"Limerik, you're my lady.." The gentle, haunting words swirled through her mind as Limerik walked the backroads of the forest she had known all her life. Tears fell from Limerik's emerald eyes; the love she had known for many suns and moons was gone, leaving a bitter pain in her breast. For how could he have stayed, once he knew of what Limerik had been, and was? Self-loathing and pity ran like black blood through her veins.
"Stay back from me, foul frog, you siren, you wench! How could I but love you, you tricked me! How could I love you now, set free from your spell? For underneath your fair human beauty, you are but clothed in a slimy green skin!" The words came back to her, as if her love had uttered them just a moment ago, threw them in her face like a dagger to her heart..
"I didn't mean to hurt you!" Limerik cried, agony in her voice. "I am not what you think!" But all her words of regret and passion could not reach his ears. He was far away, in the arms of another woman, and at this thought, Limerik's heart burned with woe and anger.
Yet, I am ugly, she thought. He must've been right to leave me, I am a frog, and not even a pretty one..
"I know!" said Limerik aloud,"I'll go see Buvos!" She hurried toward the magician's home..
"It's no use, Limerik, I am insipido, unmagical."
"But,"protested Limerik,"you are a magician, your are a ruler of the dead, surely you are joking, right, Buvos? You are magical, I'm sure of it."
Buvos shook his head, smiling sadly.
"I am none of it, I hold no claim to the titles and labels pressed upon me simply because I have a small talent,"he said, and touched Limerik's cheek, gently. "You would be better off speaking to Morgane. She is the true wielder of magic."
Limerik's bottom lip trembled, and she held out her hands in supplication. Buvos backed up a pace, and shook his head again, firmly.
"But.."Limerik tried again, but was shushed by Buvos.
"I am no wizard, no sorcerer or warlock. My title, the Lord of the Dead, is merely that-a title, and nothing more. I am sorry."
Buvos donned his top hat once again, pulling on his white gloves with deliberate movements. He nodded to Limerik, and swept out of the cathair she lived in, black cape swirling about him as he walked, the wind nagging at his hat. Limerik cast tear-filled eyes on him as he disappeared, and then ran into her cathair, throwing herself upon the bed.
Limerik thought for a long while. Finally, she got back up, dried her tears, and set off toward Morgane's house...
"Morgane?" she called, hesitantly.
"Yes, who's there?" As Morgane walked in, her lips curved in a sinister smile, sickeningly sweet and evil at the same time. "Ah, it's you, Limerik..my dear little frog."
Limerik bristled, but remembered what she had come for.
"Morgane, I want my love to stop hating me..." A wave of fear washed over Limerik just then, fear of Morgane, and she stopped. Morgane smiled again.
"I have just the thing." Morgane left, then re-entered, carrying a small black vial that smelled slightly nauseating. The liquid inside was green.
"Drink this, and your problem will be solved," said Morgane, and shooed Limerik out of her home, a silent smirk upon her beautiful features.
Once outside, Limerik downed the liquid in a quick gulp. She felt slightly sick, but fought to keep it down.
"I must keep it inside of me.." she whispered, fiercely. Presently she gained control of her stomach, and continued walking, in search of her love, Laltane.
"Laltane!" Limerik cried joyously, seeing him. She ran up to him, and was dismayed to see him recoile.
"Keep away from me, toad!"Laltan shouted.
"I'm...I'm a frog," Limerik replied lamely, feeling numb and unhappy. Laltane turned to go, and she reached out, grabbing his arm.
"Don't go-" Laltane turned to her, a croak of horror escaping his lips. His blue eyes rolled in his handsome face, and he fell to the ground. Limerik let go of him, and ran, feeling cold all the way down to her toes.
She ran to the Central Plaza, where Buvos was sure to be, knowing his love for festivities. She found him, looking at the children laughing and playing with each other.
"Sweet children, aren't they," said a soft, unhappy voice behind him. Buvos turned, to behold a somber Limerik, decked out in bright orange. Her face was much less cheery than her clothing, and she walked slowly toward him.
"Yes," Buvos agreed, taking Limerik's cold hands. He kissed both of her cheeks-a custom most people of Danach share-and grinned widely at her. Limerik didn't return the smile, she simply stared at the children with dull, glassy eyes.
