There Comes a Time
Princess and the Goblin Sequel
Author's Notes: Aish… who knew it would take me over a year to write another chapter? Well, part of that isn't my fault. I had this whole thing completely done and ready to upload but somehow my dad deleted it off his Mac, and the only copy I had was only a partial. Bah, humbug. I kinda lost interest in it after that since I couldn't remember everything I'd written down. But over the past year I've written a little bit at a time and now the next chapter is up and ready for review. Sorry for the delayed absence. But I will warn you that it could take a while for this story to be resolved, as I am heading into the final years of my English major and I have papers out the wazoo to write. Anywho, read on, and REVIEW!
Disclaimer: I do not own The Princess and the Goblin nor do I own any of the affiliated characters, but I do own Sonya and Gaia.
Last Chapter: Curdie and his family spend a tense week watching over their injured and unconscious guest. All the while they wonder who she is and where she is from. Something about her seems vaguely familiar to Curdie, but he can't place it. On the seventh morning, the young girl wakes up. When Curdie asks her what happened and where she is from she can come up with no reply. Even when asked her name, the girl cannot remember.
Chapter 5: More Mystery
Gentle sunshine filtered through swirling dust mites, casting a soothing light throughout the small cabin and warming each of the five occupants. Rose and her husband sat at the kitchen table, quietly discussing something over their steaming tea and porridge. Sonya, having already finished her breakfast, sat by the fireplace sewing scraps of cloth into dresses and tiny dolls. Curdie had pulled a chair over to his bed, on which their mysterious guest now lay, and watched her as she slowly ate a bowl of porridge.
Her long red-gold hair was swept back away from her face in a loose plait, leaving her expressions easily to be seen. Her delicate eyebrows pulled together above filmy cerulean eyes, the corners of her mouth drooped down into a sad scowl between bites of the thick pasty meal. She had refused to look anyone in the face shortly after she had woken the morning before, too embarrassed that she could not even remember her own name, let alone how she had wound up in their home.
"It will come back to you in time," Curdie assured her, his hand drifting towards hers. "These things aren't usually permanent."
She pulled her hand back away from him absently and turned her face to the wall. "How can you be so sure? I can't remember anything!" She whispered despairingly, one tiny crystal tear spilling over her porcelain cheek.
"You said that you could feel something though," Rose said from across the room. "That you could see faces in your mind. Vivid pictures of the past perhaps?"
The young woman closed her eyes and bowed her head, willing those images to return to her. A wizened old woman with a wimple, dozens of soldiers dressed in shining armour, flighty women bedecked with jewels and draped in silks, the clearest face of an aging man with a warm and comforting smile, grey hair framing his strong features. Even the face of a majestic woman with long flowing silver hair and a face that spoke of centuries seen but not lived floated dimly passed her closed lids, but in none of it could she find a name, or even a sound that jogged her memories. The very last image that she saw though was by far the clearest of them all, and the most frightening.
Almost as though it were a dream, she sat high above the muddied road, trees thick on either side with rain pelting down on their glossy leaves. Her single lantern held aloft could only illuminate a small circle around her, leaving the rest of the world in absolute darkness. The feeling of sheer terrour gripped her heart like a vice. Aside from the sounds of the storm raging above her, there was no sounds of the forest, no foxes calling, no creatures shuffled through the wet mulch seeking shelter. It was too quiet. Ahead of her, out of the forest, something moved. Just beyond the safe circle of her lantern's golden glow, something or someone stalked out of the trees and stood in the middle of her way. Her fear doubled as it sauntered towards her, each step bringing it a bit closer to her safe circle. Just before she could make out the features in her light though, the vision disappeared, leaving her gasping for breath.
As her eyes flew open, she became aware of four, now five sets of eyes locked on her reaction. Curdie sat on his chair by the bed, leaning in with worry plastered all over his handsome face. Rose and her husband stood by the door frozen in the midst of their goodbyes. Sonya cradled her fat cat in her skinny arms and stared in wide-eyed curiosity at the woman. Finally, sitting at Curdie's thigh was the largest wolf she had ever seen, his beautiful eyes staring at her calmly. Something about him triggered a few more scattered images before finally her mind went blank and her sight failed her.
"Leave her be, Curdie." Rose said quietly as she readjusted the woman to a laying position on the bed. "She's been through a lot these past few days, and whatever it was that led her here, it can't be pleasant to recall."
Curdie sighed in exasperation and ran his hands through his unruly brown hair. Leaning forward he rested his elbows on his knees and bent his head. Cloud bumped his cold nose against Curdie's thigh and whined. Rose smiled sadly and placed a calloused hand on her son's head.
"Give her time, dear. There is no telling how much time it will take for her memories to come back to her. Have patience. I'm sure God has a reason for this. We have only to wait and see what He is planning."
