The man seemed unamused, and walked back a few steps to the lake to bring a scowling Zephina a similar white gown. I knew she didn’t really care, though. She didn’t care about the societies requirements for man and woman. The only reason she pulled such stunts was for attention. I didn’t blame her but I wasn’t comfortable in anything outside the norm.
We changed behind the safety of the trees and walked back into the covered lake, to the guard looking as bored as ever. I was rather offended at his clear lack of emotion for us, I could see how Zephina was feeling. Just as we were about to swim to the tree where a gaggle of Xana’s had begun to congregate (somehow, considering the water was deep and I had barely learnt how to swim), a dozen or so of the creatures in the same shade of white dress and tunic appeared out of absolutely nowhere pointing knives at our throats.
“What the..” shouted Zephina, hands on her hips.
The bored man, entered through a gap in the circle formed around us, rolling his eyes and waving one tanned arm that made all the figures disappear.
“You impure fygols. Do NOT GO ON THE WATER, OR WE WILL KILL YOU,” said the man, spelling out each word like we were children. But then we were. They were old, the Xana, older than all our ages combines. We were simply flies to them, lives like whisps of their own. Nothing.
“How should we cross the damned lake then?” sneered Zephina, obviously taking each word of his to heart. He didn’t speak, rather pulling the three of us into a circle, holding hands and whispering something, I couldn’t quite work out in his breaths. Then I felt a tingling in my hands, which touched Elias and Zephina, that quickly travelled to my feet. I could see shadows everywhere and for a blink second I remembered. It was so frustrating remembering.
There was all the hurt and loss and confusion, I could see why I would be thankful for not feeling as such. The people they came back to me, but this time they were drowning, they were drowning me in the lake, I was sinking with their weight. They were not kind. They were not kind. No. Never. They were never kind.
A soft white hand shaked me back to reality. I forgot.
“Get off her.” Sneered the bored man.
“No.” Said Zephina, clutching onto my wet hair reluctantly.
“I warned you,” said the man quietly, throwing Zephina onto the bark like a child threw a soft toy.
We were at the base of the tree, I realised. And I was soaking in water. I was drowning. I was drowning. Confusion hit me like a dagger and I sat up, water dripping from the white gown and onto the dry roots of the tree.
“You jumped, you jumped when I specifically told you not too. You fydol made the water impure. You have ruined the lake. Only the blood of a mortal will solve this,” said the no longer bored man, wrapping his hand around my kneck. But I wouldn’t die would I? I would love to just die. What was there worse to find in death? Nothing like this confusion.
Elias tried to tackle the man off, but he simply pushed him away like Zephina. They were too strong, my kneck would crack and I would die to only live. This was my eternity, my immortality.
“Stop,” said the old woman with the sky blue dress. The man let my eternity be without the tip of his sharp nails trying to pop the peaks to a trough. He backed away carefully.
“Dai, look at her dress. If she was a fygol, if the other... woman was a fygol, if the man was a fygol they would be blackened. They would have been blackened by the souls we keep in the lake. They would have been consumed by a single drop. But they have not? No.”
Dai nodded, looking at me and Zephina and Elias with far more curiousity than he had previously displayed.
“But they are not Xanas,” said another man, older than the two of them, wearing thick red robes.
“That does not make them fygols. That one and the man, they are both old. I can sense it in their bones. But the woman, the leader, she is different. Her head, her mind does not match her body. The short haired one...”
“Zephina,” interrupted Zephina.
“The short haired one is just a human. Nothing more,” she said with and equal glare to match Zephina.
Another woman took a step forward, looking elegant in a drape of a flurry of amber cloth. She looked at me and the Elias, identifying and examining each and every feature.
“You are too young, Evelyn and Dai. Only 14, caught up in the world of the forest and of childhood. You wouldn’t remember. “
“Remember what?” they said at the same time.
The older man breathed heavily, as if he had finally caught onto what the woman was saying. I for one, hadn’t a clue. It all seemed like nonsense, every word a dream, not reality. The woman in the amber cloth pulled me by my neck with impeccable force and said in a loud whisper (so everyone could hear) in my ear,
“When we were cheated by a queen. It looks like the queen and her lover have made another unwanted appearance.”
I was shivering, the water from the lake staining my hands, turning to ice in the bitter cold air. No-one as of yet had brought me a towel or a fresh change of clothes so the only thing I could notice while the Canlaw stood by the far end of the roots and spoke mutedly, was the coldness of my bones.
Elias too was silent. He knew this would happen. He knew these people would remember us. But he didn’t warn. Not once. I wanted to make him speak, every ounce of my energy devoted from keeping another spectacle like before from occurring right in front of our captors eyes. It was stupid, he was stupid, this whole world was stupid. My already short breaths became shorter in the foggy air, the same with my patience.
It was when I was pretty sure over three hours had passed, that I broke into shards. Without seriously thinking over the matter, I ran over to the other side of the vast tree roots and coughed as loudly as possible.
“Are you done?” I said, placing my hands on my hips like Zephina did.
What was already silent talk, became even more silent. It seemed like the heavy breaths of the wind had finally stilled and the tweeting of the birds had finally stopped. I coughed again but this time it came out as more uneased than it had been previously.
I took a closer look at the Conlaw. They stood in a circle consisting of many different people of many different age groups all wearing different colours, which seemed to reflect what I thought of their different personalities. The yellow for a happy, the black for the mystical, the purple for the wise and the blue for the calm.
The orange, I couldn’t quite make out.
The draped woman spoke rather softly, “Tell the Conlaw what happened.”
I stared into her hazel eyes and said as clearly as possible, “I don’t remember.”
“Nothing,” she questioned and I nodded, “And the boy, he can’t speak.”
Elias crept up from behind my shoulder and looked at the woman sadly. My heart raced. “How do you know?”