"I just have one more question before we start." Maya asked. She was perched on the edge of her couch, although her insides felt far too jittery to sit down for long. She had dug up her collection of Christmas candles, as they were the only ones she owned. The scent of cranberry and spices filled the air. Leonardo had turned off all the lights and shut the blinds before placing four of the candles in a loosely grouped square, with a fifth in the centre. After completing this, he'd taken the seat opposite Maya, and closed his eyes. A long time had passed like that, and Maya had watched with interest as the candles flickered and waved in a very un-candlelike way. Finally Leonardo opened his eyes and leaned across to her.
"And what might that be? Ask away, this is your only chance to back out." Maya shivered slightly at the ominous undertone of his voice, she still hadn't gripped the reality of what she was letting herself in for; if there was any reality in it.
"It's just... how did you know it was... me? I mean, why me? Why am I able to harness the power you're giving me?"
"Maya, have you ever heard of an Aura?"
"Umm, no, should I have?"
Leonardo chuckled slightly, without humour, "No, of course not, I suppose they are not relevant in your world. Well, every person on earth has an Aura good or bad. That person's Aura contains... who they are, if they possess Whitelight, Darklight, or any other mythical source of energy. Or if they are just human, unaware of the truth behind what they see in the real world. The only creatures without Auras are Demons, and Demokhs but-"
"There's such things as Demons?!" Maya interrupted, Leonardo fixed her with a look. "Sorry, go on."
"Anyway, as I was saying, yes there are Demons, and they do not possess an Aura, they are lost, the do not know who they are, which is what makes them so dangerous. But that is beside the point! It was your Aura Maya, that attracted me to you, that let me know you would be capable of this, that you were not an ordinary mortal."
Maya hesitated. "Will I be able to, sense, these 'Auras' when I take on your Whightlight?" She cringed internally at the way she sounded; she didn't sound sophisticated or clever, as Leonardo did when he talked about such things, she sounded silly, like she was trying to get in with a crowd of popular kids by trying to talk designer brands to them.
Leonardo nodded. "Most likely, but it will come in time, I must tell you, I am a fairly old and rather powerful Whightlighter, which means I have a lot to pass on to you. This may come in stages, and you will most likely not be able to control some of the things that happen at first, which is why I am going to send you to a place where you can learn." Maya straightened up.
"You mean, like a school for Magicians? I mean, Whightlighters?" It sounded so ridiculous.
"Not really, the place I am going to send you to is a Court, a law court if you like, although that is not how it's described in our world. There you will be put under protection, and trained. You must be kept safe Maya, safe at all costs." There was a long silence, Maya opened her mouth to question him, but he cut her off. "Right, it is time, are you one hundred percent sure you want this?"
"Yes, I am." She sounded far more confident than she felt but she wasn't turning back now, now that she knew so much.
"Very well, give me your hands." She held them out, and he took them in his, grasping tightly hold of her as if he was afraid she would run off. "Maya Rowena Robertson," She flinched slightly at hearing her full name, she hadn't recalled telling him it. "Do you accept the rules and laws of Whightlight, to take in the full force of this world upon yourself, and to carry with it the powers you will possess?"
"I do accept." The candles flicked, pointing towards Leonardo, the flames oddly still. She felt Leonardo's grip tighten on hers slightly.
"Then, as my life draws to a close, I will pass on all that I have learnt, taught and received unto you, using my power." He began to chant then, in a language that could have been latin, Maya didn't know. The candles began to flick towards her, back to Leonardo, back to her. Whilst the one in the centre blazed so bight she looked away, up to their clasped hands. She stifled a gasp. She was beginning to feel a burning, and bright white ropes seemed to be appearing out of the air, wrapping themselves around her hands.
Leonardo continued to chant, and suddenly there was a rush of light into her eyes, into her brain. The burning surged up her arms and into her body, coursing it with pain. She opened her mouth to shout, but nothing came out. Suddenly she saw images, but they were moving so fast it was like someone had pressed a fast forward button. The burning was now fire, settling inside her heart. Over the noise of her blood rushing in her ears, she heard Leonardo chanting, and the fluttering of wings.
Then the blackness came rushing up to meet her and she fell into it, letting it hold her, letting it drown her.