I Am a Genius: listen to my words

I Have the Conch

 

listen to my words

Posts Tagged ‘Shia’

The Fallen iii

Shia had no sense of time. She neither knew how long she had been lying in the mud nor how long she’d been walking. Having a companion made no difference to the situation. It seemed they walked forever, but the night didn’t grow any lighter. If anything, the forest seemed to be darker and there was no way to tell where they were headed. She was grateful that Sylfania held her hand, because she was sure she would feel even more lost without that human contact. The dryads hand was rough, yet still feminine. They were hands clearly familiar with the earth.

At first Sylfania tried to talk. But all she had were questions about the world. She claimed she had not seen much of it beyond her own tree and the nearby forest. The forest was vast, she knew that much from talking with the trees an the animals. But she knew almost nothing of the world beyond it, and that only made her curiosity greater. Most trees were not interested in learning more about the world beyond their own.

But Shia had no answers for the Dryad. She didn’t know the world like she felt she should. She knew nothing of customs or of people or cities or creatures. She knew almost nothing. So after a time, the Dryad fell silent. From time to time she would turn to face Shia and give a friendly smile, but she didn’t stop walking.

At last Shia could see a dim light through the trees. “There,” she said, pointing with her free hand. “Someone must be there.”

Sylfania cocked her head to the side. “I’m not sure what that is. I thought we would have found the road by now.” She shrugged and then continued, dragging Shia with her.

The dryad clearly had not lied about her unfamiliarity with the world. Shia had slight misgivings about charging toward the light, not knowing what was there, but she had to finally admit that she didn’t know what would be anywhere. And even if Sylfania didn’t know what this was, she at least lived in this region.

They tramped through the light undergrowth toward the light. As they approached Shia finally felt at least a little relieved to have a specific goal she could recognize. But compared to her journey up to that point,t he trip seemed to take no time at all. Seemingly in a few seconds they arrived at a stone building, two stories high, and quite large in width and length. A sign hung over the door announcing it was the Stone Heart Inn. The stone was quite old, moss growing on bits of it, but it seemed altogether a solid structure from the ground to the wooden shingles of the roof.

The light came from several windows to the left of the door as well as one or two of the upstairs rooms. The Inn apparently was doing well for business this night. As she stepped up to the door Shia suddenly noticed there was no path. She hadn’t been on one at all as she approached, but there wasn’t any path that led to the door. Nor was there any signs of a nearby road. She paused and turned to mention it to Sylfania.

The dryad was on her toes, her hands grasping the outside sill and peering intently through a window. “There’s people in there!” she was saying. “What kind of a thing is this? How did they get in there? It’s made of stone, so it’s not a tree. Is this… a…” She turned and looked to Shia, her brow furrowed in concentration till she remembered the word. “A house!” she shouted finally. “That’s what blood humans live in, right?” She turned back to the window and studied the occupents again.

Shia felt a smile grow on her face. The lack of road didn’t make sense. How did they all get here, after all? “Blood humans” didn’t fly. But she noticed that she was no longer uneasy. She didn’t have the sense of apprehension that had bothered her earlier. In fact, she felt as if the inn itself were inviting her. She was suddenly eager to go in.

“Come,” she called to Sylfania. “Let’s go meet them,” she said, as she opened the front door.

The Fallen ii

A voice whispered on the air. At first she wasn’t sure it was a voice, and not just the sound of the wind in the trees. She looked around, her arm still leaning on the tree, but she saw nothing. She closed her eyes again, wondering if she needed to add hallucinations to her list of concerns. Everything was so strange.

It came again, closer this time. It sounded more like words, but she couldn’t understand it.

“Who?” she asked the air around her as she looked around. She pulled her hand from the tree and turned her body, trying to find who it was. “What are you saying?”

The soft breeze on her face was briefly warm, like someone’s breath, and she finally heard the words.

“What comfort can I give?” the wind whispered. She blinked, wondering again if it was in her mind. But as she opened her eyes, a figure seemed to form from the dark patterns of the tree on which she leaned.