"Limerik, what's wrong with you? You usually enjoy Halloween so much!" Buvos exclaimed. Limerik looked away, replying softly:
"I went to see Morgane, like you said to do...she gave me a vial of green water, and told me to drink it, so I did,"Limerik said, and then suddenly burst into tears and crumpled into Buvos' arms.
"I..I killed him, Buvos! She told me that if I drank it, I would lose my frog shape, and I had only to find him and show him my love..he got angry at me, so as he went, I grabbed his arm..and..and he fell! He just wilted, like a flower that's been picked!" Limerik sobbed uncontrollably into Buvos' shoulder.
"But my frog shape isn't gone! My love is dead, but I still have to become amphibian at first touch of moon.." Limerik stared pitifully at Buvos, and he looked sadly at her.
"I'm so sorry, Limmy..It was my fault, I told you to go to Morgane!"
"No, no, no, it was mine, I told her the wrong thing! I told her that I wished 'he would stop hating me'...I forgot to add anything about love or my frog shape, I just thought she would know; she scared me so badly.." Limerik turned and ran from the Plaza, tears streaming down her cheeks. Buvos cried out and ran after her, but stopped soon, realizing that she was too fast for him to catch her.
Limerik ran to her home..on the way, the moon caught her, and she was forced to hop as a small green frog, all the way home.
"Rrribbit!" she croaked miserably, and hopped onto her bed, little froggy tears running down her slimy cheeks.
"Don't cry, sweet froggy. Limerik, I've come with good news."
Limerik awoke to a kind voice.
"Who are you, and what do you want?" she asked, a quaver in her voice.
"I am Baeris." A tall woman appeared in front of Limerik. "I have come to take you to the Healing Den, to stand on the sands, and perhaps Imprint a dragon."
Limerik hummed happily on her way to Buvos' room. She had on her shoulder a perfect little green chen that she had dubbed Amphib, and in her hands she held another dark little egg, for Buvos.
Limerik walked into Buvos' room and grabbed him by the shoulders, shaking him firmly. Buvos slapped at her, and opened his eyes.
"Good morning, Buvos!" The cheerful face of Limerik made his eyes come unfocused. "Buvos! Wake UP!"
Buvos shook his head to clear the drowsiness.
"Where am I?" he asked, faltering.
"We are both candidates at the Halloween hatching, Buvos. Can you believe it? They Found me, an amphibian-girl!" Limerik dance around Buvos' bed, making him dizzy. "Oh, they gave me this, too." Limerik held up a tiny green dragonchen, sparkling and perfect. "They have an egg for you as well, and you'd better get ready-" The egg began to shake in Buvos' palm as Limerik handed it to him. She also happened to have leftover meat-her chen was not happy to give it up-and as a purple snout poked through the shell, Buvos was awake enough to feed it, and then cradle his new chen to him.
"Ah..Lavene.." Buvos was nearly speechless, but he managed to name the tiny purple chen anyhow.
"Mine is Amphib!" Limerik giggled. Lavene and Amphib trilled.
Limerik, happy for once to be in her frog shape, hopped carefully from lilypad to lilypad, singing in her amphibian voice while Kaeruth looked on in amusement.
~You look like you're having fun~ Kaeruth sighed. ~I told you that I wished I were small enough to be on a lilypad~
Limerik looked up at her dragon and froggily smiled.
-Hey! You look plenty happy- she mind spoke, unable to speak in human tongue in her frog shape. Kaeruth was sitting in the water up to her neck, and she looked a bit like a green Lochness monster. Weeds covered her head, and Limerik laughed out loud at how silly her lifemate looked.
Kaeruth cocked her head to the side, and some of the slime dribbled down her nose. ~What's so funny?~
Limerick approached her Kaeruth warily, for she had no idea as to how the rather large--compared to Limerick, anyway--opal-green would handle her news.
"Kaeruth, darling?" she said, in a sweet, sweet voice, leaning over the edge of the lake, scanning the water to see if her dragon was underneath. It was hard to tell, the water a dark, murky green and none too transparent. Limerick shuddered. It was all very well when she was a frog, but that cold slimy water was awfully repugnant to a mostly-human-being. Hopefully, in the water that Baeris would set up, it would be clear and warm and good-smelling, and big...big enough to fit all of the dragons. And Kaeruth's fun-loving nature, which included blowing bubbles, splashing, and nibbling people's feet when she snuck up underneath them from deep down below, as well as just plain old recreational swimming and snacking on fishes.
