I have transcended the mortal bounds of sight. No mirror or lake can show me what I cannot see right now. The very concept of reflection has no meaning for me. I see myself as I am, in body, mind, and soul. And like watching a family dining through a window, I see myself sitting on my father's armchair, and my dearest cat, Nola purring on my lap. Then, the scene recedes, zooming out little by little. I watch myself and Nola shrink into the distance. The borders of this realm is darkness, nothing to see for miles. But I feel a pull in my heart, a promise of another vision to come.
It's a painful one. They are memories that do not belong to me but yet feel familiar. As if looking through the eyes of an eagle soaring the sky, I see my village. But it isn't as I remember it. No, in fact, it's turned to a field of crimson grass. I lie there among many others, all of them circling around me, creating a beatiful pattern for those who see from above just like I am. Thier faces are expressionless, blackened and charred by fire, but their bodies are untouched. Although their faces are hidden behind the black smog, I can tell that they're looking at me, with contempt, accusing me of surviving.
The scene fades from my sight and I am plunged into darkness again. I wait for the next glimpse of my past, or future, or whatever this is. It comes soon enough. I see myself a little older, but... happier. I stand in the heart of a bustling city, with who I think is a friend. He is flying around me like a hummingbird but his form is a blur of color and motion, a contrast to the greyed out building. The scene shifts, without warning. I am kneeling before a being of pure light, too bright to look at. I squint my eyes, trying to make out a form but the infernal light is harsh and unwelcoming.
The scenes flash before my eyes, like a slideshow speeding forwards. Each one fleeting than the last. What am I seeing? Where am I? I wonder, but I've no time to think. Another scene appears, but this one stays longer. My eyes widen as I gaze at an object. It is distorted, but I sense it's greatness. It's something beyond his world. Everything that I could learn in this world couldn't even compare. Even right now, in the midst of this unknown darkness, I can't help but be amazed. An object even greater than this dream. And then I realize, I'm dreaming.
I am a girl of poor origins, living in the outskirts. My father gave me the name Hestia, after a legend of the hearth. That is my name, and I hear it echo in the final scene of my dream. I'm soaring through the skies, higher and higher, until I reach the very sun. The world speaks to me, it's voices were that of man, beast, the sea, and the night. No, it was everthing, dead or alive, which spoke in its own way to me. And with every fiber of my being, I understand what the world is demanding. It wants me to spit out certain words. The world tells me it is my destiny, my reason for existing. I want to say it even though my hands trembled, but I cannot understand the words. They are garbled and distorted. Then a hand reaches for me from behind. I recognize it as the frail, old hand of my father.
You are ahead of your time, but this moment will arrive. You will come to understand the world and its words. Patience, Hestia. He communicates with me, not with words, but with a bond that transcends speech. As if our time during my childhood was only a prologue. Then I sense his presence, his hands on my shoulder, there in the depths of shadows where I was the audience to my story. He's with me, my destiny interwined with his.
I groan as I feel sharp claws digging into my face. The tiny creature on my chest, as black as the moonless nightsky, is relentless in its assault. My damned feline, Nola, wants me to get up. And I do, reluctantly, from what seemed like an eternal sleep. My muscles protest from all the hardwork of the morning. Gathering herbs, trekking to the village, and trading for some coin with old man Geurd. Nola also drains my energy, she eats like a glutton, and I wonder if all my labor is for her sake.
But I love her anyway. People tell me to abandon Nola, claiming that a black cat brings bad luck. But I ignore thier superstitions, after all, how can I resist her adorable eyes, her smooth whiskers, and her shiny fur? As I stroke her, she purrs softly, but not as joyfully as when father was alive.
She's the only thing I have left from my father. And I still love her even after he passed away a year before. We live in a damp and chilly cottage, with nothing of value to call our own. I don't even have a decent bed to sleep on. My dear father did not leave me with anything else but despite that I loved him more than anything. He was my entire world. I miss him so much.
Nola looks at me intensely. She goes silent for a moment and her feline eyes pierces my heart. But then she gets up and slaps me again with her stinky paws and leaps from my face to the tiny window above us.
I question a cat's loyalty to their guardians. She doesn't appreciate me at all! You owe your life to me, you dusty fuzzball. You wouldn't survive a day out in the forest! But go ahead, suit yourself. Nola usually spends her nights figuring out the stars at night but it seems the sun doesn't bother her today. As I watch the sunbeams dance through the glass, I recall that I had a dream. But I struggle to remember anything, even though it felt... significant.
They say dreams are only remembered when they want to be, don't worry about those that slip away. So I continue my day and walk over to the tiny, cracked mirror on the wall. My face is gaunt and neglected. Sleep still in my eyes. I know what true beauty is like and it's definitely not me right now. I pick up the water jug on the floor and splash my face. The water drips into a bowl below which happens to be slightly leaking but it's been like that for months.
My hair is a disaster and I lack the energy to tidy it up. I am only fifteen years of age and I live with a cat who I need to somehow feed everyday. Oh right, I need to feed myself too. Scouring the forest for food takes all my effort.
Food is the only thing in my mind, food and nothing else. My stomach is rumbling and it's gnawing at itself, there's no escape. There's a half-eaten bread on the table mocking me with its state. Nola won't eat it so it's up to me to show it who's the man, erm, woman of the house. I dart forward with agility and snatch the bread with extreme finesse, rivaling that of a master thief. And in three bites, it's gone forever.
I look back at the mirror, my cheeks are still hollow. The bread did not fill me up. My hunger craves more. I how with despair. If I had any neighbors nearby then they would be hearing my sad songs everyday and every night.
Nola shows up at my feet out of nowhere. She is standing on all fours, staring at me. I feel a bit nervous. She never looked at me likes this before. It's as if she wants to tell me something. She comes closer and start tugging on my ragged skirt, telling me to follow her.
A thousand greetings to those who stumbled upon this story! I've always wanted to create an epic fantasy world since forever and this will mark the start of that story. I know it starts slow, but I hope you will stick with me!
Please leave a comment, I would love to interact with everyone who does!
Tezca, the sun king, reigns supreme over the human kingdom of Phoebal, ruling with an iron fist since the ancient times. His formidable magic bathes his realm with a blazing light, marking the boundaries of his dominion.
Hestia, a magicless girl and the daughter of a self-proclaimed Grand Magician, stumbles upon a box hidden by her late father. Inside, she finds the only things he left for her. Among them is a ragged cloak, which she soon learns is one of the most sought-after items in the sun kingdom, the final masterpiece of the Grand Magician.
This discovery will plunge Hestia into a whirlwind of adventure in Phoebal, under the watchful eyes of the king.