Elemental Emotions – Episode 6

Episode 6: Primal Origins

“So, what do we do?” she watched the wraiths move about. She was kneeling on the ground as she pulled her jacket from the bag.

Shoulder against a tree with arms crossed lightly across his chest, his gaze was cast sidelong towards her, “you’re the one that insisted.”

“Well, we didn’t come all this way just to give up,” a smile lit up her face. She shrugged the jacket onto her shoulders, “Hope is out here somewhere. We gotta reach it.”

He was watching her, “this is Hope.”

“This..?” her eyes moved back to the landslide’s resting point. “How?”

His dark gaze shifted to a lone tower protruding from the hardened mud. “the landslide nearly buried the town completely.”

She looked at him in question.

He elaborated, “I can see portions of roofs from the tallest buildings. The town once stood here.”

Her eyes slowly took in the scene. She asked, “but I thought the humans were guarding this town.”

“Seems rumours are mistaken. It’s only the wraiths now.”

Over her shoulder, she looked at him, “you know what they are.”

“I don’t know how to kill one.”

“I don’t think you can kill a spirit,” she mused thoughtfully. “At least, I hope you can’t!”

“If there’s a way, I’m sure the humans have found it,” he remarked darkly.

She stood between him and the wraiths. The fading sun bounced off her hair, making it glow. From the shadows of the forest, he watched.

“The guards, in the cells where we met,” she stared past the town to their recent past, “they burned the bodies of those that died.”

Though she hadn’t asked a question, he still affirmed, “yah.”

“I heard them say once that they wouldn’t waste a proper burial on us,” over her shoulder she looked at him. Sadness rested heavy.

“Because we don’t have souls,” he held her gaze.

Worry replaced sadness.

He continued, “it’s what they’ve told me all my life.”

Slowly she shook her head, “I don’t believe that.”

“No wraiths ever appeared in the cells,” he argued against them having souls.

“Would you want to stick around there after you died?”

Her question, though not intended to, made him grin.

She ventured a guess, “maybe it was the fires, or something else those humans did. But Reason and Lovey’s town also didn’t have wraiths, and they’re a bunch of humans.”

A single shoulder shrugged to let her know that he entertained this train of thought. She looked back towards the wraiths as she let her thoughts wander.

“Reason is a gravedigger,” she reminded them.

“Humans are odd. What’s the connection?”

“Maybe humans do things for a reason,” she looked to him.

His gaze threatened an angry response.

Before he could muster the response, she continued, “I think maybe Reason and Lovey’s town do what they can to give the dead a proper burial because it’s the right thing to do. It’s worth a try.”

The nod she gave was an affirmation of her thoughts, and it moved the hair out from behind her ear.

His gaze darkened, “what are you doing?”

She looked over her shoulder as she moved down towards the town, “anything happens, you come save me.”

“You’re going to bury a town that’s already buried?” His hands lifted in defeat, “that’s not a plan.”

“Well, we gotta try something,” she was already halfway down the slope.

At the base, her feet came to a stop. Before her wraiths were forming. Translucent skin hung off bones in charred segments. Faces appeared melted. Limbs were badly broken or missing. The insides of people now spilt out. One’s rib cage was open as though something inside had pushed its way out. A woman knelt on the ground holding her eyes within her cupped hands. A man held the body of his infant child whose half-burnt head was turning to look at Zene.

Her hands over her mouth kept her from screaming. From behind trembling fingers, she tried to speak, “I’m here to…”

A horrible, fiery visage of an unidentifiable soul appeared suddenly before her! Flames leapt up the body consuming flayed flesh. Bones in the badly burnt face had shifted and changed. The jaw hung limply along the macerated neck. Prominent canine teeth adorned the jaw. Below the hunched shoulders, the arms had been burnt down to bones that were reaching for her. There were no eyes within the face, yet the wraith unerringly focused upon her.

“Ggghhooo,” it commanded though the jaw did not move and there were no lips to help form the sounds.

