I’ve been struggling to write recently. My new series Jessica has ground to a halt as I struggle to find her path and journey. This may be another series cut short as I wait to find out how or if the story develops. Someone I admire and respect a lot gave me a few words of wisdom as I bemoaned my dilemma recently.
So I took her advice and wrote what was in my head, I linked words and an idea and before I knew it Ariel was back. If you remember last year, I fell in love with Ariel and spent many an hour learning more about her and developing her life and story. This part rejoins her later on in life and reveals exactly where life has taken her since we last saw her. The Secrets of Saltlake series has it’s own section on the blog and you can find all previous parts of Ariel’s story here.
The Secrets of Saltlake: Returning Home
The sky swirled above her head. Blues, purples and pinks thrashed about as each colour tried to claim the sky as theirs. The struggle obvious for all to see and the sparks flew up, down and into the clouds caught up in the fray. It had raged on and over time. Days had elapsed, disappeared into flashes and ravaged by fear. The fear that it wasn’t over, that it wouldn’t work and the low rumbling that accompanied the furious clash only served to feed the doubt more and more.
It wasn’t even close to being over. No one would win this battle, not soon anyway and to the world below it seemed the heavens were treating them to the most exquisite firework show they had ever seen. But as the war ravaged the skies, Ariel could feel in her bones that she was about to lose all she had been fighting for these past centuries.
Earth, Saltlake, it was the only place she could feel she want to be right now. She could count on this to help her exact the punishment required for those who once more sought to claim her world, her life, Auragon, as theirs.
She wasn’t ready to let go yet. She wasn’t sure she would ever be ready.
This new war had already claimed her father and she and her mother ruled the galaxies together and in sync in his absence. But she needed someone else, something more. A strength she could only get from Earth. Ariel’s heart ached as she thought of the world she had given up and everything she had placed in danger to carry on with her destiny. No matter how right she knew her decision was, it didn’t make it any easier.
Waving her hand at the skies to seal her pathway so no one could find her, Ariel took in the sight of the sandy grains beneath her toes. She inhaled the salty sea air and it all came back to her. Physically, she looked the same. The same dark-haired teenage girl that had left the local high school in ruins all those years ago. The same girl who had tried to live a normal life and keep her destiny at bay. The pain, the fears and the angst all came rushing back every time she visited. No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t shake that feeling that everything that had happened since was all her fault.
The little seaside town looked exactly the same.
The council had chosen to keep it so all these years later. Even when the elders passed and new generations took over their duties. Saltlake was to be forever preserved in history to keep its secret and protect all those who reside here. But at this moment she was only interested in one family.
Turning her back to the ebbing tide as it revealed more of the unique white sand, Ariel headed up the dunes to make her way to what was once her family home. Now it was home the three daughters she had left behind on Earth to live with Jonny. Her partner, her love and the one person in the whole of the universe she trusted to protect what was most precious to her.
He wasn’t happy in Auragon with her. Though they fought side by side, Earth was his home and where he belonged. And that was what eventually led him returning home. Ariel still loved him with all of her heart and entrusted him to make sure their girls were safe. Triplets. A rare and worshipped occurrence back home, sadly it made them the target of those unhappy with the return of the Royal Family Aurelious from where they were hiding out for so many years.
Returning the girls to Earth with their father and council members made up of the most powerful beings from across the universe was for their own good. The number of times she wanted to give it up and join them was a battle Ariel lived every second of her life and felt in every fibre of her being.
She felt that same feeling of calm and peace wash over her as she strode through the magical barrier keeping her family safe and couldn’t wait to rush to her girls. She herself had grown up without her mother because of the old war of Auragon and now her girls were paying the same price too. Ariel wasn’t going to miss out on them like Queen Aurelious did all those years ago.
Ariel just hoped her mum was OK whilst she was gone.
One day, Ariel had swore not too long ago, she would be done with this and she would leave Auragon behind to live in peace elsewhere, But right now that wasn’t an option. She cleared her head of all things home and fighting and basked in the thoughts of her girls. They had felt her break the magic barrier and she was ambushed with all of their thoughts all at once. Jonny heard the screams too. She could hear him as he chuckled from behind the island in the kitchen as he was making after-school snacks for their now teenage triplets.
Bracing herself for impact, Ariel pushed open the sliding doors just as Carilla, Oliviana and Melody made impact with their mum. She was home at last but for how long she had no idea.