Keeper of the Lost Cities One-shot | Teen Ink

Keeper of the Lost Cities One-shot

February 7, 2019
By RLake45, Holland, Michigan
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RLake45, Holland, Michigan
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Favorite Quote:
Today is wild and it is yours.

Author's note:

I wrote this piece for a school assignment, it's supposed to be fun, so I hope you like it.

     “I still can’t believe we survived.” Sophie looked up from her hands as Linh whispers. Tam leaned closer, so their shoulders are touching. Linh’s silver tipped hair, that matches her brother’s, brushes against Tam’s shoulders.

     The Shade inclined his head toward his twin’s, “Of course we survived, you saved us all.” Linh offered a smile. She was still a little shaken from their ordeal in Atlantis a few weeks ago. The Neverseen had broken the psinopathic barrier, or force field, around Atlantis, flooding the city. Their actions forced Sophie to enhance Linh’s not yet controlled hydrokinetic abilities. Since then, Linh has had more control over her powers, but she hadn’t quite mastered them yet.

     Sophie eyelashes were itching, she and the rest of their group had been sitting in the infirmary of Foxfire Academy for what seemed like days, but what was more like a few hours. So long as Elwin, the healer and surrogate uncle to Sophie, was out, they would have privacy to talk about their ordeals. Even with the luxury of privacy, talking about all of the ways they could have died and all the ways they had failed in their last encounter with the Neverseen wasn’t good for anyone’s mood.

     Fitz was probably the only person still engaged, he was nodding and giving input to Tam and Linh’s conversation. If Keefe had been more engaged, he would have leaned over to Sophie, and made some dumb joke about how Vackers are superior to exhaustion. Dex was looking straight ahead at nothing, his hands absently fiddling with one of his countless gadgets he created as a technopath. Biana had leaned back onto the cot behind her, staring up at the ceiling. Keefe looked the least involved, his eyes were half lidded, but he kept shifting his eyes to Sophie every few minutes. Probably monitoring her mood with his empathic abilities.

     Suddenly Keefe jolted straight up in his seat and announced, “Ok! That’s enough depressing talk. All of your emotions have literally groundrocketed, is that even a word? Is ther-“ Fitz cuts him off before he can go any further off topic.

     “Keefe’s right guys, let’s take a break. What do we want to do?” Linh had been trying to shape small amounts of water between her palms as the conversation progressed. She looked up and opened her mouth like she wanted to say something, but at that moment Keefe tried to talk again. Sophie slapped her hand over his mouth and addressed Linh.

     “Did you have an idea?”

     Linh blushed and started to speak, “I was shaping water and thinking, could we, I don’t know, it’s just an idea…”

     Biana jumped in, “Go ahead, I’m sure it’s a great idea.”

     “I thought we could talk about our favorite things, like in categories.”

     Dex smiles, “I like that, but what category should we do first?”Keefe glanced over at Bullhorn, Elwin’s banshee. Bullhorn was sleeping in his favorite spot under Elwin’s desk.

     “How about we say our favorite creatures, and why?” Keefe offered. Everyone liked his idea and they started around the circle. Dex liked imps, like Sophie’s pet, Iggy. Biana and Linh agreed on alicorns as the superior creature. Fitz’s favorite was dragons, Keefe commented about how obvious this was because Fitz owned a sparkly dragon stuffed animal named Mr. Snuggles. Tam wanted a Verminion an oversized purple hamster, Sophie cringed, the ones at her home in Havenfield seemed to hate her. Once everyone else had gone, they looked to Sophie. Suddenly very self conscious, she half mumbled a response.

     “I like elephants, and horses.”

     “Elephants? Isn’t that what Ella is?” Biana asked. Ella was Sophie’s stuffed animal/sleep aid. She had soft blue fur and a Hawaiian shirt. Sophie nodded.

     Dex suddenly jumped in his seat, “I have an idea! Sophie, can you tell us about some of the animals in the Forbidden cities?” Sophie had been and elf  raised by humans until Fitz found her in a museum and brought her to the elvin world.

     Sophie answered Dex with less enthusiasm than he had shown, “I don’t know, there are so many animals.”

     Tam voiced his opinion, “You could pick animals that we remind you of, that way you wouldn’t have to list them all.”

     “That’s a great idea!” Linh tuned in.

     It didn’t take Sophie very long to decide. Fitz was a grey wolf, very protective of his friends and family, his pack. Fitz gave a small smile and puffed out his chest. Keefe was a hyena, never stops laughing and has a mane of hair. Keefe beamed and slicked back his own head of hair. Fitz looked at Sophie with an exasperated expression, she mirrored it, Keefe would be mimicking a hyena’s laugh all week. Linh was a fisher, a cat that hunts in rivers. Biana was a bird of paradise, always with flawless feathers. Tam was a civet, nocturnal and at home in the dark. Finally, Dex was a Capuchin monkey, his hands always moving and exploring.

