Linnfard The Fool
11am – Breakfast at Willards
For the second time on November 11, I get woken up before I’m done sleeping. At least this time the time is two 1’s instead of only 1… 1… on November 11… I think I may still be a little wonky from those mushrooms, but that IS alot of ones, right? I go downstairs in my wooly housecoat, with Biter snuggling in the inside pocket. Mabel is fussing around us like a mother hen, glittering more than usual because she is wearing the earrings Ed bought her. The windowsills have a thin layer of snow on them – ICEing. Biter laughs at my joke. Ed has brought down a sword for Safin, but unless it fights by itself, I don’t know why Ed is bothering to give him something better. May as well get Biter golden shoes.
Ed checks on Willard, who Mabel says has been gone since we left and he is fine. Then, probably because all the smoking made my group of adults obsessed with stupid people, Ed checks on Idiot-fard. He tells us that the baby said “OH MY GOD, FUCKING HELP ME, OH MY GOD”. First off, no one is mad that Linnfard swore, and second off, he’s probably faking it. Of course we have to go to The Elium, since we haven’t been there in like, two seconds, and check in with Mother Jana to make sure it’s just a joke. On the good side, though, Biter is excited to play in the snow. I go and put on all my warm clothing and pack some food, then we teleport to see Jana.
Unfortunately, she tells us that Scumfard is actually in trouble. She sent him on a mission to go deliver a package to a monastery (I guess religious places only talk to other religious places) about a day’s ride away, and it’s been 4 days and he’s not home yet. The monastery is called “Monastery of the Willows”, which I think sounds like a very nice place so maybe he just stayed for a visit. Bossy Jana sends a monk to get her a map (which looks older than even Mother Jana) to help her explain these facts about Linnfard’s mission:
- Mother Jana got a message that the package was delivered.
- There were no reports of trouble along the path on the way there.
- Linnfard probably went home along the path right into the “forbidden area” on the map. Oh yeah, there’s an area on the map that everyone told him NOT to go to. He did this because he is the biggest idiot, and forgot that he got beaten by a little girl (me).
- No one has been in the red area on the map for hundreds of years… even more hundreds than Mother Jana has been alive!
In order for us to be able to get to the monastery and save Linnfard (which I plan on rubbing in his face every day of his life), Edmund has to go there with Mother Jana first. After he does this, he grabs all of us and we leave.
After I stop feeling like I’m going to puke, I realize that we are in a beautiful place. We are about 20m away from a pretty white church. There are willow trees all over the place and some guards with long bastard swords. Huge bastard swords. Bastard. A young monk comes up to to us, and when we ask him about Linnfard, he says that he saw him two mornings ago. We show him the map, which he says is familiar to him, and that he doesn’t know what’s in the red area, just that they are not supposed to go in there. Whatever is in there can’t leave the red area, even though the whole bit of land is perfectly flat and there is nothing keeping them from escaping. A very old man with a shiny bald head walks up to us, and we ask him about Stupidfard and the red area. He tells us there is an arrangement between the monks and the “folk of the night” (not the same as the “ladies of the night” that my mom always clucked about). Some of the Folk can walk in the daylight, and they don’t enjoy the living. Holy water helps to keep them at bay (at bay doesn’t mean they’re in water, it just means what it rhymes with: away).
He tells us the worst thing, which is that the pact between them will be broken if either group crosses out of their area. The old monk tells us that Linnfard is in the red area and tat we have to go get him. Great. Mr. Helpful gives us 2 vials of holy water each, but I give mine to Ed because he tells me to. We leave the monastery and walk towards the forest and into probably a big swarm of vampires. I bet the others are pretty scared, because they aren’t lucky enough to have a friend around their wrist with fangs just as bad as vampire ones.
As we reach the edge of the forest, Abby hauls out her bastard sword. Ed turns us into magpies so we can get a better view of the vampire territory. Biter winds around my legs and we fly around and around and higher and higher (me). If I wasn’t a human, I think I would be a bird. Or a panther… with wings. We land where the trees are thinner, about 3/4 of a mile away from the village we saw. There are big rocks in between the trees. When Ed changes into a human, he sends five bright dots of light that come together into two points. The rest of us turn into people again and Ed tells us to look out for any animals and kill ones that go towards the village, then disappears. Out of the corner of my eye I see a big black wolf about a two hundred steps away, which is too far away to talk to it. I try anyways, just because you never know how powerful you are until you test. Biter and I watch the wolf for a bit and then Ed comes back, takes out the map, and starts drawing on it.
