Heaven & Hell Chapter II Part II
The sun was mid way in the sky, giving the atmosphere a cooling feeling. Clouds were now visible in the sky, giving Simple a few long, yearned for minutes of shade. Maloe and Malock, however, did not take notice as the clouds eclipsed the sun. They were both running; their feet hitting the ground, a few nanoseconds before each other, kicking up the gravel behind them in miniature dust clouds.
Maloe was quite noticeably ahead in the game, and Malock had decided to join a few seconds after his sister threatened him. His sister showed no signs of slowing down, although sweat ran from her hairline, smudging in with the ash on her face. Malock picked up some speed, his spirit lifted joyfully as he noticed the space between him and his sister getting smaller by every beat of his feet on the ground. If there was one thing that was actually a challenge for him, when it came to competition with Maloe, it was running.
“Turtle!” Maloe said, throwing insults at him.
“Bite me!” Malock shouted through the effort to save his breath.
Maloe rounded on him, quickly sliding on the gravel; she kicked up a few rocks, as she turned, Malock’s back in front of her. He was surprised, and wanted to see what she was up too, but he didn’t let himself stop. Soon enough, he yelped as a sharp pain surged through his right arm. He looked alarmed, at the twinkling eyes of Maloe staring up at him, as she ran, her teeth connected to his arm. His face twisted.
“What the – “ He stammered, falling over his feet, his legs twisting around, and resulting in him landing on the ground, hard. Through gasping breaths, he managed to get a few words of raspy rage, “You – actually – bit – me!”
“Regret it fully!” Maloe shuddered, spitting to the pits beside her, “What did you shower in this morning? Dung?”
Maloe was still managing to run, but backwards, her runners gracefully touching tip to ground as if she did this all the time. Just like Malock, she found herself knocked out from the knees, twirling and twisting her legs into a knot, and heading straight for the ground; a seconds pause followed, and then she saw in blurs, spits of wood fly over her head, and she could’ve sworn orange goop was in the mix. She landed face first, something cold filtering through her nose, mouth, and ears.
Malock moaned as she staggered to his feet. He rubbed his head and his arm where Maloe’s teeth were engraved. He patted the loose dirt from his pants before picking up his jacket. He coughed up some dusty saliva and spat it, off the road.
“Ya know, it’s not very gentleman like to spit in front of a lady.”
Malock rolled his eyes, before glaring, “Malo –“
He was quickly cut off. The voice didn’t belong to Maloe. It belonged to someone else, a different girl. She was quite the opposite of Maloe, in every aspect. Dirt was staining her very long blonde hair, and it hung dangly from her shoulders, it seemed to be soaked in a sticky substance that was orange. Her eyes were sapphire, and glaring at him. They fit perfectly on a heart shaped face, with small lips, and a cute nose that curved slightly at the tip. Malock felt his throat go dry a little, even though he had already previously spit out a mouthful of dirt. The girl was on the ground, which was covered by broken wood and cracked pumpkin, oozing orange blood from their gashes. Malock knew she wasn’t sitting there because she enjoyed the sunshine.
Maloe coughed hysterically as she got to her knees. She was covered in the same orange goop that infested itself in the other girl’s hair; dirt was also added to her collection of ash and scorch marks. She got up, her face wearing a look of disgust as she wiped handfuls of pumpkin from her black hair. She groaned in frustration as she brought herself to her feet. The dust clouds were a haze now, but quickly disappeared, revealing three victims of a serious pumpkin massacre.
Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins lay spread across the country road, some more whole then others. Most of them were either smashed or cracked, still bleeding orange ooze. Broken pieces of wood were also stabbed into them.
“Ick, this is disgusting!” Maloe snapped, kicking a half of a pumpkin, sending it rolling off the road, “I hate pumpkins! Out of all things! Why couldn’t it of been apples?”
The new girl, who was surveying Malock turned her attention to Maloe, she too staggered to her feet. Her long mane of blonde hair reached just past her waist. She patted down her hair, and Malock noticed that she was staring at her feet kind of awkwardly. She had her share of orange gung sticking to her clothing, which contained every shade of blue ever created. Her bracelets, and necklaces, which seemed that she had an endless amount of, were even catchy to the eye. She wiped her nose and brow before glancing at the two of them, once more.
“Next time.” She said quite coolly, taking a turn to stare at Maloe “You better watch where you’re running.”
Maloe looked at her, with an expression that Malock didn’t even understand. He saw, even through the many layers of earth, ash, and pumpkin, Maloe’s ears were turning red, although her fists weren’t clenched. She seemed to be embarrassed.
“Now, I’ll have to clean this mess up.” The girl sighed, Malock wasn’t sure if she was talking to herself, or to them both.
He didn’t know if he was still on earth, in space, or in between both, but he quickly snapped his mouth shut realizing it was very well opened wide. He cracked a small smile, “Oh, don’t worry about it. We’ll clean it up.” He gestured towards Maloe.
