Season Two Finale: Skimmers
The Adventures of Millie and Sandra
Facing off with Judith, an elder to the twins, shook the girls a little, then Millie started groaning, and it became a cry. Sandra took hold of her hand and when she did, the twins floated from the surprisingly solid floor of the fog. Green scales began to grow around their faces, large wings tore through their clothes. Firm ridges protruded from their foreheads, and moved up over their heads, and down their backs.
They became the dragonflies they were destined to be, but Judith had absorbed their energy and she too changed.
“What is that?” Sandra asked as they floated to the ground, her voice, like her sight, had layers.
“Don’t know,” Millie responded, and she too had layers.
“You have incurred my wrath,” Judith said. She’d changed into a rather dull looking moth type creature, and she didn’t have layers. “You dragonflies. You think you’re better than me—”
“Certainly prettier,” Sandra said, and Millie laughed.
The laughter shook the confines of the fog’s internals, and Judith looked frightened.
“Laugh all you want,” she said, “but I have this.”
Holding up the tin, the twins saw the edge of it had been torn away like someone had tried to open it, but couldn’t.
“Did you bite into that?” Millie asked, “cause it looks like your cuddlies couldn’t cut it.”
“Good one, sis,” Sandra said following a short sharp laugh.
“Why, thank you.”
Judith was watching the exchange. She was worried. Didn’t know the twins had tapped into their power. She was only a moth and the best she could do was clean up a honey spill. Moths were the bottom feeders of the witch’s world, and Judith was able to keep her identity a secret from the coven, but the combined energy of the twins as they transformed, drew out her true self.
We know where the crystal is, Sandra said telepathically, where’s Mum and Auntie?
Don’t know. Shall we make her tell us? Or do we take ownership of the crystal first? Millie asked.
Crystal first, you know Auntie would want us to do that before any other witch had to suffer at the whims of Grandma.
Crystal it is.
The twins flexed their wings and found when they oscillated at speed together, they could create an imposing barrier. Keeping the moth in view, Millie began.
In the crystals shell of tin and the past,
Combine its strength with our dragon’s hearts,
From your shards we call for your power,
Imbue your essence with the witching hour,
And take your rightful seat upon the dragon’s throne,
Come with us, come back home.
The twins shot their fire from their mouths and eyes. Blue and yellow flames danced and twined around each other, and all Judith could do was watch in horror as they came for her. At the last second, she threw the tin to the ground and the twins flame followed its fall. Judith flapped her muddy wings and disappeared into the fog.
With the tin captured in their flame, the twins picked it up and pulled it closer to them. As the tin melted away and only the shards of a once abused crystal hung in the air, they fit each piece until the ball was whole once more, but they weren’t finished yet. The speed of their wings increased. A vortex of power entwined them and the crystal together, until they took ownership of the crystal, but only after it willingly offered itself.
The twins calmed and the flames abated. Together they held the crystal, and it was warm to the touch. A gentle spark shot from it into their arms, and it welcomed them to magic.
“Thank you,” the twins said, and were caught up in that magical moment and had almost forgot about Grandma.
A pillar of dust rose from the ground and a murky fog surrounded it.
“So, you finally have it,” their grandma spat. “It’s mine. I tried to protect this family from what you’ve become and now you will die.”
A fiery, foggy hand reached out and tried to take the crystal, but it shot a blue veiny light into the fog, and it retracted as if bitten.
“Where’s our Mum and Aunt?” Millie asked.
“Yes, witch,” Sandra said. “Where are they?”
“Where you’ll never find them,” Grandma said.
“Really?” the twins whispered so low that the vibration of their voices shook the form their grandma had taken, and it crumbled before them.
“Mill’s,” Tess said. “Where are we? And why aren’t you looking for a way out?”
“The twins are here, Tess—”
“Quiet yourself and listen.”
Tess sat next to her sister, quieted her mind, and listened to the nothing inside the fog.
“Can you feel them?” she asked.
“What is—” Mill’s was about to say, when the powerful energy of the girls neared.
