The Golden Leaf: Autumn’s Fall – Part IV
Jill sat there, in a coach seat next to Freedom, just behind first class. It was a long flight to England, so it gave her plenty of time to think.
As she stared out the window, she began to think about her parents and her family. She also thought about Autumn, and how her life was ruined with the golden leaf. The more she thought about it, the more she hated it. That golden leaf was a wretched thing, she thought. Her hatred of it increased, and she was filled with feelings of resentment. She wished that she never found it in the first place. It was trouble from the start.
“I hate it.” she quietly growled.
But it was loud enough for Freedom to hear her.
“I know you do,” he told her. “But do not worry. We will destroy her, and all this will be a distant memory. For you, it will be like a bad dream.”
Jill nodded. Despite what Freedom said, she still didn’t feel any better inside. She felt troubled and insecure, knowing that she wouldn’t feel any better until Autumn was gone.
The hours dragged on by, and Jill was now deep in thought. She tried to think of things that were more peaceful. Things that were more pleasant than what she had to experience for many days. All these days were spent screaming and crying, hoping that Autumn would allow her to regain control of her consciousness.
Jill was now fast asleep. After a little while, she woke up, screaming.
“It happened again,” she whimpered.
“Relax,” the man told her. “You had a bad dream.”
“I dreamt that I had the golden leaf again, and Autumn was controlling me again.” she cried. She then looked out the window. “How much longer until we land?”
Freedom smiled. “They just announced it. We are one hour from landing. They announced it right before you woke up.” Freedom then looked at Jill with a fixed gaze. “Don’t be afraid. There is nothing to fear. Follow my master.”
Jill shrugged her shoulder. “Who is your master?”
At this, the mysterious man smiled again. “You know who he is, Jill. There are many names that describe him, but they all refer to him. Yahweh, Jehovah, Lord, God. This is the master that I serve.”
Jill nodded. “I know who he is.”
“Good.” Freedom told her. “But I feel that you should continue your pursuit. You will experience more peace if you do.”
“Okay. I will work on that.” With that, Jill looked at the window and closed her eyes. While she wasn’t speaking with her lips, she spoke with her heart.
By the time that she was finished, the plane began to touch down at the airport in Somerset, which was the Southwest part of England.
After the plane touched down, Jill and Freedom got off. Going to the baggage claim was not necessary, since they didn’t carry any luggage with them.
From the airport, Freedom hailed a taxi, which took them to the forest. This was the very forest where it all began.
“So, this is the place?” Jill asked Freedom, as they got out of the taxi.
“It is,” the man told her. “But you won’t find the golden leaf here. The last time that it was here was in the 16th century. The weapon, however, is still here. I will show you where it is.”
“That’s if he can stop me,” a voice answered.
Both Jill and Freedom turned around to find Autumn standing there.
Jill’s heart sank. “How did you get here?” she gasped. “I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but whatever it is, we’re stopping you!”
Autumn gave a sinister smile. “How did I get here?” she asked her. “Why, I took the plane, of course! I took the same plane that you did, transforming into a pile of leaves in a piece of luggage. Did you enjoy the ride?”
“Cut it out!” Jill shouted. “You caused me more pain than what I could ever bear!”
“Enough.” Freedom told her. “Don’t say another word to her. She’s only trying to make you upset. We’re going to the underground passage where the weapon is. Then, we will go on a little trip. Hurry!”
Jill ran with Freedom, right past Autumn.
Jill quickly looked back at Autumn. “Jaime, hang in there!” she shouted. “We’ll free you soon enough….” Right after she said this, Freedom tugged her forward, causing her to resume her faster pace. They ran off, beginning to outdistance Autumn.
Autumn was furious. “You will not destroy me. I cannot die!” And with that, Autumn began running after them.
“Autumn can die,” The man told Jill. “The Autumn Sword can kill her. But the one that I’m showing you won’t. The materials are worn out.”
“What’s the point of showing me, then?” she asked.
“Just wait, and I’ll show you.” he told her.
