Challenge Five

Damien let go of Evelyn, albeit with a sense of unwillingness that discomforted him in a strange, unfamiliar way.  The fire that had started inside him just moments ago hadn’t stopped, and he could almost feel a warm sensation travelling through his veins as he stood in the middle of the front room.

“Damien, I have to go” Evelyn spoke softly as she looked at the closed door, sounding to herself as if she didn’t mean a single word.  There was an alien sensation growing inside her, which was making her nervous.  Never ever in her travels through space and time had she felt a sense of reluctance in leaving a place.  But the boy who stood in front of her, gazing at her with eyes conveying more to her than he ever meant to reveal verbally, was making her feel exactly that way.  She dragged her feet towards the door, pushed it open slowly and stepped outside.  The sun had climbed, and the warm morning sunlight had bathed the distant forest across the Senya, the morning fog hanging over Javidan and the field around the house in a soft yellow light.  She prepared herself to use magic, but there was a strange longing to stay behind for a little while that didn’t let her.  She turned around to face the house and saw Damien emerging out of the door, and the sight of him made her gasp.

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Josephine walked steadily, passing by small red and brown huts and farms as she took the quickest route to her house that cut through the village.  A memory was playing continuously in her head, of her husband lying on his death bed and speaking strange words, about a sword and elves and other unworldly things.  He had told her to watch over the elder Damien carefully, because he had inherited a magical legacy from his father and forefathers.  She hadn’t given it much thought as Damien and Arthur grew up into fine lads, yet now for some unknown reason the memory had emerged from the deep confines of her sub-consciousness, stronger than ever, and she felt something terrible was about to happen.  Damien’s unusual appearance and his strange ailment was a first for her.  A gust of wind made her shawl flutter as she quickened her pace.  She had barely taken three steps when everything around her suddenly got illuminated by a golden light, making her raise her eyes towards the sky, knowing that every living soul in Javidan was currently doing the same.  Low clouds had appeared in the previously clear sky, extending so far in every direction that not a hint of clear blue could be seen through them, and even the tops of Haroun Mountains were hidden, appearing as if they were disappearing into mist.

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Evelyn saw a golden aura surrounding Damien, glowing brighter with each passing moment.  All of a sudden the wind picked up speed, and low clouds in the blue sky assembled above Javidan to hide the sun behind them.  The bright sunlight, by some trick, gave the clouds a dull golden colour and the valley seemed to be bathed in the colour of Damien’s aura.  Evelyn remembered reading about this a long, long time back, having never even dreamt of witnessing this spectacle.  She was seeing the deepest magic of the Elves at work, manifesting itself into Damien.

Damien felt hot inside, and if not for Evelyn’s presence, he would have ripped off his clothes and stood in the open wearing only his smallclothes.  His skin began to tingle just when his vision blurred, as if his eyes were teary, but it didn’t clear when he rubbed them with his hand.  He saw a visibly stunned Evelyn standing in front of him, looking at him with eyes wide open in surprise.  He felt a sensation akin to poking someone, but for some reason it was within him, as if something wanted to escape his body and was asking for permission.  He acquiesced, immediately feeling his consciousness exploding outwards.

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Every living being that had raised its head to look at the sky suddenly looked towards east, feeling a presence that was right next to them and yet it was not.  People wanted to run and inform others about what was happening, but they found themselves being pulled towards the source of the strange sensation, everybody somehow knowing in their minds exactly where they were supposed to be looking for the source of the strange sensation.  They moved in a trance, steadily closing the gap between themselves and Damien.

The wind calmed down so that it was barely audible, and the birds in the forest of Javidan began singing all at once.  Bathed in the golden light, Senya sparkled like a river of liquid gold, coming out of mountains which seemed to disappear into glowing yellow mist.

Evelyn saw the miraculous transformation occur as the realisation dawned on her that she was probably the only living elf to have witnessed it.  The wind stirred again and blew strong once Damien closed and opened his eyes, ruffling her hair.  He now stood before her, looking fairer than before, with pointed ears and an ageless face.  His hair shone in the light and his eyes looked deep as the ocean.  She started walking towards him.
Damien had transformed into an elf. 

He looked around wildly, unable to comprehend the details flooding his mind.  His vision had sharpened suddenly, allowing him to even observe the blades of the grass growing around him, smell the scents in the wind and hear Evelyn’s steady, rhythmic breathing as she approached him.
“What’s happening to-me...?”   He drew out the last vowel, being intoxicated by her scent that overwhelmed his enhanced senses.
“Your destiny has claimed you, Damien, you have become an elf.”
“What?  How?” 
He saw villagers approaching them and forming a circle around, looking at him as if he was an oddity.  His mother also stood at the centre of the circle, staring at both of them as if she didn't recognize him.
“What’s happening?”

Evelyn didn’t answer, for the simple reason that she didn’t have one.  She stood in front of him for a while, unable to comprehend what the repercussions of this transformation could be in the future.  Damien was looking into her eyes through his Elven ones, waiting for a response that she didn’t have.  She summoned her magic, and when she felt on the verge of losing control, kissed him softly once and disappeared, but not before whispering so softly that only his improved hearing could hear her words.
 “We will meet again.”

The clouds parted, the golden glow vanished and the world became as it was, leaving an Elf with memories of once being a human amidst followers who bowed to him, no longer aware of who he used to be.

The story spread far and wide, and were repeated innumerable times around winter fires, that on the day the sky glimmered with gold, an Elf lord descended upon Javidan and blessed his followers that surrounded him in a ring, and thus began the second Age of the Elves.

The End

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