For the first time in years, the sisters began their transformation. They were becoming dragonflies. Tess took Millie’s hand in hers as they became their true selves.
“They’re here,” Tess said once the transformation was complete.
“And they’re close,” Mill’s said of the twins.
“There’s something else too,” Tess said.
“No… well, yes, but no that’s not what I’m sensing.”
“A moth,” Mill’s said. “There’s a moth in the fog… do you know any moths?”
“No,” Tess said. “Never seen one, let alone met one. Aren’t they like the dung beetles? They eat… well you know what… You do know what?”
“Yes, I know,” Mill’s said, “I’ve heard about them too, but also never met one, though it feels familiar.”
“Someone you know?”
“Oh, gods,” Mill’s uttered, “or someone who brought us here?”
“You don’t mean?”
“Judith,” they said in unison.
The twins were feeling their way through the caverns and tunnels in the maze of the fog with their wings. Their senses had grown substantially in power since taking ownership of the crystal.
“Can you smell that?” Millie asked.
“Moth,” Sandra said. “Couldn’t miss it if I was on the moon.”
“I say we follow the moth,” Millie said. “Bet it knows where Mum and Aunty are.”
“Agreed. Oh! Hello,” Sandra said, “is that Grandma?”
“What? Oh, that rotted egg smell? Yeah, I’d say it’s her.”
“Thought she’d have died, or disappeared, once we took the crystal?” Sandra said.
“Guess the old witch has a bit of fight left in her after all.”
“Bet it’s stolen magic from all those witches she sucked dry.”
“Reckon,” Millie said. “Be on the look out for her. We don’t know what she’s got left, but I’d hazard a guess and say it’s a doozie.”
The twins took a left turn down a long dark tunnel following Judiths scent, when suddenly a wall of fog rose in front of them. It looked imposing but lacked the skills and abilities of the dragonflies.
“Stop!” Grandma’s voice, spoke through the fog.
“Why should we?” Sandra asked.
“I have one power left and only one chance to use it. Did you think I wouldn’t be prepared for what you’ve done?”
“Well,” Millie said looking to Sandra.
“Yes,” they said in unison.
“It’d best be good, cause we’re younger and fitter than a corpse with stolen power,” Millie said.
“This isn’t stolen power, girl,” Grandma said. “I’ve always had this power, but no-one, not even your stupid mother and her whiny ways knows about it.”
The girl’s wings vibrated furiously at the crack about their mother, but Millie placed her hand on Sandra’s and calmed her.
“That’s right,” Grandma continued, “be afraid, cause I’m coming girls, for you, and those worthless daughters of mine.”
“We’re not afraid of you,” Sandra yelled and before Millie could stop her, she flew into the fog and scattered it into the wild winds her wings had whipped up. “Where is she?”
“Not inside that,” Millie said. “Maybe she hasn’t taken form yet.”
“You believe her?” Sandra asked.
“If you’d told me last week that Judith was a moth, I would’ve laughed, but yeah. I believe Grandma has one last trick up her sleeve.”
The twins picked up the moth’s scent again and began weaving their way through the fog in search of their family.
What do you think she is? Millie asked.
Don’t know, don’t care, Sandra said. Let me at her.
Hope we find Mum and Auntie soon, Millie said.
Found us, the twins heard Aunt Millie say.
And me, their Mum said.
A humming noise filled the air around the girls. It sounded above the hum of their wings, and just when they thought the fog would implode, their Mum and Aunt cut a hole through the foggy wall to their left.
“Mum, Aunty,” they said and were surprised to see they looked just like them.
“So, that’s what you meant when you said we were all dragonflies?” Millie asked her Mum.
“Yes, dear. Now, where’s your grandma?”
“No, what are we, Mum?” Millie asked.
“Skimmers, sweetie, Green Skimmers, now, Grandma.”
“Oh, first,” Sandra said, and their Mum sighed, “did you know Judith was a moth? An ugly one at that.”
“So, it was her,” their aunt said.
“We sensed one earlier,” their Mum said.
“We thought it could’ve been her.”
“Grandma?” their Mum asked for the third time.
