Another little story for you to enjoy. 🙂
The sand trickled through my fingers. A sudden gust of wind whipped it up into a blinding dust, flapping my dress around me, cracking it against my legs.
I stood, and looked to where the wind was blowing. It twisted the airborne sand into a spiral, pointing the way I should go.
My bare feet barely felt the heat of the sand as I walked. The skin was so thick and calloused that feeling was a distant memory.
The sand rose up in a small hill. I stood at the top and looked down onto the oasis below. The magic never failed.
Standing in the valley it was cooler. The trees gave some shelter, and the water beneath them added much-needed humidity to the air. I took a deep breath in, then waded into the clear blue water.
My dress soaked it up, floating around me, and I spread my arms out, closing my eyes to fully take in the power of this place.
A slight breeze lifted the broad green leaves above me, bringing cool relief to my damp skin.
I swam back to the shore, and sat on the sand for a while, letting the power of the sun dry the water from me. All things are recycled in this life, water is just one of them.
The scream of the large-winged Mountain Bird pierced the silence. It wheeled above me, cutting dark circles in the bright blue. What was it doing here?
I sat up and watched, eyes narrowed. The bird got larger, falling to earth on graceful wings. It landed at the water’s edge opposite me. I expected it to drink, but instead it stared at me with bright green eyes.
This was no true bird. This was Amal, the shape shifter. He had found me.
I stood up, keeping my gaze locked on him. My dress was almost dry, but parts of it still clung to my body. As I watched him, his stare became fuzzy, the outline of his body blurred and shifted.
My stance was deceptive. I was ready for an attack, ready to defend myself.
I blinked and the process was complete. Where a bird once stood, now a man did. A handsome man of the Higher Tribes. But he did not fool me. I knew what he was.
He began to walk around the pool. I did not back away, instead stayed rooted to the spot, refusing to show him my fear.
He held a hand up, as if to touch my face. I made my body stay still. The skin of his hand felt smooth as it touched mine. I was ready for his attack.
“Mara, you are as pretty as ever,” he said. On the last word, sharp teeth flashed in his mouth.
Power raged from my belly. I threw it out at him. A blinding blue light filled my vision as the ground left my feet. Wings stretched out in wide arcs, cutting through the bright blue sky.