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The Eldonian Legends
Author's note: This is about not caring what society thinks in order to do what you know in your heart is right.
Today is December 21, 2012.
The world is being destroyed by the nuclear weapons humans had built to protect themselves. It is the day when the world is forcibly reverted back to how it was in simpler times. It is the final nuclear fallout.
A decade has passed.
There is no longer technology, or silly material items. Only what is needed has remained. The useless has begun to morph into the supernatural. Things are simple now, yet at the same time more complicated then they were then.
This is the year 4041.
Most animal species have died out in the last thousand years. Only a few have survived. All animals that create a natural light have survived. All animals that create a powerful shadow have survived.
Only two humanoid species have survived. They have appeared in these forms sometime in the more recent centuries. These are the Aryans and the vampires.
They are being forced to crossbreed for survival. This crossbreed is not always successful. Female vampires are seductresses. Most often they are too vain, too thirsty. They cannot conceive with their prey. They are predators. It is simply not done.
However, one vampire could. Lilith, she was called. With her human Henry Locke, Lilith had a little girl whom they called Violet. They called her Violet for the disturbingly intense deep purple of her irises.
It is now the year 6421.
Lilith has perished with her Henry.
Not so little anymore, Violet Locke will live forever.
Only the most dominant species are still on this planet. The firefly…willow trees…trees bearing fruit to the Aryans…they are still here.
A few creatures have appeared. Mystic ones. The dragon…the unicorn, the phoenix…they are here for one race, and one race only.
In most realms, the sun is less bright. Night lasts twice as long as day. There is no color. No obvious happiness.
But Violet is here. She has no descendants, but she has many siblings.
They all have the same violet-colored eyes, and the same shocking powers.
The descendants of vampires and Aryans are neither human nor vampire. They are not of this world, but they have power over things that are of this world.
There are two kinds of this crossbreed.
A male vampire and a female Aryan create a creature called a lux. They have control over all natural light, and they are mostly good. They are light-bringers in everywhere but the shadowed realm Eldon, and the vampire world of Pesh. The mystic creatures are here for them, and only them.
A female vampire and a male Aryan create a shade. They control shadows. Shades specialize in different kinds of shadows. The specializations depend on the genes. The genes depend on the parents. Shades are dark-masters and shape-shifters like vampires, but only in the shadowed realm Eldon. They are dark.
They are not bad, really. Just dark.
Luxi are daydreams; shades are nightmares.
Contrary to luxi and vampires, shades are not beautiful. They have no need for beauty, so they choose not to be. They usually have hollow cheeks, flashing violet eyes sunk deep in their sockets, dark hair, pallid skin, and elfin faces with slightly pointed ears. They are not noticed. They are simply there.
Luxi are beautiful indeed. They have unnatural beauty, and look like Aryans but with red eyes like vampires. They appear to be albino Aryans with skin that glows from within. Luxi have the same silver blond hair, clear porcelain skin, and graceful willowy body shape as the Aryans. They crave company; they demand praise. As they give light to those who cannot see, they deserve praise, right?
The shades do all the work, though you don’t see or hear them. They are loners. If they wish to be invisible, then so it shall be. They have very strong wills, you see, they must be careful.
They are silent. Strong. Solemn. Sinister. Suspicious. Morose. Obstinate. Intelligent. Quick to judge. But mostly, they are full of sorrow for what they know is bound to come in years to follow.
Luxi are just flighty, shallow little spirits with no substance. But the shades will it to be, and so it is.
Shades are more vampire than Aryan, and luxi are the opposite.
Vampires only drink. Shades only drink. But they don’t drink blood. Shades drink the life substance from nature, and when they are done they will its shadow to replenish its substance. Luxi are simply vegetarians.
Vampires don’t need sleep, so why should shades? If they want rest, they’ll rest awake, but if not, they won’t. Nevertheless, if they WISH to sleep…so it shall be.
Vampires die the same day as their mate. Don’t think it cruel. It is better this way. This way they don’t kill millions of innocents in their raging desire for vengeance before dying anyway. They are very loyal, you see.
Luxi have the lifespan of a very healthy human. Shades, however, live for an eternity, if they wish it. For shades control every aspect of life with their wills.
