Part 3: Adrian Leaves For Port’s Town
It was the morning that Adrian would be leaving, and I wasn’t feeling very happy about the whole deal. I mean, really? A sudden wizard get together in Port’s Town? Maybe I just felt jealous because I wanted to go with him. After all, I lived in Port’s Town until I moved to Jadehaven. It was a sleepy little seaside town with a population of maybe…I don’t know, forty people? The people who lived there were friendly and loved their seafood. Port’s Haven was renowned for its seafood chefs, and the town even rivaled Jadeshaven in the fishing industry. Also, my parents still lived there, and I hadn’t seen them since Adrian took me to visit when I was thirteen. I missed them an awful lot.
I stood in the bathroom in front of the mirror fixing my hair so I didn’t look like the Bed-Head Monster. At least Adrian was letting me go to the docks with him. I put on my robe and studied my reflection. My long, black hair, with a few strands of pink in it, was perfectly straight. My skin was spotless. Apparently the spell that I made to get rid of acne worked. I made faces at myself like the weirdo that I was, and that’s when an idea popped into my head. There wasn’t very many ways to communicate with friends and loved ones who lived far away besides letters and such. But, there was one way that the magic-users liked. We didn’t do it very often – since it required a lot of energy, a mirror on both ends, and a good connection. It was worth a try, I guessed, even though I hadn’t mastered the spell yet. I said a bunch of words that sounded like I was reading off of a word scramble puzzle, then touched the middle of my bathroom mirror.
“Show me Serena and Tarrence Philips,” I said, and I instantly felt a drain of energy leave me. A ripple went through the mirror, like someone dropping a rock into a body of water. A few seconds later, I saw my mother sitting in her rocking chair sewing. I realized I was seeing through a mirror in the living room.
“Mom!” I called. My mother, startled, dropped her sewing supplies and looked around. I almost laughed. “Over here, mom! In the mirror!”
I thought she was going to die of a heart attack right there. I had never called them this way before, so I knew I had some explaining to do.
“My stars!” Mom yelled as she stumbled over to the mirror. She still looked exactly how I remembered her; black hair like mine, pulled into a ponytail. Dark eyes and light skin. Her face was twisted into shock and fear. “What…what magic is this?”
I laughed. “It’s a spell, mom. I can talk to you through the mirror!” I was pretty proud of myself.
“I can see that, dear,” she said. “Why didn’t you do it before? You must know that your father and I have been dyin’ to see you!”
“It takes a lot, and I only learned a few months ago,” I explained. Even now, I was beginning to feel more and more tired. “It’s a high tier spell. Anyway, where is dad?” The mirror flickered a bit.
“He’s out on his boat, as usual,” said Mom. I felt a little sad that I missed him. Mom continued. “What are you doing today? Are you about ready to graduate?”
I nodded. “I am. Adrian says a few more months. And I’m not doing much today, actually.” I raised my eyebrows. “Oh, but Adrian is going to Port’s Town today, I thought you’d like to know.”
She looked disgusted for second, like she didn’t want me to see. “Why can’t he take you with him?”
“He just said he has a wizard get together to go to. I have to watch the shop,” I replied. “I’m sure he’ll take me to visit here soon. I mean, maybe you could even come here when I graduate.”
“We most certainly will,” she said. A long pause ensued, which wasn’t good, because now I was feeling ready to pass out. Mom must have noticed.
“You look pale, is everything alright?” She asked. I nodded.
“Y-yeah, it’s just the spell,” I said. “I’m going to have to go before it makes me pass out.”
Mom adjusted her glasses. “Well…write to me later, ok? I’ll let you go. Anything you want me to tell your father?”
“Yeah, tell him I love you both, and that I miss you,” I said with a little smile. The mirror flickered even more. I said bye, but I don’t think it made it through before the mirror-call hung up. I sat hunched over the sink for awhile, panting like I’d just run a race. It reminded me why I didn’t do it very often.
“I’m leaving!” I heard Adrian call. I took a deep breath to compose myself, then wobbled out of the bathroom, out of my room, and then down the hall and into the shop. Adrian had on his floppy wizard’s hat and his new robe, a nicer one that was covered with glow-in-the-dark stars. A satchel was slung over his shoulder. Lex was with him, and the two were hugging goodbye. They turned to me when I walked in.
“Ah, there you are,” Adrian said. He wrinkled his nose. “What’s your problem?”
“Nothing, why?” I replied, not bothering to tell him about the mirror-call. He seemed satisfied with my answer. He flicked dust off of his robe. “Now Lex, I’m going to leave the closed sign up, but if someone comes with an emergency, tell them I’m gone, but Claudia will be back soon. Also, I left a plant out in the backyard, I’m sure Leon will need it whenever he wakes up.”
“Right,” said Lex. “See you later, don’t do anything stupid.”
Adrian smirked and waved his hand. “Since when do I do anything stupid?”
