“I’m back,” Fiona said, pulling the flap open.
Elspet sat with her back
against a pillow, looking quite comfortable. “So you are. Where’s Callum?
Did you find him?” She fluffed up a pillow. “These are actually quite
comfortable. I wonder what they’re stuffed with.” She sniffed one. “Not dung
“I found him. I’m afraid
he’s taking quite the beating. I left him there until we can figure
something out,” Fiona said.
“You left him to be beat
“Elspet, I had no choice. I
can’t win against warriors.”
“Sorry, Fiona. What is your
“Obviously I’ll have to use
some magic. I can do so many things now. I can turn myself into an object,”
“Or a person.” Elspet
grinned. “I’ve got a great idea. Why don’t you turn into General Khasir and
order Callum’s release.”
“I did see him ride off with
Genghis Khan. That would be perfect. I’m sure the trainer guy doesn’t know
he’s left. He and Callum are on the other side of the camp in a grassy
field. But Elspet, when I tried that before, I didn’t have great success and
that was just turning myself into a tiny lizard.”
“Why not try something here
first. Do it a few times until you’ve got it down pat,” Elspet said.
“Another great idea. What
should I try first?” Fiona’s eyes lit up. “I’ll turn myself into a sword; a
big, shiny silver sword with jewels decorating the handle.”
“That’s as good as anything.
Give it a try.” Elspet stood back.
Fiona closed her eyes and
thought about turning herself into a sword. The next thing she knew Elspet
was swinging her around in the air. “Avast mateys. Argh.” Elspet stabbed the
The sword spoke. “You’re
making me feel sick, Elspet. Put me down.”
“You can speak! You couldn’t
when you were a lizard. You are the first talking sword I’ve heard or seen.”
“I probably could have
talked, but it was all so new to me and I just didn’t know I could,” Fiona
said. “I’m going to turn back into me now.” She closed her eyes and thought
about her face, arms and legs. When she opened her eyes she was herself. “I
did it! I’m not a sword. Should I try it again?”
“One more time, but this
time you have to be a person, or at least an animal.” Elspet stepped back
again. “If you turn into an animal, make sure it’s not a carnivore.”
Once again Fiona closed her
eyes. When she opened them, Elspet was staring at her and didn’t saw a word.
“What’s the matter Elspet? It looks like you’ve just seen your double.”
“You look just like me. I’ve
got a twin! Cool. I wish I had your powers.” Elspet reached for Fiona’s
face. “You feel like me too.”
“The trick is, can I turn
“I’m not sure if I want you
to. I kind of like having two of me around,” Elspet said.
“I like having me around
too. Here I go.” Fiona closed her eyes and once more she turned back into
“You did it. This time, turn
into General Khasir.” Elspet sat back on the pillows again.
“You did it again. You look
just like him. You look rather beastly. I do not like that man.” Elspet
jumped up and moved to the door. “You are freaking me out, Fiona. Go and get
“I’m that scary, am I?” She
spoke with his voice.
“Good job. Go and get him
before something happens to him.” Elspet held the door back while Fiona left
She marched through the
camp, barking at the men and being Khasir’s natural miserable self. There
they are. Take a deep breath, Fiona. You can do this. After psyching herself
up, she walked over to the trainer. “You are to release the boy. He is to
come with me.”
“I was commanded by Genghis
Khan himself to train this boy for battle.” General Bataar scoffed.
“The Khan is not here. I am
in command for the time being and I order him released. I have a use for him
in a personal way,” General Khasir said. “Do you dare to argue with the
Khan’s most superior general?”
“No. I apologize if it
seemed that way. Very well, General, take him, but I will not be held
responsible when the Khan returns. You may go, boy.”
Fiona grabbed Callum by the
back of his head. “Get moving boy. Get up to my yurt. I have work for you.”
After they’d gotten far enough away, Fiona whispered to him. “Don’t be
scared, Callum. It’s me. I changed myself into this creep to get you out of
“Fiona? You look and sound
just like the general. I’m glad it’s not him. I was afraid of what he wanted
me to do,” Callum said.
“Keep looking frightened
until we get back to our yurt.” Fiona kicked him in the bottom and threw him
around, keeping up the proper image.