Luxi must be the center of attention at all times. Shades simply don’t care. They are feared, with their strange, “useless” powers. But that’s how it is, and so it shall be.
Every once in a while a human will be curious about shades, and another will be born. The child of a shade and an Aryan is a shade no matter what. There is no such thing as a half-shade, but there can be a half-lux. Those simply have no powers.
Shades shadow-travel from one to the next, like hellhounds, which are starting to appear for the shades along with Lycans. Luxi take the form of a ball of light and travel that way.
With eyes that seem to penetrate your very soul, shades do just that. They see the way to your shadow.
Why am I telling you all this, you ask? Why, so you should know your history before our story begins.
It is now the year 6621.
Two centuries have passed in the same subtle way. Nothing truly important has changed…except for one thing.
Violet Locke has had a child with an Aryan called Simon Lyle. Two, in fact. They are twins. These children’s names are Donovan and Amira. Donovan Lyle and Amira Locke. No one knows who came first. Not even Violet. There is a prophecy about the first child of the first shade. The precise words of the prophecy are long forgotten by all Aryans, all vampires, and all shades.
And that one will use that knowledge for something much less than good.
When they were quite young, the twin shades spoke the sentence no one has ever dared even think of since the world began. This sentence set off the beginning of the prophecy:
"Just because something is, doesn’t mean it should be."
Don't forget to remember these words.
Donovan Lyle and Amira Locke slithered noiselessly from one shadow to the next, virtually leaping from the darkness of the far willow tree to this one. They peeked out from behind the thick trunk and watched a fox. The fox was meandering happily in the slight patch of light between two trees. It was a young male fox, with sleek fur that shone in the meager sunlight.
Suddenly Donovan pounced in front of the fox, startling it into paralyzed silence so it stood stock-still. In a few moments the fox streaked into the safety of a hole in the base of the nearest tree. Donovan cursed inwardly, and Amira stepped closer. She opened her mouth and out sang a flurried stream of notes in a soulful, if forlorn tune, but that had no words. The fox cocked his head, and crept out. It was hypnotized by Amira’s haunting voice. She stopped singing, and it stood in between the twins in a daze.
A slight breeze ruffled Donovan’s straight dark hair, which was nearly overgrown over his threatening, forceful gaze. His violet-colored eyes almost seemed to turn grey in the odd lighting beneath the willow tree. His eyes shifted to face his sister, who stood ten feet away from him. She nodded slightly, and moved in on their prey. In the dead light the fox’s coat wasn’t as glossy, and his bright dark eyes narrowed cautiously. He was still wary in the presence of these unnatural creatures. Swishing his long tail, he leaped away from the strange girl. But that sent him in the direction of the boy. The shades cornered the fox, and his eyes shone in terror.
Snarling, they ripped and tore at the fox with their sharp teeth.
Or, at least they would have done had they been vampires.
But they are shades. And so they simply stepped into its slight shadow and seeped it up with their bare feet. The light in the fox’s eyes died, and it went limp. Donovan and Amira chanted a steady stream of words in the Forgotten Language, and a wisp of cloudy air drifted out of the fox’s open mouth and split into two before floating into each of the shades’ mouths. They greedily drank in its life substance, immediately no longer thirsty. They watched as the body of the fox melted into the ground.
Satisfied, the two sat back onto the damp and dirty ground as dusk proceeded to arrive.
“That was a healthy animal,” Donovan mused.
“Yes,” Amira agreed quietly, digging her toes in the dirt in a weird pattern. They were already black with filth, so it made no difference. “Good thing, too. Otherwise we’d have had to drink something else.”
“Hunting is such a bother,” Donovan replied.
Amira nodded in response. “Should we replenish its life?”
“Maybe later,” Donovan said nonchalantly.
For conversations like these it didn’t matter if they spoke aloud or if Amira transmitted her thoughts into Donovan’s mind and he replied with his thoughts. They were twins, you see, and could do that. It was Amira’s gift to read thoughts. She didn’t have to, though. She only read the thoughts she wanted to.
They continued their conversation in their minds, but it was of no vital importance. It was just your everyday sibling rivalry, intensified by celestial powers.
