…up. Wake up. Please awaken.
“Why?” I responded. Why must I awaken? The day has reached its conclusion... it is only right to rest my body, right? But why does it feel so wrong?
With deep contemplation, I recounted the evening’s activities: attending class with my fellow batch mates, training independently, hunting, and returning home to visit the realm of desires. The day had accomplished its task, and I had done my part. This was our daily routine, the definition of normalcy.
The same unfamiliar feminine voice echoed in my conscience like a droplet rupturing a serene lake. It was young and uncharacteristically soft, softer than any murmur a female child of my age group could ever produce. It was also heavily accented when she commanded me to arouse in my native tongue. Who was this young woman? Was she from another tribe? The more I cogitated, the more interested I became.
My eyes were open, I know they were, but the only thing that greeted me was a never-ending void of darkness. Am I still dreaming? I wondered. Why couldn’t I wake up? I squeezed my eyes once more and opened them in hopes to visualize the young woman, but darkness only stared back. Frustrated, I repeated the same action time and time again, the result never changing.
“I want to see the possessor of this voice! I want to know who she is!” I demanded like a spoiled child. I was impatient, I wanted a glimpse of this mysterious girl before she disappeared, whoever or wherever she was.
Alas, my eyes spotted a speck of white light from the distance as the darkness’s reply. Without hesitation, I dashed towards the object the fastest I have ever done on my thirteenth spring—one that would put the young Wes of that spring to shame. As the speck increased the closer I approached, the more fervent I became, and the more intense the invisible pain gnawed in my chest. It was then I recalled what truly took place in reality.
Like a stone wall, the memory knocked me with a strong and vivid film, as if I was experiencing the agonizing event a second time around. I was frustrated before a storm loomed overhead. Distracted, I slipped off a dangerous cliff and tumbled twenty feet into my death, but I survived—the intense pain radiating from my chest had proven that.
With a groan, I finally opened my eyes. A large, blurry edition of the speck streamed directly over me like a curious child. The blinding light left me paralyzed and disoriented, but what bothered me the most was the vision of it all. Startled that the incident had left me blind, I clenched my eyes once more to regain my vision. My hands felt dead to me, but I knew both had settled over my lids due to their weight. A couple rubs later, my vision returned and relief washed over me. Next, I struggled to a sitting position when a loud hiss emanated from my lips. The result left me back into my former position with a small slap from the eroded ground. Ignoring the growing throb from the anterior, I pushed myself once more with gritted teeth. Suddenly, a hand was set on top of mine. “Lay down,” she persuaded in her heavy accent. It was then I recalled belatedly of the purpose of my awakening.
Before I could peek, she added in the same comforting tone, “This will hurt.”
With a groan, I felt the substance seer across my chest, embroidering it with an uncomfortable trail of flames. The pain was so intense that I almost fell back into unconsciousness. It took what was left of my strength to bring one of my numb hands over my chest and brought it to my face. It didn’t surprise me that a vibrant shade of red clung to my sun kissed palm. My hand dropped the moment my vision cracked into a blur and back. Without a second to lose, I croaked, “Who…?”
The young girl to my right flinched from the interrogation—probably surprised that I maintained my consciousness—and met my eyes with large pairs of jade. She was pale underneath the harsh rays; surprisingly the sun did not affect her skin like any other alabaster owners. Her tresses of hair were gathered into two pig tails, one of which had a pair of blue feathers bunched to the band near me. A hazy wave washed over my vision and my eyes dropped to the glistening emerald jewel that hung over her chest. I glanced at her with panicked eyes and a train of worry making its way from my throat.
With compassion, her small slender fingers combed through the stark white, messy, bird nest of a hair. For some inexplicable reason, I found comfort with her unfamiliar touch.
“You’re going to be okay,” she whispered.
How? I wanted to ask, but my voice was lost within the hazy apparition. The last thing I remember was an unfamiliar tattoo in the shade of aquamarine. A ring of circular outlines with a dotted center clasped together by the vertical ends, beneath it was a pair of bars of varying width on the anterior end.
Then, I resurfaced back into the realm of desires.