Posts Tagged ‘Natia’

Magical Earth Defenders 11

November 11, 2017

Magical Earth Defenders

Lennon rolled her wheelchair through the crowd in front of the school. She could not really see through the sea of fellow students but she knew the general direction of the school so she headed that way. Her mom had dropped her off and helped her out of the car and into her chair. Lennon had practically had to beg her to go to work and let Lennon roll in on her own. As much as she loved her mother, she wanted to feel as independent as possible. That is why she was rolling the chair manually instead of engaging the motorized system. She had especially rigged it so she could turn off that system to conserve the battery. The doctors approved as it gave her more exercise.

She suddenly realized that her mind was wandering and stopped just short of colliding with somebody’s shins. She found herself blushing.

“Excuse me,” She said gently. “I need to get by.” Lennon was trying to be more patient. It was not everybody else’s fault that she was in this bulky wheelchair.

“Lennon, it’s me,” A voice said and Lennon looked up and saw a smiling Kelsey. Kelsey was dressed in a casual button up shirt and corduroy pants. Lennon could not help but smile back. The day before had felt like such a dream and Lennon almost could not believe it had happened. The thought of being upright as the Red Defender was as bright in her mind as the flames she had wielded.

“Oh!” Lennon said and adjusted her glasses. “Sorry, Kelsey!”

Kelsey shook her head. “You don’t need to apologize. Just say good morning already.” She smiled and stuck her fist out toward Lennon.

Lennon smiled and banged her fist gently against Kelsey’s. “Good morning.”

Natia seemingly came from nowhere and bumped her hip into Kelsey’s to get her to move over. She had the hood of her sweatshirt up and it covered up the bulky headphones tucked in. She was wearing jeans which was a borderline violation of the dress code. “Move over, girl scout!” She said with a sleepy smile. “Mornin’ Glasses.”

“Good Morning, Natia,” Lennon said. The lively girl was amusing to Lennon, especially since Lennon herself had almost always been in her shell. Shy and smart often went hand in hand.

“There’s nothing good about morning, Lennon,” Natia said with a yawn. “But she dragged me here and I’m here and we’re a team and junk.”

“It’s nice to see you both,” Lennon said. “I don’t have a lot of…” She trailed off, not sure if she wanted to or even could talk about drifting away from her old friends.

“You do now,” Kelsey said. “We’re in this together.” Kelsey’s smile was kind and not a bit condescending. Natia treated everybody pretty much the same no matter what. Lennon had not realized how much she really needed that. She felt so much like a freak adjusting to her relatively new condition. It was nice to see two people who genuinely seemed to see her for what she was instead of who she had been.

There was a murmuring from the crowd and the whole feel of the area changed. The three girls looked confused and started to look around for the source of the crowd’s new excitement. Moving through the usual crowd of students were two familiar faces. Margaret walked as if she owned the place which was impossible since it was a public school. Maya was a bit more wary, her eyes trying to decide whether she should be looking all around or looking at the ground. She seemed grateful to lay her eyes on Lennon, Kelsey, and Natia.

Maya was dressed in a long black dress with little white accents, a little formal for school but pretty. Her rune tattoos were seemingly gone. Margaret was dressed in pricier clothes than anyone in the vicinity, possibly anybody in a two-mile radius. Her leather half-jacket was particularly expensive looking but all of her clothing was in a fairly conservative style.

“Whoa,” Natia said. “I wasn’t expecting you two. Looking sharp.”

“It is nothing special,” Maya said. “I like dresses but they’re not as easy to maintain on the run.” She reached down and smoothed her unwrinkled dress a little nervously.

“Where’d you get such a pretty one on short notice?” Kelsey asked.

“I pulled something from my own wardrobe last night and delivered it to the castle this morning,” Margaret said. “We’ll go shopping after school.” Maya made an embarrassed face as if they had already argued about that, an argument she had lost. “You deserve it, Maya, you lost so much.”

“Thank you, Margaret,” Maya said and smiled, shaking off the bad feeling.

“Can any of us come on this shopping trip, Mar?” Natia asked.

“Sure,” Margaret said. “We leave directly after school.”

“Cool,” Natia said and then noticed that Kelsey was giving her a curious look. “What? It’s not like I want something. I’m allowed to like clothes. I’m not that much of a tomboy!”

Kelsey smirked. “I didn’t say a thing.”

“So, Margaret,” Lennon said. “Were you just dropping off Maya?” It was a little odd to see Maya the magical refugee at school but somehow it was even stranger to see a private school student within spitting distance of Charrot High School.

“I’m here to attend school,” Margaret said. Her words were deliberate and accompanied by a gentle, proud smile.

