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The Elixir of Life

Nothing could be sweeter than a cool spring midnight in Ammortia and the young figure, as dark as the shadows surrounding her, could not resist pausing to take in the wondrous world. Lowering her hood, Amena breathed in the fresh, sweet air of the night, her pale face as luminescent as the pair of lunar orbs above her. Dawn and Dusk, they were called and they were as ancient as Ammortia itself. With a sigh as subtle as the wind, the girl wondered if she would ever behold them again, and h™ her courage wavered for an instant. But then she straightened, and, determined as ever, pulled the velvet hood over her elfin ears and trudged on once again.

Amena had appointed herself a grim task. The Elixir of Life was slowly burning out and this would inevitably cause the extinction of the entire Ammortian race. The fire was vital to the survival of these elf-like people and their magic, and every violet flame was as precious as the next. Even now, much of Ammortia’s citizens were weakened and powerless, but Amena felt sure she could stop this. It was her theory that humans were behind the turmoil - after all, they did live in a parallel universe and occasionally one stumbled into the Ammortians’ habitat. Greedy and sinful by nature, humans always wanted what they couldn’t have and liked to attack anyo™yone standing their way of getting it. It was only a matter of finding their victim’s soft, fleshy under belly and poking and prodding until they had what they came for. Well, Amena thought, they found it.

The girl came to a halt at the entrance to an apparently shallow cave, and slipped silently inside. Creeping, cat-like she felt for the back wall, covered in thick ivy and whispered to it, barely audible. At once the cave seemed to lengthen and Amena found herself facing a worn stone staircase, descending steeply. Once again, the girl’s confidence failed her, but she clenched her teeth and forced her feet downwards. One by one. One step at a time, ignoring the steadily growing feeling of trepidation plaguing her thoughts. Three more steps, two more, one. And only then did she dare to look up.

She had entered a small room, candle light flickering eerie shadows onto the stone walls. A silver, jewel-encrusted chalice stood in the centre holding the mesmerizing flames of the Elixir of Life, now dancing half-heartedly. The girl jumped. There was the human, nestled in the shadows, gazing lazily at her.

“Hello pixie.” He sniggered, stepping into the light, face scar-ridden and contorted into a crazy sneer. He paused, then began circling the chalice, hungry eyes bewitched by it.

“I have a slight problem here. This…world of yours is very valuable. Land in good condition, not much development, glorious views and spectacular surroundings. What does it all mean?” the oaf stopped and grinned maliciously, “Real estate opportunities. But not only that, oh no, you see I could easily make this the mining capital of the universe! Huge prospects there, of course.

“Unfortunately, there is a little obstacle in my way. Now, I’m not a fan of obstacles, and I like to bulldoze them out of my path as quickly and thoroughly as I can. There is life on this little money-maker of mine, very intelligent life that just must be destroyed. But how to do it? I pondered, I spied, I did everything my little brain could think of, and finally I stumbled upon the answer.” The human waved a hand slowly through the enchanted flames.

He had made his point. It was nearly impossible to extinguish the Elixir, and only the blood of an Ammortian could light or douse the fire. Quivering, Amena took one small step back. “No point running, fairy.” The beast muttered, lowering his hand to his belt. He took from it a pistol hanging there and slowly raised it. The girl sighed. There were defences against this sort of peril. She only hoped she had enough power left to perform them. She needed to concentrate on her target, keep eye contact. The effort was weakening her already, but Amena was not one to give up. Beads of sweat began forming on her brow. And then it happened. Violet light streamed out of her slender hands, twisting and turning towards the sinister man, numbed with shock.

‘Just a little longer’ the girl told herself, colour draining from her face. The streams of light now began encasing the oaf in an impenetrable cage, and he screamed in fear and anger, but the young Ammortian paid little attention to this. Her task was not over yet. Gasping for breath, she stumbled to the Elixir, drawing a pin from inside her cloak. With her last ounce of strength, she raised a shaking finger above the chalice and pricked it once. A scarlet drop slid from it, tumbling delicately into the flames. The girl let out a long breat™ath and slumped down, letting the soothing fire lull her to sleep.

Story Submitted by Josie(15)Australia,

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