They stood in the tent again. Vanairy and Spring were where they had been and looked worried. Airacia sat back on her chair and waved them away. She curled into a ball hugging her knees to her chest and started to hum.
Sharru's head was spinning turning over and over the information and task she had been given. She turned and left, Spring began to follow her but Vanairy held him back. Outside the tent, Sharru glanced around her for the first time, they were in a forest alive with millions of plants and animals. She heard the bubbling of a creek nearby and headed towards it. It was wide, shallow, and a clear blue colour. She knelt on it banks and dipped her fingers into its cool flowing water. The water went along her fingers tickling them. A shadow fell over hers.
"What happened back there? Why did you just leave like that?" His voice cut through her thoughts like the water did to the ground, making a clear path that could not be ignored.
She found herself unable to look away from his soft yellowish green eyes. They held such concern that she felt tears well up in her eyes. She faced the water again, tears falling into it. He put his feet in the water enjoying the cool sensation.
"You still haven't answered my questions." He said quietly, looking at her again. He grabbed her hand out of the water and gripped it tightly. She flinched from the pain.
"Ow! You are hurting me! I have no intention of answering your questions if you are going to treat me like this! Let go!" She gritted her teeth as for a second he gripped tighter and then let go.
As soon as she was free she took off running deeper in the forest. She heard him calling her name behind her and kept on. She knew that if he wanted to catch her, he could, easily. A bird flew in front of her face. She recognized it as the bird from the day before. It chriped and then flew ahead, and stopped waiting for her to catch up. When she got to it it took off. It lead her into the more feral part of the forest where it seemed a thousand eyes stared at her from the shadows.
The bird seemed to have disappeared when she found herself to be at a lake. In every direction it went on forever off to the horizon. Dark clouds loomed overhead, Sharru shivered when a sudden gust swept over the water creating ripples. The water turned murky and then black, it swelled higher in the air until it became a snake striking its head everywhere.
Sharru stood frozen to the ground, quivering in fear at what was happening in front of her. The spiralling jet of water grew a head and arms. Sharru backing up, tripped over a root on the ground. The water seemed to have two glowing red eyes. It came crashing down on her arms grabbing hold. It lifted her into the air. Sharru completely enveloped in water felt like that a barricade came down inside of her. She became aware of something new, a emotion she had never had before. She didn't know what it was but a rage filled all of her veins.
She gave way to it, letting her mind become occupied with the burning sensation. She opened her eyes and found herself glowing a fiery red. She then let it go. The water crackled and sizzled at the fire that grew bigger and hotter. Her skin became a blazing red, her heart beat faster pumping more adrenaline. She couldn't think or remember her name, all that mattered was the fire, the heat. The water started to steam giving away, the water no longer supporting her, let her slip through it's grasp and fall to the ground. She was unable to anything but fall and try not to get hurt.
A breeze caught her halfway down. It was gentle, yet she slowed down immediately. A figure emerged from the shadows, Sharru could tell that was the wind was coming from. She tried to be able to tell who, it was fearing that they had found her. But how, I'm miles away from the camp. No, this is someone I've never met before.
Sharru stood stock still as the person came towards her. She still had bright red skin and power in her veins. She was shocked as the person stopped ten feet away from her. He was tall with white shoulder length hair, his hand rested on the hilt of a sword at his hip. She took a step towards him as she did he took his sword out. She raised her hands in the air to show she was not armed. He didn't relax his pose, he got only a little closer while raising his sword at the same time. It gleamed in the sun an ashen gold color. She had never seen a sword so beautiful or as sharp as his. In the moment of her distraction he had moved closer and was now only a one yard distance.
"Who are you? What are you doing here?" His voice was sharp and velvety.
"I could ask you the same thing. I will not tell you my name, of what use would it be? Other than politeness. I will make you an offer, if you tell me what that just was and your name. Then I will answer your questions." Sharru's voice betrayed no emotion.
"Fine, I will take you up on that offer. My name is Aisalair. I'm the guardian of this forest. And that was the heart of it, which it gave to you."
Phairsion felt her heart jump into her throat. Winter looke murderous and what was worse was that she had gotten Fareshay into trouble. She stayed there ten steps down from them afarid to move another inch. Somehow magically almost she was able to go those last ten steps and face him. Her fear intesified she had no idea as to what he would do.