The only acknowledgment to her words that Curdie gave was to simply nod his shaggy head. His mother smiled again and then turned to go back to her work of cleaning up the morning meal. Sonya stood staring for a few moments more before her mother called her to begin her work in the gardens, pulling out the weeds and picking the early fall fruits. At his knee, Cloud whined a little louder and pressed his cold nose once again to Curdie's leg, hoping to shock him out of his stupour. Slowly, the man reacted and laid a heavy hand on his companion's furry head. Raising his head, he turned his chocolate eyes back to the young woman lying peacefully unaware on his bed. Her hair spilled out around her pillow like rivers of molten gold, her cheeks were slightly flushed from the warmth of the room. Curdie tousled Cloud's grey and white ears and stood to his feet.
"Come on boy, I need to get out of this place." With that, Curdie sprang from his chair and leapt towards the door, reaching for his bow as he did. "I'm going to hunt for a while." He called out to his mother as he fled through the door, Cloud nipping at his heels.
The tall, young man sped through the forest trails, miles upon miles burned under his softly padding feet before he finally came to rest on a tiny knoll in the middle of the dense wood. Warm sunlight filtered through the trees, casting the whole area in a calming green hue. Somewhere deep within the copse that surrounded the hill a bird cried out cheerfully and was answered by its mate shortly afterward. It was here that Curdie threw down his bow and quiver and lay down in the thick, spongy grass on the hill's crown. Cloud loped around the base, diving in and out of the thick brush in search of small rodents on which he could pray. With a great sigh, Curdie placed his hands behind his head and stared up at the morning sky.
The images of what the young woman had portrayed from her visions came flooding into his mind. From what she had conveyed to them, she had at one time lived among royalty, or at least a semblance of it. No women in a village or parish would ever step foot outside their doorways to work in the rich silken colours she had described. And yet she had thick calluses on her palms from manual labour of some kind. And the soldiers! Only one city that Curdie could think of would house so great a force as the one she had seen, and with the regalia they had worn. With the king's army being as small and feeble as it was, he could not justify spreading them across the land, and so their forces centred around the capital city, where the stronghold of the king was located. Deep in his gut, he felt the pangs of his past love beginning to swell again.
"Where are you, Irene?" He asked the sky. "Why haven't you returned to me as you promised you would?"
Her innocent face filled his vision: cherubic features framed in hair so golden it could have been tangible strands of the sun itself, pink lips parted slightly in a sweet smile to reveal rows of perfect white teeth, and deep blue eyes that pierced so deep they seemed to touch the very core of one's being. Her carefree laughter drifted lightly through the hollow, making him rise half-expecting to see her dancing at his feet. All he saw though was Cloud lying there licking his jowls free of his last meal. Leaning forward, Curdie ruffled the wolf's head fur fondly and smiled down at his only companion. It was only then that he realized how dead silent the forest had fallen.
The hair on the back of his neck prickled with fear as he turned his head this way and that searching for the source of his discomfort. All that met his eyes was the darkness of the trees around him. The hunter in him raged against the unnatural silence; even Cloud's ears pricked up and twittered atop his bushy grey head in search of some sort of noise to fill the void.
Somewhere deep within the green shadows, a twig snapped and birds rushed from their hiding places with speed that could have rivaled even the fastest lightening. Between the dark tree trunks, Curdie was sure he saw some bulking figure shifting slowly. To his left Cloud let a growl rumble deep within his broad chest. Reaching for his bow, Curdie got up into a hunter's crouch and notched an arrow, taking aim for what he assumed was the reason for the sudden silence.
"Who goes there," He challenged the shadows. "Friend or foe?"
He wasn't sure, but in the back of his mind he was sure that he had heard a deep and derisive chuckle in reply. Cloud's growl turned rapidly into a menacing snarl, his lips pulled back to reveal rows of sharp white teeth. The fur on the nape of his neck stood rigid, his ears laid back in agitation. Curdie frowned deeply and squinted to see a little better. He called another challenge.
"Show yourself or get an arrow in the gut!"
The shadow shifted deeper back into the darkness the trees lent it. Several twigs snapped around its feet as it retreated into the safety of its forest home. Without any more warning, Curdie let his arrow fly, sending it spinning towards the figure. Just as he leaped up to follow it he heard the disappointing thump as the arrow imbedded itself it a tree trunk. He slowed his pace as he reached the edge of the forest; his feet were cautious as he took one tentative step into the all-encompassing darkness of the woodland. The shadowy figure that had been haunting them had disappeared, melting into the shadows as though it had been made of them. With another arrow notched at the ready, Curdie made his heading toward the area where he guessed the being had stood. An apparition. He thought when he located his lost arrow. It was buried several inches into an old rowan tree, completely devoid of any signs of having gone through a living being.
Taking a quick glance around him, Curdie slung his bow behind him and wrapped one hand around the shaft of his arrow. With one great yank, he pulled the shaft from the trunk of the tree and studied the body carefully. The fletching was gone. He narrowed his eyes and dropped down to his feet, searching for the three feathers that were missing. Instead he found two very deep, very large prints right at the base of the same tree he had struck. Cloud, sensing his companion's interest, snuffled around the prints and began to follow what he believed was the trail. With a loud yip and a bounding leap, he headed off after his quarry.
