It’s been a long time since I thought about that day, so long all I can recall is the light. So bright it still burns. Kyran says I’m too nostalgic. He says it would be better if I used the light to grow. His voice comes like a gentle breeze. “You need to believe what I say. For now, the life before the light doesn’t matter.”
Then how do I know how to hunt? Whether I learned or remembered one of many uncertainties. The answer is not important. What is important is it feeds our family. I use only my dagger to get us meat. The wooden handle fits the curve of my hand perfectly. Like the tool has always been a part of me.
When I hunt, I sit quietly in the tall grass of the forest floor, or up in a tree and wait for small creatures to come by.
Sometimes they see me, stop moving and breathe the air to discern the presence of danger. My stillness lures them into a sense of security and they nibble on the red grass or a green flower. I allow them that one last taste. They are content with the satisfaction the food brings. Then, only then I throw my dagger with precision. It cuts through the creature entering its body on one side and the tip of the dagger coming out the other. The plunder goes in my backpack and my heart smiles with pride. It is my turn to be satisfied. We will eat well tonight.
Sometimes I try to think hard and remember life before the light. The only thing that comes to my mind’s eye is gazing into Kyran’s violet eyes and seeing the life I have now. My brother Jacob remembers life before the light. He refuses tell me what it was like. He says this life is better. And that Kyran is right. Forgetting there was a past life is better.
Jacob can see the reflection off my backpack before he ever sees me and walks in the direction of the glow. This way I don’t have to walk home alone. These walks are the only time where it is just the two of us. Pleased with the size of the zithoril I have caught, I stop and show him our dinner. He smiles, “This is enough for two dinners. Kyran will be pleased.” It matters more to me that Jacob is happy. He smiles, but there is something in his eyes that speak something I don’t understand. The something is easier to see when he doesn’t know I’m watching him. When he is happy with what I’ve done, that something goes away-even if only for a moment.
Our walk home begins. We can see our home that is surrounded by blue grass in the distance. I begin with the questions. “I’ve been wondering? Where did we come from?”
He is ready for my questions. This has become a ritual. Me asking and him deflecting.
Not stopping Jacob says, “We’ve always been here.”
“I know that. How. I mean how did we get here? Like were we a dream and then one day we were alive?”
He smiles again. “Actually, that is a good question. I bet Kyran will know the answer to that one.” His smile remains and we walk in silence.
Pleased that I have done something to make Jacob smile, I embrace the quiet.
Kyran is at the edge of the shifting grass. It looks like a wave where the two colors meet. The red and blue swirl together into purples and as quickly as they come together the colors separate. The purple swirls, like Kyran’s eyes, mesmerize. One time I walked out to the swirls and sat in the grass beside them. They gave off a music unlike any I had ever heard. It was sad and peaceful at the same time. To me it was a couple minutes, Kyran and Jacob said I was there for days. That is why he is there for today and every other day since. If he didn’t bring us home, we might not make it. Kyran reaches for our hands. Jacob takes his right hand and I take his left. When we are safely across the swirl into the blue serene grass, Kyran pulls us into an embrace.
He smells like the grass and trees after a rainy day. Fresh, clean and peaceful.
When Jacob is released from the embrace he says, “Before we forget I need to tell you Larissa has a question for you.”
There is a sparkle in Kyran’s eyes. “I heard.”
Jacob’s brow wrinkles in concern, “You did?”
“I didn’t hear the words I felt them.” Kyran’s mouth bends in a smile that matches the sparkle in his eyes. It is equally mesmerizing, “And indeed it was a good question. One that I’ve been waiting for you to ask.”
Kyran’s answer replaces the wrinkle in Jacob’s forehead with wrinkles in his cheeks. Jacob is smiling wider. A silent conversation has happened between the two of them. Knowing that I’ve been left out of something I feel a pinch of hurt in my heart.
Kyran puts his arm around my shoulder. “Don’t worry, you will be able to speak without words soon enough. Your brother and I are pleased that you are growing. You have worried us for quite some time. We were beginning to wonder if you weren’t able to adapt.”
“What does that mean?”
“Plants change with the seasons. They shed leaves, grow blossoms and in seasons of waiting they lie dormant. I have never seen a plant try to go back to the seed. You Larissa were so focused on the past that you weren’t going through your seasons. That’s like a tree trying to go back to the seed. If you were stuck you for too much longer, you would wither and die.”
I looked over at Jacob who nodded in agreement.
“And the answer to how you got here is easy. Like the purple swirls in the grass, it was the combination separate energies that came together. When they are strong enough they can create worlds.”
I am suspicious of his answer. “Just like that. They come together and make a person.”
“It’s a little more complicated than that. If there is interference the new life will cease to exist and the the energy becomes contaminated matter. If the new life is rejected by the host it can die. Or, if like you, the new life resists the host it won’t develop and eventually wither.”
That last bit of information made me gasp.
“Yes, it was touch and go.”
I ask, “What would have happened?”
Those swirls in the grass that you can no longer see are those that refused to grow.
I looked back and the landscape was different. It had waves of red, blues, mauves and violets. But no swirls. I look into Kyran’s eyes and the bright light comes to my mind. A bomb of sorts has been released in my mind. In its wake I am surrounded by silence and a light so bright I have to catch my breath. As quickly as it came it was gone. I feel a voice in my chest. No, it was two voices,“Let’s go home and make a feast of celebration.” I feel my eyes widen in surprise. Jacob and Kyran simultaneously smile. Kyran reaches for our hands and pulls us to him. The three of us walk arm in arm to the house.