With shaking hands, she pressed on, “you’re dead. And I uh, came to see if you needed a proper burial.”

Anger twisted the features of the wraith, making the memory of burnt flesh glow red and scars to rip deeper. The jaw dropped lower, and what emerged from the wraith was a ghastly moan which was a memory of the pain and fear before death. The hollows of the eyes seemed to look deep inside her, threatening to pull her very soul from her. Fear stopped her heart from beating correctly. Air seemed impossible to take in. She felt the heat of the fires that once were. Her hands shook, tears filled her eyes. Her head shook as she tried to reason, or make any noise at all. The bony stumps of his arms reached for her throat. The teeth in his upper jaw drew her fearful gaze.

Nevetes’ arms held her safely to his chest as he whisked her away from imminent harm. She held her hands to her throat as she leaned into his chest. The wind pulled the hair at the side of her face that wasn’t next to Nevetes.

“Leave it to you to try and befriend a wraith,” he glared over his shoulder at the beings. “They’re mindless. Trapped within the moment of their brutal deaths.”

“Like a memory?” her gaze flitted to the wraith.

“A very, very bad one,” he conceded. “And one you can’t change.”

“I have to help,” but the worry in her expression hinted at the fear that she wouldn’t be able to.

Nevetes’ foot slammed into the earth to stop their momentum. His hair reached forward as he threw his head back to avoid the flames coming from the wraith. It had appeared before them. Fire ate away at the empty eye sockets that somehow conveyed anger. Fire leapt at the two of them. Nevetes slid beneath the flames and outstretched stubs that were the arms. The wraith spun about to lock unerringly upon them. Nevetes sliced down with his claws only to get remnants of flames and wisps of wraith. The wraith shouted unintelligible defiance at them.

Nevetes spun, his back towards the wraith. As he came about, his leg rose and his boot went directly for the wraith. She gasped, for the wraith was now before them leaving Nevetes’ boot to connect with nothing but air. Nevetes would shoulder the worst of what would come in order to protect her. His body shielded her. A growl came from behind his bared teeth. A growl that seemed to be echoed by the burning wraith.

“STOP,” she pushed out of Nevetes’ arms! Her own arms moved outward to protect Nevetes as she put herself between the two. “Fire will hurt him, so stop!”

From behind, Nevetes’ look held a dry question. Before her the wraith had paused with a quizzical tilt of the head.

“We aren’t here to hurt you,” her hair obscured her vision as it softly fell to the bridge of her nose. “We’re here to help. Only to help.”

“How?” Nevetes asked for the two of them; he and the wraith. He pointed out, “unless your healing power works miracles, you can’t heal what’s already dead. They aren’t willing to listen, and they aren’t leaving the place they died in.”

“I don’t know,” the words slipped softly from her lips. She looked at the wraith, noting that he wasn’t attacking them, “you’re waiting.”

It was a good sign within her mind, and so she nodded acceptance. A firm hand was upon her forearm to draw her eyes to him. Silence hung in the air between them, but she heard what his eyes were telling her. Her fingers slipped into his as she smiled lightly at him.

“If you can’t touch them, then they can’t touch me. Right?”

“You’re going to test that theory,” he resigned himself to this fact with a sigh.

“I gotta,” she shrugged helplessly as she moved back towards the hovering wraith. She stood up tall with shoulders back, chest forward, hands soft. Bravely, she faced the burning, distorted image, “I’m Zene, and I’m here to help you find peace.”

The fires raged once again! The flesh melted off in hunks. The scent of burning flesh and hair assaulted her. It added to the effect, but this was a memory. As the hunks burnt away, they reappeared on the body. Her gaze took in the sight.

“The moment you died,” there was pain in her soft voice.

A horrible sound emerged which was echoed by other wraiths about and brought a chill to her heart. The breath which moved slowly into her lungs, came out even slower. She faced the wraith.

She expressed the worry she had for him, “it must have been so awful.”

