Between The Shadows: Chapter Eight

“How much farther Gene?” Binny asks as the two ride through a forest.  “Not much farther from the looks of it,” Genesis says from behind her map, “And stop calling me Gene!” Binny smiles and rides on ahead a little.  “I see somethin’ up ahead.” Binny says and Genesis catches up to her.  As the branches clear the girls can see a small village, but it’s the strangest little town they’ve ever seen.

Every roof is either colored or patterned, and every house seems to be filled to the brim with books and the like from what they can see through the windows.  Every house appears to have a chimney, but each chimney seems to be spouting strange colored smoke.  The villagers all seem just as strange as their houses.  They all appear to wear tall, peaked caps and strange, sleeveless cloaks with simple cotton pants and shirts underneath, almost as though the cloaks where more like long tunics.

As the girls ride into town, they can’t help but notice that everyone they pass seems to be staring at them.  They find a place to tie up their horses, then they both start asking the people where they could find a head of the village.  They end up directed to a house with a blue roof with the sun painted on it, but the sun appears to glow all on it’s own.  They hear yelling coming from inside and as they open the door, blue smoke pours out of the house.  Both the girls cough and hack as someone grabs them both and pulls them in out of the smoke.

An old man proceeds to fan out the smoke through the empty door and say “Fool boy, you should have opened the chimney flu!”.  A young boy with mousy brown hair and ash on his face says “I’m sorry Dad, I forgot…”.  “Idiot, you always forget!  I’m ashamed to call you my son sometimes!”.  After all the smoke has cleared out the old man shuts the door and sighs.

“I’m sorry girls, I’d say this doesn’t happen a lot, but I’d be lying.” He gives his son a nasty glare.  The old man is wearing what appears to be a leather smiths’ apron and metal-workers goggles.  His hair is white and balding, and his face is a rosy red color.  His son is dressed like many of the others in town, except his hat is too big and he has metal-worker goggles placed around where it peaks, making him seem almost elf-like underneath.  “My apologies again girls, won’t you sit?” The man offers, and both the girls sit down.

“Um, hello,” Genesis says, “I’m Bar-” “Oh I know who you are young lady” the old man interjects, “Hector! Bring some tea in from the kitchen, and try not to break anything this time?!” He says, and his son, Hector, dashes off.  “Terrible disappointment that boy is at times, but he is my son, so he has to have some potential buried in him.” he says as he sits next to the girls.  “I’m Banimi, it is a pleasure to see you both.”  He says and shakes both their hands.

“Well, it’s very nice to meet you,” Genesis says, seemingly unfazed by the odd behavior of the two, “My friend and I heard you have a mag-“.  “My girl,” Banimi interrupts again, “everyone here has a magic something, but I believe you are here about my telescope.”  A crashing sound comes from the back of the house and Banimi yells “HECTOR?!?! What on earth happened now?!”  Hector walks into view, a very large stain on the front of his cloak.  “I, uh, dropped the pot.  Sorry Dad…”  “You sit down, I’LL fix the tea!” Banimi says as he stands up and leaves the room.  Hector sits down and no one talks for a while.  Finally Genesis says “Your dad seems…nice” and Hector sighs saying “Yeah, makes me wish I didn’t disappoint him so much.”

“Hey, it’s not your fault you’re clumsy, I have problems with it too!” Binny says while at the same time managing to knock over a flower vase that was on the coffee table near her.  The flower vase floats in mid air for a second, then lands back on the table like nothing happened.  Binny looks over at Hector.

“Did you just do that?” She asks.  Hector nods.  “I have to learn spells like that, otherwise our house would look like a mess.  Besides, I’m not good enough to learn spells stronger than that yet, but I’m trying.”  Hector looks over at the fireplace, a kettle boiling over the crackling flames.  “Dad was trying to teach me potion-making when you guys got here.  As you can tell, I don’t think it’s for me…” Hector says with a sigh as Banimi walks in with a tray.  Banimi sets it down and says “So, you wanted to look through my telescope?  I assume this is about your friend Aaron.”  Banimi smiles as he sees the girls’ faces light up with surprise.  “Do be surprised girls, I have a talent for seeing the future, it’s one of the reasons I run this village.  Now come, let me take you to my observatory” Banimi says as he gets out of his chair, and the four begin walking through the house.

(I’m gonna cut it off for now, this chapter’s longer than I thought it would be, so I’ll bring you more on this adventure in chapter 10 😀 )