by Brendan McGrath
Darkness sweeps the land, as Mana’s power fades. People await a hero who will wield the sword. Herald, Excalibur, Gigas; the blade has many names, for it has been celebrated in myths and legends throughout time. But all those names point to just one weapon: The Sword of Mana.
THE SWORD BY THE FALLS
"Hey! Guys! Wait up!" called Link to Elliot and Timothy over the roar of the water, as he cautiously put one foot ahead of the other on the log bridge. His stomach turned at the sight of the drop to the shallow water below. The waterfall’s mist landed on his skin, and cooled his face. He was half way across the log bridge that extended in front of the waterfall. It connected the two cliffs on either side.
Link had brown hair, as thick as a lion’s mane. He wore a red scarf like material around his neck. His belt was a Red rope, tied in a short knot around his waist. He had brown hiking shoes on, for this hike. Wristbands encircled his wrists. He wore blue pants, and a blue top.
Link looked out from the bridge over the valley where his village, Potos, was, and the surrounding area. To the west, his right at this point, he could see the other water fall, which emptied into another part of the lake below him. From the lake, two rivers flowed, each with its own branches. This waterfall fed the eastern river, which flowed south, and split. One part flowed east below Potos, and the other continued south and divided into Pandora’s many canals. The other waterfall fed the western river, which began at the Water Palace, and continued south, where it split above Gaia’s Navel. One part flowed south west through Kippo Village, and the other emptied into Gaia’s Navel, and its underground caves.
Link was brought back to the present situation by his friend’s voice.
"Quiet!" hissed Elliot, "The Elder will hear you, and we’ll get in trouble!"
"Yeah," agreed Timothy, "We’re not supposed to be here. There’s a ghost around!"
"Do you really believe that?" scoffed Elliot, "People just say that to scare us. Still, I heard my Grandma talking about some shiny object near the falls."
"That must be some kind of treasure!" realized Timothy. "We have to find it!" He and Elliot continued along the log bridge, and stepped off when they got to the cliff. Link tried to follow, but the sun blinded him.
"Help! I’m falling! AAIEE!!" yelled Link. Before Elliot and Timothy could help him, he fell into the roaring mass of water!
Link hit the water with a splash. Luckily, he fell in a deep area, and was not hurt.
"Just great!" he moaned. "Now I’m in trouble. I’ll never be able to explain these wet clothes!"
Suddenly, link heard a distant voice, yet though distant, it was close within him.
Link looked to his left, the east, where the bank was too steep to climb, and that was where the path to his village, Potos, was. Link swam to the west bank of the pond, and looked around. The waterfall emptied into the pond, from which the creek flowed with its many branches. Thick grass grew on the banks of the creek, with bushes here and there. The water was as clear as glass, and chilled by the early spring air. Link looked down the creek, and saw a small footbridge. Across it he could reach the path that lead to his village, Potos. But heavy foliage blocked the path to the village. Link walked along the bank he was on, and came to the bridge. As he crossed, he looked up the river at the waterfall, and saw something he hadn’t seen before on the bank. Thrust into a rock, in the middle of the river, was a shining, metallic object. It was a sword!
Link looked sharply around him, but no one was in sight. "Who are you? Who spoke to me?" he asked aloud. There was no reply. He decided it was nothing, and continued the bridge. On the other side, he found the path leading to Potos, which was blocked, and a break in the rocky bank. From there he could get to the sword, and cut through the bushes. He waded in, and found the water shallow. He trudged through to the sword in the rock, which he found covered with rust.
"Link… remove the sword…"
"Who are you?" cried Link once more, and still there was no response. He gripped the sword’s hilt, which seemed to fit his hand perfectly. He yanked the sword with all his strength, and fell back when it slid out of its place in the rock quite easily. It began to glow, and a brilliant light filled the air! The light began to take the shape of a man!
"A g-g-g-ghost!!" cried Link.
"Link… it is I who called… the sword!!!"
The bright light was gone in an instant, and the sprit began to fade away.
"Wait!" called Link, but the man was gone. Who was he? What was the sword doing there? His stomach felt queasy, and sweat trickled down his neck. He tried to forget the occurrence. It must have been his imagination… or was it?