Keys jingled in the lock as Ady entered her basement home. She dropped her belongings from the day with a loud thump to the floor as the Feline Calvary came to great her. The woman smiled lightly while her hand grazed each of her three cats. Donovan, her middle aged companion followed her as she went to the bathroom before watching her two regular rerun shows and then retiring in front of the computer where she would play around for the rest of the night.
Releasing a deep sigh, Ady opened the internet browser and checked her e-mail. Rolling her eyes and placing her chin on her hand, she was undoubtedly not surprised that no one had e-mailed her. Closing down all of the internet browsers, she opened her 'Windows Media Player', sorted her list of music in alphabetical order and clicked on her routine song to start with before moving to open her Word program to began typing away on a story that she had been working on. Of late, it had become harder and harder for her to keep writing another sentence for the black plague infection called a writer's block in her mind. Looking at the wall next to her where a paper rested pinned to it with a tack, she began to describe her main character that she gathered pictures for from the net.
Anala stood looking over the shores of Galroth with her soft fur blanket firmly held around her chest. Rambling over the recent events of what had happened the night before cluttered her mind as the loose tendrils from her braid nipped at her slender face and neck. Anala's braid was one that consisted of two five braids intertwined together on the sides of her head and then into a seven strand braid, adorned with silver ornaments of butterflies throughout. Deep blue iris and pupil eyes held sadness in them from the amount of loss that she contained in her heart for those loved ones that perished before her sight. Dropping the fur from her thin shoulders and body, letting it gently glide to the ground, her maroon petal skirt fluttered as the wind seduced her. A silk knot top scarcely held out the cold from trying to grip her bones. She could only just hear her chain whip clicking at her side as she stepped up to the boundary of the cliffs to peer over. Anala's pain wanted to pull her over the edge with its weight.
"How easy it would be to just end it here and now, no more pain to endure…" but instead of letting her body do what it she let her mind and heart take over with a scream into the surroundings that exerted every last bit of energy she had left. Conjuring her powers, a current of air wrapped itself around her, cradling the elemental up from the ground. She stayed there for hours as her only solace past her from one invisible hand to another. The tears she shed came down like rain on the ground as a storm flustered its way in to let it weep along with her. From the eyes of a foreigner, this would be a spectacle for the rain fell only around her… and no where else.
What finally broke her reminiscence of pain was the voice of a man. He had been a visitor to old friends when the small war stormed down upon the village, destroying an entire two generation family as well as anything else that took life in breathing. Her mother and father had been gruesomely slain along with her four year younger brother with his wife and children. Sina, a three year old daughter to Anala, had also been ripped from tight fingertips as the mother tried to fight back against the enemy. Fires had broken out all along the village that aided to the screams that started as ear piercing from every point of the parish to move slowly into a dull roar of the flames. The only sobbing and screaming that could be heard were hers and hers alone while the lone traveler protected her from harm as she wept with her family around her. He stroke out against the villains that tried to take every last breath from the small land inside the forest before finally leaving when no hope was available to be won against this voyager who guarded a woman he didn't seem to even know.
When the first signs of morning flew onto the remains, nothing was left of their sanctuary. All of the log homes had burned to the ground with small wisps of smoke still rising from the ash and soot. Silveraven had watched Anala walk away from the death grounds as he began digging graves to place the forty or so bodies in them; Anala's family had been placed in the front of them all in a single line of eight, starting with eldest to youngest. He knew her pain and agony for he endured it all around him with the once smiling faces ripped into a cold stare. Standing at six feet with tied-back long brown hair that fell over his darkly tanned shoulders, his lightly colored leather pants and white shirt were now covered in black and crimson as he dug the graves. Silveraven was definitely a sight to see with his muscles rippling in the morning light as he removed his shirt to reveal his upper half… but also showed his many battle scars. He had been flooded with despair at the sight that rested in front of him.
Silveraven could hear the Fairies and wood nymphs chorus their mourning songs for their elemental friends that had perished. Even when he finished and went to find Anala, he could still hear the peaceful music which blended with the rain and thunder that hovered over Anala's floating body.
"Anala…" he called, seeing no response before calling out again, "Anala… Anala, I need to speak with you, my lady, please. Anala? Ady?"
The writer's eyes flared open when she realized what she had just written from the tears streaming down her face at the sudden bang that came to her heart. Did she really write that? Portraying her dead husband in this story hadn't been thought to have that kind of effect on her… least of all her family.