“You’re what?!” Natia asked loudly, nearly yelling the question. Kelsey instinctively covered her mouth with her hand, used to dealing with her younger sister. A series of muffled sounds issued from Natia’s mouth and Kelsey withdrew her hand and wiped it off with a tissue.

“What about the Academy?” Lennon asked. She knew the Academy’s reputation for rigorous education. In fact, her mother had applied for a scholarship there when it became clear that their daughter was exceptionally brilliant. In the end, she had been happy to stay at Charrot where the teachers had allowed her to design her own curriculum to challenge herself.

“Yesterday was such a life-changing experience,” Margaret said. “I assume it was for you ladies as well.” They all nodded and agreed. “We fit together so quickly yesterday, there is no way that I could hold you all at arm’s length. I would rather explore it. As it so happens, I have a good use for the tuition my parents were paying the Academy. It can do more good elsewhere and I am sure this school will do right by me.”

“Wow,” Kelsey and Lennon both said, almost in unison.

“School never did right by anyone but I guess it has its uses,” Natia said. “Welcome to Charrot, Mar.”

“Yeah,” Kelsey said with a smile. “Well, team, it looks like we have two new students to introduce to the office and our truant Natia has to throw herself on the mercy of the court. Follow me.” She started to walk and then turned to look at Lennon. “Are you coming too, Lennon?”

“Yeah,” Lennon said. “But I can push myself.”

“Of course you can,” Kelsey said with a smile before leading the way.

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Magical Earth Defenders Pt. 10

August 5, 2017

The girls looked around the alleyway and saw that suddenly the whole place was clear of any damage or debris from the brief fight. They walked around as if to make sure and then there was the sound of a siren and all the girls froze. In the chaos, they had not thought about the authorities.

“The police!” Natia said, her voice a little louder than it should have been with her sudden nervousness.

“How were we supposed to get back?” Maya asked.

“Arafina, we need to return now, please,” Margaret said softly. The ground around them started to glow with a soft light. The cops rounded the corner, there were two of them.

“Who are you?” One of the cops asked.

“We’re the Defenders,” Kelsey said. “We’re here to save the world.” She posed heroically for effect.

As soon as the words left her mouth, the girls were suddenly back in the castle courtyard. They adjusted to the sudden change of scenery for a moment. Margaret in particular thought she felt nauseous for a moment but it passed. Arafina walked up to them an expectant look on her face.

“So,” She said. “I gather it went well?”

“The police saw us!” Natia shouted.

“Calm down, Natia,” Kelsey said.

“She has a point,” Lennon said. “What if they recognize us around town?”

“That’s not possible,” Arafina said. “The magic of the transformation charms hides your identities to protect your loved ones.”

Natia waved her hand over her face. “We don’t have masks.”

“And you do not need them, your faces will appear differently to outsiders magically,” Arafina said.

“Well, that’s comforting,” Margaret said. All of the girls nodded and vocalized their agreement.

“I’m finally a superhero,” Natia said. “It’s about time.”

“To answer your earlier question,” Kelsey said. “We demolished all of our targets and we met one of the things pulling the strings of those monsters. It did not give us its name.”

“It looked like a clown, though,” Maya said.

“A clown?” Arafina asked.

“Big nose. Exaggerated features. Goofy.” Lennon said, closing her eyes to picture the thing.

Maya waved her hand and a large hand bag appeared out of thin air. She rummaged through it and pulled out a pencil and a pad of paper and started to sketch. After a few moments, she had a pretty good drawing of what the clown had looked like. She held it up for everyone to see.

“Like this, right?” She asked.

“Exactly!” Kelsey said.

“Oh dear,” Arafina said. “He was at the vanguard of the invasion of my world. If he is showing his face, so to speak, then the true invasion is not too far off.”

“How far off?” Lennon asked. “I mean, I know that there are a lot of variables but how long do you think?”

“I am not sure but no more than one year,” Arafina said. “Of course, they will now want to eliminate you before they make true landfall. You are the cog in their machine.”

“Good,” Kelsey said. “We worked really well together today. We can only get better.”

“Wait,” Margaret said. “Who put you in charge?”

“I must have missed that vote before I officially joined the team,” Maya said. She put her sketch book away.

Kelsey shrugged. “I’m used to it. I am the lacrosse team captain back at school.”

“I’m fine with it,” Maya said with a shrug of her own. “I do say that we should each get a voice on this team.”

“I agree,” Margaret said. “We vote on important things and we should talk to each other.”

“Communication is key,” Lennon said.

