Fiora straightened in pride and anticipation as her sisters clapped on either side of her. Lady Darya herself walked to her and offered her an elbow in escort to the front doors. She was surprised… The Lady did not make such displays of favor lightly. She walked slowly, intent on not tripping on the white ceremonial gown that hid her toes. Her bare feet relished their last walk down the cold marble corridor.
When The Wisdom spoke, her words were quiet as snowfall and meant for no other ears. Fiora held her breath. “I send you with encouragement, dear one, and with warning also. You were promised all these seasons ago because I read the streams of the past and saw both hope and despair. You are our hope, that despair shall not devour us whole. Do not falter, daughter of promise, for a storm is approaching that will rent our world in two.”
She did not know what to say or how to react. The revelation was so abrupt she had nothing but questions. What did the Lady mean that she was their hope? With worried eyes she looked at Lady Darya to protest but they were already emerging to the streets where her family awaited her return. There was no time to get answers to unspoken questions.
One last whisper brushed her ear as The Wisdom of Kavaccet broke decorum and graced her with a fluid embrace. “You will know what to do when the time comes.” When she pulled away, Fiora was sure she saw tears in her mentor’s eyes as she looked at the lone woman who had come to pick her up, but she retreated back to her sanctuary too quickly for any to fall.
Fiora was left on the bottom steps of the dais staring at the end of the marble and the beginning of the dusty road. In all her seasons, she had never stepped foot off the marble. Now that she was of age, everything was going to change. With one final cleansing breath she took the step and found herself instinctively cushioning her soles with the air of her element. Perhaps she never would step foot on the ground.
Looking up at her mother’s smiling face; she returned the gesture with a warm hug. “Where are all the others? Why have they not come?”
A glint of pain lit behind her mother’s eyes. “They are at the house waiting for you. Come daughter. Your promise awaits.”