A year prior, Ady's family had all gotten together at a local church to witness her and her husband, Tyler, renew their wedding vows. It had been their dreams to one day do this. Before they had first decided to exchange the words that would join them forever, it had been at a court house bearing in mind they didn't have much money. Her heart had been soaring over this event and even during it as well as Tyler's, every witness to this contained the tears of happiness in their eyes. It was the first time that they had actually gotten both sides of the family into the same room together, never once having that occur in their six years together.
After the ceremony, Ady, her sister-in-law Jill, and Jill's romantic partner Dawn, had stepped outside for some fresh air and to enjoy the feelings of a nice nicotine rush at the end of the parking lot. They had been laughing together at the same time the large boom flew them from where they stood. When they regained their bearings, the church no longer stood where it had; their hearts ripped from their chests.
The police informed them that a bomb had been implanted by a very sick person who wanted revenge on the Pastor of the holy sanctuary. Come to find out, the wife of the bomber went to the Pastor and told him the gruesome tales of what her husband did to her. He coaxed her into getting a divorce and even helped her through the process, but the man felt the Cleric responsible for losing his so called "soul mate". The crazed man kept screaming to the police that he couldn't live without her. After being diagnosed, the police educated the survivors of the blast that the man was manic-depressive, schizophrenic, and had a panic disorder.
Ady had been left with filling out paperwork and doing the clean-up for her family as well as Jill. Some of their relatives came out to help with this, but not as many as they needed. Instead of holding separate funerals, they held a large one for all nine deceased members, six from Ady's side and four from Jill's including the one that tied their families together. They sold the Uncle's house as well as Ady's siblings and the three of them moved into Ady's parent's house where she kept the basement to herself and the upstairs was for the other two. She had packed up most of her guardian's belongings and placed them in storage to remove the taunts of dwelling on memories. The money they had obtained from selling the homes went to paying off debts and keeping them afloat from being off of work for the length they had. Ady and Jill worked for the Internal Revenue Service as assistant managers and Dawn for a lube shop where she held the same title. Each of them knew that eventually they would need to return back to work as they didn't want to deplete their funds.
"Ady, do you want anything for dinner?" Jill called down the stairs.
"No… I'm not hungry. Thanks anyways," she responded before saving her story and shutting down the computer. When she looked at the clock, it was nine at night and knew she needed to get to bed, walking with a trail of furry tails following her.
Her cats, Thomas the eldest, Donovan the middle, and Damien the youngest always held the routine of sleeping with her to keep her company since their 'father' never returned home. Ady felt it hard to deal with when Donovan would sit at the door, caterwauling for Tyler to come home. Pillows were thrown at him to get incessant cries to stop but he had always done this when he wanted either one of them… whining in hopes that they would return. Even after a year, Ady's heart still had a hard time coping with the loss of many loved ones at once. She locked herself in a room where she would cry unbearably for hours on end, losing a lot of weight from the depression that Jill dragged her to the doctor's office for him to prescribe something for her to help cope with the pain.
Crawling into bed, she closed her eyes and drifted into sleep for the oncoming nightmares that met her.
The sound of an incessant buzz repeatedly blared into the air. Ady rolled in bed irritated, throwing her pillows around in an attempt to hit the source of her problems. The resonance of a low growl emitted from deep within her throat as she finally submitted to the inevitable.
"Another day, another dollar," she spoke roughly, running her fingers through her entanglement of hair. Rubbing her eyes of sleep, she tried to get them to focus after another long night of the same lurid dreams.
Donovan pawed his way through her mess of a room to make his way to his owner for his morning ritual of a scratch. Jumping up on the bed, Ady picked up her cat and held him close. Never once had she ever seen a cat that would let you hold and smother them with kisses and hugs, feeling a soft nuzzle at her back to announce Thomas and a small mew from the floor to signal Damien. Every year she would have them shaved and relinquished of their long fur to let them breathe for summer. Each time afterwards, she would stare at them and laugh, calling them her "Tea Cup Lions". Her only requests would be that their head and the tip of their tail be left untouched. Some people said it was cruel, but after the first hour of denying her their love, the three of them would always come back to thank her. It was never cruel to them… they loved it just as she did.
"Good morning, babies," she whispered, scratching their necks. Donovan rested his head on her shoulder, purring in her ear. Before getting up from bed, Ady pulled a pillow to her face to take in the scent that was quickly fading after a year; it was Tyler's scent. She called it his essence whenever he would give her a look when he caught her smelling it. It was the scent that drove her tempestuous… but now only brought tears to her eyes, missing being held in his arms. There had been a day that she asked Jill why none of the perished lives would show themselves if they were actually watching over her. Jill only responded with the line that always made Ady even more upset.
