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Authors: Lisa Mears

Tags: #fantasy, #magic, #gods, #portal

Chosen (6 page)

BOOK: Chosen
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She picked up her bag, grabbed
her car-keys from the rack and opened the front door to leave.
Whoosh! Two large balls of fur ran past her legs, nearly taking her
feet from under her in their haste to reach the kitchen. ‘Bloody
cats,’ laughed Max, ‘I suppose I’d better feed them before I
leave.’ Walking back through the house, she saw Shibby 1 and Shibby
2 sitting on the breakfast counter waiting for her; one washing
himself, the other looking at her expectantly with his big green
eyes. ‘Get down, you naughty boys,’ she said, sweeping them off the
counter with one hand as she opened the pantry with the other.
The two Shibbys had been a
“gift” when an old boyfriend had moved out two years ago. She
doubted the Shibby boys could even remember their old owner, but
she loved having them around, they were good company and amused her
with their antics, especially when she was down or feeling lonely.
Her ex-boyfriend had liked the name Shibby so much he thought it
would be an excellent idea to give both cats the same name, it was
Max who had named them Shibby 1 and Shibby 2.
When both cats were eating
contently from their bowls on the kitchen floor, Max checked that
the cat flap on the back door was unlocked, that way the Shibbys
could come and go as they pleased after she left. Locking the
front-door behind her she got into her car to drive the ten miles
to the festival. The engine was slow to start, ‘I must get that
fixed soon’, she thought, as she reversed out of the drive-way. As
she drove away, two strange men moved out of the shadows and headed
towards the backdoor.
Arriving at the festival Max
saw that the radio announcer had been right, there were people
everywhere. ‘Thank god the exhibitors have their own car park,’ she
thought, ‘or I’d have one hell of a hike.’ She parked her car,
removed her massage table and some towels from the boot and took
note of the number of the parking spot (she was always forgetting
where she parked) and started walking towards the foreshore.
Reaching the entrance she
stopped to look in awe at the spectacle spread out before her.
‘Jeez, there must be at least three hundred booths,’ she thought to
herself. The stalls and booths spread haphazardly in all directions
seemed to go on forever; it was like a bazaar from some far off
exotic part of the world. The sound of flags and banners flapping
gently in the on-shore breeze was almost identical to the snapping
sails of the boats in the nearby marina.
Making her way past the
entrance gate Max flashed her exhibitors id card. She thought the
first thing she’d better do was start looking for her own booth;
who knew how long it would take to find in all this wonderful,
colourful chaos. Off to her left she could see a small stage with
belly dancers dancing; hips swaying sensuously in time to the
middle-eastern music, small cymbals on their fingers, chiming,
bells tinkling around their ankles and sequinned costumes sparkling
in the sun. Opposite them was another small stage with a Tai Chi
exhibition in progress, their music trying to outdo the belly
dancers but not succeeding. She passed booths selling scented
candles and soaps, oils and oil-burners, CD’s of relaxation music,
Chinese herbalists, iridologists and much more. The sights, sounds
and colours surrounding her were almost overwhelming in their
diversity. She continued on.
As she neared the centre of the
festival she could smell the wonderful aromas coming from the food
area; tables and chairs were circled by the foods stalls and all
were doing a roaring trade. Her mouth began to water but food would
have to wait, she needed to find her booth and set up her stall for
business. Her booth was number 124. ‘Hope my booth is closer to the
edge,’ she thought, trying to block out the din of the food area,
‘it won’t be very relaxing doing a reiki session for someone if it
sounds like this.’ She continued to wander around looking at the
booth numbers, searching for 124.
The uncomfortable feeling began
as a prickly sensation down her spine; the hairs on her neck stood
up, someone was watching her. ‘Here we go again,’ she thought. She
scanned the crowds for anyone who might be out of place. Then she
noticed a couple standing next to a colourful booth selling
falafels, they seemed to be staring intently in her direction.
