This is Chapter 6 of The Seed Episodical. Click here to go back to the Table of Contents.
Wrapped tightly in the Kakaya, and dripping wet from the rainstorm, Hudson had lost all hope. Suddenly, from far off in the distance, Hudson heard singing. It was an ethereal sound, mystical and free-flowing, a haunting melody that floated in the air like a Medieval chant. Now fully wrapped by vines, Hudson lay on the forest floor with his arms bound and his legs tied tightly together. The singing continued to become louder, and even more beautiful in tone and melody.
Hudson craned his neck with every ounce of fight that he had left within him. He looked towards the sound of the music and saw Lyric standing over him, singing and waving her hands in graceful movement to the beat, like a conductor controlling an orchestra. She sang and conducted, waving her hands over Hudson’s body, and then over William’s. Hudson lay astounded as he felt the leaves slacken, slowly releasing his arms and legs. They loosened and opened enough for him to wiggle free. He reached over towards his brother and helped him escape the coiling tendrils. Lyric kept singing as the boys found their feet and faced her.
She put a finger to her lips as she hummed. Then she pointed to something behind them. While Lyric kept humming, Hudson turned around to see what she was pointing at. The massive tree with the dark hole stood in the distance, with roughly the length of one city block to reach it.
Hudson nodded to Lyric and grabbed William’s arm. “Come on Will,” he whispered as quietly as he could. “We’ve got to tiptoe quietly so the vine doesn’t awaken again.”
Hudson could feel William’s body tighten under his grip.
“But I think we should run, Hud,” hissed William. “We need to get outta here!”
“Just…step…slowly,” Hudson whispered.
“I’m sorry Hud, but I’m freaked out!” yelled William, and he sprinted towards the tree.
All of a sudden, the vines on the forest floor swirled around them. William froze in his tracks.
“Now you’ve done it!” snapped Hudson, walking a bit faster to his brother.
The vines slid underneath them. Hudson looked back to see Lyric being swept up into the trees, hanging from her arms in the tangled canopy.
“Lyric!” yelled Hudson.
“Go! Pleeeeaaase!” cried Lyric. “Fiiiind the cure and bring it baaack!” she cried as her body was hurled upwards, higher and higher towards the canopy of vines.
Hudson turned around and pushed towards William. “We’ve got to free her!” He noticed the vines carried Lyric higher into the treetops, wrapping themselves around her like a spider wrapping a fly inside its web.
“The vine will kill her!” Hudson said. “I don’t know what to do! Should we go after her?”
A faint cry came down from the treetops. It was Lyric, her voice soft and thin. “Pleeeease. Go find the cure!”
Hudson let out a breath. “Okay! We’ve got to find the cure, and we’ve got to do it now!”
A crackling of leaves sounded behind them and Hudson looked back again. The vines were on the move, headed straight for their feet. Hudson pointed to the gigantic tree with the rectangle of darkness hovering inside its trunk. “Quick! Run!” he said.
The boys sprang into a sprint, heading for the tree that would take them back to their world.
When they arrived at the foot of the massive trunk, they paused and looked at each other.
“On three, okay?” said Hudson, unable to control his rapid breathing. The vines snaked around them, coiling at their toes. Hudson took hold of William’s hand and spoke as fast as he could. “One, two, THREE!”
The boys closed their eyes and dove into the gaping hole of the tree trunk. Hudson felt himself lifting and falling all at once, making his stomach lurch up and down. He felt a cool breeze fly across his body, and then he bumped upon something hard and rough, landing with a loud thump. When he opened his eyes, he saw the floor of the shack, and the antiquated items of its little room. Next to the cot, he saw William lying next to him, shivering. The straw hat was strewn upside down beside him.
Wet and cold, Hudson attempted to wipe off the rainwater that had soaked his clothes. He could see that William looked ill. Hudson scanned the room looking for something to warm his brother. He grabbed the knitted blue sweater that hung on the iron peg. “Here, Will. How about you put this on? It’ll keep you warm.”
William sat up. Still shaking, he donned the sweater and looked at Hudson. “I’m c…c…convinced this is a magical shack, Hud,” said William. “Do you think there are more ways into other w..worlds around here?”
Hudson sat down at the writing desk, feeling a pressing burden to be quick in his search. “I don’t know. But we’ve gotta find whatever the Avilodia were looking for, and I’m not even sure where to look.”
Hudson opened all the drawers looking for something—anything. What could it be? he thought. A magic spell? A special weapon? A wizard’s potion? What could be the remedy for such an evil presence?
William sat on the cot, still shivering. “Whatever it is, I hope we f..find it fast. I’m so…c…cold.”
“I just need to take a breath and think,” said Hudson.
William pulled the sweater tightly across his chest. “What if we l..looked in that strange history book again?” he said. “Maybe there’s a c..clue.”
Hudson stood up and walked to the miniature bookcase, opening The History of Kelos to the first page. He read the poem out loud again.
William nervously tapped his heel onto the ground. “It said to ‘beware of deception made to allure… for all that is b..beautiful… is not pure.’ That’s the vine, don’t ya think, Hud?”
Hudson nodded his head. “Yup, I think it is.”
“And it also said something about the land obscure…” fumbled William.
Hudson looked in the book and read,
“In the heart of this land
remote and obscure,
exists a disease
that is without cure.”
“Yeah, that,” said William. “Do you think the ‘d..disease’ is that evil vine?”
“Yup, I think it is,” said Hudson.
Hudson pointed his finger inside the book. “But it says here at the end that ‘The quest remains to find the key… to unlock disorder and mystery.”
“That’s it!” yelled William. “A key! We should be looking for a key!”