The limp jaw dangled precariously yet didn’t move as the wraith turned his head quickly. The empty eye socket focused upon her almost in question. There was almost a familiarity within the macerated features which captured the interest of her eyes. He too, seemed to look upon her with a level of recognition.

Zene pressed on in favour of an observation Nevetes had made, “you’re not still living in pain.”

The fires burned brighter. There was a growl from the wraith. So much like Mae when confronted with something beyond the known.

“You’re not living,” her expression clearly showed sorrow. Her lightly folded hands moved to the height of her chest.

Rage erupted!

The wraith struck out with the bones of his right arm. Fire leapt from the bones and tattered clothing, reaching for her. She winced yet stood her ground. As the flames came for her, Nevetes stood before her. His claws met the flames as though they were a physical arm coming for her. The fear she kept inside for herself came out in a gasp for, “Nevetes”!

Nothing happened. Nevetes’ arm sailed through the flames untouched and the wraith’s flames danced away in the air, but his anger was reflected within the flames. Nevetes stood before her, his body was her shield. The wraith came for them.

Instead of meeting the challenge head on, Nevetes pulled Zene into his arms. They were in the air with the wind pulling at their hair. Nevetes landed hard, and gently placed Zene down. Without a word, he raced back to the wraith. His speed is what kept the wraith from materializing where she was. He was focused upon Nevetes. They met, flames and claws. Neither one inflicting damage.

She breathed easier seeing that the flames weren’t hurting Nevetes. But there was pain within his eyes that he couldn’t hide. He wanted to protect Zene, yet he didn’t know how. His claws weren’t connecting. His opponent didn’t have a body.

“But he died here,” the thought emerged from her lips. Her eyes danced about, but all she could see was the earth and a few glimpses of roofs, as Nevetes had said.

Her gaze turned calm and her breath slowed. The symbol within her eyes began to glow. Hands over her heart, she called to the earth.

“You’ve always shared what I needed to know,” her tone as gentle as the touch she now placed upon the ground. “Maybe you can help me find what I seek.”

She felt it; pain that brought fear to her eyes. The earth, the animals, the people. They were all in pain from a wound that wasn’t closed. Death was trapped here, just as the town had been trapped. A breeze stirred, pulling softly at her loose hair. The tears in the corners of her eyes trickled down her cheeks as she turned her face to the sky.

Lightly at first, wisps of clouds began to move in. Would rain alone be enough to unearth the town which had been buried? Her face and eyes fell back to the earth. It didn’t seem at all likely. But it’s what the earth was calling for.

She rose to her feet with her arms moving out to the sides. She waved the open palm of her right hand over the earth. The call was heard, and the buildings clouds let out the rain. There was a sigh from the earth, but more would be needed. And more was asked for.

“Wind,” she spoke the word. Her gaze was upon Nevetes and the battle neither he nor the wraith were going to win.

She’d never called up wind before. But not knowing never stopped her from trying! The hem of her jacket flowed around her thighs as she spun about. Her back to Nevetes, she looked at the forest they had come from. Her shoulders rose as her arms moved up to curl into herself.

A strong wind answered her call nearly immediately. It pulled the hair from her face and tried to pull the jacket from her body. With a smile and a wave of her hand, she beckoned the wind on as she turned about once more. Nevetes was still involved in his battle, but his gaze had shifted her direction in question.

The urge to dance with the wind struck. It was what the wind wanted. She didn’t let it down. With the wind pulling at her, she danced. It grew stronger. The trees of the forest bowed as though they too were a part of the dance. Her hand pulled her heavy hair from her face so that she could look over her shoulder at the forest. A subtle nod was her silent communication to it. She released her hair and waved her arm theatrically in the direction the wind moved.

A wave of white came from the forest. It reminded her of snow. But this wasn’t cold. As the wave moved in, tiny seeds on puffs of white were revealed. Pulled by the strong winds that would bring them to their new home. The sound of something scuffling along the ground was nearly covered over by the sound of the wind in her ears. Yet, there was enough noise that it drew her eyes to her feet where pinecones danced along in great numbers. Her laugh moved along the wind.

