This was one of the many beginnings that I had written for my story, but it was written a few years ago.
Apparitions played within the shadows of the trees and she found herself unable to sit still, looking left and right and feeling the calm slip away very quickly. Being in this brand new place was scary and she knew nothing of her surroundings, but this could not be - she was Onela, born and raised in Kalinesti, destined to live there until her dying day and then to probably live on there in her afterlife. She knew every inch of her island, be it in the forest, caverns and even in most of the water, but this was not Kalinesti. How could she know of a place outside of her home?
"Where am I?" She asked aloud as the realization of her situation soaked in. Her huge eyes widened even more and she spun around on her heel, glancing down her body to see what she was wearing, but nothing seemed out of place for she was dressed in silvers and blues, but her cloak was missing and so was her circlet, the sign of her heritage and the gift from her ancestors.
The voice whispered so softly she felt it was almost on the wind, or even part of the wind and she jumped back nearly five steps, spinning around once again, her arms wrapped even tighter around her body. Her thigh length braid hit against her back as she turned, but everywhere she looked there was nothing. "Who is there!" She did not call out too loudly, but only so that anyone very near to her could hear her. "I know you are there. I heard you. Show yourself."
The voice repeated and she felt her stomach drop; she had heard this voice before, but it was a voice that she had only heard in her dreams.. a voice that was usually so sympathetic, compassionate, warm and composed, but now it was empty and silent and icy. "Please... show yourself.." She pleaded with the darkness, her head snapping left and right, as she looked for the owner of the speaker over and over again, but nothing could be found.
"Don't be afraid.. I won't hurt you."
She wanted to believe this voice, but at the moment she wanted nothing more than to feel safe and secure - a natural response to fear, but she couldn't trust this voice, this mood or this place. She had to know where she was and she had to see the person's face, "Tell me who you are. How do you know my name? Where is this place?" She was a little more demanding this time, stomping her foot down and dropping her hands down to her side as the frigid air vanished, replaced with a heated flame deep within her chest.
"Onela, relax. You have to let me help you. Just come to me."
She began to shake to her head, her hands clenching into two fists, before she sighed, "I cannot see you, so I cannot come to you. Where is this place.. who are you.." Onela knew she was not going to get any kind of actual answer but she wanted to know and as she looked around, she began to think of her homeland once again, but this time of the inside; the palace, the cold, icy people that so closely resembled perfect, model statues of gods and goddesses that it was occasionally unnerving. This place had nothing like those beautiful people with their glowing auras and their silver silks and hairs; it was murky and obscure, but still.. Her mother and her father were in Kalinesti and as their faces came into her mind, she blinked them away, shaking her head violently and stumbling back over the damp night ground and she would have fallen had a pair of muscular, strong, comforting arms not reached out and caught her inches before she hit the ground. Her heart was racing and for some reason she suddenly became very nervous, but she did not want to get up, "Th-thank you," she stuttered, straightening up onto her own two feet and turning to greet the stranger who had caught her, hoping to see the most handsome man she had ever dreamed of with hair dark and long and eyes soft and beautiful, but when she turned and looked, all she saw was more darkness. "No, please," she whispered, tiny steps being taken as the words stumbled from her lips. She reached out with her left hand, gripping at the darkness and the fog, searching for the person that had captured her in more ways than one. Those arms were the dream she had every night; the home that she knew she truly wanted, but it was gone now and the panic of being alone in a place where she knew nothing began to set in again and she began to hurry up her pace, stumbling along blindly, her arms reaching out in front of her, pushing her body off of trees and weakly over the bramble and bushes in her way. On and on she went, for how long, she was not sure, but as the end of her path came, she knew it, but for one reason or another, she cared not. She just continued to run, feeling that wind blow through her hair, tangling in her curls and whipping over her dress and as the cliff came to be before her, she squatted just a little and jumped down, off and into the darkness, of a void she knew nothing of, praying only for the end. She could not live in a world like this, like this.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
Three times the knocking sounded on the door, echoing throughout the room, awaking the young sleeping Princess inside. She sprung up from her restless position, flinging out both arms and throwing the blanket off of her, "Wha-" she started, her eyes opening and letting the bright and shining sun into her vision, causing her close them almost immediately afterwards. Discombobulated and perturbed she looked around from her left and to her right when the knocking started again, making her jump once more.
"Onela!" A woman's voice yelled from outside the thick, heavy wooden door; her voice was tiny and meek, and yet loud and screeching and it made Onela wince, her eyes narrowing a little and her head instinctively twitching to the side. "Are you in there, Onela! Are you awake yet, girl?"
