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 Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)

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Anthony

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PostSubject: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:38 am

In 2005 I wrote a fantasy story about Barby. Later I translated it in English. I'll post it here again for all to enjoy

Magdalion

Chapter 1

Although the sun hadn't risen yet, it was already very busy at the O'Kelley Inn. This day was the first day of Springtime, which is the first day of the new year of Magdalion, and as such the most important holiday.
Patricia Kelly, who was the owner of the inn since her father passed away, was upstairs taking care of her sons, while her husband was in charge in the kitchen. The O'Kelley Inn was built by the crossing of the two main roads of the country, and as such it was very popular with the travelers who went from the capital Arcanis to the harbour in Tarinos. There was never a lack of customers, and as such the Kelly family had become very wealthy.
While Patricia was cuddling her children, she heard her sister Maite sing in the bathroom. Patricia smiled. This was a very important day for Maite. It was the first newyearsday after her 25th birthday, and this was the day when children in Magdalion were considered to be adults. And, more importantly, it was the day that all young men chose their wives. No wonder that Maite wanted to show the best of her today.
A little while later Patricia walked to the room of her other sister, Barby. She knocked on the door, but didn't get an answer. "She's proably still asleep", Patricia thought. For a moment she thought back to the newyearsday four years before. Even though she was very beautiful, Barby had been turned down by every man. The reason of this was never mentioned, but Patricia had heard whispers in the village about 'witchcraft'. Patricia snorted. What nonsense!
"Why are you so mad, Patricia?" Startled, Patricia awoke from her thoughts. She hadn't heard Maite come out of the bathroom. "Oh Maite. I'm sorry, I was somewhere else with my thoughts." She looked at her sister from head to feet. "You look gorgeous. I'm sure you'll win the heart from that boy two blocks further easily." Maite blushed. "I...I don't know at all about which boy you're talking." Patricia smiled and said: "Just get your breakfast quick, you're expected at the Ladies' Council in an hour."

Barby awoke from a restless sleep. Again it was newyearsday, the day she hated the most since four years. Oh sure, it was a holiday, a day of feast, and she was absolutely happy to see her family again; her brother Paddy who had joined the monastery of Garma, and her brother Jimmy who worked in the harbour of Tarinos would also come to visit, but each Spring she again got reminded of the harsh rejections. Even four years later all boys avoided her as if she had the plague. That made her deeply unhappy.
Maybe it was just wishful thinking, but still she hoped that one day someone would love her. But also she wanted to know why no-one was interested in her.
She looked outside through her window. Downstairs, Rachel was standing, one of hew few friends, if not the only real friend she had. "Hey Barby", Rachel cried, "are you coming outside?" Barby shook her head. "You know very well what day it is today. I don't want to be disappointed again." But Rachel didn't give up. "Why do you care what anyone says about you. Those people are just stupid. You also have the right to have some fun. Come on! I heard the Council had invited a Musician. From Melodion!"
Melodion?! Everyone in Magdalion knows that name. Melodion is the city where the art form known as 'music' was invented, and the school in that city is renowned in Magdalion, and even far over its borders. Someone who comes from that legendary city, is one of the greatest musicians.
Barby had often dreamed that she could go to that school, but no-one knew where Melodion lies. Except of course the musicians themselves, but they kept the exact location secret.
Now Barby had become a bit anxious about the musician. "I'll be right there", she cried back to Rachel. Quickly she put on her clothes and walked downstairs.
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:40 am

Chapter 2

A little while later the two friends were standing together at the village square. The Musician was practising his flute. There were two chains with tiny bells tied around his legs that gently chimed while he was stamping his foot to count the bars. Against the festivity tree, two guitars were standing.
"He's a very good player, don't you think?" Rachel asked to Barby. Barby smiled. Rachel was right, the music was very beautiful. So the stories about the Musicians of Melodion were true.
The Musician must have heard the compliment, as he smiled and asked: "Can I play a beautiful song for the beautiful ladies?"
Rachel was delighted. "Yes, can you play us a dancing song? Come on, Barby, let's dance together!" But Barby shook her head. "I haven't danced for such a long time. Why don't you just dance." Rachel felt disappointed, but she knew she shouldn't pressure Barby too much.
The Musician picked up a guitar and started singing and playing. Barby recognised the song. It was the story of Princess Thalia, who won the heart of her beloved prince with het beautiful dancing. A very apt song to dance to and very popular at every feast. But...she had never heard it being played so beautifully.
All of a sudden she felt so funny. Not an uncomfortable feeling, but strange. As if something was tickling in her blood. She took a few steps forward, and started dancing. And kept on dancing. She didn't know why she was doing it, but she simply had to dance. She closed her eyes, as she used to do, and danced across the square.
She didn't know how much time had passed when she stopped, but when she opened her eyes, she saw the surprised face of the Musician. Rachel was even looking at her with her mouth open wide.
"What's wrong?" Barby asked. "Have you never seen someone dance before?" Rachel shook her head and said: "I know you're a good dancer, but I've never seen you dance THAT good before."
The Musician said: "If you'll dance that good tonight, you'll surely win the heart of your boyfriend." That remark brought back some painful memories, and Barby ran away crying. The Musician was shocked. While he plucked the strings of his guitar again, he asked Rachel: "I said something wrong, didn't I?" Rachel answered: "Barby was rejected by her friend on newyearsday four years ago." The Musician was even more surprised now. "Four years ago?" Rachel nodded. "Believe it or not, she may not look like it, but Barby is almost thirty years old now." If the Musician wasn't already surprised, he certainly was it now. "Wow, then she's actually older than I am."
And then he continued: 'Where I come from, many women would kill to look younger than their real age. So, what's the problem then?" Rachel answered: "The people in town...they think she's touched by withcraft." The Musician smiled. "And you don't share their point of view." "Of course I don't!", shouted Rachel irritated. "Calm down, I didn't mean to upset you.", said the Musician gently.
"But can I ask you one thing. The Mayor said that I could stay for the night at the O'Kelley Inn. Could you be so kind to show me the way?" "Of course" said Rachel. "Just follow me."
When they arrived at the Inn, the Musician said to Rachel: "If you see your friend Barby again, would you tell her that I'm very sorry, and that I've spoken with ignorance." Rachel laughed. "You can tell it to her yourself. Barby is the sister of Patricia Kelly, the Innkeeper. Surely you will see her again soon."
The Musician smiled and said goodbye to Rachel who walked home...and suddenly started wondering why she told a stranger the one thing that the other villagers only talked about in secret!
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:42 am

Chapter 3

Barby was lying on her bed with her face buried in her pillow. After crying out for a while, the pain had lessened a bit. She stood up and took a look at the little painting on the wall. On the painting stood a little girl in a white dress and a boy in a brown jacket. She sighed deep. She didn't know why she still kept that painting. She was the girl, and the boy was her boyfriend Nick. At least, he was her boyfriend when the painting was made. It was painted fifteen years before during the Feast of the Sun, and Barby was deeply in love with Nick. They had promised each other that they would get married when they'd become adults.
But when that day came, Nick had declared that he wanted to travel to Arcanis to join the army of the king. After that, Barby had never seen him again.
Barby took another look at the painting. Even though it hurt, it was also a memory to the only love she ever knew. She wiped the tears from her face and walked downstairs.

