“RUN!” the man shouted. “They're coming!”
“Who?” The woman demanded.
“The hunters, the visionary hunters.”
Genuine fear fell across the woman's face.
“Find a nurse! Take care of the child!” he told her.
“Very well.” the woman gazed at her large stomach.
Then she walked into the castle. Where the doctors were waiting.
When she was born, they called her beauty, her mother did, the nurses and doctors did, even the grumpy, old cat took a liking to her. As they all had stated, the child was indeed ravishing. Her small tufts of hair were thick, wavy, and blonde. Her eyes reflected the light of the blue morning sky. Her skin was the softest in all the kingdom, and many said it was the fairest too.
“My beauty!” her mother marveled.
“My sweet beautiful-” she seemed to think for a moment, as she looked up at the nurse.
“Sinala!” she closed her eyes beaming “her name is Sinala.”
“My dearest Sinala.” She held up the child, and the nurse lifted her from her mother's grasp.
“I’d better take her to the nursery, who knows what could be out there just waiting to break in.” The nurse glanced around the room with worry.
Suddenly the windows broke, and the visionary hunters surged in. When they saw the queen, one gripped her arm.
“You're the visionary! I can tell.” The leader announced, seizing her arm.
“She’s coming with us!” He hollered.
“No need.” the woman smiled. It was a sad smile. “I’m already weak. Already dying.”
“Oh?” The leader smirked.
The woman just closed her eyes.
“Yes,” She said softly, “Really.” She coughed, then looked up at the nurse.
“Treat… Treat her…” She sucked in a breath. “Treat her well.”
And with that, the fair queen breathed her last.
The hunters looked around for the infant. But the nurse had already started running. The baby was already remarkably far from their reach.
She was sinking, falling down through the bottomless sea, her golden hair flowing behind her like a flag. She knew the sea was bottomless because although she had had this dream on repeat for the past month, she had never even glimpsed the base. Not even once. Her head felt light and her lungs yearned for breath. She would not give in. She thrashed around in the liquid, tugging at the weight tied to her foot. It was stuck to her as if it were her own skin. Maybe it was. Her eyes burned and she closed them. Her lungs screamed and, finally giving in to the need for breath she inhaled. Only, she breathed in water.
Sinala awoke with a start. Her pillow was sprinkled with sweat and her lungs hurt. She had had this dream so many times, but her lungs had never hurt this much. She coughed and thought she saw water escaping her mouth, but she wasn't sure. She ran a hand through her hair and stopped short. It was wet. She jumped out of her bed and bolted to the bathroom.
Her blurry reflection in the mirror looked tired. No. She was tired. But Sinala knew that it was important for her to get up and get ready. She fumbled back to her room and found a dress. She couldn't see the color of it, however, because it was dark.
“Daddy!” she called as she stomped down the stairs.
“Daddy, I’m ready!”
Her father smiled, which made her want to smile.
“Ahh, there she is!” He walked towards her.
“Why is your hair so wet?” He asked running his fingers through his young daughter's hair.
“Your funny daddy!” his beautiful five-year-old daughter smiled.
“It’s always wet after I dream of the water.” She looked curiously up at her father's face. “Just like it is hot after I dream about the dessert. Everyone’s hair does that, you silly!”
Her father had stopped smiling.
“Sinala!” He was worried.
“W-what.” her dad’s sudden concern troubled her.
“You listen to me. You don’t tell ANYONE about your dreams. Not a soul. Bad things happen to those who people who dream this way.” he gazed off into the distance. “Bad things.”
“DADDY!” The child screamed. “DADDY LOOK OUT!”
The door had been broken open, a tall man now stood in the doorway. He was holding a gun.
“Which one of you is the visionary?” he demanded, he had a low, gruff voice.
“I am.” her father stood up. Sinala could tell he was lying. He was wearing that face.
“You're coming with me!” He jerked the man away from his little girl.
“Daddy. Where are you going?” The child looked up at him, she had fear in her eyes.
Her father's eyes also had fear in them. The fear was mixed with sadness and longing. When he looked at his daughter a single tear ran down her soft cheek.
“Let me say goodbye.” he pleaded.
“Whatever.” the man rolled his eyes as if to say, I don't have time for this!
Sinala’s father ran towards her. He started to whisper in her ear.
“Listen carefully! I have to leave for a while… a long while… but I need you to follow my instructions very carefully. I need you to run! Run as fast as you can-”
Sinala interrupted him,
“Like the gingerbread man?” she whispered in his ear.