There was nothing that made
them stand out in the crowd, but for some reason Max felt her eyes
drawn to them. It was impossible to tell their age, they had a
timelessness about them. Both were short in stature, probably no
more than five three at the most. He had brown, wavy hair, a goatee
beard and was wearing blue board shorts and a lighter blue t shirt,
she had short brown hair swept back off her round, chubby face and
was wearing a long, floral, summery dress. Both had smooth, ageless
and if truth be told, rather bland faces, which was what made it
difficult to tell their age. If Max had been asked to describe them
she felt she wouldn’t have done a very good job. After studying the
pair intently for a few minutes, her eyes suddenly unfocussed and
passed over them, continuing to scan the crowds; the strange couple
melted back into the shadows and were gone from her sight and her
memory.
She carried on walking up and
down the rows of booths, looking at the numbers until she finally
found 124. “Ah, here it is,” she said putting her bag and massage
table down in the back corner of the tent. ‘Thank goodness my booth
is on the outer rim, and close to the beach, I couldn’t have asked
for a better position.’
‘Hello Max,’ said a voice so
close to her ear that she visibly jumped.
‘Sorry,’ she began, turning
around with a friendly smile ‘I’m not open yet, I’ve still got to
set up.’ It was the odd couple that had been near the falafel
stand. ‘Do I know you?’ she asked, feeling that she should but not
able to place the faces. For some reason she felt uncomfortable and
wanted them to leave.
‘That’s perfectly alright,’
said the female. Her words were polite, but her tone suggested
otherwise, ‘we are not here for your assistance, we have come to
pass on the information that you will require to fulfil your
destiny. We are the Guardians,’ she finished grandly.
The small man turned towards
his female companion. ‘That’s not entirely true Freya,’ he said,
‘we do need her help, you must learn to be more humble’.
The small woman turned away,
her nose in the air. ‘I don’t think so,’ she said loftily, ‘I am
one of the Guardians.’
Max was so stunned by this odd,
little couple; she just stood with her mouth agape, unable to
speak. Realising they were in fact, quite serious, she had to
struggle to hold back the laughter that was bubbling to the
surface.
‘I’m sorry,’ she said, as a
giggle threatened to escape, ‘I think you’ve made a mistake, I
don’t know anything about any Guardians, you must have me confused
with someone else.’
The male smiled serenely, and
continued as if addressing a small child. ‘Of course you know
nothing of us, no one does and that is as it should be. We have
been waiting centuries for the right person to appear so we may
pass on our knowledge and now you have arrived.’ Max felt as if she
had walked onto the set of a movie or something, she couldn’t help
looking around for a camera.
‘What the hell is going on,’
she thought as she looked at the small couple standing in front of
her waiting for some sort of response. ‘I really think you have the
wrong person,’ she began again, but they would have none of
it.
‘You are the one who has been
chosen, you must fulfil your destiny or your world will die.’
‘What! I’ll die, is that some
sort of threat.’ She felt the adrenalin begin to course through her
body.
‘Not just you,’ snapped the
woman named Freya, ‘your whole world will die; every living thing
in your world will die and it will be your fault because you didn’t
listen, so be quiet and listen to what we are telling you.
‘There are people who will try
to stop you meeting the Chosen from the other worlds, your life is
in danger.’
‘STOP,’ said Daria, holding up
her hand, ‘stop right there, what is this, some sort of joke? Have
some of my friends put you up to this? Come on,’ she said laughing,
turning around in the booth, ‘come out, I know you’re here
somewhere, you’ve had your fun.’ Nothing stirred, not even the
sounds from outside the booth reached her ears; it was as if time
had stopped.
The small man spoke, ‘we do not
have much time, I feel the others are close.’
Max began to laugh again. ‘Well
it’s certainly an elaborate joke, I’ll give you that,’ convinced
now it was a ruse pulled by some friends. The small man began to
grow in stature while the woman held the booth flap closed. He grew
taller and taller, beginning to glow with a shining light that
surrounded his entire body, he became so unbearably bright Max
could no longer look directly at him, throwing up an arm to protect
her eyes. A voice boomed. Max winced.
‘My name is Janus and my
partner is Freya, we are Uthians,’ he said, as if that explained
everything. ‘We have come to you for help and to also offer you
help, you are one of the Chosen and you must listen if we are all
to survive. There are people coming from another world, one of them
is Chosen like you, you must find them and move on to the next
world, then hopefully, if you can all work together you may save us
and yourselves.’