"Welcome to the O'Kelley Inn" said Patricia to the Musician. "I've reserved a very good room for you, with a view of the Arcanian Lake. Because of the festivities, dinner will today be served already at four o'clock, sir." The Musician smiled. "Please, Madam, you don't have to call me sir, that makes me feel old. You can just call me Anthony." Patricia smiled. "OK, Anthony. But then you can call me Patricia, not Madam."
At that moment Barby came down. Patricia saw her and asked: "Barby, could you bring Anthony to room 26? This is the Musician who will play at the party tonight." To Anthony she said: "This is my sister Barby." Anthony replied: "Yes, we already met at the Village Square a moment ago." He followed Barby upstairs.
Upstairs Barby opened the door of room 26. "I hope everything is as you like it.", she said. "Oh absolutely." Anthony said, "this room is beautiful. I'd almost say it's too much of an honour for a simple Musician like me." But more seriously he added: "Barby, I'm sorry for what just happened." But Barby said: "It's OK, you couldn't know that."
Anthony put his bags beside the bed. Barby stayed in the doorway and looked at him. His skin was dark. Could Melodion be in the south? People from the desert of Toragan were dark skinned. But none of them wore the black coat Anthony was wearing.
Anthony noticed that Barby was still standing in the doorway and asked: "Is something the matter?" Barby hesitated for a moment, but then asked: "Can I......can I talk with you for a moment?" She sat down at the table and Anthony sat down opposite to her. "What do you want to talk about?" he asked. Barby tried hard to hide her nervosity. "Tell me about Melodion."
Anthony kept silent for a moment but then he said: "I'm not allowed to tell you where you can find Melodion, but I don't think it's forbidden to tell you about Melodion. What do you want to know?"
"Is it true you invented music?" Anthony laughed. "So you want to hear a story? Well, according to legends Magdalion was in its very early days a land of sadness. There was something missing in the people's lives, but they couldn't explain what it was. Until one day the goddess Musica, daughter of Grandmother Garma appeared. She taught the people the gentle art of music, to give them joy in their lives."
"Is it really that simple?" Barby asked. Anthony nodded. "Music, real music is magic. You can do everything with it." He picked up a guitar and played a melody. "Music can take on many forms of emotion. When I tell a story, the music amplifies the emotion. Music can be happy, or sad. Or even angry." While he gave his explanation, Anthony kept playing his guitar. First a happy dance song, then a sad elegy, and finally a threatening battle-song. Barby listened to his music. It was as if the whole room became filled with music.
Anthony continued his story: "It has been said that Melodion was built at the place where Musica first appeared to the people. As you surely understand, the people named this new form of art after the goddess. She gave them a task: to spread the music over all of Magdalion and eventually over the whole world, so that everyone could enjoy it."
"But then why has Melodion been hidden?" A shade of sorrow came over Anthony's face. "The goddess Musica gave the music to the first Musicians on the condition that they would use it to make other people happy. Never should it be used for selfish reasons. That's why we never ask for a concert anything more than we really need: A room to sleep and food to eat. This ideal lasted for thousands of years.
However, eventually some Musicians thought they deserved more. They decided to make music for money. That's very terrible, as because of that, the music lost its magic. In places where people normally opened the doors for each other and made the most beautiful things together, now they all became very cold towards each other. When the Elders of Melodion discovered what was happening, they used the magic of music to hide the city forever.
Only those who live in Melodion know how they can find the city, and only those who truly want to make music that comes straight from their hearts can enter it."
Barby had closed her eyes and romanced how the city would look like. Melodion! A city full of music must be truly amazing. Then she remembered something. "Did you make me dance on the square?" Anthony shook his head. "That's not the kind of magic that is in our music. We cannot let people do things they don't want to do. However, sometimes our music can make the people do the things they truly want to do."
At that moment Patricia entered the room. "Barby, are you still here?" The marriage ceremonies will begin soon, you do want to be there for Maite, don't you?" Barby was startled. How long had she been talking with Anthony? It only seemed a few minutes. Anthony said: "As we say in Melodion: 'In happy times, time can be as fast as lightning.' We'll talk further later, if we have an opportunity for that."
Barby walked out, but kept standing at the doorway for a moment. "Thank you", she said. Then she quickly went to her room, where she put on her best clothes for the party. Although she didn't like this day, she was very happy for Maite.
She looked in her wardrobe and suddenly she saw her old dancing shoes. Those she hadn't worn either for the past four years. She was thinking, should she try it today? Why not? she thought, and she put on the dancing shoes.
Then she heard Patricia calling: "Barby, are you almost ready? Jimmy and Paddy have arrived." "I'll be right there.", Barby called back. Eventually she chose for a green dress, and after watching herself in the mirror she walked downstairs.
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:42 am

Chapter 4

That evening all villagers gathered together at the market square to witness the marriage ceremonies of the new adults. Maite tried hard not be nervous while one by one the boys gave their hearts to the girls.
Then finally Florent, one of the pupils of the blacksmith stepped forward. In his hand he held a necklace, which was a gem in the shape of a heart. He said: "My name is Florent." Then he lays the necklace in Maite's hand. "And I call you Maite. I give you my heart, under the protection of Garma, and connect my life with yours."
This ritual is one of the oldest in the history of Magdalion. When mankind was still young, and everything had yet to be discovered and named, the men gave a name to everything they saw. But of course, today no man would dare to give his new wife a different name than her own name.
Maite put the necklace around her neck. "Under the protection of Garma I accept your heart. In good days and bad, our lives will be as one, until the day that Garma calls us for the Great Journey." The two lovers embraced each other, while the mayor tied Maite's left wrist and Florent's right wrist together with the wedding cord.
Maite and Florent were the last couple, and from the square sounded a huge applause.
After that, the party really got started. The bonfires were lit and the villagers called out for music. Anthony started to play the song of princess Thalia, and everybody started to dance. The mmod was very good, and the crows kept asking for more. "OK", said Anthony, "the next song is also part of the tradition. It's time for the Dance on a Volcano". The people started laughing. "Nobody can dance to that.", they shouted.
The Dance on a Volcano was another one of the stories of princess Thalia. It told about Thalia's daughter who was being kidnapped by the demon Sha'Tarno, the counterpart of Grandmother Garma. To get her child back, Thalia chased the demon to the top a volcano. Sha'Tarno there challenged the princess to dance with him. If she turned out to be a better dancer than him, he would give her back her child. But the demon was very sly, and the rhythm and pace of the dance kept changing unexpectedly. But Thalia didn't give up, and eventually she defeated the demon, who fell into the volcano. It was said that Garma and Musica themselves protected Thalia. But now it was nothing more than a story, and the Dance on a Volcano was very popular at parties as an endurance test to find out who was the best dancer, even though no one could dance the dance in its entirety.
And so Anthony started playing the Dance on a Volcano. Maite and Florent made a good start, but yet they already had to stop after two minutes when they made a mistake. One by one the villagers stopped dancing, and started conversations with each other. But Anthony kept playing on, as the tradition wanted him to do so.
Suddenly the buzz stopped, and everyone looked at the only dancer who was still on the floor. Even Anthony looked surprised while he played on. Seemingly without any effort, and without making one mistake, Barby had danced the complete Dance on a Volcano.
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:43 am

Chapter 5

Anthony put his amazement beside him and called out: "Ladies and gentlemen, you're all witnesses of a miracle. In many centuries nobody succeeded in dancing the Dance on a Volcano in its entirety. As a Musician of Melodion I declare that Barby is the best dancer of this village." "That's our Barby!", Maite creid out happily. But the other villagers gave nothing but a lukewarm applause and someone called: "Could she possibly dance to the story of Seraphina?"
Anthony had to hide his anger. Rachel was right, they DID think Barby was touched by witchcraft. Seraphina was a poor young girl who had lost her entire family because of a war. This gave her a big fear of death, and as such she was an easy prey for Sha'Tarno who seduced her with the promise of immortality. However, Seraphina didn't know that because of this immortality, she never grew old and always stayed a child.
But Anthony answered: "This is a party, that's no place to tell such dark stories. Let me play another dancing song." And he started to play a waltz. Suddenly he heard someone sing, too soft to be heard by the villagers, but clear enough for Anthony's trained ears:
You're my Sweetest Angel, you go to my heart..."
Anthony looked around to find out who was singing. It was Barby.
It was amazing. Not only was she a good dancer, but she also had the talent to improvise lyrics over music. Amazement and admiration flashed through his head. How was it possible that such a talent was remained hidden in this small village. As a Musician, he surely wanted to know more about her.

