Friday, February 22, 2013
Noal "The Beginning" Part II The Battle to Save Young Unicorns
This is where the story begins in the land of Noal. These are the stories about the generations of unicorns and how twelve missing stones brought evil to Noal. The stones, which were at one point a single falling star that came from the darkness in the sky, were lost on earth. These twelve stones, although very small in size, could open a portal with enough power to suck in an entire universe. The stars knew that if Noal and earth collided, then both worlds would be destroyed. The stones had to be found to keep peace throughout the land. If the stars did not retrieve all twelve stones, then they would doom the land of Noal. These are the tales of how unicorns played a vital role in retrieving the stones, giving them back to the stars, and bringing peace to a troubled land. It has been 50 years or more since Yuno and other horses “now called unicorns” crossed over to the land of Noal. Sherrea, Yuno’s brown mate, had enjoyed the solitude of the quiet lands of our new world. There were close to a thousand unicorns spread throughout Noal. The female unicorns enjoy playing in the many fields. The lands here on Noal were a lot different from earth. The horses were no longer enslaved by humans to carry them on their backs. They were free unicorns. Free as butterflies flying in the wind. Yuno, my great grandfather, never knew a more pleasant time. They were no longer herded into the groups and placed in stable stalls. They did not have to feel the whips from humans or the stabs of spurs on their hips. They could run with their mates through the forests, ponds, and mountains. Yuno especial enjoyed playing sword games with his younger friends with their new horns. Yuno’s mate was ready to conceive her first child. Yuno had never been a father before then. He just hoped that he could live up to other unicorns as they continued to populate Noal. Lorine, his white sister stands next to him. She is joyous for Yuno’s new arrival. “How is she?” he asks. “She’s fine. She is resting in the cave. It’s a tan boy!’ she replied while taking a sip of water from the pond. ‘What will his name be?” “His name will be, Suro!” Yuno replied after taking a sip of water from the pond. “Well, be joyous! You have a beautiful, strong boy!” Lorine replied with a kiss to Yuno’s cheek. Yuno returns the soft gentle kiss. “Thank you, sister! Sherrea will be a great mother!” “You, Yuno will be an awesome father!” “I hope so!” Yuno headed back to the cave. Meanwhile, the ground had become jealous and angry that the stars had gotten all the praises for the creation of Noal. Since, ground was the first element to create these lands; they also wanted the unicorns and other animals to praise it. The unicorns only paid homage to the stars, so ground decided to make an enemy for them.” “I feel the unicorns have rejected my role in giving them the new lands, so I am creating a new dark and evil creature that will hunt these ungrateful unicorns,” the ground said. “Out of the shadows of the night there arose new beasts from the dark and black soils of the ground. These creatures were tall men-like beasts with long legs and arms. They had long pointed ears and three deep black eyes over their short noses. Their wide mouths protruded out of their black thick scaly skin. They ran fast like the wind. These beasts were made from the depths of the dark dirt, dead leaves, and underground muddy waters. The females and males were designed for the sole purpose to multiply and kill innocent animals. These creatures carried ugliness and hatred from the heart of the ground. They did not know reason, compassion, or love for the land. They only knew blackness in their minds. The ground created a thousand of these new creatures, and it called the beasts Black Antars. These Antars made spears with broken trees limbs. They ran fast and practice throwing their spears at targets. Within a few months, the Black Antars were ready to destroy unicorns and all other animals that inhabited the peaceful Noal. The stars saw what ground had done. They were equally angry so stars decided to create new mortals to protect unicorns. Ground and stars both agreed never to destroy new beings, so the stars had to create new human-like figures with its own elements. On one early morning, just after the suns rose, the stars took a piece of sunlight to mix with its own elements. The elements shot down to the land of Noal and landed on the edge of a warm pond. Out of the warm waters of the bright morning marched a thousand tiny human-like beings with hair from head-to-toe. These figtures both males and females were equally as fast as the Black Antars, but they carried the warm kindness of the bright suns in their hearts. The stars gave the small humans the wisdom of the lands. They made weapons by using vines from plants and trees. They were highly skilled with their fury little hands. They took big leaves from trees and made bags to wear around their waist. They also collect rocks and other materials to use as tools and weapons. The stars were so pleased with the new creatures; they called them, elves. The elves took their place in the deep forests of the mountains. They were quiet around the unicorns, but in the lands under grounds, they laughed with each other while feasting on wild berries. The elves loved life and enjoyed each other’s company. On the opposite side of Noal, the stars had forgotten about the four black stone that were left on a mountain on earth. The stars and ground knew how important to stones