Finding the Spirit's Soul

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Becoming an Oracle is no easy task. Nor is it one to be envied. A Spiritual leader, an Oracle's first duty is to her people and her Spirit, and the burden is one meant to be carried alone. At least, it used to be.

(This is for Spell's Music and Magic Challenge. My song was Homecoming by Thomas Bergerson.)

“Ili! Hurry!” A girl’s young voice echoed through the vaulting halls of the passage, bouncing off the cool marble and rebounding back towards its owner as an identical voice answered.

“You know I can’t run as fast as you, Ari. Wait for me!”

“Hurry!” A frantic hand gesture urged Iliana on as Arianna paused halfway down the corridor to wait, hopping impatiently from one foot to another. Panting as she reached her, Iliana rested a hand against a pillar, glaring at Arianna.

“What’s the big deal? Why are you in such a rush, Ari?” Twin sets of blue eyes met as Arianna leaned forward to whisper something that caused Iliana’s eyes to widen with surprise and then dawning delight.

“Well why didn’t you just say so? Come on!” Grabbing her sister’s hand, Iliana led the way down the passage, dragging her giggling twin after her.

***

A rising crescendo of drums began to build, the sound of marching feet creating a quick counterpoint to them as a yell came from a tower high above.

“The king approaches! Open the gates!” The call echoed from one tower to the next, making its way down to the gate-keepers who made haste to push the carved oak doors wide, allowing access to the main courtyard.

From within a shaded archway, two pairs of eager eyes scanned the gathering crowd of servants and nobles who waited to welcome their monarch home. As the first footmen of the retinue entered, the girls rose on tiptoe trying to see past the adults.

A large bearded man entered next, his bright blue eyes hidden by a frown, one hand resting on the hilt of the jewelled dagger at his side, the other gesticulating widely as he spoke to the smaller man accompanying him.

As voices swelled in welcome and the noise of the drums faded a high-pitched shriek echoed, heads turning in surprise as the girls emerged from their hiding place, racing to be the first to reach the man.

“Daddy!” Dodging between legs, Iliana threw herself into the arms of the laughing king. Arianna held back her eyes fixed on the man next to him; blue irises darkening as her pupils dilated and she began to tremble. Her father; finished greeting his other daughter turned to her, concern creasing his brow, the question on his lips freezing as the younger twin went pale, her knees giving way beneath her as she crumpled to the ground.

***

The soft murmur of voices filled a room that was otherwise occupied by an expectant hush. Purple hangings were pulled back from a wide bed, the small, still form of a child just visible within its depths.

To one side, Iliana stood with her father, her tiny hand clasped gently in his as they anxiously watched the áswín –healer – bathing Arianna’s forehead with a soft cloth. Turning from the bed, the áswín nodded to his assistants, passing one the cloth and lightly touching the other on the shoulder before he walked around the bed towards the king and princess.

“My lord, it seems the princess Arianna has suffered no ill effects from her fainting episode; however, it is most important that she be sent to the Crystal Palace as soon as she is recovered. She has need of guidance and training that her current teachers are unable to provide.” The man spoke quietly, his gaze filled with a kindness that all of his kin possessed as he told another father that he would have to give up his child’s safety and care to strangers.

“No! You can’t! Daddy, you can’t let them take Ari! Please don’t let them take her!” Clutching her father’s hand in both of hers, Iliana stared up at the king, her crystalline eyes filled with tears as she pleaded with him.

Crouching, the king placed both hands gently on his eldest’s shoulders, meeting her drenched gaze with a solemn one of his own.

“Iliana, if there were another way to keep your sister safe, to keep her home with us, you know that I would take that path in a heartbeat. We have no choice ki-lán. Your sister needs to be taught to control herself and no one here can do that.” As Iliana began to sob, he gathered her into his arms, smoothing her bronze curls with a hand that trembled slightly before he released her, turning back to the áswín. Nodding once, he took Iliana’s hand as he led her from the room.

“It is done.”


Submitted: April 09, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Rhapsody. All rights reserved.

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Comments

UnderxYourxSpell

A rollercoaster ride for the emotions, this chapter was! It began bubbling with the twins' happiness and excitement, then transitioned suddenly to confusion and fear for Ari, then finally to a deep sadness at the prospect of the twins being separated and Ari taken away from her family. That's a lot of emotion for under a thousand words! I have to say, my heart really went out to little Ili when she found out her father was letting Ari be taken to the Crystal Palace. I think you captured the twins' child-like essence perfectly – their actions and responses seemed to fit just right with their age. It's a hard thing to do and you made it seem effortless. Kudos!

Let's not forget the curiosity over Ari's abilities! One thing's for certain: they'll be very interesting to read about. Even more interesting will be the way Ari deals with them.

Another thing I loved was the new terms you use – 'áswín' and 'ki-lán'. They make the story all that more enthralling and really help to bring the world to life.

In summary, a wonderful first chapter, Rhapsody; a delight to read!

Sat, April 14th, 2012 11:18am

Author
Reply

As always a wonderfully in depth comment! Thank you so much, Spell. I'm glad you're enjoying it. ^__^

Sat, April 14th, 2012 4:51am

M J Owen

Hi there, great start to a story. I definetly want to know what this crystal palace is and what it is that she needs to be able to control. Brilliant start and would read more if i wasnt on Spell's challenge myself. Check out a little of my entry and tell me what you think. as i say to everybody best of luck with the challenge but not too much luck as i am eyeing the 1st place ribbon.

Tue, May 22nd, 2012 12:04pm

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