The 19th Year

Everything was ablaze, covered in bright orange and yellow flames. They danced around her merrily as if edging her on, and telling her that she was afraid. In the distance she heard the sound of laughter, which she quickly recongized as a childs. But as the sound of the laughter increased Rowan was suddenly able to put a face with it.


The laughter soon changed into laughter of an adult and Rowan found herself spinning around to pinpoint where it was coming from. Suddenly standing in the flames she saw the 10 year old Lily watching her a frown on her face. The flames turned her flesh black, and tried her tears before they could even run down her cheeks.

Suddenly a pair of hands extended from the flames and encased her sister. They wrapped around, taking the flames with them. Rowan cried out in horror before she opened the palm of her hand and focused on ripping the hands apart, but nothing would work. Then as if a command had been given the hands opened and their standing in Lily's place was a demon with the wings of a gargoyle and pointed tail. Their body was the color of the blackest ink, and as it sunk to the ground she saw that everything about it was black. The face had no eyes, ears, mouth or nose, yet it managed to talk and look at her. When it spoke though it sounded like gravel being stepped on.

"Were you expecting to see your sister? Ha! Idiotic girl!"

"Lily! Return Lily to me now..."

"In good time child! But first you have to survive this!"

With that the creature surged forward, claws ready to rip her shreds. She stared it down, ready to blast it back with a lightning spell-


Gasping for air, Rowan say up, her gray eyes locking with Sasha's green. In them she could see how worried she was. Wiping sweat from her brow, Rowan leaned over burying her face in the palm of her hands. Sasha hadn't seen her shed a tear the entire time they were together and she wasn't about to let her see now. She didn't sob, but the tears fell silently into the palm of her hand. Her breathing was ragged and short, and it felt as if someone were pushing down on her lungs.

After a few minutes she was finally able to breath normally and wiping the tears away from her eyes she looked at Sasha and smiled, all though she still knew she was worried sick about her. For the last week, Rowan woke up screaming and nearly casting a spell that could destroy the entire cottage. But Sasha all ways managed to get to her in time, despite that she wasn't as strong as she used to be.

Sasha was now in her late forties, and her age was rapidly catching up with her. Despite this and many other reasons she was still beautiful, and rather young looking. But that would all end one day she would end up looking like a crone.

"Rowan, it was the dream again wasn't?" she asked, quietly.

"It was, but this time they spoke to me," Rowan replied.

"What did they say?"

Rowan repeated what the creatures said as best she could, but with every passing minute, her memory of the dream would fade away. It was as if the creature wanted her to suffer in when she was awake.

"That must be omen," Sasha said under her breath.

"No, it can't be. I won't let it be," Rowan hollered.

"You don't have a say in it Rowan. Look wash up, and we'll talk about this over breakfast, we need to figure this out before West gets here,"

With that Sasha rose to her feet and left the room. West. He was coming today. She had forgotten all about that. A smile came to her face before she threw the covers from over her and made her lay topwards the full lentgh mirror West had brought her the year before.

Her gray eyes immediately when to her heart shaped face. No longer did she have the face of child. A large chestnut colored bang sat in the middle of her face, with a few locks of it outlining her face. The rest of it ell down to the middle of her back in rich dark streaks of chestnut. Grabbing her comb that rested atop her jewelry box she bena to comb through it making sure to get all of the tangles out.

Once she was satisfied, she madde her way over to the bucket of water in her room and splashed water on her face to clean it off. She sighed before she reached for her white shirt and shorts, throwing them on in a hurry. They were quiet old, and she was slightly hoping that West would come with some new clothes for her.

Rowan soon joined Sasha at the table in the larger part of the cottage. Sasha was just finishing breakfast as she sat down. Tea was all ready on the table and guessed that today Sasha had made her favorite considering this would be her last day here. She lifted the cup to her mouth and took a sip of the liquid, smiling.


Sasha set the plates down in silence, and with a quick bow of their heads, began to eat. Rowan ate wildly her excitement getting the better of her, but when she loked up to see if Sasha was eating she found her caretaker staring out the window a very worried expression on her face.

"Please stop worrying Sasha. I'm sure it's nothing," Rowan said trying to raise the mood.

"Rowan, I've raised you better than this. You know as a sorceress that dreams shouldn't be taken likely,"

"But you all ready said that the creature I've seen in my dreams don't what is their to worry about?"

"Their may be an underlying meaning to it all. You can't just go and forget about this. I wish you were more worrisome like when you were younger," Sasha said with a grin.

"I'm glad I'm less worrisome. I am able to enjoy the world better this way," Rowan said smiling.

"I'm glad you feel that way," Sasha said, smiling back at her.

After finishing breakfast, Rowan set the plates into the bucket and said that she would take care of them later. But Sasha said she would have West do them once he got here. Instead they sat on the porch and waited to see West wagon come over the horizon.

