When dawn’s fingers began to grip the land, they set out on their journey. To get to the house of Vasili, they would have to travel over three hundred miles and pass through four or more towns.
They made only a few stops that day. By noon a town came into sight. Passing through the market, Raúl bought an owl, a quill pen, and parchment. While they rested and ate at an inn, Raúl wrote on the pale parchment. Her letters were small and elegant. Outside of the town, Raúl rolled up the parchment and tied it to the foot of the snowy owl. She murmured a few words then let the owl go.
“How do you know that the owl will go where you need it to?” Kiya asked, watching the owl disappear in the blue sky.
“Magic,” Raúl said, looking at Kiya and smiling.
“Magic? You can use magic?”
“Yes, and you can too, after you’ve been taught,” Raúl replied.
“Will you teach me?” Kiya asked.
“Yes, I will,” Raúl said, “do you know how to transfer thoughts?”
“No,” said Kiya, “what is it, anyways?”
“Good, I’ll teach you that first,” said Raúl, “It’s a way for people to hear each others' thoughts. It’s a technique that will be very useful to us.”
That night, after they set up camp and ate, Raúl sat down with Kiya to begin her lesson.
“What d o I need to do?” Kiya asked.
“Close your eyes and calm down,” Raúl said.
Kiya did as she was told and closed her eyes. After a few moments, Raúl saw Kiya’s face smooth out as she relaxed.
Kiya opened her eyes and screamed when she heard Raúl’s thoughts.
“What happened?” Meko asked, running towards them with Kaliki at his side.
“All I did was enter her mind, “Raúl said, smiling.
“Raúl,” Kaliki said. He knew that smile all too well.
“What?” she asked.
Meko and Kaliki went back to the fire and lay down to go to sleep.
“Now I want you to enter my mind,” said Raúl.
“How do I do that?”
“Close your eyes,” said Raúl, “and put all your energy and thoughts into finding me.”
Kiya flinched as she once again heard Raúl’s thoughts. She closed her eyes and reached out with her mind. Raúl was easy to find. When she entered her sister’s mind, two images flashed through her own mind.
She was a young girl again, and she was running through an open wheat field. Another girl, who she recognized as Raúl, was running beside her. On the other end of the field was a man. The exact features of his face were unable to be seen clearly, but she could see that his arms were outstretched towards them.
Soon, another scene came into sight. Again, she was a young child. She looked around in horror at the people in the streets and the houses being engulfed in flames. The man that could not be named before was now given the name father. He stood off to one side holding a sword in his hands. The sapphire in the pommel shone brightly as the flames danced off it. Another man came into the scene. He swung his sword at their father, but he missed. With one smooth movement, their father swung and cut the man’s midsection, killing him almost instantly. There he stood, her father, with blood smeared over his face and clothes. From nowhere a cloaked figure came and swung at her father. He tried to block the attack, but he failed. The sword struck him, killing him instantly. The killer’s cloak slipped, revealing a young woman with auburn hair that reached halfway down her back. Her green eyes were wide with fear. Quickly she mounted a brown mare and rode off, leaving her victim’s blood spattered stallion to run in the other direction and disappear into the darkness.
The scene faded abruptly as Raúl closed her mind. Kiya opened her eyes and looked expectantly at Raúl, but when she said nothing Kiya shakily stood up and walked over to the campfire. Quietly she lied down on her blankets, and fell asleep watching the flames dance, thinking of the burning village and her father’s murder.