Brightest of Lights in Darkest of Nights

Prologue – The Land of Fikt

‘I want to take you back there, but I can’t!’ said the girl, and though her eyes were sparkly with tears once again, nobody could see it. They could hear her voice trembling as she talked, so they assumed she must be crying. ‘I’ve been trying and trying to remember, but it’s too dark and I keep forgetting over and over!’

‘Don’t force her, Halith. She doesn’t remember right now.’ said the old man as he walked toward the mouth of what they thought was a cave, a young man beside him. ‘We’ll just have to wait, and make her as comfortable as possible, though I literally can’t see how in this conditions. We’ll wait for some light to come, though I can’t imagine a God who can tell us when that would be. The skies will get lighter when the half-moon comes up from Kheru Hill. At least we’ll be able to see our faces once again. For now, rest and I’ll keep my ears open for threats.’

‘Like that would do us any good!’, said the young man named Halith. In this darkness we might as well be sitting ducks for the klofs, not to mention any hunters or local folk. We’re stuck in the Fiktian night with no delith light and no sword. Old man, I’m not sure we’ll make ten minutes, let alone a couple of hours.’

‘Shhhhh!’ the old man said in a small voice. ‘You’re scaring her, and she needs to relax if we’re ever to make it out of here. She was starting to glow before you started to talk about goddamn klofs and whatnot. Shut your trap Halith and if you don’t want to sleep, hold her, make her comfortable. She’s our only hope. Go now, I’ll stay here. My bones are too old for sleep anyway.’

‘I can hear you, you know.’ said a shy, low voice behind them.

‘God’s name girl, don’t sneak out like this. Not in this charcoal of a night.’ said the old man.

‘I’m sorry, said the girl, but it’s hard to make a sound when your feet aren’t touching the ground. What is my name by the way? Why are we here, in this darkness, in this night, in this cave? Who are you people?’ and with each question it was plain to hear her voice was trembling again, but this time not with tears, but with fear.

‘Reevelthay, you don’t remember us?’ said the young man. It’s me Halith and he’s the old man who won’t tell us his name. You knew us a moment ago.

‘I…I don’t…it’s so dark, too dark. Halith, it sounds a little familiar, like I’ve heard it before, a long time ago. I know you, really? I feel like I don’t belong here and I’m afraid. Why are we here?’

‘Sobin sent us in Fikt when he couldn’t get your velthirian light. You really don’t remember? You don’t belong here. You belong in the Realm of Thive, the land of light.  You’re the last of the nine sisters…’

The girl began to slowly sob and the men felt all their hope drain out of them, drop by drop, together with the unseen tears that were rolling down the girl’s unseen cheeks. Guided by her gentle sobs, Halith took a step toward her and in a calmest most soothing voice he could gather, he started talking.

‘Your name is Reevelthay, but we call you Ree. You’re the last of the Velth sisters, the last carrier of Velthirian light. You live in the Realm of Thive and I am your guardian, Halith. You’ve known me since we were children, a long time ago. I’m here to keep you from any harm. The old man came in Thive from a faraway place to seek for you and take you to your husband-to-be. He’s one of the magi, a wizard, and he won’t speak his name to anyone, as it’s their tradition. We were heading to Almir, where your future husband lives, but on the way something went wrong, and one of the serethians found us and sent us to the place of the forever dark: Fikt. Don’t be scared, we’ll find a way out of here, and you can help us with that. But you need to stay as calm as you can. We’re going to try and keep you safe.’

There was a moment of silence while the old man and the girl waited for Halith to finish his story. Then the girl said softly:

‘I believe you Halith, but all of this sounds very unfamiliar to me. I am tired and all I seem to be able to think of is sleep. ‘

‘Go find a place to lay your had then Ree. I’ll be making sure that nothing here harms you.’ said Halith.

As the girl went further into the dark trying to find a place comfortable enough to sleep, the old man and the guardian sat down and started talking in hushed voices.

‘What do you think old man? Will we be able to get out of this alive?’

‘Young master Halith, I believe we are in a truly difficult situation. You know that Fikt is where the other eight sisters went and never came back again. You know how hungry Fiktians are for Velthirian light. And we’ll need her to start glowing if we want to get out of here.  So I guess that our ability to get out of here alive depends on how well we’ll be able to hide the brightest of lights in the darkest of nights.’

‘Old man, you can just say we’re doomed. I know I am.’

‘We must never give up hope Halith. It’s the only reason we have to stay alive: hope.’

‘Old man, you know I’m a guardian. You know I’m meant to die on Fiktian grounds. I just hope I’ll manage to send you two back alive. The only thing I want is for her to be safe and happy.’

‘I know Halith. And she will be. She will be.’

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