Think & Write #126

The Golden Leaf: Autumn’s Fall – Part V

“Jill?  Jill?”

Jill woke up in her bedroom.  Her mother was standing there near her bed, looking down at her.

“Jill?” she called.  “Are you awake, honey?”

Jill nodded, as she let out a yawn.  She then looked around her room.  What is going on?  Was that all really a dream?

“Mother,” she told her.  “I was in England.  A mysterious man named Freedom took me there!  I think he was an angel.”

Her mother looked at her and smiled.  “Well, that must have been an interesting dream.  What else happened?  I heard you scream.”

“I had this golden leaf,” she told her.  “And it turned me into this evil girl named Autumn.  It was terrible, mother!”  Jill then looked around for the golden leaf.  “Where is it?”

“Where is what, honey?” the mother asked.

“The golden leaf.”

“It was only in your dreams, honey. It is nowhere to be found!”

Jill then sat there and thought for a moment.  “Maybe it was just a dream….”  She then thought of the words that Freedom 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.  A bad dream.  Baaaad dreeeeeeamm……”  The memories faded and blurred in her mind.

“That’s it!” Jill shouted.  “Freedom reduced everything that I experienced to a dream, so I wouldn’t have to worry about it ruining my life.”

With that, Jill got ready for the day.  The day was Friday.  The same day that she and Jaime played in the woods, looking for the golden leaf.

After getting ready, Jill went to school.  After a day of school, Jill decided to play with Jaime in the back of her house.

Jill looked at the same pile of leaves as she did before, and she jumped into them.

“Jaime,” she said.  “Have you ever heard of the golden leaf?”

Jaime shook her head.  “The golden leaf? What is that?  Is that some kind of new game?”

“No,” Jill told her.  “It’s something that we could….nevermind.”

“What?” Jaime shouted.  “I want to play this new game!”

Jill sighed.  “Alright.”

While it was a game to Jaime, Jill wanted to see if the golden leaf was still in the forest.  Jill entered the forest and walked over to the very tall tree.  It was very old, with gnarled branches and gnarled roots.  At the base of the tree, Jill dug up every leaf that she could.  The golden leaf was nowhere to be found.

At that, Jill smiled.  Autumn was finally gone.

Before she left the forest, she stared at it, quietly thanking God for appointing someone like Freedom to liberate her from the golden leaf.

Jill, being completely thankful, slowly left the forest, gazing at the sea of autumn foliage.

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #125

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

Think & Write #124

The Golden Leaf: Autumn’s Fall – Part III

Over the next few nights, Jill had the same dream as before.  It was the same cell as before, only she was outside of it.  In each dream, Freedom told her that her time has not yet come for the plan to be put into action.  This confused Jill, since she was eager to destroy Autumn once and for all.

Meanwhile, Jill worked everyday on her schoolwork.  In being so behind on all her courses, she was home schooled by her mother.  This was nice for Jill, since she got to spend more time at home.  However, this allowed her less time to see Jaime, since she was at school all day.

During the second week of November, Jill had a slightly different dream from all the other dreams that she had.  While the setting was the same, the message was completely different.

Looking at Freedom, Jill sighed.  “Okay.  You want me to free all these other girls throughout history.  When is this going to happen?”

Freedom smiled.  “That day is today.”

Jill frowned.  “Why not any of the other days?”

The man stared at Jill.  “I have told you before, and I will tell you again.  I am not the one who decides when this is going to happen.  I receive the orders from my master, and I carry them out.”

Jill looked at the cell again.  “What about my homeschooling?  Will my mother really send me alone to England?”

“You will not be going alone.” Freedom told her.  “I will be going with you.  Getting there will not be a problem.”

Jill nodded.  “Well,  you freed me from Autumn.  So I will trust you.”

The man shook his head.  “I was not the one who freed you.  My master did.  The dream only served as a symbol of what he did.”

Jill was surprised.  “It did?”

Freedom nodded.  “The egg, too, is another symbol of what he did.  Just as you have been given a new body, so the same must be done with you spiritually.”

Jill nodded.  “I have been reading, and I will continue to read.  I will take these symbols to heart.”

“Arise.” The mysterious man told her.  “We will defeat Autumn and restore history.   But let me advise you.  In doing this, you will have no memory of this ever occurring.  You will be living your life as you did before.  It will just be a better one than before, without Autumn bringing any ruin to it.”

Jill was perplexed.  “Why did this all happen throughout history in the first place?  And what is the point, if I’m not going to remember?”

