Last Place on Earth
Search For Her Missing Dog
Tabitha slowly entered the mouth of the damp dark cave. She was mindful of the village lore that circulated about this cave. However, she really did not have much of a choice in what she was about to do. She had looked everywhere for her precious dog, Maggie. This cave was simply the last place to look, and the last place on earth she would expect to find her dog. Tabatha brushed the long brown and gold hairs that had escaped the bun on the top of her head out of her eyes and walked deeper into the foreboding darkness. She held her lantern higher in hopes she would drive the shadows away.
Running into the Unknown
Tabatha halted her advancement into the cave when she heard a voice. It was a male's voice, high pitched and crackly. The voice was saying “Boil, bubble, toil and trouble” No sooner did the male say the last word there was a tremendous blast. Then Tabatha could hear a dog barking. It sounded like her Maggie. Tabatha ran towards the sound of the barking, heedless of the danger. The barking stopped but Tabitha continued further into the cave. As she advanced the cave began to expand into an area much like a room. In the middle of area there was a fire with a cauldron setting upon it. There was a dark liquid bubbling in the cauldron. Tabatha could see two humans laying on the ground near to the cauldron. One was covered with fur. The second was dressed in a red robe, laying on its back with its arms and legs splayed .
Something on the ground
What Did You Do?
I don't think it was supposed to do that!
Tabatha froze in her tracks. The figure in the robe began to move. Then it sat up. The light from the lantern fell on the face of the figure in the red robe. Tabatha recognized the face even though it was covered with ashes. Tabatha asked “Billy?”
Billy pushed himself up to his feet and walked over to the fur covered figure. Billy looked down and said “I don't think it was supposed to do that!” Billy removed his robe and covered the figure with it. He then straighten the clothes that he had been wearing under his robe. He wore clothes that his little Sister had made by hand from wool he and their Uncle George had sheered from the sheep they raise on their Uncle George's farm.
Tabatha sat the lantern down on the ground and balled her fist up at her sides. “Brother, what did you do?”
As he spoke he bent over and placed a hand on the chest of the furry figure. “Good, she is still breathing.”
Tabatha asked again “What did you do?”
Billy looked up at his younger sister. Tabatha and he were twins. The fact that he had came out a few moments before him didn't change the fact that Tabatha felt it her job to mother him, since they lost their true mother the same day they were born. Billy looked at his sister and shrugged his shoulders, as he said “I was trying to rid Maggie of her fleas.”
Tabatha had to resist the desire to punch her older brother. “Billy, Maggie did not have fleas. Uncle George is going to be furious
Billy frowned “Do we have to tell Uncle George?”
Tabatha walked over to where Maggie was laying on the ground. She knelt down by her side and stroked the furry head. Tabatha was not sure what her brother had done to her beloved dog but she knew it was not going to help the problems of her family. Tabatha looked up at Billy, and said “After what they did to Papa, you know we can't practice magic.”
Billy looked down at his sister. He knew she was right, but he couldn't resist the longing to practice magic. “I want to be a great wizard like Uncle George and Papa. The Inquisitors wouldn't even know real magic even if they where turned into frogs by it.”
Tabatha said “That maybe true, but their lack of knowledge didn't keep them from hanging Papa.”
Billy knew his Sister was right, He said “I know Sis, I was wrong. I acted without thinking. Can you help me now to make it right?”
Tabatha shook her head “I know nothing that we can do but to fetch Uncle George. I do not know enough about magic, to be of any help. Did you follow a spell, or did you come up with this spell on your own?”
Billy picked up the opened spell book from the near by rock. Billy now wished with all his heart that he had taken the book from his Uncles hiding place. Billy pointed to the page where he had found the spell he had used on his sister's dog Maggie. Billy's voice was tight with remorse as he said “I couldn't find all the things that the spell called for, so I substituted a few things. But I spoke the incantation word for word.”
