Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Flames of Evil.

Episode for Dec 6, 2004, Monday. Estralla had to think fast; Oyayi was about to strike the statue’s right hand. “Stop!” she cried out. “What?” asked the irritated Maningning. “I thought we had an agreement?” Estrella rushed to the image’s side as if to defend it. “Think about it,” she said. “He’s holding the green binhi. That means he’s somehow connected to those bird-men you saw with that binhi. If you kill him, then you will never know what that connection is.” Seeing the wisdom of this counsel, the Tagubas leader replied, “You have a point, Estrella. All right then. I will give you one day to find a way to change him back to a man again. If by that time you still haven’t found a way, then I will break that statue.” Early next morning, Estrella spoke with Dalaginding, another warrior who had been among the three who discovered Gabriel. She had brought the figure of Terong as well. Estrella asked her for directions to the place where they had found the statues. She had fallen madly in love with the image, and was firmly resolved to preserve it and restore it to life. “Wait for me,” said Estrella as she kissed its dead-cold lips. So inspired, the love-struck Taguba set out on her quest. Young and inexperienced, she wandered here and there not really knowing how to locate her destination. But help was on the way for her. For along the path where fate was leading Estrella’s footsteps, a handsome and kingly white bird had alighted upon a tree. This bird had been flying steadily for many days and now sought rest under the leafy shade. This was Balasik, whom Lourdes had set free in Savannah’s backyard. As Estrella walked along the rugged forest-path, she said aloud, “I don’t even know where to find the place where men turn to stone. Where do I get help to change him back to a man?” “Haraya,” a clear bright voice answered from behind her. Estrella turned around to see who had uttered that response. She saw the white bird. “Was that you who said something?” she asked. “Yes.” Unafraid, Estrella began to ply the bird with questions. “You mentioned the name of someone who can help me. How? Where do I find that person?” “Feed me first, warrior-woman,” said Balasik. Alwina crouched beside the sleeping Aguiluz, trying to make sense of what she believed he had done. Why would he take an interest in her shawl, knowing it was her only weapon? He had snatched it away from her during their practice session earlier, but surely that had been play. Or had it? Never confrontational, the heroine kept her thoughts to herself up to the next day. Unknown to her, the enemy had been watching her. Vultra saw the first signs of a growing chink in the warrior’s armor. Steps must now be made to take advantage of it. Aviona began by praising her childhood friend to Alwina. Then like an afterthought she remarked, “Anyway, I’m sure Aguiluz’s memory will come back to him in time. He always wanted to be the Mulawin’s leader. Did he ever tell you that?” “Aguiluz wants to become the Mulawin leader?” asked Alwina, quite surprised. “Yes, that was his dream,” said Aviona, and then added suggestively, “This is the right time for him to prove himself to Dakila. Maybe that’s why he followed you here.” Linang and Muyak were monitoring this conversation in Encantadia. “What could Alwina be thinking now?” asked the little fairy. “She is the Sugo,” replied her queen. “She must be strong for greater trials await them.” “What kind of trials?” Linang saw a curtain of fire drape the scenery within her basin of water. “Fire is the symbol of Perena,” she said. “That means the presence of evil is still there.” Dakila’s band resumed its trek to Halconia joined by the Musang. The Musang, however, refused to share their stock of meat with the strangers. “Don’t envy them,” Mayi told Kuskos. “You won’t die without meat. But when their supply runs out, they’ll have a problem!” Kuskos grinned mischievously at that. “You’re right!” Vultra had not been seen in Tierra Fuego for a couple of days now. Concerned, Rasmus flew off and rummaged the woods in search of his errant queen. At last, a glowing ball of fire – Perena’s – drew his attention. Vultra heard the beating of wings overhead and did not have to look over her shoulder to know who it was. “I have been looking for you all day,” he said, gazing at the fiery monitor. “What’s happening now?” “I’m not finished here yet,” she replied testily. “I will let you know when I’m done, so don’t disturb me. Leave me and go back to Tierra Fuego. Habagat is no longer there.” Seeing she was in one of her more disagreeable moods, Rasmus spoke gently. “I only wanted to see if you were all right—” “I said leave me alone here! I can’t concentrate!” Rasmus lowered his eyes. “If that is your wish, my queen,” he said in a barely audible voice. The king took flight once more and departed. Vultra never once looked at him. A