"The Trouble with Magical Beings" (A Fantasy) Chapter 5
The ponies led them to the mouth of their cave and the three barely had time to dismount and walk into the cave before they heard the jets flying overhead. The robots were looking for them.
Jenny walked her pony further inside the cave while Naia and Daniel waiting by the entrance listening as the jet planes passed over them.
“Why is Jenny the one leading this adventure if I’m supposed to prove myself?” Daniel whispered to Naia.
“I think it’s because she’s the only one who didn’t upset my father,” Naia whispered back to him.
“That’s true,” Daniel admitted honestly.
“Anyway, no matter who leads, we all need to solve this adventure’s challenges, whatever they are,” Naia told him as they stood by the cave’s entrance. Just then, they heard the jets coming back.
They both feared the robots would see the mouth of the cave from above.
“If you have enough magic to hide us, maybe you can use it now?” Daniel asked Naia as the jet engines roared closer.
Naia closed her eyes and made a wish to hide them from the robots. A few large, ground colored; mushrooms sprang up just outside the cave’s opening. They were large enough to hide the entrance but there weren’t enough of them so only half of the cave’s entrance was hidden.
“Stupid watered down magic,” Naia sighed with disgust.
“Try wishing it again, maybe it'll fill in the rest,” Daniel said encouragingly.
Naia wished again and a few more mud colored mushrooms did appear and thankfully they were enough to block the entire entrance from the robot’s view.
Jenny walked back to Daniel and Naia and the three stood listening intently as all the jet engines passed over and they waited hearing them moving farther away. When several minutes passed and they didn’t hear them coming back they all smiled with relief.
“That was brilliant,” Daniel said to Naia.
“Thank you,” Naia said bowing slightly, feeling proud she’d been able to make her wimpy magic work. She turned to Jenny and asked, “How did you know about this cave?”
“This is where the ponies go to recharge their powers, everyone knows that,” Jenny looked at her with wide eyes, not understanding how Naia didn’t know. She thought everyone watched Mustang Ponies’ in Candyland.
“They recharge their powers here?” Naia repeated and was curious to learn how the cave could recharge powers. She began to walk further into the dark cave to investigate it.
“Okay, so we’ll need a plan,” Daniel said, “Those robots are going to keep looking for us and that’s going to make it harder for us to complete this adventure. We can’t stay in here. I’m pretty sure we can’t face the challenges from inside this cave.”
Naia wasn’t listening to him, she was too curious about the cave. She ran her hand along the wall. It was made of rough stones but she couldn’t see what kind because the cave was too dark.
“I wish I had a light,” she whispered softly and a very small lantern appeared in her hand. It was truly tiny but she held it up anyway and it did manage to illuminate a small patch of the wall near her.
Naia’s breath caught at what she saw there. Clear crystals, the most powerful kind of crystals, gleamed in the small lantern’s light. She turned excitedly to tell Daniel.
“I think this cave will be very helpful. We’ll be able to find a way in and out without the robots ever seeing us.”
Daniel and Jenny both turned to her and stared at the light shinning on the wall where she stood.
“What is that?” Daniel asked walking over to her.
“The cave wall is beautiful,” Jenny whispered following him.
“Yes, and even better…it’s magical,” Naia told them with a smile.
“It is?” Daniel stared at the sparkling wall.
“It definitely is. Touch one of the stones and ask for something and you’ll see what happens,” Naia dared him.
“Well, I’d like to get this ice cream washed off,” he said as he touched the wall and Naia quickly agreed with him and placed her hand over his.
Suddenly, they were both spotlessly clean, not a trace of the sticky ice cream anywhere and they were both wearing clean, new outfits.
“Thanks,” Daniel said to the wall of crystals, “I’m also kind of hungry,” he added as his stomach took that moment to grumble.
“I am too,” echoed Jenny from behind him.
A flash of light zigzagged from where Daniel’s hand touched the wall and ran along the cave illuminating crystals as it went. Several crystals lit up all at once and shed light over a table that was set with all kinds of food and beverages. Then a brighter light beamed down from the cave’s roof directly over the table and a pathway of crystals lit up the floor from the children to the table.
“Look,” Jenny said as she pointed to a corner in the cave, “Your wish even fed the horses.”
Sure enough, the ponies and the stallion were already drinking from a trough along the wall and bales of hay were stacked next to them.
“So we really do have magic at our fingertips,” Daniel said in awe.
“Yes, but we'd better use it properly or you know the rules, it can turn against us,” Naia warned him.
