Evil Death: Part Four
IV. Lapses in Judgement
”What is the one thing you wish for the most?”
Eliv cocked his head back slowly, trying to make sense of the shape that was in front of him. His eyes were blurry and he couldn’t feel anything. What had happened? Where was he? Who was calling out to him?
It all hit him suddenly. Gloria had fed him the poison apple. Gloria, the witch who had offered him food. He should have trusted his instinct and ran away from that alley as fast as he could. But hunger had been overwhelming. And now he was trapped here.
As his vision became clearer, he looked around. He seemed to be in a basement of some sort. His hands and legs were tied down with thick rope to a rickety wooden chair. Dozens of candles illuminated the room, making the dank and musty basement clearer. He could see Gloria hovered over him in a long black cloak. Her hair was down and, for the first time, Eliv got a really close look at her.
And Gloria was a Faerie.
Eliv hovered outside of the white door, his hand up in the air, poised to knock. He had gotten the number of his father’s hotel room from the manager downstairs and was determined to speak to him. Now that he was in front of the door, he wasn’t so sure he wanted to.
His mind went over the possibilities. Why was he worried that his father would be angry with him? There was no reason for him to be. Why did he care about that anyway? Eliv was confused and his thoughts seemed to become a puzzle he could not figure out. He couldn’t decide and he didn’t think he ever would. He imagined an eternity of waiting outside the door wondering whether he should knock or not.
Before he made his decision, the door opened for him and the Bruce peeked outside. “You’ve been standing out here for quite a while,” he commented.
“I know,” Eliv said.
“Would you like to come in?” Henry asked and opened the door wider, giving Eliv a free pass to enter his room.
Wordlessly, Eliv moved forward and surveyed the room. It was nothing over the top. One single bed, a small couch, a night stand, and a desk. Sunlight streamed in from a large ceiling to carpet window and Eliv saw the window was actually a door and it opened up to a small balcony. Eliv took a seat on the couch, which was a soothing beige color, just as the Bruce shut the door.
“So, I’m going to get straight to the point,” his father said, taking a seat on the couch. “What are you here for?”
“I want to go back with you. To Mother’s house. I don’t know why I’m doing this,” Eliv said and sighed. “But I think I need to. It’s like... my purpose. Or at least for now it is. It’s what I was meant to do.”
“Very well. We’ll leave by Eyrie tomorrow,” Henry said, putting his hands on his knees and getting up from his place on the edge of the bed. “I’d suggest to pack a few things – I don’t know what you’re going to be dealing with.”
Eliv nodded and got up from his seat as well. “What time should I be here?”
“Nine in the morning. Sharp, please,” Henry said with a smile. “I’d like to be in Neopia Central by the afternoon.”
“Okay,” Eliv said, relieved. It felt as if a huge burden had been lifted off his shoulders.
Henry opened the door and ushered the Kacheek out, waving and said a quick “Goodbye” before closing the door.
As Eliv walked down the hall, he whispered to himself. “Goodbye.”
”Who are you?” Eliv asked, gazing at the mysterious figure who was standing before him.
Gloria smiled. “Now, now. Don’t be asking me questions if you haven’t returned the favor.”
Eliv glared up at her. “Tell me who you are and I’ll answer your question.”
Gloria giggled. “You’re not in the position to bargain with me, little Kacheek.”
Eliv looked down at his feet. He hated not having the upper hand and felt intimidated on all levels. The Faerie was right – there was no way he could bargain with her. “Okay,” he said, though it pained him to give into her demands. “What was your question?”
“What is the one thing you wish for the most?” she asked, smiling.
Eliv was about to say something sarcastic when she saw Gloria’s eyes turn red. Though it was just for a split second, Eliv almost jumped back and knocked the chair over. He took a deep breath and tried to calm himself and say it was a trick of the mind. Her eyes didn’t actually turn red. That was ridiculous. But Eliv knew he was trying to fool himself. This Faerie was evil in some way. No one in their right mind would do this.
“Uhm...” he mumbled, trying to think of an answer. Then a memory came back to him from deep in the back of his mind. He could see his mother clearly, sitting with him on a couch and saying something. Something he wasn’t able to figure out. A riddle. It had tortured him for weeks. The fact that he couldn’t figure out what the answer to it was. Eileen had offered many times to give him the answer but he refused. He wanted to figure it out on his own. But he never did. Soon after this had happened, his mother had left him on the street and he had completely forgotten about the riddle and his frustration in figuring it out.
Quickly, Eliv spurted an answer out. “I want to be able to solve any riddle at any time. I want to have a swift-thinking mind and be able to figure out peoples deceptions just as a riddle deceives and confuses..”
