Gina had always hated teleporting. “Churns up a nauseating sensation in the belly!” she always said.
It was no different this time. The only difference there was maybe was the fact that nauseation probably wasn’t her greatest concern at this instant As she landed the eerie valley and the first gush of the frosty wind whiplashed across her face, she noticed that the colour of the sky wasn’t as purple as it used to be. A shade of black had started perpetuating and the highly ominous Gina took this as a sign.
She saw the motionless figure of Salem still holding her hand, in his previously endowed state of nothingness, clinging on to her foot. She bent on her knee and caressed his neck as the same shade of blue brought him back to consciousness. Salem’s first reaction to the surroundings wasn’t one of shock or disappointment, but of acceptance.
Gina smiled at him and whispered “We’re here”.
They saw the one thing that stood in the eeriness of the lush green valley. A wooden brown door with the words ‘NO TELEPORTATION ZONE BEYOND THIS POINT’ written on them. Just the door and the valley that lay behind it. Gina banged the gold doorknocker twice and waited. The wooden slit on the door slid and a pair of glittering emerald eyes stared at them.
“PASSWORD?”, came a voice from the slit.
“RATSKUNKS!” said Gina.
The door swung open and a bald, masculine figure with a goatee beard and the same emerald eyes stood in front of them. He wore a black robe with golden tapestry, large enough to conceal the sword scabbard lying behind it.
“Hello Miss Gina”, said the figure with a voice that sounded like a unison of several other voices all synced in a single vocal chord.
“Hello honorable Guardsmen!”, said Gina, “I’ve brought the convict with me.”
“Ah! Yes, yes.”, said the unison of voices. “Hello Foreseer!”
Salem smiled and bowed.
He looked around and said, “Pretty furious are the winds today, aren’t they?”
“Yes, yes” said Gina. “Perhaps the little mistress of the Windbearer hasn’t been all that faithful to him”
“Or perhaps there is something more cautionary to it than that” said the unison of voices. “ Perhaps our little young Foreseer might have an idea about it.” He shifted to the right, bent and waved his arm towards the gate. “Well anyways, welcome to Paradisus!”
The duo walked through the gates as the once lush valley now turned into a pathway surrounded by clouds of all shapes and sizes. There was the ‘Floating bridge Of Hideus’ that mediated the ground from the castle. Oh and yes, ‘The Black Castle’, pride of Pardisus that stood gigantically in front of them, kissing the abode of the skies so that the topmost point was nowhere to be seen.
On either side of the floating bridge lay the stretch of bushes with the exotic Butterbouts that grew on them.
Interesting story about the Butterbouts, these little flowers that seemed like poppies over a saucer. When the Lovelord, Sir Jean (He loved to be entitled as a knight although he wasn’t actually one) first came across his one true beloved, the Songstress Marayah, the Wilderbees were so mesmerized by the awe of the winds of love that flew that time that they accidentally cross pollinated the Butterfelds with the Rosenbouts and thus this new, beautiful creation came into existence.
“Proceed”, said the Guardsmen as the two of them started making their way through the bridge. It wobbled and lolled but the three of them didn’t stutter or bound for support for they had their trust in its firmness. As they stood before ginormous gates of the castle, the Guardsmen stepped forward and flicked the fingers of both his palms towards it as the gates gradually made way for them.
The two of walked in and turned towards the guardsmen.
“We shall see you later”, said the voices and the door swung to a close between them.