were to insure the safety of Noal, but because they ignored the risks involved in leaving the stones behind, they allowed the possibility of other creatures to invade the land of Noal. The black stones, although not good or evil, only serve as a gateway between the earth and Noal. As long as they remain on earth, Noal would be in high threat for invasion by humans. During this time, a group of young mountain climbers had decided to take rest in the same area where the portal last opened. Among the young climbers, Dane, a soldier, Jo Anne was the youngest of the climbers. She was an athletic climber with very a tight figure and brunette hair. Shane, a student, was the out-spoken person of the entire group. His red hair, blue eyes, and freckled skin made him always question the decisions of others. The other ten group members followed the directions of Dane the leader. Just as the group gathered their backpacks and took their last sips of water from the bottles, a strange wavy pattern appeared facing towards the sunlight. It was the portal beginning to open. As the images of Noal began to appear in the wavy pattern, the group dropped their backpacks and water bottles. Some of the group ran in fright, while others fell to the ground. They were afraid of what they saw, but they were motionless by the portal’s image of Noal. “What is it?” demanded Jo Anne while sitting on the ground. “I don’t know. It looks like some sort of opening into another world.” Dane stood standing on his feet and stretching his left arm to reach out towards the portal. “Don’t go near it, Dane!” cried out Shane. he pulled Dane’s right arm away from the wavy images. “Dane drew closer to the portal. He let his left hand passed through the opening. It was as if the portal was waiting for the group to pass through the opening. The portal was using curiosity to lure the group through the opening. It could have been that the threshold was trying to help the stars to create Noal or that the portal could see the future of the land. Nevertheless, the entrance remained open for the group of climbers.” “It’s alright!” Dane was the first human to step on Noal’s ground. “It’s cool!” Shane followed Dane’s footsteps. Jo Anne and four of the group passed through the entrance. The portal suddenly closed as the seven members wondered around the land. “Great! Now, how do we get back!” Jo Anne nervously looked into Dane’s eyes while placing her hands on her hips. “Where are we?” another female group member named Kindle asked. “I don’t know, but it’s offly pretty here.” Dane glanced over the area for signs of intelligent life. Shane also scanned the deep forest for life and types of food. “Yes, but we don’t know where we are.” “Well maybe, we can find a yellow brick road and the good witch of the north will get us home.” Dane walked through a bushel of plants and trees. “Yes, just say there’s no place like home, and we’ll wake-up from our dreams.” Jo Anne brushed her dirty hands off. Dane looked forward and tilted his head to one side. “Nice! Let’s just stay together guys, and let’s see what’s around here.” Dane and the other group member felt afraid as they walked through the unknown land. “What if we can’t get back to the mountain on earth?” Jo Anne walked along side Dane with her right hand in his left hand. “I know sweetie. You’re afraid. I’m scare too! I think we’re all worried about not being able to get home, but we need to find out where we are and how to get home!” Dane continued to glance through the forest. The group traveled together. They did not know what directions to go, so they headed in one direction. On the other side of the forest, Yuno, Sherrea, and young Suro begin their innocent play in the tall grasses of the fields. Other unicorns joined the games of running together in the tall grass. The river, which was near the field, made its splashing noises as the water hit large rocks and fallen logs. The unicorns enjoyed running through the water. Some unicorns took to drinking the water when thirst indulged their bodies. Suro was young and weak from birth, but the exercises in the field and water made him stronger. During the day, the older unicorns taught their children about the wisdom of life. Yuno sat on the edge of the field with Sherrea while they watch Suro run along the water bank. All seemed peaceful in the forest, but there was evil lurking just outside the field. “Run, my son! The more you run, the stronger you’ll become.” Yuno laid in the tall grass in a near field. Sherrea stood next to Yuno while watching her son run across the warm water. “He’s so beautiful, my love!” Yuno looks back at his wife. “He takes after his mother!” Suro quickly joined his parents in their resting grass, “I’m…. I’m…. tired, father.” Yuno rose to his four legs. “Then rest my son,” The three unicorns rested as other unicorns ran in the distance under the full moon and the bright stars. Suro looks up at the sky. “Dad, what are the bright things up in the air?” Yuno also looks up at the bright stars as the sky turned light blue to orange in the distance. “Those, my son, are your ancestors. We call them stars, but I call them wild horses. The bright one on the right is named Wild Thunderbolt. The one closes to the moon is called Amigo. They are from another world. Stars created us so that we can be free. We must always pay homage to the.” Suro returned to look at his parents. In the distance, more unicorns ran across the water and grass. “Are we horses?” “We are decedents of horses, but the stars gave us a new life in a new world. We must protect our new world;” Yuno