Curdie watched him go, but stayed behind and gazed up at the unusually tall rowan. From what he knew of plant-life, he knew that the fact that his arrow had imbedded itself in the rowan was no mere chance hit. He had often heard that rowan saplings were planted on graves to keep the deceased from haunting the living. Cutting a thin switch from a low-hanging branch, Curdie promised himself to return in time to flesh out his stalking ghost. He put his index finger and thumb just passed his lips and let out a shrill whistle, effectively calling the grey wolf to his side.
"Well, I'd say that our hunting trip is done now, boy. There's something out there but I'm not ready to confront it yet." Curdie sighed and turned his eyes back to the high limbs of the rowan tree. "Come on Cloud, let's go home and see how our patient is doing."
"I was wondering when you would choose to return again," Curdie's mother stood in the doorway of their home, wiping her hands on her apron. "The girl's been awake for a few hours now."
Curdie stopped in the middle of the walkway and looked at his mother intently. "Has she said anything? Does she remember anything that happened?"
"Now Curdie, you know very well it's not all going to come back in one day! The poor girl's had a very serious bump on the head; it's a wonder she even woke up at all! It wouldn't surprise me if she never remembers anything from her past life. Her muscles will remember old tasks, writing, dancing, or sewing perhaps, but she won't be able to tell you why she remembers them, or even how she learned them. We can only thank the Lord that she can actually think and move, for the most part, for herself." Rose gazed sadly at her son.
She knew that something about the whole incident weighed heavily on Curdie's mind. Over the years since his childhood companion had left him, all his attentions had shifted to being alone and quiet. But now that this young girl had dropped into their lives, he seemed to look at her with an inner fire. There were always wheels turning in his mind when he looked at her, Rose could see that whenever she looked into his chocolate brown eyes. Even now, as she stood gazing at the young man, his stance was tense, his gaze unwavering and intense.
A thud from inside the cabin made Rose turn quickly in the doorway, startling her out of her reverie. Curdie heard it too and leaped through the door before Rose could react. When she realized what had happened, she rushed into their home towards the source of the thud. Her eyes were just beginning to adjust to the dimmed light when she found out what had happened. Curdie knelt a few feet away from his bed trying to help their injured guest off the floor. Cloud stood at her head whining sadly and occasionally licking her cheek in an effort to console her. The girl had apparently tired to walk when her legs gave out on her and she collapsed on the floor in the heap that Curdie was now trying to put back together.
"Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," Curdie slipped his arm around the young woman's waist and hoisted her to her feet carefully. "I don't know what happened…" Her voice trailed off quietly.
"You don't know how you ended up on the floor?" Rose asked skeptically.
The girl stared at her dumbly and shook her red-gold hair. There was a frightened look in her eyes, like a cornered doe, her bright blue eyes rimmed with a salty gleam that threatened to spill over at any minute. Cloud seemed to sense her distress and gently licked the back of her hand. Rose walked across the little cabin to her water basin and wrung out a clean rag to lie on the girl's forehead.
"Just lay back down. Rest a bit." Curdie eased her back onto the pillow and took the rag from his mother to place on the girl's warm forehead. Her skin burned hotly at his touch, sending an old sensation shivering through his bones like wildfire. He did his best to hide his reaction. Trying to cover over his own blunder, he quickly changed the subject. "Have you remembered your name yet? We can't keep calling you 'girl' like we have been."
"No," she sighed sadly. "Nothing has come to me but what I've already told you about. I'm beginning to think I'll never remember anything ever again."
"Well, then we shall make a new name for you!" Rose smiled warmly and handed the girl a bowl of thick stew. "You can start over here with us, if that's what you would want…" She queried.
"I would like that very much." The weak smile that spread across her thin lips seemed to have lost a trace of the sadness that had made its home on the young woman's delicate features.
Thanks to the Reviewers: SapphireShell91: Thanks for reviewing! Sorry that I didn't update this chapter as soon as I should have. Hope you liked it though. Please let me know what ya think! JovialShogun: I take that as a compliment to be put on the same shelf as MacDonald! Thank you! You'll just have to keep reading to find out about goblins! Obsessed365: Hahaha, well, I did update, and I hope you enjoyed this chapter as much. Gracie Shinn: Sorry for the long wait… Hope you like it. Kitty243: There you have it! Carnelianviu: Thanks for the compliments. I hope I don't disappoint. LivBarnes: Hope you like it. iNuQTpIe: Believe me, I totally understand. I just hope you can forgive me for my absence. daughterofthelegend93: I know! I loved the movie and I always wanted to make my own version! New Heart: Hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for reviewing. Unopeneddoors: Hope you enjoy it, and please review again! Savior-Elemental: Hope this is soon enough for you. Shizuku Tsukishima749: I hope you enjoyed this chapter… Deyinel: The way ya'll butter me up with compliments, I just hope I don't disappoint everyone!
Final Notes: Well… there you have it. The next installment of the Curdie and mystery girl drama. I have to say that I'm not really big on this chapter. SO far, of all the chapters, I feel this one is the weakest mainly because I took so long to finish it out. I really do apologize for the long wait, and I understand if I lose a bunch of reviews, but hey, ya do what ya can, right? All that aside, I hope my faithful few will continue to read and review, you're the only ones that keep me writing! MWAH! Bye!