“Good because I can’t keep my mouth shut sometimes,” Natia said. Everybody laughed.

“Right,” Kelsey said. “And I’m going to rely on your skills to help me help you. Lennon, you have the fire and the brains. Natia, you’ll bring the noise and the creativity. Margaret, we need your light and your strength. Maya, lend us your shadows and your magic. We’ll learn from each other.” They all nodded at that.

“Speaking of learning,” Lennon said. “We have a lot of studying to do to figure all of this out.”

“True,” Kelsey said. “and speaking of studying, Natia you have to come back to school with us.”

“Wait, what?” Natia asked. “I don’t really want to.”

“You’re our teammate now,” Kelsey said. “We have to look out for each other and it’s best if we stay close.”

Before Natia could object again, Maya spoke up. “No, that’s a good idea. Things are about to get crazy for us. Embracing normal as much as possible will help us, right?”

“I’m glad you said that,” Kelsey said. “You’re coming to school with us too.”

“But, I don’t have anywhere to live,” Maya said.

“You can live here,” Arafina said. “There is plenty of space and I can transport you to school in the morning.” Maya nodded, the witchy, gothic girl suddenly looking even paler than usual.

“What about you, Margaret?” Kelsey asked. “What’s your story?”

“My name is Margaret Washington and go to <> Academy.”

“Ooh, very fancy, Washi,” Natia said. “I guess you’re covered.”

“Wait,” Lennon said. “You’re part of that Washington family?”

“Yes,” Margaret said. “I don’t like making a big deal of it. I love my family and I’m proud of them, though.”

“It’s cool,” Kelsey said. “You seem like a good person to me.”

“I try,” Margaret said with a smile.

Natia yawned. “Is it safe to go home now? I’m tired.”

“Yes,” Arafina said. “Your charms will now protect you from being tracked. They will also transport you back and forth from this castle. You are free to go, of course.”

“And we’ll see each other in the morning,” Kelsey said. “Let’s get some rest, we’ll need it.”

They all focused on their charms and they transformed again. This time it was just a simple flash of light and they were back to their street clothes. Lennon landed in her wheelchair and she looked disappointed for a moment but much happier than she had that morning. The forms of Kelsey, Lennon, and Natia flickered and disappeared. Margaret turned toward Maya with a smile.

“If you need anything, I’ll be happy to help you out,” Margaret said. “I know you’ve had a really rough time of it.”

“Thank you,” Maya said. “I’m OK for now though.”

Margaret nodded and smiled. “See you tomorrow.”

“See you tomorrow,” Maya said. Margaret’s form flickered and disappeared.

“Now, let’s get you fed and pick you a bedroom,” Arafina said. “Follow me.” Maya followed her into the castle.

Magical Earth Defenders Pt. 9

July 29, 2017

Curtains

The five teenage girls appeared back in the alleyway they had disappeared from, now in their brand new armor. When they looked at each other, they could all see the same nervous excitement in each other’s eyes. They were supposed to be Earth’s new super heroes but they were new at this and there was no telling what would happen. Kelsey stepped forward first.

“Come on, we have some streets to clean up, girls!” She shouted.

They took off in a run because they could not stand to walk and running felt so good. Each one of them felt much faster and more energetic than they ever had before. Especially Lennon who felt an exhilaration in running much faster than her wheelchair could ever go. At some point, Maya took the lead since she was the only one of them present at the scene of the crime and Kelsey slowed a little to let her have the lead. They skidded to a stop in the alleyway.

“They were right here!” Maya yelled.

They looked around and there was nothing there, not even scorch marks. Of course, there were also no bystanders around either. They were probably startled by the craziness that had ensued earlier, running off to see who would believe them. However, in the very center of this alleyway was a dog-eared copy of a script.

“Look at this,” Lennon said and bent down to pick the script up.

“Did your friend drop it?” Margaret asked.

“Yeah, I mean, we weren’t exactly friends anymore but we used to live next to each other,” Kelsey said. “She got into drama big time after her family moved.”

“I remember seeing her in shows,” Lennon said and shivered. “She looked happy up there.”

“I remember that too, actually,” Natia said. She did not remember as much from the previous year but she did remember any excuse not to go to class and Daffney had been in drama previews during assembly.

“They left it behind deliberately,” Maya said angrily. The other girls nodded.

“There’s something written across this page,” Lennon said and she held up the script so they could all see. The word “CURTAINS” was written in jagged pink letters across the page. Lennon could have sworn the word had not been there when she picked the script up.

“Curtains?” Margaret asked. “What does that mean?”

“It means it’s curtains for you, little girls!” A disembodied voice yelled out.