No more incidents happened during the party. When the party was over, Anthony sat down at the bar. Maite complimented him. "You played very beautiful." Anthony smiled. "Thank you very much. And by the way, congratulations with your marriage." Maite smiled back. "Are you coming back in two years? Then our youngest brother will get married." "I don't know", said Anthony. "There are many Musicians in Melodion, and everybody has an equal chance to do a performance. Maybe I'll come back, but maybe it will be someone else's turn."
Then Barby joined them. Maite said: "I'm going back to Florent. Will you see that the maestro gets what he deserves?" Barby too complimented Anthony but he said: "If someone deserves a compliment, then it's you. That dance was amazing. Where did you learn that?" Barby's face became sad, and that worried Anthony. "I hope I haven't said something wrong again." Barby said: "It's OK, again I can't blame you for something you can't know."
She let go a deep sigh and said: "My mother was a dancer. She was my idol. I wanted to be as good as she was." "Was?" Anthony asked. Barby nodded. "She passed away when I was still a little child. But when I close my eyes I can see her stand in front of me. I always dance with my eyes closed, and then I see my mother dance, and I dance just like her." Anthony said: "Then she must have been a fantastic dancer."
And he continued: "You certainly have a lot of talent. It's such a pity that so much talent is lost." For a moment Barby wasn't sure what to say, but then she nervously said: "Could I...perhaps, too...."
At that moment a brick was thrown thorugh one of the windows of the inn. Everybody was shocked and looked outside. Quickly a second stone followed, and another, until it seemed like it rained stones. Patricia cried out: "What's going on?"
"Burn that witch!", a voice cried out from outside. "Burn down the witch's house, another one shouted. Outside a crowd had surrounded the O'Kelley Inn. With torches, hay and oil they were planning to burn down the inn. Inside the inn everyone started panicking.
Anthony however remained calm and picked up a guitar. "Everyone, stay calm, and let me handle this." He looked at Barby and said: "Come with me, but stay behind me." Patricia yelled: "Are you crazy? They're coming for her!" Anthony's face was an ocean of calm. "Please, trust me, if you want your sister to be saved."
While he played his guitar he walked to the door. "What's going on here", he said. The mob just snarled at him. "Mind your own business, this is a village affair." Anthony remained calm. "Well, well, what have we here? So you want to burn down the inn, right? Excuse me, but I'm staying at this inn. So if you burn down this inn, then I'll burn with it. And I think that my life is my business, right?" Somehow the crowd seemed to be suprised about Anthony's calmness. Then one man shouted again: "This is nothing against you personally, Musician, we just want to rid our village from a witch." Anthony's calmness wasn't broken at all. "Well, well, you want to rid the village from a witch. But did you also think about the long term consequences?" The villagers were more surprised now. "What do you mean? If the witch is gone, our village will be save."
Anthony kept playing own. "Safety for the village. That sounds noble, but how long do you think there still will be a village." The confusion of the villagers kept growing. "Stay calm, and I will explain it to you. You want to kill a witch, but to reach that goal, you want to burn down this inn. Have you forgotten that this inn is the economical heart of this village? Everyone who travels from Arcanis to Tarinos, chooses this inn as their resting place. If this inn is gone, no traveler will visit this village. Which means no one will do any shopping here. And because of that, no one will have any work to do. Everyone will become unemployed, and no one will be able to earn any money. Eventually there will be no other option for anyone than to move away to other villages and cities." The calm voice of Anthony formed a contrast with his music which started to sound more and more menacing.
"Do you understand? The end of the O'Kelley Inn will mean the end of the village." The villagers were mumbling suprised and frightened. Anthony hoped they had enough common sense. Sadly one man wasn't convinced: "How can this village survive if we let that witch stay here even if we don't burn the inn?" Anthony sighed deeply. Then there was only one solution left. "So, you don't want her here? Alright, then there is another option. In Melodion they will appreciate her talents much more than they do here. So, what if I took her with me?"
Behind him, Barby held her breath. One part of her was frightened. What if the villagers killed her anyway? Another part was surprised to hear that she would be allowed to go to Melodion, and yet another part of her was worrying about her family.
The man who spoke the last time yelled again. "Don't think we're stupid. You say you'll take her with you to Melodion but everyone knows Melodion cannot be entered if you're not going by free will." Anthony just shrugged. "Alright then, why don't we ask Barby herself." He stepped aside, so everyone could see Barby and he asked: "Barby, do you want to go to Melodion?"
Many thoughts flashed through Barby's head. Could she abandon her family? But...Melodion...finally one dream could come true. Even though she would miss everyone....no, she had to accept this offer. Not only because she really wanted to, but also because the villagers would surely burn the inn if she stayed. She had to leave to save herself and her family.
As loud as she could speak, so surely everyone could hear her, she shouted: "Yes, I'm going to Melodion."
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:46 am

Chapter 6

Next morning Barby said goodbye to her family. Patricia took her in a firm embrace, while tears filled her eyes. "Please forgive us, Barby.", she said. "We knew all these years what everyone in the village thought, but we didn't see the seriousness of the situtation." But Anthony said: "You mustn't blame yourself. People believe what they want to believe, and when fear rules, logic won't change their minds."
"I want to ask you one thing before we go.", said Barby. "Was it your music that made me say that I'd go with....that I'd go to Melodion." Anthony shook his head: "I told you before, the music cannot make you do anything you don't want to. Everything you said, you said with your own free will." Barby actually expected that answer. But in fact it didn't matter, if she had answered differently, it would have been certain death for her.
Finally, Barby said goodbye to Rachel. "Thank you very much for your friendship through all these years. Next year it's your turn to get married. I hope that no one will blame you for being a friend of a 'witch'." Rachel kissed her and said: "Take good care of yourself."
Outside Anthony stood by his wagon. "I'm sorry that it has to go like this for you, but we'd better leave quickly. I don't know how the villagers will react when they see you haven't left yet." After a final look at the inn where she had grown up, Barby and Anthony left the village.

