Shadows Cast Prose in Etharai | World Anvil

Shadows Cast

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The lights danced in front of Lytheal's eyes, even after she had already shut them. She groaned, leaning her head back against the wall. Sometimes, she wished she had never learned how to decipher their meanings.

It had started when she was only 8. She could hardly remember the vision's she'd gotten before then - normal ones, ones about whether she'd get her favourite toy, or if the boy at school would stop pushing her around and making fun of her. But something changed, something happened that caused all of her kin to be overwelmed with signs of war, of horrifying conflict. Something no child should ever have to experience.

"Well? Hey, you're not here to stand around and do nothin'. What are you seein'?"
The harsh voice of the Admiral grated against her ears, interrupting her thoughts. Internally, she groaned, gritting her teeth before speaking.

"No. They... they're all dead. No survivors. Asterya's armies are crushed - they'll no longer be a threat."

Pleased with her answer, the Admiral turned back to the bridge, offering nothing even resembling a 'thank you'. Where she'd come from, that was common etiquiette. But ever since she'd been shipped off to this far-too-cold country and its backwards people, she hadn't seen a semblance of that anywhere.

There were rumours the Orithans had started the War. Torched some villages on their border with the Syquoral. The kuuyikar living there were kind, she'd heard, much kinder than the men she was working for now. It crushed her soul to know that they'd be wiped out in only two days. By the worldmothers, she wished she could do something, anything to prevent it. But she had no way of getting information to the small strike team that was now gathering, nor would they ever believe her if she could. No, they'd see it as just another Orithan trick.

She had to remind herself that this was all for her family. There was nothing she could do about the horrors the War would bring, but she could lessen its impact - Orithan's impact - if she just stuck around and told them what they wanted. The bombardments would stop, and her people could live in peace. At least, that's what she told herself so that she could sleep at night. But the ever-present sparking lights in the corner of her vision told her otherwise, that this was all for nothing. For her own sanity, she had to ignore them and push through. For hope.

Hope. That was a word that'd near lost its meaning in this forsaken War.

She looked out the window of the bridge, the sight of the fighting only slightly less depressing than where her thoughts had led her. She tried to remember better days, of running and playing and doing normal child things, well before even the smallest hints of the approching conflict were looming. She remembered her childhood crush, Aiumi. Shadows Cast. It was a strange name for their culture, but then again, Aiumi was a strange person. One of the few without their kin's forsight, born with a defect in their I chromosome causing them to be born blind - both to the world itself, and to the lights dancing along the vision of everyone surrounding them.

A tear formed in the corner of Lytheal's eye, even as she tried to resist it. Soon, she was silently choking back a sob. She longed more than anything to return home, to tell Aiumi how she really felt. Confess to them what she had been holding back for years.

But she couldn't. The dark red spot growing in the corner of her vision reminded her of that. Even as she closed her eyes once more, she couldn't escape it. The one vision that she would never tell the Admiral about. But it had to happen. She had to be there, she had to guide them one last time. If she didn't, the War raging around her stood no chance at ending. It was almost funny, how his own arrogance would be his demise. Right on cue, the Admiral barked one more order at her.

"Girl, is it safe to proceed? Have we disarmed all of their mines?"

Lytheal took a deep breath, choosing her last words carefully. "Yes. The coast is clear."


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Jan 9, 2024 12:27 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is so sad. Really well written. <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jan 9, 2024 12:50 by spleen

thank you <3

Have a wonderful day!