The twins looked to each other and after a short telepathic conversation, they successfully blocked their Mum and Aunt from hearing, they decided Millie should tell them. Sandra knew she’d get carried away, but couldn’t stop thinking about Judith being a moth.
“Grandma,” Millie said, “has just told us that she is something that not even you know about. Could it be true?”
Tess and Millie looked deep in thought.
“You’d know better than me,” their aunt said.
“I did get to see her do a lot of horrible things,” their Mum said, “but never saw her change into anything.”
“The covens never said anything either, and I’m certain they would’ve especially after we killed the old witch together,” their aunt said.
“Agreed… hey,” Mum said catching sight of the girls playing catch with a crystal ball. “Is that—”
“Yep,” they said.
Aunt Millie almost had kittens when she saw what the girls were holding, what they were doing with it.
“Stop that,” she demanded.
“Stop what, Auntie?” Sandra asked and tossed the ball into the air and caught it again.
Tess and Millie gasped, and the twins laughed.
“Where did you get that? It’s evil, and must be destroyed,” their aunt said, and their Mum agreed.
“It’s not evil, Mum, Aunty,” Millie said.
“We own it now,” Sandra said.
“What do you mean?” Mum asked.
“We joined our fire and destroyed the tin, that Judith had tried to bite into, and offered the crystal a new life, a better life, with all of us,” Millie said.
“It’s where she belongs,” Sandra said.
“She?” Aunt Millie asked.
“Most definitely,” Sandra said. “She, hasn’t told us her name yet, but is getting used to being free.”
“It’s alive?” the Mum asked.
“Everything’s alive, Mum,” Sandra said. “It was Grandma who used her for evil, and she’s coming home with us.”
A lot’s changed in what? An hour? Two? Tess said telepathically to her sister.
“So, where to now?” Mum asked.
The twins filled them in on their interactions with both Judith and Grandma as they hummed their way through the fog. They eventually reached a large cavern and could sense the moth and Grandma. They were there. Their wings began to vibrate at an amazing rate, but they couldn’t see either of them.
Spread out,” their aunt said.
“At wings length only,” Mum said. “We are stronger together.”
Tess had just stopped talking when she saw something move in the distance.
“Anyone see that?”
“I did,” Auntie said.
“See what… Oh, that,” Sandra said.
“It’s just the moth,” Millie said. “We can handle a moth. If I’m not mistaken, we eat them.”
“Ew,” Sandra said. “I don’t want to… where’s Auntie gone?”
They all looked around and saw Aunt Millie was on her way to Judith. She almost made it, when suddenly a huge orange and black wing came down in front of her.
“What’s that?” the twins asked.
“I think that’s Grandma,” their Mum said as two large black legs came into view.
Those legs were followed by what looked like a ginormous caterpillar, but once it made itself fully visual, they saw it was a butterfly.
“Huh!” Sandra said. “I was not expecting that.”
“Me neither,” Millie and their Mum said.
All were in awe of this beautiful creature, that had such a black heart.
“They eat meat, you know,” Millie said.
“I believe it,” Sandra said. “What do we do?”
“We’ve gotta help your aunt,” their Mum said. “Touch wings, just the tips, and we’re going to move as one to where your aunt is.”
“Don’t dragonflies eat butterflies?” Millie asked as she adjusted her wings.
“We sure do,” their Mum said, and they began to move towards their aunt.
It was an impressive display of force. When the dragonfly moves in perfect harmony with her sisters, nothing can stand in their way. When they reached Aunt Millie, the butterfly and the moth, the moth was pleading her case.
“She promised to make me just like her,” Judith was saying. “I would have beautiful wings and be a majestic creature instead of… of this.”
“No-one can change who they are, Judy,” Aunt Millie said. “We are all born different. It’s what we choose to do with our differences that makes our lives better.”
The moth was weeping. It was a sorry sight.
Never thought I’d see a moth cry, Millie said.
Yep, Sandra said. New experience for me.
“Shut it!” the beautiful butterfly with the foul mouth demanded. “I’m in charge here, and you work for me, Moth. Stop listening to their lies.”