After riding for a few hours, Anthony stopped the wagon. "What's wrong?" Barby asked. Anthony asked her once more: "Are you really sure you want to go to Melodion?" "Of course I'm sure!", Barby replied firmly. Anthony explained: "As I told you, only those who truly want to make music straight from the heart can enter Melodion. If you have even the tiniest bit of doubt, you won't be able to enter it. That's why I'm asking you if you are absolutely sure about it." But Barby knew what she wanted. This was a dream she had for years, and now this dream could come true. Even though she was sad about what happened the night before, and though she was worried about her family, this dream was all that was left for her, and no one would take that dream away from her.
"Alright", said Anthony. "Then it's time for the final test. We're going to Melodion now, but you must be blindfolded." This surprised Barby. "Why? I'm becoming a student too. Then it isn't forbidden to me to know where Melodion lies, or is it?" Anthony shook his head. "Not yet. You will be a student after you have been tested. Let's say it is a kind of an entrance examination. After you passed that examination, you will be a student of Melodion. People who fail will have to leave Melodion, but to prevent that they will reveal the location of Melodion, every newcomer has to enter Melodion blindfolded for the first time.
But don't worry, I'm absolutely sure you will pass the test. But even though I'm sure the test is nothing more than a formality, I'm not allowed to break the rules. So, if you truly want to go to Melodion, I must blindfold you now."
Barby agreed, knowing that she had no other option. Anthony blindfolded her, and led her inside the wagon. "You can sit down here, I'll come back soon." And his voice sounded friendly when he said: "Maybe can be some help for you: Everyone who wants to go to Melodion has to go through this, I had to do this too when I wanted to become a student." After that he walked outside again.
Barby waited. To her surprise the wagon didn't move. She waited another while, Anthony probably needed a little time to get on the box again. But time passed and still the wagon didn't move. And all this time Barby was sitting in the dark. She started to feel scared. She pushed away that feeling. Just a little doubt and her dream would be gone. But why did the wagon not ride any further? Her fear growed. Did Anthony leave her behind?
At that moment she saw a flash of light out of the corner of her eye. Did she see someone dance? She focused on the light and kept watching. Then she recognised the dancer Can it be......mama? At that moment she heard a voice in her head saying: "Don't be afraid, Barby". Somehow Barby felt...safe, when she heard that voice. All her fear disappeared, and she drawed hope out of that light.
A little later, the door of the wagon was opened. "You did it, Barby!" It was Anthony's voice. While he removed the bandage he said: "Welcome to Melodion." Barby was confused. "Are we in Melodion? How? The wagon hasn't moved at all." "Oh really?" Anthony said. "Take a look outside."
Barby walked out, and couldn't believe her eyes. Instead to see the road where they had stopped, she saw a big square in the middle of a city. And the city....Barby couldn't find the words to describe it, but 'beautiful' seemed to be a big understament. The first thing she noticed was a fountain with a golden swan. She kept looking around. There was an inn that looked similar to the O'Kelley Inn. In front of the inn she saw a group of young people making music together. One of them played guitar, another one played a harp, and yet another played an oboe. But most striking was a huge tower that shione in the sunlight. "That is the School.", Anthony said.
At that moment someone called Anthony's name. Anthony immediately ran in the direction from which the voice had called. Barby looked bewildered. Was everything and everyone in this town so...magnificent? The voice that had called Anthony belonged to the most beautiful woman Barby had ever seen. And obviously she and Anthony were good friends.
Anthony and the woman came to Barby. "Barby, may I introduce you to Heather. She is my teacher."
His teacher! Why did that make her feel so....relieved?
Heather heartily greeted Barby: "Welcome to Melodion. So you will be our new student." Anthony said: "You can be sure about that, Heather. Do you know someone who can dance the Dance on a Volcano in its entirety?" Heather was staggered. "Really? She can do that? Then she HAS to be accepted. I'll send a message to the head masters, then she could do her examination already tomorrow." "That's great", said Anthony, "but let's show her her room first. Then she can take some time to relax".
Barby looked around in amazement. She kept wondering how she would ever be able to describe this wonderous city. But then she realised that she'd probably never need to describe it. She was banished from her village, and now Melodion would surely be her new home. This thought made her cry for a moment. "Is something wrong?" said Anthony worriedly. "It's OK, it will go away in a moment." said Barby. "I see. It was a heavy night after all.", said Anthony. "I'll explain it later" he said when he saw the question on Heather's face.
Barby wiped away her tears. She had to face the facts. The past was gone. Today was the first day of a new life.
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:48 am

Chapter 7


A little while later the door of a small room was opened. "Welcome to the Shining Tower", Anthony said to Barby. "I hope that the room is not too little for you." "I only need a mirror and a brush", Barby replied.
Then she asked: "Heather didn't mean that, that I'll be taking the test tomorrow already?" Anthony laughed. "Don't worry, Heather was a bit overenthousiastic. Everyone will get at least a week for preparation. So we won't throw you before the lions tomorrow. First there has to be decided what exactly you want to learn here. I guess you want to learn particularly about dancing." Barby nodded. "But I also want to learn more about making music." Anthony said: "That's alright, then we'll use this week to discover your strongest abilities."
"But who will be my teacher?" Barby asked. Anthony thought about that for a moment. "Normally that would be me, because I 'discovered' you. But in fact I'm still a student myself, the performance in your village was a kind of exam. So probably Heather will also be your teacher, as she is my teacher too."
"How did you get here?" Barby asked. For the first time she saw sadness appear on Anthony's face." But he said: "You already told me a lot about yourself, so it's no more than fair that I teill you my story now that you asked me.
My father was born in Toragan and he was a merchant. As such, he travelled through the world. On one of his journeys he met my mother. They immediately fell in love, but their love was forbidden. Only because of my father's dark skin." Barby could see the aversion on Anthony's face when he told about this."
Anyway, one day my father went away one one of his journeys, but it was already too late: my mother was pregnant, and immediately after I was born, my mother was banished. She found a place to stay at the cloister of Grandmother Garma, and that's where I grew up. I never met my father. I don't know if he tried to find my mother after she was banished, if he knew about that at all. Maybe the people of the village just told him she died while giving birth, I don't know.
The time in the cloister was absolutely terrible. It seems my existence was a shame, because my parents weren't yet married when I was born. So I distanced myself from the people and found comfort in music. And one day I was finally very lucky when Heather came to sing in the cloister, and she discovered my talent. When she asked me to come to Melodion, I didn't need one second to think about that."
Barby had become very silent when Anthony told his story. But then she sat down beside him and laid her hand on his shoulder. "So, in a way you had the sam life as I had." Anthony looked at her, not understanding what she said." "It's true," she said, "apart from our family almost no one cared for us, but we found comfort in music. So in a way, we are the same, you and I." "Yes," said Anthony. "You're right."

In the following week Barby prepared herself for the test. Heather helped her with dancing, because Anthony knew little about that. However, he was always there, playing the musical accompaniment. "Listen here, at this point you have six bars in 3/4 and not eight, and then when the pace gets faster you'll have a very tricky 9/8 rhythm. That is the point in the story where Sha'Tarno uses his treacherous tricks." However, there was no need to worry about Barby's dancing abilities. She danced the Dance on a Volcano just as perfectly as she did on newyearsday.
Barby turned out to be moderately good with the accordeon and the guitar, but her strength lied in the percussion instruments. "That actually doesn't surprise me" Heather said, "as a dancer you have a good feeling for the rhythm." "However, there's one disadvantage about that.", Anthony said. "You cannot do a performance with drums alone. So if you want to perform, you will always have to work together with someone else." But Heather said: "But that doesn't really matter. You won't find someone with such a great talent for dancing every day." Barby blushed. "Thank you. I will surely do my ultimate best."

