“Hi.” I said feebly from the ground.
“You okay?” The man I knew asked maintaining his distance. I nodded and stared at him.
“Sit down a minute, will you?” He indicated the chair beside me and I sat. “I need to tell you something and I’m not completely sure how you’re going to handle the news.”
“I bet I can handle it.” I challenged his doubt.
“Ok,” He started, hesitating. “I’m over five centuries old. I’ve lived this long because of a curse I put on myself. A curse where I cannot die until I re-earn my position within the Ennea. You remember the magical group of nine that is supposed to be finding a way back to Aurum?”
I nodded, indicating my comprehension of what he was relating to me.
“When I get back into the Ennea, I’ll be able to die or be killed and only a descendant of mine can replace me as a new member of the Ennea. Well, having lived that long, I’ve fallen in love a time or two and had a family, but I thought that all of my descendants were gone. Just to be sure, I did a spell that would locate any living descendants.”
“I understand what you are saying and it does not frighten me, but I don’t understand your point.” I told him slowly.
“The spell located you. You and I are family. You get your Carialle gene from a woman I loved long ago.” As the man told me this, I experienced the feeling of human eyes going wide.
“You’re my ancestor?” I clarified. I felt the urge to fly – not run – but fly far away from this place and its unexpected discoveries.
“I am. And I’m sorry that you’ve been alone for so long. Do you realize what this means though? You finally have somewhere that you belong. You have an important destiny.” He eyes glowed with enthusiasm, but the only thing I felt was fear.
Jumping up from the chair, I ran toward the open window on the far side of the room and leapt through it. As I transformed from human to bird, the clothes I wore fell in shreds from my body and fluttered to the ground below. My animalistic instincts told me to flee and that was exactly what I did. I flew straight into the forest and landed in my tree. My entire life had just changed and I hadn’t been strong enough to deal with it.
I spent the next week constantly changing my mind and my form. I couldn’t decide whether I should enjoy the freedom of being a bird and fly away from reality or if I should spend the majority of my time as a human; the way I was born. I would be walking through the trees and become angry with the fact that my life had changed; my muscles would contract, my limbs would feel like they were being grinded together, and my mouth would stretch and harden into the beak of my bird form. The rapid transformations were beginning to take a toll on my mind. It was becoming difficult to remember which form I was when and the changes left a searing pain shooting across my cerebral cortex. I realized that I had to make a decision.
Finally, one day, I took my last visit to the castle tower. I informed my only acquaintance that I had made a decision. Lying, he said that whatever decision I chose would be okay. In reality, I knew that people were relying on me to fill a vital position that could affect the future of an entire world separate from the one I’d spent my life in. The fact that he could empathize with my need to reach a decision for myself was touching. He patiently waited while I composed myself and prepared to deliver my decision.
“I’ve decided,” I started. “Should the time ever come when a replacement is needed for you in the Ennea, that I will fill that position.”
“The time will come.” The man said managing a somber tone and a smile simultaneously.
“However,” I clarified. “Until then, I don’t want to be involved in any way. You know where to find me if you ever need me and I’m sure you can come up with a way for the rest of the Ennea to contact me if anything happens to you, but, until then, I want my life to be the way it was; peaceful and free like a bird.”
“You enjoy the life you have now.” He tells me. “One day you’re going to have to take my place. Your life, your destiny lies with others like you – not in that forest, not isolated from the world. I know that this is what you’ve known and that you’re used to going from walking to flying in a matter of moments and that’s fine. You’ll still be able to become a bird anytime you want at will, but you’ll learn about your other powers and how you’re going to play a bigger role.”
I wasn’t sure if or how I would find out any news about what became of my ancestor and the Ennea, but some time later, a carrier pigeon stood on a branch in my tree squawking until I woke up. Attached by a string, the pigeon carried a rolled up parchment. I told the pigeon to follow me and I flew to the ground. Transforming into a human without any pain at all, I took the parchment from the pigeon, gave it some seeds and sent it back from where it had come.
Unrolling the paper, I read:
My dearest descendant,
It is essential that you make yourself available to the Ennea. The members will be able to feel your presence, so you need not worry about locating them. They will find you. I assume that, by receiving this letter, you understand what has happened. I wish you the very best in life and apologize again that you did not have the relations you deserved growing up. The people you are about to meet are good people but you must earn their trust. Keep that in mind as you get to know them. May magic lead you to a world of wonder and awe.
Just like that, my entire life had changed. I had a new road to follow and a journey that would lead me to a new world. Luckily for me, I possessed the capabilities to run or fly to my destiny. All that was left to do was wait for them to find me and meet my fate.
Descendant by Crystal MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.