The Oracle’s Dilemma Vol. 8 An Isle of Mist Short

Jan Erik Waider


I woke to find myself held in Keyne’s arms and him frantically yelling at me to wake up. “What happened? Are we home?” My voice much too shaky to be my own.
“No, we are right where we were, your magic began and then you just dropped like a stone. I’ve been trying to wake you for the last quarter of an hour.”
“I what? What do you mean my power began and then I dropped? I did not faint, my powers have never once failed me and they did not start today. I must have been distracted. I will try again.”
“Nay woman, you will not. We will go to the nearest town and you will eat and you will rest. You hardly had enough food to feed a child yesterday and drank enough ale to drown a horse. I will not be swayed in this. Now, which way do we go?”

I wanted to protest but I feared he was right. I felt weak and shaky. I wasn’t sure I could use my magic to swat a fly much less get us back to the Hidden Isle. Choking back my sharp reply, I laughed and called him a twit as I headed off to the north. I wasn’t sure where we were in relation to other people but I knew we needed to go North and West to stay in Georgia. If I was going to be stuck here I was getting some decent food. I quickly found that while I was fine issuing a quest, I was ill suited for undertaking one of my own. My feet ached, the bugs and vegetation of the swamp had caused me to be covered in welts and bites. I was doing better than Keyne though. He was much larger than me and learned quickly to step lightly, it’s called The Land of Trembling Earth for a reason. He was soaked through and had seen one of the large swamp lizards and started. He then fell into a plant growing up a tree. Whatever plant it was has caused him to itch everywhere it touched and he has a bright red rash. Note to self, leaves of three, leave it be. For what I am sure was the millionth time since getting to this accursed swamp, I wished my powers were working. I could heal us both and take us to anywhere but here.

We trekked through the swamp for hours, even I had lost my love for it before we finally came upon a road. Sticking with my original plan of going north and west we headed into the setting sun. Thankfully at some point, Keyne realized walking around in our typical, loose, flowy clothes and carrying a giant ax on his back was not the best way to endear ourselves to the natives. He used his magic to make us both look more American. I felt ridiculous in my blue jeans and tank top. At least he gave me comfortable shoes. When we came to a small diner I nearly wept with relief.