Chapter 18: Two-way Town
Arnold and Lucidia get underground and then stop.
‘What’s up?’ Lucidia asks, moving her arms around feeling the pressure around her from being underground.
‘I saw this guy when I was escaping from the three half-wizards.’ They rise into a damp room with cages all around and Arnold walks to a cage that imprisons the elephant with unicorns as feet. The unicorns face upwards and run on the spot. Arnold unlatches the cage door and the creature leaps into the air, letting out a ‘vvroooom!’ with his trunk. The elephant inside of the platform bursts out and grows into her regular size and the two elephants lift Arnold and Lucidia onto their backs. The female’s unicorn horns connect and she spirals into the ground. The other dives head first into the ground, and together they raced underground to Two-way Town blasting their trombone trunks.
They spring out of the ground and fly into the sky. In the air, the elephants transform into small versions of themselves and land in
and Lucidia’s pockets. Arnold
‘I can’t believe that just happened!’ Lucidia dances to the trombone sounds that come from their pockets. A fenced- in city lies ahead. They hear a train approaching, so they jog towards the city. Far in the distance is an open field with buildings to the far right and the far left of it. Bombs shake the land in the middle. A fenced-in walkway leads to a man in a brown military suit. His badge says ‘Toby’.
‘Toby or Zack?’ The soldier asks in a firm tone.
‘Toby!’ Lucidia says as the train screeches into a stop behind them.
‘Right over here, please.’ The military man now speaks in a friendly tone to his supporters.
‘Do you think I could get a quick picture of you two together? It’s our first visit to Two-way Town and we’re very excited to see a real soldier from the Toby side.’ Lucidia holds her camera out. The soldier puts his arm around
and puffs out his chest as she takes a
picture. The picture pops out of the camera and Lucidia places it in her bag. Arnold
‘Thanks!’ She says as the soldier walks away.
Arnold and Lucidia watch as the passengers leave the train.
‘There they are!’
says as he spots
Tina, The Journalist, and Sgt. Pepper stepping off the train. They’re shuffled
into a line and eventually come to where Arnold and Lucidia are. A small crowd
leaves the train and goes to the Zach side. A few others follow Tina and the
others to Toby. Arnold
!’ Sgt Pepper and The Journalist yell.
Tina smiles and hugs him. Arnold
‘Nice to meet you,’ Lucidia says to them. She looks at Tina, who recognizes her from her dreams. They hug as well.
A soldier comes over to them and the other Toby supporters.
‘Welcome to Toby camp!’ He says. ‘You will have a three day rest before training camp. A bus should be here shortly to pick you up and take you to the rest area.’ He salutes the group.
Two busses race towards them from a distance. They arrive at the fence and park on either side of the train station.
‘Team Toby! Bus is here!’ The soldier yells. He leads them onto the bus. ‘No talking on the bus!’ He yells. The bus takes off and speeds through an open field to a hotel to the far left side of the battle field.
‘In three days you go to war!’ The soldier gets off the bus and the rest follow. They enter the hotel and approach a woman at the front desk.
‘Every visitor must contribute 100 days or 100 kills to their side before they’re allowed to leave!’ She hands them their room keys.
Lucidia walks over to her. ‘Can I get a picture of you? I’m trying to convince a friend of mine to come to Two-Way Town’
‘Of course.’ She says.
Lucidia takes a picture, places the developed picture in her bag, and then walks back to the group.
‘Did you guys notice?’ Lucidia asks.
‘Notice what?’ Sgt. Pepper says.
‘They’re wearing ‘Zack’ nametags now. We’ve changed sides once already!’
Chapter 19: Cured Cadence
They take the elevator up to the 3rd floor and enter room 301.
The walls are blood red, with a double bed, a night-table, and a large window. The far walls are filled with propaganda posters that say ‘Toby is Sub-Human’ and ‘Zack is our Hero’ on them. Patches of fire can be seen and smelt from outside of the window. Bombs shake the buildings as war cries swam around the battle-field.
‘De-sensitization training,’ The Journalist says aloud.
‘How have you been,
?’ Sgt. Pepper asks. ‘We were worried
after you disappeared from the train. We went looking for you, but no one would
tell us anything!’ Arnold
‘It’s been quite the adventure!’
says. ‘And I found
this!’ He reaches into his satchel and their faces light up as he pulls out the
bag of sand. Arnold
‘It’s a miracle!’ The Journalist says.
