It was beautiful. Clouds floated dreamily across the sky, flushed pink and orange in the warm rays of the setting sun. The ever present crash of the persevering waves against the solid,
unmoving rocks drummed in the background, blending with the piteous cry of seagulls soaring into the sunlight.
In the midst of this, like a King on his throne stood an island, small and picturesque.It was mainly smooth, though a few small peaks of hills here and there hid some aspects of the place from
view. Grass sloped gently down to dark rock, which then in turn fell away slickly to the sea, as vivid and beautiful as life itself.
The sun dropped abruptly from view and suddenly everything seemed so much more mysterious and dark. Perhaps this was a truer view, for something would soon hit Atlantis, which would throw it
into turmoil, tearing apart the peace that it had enjoyed...
I was told that the sea was a turbulent rolling of mountain like waves when I was brought into the world. Not born, but brought.
My guardians had made no secret to me that I was not their daughter, in fact, they let me know I was not human as soon as I was old enough to notice I had no shadow and could sort of glide when I
wanted to and had started to wonder why my mother held me back from swimming with the other children in the coves that were tucked in the side of the island here and there.
My mother sat me down, along with my father, and told me I was a spirit, as were they and a few others on the island. They took me to the special cave hidden completely from view and showed me the
spookiliy crystal clear pool of water from which I had been Brought, floating up on a glittering breeze.
My mother told me they had needed all ten of the other spirits on the island to Bring me out, for I was a difficult Bringing and had thrashed about in the water, refusing to be Brought.
I was the youngest spirit by far, and though in appearance I was not shockingly different from the other children my age, I felt my dissimilarity keenly. I had to be careful not to let them see
what I truly was, for I was assured that it was a secret to most of the other islanders.
Now, at sixteen, I felt I was growing out of this feeling of displacement and beginning to accept my looks and abilities. I was paler than the other sun browned Atlanteans and had a more petite
build, with a small heart shaped face that I was often told looked like a pixie face. Some even went as far to call me ‘Elfa’ their word for pixies and elves.
My actual name, Airla, meant ethereal and that didn’t help. My hair was a coppery colour, brown streaked with red, and the sort of rusty colour you get when a piece of metal has been left out in
the rain and forgotten about. This wouldn’t have looked to strange, but with my paler skin, it made me stand out like a sore thumb, and I often had urgings to harshly lop it all off with one of the
hunting knives. I could never actually bring myself to do it, but it was something else to irritate me. Instead, when I was in this pensive, stupid mood of not belonging, I would go and watch the
sea and practice my wobbly gliding above the choppy surf of the tide shooting across the fine sand, a light spray tickling my bare feet, to make me forget.
But apart from that, being a spirit made me no different from the others. Well, I hoped not anyway, I thought, glancing over from where I was sprawled, watching the small huddle of my friends
squealing in the freezing water. I wasn’t permitted to swim. Spirits, I was told, were drowned upon submersion in water, and that was why they had to be Brought at birth from the pool in the cave
in such a hurry. “Terms and conditions,” my father had grunted when I had first asked.
I shook my head free of thoughts as I realised Solo had collapsed next to me, shivering violently and turning his freckle dusted face towards the sun. His hair, which was usually a mane of crazy
curls had been pulled straight by the icy water, and was now springing into ringlets as it dried.
My best friend. Solon, or Solo as I had nicknamed him. Solon meant wise one in our language, and I had to agree. While I was the reckless one, he was the thoughtful, intelligent and caring one.
“You looked lonely, Elfa,” he teased, sprinkling diamond droplets of water down my neck. I squealed and rolled over to retaliate, realising only when I had touched his side that he was soaking wet,
and to tickle him would end in my getting very cold and soggy.
“Haha!” realising my dilemma, he stuck his tongue out, and flicked me with his dripping wet fingers.
I reached over cheekily, and snatched his towel, all dry and ready to be used, and ran.
“Oi, you minx!” he growled, and chased me, laughing as breathlessly hard as I was as I hitched my skirts up out of the way and ran faster. I had always been speedy, and this was when it came in
Soon it developed into a huge game of catch, as those in the sea, seeing the fun we were having came out and joined in. It was times like these that I loved- the long evenings where I felt that at
last, I belonged.
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