Lisa led Acantha up to a wooden staircase, it's steps full of moss. Surprisingly it wasn't slippery as she expected it to be. Just in case though, she held on to Lisa's arm, and Lisa stifled a laugh at Acantha's precarious move. As they reached a wooden platform by the stone bricked door, Acantha finally became aware of what surrounded her. The moss from the staircase didn't just disappear, it grew in the mist and blended itself in just like her blood had done when it dissolved into water. Acantha walked around the corner to see what hid behind the big stone building. She found herself completely in a daze, as she looked out to see a shimmering yet transparent liquid. Just like the river stream.
She quickly turned back to Lisa and questioned.
"Is that water?".
"Come on let's get you in. You need a serious bath", Lisa replied as she pushed one of her eyebrows up and examined Acantha from head to toe.
Acantha didn't resist at Lisa's attempt to push her through the door.
Soon they were in a well lit room, built completely out of stone. it was nothing like she ever saw, the ground was made out of a transparent stone. The clouds underneath could be seen perfectly, the stars shone their bright light in and lit the room up like a lamp. There were many scratches on the transparent floor, which made Acantha wonder about the weight it could handle. Of course, Acantha didn't weight much, she was born skinny and every attempt to gain weight had been a failed one.
Acantha clung to her white muddied dress, and her other arm flew out to grab Lisa's. She carefully took a step forward, and realized that the floor was there to handle her weight. She let go of Lisa's arm and relaxed the muscles in her hand.
"You know Acantha everything you see is there, it's not some mirage that will disappear as soon as you blink", Lisa replied clearly frustrated.
"I know, it's just that everything is so...", Acantha was cut off.
"Is this the new sprite that we have been hearing so much about twin?", a small voice just like Lisa questioned.
Acantha's eyes searched the room to face the voice. No one, no one appeared to be speaking. Suddenly, out of nowhere a small girl appeared between them. Her feet appeared, next her legs, then her hips, her torso, and then a bright blonde head. There were sparkling fireflies, they surrounded her and left as soon as she had taken a form. Acantha noticed how far and shocked she stood from the girl. Lisa wasn't affected by her a bit, just an annoying expression took over her as she saw the distance between Acantha and her twin.
Acantha saw that they were identical, the only difference was that the girl had darker veins then Lisa did.
"Don't be scared, I won't bit you. My name is Alis, I am her twin but I am sure you noticed. Sorry to startle you, I get that you aren't used to us", Alis explained.
"No she isn't. She's so jumpy all the time, like a little shrimp", Lisa snorted at Alis.
"Calm down, she's new to us. She'll get used to it soon. First you must find her a bath though", Alis replied with a disgusted look on her face at which Lisa grinned.
"We have an extra room that she can occupy, come on follow me", Alis replied as she walked down in front of them.
Acantha soon realized that every sprite had a different vein pattern even Alis and Lisa. They were so alike, their hips swayed at the same time and as they walked, their legs moved in the same pattern. They had very different style and personality. Alis wore her hair down and straight, it moved behind her shoulder like waterfall almost as if there was no way that two strand of her hair could ever get tangled. it shone just like Lisa's hair except straight. Alis wore a green silk tank dress, and a belt made out of twig that was stitched around her small waist. She also wore a pair of gorgeous wing tip platforms, they were made out of pure tree bark. Raw and crafted. One thing Acantha knew was, she was in love with their fashion.
They entered a room which looked like an old fashioned Victorian room. The walls were constructed by white stone bricks, which lit up when the fireflies shone their light on them. Their main source of light was the fireflies, they were caged up and shed light every place she had visited so far. The floor this time was also made out of the stone bricks, which made it all the more cold. She was sure that if this is how she was suppose to spend the night, she would be found frozen in the morning.
Acantha's arm flew around her to keep her warm, the notion was noticed by Lisa. She simply smiled and nodded.
"I'll bring up some wood to burn in the fireplace, Alis can show you to the bath", Lisa left the room and her words hung in the cold air.
"Come on", Alis motioned towards a wooden door.