Among reading thoughts, Amira can read emotions by a sense she gets in her head. She has an intuitive understanding of others around her that clouds her mind when it’s too strong. This also helps her to read thoughts. She can’t reduce or intensify the emotions, just read them like she does your mind.
Donovan is a little strange. He can radiate different temperatures in his hands and feet, such as extreme heat or icy coldness. He bends the bubbles of air close to his skin with his mind and orders them how to feel. This can almost feel like a shock to other people when he touches them, but it’s particularly weak to Amira so he cannot hurt her. However, her powers are stronger when dealing with him.
They watch as the dim sun started to set, and the light gradually went away. Dusk had arrived earlier than usual this particular night.
Amira hummed a sweet little melodic tune to herself.
“What kind of song is that?” Donovan asked her. “I’ve never heard you sing it before.”
“I just made it up now,” Amira answered, with a slight shrug of her narrow, alabaster shoulders.
“I like it,” Donovan told her with a half-smile. She half-smiled back, picking up a handful of dirt and tossing it at his face.
“As do I.”
The twins were up in a flash, standing in a defensive stance. Their backs were to each other.
“Where are you?” Donovan asked cautiously.
A boy no older than them stepped out from behind a far tree. “Here.”
“Where did you come from?” Donovan cried indignantly, motioning for Amira to stay behind him. She ignored her brother, and continued to stare at the boy curiously.
“I’ve been watching you. I always watch you,” the boy replied seriously, stepping closer. He had a slightly raspy voice, clearly a shade like them, but with an accent foreign to the twins that caused him to enunciate very clearly and to pronounce words differently than most. He spoke slowly as well.
At this Amira stepped back in alarm, and Donovan simultaneously stepped in front of her protectively.
Donovan looked at the boy with disgust. “And just who do you think you are, then?”
The two boys walked even closer to each other so there was just ten feet between them.
“Connwaer. Connwaer Hemlock,” the boy said. “And you’re the twins.”
Donovan cocked his head warningly, and his shock of midnight-black hair fell in front of his face, masking his expression. Narrowing his bright violet eyes, he demanded, “What’s you archives name?”
“Sultan of Twilight,” Connwaer said, rolling his eyes in slight embarrassment.
Donovan tried not to snicker. He glanced at Amira, who shrugged, tugging on her tangled, ebony tresses. She’d never heard of him either.
“What’s yours?” Connwaer challenged him.
“None of your concern,” Donovan replied, clearly infuriated by the other boy. “Who’s your mother, then?”
“My mother?” Connwaer looked miffed.
“You know. Your immortal parent,” Donovan answered, crossing his arms over his chest threateningly.
Connwaer drew himself up to his full height, which conveniently to Donovan wasn’t very much. “My mother is Amethyst, Queen of the Shades.”
This gave him the upper hand for a few brief moments as Donovan stepped back, startled, and clearly caught of guard. Amira peeked out from behind him with wide eyes. “You’re the prince?” she marveled.
Amira sauntered in front of Donovan to look closer as Connwaer flicked his dark hair out of his eyes with his fingers. His eyes were so deeply colored; they were almost black instead of violet, which seemed strange to Amira, as his mother’s were rumored to be lilac. He had high cheekbones, a slightly upturned nose, and a clear sense of regality about him. It was a wonder they hadn’t noticed right away who he was.
Donovan shook his head warningly at his sister, and she sashayed back to stand next to him.
“Go home, Amira,” Donovan demanded sharply.
Amira gave him a look, stamping her foot.
“I’m serious. Go home. Tell Mother I’ll be along soon,” Donovan said, shoving her slightly behind him.
She pursed her lips, defiant and annoyed, but did as she was told. Slinking away, she shuffled into the shadow of the closest crying tree and suddenly vanished.
“Why are you here?” Donovan sneered. “Shouldn’t you be in the palace, alone?”
“I don’t stay there.”
“Why not?” Donovan asked, scraping dirt of his leg with his opposite foot, keeping his balance perfectly.
“I like being by myself. To think.” Connwaer flushed a deep purple under Donovan’s steely gaze.
