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It's not the prettiest sight, thanks to everything that gets caught there, but it's nice to be able to say that we have a waterfall in our backyard. At least when it rains.
It isn't raining today - hasn't rained since Sunday - so no waterfall. However, since my mom has sent me in quest of a canister from a nearby storage shed, I'm taking some time out to wander the extra thirty feet to the "waterfall."
A glint of gold catches my eye, however, so I leap into the gully to investigate. Yes, folks, that is how I operate.
Anyways, now that I'm in the gully, I examine the glint to discover that a crack has split the dirt wall from the floor of the gully to the lip, and wedged into that crack is a seam of gold. Pure gold, I'm willing to bet, since it's soft enough for me to dent with my thumbnail.
I bite my lip. There's one person who could have done this. Climbing out of the gully, I glance around. "Collie? Are you here?"
Of course, she could be on the other side of the golden crack, in the Land of Magic, but it doesn't hurt to have a look around. And on another hand, she could have turned herself invisible, since she can do that.
Which makes calling her name my best bet.
"Princess Colinda? Did you create a rift in my gully?"
A girl dressed in blue steps out from behind a tree on the opposite side of the gully, so I scramble over the not-so-deep portion (you know, the part before the "waterfall"). She has pale blonde hair and and her pale skin is marred by even paler scars that criss-cross every portion of exposed skin. One on her arm seems to glow for a moment, and I see her wince.
"So you don't have your memories yet?" I ask, knowing that the scars are a side effect of the amnesia that has made her forget her life as the Magic Princess.
"Will I get them back? Who - who are you? How do you know my name? People usually don't - not here." Her voice is soft, powerful, and slightly musical.
"I'm a historian, I record stories," I explain, realizing that she's one of the ones that don't know about me. "Yours is one that I'm recording ... but that's the funny thing about me. So often I kinda read ahead with history to see what is going to happen, so I don't always know what has."
She squints at me for a moment, then shakes her head. "I've long since given up trying to make sense of people," she admits. "I'll buy it."
"So, if you don't mind me asking you, where exactly in your story are you?" I sit down in the dead leaves and motion for her to sit next to me.
"You don't work for maLigthyr, do you?" she asks, drawing back in suspicion.
"Wouldn't think of it. He's not quite right in the head. And while I won't admit to being the sanest person in the world, I do know that turning people into animals just because you can isn't normal."
Something akin to a smile ghosts at one corner of her mouth as she sits down next to me. "Well, Gardenia and I just found a girl named Kallie, and Gardenia thinks that Kallie will be important."
"She will be," I say nodding.
"You'd know if you had your memories," is all I'm allowed to say. "But until you get them back ... well, you'll just have to trust the talking swan." I sigh. "But I was kinda wishing that you'd be a bit further along in your story. It's kinda gray from this point until you meet the Bookkeeper."
"So we do find him?"
"You most certainly do. And you find your sister. Sooner than you realize, but I can't tell you where."
"You're not much help." She falls forward and buries her head in her hands.
"Well, I can't say that you're much help to me, either," I admit. "But you will find your memories, you will find your sister, and you will deal with maLigthyr. Not all at once, but it will happen. But ... while I know how it all will happen, I have no idea how you're going to get there. Some days I wonder if I was in my right mind when I stole your story from that friend."
She glances through her hair at me for a moment then shakes her head. "I'm not even sure how I'm going to get back home."
"Actually, that's easy," I tell her. "Just rub the crack down there. There's enough of your magic in it, it won't harm you to open it again. I just recommend that you take a nice long nap afterwards. You don't want to lose any more of your memories."