Jill and Freedom ran deep into the forest, until they came to a large patch, which sat in the center of the forest. Freedom revealed an old stone cover in the ground. Lifting on the stone cover revealed a stony staircase, leading underground. They both followed the underground passage to where the weapon sat. The weapon was an iron sword, covered in rust.
“We will not be using that sword,” Freedom told her. “Grab my hand. We are going on a trip through time.”
Feeling a little scared, Jill grabbed the man’s hand.
After she did this, a vortex appeared. Just before it disappeared, Autumn ran and jumped into it.
A few seconds later, Jill and Freedom appeared in the year 1512. They were in the forest. Instead of there being a large parch, an enormous tree stood there instead. Freedom dug through the leaves on the ground and found the golden leaf.
When Jill saw that leaf, she screamed. “Get that away from me!” she shouted.
The man nodded. “Don’t worry, Jill. This leaf is needed to create the Autumn Sword.”
“The one sword that you will never be able to forge,” Autumn’s voice sounded.
The pile of leaves on the ground formed into Autumn, and she grabbed the golden leaf. “Another leaf?” she gasped. “This one’s from the 16th century, I see. I remember that era well.”
As Autumn held the additional golden leaf, she grew until she was half the height of the giant tree. “This was my height as a child, when I lived long ago. Just the right size to squash you.” Autumn then placed the leaf inside her dress. The second leaf grafted into her body, right next to the first.
“Two leaves?” Jill gasped. “How can we stop her now?”
“We’re going to the beginning.” Freedom told her. “It didn’t matter whether she got that leaf or not. All that matters is that we get the leaf from long, long ago.”
Before Jill or Freedom went anywhere, a girl approached the tree where they were. When Jill saw the girl, she gasped.
“It’s….the same girl from my dream!” she gasped. “The one in the cell! That means….”
“I have two victims!” Autumn shouted.
The girl looked around. “Who said that?” she said in a strong British accent. “I thought I heard something….”
“You did.” Autumn told her. “I have a beautiful gift for you.” Autumn ungrafted one of the golden leafs and gave one to her. Upon doing this, Autumn reverted to her original size.
The girl held the golden leaf and smiled. “It’s quite lovely! I’d fancy this would fetch quite a few shillings!”
“Yes!” Autumn said, smiling. “And it’s all yours!”
Suddenly, the girl flashed, transforming into Autumn. “Fancy meeting the lot of you here!” she shouted.
“Let’s go.” Freedom told Jill. “We still need to get the blade. After that, we’re out of here.”
Just as Jill and Freedom were about to lift up the stone cover, the current Autumn stopped them.
After that, the newly formed Autumn joined her. “My twin counterpart,” she said, smiling. “Really, she’s just me, only five hundred years younger.”
“Quite correct, you are!” The other Autumn shouted. “Are these scoundrels giving you trouble?”
“Indeed.” she said in agreement. “Let’s stop them.”
“Stop this at once!” Freedom shouted. And with that, Freedom spread out his hand, striking both Autumns to the ground. He then lifted up the lid, revealing the same stony staircase, only a lot less worn. In fact, the stone looked more freshly cut.
As they both ran down the underground passage, Jill looked at the man. She looked quite worried.
“Don’t worry,” Freedom assured her. “I did not hurt them. I only made them lose consciousness for a short time. Both the girl’s and Jaime’s body will be fine.”
Meanwhile, both Autumns regained consciousness, and combined together. The current Autumn appeared with both leaves again, standing at half the height of the giant tree. Just as tall as she was before she went after the girl. The colossal Autumn then became an enormous pile of leaves, blowing herself down the underground passage.
At this point, Jill and Freedom just reached the area where the blade was stored. There it sat, ready for use.
“It is almost ready,” Freedom said, holding the blade. “All it needs is a golden leaf.”
“But Autumn already took the golden leaf in this era!” Jill shouted.
“We’ll get the one in the beginning,” the man told her. “Just a few hundred years after the flood. About a century after the ice age.”