Onela would have recognized that voice anywhere and after rolling her eyes back into her skull and slamming back down into the pillows she called, "Yes, mother, I am in here and awake. What is it you need?" The woman yowling outside her door was none other than her very own mother, Iliandra Damondred, the High Queen of Kalinesti. Iliandra was a very proud and prestigious woman, never thinking she could do any wrong and always very demanding from Onela and her father, Ellester, the Overking, as well. When Iliandra wanted something she got it and usually rather quickly. Many of the servants and other people that lived within the Palace trembled in fear at the approach of their tiny Queen and Onela had even heard whispers of late of strange, dark magics and ominous tidings in their mist, but she did not pay it much more mind and even now with her mother banging on her door, she felt the overwhelming desire to just ignore her, but when she started banging again, Onela knew it was going to be one of those mornings and she weakly threw the blanket off of her and pushed herself weakly from the bed, trembling, though she did not know why. For a moment she stood there, her hand held out in front of her face and she frowned thoughtfully as it shivered and moved, but then she began the walk across her large room and across the moonlight lambskin rug, the warm fur tickling the bottom of her feet. Her dressing gown was made of the softest, most delicate silk and was a deep, maroon color which fell down to the ground, and she toyed with it using her left hand as she made her way across her sitting room, pass the couch and around her desk, until she was at the door. It took her only a second to unlock the heavy door before she pulled it open, stepping back so that she could greet her mother, "Good morning, mother," she said, with a slow bob of her head.
Iliandra was dressed in a gown that Onela could only dream of wearing and it was a night onyx velvet, with royal purple lace strung throughout the bodice, sleeves and up the sides of the skirt. It hung down to the ground, dragging a bit behind the petite woman, and the sleeves were puffy and then tight, reaching down to her mother's wrists. The neckline was cut low and revealed the top of her mother's perfect and flawless breasts and creamy, perfect neck and as Onela looked her mother over she noticed how deeply and slowly her mother was breathing, and looked to her face for a sign of what exactly her mother feeling. Iliandra was a very extraordinary woman to stare upon, which Onela thought was nothing like herself; her hair was so light that it appeared to be like platinum and was as straight as an arrow and fell like silk down her back, with a perfect, even cut above her waist. In her hair was a circlet made of velvet and it was entwined into her locks, keeping it out of her beautiful face. Iliandra's eyes were small, but beautifully shaped, like almonds and were a deep, majestic plum, her eyelashes silvery and long, her skin powdery and flawless. She rarely smiled, except in moments of victory and she had the most perfect posture Onela had seen in anyone. Around her throat was a silver and gold choker, and centered in the middle was a huge ruby, almost as big as Onela's fist - her mother's most prized piece of jewelry and on her fingers were an assortment of moon and star crystal rings, which glittered and sparkled like no other jewels in the kingdom. Iliandra only wanted the best and she always got it. She was a proud, cold and powerful woman and she looked upon Onela no differently than she looked upon everyone else.
Except right now.
Iliandra's face lit into a radiant smile, her plum eyes glowing with a light Onela had never seen before and she swept into the room, pass her daughter and into Onela's sitting room, where she spun around until she was facing her daughter once again. Onela looked briefly around her room, admiring the cool and soft blues and silvers which decorated the surroundings before she turned to her mother, who was staring at Onela, studying her and for some reason Onela felt like she was on display and nervously reached back to close the door her mother had left open. It was extremely rare that Iliandra came up to Onela's room, let along inside. She was pretty sure this was the first time in several years and her curiosity was already growing as to find out, why?
As she watched, her mother's eyes widened with disapproval and she marched over to her daughter, reaching out with her hands to tap at Onela's dressing gown, "You have not even dressed yourself yet, daughter," she stated and Onela nodded slowly, "Yes, I just woke up when you came to my door." She made sure she watched her words carefully, as her mother could easily take things the completely wrong way but her mother barely heard her and she walked around her mother slowly, but making sure she now stayed out of Onela's reach, "No, no. It is better this way. You must wear something wondrous today; something stunning! Something to bring out the Star Elf in you." Iliandra reached up with both of her tiny hands and caressed both of her cheeks, something she had indeed never done, before she stepped back slowly, but Onela was frowning at what she had said.