He told Max about the Uthians
and about the Chosen ones, he explained about the assassins sent by
Anubis, how they were people of her own world who had been
corrupted and how they would be looking for her; trying to find out
where she lived, waiting for the others to arrive so they could all
be destroyed, thus stopping any chance of saving Janus, Freya and
the other Uthians who needed help.
As ridiculous as it all
sounded, Max, for reasons she couldn’t name started to believe him.
She tried to remember as much of the information Janus was telling
her, as possible. After many minutes, he finally told her she must
find a piece of old parchment before she entered the portal. He
gave her a small key and told her she would know when to use it.
She put it in her pocket, patting it for reassurance as she did
so.
‘You will not be able to read
what is written on the parchment,’ he said ‘but there is someone
who can, you must find them in one of the worlds you will visit.
Keep it safe, it is very important. And last of all, to reach the
next portal you will need to find the temple inside the
mountain.’
Max awoke to concerned faces
bending over her. What was she doing on the ground? Someone gently
lifted her head and gave her a sip of water; someone else was
patting her hand softly and calling her name.
‘Max, Max, are you ok? Boy, did
you give me a scare,’ said a worried but familiar voice. It was a
friend of Max’s named Jason, he’d always had a “thing” for Max but
nothing had ever come of it, and so they remained just good
friends. ‘I stopped by to see how you were doing and there you were
flat out on the floor, I couldn’t wake you so I called the
paramedics.’ A young woman taking Max’s pulse gave her a smile and
a nod.
The older paramedic, a man with
a shiny bald head and tribal tattoos on his arm said, ‘nothing
wrong here, but I think it would be best if you didn’t open your
booth today, perhaps go home, have a break and see how you feel
tomorrow.’ They helped Max to her feet and as the paramedics packed
up their bags, Jason walked her outside the booth and put the
closed sign up. Max complained, saying she was fine, but Jason
would have none of it.
‘No, you’re not fine,’ he said,
‘I’m going to take you home. I’ll drive your car so you won’t have
to worry about picking it up later, I can always get a taxi back if
I need to.’
On the drive home Max was very
quiet; looking out of her window she thought about Janus and Freya
and all that they had said. Jason hadn’t asked her any questions
about what had happened for which she was grateful. She had decided
not to tell him about the odd couple, not sure if he would laugh at
her or perhaps worse, believe her. She still couldn’t quite believe
it all herself, but she had the key in her pocket, so something
must had happened, it wasn’t just a dream. Was it a hoax?
The closer she got to home the
better she felt. By the time they pulled into her drive-way Max had
almost convinced herself, again, that it had been a joke
perpetrated by some friends who had filmed it all, put it on
“youtube” and were probably having a great laugh about it at her
expense. Never mind, she’d get her own back as soon as she found
out who it was that organised it all. She had to admit, that bit
with the person called Janus appearing to get bigger and brighter
was really good though, she must remember to ask how it was
done.
As they got out of the car, Max
said again how well she felt. ‘I think by the time we’ve had lunch
and a coffee I should be ok to go back.’ Jason finally relented
when Max said she would not go back to work, she would only have a
wander around the booths instead. She didn’t tell him about the
feeling she was getting, a feeling that she must go back or she
would miss something important.
The house was dark and quiet,
when Max opened the front door. The Shibby boys must be out, that’s
unusual though,’ she thought. They usually stayed in during the day
and slept on her bed, and they always greeted her when she came
home. Perhaps they were off chasing something, who knew with cats,
they did whatever they pleased, their sense of independence was one
of the things she loved about them.
While making lunch for Jason
and herself, she caught up on all his news. He’d started a new job,
moved house and had his eye on a new car. Max nodded and ooh’ed and
ah’ed in the appropriate places, but her mind was on other things.
They washed up the dishes, tidied up and left the same way they had
entered, out the front door. Max felt slightly uneasy about not
seeing the boys as she locked the door, but she didn’t have the
time to go and look for them now.
BOOK: Chosen
10.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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