Forest Lady

There is no island city. No cataclysm of waters and storms, just these guardian winds. Dremael, the centre-world, where the Timekeeper Amatialle alone knew its passageways. Where I would search under the inky sky, a sky devoid of light, alit by fireflies. And this realm fell into a frozen eternity.

It was my world, always mine, but I knew there were other wanderers amidst its portals. For years Chloentyl searched for Innaetyl, calling, until my voice grew feeble, and I shivered in the breath of winter that seeped into my land. Then finally, I took flight from the deep, sobbing and soaked in the cold rain, rain that began to melt the frozen eternity. Stood up to stare into crimson eyes and a river of silver hair.

There is a unicorn. Oh hello, white beauty with the azure hair. This crystallized stormbringer leads me into the forestry. I sigh. A fruitless search, time and time again. I don’t even know who Innaetyl is, what Innaetyl is. More unicorns. Those words comfort my heart, but I still think I should return to reality and yet … Dremael. I haven’t been here in too long. Would it be a crime to remain just a little longer?

There is a curious circle of evergreen trees. Someone is standing in its midst. Chrysalis Chaos halts, and nudges me forward. I’m reluctant to leave her, but she insists, and I cautiously approach the figure. Long white hair. A familiar figure. A strange manner of clothing. This once-child has the Timekeeper’s lantern. I shouldn’t draw closer, but curiosity gets the better of me. Who are you, who now turns to face me? I can’t tell if your eyes are red or brown or gold. It’s hard to see in the firelight. Ugh, you’ve grown, I’d better run away now. My feet remain rooted. I can’t take a step forward or backwards.

“Welcome home, Mayli,” you say, a rich, resonating sound. I flinch and my own hand brushes my hair. I look at it with wonder. Things do change, too.

My words are strange and familiar at once to me. “I am the forest child, grown.”

Perspectives blur, I keep flickering between the two. “Kirayorona,” both of them say at once, together. Or are they one and the same? Perspectives merge as I accept Shallyn’s hand, and I cross that boundary into the circle of evergreen trees.

The Sun was setting when I remember this world again.

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