Onela knew how hard it would be to bring out the Star Elf in Onela. Like the other Kalinestians, Onela was not fair of hair and eye, just of skin and hers was like her mothers and the other Kalinestians, being it was as pale as snow lit by moonlight and had a soft shimmer to it, like the dust left behind on fairies. But beside that she was nothing like the rest of the Kalinestians. Males and females alike had hair that ranged from periwinkle to salmon to shimmering silver and platinum, but Onela's hair was far different and was as dark as chestnut and unlike the Kalinestians who had straight hair, Onela's was long, to her thighs, and thick, and loosely tangled with curls and ringlets, and would have been wild and unruly had she not kept it entwined into a wrist thick, intricately woven braid. Her eyes were huge and wide and instead of being silvery or blue, hers were a deep and depthless green with tiny flecks of silver, which were identified when she was much younger as bits of starlight. Kalinestians were a sleek and were born with a grace that unnatural to the rest of the world, or so Onela had heard, but she always found herself to be gawky and awkward compared to the rest of the Kalinestians, especially her mother, the Queen. Onela was taller than Iliandra, but it did not change the fact that she always felt like the tiny woman stood a head above her; other Kalinestians were both tall and short, but all were lithe and graceful, whereas Onela was skinny and yet muscular from all the time she spent outside, and with curvaceous hips, which her mother called large, but there were times when Onela thought they made her look.. different, but in a much different than bad way, but those times were few and far between.
Suddenly her thoughts were torn away from her and she felt herself falling, falling and falling into a darkness that was far too familiar and far too large. A darkness that was destined to swallow her up and take away everything she loved and cared about wanted; a darkness made to leech her life away from her until she was barren and bleak alone. How had she gotten here? How? She had jumped, willingly and with the hope that she would be no more, that she would be gone, that the family she dreamed of would never lose or know her and that -
The second was over and Onela's eyes were wide with fear and her soft pale skin had turned deadly pale and again she was shaking violently. She had completely forgotten what she had been dreaming before her mother had awakened her, but seeing it now, she almost felt tears in her eyes and began to shake her head in little tiny and rapid movements, her hair flipping back and forth, "No, no, no," she began to repeat, whispering so quietly it appeared her mother could not even hear her as she spun around Onela elaborately waving her hands and smiling eerily and then she was going through Onela's wardrobe, pulling out gowns and disapproving each one, but Onela was hearing none of it; she felt something else, a cold and icy hand over her heart, the feeling that had torn through her life a knife as her feet had touched that dark mass of hatred and fear, but she was back in her room now; she had awakened, only her feet had touched it; she could still be free.
"Onela!" Iliandra's scream shattered Onela's doubts and pondering and she jumped a little, both hands reaching up to her heart and clenching together, her eyes darting over to her mother and locking her bright purple eyes, "What are you doing, Onela?" Her mother had both arms cross over her breasts and she was staring down at her nose at her daughter, and Onela knew that her mother was getting upset with her and she apologetically bowed her head, rushing forward to her mothers side to examine the gown she had chosen for her daughter to wear. It was a fine velveteen gown with loose sleeves, a neckline that was cut daringly low, something Onela disapproved of and was finished up with a lace bodice, that only went halfway down to her stomach. The skirts of the gown were wide and would have pooled out at the bottom had she been wearing it and was a mix of emerald and sea foam green silks. Onela had never worn it before, although she had always thought it was a very pretty one, but she rarely got dressed up like that, but her mother seemed insistent now and Onela smiled a little and nodded once, not sure what her mother was up to. "I like that one."
Finally, Iliandra looked pleased and she nodded, laying the gown across Onela's couch before turning back to her and looking up to her, "Onela, my daughter, bathe and dress quickly my dear, for we have a special guest tonight."
"A guest?" Onela gasped in complete and obvious shock. There were no guests in Kalinesti and Onela could only remember one other guest that had ever visited Kalinesti when nearly ninety years ago, when Onela was much younger. That woman had been a seeress and a supposed friend of Onela's mother, although she had never been able to figure out how the woman got here or where she came from or how Iliandra could befriend anyone when no one ever left the kingdom, or ever had.
"Yes, daughter and a very important one; one that truly desires to make your acquaintance," Onela watched as the all too familiar cold smile took over her beautiful mother's features, but she did not turn to Onela again. "So, hurry and dress quickly. I suppose you do not have to wear that one. Which ever you like."
Onela nodded blankly and said nothing as her mother left the room. Of course she had many questions but she knew her mother well enough to know that the woman would never release any information to Onela. Not about anyone.
