A magical place is not all as it seems
Mirrortac felt as though he was in some magnificent dream that was not a dream. He strolled alongside his she-erfin through the faint green lit glades of the Enchanted Blue Forest. Animals gathered around them and danced into the air, defying the force of the air and logic. Water appeared from out of the earth, forming into droplets that slipped up like rain in reverse, pouring up into a clear green sky; stones crawled up the yellow trunks of trees. Yenic smiled warmly.
‘We should give praise for this moment, you and I,’ she said. ‘With a cup of Merma-mead!’ She swept her fingers through the air, revealing a brown-gold chalice filled with the sweet whitish liquid. She took a few sips and passed the chalice to Mirrortac who drank some and passed it back to her. Yenic looked deeply into his eyes and gave a half-smile. Then she threw the cup into the air, saying – ‘Fly away pretty one!’ and the cup was magically transformed into a Cooit that flew up high into the tree tops.
Mirrortac could only marvel at these tricks, leaning his head on her shoulder and stroking her. She winked at him with a cheeky grin and danced off into the forest ahead of him. The erfin laughed and went after her as she jumped from tree to tree and swung suspended in the air. She giggled and grunted with delight, creating obstacles to slow him with her magical powers. Muddy puddles appeared under his feet and large boulders materialised in front of him.
The chase led them far into the forest where Yenic finally allowed herself to be captured. The erfin threw her down to the ground, panting and laughing. She giggled and blinked her eyes at him and, in an instant, he found himself perched high up on a branch. She appeared alongside him and took his hand.
‘Look! the forest ends,’ she said. ‘We must be away to the Castle of Hopocus. It is upon Fog Peak there.’ She pointed over a dark valley that was blanketed in a thick grey mist. The craggy peaks of several mountains poked up their heads above the mist and upon one of these rested the turrets and spires of a blue castle.
Mirrortac shivered. There was a sinister feel to the valley and its bleak mountains, quite different to the Enchanted Blue Forest, and the name Hopocus sounded vaguely familiar though he had never been to such a place.
‘Must we go to that place? It appears to be of darkness. I feel a strangeness lurks there.’ Mirrortac focussed pleading eyes upon her.
‘T’would seem darkness, my princeling but the castle is filled with wonders. And you must meet the Hopocus. Yea, you must meet the Hopocus. If you do not care to stay we will come back here to the forest. Is that not fairness?’ Yenic took his hand, stood up and smiled.
‘Yea, you would know this world better than I, sweetness,’ he said.
But Mirrortac was alarmed when she prepared to launch them both into the sky. ‘Yenic, be in memory that we cannot fly,’ he said, almost with apology.
She giggled. ‘Mirrortac of my heart. This is the Real World. If you decide to fly, you fly. Now take my hand and do not doubt.’
She jumped out into the sky, leaving Mirrortac gasping as he left the security of the branch. In moments they were already far into the air and only a tentative grip of her hand held him aloft. He flew alongside, magically and without the need of wings. Swiftly they glided upwards and over the mist clad valley. Peaks and stark silhouettes of trees passed beneath them and in the near distance, the blue castle of Hopocus speared the sky with its rows of turrets and spires. Stairways led up to the battlements and down into the courtyard where there was a fountain. Another pathway of stone stairs led down from the peak into the misty valley below. Mirrortac caught Yenic’s eyes and she looked back at him with a glint of strangeness in her stare.
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