replied as he watched the other unicorns run across the land. Now Just as Yuno answered Suro’s questions about the ancestor of unicorns, and he realized that other unicorns were not running in play. They were running away from something. As the heard of unicorns ran across the field, Yuno began jogging towards the heard on his four legs. He then ran along-side another unicorn to gather information. Suro also sprung onto his legs as Sherrea watched beside him. They watched for Yuno’s return. Yuno ran back to his family. “Sherrea and Suro! You two go back to the crave. I will stay with the heard to defend our families!” “What is it?” Sherrea, Yuno, and Surp ran towards the direction of their home, “I don’t know, dear, but these creatures looked to be hunting us.” “What are they?” Suro seeks the comfort of his mother by standing close to his mother. It is her warmth the sooths his fears. Yuno reverses his body to head back to the heard. He looks back at his family. “I don’t know son, but you two get back to the cave, and be very quiet.” The heard of unicorns ran in many directions. They were being hunted by the Black Antars. Spears flew in many directions. Yuno frantically ran in many directions through endless trees and forests. He saw a few young unicorns being dragged by long vines. Yuno also saw a few bloody male and female unicorns on the ground, dead. He decided to run home to protect his family. Within minutes, Yuno reach the cave. Yuno entered the cave to find Sherrea wounded and weeping. Suro was nowhere to be seen. Yuno stood quietly in front of his beloved wife, but his son was nowhere in sight. “Yuno, they took Suro away,” Sherrea lied on the ground. Blood covered he frail body. “Quiet, my love! I will heal your wounds,” Just then, the deep cuts began to heal. “Rest, my love. I will find Suro!” Sherrea calmly stood up to meet her husband. “Go, my husband. I’m feeling better. Find our son! Find our son, and bring him home,” Yuno ran out of the cave in search of more unicorns. Yuno knew that if he could save his son, then he must have help from other unicorns. He ran into the night with a watchful eye for other unicorns and other deadly Antars. Nearing the other unicorns, Yuno heard a voice from the skies. He stopped and looked upwards to see a single star flickering in the night. Yuno listened as the star spoke to him. “Yuno, there are evil creatures invading the land of Noal. The ground has created fierce dark creatures known as Black Antars. They are hunters of unicorns. The Black Antars hunt unicorns because of their magical blood and horns. If they drink the blood of unicorns, they will live longer and be cued of any inflicted wounds or diseases. This is why they have kidnaped your son and a few other unicorns. You must rescue the unicorns before the next night of the high moon.” The stars kept its flickering. “Where are the young unicorns, my master?” Yuno waited patiently. ““They are on the southern side of Noal in the forest known as Endora. There you will find a cave near a great waterfall. The Black Antars are holding the unicorns in that cave. We have created elves from the warm waters of the rivers. They are marching to Endora as we speak. They will become guardians of unicorns. Seek their help, and they will help you rescue Suro and the others,” replied the stars. “Thank you, my lord!” Yuno looks down at the ground. “Why are you seeking to destroy?” The ground made no reply, but in anger, Yuno kicks a solid piece of dirt towards a tree. “We will never surrender to your evil creations.” Yuno once again looks up at the flickering star. “There is more. Humans have invaded the land of Noal. They are resting in the forest of Endora. I will speak to them in a dream. They will be given a choice to be killed or to be turned into new creatures.” “Do not kill them, my master. Some humans are good, and they have treated me well when I was a horse on earth. They could also help us fight the Antars,” Yuno pleaded. “Then, they must prove their worthiness to stay in Noal. No humans will be allowed to stay in the land of Noal. Go, and seek their help. And if they do help in rescuing the young unicorns, then we will give them life as new creatures. They must either be killed or become new beings. They cannot be returned to earth because of their knowledge of the portal and Noal. They must remain here as living or die. In time, we will find the missing twelve black stones, and they will return to the sky.” “Yes, my lord. I will do as you instructed,” Yuno started running to find more unicorns to complete the rescue attempt. Upon the late night moon, Dane and the climbers sat huddled close to a blazing fire. No one could sleep because of fear of strange things in the night. The night was calm in the warm air. Dane kept watch as the others made casual conversations to reduce their fears. “It sure is quiet here!” Jo Anne looks around the camp fire and up at the sky. “Do you think there are any creatures, here?” Kindle reposition herself on the hard dark ground. She misses her warm bed and the comforts of home. “I hope not. But I don’t know which is worse, total silence or scary creature noises in the night.” Ashuni tries to comfort by shoving a thin wooden stick into the fire to make the timber pop and sparks fly upward. Mandara readjust her sweater to calm her fears. She tries to bring laughter to the group, but adds fear to the night by saying, “Hey, let’s tell ghost stories.” “Great, we’re already scared enough. We don’t need spooky stories to make us more scared,” Nick stands up to get closer to Dane. He is