“Why are you here?” Donovan asked again, aggravated by the lack of an answer to his question. “Why do you watch us?”
“I don’t watch you,” Connwaer said, making a face. “Just…Amira.”
A light dawned in Donovan’s eyes, and his voice rose in incredulity, “You fancy my sister?”
Connwaer toed the ground with his barefoot, looking down.
“What’s your power?” Donovan asked, changing the subject.
“Why do you want to know?” Connwaer made a rude face.
“To see if you’re good enough for her.”
Taken aback, Connwaer's mouth was slightly open at Donovan’s boldness. “Well, what are you?”
“I’m an air-mover. I bend the moisture in the air to weave water or make fire in my hands and feet,” Donovan told him in a low voice.
“Day-walker or night-crawler?” Connwaer asked, his eyes narrowing.
“Does it matter? We’re not vampires,” Donovan scoffed, shaking his head. “All shades are both.”
“I’m a shape-shifter, and a dark-master,” Connwaer bragged. “I phase into a hellhound. It makes shadow-travel much less tiring.”
“How are you a dark-master?” Donovan scorned.
“I can put out any light with my eyes." The haughty look on Connwaer's face intensified.
Donovan was impressed, but he tried not to show it. “Can you put out…you know…their lights?”
“Yep,” Connwaer nodded with self-importance, pushing his floppy dark bangs away from his forehead. They were clearly irritating him.
It was silent in the small clearing for a few moments, the ring of willow trees surrounding them seemingly growing taller as everything gradually darkened. It was the simple nature of things to act more portentous at night.
“We’ll be back here tomorrow. See you then?” Donovan sighed circumspectly.
Connwaer’s face broke into an impish grin. “I’ll be here. Waiting.”
Donovan turned and sprinted past all the trees until he was on an isolated path that was going nowhere unless you knew where it led. Donovan knew. Soon he was outside a ramshackle wooden shack in the woods, and he barged in the door.
“He’s alright,” Donovan told his mother and Amira, who were in their waiting for him. “We’re going back tomorrow.”
He tried his hardest not to think of what else Connwaer had said as he went into the attic to think, but Amira had already intruded in his thoughts against his will.
“Oh!” she gasped quietly.
“What is it?” Violet asked, brushing Amira’s long black tendrils behind her ears to reveal the black ink of a sprinkling tattoo off the outside corner of her left eye. It was an intricate design, with a tiny raven hidden in the middle of it.
“Beware of him,” was all Violet said in response.
She took her jet-black cloak, with its shimmering faces of all her shadow victims, off its hook and slipped it on, sliding the hood over her unruly dark curls to cast her face into shadow. Kissing Amira’s forehead and seemingly saying a prayer to herself, Violet floated outside before breaking into a run, without a word of explanation for her daughter.
She was going to Obsidian Palace. It wasn’t too far from her family’s meeting place, and she knew the shadow of a willow tree on the outskirts of the property she could travel through. She stepped into a shadow and twisted around in a circle, whirling through the shadows of the forest until she found herself looking at the palace.
It was rather small as palaces go. Its name came from what it was made out of, and it was quite sinister-looking, even to shades, though nothing compared to Bloodstone Fortress of the vampires.
Violet muttered a string of profanities to herself when she saw the menacing guards at the gates. She knew that it was impossible to shadow-travel into the grounds, so she only hoped she could either outwit them or think up an emergency reason for the Queen to need to see her.
“Hello, miss.” One the guards smiled cruelly at her revealing a slimy row of pointed yellow teeth.
“Do you have an appointment with the Queen?” asked the other, who was clearly the first’s brother. It was unclear whether or not they were shades, as they had black skin to match their rank, scraggly black hair and violet eyes.
Violet swallowed, looking at the sharp blades of the battle-axes they swung from their hands. The muscles rippled through their bulging arms.
“No,” she said quietly, stepping a bit closer to them with her cloak trailing along behind her, creating a rustling sound as it followed over the crunchy Oak leaves that refused to leave even after the Oak was long gone.
“Why are you here?” the first one crossed his arms, letting his axe clang to the ground.
“Phoebes and I, we don’t mean any trouble,” the second one said. “But we’ll have to cause some if you don’t state your purpose or leave right now.”
