Window to the Soul

JP with Cindy, Winteroak, and White_Caribou

You ride into the warm day of the mountains putting considerable distance between you and the Kumik village. Each mile you ride feels like a chasm is opening between Islana and her life and friends. With every passing hour you wonder if you will ever return. If you will ever see your friends again.

Later in the day the group camps below a outstretched ledge and settles for the night.

Three days from now Shalia Nix is to meet the emissary of the Ozainae.

The dark haired woman watched intently as one of the Aghul set up the small fire. Her eyes flickered to Islana seated next to her picking at some dried berries, then back to him.

She only knew two names of the men with her. This man and Ryul had been talking vulgarly behind them about Islana. Berating these types for it now would be pointless--even Shalia herself wasn’t immune to being the target of similar conversations among the Odonine. No use wasting breath. Even if her efforts to threaten some respect into them were usually in vain, peppering her comments with jeers and subtle humiliation was still enjoyable. The only victory she could truly have over them without the looming presence of magik. Making clansmen helplessly boil in their own skin when she could. Having a voice and rubbing it in. Though, she knew when to exercise restraint and shut her mouth.

“Bloody war dogs have more manners when it comes to women,” she sneered aloud in Helian.

They would not come into contact with the redhead as long as she remained close to Shalia. If she had any common sense in that pretty head of hers, she’d pay very close attention to proximity.

“It would benefit you a great deal to stay at my side. They know not to touch what is mine.” She looked to the woman next to her and studied the face for a moment. "Show me your power," she quietly demanded with a spark of eagerness in her eyes. She had waited long enough and the anticipation was eating at her.

Islana spent most of the quiet during the day thinking of her friends and the distance between them that just grew more and more. Any conversation gave a reprieve to that and she managed to hide her feelings well.

Knowing she needed to eat but not having much of an appetite left her with doing a lot of picking at her food before deciding to eat any of it.

The looks , towards her, from the men with group sent memories of Lord Vasant back towards her. She knew what they wanted.

When Shalia mentioned in a sense that she was what was standing between Islana and the men, the young woman nodded. It was understood, more so than the dark haired woman could possibly know. There was definitely a willingness to show Shalia her magik beyond the order.

"We'll need to move a little away from the fire."

Animals tended to stay away from the hot flames so it would have been much more difficult to do there. Islana was exhausted but she had used ability before in this state and it had always worked.

The redhead got up and moved a little closer to the trees. Once the dark haired woman was with her, Islana made sure to face her as her eyes were important for the full effect

Eyes closed, taking a few deep breaths, her right arm reached out and she reopened her eyes.

Kaithak, come to me.

Her eyes flashed as if green lightning had shot from them.

The falcon flew out from the trees and landed on Islana's arm.

"This is Kaithak, my falcon." Then showing another indication that the owner - slave dynamic was understood added, "I suppose though that makes him yours."

Islana voice was clearly nervous as she spoke, being unsure what was going to happen next. There was a part of her terrified the falcon would be taken away from her, but knowing Islana's power meant Shalia would probably notice a falcon following them. Now it was just to wait to see what the dark haired woman had to say about it.

The flash in her eyes was bright and powerful which captivated Shalia immediately. This was undoubtedly magikal, and with the air that now hung invisibly between them, it felt like it too. A heaviness buzzed there silently like a hive of angry bees, completely unfelt in other areas of the camp. Sunset began to drift away as they stood there.

Had Islana felt this same energy exchanged when Shalia froze her arm, not thinking anything of it? Brushed off as a change of elevation or the weather? Shalia would have done the same. It was indescribable and easy to miss if you had other distraction. Now it was only her and Islana, two witches witnessing their power together.

What was this? She stood awestruck both at the sight of the falcon, her eyes, and the strange feeling. Shalia couldn’t hold back the tears brimming in her eyes now--not sad or happy or frightened but they formed regardless. This meeting felt strange. New. Alarming yet yielding comfort she had yearned for for years. Full of the unknown. Her entire life now was finding answers to the question of magik, and from the look of things, she was close to taking one more step in her understanding.

The woman's voice after she introduced the falcon was muffled when all of Shalia's attention shifted. Her words fell out so fast that Islana's were nearly cut off.

“Did you feel that when I touched you? That…weight? I felt it the moment you opened your eyes.” She said in a shaken whisper, not sure how to explain it. Nothing else filled her head. Without realizing, she stepped closer, a movement that made Islana flinch.

Islana watched for the other woman's reaction. There was something there, in the air, but the redhead didn't know what to say about it.

Thinking back, had she felt the same thing with Omen or the old woman that was part of the Ash Hooves? Yes, she supposed it had been there both times but easy to write off as nervousness or excitement of the moment.

The tears in Shalia's eyes were noticeable but Islana didn't comment on them. This was so different than telling Alexis. Not just that the other woman was also a magik user but also the power she had over Islana.

"Yes, I felt.." trying to come up with the words,"not a heaviness but an energy between us. Not just when you touched me but also when you entered the village. I had thought it was just the excitement that seemed to be going through the village at the time."

When Shalia moved forward, Islana instinctively flinched and started to move back. There were many reasons for this but the main one was sitting on her arm. Begging always ended badly with her last owner so Islana was trying to avoid that scenario but the words seem to fall from her mouth on their own.

"Please don't take him away from me." Her head turned towards the falcon clearly indicating that's what she meant.

It was a kind of haunting pain to feel like she had lost almost everything, again. Her words, gestures, and tone all indicated something more deeply rooted than what had happened in the past few days. It was like she was falling all over again.

< Prev : Aftermath Winding Down Next > : The Embrace of Oblivion and Gods