Fear of Magic
Tabatha shook her head as she walked closer to her brother to look at the page he was pointing at. She said “Oh brother, I will go get Uncle George. While I am gone, stay with Maggie, don't either of you leave the cave, and write down the ingredients that you used.”
Tabatha turned to make her way out of the cave. Just before she left the cave she blew out the flame in the lantern and sat it on the ground. As she made her way to the farm her mind was a clutter of thoughts. Billy turning her beloved dog, Maggie, into a humanoid with fur was just another reason to hate magic. Magic did not save her Mother from death, the day her and her twin brother where born. Magic or the fear of magic caused her Papa to be killed. The love of magic caused her Uncle to hide his magic books and tools instead of destroying them, as any wise man would do in these dangerous times. The Inquisitors already suspected her family. All it would take would be one villager reporting that Uncle George had healed them or bewitched them and the Inquisitors would reduce there farm to a pile of kindling. There was no doubt in Tabatha's mind that the Inquisitors would find Uncle George's tools and books, if they did that. Yes, Tabatha had no love for magic. Tabatha wished with all her heart that the world had never had any magic in it.
Tabatha approached the family farm. She heard voices so she gathered her skirts and ducked behind a flowering bush before she was seen. The voices where male and belonged to no one she knew from the village. She peeked carefully through the leaves of the bush. Tabatha saw 5 men, two where dressed in the long black robes of the Inquisitor's office and the other three men where dressed in store bought black slacks and black waist coats. One of the Inquisitors said “George Gatwick your neighbors have accuse you of using Witchcraft to blight their livestock while you enchant yours. What say you to this charge?”
Tabatha could see her Uncle George stand tall as he answered “I sirs, would never use witchcraft or another means to blight anything belonging to my neighbors nor would I use magic to give me an advantage over them in my stewardship over my farm.”
Then the other Inquisitor said “Then, George Gatwick, you will not mind if our men search your house!” The Inquisitor then motioned to the three men in store bought clothes. The three men went to their horses and retrieved axes. They then entered the house. Soon after they entered the sound on destruction emanated from the house. The two Inquisitors looked away from Uncle George, towards the door of the house.
Uncle George reached into his pocket and grabbed a handful of something. He then tossed the powder in his hand on the ground in front of him and at the same time said in a deep, commanding voice “EXAFANISTOUN!” Dark smoke filled the entire area around the house.
Tabatha jumped from her hiding place and started running back to the cave. She ran for as long as she could be for she stopped to catch her breath. Tabatha listen closely to ensure no one had followed her. At first she heard nothing. Then she heard a twig break close behind her. Tabatha spun around to see who was near. As she turned she was relieved to see her Uncle George. Uncle George was dressed in his work pants and shirt that she had made for him from sheep's wool from their sheep. Uncle George raised one finger to his mouth indicating for Tabatha to be quiet.
Tabatha nodded her understanding.
Uncle George silently mouthed “Where is Billy?”
Tabatha took her Uncle's strong hand in hers and lead him down the path that lead to the cave. Once they had entered the mouth of the cave and was out of sight form the outside word, Uncle George spoke, “I need to stop for a breath child. Today was a lot of excitement for a man of 40 something years. Enjoy being 16 for as long as you can.”
Tabatha brushed the long brown and gold hairs that had escaped the bun on the top of her head, out of her face. She leaned against the wall of the cave before she spoke. “With all the evil that has befallen this family because of magic, I see no reason for joy.”
Uncle George hugged Tabatha, his rough beard ticked her cheek. He whispered “Thing will be good soon, child.”
Uncle George released Tabatha and took her hand again.
Tabatha bent and picked up the lantern and held it towards her Uncle. Uncle George flicked his free hand in the direction of the lantern. A flame suddenly glowed inside the lantern. Uncle George chuckled “See magic can come in handy.”
Tabatha moved deeper into the cave, with her Uncle in tow. Tabatha said “You used magic in front of the Inquisitors and you haven't found out what Billy has done. Our life as we knew it is over forever.”
Uncle George chuckled again “Oh, I know the boy took one of my books. Have no fear child. All will be put to right.”