“What? Who said that?” Natia asked as all of the girls looked around.

“Show yourself!” Kelsey yelled.

On the wall near them, a face started to form on the brick. It was wicked looking, sort of a cruel parody of a clown. It grinned wickedly with far too many teeth and everybody gasped.

“Not yet,” the thing said. “We are not ready to step into your world.”

“Cowards,” Margaret said, her eyes narrowed.

“What did you say!?” The thing yelled, seemingly shocked by the words.

“She’s right,” Maya said. “You are a coward. I know what that’s like but I am done running.”

“We all are!” Natia shouted, slinging her guitar off of her shoulder.

“Well good for you,” the wall thing said sarcastically. “Very well, let’s play!”

Monsters began to form from the brick walls and the blacktop once again. The girls backed off a bit, making space to fight. The things were slow to form. Kelsey started calling out targets and nobody argued.

“Aqua Shot!” Kelsey called out. She focused on her hand and thought of playing softball with Daffney and the other neighborhood kids when she was little. She felt a large amount of water form and she threw it as hard as she could. She watched the water slam into one of the constructs. It tried to stand for a moment, putting its hand first into the water but the impact knocked it back into the wall where the thing shattered on impact. The girls cheered.

“Sonic Rush!” Natia called out. She thought of the thrill of performing and her love of being loud and strummed her guitar hard. Green waves and a rush of sound rocketed out of the guitar and slammed into one of the constructs. It started to panic as its body vibrated, it fell to its knees as it fell apart. Natia strummed on her guitar for good measure.

“Inferno Rocket!” Lennon called out. She raised her hand and pointed her palm at one of the constructs. She focused on all of the weekends she had spent building model rockets in her family’s garage and firing them off with her dad. She poured all of the flames of her anger, her disappointment, and her desire to destroy all of the obstacles in her way into that rocket. She let the thing fly and a burning fireball shot into one of the constructs.

“Shadow Chain!” Maya called out. She closed her eyes and thought of all the dark corners she had hidden in, the darkness she had embraced to survive and she let it out. She felt it form itself into a chain made of solid shadow. She felt that chain snake around her body, floating through the air. She opened her eyes and pointed at one of the constructs and the chain shot out towards it, it wound around the construct and then Maya squeezed her hand and the chain constricted and the thing was crushed into pieces.

“Bright Arrow!” Margaret called out. She remembered all of the archery lessons her parents had bought her since it was such a noble sport. She reached behind her back and pulled an arrow made of light from thin air. In her other hand, a bow made of light formed and she strung the bow, drew it back and there was a bright flash as she let the arrow go. It streamed toward the last construct and pierced right through it. It came out of the other side of the construct and hit the wall, right in the middle of the clown face. It frowned and faded away just as the construct exploded in a shower of sparks.

Magical Earth Defenders Pt. 8

July 22, 2017

The Team

It was too late, Maya had already invoked the charm and whatever happened would happen. The charm did not glow and no light enveloped Maya but instead, the charm seemed to absorb nearby light and the marks on Maya’s body seemed to get darker. Her shadow under her grew and stretched around her on the ground until it was a perfect square with her in the middle. At that point, the square started to grow off of the ground into a shadow cube around Maya. Maya was worried at this point because Arafina had seemed scared. The girls had rushed the cube but they could not reach in and get her as the shadows actively pushed them away.

Inside the cube, Maya watched as Arafina and the girls faded into darkness. It was so dark inside the cube and soundless but she felt that darkness moving around her, changing her. For so long the darkness had been a tool and an ally but she had worried about the toll it might be taking on her soul. She felt her dirty clothes change and she was eager to see what was happening now that she realized she was not getting ripped apart. As the cube faded away, she stood in a mix between a long black dress and leather armor. The dress part had a slit in it to allow her movement. She looked down and noticed that the runes on her body that she could see had changed.

Kelsie put a hand on her shoulder. “Are you alright?”

Maya looked up from studying her arms, a bewildered look in her eyes. “What happened to me?”

“It looks like you’re one of us, after all,” Lennon said. The other girls vocalized their agreement at once.

“What?” Maya asked. “I thought I corrupted the charm when I took it from your friend.”

“It seems the opposite has happened,” Arafina said. “The charm has become the source of your power and has scrubbed away the darkness in your soul. It seems that somebody who has walked through the darkness and could still think of other people is worthy to be on this team. I was wrong for judging you.”

Maya shook her head and smiled. “I have no grudge,” She said. “I have a clean slate and for the first time in a long time my heart feels lighter.”

