Crystal Paths

The Last Vision
I wake in the tower to the sound of Dilasa’s screams.
Shazira is up and holding her.

For a moment, half-asleep, I wonder why Dilasa is with us in the Dreaming Room.
Only the guardians sleep here.
Their children stay with relatives, or sleep in the common rooms of the tower, like any visitors.
The tower is quiet at night, with few visitors, and plenty of space.

Then I remember.
The world has changed, and those quiet nights are gone.
The madness is everywhere, brought on by the damaged web.
Guild members are protected with mind … Read more

Caves of Dreams

Wild Child
Dilasa has a scowl on her face as we walk out of the council hall.
“They’re not wise or brave, ina,” says Dilasa, spreading her arms wide.
“Why do you follow them?”

“They’re the council, Dilasa, the leaders of the guilds, not some random group of Jiku.”
“Can’t you listen quietly for a few minutes, even when you disagree?”
“You acted like a child in there.”

“I am a child,” she answers softly.
“I’m only six years old.”

Challenging the Guilds

Mind Weavers
I find it easy to locate Jiku over twenty years old with Bizra eyes, even half a world away.
They have a unique energy.
The energy is more chaotic in children and harder to find.
Besides, it’s extremely rare to find young ones with Bizra eyes that have the mental strength to be Mind Weavers.

There are thirty-nine adults.
Dilasa flies with me, as we visit them all, in secret.
Many are tied up, restrained by their friends or family to keep them from harming themselves or others.
These women suffer from the web’s sickness more than … Read more

Waking the Council

Forgotten Memories
Shazira and I take back the tower at first light from Berek’s parents.
In the heart of the summer, even the night brings no relief from the heat.
Dark clouds cover us, and the air is thick with humidity.
The lightning storms will reach us soon.

We dance the greeting to the sun, and then the four of us sit together in the Dreaming Room for a private breakfast.
There are always visitors in the tower, and my words are not for them.
The three children join us, but sit at another table, ten feet away.
I … Read more

Fading Light

The world rejects us, as we hover in the sky above the city.
Lightning, thunder and rain are everywhere.
The storm tries to crush us, and take us down.

Dilasa grabs hold of me, frightened by the raw energy.
“We’re safe little one,” I tell her, “as long as we stay within my shield.”

She still holds me tightly, pretending to be an ordinary little girl.
I see past the fear, and remember the one who calls down the strength of the stars.
A few days ago, she was covered in courage, and saved me from the Spiral.… Read more