As the hour turned to midnight, the mist that had shrouded the castle lifted as if it were plucked and tossed away. Drifting clouds could now be seen passing by the face of a crescent moon.
From the darkness a small, pale face shone amid a billowing cloud of long dark hair. It seemed to be lit with light and shadows, flickering with a power not entirely human. A smile crept onto the girl’s face. She pushed her hair back with thin fingers and gazed up at the sky, seeming to soak up the clear moonbeams.
The wind carried her whispers on swirling paths around the castle turret where she stood.
“Awake, awake,” she quietly beckoned to the darkness and the words floated away as quickly as they were said. Grinning, she lifted a hand and twisted her fingers as if she were braiding hair. If anyone else had been standing near they would have felt, but not seen, a tendril of air weave itself into the young lady’s wild hair, causing the strange strands to flicker like the stars that dotted the blanket of sky.
With a satisfied sigh the young and powerful sorceress turned swiftly toward the spiral staircase that lay nestled in an alcove behind her and tugged her cloak tighter around her shoulders. She felt the worry that had burdened her for the past three days lift slowly and mentally praised herself for accomplishing the first task. She began her descent.
From a corner of the high platform, a figure materialized from the black.
“Fool,” it spat out in an unguarded voice.
The lines around the figures body became clearer as it shook, just like a dog after its bath. “This darned invisibility potion,” it cursed as it swiped at black clothed arms and legs, “never easy to transition out of.”
The grimacing face gazed sternly at the retreating back of the sorceress, Tara. Absorbed with her tiny winds and thoughts, she did not hear her eavesdropper’s lament.
Black eyes came into focus and pierced the darkness with angry daggers. The boy, as he was, radiated frustration. It was evident, not only in his face and words, but in the lines of his body. The boy stood with feet planted firmly, the lines of his jaw as tense as his hands. His right gripped a small tattered book; his left, a small vial of amber liquid.
Tucking the invisibility potion into an inner pocket of his jacket, the rebellious youth positioned himself against the ledge that came level with his waist. He smacked the soft book against it and bellowed angrily to the sky. Abruptly as he had begun, he stopped. He flicked open the book, nose nearly touching the page as he bent over it. From this position his shaggy black hair brushed the rough stone below it.
“Midnight, the month of Dawn Moon,” he spoke at the book in a clear, clipped voice. As if an invisible hand were sketching alongside him, the words inked themselves onto the ivory page. They were in a clean, rounded handwriting, known to those that lived in the kingdom, as that belonging to sailors, rebels, and mysterious travelers.
The boy continued in short sentences, filling in three more lines in his log book, “Tara has begun the sequence. She failed to follow the instructions and has begun step one without me. I will continue as my training as directed.”