Chapter 1 - The First Step
To an outside observer I suppose my actions that morning did look a bit odd. My exact age is lost to the annals of time as even I have forgotten it, but her, she had just turned 18. I watched as she clasped her robe around her neck and let out a sigh of deep sadness.
I knew what she was about to do. There was a look in her eyes over the past few days, and this morning she had made her decision, and it was going to break her heart, and mine. From my perch upon her window still I watched her pace back and forth, fighting a battle of conscience, one which she could not win yet one which she would not lose.
She wore only an old pair of leather shoes and a green robe, for now that was all she owned. Everything else which she had was destroyed just days ago from the fires that fell from the sky and the rumblings that came from the ground. Finally after pacing for what seemed like eternity she stopped and faced the door of her dwelling. With every drop of bravery and courage left in this world she opened the door.
With a tear she closed her eyes and took several deep breaths, each one filling her body with a new life. Like a lizard or snake warming itself on a rock she stood in the sunlight as if gaining strength from the rays. It was only the approach of her neighbour which broke her free from this spell.
"Good news Kala, my wife has had our child and he is healthy and undoubtable as wise as his father.", said the neighbour grinning from ear to ear.
"That is good news indeed. That at this time, in all this disaster, a new life can be born", she replied.
"I must be off but a good day to you." And with that the neighbour ran around the corner of the house and vanished as quickly as he appeared, off undoubtably to spread the joy he felt with all whom he knew.
She stood a moment before taking a few quick steps towards the town square and my chamber, but no sooner had she started then a young child appeared before her with a flowering weed in her hands.
"Kala, happy birthday", the child said, "I have a present for you." And with those words the child placed the small weed flower she had picked from the ground into Kala's hand.
"Why thank you", Kala replied, and she brought the flower to her nose. "Such a wonderful fragrance..."
It had infact been her birthday a few days before, but in the chaos of the disaster for the first time in her life no one had the time to celebrate. Kala and the child exchanged a few more words but the child would not leave Kala's side.
Kneeling before her Kala asked, "What is wrong?"
"I am afraid that the storms of fire will return." came the meek reply.
"Do not be afraid of the storms, they are not evil and can only hurt you if you allow them to. Now go to the grounds and play with your friends." And with that the child smiled and ran off to play. Kala again took a few more steps towards my office but she didn't get far before she stopped again.
I had been following her, quietly and I was afraid she had heard me. For she paused as if she were listening intently for something, she turned around as though she heard me move, or perhaps even breath. But giving up in a short matter she again took to my office ignoring whatever sound had grabbed her attention. But again she did not get far before she was stopped, this time by one of the elders of the town with two strangers.
"Good day Kala", said the elder, "May I introduce you to a few strangers who were in the area and have agreed to help us rebuild Praxis."
"Good day elder, I hope they will be able to help. Once the town is rebuilt life can return to normal and we may worship the gods in peace. This was once a great home. I am afraid though that our world will need much more repair then even these two can supply." replied Kala.
They spoke a bit longer then the council left and Kala once again continued her journey to the center of town. As she walked I saw through my eyes exactly what I tell you now. I saw her life, as we remember it, grow with each step, each person she met and would met in the future, in her future.
All the years I had known her were now passing by my eyes. Her birth, her schooling... and now she was drawn to meet me to give me a message she wished she didn't have to and she did not know why, nor I believe did the thought even enter her head.
Such a poor child. Her family was away from the town when the storms hit and had not been heard from for days, they should have arrived back to Praxis quite some time ago. Combine to that all she owned or knew of this world had been destroyed. My heart went out to her, but now there was nothing I could do.
Almost entering the town square she was stopped again, this time by a long time friend of hers. A young lad of the same age came up to her. "Hello, Kala." he said. "Where are you off to this early morning."
"Hello good friend", she replied. "I do not know for certain where this day will take me, I will leave that to the day to decide. And where are you off to this morning."
"I have just been accepted as an apprentice scholar." He took his robe where the emblem of the scholar class was stitched and pressed it into her hand. "There is news that strangers have arrived this very day in our own town to help us rebuild. I am off to find those who have come to help, and to help them in the rebuild of our town."
"Well then I will not keep you on your way", answered Kala. And her friend took off around the corner out of eyesight, out of ear shot.
"Good bye dear friend" she whispered, then took the final few steps and enter the town square.
Finally she was in front of my office. Placing her hand against the door she waited once more as if for some divine intervention to occur and pull her out of this situation. But none came and so she pushed the door open and walked inside.
That was when I could wait no longer and followed her in, appearing before her for the first time this day, and prepared for the news she was about to tell, the news she had not and would not tell anyone else.