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 carrying a gold chain. "Henri..." he said as he walked over to them. "I’m going to need your sapphire."

Henri eagerly pulled the beautiful stone from out of his pocket.

“Thanks,” smiled Rue as he gently took the blue gem from Henri’s tiny paw. With great precision, he quickly fastened the stone to a golden pendant that was linked to the necklace.

"Do you trust me?” asked Rue as he approached Shetha.

“With my life.” she assured him.

“Then may I have your permission to place this pendant upon your chest?”

“Most certainly.”

Rue carefully tucked the pendant through Shetha’s feathers and held it firmly against her skin.

“Mu a nori Va vi," he whispered and a brilliant blue light encased her. Wymarus and Henri stared in amazement as she instantly transformed from a barn owl into a white harvest mouse.

"It'll only be temporary," Rue explained as he secured the necklace around her neck. "When we reach New Orleans you’ll be able to take it off and resume your natural state. However, just remember never to remove this stone whilst in a tight space." He smiled as he handed her some clothes from out of his bag.

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

Rue gathered his things and motioned for everyone to follow him into a tiny crevice under Whitby Abbey.

"This is unbelievable!" Shetha giggled. "I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be a mouse."

Rue cracked a small glow stick for light as he swiftly led them further down into an old tunnel system. The walls were wet with moisture, and a faint dripping of condensation sounded in the distance. They soon came upon an area of waist high water. Wymarus quickly put Henri upon his shoulders, and the four mice waded cautiously through the canal. The pungent smell of the stagnate water seemed overpowering to their lungs; they tried desperately not to inhale too deeply. Even though, the murkiness of the waters appeared lifeless; Shetha couldn’t help but feel uneasy about what possibly lay beneath the darkness.

"What was that?" she asked 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 warily. Shetha tightly grabbed his paw, and he slightly jumped.

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

"It's okay." assured Henri as they came to a set of stone stairs corroded with a dark green algae.

"The worst is almost over," Rue said as he helped an eager Shetha up the slippery stairs. Wymarus and Henri followed. They continued their journey through an assortment of eerie passages that had hoards of neatly stacked skulls and bones of mice.

"This has to be the creepiest place I've ever been in my life. What type of a twisted mind would do this? " Shetha grimaced at the elaborately disturbing display of skeletal remains.

"Weirdos," whispered Wymarus. He tried to shield Henri’s eyes from seeing a decaying mouse body; embellished with dead flowers, and hanging like a prized decoration upon the wall.

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

They entered into a round chamber and found themselves surrounded by seven different arched passageways; in front of each corridor stood a hollow gold post. In the center of this room was a small pool of glowing water; placed beside it was an ornate jug. Rue immediately went over to the first pillar 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 hollow columns. Henri took upon himself to collect the pitcher, and he filled it full with the luminous waters - while Rue read every marking very carefully until he found the one he needed.

"This is it," announced Rue. Henri had stood patiently waiting. He excitedly presented the vessel and Rue carefully poured the liquid crystal into the pillar. The symbols illuminated an opalescent turquoise and a sheet of ice suddenly froze over the entrance of the selected passageway. A vibrational hum pulsated through the whole room as it frosted from intense cold. Rue approached the portal, and the wall of ice rippled as he placed his paw upon it.

"It's going to be a bit chilly where we're going." He said as a thick fog billowed from his mouth. "Come on!" He motioned as he disappeared into the ice.

Henri, Shetha and Wymarus took in a deep breath and stepped through together. The first thing they saw on the other side was 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 noticed Rue intensely staring down into the center of the giant structure.

"The Eiffel Tower," he replied as a sharp gust of wind whipped through. "Isn't Paris spectacular at night?"

"Yes.. it is!" she agreed.

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

"We're going to jump in a minute." said Rue keeping his gaze constantly on the center of the tower as he waited for a transport funnel to form.

"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 reached out to Shetha. They quickly followed his command and grabbed tightly hold of one another.

"On the count of three!!" Rue shouted "One..." Shetha and Wymarus looked at each other apprehensively. "Two..." Rue 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 as small veins of light streaked through the darkness resembling a brain’s synapsis. "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. The river of iridescent colors looked like vibrant opals crushed into a powder and heavily scattered throughout the vast Universe.

"Wow!" gasped Wymarus and Shetha in unison. They couldn’t help but marvel at the beautiful sight of planets, stars and gases before them.

"We’re transmuting into our solar system," Rue informed as their movement rapidly accelerated and their surroundings became streaks of vivid white light.

"I feel funny..." Wymarus whispered. They quickly began to advance toward Earth. The closer they got, the faster they seemed to travel and soon the meteoric propulsion shot them through the atmosphere within seconds. Suddenly they could see intricate patterns of green fanning out into dark waterways on the Earth below. 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 their high speed. "Aren't they gorgeous?"

Suddenly everything went jet black, and a deafening silence encased them again. After a few moments, the mice began faintly hearing 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.