cause I’s feeling awfully lonely. I hope y’all don’t mind.”
“Oh.” Zoya nodded as she sat down beside Will. “I know what this is. It’s an alicorn. Only those who’ve fallen in love can see them.” She wrung her hands. “Don’t bring it near me please. I’m afraid of any animal larger than me. And I’ve heard they’re monstrous creatures - twenty feet tall.”
Will smirked despite all the pain traveling up and down his body. “How can it be monstrous if only those who have fallen in love can see them?”
Suki flew off right then. Audrey and Obraya stood beside each other awkwardly. Audrey said something that was inaudible to Will and Zoya. She started rekindling the fire.
“I dunno, they’re rumors,” Zoya said flatly. “Is he pretty?”
“Like I said, it’s like God hand-crafted him,” Will told her.
Zoya sighed. “Can I tell you something?”
“You say that as if we’re best friends,” Will teased, nudging her. Zoya shot him a glare. “Yeah, you can.”
“You’re sick, right?” Zoya asked. It was more of a statement. As if she was telling Will about this.
Will grunted. “Yeah like I didn’t know. Not like I’ve been barfing like crazy and having a migraine and also feeling feverish. Thank god it lasted for only the night. It felt like a decade.”
Zoya hissed. “You’re useless to talk to. You literally start your own stories.” She got up and stormed away, back into the tent.
Will raised both his brows in surprise then shook his head in dismay. “Teenagers these days.”
Will, Audrey, and Obraya sat inside the couples’ tent. They were all discussing possible ways of getting to the Skies as fast as possible in time before the Angels started on anymore Attacks.
“You’re telling me I’m going to ride something I can’t even see? Can’t we just use the portal? It’s only four days away!” Zoya shrieked.
“And it’s only a day away on the alicorns,” Audrey pointed out.
“Child, don’t you want to get up there quick?” Will asked.
“Don’t you want to get rid of the corrupt Angels before they kill the ones who take care of you?”
“I do.” Zoya wrung her hands nervously.
“Don’t you want to live?”
“Idiot, of course I do.”
Will rolled his eyes. “It’s settled then. We’ll leave after lunch.”
“Hey! Who the hell are you to make the decisions?” Zoya protested.
“I’m the oldest.” Will shrugged, folding his boney arms. They weren’t like that before.
“You sound like a child,” Obraya said, averting her gaze. “And technically, I’m the oldest one ‘ere.”
“I’m pretty sure you’re on our side.” Audrey said, getting up to stand right next to her husband. “So end of meeting everyone. We leave after lunch.”
Obraya and Zoya shared an annoyed look.
The couple left the tent and sat around the once again blazing campfire. Will placed his head on Audrey’s lap. “I hope we can get over this soon,” they both said in unison. They looked at each other and laughed. “Weirdo.” Again in unison. They laughed again.
“Honestly though, I’m hoping we can leave this place and go back to Earth. The excitement was fun while it lasted but now I feel stressed, Aud,” Will started. “When we go back I have to think about my new job. And I wonder if anyone noticed that we’re gone. Do you think the police are trying to find us? Or have we been wiped from everyone’s minds? Or has -”
Audrey put her finger on Will’s lips. He went silent right away. There was no point worrying now. They had made a promise with the king of Hell so who knew what would happen if they ran away or gave up.
“As long as you have me, you’re fine.” Audrey said, combing back Will’s red curls.
He let a smile slip. “That’s my dialogue.”
“Get up now and help me with packing some things we’ll need on the way. I’ll ask Obraya what we’ll need.” Audrey got up and walked back into the tent.
Obraya and Zoya were talking. Obraya was pale. Well, she was pale before as well but she looked a ghostly pale now. As soon as Audrey had entered, the two had silenced.
“What happened?” she asked.
Obraya shook her head furiously. “I’m going to go pack some things.” And she raced out of the tent. Audrey looked at Zoya. She wouldn’t meet her gaze.
“What happened to her? She didn’t even have any belongings in the first place,” Audrey said. Zoya didn’t say anything. Audrey threw her hands in the air in frustration. “Fine! Don’t tell me!”
“If Will’s condition worsens, I’ll tell you then.” Zoya left as well.
Time to pack up.