Arconia gazed out of the glimmering airship, called Pythonia, as the other gold airship hovered closer, and closer. She glimpsed the ship’s harpoons, glinting in the blazing sun, like deadly spears ready to kill. She heard the dreading click of the cannons aiming, like the last beat of a heart. She sensed the toxic gas as the fire took hold, as sharp and precise as a pencil. Facing her master, she chirruped ”By all the clogs Elene, it is really time for you to jump! Humans before mechanimals!”
Peering closely at the lock of the science door, Evelyn selected a hairpin from her tangled hair. Her tutor droned on, unaware of the lack of attention. Every time she turned her back, Evelyn leaned sideways, unpicking the familiar lock, steadily. Her hairpin broke, and she fumbled with her hair again, retrieving another. It was a slow job. At last it clicked, just as her tutor went to get her a new book. A few seconds later, she was sprinting as fast as her legs could carry her, towards Elite Meadow, pausing only once for breath. Her eyes were streaming, her heart throbbing, but she kept on going. At last, she lay on the dry grass, letting her heart slow.
When she had recovered from her escape, she sat up, flattening some nearby reeds, then sat cross legged. She breathed the calm smell of fancy flowers, listening to the buzz of tranquil bashful bees. She watched a solitary cloud float above her head, and her shoulders relaxed. She was free, away from those silly tutors. Finally, cautiously, she pulled out a battered, and slightly torn envelope. Carefully, she cradled it in her hands, her breath quickening again. With trembling fingers, she opened it.
‘Under golden fish, the strings in your heart will strum…’ Evelyn thought, staring at the mysterious letter. She sighed. ”Arconia would be able to work this out in less then two seconds.” She muttered to herself. At that moment, she heard the distinctive, high pitched song.
”Arconia!” She yelled.
”No need to make my ears bleed!” She sang, flapping her wings, chirruping happily.
”I need your help,” Evelyn said, touching down the mood a little. Arconia didn’t need to say anything, she had saw the letter, and the words.
”Oh. You’ve received it.”
Evelyn nodded. ”From your friend. But what does-”
”The harp. Under the golden river, were you used to live.”
Evelyn found the clockwork key under Arconia’s blue and red feathers, and almost immediately, she was in a flap. The energy in the once-calm-meadow was now full of excitement, and realisation.
That evening, Evelyn met Robert near the road she was born. The golden river was in sight, glimmering, even without the lack of sun.
”Your fathers harp.” Robert said quietly, looking down at his shoes.
”Yes.” Responded Evelyn. She rolled the sadness off her shoulders, and off her back. ”Yes.” She said, a little more defiantly.
The harp was a gold, with intricately carved patterns of hieroglyphics and doodles. Evelyn’s father used to say that every string represented a different stage in life. She liked to think that it was. Many nights, she had dreamed of the music, the slight pang of the string being pulled, the gentle noise of her fathers singing. It was the only time she ever cried.
”Sorry.” Said Robert.
”Right.” Said Arconia. ”No time to lose. Absolutely no time to lose. We need to get that harp from the river, before those greasy vermins get those slimy paws on that harp!
Otherwise: It will be lost for ever;
Your mother will not get whatever she wants;
A moments silence followed, and they ran, as fast as they could, to the river.