A week later Barby climbed on the box of Anthony's wagon. "Where are we going?", she asked. "I thought that today I would be tested." "That's right.", Anthony said. "And that's why we're going to the forest you can see in the distance. That's the place you will be tested. You will be tested in the open field. But don't worry, there won't be a huge crowd there, only a few of the teachers. The tests are taken in the open because most performances take place in the open. We just try to make the situation as close to real performances as is possible."
After a calm journey that took a few hours, Barby and Anthony stood in an open field in the middle of the forest. Anthony said: "Barby, may I introduce you to Master Bryan, Master Jon and Mistress Kate." And he continued: "Mistress and Masters, may I introduce you to Barby who will show you a little miracle." Master Bryan answered: "I understand that Heather was also very impressed, so let's not waste too much time. Go ahead, Barby. Show us if you truly can dance a dance that no one else can dance."
Anthony nodded to Barby. "Are you ready?" Barby nodded back. Anthony played the opening chords, and Barby closed her eyes and started to dance. After a week of almost non-stop practicing, it all seemed to go automatically. Here a calm passage, there a faster pace, from 6/8 to 5/4, then stop and count to five....it was almost like she left the ground and started to float.
When she opened her eyes again she could see and hear Bryan, Jon and Kate applauding. Kate spoke: "Anthony and Heather haven't been exaggerating, such a great talent we haven't seen in many years. As representatives of the Heads of the Shining Tower we officially call you a student of our School." To Anthony she said: "Anthony, you will be her teacher, together with Heather. If you go back to the tower, tell Barby everything she has to know about Melodion." Anthony bowed. "I humbly accept this task." After this Bryan, Jon and Kate kissed Barby's forehead, an indication that she was officially accepted as a student of the Shining Tower. Anthony did the same. "I already said this last week, but now I can officially say it: Welcome to the Shining Tower."
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:52 am

Chapter 8

After about an hour Anthony and Barby were again riding over the road to Melodion. After they left the forest, Anthony stopped the wagon. "If I have to tell you about our world, I'd better not wait too long with it." He jumped off the box and helped Barby get off the box too.
"Hold me tight for a moment.", he said. Barby looked at him with a surprised expression, but she did what he asked. Anthony picked a ring out of his pocket, put it around his finger, and twisted the stome on the ring a quarter turn to the left. In front of Barby's eyes the world started to fade, and quickly started to get clearer. When the vision was normal again, she sighed of amazement. "But this is the road from my village to Arcanis. How is it possible?" Anthony replied: "It is possible because this is an alternative world." Barby looked at him with disbelief. "What do you mean?" Anthony continued: "The world of Melodion is a world which is out of phase with the world of Magdalion." Barby couldn't understand what he said. "I will explain it to you." Anthony said.
Anthony picked up a branch and drawed a line in the sand. "Imagine that time is a river. The water flows in one direction but cannot flow backwards." Barby nodded, as a sign to show Anthony she understood the comparison. Anthony continued. "Everyone makes decisions in their lives. These are splittings in the river of time. But once the decision has been made, no one can return to the splitting where the decision has been made. The river keeps on flowing on its way and there is no way back." Barby nodded again. "And that's the secret of Melodion. When the magical music was used to hide Melodion, our world chose a different direction. Let's say that the river of time of Melodion has bowed to the left at the splitting , while Magdalion bowed to the right. After that the two rivers followed parallel directions, but they both follow a straight line. They will never come together again. Melodion has as such become a world that Could Have Been."
Barby needed a little time to grasp it all. "So, Melodion is actually a kind of mirror image of Magdalion." Anthony smiled. "That's another way to describe it, yes.", he said. "But let us go back now." Barby again layed her hand on Anthony's shoulder, and Anthony twisted back the stone on his ring.
Back in Melodion Anthony continued his story. "Because the 'timerivers' of Magdalion and Melodion are flowing in parallel directions and never meet each other, it's basically impossible to travel between the worlds. But these rings are capable of creating a bridge between the two worlds. I don't fully understand it myself, but it must be some very powerful magic that is able to make the impossible possible."
"But where does this magic come from?" Barby asked. Anthony replied: "Especially the Elves of Termonia know everything about magic." "Elves?", Barby asked. Anthony sighed. "As you found out yourself, humans are afraid for many things they don't understand. That's why many people have sought refuge in Melodion, as discrimination doesn't exist here. And thus, many creatures live here in Melodion, while in Magdalion they believe they only exist in fairytales."
Suddenly the calm was disturbed by a loud growl. Anthony nearly cursed. "It's a garnix!" Barby looked in the direction where the growl had come from and her pulse started reacing with fear. "What kind of monster is that?!" Anthony replied: "A beast that's supposed to be extinct."
The best turned his head and walked into the direction of Anthony and Barby. "Oh no, it has heard us! Barby, run to the forest quickly and warn Bryan, Jon and Kate. I'll lure the beast away." Barby looked at him. "What? I'm not gonna abandon you!" Anthony said: "Barby, I appreciate that, but you're only in this world for a week. You don't know this world yet. I know how to handle a garnix. Go now, quickly. And don't make too much noise." Anthony quickly grabbed the horn that hung on the doorknob of his wagon, and blew it loudly. The monster turned his head and walked into the direction where the sound came from. Barby looked one last time at Anthony. He was right, she knew yet too little to help him. Quickly she ran to the forest, while Anthony lured away the strange dinosaur-like creature.
But just before Barby would reach the forest she stepped into a crack in the ground. She fell down, and the pain of her sprained ankle made her shriek. Immediately the garnix changed direction and its tail hit Anthony against the ground. "Anthony!" Barby cried out. The garnix moved closer and closer to Barby. She cried out of fear. Too late she remembered that Anthony told her that she shouldn't make too much noise. The garnix raised its tail and stabbed its sting into Barby's shoulder. Abruptly Barby's screaming stopped.
Anthony got up again and saw what has happened. "No!!!" he cried out. The garnix heard Anthony's voice. and didn't pay any attention anymore to Barby. Anthony screamed: "Come here, you slave of Sha'Tarno!" The angry beast walked into Anthony's direction. Anthony ran and ran. He still felt dizzy from being hit by the garnix's tail and he knew he didn't make much of a chance
Suddenly he heard a voice: "Manchild, come over here." Anthony looked around. A unicorn had appeared and spoke to him. "I will take care of the garnix for you." Anthony wondered how a unicorn could beat a garnix, but the unicorn ran to the garnix, ran between it's legs and stabbed his horn into the belly of the monster. The garnix screamed out loudly, and fell down. Anthony wanted to fall down too, but immediately changed his mind. "Barby!" he cried out, and swiftly ran to her.
Barby lied motionless on the ground. Her face looked deadly pale. Anthony took her in his arms and discovered that she was still breathing. Garma be praised! "Hold on, Barby!" he cried out. "I didn't save you to let you die here."
The unicorn came to them. "The poison of a garnix is very strong. Only the Elves may be able to save her. Climb on my back, then I will bring you to them."
The journey through the forest didn't last long. After fifteen minutes the unicorn stopped at a house built by the foot of a hill. "Florence!" he called. "Your help is needed urgently." A young Elfwoman came outside. "What is going on?" The unicorn replied: "This girl has been attacked by a garnix." Florence got clearly frightened. "Then I must help her immediately!" "Please, help her.", Anthony pleaded when Florence took Barby from his arms. But when Barby lied in Florence's arms, Anthony felt the exhaustion from the fight with the garnix and his concern for Barby take over. His knees gave way and everything before his eyes became black.
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:55 am

Chapter 9


Anthony awakened and looked around. He saw he was lying in a white room. A friendly voice spoke: "So, you've finally awakened." Anthony looked where the voice came from. In the corner of the room sat a young Elfwoman. "Florence asked me to take care of you. I am her sister, Verona." Florence... Anthony's memories came back to him. The unicorn, the journey through the forest....Florence was the name of the Elfwoman who could help Barby before the poison of the garnix would kill her. "Where is Barby?!" he cried out. Verona replied: "Stay calm, Anthony. Florence is with her, she knows what must be done. But you must be helped too." "I don't need help", Anthony said stubbornly. He stood up...and immediately his knees gave way. Shaking her head, Verona helped him get up. "Anthony, you were totally exhausted when you arrived here and you have barely gathered new strength. I understand that you're worried about the girl, but you won't help her if you keep on exhausting yourself." With understanding in her eyes she continued: "If you eat something first, I promise you that you can see her afterwards." Anthony wanted to protest that Barby was a woman, not a girl, but he changed his mind. Someone with an age of thirty years was for the Elves indeed still a child. Finally he agreed and followed Verona to the kitchen.

