by Ayla Lyonne
17yr old Nissa tours a world of magic adventure and secrets that can save or take a life.
| September was her least favorite month. Without fail, every year, it brought nothing but bitter winds and endless gray landscapes. It seemed to suck all the magic out of the world. Somehow, it always seemed disturbingly appropriate that her birthday was in September.
Nissa parted the dingy curtain and peered into the early morning mist. At first, the world seemed still, shades of black and gray wearing a thick skirt of white fog, and then she saw it. Two tiny yellow pin-pricks of light, steadily getting closer.
'Who would be coming here at this time?' Nissa thought to herself, letting the curtain fall back into place.
Moving as quietly as possible, she shuffled out of the room and down the stairs. It was dark in the house, all the lights off and curtains drawn. Nissa walked to the front door and peered through the peephole. The vehicle was closer, though still about a mile away. Nissa's house was the only one at the end of a long and bumpy road, filled with potholes and skirting a cliffside. Between the 40ft drop drop to the sea on one side and the rough terrain, Nissa's was not a house much visited.
It was never in her nature to resist curiosity, and she didn't do so now. Turning to find a comfortable place to sit and wait, her foot found a weak spot in the floor. She froze as the loud noise seemed to echo in the big house. After a long minute, Nissa let out a breath and, remembering the coat closet under the stairs, hurried to hide inside and wait for 'Who-ever-it-is' to get there.
She had only just closed the door to the closet, leaving a space to view the front door, when she heard soft footsteps above her. As they descended the stairs, dust fell from the stairwell and onto Nissa's hair and shoulders. 'Wonderful.', thought Nissa, brushing herself off. By the time she'd finished and looked through the crack of the door, the footsteps had ceased. As her eyes re-adjusted to the dark, she made out the form of a child, a girl, still in her nightgown, standing at the front door.
'Breena? What in the world...'. Before she could finish her thought, the girl opened the front door and walked out onto the porch. Unwilling to let her little sister out of her sight, Nissa followed, as quietly as possible.
As she crept closer to the door Nissa thought, 'What is going on? Breena is so weird sometimes. She hardly even talks, and when she does she says weird stuff. Now this?' Nissa shook her head. 'What is going on?', she thought again.
A crunch of gravel brought her back to the present. The car had arrived. A large gust of wind accompanied the lean woman exiting the vehicle, carrying the scent of spiced magnolia to Nissa's heightened senses. Nissa didn't know how to react when her sister did the last thing she expected and ran to the woman, wrapping her in a tight embrace. The woman was beautiful, garbed in robes of forrest green and with flowing red hair, she had a regal air you could detect from afar.
Breena greeted the woman, "Hello, Orla. What brings you? Is everything alright?"
Nissa stared, gaping, almost forgetting to keep hidden. Her sister not only spoke to this stranger, but she sounded eloquent and garcious when she addressed her visitor. Completely unlike the whispered mumbles she offered to the family.
The woman, Orla, spoke, "I have travelled three words and five continents to find you, Aeos Chamon.". She sounded nervous, a sense of urgency accompnying her words. "The news is not good, I'm afraid. Everyday we are losing more of our kind. Soon, I fear, there will be no one left. Those that haven't been imprisoned, have run off, searching for a peaceful place. Aeos Chamon, your people need you."
Throughout this speech, Breena