The Awakening of Innocence
The wind in the desert was like a gentle kiss on my skin. I was radiant and ecstatic over the rush of power that was flowing through my veins. I stood there on a rock my body bare to the night, letting this power flow through me. Now was the time for people to truly see the full beauty of Magick.
I leaned forward to look over the edge of the cliff face on which I stood. I couldn't help but smile as I saw that I was maybe four possibly five hundred feet off the ground. I straightened up and I laughed as I threw myself from the cliff edge. As I fell I laughed and let the power inside me take over. I felt the air around me become thick and my descent began to slow. It was like falling through syrup or warm molasses. I landed at the bottom very gently, and I looked up and smiled. I turned and began the long walk back to my car. With every step I took I felt the power inside me growing like a new life. When I reached my car I grabbed my clothes and I began to dress myself. Once I was dressed in my t-shirt and cut offs, I climbed into my Jeep. As I drove away I smiled as I felt the power inside me grow and begin to pulse out of me.
As I drove I thought about the times long past, and I wondered what my ancestors and the ancestors of the remaining people were thinking when they unleashed that mass destruction on us. You see about three hundred years ago, my ancestors went to war with the other nations of the world. They had no clue that our world would look like massive deserts this long after they unleashed their nuclear weapons. The few survivors had all banned together and we have a thriving civilization now. It has taken us all this time to get ourselves back to a semblance of what we were. Our doctors tell us that the radiation from the nuclear weapons mutated our ancestors. Some of them were twisted in strange ways; others were affected in ways that has become our norm. I am one of the strangely effected ones. For some reason the radiation mutated something in one of my ancestor's brains, and he became able to move things with his thoughts.
Now here I am generations later and I can do so much more than he could. Those of us that have these abilities are tested at a young age and if we show signs we are pulled from the normal classes and we begin training. We use our abilities to help those of our community. With out us the desert would have claimed our tiny little village long ago. I on the other hand was apparently exempt from keeping the sands back for the simple reason that my powers were beyond anything the others had seen thus far. I had the largest combination of powers that they could find in one child. My gifts ranged from fire manipulation, to moving the sands, to moving things with my mind, to compressing things with a single thought, even to calling water to me. I have even bent lightning away from striking the village once, but I wasn't about to tell the elders that. They thought I was too powerful as it was.
I came up from my thoughts as I heard the bell letting me know I was coming close to the village. I grimaced as I realized that the sun was breaking the horizon, the guards would have changed and I was probably going to get yelled at. I drove up to the gate and it swung inward with a soft push from my mind. When I was through the gate, I pushed it shut with my mind and I locked it. I drove to the garage and parked the car, the garage boy wouldn't tell on me. He and I had been friends for a long time, so I knew I was good on that front.
I ran from the garage and I angled to my home. I heard the singing in the square and I knew that I was in serious trouble. The village was in a prayer session after which the other Gifted would push the sands back for the second time this year. I ran and collected my robes; my mother had made them for me when I was younger. They looked exactly like the robes that the Sand Gifted wore, with one single exception. My robes had a thick black band around the trim of the cloth.
I dressed quickly and I ran back to the square, today I would prove my power to the people of my village. I would prove my worth with the power that pulsed and grew inside me. As I slipped into the square I saw Elder Nyssa look up at me and her eyes got big. She moved as if to stop me and send me back from the square. Before she could, I ran up the stone steps that looked out over the square. I leapt from the edge and I floated gently to the earth in the center. I lifted my arms and I raised my voice in praise to the gods. My voice was a gift from the gods themselves according to the elders. Such a high sweet soprano none in the village could match it. And as I raised my voice I let the Magick pour out of me. As I sang I begged the gods to banish the sands back from our village, I pleaded with them to return the land to the rich fertility that it was. I begged and pleaded until I thought my voice would go out.