Kelsie was the closest so she was the first one to hug Maya. “You couldn’t have saved Daffney,” she added which made Maya tear up. The other girls moved to hug her too at that, Natia being especially enthusiastic about it. Maya was caught off guard but soon found herself hugging back. She had needed this. She had almost forgotten what a hug felt like and she savored such positive human contact. There was a long silence as a breeze blew across the courtyard and Arafina watched her team bond.

As they broke away, Kelsie walked over to Arafina and stroked her head. Arafina forgot herself for a moment and purred and then looked confused. Kelsie quickly withdrew her hand and ran it through her own blue-streaked hair awkwardly.

“Sorry,” Kelsie said. “I just wanted you to be included but I forgot that you’re not really a pet.”

“It’s alright,” Arafina said. “Thank you for the sentiment. It has been an adjustment.” She sighed.

“I can’t imagine it’s been easy,” Lennon said. After all, she knew all about living with limitations and that was not forgotten in five minutes of walking around again.

“It has not,” Arafina said adding a tiny nod. This was obviously a sore subject and everyone could sense that. Arafina spoke up to try to defuse the tension. “At least I still have my spells and I can still open books with my paws. It does take time. It is hard to write with a pen in my teeth…”

“I could help with that,” Lennon said. “I would love to learn this stuff.”

“So would I, actually,” Maya said. “I need to learn about your system of magic and how this charm changed me.”

“We can study together,” Lennon said with a smile. Few of her friends had ever been interested in that.

“We all need to do some studying,” Margaret said. “We’re far too ignorant to tackle the challenge ahead.”

“I hate studying,” Natia said, plucking gently at the strings of her guitar.

“Suck it up, buttercup!” Kelsie said with a smile and Natia sighed but could not help but smile. “

“So, back to our magical powers,” Margaret said. “How do they work?”

“Well, obviously we have some control over a classic element or basic physical force that we can use offensively,” Lennon said.

“Obviously,” Margaret said.

“Yes,” Arafina said. “Lennon has fire, Margaret has light, Kelsie has water, Natia has sound and Maya has Darkness. The use of these powers was meant to be left up to the charm wielder. Use your experiences and visualize your attacks as something you know how to manage. Form the attack with your mind and words and then let loose.”

“Something we can manage like my guitar?” Natia asked.

“Yes,” Arafina said. “I suppose you subconsciously adapted to that mechanic ahead of instruction.”

“Here that?” Natia said with a grin. “I’m advanced! I’ve never been advanced.”

“You still have to study,” Kelsie said.

“Crap!” Natia said and folded her arms. Everybody laughed and after a moment Natia joined in too.

“We should go back down there and test these new powers out on those things that killed your friend, Daffney,” Maya said.

“Wait,” Margaret said. “Should we be going down to confront these things without practicing?”

“Actually, those beings are the weakest of what you might be facing,” Arafina said. “It would be a good test of your powers but it is not without danger.”

“Sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty,” Lennon said.

“Let’s watch each others’ backs, Defenders,” Kelsie said. “Right?”

“Right!” They all answered. They were a new to being a team but Daffney had been somebody half the team knew and it was the right thing to do to eliminate the danger if it was still there.

Magical Earth Defenders Pt. 7

July 15, 2017

Transformation

“I’ll go first,” Margaret said. She took a few steps away from the group. None of them knew what to suspect so it was better to be cautious when unleashing these new magical powers.

“Why do you get to go first?” Natia asked.

“I don’t have to,” Margaret said. “I just thought if anybody was nervous I would go first.”

“We’re all nervous, or at least I am,” Lennon said.

“I’m going first,” Kelsie said with force.

“Why you?” Natia asked.

“Because I am,” Kelsie said with a smile and a wink. “Deal with it.” She stepped out to where Margaret was and Margaret rejoined the group. Kelsie was used to being the leader and it showed. She did not mean anything by it and that came out in her forceful yet excited tone.

“How does this work, Arafina?” Lennon asked. They all looked down at their de facto advisor, a talking furry animal.

Arafina dragged a paw across her face, smoothing a bit of fur. I guess if you spent enough time transformed into something close to a cat, you start to take on animal behavior. “Simply raise the charm high and call out ‘Magical Defender Transform” and surrender yourself to the magical energies. The charm will do the rest.”

“Ok, here goes,” Kelsie said as she raised the charm over her head. “Magical Defender Transform!” Her shout seemed to transcend a simple human shout, almost as if it was amplified by a microphone. The charm lit up with a bright blue light that spread over her body. In a flash, a geyser of water shot out of the charm and then snaked around and surrounded Kelsie in what looked like a bubble of water. It hid her from sight.

