Forgot to post this on here. Oopsie!
Taranee - Earth
When they reached the Lins’ Restaurant, Hay Lin led them to a small, side door that led up to her family’s apartment above. Taranee couldn’t wait to get something to eat. Her growling stomach continued to remind her that lunch had ended several hours before. When they finally reached the quaint apartment, no one really wanted tea, so they settled for dragon fruit juice with their cookies. Taranee relaxed as they talked about which boys were cute and which teachers let late homework slide a little.
When half the almond cookies Hay Lin found and most of Will’s chocolate chip cookies were gone, a tiny, old woman came in and greeted Hay Lin, Cornelia and Irma warmly. It was Yan Lin, Hay Lin’s grandmother.
“And who are these two beauties?” She asked Hay Lin.
Both Taranee and Will blushed and gave their names.
“Welcome to our apartment,” the tiny woman said, taking the sixth chair. “You know, a few days ago I had the strangest dream that reminded me of a story I heard when I was your age.”
“Oh, Grandma, not a story,” Hay Lin said, turning pink.
“Hush, xaio Hay,” Yan Lin said to her granddaughter. “I think you will all find this tale more than entertaining.
“In the universe, there are many worlds,” she began. “Some are evil, some are good, and some, like our own, are a mix. One world that is mixed is Kandrokar, home to Meridian. Long ago, the king and queen of Meridian were evil, while most of their people and their youngest child were not.
“Seeing the people’s suffering, the youngest prince prayed that someone with heart and courage would come to end the people’s suffering and put a stop to his parents’ evil. His prayer was heard, and here on Earth five young girls were chosen to become Guardians of Light and protectors of the innocent.
“Together, the prince and the Guardians managed to defeat the evil king and queen, but when they did, the prince had changed. Prince Phobos used evil magic to make himself immortal, and a powerful sorcerer, one too strong for the Guardians to defeat. So they placed a powerful veil over the world, a shield to keep his darkness from spreading to other worlds, including our own.
“But the shield did nothing more than buy the Guardians time. Eventually they passed away, and new Guardians took their place. All the while, Phobos was waiting, biding his time and building his strength. And there he remains still, waiting for the veil to weaken enough to come to our world, and bring it into his thrall.”
While Yan had talked, Taranee had seen everything in her mind, almost like a movie. She’d seen the different worlds, and the sorrow of the people trapped on Meridian. Prince Phobos looked very handsome to her, but somehow that only made him scarier. And she imagined the Guardians, fighting for the people, pouring every ounce of their strength into the veil that protected their world.
What’s wrong with me? Taranee chided herself. It’s just a story! There’s no such thing as Meridian or Guardians. Right?
“What sort of powers did the Guardians have, Grandma?” Hay Lin asked. “I bet their outfits were like super cool and stuff!”
“I bet they were beautiful!” Cornelia said.
“Yeah, ‘cause that’s important when you’re beating the crap out of crazy monsters,” Irma said dryly.
“Their outfits were super cool,” Yan assured them. “And they were quite beautiful, even during battle. As for their powers, one controlled air,” she said, looking at Hay Lin, then Taranee, “and another fire. A third had earth, the fourth used water.” She’d been looking at Cornelia, then Irma. She turned her ancient eyes to Will, who hadn’t moved during the story. “The fifth and leader had the power of Quintessence.”
“Quinn-what?” Taranee asked.
“Quintessence,” Yan Lin repeated. “The power to use the Heart of Kandrokar, the source of the Guardians’ power. Only the leader could use it.”
After a long moment, Yan rose again. “Well, didn’t I tell you it would be entertaining?”
“Thanks for the story Mrs. Lin,” Will said, placing her half-eaten cookie back on her plate. “It was…different.”
Yan smiled at them all. “Will any of you be joining us for dinner?”
They all said they had made other plans, which wasn’t true. Taranee hadn’t, and the others had talked about staying. But Taranee couldn’t get the story out of her mind, couldn’t stop imagining a tall guardian with long, braided, blue hair, wielding the power of fire like it was nothing.
No, she wasn’t staying for dinner.
Stop it, she told herself as she boarded the bus. There’s no such thing as a Guardian of Light.
But while her mind kept telling her that, her heart longed to have the power of fire. She wanted to be a Guardian. Whether it was real or not, she really did.