He could do anything! I must figure out a way for Fareshay to not get hurt, I cannot let that happen. But how?
"I have a proposal for you. If you let Fareshay go and not harm her now or ever again. I will be your Queen." Phairsion lowered her head ashamed.
"You will be my Queen anyways but I admire your courage. She may go free, and you can come with me." Fareshay after a exasperated look at Phairsion scuttled off down the hall.
Winter and Phairsion just continued to stand there facing each other. Winter opened his mouth to talk but quickly shut it again. He was confused, he had no idea as to what to say to her. There was something new there, she looked different...colder. Everything went from his mind when her eyes caught his and didn't look away. The warmth that shot through him pierced the defense he had inside. He found himself unable to be angry, and that was something he had relied on every passing day. It was unnerving, he wanted it back but at the same time was reveling in the freedom.
Moments passed yet neither moved a inch. The world stopped turning, time no longer mattered. Phairsion was the first to break the silence, she went the rest of the way up the stairs and walked right past him. She couldn't understand him, he no longer was the frightening creature that haunted dreams. He turned into a person of fascination, a specimen to be observed and questioned. She watched him turn his head as she walked past, he stayed where he was not moving just looking not even angry. It frightened her more than if he had been, now she had no idea as to what he would do. She wanted him to follow her or grab her or something, he didn't. He just watched he get farther and farther down the hall.
Once in her room, she broke down and started to cry. She never felt so miserable in her life. More than ever she longed to be back home where things could be counted on. A quiet knock snapped her from her thoughts. She turned unsure if whether to answer or not. Her mind was made up for her when the door opened. Nothing was there, then a green blur shot into the air. Phairsion found herself face to face with a bird, it's black eyes stared at her. She put out her hand tentively to pet it. She put her fingers to it's smooth feathers. The bird stopped moving, it had turned to ice. It hit the ground with a quiet thump. She screamed, she had no idea as to what she had done. Fareshay entered the room, she looked at Phairsion who had dropped to the floor trying to pick something up.
"What are you doing on the floor?" Fareshay asked.
"Don't you see?! I turned a harmless bird to ice!" She screamed panicking.
"My Queen there is nothing there." Phairsion whipped her head up staring at Fareshay. Her eyelids fluttered and then she collapsed on the ground.
"Okay, I have definitely had enough of this kinda stuff today. I don't want to hear about how I am now part of the forest. Or how the bird I have been seeing is the spirit of it. I just want to go back in time to when none of this ever happened!" The anger still boiled in her blood.
"Then it looks as though we can not speak . By the way, the bird is the spirit of the forest. It leads all beings to their destiny. Only those who are lost and in need of his help can see him. I understand what you are going through but you need to control your anger. If not it will swallow you whole and you will be no help." He looked tired as if he had explained this millions of times before.
Sharru closed her eyes and breathed deeply slowly letting it out, the anger disappeard. She opened her eyes again, he still stood there except he had a slight smile on his face. He bowed his head and lowered his sword. She bit her lip waiting for him to say something else, she was strangely afraid of him. He wasn't like anyone she had ever met before, he seemed wiser than anyone else.
Then she felt i...the forest. It was alive and crashing down on her. The air intensified, the ground seemed to vibrate. She fell to her knees from all the sensation taking over her body. She gasped for air, her nails digging into the ground. Aisalair looked down at her not moving, She lifted her head, eyes begging for help. As fast as it had came it was suddenly gone, seeming to be a figment of her imagination. She sat on her knees nails still in the ground, shaking she couldn't more importantly she did not want to. The ground beckoned making her want to go deeper into it. She saw her hands start to sink in the ground along with the rest of her body. Aisalair was no longer frozen but burning with anger. He came up to her and grabbed her arms, he pulled her out with all of his strength. His eyes burned into her barely containing the anger.
"You must never do that again! You will be one with the forest and I will not let that happen! It would eat you alive till you are nothing! And as the guardian I can not let that happen!" His voice was controlled but still forecful making her feel as though she had been slapped.
"I had no idea what was happening until it did! So do not tell me what I can't do if I don't know how! Why does it concern what happens to me?! I need things explained and now, answer my question or I will be gone by tomorrow!" She bit back what she actually wanted to say, that she was thankful that he had saved her. She knew nothing would come of it. She felt the world pressing down on her in a different way not like before but where she didn't know how to get back to the past. Her heart ached with the longing to see her sister, to know that she was safe.