It took the shape of a girl, the hair was wild, shoulder length. She couldn’t see colors in the night, but the hair and skin were fair colored. She had long graceful arms and legs, and wore a short sleeved dress that fell just below her knees. She wore no shoes.

“I am Sylfania, and this is my oak tree,” she said. Her voice still sounded like the wind but came louder, easier to hear, but still soothing. “I’m sorry I spoke too softly, I rarely speak to anyone but the animals. It’s been ages since I’ve seen a blood human.” She had a slight smile on her face – not of mockery but welcome. “Who are you? And what aid can I give? I can feel your confusion… your pain.”

The angel was silent for a moment. “I… am Shia Al’Matar,” she spoke suddenly. “An angel of…” she trailed off, remembering that she didn’t know any more. “I’m an angel,” she said quietly. “What do you mean a blood human? Aren’t you …”

Sylfania’s smile returned. “I am not a daughter of man, no,” she said. “I am a dryad. A spirit of the trees. No blood runs under my skin. If you are an angel… do angels have blood?” She pinched her chin between her thumb and index finger, her eyes narrowing as she studied Shia. “I have not learned of angels.”

“I… really don’t know,” was all Shia could answer. “I don’t seem to know anything – how I got here, where I came from, what I must do, what’s happening to me. I don’t know what to do.” She rubbed her arms with her hands, arms crossed in front of her. She wasn’t cold. Not truly. She suspected that if she were not an angel she would have been. But thinking of her situation made her think she should be cold.

Sylfania’s tilted her head. “I cannot give you comfort,” she said. It was a matter-of-fact statement. “I must take you to someone who can. She reached out to take Shia’s hand.

Shia balked. She didn’t know if she should trust this person. But what choice did she have, really. She had no one else. Nowhere else to go. She didn’t know what the dryad had in mind, but she knew it must be better than weeping alone in the woods. Slowly reached her hand out and took Sylfania’s.

The dryad’s smile grew. “I think there’s a road this way,” she still spoke softly, so that Shia had to strain to hear it all. She pulled Shia in a direction at angles to the direction she had been following. She whistled, and in a moment a bird landed on her shoulder. Sylfania’s wind-like speech continued, but Shia couldn’t understand the words. The bird made a series of chirps and whistles and other sounds, as if it were speaking with her. A few moments later the bird flew away again. “Trundle will scout for us,” Sylfania explained.

Shia remained mute. She was more surprised every moment of this journey, but She felt sure she would continue to be surprised by everything. After all, why wouldn’t a tree spirit speak with birds?

Putting more trust than she believed she had in the dryad, she allowed herself to be led into the night.

The Fallen i

She pushed herself up out of the mud, wondering how she’d come to be lying in the mud in a forest during the darkest hours of night.

The ground was damp, the mud only on the very surface. From the smell of it, the rain had been very recent. She looked up but couldn’t see any stars. The clouds hid them well. The wind blew her hair into her face and made whispering sounds through the unseen tree branches. She thought she should be comforted by those sounds, but instead she found it caused a shiver deep inside her.

That was all she could tell about where she was.

She was wearing a long, cobalt blue gown, made of silk and satin. It was very light, and she could feel the breeze on her skin underneath it. On her back she had a dark cloak which cleverly concealed her two sets of wings. She must have been trying to hide that she was an angel, she thought as she started walking through the woods. The moldering leaves crunched and rustled as she stepped through them. She had no idea where she was going, just that she should get somewhere.

Why would… She stopped walking as she tried to remember the name of the god she served. Why would she send her here? And who was he? Why couldn’t she remember?

She slumped against a tree. A great mass of grief and fear rose into her throat and filled her head. What was going on? She didn’t think she had ever felt so helpless. The feeling was almost a tangible thing. She clenched her teeth and crushed her eyelids shut, willing herself not to cry. It would not do. A solitary tear emerged from her left eye, and slid halfway down her cheek, but no other tears.

She pushed away from the tree with one arm, holding herself steady.