“All this has happened to serve as a lesson for you,” Freedom told her.  “You will surely remember the one event, but it will only be a dream to you.  A dream that will become a distant memory.  A distant memory that will soon fade away.  This is all that will remain of your current reality in this era.”

“I’d rather it be a dream.” Jill told him.  “A dream that I soon want to forget.  Let’s defeat Autumn, and give these other girls the same peace that I so eagerly desire.”

After Jill said this, she woke up.  She then read her bible and got ready for the day.  After that, she got dressed, putting on another white dress that she had in her wardrobe.

She then went downstairs to tell her mother about the trip that she needed to make.  She told her everything that she heard from Freedom, and pleaded with her.

“You can go,” her mother told her.  “But you need to go with someone responsible.”

At that moment, the doorbell rang.  When her mother opened it, there stood a man with his hand extended out.  The man wore a white dress shirt and blue jeans.

When Jill saw the man, she smiled.  To her, he looked quite familiar.  “You’re the man from my dreams!” she shouted.  “What are you doing here?”

The man shook his head.  “Didn’t I tell you?  I said that I would be going with you.  Is that okay with you, Mrs. Hollingdale?”

The mother nodded.  “Certainly.  I just want her to be with a responsible adult.  And who might you be?”

The man extended his hand and shook with the mother.  “Call me Freedom.  That is all you need to know regarding my identity.  I am a messenger that will help Jill on her mission.”

Jill’s mother, after thinking about what Jill told her, nodded.  “Go right on ahead.  After what happened to Jill, there is nothing that can surprise me anymore.  All I ask is that she returns when she is finished, okay?”

The man nodded.  “Thank you, Mrs. Hollingdale.  Let’s go, Jill!”

Looking at Jill, the mother gasped.  “What about the plane tickets?”

The man smiled.  “Don’t worry.  I have already taken care of that.  They are all paid for.  A round-trip ticket to England.”

“Okay,” the mother said, nodding.  The mother then kissed Jill on the cheek and hugged her.  “Bye honey.  I hope that you can get rid of this ‘Autumn’.”

Jill nodded.  “I will, mother.”

The mother closed the door and they left the house.

As Jill was about to leave in Freedom’s car, Jaime ran up to Jill.  It looked like she was in a really good mood.

“Let’s play, Jill!” Jaime shouted.  “Do you have time for that today?”

Jill shook her head.  “I don’t have time for that, Jaime.  I’m going to England.  The Autumn Sword needs to be forged to destroy Autumn once and for all.”

Jaime nodded.  “It’s too bad I can’t come with you.  But go.  Defeat Autumn for me.”

“Thanks….” Jill said with a smile.  Then she turned around, walking towards Freedom.

“Wait!” Jaime shouted.  “Before you go, can I talk to you?  We haven’t seen each other in a while.  It will be just for a little bit.  I promise!  You do have time, don’t you?”

Jill looked at her watch.  It was now three hours before her flight took off.  “We have time.” Jill told her.  She then turned facing the man.  “Can I talk to her quickly?”

The man nodded.  “Don’t be long.  We don’t want to miss this flight.”

Jill nodded, and faced Jaime.  “What is it?” she asked.

“It’s about your old body,” Jaime told her.  “I want to show you a project that I just finished.  It will be quick.  I promise.”

Jill nodded.  “Okay.”

Jill followed Jaime into the woods.  They walked all the way to the tall tree, where her old body sat.  But when they got there, she saw a shovel stuck in the ground, with a fresh patch of dirt that has been smoothed down into the ground.

“Your old body was repulsive,” she told Jill.  “I couldn’t stand looking at it so I buried it.  I also made a wooden sign to go where I buried the old you.  I wanted to bury your old self, since that’s not you anymore, right?”

Jill nodded.  “We should now leave.  The very thought that Autumn’s still here creeps me out.”

Jaime nodded, pulling the shovel out of the ground.  “I agree.  But before we go, your old body’s grave needs only one thing to be complete.”

Jill shrugged her shoulders.  “What would that be?”

Jaime reached into her front pocket of her jeans and pulled out the golden leaf.  “Don’t you think that this would complete it?”

Jill nodded.  “Place it on there.”

Jaime smiled.  “That’s what I thought. It would complete that grave.  But do you know what?  I love this leaf too much to part with it.”

Jill shook her head in disbelief.  “What are you doing, Jaime?”