“Yes! But listen! This is important! Don't turn back till you are knee-deep in snow. In the faraway ice town. There is a woman there who will help you.”
“Okay,” the man barked, sounding bored, “Lovey-dovey goodbye time is OVER!”
He started to drag Sinala’s father away.
“Don't forget!” her father shouted, “I love you!!!”
And then he threw her a small package.
“Don’t open it till the snow!” he was crying.
“Daddy! NO!! DON’T GO!” now she was crying.
“You are incandescent.” he simply said, and then he was gone. The angry man took him away.
Sinala has no idea what her father had meant by those words, but she held on to them nevertheless.
You are incandescent! She told herself.
You are incandescent.
You are incandescent. Tears streamed down her face,
You are incandescent.
You are incandescent.
She would never forget those three words.
The last three words her father had ever spoken to her.
It was getting cold, really cold. Sinala wanted to stop running. She wanted to lay down in the leaves and fall asleep. She so desperately wanted to sleep, but
Her father had told her to keep running until she was knee-deep in snow. She glanced around her surrounding landscape. There was no snow. Not even one single snowflake fell from the sky. I was just extraordinarily cold.
She trecked on, alone, in the cold.
Two hours later the first sign of snow reached Sinala’s tired eyes. There were small tiny flakes, they melted almost the instant they touched her cold skin. She rejoiced, thinking she was close. She was wrong.
Three hours. Still, barely snowing. Though it was a bit colder.
Four hours. It was so cold, Sinala wouldn't be surprised to discover that her feet had been frozen.
Five hours. Man, it was cold.
Six. the snow was getting deeper. Was that a good thing?
Seven. Ice. Freezing. Wind.
Once the tenth hour of the day had been reached, Sinala collapsed onto the cold, snowy ground. Her little body snuggled easily into the deep snow. It’s like a bed! She told herself. A very cold bed.
She slept. In the chilly snow. Unable to go farther.
It was warm. The heat was nice. It was scorching but after the freezing cold, it felt good. The desert sand was much warmer than the snow she had fallen asleep in. Sinala grabbed handfuls of the sand and buried herself in it. She never wanted to leave. Sinala liked the warmth of this dream. After about five minutes of laying there, she heard a strange noise. The sound was like a roar, getting louder as it came closer. Except that the roar didn't sound like an animal at all. her was some kind of horse - but it wasn't a horse. It looked like metal and plastic. It sure wasn't shaped like a horse either. Sitting atop the weird creature was a man. He was wearing a very brightly colored knight’s helmet. It was oddly shaped. When he reached Sinala he hopped off his roaring beat and tore off his helmet. “What is a small child like you doing out here?” he asked her. His voice and a strange accent to it. Everything about him was strange. “Sir knight, What sort of horse do you mount?” she glanced at the peculiar creature. “Uhhhh.” he looked worried for the child. “This isn't a horse, and I am not a knight.” The man walked closer to her. “Than what is it!” The child cried. “And why do you wear a helmet?” she backed away from the man, who abruptly stopped walking. “This? This is an ATV.” He pointed at his vehicle. “An Ay tea vee? I've never heard of such a beast!” Sinala stumbled over the strange words. The man just kept on talking, “And I wear a helmet for safety on it. Young girl, are you lost?” he looked concerned. “No!” She shouted. “This is my dream!” She laughed. “Dream?” now the man laughed. “This is no dream!” Sinala looked at him confused. “But I fell asleep in the snow. Now I am here. In my dream.” She just sat down. The man looked at her, in a weird way. Then he said, “Hop on the four-wheeler, let's try to find your parents.” “The what?” Sinala replied. The man gestured to the odd beast he rode. “Me! Get on THAT?” Sinala did not like this dream. “Why not?” The man grinned at her. “Because!” She shouted and pointed her little chin to the sky. “Just because.” she stomped once. Then twice. Then a third time. “Just trust me.” the man did seem trustworthy, and after all, this was just a dream. “Oh! Okay.” She grumped towards the Ay tea vee. When she reached Sinala looked at it dubiously. Then she cautiously hopped up onto the weird creature. It roared. Then she was off. Flying through the dunes of sand. She closed her eyes. The wind felt good on her face. “So what do your parents look like?” The man asked. Sinala looked at him. He stopped the animal. “What's amiss?” His eyebrows creased. He must have seen her saddened expression. “I don't have any-” Sinala choked back her tears, “parents. They-” a tear fell down her burning face. “They are both dead.” She sputtered out, even though she did not know for sure her father was dead. His captor did have a gun after all! The man's smiling face fell. “You poor dear!” he gasped. “Well, in that case, I guess I’ll just have to-” He didn't finish his sentence though, for Sinala was waking up. Her back felt the weight of hands. Warm hands. “Goodbye strange dream man!” She called to him. He looked befuddled. “Why are you shimmering so? Where are you going?” But she was already awake.