Gloria nodded. “Very well,” she said and Eliv drifted back into unconsciousness. Before he was totally out, he could’ve sworn he heard Gloria mutter, “Just beware the consequences.”
He was standing outside of the apartment door at a little earlier than nine in the morning. The door was open and Henry shuffled around inside. Eliv knocked on the open door and entered the hotel room. His father looked at him and smiled kindly.
“Promptness,” he commented. “That’s a very important thing to have.” The Bruce lugged his suitcase out into the hallway and sighed lightly. “How much you’ve matured...”
Eliv smiled slightly. He was in a very good mood and was happy to take off of work at the puzzle stand for a few days. He hadn’t been out of the Haunted Woods in quite a few years and, though the circumstances he was leaving under weren’t the most pleasant, he couldn’t help but feel a little joyous that he was going to see new surroundings.
Eliv had only packed a small suitcase filled with clothes and some medicine which kept the pain his disfigured face was in to a minimum.
It only took his father a few more minutes to get everything in order. Though it had seemed as if he was doing a lot of work, his father only brought out two bags with him.
“The Eyrie is waiting outside for us,” he said and started down the hallway to the stairwell. Eliv followed after him quickly.
Once they were in the lobby, he could see the majestic blue Eyrie standing outside of the large glass double doors, a sign around his neck announcing Henry’s name. Without even telling the desk manager he was leaving, the two of them filed out of the hotel and the Bruce hopped onto the Eyrie’s back.
“Where to?” the Eyrie asked in a squeaky voice.
“Neopia Central, please,” Henry said, putting his bags inside a cart that was attached to the Eyrie’s backside. He then climbed up on to the flying creature with expertise. Eliv, on the other hand, fumbled to get his suitcase in the cart and it took him quite a few tries to get himself position correctly on the Eyrie. This form of travel wasn’t that familiar to Eliv and certainly wasn’t his favorite.
With a quick jump, the Eyrie took off into the air and said cheerily, “Away we go!” It was only a few hours before they reached Neopia Central...
Eliv’s eyes barely opened. He could only see Gloria’s back turned to him and he could only hear her distant muttering while she hovered over a small desk, fidgeting with her hands. Eliv tried to turn his head but was unable to.
He called out in a weak voice, “Gloria?”
The Faerie turned around with a smile. “Oh, good. You’re awake! How do you feel?” She walked over to the Kacheek as a proud parent would.
“Uhm... okay... I guess,” Eliv said slowly, looking around. He still wasn’t a hundred percent himself. “My face feels a little funny. Numb. But, other than that, I guess I’m fine.”
“Good, good!” Gloria said, clapping her hands together. “Then everything came out all right. Your wish was a success!”
“H-how do you know?” Eliv asked, still trying to get his bearings.
“Don’t you remember? I asked you a riddle just a few minutes ago. You answered it perfectly before you... slipped back into unconsciousness. I guess you wouldn’t remember. It is certainly bad that I’m out of riddles. Guess I’ll have to search for more so you can practice your new ability. I don’t think you’ll be needing much practice, though.”
Eliv nodded slowly. “C-can you untie my hands? I need to move my arms around. They feel so stiff.”
Gloria nodded. “I’ll do more than that. I’ll let you walk around for a few minutes since you were so successful!” She quickly got to work on the ropes which bound Eliv’s hands and ankles.
As she was almost done with the rope around his left ankle, he thought of something. He could break free. He could knock the Faerie over and make a dash for the stairs. It wouldn’t be that hard as long as he was careful not to be hit by any spells the Faerie could cast. And, if she was on the floor, that wouldn’t be much of a problem.
He had decided he would do it by the time Gloria had finished untying the last rope. Before she could get another word out, he tackled her to the ground. However, he couldn’t get up off his feet in time and he knew this. So he kept the Faerie pinned to the ground and started to shout at her.
“Who are you? What have you done to me?”
“I’m Gloria, honey. And you’re hurting me. You’re quite strong.”
“Who are you really? I’ve seen you from somewhere. You’re so familiar...” Eliv voice drifted off and Gloria tried to escape but he made his grip a little harder. “Who are you?”
The Faerie’s eyes glowed red and this time Eliv knew it wasn’t a trick of the eyes. This time, her two pupils stayed a dark red and a raspy voice came out of her mouth, a voice which sounded nothing like Gloria’s.
“I am Ilere, the Faerie of the Woods. You will do as I say.”
As these words came out of the figures mouth below Eliv, he took all pressure off of the body and ran for the stairs. Hopefully she wouldn’t catch him again...
To be continued...