Rain lashed down through the darkness. The air warm and sticky- a storm was coming. People had known it for days. It was the middle of the Krikken Summer and the weather had been strange. One minute cold with frost on the ground, the next warm and humid, the heat sticking to the skin. Strange things were happening, and nobody knew what.
Redairia stood proudly, even in the wind and rain. The walls of the city almost sparkled against the lights within, creating an almost intimidating atmosphere for those looking from the outside in. On the inside however; children ran; laughing, screaming and playing whilst adults went about their daily business. Shops lined the streets selling an assortment of goods. Everything from knives and swords at the blacksmiths to cotton to make clothes were sold in the markets.
However, nothing stood prouder that the Great Castle of Redairia. Some say that King Elgrond himself had walked the famous halls whilst on a pre-war tour of his empire, others say it is nothing more than an old wives tale- a myth to tell children before bedtime.
The barracks lay to the lay to the left of the castle gates, a clear air of disuse about them. There had not been a battle on the shores of Redairia for nearly two hundred years. The city and its people had been lucky the last time; they had escaped the wrath that Devdan Depraysie had to bring upon the empire. The feeling though, was that the barracks would soon be brought to arms once again, and the cities people would once more lay down their lives for the freedom of their people. On the right stood Redairia's main watch tower, permanently manned and heavily guarded. Many call it a major week point in the cities defences for the prime reason that if it fell, you would not know where the enemy was.
Wrought iron gates guarded by armed officers stood proudly at the forefront of the castle. Intricate craftsmanship was obvious to those who dared get close enough to look. Before the gates stood a young women, aged twenty-three.
"Amarra, what do you think you are doing?" the guard called out "This is no place for you to be"
"Just looking sir" It was true- the castle with its endless beauty had always entranced Amarra. Ever since she was young she had wanted nothing more than to grace those halls herself. She knew it could never happen though; she came from a poor family who had no connection to the cities royalty whatsoever.
She turned and walked back the way she had come; her wet, black hair plastered across her face giving her a sense of darkness that could not be scraped away. Where she was going she did not know, she had two hours before she had to give her speech to the newly recruited troops at the barracks. Amarra was, as humans would call, a public speaker. It wasn't very well paid, just four frakkes- but she had to try and earn her way in the world somehow. Amarra crossed the street, passing straight through the early morning crowds as they slowly grew and into the alley opposite.
"Amarra, Is that you?" a voice called out to her. It was a voice she recognised; Closing her eyes and taking a slow, deep breath, she turned to face the angel before her. He was slumped down against the wall of the alley, his face cut above the left eye, a sure sign of yet another fight. His clothes were dirty, tattered and torn. It wasn't a surprise for Amarra to see him in this state; his family were even lower than hers on the food chain. His name was Gyles Marph- youngest of the Marph's clan. The Marph's were known for doing whatever they wanted. More than one of them had found themselves locked up in Almar, the cities prison at some point; including Gyles himself when he had been discovered trying to steal bread for his family from the bakers. Gyles was probably the nicest of the bunch, but still not someone Amarra wanted to be associated with.
"Ah Gyles, been fighting again I see," she commented wryly.
"Yeah, but this one deserved it," he answered coolly, a small smile gracing his lips.
"He bumped into to me in the market. I reckon he did it on purpose"
"You know, he probably didn't mean it. Did he apologise?"
"Yeah, dint' mean it though did he," Gyles said, attempting to pull himself up of the floor.
Amarra stuck out her hand and pulled him to his feet "Could've ignored it you know"
"Couldn't be ignorin' something like that now could I? Enough of that though, your speech is today isn't it?"
"Yeah it is, why do you ask?"
"You'll see me there; I'm joining the cities army"
"Why would you do something like that?"
"It's the easy way out ain't it" he responded sadly. "You see, I don't want to live this life anymore. I am sick and tired of being the dirt of this city. I am sick of being the lowest of the low, fighting for no good reason and having to steal just to survive. I want to fight for the right reasons; not just because I can, I want to earn my way in the world. Maybe with a bit of luck I will be killed, then I can escape this pitiful existence that I call my life"
"Well," Amarra responded slowly, "at least you are going in for the right reasons, that is matters in the end. I need to go, but good luck okay. Oh, and for the record- I hope you don't die in the army"
Amarra walked towards the podium and gazed out at the expectant crowd. "Ladies and gentleman, do we or do we not spend our entire lifetimes waiting for life's next great moment to take place? We live for the moments that make us, the moments that change us and the moments in our lives that are going to break us. We never know when we are going to find the person we're going to fall in love with. We never know when we will lose somebody that we hold dear, such as a member of our families. We never know if we will ever achieve the true happiness that we all so desire. We never know when a King will find his Queen. We never know if we will live to see tomorrow- so we wait"
Amarra looked at the crowd and spotted Gyles in amongst the hundreds of people that gathered. He gave her a small smile to which she returned before continuing:
"So we wait. We wait patiently as our lives play out before us, moment by moment, scene by scene. Something as simple as a pebble breaking the surface of the ocean can be beautiful, yet can prove to be fatal. We never know when something is going to change, when something is going to go right or wrong"
"I guess that's how we live isn't it? We live for the moments that are going to change us forever. We wait for the spark that re-ignites our broken souls. We wait for the moment that we can be whole again, then try and find the next moment that will change us"
"Change is forever, and if there is one thing we can be certain of it is that we will wait. Then, once we have waited for so long that it almost hurts we allow ourselves a small smile. We will have waited long enough for change that when it happens we know. We know that no longer do we have to wait"
A rousing applause met the end of her speech as she turned and walked back towards the city gates. She didn't want to wait around. She didn't want to be to the one to inspire people to run amongst thousands to their almost certain deaths, but she had to make a living. She wanted nothing more than to be out there with them. She wanted to be out there with them, fighting for the freedom of the kingdom.
She didn't want to just be a messenger, sending messages in the wind. No, she wanted more for her life than that.