The bed is hard, and my head aches as sleep leaves me.
A groan escapes my lips.
I can’t remember who I am, or how I got here.
My heart beats quickly as fear takes hold of me.
Then I take a deep breath and clear my thoughts to push aside the fear.
I sit up slowly, and find a large room with five beds, all empty except for mine.
There’s a young girl at the far end of the room.
She offers me a drink of water, but avoids looking me in the eyes.
“Are you all … Read more
Waiting for the Storm
I wake early today, before first sun, and walk onto the deck.
The ocean calms me, and I forget myself as I watch the waves far below.
Another clear day.
Unusual weather for this time of year, the season of violent lightstorms.
I find myself strangely disappointed with the clear weather.
A storm would fit better with the way I feel inside.
Shazira and I sleep in the same room, but most of the time, I still avoid her.
I’m a ghost, caught between worlds, haunted by the dead and the living.
My old life … Read more
Shazira sits next to me as the ship returns to Siksa.
We’re quiet, and our spirits rest, together.
Dilasa sits on the other side of Shazira, and looks troubled.
She turns toward me, and I sense her mind touch, and her fear.
“How do we stop the Spiral, ina?”
“Don’t you need a plan?”
I have no plan, and no words to answer her yet.
I gently squeeze Dilasa’s small hand, touch it to my cheek, and look at her.
Shazira feels Dilasa’s fear, and looks at my calm eyes.
Then she takes Dilasa’s hand, and mine, … Read more
A New Vision
I have no flesh, but I still taste the sweet light of the sun.
The sun’s energy fills me with great waves of color, and the rhythms of the energy’s ebb and flow come to me as music.
The sparks of my strength rise into a great fire, and the Feldin glow grows brighter and brighter, until the last of the energy venom burns away.
The Heelu bathe in my glow, their bodies dancing in the air.
Bursts of color stream between us, and the Heelu shine.
An image calls to me.
An endless space filled … Read more
Wisten and I walk together, while Makish and the others move among the crowd.
On Siksa, we no longer celebrate Sindar’s day, but here, on Sinesu, it’s the happiest day of the year.
The town square is filled with every type of food and entertainment.
We wander from place to place, enjoying the dance, song, and storytelling.
The clothing and the buildings surround us with a rich sea of color, too bright for everyday life.
On Sindar’s day, no one would dare dress their buildings in white, black, or grey.
The Jiku wear new jewelry and clothing, and … Read more
We walk together on the mountain, enjoying the cool breeze.
Berek stops and looks confused when I remove his energy shield.
“Why did you dissolve the shield, ina?” he asks.
“I can’t fly without it.”
“Your next practice will be without a shield, but you won’t be doing much flying.”
I take him up five hundred feet.
“When I release you, let yourself fall for five seconds.”
“Connect to the web to stop your fall.”
“Hover in place for a few seconds, but don’t move.”
“Then rise to where you started.”
“Disconnect, count to five as … Read more
The brief contact with the Jiku sphere of mirrors takes my strength.
I feel the smooth stone under my Jiku body, as my awareness returns to the marketplace, but only for a moment, just before I collapse.
I sleep, but without peace.
A vision comes and takes me.
I fly quickly through endless, empty silver skies — no worlds, no life.
In the vision I have no strength, but something carries me, keep me always in motion.
I see nothing, but I know that I’m not alone.
“Show yourself,” I shout to the empty world.
The world … Read more
Voice of the Storm
I sit quietly on an island and watch the waves and the clouds in the distance.
My perch is a ring of small hills, covered in green and flowers.
I learned of the island from the old ones.
It reminds me of the sacred hills in Tshuan, though the hills here are much smaller.
We are far from Tshuan, but long ago the kings would send their children here.
Age eleven is called the age of will.
At this age, a Jiku child can declare her desire to enter the guilds.
The Jiku believe … Read more