‘Way to go,
! I knew you’d find it!’ Sgt. Pepper
looks it over and peeks inside. Arnold
‘Lucidia has instructions on how we can bring your voice out!’
says to Tina, who nods excitedly. Arnold
‘I do,’ Lucidia says, ‘but apparently we need to be careful. If Glenda cursed the voice, we’ll all be killed the second it touches our ears. Jed said that it has most likely worn off by now.’
‘So what do we do?’ Sgt. Pepper asks.
‘For starters, do any of you three remember the word that Glenda said right before she stole Tina’s voice?’
Tina, Sgt. Pepper, and The Journalist looked at each other shaking their heads.
‘There was a lot going on,’ The Journalist says.
‘It’s okay,’ Lucidia says. ‘There’s a back up plan.’ She takes a white sheet out of the closet and hangs it using the tops of two poster frames on the wall. ‘Come sit here and face the sheet.’ She says to the Journalist.
The Journalist trades spots with Tina and sits facing the sheet.
Lucidia places her hand into her pocket and pulls out a small amount of powder. She holds it in her open palm and blows it in The Journalist’s face. His head jolts back and makes a clicking sound.
‘Alright,’ Lucidia says, ‘relax and listen to my voice. Think back to the day that Tina’s voice was stolen.’
The Journalist’s head shoots out a projection onto the white sheet. The rest of them watch as the image on the screen re-winds back to that day in
. They see Tina, Sgt.
Pepper shielding themselves from Glenda, who is swaying back and forth waving
her arms in a trance. She yells ‘Vanashoored!’ while sucking Tina’s voice into
her hand, revealing a sandbag. Tina collapses as Glenda grunts and throws the
bag into the sky where it vanishes into the clouds of Circus
Glenda vanishes sending a piercing laugh into the sky. Circus City
‘Okay,’ Lucidia says, ‘when I count down from three you’ll come back to us. Three…two…one…’ She claps and The Journalist’s head jolts awake.
‘Wow!’ He says. ‘I never knew that was possible!’
‘Very interesting!’ Sgt. Pepper looks at Lucidia with admiration.
‘We have the word we need! When you get your voice back Tina, Jed thought it would be best if you told the people of Two-way Town what we came to tell them?’
‘Could you pass me the sandbag please?’
Sgt. Pepper hands it to her.
Lucidia walks over to a night-table table and pours the sand onto it. She places the bag down and holds her palms above the thin pile of sparkling sand, saying ‘Oohnaraya! Deroohsanar!’ and taking a step back.
Pink smoke emits from the sand, bubbling, thickening, and rising into Tina’s throat. When she swallows, the smoke disappears into her mouth. She smiles, but stands silent. A sense of euphoria sweeps across the room.
‘Thank you!’ Tina says to all of them. Her voice soothes the air.
There’s a knock at the door.
‘Who is it?’
‘Toby!’ A man says from the other side of the door.
‘Just a minute,’
Lucidia takes the birth certificates and pictures out her bag and hands them to Tina. ‘Just tell them that the founders were brothers, and show them these. Then show them the pictures.’
Tina takes the birth certificates and pictures, opens the door, and greets a soldier. She closes the door behind her. The rest of them hear muffled voices for a few minutes, and then Tina comes back in.
‘It’s done,’ she says.
‘What happened?’ Lucidia asks.
‘The man said he would have to let his superiors know. They’ll call me here once they’ve discussed it.’
The phone rings. Tina walks over to the phone and answers it. ‘Hello. Yes. Yes. Okay. Goodbye.’ She hangs up.
‘What did they say?’ The Journalist asks.
‘They need a few days to talk about it,’ Tina says. She turns to Arnold and Lucidia. ‘You two go back to
and find out what you need to do next. We can take care of this.’ Light City
‘Are you sure?’
‘Very sure. We need to move as quickly as we can!’
Lucidia takes the elephant out of her pocket and puts it in Tina’s hand. ‘When you’re ready to get out of here, just hop onto this guy and think about where you want to go’
‘We’ll be in
after this,’ Tina says. ‘It needs us the most.’ Circus City