Then I leapt into the air and the sand particles in the air braced my feet. I pulled on my gift of sand movement and I pushed with all my might. The sand complied to me and it began moving quickly away from the village walls. I pushed it back until it was in a dune we could see over the walls. Then I drew from my gift of compression to form the sand into stone. The new sandstone was going to be at least thirty paces thick, and about seventy tall. Once the new wall was complete I punched a few arched tunnels through it so that people could leave. When I was finished and sure that these things would hold I allowed myself to float back to the ground, and when I was touching down my legs gave out and I fell into unconsciousness. When I came to, I was laying in a bed the elders were in the room arguing over what should be done about my little display in the square.
Elder Nyssa said, 'He is but a child he can not know the repercussions of the thing he did. We have fought long and hard to keep him safe from the eyes of worship, and he has fought hard against our strangle hold on his freedom. We all knew that this day would come eventually; we all knew that one day he would be revealed to the public's eyes. Now he has, and we can not take this back.' Elder Chandrissa said, 'Now look, this child is the one that Eldest Morlset foresaw would come. She knew that one day he would come and make our people better. She foresaw that he would right the wrongs wrought by our ancestors.' Elder Nyssa was about to reply when someone came running into the room.
Elder Thyran said, 'What is the meaning of this? You would dare interrupt a meeting of Elders?' the person was breathing hard and then she spoke in gasps, 'Elders... you must... come... quickly... something... fantastic... has happened.' Elder Chandrissa said, 'Catch your breath child and then speak.' There was a few moments wait and then the girl said, 'Elders I was sent here at a quick pace to beg you to fallow me with haste. Eldest Morlset has left her chambers and she has demanded a gathering of the elders and Gifted Nyna.' I began to fall into the darkness again, but then a light came to me. It filled my world with dazzling and beautiful wonder, it filled me to the point I thought it would burst from my skin.
As I floated in that beautiful light I didn't know that my real body was writhing and screaming in pain. A voice spoke to me calmly and gently, it said, 'Listen now child, this power you have taken upon yourself, is a great burden that your body can not handle. The magick that you took into your being is killing you, and you will die if you do not make your choice now. Will you become a being of power and awaken the world to magick again, or will you let the power take you to your death?' I wasn't sure how to reply, but I thought about how I wanted everyone in the world to have a better place to live. I thought about the beauty and amazing things that magick could do for the world. I guess that I unconsciously made my decision, because the voice said, 'So much you care for the world and your people, this is a beautiful thing loyalty of this caliber. Let it be known now that your body is changing, while it does you will be here and you will learn from me.'
And thus my silent training began with this bodiless ancient being. It felt like I was in the light for an eternity and I learned everything that was offered. Then the voice said, 'Come now your body is prepared for your return, go now.' I watched as the light faded and the voice said, 'Be ever mindful, I am always with you.' And then I was in the darkness again. I rose to the surface and opened my eyes but all I saw was complete darkness. My arms and legs were bound together, and I felt different in a way. I closed my eyes and began to wiggle hoping that someone was looking after me, but apparently there wasn't. I wriggled until I felt my constraints around me begin to loosen; the warm gooey liquid that was apparently keeping my skin moisturized lubricated my exit.
I slipped free and landed in someone's arms. An elderly woman's voice said, 'Be careful not to damage him in any way. He has undergone a change none of us have ever seen before. Be very gentle with him Tewlien, he is the future of our way of life.' I opened my eyes and I looked up at Eldest Morlset and this person I didn't know named Tewlien. He looked at me as if I were the sun and moon, or even the very stars in the night sky. Eldest Morlset said, 'Well it would appear that you've found your bond-mate Tewlien.' I said, 'Eldest I am honored that you are attending to me, but it was not needed.' She said, 'I am here to over see your return to normality.' I said, 'I was not aware that I had left normality.' She smiled and said, 'Tewlien turn him and show him his resting place for the past week.'