“My name is Violet Locke,” Violet answered, looking down. She sighed, narrowing her eyes before looking up in the guards’ faces. When she raised her head, her hood slipped off and the cloak slid down a few inches, revealing the tiny tattoo of a black rose branded onto her collarbone that marked her commitment to Simon as she continued to say, “I’m here to see the Queen about the Great Prophecy.”
All was silent for a few seconds. You could’ve heard a drop of blood fall to the ground.
“Orpheus,” Phoebes breathed. “We better let her in.”
Orpheus nodded to his brother, and said softly, “I’ll protect her.”
“Thank you,” Violet said stiffly, following Orpheus through the wrought iron gates. Phoebes stayed behind to continue keeping lookout.
Orpheus stopped at the wide moat, which was filled with a deep purple sludge that slowly oozed against the walls of its containment. It almost seemed to be alive, and Violet could’ve sworn she saw eyes peering at her before disappearing. She stared at the mire as if in a trance.
Orpheus gave a piercing whistle that sounded eerie compared to his rumbling bass voice.
The sludge carried a raft across its surface and deposited it at Orpheus’ feet. It must’ve been made out a very strong, white wood, and Violet whispered as much to herself.
“Oh, this isn’t wood,” Orpheus bellowed, chuckling as he prodded the raft with his hairy, leathery foot.
“Then what is it?” Violet asked politely.
Orpheus chuckled again, as if this disclosed the matter.
Violet turned away from the raft, feeling quite sick to her stomach.
Orpheus motioned for Violet to step on the raft once she turned back towards him. She complied, shivering slightly when her bare feet came in contact with its chilly surface.
Orpheus broke off one of the fused-together Aryan bones, for Violet now knew that was exactly what it was, and used it to row them across the sludge and up to a part of the surrounding castle with strange markings on its side. Upon closer inspection Violet realized they were inscriptions in the Forgotten Language of Orianthe.
Violet stared, mesmerized, when Orpheus breathed the words inscribed in Orianthe aloud and they glowed bright purple before sinking into the wall, which spun itself sideways as a portal into the palace.
They strode inside. Violet imitated Orpheus in bowing to the wall and murmuring their appreciation of its generosity. Satisfied, the wall turned back into place, enlightening nothing to outsiders that something out of the ordinary had just happened.
Violet struggled to keep up with Orpheus’ long strides, drifting along behind him. She followed her protector down bleak halls, up and down winding staircases, confusing her so much that even her great memory was lost in the maze of the palace. It was much bigger on the inside.
Eventually Orpheus came to a halt outside a giant, ruby-incrusted, swirled black and white door covered in less Orianthean inscriptions than the wall outside, but still enough.
“Snowflake obsidian,” Violet commented to herself.
Orpheus looked mildly impressed with her knowledge of the stone.
He whispered the words aloud, just like before, and the door seemed to swing open from the inside.
“Orpheus, what is this interruption?” a voice snapped.
Orpheus pulled Violet by the arm behind him and they strolled into the huge, oval-shaped room.
“I’ve a shade to see you, madam,” Orpheus said calmly, thrusting Violet in front of a woman sitting in a crimson armchair. The woman was as plump as Violet was slender, especially while wearing a cloak that’s too tight. Her silver jeweled circlet, however, was too big, and threatened to fall at any moment. The woman constantly had a hand up there to keep it in place.
Violet bowed to the stern-looking woman, her hood falling back over her eyes. Lowering it to her shoulders again, she opened her mouth to speak, but Orpheus cut her off.
“This is Violet Locke,” he told the queen knowingly, who looked half intrigued and half appalled by this revelation as she drew back into her chair.
Also in the room was a tall man by the queen’s side and many more armchairs around an enormous stone table piled high with files. Violet assumed they were paperwork, but changed her mind quickly when the tall man strode over to them and plucked one out reading: "Violet Locke of Eldon" before casually placing it in the queen’s wide lap.
“You are cautioned and expected to speak only when spoken to,” the queen instructed Violet when she tried to speak again. “We are quite busy here. What matter may be so important that you wish to interrupt me with it?”
Violet glanced uneasily at Orpheus.
