“The Key of Aloain” By Ava Zambri

1412 Knoll Street, that’s where the Robins live. The houses were nice and well built; that is all except one. At the very end of the street, in the very last house, lived a very peculiar family. The white paint on the bricks were peeling off. It was being strangled by old dried up vines. It looked old, worn-out, and simply broken, but in the inside, it was bursting with magic and beauty. Streamers with changing pictures of a young girl varnished the walls, while balloons were on the wooden table filling with air own their own. A stream of letters that rearranged themselves to spell, “Happy Turning Jade!” floated in air. A strong woman with broad shoulders and frayed silver hair stood in the kitchen scolding the two brothers. “Would you please stop fooling around or there will be consequences!”

“Sorry mother!” The said in unison, as they attempt to hide their grins. They quickly ran for the steps, but with a swift motion of Ms. Robin’s hand, their weapons vanished. With a groan, Gray and Ash returned to the dining room and helped the eldest sister, Fiona, prepare for the celebration. Jade sat at the table. Her long brown hair shined in the light of the candles. While her jade green eyes gleamed with excitement. She would finally turn 14 today. However, today was  not just her birthday, it was her day of Turning. She was the only one in her family that did not have any magical ability. Jade never was expected to have powers until 14 years of age, which is called the Turning. It was thought within the family that she would show some sign of uncovering her powers. Her mother had done all the required rituals, the only thing left was to blow out the candles that formed an A figure. 3..2..1 woosh. The Robins fell silent, as Jade looked down at her hand. She made a swift motion, but no force escaped her palms. Jade Robin remained powerless.

“I…I don’t understand,” Jade muttered as a frightful tear fell from her cheek. She looked to her mother, helpless.

Jade sat on a horse with an precarious expression. She gripped her travel bag tightly in worry. After pulling the hood from her emerald cloak over her tight braid, she gave a jolt to the reins and bolted off. Jade, with no instructions, kept on straight. She traveled for days, going straight down the long, seemingly endless road. After what felt like months, Jade arrived to the edge of a forest. For as far as the eye could see, there was only dense trees. She looked at her horse for comfort, but found none. Eventually feeling the hunger and fatigue set in, she began to search for a place to rest. At last, a bit farther ahead she spotted a cave. She now was completely overcome by exhaustion.

Jade woke up too see two inquiring eyes staring back at her. Jade lept back with a yelp. The creature did the same. “What, I mean who are you?” Jade questioned with precaution.

“Of course, my name is Fara, I am one of the pixies of these woods. I am at your service human,” the pixie answered.

“Thank…thank you. I am Jade. I was never able to get my powers, and I was told that my last hope was to find the Key of Aloain,” Jade replied flustered. “If I could just get my magic, things would go back to the way the should be.”

“Please allow me to assist you in your journey, for I know this forest of Lynaea extremely well,” Fara offered. Jade gave a grateful nod and went on to explain what had occurred. Fara taught Jade about the forest and its many resources. They gathered berries and water, and leapt back onto the horse. The doubt started to grow inside Jade. The farther she ventures into the forest, the farther she gets from home. Jade knew that the only chance of her returning to her family was if she had magic, and she was in the middle of an unknown forest not even knowing what she is looking for or where to start. The duo continued to journey through the forest. Occasionally, Jade would use her sword to cut away branches and bushes causing obstacles in their trail. Along the way Jade would seek out any spot that could have some meaning to the key.

“Oh, Fara stop! Over there, just past the largest tree. There must be a key hidden there,” Jade would plead. Unfortunately, Fara would repeatedly respond with a sharp head shake.

“No, I have been there plenty of times, it simply couldn’t be there. I suggest we keep going.” This continued until they reached the end of the woods. Jade had to crane her neck back to see the altitudinous mountain.

Fara, you didn’t tell me about a mountain,” Jade nudged the pixie.

Fara replied, “I have never seen such a mountain. Do you think the key could be there?”

