Hello jammers! Tallstar107 here with the next installment of Spirit Stories! Happy Thanksgiving, to those of you who celebrate it :)
I'm very excited to announce that the first sent-in character has been featured in this story! Say hello to Frosta everyone!
This also brings me to another point. There are just too many jammers who would like their characters to be main characters, and I'm really sorry that I can't make everyone a main character. I will still include your character, they just might not be a main character.
I also do not know who to give credit to for Frosta, as the submitter never put their username. If she is yours, be sure to let me know in the comments!
Lis stood at the fence in front of her house, feeling glued to the dirt. With a sigh, she forced herself to keep walking, the unfamiliar feel of the sword against her side rattling her further. As she trotted slowly down the path, she couldn’t help but glance back at her Anemone’s den, at the end of the block. She hadn’t even gotten to say goodbye to her. Shaking her head, she kept walking, and was hardly aware of her surroundings until she reached the Temple of Zios.
Liza was standing there, calmly. As Lis approached, Liza smiled grimly. “Good. I was beginning to think you wouldn’t come.”
“To be honest, so was I,” Lis confessed.
“Well, you’re here now. That’s what’s important.”
Lis breathed in deeply. “So… what do I need to do?”
“You’re going to journey to Yatima, the land of the phantoms. I have the portal here.” Liza waved her staff, and Zios’s broken statue glowed green.
“What?” Lis stared at Liza. “You expect me to go in there?”
“I know it’s a lot to ask, but-”
“Why me? I can’t, I’m not some hero. I can’t just poof in there, kill all the bad guys, yay!” Lis laughed bitterly, then shivered. “I’m not good enough.” One tear slowly rolled down her cheek.
Liza gasped, then smiled. Lis thought it was strange that she seemed to be looking, not at her, but around her. “You have more of an advantage than you know. I knew Greely was right.”
“W-what do you mean?”
Liza laughed. “You don’t know? Look down. Actually, you might want to sit down first. Then again, you might be sitting down right now, I’m not really sure.”
“What are you talking about?!”
“See for yourself.”
Lis looked down at her hooves, then gasped. Where her hooves should have been, there was nothing but dirt.
The ground lurched beneath her, and suddenly she could see her body again.
Lis looked back up at Liza again, her mouth hanging open.
“It seems that you have invisibility powers,” said Liza. “I suppose this will prove useful. Then again, it doesn’t seem you have much control over it.” She sighed. “I can’t help you with that. I don’t have magic of my own, just a little in my staff.”
Lis breathed deeply, and lifted her head. She knew she had to do this. If not for Anemone, to save her, than for Greely. For Jamaa.
“Okay. Let’s get this over with.” Lis stepped forward, her stomach twisting in knots. “Wait. What is Greely’s power source?”
“We don’t know, and Greely doesn’t seem to be in any state to tell us.” Liza smiled sadly. “You will know.”
Closing her eyes, Lis stepped into the statue. As soon as her paw touched it, a glowing green portal rose, and she was sucked in.
Lis tried to think what it felt like, but she couldn’t. It was no feeling she had ever experienced before. She wasn’t moving; rather, it felt like she was completely still, but there was still a sense of motion. It felt like she was curving in on herself, yet also being stretched up and down. Finally, the strange feeling stopped, and she hit the ground with a thud.
Groaning, Lis slowly opened her eyes and blinked at the light flooding her vision. Slowly, she stood and surveyed her surroundings.
Lis was in a village, or at least she thought it was a village. It was run-down, covered in dust and ruin. Animals everywhere stopped and stared at her.
“Umm, hello?” Lis called, confused. Was she in Yatima? She had expected it to be run over with phantoms, not animals.
Lis spun around. A young wolf stood a few feet away, smiling nervously. Her brown fur was smoothly slicked back, although still dusty. Her fox hat was tattered as well, but her bow and arrows were free of dust, as if recently used. Although she wore diamond-encrusted tail armor, and leg armor, these were both dirty as well.
“I’m Frosta. Who are you?”
“I’m Lis. I’m looking for Yatima, the land of the phantoms. Is, uh, is this the right place?”
“It’s just that I was expecting phantoms, not animals. Why are there animals here?”
“The Phantom King keeps us prisoner here. As you can see, they don’t really care if we’re happy or not, or if it’s even clean. Each day is a struggle to survive,” Frosta concluded sadly.
Lis stared, horrified that anyone had to live that way. “I will help you.” The words had left her mouth before she even registered them. I only hope I can.
* * *
Lis sat on the hard, creaky wooden chair across from Frosta and a few other animals whose names she did not know. They were sitting in a cafe, talking and planning. Lis was disappointed that so few of the animals were willing to fight for their freedom.
“They’re all afraid,” explained Frosta. “They’re frightened of what the phantoms might do if they found out.” She hunched her shoulders over. “I’m frightened too,” she admitted. “My parents… they were killed a few years back by the phantoms.”
Lis furrowed her brows. It seemed awful that one so young should have to deal with so much pain.
After a moment, Frosta continued. “I’ve been too scared to do anything. But, lately, I’ve been thinking. What’s the point of taking it? Life here is awful. I want to be brave.” She blushed, suddenly bashful of everything she had confessed. “And I guess helping you seems like the best option.”
Lis smiled, not sure what to say. She turned to the rest of the table. “I just realized that I haven’t told you all why I’m here. I come from a land called Jamaa. Have you heard of it?”
The animals shook their heads.
“Well, Jamaa is a bit like here, except… well, it’s…”
“Nicer?” Frosta offered, smiling.
“Yeah,” Lis said, grateful. “Anyway, in Jamaa, we have alphas. I guess they’re our leaders. One of them, Greely, is dying. His source of power is running out, and I’m supposed to find it.” Lis looked around hopefully at the table. “Do any of you know anything about it?”
Frosta squinted back at her, looking confused. “Greely, you said?”
“Yeah. Have you heard of him?”
“I think… I think I might know where you need to look.”
* * *
Quietly, Lis crept along the row of hedges. Before her stood the black palace, looming over her. It had been pure luck that Frosta had heard some phantoms mention something about Greely. Since all the phantoms lived in the palace, they had told her how to get in.
Lis narrowed her eyes, looking around. According to them, the trap door should be just around… there!
Lis bent down, and, trembling, unlatched the door. She peered inside, but the steep stairs were swallowed by the darkness and she couldn’t see past a few feet. Taking a deep breath, Lis stepped forward and started her descent down.
That's it, jammers! Happy Thanksgiving!