As the seeds moved out over the buried town the wind suddenly calmed allowing them to come to rest on the earth which the rain had begun to soften. She looked to the sky. It was time. Her hands touched her heart and she closed her eyes, her silent plea sent upwards. The rain came down in sheets! It would help the little seeds to grow.

Something bumped her foot. She looked down to find a pinecone.

“What is it?” Nevetes had asked the question for she had stopped smiling. It didn’t even surprise her that he was suddenly at her side.

“I see it,” she murmured. Slowly, she bent down to pick up the pinecone. The glow in her eyes was echoed deep within the pinecone. “It’s life.”

As she stood, Nevetes’ hand was on her forehead checking for a fever. Her glowing eyes looked at him warmly.

“Eehhhee-eeenn’all,” the wraith moaned.

“Elemental,” Nevetes translated for her. Seemed he was already getting a handle on the way wraiths spoke. “His name is Anthony. He and his family died here.”

“Look,” she breathed, her eyes transfixed now upon the wraith. He looked and shared the surprise she had.

The wraith had changed. Or was changing. The muzzle with the broken jaw was resetting, and now looking more human-like. The vacant eye sockets now had flesh and eyes returning. The arms were beginning to come back, stitching back together as though undoing the events that had caused their loss.

“What is happening?” Nevetes was asking her.

She shook her head but did answer, “I thought maybe if we could find his bones.”

Nevetes looked at her. His dark gaze was warm and patient to her view.

“I asked the earth to help. But everything here is hurting. Like an open wound. The earth wants life to return.” She lifted the pinecone she held, “so I called the rain, and the wind came to bring seeds. And I can see it now.”

“See what?”

“A spark of life, maybe,” she ventured a guess. “It glows. Small, but it glows deep inside. All the seeds do. You do. And so does he.”

They both looked at the wraith. She saw it, a flow of energy around him like his spark was displaced. The glow in her eyes grew in strength as she looked about. The energy of other wraiths was visible even through the rain that continued to fall. The earth needed this rain, so she wouldn’t send it away. Around her, the wind was now only a gentle breeze. It seemed to hug her shoulders, which was a feeling she would always enjoy. Her smile spoke of that.

Light footsteps carried her forward. Nevetes and the wraith watched her. The other wraiths looked on. Their displaced sparks glimmered through the rain. She knelt once more, setting the pinecone in the earth. Hands cupped over the small mound she invoked power. It spread quickly, lighting up the other pinecones. If there was to be growth, there first had to be a chance for them. The earth pulled the pinecones down. She felt all the eyes upon her. She also felt Nevetes reaching for her before she even looked up. She took his hand.

Holding Nevetes’ hand, she looked closely upon the wraith named Anthony, “I think what you did is helping.”

“What I did?” he didn’t sound convinced.

She turned to look at him. Nevetes’ spark held a warmth and strength she’d always seen in him. “You talked to him. Heard his name.”

Though similar in appearance, each spark was unique. The way it moved, the shading of color; subtle differences that mattered.

“Hi Anthony,” she spoke to the wraith.

A blue film covered the eyes which were returning to his head. It was a difficult time focusing, and yet, he seemed to be watching her.

 “Do you know what happened to you?”

An indistinguishable noise emerged. It echoed the pain the earth carried. He turned towards the lone tower looking more human now than when he had first appeared. The change seemed to be a reversal of time. His arms were nearly whole, and his jaw had gone back into place. The neck though, remained severely macerated.

“What happened here?” the question was uncharacteristically direct. “The earth is in pain. Why?”

He turned away.

She watched with careful eyes, “your spark fades when you turn away from the tower.”

Nevetes moved closer, “what does that mean?”

She asked him, “Anthony?”

