Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Gelfling Hand Chapter 6

By Dawn McCall

In the tunnel below Tira searched for a way out. Groping through the tunnel, Tira fell through a trap door in the ground. Landing hard on his rear, the brave gelfling ran into a herd of nasters. As they attacked all at once, Tira saw a narrow crack in the wall. Tira runs toward it with the nasters hot on his heels. He slips through, but by escaping one danger he has unwittingly challenged himself with another. On the ledge up against the wall of the fire pit, Tira has to climb up. Not daring to look down or consider what awaits him above, Tira cautiously, painstakingly begins the long, upward climb. The handholds are small and slippery and it is not easy going for the exhausted gelfling.

Meanwhile, just outside the castle, the mystics appear to stop dead in their tracks. They began to chant of the recreation of the Great Crystal. It is a sound of irresistible power; a sound that immobilizes the nasters and allows the mystics to pass unchallenged into the castle of the skel-ins, where they will meet their fate.

As Tira reaches the chamber where the huge crystal lingers above the pit, he wonders how he could get onto it and hold on. Scora, while hiding behind the curtain, sees her foster mother drained of life. Tira hears the approaching skel-ins. He jumps to the balcony below and quickly hides himself. Suddenly, Tira and Scora see each other and their hearts leap with frantic joy. Unfortunately, Tira's and Scora's presence was also noticed by the ritual master. In turn, he sends the nasters after them. Tira jumps for the crystal, but the surface is so smooth that Tira drops the shard to hold on. Scora flies down in time to grab the shard. Surrounded by skel-ins, one of them seizes her free arm and threatens to kill her if she does not give the shard to them. Tira, scared for Scora, screams, "Don't harm her! You can have the shard, just leave her alone."

"No, Tira!" cried Scora. "Heal the crystal!!" Tossing the shard up, it arcs its way toward Tira. A victory cry bursts from the throats of the skel-ins as Scora is killed. The discordant shriek not only fills the chamber, but penetrates the very depths of Tira's soul; reminding him of a mission even greater than his love for Scora.

The din grows, amplified by the vibrations reaching Tira from the core of the crystal itself; vibrations caused by the coalescing forces of the Great Conjunction. Suddenly, Tira can't see; there is too much light. Blindly he raises his arm and with all his might struggles to fulfill the prophecy for which Scora had given her life. He stabs the shard into the Dark Crystal.

The great crystal flashes and with the flash comes a high pitched boom of thunderous intensity. The vibrations of the crystal throw Tira off its surface. He falls through the dazzling air to land, senseless, beside the motionless body of Scora. Tira does not see the encrusted filth of centuries of skel-in's rule fall away to reveal the pure crystalline beauty of the living stone of the mountain. He also does not see the mystics stride, like a conquering army, into the quaking, brilliant chamber. Nor does he see the skel-ins scuttle away from them in terror. All at once the nasters crumble to the ground, the sod slaves are awakened from their trance-like state and the incredible light of the Great Conjunction strikes the crystal causing its light to splinter into eight brilliant beams which pierce through the mystics and then draw the writhing skel-ins toward them.

Augra feels the rumbling and says, "What was sundered and undone, shall be made whole, the two made one." Tira, feeling no elation, only grief and loneliness he has never known before, was wrapped up in sorrow. He is oblivious to the wondrous changes his courageous acts have brought about. Tira and Augra stare, transfixed with wonder, as mystics and skel-ins fuse into urskeks as in the past to be the two made one. Through his sobbing, Tira hears a voice call to him.

Crystal"Gelfling…we are urskeks! Long ago, in our folly and ignorance, we almost destroyed the world! We entered the Great Crystal, intending to purge ourselves of our imperfections within. Instead we shattered the crystal and ourselves into mystics and skel-ins. The world we sundered has been made whole again by your courage. You, gelfling, have freed us from the chains of the world. We may now pass into the next world in our original form. We make you one again. Hold her to you. She is part of you now as we are all part of one another. You restored the true power of the crystal. Now make your world in its light."

As he held her, Scora's eyes opened.

The end…and a new beginning.

-Dawn McCall-

P.S. I hope you enjoyed the quest, as I did writing it.

Friends, an urskek we all are. There is a skel-in and mystic in each of us. And from this stems imperfections and flaws of all kinds. Nothing can cleanse these flaws. Magic can not. The magic is in going from day to day knowing and forever striding ahead regardless. Magic is in the continuing and reaching for dreams in the face of these adverse imperfections.