The Five Sacred Stones of Geraptiku: Part Five
Part Five: The Touchstone
Tura-Kepek sat there for hours, muttering inaudible
words to his staff and waving it in small, purposeful moves. My legs were cramping,
and I had to shift them. I stood up cautiously and stretched them silently.
I bent back down, but I slipped on the smooth ground and fell flat on my back
with a resonant thud. I closed my eyes in frustration. I was caught.
I couldn't see Tura-Kepek, but I could hear
him. He was walking towards my hiding spot in the dark. I slid myself into the
smallest position possible behind the stalagmite. I prayed he wouldn't find
me. I heard his breath, in, out, in, out. What must have been five seconds felt
like five minutes. It was terrifying.
Then, relief flooded my body. He turned and
not only did he leave his seat by the entrance, but he went further into the
cave, leaving it completely clear for me to leave! I quietly tiptoed to the
exit and escaped, checking to make sure I had the stones.
I practically ran down the slopes of Techo Mountain.
It made me feel so much happier that I now had a chance to save the town. The
Council would be overjoyed. I ran through the jungle, ducking under branches
and leaping over roots that were in my way. I finally entered the town and dashed
to the hut of the elders.
"Council!" I shouted. "I've retrieved the stones!"
They turned to face me, their faces somber.
"What's wrong?" I asked. "Aren't you glad I found the stones?"
"We have decided to vacate the town. We will
not be waiting for Tura-Kepek to attack again," the Chief said.
"But… but I found the stones," I said.
"And that is great, but it will not be enough
to hold them off. We are sorry, but we must leave. We have created another-"
"No! You can't just leave! What about staying
strong? That's what Ekwi would do!"
"We are no match for him, with or without the
stones. We must leave."
"You're wrong! I can do it! I can defeat him!"
I said, desperate. I couldn't just let them be wiped out.
"Council, I must tell you something. In the
future, your town, it doesn't survive. I realized when I came here that if I
could change what happened here, your town could survive. Geraptiku could still
be a flourishing village centuries later! If you're going to leave, we must
do the opposite of that to save the town! Because if you left when I wasn't
here, and that destroyed the town, then if you stay here and fight them off,
then we can keep the town safe!"
The Council looked at me. I had never seen anyone
ever give me a stranger look. It was a mixture of confusion, disbelief, and
fear. Then the Chief spoke up.
"If this is true, then maybe we have a chance
My heart soared. "Then let's prepare ourselves!"
I noticed the Chief Elder slipped something
into a pocket of her clothes. I turned and left the hut, the elders following
suit. I looked up at Techo Mountain. It was hard to see the cave entrance in
the daylight, but I had a general idea where it was. I wasn't at all surprised
to see a shimmer constantly flowing out of what looked like the cave. It meant
they were coming.
The spirits attacked the town of Geraptiku a
short two hours after I spoke with the elders. The village was nowhere near
ready to fight back, but thankfully all of the homes had been evacuated. The
villagers were hiding in the tomb, cowering in the many rooms.
This time, however, was different. Tura-Kepek
came with the spirits, and he brought total destruction. While the spirits just
terrorized the townsfolk, the Kyrii shaman actually set fire to the huts and
watched them burn.
I watched from the entrance of the tomb with
the five elders. They looked fearful, but sure of what they were doing. We had
worked out a whole plan on how this would work. However, we weren't expecting
Tura-Kepek to come too. I turned to the elders.
"What are we going to do about him?" I asked.
"Maybe we should flee," one said.
"No!" I whispered. "We mustn't leave. We've
got to change history. We have to do it this way. There must be a way."
"Maybe we could get his staff somehow?"
"That's a great idea! That staff must control
the spirits. If we get that, we win."
The elders looked at each other. Who would risk
I looked at all of them. "I'll do it," I told
them. "Hopefully the shield will protect me."
"Be careful, Jake," the Chief told me.