In silence she sat, running her fingers over the dress lightly before sighing. Who could be coming to visit the castle? Perhaps a noble of the faeries? Perhaps one of the wild Star Kalinestians that lived in the forest, or were whispered to. She had never actually laid her eyes on one so she had no proof, but she had heard whispers of them in the past. The people that lived deep within the forest and who regained their energy through the starlight. The people that never slept and who were more magical than any Kalinesti could dream. But they were just myths, so Onela did not think that was who would be coming.
The loud sound of someone hitting her door startled her from her thoughts and she picked up the dress she had been wearing and held it to her body in protection and surprise. "Who is there?" She called, but no one responded. "Hello?" She repeated. Things were going to strangely today that she was feeling uneasy already and she had only been awake a little bit. "Hello, is anyone there?" She raised her voice a little so that she would be heard, but there was still no response. Pushing herself up from the chair she had stumbled back upon she made her way slowly to the door, placing the dress down gently and wrapping her robe back around her slight body. "Elinwes?" Her voice was fainter as she moved to grab hold of the doorknob and pulled the door open.
There was no one there, and for some reason she had already felt that someone had come and gone. Glancing down the hall she saw no guards anywhere, but she knew they were further down the hall somewhere, watching her tower and ready to sacrifice themselves just for her. It was a kind gesture but she thought nothing of it as there had been no war in Kalinesti ever that Onela knew of. About to close the door she looked down with a frown and spotted what appeared to be a bag made of royal purple velvet resting on the floor. It looked to contain something inside. Peaking her head out once she looked for the person who had left the satchel but there was no sign of anyone. "Should I pick it up?" She wondered, knowing well aware that her father and mother would look down upon such a thing, but there was no way she could resist. Kneeling down upon one knee she picked the bag up in between her two fingers and moved further inside, closing the door once again.
"What is this?" She asked again, walking back pass the table and the dress, forgetting all about everything her mother had been talking about, the way she had forgotten all about the dream she had been having. Seating herself on the edge of the bed she slowly pulled back the folds and gazed upon the contents of the bag. "Huh?" Came her confused response as she stared upon items inside. There was a chain which shimmered and sparkled, etched with tiny runes wrapped around a small, black velvet covered book. "I.." she started before retrieving her circlet and making sure it was securely fastened in her hair. She never did anything without consulting the magic of her circlet, her most prized possession and most magic item.
The light of her circlet was blinding so quickly that she shrieked out and fell off the bed, and hard onto the floor. "What!?" She began, but the light only began to grow lighter and she shuffled backwards in fear, her hand above her face as she tried to see into the glowing white light. "What is there?" She did not know what to do or what was going on. There was a soft and gentle heat that began emanating from the bag which washed over her like a soft and warm breeze. Onela gasped in shock and closed her eyes, reaching out with her hand to grab hold of the bag and pull it closed but it did not work. "What is this.." She asked as her fingers gripped around something smooth and cold. She tried to open her eyes to see but there was nothing to be seen. "What is it!?" She screamed suddenly before the white light completely enveloped her and the gentle warm sensation started to burn harshly at her skin.
"What's going on in here?!" Came the sound of man's yelling voice, "Your Majesty, are you okay?" There was someone else in the room calling to her or so she believed, "Alert the King and Queen. Princess Onela, look at me!" But she could not see clearly or even be sure that there were people there, "I," she tried to respond but the air was being taken from her. Someone cursed me, she told herself blaming herself for being so foolish as to open the bag. As the air got hotter and hotter, she began to feel weaker and weaker, and more and more vulnerable and she had no idea how much had passed before the familiar voice of her mother returned, but with another one and yet another she did not recognize. "Onela! What is that!?" Her mother screamed to her, "Onela..." Her father was whispering and his voice was sad, but he did not sound surprised at all, just lost. "You there! Get my wife away from that before she gets hurt!" Wife, Onela questioned her eyes suddenly flying open in an attempt to see who this person was and who they were talking to and for just a second she did indeed see him. It was a person like nothing she had never seen, with skin as dark as night but with glowing sea eyes that seemed to burning through the light and into her. It was a youthful and beautiful face, surrounded by soft obsidian hair and his entire body was clad in black. "I said save my wife now!" Onela stared breathlessly as he looked to her as he pointed, marking her clearly as his wife, but she was no such thing, "No," she gasped, shaking her head, "No, they would not have..." Then suddenly a jolt of light shot through her chest and began to expand, searing her and tearing at her and as she began to scream finally, a heart torn and pained scream, the light vanished and everything went black.