A little while later Anthony sat down at a table in the kitchen. Verona had made soup, but Elvensoup was much more tastier and nourishing than any of the soups he had ever eaten in Melodion. Already after one plate he said: "I'm full" Verona nodded. "I bet you're feeling much better now."
At that moment Florence came rushing in. "Anthony, you must come with me immediately!" The way that Florence was speaking made Anthony's fear return. "What's going on?!" Florence replied: "I'll explain it to you, but you must come with me now."
Without hesitating Anthony followed Florence down a long corridor. Anthony was surprised that such a long corridor could be in the house, but then he realised that the corridor was dug into the hill he had seen outside. After a while Florence stopped by a door that was built in the inner face of the hill. Beside it there was a window and Florence beckoned Anthony to look through it. Anthony saw a big cave that was largely filled with a white vapour. Torches lit up the cave, and in the middle he saw a bath. And then, through the vapour he saw Barby's face. "What are you doing with her?", he said. Florence said calmly: "Have no fear, no harm will come to her. Garma's Breath will cure her from the poison of the garnix. Anthony nodded to show that he understood. So the hill was in fact an old geyser. According to legend, a geyser was for the gods like a bath was for humans. It was told that the gods received their special powers thanks to a bath in a geyser. And although humans wouldn't survive a fall into a geyser, still the vapour had special healing powers. The Elves called this vapour Garma's Breath, as they believed that Grandmother Garma included a part of herself when she created the world. But they were the only ones who still knew how to use these healing powers. No wonder that the unicorn brought them here.
Anthony turned to Florence. "But if you know how to use Garma's Breath, why do you need me? "
"Listen well, Anthony. You know what kind of creatures garnixes are? They were created by Sha'Tarno when he wanted to make the legendary creature Manticore stronger, and mixed it with what was left of the dinosaurs." Anthony nodded. "I know that, Through that, the creature would grow bigger and be able to make more poison." Florence replied. "That was only half of his idea. In fact, the poison of the garnix is only a diversion, so everyone would think the poison had killed its victim. Of course that would happen anyway if the victims weren't helped, but the true death through a garnix is much horrid." It was like an icy chain was put around his heart when Anthony heard Florence speak. "The garnix feeds itself in a horrible way. It eats human souls!" The pain could be seen on Anthony's face. "Then...Barby is already dead."
Florence shook her head. "Not yet. Because you could distract the garnix so fast, he wasn't able to finish his horrid deed. The moster needs time to loosen the soul, but thanks to your quick reaction, Barby's soul is still partly attached to her body. And here's the reason why we need your help."
Florence opened the door and beckoned Anthony to follow her. Anthony felt a soft wind blowing through the cave. Of course, the wind was necessary to prevent Garma's Breath from swallowing all the oxygen. Together they walked to the bath in which Barby laid. Florence said: "Take her hand and talk to her." Anthony was surprised. "Talking? Is that all that's needed to help her?"
Florence said: "Not everyone can do that. And to be honest, I'm not even sure if you can do it. Only those who have a strong bond with her can do it. Barby is now on the border of life and death, everything is possible. But if her soul is given a reason to return, she will survive. The best would be if someone of her family was here, but we don't have time to bring them here. By the time they arrived here, Barby would have passed away. So at this moment you're the only one who can help her. I hope that your friendship is strong enough, but it is her only chance."
Anthony took Barby's hand in his, but had absolutely no idea what he had to say. Then he said the words that were the first that came to his mind:
"Barby, I love you."
Startled he looked up. Was that true? Love...didn't that need years of trust to grow?
Florence looked at him with disapproval. "Doubt won't help her. If you want to save her, you must cast out any negative thoughts." Anthony nodded with understanding. He took a deep breath and continued.
"Barby, I love you..."
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:58 am

Chapter 10

Barby looked around her, but all she could see was total darkness. Where am I? She looked at her hand, but it looked...vague. She looked down, but she couldn't see the rest of her body at all. What's happening? The last thing she remembered was that monster - a garnix? - that stabbed her shoulder. After that everything had become dark. But...where was she now? Is this...death?
Suddenly she heard a menacing voice. "Well, well, what do we have here? You were always afraid to live, are you also afraid to die?"
Barby was startled when she saw to whom the voice belonged. The creature was nothing more than a blackened skeleton. She was even more startled when she realised who the creature had to be: Sha'Tarno!
Totally in panic she screamed out: "Go away from me, demon!"
"Demon?" Sha'Tarno lauged mockingly. "Girl, I'm your saviour. All your life you have suffered. Isn't it time that you are relieved from your pain?"
But at that moment a bright light appeared in the endless darkness, and a fierce voice called out:
"LEAVE MY CHILD ALONE!"
Barby couldn't believe what she saw. Before her, her mother appeared, looking exactly the same as when she went to Melodion for the first time. Barby's mother continued: "The pain she has suffered has been caused by you, demon. It is your poisonous voice that created a world in which people are scared of everything and everyone who is different. Leave her alone!" The bright light around Barby's mother made the demon twitch, but he didn't give up yet. "So you want to say that it is better for her to return to the world of pain. Everyone hates her. She has been betrayed before!"
But Barby's mother didn't give up either. "Not everyone hates her. She has her brothers and sisters....and somebody else too. Behold!" She stretched out her hand and in the darkness appeared a portal. "Take a good look, Barby. Here's the man who loves you, even though he doesn't fully realise it yet." Through the portal, Barby saw a cave filled with white vapour. To her surprise, she saw herself lying in a bath and Anthony held her hand. She could hear his voice calling out to her.
"I love you, Barby."
Barby stepped away from the portal. Anthony....loved her? No, it couldn't be! No one had ever really loved her, and the one man who had ever pretended to love her, had abandoned her.
Sha'Tarno scornfully roared with laughter. "See! She has suffered so much that she doesn't believe in love. Why would you let her suffer like that if you claim to love her too?"
But Barby's mother wasn't finished yet. "She loves him too, but she too doesn't yet fully realise that." In the portal appeared an image of Barby's room in the Shining Tower. She could see herself standing beside Anthony. Then she remembered that moment. Anthony had just told her the story of his life. Her mother talked to her. "Do you remember what you felt, Barby? You had met someone who had led the same kind of empty loveless life you had led. You felt complete understanding about how he must feel, and you felt that he could understand you." Barby still felt a little doubt. "Did I...love him?" Barby's mother nodded. "And do you remember when he told you to run away for the garnix? You didn't want to abandon him, even though there was nothing you could do to help him."
If she could do so in this nothingness, Barby would have cried. "You're absolutely right, mama. I was so scared that something would happen to him. For the first time in many years, I felt that I had a friend. And I didn't want to lose him." Barby's mother smiled. "Now that you discovered what this feeling means, I'm sure it will only grow stronger."
Sha'Tarno realised that he was losing his grip and treid a final attempt. "You will only be betrayed again. Do you want to suffer again?" But Barby didn't give in anymore. "Maybe you are right, but maybe you're not. But if I die now, I will never know for sure." She turned away from the demon. "I must go to him!" Barby's mother nodded. "Step into the light and you will return." Barby tried to embrace her mother, but realised that it was impossible. So instead she said: "Thank you, mother. You will always be in my heart." Barby's mother smiled. "I cannot always be there to help you, but I'll be watching over you, your brothers and sisters, my beloved child."
Barby jumped into the light.......


