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The Prophesy Tower. Chapter 71. Write a Novel Challenge.
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The Prophesy Tower. Chapter 71. Write a Novel Challenge.

by Arshia ShettySeptember 15, 2020

“I believe in you Neina, I want you to know that, OK?” Charlotte said firmly.

“Thank you so much. The thing is, Charlotte, and I could be wrong, but if Queen Orla was telling the truth about only having two days left to close the portal, then it is imperative that we hurry. And we must be extremely careful. I knew there was something up with Orla when she asked me for help. She had never shown any sign of desperation before. At that time, I just wanted this whole thing to be over; I had just lost Archie and I was so tired. But this is much bigger than me,” replied Neina. Neina felt that she needed to confirm her thoughts, and doubts, with Charlotte, before they did anything rash, or worse, fell into another pit. Janus, Neina thought, could help.

Resolve. Could that really fix everything?

Neina remembered suddenly, something her Mum had told her a long, long time ago. ‘Never let the sadness of your past and the fear of your future ruin the strength you have at the present.’ Neina knew she was strong. Not everyone could survive the pain of their family being torn apart, constant racism, a battle not even against others, however powerful, but against themselves, the most dangerous adversary of them all. Not everyone could survive almost dying in an unfamiliar and deadly place – and multiple times. Not everyone could survive the trauma of repeatedly wondering if, in fact, they were insane. Even fewer still could survive intact the worry that their life had been fundamentally worthless, its only meaning coming from a prophecy that meant every act, every thought was not theirs but predetermined. And yet, Neina had strength. She had even learned to forgive the one who had started it all.

Suddenly, Neina felt a rush of comfort. She was the girl made of stars. The evil queen was dead – and Isla, Charlotte, Ryder and Frankie were, relatively, now safe. She felt a pang in her heart for Archie. She missed him so much right now.  But what was important was that they had ….hope.

Unfortunately, she couldn’t say the same for Time.

Tick, tock, tick, tock. An ornate wall clock ticked. Its hands were skipping across its face in a perpetual manner. A sense of urgency grabbed hold of Neina by the throat – they needed to see Janus. Needed….

“I don’t know where he is, and we don’t have time to find him. There is an infinite number of places he could be at this exact moment, and Janus is very unpredictable, as you might have noticed. We just don’t have time!” Isla huffed.

“Hmmm… I think- I think I know where he is…” Neina trailed off.

Tutumni Desert. Could that be where he was?

Neina asked Isla to create a portal into the Desert of safety. The desert had always been her safe place, even after Janus. As she entered, with the group following, Neina saw someone. And it was a shock. It was the one person who she would absolutely not expect to find here.

Could it be ….Lola.

Neina just couldn’t be sure. The light was shining too brightly and the petite form of whoever was before them was overpowered by its near blinding brilliance. But beyond what her eyes could see, Neina suddenly just knew that it had to be Lola. She had heard Isla say her name. And then Lola turned to face her. The sand started to shift slowly, then violently. As it swirled around them, they all felt it; the threat that comes with overwhelming danger.

Lola was floating. Yes, floating. And she was coming closer.

Neina felt her blood freeze, terror blotting out the warmth of the sun’s rays, the swirling sands around Lola obliterating the power of the sun in an instant.

Who was this girl? A phantom? Spirit? She was so small, yet so… unsettling.

Isla’s face almost turned as pale as the light of the Tutumni itself. Isla screamed, silently. As she opened her mouth, the force of terror had crushed her vocal chords rendering them impotent.

Daylight became fleeting, darkness banishing it in the wall of sand thickening around them. Lola was right in front of them now. Neina could make out Lola’s features. She looked so young, seven or eight, yet so, so, very old. Her face had turned paler from her last visit and her once gamine features were now, inexplicably just a blur.

Neina had an overwhelming feeling that Lola was trying to disclose vital information. Information that might give them a breakthrough to the answer they all sought. Her hair had turned ghostly white; the colour of freshly fallen, untouched snow. Lola’s eyes looked devoid of any other emotion other than pure sorrow and melancholy. Those eyes. They were so old and filled to the brim with pain. It felt to Neina that they threatened to spill a waterfall of tears. Yet none came. They remained as dry as flour.

Neina suspected that if Lola got any weaker, she would simply crumple up like paper and float away into nothingness.

‘Hello Isla, do you want to play with me?” Lola asked softly. Her singsong voice was so breathy and brittle, and extremely eerie. It had an unnatural echo, as if Lola was not really with them.

As if she is ….speaking from another dimension.

Each word Lola spoke vibrated through the group’s bones.

Then, As Lola turned, they all saw it. A stab wound. Ruptured, spliced skin now filled with dry, congealed blood.

Isla momentarily blanked out, fainted.

