The Glass Orb - Chapter 9
They had been back at Kiamo Ko for almost a week before they heard word from Glinda in the Emerald city. Liir had been wandering outside the castle with Nor while Elphaba and Fiyero were getting 'reacquainted'. He looked out towards the villages in the east and spotted the Bird Glick flying towards them. The Bird landed on his shoulder chirping "Urgent message from Lady Glinda to Miss Elphaba! Urgent message from Lady Glinda to Miss Elphaba!"
Liir and Nor ran as fast as their legs could carry them back to the castle, with Glick flying along beside them. They burst through the door, and Liir ran to the bottom of the stairs that led to Elphaba's tower. He didn't particularly feel like disturbing them in person, so he shouted loudly up to them "Elphaba! Fiyero! Message from Glinda!" A few minutes later the two of them arrived at the bottom of the staircase looking rather flustered and Elphaba had a slight blush spreading across her cheeks.
Glick flew to Elphaba's shoulder and said in a clear voice "We have heard word that the Gale Force is heading towards Kiamo Ko. They believe Liir aided the escape of Fiyero and are heading towards his last known address. Elphaba and Fiyero must hide from the soldiers; they will be here in no less than 48 hours."
"What about Glinda? Is she safe?" Elphaba asked frantically.
"Lady Glinda is perfectly safe. She is at home with her husband. She told the Gale Force that she had been away taking Miss Nor back to her family. They were satisfied with this. I will fly back to her now. When it is safe for her to travel here, she will visit. We believe the Wizard will not last much longer in power. The resistance is winning. Now hide!" and he took off, flying out the nearest window, back towards the Emerald City.
Elphaba and Fiyero spent the next 2 days on a knife's edge. The Monkeys were playing lookout, flying as far away from the castle as they dared to spot the enemy. The hiding places had been decided within an hour of Glick leaving. Elphaba and Fiyero would be underneath the trapdoor in Elphaba's tower which was practically impossible to find if you didn't know it was there. Liir had watched the Gale Force soldiers search the castle last time when they had snatched Sarima, Nor and Irji and not once had they guessed that there was a trap door in that floor.
There had been a lot of debate over whether Liir should hide too. There was no room where the other two would be, besides, the way they had been carrying on for the previous week, he wasn't sure he would want to be in such close proximity to two people with 15 missed years to catch up on...
In the end Nor came up with the solution. Liir could hide in the well like he had as a child. He was slightly bigger than he had been then, but he could still fit. The soldiers wouldn't dream of searching in there. Nor was to stay in the castle, pretending she was there to care for Nanny after Liir's disappearance. They obviously didn't know how long the soldiers would search for, and were just sorting out food and water to hide with them when the Monkeys gave their warning cry.
They glanced out the window. The Gale Force had arrived. From what he could tell, Liir guessed it would take them maybe half an hour to reach the castle. And so they hid. Fiyero gave Nor a big bear hug, kissing her on the head before turning and ruffling Liir's hair. "Good luck Liir," he whispered, "I'll see you soon." Liir turned to smile and nod at Elphaba, who gave a little smile in return. He hugged Nanny and Nor and was just about to pick up his parcel of food, when something incredibly unexpected happened. Elphaba, in a bizarre and unusual surge of motherly affection had rushed towards him and swept him into her arms. He stiffened slightly, being not at all used to her affection and started to pat her on the back, but before long he softened into her embrace, whilst she stroked his hair and whispered "Stay safe Liir. Please." in his ear. Fiyero, it seemed was a very good influence on his mother.
And so they went their separate ways, Liir out the back door towards the well, and his parents up the swirling staircase to the trapdoor.
Liir wasn't certain how long he had been inside the damp well, but he did know two things. He was tired, and he was freezing. He was sat upon a ledge just inside the lid that he didn't remember from last time, but he had been unconscious most of the time then. He felt his eyelids drooping, and his body started to slump forwards. The last thing he registered was a sense of falling, and very cold water surrounding his entire body.
The Gale Force had done a full sweep of the house, leaving no stone unturned. They questioned Nor tirelessly about the last time they had seen her father. ("In Southstairs!" She repeated constantly.) They even questioned Nanny, but had no luck from the old lady, who kept asking the Captain for soup. Nor was not allowed to follow the Soldiers around while they searched, so she had no idea whether her family was safe until the Captain returned from Nanny's room announcing, "They're not here. The prisoner obviously isn't stupid enough to return to his own home. The Wizard should have listened to us when we told him that. Sorry to disturb you Miss Nor." He nodded in her direction.
And then they were gone. Nor waited for ten minutes before Chistery entered announcing "Gone, Bye, Safe!" and she ran up the stairs to release her Father from his hiding place. As soon as they were out of the door Elphaba was off to release Liir. Fiyero prised the lid off the well, and the 3 of them looked inside. Liir was nowhere to be seen.
"Maybe he got out already?" Fiyero suggested, but Elphaba had a bad feeling. She stared down the well until her eyes became used to the darkness and she spotted something bobbing in the water.