I was turned slowly and carefully I looked up at what appeared to be a cocoon that a spider would spin around its prey. I said, 'How on earth did I get into that?' she said, 'when the Elders attempted to touch you after you began to writhe in pain, you threw them off with quite some force and then the cocoon wrapped you. It also pulled you into that corner.' I shivered and my body registered that it was cold. Tewlien pulled me closer to his chest, his body heat warmed me and I cuddled closer to his warmth. He chuckled and said, 'I am glad that I have found you Gifted Nyna. Long have I been searching for you, and I had almost given up until one night while I slept a voice spoke to me telling me to come to you.'
Eldest Morlset chuckled herself and said, 'The gods have seen fit to bring the two of you together.' I said, 'Eldest I have many questions for you.' She said, 'Not at this moment child, I will allow you to recover further from your long slumber. Tewlien take him to the baths. Once he has bathed be sure to have him fed and then he is under your care. If his recovery is slow it rests on your shoulders, and you will be the one to suffer any consequences.' Tewlien's face became very stern as he looked at the elderly woman. He said, 'Woman long have I waited upon the arrival of this my master and mate. Your feeble Gifts can harm me not and nothing you say or do could keep me away from him. I also swear this, if you try to separate us I will wreak such chaos as you have never seen nor even envisioned.'
She blanched and said, 'You know not what you speak of. How could a fool like you know the intricacies of the future's pathways? You step beyond your bounds youngling, apologize and be off with your bonded mate.' He said, 'I shall not apologize for speaking the truth. I have lived for over a millennia searching for this my mate. Finding him is the candle that lights my dark past. But mistake me not, I will not stand by and allow anything to come between us.' Eldest Morlset blanched again and said, 'You lie, you cannot have lived that long. That would make you one of the ancient gods.' I said, 'No Eldest, it makes him an angel.' Tewlien smiled down at me and said, 'My beloved master, you have seen through my disguise.' Eldest Morlset said, 'An angel? Where are your wings? Where is your unfathomable beauty?'
There was a warm rush and then I looked up at him and I smiled at his beauty. His dark hair was swept behind his ears and down his back, his strong jaw looked sculpted from the finest stone. His nose wasn't long but it added character to his visage. His eyes were the jewels in the crown, those pale blue orbs shot through with silver. Eldest Morlset said, 'Gods be praised, you are an angel. Forgive me divine one, I meant no disrespect to you. You have done us a credit to visit our little village.' I said, 'Tewlien can you sit me down? I need to dress myself.' He complied without and question. I walked to my washing suit and I began to clean myself.
When I was finishing I noticed in the reflective glass that there was a red mark developing on my body between my shoulder blades. As I watched it began to spread and turn blood red, and then it took form. It didn't hurt or I would have shouted out, but what I saw shocked me. On my back I saw a pair of blood red wings, and the sight scared me a little. I curled into a fetal position and put my head on my knees. I didn't realize that the warmth spreading through me was the wings wrapping around me. Tewlien came into the room and his gasp made me raise my head, I looked and I saw his eyes large with shock. I said, 'What's the matter?' he said, 'Nyna, you have wings.' I said, 'This tattoo is disturbing, I just wish it would go away.' He said, 'No my love, you have actual wings.' I turned my head to look and sure enough there proudly and gracefully arched behind me were my wings.
The pristine white feathers on them were shocking. They looked as if they would belong on him not me. These wings were massive and yet they didn't feel heavy at all. It was like they weren't even there. I stood and said, 'How do I make them go away?' he said, 'You must will them to return back inside you.' I said, 'I'll try.' I closed my eyes and I thought to myself, return to your place inside me. I didn't feel their weight so I didn't know if they went back until I looked. When I saw that they were gone I began putting my clothes on. I had just finished getting dressed when Eldest Morlset said, 'Child come quickly I feel a vision coming over me.' I ran to her and helped her to a chair. Once she was seated she lapsed into her gift's grip as it threw her mind into the one of the possible futures.
