Imagine her shock and dismay when things come back into focus... and finds herself standing on a grassy plain. This can’t be Komosnia, and it certainly couldn’t be Mystik Falls; there didn’t appear to be anything magical about it. It was suddenly cold enough that she could see her breath but there wasn’t any snow on the ground. She looked around - I mean really - where had winter come from? And then she looked around again; where were the others? Even the Komosny that had been riding on her shoulder and talking her ear off was nowhere to be seen. The only thing her ever-increasing frozenness saw was a town but it looked like it was a stage set for a King Arthur movie or something. There was this squalid little village all huddled up next to this wall that looked like it was built to keep out the local wildlife rather than a really determined knight in shining armor even though it was made of stone. In the middle was this plain little castle or really big house - I mean really - since when does King Author’s castle not have towers?
It did look warm though. Maybe someone in the castle had a computer. It was obvious that thinking about pushing the keys on her own computer hadn’t worked, at least, not the way she had hoped. Before she took that first fateful step, she looked back - just to be sure, she hadn’t stumbled through some door that was a lot closer and a lot warmer than the alternative. Nada - with a sigh, she started her frozen carcass moving.
The village market was everything you could have hoped for from King Arthur in short-pants - nothing. Not much anyway. This had to be the poorest village in all of her imaginings. There were a couple things though. An old woman was selling what looked like pieces of dried meat rolled in sugar. ‘Probably salt though,’ she thought to herself as she nonetheless searched her pockets for some money. With nothing but lint to show for her search. She was left to wonder if it really was salt, though her mouth watered for a little sugar just now. Now if she passed someone hawking chocolate she’d very strongly consider mugging the person.
Suddenly the ground under her feet began to tremble and everyone around her was looking for the source. ‘Great, just before I get there, the castle is going to be shaken to the ground by an earthquake. What is it; can’t I have any luck today?’ She headed on anyway.
She hadn’t taken more than a dozen steps before she realized that the earthquake wasn’t ending. There was nothing for it but to keep walking, at least she could almost feel her feet again.
The quake finally ended just as she reached the open gate to look in on a courtyard all abuzz over apparently nothing - nothing she could see anyway. Unchallenged, she wondered on in hoping to find someone who would answer some of her questions and provide her with a little heat in the process. To her surprise and pleasure, a plump woman found her.
“Here deary, you look half frozen. Come inside by the cook-stove. I’ll fix you a hot cup of tea.”
“Yes, thanks you,” said Ember, as she allowed the woman to guide her across the courtyard to a side door.
The woman continued to fuss. “You shouldn’t be out here without a cloak, despite what the master’s doing.”
“I left my coat at home in the closet. What did he do?” asked Ember.
“Well you shouldn’t have. It’ll be snowing any day now, I expect.” She waved away the question with a shake of her head. “He’s such a fine lad but I just don’t understand what he’s done. What’s your name, deary?”
It’s Ember, Ember Innocenzi.”
“Oh my word. Such an exotic name. I like it though, and I’ll have no trouble remembering it too, what with all the fire in your hair. Don’t think I’ve ever seen the like before. everyone calls me Della around here, unless they’re calling me mom. I have three boys and two girls here, though you can’t tell by looking. All of them are taller than me. They get it from their father, their height.”
The door opened to a blast of heat. It made Ember wonder if they weren’t entering an oven, though she certainly didn’t hesitate at the door. The smell of fresh bread and some kind of roast simmering somewhere drew her inside like a magnet.
“You sit down right here,” said Della. She sat Ember down at a massive plank table that was loaded with the coming meal in progress. Della took one look at where Ember’s eyes were directed and began ladening down a plate with a sampling of everything that didn’t still need to be cooked. After she set down the huge mug of steaming tea, Ember scarcely noticed the woman disappear. She was starving and she was warming nicely.
Just as she was determinedly going to find room for the last grape on her plate, the little bug-eyed creature, Perhluna, sauntered across the table bold as can be and took the grape from her fingers. “Just who do you think you are?” she asked, and then,”Where did you go?” blurted out right after - the question quite beyond her control.
“He, he, he, he, you are full anyway,” said Perhluna. “You? You appear to be lost. How you managed to miss Mistic Falls, I have no idea, but this sure isn’t it. You were lucky I found you.”
Just then, Della came back. “Here you go, deary. This’ll keep you nice and warm.” She produced a heavy cloak lined with soft gray fur and draped it around her shoulders. Ember looked over at her words and then quickly back - Perhluna was gone as if he - she - it had never been.
As if the kitchen wasn’t warm enough, and now she had a very full belly. The mystery of where she was quickly drowned in mint tea sweetened with honey.
Ember sat there watching Della baste a roast in a massive oven and sipped at her tea. It wasn’t long before her cheek found a fur-covered arm and her eyes were closing. Just as the warm kitchen disappeared behind closed eyelids, she remembered she was going to ask after a computer. She sighed, maybe a little nap first.
This was started by Carter - http://cc-chronicles.blogspot.com/
This follows Crystal - http://crystalclearproofing.blogspot.com/