“Ah, you wish to be alone,” the queen resolved. “No matter. Orpheus, you may go back to your post.”
The tall man nodded at Orpheus, who stood up straight with pride before lumbering out of the room. As soon as he closed the door behind him, the queen relaxed. Her stern expression was instantly replaced by a kindly one, and she rested her warm eyes on Violet, who conceded that she really must’ve been quite beautiful once. That is, for a shade. She had loose, perfect dark ringlets falling just past her shoulders, and lavender-colored eyes.
“Now, what seems to be the trouble, dear?” the queen asked, almost cheerfully.
Violet looked alarmed by this sudden transformation.
The queen giggled. “First of all, you may call me Amethyst. Just Amethyst. No Your Highness or Majesty involved, please. Secondly, I really am busy, so could you get on with it, please?”
Violet continued to look shocked, and Amethyst sighed dramatically. “I must act queenly in front of Orpheus and Phoebes, among a few of my other servants. They are quite wily otherwise, I have found.” She gave a long, sideways look to the tall man standing in the shadows behind her, and Violet could just make out him rolling his dark eyes. “You see, they are the twin sons of a shade who need not be named and the rarest Lycan in existence: my trusted advisor here.”
“Pleasure, Miss Locke. I am Theron,” the tall man said formally, striding forward to bow to Violet. Theron bowed low before his queen and stepped back into his place with his hands clasped behind his back. He was tall and broad-shouldered, even larger than his sons, Violet realized once she scrutinized him. He had black skin and eyes, long, stringy hair, and his body was completely full of coarse dark hair. All he wore was a simple cloak, much like Violet’s, but without the sleeves and extra length. His arms were as muscular as his sons’, if not more. His eyes glistened with hunger as they flickered over Violet’s small form. He licked his lips ever so slightly, and the queen merely looked at him in disgust.
“Patience, Theron. Your time will come,” she said, simpering.
“Yes, Mistress,” he replied softly, his voice still managing to be a thundering boom.
Violet stepped back from the man worriedly.
“You may relax yourself,” Amethyst told her, giggling. “He won’t hurt you, I promise you. Lycans do not eat shades, especially not vegetarian Lycans.” She giggled again. The noise was shrill, nasal, and highly annoying to Violet’s sensitive ears.
A Lycan is a person who can make the transformation into a wolf, but not a werewolf and not a shape-shifter. The change is solely for protective purposes, but while a wolf, they may give themselves over to instinct and eat a creature by mistake. Violet listened carefully while Amethyst explained how she would never let that happen, but as she became aware of the Queen’s negligence, Violet wasn’t so sure.
“Has your son gone missing?” Violet blurted suddenly, instantly regretting it for how the Queen’s eyes flashed furiously.
“What do you know of it?” Amethyst asked harshly.
Theron moved forward to place a calming hand on his Queen’s shoulder.
Violet shivered in her thin cloak, the coolness of the room immediately turning icy cold. “He approached my twins.”
Amethyst gasped at this and drew herself up in her chair. “I refuse to believe such blasphemy.”
Theron sighed. “Mistress, that legend has always been the particular favorite of the young prince. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had sought out the two most important aspects of the story, being the observant, curious boy that he is.”
Amethyst’s features hardened. “Fine. Let’s say this is true. What of it?”
“I believe he is the other boy of the Great Prophecy-“ Violet tried to explain, but the Queen cut her off.
“The constellations aren’t aligned yet. Come back again when the stars are stronger, and we shall hear your story for what it is.” Queen Amethyst fluffed herself up, ignoring Violet’s quiet pleas of protest, and with the aid of Theron, glided angrily out of the room.
Violet had heard the Queen was an avid astronomer, but hadn’t believed it until that moment.
Having not been dismissed, Violet waited for what seemed like eternity until Theron returned. He pressed a light, flimsy bundle into her hands and said, “Connwaer.”
Violet opened her mouth to speak, but Theron shook his head. “Connwaer,” he pleaded. “Connwaer.”
Violet nodded curtly in understanding and Theron pointed at the door. “It is time for you to leave. You must go.”
“I don’t know the way.” Violet’s eyes clouded.