     “What about you, Sophie?” Biana asked, “What kind of animal do you see yourself as?” Sophie had been about to answer when a loud crash sounded from Elwin’s lab, where he makes his elixirs.

     “Oh, no.” Dex paled, and so did everyone else. They had forgotten that they were babysitting Dex’s triplet little siblings, Lex, Bex, and Rex. The group rushed into the lab in time to be engulfed by a large pink cloud. Then the world went dark.

     Sophie opened her eyes and made an attempt to sit up, but her limbs felt long and useless. She lifted up her head, but found she suddenly had a blind spot between her eyes. She lifted her head to look for her friends. Wow, that took a lot more energy than I was expecting, she thought. Her friends were nowhere to be seen, and neither were the triplets. Then she finally looked at herself.

     She screamed.

     ...or she tried to. It came out more as a whinney, which seemed appropriate, considering that she was now in a horses body? WHAT? When she tried, she was able to rise onto all four of her...hooves. Sophie took in the carnage of the room, not much seemed to be broken besides two of Elwin’s experimental elixirs. The super weird thing was the animals strewn about the floor. A wolf, hyena, four monkeys, a many-feathered bird, a large brown cat, and a...civet?

     Oh boy.

     Whatever elixirs had been broken by what had most likely been the triplets must have turned them into animals. These ones just happened to be the ones they were thinking about.

     A groan to Sophie’s left drew her out of her thoughts. The wolf- no, Fitz- had started to wake up, accidentally kicking the hy-Keefe’s nose. The commotion awakened the rest of them. Had the situation been entirely different, Sophie would have laughed at her friends’ befuddled expressions. Before anyone could freak out, she tried to speak. Miraculously it worked!

     “Guys, don’t freak out.” What else was she supposed to say!

     “Freak out? No way, this is awesom-” Keefe had stood up and commented on their current situation in true Keefe fashion, his last word breaking off into a spine chilling cackle. Sophie looked over to where dex was scolding three smaller capuchins, more than likely, the triplets.

     “What on earth were you thinking! You know you have to respectful of other people’s things. If you had broken two different vials, we could all be dead!” Dex doesn’t often get angry, but with his siblings it is a whole other story. Anyone who has a brother or sister knows full well that you either hate their guts and wish they would get lost on their way home, or they are the most precious thing in the world to you. After Dex took another breath to keep yelling at the triplets, Linh put a paw on his shoulder, nearly knocking him over because of the size difference.

     “They were just being kids, they didn’t mean to. Why don’t you ease up a bit, I think you scared them.” Linh’s gentle words caused Dex to see the triplets looking up at him with big, brown, watery monkey eyes. His paws dropped, and then wrapped tight around them, whispering reassurances that he didn’t mean what he said.

     Biana fluttered past Sophie’s head, coming to rest on her back. She was commenting on the fun of flight when Elwin walked in. Sophie was sure that, by the look on his face, he was seriously contemplating turning around, walking out, and leaving someone else to deal with the problem. He then steeled his eyes and giving the “parent stare” to each and every one of them, with scary accuracy for someone who wasn’t a father. The triplets were quick to explain.

     “We, um, we kinda sorta might have broken two of your vials.” Lex explained hesitantly. His sister, Bex, enthusiastically interjected, “Then there was this huge, pink cloud.” Rex then put a paw on her face and climbed up onto Linh’s back. “And now we’re animals!” He finished the tale with a flourish of his arms. Elwin still looked a little pale, but went over to the vials to inspect them.

     “Looks like you guys got into my experimental transfiguration elixir and my attempt at a telepathic enhancer.” He went on to explain that the telepathic enhancer must have read one of their most recent thoughts, the animal conversation, and then the transfiguration elixir acted on it. The group nodded in understanding, well, all except Keefe who let out another chilling cackle. Elwin looked at him with something resembling resigned terror. Then he turned on his heel, nearly tripping over Tam in his tiny civet body, Elwin apologized, and left the room rubbing the bridge of his nose. He was mumbling something along the lines of, “How on earth am I supposed to explain this to their parents.”

     Tam had curled up next to Linh, using her larger size to make sure he wouldn’t get near stepped on again. Linh was barely able to keep a straight face at the victory of finally being taller than her twin. We all looked around the room, then at each other. We couldn’t hold it in.

     We laughed long, and loud,and hard. It was more of a cacophony of random animal sounds, Fitz and Keefe’s voices rising above the fray in volume and pitch. Sophie sighed and smiled. The things I get into with these people.

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