A gust of wind blew in from the south, causing a chill to pass through Kira as she woke. Sitting up, she watched as the first of Jarea’s twin suns crested over the horizon. Sighing as another gust pushed her white hair into her face, she quickly brushed it aside as her thoughts automatically turned to the events of the coming day. A feeling of excitement and trepidation filled her, she was worried that she would be unable to fulfill the duties that had been drilled into since she was a child.
As the light touched the ice covered mountains, it refracted outward, glinting as if worth a billion zareks. The sight seemed to still the feelings of unease as she watched the view. This had always been an oasis of peace from the hours of study that appeared to fill most of her days. She couldn’t help the feeling a little bit sad that she would never again be able to find her way here and watch as the water slowly moved down the mountain side to meet the lake in the center of the valley.
Turning away from the familiar sight, Kira scooped up handfuls of snow, throwing them on the dying embers of the fire next to her. After making sure it was properly put out, she scattered the remnants of the coals.
Pulling her hair back as she tied it up, her thoughts turned back to her Mother’s words from the previous evening. They were the same doctrine she had heard countless times in her sixteen years, ’Be true in mind and spirit or else your heart will be ruled by outside forces.’ Her Mother always one to overstate the obvious, but she wouldn’t have her be any other way.
A soft chortle surprised her, turning quickly, she smiled at her faithful companion, “Marua, are you as anxious as I to return?” Walking over to the Thalax, she reached inside the side pouch of the saddle and pulled out a treat. Reaching up, Kira scratched behind Marua’s ear, she said, “Here you are, Marua…I’ll see that you are properly feed once we arrive back home.” A soft laughed escaped the young woman as Marua nuzzled her hand before wrapping her lips around the morsel.
Running her fingers through the Thalax’ black fur once more. “Time we were on our way my beauty,” she whispered lovingly.
Climbing up onto the saddle, Kira nudged the sides with her heel. Marua crouched down, and with a sudden jerk; she jumped into the air and expanded her wings fully. Turning south, they began to race the rising suns.
This had always been a favorite part of her infrequent escapes from home. Flying freely with Marua for hours on end, it seemed neither of them ever tired of it. Looking over to her side, Kira saw that the snow and ice had given way to the rich fields of green Lrona.
She could see the farmers had already long begun their day tending to the harvest for the next day’s celebration. Men, women, and children working side by side until well after the last of the light faded for the evening.
She could see the slow movement of the Rola’s tributaries snaking their way and feeding the main body of water, the faint red of the watercourse could be seen even from her distant vantage point. Small wisps of smoke drifted upward from the villages that dotted the river’s edge. These settlements were what kept the larger cities and the palace well supplied with both food and news from other regions of the planet.
Feeling a shiver pass through Marua, she patted the beast’s side and leaned forward, she said, “I know your hungry, but we are almost there. You will have the finest Lrona, freshly picked from the fields as soon as we land.” The shivering eased as Marua’s wings beat even harder to speed them on their way home.
Movement below caught her attention as they flew, looking down; she spotted the twisting and swirls of a Kwva. Patting Marua’s side, Kira had her circle over the magnificent site below. They had entered the southern regions and the sand enabled the undulating swirls to be clearly visible. The sight caused her breath to stop in her chest as she watched a second Kwva join the first, it appeared she was lucky and caught site of a pair mating.
“Maybe this is a good omen of things to come…” she whispered to the wind as she directed Marua back onto their original course.
Catching a glimpse of the topmost spires of the palace reaching to the heavens, a small frown graced her lips. It would soon be over, this one last taste of freedom, the fear of her future almost causing Kira to turn Marua around and race away. She knew that her Mother would have her tracked down and brought back and Kira didn’t think she could take the look of disappointment on mother’s face.
Even over the wind roaring in her ears, Kira heard a loud clattering sound fill the air. Crossing over the large expanse of rocks were creatures she had never seen before. Their bodies translucent, she could see the inner workings of their bodies as their many legs grasped and clung to the rock. There must have been a least twenty of them working their way slowly, keeping to the shadows cast by the walls. The sight of them sent a shiver through Kira, as she couldn’t help but watch for a few moments more.
Noticing the angle of the suns, Kira knew they must hurry or run the risk of being late, and she did not want to incur her Mother’s wrath right now. Digging her heels into the Thalax’ side once more, regretting any pain she caused her friend. “We have to hurry now Marua,” she said.
Silver spirals loomed larger as they neared the palace, she could see hundreds of people bustling about the grounds preparing for the festivities and the evening feast to follow. Finding an area void of people near the stables, Kira coaxed Marua to land. Jumping onto the ground, Marua’s head bumped into her hand to remind her of her promise. “Don’t worry, I won’t forget,” she whispered to her friend.
Looking around, she didn’t see anyone from the stable to help her. “Velna! Velna! Where are you? Vel…” she yelled.
A small raven-haired head poked itself out of one of the windows of the stable. “Kira! Your mother has had men looking for you everywhere. They have been here three times already,” Velna said with a chiding tone to his voice.
“I thought as much, I came home as fast as I could. Would you see to Marua? I promised her fresh Lrona if she hurried.”
“I’ll get it right away.”
Looking over to the palace walls, he said, “I would suggest you find your Mother before she becomes even more upset.”
“Thank you Velna, I appreciate your help and advise.”
Waving to the young man, Kira quickly turned and made her way into the nearest entrance of the palace. The climb was one of reluctance as she made her way upward to meet with her mother. The same feelings of fear returned as she stopped at a window and looked out upon the horizon. One sun had already set, with the second soon to follow, coloring the skies with dark shades of blue and purple. The clouds in the distance below tinged blood red as the last of the sun’s rays skittered across them.
Turning away from the window, she saw the entrance to her mother’s private chambers, drawing a deep breath a moment before she entered the room. Dozens of women filled the room, upon her entrance, they each fell into silence as her mother entered as well.
“You are late, Kira… Are you ready to take your place here within these walls?
Falling to one knee, Kira bowed her head, “Yes, Mother.”
Walking over to the young woman and taking her hand, she said, “There is nothing to fear daughter, rise and take your place as the next Empress of Jarea.”
Looking up, Kira could see the love and pride in her mother’s eyes, “I will strive to make you proud of me, Mother,“ Kira answered, taking her place at the currant Empress’ side.
“You already have, it is your reluctance for power that allows for me to see that you are indeed ready to rule, using both your mind and your spirit. A mother could never be more proud.” Wrapping her arms around her daughter, she said, “Come, it’s time for the people to meet their new Empress and celebrate.”
Together the two women exited the room, both only certain of one thing in their future, their love for one another.
To be honest, I think it's a little corney and reminds me of Dune a little...don't ask me why, but it does. I'm still proud of it. The only other original writing I've done is my little attempts at poetry and what I term 'randoom thoughts'. If you've read this far, I hope you all liked it.