Rise of Nightbreeze

Submitted into Contest #137 in response to: Write a story about someone forced out of their home.... view prompt

3 comments

Fantasy

It started with a hum.

The dawn was coming, and she thought it would be the perfect chance to practice her newest creation. A simple hum. One simple gesture. A way with sound, a wave of fingers, and an ember floated down to the earth below her feet. Lighting the grass on fire before being snuffed out by her bare foot. She giggled at the sting before she hummed again, focusing on her fingers and watching as more embers rained down from her fingers. Littering the ground like fresh rain, sizzling on the dewdrops. But it did not sizzle one ember out.

One ember remained, and she hummed another tone, and it grew. It grew and sparked again and lit a flower on fire. That flower lit another until a burning circle of flowers surrounded her. She hummed more, and the fire danced around her. She spun, giggling as the blaze spun as well, spreading outward and then whirling backwards. But every time it spun outwards, it caught more on fire. The fire spread until it reached the first cabin.

The screams hit her ears first, and she froze in her dance, hushing out the flames before the crowd came storming up to her. But she hadn’t seen the blaze before it was too late. It had spread and now they were going to blame her, because it was always her fault.

“Get out!” A shaky voice screamed out, pushing her slim figure down to the ground. The village was a mess. The elves were running as their homes burned. She got off the ground, pushing herself up slowly as she blinked confused and sad eyes at the elder who had pushed her. “This is all your fault. I never should have let you stay. You’ve brought doom to us all.” With that, the elder turned and fled with the rest of the elves, leaving the lone girl to fend for herself in the middle of the carnage.

Mindlessly, she turned and walked through the village. People who she had once seen as her friends pushed her back to the ground as they ran past her. Turning to spit at her, or scream at her. She could hear all of them, but no emotion came from her. No sound, even as her knee scrapped across rocks and sticks on the ground. Blood would blood, and she would pick herself back up again, continuing on her way.

She finally found herself in a clearing outside of the village gates. Originally, filled with flowers, berry bushes, and blooming trees. Now filled with nothing but ghosts. It was a graveyard, turned into a memorial space.

She stopped in the center, looking up at the starry night sky, glistening and glowing on the clear night. Her hair blew across her face, and she did not bother to move it. Why bother? She was losing everything that she had. Her life was being pulled from her and she could say nothing to prevent these events. They were already in motion from the rising of the sun. 

A fire that had been just a small ember at dawn spread as it followed the sun across the sky. The flames igniting the oak trees of the Vashta forest, and cutting through them as easy as the wind through an open field. The heat from the blaze turned the ground to ash, seeping into the ground while melting any flowers or bushes it touched on the way down. 

“You’ll never belonged here.” A voice echoed through the smoke as tears streamed down her face. The voice was right. She had never belonged there. Not since that day in the ruins. She had been only a child, but something had changed her life since then. The two amethyst-colored scars on her lower arms, shaped like skeletal hands, marked her as something unnatural. 

“You’re a monster!” No, she was not. She was just like them. She had been barely old enough to speak a spell, and they were calling her a monster. It was like they had only been waiting for her to find that tomb, to go out and find trouble. No one had stopped an innocent girl from venturing into the unknown, no one bothered to save her. 

“I wish you had just died with your parents!” She did as well. It would have made it better for everyone if she had just been another body to count. She had not died. She had survived, and they had raised her to be this. 

Yes. It was their fault she was this way. They had not stopped her from venturing out of the village and into the dark woods of Vashta. The people of the village had encouraged it, even. Had told her to find her own path in life, so she had. That tomb had books she had never seen, spells she had never heard of. She had learned so much that day, even if she ended up scared and labeled a monster for the knowledge. It had been worth it. 

For she had knowledge that rivaled even the top mages of her village. 

“I am Anyanka Nightbreeze of the Vashta Forest. A shadow walker, expert in the blaze, and seer of stars. I call to thee, oh Great One of Night. Lend me your dreams…” She held her arms up to the sky as she spoke, a grin spreading across her face. Manic. Her eyes catching the flames and dancing with mirth. They were normally a grassy green color, like all her elvish brethren, but tonight they were the same amethyst color of her scars. “I am your vassal. I shall spread your name and song across this land. Let them fear your name, let them dread your return. For it shall be glorious.”

She was embracing her destiny. 

She was fulfilling her fate. 

The Great One would awaken from his deep sleep, and she would stand at his side as he drowned the world in endless flames. 

March 14, 2022 17:55

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3 comments

Michał Przywara
16:14 Mar 19, 2022

I really like the sudden, dramatic shift in tone. When the story starts we can actually feel the simple, innocent joy Nightbreeze feels, as she's just a kid playing. She's oblivious to the very real damage she's causing. Her blaming everyone else for her problems and turning to darkness and destruction is a familiar villain origin story, but I like that it's tempered with her own reflections on how she just wanted to belong.

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Ravea La George
18:15 Mar 19, 2022

Thank you for the wonderful comment! This has just made my day.

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Susannah Meghans
18:18 Mar 19, 2022

Nice twist at the end, embracing revenge!

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