At first, all Limerick could see was a passel of weeds, some little, darting fish, and sand, rocks, and shells...but then a large shadow drew nearer and the fish scattered, and Kaeruth's weed covered head broke surface.
You wanted me, Limerick?
Limerick nodded, "I did, sweetling," she replied in a sweet, cajoling voice. Kaeruth looked at her distrustfully.
That's the 'I want something from you' voice...Kaeruth growled in Limerick's head. Limerick laughed uneasily, smiling, and shook her head...then nodded.
"Well, yes, lovie," she said, and added quickly, "but it would be for the both of us, I promise, and lots of fun. And you'd get to swim!" Limerick thought for a second, and heard Kaeruth's belly rumble. She giggled.
What is it? Kaeruth asked interestedly, and what about those fish?
"It is a Swim--"
I swim all the time, what makes this special? asked Kaeruth grumpily.
"Well, you can eat, have fun swimming, I will watch you show off...and it's really a Frenzy in the water..so there would be guys there," Limerick finished, knowing full well that Limerick had become unusually proddy and flirtatious lately.
Alright..sounds fun. Where?
Limerick sighed with satisfaction, That got her...
"At the Healing Den, where you were born, sweetling," Limerick cooed, and Kaeruth cocked her head to the side, opal eyes sparkling.
I will definetly go!
"Then it's settled."
Limerick stared shyly at the strange boy that stood next to his large brown aquatic dragon, Hitasuk. She wondered if he noticed her. She certainly noticed him. It had been a long while since her heart had been beating that fast...the last time it beat that way, she had loved Laltane.
She was with Kaeruth, near a large pond that was the opal-green's favorite place to swim. While Kaeruth waded in a shady, shallow section, under a weeping willow, next to the bank, where cattails and water lilies blocked her from view, Limerick sat in the tree and peered through the willow's long green branches at Ceandin. She hadn't known that he came there; she'd never seen him before. Even now, she was too afraid to go up to him. It wasn't his appearance; no, she realized she was as strange as him, in her own way. It was her previous experiences with closeness. She was afraid she might hurt him, or be rejected herself.
Put a sock in it, proddy Kaeruth said grumpily. Your thoughts are very loud; Hitasuk has already notified me that he can hear them from there.
Limerick gasped, mortified.
"Did he tell C'din?" she asked, her green eyes wide. Kaeruth snorted.
Hitasuk is a gentleman, for your information. He realizes that you have a huge crush on C'din, and he won't tell.
Limerick looked down at her dragon, blushing. "I do not," she insisted, her eyes riveted upon C'din. She liked his tail.
Why don't you just go tell him that? Kaeruth suggested, munching on a piece of pond-veggie. He's sure to be flattered, at the least. And if not, he's a fool.
Limerick hid quickly behind the willow branches and her golden curls when Ceandin glanced her way.
"I can't," she said faintly.
Yes you can, girl, Kaeruth said, but I won't waste my time with you if you don't think you can do it.
"Fine," Limerick said, "I'll do it."
Limerick climbed down from the willow tree and plucked a light-purple flower from it, tucking the blossom behind her ear. She straightened her lime-green blouse and made sure her ruffled white skirt wasn't too rumpled. Kaeruth laughed at her, but she looked at her reflection in the water anyway. Limerick opened the curtain of willow and stepped out. She walked up to C'din and cleared her throat quietly. He turned around and smiled. Hitasuk winked at Kaeruth.
"Hello," Limerick whispered, her eyes barely meeting C'din's double-lidded ones.
"Hi," said Ceandin.
Go on! urged the dragons.
"Well, I'm Limerick," said Limerick, extending her hand. Ceandin took it, and Limerick didn't even flinch at the cool, slimy texture. In fact, it was kind of soothing.
"Nice to meet you; I'm Ceandin, or C'din for short," he replied.
"I know," said Limerick, and smiled shyly. Ceandin smiled back.