Chapter 8

The Lost Explorer

Flynn stared at the silent orb left all alone in the courtyard after the final Enchantress disappeared behind the ivy curtain. With no crowd lingering around the ruined courtyard, he took the opportunity to get a closer look and see what was within the remaining orb. 

Still keeping to the cover of the bushes and other debris, he snuck up closer to the centre of the courtyard. To his surprise, it looked like the outline of a body floating within the orb. 

Flynn took another step closer, then another. Once he rounded the burning fountain he had a much clearer view. Immediately, his jaw dropped when he recognised the pointed hood and ashy grey cloak – it was his father trapped within the orb!

Throwing caution to the wind, Flynn ran out from the cover of the hedges and into the open courtyard. He raced over to his imprisoned father, suspended within the glowing orb. Flynn winced when he saw Brady’s injured leg now twisted at a grotesque angle. 

Even worse was the complete look of hopelessness etched on his father’s face. Brady was lost in a deep trance, staring off into the direction which the coven had gone.

Trying to get his father’s attention, Flynn pressed himself against the golden links of the glowing orb. No sooner did he touch the meshing then an intense electric shock surged through him – jolting him away. 

Flynn was thrown backwards, flying through the air away from the prison. Falling onto the broken paving, he tried to shake off the burning sensation in his finger tips. This commotion snapped Brady out of his daze, grabbing his attention.

Finally noticing Flynn, Brady reached his hands out to his son. Pressing them against the inside of the orb, he was immediately jolted back by the electric shock as well. Totally unaffected by his burnt hands he looked up at Flynn, “Son!” He gasped.

“Dad!” Flynn came back to the orb as close as he could possibly get, “Dad, are you okay? 

“Stay quiet son! They must not hear you.” Brady hushed him.

“Are you okay? Where’s Mom?” Too many thoughts were rushing through Flynn’s head to make sense of anything at the moment.

“They’ve taken your mother away, but you must keep quiet son.”

“They took her away?” Flynn whispered in the loudest way possible.

“Yes. And they are going to take me next.” Brady said in a matter-of-fact tone. 

This wasn’t comforting to hear at all, “But Dad —”

“Flynn!” Brady interrupted, “You must not be caught.”

“But Dad, I can help you.”

“I know you can Flynn, but you MUST listen to me first!” Brady very nearly shouted out, “There is nothing you can do for us now. Your mother and I will be taken away very shortly. But whatever happens, you must NOT be seen – This is extremely important. We are depending on you Flynn, so listen carefully.”

All of Flynn’s attention was now focused entirely on his father’s instructions. He listened with intensely as Brady  urgently continued in a low and serious voice,  “Your mother and I are now prisoners of The Coven.”

“THE Coven!?!” Flynn asked in terrified awe. 

“Yes son, The Coven has captured us and there’s no changing that. But they don’t know that you exist and we are going to keep it that way. So you must stay hidden for now and let us be taken.”

Flynn couldn’t believe what he was hearing, “But Dad —”

“Flynn! It’s the only way – You must hide. We don’t have much time now. Your mother gave The Coven a bit of trouble,” he said with a touch of pride in his voice, “But they will be coming back soon, so you must listen very closely.” Brady looked over his shoulder, determining how much time they had left.

He looked back at Flynn, noticing the pack slung across his son’s shoulder, “Great! You still have your mother’s satchel – You’re going to need that!”

Flynn had forgotten that he was carrying Mom’s satchel full of bottles. He hugged it close to his chest as a source of comfort. 

Brady continued, “First you must go to my study and collect all of the Resting Relics from the oak bureau. Throw them all in your Mom’s satchel – It’s YOUR satchel now.”

Flynn felt a surge of pride from inheriting his mother’s satchel, but he let his father continue, “Then, also in the bureau, you will find my field journals. They contain maps and all of the other information that you need. They will explain everything.” 

Flynn wasn’t sure how this would help release his parents, but he began making solid mental notes of all he needed to do, “Oak bureau… Resting Relics… journals… maps… ”

Brady interrupted the mental checklist, “Then you need to find the Lost Explorer.”

“The what?”

“It’s not a what, it’s a who. You must find the Lost Explorer.”

“Who’s the Lost Explorer?”

“He’s an old friend, but there’s no time to explain that now. Just find him and he will help you recharge the Relics. Together, you will be able to rescue us from The Coven.”

“But where is he?”

“You will be able to find him in the Crater.”

“The what?” Flynn was so confused.

“The Crater. Don’t worry – All you need to know is in the journals.” Brady continued, “The Lost Explorer will definitely there. He hasn’t left the Crater for over a decade – Not once. I wish I could explain more, but there’s no time. Don’t worry, like I said, my journals will explain everything.”

“But what if I can’t find him?”

“Flynn, look at me.” Brady looked into his son’s eyes with absolute confidence, “You can do this – You WILL do this. I have all the faith in you. My journals will lead you on your way.”

“But Dad—”

“Go now Flynn!” Dad whisper-shouted.

“Dad—”

“I’m counting on you Flynn. Your Mother is counting on you too. It’s the only way to save us. Get the Relics. Get the journals and find the Lost Explorer.”

Brady glanced over his shoulder suddenly causing Flynn to look in the same direction. The curtains of ivy began to ripple as The Coven returned to the courtyard.

“Go Flynn – Now!”         

 

Flynn wanted to grab hold of his father for a parting embrace, but the electrified orb would not allow that. He wanted to say a heart-felt goodbye, but the Enchantresses returning prevented that as well. 

Knowing that he would be captured if he stayed any longer, he tore himself away from his father and ran for cover. Flynn huddled down behind broken bits of statue lining the pathway. He felt vulnerable behind the crumbling statues, but The Coven took no notice of him as they reemerged from the ivy curtain. 

The Enchantresses were visibly exhausted from the effort of transporting Dawnella’s orb, but they did not delay in their preparations. Quickly securing Brady’s orb with a series of charms, they guided him out of Fountain Square. With extreme efficiency The Coven disappeared through the ivy curtain from whence they came.

Watching his father being dragged away left an empty feeling deep in Flynn’s stomach. He had never felt so alone in his entire life. Cradling his mother’s satchel close to his chest, he tried to shake the isolation away by running the list of things he needed to do through his head: 

Get Resting Relics, Get Journals, Find Lost Explorer… 

Get Resting Relics, Get Journals, Lost Explorer… 

Get Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer…

Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer…

Over and over he repeated this mantra to avoid the thoughts of his imprisoned parents. While reciting the list, a caravan of shadows lifted off into the late afternoon sky. Swooping through the dusk, The Coven flew far off into the eastern sky, escorting the two prison orbs between them.

Flynn thought he felt alone when his father was being dragged away earlier, but now he felt absolute loneliness settle in. He would have preferred to be taken with his parents, but Mom and Dad were trusting in him to come to their rescue. Knowing that he was going to save them was the only thing that helped him through his pain.

To keep up his courage, he began to repeat his mantra, 

“Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer… 

  Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer… 

  Resting Relics, Journals, Lost Explorer…” 

The shadows grew longer under the setting sun while Flynn waited for The Coven to disappear over the horizon. Once they were out of sight, he readied himself to complete his task. Realising that hugging his Mom’s satchel wasn’t going to bring her back, he stood up to get moving. He had important work to do now so he raced with determination towards Brady’s study in the Depths of the Glasshouse.

~ – ~

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