fearful about being in an unknown land, but is unsure about who or what to blame. Does he place blame solely on Dane? He does not know. “I miss popcorn and watching late night TV in my pajamas,” Ashuni stated as she threw the stick into the blazing fire. “I miss my electronic gadgets!” Mandara plays with a rock with her fingers and thumbs as a mimic to an earthly device. “I miss hot cheesy pizza with free delivery.” Nick again sits down in front of the fire. “WITH EXTRA CHEESE!” they all shouted with laughter. The group seemed to again unite, if only for that one sentence. Kindle returned to her own reality of being in a strange land. “We don’t even know how long the night will last here.” “I do. Judging by the movement of the moon in its direction, the night should last about nine to twelve hours. This is about the same time frame as earth,”’ Dane explained as he looked towards the sky and into the dark night. The moon shined almost directly eastward in the sky. “How do you know?” Jo Anne stood up and walked closer to Dane. “I was in the military, and I taught myself how to tell time without a watch,” Dane replied. “So what time is it now?” Kindly sat quietly as the other group members looked at one another. “Oh, about ten O’five.” Dane looked at the moon. “You can tell that just by looking at the sky?” Shane popped to his feet and walked to Dane. Shane always sense curiosity about how people knew things. “Yes, and by looking at by my watch.” Dane showed the watch wrapped around his wrist. Laughter broke out in the group. Deep in the night, Dane and Shane took turns watching for dangers in the night. The other five climbers slept near the flames. In the night, the stars made dreams appear in the minds of the sleepers. The stars spoke to the humans in their dreams, and here is what they said, “Humans you are in the land of Noal. Unicorns resemble horses on earth, but they have horns on their heads. They are sacred animals in these forests. You must prove your worthiness to stay in the land by helping the unicorns rescue their children from the dark creatures known as Black Antars. Do not fear the unicorns and small elves. They are friendly to humans. If you fulfill this quest, we will grant you special grace in the land of Noal. You will meet Yuno the white unicorn, Adjuno the grey, and Bluro the brown unicorn. Be kind to these unicorns and you will be rewarded!” In the morning, the group awoke to a quiet morning. No one knew how to react to their dreams. Some group members walked around the forest searching for berries to eat. They all knew that eating berries from the land was a risk, but hunger made them ignore the dangers. Dane and Kindle covered the burning ashes. No one spoke until they gathered themselves to follow their unknown quest. “Where are we going?” Jo Anne walked along side of Dane. “We are going south,” Dane replied while pushing against the deep wilderness. “How do you know which way is south?” Mandara moved forward pass Jo Anne, behind Dane’s body. Dane stopped his steps. “Weill, I’m not sure, but my compass says that we are heading south, so I hope that we’re going in the right direction. We’ll know if we see the unicorns.” He studied the forest for signs of the mythical unicorns and possible dangers. “What did you say?” Mandara moved forward with a surprised look on her face. Dane stopped again to look back at the others. They all gathered around him. “I said, we’ll know if we see the unicorns!” “You had the same dream?” Kindle returned the question. “Yes, I had the same dream,” Dane answered back at the group. He then picked up a large stick and used it as a staff and continued walking in the south direction. Shane fell second in the line, but he was close enough to ask questions.“Do you believe it?” Dane’s voice change into a skeptic tone. “We just walked through some sort of dimension, slept in an unknown land, and ate berries from unknown plants and didn’t get sick. I see two suns in the morning and strange plants everywhere. I don’t know what to believe.” “The unicorn’s name is Yuno. He’s a white unicorn. Bluro is brown and Adjuno is grey,” said Shane. The others looked into each other’s eyes and continued following Dane in the thick forest. Within a few yards into the forest, Dane noticed three large-moving objects running a few yards ahead. The group ran towards them. The unicorns stopped as the group approached them. Dane held out his hand in peace, but the unicorns stepped backwards. The unicorns were testing the motives of the humans by neighing loudly and bobbing their heads up and down. Dane and the group slowly called out Yuno’s name and reached out for his nose. Yuno began to realize that the humans meant no harm to them. Yuno was the first to be touched by Dane. The other unicorns also made peace with the humans by allowing them to stroke their bodies. Dane seemed to take pleasure in petting Yuno’s head and nose. It was as if he knew how to tame wild animals. “I always thought unicorns were mythical creatures, but now, I can see that they are real. Noah’s Ark speaks about unicorns as leaving them behind because these creatures just wanted to play in the land.” Yuno seemed to respond effective towards Dane’s gentle voice and touch. Jo Anne giggled, “You know about unicorns. How is that possible?” She stood beside Yuno with her hand stroking his neck. “I took an ancient mythology course in college a few years ago. They are magnificent creatures like horses, but it is said that their blood and horns carry magical powers. I have always had a fascination for unicorns, but I did not believe