I’m frozen, as I stare at the red eyes of the approaching Krale, a vicious expression on its hard stone face.
This time, facing the Krale, Berek finds his voice, and screams an inhuman scream.
The sound wakes me from my fear and paralysis.
I feel a storm inside me, wild energy flashing within me like lightning, but it can’t get out.
I’m holding it back.
I’ve always held back the storm.
It’s never been safe to let it go free.
Everything would change.
I have to protect Berek, so I let go, and stop resisting the power … Read more
Tzina and I approach the Blue Room, the room of art, music, and story.
She stops and turns to me.
“Ina, your tests are in a few hours.”
“Shouldn’t you be practicing?”
“I’m done with practice, Tzina.”
“Tell me about your friend Berek.”
“Ina,” she says, “I shouldn’t have mentioned him to you.”
“Oodah will be furious if I bring you to him.”
“She doesn’t want you to meet him before the tests.”
“I’ve been curious about Berek since you told me that he loves the storms.”
“Then I met his parents, who acted strange and angry around … Read more
Fear of Travelers
The day of the tests is here.
Shazira and I dance the greeting early, finishing by first light.
“I need to feel the sky,” I tell her.
“Then, we’ll spend the morning together.”
I rise high in the sky, close my physical eyes, and open all of myself to the world of energy.
I see the energy web sparkle all around me, as the sun’s light grows stronger and stronger, and I hear the ebb and flow of the web as it greets the sun.
The web dances its own greeting to the new day.… Read more
I watch the drifting clouds through the window of the cafe, barely aware of Shazira near me.
The food is long finished, but still, we sit.
There is little talk, with our heads full of the coming test.
Tzina comes running in to find us, more excited than I’ve ever seen her.
“He’s here, ina.”
Balshown has come to the Watchtower to meet my family.
He’s the oldest master in the guilds, and the most powerful.
There are many stories about him, but only he knows where truth ends, and fiction begins.
Shazira is nervous about … Read more
Fear and Exile
The air is filled with sound today, a strange hum.
I mention it to Shazira when she wakes, but she hears nothing.
The sound waits in the background during the greeting.
Then it follows me around the Watchtower as I get ready for the day.
It’s a pleasant companion, not dark or grim, but so far, only for my ears.
I tell Balshown about it when I reach his house.
He closes his eyes and listens intently.
“I hear nothing,Yagrin, but I see a strange pattern of energy pulsing around you.”
“Drifting through your energy … Read more
Hiding from the Energy Web
Keela and I land on a high hill, its sides covered in blue and yellow wildflowers.
A few small houses cover the top of the hill, surrounded by a high wall.
The houses and the wall are decorated with the royal symbol, in dark blue and gold.
“This is the royal camp,” she says.
“That’s what it’s always been called.”
“Our ancestors came to this area as an army, after a war, and the surviving leaders camped here.”
“In many ways we are still an army.”
There are guards everywhere.
Heavily … Read more
The rain surrounds me as I fly, but doesn’t touch me.
I reach Balshown before first light, and we dance the greeting together.
“The guild will waste my morning,” he says, as he prepares breakfast.
“Come back for a few hours in the late afternoon.”
“What do they want with you?”
He turns and looks in my eyes.
Balshown hides little from me.
“They want to hear about your training.”
“What will you say?”
“I’ll tell them what they expect to hear, that I’ve been following their orders.”
“They told me to teach you little, sabotage your efforts, … Read more
Blood and Light
A high-pitched child’s scream fills the marketplace, and people yell for a healer.
The market woman looks around in fear.
Her young daughter gone.
She runs toward the source of the scream, and I follow.
A crowd circles a booth that sells sharp metal tools, and long knives.
The girl has fallen against a knife, and cut her upper arm half off.
The artery squirts blood all around, and the arm hangs limp, as bones, muscles, and nerves are all cut.
The bleeding must be stopped soon, or the girl will bleed to death.
The arm … Read more
I open my eyes two hours before first light, surrounded by the sweet quiet, as the whole world sleeps.
Today I’ll dance the greeting early, before Shazira even wakes, and leave before it’s light.
Shazira seems so sad the last few days, and so distant.
She tries to hide her feelings from me, even though the bond makes that impossible.
She is sure I will fail the tests, and the council will force us to separate.
I tell her that Balshown gives me his full help, and enjoys our time together.
She is surprised, but the sadness … Read more
I love high cliffs that rise at the edge of the sea.
The sea far below fills my eyes as the wind blows around me.
Today’s lesson and practice centers on binding things together.
Not with rope or glue or nails, but with energy.
Weavers bind objects together, through subtle changes to the energy patterns of the objects.
Today’s challenge is to bind opposites, to combine two things together which destroy each other.
I pull energy from the energy web, and bind it upon itself until it takes physical form.
I’m clumsy at this, and I only know … Read more