Inside the bubble, Kelsie struggled for a half a moment before remembering that she was supposed to trust the magic. She stayed in place as the water swirled around her. A few moments later and the water bubble popped, sending a mist of water spraying everywhere but curiously nothing got wet. Kelsie was standing there in what looked like blue leather armor with a flourish that looked like a skirt. She smiled and looked down at herself. “Refreshing!” She said.

The other girls oohed and aahed and clapped. “Well done!” Arafina said. “The power of water is yours to command. Next?”

Natia ran over and high-fived Kelsie. “Me next!” She waited until Kelsie was clear and then called out “Magical Defender Transform!” as she held up her charm. Again, it was louder than any human could shout, even a noisy girl like Natia. The charm lit up with a green light that spread over her body. Suddenly, there was a roar of sound around her that mixed with the green light and made her extremely blurry to the girls.

Natia was excited as the transformation took place. The bass of the sound waves rattled her body but it did not hurt, it felt great. Suddenly, her brother’s guitar appeared in front of her and she reached out and grabbed it. As she did, the sound waves and the green light fell away. She was standing there in what looked like a mix between punk rock gear and armor. The guitar had transformed into a sturdier thing and Natia hugged it in excitement. “Rock on!” She shouted.

“What?!” Arafina shouted. “Where did that guitar come from?”

“I rarely go anywhere without it,” Natia said with a shrug and stepped back towards the group, admiring her new gear.

“I’ll go now,” Margaret said as she stepped out to the exact spot the other two had stood to transform. “Magical Defender Transform!” It was an even more authoritative shout than the usual Washington tone. She held the charm aloft and hers shone with a bright white light. The light flashed and shone and the girls had to look away.

Inside, Margaret found the light pleasing. She felt it reach the core of her being and it was just what she had needed, the power to change the world. She found herself smiling for the first time in what felt like a long time like she was basking in the sunshine. She surrendered to that feeling and when the light fell away she was wearing a white feathered dress complete with wings protruding from her back. She smiled and found herself posing. “Wow!” She said and hurried over to the others.

“You were supposed to have Natia’s power, the power of sound,” Arafina said. “Lennon was supposed to have your power of light. I can only assume that Lennon has the power of -“

“Spoilers!” Natia shouted.

Lennon rolled away from the group. “I guess, I am next.” She took a deep breath and looked down at her wheelchair, not expecting much. “Magical Defender Transform!” She shouted. The sound was the loudest thing that ever came out of the mousy scholar. Immediately a red light emanated from her charm and it stretched over her body and the wheelchair. When the glow had touched everything, flames erupted from everywhere. The flames hid Lennon from sight and the girls instinctually moved to save her but Arafina cut them off and they were reminded that this sort of thing was supposed to happen.

Inside the flames, Lennon felt warm and light. She actually thought that feeling might be touching the parts of her that had been so depressed since she had been confined to the wheelchair. Wait, where was the wheelchair? She realized she was floating in the flames but she felt at peace with that. She knew she would land in her chair. The fire disappeared and she did not land on the chair. She landed gently on her own two feet. She looked down and saw a pair of giant metal braces on her legs and red armor on her body. Happy tears rolled down her cheeks and Kelsie was there to give her a hug. There was a long silence as everybody appreciated what had just happened.

“While transformed, the braces will allow you to walk, run, jump and perform athletic feats,” Arafina said. “When you transform back, you must return to the wheelchair. I cannot cure your medical condition.”

Lennon was smiling, really smiling. “I understand. Neither can the doctors. One day I’ll solve it.”

“I trust you will,” Arafina said. “In the meantime, enjoy the limited mobility.”

While everyone was distracted, Maya stepped forward and shouted. “Magical Defender Transform!”

“No!” Arafina shouted.

Magical Earth Defenders Pt. 6

July 8, 2017

The Castle

The five teenagers suddenly found themselves in the courtyard of a small castle on the top of a mountain. It did not look like it had been built there. It looked kind of like the castle had half-landed and half-crashed into the top of the mountain, the rocks beneath the castle fusing with the surface of the mountain. Of course, this could not have been what happened. That would have required the castle to have been in flight at some point. Castles do not fly. One by one, the girls dismissed the thought and looked around. The stonework looked like a lot of castles but there was something alien about the architecture as well. It was hard to put a finger on it.

“Where are we?” Margaret asked, looking for the thing that was not a cat and finding it still in Maya’s arms. It hopped down to the ground and shook itself and then looked around as if danger might come at any moment. No danger came.

“This is all that is left of my world,” The thing that was not a cat said. “This place and myself.” Suddenly, the castle felt a lot smaller than it had before.

