Chapter 1 - Then
Chapter 2 - Now
It had been many years since Kala was last seen. In fact it had been years since her name was even spoken. It would have appeared as though she was forgotten and left to the annals of time.
But she hadn't gone anywhere. At this moment in time she was traveling from one village to the next... the next village. It had become a reoccurring theme of her life, always traveling to the next village. Infact she had been doing it for so long she could barely remember anything else. So long ago in fact that those days when she ruled Whitestorm and changed the world were more like the memories of ancient fairy tales then that of actual events of the past.
The sudden rise of the storm had covered the world in darkness, but it did not hinder Kala from her journey. Knowing she was approaching the cottage her thoughts returned to the time when she was first in these parts. It was many years ago, before she was ruler. Traveling, and lost, she stumbled upon the cottage and its owners, a young couple who had just given birth to their first son. They gave her rest and shelter, and most of all guidance, though they did not know it at the time.
Back then, Kala now thought, she was just a child herself, running from the unknown, uncertain of what to do, unable to see the choice which was before her. Still saddened by her parent's death she stumbled upon this household and its inhabitants. That night, after a dinner with the family and after the sharing of her story the father spoke words to her, words containing the wisdom well beyond his age.
Kala still remembered his words, "You do have a choice, but you will not like it. You awoke one day and choose to search for your parents. You choose to leave Whitestorm after finding of their deaths. You choose to come knocking on this door and you choose to stay the night. But you did not choose your parents to die, nor did you choose to live in a world which destroyed your village. And you could not choose my hospitality no more then you could choose the clear skies of the day. So although it looks like you have many choices in life, the truth is that in all the randomness and uncertainties in the world you really have no choice in how your life turns out."
"But you said I do have a choice", Kala answered.
"You do.... in all this world there is really only one choice you can make, only one choice which you can truly effect the outcome of.... you can choose to be good, or you can choose to be evil."
That night, confused and uncertain to what the man meant, Kala left while the others slept. She did not go far before coming to a conclusion. And she took the robes she wore, the only possession she took from Praxis, and buried them by the side of the path, under a tree within sight of the cottage. Leaving the last relic of a world she would leave forgotten to the sands of time in a place where no one would ever find it again.
What Kala did not see was under the tree lay the roof beam and under the beam a young man, and his wife. Both dead and killed from the fallen tree. About to leave and continue to the next town Kala heard the quiet cry of a child, and searching though the rubble found a new born baby in a crib. Quickly she grabbed a toppled basket of apples and pouring the fruit out put the baby girl in the basket and left the cottage.
Quickly she scampered down the path but lost her footing as the road was muddy. Gathering her senses, and the child, she stumbled upon the robe she buried all those years ago, peaking from the dirt, under now, a much larger and older tree.
Picking up the robe in both her hands she quickly remembered burring it. Bringing it to her face she inhaled deeply, it smelt of mold and dirt, but to her imagination she could still smell the rock soap used to wash it all those years ago. Without thinking, as if guided by the will of the gods, or perhaps guided by the knowledge which she gained over her life she took the child and wrapped her in the green robes.
Kneeling before the child she smiled. Then taking an ancient scroll from within her own robes, opened it and smiled once again. "My dear friend Atmos" she whispered. Rolling the scroll and placing it beside the child she gave the child a kiss on the forehead. "May Atmos find you well". And with those words, the child, the basket and scroll vanished.
Not knowing truly what had just happened she stayed kneeling over the emptiness once filled by the basket and its contents, but only for a moment as a large bolt of lightning struck only feet from her, knocking her to the ground once again. Getting up she continued on her way to the next village. Her walking stick lost in the commotion and hobbling from the fall, she quickly made her way down the path.
Her thoughts now turned to the warmth and dryness she would soon experience, and those she would share it with. The last town she was at barely acknowledged her. How things had changed, she though. When she first left Whitestorm she was a hero to all. She would arrive in a village and be treated as a god. But lately no one paid her any attention. No one recognized her. Her statue was still prevalent in many towns but people had ceased praising her and returned to the temples.
Thinking back she could not remember when the change took place. Little by little, she supposed, people stopped recognizing her. She was able to enter towns and visit the temples, on her journey to find the gods without being noticed. And as time went on more people were seen in the temples as well. Perhaps, she thought, it happened at the same time. In fact she now could not remember the last time she was recognized.
How ironic, she thought to herself. All she remembered now of the time she was leader of Whitestorm was the day she left, and the events which triggered her to go on this journey. How everyone stopped praising the gods and praised her instead. And how quickly it had all happened, virtually overnight. And now, that she was on this journey, people had stopped praising her and returned to the temples.
Crossing the bridge she stopped for just a moment about half way and pondered if she would be recognized in this next town. But a moment was all she needed. She did not know how or why, but she knew her journey was now over.