Aurelia woke suddenly under a puffy comforter in a strange bedroom, with what she realized was a time keeping device ringing beside her head with strange magical numbers showing 07:00. She glared at it for a moment before reaching over and picking the strange device up, looking at it while humming a song under her breath.
Seconds later Aurelia drops it as the world shifts and she is in a graveyard; she whirled around, crouching in a defensive posture while reaching for her guns – and found them missing. She slowly rose, looking down at the strange clothing she was wearing, a black leather jacket, and plain clothes underneath. Her light blue hair was clasped at the back of her head, with a cross hanging from her neck.
Sighing, she started walking. “Can’t this kind of thing stop happening, just this once?” she asked herself, then frowned as power swelled around her, and music filled the air. Her next words came out in song, something which she couldn’t stop:
“Every single night, the same arrangement, I go out and fight the fight. Still I always feel this strange estrangement.” A vampire ran out at her from behind a gravestone, rushing at her but it was almost as if she knew exactly how to meet each of his attacks, spinning him as if he was a kind of ….”nothing here is real, nothing here is right?” she wondered out loud, her voice giving way to the song, as natural as breathing.
Whatever spell this was, it wasn’t going to let her go; no surprise, there, so may as well just go along with it…for now.
“I’ve been making shows of trading blows,” she sang as she punched, “just hoping no one knows,” then kicking the vampire and throwing him behind her. She continued. “That I’ve been going through the motions, walking through the part,” pulled a stake that seemed to materialize out of thin air in an inner jacket pocket, sang, “Nothing seems to penetrate my heart!” And staked the vampire in the heart – which, yes, was a bonus.
Aurelia continued walking, determined now to find her friends; they could be stuck in the same spell. “I was always brave, and kind of righteous. Now I find I’m wavering…” She sucked in her breath as she spied a familiar figure tied to a tree, surrounded by two vampires and some goat-looking demon thing. She attacks immediately, punching the vamps while singing “crawl out of your grave, you’ll find this fight just doesn’t mean a thing.”
“She ain’t got that swing,” one of the vamps chirped as he punched Aurelia to the ground.
“Thanks for noticing,” Aurelia intoned, lying there in an attempt to catch her breath while the two vampires and the goat demon suddenly began dancing together.
“She does very well with fiends from hell, but lately we can tell, that she’s just going through the motions,” “Going through the motions,” the goat demon harmonized, ignoring as the sylph slew the other two, “Faking it somehow…”
“She’s not even half the girl she” …Aurelia stabbed the demon, and he sang out “Owww!”
Aurelia groaned. “Will I stay this way forever? Sleepwalk through my life’s endeavour?” She raised the sword, trying to ignore the song and failing, slicing through the captive’s bonds. Johno, dressed in black pants and a silken white top that looked to be open at the top (but was hard to tell from all the body hair sprouting from it) rolled suggestively from the tree and winked at her. With beard swaying in a dramatic wind, he wagged his eyebrows suggestively at her, singing “How ken aye repay – “
Aurelia crinkled her nose and took a step back. “Whatever,” and tosses the sword away, leaving the dwarf behind while she belted out “I don’t want to beeeeeeee….” Aurelia spots a taller grave marker, and she leapt up to get a better view of the terrain, using the motion of the song’s culmination to help her jump. “Going through the motions, losing all my drive. I can’t even see, if this is really me, and I just want to beeeeee….”
A last vampire jumps out at her, and she dusts him while raising her voice in the last words of the song, “AAAAALLLLLIIIIIIIIIIIVVE!!!!”
The music ended abruptly, and Aurelia found herself moving from one step to another through a door into what appeared to be a curios shop.
“Aurelia!” Thaden said a little too cheerfully from his spot on the counter, and Aurelia looked over to see the guard mouse behind a troubled Hikari and Valeria, their hands entwined. Flit sat at a table nearby holding onto some donuts, one in each hand, flicking a guilty tongue from between his lip to lick the pastries not in his hands, but in the nearby box.
Aurelia stuck her own tongue out in disgust before snapping it back; she was about to one her mouth to chastise him when Flit said, “Yeah, yeah, respect the donut, or tame it, or…this joke is getting crueler as we go.”
“Still not funny, frog,” Miriel said as she passed by to go behind the counter.
“So, uh, you guys remember how you go here? Fight any monsters or whatnot, on the way?” She swallowed her disappointment when Flit and Thaden shook their heads, and continued. “Good, I mean, not good…so…uh, did anybody, uh you know, just a moment ago, you know, did anybody, um…burst into song?”
