Chapter 44: The Past and The Future

The wind blows a pattern over the horizon, touching the setting sun and its amber-tangerine gaze. There stands an unclear figure, black against the overwhelming sunlight, darkened in the shadow of new evening. Head held high, there is something proud, something royal about that figure.

The wind rushes on, whipping past the figure and blowing its long hair outwards.

Walk forward; the light still burns the view, but the figure’s facial features-herfacial features are more visible about her woman’s curves. Suddenly, there’s a crimson-haired child running about her feet, giggling. The woman looks down, smiles, but pays her daughter no attention.

The giggling stops and the woman vanishes along with her child, both leaving only echoes of their former, more solid, selves: a fading ‘haha’, mocking, and a shimmering, morphing outline.

Touch it, let the light trickle through translucent fingertips.

Gasp!

The figure solidifies, cruel, yet seeking, wanting, searching… Another woman is standing on the hillside, more elongated than the first, with a delicate bone structure and long long golden hair, curling right past the backwards curve in her summer-green dress, maple-like leaves clinging in all the right places of her form. An unusually unsmiling face and recognised forest-floor eyes turn; they stare without recompense, without emotion, yet always displaying the eternal sorrow.

The view pulls back.

She points. First into the distance away from her self. Next towards the centre…towards the view.

A warning!

 

Elves rarely dreamt. They liked to live in the present, you see.

Aliryia choked awake, fear in her crystal eyes. Elorrie stood leaning over the elf, and it became apparent that she was the one who had shook Aliryia awake.

“Aliryia, are you okay? You were tossing and turning and all!”

Sitting up, Aliryia looked around and took deep breaths, noticing how ragged her breathing sounded. She also noticed the room, unchanged but for Elorrie’s pack of cards, abandoned hastily and scattered across her bed.

She felt sick. And elves rarely felt sick.

A warning…

She had ignored the wind so Mother Fate had sent her a more direct message.

“Come on, Aliryia, we’re already late for dinner,” Elorrie nagged.

Aliryia gazed up at the other girl.

“Go on without me, Sister Elorrie. I shan’t be coming to dinner today.”

So, Elorrie wandered out, and, a few minutes later, Aliryia herself got up. She still felt unsettled. Her ankle still ached from the bad landing she had made earlier, and the cut at the edge of her hand remained. It was proof that something was not right.

She paced the small room and found herself pacing out it too. Although they’d all be at dinner, Aliryia thought it best to call upon her ‘disappearing act’ in case anybody saw her wondering around in, what might have looked like, Aliryia concluded, a semi-demonic state.

So, as usual, looking down, Aliryia watched as her toes danced, then disappeared in the blink of an eye, and the tingling sensation shot upwards, concealing her whole body in its veil, even to the last flick of the furthest ringlet.

She wandered the halls in that state, marvelling at how dark it had become outside during the time in which she was lost in the world of sleep; the tips of the trees were bathed in early moonlight, whilst the ground still had that to experience, and beckoned menacingly with dark feelers of grass.

As Aliryia was gazing, rather transfixed, out into the grounds, Maine rounded the corner nearby. Being immersed in the book that she had found and the words written on the page, she too was not looking where she was going (and, of course, would not have Aliryia for her cover); disaster was imminent.

Aliryia pushed herself away from the window…right into Maine. The latter dropped her book in fright, whilst Aliryia, coming to her senses, took the invisibility off her skin, materialising quicker than usual.

“Aliryia!” cried Maine.

Aliryia was speechless and rather shocked. When she found her voice, it was quiet and disgraced.

“Please, Maine, you mustn’t tell anyone about…this. I just don’t…hmm…”

Crouching, distracted, she picked up the book. It had fallen open on a double page, red curled handwriting snaking itself across what would otherwise have been blank.

“What is this?” the elf cried. For written on the page in her native tongue was:

Aliryia, I know about your past…and your future.

The End

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