I could hear a beautiful voice, it sang to me...
It told me to stay strong and not stray from the path I was meant to travel.
Light bathed over me awakening my achy body. The warmth began to dissolve giving way to a soft cool breeze that brushed through my hair. I opened my eyes to the gaze of a young woman, who held me within her arms. Her long black hair draped over her shoulders and flowed past her breast. She hummed a lulling melody as she rocked me gently within her arms. I couldn't take my eyes away from her, she possessed a natural beauty that left me in awe.
I felt close to her even though I had no idea who she was, and I could tell the feeling was mutual. I could feel her love for me through her stare. She held my hand close to her breast, and I could feel a reaction from her touch. The cold and pain that lingered within my body pulled away into hers, as if she was healing me.
I gripped her hand. "Did you save me?" My voice was muffled.
Her gray eyes sparkled as she smiled down at me. "No, you saved me." Her voice was soft and familiar. I found myself wanting to hear her speak again.
She closed her eyes and began to hum again. I wouldn't question her, I trusted her.
"I know you from somewhere..." I said, my eyes were growing heavy now. I could feel myself drifting back and forth between sleep and wake.
Her soft lips touched my cheek. "We are the same, you and I..." She whispered into my ear. A feeling of ease washed over me. I soon found it impossible to resist the urge to sleep, so I closed my eyes and welcomed it...
I awoke near the shore of the river. My eyes searched the canopy above, strange vines wrapped around their branches, and from them beautiful flowers sprouted, many of which I had never seen before. I laid there for a while wondering where I was, while taking in the beautiful new view. I sat up and looked around, dense forest covered both sides of the water and as far as I could see, there was no sign of settlement. I thought back to the night before, but couldn't recall what had happened or how I ended up where I was.
That woman who had held me in her arms, I could remember her vividly. Was that real? Did she bring me here? Who was she? I wondered. I stood up and brushed the dried sand that was stuck to my skin and clothing away. I walked along the river searching for Larska. These forests looked different from the one I was used to, I hoped that I wasn't too far from home.
After walking for a while, the shore began to narrow until trees blocked the way, their branches swooped out over the water, preventing passage. I looked up at the sky and tried to estimate what time it was the sun was starting to fall below the treetops. I could only guess it was late afternoon, so swimming was out of the question, my clothes would still be wet by nightfall and that would make for a miserable evening.
I walked to the edge of the forest, and broke off a branch from one of the trees. I grasped it in my hands, hoping it would protect me from whatever dangers I would encounter within the forest. I hesitated at first, but managed to swallow the lump of fear that was forming in my throat. I walked in, the underbrush crackled and shifted under my weight. I gazed out at the forest floor, normally I would have been enchanted by the pillars of light that breached the branches above, but my thoughts were elsewhere.
I walked for a while then stopped. I leaned against a large tree stump and shook out all the twigs that had accumulated in my slippers. I closed my eyes, and slumped over. I was beginning to feel the toll of the trek. It frightened me to know that I would have to spend the night out here alone. I sighed, fighting the urge to let panic take over. I took in a few deep breaths, reminding myself that I would be okay, as long as I didn't panic.
As I was trying to clear those negative thoughts from my head, I could see an image forming in my mind's eye. I clenched my eyes shut, trying to make out the shape that was flowing towards me. Its movement reminded me of the wind, but I could see it as clear as day. It rushed past me, blowing my skirt above my knees, I held it down while opening my eyes. The gusts became powerful, leaves and debris were being picked up by its force, and soon they twirled above me. Enthralled by the sight, I watched, and for a moment I felt like it was I who was controlling it, but I had no idea why or how.
I continued to watch as the winds gathered above my head, it swirled into a single point, until it formed an orb, at least that is what I thought it looked like. I looked down and noticed I was floating a few feet above the ground, my legs and arms began to flail about as I panicked. I stumbled forward knocking the orb down to the ground with me. It blasted a small crater into the earth and released a large shock wave that shook the ground and rattled to the top of the trees. The birds squawked from their high perches in protest at the sudden disturbance, I wanted to scream with them.
Instead, I sat up and had a 'WTF' moment to myself. I leaned back on the old tree stump to catch my breath and looked over at the stick I had plucked earlier. Something told me I was the cause of whatever just happened, even if I didn't want to believe it. I had never seen anything like that before, I was both amazed and frightened by it. I sunk down into the patchy grass and scooped up a leaf that had been carried by the wind, studying it with my tired eyes. I was exhausted, but I wasn't about to close my eyes again, in fear of what would happen if I did.