She waited until he was looking at her. Sad eyes held her gaze. His spark waivered and flickered a little more strongly.

“Whatever happened here, I think you have to face it.”

His nearly complete eyes looked past her to the tower. The worry they held was easily seen.

Nevetes was at her side, his direct gaze on the wraith, “your penance.”

The wraith looked upon his regenerating hands.

She pulled wet strands of hair behind her ear as she leaned towards Nevetes to ask, “what’s penance?”

Nevetes’ near smile touched the corner of his mouth. He addressed the wraith, “she’s here to help. I’m here for answers. You can’t leave until you face the truth. Seems we might all be on the same path.”

Nevetes’ eyes moved towards the tower. She looked, and so did Anthony. There really didn’t appear to be anything special about it.

“You are the only wraith drawn to it.” Nevetes’ eyes were dark, “you paid the price for your actions. Now face the consequences. What did you humans do here?”

Anthony’s ghostly hands flexed under his sad gaze. He looked at the movement as though he hadn’t seen it for a long time and missed the ability that he once took for granted. Slowly, he nodded acceptance of Nevetes’ words and wisdom.

With worry, Zene looked out over the buried town to the other wraiths.

“It’s not your job to save the world,” Nevetes knew her thoughts.

The rain fell off her nose, “I know.”

“Do you?” he questioned.

Even to her own ears, she could hear the hesitation in her voice. It was only as Nevetes took her hand that she could take her eyes off the other wraiths.

“You’ve already helped them,” he told her.

“How?” she shook her head. She followed his line of sight when it turned to Anthony.

“He will help the others after we’ve helped him.”

It was on her tongue to argue. She didn’t want to burden others. But, standing unaffected by the rain that coated the two of them, Anthony merely gave a single nod of affirmation. He would in turn help those who died here, once they could figure out how to help him.

“Okay,” she breathed a sigh of relief.

They moved ahead, her hand in Nevetes’ while Anthony flickered in and out to move closer to the tower. It was the lake behind the tower that had her eyes. Even in the growing dark it was beautiful. She could imagine the full moon reflected in the waters and was tempted to pull back the clouds. But the earth had a need she wouldn’t ignore. She stood back a moment to simply stare. Nevetes released her hand. His inspection of the tower was his focus.

“What was it like here, before this happened?” she asked Anthony.

“Ssssssaaaaahhhhhdddd,” Anthony moaned the word. His reforming eyes revealed the emotion he was trying to voice.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized!

Nevetes was stepping inside through a window that had long ago broken. Quickly, she moved to follow. Behind her, Anthony’s form flickered from a burnt man to a chubby boy whose eyes looked deep below the rubble which buried so much of the truth.

Inside, a narrow and dark stairwell met them. Beyond the light coming in from the window, Zene couldn’t see a thing. She caught up to Nevetes because he hadn’t gone farther than inside the window.

“What is it?” she asked because Nevetes was standing still, looking at the path down.

“It’s blocked,” he told her. Nevetes’ gaze seemed to accuse and question the wraith as Anthony appeared.

Head tilted down, Anthony turned away from the blockage. He moved soundlessly past them to head upwards.

“Anthony,” she called his name with a clear, firm tone.

He stopped.

“You have to face it,” she told him. “Is this where you’re buried?”

He remained still, neither moving away nor coming closer. She waited for an answer.

Nevetes gave it, “can you open it up?”

He was asking her. The ground and rock were cold as she placed a hand down when she knelt. Her eyes glowed brighter. And yet, she shook her head, “there’s no plants around with roots big enough to move the rock. I could maybe try water. Send it down and then expand it with ice.”

Nevetes was looking at the tight walls next to them. This time it was him shaking his head, “too dangerous. We’d risk collapsing what’s left and losing it all.”

“Anthony,” she requested of him.

He looked at them with a sad expression. His back to the rubble said that he wasn’t interested in opening it up. Instead, his focus moved back up the stairwell and he moved away from them.

