This is Chapter 9 of The Seed Episodical. Click here to go back to the Table of Contents.
Hudson couldn’t believe what Goliphant was saying. “The Avilodia are already on the move?” he asked.
“How could they?” asked William. “With their sister in vine chains?” He snorted an indignant huff.
“The Avilodia have given up on you,” said Goliphant, picking up his stride. “They stayed as long as they could, but their plan was to leave for the Eastern Edge of the Lands today.”
“With the Pyxmies and Behemox?” asked William.
“Now how do ye know about the Behemox?” asked Goliphant.
“I don’t really,” said William. “I just heard Diapazon talk about them being on the move.”
Goliphant looked toward the sky. “Yes, m’lad. The Behemox left long ago for safer homes in the mountains. A few stayed around for a while. But I’m the only one of us here now.”
William patted Goliphant’s shoulder. “Aren’t you strong enough to pull out of these vines? I mean, you’ve gotta be stronger than The Hulk!”
“No one’s strong enough, lad.” Goliphant’s eyes drooped, and his shoulders sank. “I was asleep in the forest when Kakaya took its hold on me. When I awoke, it had overcome me, just like my little deer friend that you saw in the forest. Although Kakaya decided to keep me for work, instead of its own personal food.”
To Hudson’s shock, Goliphant wiped a tear from his face and kept walking.
Hudson felt the severity of Goliphant’s sway and refused the urge to heave. “Please tell me there’s a way you can summon the Avilodia, Goliphant. We have to try, at least one last time before they leave. Antiphon is supposed to know what to do.”
Goliphant took four more giant steps and stomped toward the edge of the forest. The trees quickly thinned and the sunlight became bright. All of Moonbeam Meadow lay before them. Goliphant put the boys down on the grassy ground and reached into a deep pocket made of leaves. He pulled out a tiny mirror.
Goliphant bent down to whisper into the boys’ ears. “This is a signal mirror,” he said. “Let’s watch and see what happens when I reflect the rays of our sun.”
The boys stood in amazement while Goliphant moved his mirror in a wavelike motion. He flipped the mirror up, and then down, and then in a circular pattern. His body moved like the sea, almost in a dance, as he turned facing the forest, and back to the meadow.
The air was still and quiet. A breeze whispered through the meadow and ruffled Husdon’s hair.
Then, in a flash, many prisoners emerged from the forest, their veils of leafy tendrils dragging behind them. Diapazon and Lilikin appeared, walking towards Goliphant. The expectant smiles on their faces made Hudson’s heart soar with great hope.
As Hudson and William greeted their friends, a soft sound of singing rolled into his ears. Hudson turned around to the swelling sounds of a great chorus, pushing its way through the clouds with a great crescendo of harmony. The Avilodia appeared, in all their winged glory, with their colors gleaming in the sky.
William pointed to the clouds. “It’s Antiphon! He’s coming!”
The group of flying bird-people softly landed on Moonbeam Meadow with the grace of a hundred swans.
“My Friends,” boomed Goliphant. His body turned to the Vine People and back to the Avilodia. “This is Hudson and William. They’ve brought something that can deliver us!”
A great murmur of voices arose from both groups on the Meadow, all talking at once.
Hudson recognized Antiphon as he stepped to the front of the group.
“You have something to help us?” Antiphon stifled a laugh. “What is it? A weapon? A poison?” His eyes searched Hudson from the top of his head to the bottom of his toes.
Hudson reached into his pocket. “It’s a seed, Sir.” He opened the envelope and held the seed in the palm of his hand. “Lyric said you’d know what to do with it.”
A few of the Avilodia began to laugh.
“Such a tiny thing to fight with!”
“Tell him to come back with a magic weed-killer.”
“How could a seed free our brothers?”
Anger and indignation seemed to rise within the Avilodia. The prisoners looked defeated. All their hopes seemed to be crushed by the minuscule star-shaped speck in Hudson’s hand.
“Just a minute!” stomped William. “Now hear him out. We think this is gonna work!”
Hudson gulped and spoke directly to Antiphon. “We found this in our world. We discovered a book…a history book…of your world on the bookshelf…and inside was a poem, or a prophecy of sorts. It said that one seed brought a curse into your land. And another seed will bring the cure. It’s called the Bright Morning Star.” He held it up for Antiphon to examine.
At that moment, Selah stepped forward. Her wings gracefully arched up and over her back, framing her head like a crown. “Brother…” she whispered at Antiphon, and she put her hand on his shoulder. She lifted her head high and turned to the group of winged members. “Brothers,” she called to the Avilodia. “Let us try! Many of us have lost hope, but let us not forget our brothers and sisters whose lives are entangled with Kakaya! Let us not forget our land that has been crushed underneath this vine! Let us not forget our lost homes, and the Florawood who have died under the strangulation of its grip! Let us not forget we used to be fighters! If a seed could bring a cure, let us try! For freedom!”
A loud chorus of song-like ‘Amens’ arose from both sides of the meadow, and the ground quaked underneath it. A few of the prisoners let out a hearty cheer.
But their enthusiasm had been too loud.
A rumble inside the forest began to shake the earth.
“The Kakaya!” yelled Lilikin pointing toward the forest. “It’s awake! Quick Hudson! Quick William! Ye’ don’t have much time!”
All of a sudden, the prisoners struggled against an invisible force that seemed to be pulling them backwards into the forest. Diapazon leaned forward, attempting to use his strength to keep his feet planted in the meadow.
Antiphon led Hudson towards the middle of the meadow. “It must be here!” he shouted, and pointed to the ground.
“Come on Hud! What are you waiting for?” shouted William.
Hudson pinched the little star-shaped seed between his thumb and forefinger and poked it deep into the soft earth. He pushed it down as far as his fingers could reach. He stepped back and stared. William bent over and peered at the spot where Hudson planted the seed. The Avilodia gathered in a circle around the spot and waited.
The rumbling earth became louder.
Hudson looked up and saw Diapazon being dragged by his feet back into the forest. Goliphant, too, was on his knees, fighting the force that was pulling him back in.
“Nothing’s happening Hud!” yelled William. “What did you do wrong?”
“How should I know?” squeaked Hudson. “We live in the city! I know nothing about gardening!”
On the sidelines, Lilikin was struggling against the force that pulled him deeper into the forest. He yelled and waved to the crowd. “Here! I collected water from th’creek this mornin’. Try this!” He quickly unhooked a pouch-like canteen that originally hung from his belt and slung it as far as he could towards the middle of the meadow.
Hudson grabbed Lilikin’s water pouch and poured the entire contents over the tiny hole of the little star-seed.
As the last drop hit the earth, the ground began to tremble violently, rocking Hudson so fiercely that he lost his balance.
“Earthquake!” yelled Antiphon.
The Avilodia floated into the sky, hovering over the shaky ground. The last of Lilikin could be seen as he was pulled into the forest. Goliphant stood, valiantly fighting the force of Kakaya that tried to keep him down. Despite the power of the vine’s strength, Goliphant reached the place where the boys stood and scooped them up, heading towards the cover of the trees. As Goliphant whisked them away, Hudson looked behind them to see a great chasm splitting Moonbeam Meadow right down the middle.