The girl looked at him, surprised that he could actually speak. She stopped mid way from grabbing a large piece of orange tinted wood, and stood up straight; her necklaces and bracelets all chimed together, in a funny sound. She bit her lip temporarily, staring owl eyed at Malock. She was looking past him, pondering on something, he could tell by the distant look in her eyes, which just so happened to be wide, bright, and rather on the beautiful side.
“Well, “ The girl sighed, shrugging her thoughts off, “I suppose I could help. I wasn’t exactly paying much attention to the road either.”
Maloe swayed slightly, but joined in, as all three of them started to clear the roadside, “What do we do with it all?” she asked in a small voice.
“You can kick the pumpkins a side, they can decompose into the earth. It wouldn’t make sense it trying to save any, they turn spoiled rather quickly when cracked open. As for the wood, just make a pile, we can’t keep that around, wouldn’t want the emperor to get his locks in a twist.” Malock noted that she had a sweet tone in her voice as she said this.
Thankfully, whatever was holding the pumpkins was built rather small, so they all managed to collect the wood in a matter of minutes. Maloe stumbled on her feet, not noticing that both Malock and the girl had added their share to her pile. She held the wood carefully as she could in her arms.
The girl clapped her hands together happily and bounced on her heels, “Okay, off to the palace then.”
“The palace!?” Maloe stammered through the wall of wood covering her face, “Why there?”
“Well, seeing how the pumpkins are ruined, I’ll have to go back and get a new order.” The girl explained, talking to the wall of wood, “And a new wagon.”
Malock cleared his throat as a signal to talk, but no one noticed his attempt, “Are you a delivery lady?”
“Oh, no.” She said, slowly shaking her head. “Although I do live there… it’s beautiful. Who’d ever thought a palace could actually be made of crystal, diamond and pearl. It must be worth riches!”
“You live with your family?” Malock asked. He didn’t know where his ability for casual talk was coming from, but he didn’t complain.
“Yes, defiantly.” The girl replied, nodding her head, her hair swaying, catching the faint sunlight, “I’m from the Spira family. The name’s Shana.”
“Oh, right.” Malock said, oblivious to fact that he has yet introduced himself.
“I didn’t catch your names.”
“I’m Maloe.” Came a muffled voice, “and that’s my brother, Malock. We’re from the infamous Wimpher family.”
“Oh?” Shana looked from one sibling to the next, “I haven’t heard of your family, sorry. Have you recently come into the light? Oh… you must be the royal family that just moved here from Kikoya; pleasant meeting you.”
“Oh… no, no.” Malock said, quickly becoming alert, “We haven’t come from anywhere. Forgive my sister; her head’s a bit unaligned these days. Our family is actually, very small, and we live just a few kilometers from here… in small house that would never be fit for a royal family.”
Malock shot Maloe a glare.
“So, you must be a part of the royal family then?” Malock asked, quickly trying to cover up the awkward atmosphere that seemed to jump on them.
“Not likely.” Shana smiled, “Grandia took us in under his wing; quite surprising actually. I was just a small girl at the time. My family was always quite wealthy, but we hit a rock, a big one, and my mother took us and ran, I swear she was going mad. One day, she threw herself at the gate of our majesty’s home, screaming and crying for all she was worth.”
“Ouch.” Maloe said, picturing a dirty, worn out lady in brown rags throwing her self at the ground of the palace’s gate, kicking and screaming.
“Mmhmm.” Shana hummed, “Grandia came out, rather young looking at the time. I can remember my older sister becoming totally infatuated with him. He smiled at my mother, and helped her to her feet… can’t remember much from there, but it’s been 6 years, and he stills treats us like we are his flesh and blood.”
“I heard he was cruel.” Maloe said flatly.
“Oh, Grandia, never!” Shana protested, “He’s possibly the nicest emperor Simple has had in decades.”
Maloe doubted this was true, but decided not to voice her thoughts.
Malock spoke up, his hands in his pockets once again, “What’s this palace like? I’ve never been there before.”
“Oh, living in the country, I wouldn’t suspect that you have.” Shana said, but Malock knew she met no harm by her words, “The palace really has no shape to it. It looks like a hollowed out mountain of diamond, but I love it. The interior is just as great. Crystal staircases, walls, towers, and most furniture is made of pearl. It’s bright, it lights up my soul whenever I’m feeling down. The gardens just outside are amazing. They spread out far, a total of four, each holding the existence of every flower in the world.”
“Sounds like a fairytale.” Malock said.
“And that’s exactly what I love about it. It’s the perfect place for the government of Simple to be held. I couldn’t ever imagine leaving it.” Shana explained, fingering a necklace of hers.
“Speaking of this palace,” Maloe said, interrupting, “How much longer till we get there?”
But her question went unanswered, just in the distance she could make out the peek of a mountain, or she thought it was a mountain, until she noticed the many smooth curves, windows, and towers that were carved into it. At the very tip it shone, as the sun was setting; it looked like a huge shining star.