MeetingI open my eyes to see the blue-gray sky above me, speckled with fading stars. It's early morning, but if I want to make it to the meetings on time, I must wake up as soon as I can. I slip out of my hammock and stretch, reaching my slender fingers towards the clouds, before pulling on my clothes: a knitted sweater, shorts woven from reeds, and sturdy boots. I grab my bow and quiver from a low-hanging branch and take off running through the woods.
I expertly duck under branches and leap over logs, and in no time, I'm exiting the forest and entering the Hub. The Hub is the most populous place in Creativia, and no wonder - it's where all the Realms meet. However, since it's early in the morning, the usual hustle-and-bustle hasn't begun yet. I jog through the town square, my feet pounding the stone. By the time I reach the Town Hall, the sun is just peeking over the horizon.
I squeeze through the double doors and begin climbing up the winding oak staircase to the top floor, where the meetings are held. When I arrive, only Edmund and Heather are here; the others haven't come yet.
I sit down in my seat, clearly labeled with my name - "Althea" - etched onto a golden nameplate. Below that is a smaller, silver plate, reading "Elf." I've been coming to these meetings long enough to know each and every one of the Guardians' names by heart - Edmund, Guardian of the Vampires; Heather, Guardian of the Fairies; Drew, Guardian of the Werewolves; Snowdrop, Guardian of the Unicorns; Ember, Guardian of the Pegasi; Dusty, Guardian of the Ogres. And then there's me, Althea, Guardian of the Elves. I cross my arms and watch as the rest of the Guardians trickle in, ending with Ember, wings folded neatly.
"I'm sorry, Eddie, but there is a matter that we really must attend to," she says. "It involves Ember. And..." She pauses. "Let me try that again. You see, several Unicorns have approached me, claiming that they have been taunted by Pegasi. They say that the Pegasi tease them about the fact that they cannot fly. This has been an issue for many weeks now, and I have been waiting for you to bring it up on the agenda, but it seems as if I have to take it into my own hands."
Ember flutters her wings. "Is that so?" She glares at Snowdrop. "As a matter of fact, my Pegasi have confronted me, saying that Unicorns have taunted them about the fact that they don't have horns!"
Snowdrop shakes her head angrily and lets out a snort. "That is not true at all! My Unicorns would never do that!"
"And my Pegasi would never do what you claimed they would, either!"
Edmund growls and slams his fist on the table. "Silence!" he shouts. Everyone falls silent, and Edmund continues. "This bickering must stop! I'm sure none of you would like Creativia to turn back into the way it was before, am I right? Full of battles... tears... blood!"
TO BE CONTINUED....