“They know we’re here” he says while he sketches out the village. He draws houses and big corrals for animals with sheds to hold their dead bodies. Gross. I am nervous, but hiding it as well as everyone else. Ed told Linnfard to scream and found out that he was in one of the houses, in the basement. The worst part of this is that Ed detected four magical auras (kind of like stinks, but made of magic), and one noticed him because of an aura from one of his rings. In order to get a head start on running away, we head north and so does the wolf. Then the wolf starts to howl, which is how wolves speak to each other. And to me (but not this time).
Shadows start blowing around us, and then it’s like that feeling you get when you’re washing your face and are afraid to open your eyes because you think someone will be there when you do. I say “behind us”, and we turn around, and there are 4 someones with big rippled white collars and dark velvety robes. Before I can even do anything, one of them jumps at me and latches on my neck like a gigantic pointy leech, then jumps away. I feel worse than when I saved everyone from all the flying bugs, and something wet is dribbling down my neck. Thankfully Biter feels ok. It is hard to pay attention to what is happening because I’m feeling so terrible. There are two ghosty-ladies next to Abby, and she attacks one of them a billion times until it disappears into a whoosh of smoke. One of the men tries to grab Abby and misses, but then another one rushes at her and DOESN’T. I lose track of what happens next because one of them says to me “sit down and wait, child”. And I do. I just sit down and watch Abby attack the vampire that just crashed her, and I feel Biter around my wrist, and I wait to be told what to do.
Everyone else around me is very active and stressed out, but I know that sitting on the ground is the right thing to do. Safin and Abby are working on one vampire, and that one vapourizes, but then the one that was talking to me goes for Safin. But instead of walking, the thing kind of… appears where Safin is. Fighting is happening all around me, and Abby and Ed and Safin each fall at some point, but they get back up, and I also hear Ed say “Amy’s charmed”, but nothing that anyone is doing really matters. Except I think Biter is gone. Then all the vampires are gone, but I stay sitting on the ground. Ed says “They’re back, think about the water”, then he just leaves. I’m playing with leaves in the dirt, and someone tells the invisible vampires “All we want is the kid, then we’ll leave!” I barely hear them, though, because there is a silky voice in my ear.
“Attack the woman” it purrs. Obviously I stand up, take out my bow, and shoot at Abby. My bow string snaps, and a moment after that Abby punches me right in the face. Why would she do that!? Now, since my weapon is broken, I have to use all my strength to scratch and bite and kick Abby, who is trying to stop me without hurting me too badly. Dummy. Safin raises his arm, which has a big thick stick in it, and then everything goes black. My eyelids are so heavy and it’s like looking through smoky glass, but Abby’s face wobbles into view and I try to grab at her neck and bash her to death. Ed says something and then I realize what I’m doing. I stop. I feel horrible. I apologize over and over, and when Ed hands me Biter, I stroke my little friend and keep saying sorry to everyone. But I’m not the only one the vampires hurt (which makes me feel less embarassed), because Ed tells us that unless he gets healed, he’s going to be useless. I have no idea where we are, but an old man comes up to us and mutters “Lie down, take off your rings, and open your mind”.
Mother Jana looks tired when we open our eyes in her office at The Elium. I think she has been working on healing us because I feel a little better, but maybe it’s just in my head. She gives Ed and Safin some clear tubes that she says will keep vampires away. Unluckily Safin’s ugly face isn’t enough. He probably enjoyed hitting me in the head when I was crazy. With two tubes around their neck each, Safin and Ed leave to go rescue Linnfard, who is probably just a skin-bag by now.
Abby and I wait in the room with Jana, which is about as fun as it sounds, and after about 10 minutes, THREE people teleport into the room! Ed has managed to save Linnfard (with Safin’s help) from an underground cave where Linnfard was chained up and grey. The vampires were using him as a snack, I think. I wish that I could have helped rescue him rather than needing to have my friends knock me out to protect themselves from me. When I finish school, hopefully, that won’t need to happen anymore. Plus, if Linnfard joins my group, they will be too busy saving him to be able to worry about protecting themselves from me.