“A whole world?” Natia asked. The thought was terrifying.

“What world was this?” Lennon asked. “Who are you?”

“I second that line of questioning,” Margaret said. “We have no idea what is going on.”

“Guys!” Kelsie yelled. “Give her a chance to get a word in edgewise. Wait, you are a ‘her’ right?” They all turned towards the thing that was not a cat and waited.

The thing cleared its throat. “Yes. My name is Arafina and I once walked on two feet like you do.” Arafina glanced at Lennon in her wheelchair. “I mean… sorry.”

“It’s ok,” Lennon said. “I’m dealing with it and you didn’t mean anything by it.”

Arafina nodded. “I lived in a world we called Galladalia. I was a librarian and tutor for the royal family. This is their winter castle, formerly near the warm shores of the Cammon Sea. I spent many happy days here playing and teaching the three princesses. Linella, Graja, and Ponena were my charges but I was also an informal advisor to the royal family on magic and other academic matters.”

“I can guess what happened,” Maya said. Her face was sad for Arafina.

Arafina nodded. “The Dark Covenant invaded our world through a dimensional breach. Their attack was brutal and we worked on countermeasures to repel them or maybe even destroy them. We were forced to retreat to this castle where we prepared powerful magical charms. Charms you now hold. We worked to select champions to wield the new weapons but time ran out. They found us. They destroyed the royal family and corrupted many of the guards, killing the rest. I completed a spell at that last moment that repelled them from this castle and propelled it to a new world. As I looked behind, I saw that they had enveloped our world. It was lost.”

“Oh wow,” Kelsie said. “That’s horrible.” She shivered.

“So why are you kind of a cat?” Kelsie asked.

“My guess is that passing through the dimensional barrier may cause biological anomalies,” Arafina said. “Specifically, it put me in the body of a Haren which is a pet back on Galladalia. It is a little embarrassing but it has allowed me to operate secretly and learn a bit about this world.”

“So why are the Dark Covenant here now?” Lennon asked.

“Did they follow you?” Margaret asked. Everybody looked at her and she shrugged. “I’m not blaming anyone here.”

“No,” Maya said. “They have been chasing me for years. They killed my parents.”

Arafina eyed Maya with surprise. “I am sorry for your loss. It was good fortune that I arrived in this world then and with weapons ready to combat the menace. There is hope still for your world but I need you four to fight.”

“Four?” Lennon asked. “There are five of us. You came to me, you said I was chosen.” Kelsie, Natia, and Margaret each voiced agreement with that situation.

“But I was not chosen, right?” Maya asked. “Do you want your charm back?” She held up the charm and they all saw that the crystal, which was colored in the other four, was jet black.

“The magical gem has gone dark,” Arafina said. “I am not sure if it will still work the same. That charm was intended for somebody else. Daffney.” Arafina and Maya exchanged a sad look.

“But she’s gone now,” Maya said.

“Daffney is dead?” Kelsie asked, shocked. “I know her from school.”

“Me too,” Lennon said.

Natia just shuffled her feet. She had skipped too much to form too many attachments at school. She did recognize Lennon from school which meant she must have been assigned to the same school as the three of them. She felt bad that she did not feel so bad.

“She didn’t have much of a chance,” Maya said. “They attacked us quickly. I barely got out with Arafina.”

“Yes,” Arafina said. “Thank you for rescuing me.”

“You’re welcome,” Maya said with a small smile.

“So what now?” Natia asked.

“How do these work?” Lennon asked, holding up her charm.

“Wait,” Natia said. “Do we really want to fight monsters that already killed people?”

“I do,” Margaret said. “If not us, then who?” The girls all thought about that for a moment.

“She’s right,” Kelsie said. “Besides, I can’t stand aside and let other people die when I could have helped.”

“I want to help save the world,” Lennon said. “I want to do everything I can to help make it a better place.”

“Ok ok,” Natia said. “You have a point. If we use these charms, we’ll be safer right?”

“There will still be danger but at least you will have a fighting chance,” Arafina said. “That is more than I can say for the average human. Magic is the best weapon we have against these monsters.”

“We’ll do it,” Margaret said. The others voiced their agreement.

“So how do they work?” Natia asked. She was starting to get excited about being a hero.

“I guess there’s not a manual, huh?” Kelsie asked.

“It would be nice if that were the case,” Lennon said.

“Those charms will allow you to transform to your super-powered self. This will also give you magical clothes and allow you to tap into magical powers.”

Natia smiled. “Magic powers? Cool.”

One of Lennon’s eyebrows rose. “I am a girl of science. Usually, I would be more skeptical of ‘magic’ but I suppose I have seen enough evidence to accept the new reality. I would like to see these charms in action.”

