Chapter 14




"Fly down there." Rue instructed as he pointed to a large rock in the center of the broken abbey. When Shetha landed, he quickly jumped off and disappeared inside a small hole at the base of a large stone.

After a few moments, he returned. "Alright." he said as he walked over to them. They noticed he was carrying a gold chain. "Henri, I need your sapphire."

Henri handed him the beautiful stone from out of his pocket. Rue stretched out the necklace, fastened the stone to a pendant, and tucked it between the feathers of Shetha's neck.

"Trust me?” Rue asked her.

“With my life.”

“Mu a nori, Va Vis de shai don." he whispered and Shetha transformed into a white Harvest Mouse. Wymarus and Henri stared in amazement.

"It'll only be temporary." he explained as he placed the necklace around her neck and handed her some clothes from out of his bag. "When we reach New Orleans you can take the necklace off and resume your natural state. However, remember to never remove that stone whilst you're in a tight space."

"This is so exciting." she exclaimed as she hurriedly put on the clothing.

Rue motioned for everyone to follow him into a tiny crevice under Whitby Abbey.

"This is unbelievable!" she giggled. "I always wondered what it felt like to be a mouse."

The four mice dropped into an old tunnel system. Rue cracked a small glow stick for light and quickly led them deeper down the passage until they came to an area with waist high water. Wymarus put Henri on his shoulders and waded through the canal.

"What was that?" asked Shetha tensely.

"What was what?" asked Wymarus.

"Something... just bumped my leg." she said nervously. "How much further, Rue!?"

"We're almost there."

"Good, because I just realized I don't like being in dark water." Her voice quivered.

Wymarus looked around curiously. Shetha tightly grabbed his paw and he jumped.

"Okay, now you're freaking me out." he said as he forced his imagination to not run wild. Henri could sense Wymarus apprehension and stroked his ear comfortingly.

"It's okay." whispered Henri as they came to some stairs. Wymarus couldn't help but smile at the thought that it was he who should have been comforting this sweet child.

"The worst is over." said Rue. He helped an eager Shetha up the stairs, and Wymarus quickly followed. They continued their journey through smelly passages that had bones and skulls of mice neatly stacked along the walls.

"This has to be the creepiest place I've ever been in my life. What type of a twisted mind would do this? I’ve never been so glad to be an owl." she grimaced at the elaborately disturbing display of skeletal remains.

"Weirdos." Wymarus whispered.

"It gets worst the further you go that way." Rue pointed to his left. "But luckily, our destination is right through this door."

They walked into a chamber with seven arched passageways; each having an empty stone bowl in front of it. In the center of the room was a small pool of blue water and a crystal pitcher placed to its side. Rue immediately went over to the first basin and brushed away dust from centuries of isolation. Wymarus and Shetha helped clean away grime and were surprised to see strange symbols engraved in the bowls column. Rue read them each very carefully until he found the one he needed.

"This is it." he said as he collected some water from the pool. He poured it into the basin until it was filled to the top; the symbols illuminated a bright aqua blue. A sheet of ice suddenly froze over the entrance of one tunnel and the whole room frosted from intense cold. Rue approached the portal and the ice began to ripple as he put his paw upon it.

"It's going to be a bit chilly where we're headed." he said as a thick fog of smoke billowed out of his mouth. "Come on." He motioned for them to follow while he pushed his paw through and then the rest of his body until he disappeared. Henri, Shetha and Wymarus took in a deep breath and pressed through together. The first thing they saw on the other side were the brilliant lights of the beautiful city below. The cold metal under their paws made them feel like their feet would soon freeze.

"Where are we?" asked Shetha as she watched Rue look down the center of the giant structure they were in.

"The Eiffel Tower." A sharp gust of wind howled as it whipped through the structure. "Isn't Paris spectacular at night?"

"Yes.. it is!" she agreed.

"What do we do now?" asked Wymarus; who was shivering uncontrollably and trying to keep Henri warm.

"We're going to jump in a minute." Rue said. He was keeping his eyes on the center of the tower waiting for a transport funnel to form; it would take them to New Orleans.

"Jump?!" asked Shetha as her teeth began to chatter. "You've got to be kidding me!!"

"It's our only way!" he informed them. "We'll be fine."

"Why didn't you mention this before we got here?" questioned Shetha.

"Would you have come?" Rue laughed. His eyes grew big with excitement as he spotted the channel opening. "Everybody hold paws!" he yelled as he grabbed Shetha's paw; Henri and Wymarus held on too.

"On the count of three!!" Rue shouted "One..." Shetha and Wymarus looked at each other apprehensively. "Two..." Rue glanced over at them and smiled at Henri - who was grinning excitedly. "THREE!!" They jumped off the support beam and into the spiraling funnel below. Everything seemed to fuse together; soon it was pitch black and quiet.

"Are we dead?" whispered Shetha. She felt weightless but was still holding on to Rue.

"No." He laughed. There was a flicker of light. "We're in between the energy shift."

Suddenly they felt a slight resistance in the field and immediately transitioned to being encased in a ball of light; traveling through space and time.

"Look!" Henri said excitingly as they approached the milky way galaxy.

"Wow!" gasped Wymarus and Shetha in unison. They marveled at the beautiful, planets, gases and stars that were before them.

"We’re transmuting into our solar system." Rue said.

"I feel funny..." Wymarus whispered as their movement began to rapidly accelerate and their surroundings became streaks of vivid white light.

They were able to see Earth quickly advancing toward them and the closer they got to the planet the faster they traveled. The meteoric propulsion shot them through the atmosphere within seconds. The Earth was expanding the closer they got to the ground. The mice could see intricate patterns of green fanning out into dark waterways. It looked as if someone had playfully created a gorgeous piece of priceless artwork using different shades of green vegetation on top of tranquil water.

"Those are called swamps and Louisiana's covered with them." Rue yelled over the humming noise that was coming from the high speed. "Aren't they gorgeous?"

Suddenly everything went jet black and a deafening silence fell. After a few moments, the mice began to faintly hear the chiming clock of St. Louis Cathedral announcing the hour behind them. Their surroundings began to eat away at the darkness; revealing to them that they had arrived in New Orleans and were sitting under a banana tree in Jackson Square.