Where The Past Becomes The PresentA Chapter by MoonAngel
Adainne had a good sleep. For the first time in years, she felt well-rested.
She rolled over to her right, reinforcing her position under the quilt.
She could feel an unfamiliar musty heat here, but she assumed it was the radiator. Adainne was, after all, half conscious and in a state of bliss.
Growing tired of this position, Adainne rolled onto her back, pulling the covers with her.
They got stuck somehow; no matter how hard she pulled they stayed put.
So Adainne relented and slept with a cold breeze grazing her left side.
Then she got annoyed with the breeze and opened her eyes to see what was causing the obstruction.
Her eyes widened and she let out a yelp.
She was definitely, somehow, in Trellor’s room, in Trellor’s bed, with Trellor.
As was he, judging by his bare, smooth back.
“Trellor,” she hissed, poking his left arm. “Trellor wake the Hell up!”
“Hm?” This was the only response Trellor gave for twenty seconds.
“Trellor!” She shook him properly this time.
“Whaaa?” he said, pushing his fist into a closed eye. He and his dishevelled hair turned to look at her. “Oh. No.”
“We can’t have…”
“But we must have…”
“No I don’t remember it either.”
For a stunned moment, they looked at each other, nose to nose. Then they scrambled out of bed, pulling on clothes, and bolted out of the door one after the other.
Trellor had flown downstairs, and for whatever reason Adainne didn’t care.
She made a beeline for her bedroom, slamming the door shut behind her and melting down it.
“And this is why me and Psyche are twins,” she commented to the room. “Sometimes, whether we like it or not, we will act the same as each other.”
Some hours later Adainne was called to dinner - only then did she emerge from her room.
Alright so, sleeping with him wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but the fact it was a drunken encounter just made it embarrassing.
What the Hell was he going to think of her now?
Dinner had been steak and mash, a favourite of Adainne’s.
As she had suspected, it had been a quiet dinner.
The only speech had been to ask for a condiment. As soon as she had enough, she carted her plate to the sink and drifted upstairs.
She glanced back at Trellor, who was talking vivaciously to the cat about some old memory.
Then she continued up the stairs to her room, where she did nothing more but slip into nightwear and fall asleep early.
She didn’t know what time it was when she next woke up.
It wasn’t morning, or late morning anyway, as the room was still a hazy blue.
She couldn’t recall what had woken her up, but it had been something.
Something so abrupt, she couldn’t even remember what it was. A noise, perhaps? She wanted to check it out.
Adainne slid out of the room. She cushioned a foot against the first hard stair.
She kept her body concealed at the top of the stairs, but her eyes peered through the gaps.
Trellor was standing at the door. He was wearing his cape again. He looked ready to go out, but to where?
He opened the door. Outside wasn’t the twinkling chimes or a blustery night field, but instead the sky, ebony and peppered with crystals.
There was no footing, no place to step out to, simply an ethereal blanket of stars.
So Adainne was surprised when he took a step to leave into the night.
“Trellor!” she gasped, darting down to the bottom of the stairs. “What are you doing?”
Trellor gave a visible start. He turned round, sharply shutting the door. “I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d change it to the sky so I could get some air.”
“You can get air in the valley,” she said pointedly.
“Haha, yes I can,” he agreed, massaging the nape of his neck. “But not as pure as the direct night sky air.”
Adainne raised an eyebrow. Then, felt a change in her. “Right, clearly you’re not going to tell me what you were really doing, and it’s none of my business, so I’ll go back up.”
Adainne turned. She knew she had no right to be resentful, and it really was none of her business.
She couldn’t blame Trellor entirely for what happened, and she couldn’t take it out on him when he wanted to go somewhere without telling her.
He was an adult, after all. She was too, at eighteen. But she had no control over his actions.
As she reached the first step, she took a low sigh. “Actually, I’m sorry Trellor. Go wherever you like, it’s not my business. I’ve only known you four days.”