they existed.” Shane also took pleasure in petting the grey unicorn. “Can they talk?” “Yes, in their way. We cannot here their words, but they can show us the way. If our dreams are correct, then we must help them rescue their children,” Dane explained. “We don’t have much time, then.” Mandara made a gesture towards her bare wrist as though it had a watch on it. She knew that time was essential towards rescuing the children. “Show us the way, young Yuno!” Dane followed behind Yuno. The others also trailed behind Adjuno and Bluro. On the other side of the forest, Toro and the elves marched in the direction of the humans and unicorns. “The humans are close!” Toro said as he and the fury elves marched forward with their spears at hand. “Yes, I can smell them. Humans are easy to track because they use strange scents to mask their true orders!” replied Maro as he marched beside Toro in the front line. “We must meet them quickly. I sense Black Antars in their area!” Toro scratches his head, looks back at the group, and scans the sky. He knows that the unicorns and their friends are headed towards imminent danger. The humans made small conversations as they followed Yuno, Adjuno and Bluro. They were all unaware of the dangers ahead. The unicorns, on the other hand, sense Antarss in all directions. They became nervous and jittery as they moved forward. “These unicorns are jittery!” Jo Anne is especially quick to sense their unsettling emotions. “It is like they can feel something bad is ahead, but I don’t know what it could be.” Dane looks all around the trees and around the forest. There are creatures in the area, but he is unsure if they are friend or foe. “Yes, they sense danger ahead!” Dane orders the others to be quiet. The group sits down to rest in the forest. Dane is very wiery as to which direction to proceed or whether to prepare for battle against an enemy he does not know. The mood was quiet and very frightening as everyone watch with wide eyes. The group sat in the forest with no words to speak. With seconds a spear flew towards Danes head, but it was deflected by a small stone. Another spear flew past Dane’s head from the opposite direction. It flew into some bushes striking a Black Antar in the head between the three eyes. Two other Black Antars ran further into the forest. The group remained stunned and motionless as Toro revealed himself to the humans. “What was that?” Shane quickly stood up. He turned to face the brushes towards the dead Antar. “That is a Black Antar, my foolish human!” Toro’s deep rough voice explained as he pulled out his spear from the bleeding head of the ugly beast. “What are you?” Mandara drew closer to the tiny elf. She appeared surprised by the little man with the fury body. “I’m an elf! What are you?” Toro returned the question to poke fun at the human. “I’m a human. We all humans!” Mandara bent down to see the elf. The other elves soon surrounded the unicorns and humans with the spears drawn in defense. “Humans are not very smart! Are you? I could hear and smell you all from miles away!” Toro cleaned his spear head on a leave and then looked back at Mandara. She again drew back because Toro’s scent was unfamiliar to her. In her nose, she smelled the scent of spoiled unions. She tried to contain her reaction, but her response startled herself and others. “I’m Dane! And you are?” Dane knelt down to make eye contact with Toro. “Toro is my name. Killing Black Antars is my game. Excuse me!” Toro used a slinger by twirling it round and round to throw a stone at a Black Antar hiding high in a leafy tree. The Antar fell like a thump from the tree and landed on the ground. “I’m the leader of my group. Can you teach us about the Black Antars?” Dane stood next to Yuno. “The Black Antars are hunters of unicorns. They crave their blood and horns because unicorns carry magical powers. Unicorn blood and their horns can heal wounds and other ailments so that those who consume the blood or use a horn to heal an ailment will live longer. Black Antars use spears as weapons. They are fast and accurate with their spears. They also use the forest to camouflage their black bodies,” Toro explained as he recollected his lost stone from the ground. Dane walked around the elves to study their use of weapons. “Can we fight them?” He held a spear in one hand and felt it sharpness. The other group members stood motionless with the unicorns. “Not without our help! But together, we could rescue the young unicorns. You all must follow our directions if you want to really save the unicorns,” Toro raised one finger and pointed it directly at Dane while looking at him with his eyes sharp as a hawk. Dane looked back at his new friend as though he hoped never having to fight him. Dane had strength and size on his side, while Toro’s edge was speed and quickness with weapons to help in fight. Now with the night time drawing closer and the moon becoming visible just beyond the trees, the army of elves and the small band humans marched forward towards the cave in the forest of Enduro. Dane and Toro lead the group to prepare for battle. No one, except Dane, had any experience throwing spears. Toro recommended that the humans gather stones along the way to the battle ground. Toro walked around the humans with a stone in his hand, pitching it up in the air, and then catching it again. “Stones are easier to throw, and you’re more likely to hurt an Antar if you all use stones. We will give you spears, but only use them if an Antar is close to you,” Dane crossed his arms, leaned against a tree, returned the look. “I agree, so