Back To The Old House
By caitlyn <3
‘Where am I…?’ I was completely surrounded by darkness. I couldn’t see anything but black for miles, yet I could see myself clearly when I looked myself over. I was standing on something, but it looked like the blackness extended forever down and up, and in all directions. “Hello?” I called out, but no one answered. Suddenly the ‘floor’ I was standing on seemed to disappear, and I was falling in the dark. I jerked awake in a panic, gasping as my heart raced. I was in my bed, in my hideout, safe. I repeated that line in my head over and over again, until my heart rate returned to normal. I let out a sigh of relief, until I remembered what I was doing before. ‘I passed out…how did I get here?!’ I looked around frantically and saw Pyro asleep, right beside my bed, on the floor, and Everest and Galaxy curled up together farther away. And next to them, about a tail length away, was…
“Gourwin!” I called excitedly. He shot up, looking surprised and confused as he came out of sleep. Pyro and the others woke up too, and Pyro was the first to look at me.
“You’re awake!” He gasped, and he grabbed my shoulders. “Don’t you ever do anything like that again! Are you stupid?! You just made yourself pass out in the middle of a deadly jungle that could kill you any second! You’re supposed to help us out of here, not sleep for an hour waiting to die!” He yelled, but beneath his fury I could tell he was relieved to see that I was ok.
“Oh…uh, sorry, but how did you find my hideout? And Gourwin?! I thought you were an imaginary friend when I was little!” Gourwin looked very confused, but Everest stepped in before he could say anything.
“Wait, Gourwin said he’d been looking for you for your entire life, how do you know what he looks like?” She asked, looking between me and the Catslick.
“Well, when I was little, I’d see a transparent Catslick dragon who taught me how to hunt, and stay away from dangerous creatures, and he told me that we’d meet in person one day. After a few years, I didn’t see him anymore, but I never forgot him. I always thought that I’d just made him up!” I explained, smiling brightly at him.
“What?” Gourwin looked absolutely bewildered, until it looked like he’d gotten an idea. “Oh! Miss Emerald, I’ll bet your parents sent you visions of me so that when I did eventually find you I wouldn’t seem like a threat to you!” He exclaimed, smiling right back at me. But my smile dropped when he mentioned my parents, and it felt like my heart stopped.
“My…parents…?” I asked, feeling sick.
“Yes! Miss Emerald, your parents have the same powers as you, they’re in the Void! And now that I’m here to help, you can go there and visit them!” He replied. “You can even bring the rest of us with you! After all these years, I can see Ocean and Forest again, and I’ve finally met you…!” I couldn’t believe it. My parents…they sent me visions of Gourwin when they could’ve sent visions of them. They could’ve told me what had happened, they could have explained, they could’ve helped me…
“Emerald?” Pyro’s voice near my ear made me jump, and when I turned to look at him he had a shielded look of concern. “Are you ok…? You’ve kind of just stood there with a weird look on your face since Gourwin mentioned your parents.” He explained, glancing at the others. When I looked at them, they had the same looks of concern as Pyro, but they looked more openly worried.
“Ah! Yes, I…I’m fine.” I replied quickly, looking down. When I did, I realized that my underbelly was showing a deep shade of red mixing with blue, meaning I was mad and sad at the same time. I panicked for a second, showing a bright flash of green before all of them flashed to black. I checked my underwings as well, and they were black as well.
“. . .what was that?” Everest asked hesitantly.
“She was…sad…” Galaxy answered for me. Everyone looked at her in surprise. “But…she was also mad, and then she was scared. The blue symbolizes sadness, the red symbolizes anger, and the light green symbolizes fear.” She explined the unasked question everyone was thinking about. “Camyros show emotions through colors as well.” She said with a shrug. “But you don’t look like any Camyro I’ve seen.” She added, giving me a pointed look.
“I…I’m a Polymorph.” Now it was my turn to answer her unasked question. “They were an ancient species of dragon that ruled over the others a long time ago, before Ezreths took over. They wiped out all the Polymorphs they could find, and erased them from every history book and scroll so that they could declare themselves the ‘Alpha Species’ so they could rule forever. Not even Iejir knows about that past; he’s just evil.” I finished flatly. They just gaped at me for a moment, except for Gourwin, who looked proud of me for uncovering the truth.