“Let’s go,” Nevetes moved to follow.

Her hand lightly ran over the earth. Softly she spoke, “you’re too little to move the earth, but I could use your help.”

 Nevetes was moving away from her. The light from the window showed where he was but it would soon disappear. She straightened her shoulders. With a gentle smile, she moved both hands softly at her sides with the palms open and facing down. A fungus, which loved damp and dark, grew within these narrow stairways. At night it would glow. She simply asked them to glow a little earlier, and a little thicker. It illuminated the way for her.

The glow was mild, providing enough light that the path and she were barely visible. Quickly, she moved ahead. The tower spiralled up a long way. As she moved, the glow kept pace ahead illuminating doors and cracked steps. It was the doors that slowed her feet. Doors with no windows and only a small opening at the bottom that would be large enough for a meagre tray of food. Her feet stopped moving. Lightly, she held her arms. Her breath barely moving.

“What is it?” Nevetes was once again suddenly at her side. She looked at him, her arms dropping.

“This is a prison,” the words weren’t more than a whisper. She sadly gazed at the memories the doors brought back. “I was taken to a place much like this after they came to our meadow.”

Her eyes asked the question that her voice couldn’t raise. Nevetes remained at her side.

“There’s a lot of doors,” she watched his eyes reflect the faint glow around them. “Are they all gone from here?”

“Yah,” he affirmed softly.

“Do you think Elementals caused the rockslide?” worry rang clear.

“Would you blame them if they had?” he looked at her with curiosity.

She took in the way the glow gently illuminated his body. So much like their first encounter at the well when the firelight barely touched him. She let out a slow breath.

“Those people out there didn’t deserve to die,” she shook her head.

“You don’t know what they did.”

Her head gave a negative shake, “even if they had…”

“What led you out of the well?” he suddenly asked of her.

With a hard look at the door before them, “I couldn’t live in their cages anymore. I didn’t deserve that.”

He stood before her, “no you didn’t. And neither did these Elementals.”

She looked at the door, and beyond it to the small world she knew was there.

“Okay,” the word was spoken on a soft breath. She pulled up a smile.

Together they followed Anthony up to the top of the tower. Anthony moved through the door to the other side. With no effort it swung open when Nevetes pushed, revealing a large room. A single intact window would allow sunlight in. Shelves lining the walls were filled with books. A number of those books had fallen to the floor during the rockslide. Wide tables had remained upright. Glass vials, metal instruments, and a thick layer of dust sat on top of most tables.

“There’s a lot of books here,” she commented as the blanket of fungus tried to follow them inside. “Do you think they left anything behind with any answers?”

Nevetes’ expression was dark which didn’t reveal much, so she waited for an answer from him. “They’re using this place as storage. There’s something here.”

“They are?” she looked about wondering what she’d missed.

“They cleaned up some of the shelves, cleared off some tables, left the tools to be used later,” he told her absently.

“Wouldn’t mind seeing through your eyes right now,” she held out a hand to ensure she didn’t bump into something. Her hand touched a bookshelf.

Nevetes was looking at her.

A light blush accompanied her gentle giggle, “you know what I mean. Nighttime vision would be very helpful at times.”

She pulled a book off a shelf and looked down at the pages.

“You’d have to miss out on those sunny afternoons you love so much,” he quipped lightly which made her laugh.

“Things are always prettier by moonlight,” she looked down at the book in her hands trying to see the words through the gloom.

With a smile, Nevetes moved past her. His destination was the path most commonly used by those that visited this place. He made a selection of the books before him.

“My sister taught me how to read,” the memories brought her away from the book in hand. “How did you learn?”

The only movement from Nevetes were his eyes as they glanced past the pages of the book he held. His look was distant and hard, “who knows.”

“But you can read?” she pressed on.

He sighed, “better when you’re quiet.”

She didn’t take it personally, and only smiled lightly as she once again looked to the book in hand. It was only a moment before she spoke again, “I don’t understand what this book is saying.”