Theron sighed, and led her throughout the palace until they came to the entrance. Violet strode out under his watchful eye, and as soon as she left the grounds, shadow-traveled home.
She allowed her cloak to slip off and hung it back on its wooden peg next to the door of the tiny, wooden hut.
Making her way to the attic, where she knew her twins to be, Violet mumbled wisely to herself, “The Queen is a fool.”
"It is time for your studies."
Amira peeked through a a waterfall of ebony tresses to lock eyes with her mother. Violet never failed to try to make her children more intelligently aware.
Donovan opened his mouth in protest, but was unable to utter even a single word before Violet interjected, "I shall have no complaints, and you are expected to remember every word."
Donovan frowned at Amira, who shrugged in return.
The three of them were seated on rough tree stumps outside of their small, wooden shack. It was just enough after dawn for the sky to be grey, and the sun to be a dull yellow.
"We are sharing what we know about the Forgotten Language of Orianthe." Amira blinked at her mother's response to her thoughts.
"There's the story of the Seeker, isn't there?" Donovan inquired, his head cocked to the side. Clad in a black-with-filth cotton shirt, and similar shorts, his bare feet tapped on the ground in a soft, padding rhythm. He seemed not to feel the chill of the crisp morning air.
"Tell us," Amira pleaded, her deep purple eyes wide. A thin, floaty dress under a silken violet cloak was all she had on, and she kept it cleaner than her twin did.
"Once there was a lady in Greece...
"She lived in the Cenozoic era, and in the ancient times of the Greek and Egyptian. The lady was lost. She'd run away in fear of the gods, and was lost.
"One night, she was crying under the crying tree, our weeping willow, when three misty figures appeared before her. They told her not to cry, that everything was all right. The trio asked her to join them on their journey to overthrow the gods. Even though she lived in fear of the powerful gods, she feared the strange ones more, so she politely declined their offer.
"Their leader, called Achlys, which means mist or darkness in Greek, became quite angry with the lost one. He threatened her, giving her another chance before he cursed her soul. She refused, and his companions and younger brothers, Adeipho and Admes, managed to calm him down. Achlys gave the lost lady one last chance, but once more she refused, and he uttered a terrible demand for her. She would have to do it at all costs, because he had cursed her with having to follow orders from her superiors, and Achlys was a minor god, merely in control of lost ones such as she. His demand for her was achieving a quest. She had to brew an elixir in a chalice stolen from the gods on Mount Olympus, and the elixir's ingredients were nearly, if not completely impossible to find. She had to steal an apple from the Garden of the Hesperides, which so far only Heracles had accomplished, pluck a feather from the tip of the right wing of the white Pegasus while he slept, and cause a volcano to erupt in order to collect a black stone created from the ash in the shape of Zeus' fist. It was meant to be an hopeless quest, because she could not refuse. The lost one was basically sentenced to die for defying him. Achlys left with a swirl of his cloak woven from mist, and his brothers followed suit."
Violet paused to take a deep breath, her children enthralled by her soft words.
"The next night, after wandering for days, the lost one found herself back at the very same crying tree, and she sobbed again in its shadow. Just like before, a shadow of a figure appeared, only this one was female.
"'Lady,' she asked, 'what makes you weep? For I will hunt the cause down until it cries itself to sleep, as you have nearly done.'
"'You are too kind,' the lost one said, wiping her tears away with the help of the stranger's cloak seemingly spun from silver or moonlight. 'But I may not tell you unless ordered.'
"'I shall not order you to tell me,' the stranger replied, sounding appalled at the suggestion, 'but I would very much like you to.'
"'I may not honor your request, as much as it pains me to do so.' The lost one was very sorrowful and apologetic.
"'Perhaps I may help you. I do know that you are to go on a quest.'
“'Yes, but it is impossible! I shall never be able to do it, but I must.'
“'People aren’t forbidden to help you along your way, are they?'
“'I must not recruit the help of a friend, but I suppose as long as we remain strangers it would be all right.'
