They had been trapped here, captive in this small sphere of crystal--or perhaps it was glass--since times immemorial, left buried, forgotten in the darkness for centuries. They had grown restless for a while with impatience, but soon it had become clear to Them that it was no use. No one was going to come for Them. And so They resigned Themselves to a lonely eternity.
What a wonderful surprise it was, therefore, when a thin beam of sunlight fell across Their orb-like prison and roused them from Their dormancy.
* * *
The boy, a child of approximately nine years of age, lifted up the heavy, opaque ball and tried to dust it off with the hem of his once-white shirt.
"A lot o' good that'll do yeh, George," commented a girl who looked to be his older sister. "Yeh'll just smudge it aroond. Gi'e it here!"
Pouting, George handed over his find. "It's mine, Ah foond it, an' din't yeh forget that!"
"Yeah, yeah." She spat on the surface of the sphere and polished it clean with the sleeve of her dress. Finished, she held it up in the sunlight, squinting into its depths. "But what d'yeh suppose it is?"
"I dinno. Looks like a crystal ball."
"An' here I was thinkin' 'twas a flower," she remarked sarcastically. "O' course it's a crystal ball, yeh eedjit."
"No," he moaned in exasperation. "Like one o' those things yeh can see the future in."
She shook it sharply, but its shadowy contents continued to swirl lazily as if nothing had happened. "Eh. Could be, but Ah ne'er held much stock in things o' that sort. It's likely nothin' more 'n garbage."
The girl made as if to throw the object away as far as she could.
"Ey, Helena!" George protested, reaching for the glittering orb. "Din't do that! It's mine!"
She held it teasingly just out of his reach. "An' just what d'yeh plan on doin' wi' it?"
"No idea," he replied truthfully.
"What use is it, then?"
He scowled. "Ah like it. Ah foond it. Ah want it!"
"Ach, very well," Helena surrendered sourly, dropping the sphere into his outstretched hands. "Keep it. What do Ah keer? Now, let's go before someone sees us an' we get in trouble."
The wide, shallow hole in which they currently stood had once been home to the foundations of an old house. The house was now gone, set to be replaced by a set of rails, which were meant to be used by a steam locomotive, and the siblings had taken the opportunity to explore the layer just below present-day Sichtir. They had, of course, ignored the makeshift fencing around the pit and the signs warning them to keep out, so they weren't terribly eager to be noticed.
Checking all compass points, they scrambled out onto ground level and headed away down the street.
* * *
Disappointed, They pressed themselves against the clear, round window of Their prison and looked out. They had hoped that the Girl would have thrown Them, so that the sphere might break and release Them, but she had not. They would have to await Their next opportunity.