Twenty minutes later she came back to us, and she said, 'You must go child. Tewlien you must take this child and spirit him away, he is in great danger if he stays here.' Tewlien tensed at the mention of danger to me. His hand shot out and a fiery sword appeared in his grip. He said, 'This angel will not let anything come to harm his mate. I am an Archangel, my true name being Raphael. One of the four horsemen of the apocalypse I was, until my heart fell to this place.' I went to him and I wrapped my arms around his waist. I laid my head on his shoulder from behind. I said, 'Tewlien, please let me safeguard my home before we leave. I beg you this, once I've done everything in my power to make this my birth home safe we can leave.' He turned in my arms and he wrapped his arms around me. His sword apparently back to where it was before.
He said, 'Anything you wish for I can not help but give you. You are my master and my mate, if you wish to make safe your place of birth then I can not help but do anything you ask of me to aide in this.' I looked up into his eyes and I said, 'Come I will make this as quick as I can.' He nodded and I ran out of my home. I ran to the village square. I leapt into the air and I climbed high over the village until I could everything clearly. I reached inside myself and I felt the connection to my power. I grabbed the magick inside me and I pulsed it out. I called up the spells of protection that the ancient one had taught me. I called up the spells of creation and I created a forest of rock trees just outside the sand stone walls I had created not long ago. Then I gave those rock trees to the desert scorpions, and other various poisonous animal and insects.
Then I came closer to home and I sealed the walls off and I gave the gates a magickal lock that I would leave only with the chief of the guard. Once that was done I took the hundred yards of land between the main city walls and the sandstone barrier and turned that ring of land into rich fertile soil. I dug deep and I pulled out nutrients that the desert had buried over long ago. Then I mixed all of it together, and I created rich fertile land. Then I began to create plants, things that would be healthy for my friends and family. I created plants that would help heal ailments, I created plants that would grow tall and provide shade. I created plants that did nothing more than provide beauty. I did all of this in a matter of minutes. And I felt exhausted when I began to let myself slowly descend to the ground.
It was almost like my life blood was pouring from my veins. Tewlien caught me in his arms when I got low enough and he held me as if I weighed nothing. I just looked at him and I said, 'I am finished, my home is made ready and defended. Let us be away now.' He said, 'No my love you need to rest, you can not travel so soon after draining your magicks away. It could kill you and I will not have that.' I said, 'Then come and view my gardens with me.' He chuckled and said, 'I long to see the beauty you make.'
And so we walked to the city's edge, as we walked we were fallowed by other's who were curious at seeing me in a stranger's arms. When we got to the city's edge, the plant's overwhelmed me with their beauty. The colors of the plants were vibrant and eye opening. Some plants had fruit on them and I picked one, it was beautiful black berry with a long stem. I bit into it and the juice flooded my mouth with flavor, I couldn't help but moan and enjoy the seductive flavor that took me away.
I was reminded of myself by a hand on my ankle. I looked down to my ankle and a little girl from the early gifted classes was touching me. I said, 'Tewlien can you set me down?' he did and I knelt before the girl. She said, 'Nyna did you do this for us?' I smiled and said, 'Yes youngling, I created this for you and the others who live in my home village. You people who live here are extensions of my family, and I can only do what is best for you.' She hugged me and said, 'Thank you brother Nyna.' I smiled to myself and I hugged her back. Another child said, 'Brother Nyna may we try that fruit you ate?' I laughed and said, 'Yes child, go run and taste the fruit I have made for you here. Run and play in this garden, be wary of how much you pick to eat though.' The children all smiled and ran off to try all of the fruits that they could find.
I laughed as they all found some that they liked and some they didn't. The adults said, 'Nyna you have done us two services we have no possible way to repay you for.' I said, 'The only payment I need is to know that you're safe and that you people are properly fed. I know that these plants will improve your quality of life so I hope that you all use them well.' A woman said, 'Who is that man at your elbow?' I smiled and said, 'This is my bonded mate Tewlien.' They all looked surprised and then the same woman said, 'Then this night we feast in the name of your bonded pair and we seal this pair properly.' I laughed and said, 'There is no need, I promise.' She said, 'No I will not have any of that, you will have your wedding feast and I will hear nothing of it.'
