Prologue

Sunlight streamed through the trees, dappling the pine-needled forest floor with patterns one might expect to see in a kaleidoscope of golden light. The melody of the river wove through the air, rippling through the hair of two small girls happily building a small twig house.

“we have to make a path, so that the pixae can find their way to the door.” The girl with hair the color of moonlight bit her lip in concentration as she laid white pebbles down.

The other girl, with hair as dark as blackberries, nodded in agreement though her eyes were focused on the tiny lilac flowers she was planting around the miniature cottage. As she finished, the sparkle of the river caught her eye and she looked back at the house, realizing what was missing. With her fingers she shaped a trench into the ground. Taking a deep breath, she bent forward and blew a current of air over the channel, her eyes glowing from brown to amber, summoning the water now rushing forth, forming a body of water from which the pixae could live.

 The air was thick with moisture. The dark- haired girl piped up, “it’s hot here Elaera, don’t you think?”

The other girl looked up from her pebble path, and contemplated for a second. “Yes, it is… hold on.” Elaera narrowed her piercing blue eyes and scanned the air around them. As she did so her blonde hair seemed to crackle with electricity, flowing in great waves around her head though there was little wind to feel.  All of a sudden, her eyes snapped back to normal – the air was a perfect temperature - as fresh and clean as a springtime morning.

“Better, Melime?”

Her sister breathed a sigh of relief. “Much. Thank you.”

The twins returned to their pixae house, and the afternoon might have passed in a wholly ordinary manner had it not been for the small white rabbit that scampered happily across their clearing and stopped suddenly, with its ears held carefully aloft, as if hearing a call both enticing and strange.

Elaera saw it first and froze. She felt her eyes being pulled towards the rabbit, as if by invisible, gentle strings. She felt the pulsing of blood underneath the white fur, her same fascinated curiosity reflected in the rabbit’s wide russet eyes.

“Melime,” she whispered

Melime looked up and her breath caught in her throat. Her skin began to tingle - a faint sense of recognition forming and coiling itself around her, as she gazed at the white rabbit, now steadfastly watching them in return.

Neither twin spoke again. Though young, the two seemed to sense the sacredness of the moment, the humming communion between human and animal. However, they did not realize that none in their realm had felt it for over a hundred years.

The End

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