“Well, thanks,” said Trellor, awkwardly. “And I’m sorry for what happened last night. I mean I didn’t take advantage of you, and I didn’t mean for it to happen, but-”
“All you did was pour me a drink,” she said. “It was both our faults and it was just a silly mistake. That’s all.”
Trellor smiled. “Yeah I guess. I’m glad that’s sorted out, I couldn’t take anymore of that awkwardness.”
Adainne re-entered the living space, moving towards Trellor.
“Yeah, neither could I. And your steak was nice, by the way. Mash was a bit lumpy, but so are you.”
Trellor grinned. “I’m lumpy? What does that mean?”
Adainne giggled. “Not a clue. But talking about food, I could use a midnight snack while I’m down here.”
“Yeah, all that air made me hungry too.”
“Shut up,” Adainne laughed, moving to the cupboards. “If you don’t want to tell me the real reason you were going out with your stupid cape again then that’s up to you. But I can’t guarantee I won’t bug you about it.”
“Bug away,” Trellor yawned, collapsing deep into the sofa.
Adainne swiped popcorn and chocolate biscuits from the cupboard.
She brought them to Trellor, whose limbs were spread across the sofa.
“Please tell me, or I’ll drop this bag of popcorn on your quiff.”
As she said ‘quiff’, the popcorn disappeared and appeared on the coffee table in a bowl.
“This is an experienced wizard you’re dealing with, missy,” he informed her. “In more ways than one,” he added with a wink, sliding his wand away.
Her tongue hung out, and she stuck a finger into it. She made a vomiting noise. “You’re so creepy.”
“Are you going to give me a biscuit or do I have to show off my skills again?”
“Here you are,” she said, tossing him the packet. “So whinging and threatening doesn’t work, huh?”
“Nope,” he muffled, ripping the packet open with his teeth.
She cleared her throat and reasserted herself. Then, her mouth formed an attractive pout.
“Please, would you tell me what you were doing with your amazing cape on at the door?” she purred.
Trellor munched loudly. “That tactic doesn’t work when you’re wearing bunny pyjamas.”
Adainne scoffed, then sunk in beside Trellor. She crossed her legs and faced him. “Go on, it can’t be that big of a deal. I’m curious now.”
He licked his fingers. “Hm, I don’t know. It’s a pretty big deal to a lot of people.”
“Like people,” he said, throwing the packet onto the table.
Adainne pulled a face. “You know I wouldn’t tell anyone, whatever it is.”
“Ah, but you’re the President’s daughter. When you go back there, you could end up telling him all about it.”
“Yeah, and what’s Dad got to-” She gasped, realising. “You’re not a Time Wizard, are you?”
Trellor shrugged. “Well yeah, I am.”
Adainne’s jaw fell open.
“Look, it’s not that big a deal. Just please, don’t tell the Cloudline when you get back there. They’ll try to capture me, and I could evade them. But I would be constantly outrunning them, and I don’t need that hassle.”
“Well, why don’t you come back willingly?” she asked, edging closer with enthusiasm.
Trellor fixed her a look. “No! Are you kidding? I’m not getting involved in your silly little war. I have ways of dealing with it on my own.”
“Dealing with what?” she asked, then put it aside. “No, but you could help if you became a War Wizard. You wouldn’t need to train for combat, you could just jump around in time and fix things so our side wins.”
“No, no, no and NO.” He stood in a fluster, then flew at the ship’s wheel, turning it violently right until the ship shuddered.
There was a long silence as he lingered over the wheel.
“Look,” he said, facing the door. “This gift wasn’t given to me so I can do another wizard’s bidding. This gift was given to me for me to use in my own right, whether that’s to meddle with timelines, or to see the wonders of the universe. I do both, but I never meddle completely for personal gain.