Grandma stepped over the top of the moth, hiding Judith from sight.
“Liars… all of you,” Grandma spewed, “look at you. Disgusting dragonflies. What an embarrassment you were. And you’re still embarrassing yourself. Look what you’ve done to your daughters.”
“Shut up, Mum,” Tess said. “I’ve had about enough of your bile.”
“Oh, looky here. Someone thinks she’s all grown up and can talk to her own mother that way,” Grandma growled.
“Why not,” Tess said. “I helped kill you, and I’ll do it again.”
“Betrayer,” Grandma accused and flapped her wings at the twin’s Mum.
“Hold tight girls,” she said, just as the wing hit them.
They watch the large orange wings coming back towards them and ducked.
“Bite me, mother,” Tess said. “I put up with your guff for too long. You murdered Aster, hundreds of your own kind in the ether. You’re a murderer, an embarrassment, and a thing we will destroy.”
Out from under Grandma’s legs flew the moth, and Aunt Millie joined her wings with her sisters.
“Judith?” Grandma spat, “where’re you going? No-one will ever want you like that, you’re a disgusting bottom feeder. You’re a moth.”
“Know what?” Judith said. “I agree with Tess, bite me. You were never—”
Before Judith could finish, Grandma leant down and ate her.
“Ew,” Sandra said.
“She did say, Bite me,” Millie said.
“So did Mum.”
“Stop it. All of you,” Aunt Millie said. “Don’t you see what she’s doing? What she’s always done, Tess?”
“She’s trying to divide us,” Tess whispered. “She wants to take my sister and my daughters away, WELL, I WON’T LET YOU!”
We eat butterflies, girls, Aunt Millie said. If you’ve got an aversion to it… get over it. It’s time to take this bitch down.
I’m in, Mum said.
Us too, the twin’s said.
And me… I’m Celia, by the way, the crystal said.
Welcome Celia, you’re one of the family now, Tess said and smiled.
So, Aunt Millie said, who wants to eat Grandma?
Me, several voices said at once.
Then gather your wings, for we’re about to fly.
The dragonflies came up with a plan, Mum and Auntie would attack either side of Grandma where she could see them, the twin’s and Celia would attack from the back. They would settle Celia close to Grandma’s head from behind and she would work on her while the dragonflies enjoyed a night out with dinner and a show.
They moved together towards the butterfly; Sandra had Celia in a pouch beneath her scales to make sure she didn’t lose her. The whole campaign hinged on Celia’s attack. When they were close to Grandma, the dragonflies separated, Mum and aunty began taking large bites out of her flesh, while ducking her wings as they fluttered helplessly.
The twin’s reached the back end of the butterfly, and Millie waved to Sandra as she quietly took Celia up and put her in place. When everything was set, the dragonflies, all four of them, began to eat Grandma.
“She tastes foul,” Sandra said, spitting a mouthful of butterfly flesh to the ground.
“Agreed… Wing!” Millie said, ducked, and spat Grandma out too.
Suddenly a bright white beam of light shot into the air. The fog had been thinning, the more they ate Grandma, and Celia used that to shoot a hole through it. Celia didn’t stop there, while Grandma’s orange wings flapped, she burned her way into her flesh and started to cook Grandma from the inside. As the flapping began to subside, and Grandma’s vial words began to die, the twins moved back to Celia and started eating Grandma again.
“Oh,” Sandra said. “Much nicer. What do you think, Mill’s?”
Millie was hoeing into Grandma like she was a pig on a spit. Cooked Grandma was a tasty treat, one the twins would never forget.
“Millie?” Sandra said, then, “Burrpped,” herself and took another bite.
Grandma had stopped fighting. Stopped talking, and Celia cooked her until she was well done.
“Do we take some back for the coven?” Tess asked her sister.
“Don’t be silly,” she said. “I’ll make them a curry out of her remains and we’ll have a potluck... bringing Bruce along, are you?”
Tess laughed so loud, Grandma caught in her throat and Mill’s had to give her a whack to dislodge her.