Anthony opened his eyes. He has concentrated deeply to try to let Barby's soul return. Only now he realised that his face was completely wet from the tears he had cried. He looked up and saw Florence standing beside him.
She smiled and said: "You did it, Anthony. I can feel it. Barby will return."
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:00 am

Chapter 11

Next morning Anthony was standing by the window of the cave. Barby was still unconscious, but Florence assured him that everything was going to be alright. "It's only a matter of time before Barby wakes up, Anthony. Her body needs time to gather new strength. It might take until nightfall, but she will surely awaken today. Take a look at her, don't you agree that she's looking already much better now?" Anthony looked inside, and waited for Barby's face to appear thrugh the vapour of Garma's Breath. It took a while, but finally he could see the bath in which Barby lied, and he saw that Florence was right. The deadlike paleness had gone from Barby's face, and her cheeks had started to bloom again. Grandmother Garma, her cheeks are so beautiful!
This thought made Anthony blush himself. Half stuttering he said to Florence: "I'm going outside for a while, it's time for some fresh air."

Anthony walked around the house of the Elfsisters. Verona was working in the garden. To his surprise and joy he saw that his wagon was standing by. He asked to Verona: "How did my wagon get here." She replied: "The unicorn had found it and convinced your horses to come here too." Anthony was relieved that they didn't have to walk all the way back to Melodion, but also felt a bit disappointed. "I haven't been able to thank the unicorn, and I don't even know his name." Verona said: "I'm sure the unicorn knows that you're grateful. Florence sent him to Melodion to tell the Masters what happened. And unicorns don't have a name. If you ever give them a name, they will forever belong to you."
This suprised Anthony. That sounded so similar like a marriage ceremony of Magdalion. Coincidence? Well, that's something he had to check out later.
All he could think of now was Barby. Did he really love her? Florence said that he had saved her by giving her soul a reason to return to life. So were his feelings true? But where did they come from?
"You're thinking of Barby, right?" By now Anthony was less surprised to find that Elves seemed to be able to read anyone's minds, so he didn't deny it. "Why don't you try to look at it all over again, then maybe you will find what you are looking for."
Anthony decided to give it a try. He thought about newyearsday, when he met Barby for the first time. Sure, she was very beautiful, but he had seen many beautiful women, in particular his teacher Heather. So that was not the reason he loved her. And admiring someone because of her talent for music and dance, was that love? Anthony was absolutely sure that it was not.
Behind him he heard Verona say: "Look further."
...After that he had saved her from the villagers who wanted to kill her. Was this an act of love, or just a matter of circumstances? Would he have saved her if she wasn't so talented? Or what would he have done if he was still a witness, but was staying in a different inn, so that his own life wasn't at stake? Questions, questions but still no answers.
But then he remembered the day when he and Barby had arrived in the Shining Tower. He had just told her the story of his life, and Barby said they had lived similar lives.
"Now you are there." Verona siad. "You found someone who lived a same kind of life as you, and you felt you could fully understand her. From then on you have loved her all the time. You understood how much she had suffered and you wanted her to be happy, just as you had been happy ever since you had come to Melodion." Anthony was devastated. But Verona continued: "Why did you say to Barby that she had to flee for the garnix, when all you had to do was to hide silently in your wagon? If you wouldn't make any sound, the garnix would never be able to find you. Can't you see it, Anthony? You were risking your own life, so Barby would be safe." Anthony wanted to say something, but Verona continued: "It wasn't your fault that Barby got wounded after all. You couldn't foresee that. But it's a fact that you were willing to give your life for her. You'd rather go down in a hopeless fight than having to see something happen to her.
And besides, what were the first words you said to me when you woke up from your exhaustion? 'Where is Barby?'"
Anthony saw there was no denying it. He really believed that had done the right thing, but in fact he had only acted as an infatuated fool.
"No, Anthony. You mustn't think like that! It isn't wrong to care so deeply for someone. In fact you were very brave. Many people are so afraid of death that they would have abandoned their friends. Just think of the people in Barby's village. Because she kept looking so young, they thought she was cursed. This reminded them of their own mortality, and that fear made them willing to kill her. Think about that, and tell me, haven't you done so much better than that?"
Anthony realised that Verona was right. "Thank you..." he said, blushing. Verona laughed. "No need to thank me. Just show Barby how much you love her." Anthony laughed back. "I surely will!"

After a few hours, Anthony again stood by the cave. He looked through the window, but the bath was empty. For a moment he got scared, but then the door opened and Florence came outside with Barby, dressed in a white Elvendress, in her arms.
"Oh Anthony, good that you are here. Can you help me carry Barby upstairs. She will awaken any moment now, but it will be more comfortable for her to awaken in a warm bed, rather than in a cold cave, don't you think?"
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PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:02 am

Chapter 12

Barby opened her eyes, but all she could see was a white colour. For a moment she started to fear, but after more focusing she saw that she was in a white room.
"Barby, is everything alright?" she heard a voice call. She looked up, and she saw Anthony standing beside her. Then she noticed she was lying in a bed. And then she remembered everything that had happened before everything went dark.
"Anthony..." she started to say, but her voice was still weak. "Hush," he said, "everything is alright now." Anthony embraced Barby with tears in his eyes. He felt his blood was getting warmer. He now knew for sure, he loved her very deeply.
But for a moment he also felt anything else...fear? Yes, after all he didn't know if Barby felt the same for him.
But then he noticed that Barby was crying too. He hugged her a little tighter and they comforted each other.
Florence looked at it all and wanted to leave the room, to give the two friends a moment for themselves, but Anthony stopped her. "Barby, may I introduce you to Florence. She's the one who saved you." Florence shook her head. "That's not entirely true. It wouldn't have worked without Anthony." Now it was Anthony who disagreed. "What do you mean? Without your knowledge of Garma's Breath Barby couldn't have been saved at all." Barby interrupted them. "You just have saved me both." Garma's Breath? Was that the white vapour she had seen when she saw herself lying in the cave? "What has exactly happened?"
Anthony and Florence briefly described what had happened in the past two days. "But don't worry, you're completely cured now. If you stay another day to gather more strength, then you can return to the Shining Tower tomorrow." Barby and Anthony happily accepted the invitation.
But Anthony could see that Barby wanted to say something more. "What's the matter?" he asked. Barby softly said: "I've seen...my mother." Anthony was surprised. Barby continued: "She was with me, and protected me." Florence was surprised too. "When Elves are dying they see at the last moments of their lives someone of their already passed away family with whom they had a special bond. But this is the first time that I've heard something similar about humans. You...are a very special woman, Barby." Barby said: "But, I've also seen her when I came to Melodion for the first time." Florence was even more startled now. "That's...incomprehensible".
Florence continued: "Maybe we should try to find out why you can see your mother. But I'm absolutely certain that it isn't something dangerous. For now, let me bring you something to eat. After all, you haven't eaten for two days. You will find that you will feel better soon." Anthony agreed. "Elvensoup is miraculous."