Jaime held the golden leaf up, holding it tightly, like it was her prized possession.  “Isn’t it a great leaf, Jill?  I knew how dangerous this leaf was.  But I just couldn’t resist!  You had the leaf before, and you never showed me!  Why did you do that, Jill?  It’s not being a very good friend, is it?”

Jill backed away.  “Jaime, you are starting to scare me….”

Jaime’s smile widened.  “Aw….Is Jill afraid?  Maybe this will make you feel better….” Jaime took the golden leaf and placed it towards the top of her shirt.  The leaf flashed, reappearing on her body.  The leaf then grafted to her body in very much the same way as it did with Jill.

Jaime then transformed.  Her hair grew longer, going from black to gold and orange streaks.  Her complexion became golden and her height was shortened a few inches.  Her jeans and purple shirt flashed and became an autumn colored dress.  Her tennis shoes and socks became leafy sandals.

“Hey Jill!” Jaime shouted, taunting her.  “I am you and you are me.  Just give it time, and you will see!”

“Stop it!” Jill shouted.  “Stop it, Jaime!”

“My name is not Jaime anymore,” Jaime told her.  “Do you know what my name is now?  You know what it is, don’t you Jill?”

“Autumn….” Jill said with a sigh.  “Just know that your days are numbered.  Just as I was freed from you, My best friend will be, too.”

Jill then ran off, away from her imprisoned friend.

“You have a plane to catch?” Autumn shouted in the distance.  “I will not be stopped, and you are not going anywhere.”

Autumn transformed into a pile of leaves and blew herself in front of Jill.  She then rematerialized, holding Jill tight.  “You are not going to make your flight,” she whispered in her ear.

Jill was furious.  “Well you know what, you ancient evil giant?  You are not going to stop me!”  And with that, Jill broke loose from Autumn and gave her a shove.  She then ran out of the forest as fast as she could.

She then approached the driveway, where the man stood.  “Not a moment to waste!” he shouted.  “We are not taking the car.  It will take too long.”

“I’m sorry about the wait.” she told her.  “My best friend….”

“Is now enslaved to Autumn,” he said, finishing her sentence.  “That is exactly why she needs to be vanquished.  Autumn is not doing what she was ordered to do.  Now quick!  Grab my hand!”

Jill saw Autumn in the distance, fast approaching them.  “I see her coming….” Jill cried.

“Now!” Freedom shouted.

Jill quickly grasped the man’s hand and they both vanished.  They appeared at the airport.

“You were thinking of your friend,” the man told her as they ran toward the entrance.  “I know how much she means to you, but she will be freed.  Don’t worry.”

Jill ran with Freedom, holding his hand tightly as they ran through all the terminals.  Eventually, they reached the concourse that had their scheduled flight.  The man showed the tickets to the person at the desk.  Upon seeing the tickets, they nodded, pointing to the gate that they needed to enter.

Jill and Freedom boarded the plane and they were off, on their way to England to the place where it all began….

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #123

The Golden Leaf: Autumn’s Fall – Part II

“Me?” Jill gasped.  “Why me?  What role do I have to play in all of this?”

Freedom smiled.  “A very important one,” he told her.  “But I assure you.  You will not be doing this alone.  I will assist you in this task.”

Jill stood there, silent for a little while.  This enormous task was delegated to her, and she didn’t even know where to begin in accomplishing it.  How would this be done?  What are the steps?  There were still a lot of questions that Jill had for this mysterious man.

Finally, Jill spoke.  “So, you say that we must go thousands of years into the past to destroy her.  Why is that?  Who exactly is this Autumn that we’re dealing with?”

“Autumn’s history goes back a long way.” Freedom explained to her.  “A long time ago, there were giants that walked the earth.  These giants were very evil, and corrupted nearly all of mankind.  These evil giants, known as the Nephilim were born from rebels.  Those who have fallen out of league with the one I serve.  They married with the women of this earth, and created a purely evil race.  Because of this, my master sent a great flood that destroyed all of them, and everything that roamed the earth.  Humanity and all creation was preserved on one floating vessel.”

Jill nodded.  “Like the story in the bible, right?”

The man smiled.  “That is exactly what happened.  After the waters receded, the bodies of the Nephilim were wiped out.  My master, however, left a certain number of the spirits to remain on this earth.  Autumn was one of them.  She was formerly one of the giants before the flood, and has been up to no good ever since.”

