A Chapter by Aylex

The destruction lay before her, as if it was her doing – but it wasn’t. She stood in the center of a road, gazing at her surroundings: buildings fallen to the ground in a mass of bricks and glass, trees splintered and shattered, and of course the bodies of people that perhaps she once had known, littering the streets. They looked so peaceful there, she thought, so undisturbed. She almost envied them for not having to deal with the aftermath of the horror.


She crept forward, strangely unmoved by the sight of the dead innocents. Her arms extended, brushing the few things that remained upright with her delicate fingers. A strange blue light surrounded her, an unearthly glow or aura that swirled and danced about the things that she touched.


She was clad in a long, white robe that clung to her body and billowed around her then steadily moving feet. Her thick blond hair curled around her shoulders and into her face, causing her to brush it idly aside. There was determination set in her deep, green eyes that shone despite the darkness that enveloped the town. She moved with purpose. She could not falter.


Abruptly she stopped, her face twisted in pain. Falling to her knees, she cried out, a single tear falling from her cheek in a suicide dive towards the ground. She pressed her hands to her face as if trying to force the hurt away. The pain that so affected her beckoned, and she crawled. Her hands and knees pressed against broken glass that pierced her skin and drew her blood, but she seemed to not notice. The blood disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.


She rose shaking, desperately trying to ignore the pain that would stunt her progress. She stepped uncertainly, heavily, each pace drawing the willpower from her body.


From a nearby stack of wreckage, the cries of a small child fought to be heard. She stilled. Her face creased as the pain throbbed stronger, but she could not stop. The fact that every fragment of pain that was afflicting her stemmed from the child itself drove her. It was her power, her curse, to feel so completely what others felt. She had to use it.


Her hand stretched towards the mass. Her face was rigid with intense concentration. Her fingers spread, staying suspended for a short moment before starting to contort grotesquely. She trembled, sweated, groaned aloud at the effort. Tears coursed in purifying streams down her face. The muscles and veins in her arm started to show through.


An eternity passed. The heap groaned. It shifted. Relief tickled the corners of her mouth, and she thrust whatever energy remained in her body into her fingers. A full-throated scream escaped her lips as she flung her arm upwards, accompanied in a haunting harmony by the screech of moving debris and the wails of the now visible child. The rubble floated precariously in the air. Fragments of wood and rock fell away. Forcefully, she threw her arm sideways, releasing the debris from her invisible grasp. They hurtled with a final crash into the side of a far-off building as she crumpled to the floor. She laid there, her vision hazy and her breathing hard, aware only of the child toddling towards her. A sigh curled from between her lips as her body, lacking all energy, began to give up.


Reaching her, the child sat and simply stared at her lovely face, its whimpering slowing. She gazed back, smiling softly as it tried to grasp the blue light swimming about her form, but the crease of her brow betrayed her emotions. It was so young, so innocent… Her heart ached for it, for the pain that she knew would never be far away from it, all because of Vanera.


A sudden anger flared in her chest, singing her throat. Vanera. Her childhood friend had brought the worlds of so many people crashing down into sorrow, and for what? An old prophecy? A stubborn desire for revenge? Worthless! The hatred gushed through her veins. Her muscles shook with pent-up energy born from it. But what could she do, now that the events had already come to pass? This fury would help nothing.


She turned her eyes to the child, who was regarding her with a slight confusion misting its cobalt eyes. Its hair was platinum blonde, bordering on white, yet it was speckled with black. Her eyes narrowed as she ran a hand through the curls. Realization was a gasp of air in the suffocating waters of confusion as flecks of black came away and covered her fingers like a light mist. Her dreading gaze snapped back to the eyes of the child, blissfully unaware of the evil that now resided in its soul. She could not let it happen again.


Her eyes changed in a moment from green to a sparkling blue. Her hair shimmered. Her aura shone brighter, becoming a transparent blaze, and the child fell back in wonder. She turned her face towards the sky as she lifted off from the ground, slowly, deliberately, and lay suspended barely a meter above it. A whisper, a rustle of feathers, a sudden rip of material, and a pair of pure wings exploded from her back, ever growing and morphing. The feathers that formed them rippled in the slight wind that had developed around her. She smiled, her eyes closed, as she felt the familiar tickle of her wings on her skin.


The child reached for her as she descended. It ran its fingers over the feathers that formed a nest around her, awe evident in its eyes. The woman cupped one hand around its fragile face, then brought her hands together before her. They curled about each other, as if holding a ball. She closed her eyes and exhaled lightly. It was time.


A spark shot from the palm of one hand to the other, vanishing quickly. Then another appeared, then another, until the space between her palms was filled with bursts of electricity. They swarmed together in a crazed mess, until finally forming a ball of pure light that descended softly into her lap, as if all of its energy had been used up. Her eyes fluttered open. She could feel her life force ebb.


Clasping the ball between the fingers of her right hand, she summoned the child closer. She grasped its shoulder firmly with her left hand. A fleeting fear skittered over its illuminated features. Was it ironic that it was afraid of that which would save it? With that thought, she thrust the ball at the child’s chest, slamming it against its body, unrelenting. It screamed, fighting against her, and she might have let go had she not known of the importance of this final task. The ball seeped into its skin, gradual, but quickening, until it was streaming into its body. At last it was gone, and the woman collapsed.


As her gaze became unfocused, she watched the sky. Oh, it was so beautiful still. A smile spread on her lips, small at first, but it grew. A giggle bubbled in her throat, and she could not hold it back. Tears fell once more from her eyes as she laughed, loud and impassioned, with her last thought running through her mind.


‘Oh, Vanera… I beat you again…”


© 2009 Aylex

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Added on December 6, 2009



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