The Psinia Connection: The Map

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Arlo Creede
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The Psinia Connection: The Map

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Cylus 14, 717

"Excuse me sir. Could you tell me which end is up and which is down on this map?" Arlo stopped and asked the old man who was snoozing beside the narrow forest path.

The man looked old. Very old. As old as the ages and he wore a funny velveteen suit. His shoes were pointed and curled up at the toes. He wore a funny pointed hat too, and his white beard was so long that the end of it curled and pooled in his lap. He was slouched with his back against a tree that had grown up around him, and was surrounded by a thick carpet of bright red poppies. From the looks of him, Arlo thought he might have been napping there for arcs on end.

"Sir? This map?" It was no good. The old man only snorted in his sleep so Arlo moved on through the forest. The young man was tall, and he wore a very fine suit made of red trousers and a blue velvet doublet with gold epilets at his shoulders.

His boots were tall and polished, his hair perfectly groomed beneath a blue velvet cap with a red plume that bounced with each stride he took. His teeth perfectly aligned and perfectly white. His posture was beyond reproach. Regal even. And Charming.

The trees were impossibly tall in the forest, it's floor perfectly green, well kept and uncluttered. Even the stones were smooth and seemed strategically placed. A bluebird sang a merry tune and hopped from branch to branch, following him as he went. He crossed a narrow bridge that arched over a tumbling stream, and tipped his cap to three goats as he passed by, and they tipped their curling horns in return. But with suspicion swimming in their dark brown eyes.

"Little bit gruff," he concluded of the three as he stopped to study his map again. three X's, a curling dotted line between each of them, a few trees and structures thrown in and he couldn't make heads or tails of it. He should have asked more questions when the little man had handed it to him.

That none of this struck the young dreamwalker as strange, was strange in itself. But it seemed that particular varieties of tea, brewed on the sly and secreted away to bed unbenownst to his camp mates, didn't exactly lend themselves to lucidity. Not the usual kind anyway. But on he went, not knowing if his map was up end up as it should be, and not knowing where it would take him no matter which way he went. He only stopped once, pausing to pluck a lone shiny red apple off a tree. Too much to resist, he polished the thing on his doublet, raised it up to take a bite, and walked on.
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Vega
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The Psinia Connection: The Map

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"Where's Papa going with that axe?" Eva wondered as she put the saddle on to her horse, Charlotte.
"I don't know," Charlotte replied, "I think he's going to kill the pig." Eva nodded her head.
"That would be a shame, but Mama is hungry and cook says that twenty three blackbirds aren't enough. So it will have to be a pig baked in a pie." Eva gave a slight sigh, "Somehow, that doesn't have the same ring to it."
"Yes," said Charlotte with a sad little whinny, "But that's some pig."
Eva nodded, "He doesn't deserve it. It's true. But you know what Papa says..."
Woman and horse spoke together, in perfect unison.

"There was a boy called Arlo Clarence Creede and he almost deserved it."
"There was a boy called Arlo Clarence Creede and he almost deserved it."

Laughing, Eva checked the saddle one more time, checked that her cloak was in place and rode out of the family home. Or, castle she supposed, depending on one's point of view. First stop was the Old Oak Tree. She jumped down from Charlotte and, as was traditional, tied a yellow ribbon around the tree to symbolise hope fulfilled. As she did she saw the Wise Old Owl. He was blindfolded, talking away to the cockerel. That made sense, because when he could see, he hardly spoke at all. The cockerel was most put out and was asking advice from the owl because apparently, someone had lost a shoe or something. Eva gave them both a quick salute and jumped back on the horse.

A troop of children came running past her, all of them whooping and calling at the moon. It was strange, Eva thought to herself, how the light of the moon was almost as bright as daylight. No wonder the children were happy and she and Charlotte waited for them to pass before she gave Charlotte her reins and the pair of them galloped out of the fortress, Eva ducking under the portcullis as they did.

Soon, she found herself following a stream and there in the distance she could see a bridge over it. It was a narrow and winding bridge and there was a man crossing it, looking at a map. Eva steered Charlotte out of the stream and towards the man with the map who looked, it must be said, vaguely familiar. He seemed nice enough and she had a generally good feeling about him. Like he'd be a very charming fellow.

But then she saw him pluck an apple and Eva recognised it for what it was. If he ate that apple he was going to, without a doubt, fall asleep for a hundred arcs. Or until he got woken up by someone. Eva recognised that she wasn't going to get there in time so she pulled an arrow, knocked it into her bow and, holding on with her legs only she shot the arrow right out of his hand. Where said arrow, apple still attached, thunked into a tree.

"Hold!" the red haired woman in gold armour with a red cloak riding atop a white steed called Charlotte called. As the horse came to a halt just a little away from him, she jumped down and started to stride towards him. "It isn't wise to eat the apples in this forest, stranger. They've been cursed by the wicked Queen." She smiled at him, though and offered her hand. "I am Eva. This is Charlotte, my horse."
"Hello," said the horse.
"What brings you to my family lands?" Eva asked, looking at him and frowning slightly. He did look just a little familiar, she thought, but she couldn't quite place him.
word count: 631
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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