Jill gasped.  “I knew that she was no good from the beginning.  But wait!  Why does she have a golden leaf?  How did this all start?”

Freedom invited Jill to sit down.  “After the waters receded, Autumn traveled north, to where England would be today.  After waiting through the ice age,  she began her trouble.  Her trouble proved to be too destructive.  She was destroying villages and various dwellings, by making trees appear.  She was continuing the destruction that she caused as a giant.  She needed to be punished.”

“With that, a weapon was planned to banish her to the abyss, but it was never complete, since the priority was to stop her.  Focusing on this, Autumn was bound to a golden leaf, the final part that we would need to finish the weapon.  She could not go anywhere without it.  She was bound to it, even after she died.  This limited her form, which led her to find other bodies, like a parasite.”

Jill frowned.  “So why wasn’t the weapon ever finished?”

Freedom smiled.  “The weapon, the Autumn Sword, is all ready.  It just needs to be assembled.  Prior to the pilgrims settling, there was a fire in the forest where that great tree sat in England.  Prior to this, the seed was gathered for this tree and taken to America.  The original tree was burned down, and all the parts of that weapon are buried in a underground cavern, which sits just underneath that forest.”

Jill smiled.  “So let’s go get it!”

“I greatly appreciate your determination, but it’s not going to be that easy,” Freedom told her.  “We will have to travel back in time, before the fire.  We will need another golden leaf to finish the Autumn Sword, since we can’t use the one in this era.”

Jill still looked troubled.  “So why is it every hundred years?” she asked him.

“That time was set to limit her form.” the man told her.  “Such matters won’t be relevant once we defeat her.  In doing so, we will change history, including yours.”

Jill looked back at the cell, that had all the other girls in it.  “Don’t worry.” she told them.  “You will all be freed soon….”

The mysterious man began walking away.  “I must be going.” he told her.  “We will surely meet again.  Follow my master and you will not go astray.”

Jill nodded.  “I will!”

After that, everything began to fade from view.

The next thing that Jill heard was the sound of a loud crack.  After this happened a few more times, she heard a louder crack.  She then opened her eyes.  To her surprise, she was no longer wearing an autumn-colored dress.  Instead, her dress was white.  Whiter than any white that she has ever seen before.  Right next to her lay her old body.  The very sight of this creeped her out, so she looked away.

Next to her old body, it appeared again.  The golden leaf sat there, waiting for a new master.

Then she heard a voice that sent chills down her spine.  Jill…..Come back….

Jill backed away from the golden leaf.  “No!” she shouted.

A strong gust of wind blew on her.  The voice spoke again.  I am you, and you are me.  Just give it time, and you will see.

“Go away, Autumn!” Jill screamed.  “I hate you!!!”

After this, she saw Jaime entering the forest.  When Jaime saw Jill, she ran up to her and hugged, squeezing her tightly.

“Oh Jill!” she cried.  “You’re finally back!”  Jaime turned around to see Jill’s old body, with the golden leaf lying next to it.  “Not that leaf! Let’s get out of here, Jill.”

Jill nodded in agreement and they both left the forest.

After leaving the forest, the first thing that Jill did was run inside her house.  The whole family was there, including her older brother.

“Jill!” the mother cried.  “Is it okay if I call you that, honey?”

Jill, now in tears, nodded.  “Yes mother.” she cried.  “Please call me that.  That is what you named me, right?”

The mother approached Jill and hugged her tightly.  “Don’t you ever touch that leaf again,” she pleaded.

“I won’t.” Jill said, still wiping away tears.  “I love you, mother.”

They continued hugging, while Jaime watched in the distance.

The mother turned and nodded at Jaime.  “Thank you very much for your help,” she told her.  “Without you, I wouldn’t know a thing about my daughter.”

The older brother turned and gave Jill a hug.  “Sorry about the leaf,  little sis.” he smiled.  “I’m just glad that you’re back.”

And with that, the reunion lasted for a while.  Jaime’s family was invited over for dinner, and both families ate together.  It was a big dinner celebrating Jill’s return.

After the dinner, Jaime’s family left.  Jill’s family then talked to Jill for a while.  Jill, tired from all that went on that day, decided to call it a night.

Jill went upstairs and got ready for bed.  She changed into her pajamas, brushed her teeth and drank her glass of water.  She entered her bedroom, climbing into bed and getting underneath the covers.  After that, she fell fast asleep.

Jill was greeted by a dream.  A dream that was familiar to her and one that she met before….

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #122

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