“'Yes. In order to save yourself and teach a lesson to those who have brought you grief, I suppose you will need to cross the valley until you find a meadow filled with flowers with violet buds. Until you find the lone in bloom, you must keep searching, and when you find it, crush it with all the sadness in you. Your sadness will give it power. When the flower’s petals and stem are crushed into fine powder and dust, collect it all on your fingertips and bring it back here without letting any of it fall to the ground. I will be waiting, so please do it quickly.'
"The stranger then instructed her on how to find the valley, and asked her not to forget so she may find her way back again. The lost one followed all of the stranger’s instructions, and stumbled through the valley of thorns and an endless forest before finding the meadow, which was larger than the forest and valley combined. The flowers were a blinding and vibrant hue deeper, yet brighter, than the color of twilight. It took her days to find the lone in bloom, and many more days to collect it all and practice so not to drop any dust. It took even more to cross back through the meadow, forest, and valley before finding the weeping willow again. The stranger was sleeping against the tree, but the lost one was kind. She didn’t wake the stranger up, much as she was tempted to, and was rewarded for it. The temptation and weariness of the lost one added to the sadness already embedded forever in the powdered flower, as well as the pain of the thorns in her side, arms, legs, and bare feet. Blood had also been added with the pain. Eventually, the temptation turned into anger, which poured itself into the dust as well, but the lost one did not wake the stranger. After thirty-three days and nights, the lost one was sore and the stranger had not woken. Finally, on the thirty-sixth day, she awoke.
“'You have been patient, and kind,' she told the lost one. 'For that, I will help you further. Lie down underneath the tree and let your hopes, wishes, and dreams seep into the flower’s dust for three days and nights. Rest before blowing it into one neat pile by the weeping willow’s trunk. Words will come to mind, and you will know how to write them with your finger in the dust. When the time comes, you will know what to call your language. You will know, and you will always remember. Let the words guide you on your quest, and you will not fail. The gods shall be forgiving.'
“'Now that you are finished with helping me, might we be friends?' the lost one asked shyly. 'I’d like to know your name, at the very least.'
“'A name is a powerful thing, but I sense you shall not use it against me.' She drew herself up to her full height, and seemed as tall as the moon. 'I am Orchid, like your precious indigo flower.'
“'Are you a goddess?'
“'A minor one, with little power in order to sympathize with runaways. Even less than my brother, Achlys, but yes.'
"The lost one gasped. 'He is your brother?'
"The stranger looked forlorn. 'Yes. I am his elder sister. All of our siblings are known among the gods as the Forgotten Children of Zeus, who was afraid of Hera’s wrath at having children with our mother, so he abandoned us in different villages. It always became swiftly clear of our lineage, and we were sent away, essentially thrown from one home to the next.' She pulled back her hood, revealing an elfin, silvery pale face with pointed ears and chin. Her long silky locks were so dark in contrast with her skin that they positively gleamed and reflected light onto other things. Her eyes were like two glowing violet orbs in her pale face. She was radiant, and certainly regal enough to be a goddess, however old the lost one realized her being. Her dark tresses were streaked silver with age, and her eyes had crows’ feet with many a wrinkle to her face. But she was still beautiful, yet sad and weighted down with memories.
“'Thank you, Lady Orchid,' the lost one then said, albeit breathlessly, as she bowed to the goddess. 'I am Amiante.'
“'I know. And think better of yourself, young one. You have hope in you yet, as well as a few drops of godly blood. It shows in the flower dust.' Amiante stared at her fingertips in amazement. Indeed, since seeping in drops of her golden-tinted blood, the dust had begun to glow with a very faint light, but it was there. When she looked up again, Lady Orchid the minor goddess of sympathy with runaways was gone. She’d simply vanished."
Violet stood up and stretched, smiling at her children. "And that is the end."
Amira startled awake, slowly realizing she'd imagined the entire thing, although she knew the legend to be true.
Dreams are never just dreams, even when they're the daydreams of a shade. Even more when the shade in question is a child of a prophecy. And especially when the shade is a child of the Great Prophecy.
This is what Amira thought about when she was brought back to reality. She laid back down on the uncomfortable hardened dirt, troubled, and, in a daze, wondered what it all meant.
Naiveté is innocence. Innocence is bliss.
How Amira wished she had never heard of the Great Prophecy until it was staring her in the face.