Tag Archives: forest

The Awakening, part 11

I frown. Me? But I didn’t do anything. What is he talking about? I struggle to find the right words as I speak.

“I don’t know how… I mean, I don’t have… That strange blast couldn’t have been natural. And I. I can’t make things like that happen. I’d know by now if I had any magic in me.” I turn my gaze away from Caleb, not wanting him to see my face. Speaking of supernatural, and me having magic feels uncomfortable. It brings back a lot of memories – my mother sitting by my bedside, telling me stories about dragons and Elfs and magic. She often told me that I was special, even magical. And I believed her with all my heart.

Another flashback, from after my mother’s death. She had just been buried and I wouldn’t leave her grave. I was so certain that I could somehow bring her back to life if only I tried hard enough. I stayed there for nearly three days, until I gave up and let my father take me home.

I blink to clear my vision and take a deep breath. Some things are better left forgotten.

“Is there any other way this could have happened?”

“No.” Caleb’s tone is curt and I take it as a hint that the conversation is over. I wonder how much longer it will take before we reach the meadow. I should really try not to lose my head next time I run off somewhere. Getting lost all the time is no fun.

We walk in silence for a while, and thankfully my soles have become so numb that I barely feel the pain. If only my sore muscles would do the same. Just as I begin to debate with myself about whether I should break the silence or not, Caleb opens his mouth.

What kind of family do you come from?” That was the last thing I would have thought he’d ask. Why does it matter to him, anyway? Or maybe he’s trying to make small talk.

“My mother died when I was little. My father and his wife are simple peasants.”

“Are you educated in any way?”

“I have been taught how to take care of a household. Why do you ask?”

Caleb eyes me thoughtfully before turning his gaze back on the path. I guess I won’t be getting an answer from him. I roll my eyes without much irritation. Silent treatment is nothing new to me and I can handle it with ease.

We’ve almost reached the meadow when Caleb finally breaks the silence.

“Your chamber will be in the attic.” I haven’t yet told him my decision, but I guess we both know that I have no other options but to stay here with him. At least for now.

The Awakening, part 10

My feet are radiating pain with every step I take, and the tremors are getting worse. I know I haven’t fully recovered from yesterday’s activity yet, but this kind of exhaustion has to be caused by something else as well. I stumble and fall hard on my knees. I take a couple of deep breaths and try to loosen some of the tension in my muscles, but it doesn’t help. At all. I don’t think I can get up anymore. I can’t be very far from the meadow, but I’m too beat to even care anymore. The shock I felt has worn off and now I just feel stupid for running off like a scared rabbit instead of finding out what the hell actually happened.

I lay on my back and watch the trees around me. I don’t know what kind these are, but by the sizes of their trunks I’d say they must be very old. And the huge green leaves will soon turn golden. The autumn isn’t too far off. I listen to the rustling of leaves and close my eyes. It’s so peaceful here. I could stay like this forever…

Get up, girl! This place is filled with dangerous creatures. The ancient magic draws them in. If you fall asleep you might not wake anymore. I open my eyes, startled. My inner voice is warning me again? I feel anxious as I look around , but nothing seems amiss. Still, I get up. What kind of creatures? Wolves?

Nothing as pleasant as that. Nighttime is very dangerous around here. Be thankful you still have many hours till dusk. And leave as fast as your legs can take you. 

I’m starting to panic. Which way do I go? And I have strong doubts about my limbs being able to take me anywhere. The adrenalin rush is long gone and my feet are killing me. I don’t know how I even got this far.

I hear a crack behind me and turn quickly. I relax when I see Caleb and exhale loudly.

“I… I got lost. Could you show me a way out of here?” I wince at the pleading note in my voice, but my gut tells me I should listen to what I was told. One part of me kind of loves this ancient-looking forest, but another part feels that something really is off here.

Caleb raises an eyebrow while looking at me with a serious expression. He crosses his hands in front of his chest and leans his back on a tree.

“Does that mean you’re all done with the hysterics?” I know he’s baiting me again, but I ignore it.

“Yes. Please, let’s just leave. We shouldn’t be here.”  He nods and turns around. I follow him, ignoring my aching feet as best as I can. We walk in silence for a while. It’s not long before I notice that the trees we are passing are getting smaller and more ordinary-looking. Something eases inside me. I take a fortifying breath before I ask.

“About earlier. That blast. How or why…?” I don’t know how to finish my question. I’ve never seen anything like that before. I can’t say I believe in magic, but there’s no other explanation that comes to my mind. And a couple days ago I didn’t think Elfs existed, either. So anything is possible.

He looks at me mockingly, and I feel my cheeks heating up. Did I ask something wrong?

“Now that is a rather stupid question. How could I possibly know why you do the things you do?”