“Callum!” Elspet ran over to
him and gave him a hug. “You’ve got a lot of bruises.”
“Yeah, you can thank General
Khasir here for those. Did you have to be so rough, Fiona?” Callum rubbed
“Sorry. I had to look mean.
The warriors would have suspected something if we’d walked along talking and
been pals.” Fiona changed back into herself.
“I suppose, but my bottom is
going to hurt for days,” Callum said with a sigh.
“We need another plan to get
out of here. Callum, take off all that armor and stuff so we can figure out
what we can use.” Elspet helped him take off his helmet.
“Let’s go through the list
of my magic powers,” Fiona said. “One of them is sure to jump out at us.”
Each of them thought about
it and came up with the same suggestion, snow. Fiona stood at the door and
told the skies to cloud over and make it snow the biggest flakes possible,
along with howling winds. If nothing else, she hoped to prevent the generals
and the Khan from returning back to camp. Flakes fell from the sky. Each was
the size of Fiona’s fist. Within minutes the ground was coated with white.
After half an hour the snow came up to their waists.
“That’s good enough. Now, we
need something to use for a sled. We can use this table, I suppose.” Fiona
“Right, Fiona. Like I want
more sores on my bottom. We’ll get giant splinters,” Callum said.
“Let’s use Callum’s shield
and his armor. One of us can sit on the shield. It’s slippery and made of
metal. We can divide up his leather armor. It’s coated with some sort of
resin to waterproof it and make it strong. There’s enough here for both of
us, Fiona.” Elspet picked up two pieces.
“Let’s do it before someone
comes to check up on us. That trainer was very suspicious.” Fiona grabbed
her bit of armor. “We need to sneak past a bunch of yurts and then get to
the hill. Once we’re down at the bottom, I’ll make it keep snowing here and
be nice where we are.”
They crept through the camp,
not worrying about making noise because the deep snow acted like a blanket
of silence. None of the warriors stepped out of their yurts, much to Fiona,
Callum and Elspet’s delight. When they reached the hill they sat on their
make shift sleds. “Push off,” Callum said. He went first. He slid down the
“Callum, be quiet. They’ll
hear you.” Fiona shouted down to him.
“Fiona! They’ll hear you
too,” Elspet said, nudging her.
When they slid down, she and
Fiona didn’t say a word, even though both of them wanted to shout like
Callum. They crashed into a mound of snow at the bottom of the hill.
“That was great fun. Can we
do it again?” Callum picked up the shield. He let it drop and pouted when he
saw the look on Fiona’s face.
“No. We need to get out of
here. We’re to find the alexandrite and get home. Have you forgotten what is
going on there?” Fiona needed to remind them all of the reality of their
situation. She looked up at the sky. “I command you to continue snowing like
you’re doing and don’t stop for forty eight hours. Make the snow stop where
we walk and have it be sunny.” She sighed. “There, that should do it. We
need to keep heading south. That’s where the jewel is. I saw it again in a
dream. It is inside a dinosaur egg.”
“How can that be? Dinosaurs
lived on the earth and died long before King Kegan was around,” Callum said.
“Callum how does any of this
happen? There’s magic involved, wizardry. I doubt if any of the men thought
up these traps by themselves. They’d have had a wizard help them. It would
be nothing for Nahimena, or any of the other wizards to find a dinosaur egg
and put a gem inside it. Duh!” Elspet was back to her normal treatment of
“Stop talking to me like I’m
an idiot, Elspet. This has been so confusing for all of us. We just escaped
from the Mongol army. Nobody has ever done that. I’m rather distracted, if
you don’t mind,” Callum said; an angry look on his face.
“Sorry. I guess this is
overwhelming to all of us. I’ll try to be nicer.” Elspet helped Fiona put on
her backpack. “Fiona, doesn’t that seem like it was a bit too easy to
escape? Callum just said nobody escaped capture by the Mongol army, yet we
did it with no problem. This is too weird.”
“Let’s not think negative
thoughts. I for one do not want to be captured again and forced to marry
that sloth. Let’s be glad we’re away from them all, especially that creepy
General Khasir. There’s something evil about him. All I want is to find that
fossilized egg and go home.” Fiona walked in a southerly direction, or what
she hoped was.