"Fiyero. He's down there. He's in the water." She said frantically. Fiyero was climbing in the well in a shot, paying no attention to the pains shooting through his leg. Nor grabbed a rope from the stables, which Fiyero tied around his waist and lowered himself down towards the freezing water.
"I can't see a thing down here!" He shouted up.
"Just grab him and we'll pull you up" Nor called back. She glanced sideways at Elphaba, who had turned almost completely white and was shaking like a leaf. There came a tug on the rope, so Nor, Elphaba and Chistery put all their weight into heaving the two men back up.
Once Fiyero was high enough to balance back on the ledge, he pushed the unconscious form of his son out the well, where Nor and Elphaba took him and laid him down on the ground. Forgetting all about her allergy, Elphaba placed her mouth upon Liir's and started breathing air into his lungs, while Nor pumped on his chest. After a while, Elphaba's lips had become so blistered and swollen from the water that she could barely take a breath in herself, let alone push it back into Liir, so Fiyero took over from her. She started pacing and wringing her hands, muttering "Not again. Sweet Lurline not again."
And then there was the sweetest sound she'd ever heard – a gasp. Followed by frantic coughing and spluttering. Liir sat up, with the help of Fiyero and Nor, still coughing. Then he turned to the side and vomited up the water he had swallowed, plus the little food that was in his stomach. Elphaba rushed to his side and again ignoring her problem, she started brushing his wet hair back from his face and then she took him into her arms while blisters started popping up all over her hands and face where she was leaning her cheek on his head.
"That's it." Liir said quietly. "I'm never hiding in that bloody well again."
Elphaba chuckled "Damn right you're not."
Liir suddenly realised and pulled away from Elphaba to look at Nor. "The Gale Force?" He questioned.
"They came, they searched, and they left." She replied. "I guess I'm a better actress than I give myself credit for. And Nanny was a star. I think she drove the Captain half mad." Liir smiled and turned back to his mother, gasping "Elphaba, your face."
"It'll heal." She replied nonchalantly. She held out her hand and pulled Liir to his feet. He swayed slightly, still woozy from the lack of oxygen to his brain, but she put her arm around his waist and held him still until he was ready to start walking back to the castle.
Once back inside Elphaba took Liir to his room and averted her eyes as he changed into dry clothes and towelled his hair dry. She sat down next to him on his bed, and took his hand in hers.
"Liir" she said at the same time as he started "Elphaba..." they laughed softly before she urged him "you first."
"Elphaba, you really should get some oils on your skin, it looks ever so painful."
"My skin can wait. Right now I need to talk to you." She drew a shaky breath before continuing.
"I know I haven't been a good mother to you. I can't make excuses, but it's not in my nature. And I'm sorry I've failed you."
"You've not failed..."
"Let me finish. Please." He nodded.
"Twice now I've watched you near death, and it's made me realise something. I want...I want to be there for you Liir. I want to help you. I want to be there to save you like you saved me. I want to be a mother to you." She looked away from him "I know it doesn't seem like it, but in my own messed up way, I do love you Liir." She looked back into his eyes and he saw tears threatening to spill out of her own "I do."
He smiled reassuringly at her and she turned her head quickly to wipe her eyes with her sleeve. Slowly he put his arms around her shoulders, initiating a hug with her for the first time in his life. She responded quickly, putting her arms around his waist and pulling him closer towards her. They held each other tightly for a moment before she pulled away again and rested her hand on his cheek.
"Now I know the truth, I can't figure out why I couldn't see you were my son right from the beginning. The most obvious similarity clearly isn't there, but as I look at you now, I see Fiyero looking back. You're him through and through."
"Of course you are. You're headstrong, loving, kind and handsome. And perhaps a little cheeky too? That's all your father's doing I'm afraid. All you get from me is your stubbornness."
"I'm not stubborn!"
Elphaba laughed "Don't worry; it can be a good thing. If you didn't have such a good combination of traits who knows where we'd be now? I could be dead, Fiyero and Nor could be in Southstairs, Glinda would be none the wiser... All though, there's not too much difference there..." They chuckled.
"I'm going to see to these blisters. You get some rest and I'll bring you up some food in a while." She pulled back his covers and he lay down in his bed. Elphaba pulled the blanket back over him and kissed him softly on his forehead. "I'm so glad you're my son." She whispered. She watched over him for a short while after he had closed his eyes, and then turned to leave the room. She stopped as she heard a soft whisper,
"I love you too...Mum."
And that's it I'm afraid. I really hoped you all enjoyed my story - Sorry it took so long to write! Thank You to all of you who have reviewed this. And an especially massive thanks to those of you who favorited and story alerted it - You've made my day :o)
If you would do me one more kindness before you go and leave me a little review I would love you forever. I'd really like to know your opinions on the story, and also what I can do to make my future stories better.
I already have an idea for another story in the pipeline, so keep your eyes peeled!
Have a great day! xx