For those of you who have problems with this story…all I can say is read it or don’t…Choice is a wonderful thing. For those of you who are enjoying it, here’s the next installment.
(Banyon Sisters 12) A Muddy Pasture
Emily and Lindsey felt as though they were falling. The girls had each experienced this sensation before on previous trips through the portal with their Mother and Father. It was like falling while standing upright. The only difference was that a body in the portal didn’t actually carry any momentum.
Emily remembered that her father had once explained traveling through the portal by saying “It’s like moving without moving.”
Wilfred Banyon had also told Emily an important travel tip before her first trip through the portal years ago.
“The real thing to remember is that while in the portal your mind will play a trick on you…” her father had said. “You will feel as if you are moving because everything around you is…it’s a comfortable feeling, kind of like floating in the air. The mind has a tendency to tell the body to relax in this sort of situation.” Mr. Banyon explained. “However if you’re not careful, you’ll relax too much and let your legs go limp…it’s quite common for younger travelers.” He added with a wink.
“What happens then?” Emily had asked.
“If you let your mind be fooled, and relax too much, you’ll fall down when you finally arrive in the Netherworld.” Her father said with a chuckle.
“Will you get hurt?” Emily asked.
“Only if you land on something sharp” Her father replied with another chuckle. “When we travel through the portal we’ll arrive in the Council headquarters…the floor is carpeted at the arrival point so if you fall you’ll be unhurt…just a bit embarrassed.” He added.
Emily looked over at Lindsey who was staring forward watching the glowing, swirling multi-colored fog of the portal dance before her. As the mystical vortex swirled around the girls, Emily remembered her fathers travel advice. Realizing quickly that she and her sister would not be arriving in the headquarters of the Magical Council, and instead at some unknown area in Farsch, Emily quickly grabbed her sister’s arm and braced for impact. This last thought before they exited the portal saved her and Lindsey from a messy arrival.
“Hey what are you…” Lindsey started to say as Emily grabbed her arm and seemed to be forcefully holding her up. The vortex quickly began to fade…and then quite suddenly vanished altogether. Lindsey heard a Splat sound and felt her feet squish into soft ground. “Ewwww!” she exclaimed looking down at her feet, which were now buried to her shoelaces in mud. While they carried no momentum on arrival, the weight of their bodies sank the girls into the soft mud on the ground where no person had previously been standing.
“You’re welcome!” Emily said.
Lindsey looked up at her sister and now understood that she had been momentarily entranced by the beauty of the portal…had her sister not grabbed her arm, she may have landed on her butt in the mud…just like she had landed on the carpet in the Magical Council many years ago during her first trip through the portal.
“Thanks.” Lindsey replied.
“No problem.” Emily said. She looked around, she was still breathing heavy from the chase, as was Lindsey.
“Where are we?” Lindsey asked.
“Somewhere in Farsch I guess.” Emily answered.
The twins looked around; the light was dim, as if just before sunrise. The air was cool, but not uncomfortable. The sky that they could make out in the low light appeared to be overcast, and there was fog off in the distance limiting their vision to about three hundred yards.
They were standing in the middle of a large pasture. The ground was soft and muddy with scatterings of low grass. About a hundred yards to their right was a post and rail fence, beyond that there appeared to be a dirt road running parallel to the fence. To their left, on the other side of the pasture was a similar fence, beyond that there was a scattering of trees which gradually became a thick forest further back.
“Let’s get out of this mud.” Emily said. Lindsey nodded.
Their shoes made loud slurping sounds as they lifted their feet up and out of the mud. They walked carefully towards the fence to their right, avoiding the occasional pile of cow dung as they went. The dim light and empty cow pasture led Lindsey to guess that it was early morning.
Having reached the fence, the girls climbed through between the rails and walked to the edge of the road. The question now, was which direction to go.
“Well…Emily said.” She looked in either direction. “What do you think?”
