It was the eyes.
Or, I suppose it was the fire in the eyes that made me hold my glance.
She turned her head away and when she looked back she was a wolf, a crane, a snake, all at once.
She glared at me and then turned to calmly walk over the group standing over at the barrier of civilization.
I could hear the other shifters' frantic thoughts coming to me.
A wave of self-inflicted pain and ways to make life miserable for themselves and others.
I could hear her thoughts more clearly than the others, rising like a single droplet of water above the perfect wave formation.
Night had fallen, and the city was dark. All of the people living in the city were preparing to sleep, or had already fallen into the pits of dreaming.
"Aegle," said a quiet voice behind me "do not dream of the impossible. The Shapeshifters will never be up to our level." It was Keila who was speaking to me.
At one hundred and three years of age, she was definitely an elder, but more of a Middle status. Not a Lower, she was to old, but not an Important, she was to young and boring.
She had come into the habit of entering my chambers with no warning, and it was getting quite annoying.
"Good evening, Keila," I replied, wanting her to leave, simply willing her to exit my chambers and never return.
"Do not change the subject! You attempted to make contact with those… those… animals!" she exclaimed.
"Keila, as my bountress you are to keep me safe. But, you do not need to worry for me. I am no longer a child. And I would like it if you would keep out of my business." I said, standing up and putting down my book on the bed. She did have the right to keep me out of unsafe places, but this time I could not give in to her. I shivered as my bare feet made contact with the cold, grey slate floor. Keila looked at them, clearly disapproving.
"You do not have the right to associate with them. Besides-" she was going to tell me what to do and not do I was sure, and knowing her, I was most likely right.
"I should be getting to bed. It is late," I said, attempting again to signal the end of our conversation.
The frown lines on her face deepened as she clasped her pale hands together to refrain from hurting me. A strand of her graying hair fell from her bun and into her eyes.
"I will not tell you what to do, I am not the Supreme, but I can tell you that many people have been killed after being found not to the liking of the tribes,"
"I am well aware of that. Remember, you made me read those dull books on history,"
"Those 'dull books' were recommended to me by the Supreme, not that it is any of your business,"
"Good night, Keila," I said firmly.
"Good night. Blessings fly with you on solid wings." With that, she turned on the heels of her slate grey slippers and walked away, slamming the door behind her.
She was, no doubt, going to talk to the Supreme about my interactions with the tribes and my future as a Flittere.
And the Supreme was going to ponder and decide my fate. As the Supreme was in charge of all Flittere life, who knows how long it would take for him to decide where my life should go to benefit the colony.
I prepared to sleep, brushing my white-blonde hair and turning down my bed. I took one last look in the mirror before I went to bed. My light grey eyes looked tired, as if they were more asleep than awake.
As I repeated my vows of loyalty to the colony, the look on the girl's face kept coming in and out of my thoughts. Why did she have to interfere with my life? Why did her thought come more distinctly to me than the others?
I eventually fell into a fitful sleep, if anyone could even call it that.
It was a mystery to me. I was running on rocks and glass but I could not stop. I kept looking back to see if it, whatever it was, could be possibly getting closer to me. As I ran through the woods, the moonlight cut into all the cracks between the leaves that were in a canopy over my head. Something moved behind me, snapping a twig, and I turned around to catch a glimpse of it's shadow between the trees. The shadow moved over and started closer to me.
Was it fear? I was frozen to the ground, stuck, as the nightmarish creature floated to me. It was almost like a swirling cloud of mist, but it had a form and I had a feeling that it was more solid than it appeared.
I snapped up in my bed with a sudden jerk of energy, suddenly awake. I shivered, more of fear than the chill in my freezing cold room, and got up. I wrapped a loose blanket around my shoulders and stepped over to the washbasin to splash my face with cold water. Still shaking I got back under the blankets and closed my eyes
Tomorrow I can tell Keila and she can help me. I thought, trying to reassured myself. Tomorrow, tomorrow I can tell her. Tomorrow.