Strange visions. Such strange, strange places. Magic and darkness, demons and angels. Strange.
It felt like she had been drowning, sinking lower and lower into the murkiness of the water. After a period of time, it could have been hours, it could have been weeks, she glimpsed the first ray of light. It reached her through the murkiness, and she gripped onto it, holding so tightly she felt she would burst. She pulled herself up by it, and it was joined by more rays of light, more and more, until finally, she'd pulled herself out of the sea of darkness.
Maya gasped, a ragged sudden gasp, as though she couldn't get enough air in, as if she really had been drowning. Black spots dotted her vision, and her insides felt as if someone had shoved a red hot poker inside her, and prodded at her heart. She looked around, and as her sight came back to her, the first thing she noticed was the raven, sat on the couch beside her. When it noticed she was awake, it fluttered backwards, onto Leonardo's shoulder, he was sat opposite where she lay, in the same seat he had been in when they began the ritual. His face looked older, wearier, with dark circles under his eyes.
Maya pulled herself up, but her insides protested so violently that she fell back down, retching. "Don't try and move." Leonardo's voice commanded her, he sounded almost sad. "You've been in and out for two days, muttering stuff. It must all be very overwhelming, very confusing. Do not try to embrace it all at once." He stood up, and she saw him wince as he did so.
"Are you alright?" Maya's voice came out as a croaking whisper, she coughed.
He smiled wearily at her. "Don't worry about me, after nearly three hundred and fifty years of immortality and power, it really gets to you, being mortal." She tried to say more, but ended up choking and rolled onto her side. "I must leave now Maya, I will leave you instructions of what to do when you awake, but you must sleep now. The ritual... damaged you somewhat. You must rest it off before finding the court." He moved to leave, pausing before he left the room. "Maya, you are very brave, and I wish the best for you. In answer to one of your earlier questions, we have met before, I believe you still have the photo of you and your father that I took. Goodbye and good luck." He said, before turning and leaving the apartment.
Maya clawed round to call out to him. But as she opened her mouth, the tides came in, washing over her and pulling her back out to sea.
When she opened her eyes again, she waited, muscles tensed, for the tide to drag her away again. Nothing. She waited, before finally realising that it was over. Maya sat upright gingerly, her head span slightly, but other than that, the worst was over. She looked around, shaking the sleep out of her head. There was a note and an item sat on her coffee table.
She picked up the note first.
Maya, you have been incredibly honourable and brave to accept my Whitelight, now you must continue your journey without my aid. I will have left this world by the time you read this, but that is of no matter to you now. I have sent a message to the Court, they will send someone to collect you within forty eight hours and bring you to the Court. You may not return for some time. You must continue from there. Train, learn new things, how to control, how to wield. You will be of great importance some day, but for now, focus on what matters to you.
Best wishes and regards, Leonardo Strovinski
She traced the words as she read, trying to take it in. Next to his extravagantly swirled signature was a stamp, a maze of swirling lines that crossed intricately.
'You will be of great importance someday' What the heck did that mean? Maya looked back at the coffee table, and picked up the other object laying there. It was a feather, a small, silver feather, she jumped as it wrapped itself around her wrist, and she was momentarily scared that it might be some sort of curse when she realised that it was a bracelet. She reached out and stroked it, it was cool and smooth, the feather markings sculpted on beautifully.
It was as she was getting up to make coffee that she noticed the raven. It was lying on the countertop, its wings spread out around it, motionlessly, peacefully dead.