A short time passed before Tabatha and Uncle George reached Billy and Maggie. Billy was laying on the ground next to the humanoid form with a dogs head, that was now Tabatha's dog Maggie. Billy's long, brown, unruly hair covered his face. One of his thin arms was under his head and the other was laying over Maggie.
Uncle George bent over and picked up the opened book and looked at the paper that Billy had written on and left laying on the book. Uncle George laughed hard and awoke Billy. Maggie continued sleeping. Billy pushed his slight frame up from the ground and stood next to Uncle George.
Billy asked “What did I do wrong?”
Uncle George said “You used wolfsbane in the potion.” Uncle George laid the book on the ground where he had found it. Then Uncle George said “Do you have anymore wolfsbane left?”
Billy nodded his head and walked over to his satchel laying near the wall of the cave. He dug in the satchel and pulled out a small bag. Billy walked back over to Uncle George and handed the bag of wolfsbane to Uncle George.
Uncle George walked over to Maggie and crumpled the wolfsbane over her. As he did this he said in a deep demanding voice “EPISTROFI!” No sooner was the word spoke, Maggie returned to her normal form.
Maggie woke up and jumped to her feet. The large, white dog let out a soft bark and bounded towards Tabatha. Tabatha sat on the floor and hugged her dog tight. She stroked the soft white fur on Maggie's head. She laughed as Maggie licked her face. Tabatha said “I am glad to see you are yourself again.”
Uncle George cleared his throat, gaining his niece and nephew's attention “There is something that my twin brother, William, your papa and I have kept from you these many years. Mind you, it was for your own good. Your mother Briar is a fairy.”
Tabatha's mouth dropped open in surprise. Billy sat down on the ground where he stood. Billy said “You said is, does that mean that our mother lives?”
Uncle shook his head yes and continued speaking “When William and I were children we played in this very cave. One day, when we were a few years younger than you two are now, Briar appeared to us. She became our friend and taught us magic. Over time Briar and William fell in love. Briar took on human form to be with William. She became pregnant with the two of you. Being pregnant with the two of you took a lot of her energy. She was only able to stay in human form long enough for the two of you to be born. On the day you were born she returned to fairy form and returned to her realm.”
Tabatha found her voice and said “So why did you keep it from us?”
Uncle George said “William and I thought it was best to wait. Then William was put on trial for witchcraft. Before they tried to put him to death, William and I spoke. We decided to try to contact Briar to see if she could help William. Briar was able to save William and the body that they took from the scuffle and we later buried was not your Papa. It was a doppelganger, a copy of your Papa that never was really alive. William, your Papa, is alive and with your mother Briar in her realm. William, Briar and I hoped that things would get better and that the two of you could have a good life. At this time it doesn't look like it will. People are chasing magic from the world because of their fear and ignorance. Soon there will be no magic left in the world. The day is coming that this world will become a very dark place.”
Tabatha shook her head in disbelief and said “You mean magic didn't ruin everything?”
Uncle George said “You and your brother are magic. Are you ready to go to the magic realm?”
Billy asked “Will we leave forever?”
Uncle George said “Not if you don't want to. Time is different where your Mother and Papa are. A 100 years here are but a day in the magic realm. There may come a day when we of magic decide that this world is a place where magic again can thrive.”
Tabatha and Billy said in unison “We are ready.” and they both stood.
Briar, We Are Ready
And the World Became a Very Dark Place for Ages
At that George said in a strong deep voice “Briar, we are ready!”
With that there was a popping sound and a tiny fairy appeared. She was dressed in a beautiful purple flowing dressed and had soft flowing wings that changed colors as they moved. The fairy waved her wand and a doorway opened before them. Uncle George, Tabatha, Billy and Maggie stepped through the door. The tiny fairy followed them and then with another pop the door closed behind them and the magic book, and all the artifacts belonging to Tabatha, Billy and George disappeared. In fact all over the world most of earth's magic people and creature left. And the world became a very dark place for ages.