“I think it is about time we tested them out,” Margaret said. “We don’t want to be caught off guard.”

“Being prepared for battle is the only way to be,” Kelsie said.

“Agreed,” Lennon said. “We are going to have to start getting out hands dirty, I guess.”

“You had me at ‘let’s test out our superpowers’. Let’s do it!” Natia shouted.

Magical Earth Defenders Pt. 3

May 27, 2017

The Sound

Natia sat under the bridge, clutching her guitar to her chest tightly. Usually, she would be with her friends jamming out a little bit. She loved being loud but now it was time to be quiet for once. When she had been headed to the jam space, she was sure that she had spotted the local truancy officer, Mr. Collins. She had thought that she knew how to shake them off but this one seemed especially aggressive. Natia’s usual indestructible confidence was shaken.

She pulled out her phone and texted “007” to her friends both as a warning and to psych herself up. The thought of the famously ridiculous spy made her smile. She could do this. She was better than any Bond, she was Natia Apatu. She looked around for some way to escape. Just a few feet away, there was a grate over a large pipe that looked like it might access the sewer. It was not the most pleasant way to travel but there was a sink and a hose at the jam space. She could get clean again. Mostly clean.

She pulled at the grate and, surprisingly, it came off right away. It was not even that heavy. This did not exactly inspire confidence in the municipal infrastructure. Of course, Natia and her friends regularly raged against that machine so it was not remarkable for her to criticize or expect much from the city. She loved the people but hated the man. The man did not like freedom and Natia was all about freedom.

She stepped into the pipe, ducking her head and slinging the guitar under her right arm. She reached back and pulled the grate back into place the best she could. It kind of looked exactly how it had looked before. At least, this is what Natia hoped. She doubted the officer would crawl through the sewers to catch one preteen girl who was skipping school but the paranoia was real. She quickly and carefully crawled further down the pipe.

Thankfully, the thing was dry. She had imagined it would be absolutely caked with questionable oozing substances so she was glad to be wrong. She idly hoped nobody flushed but as far as she knew, the sewer did not work like that. This was probably just a storm drain. This was going to be easier than she thought. The only worry she had was her guitar. Everything else could heal but her older brother had given her the guitar before leaving for college. It was irreplaceable.

Natia missed her brother dearly. The had been pretty close growing up, squabbling sometimes but they always had each others’ back. They often got into trouble together but Samula was also always getting Natia out of it. She missed that. She really did. After he left, school did not feel worth going to and teachers got no respect from Natia. Not when dreams of a hit record danced behind her eyes. Besides, she had made friends with a bunch of kids who were also done with school.

At the other end of the pipe, was the sewer. Natia tried to count out the distance so that she could slide under and past Mr. Collins. Once she was sure that she had gotten past the guy, he started to climb a ladder. This was so 007. She started to hum before she realized that she was humming Mission Impossible and not James Bond. She hummed one of her own compositions instead. It kept her hands steady.

The manhole at the top of the ladder was heavy. She heaved but nearly lost her balance on the ladder. Instead, she used her shoulder, grunting with the exertion. The manhole finally moved. She shoved it aside as carefully as she could and found herself in an alleyway. She leaned the guitar against the wall and gently moved the manhole back into place, trying not to make any more noise. After that, she sat next to her guitar to catch her breath and get her bearings.

The alley looked kind of familiar. On a whim, Natia clambered up some boxes and crawled into an open window. Luckily, it was the right building. She recognized the crappy wallpaper and everything. Natia sighed with relief. The rest of the gang was probably already in the room. They were a stealthy bunch and half of them usually crashed in the room anyway. They probably had not even known the officer was around.

She headed up the stairs two at a time, shouldering her guitar as she walked. There was not a spot of dirt on it and that made her proud. She started to tune it. IT felt good to be home free. Each musical tone from her guitar made her more excited, more alive. It was time for another day of rock and roll. She opened the door to absolute silence. Nobody was there.

“Where is everybody?” Natia asked the room.

“They got caught by the truant officer,” A voice said from somewhere. “They’re gone.”

“Who’s there?” Natia asked. A thing that was not a cat came out from behind a speaker.

“Natia Apatu. I will not answer that question right now,” The voice said. “But we have a need for your creative energy. It could save the world.”

“Save the world?” Natia asked. “Who is ‘we’?”

“That is not quite settled yet,” The things said. “Take this charm and meet us at the location on the note.”

The thing dropped a charm and a slip of paper jumped out of the window. Natia scrambled over and picked up the charm which went from red to green.


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