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Posted in: books by LaRene Ellis on October 16, 2010
Now Jasper was out in the meadow. He searched for rock that he used to cross the stream with. Shortly, Jasper found the place where the water meandered into a shallow pool. He stopped and tried to slow his ragged breathing as he searched for his favorite place to leap across the water. The stream was not very wide at this place, but it was deceptively deep. He made the jump and was caught by a blinding white light. The glow totally surrounded and blocked his view.
“Jasper!” came the voice again. “There is a white Stone at your feet. Do not step on it, but pick it up. It will protect you from our enemies.”
The light dissipated and he blinked a couple of times as a white Stone came into view. Without a thought, he picked it up and slipped it into his pocket. Then he heard the voice urge him forward towards the grove of trees. For some reason, he felt that he would be safe there. Danger was starting to fill his heart.
With no memory of the white Stone, Jasper ran into the trees. There, he stopped to catch his breath. Finding himself tired, Jasper leaned against a nearby tree, listening to his beloved grove.
There’s something different, thought Jasper as his breathing became regular.
In the past, the trees housed numerous birds that at times seemed too noisy. Today there was total silence. It was so quiet he could almost hear his heart beating.
After a few deep breaths, he felt drawn to the crash site. He wanted to see a spaceship for himself. Leaving the tree, Jasper heard a twig snap behind him. Whirling around, he found himself alone. Slowly, he resumed walking. Again, he heard leaves crunching underneath someone’s feet behind him. Before he whirled around to see what caused the noise, Jasper felt a hand cover his mouth. Then he felt someone’s body gently pressed him against a nearby tree.
Before he could comprehend what was happening, a cloak covered him, stopping him from seeing his surroundings. He struggled, but the person held him tightly against the tree.
Two figures ran from the camouflage gel to the nearest tree. The protective shield shimmered and wiggled from their exit. Staying close to the tree, they searched the sky. Seeing no birds flying, Ghonllier leaned up against the tree and started to hum while Dapper kept guard.
Someone joined the commander’s musical communication. Dapper tightened his grip on his blaster, keeping his attention on the Snacker Vines. He was taken aback to see how many of the plants were underneath their ship. Dapper wondered how many of them had tried to kill him.
Suddenly, the hums started to sound closer. They were hearing them coming from the ground and the sky. Knowing they had made contact, Ghonllier headed back to the ship with Dapper following him at a run.
They passed through the shield of gel as a large bird came swooping over their heads, landing inside the ship. They entered the ship with their blasters pointing at a large gray eagle. The bird studied the two men as a small yellow and white calico cat ran up the ramp. The cat entered and rubbed up against the bird as he nipped at her with his beak.
Looking at Ghonllier, the bird said, “Permission to change.”
“Granted,” answered the commander.
There was a slight shimmer, and suddenly, in place of the bird, stood a young man with white hair and dark green eyes. He wore old civilian clothes that were weather-beaten and frayed at the edges.
The cat did the same thing and turned into a slender young woman with blonde hair. Her clothes were very neat and precisely tailored. She daintily brushed herself off and then cocked her head towards Ghonllier. “Well, Commander?” she inquired in a sultry alto. “Shall we proceed with the formalities?”Ghonllier blocked the entrance into the ship with his blaster pointed at the spies.
He lost their tracks shortly after finding them. So he circled back. This time, he landed on the path near the place where he saw their tracks disappear. Expecting to feel soil underneath his claws, Bert found himself disappearing beneath the ground.
Everything went dark as Bert found himself descending down into a tunnel. Confused, he tumbled down a dark hole numerous times before he landed on soft dirt. Dazed, Bert just lay there before he slowly picked himself up. I wonder how far I fell? he thought, looking upwards for some reference.
The place was dark and dank. He struggled to see, but his acute vision wasn’t allowing him to see his surroundings. If he changed into a man, he could use the field glasses to see. Staying a bird, he felt, was his only out. Above his head, he could smell fresh air. One last time, he tried again to contact Celia with no success. I need to get out of here and get back to our ship. Spreading his wings, he lifted off, flying up the tunnel. Luckily, it was just wide enough for his wingspan.
Following the scent of fresh air, he felt something brush by his wingtips. A root had extended itself out into the tunnel and somehow it grabbed hold of his right wing. Pulling away from it, pain shot throughout his body, causing him to cry out. It resonated in the darkness. His body went limp, and a falling sensation overtook his mind along with the pain. He tried to pull the wing into his body, but it wouldn’t respond. The pain took over, causing him to fall down the tunnel again. When he hit the bottom, he went into unconsciousness.