“No! No, please don’t take me there. Please!” My tears fall in huge rivers down my face. They drag me to my feet — my nurse, who cared for me since I was a babe, and my teacher, who taught me everything I know — even when I could barely stand, let alone walk.
“You must be brave, little one,” nurse says. “You’re the only one who can save us all.”
But I don’t understand.
“Teacher! Teacher, you said I should never go near the cliffs. You said if I stay away the orb will be safe! Please let go of me, please.” I sob. “I don’t want anything to happen to any of you.”
“You don’t understand, child,” teacher says. “Everything is falling apart. Air, water and fire have unleashed their powers upon the land. You’re our only hope. Sky is our only hope.”
“I’m not ready,” I whisper.
All my life, I have been trained to listen to my own voice, my own consciousness because the orb we have is more aware than any of the others. It can control me against my own will. And I’m not yet strong enough to resist it.
My arms are bruised by the time we arrived at the peak of the mountain, where a simple altar stands along its edge. One step beyond means certain death. I fall to the ground with a thud, my knees in sharp pain, when they finally let go of me.
“Call to it, child. You are its master. You have the control to do it.”
I cover my ears with both hands and refuse to acknowledge the possibility that I can make the orb of the sky fall down on its knees for me. I scream my denial and then—I hear it. Calling. For me.
Without warning, strong hands push my back. In my utter disbelief, all I could do was turn my head and watch my teacher’s upraised arms, his lips set in grim determination, his eyes fevered yet cold. At his side stands my nurse, her fists trembling at her sides but her head held high. Then gravity pulls me down.
Betrayal. Pure unadulterated betrayal pulses through my veins, mixing with my blood and out the air I breathe out. Why? A single word escapes my lips as I shut my eyes and wait for my impending death.
…they thought that killing you…
…will stop the change we are bringing into your world…
…open your eyes and let us prove them wrong…
I open them and see the vastness of everything. I am floating and in my hand is the orb of the sky pulsing with energy and glowing with power. I look around me and wonder if the other girls with the other orbs also feel the same way I am feeling right at this moment. If they feel alone and guilty and vengeful and resigned.
The world needs to be reborn anew. I look down and let the sky fall.
To a new beginning.