The dark angry clouds rolled across the sky covering everything in their shadows. They hung so low to the ground that it seemed like one could touch them if they only reached up. The wind that had been constantly blowing came to a halt as the last rays of sun were covered by the dark clouds. In the stillness that followed darkness engulfed the land. With everything bathed in the darkness the clouds nothing looked the same. Trees that had stood so tall and beautiful above the earth had turned into looming nightmares. Beautiful pools of water that had been so full of life and light were now dark bottomless pits. All was still. All was silent.
A soft rumble filled the air and the clouds in the distance descended down onto the earth. The wall of water swept across the land soaking everything and anyone in its path. Drops of rain hit the ground with such force that it stung. Wind stronger than before swept through the earth. It’s powerful force caused the trees to bow toward the earth and the rain to pelt itself sideways. Standing in the midst of the storm a lone rock braved the elements and faced the wind. A ring of people stood around the rock, their clothes soaked and stuck against their bodies. A young woman stood slightly closer to the rock than the others. Her blue eyes trained on the rock and black hair plastered to her forehead. Glancing behind her toward the man that stood to her right she gave a soft smile even as the wind caused her to shiver. The wall of water and darkness prevented her from clearly seeing the people that stood across from her. Taking one step forward she waited.
She did not have to wait long before a flash of light blinded everyone including herself. A deafening roar filled her ears as the bolt of lighting struck the rock. The rock absorbed the lighting and its power and blue tendrils of light crept across the rock. She blinked several times trying to adjust to the light that pierced the darkness. A firm hand rested on her right shoulder and she turned to stare at her best friend. His black eyes pierced her blue ones and a stand of his brown hair was stuck across his forehead. She smiled as the memories of their childhood together flooded her mind. Thought of them running in the fields and pulling pranks on his older brother. He did not have to speak, his eyes told her everything. Be careful Alina. She gave him another reassuring smile before turning back to the rock. As she stepped forward a lone voice echoed into the night. It was so quiet she might not have heard it if she had not been listening. She turned to look at the owner of the voice. Her father stared at her, his eyes bright with pride and fear. He opened his mouth to echo the same words again. She felt tears gather in her eyes as those around the circle joined in. Their voices raised in volume and strength with each new voice. As she turned to walk back toward the stone she opened her mouth and muttered the same words.
“Bring with you the knowledge of those around you and the strength that we give you. May your heart stay as pure as the dove and your soul as light as the sun. The challenge that lies before you will drain you and weaken you, but never forget where you come from. Draw strength from your past and energy from those you love.”
Alina reached a hand forward as another flash of lightning lit up the sky. A trembling hand brushed over the rock and a blue light filled her mind. Alina clung to the rock as her consciousness faded.
White hot light shone brightly in her face as warmth filled her body. Slowly sitting up she looked around her at the white world. Standing she walked forward, her eyes burning from the bright white nothingness. Alina faltered as a voice pierced the silence, “What brings you here.”
Alina straitened and turned around, “I am Alina Howell and I am here to see the future of my village.”
A hint of amusement filled the voice, “Is that so?”
Alina narrowed her eyes, “Yes”
Blue light filled Alina’s eyes and suddenly she was in a very different world. Alina looked up only to be met with the image of her village burning. Horror filled her and the warmth of the white room left her replaced by the heat of the fire. Alina felt herself begin to walk forward. She found herself walking among the remains of the village. Her eyes filled with horror with each body she found. Bodies that were charred beyond recognition. Were the bodies of her friends and family. Walking further among the flames she felt herself go cold, because in In front of her the head of the chief of the village hung from a pole. She felt bile rise in her throat. Her body began to shake and she felt hot tears stream down her face. She hardly felt herself fall to her knees.
A chant entered her mind, The challenge that lies before you will drain you and weaken you, but never forget where you come from. Draw strength from your past and energy from those you love. Images of her childhood and friends filled her mind. Of her village being whole and beautiful. Images of the people that greeted her as she walked through the village. Alina opened her eyes only to be met with a village that was ablaze. Pain pierced her heart and she let out a scream of pain and agony. Curling forward she Slammed a wall down between her memories and the future.
Blinking, she took a deep breath. Looking up she gasped at the destruction that met her eyes. She stared at the lifeless bodies around her and the collapsed building. Standing up she reached up to her face to wipe away the water. Confusion entered her as images of fighting and people fleeing filled her mind. Who would want to attack this town. As she walked forward the scene changed around her. She was suddenly in a cave and as she looked around she saw several people huddled around a fire for warmth. A cold numb feeling entered her soul as she took in these weary survivors of the village. She saw an older man wrapping his arms around a young girl. Her eyes fell on the man who stood at the entrance of the cave. His dark eyes searching the forest and brown hair ruffled and unwashed. She turned and her eyes landed on a young woman who sat a little away from the others. White hair fell on either side of the women. Suddenly the woman looked up and her blues eyes stared right at her. She felt herself shiver as she saw the cold indifference in the woman's eyes.
Blue light engulfed her and suddenly she was in the middle of a battle. She watched as an army of warriors showed no mercy to the survivors of the village she had seen earlier. Her eyes watched as they struck down the man after man. She turned to see the same woman from before standing on a hill overlooking the whole thing. She watched as the woman switched her gaze from one person to another as they were struck down. The woman's eyes locked with hers before turning to watch the man from the entrance of the cave be struck down. A strange feeling of pain entered her heart as she watched the man fall. His black eyes turned to look at the women on the hill. She looked up to see a tear slip from the woman’s eyes as the last of the survivors was cut down. The woman did not run even as the army of warriors advanced to her. As one of the men raised their sword the woman turned to look at her. Her voice echoed across the field as she whispered, “Never forget about where you came from.”
She watched as the sword sliced the woman on the hill and all at once all went dark. She found herself surrounded by darkness before it faded into a white world. She turned and came to a halt as she saw a mirror in front of her. She stared at herself to see a woman with white hair and blue eyes staring back at her. Stepping forward a voice echoed in her head, “Draw strength from your past Alina.” She felt herself gasp as pain flooded her heart. Images of her past and the future filled her. She saw herself running from the village. She saw herself leaving the cave. She saw a battle where her father was cut down as she arrived with help from another village. She saw herself embrace her best friend and break down in his arms. She felt her body shake as she turned back to stare in the mirror only to find it was no longer there. Instead a bright blue light flooded her mind and her consciousness slipped from her.
The first thing Alina realized was how cold she was and wet. Water pelted her from above and wind whipped into her side. The next thing she noticed was the voices that filled the air around her. Voices of all her friends and family. Voices that reminded her to stay pure and full of light. To draw strength from the past. Turning her blue eyes met those of her best friend. The wind whipped a strand of her black hair into her face, but just as she reached up to brush it away a strand of white hair fell down in front of her eyes. She smiled a bitter sweet smile and brushed both pieces of hair out of her face. Without her past she had no future. Her past had defined her future. She smiled once more before walking forward and embracing her best friend.