“But where -is- he? It’s not as if he’ll be down at the park handing out lollies to children,” said Emily.
“How about we yell really loudly for him to come back? That way we wouldn’t even have to go anywhere,” suggested Kate hopefully.
“I know! Pick me! ‘ASHTON! COME BACK OR WE’RE TURNING ALL OF YOUR PANTS PINK!’” yelled Shelby.
Kate and Emily snorted.
“Lumos, my dearest, you are -CRAX-,” said Emily, proudly.
Kate snickered. “Oh! I’ve got one! ‘ASHTON! WE’VE ALL DECIDED TO GO SKINNY DIPPING IN THE LAKE! DO YOU WANT TO COME?’”
“Kate!” gasped Shelby, overcome with a fit of giggling.
“If he won’t come for that, then he won’t come for -anything-,” grinned Kate cheekily.
“I can just picture it - wherever he is right now, he’s struggling frantically to escape. Imagine the look on his face when we tell him he took too long and we went without him?” added Emily, evailly.
Shelby laughed. “So true. But maybe we should go and find him before we think of something a little -too- inventive to shout?”
Kate at least, had the decency to blush.
The Limbo sunshine burned down upon the Angels. Kate knew it was meant to be cold, but she decided to go along with the delusions of the other two. Winter was rubbish anyway.
“Well, I can’t see him anywhere,” commented Kate, looking around. “Eh, I can’t be bothered anymore. He’ll turn up.” She turned to go back to HQ.
She even went as far as to take a few steps. The Angels looked around expectantly.
“Bollocks,” said Emily, as nothing happened.
Shelby pulled out her wand. “After we lost him last time, I decided we needed a quick way to find him,” she said, grinning mysteriously. “And... well, you’ll see!”
She waved her wand enthusiastically, almost poking Emily’s eye out. Silver sparks rushed from the tip and whirled about her.
“Ooooh, pretty!” exclaimed Emily, standing back and blinking a little.
The sparks spun faster and faster, now beginning to trace out a vague shape.
“What’s happening?!” Kate asked excitedly.
“Watch!” Shelby concentrated.
Suddenly, there was a flash of silver light and the girls had to shield their eyes.
When the glare faded to a dull glow, Kate and Emily looked. Before them stood a magnificent silver horse. It unfurled its wings and snorted.
“SHE!11!1!! SHE! ALKDJSLKDJASLKJD SASHLKASJsldkjsa SHELBY!11!ELEVENTYONE! asldkjasldkasjdlaksjdlaskjdslkjdassjdasl
Emily was -Teh Very- impressed. “Where did she learn to do -that-?!” she asked, eyes wide.
Kate was equally amazed. “asldkjasdsksjdhaskjhdaskjdsakjhdsks!!1!
The silver winged horse stomped her foot and beat her wings in an impatient gesture.
“This is just like a dream...” Emily whispered as they climbed on.
Kate nodded speechlessly.
As soon as the two Angels were on, Silver galloped off. Emily entangled her fingers in Silver’s mane and hung on for dear life. Kate wrapped her arms around Emily and shut her eyes.
“I’ve never been so fast in my life!” said Emily, exhilarated. She let the wind blow through her hair and it flapped and snapped around her, seeming almost alive.
Kate felt something change. She vaguely heard Emily shouting in equal parts excitement and anticipation, but she wasn’t really paying her much attention. There was a strange pause accompanied by a lurch and suddenly, with a floating feeling in her stomach, the jolt of hooves stopped and the steady WHOOOSH of the beat of Silver’s wings took over. To say it was *magic* was a GROSS understatement.
She gathered her courage and opened her eyes. Limbo sprawled out beneath her as they receded from it smoothly. She gazed in wonderment as they flew off into the clouds.
Silver spied a patch of green far below and *dived*. Kate and Emily screamed. The girls hung on tightly as the world spun dizzyingly toward them. Effortlessly pulling up just above the forest, Silver beat her wings and flew along skimming the treetops. They were so close that it seemed to Emily that she could just reach out and touch them. But they were going -far- too fast for that.
“KATE! ISN’T THIS TEH GREATEST THING EVAIR?!”
“IT’S! IT’S... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!1!”
Kate happily yelled unintelligibly into the wind, just because she could.
It seemed they had been flying forever when Emily saw the treetops approach a little closer. Something felt wrong. She exchanged frightened looks with Kate.
Silver faltered. They went slower and slower as her wing beats lost strength.
Emily looked down. Silver’s faint silver glow was becoming brighter. She swallowed.
Kate watched helplessly as they fell into the forest amidst a blindingly bright burst of light.
They had almost reached the centre of a small clearing when Silver disappeared into a swirling mass of silver motes. The three girls fell to solid earth, some harder than others.
Shelby raised her head. “I can’t breathe!” she gasped.
Kate and Emily quickly picked themselves up and scrambled off.
“LUMOS. THAT WAS...” Kate began.
“AMAZING! MAGNIFICENT!” Emily continued.
“AWESOME!!!1!ELEVENTYONE!” Kate finished, dancing.
Shelby grinned MASSIVELY. She had never had so much fun in her entire life. Laughing, she huggled her CRAXtrips back.
They went on in this fashion for -ages-, until Emily stopped and frowned. “This has been bothering me for a while. Does something seem a bit strange to you?” Then she added, grinning, “...Apart from becoming a winged horse and flying halfway across Limbo?”
