The theory of the six degrees of separation is formed from the idea that each and every person is connected by six or fewer ‘chains’ of two people who share a certain connection. This short story bases itself against the theory, through the perspective of three childrens’ story characters: Darquesse (Skulduggery Pleasant), Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) and Elmo (Sesame Street)
6 Degrees of Separation – A Mystical Tale
Darquesse summoned her power, sending beams of energy projecting into the distance, penetrating Hermione’s shield, splitting bricks, separating their atoms until they were invisible to the naked eye. The ground creaked beneath Hermione. The walls caved in around her. Her voice quivered as she sent a full body bind spell directly towards Darquesse. “Petrificus Totalus!” Darquesse simply swiped it away like it was nothing. Hermione clutched her wand, gripping so hard her hands went red. Darquesse disappeared and before she knew it, Darquesse was teasing and prodding at her from behind. Hermione could see nothing more than a single wisp of hair, when Darquesse had levitated herself up on top of Hermione. Her glare was as cold as winter.
“Where’s the boy,” she uttered.
Anxiously, Elmo peered through a stained glass window, watching Darquesse. His red fur was drenched with rain. What had that small, innocent girl become? How did she manipulate him into thinking good in her? How could her life be so full of lies? Upon meeting her, she was warm and kind, but now? Now she’s after him, hunting him, to suck out all of his magic.
He remembered that day. It was a day that was etched into his mind and would stay that way for eternity: When Darquesse stepped into Elmo’s World on Sesame Street. She was always so smiley, now her friendly smiles are a long memory of the past. He taught her how to count, then to turn objects into nothingness. Never did it cross his mind that Darquesse (then Stephanie) would use this basic magic, intended to bring about happiness and wonder, to inflict harm on others, including him. Her essential goal was to end the world, that Elmo knew, but why? That was the question that kept invading his mind.
As he was the one who initially exposed Darquesse to magic, Elmo knew that he could not just wait here for the world to end, he was the one and only thing that could stop this evil force.
With a single swipe Hermione too transformed into many atoms. Elmo brought her back the same way she was broken apart. Hermione looked herself up and down in total confusion. What had just happened? Meanwhile, Elmo looked into the fake warm eyes of his past disciple.
Her black jacket was impenetrable. Her extent of her magic could not be denied. Her hands were clenched and white light glowed around them. The air around her was cold and eerie.
“We meet again,” muttered Elmo.
Darquesse chuckled softly. “So it seems old man, but this time I am not your harmless student Stephanie, I am more than you could ever be.”
“What do you want from me?”
“Everything” Darquesse cackled maniacally.
“Wh-what’s going on?” Mumbled Hermione from behind.
“All’s well that ends well.” Replied Elmo in a sad tone.
“You’re not answering my question!”
“Some questions are meant to be left unanswered.”
Elmo flinched, light flickered in his eyes like a camera flashing repeatedly. Darquesse flashed her hands in and out as fast as she could as she edged towards Elmo, blinding him. But Elmo knew what she was up to. Using his ears, he could sense where she was and so he fired a sharp missile of energy into her chest. Completely stunned and surprised, Darquesse was sent firing straight into a brick wall. Hard and fast. But since she had learnt how to heal herself in milliseconds pain only affected her momentarily. Elmo knew that because of this, he needed a change of plan.
“You may act as you please Stephanie, or should I say Darquesse, for to you I am only a red fluff ball, and anyway I am way past my use by date” He chuckled softly.
“I always knew, from the moment you taught me how to count, that you weren’t as powerful as you acted – you’ve already given up!”
“So, get me on the right page here, Elmo… You taught Darquesse about magic, then she disappeared, stabbed you in the back…..” Her voice trailed off, whisked up into the dark sky”What were you thinking!”
Darquesse went on about how Elmo was so weak but while she was too busy talking herself up, Elmo was making a better use of his time.
A tickle brushed her brain, like a feather, but she failed to notice it, as she was preoccupied with her cockiness.
Something wriggled into her brain, like a worm, she felt it. It was too late though, she had already exposed her weaknesses to Elmo.
She screamed and frantically fled away, teleporting far from Hermione and Elmo. Not a single word was said by Darquesse.
But on the other side of the world, Darquesse was creating havoc, furiously firing the killing curse upon everyone she met.
Hermione peered into the prophecy ball.
“A lard of the Llama!” Darquesse screamed.
Her victim instantaneously dropped limp.
“No, this cannot not be!” Hermione exclaimed, for the first time genuinely dumbfounded
She looked Elmo in the eye. “This leaves us with only one option.”
So with Elmo trembling on her back and the prophecy ball firm in her grips, Hermione mounted her broomstick and soared across the starry sky.
-E Wen Wong