“Merciful Bro…” Flit exclaims; everyone in the room stared at him, then directed their stares to Aurelia before exclaiming their own experiences, voices overlapping as they all spoke at once.
Hikari rushed over with Valeria close beside. “We thought it was just us!” the mage said, Valeria nodding her agreement. “We were talking and then it was like – “
“You were in one of Krieger’s strange musical plays?” Aurelia asked, with a chorus of agreement around the room; even Thaden looked a little stunned as he muttered “it would explain the huge orchestra I couldn’t see and the synchronized dancing from the rest of the Littles this morning…”
Valeria did a small dance in place as she squeezed Hikari’s arm in excitement. “We did a whole duet about dish washing, an entire verse about cous-cous – and even I don’t know what that is!”
“We were arguing,” Miriel said, throwing a look of suffering patience at Flit. “Everything rhymed and there were harmonies, and the dance with coconu –”
“Ahem! It was very disturbing!!” Flit agreed, loudly interrupting Miriel.
“You are the one who decided to fill them with your mighty jui-”
“I SAID IT WAS VERY DISTURBING!!!!” Flit shouted quickly, and the Goddess shrugged and wandered over to peruse the various curios in the shop, with an amused smirk on her lips.
“What did you sing about, Aurelia?” Thaden asked, and she reddened.
“I don’t remember,” she said quickly. “But it seemed perfectly natural,” she added.
“But disturbing,” Flit reminded her, with a glare to Miriel. “And not the natural order of things, and do you think it will it happen again??”
“I don’t know,” Thaden said. “I should look into it – a Master should be able to do that.”
“With the books?” Hikari asked, to which Valeira replied “Do we have any books on this?”
Flit jumped onto the table, breaking it instantly and sending him sprawling. Under everyone’s stares he blushed, heaving himself up and fisting his palm (Yeah, I said that). “Well, we just gotta break it down. Look at the factors before it happens again. Because I for one -”
Thaden jumped up, music swirling like magic around him, and sang “I’ve got a theory, that it’s a demon, a dancing demon! No, something isn’t right there…”
“I’ve got a theory, some kid is dreamin’ and we’re all stuck inside his wacky DonTon nightmare!” Hikari trilled in response, and Valeira put up her palms and shook them grandly.
Flit crossed his arms, annoyed. “I’ve got a theory we should work this out…”
They all joined in and chorused “It’s getting eerie, what’s this cheery singing all about??”
“It could be Elves! Some evil elves!” Flit sang back, but silence greeted him along with a hum of indignation through the bond he shared with Thalion. “Which is ridiculous, ‘cause Elves are being persecuted, wicked good, and love the earth, and trans power, and I’ll be over here…” Flit’s voice trailed off as he quickly sat out of the way.
Miriel stood up. “I’ve got a theory! It could be the trees…”
More silence from the group, and yet more stares. The sound of crickets chirping actually join in, but Miriel ignored them, rolling her hips and pantomiming playing a brazen lyre as she rocked, the music getting louder as she sang. “Trees aren’t just relaxing like everybody supposes! They’ve got them leaves and sap, and twitchy swaying poses! And what’s with all the roots? What do they need such grabby tentacles anyway???? Trees, trees, it must be treeeeeees…or maybe gnomes…”
Hikari put her face in her palm for a moment before singing quietly, “I’ve got a theory we should work this fast…because it clearly could get serious before it’s passed…”
Everyone nods and the group begins to disperse, but Aurelia stood up, her clear voice rising. “Iv’e got theory. It doesn’t matter.” Her words arresting their movements, she continues her song. “What can’t we face if we’re together? What’s in this place that we can’t weather? Apocalypse? We’ve all been there. The same old trips, why should we care?”
All together, moving as one dance unit, all but Thaden joined in a serenade: “What can’t we do if we get in it? We’ll work it through within a minute. We have to try. We’ll pay the price. It’d do or die.”
“Hikari’s died twice…” Aurelia crooned, then mouthed “sorry!!” to Hikari.
“There’s nothing we can’t face…”
“Except for the trees….” Miriel’s god-like voice adjourned the song; the room was quiet for just a moment before Flit added in a normal voice, “See, okay, that was disturbing…”
Music swells Stay tuned for more, Aurelia, the Vampire Slayer!! Music ends dramatically