Cellia had been following the green orb that shared her name for what seemed like hours, and her feet were starting to hurt.
"Can't we stop for just a short while?" the girl asked asked.
"Not just yet. We have a lot of distance to make," Cellia the orb responded.
"Where are we going, anyways?" Cellia the girl asked with a yawn.
"To my home, of course. Too bad you couldn't have transported us there to begin with."
"But I don't know how to do that. You'll have to excuse me, but I'm not used to this sort of thing. I'm not usually transported to strange worlds, you know. I usually just go about my day without anything too exciting happening to me," the girl said.
"But how are you supposed to grow and change if you don't step outside what you know?" the orb asked.
"Maybe I don't want to grow and change," Cellia said. "Maybe I liked things the way they were."
"Oh?" the orb asked. "You like how your parents never notice you, how you fade into the background at school?"
"Well it's better than this," Cellia said defiantly. "I'm hungry and tired and I don't understand this strange place."
"Oh, it's not so bad," the orb said. "Let's stop though, for something to eat."
"Eat?" Cellia asked, intrigued. "I could definitely use something to eat. But," she said sadly, looking around at the translucent grass and the spindly trees that comprised her strange new world, "I don't know that there is anything here that I could have."
"Sure there is. Here there is whatever you want," the orb said.
"What do you mean?" the girl asked.
"Close your eyes, and whatever you wish to eat will be yours," the orb said. "Go ahead, try it! Watch, I'll go first."
The orb lifted up a bit higher off the spongy ground, and then began to vibrate as it cycled through a gradient of yellow to red. A fine mist enveloped the orb, and then with a 'poof!' hundreds of tiny little orange cubes suddenly appeared on the ground below it. The orb then swooped down and swept the cubes up, somehow. When it had made a few passes and the cubes were gone, the orb burped, from somewhere.
"Delicious!" Cellia the orb announced. "See how easy it was?"
"Sure?" Cellia half-asked, confused. What the orb had done looked anything but easy. "Here goes nothing," she said, and then squeezed her eyelids closed.
In her imagination, she saw cakes and ice cream, giant sweets that sparkled with sugar and glistened with buttery goodness. Little tornadoes of candy spun about the cakes in her mind, crashing into frosting with gooey impacts that ricocheted about her mind. When she opened her eyes, though, there was nothing.
"It didn't work!" Cellia said with disappointment.
"You must not have really wanted whatever you wished for," the orb said. "Try it again. Come on now, the nootriis are coming."
"Nootriis?" the girl asked.
"Yes, hurry! Unless you want to wait to eat," the orb said.
"No, I don't want to wait," Cellia answered. She closed her eyes again, and saw her sweet dreams once more, but then she thought about how much they would make her teeth hurt, and how they would make her tired. What she really wanted, she decided, was something hearty and healthy. She saw a procession of rolls in her thoughts. They came marching down over mountains of mashed potatoes, dripping butter from their faces as they went. And then squadrons of broccoli came soaring through the milk skies, coming to rest atop giant beet lily pads atop an orange juice sea. A fine rain of salt began to fall over the scene, which made Cellia's mouth water. When she opened her eyes again, there was a delicious meal before her.
"It worked!" Cellia exclaimed.
"Of course it did," said the orb. "Now, you can't imagine silverware here, so dig in!"
Cellia the girl did just that, devouring her mashed potatoes and roast beef with her bare hands. It was certainly the best food she had ever eaten in her whole life, even better than she had imagined it was going to be. When she was finished, she too let out a burp.
"Excuse me," she said with a slight blush.
"No worries," the orb said. "Burpy is better than gassy. Now, come on, the nootriis will be here soon!"
The three great squares of light that illuminated the sky began to settle over the horizon: one in the north, one in the east, and one in the west.
"They'll come from the south, we must make haste!" the orb cried.
Just as the sun-squares finally dipped out of sight, Cellia heard what sounded like laughter, sounding from somewhere off in the distance. It was a mad laughter, a crazed cackle that sounded anything but happy.
"What are nootriis?" the girl asked, scared.
"Our worst fears! And our worst enemies!" the orb cried. "We must hurry, or they will freeze us and seize us! Come!"
The orb picked up speed and Cellia struggled to keep up behind it. As the two ran, a triangle that took up nearly the entire sky came into view like the dice inside a magic eight ball. And then Cellia saw black forms to the south, curls and splotches and asterisks that shrieked an awful noise something not quite like laughter as they bounded forth.
"It's too late!" the orb cried, flashing bright blue. "They're here! The nootriis!"
TO BE CONTINUED...