The Mistness comes …
When Mirrortac had long lost count of the days, they sailed into a becalmed sea. Luma had assumed a similar path to that over Eol and the seasons were distinguishable. The air was cool and its freshness reminded the erfin of his old homeland. He thought of the gentle glades between the firs, the lush fields of nif-grass and the resolute snow-covered peaks of Elfa, Ohmga and Mateote. They had exchanged the tumu-Ra for refreshed residents of the sea that now rippled and swelled in gentle motion about them. But despite this peace there was a foreboding sense in the atmosphere. Mirrortac felt tightness in his stomach and a growing uneasiness. The serenetees felt it too and were concerned enough to bark new orders to the eeeps to sail eastering where they hoped to elude whatever unknown hazard loomed over this sea. The serenetees’ leader was agitated and barked at the eeeps several times without result. The others joined him in ordering the eeeps to obey but they were ignored. Mirrortac climbed onto the bow and peered at the five creatures. He barked at them with promises of fish but the creatures ignored him also and continued to drag the flut into the ominous calm waters. It seemed to him that the creatures were under some spell, focussing ahead as they did, fully concentrated on the distance, their beaks wearing false smiles and a shadow of darkness dwelling in their sad eyes. Mirrortac tried to meet their minds but was greeted instead with a dread that lifted up the hairs on his neck and sent cold shivers up his spine. As the Serenetees looked up, their faces visibly paled. A cloud of grey mist hung over the water ahead of them and Mirrortac shook his shaggy head in recognition.
‘The Mistness comes,’ he whispered to himself.
‘We be nearing the place now. Our mission will soon begin!’
The flut continued to sail toward the mist, taking the unwilling crew with it and an erfin who could not guess at what horrors he would soon face. And as the mist closed in around them, grey wisps curled up from the water like steam accompanied by an intense brooding silence. One of the serenetees yelped, jumping aside as some unseen spectre brushed by him. Mirrortac glanced nervously from side to side, expecting the worst. He squinted as a patch of mist swished past him. Green shapes flitted out of spaces in the grey and as the mist cleared, there was revealed a pebbly gold beach and a forest of tall firs climbing up and over a series of rolling hills and mountains. The serenetees sighed their relief. They all laughed and leapt clear of the flut, wading through the waist deep water until they stood upon the beach, grinning at each other and pleased with their discovery. However, the feeling of unease seemed to persist as though they had been tricked into feeling comfortable while some trap was being set for them. Perhaps they had all become too wary, Mirrortac thought, and started off on his own so he could be alone for the first time in countless days.
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