But Jill was filled with doubt. “What if Autumn gets that golden leaf? She’ll be unstoppable!”
“She won’t get it.” Freedom told her. “Don’t worry.”
“I hope not.”
Freedom then held out his hand, inviting Jill to grab it again. Jill grabbed his hand firmly. The vortex appeared again.
“Hang on!” The mysterious man shouted.
And with that, they both passed through the vortex, with a large pile of leaves trailing them.
Just seconds later, they appeared in 2488 B.C. The forest there was fairly new. Not more than a hundred years old. In the center of the forest sat a tree that was taller than the others. Outside the forest was a tiny village with various dwellings.
Jill looked around and gasped. “Where are we?” she asked the man.
“We are in 2488 B.C.” Freedom told her. “A few hundred years after the flood and about a hundred years after the end of the ice age. We are right before the first girl enters the forest. Shh….Here she comes….”
Jill and Freedom quietly watched as a girl walked toward the large tree. She was covered in animal skins with blondish, puffy hair. As she approached the tree, she chattered something in her native tongue.
“Now….” Freedom whispered. “Before the girl grabs the leaf….”
But before they could do anything, a large pile of leaves emerged from the ground, and the gigantic Autumn appeared.
“I don’t even have to take this one from you.” Autumn said, with a sinister grin. “I will just let this girl take it.” Autumn then turned to the girl. “Go on! It’s yours!”
The girl held up the leaf and smiled. “Ooooooooh!!!!” she shouted. She then made a series of sounds, indicating joy and excitement. Jill couldn’t understand a single word she said, but she knew that she was excited.
The girl then let out a sinister laugh, and transformed into Autumn. This Autumn only spoke the girl’s native language.
“Now that’s a little vague….” Autumn said. “I used to know that language, but now I don’t. Combine with me!”
The new Autumn combined with the gigantic Autumn. Autumn flashed and grew even larger. She was now taller than the tallest tree in the forest. She was so tall that the giant tree was as tall as her foot. The third leaf grafted with the first two.
“Now this is the size I was when I was alive,” Autumn said, smiling victoriously. “Look at you two. You’re like ants. Ants that need to be squished. Long ago, which is actually not too long in this era, I was living a wonderful life. My mother was of this earth and my father came from another place. He was not of this world.”
“My life was wonderful!” she continued. “I ravaged the land, doing whatever I pleased, whenever I wanted. But then, it started to rain. It rained so hard that it started to flood. And it never stopped raining! After three or four days of non-stop rain, the water was over my head. There was no food to eat, and I drowned!”
“The next thing I know, I was told that I could exist on Earth, instead of being thrown into the abyss. I started to have my fun again, but then you stopped me. You enslaved me to this leaf! With this golden prison, I cannot go anywhere without it!”
“So because of what you did, I decided to have a little fun. I would relive my youth over and over again. Granted, it’s just a puny human body, but each one is like a new outfit to me. Some are nice, and some are quite elegant and pretty. Some can be bratty, but I like them all the same!”
“Apparently, I learn that I was going to have fun in Jill’s great-granddaughter Margaret. However, all that was ruined. Because of that wretched egg! An idea that came from you!
“Do not say my real name!” Freedom ordered. And with that, Freedom held Autumn’s tongue so that she couldn’t speak. Autumn then frantically gestured to him. Freedom restored her voice.
“I won’t say it,” she told him. “Now let me continue! That egg ruined my chance of that future happening! After being ejected from the egg, I tried to get Jill back. It didn’t work.”
“But then I saw Jaime. Innocent little Jaime, digging up Jill’s old body and burying it in the ground. After she saw that leaf for a while, she couldn’t resist. After all, it’s in her genes!”
“And now, you want to kill me and banish me to the abyss. You are not permitted to do this! I WILL NOT LET YOU!!!!”