"They know you can get through this… they know that you'll survive."
Ten minutes later, Ady was dressed and heading out the door to another day of work. Over the years of her being there in her current job, she had steadily grown to dislike it. She was one to keep to herself, sitting in her cubicle with little to no contact unless required while she worked and listened to her music. These always aided her to zone out and concentrate on the task at hand. Now she was lucky to even get five minutes by herself without listening to complaints or answering questions that she didn't want to satisfy. Once an hour Ady and her friend, Brianna, would make their way outside to have their ritual smoke. It was a Tuesday… which meant a meeting with all of the other Assistant Managers in her department to discuss any work issues and/or changes. Ady just sat there and listened, zoning out on the story awaiting her arrival at home.
"Ady, are you spacing again?" the coordinator of the meetings spoke out. Ady shook her head and realized that all eyes were on her. They all had a look of deep regret.
"Uh… I don't have anything," she whispered, trying to hold back the tears for the knowledge of why they gave her those expressions.
Two hours later she was back at home, stepping in the door to see Jill thundering down the stairs with two quarter staffs in her hands, tossing one to Ady. Her opponent quickly moved into place as wood clashing echoed off of the walls in the basement. Twirling her staff that had been made from closet rod, she met every one of Jill's attacks. They pirouetted and spun, hitting high and low blows at each other. Eventually they made it into the backyard where their battle would end. Jill went to hit Ady with a side swipe but had it caught under her adversary's arm. Ady jaunt her staff for another side attack to have hers caught in the same manner.
"Where did you find these?" Ady exclaimed as they released.
"I found them hidden in the back of the storage," Jill replied, trying to catch her breath. They had been practicing swords and staff for two years, but after the incident though, they stopped and lost their weapons.
"You've gotten better, but you're still having problems with blocking lower attacks," Dawn yelled from the balcony. They watched as Jill made her way up the stairs and kissed the onlooker sweetly. Ady saw the look in their eyes for each other and began to wonder if she herself would give a loving gaze like that again.
"I know… I know… I need practice at blocking," Ady responded as she headed back for the house.
Placing the staff against the brick siding, she mentioned that she was going to head for the shower. They nodded to her in answer as they saw her disappear behind the basement door. Before Ady managed to make it into the bathroom, she heard the computer beep at her from the other room. Walking back, she sat in the leather chair and stared at the screen. There was a message in the bottom right of the screen stating that an e-mail had arrived and was loading. Ady waited until it finished and opened the message entitled, "One Wish".
Make a wish and send this to one person to have it come true."
Rolling her eyes, Ady moved the curser to the delete button but stopped. Something etched at her heart to just play along and decided what the hell. Thinking for a moment, she uttered a few words.Opening her address book, she forwarded the message on to a distant friend and sent it. Putting her computer into sleep mode, Ady stood and headed for a hot shower.
She always loved scolding hot showers that made her skin tingle. It seemed to help relax and release some tension from the day, standing under a showerhead that would pour over her like rain and that's where she spent a lot of her time except in front of a computer screen. When half an hour passed with hands posted to the wall of the shower and her head feeling weighed down, she stepped from the cascade and dried off. When she made it back to her computer after dressing again, there was another message entitle "Re: One Wish". Opening it, Ady felt peculiar when she saw the words "Wish Granted".
Hours later of playing games with Jill and Dawn, Ady retired to bed to greet the weekend early. Curling up into her fetal position, she held her pillow close along with her blanket and three felines to give their body heat. Closing her eyes, Ady softly drifted to her one place of sometimes escape.
Clouds flew passed Ady as she slowly fell from the blue sky, feeling as light as a feather and a soft release from her pain and anguish. When she opened her eyes, a smile crept across her lips as she stretched her arms out from her sides.
"Anala, will you please come down here? I really need to talk to you about the events from yesterday," a voice filtered to her ears, startling her. Whipping her head around, she saw the ground and a man thirty some feet below her. At the sudden shock, she fell through the air, spiraling her arms and legs like some invisible latch released. The man ran to catch her, nearly knocking him over as she struggled when he caught her. Ady stood, sensing nausea creep its gaunt fingers up on her when she looked at the man's face.
"Calm down, Anala, you look like you are going to vomit or pass out," he put his arms out in front of him, attempting to calm the woman down when he saw her backing away towards the cliffs.
Ady felt her body, hair, her face… chanting, "This can't be happening… this can't be happening… this isn't real…" She pinched herself… sure enough, it hurt. Silveraven saw the look and knew what was going to happen. He ran to her side as blackness drew into her eyes and all hearing muffled.