Shelby laughed, but looked around thoughtfully. “Now that you mention it...”
Kate was staring at the sky.
Shelby tried to get her attention. “Kate? Did you hear what Em just said? Kaaaaate?”
Kate wordlessly pointed up.
It was orange.
“We have to hurry! I really don’t want to say this, but I think we really should get Ashton back. FAST.”
The Angels ran past the final trees and stumbled upon a -very- strange sight. There was a shimmering door sitting in the middle of a clearing, apparently leading nowhere. It was floating above the ground and the whole thing looked impossible.
Stranger still, there was Ashton, lolling about, leaning on the door with a smirk on his face.
“ASHTON!” exclaimed Emily. “What are you doing out here? Do you know how long we’ve been looking for you? You’re not even tied up or anything!”
“Do you mean to tell me that we’ve come all this way for -nothing-?!” Kate said angrily.
Ashton shrugged nonchalantly.
Emily had given Shelby an idea. She waved her wand and ropes snaked out toward Ashton. The Ashton laughed and faded.
“MUHAHAHAHA! Your precious -Ashton- lies within. Enter and save him, if you dare.” boomed a voice that seemed -way- more impressive than it really was.
“ORINJUSE!” thought Kate. She knew exactly how to deal with attention seekers and would be trickery. It was practically the -only- language Teh Emperor ever spoke.
“Well, in that case, we won’t,” Kate shrugged.
Teh Emperor would have given ANYTHING for Kate to unlearn that infuriating way she had when dealing with situations like this. He probably also would give quite a bit for a large bucket of water to suddenly appear from nowhere and fall on Kate’s head. Somewhere, an Ashton was mentally emptying a wheelbarrow of coins into a wishing well.
“Shan’t!” said Emily annoyingly. She loved poking sticks at bears.
If Tom could be thought of as a bear, that is. A weasel would be more appropriate. A rather small and wiry haired weasel.
“Unless he -doesn’t- want us to go in... so maybe we should. Or maybe he wants us to think that he -doesn’t- want us to go in so that we don’t! But what if he wants us to think that we want that he wants to think that we want...” Shelby trailed off hysterically.
Emily shook her. “Shelby! Focus on me! Snap out of it!”
Shelby fell over, as she always did.
Honestly, that girl had -no- sense of balance whatsoever. Had she been running from a bear, she would have fallen and been eaten. Shelby was the kind of person that the world coughed up as a joke for evolution. Sadly though, when evolution’s pet dodos all died, it lost its sense of humour and has fed the unworthy to the bears ever since.
Luckily for her, she was only being chased by a small and rather wiry haired weasel.
Kate and Emily heaved to pick up their trip. She might be really short, but she still was quite a meal for a bear.
“There’s no way I’m going through that door,” announced Kate after Shelby was standing again.
The voice boomed again with amusement. “Sook!” he scoffed.
The Ashton momentarily reappeared near the door. “Are you -afraid-, Kate?” He snickered, before vanishing once again.
The problem was that Kate was sometimes just as stubborn as Teh Emperor, although she would never admit it. As Ashton would say, to give in at this moment would be Backing Down. Naturally, Kate would probably throw something at him for talking, like... a biscuit box. But she -still- did not want to go through that door, although at the same time, she couldn’t NOT. There was just something about it that made her feel uneasy. This in -itself- annoyed her more.
“Don’t listen to them!” said Emily, firmly. She had no such qualms about the strange door. Marching up to it, she attempted to open it, but...
“DENIED.” It was a different voice, one that sounded strangely (of all things) like a talking whale.
Emily raised an eyebrow. “Well, -that- was a little bit strange,” she said, looking at the other Angels.
“Move aside.” Kate brought out Teh Rugby Ball.
The air rippled as Kate drew Teh Ball back. She focussed on the door. With a wave of Supa Powah, she threw it as hard as she could.
The door splintered and energy crackled and spat as the doorway threatened to collapse.
Emily spun and her new quill appeared in her hand almost as if by magic. A much subtler undertone of Supa Powah could be felt as she quickly drew in some glowing symbols.
The doorway emitted a terrible high pitched whine that had the Angels scrambling to cover their ears, but held. Just.
“IT CAN’T HOLD MUCH LONGER!” yelled Emily, over the sound of eleventyone dimensions all clamouring to exist at once. “WHEN IT GOES, WE DO -NOT- WANT TO BE HERE!”
“LET’S GO, THEN!” Shelby yelled back.
They each took a deep breath and ran through as fast as they could. In real terms, they were both rather slow. -Especially- the brunette.
The portal groaned angrily in disapproval and the ground began to shake.
Kate knew what she had to do. She disregarded her better judgement and, shrieking a “GAH!” raced towards the portal, hair catching afire as she plunged through.
The portal could take no more. It screeched deafeningly as tendrils of dimensional energy hungrily reached outwards, scorching anything they touched. Suddenly, the portal seemed to fall inwards and coalesce into a blindingly bright point of light and with a last belated rumble... winked out, vanishing completely.
No explosions, no catastrophic rents in the dimensional fabric - as far as Limbo was concerned, nothing had happened.
“Excellent.” boomed the voice, pleased.
The Ashton appeared. He shimmered.
“Quite a show, wasn’t it?” said Leah, proudly.