Seventeen Souls

Dead bodies, living souls. Dead escape, living hunt. Dead smiles, living feelings. Dead head, living dreams. Who will first let go?

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4. chapter 4: our story

Aunt Pira slowly rocked her chair as she told me to sit in front of her, near the oven. She offered me some corn pancakes and I gladly accepted.

"I believe you already know that we, Prophetesses, all come from the same family. But you see, the problem is that we exist since the beginning of time. Generations and generations of Prophetesses have existed before us, separating us mire and more every generation.

"As you know, your mother's ancestors have always been ruling us, and one day you will, too. Now, for a long, long time ago, some fools decided that this system was not right, and put a malediction on your mother's great-great-great-great-grandmother, and all her daughters, and coming generations. This malediction forces you to spend the month that follows your seventeenth birthday alone in the dark woods, saving at least seventeen Souls".

I gasped. The dark woods? No one ever went there, unless they were mentally challenged, insane or possessed. The only ones that I knew, that had dared go in there, had never come back. Numerous dark creatures lived there, hiding from the sunlight. "A-alone?" I breathed.

Aunt Pira started rocking her chair furiously and staring into my eyes. "Well, not exactly alone, no. I'll tell you the other part of the story.

"The Hunters have always been interested in our affairs, particularly when it comes to us 'destroying ourselves from the inside'. Now that is exactly what was happening. So, of course, a Hunter that had a few skills in dark magic got involved. When I say 'A few skills' I mean the basics. Anyhow, he attempted to modify the malediction that had been put on your ancestor, but the operation backfired. Instead of making it kill the future Head-Prophetess at age 17, he made the original malediction operate on the future Hunter-chieftain as well.

"Since then, the rulers of each families' children are always born on the same day, no matter what happens, and get to spend that particular month in the Dark Woods together"

I tried to take it all in. Believe me, it wasn't that easy. I had no older brothers or sisters, and I'm pretty sure that Mother is not going to tell me anything. "So that is why I've been training all my life. That's why Mother was so afraid. That's why everybody were looking at me so weirdly." I realized.

"Yes. And I think you shall get to meet the young Ellian tomorrow morning"

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