Burning Sky Sails and Pieces of Gold and Silver
“You look very energetic,” Eliana commented. She eyed Aimee from across the tree branches that blocked both girls from view of each other. “Haven’t you been awake late at night harvesting Light for the past week?”
“I have,” Aimee said, reaching for a big red apple from a branch just over her head. She snatched it and pulled hard, making the branches above them tremble and shake. Aimee laughed when Eliana shrieked and covered her head.
“That was not funny,” Eliana retorted. “Anyway, answer my question. I bet Daniel got fed up of you and decided to leave you behind.” She snickered and smiled at her innocently after Aimee shot a look at her.
“Funny,” Aimee replied sarcastically, “I have been out there every night since last Friday and it is such an adventure. I don’t feel like coming down once I’m up there. One night, you should definitely come with us, Eliana. I know you’re going to love it, you love all things adventures and anything that has to do with voyages and journeys into the unknown.”
Eliana grimaced at the thought of being suspended in the air miles above the ground, “I think I’ll pass. I have enough adventures here; climbing a tree to pick up apples, for instance.” Both girls laughed. “Thank you again for the Dust you brought us last week, we wouldn’t have had time to go to the Trade. And for helping me with apple picking.”
“You’re so very welcome, silly,” Aimee replied warmly, “I enjoy doing the climbing and the picking, and your orchard seems to be producing more fruits as the years pass!”
“We hope so,” Eliana said. Her family owned vast amount of land, in which they planted fruit trees and other vegetables for sale. She had invited Aimee to pick some apples for the Wilkers, it was an appropriate time of the day to do so, one hour away from the day’s end. “So, how’re you going with that book of yours?”
Aimee rested for a minute, “it’s complicated. I mean, it is a beautiful book with such an amazing prose and descriptions and information, but, everything seems bizarre and outlandish. There is one part in which the author is explaining about the ancients sighting a city atop clouds!”
“That is not possible,” Eliana said, “unless ancient people developed a floating mechanism to lift a whole city out of its earthly foundations! We haven’t got the means to do that in our times.”
Aimee agreed, “Logic is what keeps me skeptical about believing entirely on what the author claims. Even though he makes that city appear oh so magical and enchanting, it might be just rubbish.” Her voice was tainted with disappointment when she made her last comment. She wanted to believe so bad the beautiful things depicted in the book. Maybe it was just mythology, like ancient Greece and Rome, but this mythology was part of the Northern Territories’ heritage, lost and forgotten long time ago. She bit her lips; if that part of their culture was long forgotten, then it meant that the book was a very valuable piece of treasure. Lynder had to know about that and yet, he gave her the book for her to keep. She felt all fuzzy inside, honored. Lynder had just reached another level of respect in her heart.
A loud noise startled both girls and shook the earth beneath them; they grasp the branches for dear life and shut their eyes tight.
“What was that?” Eliana cried.
The wind roared in their ears, bringing with it, wafts of smoke that filled the air. The crackling and splintering of wood followed, and the atmosphere turned into an orange-color shade. Aimee opened her eyes and scanned the area for the source of such commotion. It was fire that caught her eyes, the flames were so tall and so big they seem to lick the atmosphere and the setting sun, engulfing the blushing sky in heat and cinder.
“Fire!” Aimee shouted and hastily scrambled down from the tree, scraping her legs during the process. From the corner of her eye, she could see several of the orchard’s workers and close neighbors rushing to the fire with concerned faces. She dashed after them; her heart was beating wildly in her chest. It was very uncommon for fires to erupt out of nowhere, or natural forces to set the flames loose up in the north, it must have been provoked by an accident and somebody had to be hurt. Eliana was on Aimee’s heels by the time they reached the source of the hellish flames.
The voices were distant, almost like a whisper in Aimee’s mind; the bodies seemed to move slower in time, like black figures clouding her eyes. Her heart had slowed down and appeared to be beating one beat per minute. She could faintly hear Eliana gasp in horror beside her, it was nothing compared to the indignant cries bottled up inside her. She felt her knees quake, ready to collapse on the ground at any time. The fires were not consuming a house or a field, as she had feared; they were consuming the lustrous wood of a flying sloop. The sails were already burning to ashes on the ground, and the wood was breaking in sad symphonies. The ceramic outer layer of the harvester was slowly breaking apart, crying to the skies of its fate.