what is the plan for attacking the Antars?” “The Antars will be gathered around the cave to watch the ritual. The leader Antar will be in the cave with his guards. At the high moon, they will bring out the young unicorns and sacrifice them one-by-one. We must attack the Antars before they make the first sacrifice. Our strength is that the Antars are unaware of our existence. Our weakness is that this is our first battle. Yuno, you and the other two unicorns must go and be with the children and use your horns to stab at any Antars that try to kill you or the children.” Toro said to the unicorns as they nodded their heads to say yes. “We will kill as many Antars as we can. Humans, get to the children as soon as you can. The sooner we get to the young unicorns, the sooner we can rescue them!” Toro sneaked among the dark bushes as the others hid a hundred yards away from the cave. Dane followed behind Toro. “Sounds like a good plan. I just hope we can get to the children before the leader Antar cuts the first unicorn.” “I’m not sure that I can fight. I’m only a school teacher!” Jo Anne sat frustrated on the ground, her frightened voice made her and the group vulnerable towards getting detected and attacked by the Antar. Toro walked towards Jo Anne, he looked up at her face, and said to her. “This is not a time for weakness. We must be strong or these young unicorns will die and the Antar creatures will gain power. We can’t let that happen!” “I just want to go home!” Jo Anne began sobbing into her hands. Mandara and Shane surrounded her to coax her internal fears. They all felt the same fears, but war was coming, and everyone knew that sharing their fears was not going to diminish the dangers. “There’s no going home!” Toro reported without any considerations of the group’s feelings. Dane understood that the elves probably were unaware of how sharing information might evoke bad feelings. Toro was a warrior, so he never had experience with human emotions. “What? What do you mean?” Mandara’s fear began to show in her deep blue eyes. “No, when you entered from the other land, you crossed over for life!” Toro sharpened his spear head without understanding the consequences of his words. “You mean when we crossed over, we did it for life?” Dane walked towards Toro and he bent down to make eye contact with him, his face turned into horror, and he realized the extent of the consequences of his bad decision. Dane believed that if the portal brought then to Noal, then the same passage would lead them back home. This belief was anything, but true. Toro tightened his slinger and blurt-out a chuckle from his fury mouth “Yes!” “You see.., You see what you did Dane… We can never go back home!” Shane’s sinking feeling in his stomach made him throw a rock at a tree. Everyone turned their heads in anger and disgust. The group was now paralyzed by fear and sadness. Dane felt the blame, but he knew that this was no time to submit to confusion and anger. There were young unicorns to rescue, and now was not the time to worry about getting home. The unicorns had to be rescue from the Antar. Jo Anne continued sobbing. “What are we going to do now, babe?” Her eyes blood-shot red from crying, but focused on Dane’s face for answers. Dane pretended to ignore the question, but still able to give an answer be focusing on the quest. “I’m going to help the elves rescue the unicorns! Toro, we can kill more Antars if we shoot spears with fire. Can we make more spears with tree limbs?” Dane looked at the trees. He planned to make more spears. He also gathered a few stones from the ground and placed them in one pocket. “Let the pieces of the creator of the Antars be our weapons to strike them down!” Toro also looked up at the trees.“Yes, but we have to do it now.” Dane grabbed a broken limb from a nearby tree. He flipped out his pocket knife, began to whittle away a sharp and pointed head. “Then let’s do it!” Jo Anne rose to her feet following Dane. “How can you talk about fighting when we can’t get home?” She argued with him while he gathered more long sticks to be made into spears He stopped for a moment. “Look sweetheart, we can either fight or die here! I’m a soldier! It’s my job to save lives and worry about the consequences later! We have to save these unicorns regardless of our situation! We can either die here or fight for our lives, and if we rescue the unicorns, then maybe we can find a way home!” There was a silence among all group members. Everyone pitched-in in gathering long sticks to be made into spears. Some members used the pocket knives to whittle pointy heads on all sticks. Group members only spoke when they had questions. Dane remained quiet because of his guilt. The other members followed the silence mood because everyone blamed Dane for leading them into an unknown land. Time past by slowly as war was imminent in the night. “How will we see the enemy?” Dane whispered as the group drew closer to the cave and battle ground. Dane also covered his face with mud. Other group members followed soot by covering themselves with leaves and mud. “I will call the fireflies with my whistle. With the fire from the spears and the lights from the flies, we should be able to see our enemies very well. My only concern is your scent.” Toro laughed loudly and scanned Dane’s body. He was now enjoying making sarcastic remarks at him. Dane looked back at him. “Our scent?” “You might smell good in the other world by using oils and lotions, but here you all really stink. Once the Antar recognize your stench, they will fight or flee from you all. We better