Born of magic in the swirling sands of a deadly dessert a young woman is tossed into a world she does not understand. She has a mission and will do whatever it takes to complete it. Magic is not happy. Vile and hideous atrocity is being called magic and she will stop it. She is going to change the entire make up of a world and a system, but how will this affect a world she has no knowledge of. How will she learn to be human?
Born of burning sands
The sand swirled viciously, the wind scattering it into sharp little stinging missiles. The sun beat down in scorching rays radiating oppressive heat over the desert wasteland. All living things, native to this desert, had the sense to hide from the sandstorm that was wiping away the towering dunes in the distance. The lizards, of varying size shape and color, dug tunnels deep under the sand. Things ran for the distant cliffs to shelter themselves from the storm that was growling like a beast and flinging the sand in heavy sheets, then silence. Everything went still. The sand seemed to stop shifting. The wind died. The sun itself seemed to dim and hold its breath in anticipation of what was happening. The heavy pause the desert seemed to be holding stretched on.
Her body seemed to shimmer as the sand was swept away by the wind. Her skin, a deep rich dark earthy brown, glowed with ethereal power. Soon the glow brightened, trailing off of her and becoming bright, sharp, and beautiful ribbons of gold. The transparent ribbons of energy hovering around the woman fell into her deceptively gently. They seemed to just waft down to her but the ribbons seared black stripes in a swirling patter down her spine and across her hips. The ribbons of energy snapped down like a whip leaving wide slashes of black across her calves. Her shoulders were branded with black slices leading to the spirals on her back. Then the energy dissipated and her eyes opened. Her eyes were a strange clear silver-blue. They looked strange blazing out of her dark striped skin.
“Uh,” the sound was a low rumble that quivered from my unused throat. I sat up, my muscles rippling as I struggled, forcing them to move. All I achieved was an awkward twitch that threw sand into my face. My body refused to coordinate. My arms flailed whichever way they chose. My mind was a fuzzy sponge taking in color, sound, sight, and smell all at once in a disorienting jumble. Everything was new to me, a small woman in the sand.
“Gah,” I croaked. The dry heat was oppressing and the sun was making my bare flesh sting. I longed for something to ease the ache in my throat and the blazing heat. Then as in answer to my request, even though I had no idea exactly what I was asking for, the sand cooled. Where my vaguely clawed hand twitched, the sand went from blazing hot to cold as a tiny spring appeared. The water bubbled from somewhere beneath my hand spurting up in gurgling burst. I cocked my head quizzically as the substance ran over my hand. “AHHH!”
I scrambled backwards, rolling and awkwardly trying to crawl. The water was spreading into a clear, though sandy, puddle. I crawled back towards it clumsily, slowly learning to make my arms and legs move together. I pressed my ear close to the cool water. My full dark lips spread into a smile as I listened to it whisper. The expression’s meaning made no sense to me, but it felt right. It felt right to let my lips curve up at the sound. I giggled, a sharp rough sound, as the water brushed my ears. It felt…., I didn’t know how to describe it. I didn't even know it was any different than the sand all around me. But, something in me said it was important. That it was what I was asking for. My entire being screamed at me that it was saving me from the stinging in my skin. So I waited, blinking and giggling at the little spring continuing to spread. Soon the cool water was wrapping around my muscular, though short, legs. The puddle had become a pool and the pool was becoming a pond and I, was sitting in the center of it as the cool water deepened. Soon I was sputtering and coughing as the water splashed into my mouth. I fell forward, hacking and flailing the cool water sloshing into my long curly black hair.
“HUGHFH!! HUGHF!!” I flailed terrified as my body protested being buried under water. My mind screamed through its thick fog of confusion for the sloshing cool substance to... GO AWAY. It obeyed, seeming to swirl around me in a miniature whirlpool. Then I was just on top of it a smooth ripple spreading from my coughing, sputtering, and shivering body.
‘Calm down, you need to let everything go. Take a breath!’ The voice in my mind was gentle and strong it seemed to blow away the fog covering my thoughts. Everything was brought into clear, crisp, sharp, and painful clarity. The light was suddenly too bright. The smells were overwhelming and sent a devious streak of nausea surging through me. I covered my mouth, fighting the sudden urge to retch. The sounds were too loud and frightening, making me shriek. Tears came to my eyes. The pain of sensory overload shot though me like a lightning bolt. I writhed and curled in on myself, making the water’s surface ripple.
Shush, everything is well now. Wake, child, I know it was painful, but it’s over now.’
“Who are you?” My eyes scanned the featureless desert, adrenaline running through me speeding my heart. "Who said that?" I sat up again, groaning at the deep ache buried in my muscles. “What happened?” I looked down at my reflection in the still spreading pond. “That’s me, right?”
My face was soft and round, almost childish, despite the fact I was obviously an adult. I had a single black strip across my cheek. It curved softly to just touch my neck. I stood up wobbling, I kept expecting to plummet into the still expanding pond and drown. The black markings burned into my skin, and swirling down my back glowed softly as I walked to the edge of the water to sit on the hot sand. I didn’t care that I was naked, I didn’t even care that I was going to get hellish sunburns if I didn’t find shade.
'Who am I,’ I asked the quiet universe inside my own head. I was hoping the voice that had just taught me everything would answer. But, there was no such revelation. I pulled my knees into my small barely noticeable breasts. I marveled at how easy it was to coordinate my body now. Just seconds ago I had been struggling to even crawl. Now every muscle obeyed every minute twitch I wanted. I took in each sensation: the heat of the sun, the cool of the water, the buzz of things hiding in the distance, and the quiet singing of the wind. ‘What am I?’
I groaned as I stretched my legs back out, I hurt all over. Everything had a name now. Everything meant something each word held purpose. The water licking my feet before, I hadn’t even known what it was but I had summoned it up from the sand. Everything past a few moments ago was fuzzy and hard to see. It was like trying to remember what you thought letters where when you finally learned to read. I just couldn’t comprehend my confusion so I stopped trying. Instead I cataloged what I knew now. I knew the name for everything I could see. Sand, Sky, Water, Horizon, Sun, and skin I knew them all. I knew what I was feeling. I understood that I was hot. I knew that the water helped me not be hot. I knew I was thirsty so I drank. I was tired so I dozed. When I woke the sky had gone black and the blazing sun had been replaced by the pale moon.
“OUCH,” I hissed. The skin on my bare back and legs was raw and burned from the hours I had slept under the sun. I learned something new, I learned pain. It was different from soreness.