“Hold on, so you are technically supposed to be an Alpha now?!” Pyro exclaimed, breaking the silence.
“Well, I-I don’t really know-” I tried to explain, but Galaxy cut me off.
“Then you can take down Iejir and uncover the truth about the Alpha’s bloodline!” She said excitedly.
“Wait, but I-” I was cut off once again by Pyro.
“How is she supposed to beat Iejir?! He’s an Ezreth! He’s ginormous! I don’t think she’ll be able to defeat him anytime soon, especially if she can’t even use her powers for very long.” He argued, turning to the Camyro.
“HEY!” I yelled, and they finally went silent again. “Who says I wanna be Alpha?! That’s a huge responsibility, and nobody even knows I exist, and they don’t know my species exists at all! Ezreths can also take control of their subjects’ minds too, if Iejir wanted to he could summon an army to kill me before I could even get close to him.” I said, and Galaxy’s face fell. “But,” I started, and she looked up at me, excited again. “Gourwin, could you help me into the Void? I’ve never been able to figure out how to access it. Maybe my parents could help me prolong my powers enough to take down Iejir.” I suggested, and Gourwin perked up.
“Of course Miss Emerald! It’s about time you get to meet your parents and unlock your powers fully.” He said.
“Ok, but, what’re we going to do while she goes off to la-la-land?” Pyro asked.
“You can come to the Void with us! You all have relatives there that can help you with fighting the Alpha.” Gourwin smiled mischievously. Pyro looked alarmed, but Everest spoke before he could.
“What do you mean, we could go with you? How?” She asked, and Gourwin’s smile widened.
“Take off your wristbands.” He stated simply.
“WHAT?!” Pyro screeched. “Emerald gave these to us in order to keep her out of our minds! It was to gain our trust! And you want to take that away?!” He yelled, pointing a talon at, and almost touching, me. I flinched at his sudden movement, then glanced at Gourwin. I was also curious about his instructions, but I’ve never questioned him and everything had worked out fine before.
“Yes, and no. I don’t want to take away your trust with her, but for now she needs access to your minds so that she can connect your dreams. In order to access the Void, you need a special connection with the spirits there and need to have the ability to visit them passed down through generations. The only way you would be able to come with us is if you allow her into your minds to connect your dreams; the connection cannot be forced.” He explained, and that seemed to shut Pyro up. He dropped his talon, and looked at me uncertainly.
“I won’t be in your mind for any other reason, I promise.” I assured him, smiling weakly at him. I was unsure if I should even visit the Void, but it wasn’t like I was doing many other important things.
“That’s not what I’m worried about.” He stated quietly, too quiet for the others to hear.
“Huh?” I copied his volume, confused.
“If you use your powers again, won’t it take up too much of your energy?” He asked, a bit louder so that the others could hear this time.
“Oh, you won’t have to worry about that!” Gourwin said happily. “To enter the Void, you need to be asleep!”
“Oh. But, what if something happens? How would we be able to defend ourselves?” Pyro countered, looking at Gourwin now.
“Ocean and Forest will warn us. They have connections to the outside world, and I’ll bet that they are watching us right now.” Gourwin replied calmly; happily. “Besides, they’ve been planning how to take down Iejir for almost 16 years! They’ll know who to go to for help.” He added, smiling at me. I smiled back at him, and he seemed satisfied, but he didn’t notice that it was fake. When he looked away, back at Everest as she asked some questions, the smile dropped and I looked down and away. If my parents are really there, then… ‘Will they want to see me….?’ I jumped when I felt a pair of wings around me, and when I looked up I was face-to-face with Pyro.
“Ah!” I yelped quietly, eyes widening.
“Are you ok?” He asked, and I realized that his wings were creating an almost curtain-like shape around us, while he ducked his head slightly to be level with me.
“Y-yes, I’m f-fine…” I replied, nervous from his proximity.
