Specka gazed at the small snow-white bloom; it had been weeks if not months since she had seen something living, other than the bird. The small crimson bird that always seemed to be leading her onward. What would she find on the other side? She couldn’t tell, but who can when they are trapped beneath the weight of their never-ending sorrows. Specka’s young visage had been ingrained with grief and fear, ever since that fateful day that took everyone she cared for to away.
A while before that day, the trees had bloomed and the earth was green. In the midst of a lush, green valley, there was nestled a small village. She recalled the giant ship as it landed atop her peaceful village. The scarlet of its metal reflected the bright sunlight so it looked like was glowing. Hundreds of innocents had died that day. The ones closest to her heart, especially her husband and her mother and father.
Jason’s young face was forever stuck in her tortured mind. The sincere countenance carved with dimples and a twinkle in his warm brown eyes. She remembered the way he laughed and the thought brought tears to her already reddened eyes. Though it seemed an eternity, she had been walking for just one month. Specka Miller trudged on through the blackened wilderness, blackened from the gas from the ship. Her planet, her home was dead. None of the old roads lay where they should have been and Specka traveled slowly to the other side of Cuvlan.
In another few weeks, Specka began to see the burnt skeletons of old buildings. All she had had to live on was the pure water of the ground. She hungered for food, though it was only necessary once every six-month season. On Cuvlan, there are three six-month seasons to the year. Their moon cycles through once every month and their planet remains dark for one six-month. Specka was desperately trying to make her way to the clean side of her planet before the Darkening, the first day of the Dark-season.
The long bridge from her home country to Eylsum was still standing from long ago. It would take Specka at least two treacherous months to make the crossing, but she had to so she would survive. With thoughts of Jason, she put her calloused bare foot onto the cold metal of the Rainbow Bridge. The once shining metal was partially eroded and much rusted from the strange poison the gigantic ship had cursed the land with.
Treacherously narrow, the bridge wobbled in the harsh winds and Specka grabbed at the eroding rail, a desolate figure against the dark gray sky. Every ten miles or so, there was a wider section, that is where Specka slept. The cold ocean spray chilled her already freezing body. Her lush green dress was now faded and tattered; it hung of her skeleton like frame and it whipped about in the wind. Specka’s once midnight hair was a lighter brown and it was tangled around itself. Her lips had lost their ruby luster and her eyes had lost their marble blackness.
Specka’s memory was alone intact of all. Her heart was torn so much it did not know how to begin to heal. She had to make it to Elsum, before she died of lack of food. Elsum was the most heavily guarded city on Cuvlan and it had never been conquered. Elsum possessed the most advanced technologies for everything including poison deflection.
Specka Miller remembered that her mother had told that, among all the thousands of cities on Cuvlan; go to Elsum if you are in need. Now, homeless, moneyless, and, hopeless, Specka headed toward the fabled city. She had only weeks left to reach Elsum before the Darkening and at least a month’s worth to cross the Rainbow Bridge. The hopelessness filled her and the grief overwhelmed her. Specka looked down at the turbulent gray waters and she longed to throw herself among the waves and join her family again, but she had to remain on Cuvlan for a while longer, she owed that to Jason.
She remembered his gasping words as he urged her up to the summit of the hill and into the trees. ‘I love you’, Jason gasped as he dragged Specka into the trees. ‘Stay here until I come back.’ Then after one last kiss, he went back to get her mother with the broken leg and he never came back. When Specka heard the explosion of the village, she sank to the ground in a wave of grief and she let the sobs overcome her weak frame.
When she woke up, her world had gone from beautifully colorful to desolately black. Nothing was there, the trees were all dead, the whole gigantic forest was a thick layer of black ash. Specka looked at the pile of rubble, the graveyard of her loved ones. She shed a few more tears for them and pulled herself to her feet and began to walk. At first she walked slowly, but then she began to run from the horror of what lay behind her. Soon enough, she was running with the full speed of her race.
The empty blackness flew by, but the size of her planet was huge and she soon tired. Then she would sleep until her pale sun woke. Her tired legs would propel her slowly, and more slowly until she sank into the deep black ash when she could no longer run. After a few days, her clothes and her skin were covered with the thin black dust of what used to be living.
Specka’s dull eyes flickered open and she came back to the more unpleasant world of reality. The cold metal beneath her cut into her delicate skin. A small tear dripped from her eye because of the shock of reality again as she awoke. Specka pushed herself to her cold feet and set her bearings straight, and set off for the distant shores of Elsum.
In two short weeks time, the Darkening would come and Specka would never find her way. With this knowledge she gained the strength and courage to run. She rocked back on her heals and bent her tired legs. Specka catapulted herself off towards Elsum. The delicate bridge shook underneath her pounding feet. The roaring winds chilled her and slowed her progress. The cold ocean spray made the raw metal slippery.
She ran slower and slower, until her legs gave out. She collapsed half a mile from a wider section. Slowly, Specka dragged herself to her knees. On her freezing knees she pulled herself to a place where she could sleep. While she was running, she covered more ground than she had in days, but it had entirely worn her out. From here, there were about twelve sections left for her to cover.
In the next week before the darkening, she made it to the edge of the country of Elsum. As she set her first step on land in months, the sky began to darken. Cursing vehemently, she stumbled onto the fresh ground to sleep until the Dark-season passed. For the first time for ages, she slept soundly. The Dark-season has that effect on all who come under its powers. The never-ending darkness is not one anyone wants to endure in consciousness.
When Specka awoke, she headed towards Elsum. As she walked, a shadow passed over her and it had the same effect as the first one had. She looked up at the haunting red ship. It landed neatly on top of Elsum and she saw the people running. Now she saw that it was an egg shaped object.
Filled with sudden rage, Specka ran towards the glowing red egg with all her might. She pounded the side of it yelling, ‘you killed him, you killed all those I love, you killed them all, you evil, murderous, bloodthirsty-‘. Then a door opened and Specka fell silent. For a moment she was still, then she ran into the ship in a fury. She ignored the burning metal and flung herself on the first being that came to her. With all her might, Specka whirled and kicked and punched at them. Then she felt the air rush around her and the air burned.
‘Specka!’ Only that voice would make her open her eyes right then. The pain was unbearable, but she could have sworn that it was Jason’s voice. Then with some pain, she opened her eyes. ‘Oh no, not you too!’ Jason cried, looking at her, his eyes filled with pain. ‘I thought you were dead.’ Specka said, confused. ‘That’s what I mean,’ said Jason, ‘you are dead.’