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The Journey Begins

Altheia Summers and Grai Starr

Grai sat with his legs crossed, acroos his from Altheia, his hands overlapped as he
set them on the ground. He leaned forward, talking merrily about forest animals. He chuckled on about certain mythological ones like pixies, sprites, wisps, and even awlful banshees. Grai asked, "Have you ever seen a pixie early in the morning fluttering around the mists of a waterfall?" Altheia thought about her answer. "No, I don't think so." Grai smiled, "It is quite a sight, it is. They flutter around dodging each others's wings. Oh, and
how they carry on their chatter muffled by the falls. It is so funny." The young girl smiled. " I can imagine. I never seen one, but that doesn't mean they don't exist." He continued, "Yes, it is a rare sight and i hope one day you are able to see this for yourself. Have you ever seen any animals of rare breeds?"
"I have only read about them but I never seen any. I like unicorns myself." He continued as he smiled. "I have only heard of unicorns myself." He leaned back a bit, taking the
pressure off his hands. He reached up and took her hand in his. "I'm happy we have met. Until now my dreams of traveling have been as illusive as seeing a unicorn with my own eyes, and now it is here, our adventure, our life." She didn't have her a chance to respond before he kissed her on the cheek.
In the background, two figures stood in darkness. "They look very happy." said the female voice. Another masculine voice replied, "Yes, they do and that is how it should be. " With a swoop of his arm, the god of love sealed the young lovers' bond permanently.
"Let it be known that this couple be acknowledged as such and bonded with the blessing of Amros." As Grai kissed her, he felt a warm tingle wash over him. It soaked into his
skin and touched his heart. He leaned back and smiled at Altheia but there was slight confusion on his brow. "What just happened?" The Nino Oro girl looked at hum as if he
was nuts. " We just kissed, remember?" Grai smiled and chuckled. "Yes, I guess we did." He took her hand in his. The golden-skinned girl cleared her throat. "I have some news to tell you, but I am not sure you want to hear it." He tilted his head to the side with a quizzical expression on his face. "what might that be Altheia? Please do tell!" She took a deep breath. "I want to train in Haven . There is a school there for mages." He nodded. "Then that is where we will go from here...to Haven." Shyly, he asked her, "Where might Haven might be?"
"Haven is the capital city of Avalon. It is the biggest city there is. It is on the border of Eastern Avalon Forest." He stood up, taking both her hands in his. "Then let us start our journey now."
"You don't mind going with me? What about clothing and food? What about your aunt?" He replied, "I will stop off and pick up some clothing and food. My aunt will understand"
"We should say goodbye to her at least. Don't you think?" Grai nodded. "Yes, that is what I should do. Thank you. I am not thinking things through." He led them back
to his aunt's house and there he made preparations for their trip. He told his aunt of their plans. She was happy to see the two getting along so well. They left right away for their trip.
Altheia inspected the map. "Where are we?"
"We are deep within the forest but where I do not know." he replied. There was a neighing noise in the distance.
"Did you hear that?"
"Yes, I did and have no idea what it was. I am not sure if we should investigate it or not."
"It might be hurt. Some poor, lost, creature needs our help." Grai decided on investigating the situation and asked the magess if she wanted to come along.
"You bet." They followed the direction of the neighing. Grai in the lead and holding Altheia's hand. Soon they came to a clearing. They looked around for the sound of the neighing. Then Altheia spooted it. "look! It is a unicorn." Grai stood speechless for a moment as
he admired the the beautiful creature. The unicorn was all white with golden hooves and horn. It thrashed about trying to get out of the trap it was in. Grai decided to get a closer look at the trap it was in and possibly freeing the unicorn. "Be careful hon. Don't scare
it." The young magess followed to see if she could calm it down. Grai walked up close to the unicorn and got down on his knee to examine the trap, which was big, possibly meant
to catch bears in; but it didn't hurt the unicorn. "Do you think you could get the trap open?" asked Altheia. Grai ran a hand down the unicorn's leg. He touched the trap. " I think I can, but it will not be easy for the unicorn if I make a bad move."
"I can keep the unicorn still and calm while you remove the trap." offered the young girl.
Grai slipped his hands within the jaws of the trap, opening it slightly to test it but the unicorn made no sudden movements. Grai opened the trap wode enough for the unicorn
to free his leg. The unicorn stepped back from the trapand said, ?nk you.??ltheia gasped in astonishment. "Did you hear that? It sounded like it came from inside my head." Grai with a bewildered smile replied, "Yes, and just as you said, I heard this within my head. How odd." He continued to study the unicorn at a distance. The unicorn smiled. "Don't be afraid. Ny name is Diamond. I am at your service for saving me from that trap. What can I do for you?" The young magess wanted to try something. She spoke
telepathically with the creature. -Can you hear me?- The unicorn nodded. Altheia was shocked. She communicated with it! Grai noticed her shocked expression and saw the
unicorn nod. He wondered if he tried what he thought she tried. He walked up to her.
"Did you talk to the unicorn?" he whispered, "Yes, I did." Grai attempted to do the same thing as the magess, but he couldn't seem to get his mind to clear enough to think to
himself. His attempt failed but the unicorn looked at him almost as if he understood. As if she could read his mind, the Nino Oro replied,"You aren't a mage. That's why it didn't work." He replied. "That makes sense." Altheia went into a trance state while communicating with the unicorn. -Can you take us to Haven? We lost our way.- Diamond lowered himself to the ground so the two young
people could climb on. "Come on Grai. Diamond is going to take us to Haven." They mounted and were off like wind towards Haven.


Avalon Publication (Feburary 2001)