Once everyone ate their fill, the fog disappeared and thankfully the CSI and all the neighbours left before they saw a giant butterfly carcass, and four human sized dragonflies in Aunt Millie’s back yard. Then the twins arrived with Celia in hand.
“Um, aunty?” Sandra asked.
“There’s that policeman you like… and another one…”
“Frank? Shells?” Aunt Millie asked and saw they were dazed just as everyone else had been.
“Alfristra mortefa,” Aunt Millie said, and they disappeared.
“Where’d they go?” Millie asked.
“Home to bed,” she said. “They’ll be fine in the morning.”
“Auntie? How do we get rid of this,” Sandra asked pointing to the carcass.
“Funny story that—” Tess started to say, when Millie had a question for the group.
“Do we stay dragonflies, or do we change back to being human?”
Tess and Millie laughed. Even Celia laughed. They were recalling when they first changed and the panic about how to change back. Aunt Millie was going to just go and live up a tree, but Tess was always stressed and knew her mother would find her.
“Mum? Aunty? Not funny,” Sandra was saying as their laughter died down.
“Yes, you can change back,” their Mum said. “And learn how to control it so you’re not sitting in science class and suddenly you’re under the microscope.”
“Right? Like the time in gym when you almost got caught.” Aunt Millie said and was laughing again.
“Caught?” the twins asked.
“Your Mum was dawdling as usual, which was good that day, and just as the last girl left the change rooms, she changed.”
“What? Just like that?” Sandra asked.
“Had you changed before?” Millie asked.
“What did you do?” Sandra asked.
Their Mum’s face was flushed, and they could see she was desperately trying to hold back a laugh.
“So, she runs to a toilet. Locks the door and before she knew what she was doing, she telepathically screamed in my head. I was in science class, and it was so loud, I fell off my stool,” Aunt Millie said. “They all thought I was crying from the fall, but I was almost wetting myself. Your Mum had no control and was sending me all sorts of images. I only just made it out of that room. They were ready to call an ambulance.”
“I’m so sorry, Mum,” Millie said and put a hand on her shoulder.
It was vibrating but she just thought that was from her wings until Mum was howling with laughter.
“All Mill’s knew, was that I was in a toilet somewhere in a school with over fifty of them.”
“And every time I took a step, your Mum sent another psychic flash and I’d go running to the next row of toilets.”
“But you found her?” Millie asked.
“No,” Aunt Millie said. “After a while I was able to send her a message. Told her to stay ‘til after school and I’d meet her down by the river.”
“Where the big toilet block is?” Millie asked.
“Yes,” their Mum said.
“So, I’m waiting down the end of the alley that goes to the river from the school, and the next thing I know, I’m being bowled over by a human sized dragonfly with no control.”
“I was vibrating my wings so fast, even if there was someone to see it, they’d never know what I was,” Mum laughed.
“Can we get to how we change back, please?” Sandra asked, but like Millie, was thoroughly enjoying the story.
“Okay. Okay. So, I got her in the toilet block, had to change myself just to find her, and within minutes she was herself again, weren’t you, sis?”
“That I was.”
“Okay,” Millie said, trying desperately not to get annoyed, “how do we change back?”
“Oh, that’s easy,” their Mum said, “just calm yourself and wish it.”
“That’s it,” their aunt said. “Your Mum couldn’t, cause she didn’t know what had happened to her, and between you and me, she wasn’t very quick on the uptake like you girls are…”
“So,” their aunt continued. “She couldn’t calm herself, so couldn’t change back. It’s how you change into a dragonfly too. Just wish it.”
“Huh!” Sandra said and changed into her human form, then suddenly she was a dragonfly again. “Oh boy, am I gonna have fun with this. This is, delicious!”
A frightened look passed between the others. They all knew Sandra was a dare devil, and now she had the power to do almost anything.
“Oo,” she said to their horror. “A nice crispy piece of Grandma. What do you think, Celia?”
Heads shot up, they’d forgotten about Celia, and she was now Sandra’s best friend.
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