Battling through a perilous journey to discover the elemental stone, but just the intro
|Plaintive echoes of laughter speared her soul as Shyma reminisced what she had lost. Foreboding shadowed her every step. The soft, welcoming thrum of bird speech mocked her as she listlessly made her way forward. Memories of when she and her sister had lain under the broad sky for hours, just listening to the birds, imagining that they understood them, burst forth from her mind. Shyma gasped; the sweet smelling grass rose up to greet her. Strength failed her. She was alone.
Whether minutes, hours or days passed, she did not know. All that she knew was that her soul had been ripped in half, her twin was gone. No other pain could equate to it. Her best friend was no more. Grief tore at her, tremors ran the length of her body, bile rose to her throat, leaving a bitter taste in her dry mouth. Yet tears would not come. How could she go on? Surely hell would be a haven compared to this incessant anguish.
What were those things? How could anything possibly be so brutal and unmerciful? The peaceful hamlet in which Shyma and Tyllie had lived all their life was burned before them. Screams had pierced the night, staining the beautiful land with a lament of sorrow and fear. Black fog rolled over the valley in intoxicating thickness. That was how they were seperated. Sorcery bound the villagers in place with their own fear.
At that time, everything moved in slow motion before Shyma's terrified eyes. Her heartbeat rushed painfully thick through her being, muffling the sounds that shook the valley. A malevolent laugh echoed through her head, making the hair on the back of her neck stand up. She felt her energy drain as the pain of death scorched through her over and over. Her lifelong friends were dying around her, of burns by the unnatural fires, which stuck to the villagers like molten glue. Or by the basilisk glances of the creatures which so unmercifully tormented them. Yet, Shyma could feel the agony of their deaths as if it were she herself that suffered it. The suffocating pain only lifting momentarily when their lives were no more.
Soft green light filtered through the canopy of leaves about Shyma's slumbering body. Long brunette hair lay in a disarray around her face, which was abstract with sleep. Crystals of dew clung to her eyelashes, they formed a fluttering crescent above her pale cheeks.
Shyma lay with her arms protectively clasped around her bent knees. The simple beige tunic she wore was torn and slightly singed. It clung to her frame as if seeking the warmth that the damp was steadily stripping away. Shyma shivered.
Instinctively, Shyma absent-mindedly brushed away the moisture in her eyes. Then a feeling of weightlessness took over her. The patches of clear blue sky above made shyma feel as though she was falling. So she wildly grabbed fistfulls of the vibrant green grass around her until gravity was restored to her mind.
Shyma shakingly sat up, examining her surroundings. She was in the middle of the Ephemeral Wood. The name originated from rumours that the forest contantly shifted, to ensnare those who were unlucky enough to cross its threshold.
Tyllie and herself never quite saw reason behind this rumour. Growing up, they had always used it to play hide and seek. Without the town elders knowing of course. They had never once got lost, and they didn't want the elders to think that they were witches, because magic was considered evil. Allthough, no one had been convicted of witchcraft for years. Not since old Mrs Jacklin had been found innocent after drowning. Widows seemed to always be suspected first, they fit the description. Also, the black cats always seemed to stray to the widow houses. Shyma thought that the cats only went to the widows because they were the only ones who bothered to feed them. Black cats were considered bad omens, demons of the night. The widows fed them because they had nothing left to lose, and the cats didn't judge them. They were both equally treated with unfair predjudice.