A while back, I started working on a short story that was inspired by a dream. Don’t laugh; that actually happens quite often. Inspiration comes from all kinds of places (music being the biggest one for me), and my dreams are usually quite vivid, so I took the basic idea and wrote “Conjured in Gold“. Over the next two weeks or so I will post it bit by bit to see if people like it. I am not a big believer in long posts, so the parts are fairly short. If you happen to have a few minutes, I would love for you to start reading. Comments are greatly appreciated! Please ignore the formatting though, it’s just WordPress after all ^_^
Conjured in Gold
“You can’t be serious, Arlia. We have talked about this. More than once! You know how rare winged souls are!”
The tall, elderly man, dressed in scarlet-red robes, stood in the middle of the town’s library in front of massive wooden shelves filled with thousands of books and tomes, his voice a mix of disbelief, annoyance and amusement. His grey hair, once so short that it barely covered even the highest tip of his ears, was now touching his shoulders, clearly marking him as an Elder. The hair blended in with his pale complexion but contrasted sharply with is his dark-green eyes, which were now fixed on a young woman standing right in front of him. She wore a silken, white robe with delicate embroidery at the sleeves. Her white hair merged almost completely with the flowing fabric. Her arms crossed over her chest, she glared at the taller figure with bright, blue eyes.
“Yes, I know, Father”, she answered, trying hard to not let her emotions take over. As if she had not studied the incantation and read the historical accounts about a hundred times by now.
She exhaled sharply. “But there is no telling when it happens … or to whom! The scriptures do not reveal anything about any kind of pattern. It can happen to any of us if given the chance. Old, young, talented or not, compliant or stubborn …!”
She stopped, almost gasping for breath.
Magra sighed and rolled his eyes. His youngest daughter was definitely a prime example of one of the more stubborn individuals of their race. Over time, as she had gotten older, Arlia had learned to put logic over emotions, and patience over being impetuous, but he sometimes wondered which blood line his daughter actually came from. He could not remember a single family member that was -or had been- as relentless as his youngest daughter. Everything she did was guided by passion rather than calculated actions.
Magra secretly admired the fire that was so obviously burning inside her. At the same time though it made him uncomfortable. Arlia shared many traits with the Dark Ones, and because of that he had been keeping a close eye on her. He had no idea what flowed in her veins, or why, but he knew that any of his children could be extremely dangerous if they chose the path that, centuries ago, had claimed almost half of Magra’s people, and had split his race into two. Ever since then, the Dark Ones and the Light Ones had been fighting a seemingly never-ending battle. It saddened the old men that there was no reasoning with the brothers and sisters that had gone astray. They had not exactly gone mad, but their irrational behavior clearly indicated that something had gone horribly wrong.
Magra was pulled away from this memory by his daughter’s voice.
“Well, since you don’t disagree with me on that, I assume I can prepare for the incantation.”
It took him a few seconds to recall that Arlia was referring to the scriptures. He sighed. She was right. Ever since the Light Ones had started to conjure companion souls, his people had been trying to figure out what caused a soul to be born with wings. But their efforts were futile. There was no rhyme or reason to it. Even the wisest of them had no answer. The one thing they knew for sure was that adding a feather from another winged soul to the ritual was essential. The feathers were hard to come by; they had to fall off the animal’s wing, could not be cut or ripped out, and they had to be found within a day of falling to the ground. The Elders made sure that feathers were distributed only to the most promising individuals. Magra looked down at his daughter. She was one of the most talented sorceresses, despite her effervescent personality. Or maybe it was because of it …
But were his fears reason enough to deny her a chance?
Magra took a deep breath.
“Fine”, he finally said, “you may take one from the vault”.
Arlia smiled up at him.
“Thank you, Father” she said, and meant it. But Magra could see the triumphant glimmer in her eyes, and her upright posture as she brushed past him and strode towards one of the exits towards the library gardens.
It left Magra standing among all the books, all the wisdom of his ancestors, wondering and worrying about his daughter’s future.