“I think we’re in trouble Em.” Lindsey replied.
“I meant what direction do you think we should go?” Emily said.
“I think we should go back.” Lindsey said.
“Are you crazy? There’s a werewolf in the carriage house!” Emily replied.
“We don’t know that… Mr. Timmons probably got it…it certainly didn’t make it through the portal after us!” Lindsey said, glancing back to the center of the pasture to confirm her statement.
“Ok fine…maybe Mr. Timmons got the wolf…but even still, do you really want to go back now?” Emily asked. “Think about how much explaining we’ll have to do.” She added.
Lindsey didn’t answer; instead she took a quick look down the road in either direction.
Emily stared at her sister and continued her argument. “Linds, we’re in trouble either way…Even if Mr. Timmons didn’t get the wolf, it may have ended up arriving at Council Headquarters…and they’ll have killed it on arrival.” Emily said.
Lindsey still did not reply she was staring around in all directions, trying to get her bearings.
Emily continued to speak. “…And if that’s happened, someone from the Council will check back through the portal to make sure everything is fine…and they’ll find out we’re here” she said.
Still no response from Lindsey who was now looking back into the pasture again to make sure there was no werewolf on the chase.
Emily continued. “…And Mr. Timmons saw us, so he knows we were out of the house on the full moon…and that we’ve gone through the portal…If we go back…we’re in deep deep trouble…if we don’t go back…we’re still in deep deep trouble” She said.
Lindsey had heard everything her sister had said, but still didn’t reply; she was mulling over the situation and taking in their surroundings. She kept looking in either direction, up and down the road. Based on the growing light to the right of the road, she guessed that the road ran north to south. After another moment of thought Lindsey looked down towards her feet with a confused look on her face.
Emily was still talking. “I say we find the ruins of Farschole Castle as fast as possible…see if we can find Megan and Marissa…deal with them…and then go home and face the consequences.”
Lindsey turned and stared at Emily who was still talking.
“…Maybe we’ll find Farschole Castle before Mom and Dad come after us…maybe we won’t…but either way, this is probably the only chance we’ll get…so what do you say?” Emily asked.
“I wet my pants.” Lindsey said.
“huh?” Emily replied, staring at Lindsey in confusion. This was not the answer she had expected.
“When we saw the werewolf…I got scared and wet my pants…and it looks like you did too!” Lindsey exclaimed pointing at Emily’s pants.
Emily looked down and placed her hand on her groin. “ooh…oh my god” She said.
Both girls looked down at their wet pants, for a moment they both forgot about their predicament and just stood in silence. They looked up and stared at each other, after a brief moment of silence Emily cracked a smile…a second later both girls were laughing hysterically.
“You should have seen the look on your face when that wolf burst into the doorway!” Emily said through her laughter.
“I’m sure it was just as good as the look on your face when Mr. Timmons shouted at us and you saw the wolf!” Lindsey said also laughing.
They continued to laugh for almost two full minutes, until the moment was broken as Lindsey’s face went still and she pushed a hand to Emily’s mouth indicating that she too should stop laughing.
“mmmhphhh!” Emily squealed with a look of anger on her face.
“Shhhh!…quiet!” Lindsey demanded.
Emily now heard what had disturbed her sister; something was coming down the road fast.
Lindsey looked to the edge of the fog in the direction she had figured to be north. Emily’s attention was focused in the direction of the approaching sound too. A second later the girls realized it was the sound of horse hooves galloping in their direction.
“Quick! Back Over the fence!” Lindsey shouted, pushing Emily back towards the pasture.
The girls hopped through the gap between the rails and lay down in the low grass near a fence post. To any passer bys they would be just out of sight at quick glance…yet easily seen on closer inspection.