The bathroom was constructed just like room was, in the middle although was a circular wooden bath tub. There was a Victorian toilet which had a pulley and sink in the corner where the firefly lamp hung. The bath tub was divided at one end. One part was large enough to lie in, and the other one was smaller and filled with water, some herbs, and gave off a sweet smell.
"I get that this something new too", Alis confirmed with a wide smile.
Acantha nodded and still clung on to her dress.
"Well you lie down here", she motioned toward the big part of the wooden tub.
"And here you spread you hair out, it has herbal water which will make your hair smell like flowers", she grinned and wafted some air from the smaller part of the bath tub.
"Oh and I almost forgot, if you want cold water you just blow out this candle inside the small part here", she motioned to a side where the wood was carved out to make space for a lit lamp.
"And if you want hot just light it up and set the flame on high", she replied looking at Acantha.
There was a gentleness in Alis, that lacked in Lisa. Alis understood that Acantha was a little uncormfortable and new to everything around her, and she probably knew that Acantha had a lot of questions that were unanswered.
"Don't mind Lisa, she has a hard time adjusting to new sprites like yourself. You'll adjust to us and become like us in time", she explained to Acantha.
"What do I wear? I have nothing, no clothes no nothing!", Acantha replied as her face crumbled into a tensed expression.
"Don't worry, we'll get you everything you need. I'll put in some new clothes in the closet for you and some shoes. The maids will surely put some bedding and curtains and soon enough you'll feel at home", Alis comforted her.
Acantha knew that she would never be able to feel at home, her family was back on earth. Earth, where she was suppose to be. Not here! As Acantha's mind grew in panic she saw Alis through the door way. She stood in front of the wooden closet which was carved and designed with beautiful stones embedded into the frame. Alis stood staring as different dresses started materializing in the space in front of her. Shoes appeared and many different clothings that she would require.
"That's enough", Acantha interrupted her focus.
"What? did you say something?", Alis asked puzzled as if she had broken out of a daze.
"Yeah, that's more than enough clothes", Acantha whispered.
The closet had at least more than 20 dresses, all light and bright.
"Oh, well then I guess I'll go call the maids for your bedding, and check on the firewood", Alis smiled closing the closet door and pushing a dress into Acantha's hand.
"I think this will suit you lovely", she grinned and swayed as she clasped both hands in excitement.
Acantha couldn't help but smile at this girls inner child.
"Okay then I'll get started on my bath", Acantha replied smiling.
"Just yell for one of us when you are done", She told Acantha as she stepped out of the room.
"Wait, just yell?", Acantha asked shyly.
"Yup just yell", Alis chuckled.
"Trust me, Acantha", Alis replied as she shut the door in front of Acantha.
Acantha had settled into the bath, and finally felt her muscles relax into the hot water. She liked it here, it was very down to.. earth she had like to think but it wasn't earth. Everything felt old fashioned, as if she was stuck in some time period. She had to go back some how, what was this place? heaven? it can't be. Not after how she had lived her life.
She let her head slump back and her head felt much lighter.
Her mom would be worried, she thought. Maybe she was dead, maybe not. Whatever it was she knew she was stuck here, and even though she should have questioned the way Alis materialized her self and other things to places, she understood it and she realized that she didn't have much energy to ask another question to anyone. She didn't feel scared of Alis and Lisa. She felt Lisa a tiny bit aggravated but who wouldn't be when Acantha questioned her so much. Jasmine, she didn't know what to think of, friendly or harsh. She didn't know. She wondered why Lisa had warned her never to utter the word earth? and who was Cael and why was he hiding the fact that he knew about earth?
Questions seeped and crawled into Acantha's head as the water around her did and relaxed every nerve and knot in her body.
Acantha, knew she was stuck and she had a lot of questions to be answered and maybe Alis or Lisa would actually try and help her, or maybe not. Or maybe Cael would help her since he remembers earth, but for now she closed her eyes and sunk deeper in the water. Her eyes closed and soon enough her breathing had calmed down as did her heart beat.