attack down-wind!” Laughter came from his small belly as he moved forward towards the Antars. Shane looked at the little elf. “You carry a big stick for a little fury man.” He moved forward between Toro and Dane and chuckled at the both of them. Toro moved into fighting position. “Little man? I’m a big fighting man!” Dane and Shane looked at each other, then they pushed forward with the other group behind them. The night grew darker and the moon rose high. Yuno, Adjuno, and Bluro brushed themselves against a strange flower releasing a sweet, but strong scent in the air. Jo Anne, Mandara, and the others built a fire a few yards away from the cave. The wind blew away from the cave. The smoke blew with the wind, but all was safe because the Antars were distracted by the ritual preparations. The elves quietly scattered around the forests. They hunched over in crouching positions walking step-by-step towards the cave. Dane and Toro lead the march while Shane, Kindle, and Mandara stood behind ready to rescue the three young unicorns. Jo Anne, Nick, and Ashuni stayed behind and kept the spears lit in the fire. It was scary for the group because they never knew battle. They only knew the debates of every-day life in school and work. This was a new battle for everyone with only a small army of elves and unicorns with no fighting skills to guide them. The group felt that the odds were against them, but they continued to position themselves for war. While crouching in the trees and bushes with their spears at hand, they waited for the Antars to bring out their first sacrifice. Toro blew a high-pitched whistle that only could be heard by fireflies and insects. In a matter of minutes, swarms of tiny fireflies lit up the night sky above the cave and around the Antars. The fireflies bewildered the Antars as the stood mesmerized by the clouds of light over their heads. Now was the time for attack as the first young unicorn lied tied-down helpless on the ground. Dane watched crouched down as he yelled. “Now!” The first spear was darted in the air as it soon struck an Antar in the head. The Antar fell like a stone as blood splattered on the ground. The rush of elves had begun as spears headed towards the Antars. Spears flew from all directions as Antars dropped like flies. Some spears struck Antars directly on the head or body, while other just hit the ground. Dane and Toro drew closer to the cave as they thrust their spears directly into the Antar’s ugly body. One after another, both man and elf stuck their spears into Antars, bushing them in, and then pulling them out. Other elves did the same as blood marked the territory of dead and wounded Antars. The Antars were helpless in the unexpected battle. They began to scatter throughout the forest like ants. Meanwhile, Shane and Kindle threw fire-spears into the center of the crowed. These well-lit spears frighten the Antars more as they ran away. The lit spear also gave the elves and humans additional advantage because of the added light. Yuno, Adjuno, and Bluro ran towards the cave. They found Suro lying on the ground with his legs bound with vines. Yuno and Mandara eagerly tried to cut the vines. Yuno used his teeth while Mandara used her small pocket knife. Adjuno, Bluro, and Shane rush into the cave to save the other two unicorns. Inside the dimly lit cave, they found a giant Black Antar. He was nearly eight feet tall with three big black eyes above his nose. He howled as his slobbery teeth protruded outward. Shane and the other two unicorns stood in fright as Dane rush passed them. “Let me handle him!” Dane ordered as one giant spear flew pass his head striking Bluro in the neck. Bluro neighed loudly as he suddenly dropped to the ground. “I, Darkly, will kill you puny creatures, and drink the blood of the unicorns. I am the master and lord of the Antars!” he said in his rough deep voice as he grabbed another spear. “Not if I can help it!” Dane swung his spear at Darkly’s head. Darkly ducked down as he countered by swinging his spear at Dane’s shoulders and head. Dane ducked as well, but the head of the spear niched his arm. Dane dew back and covered his now bloody arm with one hand. Dane’s eyes met with Darkly’s eyes as the two collided body to body. Darkly wrapped his long arms around Dane’s Body. “You think that you kill me? You weak and pompous creature!” Darkly replied as drool came down his big ugly fangs. Darkly released Dane’s body as he fell to the ground. Dane quickly arose while pulling off his slinger and adding a rock to it. The two enemies circle one another as Dane twirled his slinger round and round countered-clockwise. Dane under-handedly released the rock towards Darkly’s head, but the cunning Antar ducted sideways causing the rock to bounced off the wall. The two warriors continued to circle one another like fireflies. They were trying to find weaknesses in each other’s body. Dane drew his small pocket knife and held it in his right hand with the blade point opposite of his this thumb. The two once again ran towards each other and they collided body-to-body. Dane shoved his knife into Darkly’s upper eye. Darkly screamed in pain as the two bodies fell backward. Darkly pulled the knife from his eye as blood rushed down his face. Darkly made additional loud roars. He rushed toward Dane’s body again. Darkly picked up Dane’s body again with both arms. He squeezed tightly as suddenly a loud “SNAP” sounded from Dane’s back. Darkly dropped Dane’s broken body on the ground. Darkly lunged forward at Shane and Adjuno, as they began rescuing the other two unicorns. Just