I nodded and slipped out of the tomb. There
were ghosts all over the town. How I was going to get through them was a mystery
to me. I'd have to use the weapon. Nevertheless, I tried to slip past as many
as possible before being seen by Tura-Kepek. That didn't last long, though.
Soon enough I was hurling the stone through the air, specters exploding all
Tura-Kepek heard the commotion from yards away.
He turned to the sound. His eyes widened when he saw me.
"Well, well, it's you again," he said. "I should've
figured it was you who stole those stones."
I faced him, a glare plastered on my face. I
didn't say anything. I was too afraid. His staff was glowing, almost pulsating
a bright yellow-orange glimmer.
"Well, I'd like those stones back. Are you going
to give them to me, or will I have to take them?"
"You won't be getting these stones."
"I believe I will be. Very well, I'll take them."
He raised his staff and flicked it towards me. A bright light shone out of it
and shot towards me. Impulsively, I lifted the guard stone, my eyes closed.
It worked, but there was a consequence. The
shield had split in half. The part with the handle was still in my grasp, but
the other half lay on the ground. I looked up, and saw Tura-Kepek looking at
me in shock.
"Nothing's ever stopped my staff before," he
said, still stunned.
"Yeah, well, that's all changed," I muttered.
"No matter. I broke your shield. There's nothing
to protect you anymore," he said, the shock replaced with a malevolent grin.
Thinking quickly, I flung the half of the shield
I still held at the shaman. It knocked the staff off course, sending blasts
across the village. One of them hit a hut, which burst into flames.
He now turned to me again, clearly angry. "ENOUGH!"
he screamed. "For too long you've been a thorn in my side. It's time to get
rid of you!"
I turned to run towards the tomb, trying to
flee. He shot his staff at me numerous times, each one meeting its mark. They
sent jolts up my spine, causing me to spasm. It slowed me down substantially.
"KILL HIM!" the shaman screamed towards his
ghosts. He shot those terrible blasts over and over again, causing me to scream
in pain. The spirits were soaring towards me, their soulless eyes staring into
I made it to the tomb, where the elders were
watching me silently. They let me in, and closed the doors to keep out the spirits.
Strangely enough, the specters couldn't pass through walls this time. Guess
that blow to Tura-Kepek's staff really did knock some power out of it.
I stared at the elders helplessly. "You did
what you could," was all they said. It wasn't easy to miss the desperation in
"Look, I'm sorry. I truly thought that this
was the way to save you. I guess I was wrong all along. I'm so sorry. Maybe
we can still get out if we-"
"No," the Chief Elder said. "No, Jake. You've
caused too much trouble already. We have lost our village because of what you
told us to do. No, it is time for you to go home."
"What?" I asked. Until she said home, I honestly
hadn't thought of it. "What do you mean? How can I get home?"
"When we made the guard stone for you, we knew
you would need a way to get home. So, we also found a way to take you back home.
We barely know what the magic behind all this is capable of, but we knew with
the right message on it, we'd be able to send you home. Now it is time for you
to go. We know our fate. We do not want your fate to be decided here."
There was that fate thing again. Did it really
run out lives like this?
"How can you send me home?" I asked. The Chief
Elder pulled out of her pocket the thing I saw her slip in before-a small, round
stone not bigger than a tennis ball. It had the same engravings as on the other
stones I had encountered on this adventure.
"What do the engravings say?" I asked.
"It says, 'To take you to your rightful home,'"
one of the Kougra elders told me.
I turned to look at all of the elders. "Thank
you for everything. Are you sure you don't want me to stay and try to fix some
of this mess?"
They shook their heads no. "No, you have done
enough. Thank you for all your help, Jake. Fate has chosen our pathway, and
this is where it leads. Goodbye."
She handed me the small stone. A single tear
rolled down my cheek as the Council and all of the villagers faded all around
me. I wiped the tear away hastily. I hoped they didn't see me crying.
I was in the tomb, but I was home. I stepped
outside with a faint glimmer of hope that they might have saved themselves.
Geraptiku was still deserted. I had done nothing.
I left the tomb and went home.
To be continued...