string of incidents took place that, like pieces in a puzzle, formed a false picture of Aguiluz in the eyes of his lady. When she had the opportunity to do so, Aviona went up to him and leaned forward to kiss him. Stunned by her gesture, Aguiluz could not move. Alwina saw this, ran away and burst into tears. Aguiluz followed her, explaining that Aviona had taken the initiative and not he. He added further that Aviona had been acting very strangely since she arrived, quite unlike the one he had known as his friend. Alwina could not lend credence to his words, however, and continued to doubt him. So when Aguiluz spoke to her again, asking her to divulge the location of the Mulawin tree, Alwina said to him: “I’m sorry, but I promised Dakila not to tell anyone that.” “Not even me, Alwina?” he asked. “You know me, Aguiluz. All my life, I have thought of nothing but your safety.” Later, the tide of doubt turned when Alwina chanced upon Aviona about to push Aguiluz off a cliff. Aguiluz averted the shove and angrily confronted Aviona. “So many strange things have happened since you got here,” he said furiously. “Did you come here to kill me? Did you come here to ruin me and Alwina?” Aviona broke down and cried before them. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I didn’t really mean it!” She fled from them, ashamed and confused. Estrella led her strange new acquaintance to her dwelling where she fed him. As soon as some food was in his beak, Balasik was content to give answers to her inquiries. He told her what he was and what he could do, and that the name of the petrified man was Gabriel. “Now I know your name,” she said to Gabriel. “I wish you could become a man again soon. Then I would hear you speak and get to know you well.” Balasik also explained what he had meant by Haraya. “She is my mate,” he told her. “I haven’t seen her since the Ravena carried me away from my home. I have been looking for her ever since I escaped from Halconia. Those who hear her song turn into stone. We must see each other again so that our love can bear fruit. The egg that will be born from our love will give life to that statue.” Estrella’s eyes brightened like stars at this. “Then you should help me with this! Please help me!” With Balasik, things were never complicated. “Because you have fed me, I will help you,” said the bird. So warrior and bird went on their journey in the name of love. Estrella could not hide her eagerness. “I’m so excited!” she told Balasik. “Aren’t you also excited about your reunion?” “Of course!” replied Balasik. That night, Alwina finally mentioned to Aguiluz the incident of the shawl, which of course, he had been totally ignorant of. She also asked if it was true that to become the Mulawin chieftain was his ambition. Naturally, he denied it all. “It’s like I’ve been trying to tell you,” he said. “This isn’t the Aviona I know.” “I’m sorry for doubting you, Aguiluz,” said Alwina. “I was wrong to do so.” “If you doubt me in even these things, then maybe we shouldn’t be together in this quest,” he said, clearly disappointed. “Let’s go find Aviona.” The silence of the forest was broken by Aviona’s piercing screams. Aguiluz and Alwina rushed in the direction of her cries, and found Aviona perched up a tree, like a frightened animal seeking refuge from some predator. She appeared to be highly distressed, and as she wrestled with the demon that wanted to take over her soul, she spoke to Aguiluz. “I can never hurt you,” she told him. “I love you. I have never loved anyone except you. Remember that.” The others watched her writhing in pain, as if she were being scorched from within, crying out loud and in tears. “She’s being possessed,” said Aguiluz. “Get away from me!” she shrieked, wishing to save them from harm. “Aviona, it’s me!” Aguiluz shouted to her from below. “It’s your friend, Aguiluz!” But Aviona could not exorcise herself of the spirit that tormented her. Vultra was now determined to kill all of them. “Now that you have abandoned your mission, you have also forfeited your life,” she told Aviona. The Ravena grappled with her with all the ruthless force she could muster, until it seemed she had quite broken the medium’s resistance. Aviona’s eyes turned a blood-red signaling her alter-ego was in control once again. “I will kill you all!” she cried, belching out a ball of fire in Aguiluz and Alwina’s direction. “Let’s fly away, Aguiluz!” said Alwina as the possessed Mulawin spewed forth billows of raging fire all around the tree. Aguiluz and Alwina stretched out their wings and launched themselves into the air. Their map fell from Aguiluz’s belt and was eaten by the flaming tongues below. Now the spirit left Aviona to herself, and the lass saw that she would now perish in the blaze she had unwillingly ignited. Aviona screamed and screamed.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Surf safe and secure. Get Firefox now.

Latest Topics