Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 34

Raine Winning Entry

Raine sighs, staring at the sunset glistening on the ocean. Flannery and Dazzling are fluttering around on the beach, trying to find the prettiest seashells to bring back home to the pets that chose to stay home. Flannery has the advantage - flying above the water and looking down through the crystal clear water to find the best looking seashells.
Raine is almost asleep, the warm air and sound of the calm waves making her sleepy, when she hears her two hyperactive pets screaming toward her, something flapping in the wind in Dazzling's hand.
"Raine, Raine, Raine!" They screech excitedly. Raine jumps out of her chair, stumbling over her chair and falling face first on the sand. Dazzling throws a giggle fit while Flannery splashes water on Raine's face to get the sand off.
"Look what Flannery found!" Dazzling yelps enthusiastically. Irritated, Raine snatches the dripping parchment out of the Anya's hand. She feels the item, rubbing it beneath her fingers.
"It's made from animal skin," she concludes, "that's why it lasted under the water. Anything else would have been nothing but mush." She looks at it closely, noticing an array of patterns etched into it, intricate designs like constellations spread across in black paint. "It's like a map," she says half to herself, half to her foster daughters, "of the beach." She outstretches it in front of her face, looking at it carefully.
Flannery leans over Raine's shoulder and gazes at the picture with her. After a moment of careful studying, she says, "It almost looks like a Terror Draklaita."
Dazzling's light up, and she leaps from her spot. "And the X marks the spot! It's a map to something!" Dazzling looks proud of her epiphany.
"You know, it does," agrees Flannery, examining closer.
"Can we go to the X, do you think? Can we please?" Dazzling begs.
"Well, how are we going to know where we're at in the first place?" asks Raine, trying to figure it out.
"It doesn't matter, the X is in the middle. That means whatever is there is in the middle of the beach, right? So we just need to go that way," she purrs. Flannery and Raine share a dubious look, but agree anyways, hoping to make their little ray of sunshine happy.
Raine climbs on the Daydream Vix's back as Dazzling jumps in her arms, holding the map close. Flannery makes a valiant attempt to fly to where she thinks the middle of the beach is, but isn't sure at all. "No, no!" Dazzling yells. "It's that way!" She points to the right.
"How do you know, kiddo?" Raine asks, highly skeptical.
"Because I just know, now go that way!" She commands, and Flannery turns sharply to follow Dazzling's guidance.
Dazzling guides Flannery to what she thinks is the middle and tells Flannery to go down. Raine crawls off of Flannery's back and Dazzling jumps out of Flannery's arms, tail flailing crazily.
"Here?" Raine asks, highly skeptical.
"It has to be," Dazzling says, sure of herself. "I can smell it."
"Smell.. what?" Flannery stares at her foster sister.
Dazzling starts to dig a hole, like a dog, underneath the water kiosk. The Braenon behind the counter of it glares at Dazzling until she's gone.
"She's crazy," Flannery mouths to her. The Braenon shrugs and hangs a break sign over the kiosk that says, "Be back in fifteen," on it. Raine watches Dazzling's wagging tail disappear underneath the kiosk.
After about ten good minutes, Raine announces, "Dazzling! It's getting late and we need to go home. I have other people to feed you know." Dazzling wriggles out of the hole a few minutes later, a lollipop in her mouth.
"I told you I could smell it!" She says and heaves out a stash of candy, all settled in a wooden box.
"THIS is what we went all around the beach for?" Raine asks, but Flannery starts to laugh and plucks out a piece of butterscotch, popping it in her mouth.
"Best piece of candy I ever tasted," Flannery says with a grin on her face. Reluctantly, Raine unfolds a piece of saltwater taffy and chews on it.
"Candy definitely tastes better when you work for it," she admits. "Alright, grab your box and let's go home." A soft smile spreads across her face.
"Just don't show it to Dazzling," Flannery jokes, gazing at the Anya, "she'll go crazy."
With that, they begin to walk back into the crazy New York City where they live, ready to brag to those who stayed home that day.. and share a few laughs over some candy.