“That’s because it’s written in Latin.”

“Latin?” She looked down at the book in her hands.

Dropping his head back to the book helped to hide the smile that wanted to surface.

“It’s too dark in here to read. Anyway,” she faced Anthony as she dropped the book back into place on the shelf, “we’re here to help you face your death.”

The breath of an amused laugh escaped Nevetes’ lips.

She continued on, “what happened here?”

“Deeaaatthhhh,” he moaned the word in wraith fashion.

“But why?” she urged. “This is…this is where you’re buried, isn’t it?”

Anthony nodded.

“Was it,” she hesitated because the words frightened her. “Elementals were kept here. Was it them that buried the town?”

He shrugged.

“Why?” she breathed the question which was forefront in her mind. She wrung the fingers of her left hand. “Why do you lock us up? What did we do?”

Nevetes held her within his gaze. Bravely, she faced the question and the one she hoped could explain. Anthony vanished, and with him her hopes of understanding. Defeat pulled her shoulders down.

“Hhuuuummman fffffault,” he had reappeared closer to the window he now looked out of.

“What a surprise,” Nevetes was back to reading the books. His hair brushed over his cheek as his head titled down.

“Mmmmmy ffffault,” Anthony was more firm.

“Why is it?” she watched the wraith.

“Aahhhhllll ddddeeaaad,” it was a wail worthy of a wraith.

“Did you mean for everyone to die? For the town to be buried under a mountain?” The question was direct, and it got both Anthony and Nevetes to look at her.

His head shook negatively.

“Then you’re forgiven,” she made it simple.

“Really?” Nevetes was skeptical.

“Shush,” she hushed him from the side of her mouth. To Anthony, “if this wasn’t the outcome you wanted, then you are forgiven.”

She moved towards him with her hand open to him.

“But if you want to forgive yourself, I think you have to face the truth. I think it’s the only way for your spark to become whole again.”

The weight of that order burdened the ethereal shoulders as he looked about the room. Memories kept his eyes sad.

A book fell heavily to the floor because Nevetes had thoughtlessly discarded it. The unexpected bang had caused her to jump a little. She looked over at him with a stern reprimand that sounded more like a sigh, “Nevetes.”

He didn’t acknowledge her attempt to rebuke him.

“Anth…” He was gone! No longer at the window.

And so, she looked about and quickly found him close to Nevetes. Over the book in Nevetes’ hands, they stared at each other. The air felt suddenly heavy in the room. Like the moments before a massive storm broke.

The tension made it hard to talk. But she was eager for the moment to be gone. “What is it?”

Anthony was gone in his wraithlike way. Vanishing with a flicker, and making them look about to try and find him again. She spotted him on the far side of the room. The darkness of the room hid him well. At least to her eyes. Sensing that he had moved for a reason, she moved to follow.

Picking her way lightly through the darkened room, she made her way to him. And to the books he stood beside. It was the way he looked upon them that told her something was here. Her fingers ran lightly over the spines of those books. She squinted trying to read the words printed upon the books. Each one held a different title but the same name; “Who’s Dr. Byron Oliver?” Anthony’s ghostly finger moved next to hers to stop her from continuing down the line.

“Fffaaaahhhh-hhheeerrr,” he told her with such sorrow.

She glanced towards Nevetes, who was looking at her. His shoulders moved in a minute shrug of defeat.

“The Primal Origins,” her fingers moved to pull the heavy book off the shelf. She had Nevetes’ attention as she read the opening.

The origins of the Primal lines. A myth that time has buried beneath the lies our forefathers told. A secret so tightly kept that I risk my life and my career in the pursuit of it.

There are those that see no value in this exercise of discipline I walk. But I do. For what can we achieve going forward if we hold no understanding of where we came from? Or more to the point here, where they came from. If I am ever to discover the truth of the Primal origins, I must break each down to the very base nature it once used to be.

Tensions rose.

She held something important. Something important to Nevetes.