The galloping grew louder, Lindsey lifted her head and looked in the direction of the oncoming clatter, through the fog a horse drawn carriage appeared, it was moving fast down the road in their direction. Lindsey could see a man sitting atop the carriage with the reins in hand; he wore a top hat and dark coat. The carriage drew closer to the girls’ position rapidly and as it did, Lindsey could see passengers inside it. A man and woman sat near the windows, neither looked out. Soon the carriage had passed the girls, leaving them unseen.
“Great!” Emily said as she leapt up and hopped back through the fence rails. “Now I’m muddy and wet!” She began to brush debris off the front of her sweater.
“Oh hold still!” Lindsey said as she climbed back through the fence. She waived her hands in the air and spoke “No more worries lima bean…make my sister nice and clean!” Lindsey exclaimed. In a flash, Emily’s cloths were free of mud right down to her shoes and her pants were dry once again.
“Good one…Thanks!” Emily said looking down at her now clean outfit.
Lindsey quickly repeated the spell on herself. She smiled happily at her work as she was now just as clean as her sister.
Emily walked back to the edge of the road and stared in the direction the carriage had been driven off in. After a moment she turned back to her sister.
“Well? What do you think Linds…this is probably the only chance we’ll get?” Emily said.
Lindsey stood quiet for a moment. She knew Emily was right, going home now would mean certain punishment and no return to the Netherworld for an uncertain amount of time. Remaining in the Netherworld and searching for Farschole Castle would also result in punishment once they were found, but it was the only way she would find answers.
Lindsey wanted to locate Megan and Marissa Banyon just as much as Emily did…Lindsey hoped to convince these strange ghosts to stop tormenting Emily and herself. Punishment at home would be the result either way…her decision was now clear…stay in the Netherworld and get the job done, otherwise the trip would be a total lose.
“I think we should go that way.” Lindsey replied, pointing in the direction that the carriage had gone in.
Mr. Timmons rushed through the backdoor and into the Kitchen. Wilfred and Celeste Banyon had just entered from the east hallway and Jasmine had already arrived, the noise from the chase had awakened the house.
“What is it?” Mr. Banyon shouted. “Was there a werewolf on the grounds?” He asked.
“Ay Sir…but it’s dead.” Timmons replied. Sir…The girls!" Timmons said.
“What about the girls!” Celeste Banyon shouted in worry.
“They were out mam, must have found the garden passage…the wolf chased em into the carriage house…They’ve gone through the portal mam…they’re in the Netherworld!” Timmons exclaimed.
“Oooo Waat dem girls be doin out da house on da fool moon!” Jasmine said.
“My god!” Celeste Banyon said.
“Everyone stay calm…” Mr. Banyon stated. “Timmons, you’re sure the wolf is dead?” he asked.
“Ay sir, decapitated the body already, it’s still in the carriage house.” Mr. Timmons replied.
“Very well, I must contact the Council immediately; the girls will be safe at headquarters…we’ll have them return at…”
“Sir…” Timmons interjected. “Sir I don’t think they went to headquarters.”
“What?” Mr. Banyon asked.
“Sir I can’t be sure…the wolf was right on them before I electrocuted it…I thought I heard one of the girls say Farsch!” Timmons said.
“ooo watt dem girls be doin?” Jasmine said.
“Farsch? My god why would they want to go there?” Celeste Banyon asked.
“Timmons, get two brooms and wait for me in the carriage house, we’re going after the girls” Mr. Banyon said.
“Ay sir.” Timmons replied and then left the kitchen through the back door.
“Sweetheart…contact the Council at once, find out if the girls arrived there or not, if not, notify them that our daughters are unaccompanied in the Netherworld and possibly in Farsch…contact me by crossworld chatter spell with their answer.” Wilfred Banyon told his wife. He then turned to Jasmine. “Jasmine, please see to the remains of the werewolf, make sure it’s incinerated.”
“Yesss sir Wilfred…an yooze bring doze girls back safe now…” Jasmine replied.
Mr. Banyon snapped his fingers and was instantly dressed in travel cloths. He headed out the back door to join Mr. Timmons in the carriage house.