Sophie was bouncing in the road. She’d been to Firgrove to see Minka (whoever that was) and check out the new race track and she’d come back all fired up to make a similar race in the Hollow Woods. But, she needed our help before we could test it out. There were some rare flowers on the track that needed to be moved. They were white, almost daisy, looking things but taller. I chattered about how pretty they were so Misty wouldn’t talk to me about Heart’s crazy behavior.
When we came back, Sophie mentioned someone had littered over the track. I shouted I got it and rode away. The great thing about there being two of us, when it came time to test the track, we couldn’t talk to each other.
Little did I know, that Heart’s strangeness was about to be overtaken by something else. After the race, and I chattered about how hard it was all the way through Valedale, we rode to Elizabeth’s house.
Elizabeth was waiting for us. Misty seemed worried that it had been some sort of magical and mysterious means but Alex had sent her a text message to tell her we were coming. “Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!” (Girl Genius, Diary.) I wouldn’t tease Misty about it though. Given everything we’d seen, I wouldn’t be surprised if magic was next.
But hey, we would get places sooner if horses didn’t act crazy and if people didn’t need our help all the time!
Elizabeth wanted to be extremely sure that we were willing to help with this problem. It might be more complicated than it first appeared. Just something about the way she said it made me really uneasy. We were being dragged into something bigger here than we’d signed up for. But there didn’t seem to be any help for it but to agree.
She gave us a ‘stick,’ diary, did I or didn’t I not just say something about magic being next. I don’t have gifts of prophecy, I don’t! Well, she wanted us to go behind her house to a circle of rune stones, focus on the images there and wave the stick.
The rune stones were arrayed around the road. There were four of them with four different symbols carved into them. A star, a moon, a sun and a lightning bolt. I looked at Misty. This was making me feel all odd in my chest. Like, almost like an itch behind my eyes and my heart was feeling all sorts of floaty. It is sort of relaxing but very odd feeling at the same time. Sometimes music does it to me too. We both looked confused. We dithered over who was to go first when I just had this hunch that it was important for Misty to go first.
I passed her the ‘stick’ (Elizabeth so wanted to say magic wand, I’m sure) to Misty and told her she could go. One of us had to go first.
She went around the ring. I don’t know what she felt or did, but three of the four stones lit up just a little bit, but the fourth, the one with the star symbol, it blazed pink. When she was done and stepped back, it just sort of all faded away.
She handed me the ‘stick.’ I took a deep breath. This felt too much like magic. My heart was racing and I don’t know if it was from fear or excitement. What if something happened? What if nothing happened? I don’t know why but I decided to start at the northern most stone and go around clockwise. I stared at each of the symbols, trying to think in my head what they were all about. Lightning, well that was sort of easy, that was power, electricity and Zeus. The stars were guides and a place of safety. There were many important animals and people in the sky. The moon was the feminine, Selene and Hecate, two sided and the keeper of fortune. Lastly, the sun, Helios, masculinity, regality and fire, travelling across the sky with fiery steeds. I don’t know if this is what Elizabeth meant.
As I stood there and held the wand and concentrated on the stones, it happened again, just like it had with Misty, three of them glowed just a little bit, but for me, the moon stone surged to life, a brilliant pink.
I lowered the wand after the sun stone and stared at them all. “What does it all mean?”
Misty didn’t have an answer.
We reported to Elizabeth, bewildered. This felt too much like magic. Elizabeth seemed bewildered too but she hid it quickly. She told us not to talk about it, except maybe to Alex and then she gave us directions to Firgrove (and a yellow helmet for some reason). I guess there was a pass over the mountain between the Lake and Firgrove village.
The trail was twisty and we had to go slow. I tried to put Elizabeth’s test out of my mind, but I couldn’t. Heart kept looking at me. She was trying to tell me it would be okay, but there were too many goosebumps on my arm that I couldn’t explain with the temperature and the wind. And it seemed by mutual agreement that Misty and I weren’t ready to talk about it. We weren’t talking about a lot of things.
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.