That evening Barby and Anthony walked outside with the two Elfwomen. Barby still felt a little weak, but Anthony gave her all the support she needed. And it was yet also clear that Barby's strength was slowly but surely returning. Florence said that tomorrow she would feel stronger than ever. Together they walked into the garden. In the back a bonfire was burning. Anthony picked his guitar out of the wagon and started to play a calm melody. Verona took care of the rhythm with a tambourine, and Florence turned out to be a good singer. Together they sang a song for Barby, as well as to thank Grandmother Garma for Barby's returning health.
After the song, the four of them kept talking for a while. "Aren't you lonely living all by yourself in a little house in the forest?" Barby asked.
Florence shook her head. "We have chosen for this. We were always very gifted physicians, and with Garma's Breath in our reach we have been able to help many Elves and humans, who would have died otherwise. The gratefulness that has been given to us, is stronger than loneliness."
Verona continued: "Our house has a central location between Melodion and the Elvencity Allorea. We live neither with the Elves, nor with humans. Because of this, we are completely neutral. We help everyone, regardless of race."
"We dedicated our lives to helpfulness. In a way, everyone is our friend." Barby nodded. She hadn't seen it that way.
Anthony said: "And that's also the task of Musicians, making everybody happy." "Indeed", said Florence. "And that's another reason why we helped you, while others would have given up all hope when they heard the name 'garnix'. You too have dedicated your lives to helping people, just like us. That's why you can always count on our help, no matter what will happen."

Next morning Barby's strength had fully returned. And so she and Anthony prepared themselves to return to Melodion. Florence gave them a letter for the High Master of melodion.
On their way back Barby spoke, for the last time, about the accident. "There is one thing I don't understand. If that beast was supposed to be extinct, where did it come from?" Anthony replied: "I don't understand it either. Perhaps the Masters will start an investigation, but anyway, the monster is dead now. And that's just the best."
Back in Melodion they were heartily greeted by Heather. But Barby felt disappointed. She had seen that Anthony loved her, but still he hadn't said anything about it. Had she been mistaken about him after all? That thought hurted her very much.
No, don't let me been mistaken. PLEASE!


Last edited by Anthony on Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Join date : 2011-03-19
Age : 39
Location : Veghel, The Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: Magdalion (A fantasy story for Barby)   Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:03 am

Chapter 13

Barby sat in her room in the Shining Tower. She felt a bit sad. She knew for sure that Anthony loved her. She had seen it! Her mother had shown it to her, when she almost surrendered to death. But after they left the Elvenhouse he had hardly said a word to her, and she didn't understand why.
She sighed deeply. It felt so good when he embraced her after she had awakened. Suddenly she realised it: She knew he loved her, and she loved him too, but he didn't know she loved him.
Suddenly she felt stronger. She wouldn't keep on sitting here moping. It was time for action! She would go to him, and confess to him that she loved him just as much as he loved her.
But first she would make herself look as beautiful as possible. She looked in her wardrobe and chose a beautiful blue dress - she had noticed that Anthony liked the colours blue, green and white, although he always wore black clothes! - but before she changed she decided to take a bath.
It was as if the water took away her tension. But suddenly she heard someone knocking on her door.
"Who's there?" she called. "It is me." she heard Anthony's voice say. "Can I talk with you for a moment?" Barby felt disappointed. She wasn't ready yet! Yet she said: "Just a moment, I'll be right there. Sh stepped out of the bath and quickly grabbed a bathrobe. Behind the door Anthony heard the dashing of the water. "Oh, I'm sorry. Shall I come back later?" Barby actually did want some more time to prepare herself, but to her surprise she heard herself say: "No, it's OK. You can come in now."
Anthony opened the door and entered the room. In his hands he held a big bundle of roses, which he gave to Barby. Barby was blushing. "For me?", she asked half stuttering. Anthony nodded. "Barby...I've waited for a moment when the two of us could be together, just by ourselves to tell you this."
He took a deep breath before he continued. "Barby, I love you. Even though we know each other for just a short time, I love you with my whole heart. I've been thinking about this the past few days, and I felt frightened when I was thinking that I could lose you. It was the most frightening experience of my life. But when you finally awakened I felt so relieved. I want to be with you forever...if you want that too."
Barby embraced Anthony and looked into his eyes. Whew, I'm quite a lot smaller than him! "Dear Anthony, I love you too." Again she blushed. She hadn't expected that she would tell him this, dressed in a bathrobe. In the tales everything eventually worked out much better than this. But now she digressed. This wasn't a story, this was real.
"When I'm with you, I feel safe. When you look at me, I can see it in your eyes. You don't see a stranger, or a witch. And as I said before, our lives are very similar. That's why you're someone of which I know he fully understands me."
She felt a rush of emotions, and kissed him. "I want you to stay with me, and I want to stay with you forever." She kissed him again, and again, and this time her kiss was answered. Barby felt her blood becoming warmer.
Anthony gently caressed her hair, and Barby rubbed her nose against his chin. Softly she kissed him again. If only time could stand still.
Slowly his hands moved over her back. For a moment they rested at the ribbon of her bathrobe. He looked at her. "Do you trust me?" he said softly, almost a whisper. Barby whispered back: "I trust you, more than anyone." Slowly Anthony untied the ribbon and opened Barby's bathrobe. His hand caressed her shoulder. He realised that Florence's healing powers must be amazing, as he couldn't even see a scar on Barby's shoulder. But there was no time to think about that any longer. Now he was here, with his beloved Barby, and that was all that mattered. He gently lifted her and carried her to the bed. Carefully he turned her around,so she was lying on her stomach.
Barby was yet a little nervous. "What are you going to do?" Anthony again caressed her hair. "Ssh, don't be afraid. Let it all come, let it all go." He picked a rose out of the bundle and let the petals rest on her head. Slowly, almost teasingly he let the rose slide downwards, over her neck, across her spine, over her buttocks, downwards across one leg, and then upwards again across her other leg. Barby softly sighed as the gentle tickling made her feel even warmer.
"Let go of your pain." Anthony whispered again.
Then, unexpectedly, Barby felt something cold on her back, and she smelled a sweet fragrance. "What is that?" she asked. "Oil from Toragan." Anthony replied. The cool oil against her warm skin gave Barby goosebumps. But it felt wonderful. Her whole body sparkled. While Anthony used one hand to rub the oil over Barby's back, the other hand with the rose kept tickling Barby's legs.
But suddenly, Barby felt a less pleasant feeling. "Ah, Anthony, don't do that!" she cried out. The rose had reached Barby's feet, and Barby’s foot soles were very sensitive. Anthony replied teasingly: "What, you can't stand tickling?" Barby tried to answer while she fought against the uncontrollable laughter that was coming up. "N-no, stop". But Anthony didn't stop. Barby couldn't hold it any longer and suddenly burst with laughter. "Anthony, please, stop."
Suddenly it was Barby who stopped. She had become completely quiet and her face had a strange expression. This startled Anthony. Did he go too far? "Barby....is everything alright?" Barby turned to him. She could see he was worried, and embraced him. "Everything is alright. It only was...a little strange for a moment. I haven't laughed for such a long time, that I had forgotten how my own laughter sounded." She kissed her boyfriend - my boyfriend! - and said: "You are a very special man, Anthony. You already saved my life twice, you've taken away my fears, and now you even learned me how to laugh again. Now let me show you how much I love you too." She started to unbutton Anthony's black blouse, while Anthony kissed her again. Gently she pulled him against her...

...and when the sun rose again and shone through the window, its rays warmed two lovers, safe in each other's embrace.

Anthony was the first to wake up. Barby had a smile on her face, and made a satisfied sound when he moved. He decided to stay in bed for a moment so he wouldn't wake her while moving. Probably she had a beatiful dream too right now, just as he had last night when he dreamed about her. Carefully he caressed her beautiful hair, that almost looked like gold in the sunlight.
He started to feel hungry, and so he decided to wake up Barby after all. Then he could make breakfast for her. He kissed her beautiful cheeks. Barby made a sound that resembled a laugh. After another two kisses she finally woke up. The smile was still on her face when she said: "I love you, Anthony."
Anthony laid his hand on her shoulder. "We're so lucky that we found each other. The holes in our lives are now filled. Now we never have to be alone again."

(END OF PART 1)
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