The other women standing there banded together with her and I said, 'Well then I thank you.' My mother said, 'I shall finally have use of the robes I made for your bond day. I always knew that one day some man would come to bond you and take you to your happiness. But when it didn't happen at the same age as the others I got worried and I packed your bond robes away securely.' I smiled and her and then was ushered away by the women, I knew that Tewlien was being ushered away by the men. When we arrived at my mother's house, she ushered us all into the room that was used for fitting the bonding robes. I had seen my sisters and brothers in here over the years but I had never been in for myself.
Now here I was stood on the pedestal in the center of the room while my mother collected a huge ball of what looked like dried clay. She dropped it to the floor and it broke open. She removed the cloth from inside and the robes were wrapped in wax cloth and when they were un wrapped they were still a pristine white. I was amazed at the amount of fabric used in this set of robes. My mother said, 'When you were but eight summers I saw you wearing these robes on the day of your bonding, in a dream. So I designed them, and now here they are.' She and the other women helped me into the robes and when I looked into the reflective glass, I stood there in a pristine white garment that looked like something out of a dream.
There was hand made lace sewn into the garment, and even my sisters hadn't had any lace. The other women in the fitting room looked at my gown as if it was the most priceless thing in the village, and technically it was. My mothers fastened a long veil of lace to my hair it hung down to about my knees. Once I was dressed I stood there looking at myself, I looked like my image of one of my ancestors. It was mind boggling, and yet I enjoyed it. Then my mother said, 'Come now child we must get you to the village square to meet Elder Nyssa and Elder Thyran.' I was rushed from the room and covered to make sure that the robes didn't get dirty.
When we entered the village square, there was a large carpet laid out for me. Once I was far enough on the carpet my mother and the women removed my covering. The others in the village smiled proudly at me. Elder Nyssa had a tear of pride in her eye, and Elder Thyran looked at me like I had far exceeded his expectations. My mother walked me up the carpet to my waiting mate. She laid my hand in his, and Elder Nyssa said, 'Who gives this the feminine party of this bonding away?' my mother said, 'By blood's right, I give this the feminine party of this bonded pairing away.' Elder Thyran said, 'And what do you bring to this pairing?' my mother said, 'We bring this the promise that the masculine party shall never want for a warm bed. That he shall never want for a warm meal, and I bring the dowry.'
I looked at my mother like she was crazy. A chest was brought forth by my two brothers. They both grinned at me really big as they sat the chest at my mother's feet. She opened it and drew forth a bolt of hand made lace. She said, 'I give this, a bolt of lace twenty yards long.' she laid that back in the chest then she began drawing out things I had never seen. She drew out a glittering piece of metal, and had stones encrusted on it. After describing everything that came out of the chest she closed it and then Elder Nyssa said, 'Who gives this the masculine party of this bonding away?' my long time friend Aldris said, 'By blood's right I give this the masculine party of this bonded pair away.' I looked at him and I was confused as to how he could claim blood's right.
Elder Nyssa said, 'I am curious as to how his blood ties with yours.' Aldris lifted his arm and said, 'My blood met his and his name is tied now to my family's forever more as my brother.' Elder Nyssa said, 'What do you bring to this pairing?' Aldris said, 'We bring this the promise that the feminine party will never want for anything, and that the feminine party shall never go hungry or lack a comforting place to sleep.' The Elders began to recite the binding ceremony words in unison, as only those who were bonded could do. As they recited the words, I felt the ties between us deepening. When the Elders finally said the part that we were now a bonded pair I turned to Tewlien and let him lift my lace veil. I felt the world close around us as his lips slowly descended to mine. When he kissed me the earth fell from under my feet and the world filled with beautiful music like nothing I've ever heard.