For the most part, I go around reliving the best moments of my life, before the war. I can see me and my family again and again, even if I can’t ever be seen or heard by them. That’s a privilege given to me by birthright, and I try my best not to abuse it. Especially with the danger it carries.”
“Danger?” asked Adainne, standing up.
Trellor scoffed quietly, as though not hearing her. “Of course, you War Wizards wouldn’t know about the wonders of the universe, or care about the effect time-travel has even on those of us built for it.” He turned to her slowly. “Would you like to see it, first hand?”
“See it?” she asked, going to him.
“Yes. The universe. I can show you other dimensions, voids in time, and your past. Including the past before the war. If you like, I can show you your mom again.”
Her eyes began to round. Her fingers curled around Trellor’s hands.
“You’d let me see that?” she asked, quietly.
Trellor held her gaze. “If I can give someone else the happiness I feel when I see my family again, then of course.”
Her eyes deepened. “And it won’t affect time?”
“Not if you don’t do anything.” He gripped her hands tight to him and pulled her forward with urgency. “You absolutely can’t do anything reckless. You can’t be seen or heard, but you can touch. Please, Adainne. The slightest wrong movement and you could change the world.”
“The world looks like it needs changing right now,” she said, with a small smile.
“Agreed. But not that sort of change.” He loosened her grip, but held onto a hand. His anxious expression melted away and an assured smile replaced it. “Off we pop, then.”
“No time like the present,” he said, dragging her towards the door.
“Wait! Trellor! Don’t I need to get dressed-” She was propelled forwards out of the now open door and fell into the night.
She felt herself stop a moment later.
Looking around in terror she saw she was suspended in the middle of an endless sky.
Below, above and to her sides was the same dotted picture. Trellor fell down beside her a second later.
“See, the cape is practical. It slows down that fall.”
“Where are we?” she asked, huddling close to him.
“I guess it’s sort of a time crossroads,” he explained. “From here, we choose where we go. So, what memory do you want to revisit? Or what time period do you want to go to?”
Adainne leaned against his mandarin arm. “I think I know where I want to go.”
Five minutes previously the sky had broken and allowed Adainne and Trellor to descend to the forest below.
They passed through dark canopies until they lowered to the shaded grass, clothes billowing around them.
“Question, why would your mom be hanging around in a forest at night?”
With unhindered determination, Adainne moved forward. “She’s not here.”
Trellor jogged after her. “Then why are you here? I can’t travel through time whenever I want, you know. This was your only shot!”
She stopped. “What’s that supposed to mean? You’re a Time Wizard, of course you can travel whenever you want.” She started up again.
“It’s really not that simple!” he called after her. “Why didn’t you go to see your mum? I just gave you the opportunity of a life time and you passed it up!”
“I couldn’t have seen her. If I had, I would have broken your silly time rules and done something. So I chose somewhere else special to me, at the last minute.”
He pushed a branch out of the way. “And that would be?”
“You’ll see, just follow me.”
They moved through dim forest, the wind circling around them. Occasionally, silver light would break through the leaves, falling on them in patches of shadow and light.
“Adainne, where are you taking us?”
She turned to her left, then stopped. “Here.”
She steered Trellor to her side. Through two rows of trees was a lake, long and rich with the night’s blue.
At the edge of this lake, on silk waves of mellow green, sat a boy and a girl. One was blonde, the other had blue hair.
“Who’s the guy?” asked Trellor.
“The first person to make me feel attractive,” she admitted. Her eyes were hazed and her face was relaxed in pleasure. “This was, in some ways, the best night of my life.”
Trellor studied Adainne’s reaction, then looked back to the fifteen year old Adainne and her then boyfriend.
“What happened to you two, then?”
“I moved away because of Dad‘s new job as Prime Minister. We couldn’t hold up a long distance relationship, so we broke up.” She moved forwards. “I wish I could feel that alive again.”
Out at the lake, Adainne’s young boyfriend had leaned in for a kiss after wordless mutterings.