When she opened her eyes she was no longer lying in the snow. No. She was in a house. A warm house. There was a lady who was sitting next to a foggy window, gazing off into the distance. When the woman saw Sinala awake she cried out,
“Good heavens! You are alive!”
“Why would I not be?” Sinala questioned.
“Well, I found you in a patch of grass! Yes, and surrounding you was snow. But no snow was on you!” the woman looked perplexed.
“Oh! Well, that’s because I was in the desert. It was awfully hot there!” Sinala stammered. Then she remembered what her dad told her. She should not tell anyone about how she dreamt.
“The dessert. Hmmm.” The woman looked at the child confused, then her expression changed to delight. “Are you Galand's little girl?” She looked down at the little child. The girl sure looked like his child.
“Why! Yes, I am!” the kid beamed.
“He told me about you!” The lady sat down beside her. “I am his older sister! Your aunt!”
“Yes. your aunt.”
The child gazed at the floor as if she were a marble statue, unable to move. The only sign that the girl could move was the tears, and the slight shaking. She looked up at her aunt, there were tears streaking down her soft face. she turned to the window. Then she spoke.
“Will you look after me?” the child gazed off into the distance. Teary eyed.
“Oh… I'm sure your father can do that!” She rubbed the child's hair. It was soft, and blonde, like her mother’s.
The little girl, Sinala the aunt thought her name was, started to cry.
“What in the world is wrong child!” the girl’s aunt grabbed Sinala’s soldiers.
“Daddy is gone! The man with the big shiny gun took him away!” She cried harder.
Sianla watched her aunts face fall, a single tear made its path down her face. She looked just about to cry. Then noticing the child staring at her, sniffing, she smiled, it was not a particularly happy smile.
“Oh dear! Then, of course, I’ll take you in!” The woman hugged the shaking child.
Then her kind aunt started to cry too.
Her brother had been taken.
“You are incandescent,” Sinala whispered through her tears.
“You are incandescent.”
“You are incandescent.”
“What?” The woman looked at the poor child.
“He told me that. Before-” She broke into tears once more. “What does it mean?” She looked up hopefully at her aunt.
“It means, you are passionate and brilliant. That you glow. That you are beautiful. The perfect word to describe you.”
They sat there for a moment. Then the child spoke.
“He gave me a package.” She said, “We should open it.”
She pulled a small, wrinkled, paper package from her pocket and set it on the bed. Then, like a child at Christmas Time, she opened her treasure with haste. When all the paper had all torn away. Sinala pulled out her treasures. There were a locket and a note. Being only five, the child could not read the note, not well anyway. She tossed it to her aunt and picked up the locket.
“Auntie? What is this?” The child pointed to her necklace.
“That, my dear, is a locket!” the woman beamed at her. “You can open it!”
“Open it?” the child looked at her aunt with delight.
“Yes, watch me.” Her loving aunt took the locket out of the child’s miniature hands. She then gently pushed in a small silver piece on the golden necklace. There was a click, and the heart-shaped body of the artifact opened up into two symmetrical pieces. Inside the pretty chain was an image, a picture where two young, and ravishing, people stood wearing crowns. It was the child’s parents, on their coronation day, if the aunt’s old mind remembered properly. Etched onto the metal above the image was a phrase, You are incandescent.
The old woman slowly handed the child the golden jewelry. When her palms touched the smooth surface of the heart-shaped charm her eyes widened and she spoke.
“It’s daddy!” she exclaimed. Then her brows creased, “Who’s the woman who stands next to him?” She looked up at her aunt who looked sorry for the girl.
“That, that is your mother.” She sighed.
“She is very beautiful.”
“Yes, yes she is. Just like you!”
The child shifted her feet. Her aunt looked down into her bright blue eyes.
“I’m not that pretty!” The child burst out.
“Oh yes, you are.” Her aunt’s tone was almost stern but mostly playful.
The girl was blushing, she was embarrassed. Her golden hair was long, and covered her crimson face when she looked down at the shiny floor.
“I think,” her kind aunt changed the oh-so-embarrassing subject. “You might need to eat some food.”
She was hungry.
“Yes please!” she clasped the locket shut, and hung it around her neck before following her aunt into the warm kitchen.