Daniel remembered those twenty rules and he knew one selfish wish could end the adventure and not in the best way for any of them.
“You're right,” he nodded, “and since any one of us can make a wish, we’ll need to check with each other before we do.”
“I agree, we have to be very careful what we wish for,” Naia said solemnly.
Jenny just smiled at them and walked up to the wall touching it before they could stop her and wished out loud, “Please can I have lion?”
Both Daniel and Naia said it in unison but it was too late.
A full size lion sat in the middle of the cave staring at them.
“Lion!” Jenny squealed and ran towards the lion but Daniel stopped her before she reached it and pulled her back.
“That’s not your lion Jen, that’s a real lion.”
“No, that is my lion; he’s just come to life with magic.”
The lion yawned, a big sharp toothed yawn and then slid down to the cave floor and put its big head on its big paws but its eyes were intently watching them.
Daniel wasn’t so sure that this time the magic could be trusted and he couldn’t let Jen go near that lion.
“Naia, what do you think?” Daniel asked while holding Jenny back.
“I don’t know but only she can make it go away,” Naia warned him.
That was magic rule number ten. ‘The one who creates the magic is the only one who can cancel it’.
Daniel nodded; he had to try to reason with his sister. “Jenny you can’t take him on your pony he’s too big so unless you can wish him back into the ragged toy you love, you should wish him home.”
Jenny’s lower lip trembled; she didn’t want to send her lion home. She’d forgotten to take her lion with her and she was never without him. She needed him to stay so she touched her finger tips to the wall behind her and said, “I know he can’t sit on the pony with me so I’ll wish that he can fly too.”
“No!” Again both Daniel and Naia spoke together and again it was too late.
The lion stretched and shook its massive mane and now on his back he’d sprouted wings.
“This isn’t good,” Daniel said.
They now had a full size, flying lion to contend with and they didn’t know if it was friendly or not.
“Go see if it’s friendly,” Naia whispered to Daniel.
“It’s your adventure,” she reminded him with a shrug and moved behind him.
The lion lifted its regal head and its golden eyes seared Daniel with interest.
The gaze was intelligent but Daniel didn’t know if that was a good thing or not but he nodded to Naia and said, “Okay, take Jenny’s hand and keep her here.”
“He’s not going to hurt you,” Jenny told him.
Daniel hoped not as he slowly approached the large beast.
“You really should eat now,” said the lion, “You’re going to need your strength for the rest of this adventure,” and then it yawned and put its head back on its paws.
Daniel froze on the spot, “You are her toy lion?”
“Yes, and I really wish she’d name me already, I know I’m a lion but I have no identity beyond that.”
Jenny shook off Naia’s hand and ran to her lion.
“I’m sorry lion. My dad gave you to me but he didn’t tell me a name for you”.
The lion sat up and put its big paw lightly on her shoulder. “He’d want you to name me.”
Jenny wiped at her eyes and nodded, “Okay, then I will,” She thought about it and said, “I’ll name you Boots.”
“Boots?” the lion questioned, not looking too pleased.
“She means as in Puss in Boots, that’s the book my mom is reading to her,” Daniel explained.
“Great, I’m a puss in boots lion.”
“Is that okay?” Jenny asked with a sniffle.
The lion’s golden eyes softened on her and he nodded, “Yes, I rather like it. Boots, sounds like a determined name. Boots can stomp and walk tough. Hmmm, yes, I think I can live with it.”
Jenny threw her arms around her lion and he smiled, as best as a lion could smile, and thankfully he showed no teeth in doing so.
“Boots needs to eat too,” Jenny said placing her hand on the wall and wished a meal for her lion.
“Okay, Jenny. Now you have your lion but you have to stop making wishes. We don't know how much magic there is in this cave and we need to save it,” Daniel told her in an understanding, not a scolding, way.
“Okay, I'll stop,” Jenny agreed sheepishly.
“So we all agree now?” Daniel looked at Naia and Jenny as he said, “No more wishes without all of us agreeing on it first?”
“Agreed,” both Jenny and Naia said, pledging their allegiance to the new wishing rule.
Then Jenny walked over to the table of food and said, “I'm starving. Can we eat now?”
Boots ate whatever appeared in the bowl before him as the three children sat down at the over laden table.
After their meal, they all took a quick nap on the soft cots that had magically appeared in another corner of the cave but while they slept, the mustang’s world magically changed, creating a whole new set of challenges, as magic is wont to do.
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