"I will answer your questions but not here. We may go to my cabin and discuss these things safely."
"How can I trust you?! So far you have given me no reason to! How am I supposed to know that you won't betray me?"
"You know you can trust me because, I am protector of this forest. If I were to harm you this forest would die. I can only give you my word, I am your protector as is my punishment." He bowed his head to make greater effect.
Sharru's breath hitched, she knew he was being sincere. It poured from every part of him. She was still cautious there was one word he said that had caught her interest. ""Punishment?"
"I will tell you all about it. I am ashamed of what I had done but it is something you need to know. W e need to get out of the oopen before I say anymore. The trees listen to everything in this forest and not always do they keep it to themselves. They whisper it in the wind for all to hear."
Sharru spun around looking at the forest in a new light. It no longer represented beauty but a sinister place waiting around the corner. She knew that the only way to find out what was happening was to trust him, it felt wrong. She never felt more weak and powerless than right now.
She said nothing, only took a step closer to him and grabbed his hand squeezing a little. He didn't notice the slight hesitation or he didn't care. He took only a moment and then as if by magic they were outside a cabin. Sharru was dizzy—she had never experienced anything like that nor that it could even be done. The cabin was quaint, it had vines growing on all four sides of the outside. It seemed different from the rest, the light surrounding it was brighter. She felt safer, not fearing where she was anymore.
She held onto his hand as they approached the cozy cabin. She noticed as they got closer that there was a garden of herbs and flowers in the back. He sneaked a glance at her before he opened the door. Inside it the ligth was dimmer than outside. It was plain, there was only a table, chair, and bed. The only significant thing was that half of the back wall was a window, which gave a view to the garden and the trees lurking behind.
The simplicity of the cabin put her more at ease. She eased her hand from his, he glanced at her as she did. She ran her hand across the smooth wood of the table. It felt cool against her hand. She wallked to the bed and sat down on it. Aisalair sat by her, keeping distance in between them. He hesitated he had no idea as to what to say.
"Tell me, what did you mean about your punishment? You murdered someone, right? And I am just your next victim. Yeah that is it. I can tell by your silence." Sharru nodded her head smugly.
"Yeah…now how did you come up with that? I mean there are obtuse people in the world but I think you are the strangest one. I mean where did that I was a murder come from?"
"Well. If you must know the truth. The trees told me. You know how the trees say things…that is what they told me. No doubt about it. I mean I didn't formally learn how to speak tree but it was pretty obvious." Sharru said. He just gave her an incredulous look but thought better and decided to go along.
"No wonder you think I am a murder. If the trees are the ones accusing. For you see I was once the heart of a forest. That is why I told you to be so careful and be under complete control. You see my emotions became under it's control and I couldn't handle it so I-I-I…"
Sharru placed her own hand gently on his, trying to comfort him. She could see that it was hard to talk for him and she wanted nothing except to comfort him. His eyes the whole entire time that he was talking had been staring at his hands, at the touch they lifted and caught hers.
"Please continue. I will not judge you. That I can promise whole-heartdly." Her voice was as soft as a whisper. He could barely hear it over the buzzing of his own thoughts. He stared into her own eyes unsure as to what to do—he had never faced such indecision before.
"I know I promised to answer all of your question. This one is not one I have ever talked about before. To anyone. I don't know if I can. I have never truly spoken to anyone in a long time. It is very different." He cast his eyes dwon again, ashamed.
"It is alright. I know that you have tried. I know what you mean, I only talk to my sister and a few others. How long have you lived in this forest?" She crept closer to him. He leaned closer then leaned back again. The indecision that only a moment ago he had been feeling was gone.
"Tell me have you been to the desert that lies to the west? That was my forest--I was not able to handle the emotions. Unlike you I did not feel anger but sorrow. My guardian abandoned me the first chance that they got. I became engulfed in the sadness. When I could no longer take it—I tried to kill myself.
"Mother Earth would not have it. She made a new forest, one I am bound to for a eternity serve. I may never leave it. That is my punishment, and my burden."
Sharru wrapped her arms around him. She could not stand to see him in such pain, to know what he suffered.
A/N: Hello! To anyone reading this! Yes. Another chapter! Sorry for the wait but I was visiting my dad. Also what I consider good news! I'm rewriting the beginning of this story. I'm not at all pleased with it. The style is so...ew...