Jade paused. She had been on this arduous adventure for days. She began to think about her family, who she missed so dearly, and the feeling she would get if she could just get her powers. I will get that key, if it’s the last thing I do. “It better be Fara, because I’m going up,” Jade announced.

“I will be right there with you. We will get your powers. I am sure of it.” Fara added. Jade and Fara were no match to the massive mountain. They quickly became tired, but were not deterred. They encouraged each other as they went up, for it was getting easier and easier to give up. Sweat trickled down Jade’s face, while she gasped harder for breath. The higher they climbed, the hotter the atmosphere became. Suspicious, they continued up. Suddenly, Fara came to an abrupt stop. A look of fear swept her face. She turned to Jade and mouthed, “Dragon.” Jade was speechless. Does this mean the key is there? What else would it be guarding? What am I to do? Thoughts raced through her mind. “Fara, you have helped throughout this journey from start to finish. I am forever thankful, but I cannot let you continue on with me. I just can’t put your life in danger after all you have done for me,” Jade said. Fara fought back, but in the end agreed to stay back and wait for Jade. Slowly, Jade inched up the side of the mountain. Gripping onto rock, she made her way behind the fiery beast, which lay asleep. The dragon took a sharp breath in and rose from his sleep. Jade knew that the creature now had her scent. She intuitively dove behind a boulder to protect herself, and  with shaking hands, she drew her sword from her bag. The dragon stuck out its large nose from the side of the rock. Jade held her breath, as she held the sword tight to her chest. The beast progressed his search for her. With a deep breath and quick prayer, Jade left her hiding spot. The dragon turned his mammoth head around and spotted her. It whipped its tail, and hit Jade’s legs. With a screech, she once again  jumped behind the boulder. It breathed in and released a burning streak of fire. Jade used the boulder as a shield, as she watched the fire swerve around her. Though, throughout this long and treacherous adventure, Jade had grown more agile and strong. Suddenly, her fear started to melt away, and was replaced with courage and strength. She began to think clearly now, for she knew she couldn’t outlast the beast. Jade seized a rock and threw it on the other side of the ledge. The dragon lifted its head to follow the sound. She found her window. Jade climbed up to a piece of flat rock that towered over an icy pool of water. She let out a high pitched whistle, and the beast shot up. The dragon was coming right at her. Wait…she told herself. Right when it seemed like she would be defeated by the dragon, she jumped. Jade could feel the dragon on her heels, as the wind pierced her ears. She was falling head first straight into an icy pool, but right when she was about to hit, the was a pause and a harsh jolt to the left. It was too late before the dragon realized where it was heading. It plummeted into the water. Jade released a relieved sigh, as she turned and winked at Fara. The pixie was using her magic to keep Jade from falling. 

“I knew you would catch me, you are always there,” Jade grinned. Fara gave a little shrug and grin. Then, the dragon once more emerged from the water. It tried to breath fire, but the ice prevented it. With a shivering call, the dragon spread its wings and flew off the mountain. There was still a key to find. Jade and Fara headed to where the creature first lay. Buried under some bones and straw, lay a small metallic key. The key was icy cold, with an A imprinted in it. The same A that was used in all the rituals of the Turning. Fara gasped. “You have found the Key of Aloain! If this gives you your powers, you will be one of the most capable witches this time has seen.” Now knowing what the key was, the pixie lead Jade to a small hole in the mountain. It was directly under the ledge Jade climbed on before defeating the dragon. There was small hole, with rough sharp edges. Above the hole was an engraved arch with an A dangling from the top. Jade inserted the key and begged for it to work. She gave the key a turn and looked down at her hands. A metallic spark burst from her callused palm. A smile spread from ear to ear. She thanked Fara profusely, and wrapped her arms tightly around the little pixie. Jade produced one more spark and headed back to her now all magical family, as a true Robin.    

 

Leave a Reply