When I broke our kiss to take a breath I realized that my feet really weren't on the earth. I looked at saw Tewlien's wings. I said, 'My love you have betrayed your identity to my family and my village.' He smiled and said, 'You have revealed yourself as well my love, and your wings are a beautiful sight in this so dark a period of time.' I turned my head slightly and I saw that my wings had also betrayed my new existence. He laughed as we slowly descended to the floor, the others in the room all had a look of reverence in their eyes. Once I was settled I willed my wings away and my mother said, 'My child you are more surprising than we had ever hoped. Your wings are beautiful as well, they tell the tale of your innocence.' I laughed and said, 'Mother, you know that I'm about as innocent as those lewd women you told me of from the other village.'
She laughed and said, 'My child you can not fool me, I know that in your heart you are still a pour soul. Your light is like the sun that washes our village with its warmth.' She came forward and took my hands in hers. She pulled me aside and spoke to me quietly, 'My child, now that you are bonded where your bond mate goes you will follow. If either of you dies, the other will feel it and follow shortly.' I said, 'Mother why didn't you die when father did?' she said, 'I had my children, that is the only thing that can truly prevent one of the bonded pair from following its mate when the other dies. The one that is closer to the children will live, and that doesn't necessarily always mean the mother. In some cases it will be the father of the children that will live and protect them.'
I said, 'I'm glad that it was you who lived mother, and I mean no disrespect to my father. But I'm very certain that if he had been the one to live, then I wouldn't be here as happy as I am today.' She smiled and cupped my cheek, she said, 'My child you are my youngest, my last baby is leaving the nest and I am apprehensive to let you go. But I have known for some time that you would leave my nest eventually.' She paused to wipe a tear from her cheek, 'Now that time I had feared would arrive has come and I am stood here deathly scared, that you will leave me and never return.' I said, 'Mother worry not, I will never leave you and not return. But I must leave for the time being, as my presence in the village has drawn some trouble to my home.'
A few others who had been close enough to hear our conversation said, 'Worry not cousin, no one will breach our home. This village will band together and protect you with everything we have.' I smiled and said, 'The trouble that tracks me is malevolence of a different breed. One that I will not have come to my home, I would give my very life to protect all of you in my village. You are my family and my friends; I cherish you in my heart second only to my bond mate. I will have nothing come to you that would harm you, I absolutely refuse to allow myself to do that. So I will go and find this malevolence and I will be rid of it before I return to you.' Tewlien came over to me and said, 'Fear not my love, we shall dispatch this evil that haunts you and return to your home.'
I smiled and touched his face, I said, 'I know that you will protect me my love. Now we must be away as soon as we can, so that I may return to my home at a much nearer date.' I called to my magick and I said, 'Garb me now in clothing, of cloth that's light and strong, make my outfit soothing, something that can never be wrong. I use my power for this, so that I may swiftly fly, and this spell is done now, as is commanded by none other than I.' I raised my hands above me and sand rose around me like a screen. My bond robes were removed and replaced by cloth that was light and very soft. When the sands fell I held my robes in my hands and I was clothed in a white material that was shocking in its color. My mother came forward and said, 'This cloth is beautiful Nyna I am not surprise that you would create something like this.'
I handed her my robes and I said, 'Keep these safe for me as I will take them to my bond-mate's domicile when I get back from my journey.' She nodded and clutched them to her chest. I willed my wings to show themselves and then I leapt into the air. I hovered over the earth waiting and saying my last good-byes. Tewlien joined me and then we rose up, taking to the wind. I heard his voice in my mind as he said, 'Try not to speak aloud when you fly, the wind up here won't allow for it. Just think your words to me, and I will hear them.' I nodded and we began our flight, I stopped us not too far away from the village. I called up the magick within me and I threw that out and down, in search for this evil that was coming for me.