before Darkly could grab Shane, a single spear thrust into his back shoulder blade. He turned to see Toro and a few more elves stand in the opening of the cave. Darkly reached behind him to pull out the spear, but he could not believe that a small elf would cause him so much pain. The other elves threw their spears at Darkly. He quickly fell to the ground near Bluro. There he lay on the ground as those dead. Toro and the other elves helped rescue the young unicorns. Shane, Toro, and Adjuno quickly set the children free. As they turned to examine Dane’s condition, the discovered that Darkly had escaped with only a trail a blood behind him. Dane whispered “Look, Darkly is gone!” He helped the wounded bodies. “Yes, he’s gone for now, but he will return soon, and he’ll be ready for battle next time!” Toro looked at Dane as he quietly stood still in sadness. This was the first time an elf felt extreme emotions for another being. Shane, Toro, and the elves pulled Dane’s body out of the cave. He was alive, but unconscious. The other elves pulled out Bluro’s body, he was dead. Everyone surrounded the wounded bodies. Jo Anne was especially hurt by Dane’s injury because she had developed a fondness for him. She sat next to his head cresting his warm face. Dane’s eyes gently opened to see Jo Anne starring back at him with tears of sorrow in her eyes. “I can’t feel my legs!” Dane’s eyes focusing on Jo Anne’s soft and warm face. Jo Anne returned the look of sadness. “Rest easy, my love. I’m here for you!” “I’m sorry for dragging all of you here!” Dane rubbed his hand against Jo Anne’s cheek. “Shoo! Don’t worry about that now!” Jo Anne calmly touched Dane’s week face. Suddenly a bright light radiated from the night-time stars downward on them. “Humans! You have proved your worthiness to stay in Noal. Dane has fought with bravery with the elves. We are saddened by Bluro’s death, so we would like to reward you by giving you Bluro’s body. Dane, your body will be stronger and faster with Bluro’s body, and you will live as long as a unicorn. If you choose to change, then the other six must agree to change as well. The transformations will be painless and quick!” announced the stars. “Hey, I’m in. I always wanted to be a horse’s ass. I mean a unicorn!” Nick stood over Dane’s body. Shane also stood next to Dane. “Well, we can’t go back to earth, so might as well be something cool!” Mandara smiled at Dane with her hand holding his. “I want a beautiful white body!” “I want a pink body!” Ashuni laughed. “Me to!” Kindle returned the laughter. Dane and Joanne both nodded yes. The stars poured tiny specks of lights over all the humans. The specks of lights flew around in different colors. Toro and the elves watched in delight. Clothes fell off of the humans as two additional new legs grew from their bodies. Bluro’s head and horn disappeared as his body moved closer to Dane. Dane’s legs also vanished as his upper muscle grew twice in size. Soon Dane’s and Bluro’s bodies became one. The other group’s upper muscles also grew in size to fit with their lower body as it formed into unicorns. Within minutes, the transformation was complete. All humans were now transformed into new magnificent creatures with the bodies of unicorns and humans. Everyone, especially Dane, stretch their arms out while running wildly around the forest. They picked up tree limbs and swung them on rocks and other trees as they broke to pieces. Dane also threw rocks in the river to see how far they would go. Everyone raced one another in short distances to test their speed. Dane grabbed a hard fruit and squeezed it like a melon as it juices exploded throughout the ground. It was like being born again into a new world. They all enjoyed their new bodies with long hair and strong arms. “Now, go my new creatures and multiply. You are now called centaurs. Go and protect our enchanted unicorns with the elves. Be free and wise in the land of Noal” demanded the stars.” Later in the morning, Yuno and Suro ran home to find Sherrea lying outside their cave. Sherrea rose to her legs as both husband and son met her. They rubbed against one another as a sign of love. Both mother and son ran inside for a long rest. Yuno watched the suns rise as he knew that evil would return soon. But for the moment, all was peaceful in the land of Noal. On the other side of the forest, Darkly slept on the cold ground with his wounds neatly bandage. With his heavy breathing sounding in the night, a sinister dream echoed in his head. The ground whispered, “Darkly, go into the mountains of the forest of Endora. There, the portal will open for new humans. I will transform these weak beings into strong centaurs with pointed ears. I want you, Darkly, to use the poisonous plant known as the Esera flower to poison their minds. You must mix the Esera flower with water to make the strong potion. Spray the potion on the sweet berries. Once the humans crossover in to Noal, they will eat the poison berries and their minds will be forever lost. I will give you an army so large, the unicorns, centaurs, and elves will be out matched and out-numbered. You must train this army to kill anything and everything that has legs. With my evil plan, we will take over the land of Noal. The fool, stars, do not realize the dangers of the black stones. Together, we will crush the centaurs and elves, and use the unicorns as slaves. You will feast on their blood, use their horns to heal wounds and ailments, and you and your army will live forever.” As Darkly slept, he giggled out loud as the other Antars stood guarded around a huge fire.