As she regained consciousness, Isla saw Lola sitting in the corner of an empty, white and utterly sterile room. Devoid of the things that would give it reality or meaning, it appeared as just a vehicle to give Lola life, a voice – for her. The sand had disappeared. And Isla was alone with Lola.

“I remember the day mama disappeared. It was a very long time ago. I was there you know. I came home. A man with a scarf helped me find my way. Mama was so happy to see me. I don’t know why she was crying. Maybe they were happy tears. I hope so. After that, I fell asleep. I was tired. When I woke, I heard noises, and then it went all quiet.  I couldn’t find Mama. There, instead, was a very pretty lady, standing in her room. She was scary Isla. I don’t know why. I was so frightened Isla. Something about her eyes, terrified me. I knew I HAD to get away from her.” Lola’s voice suddenly darkened, “…then I saw her take out that sword…”

Oh God. Is this what became of my sister?

“I must hurry, I don’t have much time left. I am growing weaker by the minute. Listen Isla, no matter how hard this is, you must know the truth of what really happened that night,” Lola whispered urgently. “The sword was magnificent. It was filled with drawings and pictures, just like my colouring book.” Lola let out a chuckle, which sounded more of a whimper, the horrific irony not lost on either of them.

“Only, after I died, it was painted …. red.” Lola spat out the words, no emotion visible on her translucent face.

“The sword serves its master. It adapts to its master. You, Neina, and Isla, are the true masters. Use it for the greater good. You can fix EVERYTHING. It is all inside you – but the sword will help. Goodbye Isla.”

And with that, Lola, and the room, was gone leaving, pressed into the ground, the sword.

A sense of peace descended on them, and with it exhaustion. As Ryder and Frankie collapsed into sleep, Neina reached out to touch the sword.

And then she saw it. It was covered in an argyle scarf.

Janus? Are you there?

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The Prophesy Tower – A Novel.

To read Chapter 1, click here.

To read Chapter 2, click here.

To read Chapter 3, click here.

To read Chapter 4, click here.

To read Chapter 5, click here.

To read Chapter 6, click here.

To read Chapter 7, click here.

To read Chapter 8, click here.

To read Chapter 9, click here.

To read Chapter 10, click here.

To read Chapter 11, click here.

To read Chapter 12, click here.

To read Chapter 13, click here.

To read Chapter 14, click here.

To read Chapter 15, Click here.

To read Chapter 16, click here.

To read Chapter 17, click here.

To read Chapter 18, click here.

To read Chapter 19, click here.

To read Chapter 20, click here.

To read Chapter 21, click here.

To read Chapter 22, click here.

To read Chapter 23, click here.

To read Chapter 24, click here.

To read Chapter 26. click here.

To read Chapter 27, click here.

To read Chapter 28, click here.

To read Chapter 29, click here.

To read Chapter 30, click here.

To read Chapter 31, click here.

To read Chapter 32, click here.

To read Chapter 33, click here.

To read Chapter 34, click here.

To read Chapter 35, click here

To read Chapter 36, click here.

To read Chapter 37, click here.

To read Chapter 38, click here.

To read Chapter 39, click here.

To read Chapter 40, click here.

To read Chapter 41, click here.

To read Chapter 42, click here.

To read Chapter 43, click here.

To read Chapter 44, click here.

To read Chapter 45, click here.

To read Chapter 46, click here

To read Chapter 47, click here.

To read Chapter 48, click here.

To read Chapter 49, click here.

To read Chapter 50, click here.

To read Chapter 51, click here.

To read Chapter 52, click here.

To read Chapter 53, click here.

To read Chapter 54, click here.

To read Chapter 55, click here.

To read Chapter 56, click here.

To read Chapter 57, click here.

To read Chapter 58, click here.

To read Chapter 59, click here.

To read Chapter 60, click here.

To read Chapter 61, click here.

To read Chapter 62, click here.

To read Chapter 63, click here.

To read Chapter 64, click here.

To read Chapter 65, click here.

To read Chapter 66, click here.

To read Chapter 67, click here.

To read Chapter 68, click here.

To read Chapter 69, click here.

To read Chapter 70, click here.

To read Chapter 71, click here. 

About The Author
Arshia Shetty
Arshia Shetty is twelve years old, Indian and a Year 8 student at Repton School Dubai. Miss Shetty writes: "I am honoured to be part of such an amazing experience. During this whole novel, I have been so enthralled and fascinated watching Neina’s journey unfold. Thank you so much to my English teacher, Mr. Parkes, for this absolutely awesome opportunity. As the novel has progressed I felt that Lola’s character could be more developed, and in this Chapter I have moved her character forward. I also felt, reading the novel, that Queen Orla’s sword could be something of real significance to our heroes and have added this twist to our story. Good luck to the next writer! Let your imagination and creativity shine!

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