“That is where you don’t have a choice.” Freedom spoke loudly. “Your story is a futile attempt at creating sympathy. While most of it is true, the fruit of your deeds have been nothing but wicked since the day you were conceived. Your father is one of the many wicked rebels that has fallen out of league with my master. He should’ve known better than to meddle with the affairs of men! Our kind is not made to breed, and you, the fruit that he produced from the earthly woman, is proof of it. This is exactly why we constructed the Autumn Blade. There was one thing that you mentioned that was a total lie. You were destined to be thrown into the abyss, but you ran away before we were able to bound you. This act didn’t happen by accident, but was allowed to happen. The golden leaf was supposed to be used for the Autumn Blade. But since you ran away, we used it to imprison you instead. You were supposed to stay in that leaf, so you have far overstepped your boundaries. You have done so many times. Must you try my patience? If so, how much more would you try the patience of my master? Now, you were allowed your freedom for a time. But now, your time is up.”
Freedom held his hands high, and flung his right arm forward. A strong blast of energy came from his right arm, creating a powerful shock that penetrated the colossal Autumn. The shock caused one of her three leaves to ungraft and fall to the ground.
Freedom created a soft gust, which resembled a light. The light extended its palm, clutching the golden leaf in its fist. The bright, shiny fist then flashed like a zephyr back toward Freedom. The light dissipated and he caught the leaf. He then placed the golden leaf on the cross-guard. The leaf then flashed as it became part of the sword’s engraving.
“To the abyss with you!” Freedom shouted. “You wicked Nephilim. Unnatural breed destined for destruction!”
Freedom held up the Autumn Sword, hoisting it as high as he could. He then swung the sword forward, slicing through the air. The force of the swing created a bright beam that hit Autumn directly. After she was hit, the other two golden leaves ungrafted and fell to the ground. Every one of them were absorbed into the sword.
And with one last swing, that was it. Autumn let out a piercing scream. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” she screamed. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”
A vortex appeared, and Autumn was sucked into it. As she was sucked in, Jaime’s body remained on the ground, along with the native girl and the British girl from 1512.
Jill stood there in shock. “It’s over.” she said. She then looked at Jaime, who laid there, motionless.
Full of worry, she began to shake Jaime. “No,” she cried. “Is Jaime….dead?”
“In this era, she is.” Freedom told her. “In fact, the other two girls are dead as well. Autumn used all the energy that they had. But worry not. They are all alive in the era that you are returning to. Each in their own era. And Jaime in yours.”
Jill looked at the girls and then back at Freedom. “Why?” she asked him. “Why was it allowed to happen?”
The man smiled. “This was allowed to happen so that all of you girls throughout history could learn an important lesson.”
“What is that lesson?” Jill asked, still confused.
“Are you still in the dark?” Freedom said, frowning. “In every one of your lives throughout history, Autumn had control of your lives. Autumn resembles the sin in your life.”
“Then why was I freed?” Jill asked. “I was freed with an egg.”
“That too, is important.” Freedom explained to her. “It pretty much resembles how everyone lived before the savior was born. You have read about this, haven’t you?”
“Yes, I have!” Jill said, nodding. “It’s the Christmas story!”
The man smiled. “Well, with that egg you were in, your old body died and your new body was born. Think of what this means.”
Jill nodded. “I guess I’m starting to understand now. You wanted to teach me and all the other girls a lesson about sin and how we can be freed from it?”
The mysterious man nodded. “You are starting to get it.”
Jill smiled. “I still have one question. What about all the boys? How are you going to teach them a lesson?”
At this, Freedom smiled again. “Don’t worry about them. There will be a way that they will learn, but you won’t ever see it happen.”
Jill frowned. “I won’t?”
“Well,” the man told her. “Do you want to experience the golden leaf all over again?”
“NO!” Jill screamed. “Never again!”
“Then I will spare you living in a world with the lessons that the boys will experience,” he told her.
The man then approached Jill. “Now,” he told her. “With Autumn dead, everything that you have experienced will be like a distant memory. It will be like a bad dream. Okay, Jill? Jill? Jill?”
©2012 K. L. Walker
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