Both Lex and I said, “Ugh…” He shrugged.
“Okay then,” he said. He gestured for me to follow as he opened the door and stepped outside. He called goodbye to Lex, and then the two of us started down the cobblestone path that led to the main street. It was a beautiful morning, as usual. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the sun wasn’t making things too hot. When we got into town, it was teeming with the townsfolk. Humans, Trolls, Elves, Wolf-Men. Jadeshaven was one of the most diverse towns in the country, so there was all kinds of people. As we walked, some of them called out to us.
“Hey Mister Wizard!”, “Mister Wizard, will it rain today?”, and “What does my fortune look like today, Mister Wizard?”
Adrian called back to them, but only every once in awhile. The town loved Adrian, and I couldn’t blame them. I thought that maybe most of the people in town were indebted to him, since he had always helped them out when times got tough. And Adrian’s fortune telling was usually never wrong, so a lot of people had pursued things like becoming a merchant and such because of him, and were now pretty rich.
A group of children ran past us, all excited to see us.
“Mister Wizard!” They called. “Hi Miss Philips!” Finally, someone had acknowledged my presence. As we walked past them, Adrian dropped a strange looking coin on the ground. When the children came closer to it to see what it was, it exploded into hundreds of little lights, they shot up into the sky and burst into a hundred different colors. The children shrieked with delight and ran to try and catch the tiny specks of light that were now falling from the sky. I looked at Adrian. He kept his eyes focused on where he was going, but he was smiling.
We were almost to the docks when a man called out to Adrian.
“Hey, wait a minute,” said the man. We both turned to see three figures sitting at a table on the porch of a fishing shop. The two older humans and a Wolf-Man were playing cards. On of the humans had called to us.
“Hello, Mr. Thomas,” said Adrian. “What’s the matter?”
“Well, c’mere!” The man called. Adrian shrugged at me, then walked up to the porch.
“What is it?” Adrian asked. I stood behind him with my arms crossed. The three had always tried to get Adrian wrapped up into gambling, but they never could persuade him. “I’m not playing cards with you,” Adrian continued.
“Aw, come one,” said the Wolf-Man. “You said you would sometime!”
“Well, I have a boat to catch,” said Adrian, still as calm as ever.
The other man, who I knew as Mr. Barret, chuckled. “You’re just afraid of losing!”
Uh oh, I thought. Adrian’s eyes flashed, and I knew they had stepped into dangerous territory.
“Heh, he is!” Mr. Thomas said. Adrian took off his hat and handed it to me.
“Hold this,” was all he said. He sat down in the fourth chair, the others looking pleased. The Wolf-Man, Fenrir was his name, I thought, started dealing out the cards.
“Dead Man’s Treasure,” he said. “Know know to play that one?”
Adrian leaned back in his chair and picked up his cards. “You’ll regret this,” he replied.
“Feeling cocky, are we?” Said Mr. Barret. I just stood there and tried to look annoyed. I mean, Adrian’s boat was leaving in five minutes, and surely he couldn’t finish a card game in that amount of time. Still, he seemed pretty set now. I grimaced when they started setting out their money, and Adrian set out his bag of money that he was taking to Port’s Town with him.
“All that I have on me,” he said. “One hundred pieces.”
Fenrir laughed. “This will be interesting,” he said, setting out his measly ten pieces. Mr. Barret and Mr. Thomas set out around twenty to thirty pieces. Then, the game began, and I suddenly became a nervous wreck. That was half of our savings that was at stake! And why was he taking one hundred pieces to Port’s Town anyway? For some reason, in the back of my mind, I wondered if he was going to go to the jeweler’s there and buy, I don’t know, a ring for Lex? It was probably just wishful thinking on my part…
The goal of Dead Man’s Treasure was to obtain the winning hand, which was composed of the Elven King card, the Kingdom card, the Heir card, and the Wild card. It was popular in Jadeshaven, but I never played it all that much, especially since people expected you to gamble most of the time. I could never play it just for fun. Adrian kept giving me glances every now and then, which held the hint of a smirk. His eyes sparkled, and I wondered if he was winning. At some point in the game, he got serious, so then I got scared. Geez, why was he like this? And now the boat was leaving in THREE minutes…I thought about making him stop, but that would just be rude. He was pretty into the game at this point. Finally, Mr. Thomas put down his cards, but that wasn’t good for us.
“Haha,” he said. “Dead Man’s Treasure.” Sure enough, he had all of the needed cards. My shoulders slumped, but Adrian didn’t look so upset.
“I wouldn’t be so sure of yourself, my friend,” said Adrian. He grinned as he set down the only hand that could beat the treasure: an Assassin card, a Treasure card, a Jester card, and a Wild card. My eyes went wide, and so did everyone else’s. Adrian chuckled as he picked up his bag and started putting all the money in it.
