Streams Chapter 5: This Will Change

Assuming ya’ll know the drill by now. Chapter one can be found here, chapter two here, three here, four here, and Thomas’s EP that inspired this project here. Enjoy.

Chapter 5: This Will Change

The pathway up the mountain was smooth as glass and white as beach sand, with sea shells of all sizes and colors covering the its rocky face. Rain ran her hand over a series of little shells and stopped when she touched a bright green one that was bigger than Lana. The sea was close. If she closed her eyes and breathed deeply, she could smell it. It was cinnamon flavored, not salty like her teacher had said, and it reminded her of the apple pies her mother always made for Thanksgiving.

Rain walked up the path in silence, knowing it was her turn to not say anything. She didn’t want to bother Lana, though she wanted to tell the talking cat she was sorry about what happened. She also wanted to tell her she was scared. She had never talked to a moon before and wasn’t sure how. What if it wouldn’t take her to the sea or back home, or what if it just laughed at her? What if it did nothing at all, just stared at her because she was a silly little girl who went on an adventure and got lost. But Lana was being brave, and Rain knew she had to be brave too. She didn’t cry.

When they were nearing the top, Rain decided to inch close to the edge of the path and look down. She knew she wasn’t supposed to, having seen enough cartoons to know that looking down was how people fell, but Rain also knew she couldn’t fall if she wanted to. It was like the mountain had some kind of people magnet in it. It was safe, even if there weren’t any railings or stairs.

The view down was gorgeous. Rain watched the never-moving sun play off the white rock face, turning the smooth path into a bright gold. It was The Wizard of Oz, only real. Down below, like little fairies, Rain could see the witch’s village. The witches were still partying, some dancing in little circles that Rain could cover up with her pointer finger, and a few were even flying. Rain thought she should be envious of those ones, but she wasn’t. The witches no longer mattered.

“How come I can see them from up here?” Rain asked.

“The spell doesn’t work on heights, since all witches can fly,” Lana said, joining Rain at the edge of the path. “Though if they flew up here, they wouldn’t see us.”

“Why not?”

“Because talking to the moon is always private.”

They continued upwards. The moon was now so close that it filled the whole sky, and Rain was sure if she jumped, she would touch it. It was breathtaking, so big and bright and calm that she realized all her worrying was for nothing. The moon would help her, just like Lana said. It was a nice moon. It had made her stream into a river so she could escape the frozen ghosts, and if it could do that, it could do anything.

The top of the mountain flattened out into a small, smooth platform that was bursting with color. Sea shells and pretty rocks sprinkled the surface, each one catching the moon’s glow. Rain had reached the end of a rainbow, only instead of a finding pot of gold, she could make a wish.

Rain knew that was better than gold. Gold could buy toys or clothes, but a wish could be anything.

“Hello, Rain,” the moon said. Its voice was like wind chimes on a bright, cloudless winter day. It reminded Rain of playing outside and laughing, of looking for shooting stars at night and watching rain drops race down windows on stormy days. “It’s nice to see you again.”

“Hello,” Rain said, her face breaking into a wide smile. “Have we met before?”

“We have.”

Rain laughed. Of course they had. She couldn’t remember ever meeting the moon, but something about this reminded her of talking to an old friend, one she had once loved dearly yet sadly lost contact with.

“And you too, Lana. It is good to see you again.”

“Thank you,” Lana whispered.

“Have you forgiven yourself?” the moon asked the purple-and-grey tabby.

“No.” Rain heard Lana’s sing-song voice break, and she sat down cross-legged beside her. It wasn’t fair that the cat should be so sad and low to the ground at a time like this.

“Is that why you brought Rain here?” The moon’s chiming voice jingled upwards, like she was cocking an eyebrow.

“Silly girl,” Lana said to the ground. Then she looked up. “Rain is lost. She crossed the threshold and needs to return home. Can you help her?”

“Would that be helping her or helping you?”

“I’m sorry,” Lana said, still unable to look at the moon directly.

“I know. You’ve apologized so much for that, Lana. Everyone has forgiven you but yourself.”

Rain thought of the witches and mean cats in the village below but didn’t say anything. The moon was doing what her mother sometimes did: a little white lie to make things better. Those were nice to hear, but they didn’t do anything. Lana didn’t need a lie, she needed a friend.

“It’s okay, Lana,” Rain said, and she made to pet the talking cat but found herself giving it a big hug instead. Tears welled in her eyes. “It’s okay. It’ll all be okay. For both of us.” Lana snuggled up against her and purred softly.

When Rain let Lana go, the cat stood taller, and she stared into the moon. Her amber eyes caught the moon’s glow and lit up like flaming torches.

“Well Rain, is that what you want?” the moon asked. “To go home?”

“Yes,” Rain said. Even though the sun hadn’t set yet, she knew it was late. It was time to go home. She missed her parents and her own cats, even if they never talked. She missed her little stream.

The moon’s voice chimed in thought, and Rain’s heart sunk. This was magic, and magic should be able to send her home right away. The only reason she wasn’t standing in front of her house right now was because it wasn’t possible.

“You can’t do it, can you?” Rain asked.

“I have no control over the world’s thresholds” the moon said. “I cannot create or destroy them. However,” and Rain heard a grin in the moon’s voice. “I can help you get to one.”

Something glinted across the sky, and Rain looked up to watch it. She thought it was a falling star at first, but it wasn’t falling; it was flying. It floated towards her, and when it landed, she laughed. It was her glass rose pedal, her boat. It hadn’t melted at all.

“I think your boat needs a makeover, something a bit more becoming of a young witch. What do you think, Lana?”

Lana chuckled. “I think I’m going to die of fright before this little adventure of ours is done.”

Before Rain could say anything, ask the moon just exactly what was going on, her boat changed. One second it was made of clear glass, and the next it was blue velvet, as light and piercing as the sky. She gasped. It was wonderful! When she finally remembered to breathe again, she could smell the rose pedals sweet fragrance, and underneath that, the cinnamon taste of the sea.

“Is this for me?” Rain asked.

“Yes,” the moon said. “Take it, young witch. Take it and travel home.”

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