“Ok, let me rephrase that.” He said. “Tell me what’s wrong.” He demanded, speaking in a hushed tone.
“Nothing’s w-wrong…” I lied, looking away. I heard him sigh, and then felt his talon on my face making me look back at him. I almost flinched at the intensity in his eyes; he wasn’t giving up, was he?
“Emerald.” His tone was gentle, but firm, and I knew he definitely wasn’t giving up any time soon. “Is it about your parents?” My breath hitched at his question, and I felt tears in my eyes. My underbelly and underwings glowed a deep blue, and I knew I couldn’t hide it anymore.
“. . .w-what if…what if they d-don’t like m-me…” I whispered, letting the tears poor down my face. “What if I c-can’t help anyone, or s-stop Iejir, a-and what about the d-dragons that come through the T-Toxic Jungle? I-I won’t be able t-to help them through a-anymore, what if t-they die because of m-me?!” I gushed out, sobbing. Pyro didn’t say anything for a few moments, letting me cry my heart out. Then he let go of my face and wrapped his arms and wings around me, into a warm, calming hug.
“Emerald, your parents are going to love you. They sacrificed themselves to let you live, knowing that one day you will be able to see them again. They knew that you would be able to beat Iejir, or else they wouldn’t put this pressure on you. And the dragons coming through the Toxic Jungle are crazy, I mean, what do they think will happen?! Do they think they’re just gonna walk right through it with no trouble at all?!” I giggled at his last questions, sniffing. “So don’t worry, besides, you’re not doing this alone. You have Gourwin, and your parents, and Everest and Galaxy, and you have me.” He added, pulling away just enough to look into my eyes. He was smiling softly, and I couldn’t help but smile back. I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him into another tight hug.
“Thank you, Pyro.” I whispered, the last of my tears falling and starting to dry from the warmth of his scales.
“Don’t mention it.” He mumbled, and I realized that he was embarrassed. “Seriously, don’t mention it to the others please. I don’t want them to think I’m a big softy.” He said, and I laughed.
“Wait…where are the others?” I asked, pulling away and looking around. They weren’t here, and I couldn’t sense them outside either.
“Gourwin took Everest and Galaxy to get some supplies that we’ll need for when we head out, I offered to stay here because you were kind of out of it for a few minutes.” Pyro explained, looking at one of the bookshelves.
“Oh…Well, I know you already helped me with something and it’s probably a bother, but…” I trailed off as Pyro looked back at me. He was still so close that it made my chest feel tight.
“It’s not a bother if you need help. I’m not doing anything important right now, am I?” He chuckled, and I realized that my underbelly and underwings were now a soft pink color. As alarm filled me, a sharp red mixed with the pink. Pyro’s eyes widened in surprised. “Hey, are you alright?” he asked as I started down at the colors.
“Oh! Y-yes, I’m fi-ne!” I stuttered, voice breaking. I quickly tried to change my colors, but my panic was making it green. Not to mention the soft pink had become a darker shade, showing embarrassment.
“Obviously not, you’re a terrible liar.” He countered, narrowing his eyes. “You already tried lying to me, like, a minute ago, and failed. I don’t know why you’re trying to lie again.” He almost growled, leaning closer as I leaned back.
“I-I…” I felt like I couldn’t breath, he was too close. My colors spiked in vibrancy, and I realized that he probably knew what the colors meant. “D-do you know what the colors mean?” I asked, willing to believe in the hope that he didn’t.
“I know what some mean, and you’re panicking right now.” He replied, pointing to the bright green on my chest. “And you’re embarrassed, for some reason.” He added, pointing to the deep shade of pink. He looked back into my eyes, and I was sure my heart stopped. “Why?” The single word made me want to melt into the ground.
“I-I don’t-” I stopped again when he leaned slightly closer, his eyes narrowing again. I realized that it was a warning – don’t lie to me. “I don’t know.” I told him, and then a new color bloomed. A beautiful sky blue, symbolizing truth. He leaned back again after glancing at the blue, but the concern didn’t leave his face.
“So, what did you want to ask me?” He changed the subject, and I realized he was doing it for my sake. I couldn’t help the small sigh of relief that left me before speaking again.