A moment later, Adainne had accepted.
The two were conjoined breathlessly by the water, pulling at each other’s clothes.
“I know what you’re thinking,” said Adainne. “But this isn’t barley field night.”
“Are you sure? You seem to be pretty intense over there.”
“I’m sure. We came close tonight, but didn’t do it. Come on, let’s go back a bit. I don’t need to see it happening again to get the experience of it. Just being here is enough.”
They did, drifting back into the din of the forest like the ghosts they had now become.
Adainne stopped at the foot of a tree. “Can you wave us up here?”
“If you like,” said Trellor. He produced his wand, and a moment later they were gazing out above the canopy, where the leaves were a sea of diluted green and the moon was in their horizon.
“Even the breeze is the same,” said Adainne. “But then, why wouldn’t it be? It’s the exact same breeze.” She inhaled deeply.
She turned her head to smirk at him. “Are you getting enough air up here?”
Trellor smirked back. “Oh plenty, thank you.”
“Good. Wouldn’t want you missing out on your supply of night air.”
“Yeah yeah, the joke’s boring now.”
“Like your face,” she said, yawning. “Someday, I will relive this sort of experience again. Rolling around in a barley field, thinking I’m madly in love. Maybe I will be madly in love, the next time it happens. When we win Earth back, the first thing I will do is roll around in a real barley field. Not one made by magic, and not one in the past, where I’m nothing but an observer.”
“The first thing I’m going to do if you win back Earth is try my best to make sure this stupidity doesn’t happen again,” said Trellor, staring out at the moon.
“Hopefully you won’t need to try hard. After this war’s over, I can imagine everyone will be warred out.” She yawned again, and placed her head on Trellor’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, we can get going again soon.”
Trellor’s fingers unthinkingly reached to her hair.
“This war will be over soon, I can promise you. And you can roll around in every barley field in the world.”
She looked up at him. “That’s a nice thought Trellor, but you can’t promise me that. No one can. That’s the nature of war- it’s unpredictable.”
“Yeah, I guess I can’t promise you,” he agreed, tugging gently on a blue strand. They were silent for several heartbeats.
“Trellor, there’s one thing I want from you, if you’re in a position to give me it,” said Adainne, pulling at her bunny pyjamas. “I have no idea how long I’m going to be with you, but in that time, I want you to try and do one thing for me.”
“I think I can guess what this might be.”
“You want me to make you feel as alive as he did, in any way I can?”
“Yes, actually. How did you know?”
“I guessed. And the answer is, I can always try.”
“Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Yes,” said Trellor. “When you do leave, I would like it a lot if you came to visit me now and again.”
“I guess I could detour on a recruitment mission,” she said. “It won’t be easy.”
Trellor moved out from under her. “Sorry, we better go now. I’m anxious about the time walls closing, it’s best to not stay in a location too long.”
She stood up beside Trellor on the branch. “So what exactly does happen if you shift through the time walls too much?”
“It’s simple,” he said, taking her hand and looking at the sky. “Crossing the rift too much creates a hole in space. This hole will rip apart the universe if it isn’t closed. And the only way to close the hole is by staying, forever, on whatever side of the hole you’re on. More often than not, that side is another dimension.”
“So what you’re saying is, if you cross the rift too much, there’s a chance you’ll get stuck on the other side and can’t ever return?”
“Correct,” he said. “Which is why, for my own peace of mind, we should go now.”
“Go for it,” said Adainne, looking to him.
They lifted from the branch, a hand laid on top of the other, and floated up into the atmosphere, where they were licked up by the sky and swallowed back into the present.
© 2012 MoonAngel
Added on June 20, 2011
Last Updated on February 20, 2012
N I M B U S
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
About“Kiss me and you'll know how important I am.” I'm a 19 year old English student. I'm quite dedicated to writing and I've been working on the Light After Fire series officially for ei.. more..
People who liked this story also liked..