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"Oh!" Elina breathed with some surprise as the little ball of light appeared. She followed its trail through the air until he came to a stop just past the end of her nose. Curiously, she glanced back and forth between it and Mallos as little light spots began to appear in front of her eyes. Not finding any answers on the Spaniard's face she closed her eyes and waited. Well, you're in the right time. She opened her eyes again.
"Oh well..." she began, looking from Mallos to the king with a frown, "that's good...I guess?" She had spent a lot of time since she had woken up on the beach thinking up various stories to explain her memory loss, but she had never thought she might be a time traveller. Was that really a thing? And a casual thing, judging by Mallos' tone.
"Sorry," she said to his retreating back, "why...why did you think I might be in the wrong time?" Elina gestured at the objects on the King's table, "are they old? Where do you think I got them from?"

Suddenly, a woman appeared from the shadows behind the king's throne. She was the strangest looking person Elina had seen since she'd awoken in this odd little world. In the two weeks since she'd awoken on the beach, she'd met a talking horse, grown gills, swum to an underwater castle and met a boy with a seeing-eye bear. The sight of the strange woman however was the first thing to send a shiver down Elina's spine. She was holding a strange weapon which put Elina instantly in mind of farming. The threatening glint to the blade however, made her think that this was probably not its intended purpose. Elina eyed it warily. Her right hand strayed absently to her waist, as if searching for the handle of a sword which wasn't there.

She let her arm drop to her side as she realised that the woman was staring at her. Something in Elina bristled defensively for a moment before she found her eyes drawn to the blue star hanging against the woman's chest. It looked eerily familiar, and she opened her mouth to ask where she might have seen it before. Aura beat her to it.

"I'm sorry...?" Elina said after a long pause, "I should be dead?" She knew she wasn't dead. She was breathing, for a start, and she could feel her heart beating. Her back still ached from the couple of nights she'd spent camping in the woods en-route to Murray's shop, and a series of scratches on her right arm stood testament to her run-in with a blood-sucking plant. She wasn't sure what she thought death felt like; but it definitely wasn't like any of that.
"Do you know me?" she asked the woman, "was there an accident? Am I a missing person? Are there people looking for me?" It seemed like the most obvious way to explain the woman's statement. Somewhere in the world there were people who thought she was dead because she'd been caught up in some disaster or other. Elina's eyes snapped back to the woman's pendant.
"And, why on earth is your pendant so familiar to me? I swear, I've seen it somewhere before! Why do I recognise it, and not you?"


photo by Ben Fredericson at flickr.com






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