Dust in the Wind - Part One
While there wasn't much light, Buba could still tell his new cellmate was a woman. Her shapely form was visible in the shadows of the confined, unfurnished hole in the ground and he couldn't help but feel a little embarrassed. Politeness bested him though and he murmured, "Hello," once the barred-door slammed shut and locked.
As the guards' footsteps became weaker and weaker with distance, the woman stepped a little closer. The only light, coming from the hall outside the cell, hit her from behind and it was near impossible for Buba to make out any features though she was definitely checking him out rather thoroughly. It gave him pause, for there really wasn't enough light in here for her to see much of him either. So what was she looking at?
"Benjamin?" Her voice was angelic to his ears. Never before had he heard such a beautiful sound speak his name. And not that silly little nickname, either. She used his full name. "Benjamin Bleu?" Yes, that is me, Buba thought. I am Benjamin Bleu and you must be the angel of death, here to take me to the afterlife. Should I be blaming Brand or thanking him? "Benjamin Bufford Bleu?" And other thing, how did she know my name? This might very well be an angel here to rescue me, or some trick from that evil little monster.
It dawned on him she wanted a response. "Yes?"
This strange woman, with her wonderful voice, took another step toward Buba then knelt down in front of him. Her knee brushed against Buba's leg, causing him to shiver faintly. Naturally she under-estimated his size and it really was dim, more than likely an honest mistake. But that would mean she really couldn't see him, so what was she looking at so intensely?
"I'm Lisya," she said. Buba resisted the urge to speak it aloud, to see how it formed on his lips. "You probably don't know me, but you know someone I've very close to, I'm sure."
"Adara? Do you know her?"
"Adara? Oh, Adara. The one in charge of the camp we were in."
That gave Lisya a moment's hesitation. Buba wondered if he'd said something wrong. It wasn't his intention to say the wrong thing. Right now he wanted this woman of grace to be on his side.
"That's right, you were the one with least contact with her. They've been looking for you, you know? What happened?"
As Buba explained how he had no idea what happened, he couldn't help but think of how much strength she seemed to possess. Her words were spoken with authority that matched her graceful movements and angelic voice ever more powerfully. Without even being able to see the feature of her no doubt perfect face, he knew she was a woman of far surpassing amazing wonder than he'd ever met before. Despite all efforts to refrain from smiling, his lips curved into the goofiest smile as he finished his recap of events. Thank goodness for unjust captors who keep their prisoners in the dark.
"She, Chrava, probably used a sleepwalking mind-spell on you. That would make the most sense. Do you feel all right now? I have no doubt she released you fully from it, but one never can tell with these psychos."
"I'm fine," said Buba. "Uh, what's a sleep mind-thingie?"
Lisya chuckled softly and Buba's heart melted. "Sleepwalking mind-spell. She has strong telepathic powers. Her powers are stronger than anyone ever born in this land, as a matter of a fact," She paused for a moment and tilted her head slightly to the side. Buba's heart started to pound a little harder. What does she see? Does she know? "So... Adara informed me you were the most open of the group and would probably be targeted. I really wasn't supposed to meet you like this, but you are very lucky I was still in town. I was actually about to leave to return to the camp and meet you all."
"Very lucky," Buba echoed. He couldn't take his eyes off this shadowy woman, but there was a fear tugging at his heart. Sure, he'd had crushes on many women before but none of them had ever known it. Still, he couldn't shake the feeling this one might be able to tell. What would he do then?
"You're pretty laconic, aren't you?"
"Hungry?" He had no idea what laconic meant, so he changed the subject.
A soft sigh escaped Lisya's lips, but never reached Buba's ears. "I know," she said. "But the odds aren't good that we'll be fed here very much, if at all."
"No, no." Buba reached into his pocket and pulled out half a chocolate bar and held it out. "Here."
When she reached out to take the chocolate, her fingers slid across the palm of his hand and he nearly fainted. The softness of her touch was unbearably irresistible to him. As he tried to get control of himself, he heard Lisya unwrap the chocolate. "What in the world..." she murmured. "What is this?" She asked.
