Lightening, Witches and Dragons

Iris have had the same mundane life for the past eighteen years. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed she is off to college in a new country. The load of assignments, rush of making new friends and the tranquility of finally fitting in did not prepare her for the adventure she was about to venture into.

Ancient dragons, alluringly talking trees, an unusually bored wizard, a touch of lightening and a daringly handsome man are just some of the things Iris is about to dive -head first- in.


2. Touch of the Grave


 Chapter Two


Iris's POV

Unrolling the scroll I looked at it. It was a crumbled paper slightly yellowed on the edges and corners. It was nothing special. Except, there were some dots on it spread all over the page. I tried to make sense of it all but to no avail. It just did not make even a lick of sense. I was going to throw the paper into the river but something stopped me from doing just that. A feeling saying the paper was of some kind of importance.

I opened the paper once more. I was again greeted by the same doted site. Frustrated I inhaled a lungful of air, holding it for a few seconds I blew it out slowly. A stress relieving habit. A movement on the peice of paper immediately caught my attention. As the air I blew out of my nose brushed the surface of the page the dots moved along the page slightly. Confused I flipped the paper to the other side but there was nothing there. Flipping it back to the front I brought it towards my face and lightly blew some more air on the paper.

The dots started vibrating and in a few seconds starting moving in random directions. They moved along the page in ways decided by them. Few seconds later the dots where pulled together to take shape of words. The words then moved again to form a sentence. After all this ordeal was over the paper contained a bunch of words written of it. It was written elegently and in cursive making it look like a royal message. The calligraphic words were spread along smoothly on the paper reading-

'Heart. Oak tree. Fifty-four steps to the right. Walk towards death. Woods will help you.'

Confused once again I scratched the top of my head in thought. Oak tree? Death? Woods? What is all this? Is this some kind of joke? I once again looked around the place and this time I was sure some one will jump out and yell punk'd. But I was disappointed, because no one came out from anywhere.

Looking back at the paper I tried to understand the words. Heart. My heart? No. Someone's heart? Huh? Okay I'll skip to the next one. Oak tree. There are many oak trees here. Which one?

Maybe heart of the oak tree? Does oak tree have a heart? Does any tree have a heart? Okay, so no heart of the oak tree.

Still thinking I threw my bag down and settled down on the grass. Death? I do not what to walk towards death. This is ridiculous. Why am I doing this? Maybe it is just a silly piece of paper, and I'm obsessing over nothing. Stupid. But after what I saw just a few seconds ago I could not put this down as a prank. Words do not move on a paper if you blow on it.

Okay, think again. Oak tree and heart. Heart of someone. Or maybe something. Maybe the Oak tree is it the heart of something. Trees are present in forest. Maybe it's in the heart of this place. This is not exactly a forest but it's the best I've got. Standing up again I pulled my bag back on my shoulder and shoved the paper inside my pocket.

I made my way deeper inside the -sorta- forest. There was a dirt path along the right side of the river. Making my way towards it, I walked through the trees, its branches brushing my bare arms.I did not exactly know where I was going, but a feeling inside me told me I was on the right path. So I followed by instincts. I pushed the last of the trees, emerging out of it. I looked up and found myself on a open patch of land. The place was surrounded by thick and tall trees in a circle on all sides. 

And there it was. A lone Oak tree stood proudly in the centre of the place. It was a huge tree,I must say. It's thick branches were spread all over the place. Some of the branches thicker than most were so heavy that they were practically touching the ground. I stumbled towards it, still in awe. It looked magnificent. When I reached towards it's humongous bark I circled around it, looking at it properly.

As I turned round on the other side of the bark of the tree I found a small arrow carved in it. It was so small and was fading that I almost missed it. But there it was, pointing towards my right. I looked to my right and found another patch of trees, nothing special.

I moved even closer to it and found a small hole just below the carved arrow. I tried to see inside it, just to make sure it was empty, but to my amazement I found yet another folded up piece of paper inside it. I inserted two fingers inside the hole, pinching the paper between my fingers I slide it out. Unrolling the paper I traced my eyes over it just to find that there was some writing on it. But to my confusion and for the life of me I could not understand it. Guessing it to be some different language. I looked over it once more.

'Ati acaste te ekam tau vitta te upazamana, cihna me atha prati upaza tat nizcita.'

Was written on it. What does that even mean? It looked like some ancient writing. I tried to read it out loud once. 

As soon as I finished reading the last word everything went quite. There wasn't even a single noise coming from anywhere. Then suddenly there was a burning sensation on my palm, the one holding the paper. I immediately threw it on the ground like it was the one burning me. I think it was. Even after the paper was away from me, the pain did not stop. Infact it grew spreading to the tips of my fingers. The burning sizzled all over my palm, hissing particularly on the exact center of my palm. I fell to the ground cradling the said palm to my chest. The pain was only increasing and was present on one place never moving above my wrist. I sat there holding my hand for a few minutes.