"So, do you know where your going from here?"

"Yes, I'm going back to Lardon and ask about the fire so long ago. Maybe I'll be able to find out what really happened. Plus I miss that place,"

"Are you sure your ready to see that place again" Sasha asked.

"I'm sure. It's been 13 years since I've been there and I feel as if I'm ready to set foot into the place once again,"

"It looks like your heart has finally mended itself," Sasha said with a grin.

"What do you mean?" Rowan asked.

"Nothing, I'm just remembering something West said when you were younger,"

"Speaking of West, why don't you marry him?" Rowan asked with a grin.

"Rowan, my love is out there making the world a better place,"

"Why hasn't he come to visit you then?" Rowan asked quietly.

"He can't. that was the price he had to pay for protecting the world we live in. It's a shame that his name will never be heard,"

"What is his name?" Rowan asked, looking up at Sasha.


"Allegor..." Rowan repeated to herself before heard the crack of the whip in the distance. Looking up she saw a small wagon heading their way with. Leaping to her feet she began to wave down the wagon.

"Rowan! Happy Birthday!" West hollered.

"Thanks West!" she screamed back.

It felt so good to see him again after so long. The wagon came to a stop in front of the house, and before West waxs even situated on the ground she had her arms wrapped around him. He spun her around before kissing her forehead.

"It's nice to see you to," he said.

"You too. So what mission are you on today?" Rowan asked as she let go of West.

"I'm heading back to Empilon, the King wants me to help with something. So it was the perfect chance to come see you. Oh by the way..." he said trailing off.

He made his way to the back of the wagon and dug around it for a moment. After a moment he came back and gave a package to Rowan.

"This is for you. Go ahead and try it on," he said.

"West, you have spoiled this girl rotten!" Sasha said with a chcukle.

"Hey don't blame this all on me. You contributed to the creation of this monster as well," West retorted.

"I can still hear you!" Rowan hollered.

She soon reappeared dressed in the clothes West had just given to her. A see through coat covered her skin decorated the pattern of flowers and butterflies. a black shirt stopped just before her midriff, showing it off. A pair of black pants adorned her hips and black boots were given to her to match.

"The things kids were today. Couldn't you have brought her something less revealing?"

Igorning Sasha all togther he said, "That cloak uses your magic to hid you. Throw on the hood and you'll turn invisble. I thought you might like something like this,"

"I do, thanks West," she said, as she made her down the steps and gave him another hug.

"No problem," he said.

"Rowan, I have something for you as well," Sasha said motioning for her to come here.

Rowan made her way back onto the porch and stood before Sasha who was digging inside her own robe. Finally finding what she needed, she handed the necklace from when Rowan was younger to her.

"You kept this all these years?"

"Yes, you may not realize this now, but this necklace chose you and it rightfull belongs to you. Don't let it fall into the wrong hands ok?"

"Yes, Ma'am," Rowan said as she put the necklace on. She ppulled Sasha into a hug before she ran back down the porch and found West placing a saddle on one of the horses.

"West, I-"

"Nope, this is for  you to get where your going. His name is Levi, by the way,"

"Oh, ok. But how will you get to Empilon if you can't take the wagon?"

"You forget that your looking at a mast wizard aren't you?"

In other words, he's going to summon another horse and use that until he can by a living on.... Rowan thought to herself.

"All right you are all good here. You do know how to ride one correct?" West asked.

"It's self explanatory," Rowan said as she pulled herself into the saddle.

"Is she a natural at everything?"

"Just about," Sasha retorted.

"Thanks for everything West,"

"No problem. Just promise me you'll be safe and you'll stop by to see me at the High Wizardry ok?"

"I will. And don't think I'm forgetting about you Sasha,"

"You don't have to come see me," Sasha said fighting off tears.

I'll miss you too... Rowan thought to herself.

"Get going Rowan. The world is yours for exploring,"

Withh a nod, Rowan made the horse turn around before she whipped the reins and set off towards Lardon.

"Do you think she'll be ok?" Sasha asked.

"I'm sure she'll be ok. SHe's had a great teacher, not to mention a wonderful father figure," West said patting him self on tha back.

"You are ridiculous. It's just that..."

"The dreams have continued haven't they?" West asked, suddenly serious.

"Yes, I though you didn't get my letter..."

"Oh I got it. I just didn't have time to respond. That's my other reason for going to Empilon. Whatever this beast is, their not getting their grimy hands on Rowan,"

"You sound like her father..."

"That's because I am. I've been her father for 13 years now," West said, watching Rowan ride away, "Keep in touch Sasha,"

"Will do, and if you see Mel tell her I said hello,"

"Will do," West said as he summoned a horse, at least a dead one at that. He attached the reins to it's skeletal body before he was off as well, leaving Sasha alone at her cottage once again.

The End

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