“I wanted to ask if you could help me post signs of how to navigate the Toxic Jungle without me saving them. That way, while I’m not here, they can get through it alive.” I replied, finally able to force the normal swirling colors covering my emotions.
“Oh, sure! Of course I can help, that was one of your worries wasn’t it? Leaving dragons without a way of making it through?” He asked, and I nodded.
“I already made a map, before I had memorized it. I can duplicate this map and post it all over the edges of the forest. I can also add a note that says to copy the map on a different paper so that no one takes any of the maps.” I said, turning around and pulling the map out of a box next to my bed. As I looked over it, I felt Pyro’s breath next to my ear. I stiffened, glancing to my right, but I couldn’t see him. I shivered as his breath hit my neck again.
“This is a good map.” I almost jumped at his voice; he was really close. Like, reeeaaaally close.
“T-. . .thanks…” I breathed. There’s no way he couldn’t hear my heart about to beat out of my chest. The feeling didn’t last, however. I could sense the others coming closer. “U-uhm, P-Pyro?” I whispered, nervous.
“T-the others are almost right outside.” I told him, and he sighed. That made my heart skip a beat, his breath once again brushing against my neck. Just as he pulled away from me Gourwin and the others opened the door. Pyro and I turned to look at them as they walked in with several vines, rocks, sticks, iron, and various fruits that weren’t poisonous.
“Hey Emerald! Finally out of Limbo?” Galaxy joked, smiling and handing me a fruit.
“Ahaha, yeah, sorry about that.” I chuckled nervously. “Did Gourwin show you the nonpoisonous fruits or did you already know them?” I asked, changing the subject.
“Gourwin showed us some, but a few of them Galaxy already knew!” Everest cut in, making Galaxy blush. “Camyros are really good with fruits, huh?”
“N-not that good…” Galaxy hid in her wings in embarrassment. I took a bite of the fruit, and immediately recognized the taste. It was one of my favorites.
“Hey, do you have any more of these?” I asked, holding up the fruit. Gourwin nodded before pulling out a bag of them. “Great! Those are my favorite, I think you should all try them!” I exclaimed happily, glancing at Pyro, who was standing almost behind me on my left.
“Ok!” Gourwin gave Everest and Galaxy each a fruit, before tossing one to Pyro.
“Ah!” Pyro caught it effortlessly, but he looked nervous. “I, uh, don’t eat fruits. Got any lizards?” He asked, looking around at the bags of fruits.
“Not unless you want some venom in them.” I replied, frowning at him. His eyes lit up as I said that, and he turned back to me.
“Really?” He asked, and his eyes seemed to glow as I nodded. “I’m immune to venom, and certain types of venom will give me the ability to use it if I ingest it!” He explained, pointing to the black flames on his body. “These flames are from my grandfather, Sear, and I get my abilities from him as well! The flames are what make sure the venom doesn’t harm me, and it makes it black.” He told me, and I couldn’t help but giggle. He looked confused. “Why are you laughing?”
“You look so excited, it’s nice.” I answered, smiling up at him. His eyes widened and he glanced at the others. They were smiling at him as well, and he looked embarrassed.
“W-whatever, I just wanted a lizard.” He mumbled, tucking his wings around him.
“Well, I figured you’d want one, so here.” Gourwin told him, holding out a dead lizard with a bright orange frill around its head. Pyro’s eyes lit up again and he took it from Gourwin.
“Thanks! I haven’t eaten in a while, this will help me a ton!” He admitted, eating it quickly. Almost exactly when he finished it, his flames started to glow an eery green color, before changing back to black.
“Woah.” I breathed, staring at the flames as they dimmed.
“Yes! I have venom now!” Pyro exclaimed, raising his wings proudly.
“Very good, Master Pyro.”
“Ok, so how do we get to the Void now?” I asked, and Gourwin smiled again.
“Well, first things first: take off your wristbands.”
When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.
Sofiya AimanAug 8, 2021
Wow! I love this story! Please make more!
DumaMoyoSep 9, 2021
Thanks! I’m working on the chapters, I’ll upload as soon as possible!