Then, it all stopped. The pain, the burning, the throbbing, everything. It just stop, just like that. I opened my eyes which, I realised then that I hand closed tight in the mist of pain. Standing up I shook my left hand which was the one burning a few seconds ago. Looking over the said hand's palm, I came to a halt when I saw the new addition to the pale skin of my palm. In the inside of my palm there was a mark, like a tattoo. It was completely black and inked like it was engraved there. There was a crescent moon right in the middle of the skin and a lone star inside the curve of it. In shock, I tried to shake it off of my hand. I shook my whole arm so hard in the hopes that it will wear off, possibly popping my arm out of it's socket. But it did not come off.

Signing in defeat, I traced the mark with the tips of my fingers of my right hand. It was smooth to touch, blending into the very skin. As I moved my fingers over it, it felt like it wasn't even there. It felt just like my skin. Like it was a part of my skin in itself.

Now a bit worried, I turned to the direction from where I came. Deciding to just go back to my dorm, because all of this was just getting too freaky, I made my way there. When I reached to the the end of the clearing I stopped. Something pushed me towards the opposite direction. Something telling me this was important, the same feeling from before urged me to go where the arrow was pointing. I signed once again and turned around. I went to the tree again and picked up the crumbled piece of paper fallen on the ground and pocketted it. Looking at the arrow pointing to the right, I decided to just get this over with.

Just as I turned to go, something caught my attention. I looked closely at the hole in the tree-bark and found a small box there. It wasn't there before. I was sure. Shrugging, because it was all too creepy anyways, I shouldn't be surprised if thing's start appearing out of no where. Opening the box, I found a key inside it. It was small and had a hollow band of circle at the end. The colour was a little faded but it appeared to be golden. Keeping the key back inside the box, I shoved it deep inside my bag so that it won't fall out.

Turning to the right I took one step then stopped. Remembering the first piece of paper I pulled it out of my jean pocket. Looking at the paper I read,

''Heart. Oak tree." Done. Done.

Next. "Fifty-four steps to the right." And the arrow was pointing to the right aswell. Okay.

Shoving my back on the bark of the tree I started moving to the right, counting each step. One. Two. Three. And so on, I walked till the fifty-fourth step.

Fifty-three. And fifty-four.

Taking the last step I looked up from the ground where I was looking up till now, just to make sure I did not walk on any bugs or insects. Looking around I found myself standing on concrete land. But it was not just any land. It was a fucking cemetery. So that's what it meant my death. To walk towards a cemetery. Atleast it wasn't night time. And there was enough light to see properly, but some of it was obstruced by the thick leaves of the all the trees. 

So I did come so far. What now? Thinking of the piece of paper again I remembered the next words written on it.

"Woods will help you." Now what does that mean. There was wood everywhere. I was standing in a forest for fucks sake. Frustrated I walked forward a few steps moving close to the tombstones. I can not understand what they mean by woods, so might as well look around. Walking around the tombstones, but not getting to close -it's still creepy- I looked at the names.

Sarah James.

Morgan Walker.

David Paller.

And on an on I looked at all the names. Just as I was giving up, getting quite bored, I stumbled upon a tombstone which made me stop in thought. It was nothing different than any other tombstone in the whole cemetery. The stone was cracked in some places indicating that it had seen many weather's. The front was dusty and covered with orange leaves. Some of it turning black. But what caught my attention was the name on the tombstone.

Celeste Woods.

Woods! This can be it. Maybe woods does not mean the trees or the forest. Maybe it is this person. Yes! This can be it. I circled around the tombstone examining it and looking for a way that it could help me. Help me in what exactly? To answer my former question, as I turned to the other side of the tombstone there was an uneven patch just in the centre. Crouching and looking at it closely I found it to be an engraved key mark. Like a hole, where we can place an entire key. I opened my bag and pulled out the box. Opening it, I got the key out and campared it with the mark on the tombstone.

It was an exact match. Astounded, I sat on the concrete. The key matched it. Now what do I do? Maybe I should insert it. And if I do then what? What is going to happen? Will it hurt again? I don't what that. What should I do? Well, all my question's can be answered by one thing only, if I insert the key and find out on my own. 

Taking a deep breath to relax myself I brought together all my courage and inserted the key. As soon as I inserted it there came a flash of light so strong it blinded me for a few seconds. Then the light slowly faded away, and a sound caught my attention. It was a sound of brick hitting brick. Looking at the front of the tombstone, I saw a square foot of patch of concrete was emerging out of the ground. I moved to the front of the tombstone, seeing the patch getting higher and higher, inch my inch. Then it stopped, and there was a box made of stone in front of me. Crouching in front of it, I lightly touched it. As soon as I touched it the top of the box slide out and fell on it's side. The box was open. Looking inside, there was only a single piece of -yet another- paper. God, how many paper's? I picked the paper up and just like before there were some words on the paper, but they were incoherent. They were in a different language, just like the one before. I scanned my eyes over it and read.

''Ati aham unmukha."

As soon as I read the words the ground I was crouching on started shaking violently. Stumbling, I stood up. The concrete beneath my shoes started breaking and a crack was formed in it. Was this an earthquake? I tried to move away from it but failed and the next thing I know I was falling down. Down and down, I fell. Soon enough it started getting very cold and I could not keep my eyes open any more. Closing my eyes I fell into a deep oblivion.


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