IV. To Donna’s! (Which Way is East?)
The silence in the room felt so heavy it was bearing down on Lotta, bringing her closer and closer towards the floor. Babi had not said a word since she finished telling him about their troubles and his stare was piercing right through her. To Lotta’s dismay he did not look as amused as she had hoped. Her gaze jumped from Babi to his old bookshelf, to his even older desk, to Babi again and then decided that the floor was the safest bet. She found the cracks in the wooden planks extremely fascinating.
‘These Academy punks are getting worse every year…’ Babi thought. He let out a heavy sigh as he got up from his armchair and walked over to one of the many cabinets overflowing with manuscripts. While Babi was rummaging through a clutter of papers, Lotta and Sha looked at each other with puzzled looks on their faces.
‘Aha! I found it!’ Babi exclaimed while holding up a piece of parchment above his head. He chuckled at the sight of the kid’s expressions. ‘Alright, you little runts. I will let you run away, but under a few conditions. I will know if you break them, is that clear?’ he rumbled. Sha and Lotta nodded vigorously. ‘I see that you’re all packed already. I’ll give you the map you were studying and one more thing.’ Babi gave the piece of parchment to Lotta. She looked down and noticed it was a complicated spell.
Darkness, darkness all around me. Darkness, darkness all around me. Fassahaan, fassahaan.
Hatred, hatred all around me. Hatred, hatred all around me. Dassahaan, dassahaan.
Pierce the shadows all around me. Pierce the shadows all around me. Lissaaman, lissaaman.
Take me to the light. Take me to the light. Take me to the light. Saahannamani, Saahannamani, Saahannamni.
‘What is that spell, Babi?’ Lotta asked in a suspicious voice. She recognized it as a chant-type spell, one that had to be sung out loud. Lotta was surprised to feel the powerful magic behind each word, even though she only read it in her mind. She saw Sha looking over her shoulder and handed over the spell.
Sha’s eyes went wide open. ‘That’s… That’s one of the Forgotten Songs!’ he said bewildered. Babi shot a glance at Sha, stunned that a twelve year old boy would know that.
He cleared his throat and continued lecturing the young wizards. ‘Both of you memorize it, but only use it if your life is in danger! Understood?’ he said.
‘Yes, Babi!’ Lotta and Sha replied in unison. Satisfied with their response, Babi gave them the map.
‘Flip it over and you will see a list of names and instructions. These are some of my old friends and they will take care of you as long as you mention my name. Head to Donna’s place first, alright? Once you’re there, make sure not to get on her bad side. Now, off you go! I’m too busy to be dealing with you any longer.’ and in a puff of air Babi disappeared, leaving Sha and Lotta speechless.
‘Well, that just happened.’ Lotta said, amazed. With the excitement swelling up inside of her she grabbed Sha’s arm and started running towards the door.
‘Wa..it..Wait, Lotta!’ Sha finally caught up to her at the entrance. ‘Do you even know which way to go?’ he asked, panting heavily. They were standing on the the busy sidewalk in front of Babi’s house staring at each other.
‘Well, of course. We’re going to Donna’s place, right? And her address is 7456 Pebble Street… Uh, Lessonom…?’ she took out the map, all crumpled up from her backpack. After a minute of studying, she let out a moan and frustrated threw the map at Sha.
‘You know how to read maps Sha, don’t you?’ she asked. The helpless shrug he gave her was enough for an answer. ‘On the back it says she lives in the Eastern quarter of Empire City…’ Lotta paused for a second.
‘So, which way is East?’ Lotta and Sha mumbled to themselves in harmony.