“Assassin’s Spoils,” he said. “Told you you’d regret this.”
“You were pulling tricks!” Fenrir grumbled. Adrian shook his head.
“Nope, not today. How’s the wife?”
Fenrir huffed and got up from his chair to leave, not bothering to answer Adrian’s question. The other two did the same.
“Now,” Adrian said as he put his money into his satchel, “I’ve got a boat to catch.”
“No kidding,” I said. “How did you know you would win?”
“No time to talk now!” Adrian said. He grabbed his hat out of my hands and ran off towards the docks. I sighed, but ran after him. I had to stop and catch my breath when we got to the docks. After he paid for his trip, he waved to me.
“See you later, Pink. Don’t mess up the shop,” he said.
“I won’t,” I replied. “See you!”
He smiled and nodded at me, then put on his hat and climbed aboard the ship. It was another minute before the ship left the port, and I stood there and waved as it did. Adrian waved back, and then disappeared in the crowd of people on board with him. I watched the boat until it was out of sight, deep in thought. I still had a bad feeling about whatever Adrian was up to, and couldn’t get myself to believe that he really was going to a wizard get together, or that he might be trying to get a ring from Port’s Town. He did mention proposing to Lex a few weeks ago, I remembered. The thought made me a little more at peace, but not completely. I was about to turn away to go home, but the sound of someone singing caught my ears. It was the most beautiful voice I had ever heard…but I recognized it immediately.
“Zion, please, your song does not work on me,” I said. I turned to see a Merman, Zion, with his head and shoulders above the water and a smug grin on his face.
“A guy can try, can’t he?” He said. He folded his arms on the dock and looked up at me. “And how are you this morning, besides tremendously beautiful?”
I would have answered sarcastically, but I stepped aside to allow Mr. Caldwell to pass by with an armful of buckets.
“Zion, we need those fish by tonight, you know,” he said. Zion grumbled something under his breath, but nodded.
“Yes, Mr. Caldwell, I will get them.” Mr. Caldwell smiled and nodded in acknowledgment at me, then walked on down the docks to continue his work. Zion ran his fingers through his wet, jet-black hair.
“Anyway, as I was saying…” He looked up at me again.
“I’m fine,” I said. “You?” I walked out further onto the pier and sat down with my legs crossed. Zion followed me and hoisted himself up next to me, then rolled over on his back. His pastel green tail glittered in the sunlight. I had know the Merman for most of my time in Jadeshaven. Apparently, he wasn’t a native to the kingdom under the water, but was once a human. I had never asked him what happened, and I doubted he would ever tell me voluntarily.
“You wouldn’t believe how much those fishermen are making me work,” he whined, putting the back of his hand to his forehead.
“I guess it is a lot, for someone as lazy as you,” I commented. He just laughed.
“What brings you down here?”
“Adrian had to go to Port’s Town, so I came to see him leave.” Zion looked up at the sky with a dreamy look in his eyes.
“I like Port’s Town,” he said. “The water there is always warm.” He turned his head to me. “What’s he going there for?”
“He claimed it was a wizard get together, but I’m not so sure,” I said, my gaze falling to the wooden floor. Below me, I could hear the water lapping against the pier.
“Why?” Zion asked. “Do you think he’s lying?”
“I don’t know, I just wonder why he’d leave so suddenly,” I said. I rested my chin on my hand and stared out to sea. The water sparkled from the sunlight, and it seemed to go on forever. An idea popped into my head, but it made me feel a bit selfish. Still, it was worth a try. I studied Zion for a second.
“You’re not terribly busy, are you?” I asked. The Merman shook his head.
“No, why? Gonna ask me out?” His eyes twinkled with mischief. I flipped my hair over my shoulder with a huff.
“No, this is serious,” I said. “Do you think you can follow that ship and see if it really goes to Port’s Town?”
Zion pursed his lips. “I mean…I could, but you heard what Mr. Caldwell said.”
“I can take care of that,” I said, though I wasn’t sure how I would. “It would mean a lot to me.”
Zion sighed. “I suppose you could…and if it really means a lot to you…” He rolled off the pier and back into the water with a splash. I stood and waited a few seconds for him to come back up.
“I’ll do it,” he said when he appeared again. “But you owe me one, sweetheart.”
I smiled with relief. “Thanks, and yeah, I will have to owe you one.”
Zion smirked, then swam towards the direction of the ship faster than I could blink.
“Tell me as soon as possible if the boat went to Port’s Town!” I shouted at him. He turned and gave me a thumbs up, then vanished under the water.
I stood there for awhile longer, then turned to leave. I felt a little better knowing that Zion would see where the boat went, but I still had that strange premonition that something was wrong.
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Thank you so much for taking the time to keep reading! I would love your feedback! Start up a conversation in the comments below! Remember to ask any questions you might have! Shout out to my sister for the art!
Part 4 will be released on August 31,