The Golden Leaf: Autumn’s Fall
Over the next couple days, Autumn paced around, keeping her distance from the egg. Everything about the egg bothered her. The abnormally large size. The overly pervasive luminescence that haunted her. The twinkle of light that shimmered and sparkled from it. The egg sat there, like an open invitation. An invitation that Autumn didn’t want to accept. One that she greatly feared.
The one thing that that bothered her the most had to do with the proximity of the egg to the tall tree where she usually stood. This was her favorite place in the whole forest, and the egg was encroaching on it. An unwelcome guest in her domain. “I can not approach it,” she said with her utmost determination. “Direct contact with that egg will result in losing this body….”
Then it came to her. An idea. One that might prove useful in removing the egg from her forest. So for the first time in a couple days, she approached the tall tree, where the egg sat. “That ugly thing will be rid of very soon,” she whispered.
Autumn raised her hands, gathering a great multitude of leaves around her. It was a towering mass, which was more than tall enough to cover the egg. She then used her breath, creating a large gale that blew at the leaves. To her surprise, the egg did not move an inch.
“That egg is for you, and you’re getting inside it.” someone shouted in the distance.
Out of nowhere, Jaime leapt from behind a tree and sprinted forward. With every ounce of strength in her body, she lunged at Autumn, tackling her to the ground. Autumn’s head sat just inches from the egg.
“Get inside!” Jaime shouted.
Autumn looked at Jaime and smirked. “I admire your bravery, but your precious ‘Jill’ is nowhere to be found. Now step aside. I have a wretched egg to dispose of.”
Jaime gave Autumn a look of disgust. “You are wrong. Somewhere inside you, Jill is fighting.”
Jaime advanced forward towards Autumn. “I heard the message from the egg. You have already ruined her great-granddaughter’s future. You are an unwelcome guest in her life. Leave my best friend alone!”
Autumn got up and backed away from the egg. “Quite a nuisance you are. Maybe I should turn you into a leaf.”
“Try it.” Jaime dared her.
Autumn waved her hands at Jaime. Nothing happened. “What’s going on?” she gasped.
“A promise you made with my great-grandma.” Jaime said with a smile. “You promised not to harm any of my family. Even if you broke that promise, I am of the same descent. My genes protect me from your magic, just like they do with you. Grandma told me all this, so you can’t tell me any lies.”
Autumn shook her head. “Very well,” she told her. “But that promise excludes Jill’s descendants. Now about that wretched egg, I am never entering it and there is nothing you can do to make me.”
Jaime nodded. “Exactly. Autumn would never enter the egg. But Jill wants to so badly. Now ‘Jill’! Can you hear me? I want you fight Autumn like you never fought her before. Please! Fight her for me! For your mother! For your whole family!” After she said this, she couldn’t take it anymore. Overcome with sorrow, she started to cry. “Fight her, Jill! Fight her!”
Autumn stood there stiffly. A different look came across her face. A look that Jaime recognized more than anything. A tear rolled down Autumn’s cheek. “Jaime?”
Jaime squealed with delight. “Yes! Keep fighting her! Don’t stop, Jill!”
Autumn (or Jill) took a step toward the egg, and then stopped. “Get back inside, you wretched wart!” she screamed. “I’m in control!”
“Don’t listen to her!” Jaime screamed. “Keep fighting!”
Autumn smiled victoriously. “Jill has lost the will to fight. Her strength is spent, and she can’t move another muscle.”
“Then you’ll have to fight me then,” Jaime challenged her. “I still have plenty of strength, and I’m not going to back down. Get inside, before I make you.”
Autumn started to run away from the egg. “You won’t be able to if I’m far away from it. Away with you, brat!”
“GET IN THE EGG!!!” Jaime screamed at the top of her lungs. She stared at Autumn with a deep hatred. The intensifying hatred painted her face crimson. With the overwhelming tide of emotions beginning to flow through her, she rushed forward and grabbed Autumn by the leg, tripping her. And, just as Autumn was beginning to stand up, Jaime forcefully shoved her forward, which was enough to send her tumbling forward. Autumn tumbled into the egg, which sent ripples of light that formed up and down it.
Autumn pressed against the inside of the egg and pounded on it. “Let me out!” she shouted.
And that was it. A potent mist emerged from the egg, which dissipated into the air. Jill lay there, inside the egg with her eyes closed.
Jaime, who was watching at a distance, knew what was happening. Jill was dying. Knowing the outcome, Jaime began to leave the forest. “I’ll come back when her new body hatches,” she said to herself.
Meanwhile, Jill remained there in the egg, her body motionless. While her body laid there, her mind was in a different place. Jill was dreaming.
Jill opened her eyes to find herself in a cell filled with other girls her age. When she inspected the door, she found that it was locked.
“Don’t bother,” one girl said with a British accent. “It’s locked.”
Jill nodded. “I know that.” Then she turned toward the door and pounded on it. “Let me out!”
A few seconds after she pounded, someone walked toward the cell. It was a man with a radiance that almost blinded her. The man had various otherworldly features, most notably his stature, which nearly extended to the ceiling. “Do not fear,” the man told her.
In spite of what he just said, Jill was deathly afraid. The man’s voice was like a multitude of voices. He spoke with an intensity of a thunderclap.
“W-who are you?” Jill stammered. “Are you some kind of angel? What is your name?”
The man unlocked the door and approached her. “Why do you ask for my name? My name is beyond understanding, and is not something that you really need to know. While my name will not be revealed, I will do something else for your sake. You may call me ‘Freedom’, as I feel that this would be a suitable name to address me here on earth.”
Jill walked outside the cell, towards the mysterious man. “So I can call you ‘Freedom’, in place of your real name that you don’t want to tell me?” Jill asked him.
Freedom nodded. “The name that I gave you will work. Now Jill. Look before you. Do you know why you are here?”
Jill shook her head. “I don’t know.” she told him. “What am I doing in this place, and who are all these girls?”
“To answer the first question,” Freedom began. “I will tell you who the girls are. All of these girls you see represent every girl in history that has been under Autumn’s control. I have set you free, and I will do the same with all the others.”
Jill looked back inside the open cell. None of the girls even paid attention to the door. “Why aren’t they escaping?”
“I have already told you,” the man told her. “In their own time periods, they haven’t been freed yet. They don’t see the open door like you do. To them, it’s still closed and locked.
“But wait! I thought Autumn was dead! Didn’t the egg kill her?”
The man shook his head. “The egg only killed her in your era. Even with that being the case, it only killed her temporarily. Long enough to free you from her. To truly destroy her, we must travel thousands of years to the past. To the place where her first victim dwells. You will be the one to help free all these girls from the same fate that you were freed from.”
Jill gasped. “Who? Me?”
Freedom nodded. “Yes. You.”
©2012 K. L. Walker