"What? It's a chocolate bar. You never had chocolate before?"
"Not only have I never had chocolate, I've never even heard of it. I must stay, Ben-- it's all right if I call you Ben, right? I must say, Ben, you just might be an angel dropped from the heavens baring gifts from above."
Buba didn't reply. All he could do was sit there in the dark, damp cell, fiddle with the hay underneath him and grin at Lisya like a silly little schoolboy with a crush on his teacher.
"Death is but a doorway to a new realm of existence."
"Sure, if you want to leave the current realm of existence," Megan said. She rubbed the back of her weary neck and sighed. "You are pushing this supposed alternate life form very hard, Adara. I can understand that. But, without some witty remark like 'Just because I know', how do you know this 'realm of existence' truly does exist?"
"I know it exists because I can see it."
Well, that was not the answer Megan was expecting. "You can see it? So, like, what? You see spirits flying all around you everywhere you look?"
"No. Well, not exactly. I am unique in this world. Or I should say my sisters and I are unique in this world. We have far superior attunement to basically every aspect of life and death and everything in between. Are abilities, however, are abilities spread out through hundreds of thousands of people. We are, if you will, the ultimate human creation. If you took everyone in the world with special powers and merged them... we would be the result."
"What purpose does this serve?"
"One human isn't capable of holding all the power we hold. If they did, they would surely go insane. Therefore, the powers are spread out and the people must learn to work together to get the most out of them."
"In other words, there are people in this world that have the ability to see into this alternate realm of existence. This world within a world that contains the dead?"
Adara nodded her head. It was a slight gesture, but the more time they spent together, the more Megan had found she was able to pickup in terms of Adara's movements.
"When you die, will we still be able to contact you?"
"No, Megan. When I die, I will be gone from this world in all ways. It is my..." Adara hesitated, a small hesitation that echoed rather loudly in Megan's mind, "It's my destiny. I will pass from this world and no longer exist in any form."
"I don't understand. Why would you, of all people, be removed completely from the grand scheme of the world?"
"You don't realize how old I am, for one. I've been here since the creation of the world. I've walked among the people and taught them. I've fought with my sisters for balance and power since the first man was given life. For countless ages I've passed through history, unchanged. My duty has always been the same: protect the side of good, promote the side of good, and above all prepare for the final act of emergence."
"Megan, you ask many questions but are you truly asking the right questions? What will this knowledge do to help you, when your help will be required? All of this I am telling you will come to pass. Nothing can stop it; nothing can change it. It will happen and you will witness it. There is no need for me to tell you everything before it happens."
"What if it's our destiny to change it and you don't know that?"
"I've seen your destiny Megan. You three will have absolutely no change on the outcome of this world's final hours."
"No change, but we will be involved."
Megan lowered her head. Days had passed, weeks even. She couldn't be sure how long she'd been here with Adara. All she knew was that the sun rose and the sun fell. Day after day merged into one continuous day with various lightning moods. She ate, she talked, she slept; or so she thought. The more she tried to think of eating and sleeping, the harder it was for her to remember actually doing that. But her mind was alert; her body was only strained slightly from sitting for long periods of time and just talking. No pangs of hungry ever bothered her, so she had to have been eating.
She looked back to Adara. This strange, strange woman was preparing her for the death of a great leader. Adara claimed to be around since the beginning of life on this world. How hard would her death be on such a world that had literally been formed around her? There was no way such a powerful loss wouldn't shake the foundation of life on this world to the very core. Was Adara trying to teach Megan how to speak to the dead? Was that her ultimate goal here? Why couldn't she just tell Megan what she needed to learn? So many side-roads, barely skimming the surface of the information that was truly being sought after. Still, Megan soothed her patience and remained at ease, for the moment.
"How can one such as myself learn to see this realm of the dead?"
"You cannot, Megan. You don't have the power within you therefore you will never be able to contact the dead."
"Then why am I here?"
The answer to the question sent a cold chill through Megan's spine.To be continued...