#7 A stranger
All set. I take one last look at the petite city behind its protective wall, surrounded by tall mountains. There’s something about this place – wild and tame all at the same time. The stone cottages, and the winding streets. A restless part of me can’t wait to leave, another can’t wait to come back to again drink in the atmosphere here. The traditions. The roots our ancestors put down a long time ago. Underneath a beast rests, and because of Queen Venla I feel his essence within me wherever I am. As if his magic gave the world colour. I shudder, remembering what it was like living without this connection – and without my first body.
Man and raven have always gotten along. I can’t speak for pure birds, but us, the raven shifting population. It seems we cherish the same things. I can’t wait for more people to join our small kingdom. I can’t wait for when we take back the knowledge of ‘akkeri’ – the anchor. Beings of the Elemental realm are naturally – at least normally – anchored to a source of magic. Humans are not – to stay here they need to form this link – either in their own way of through a ritual. Us ravens are an exception. I hope we’ll change this now that the dokkálf threat is gone.
Well, enough pondering. It’s time to go. I take one deep breath. The change begins inside of me. It’s like diving. As if I’m an hourglass, my elemental, human-like shell at one end and the raven at the other. I’m pushing through – for a painful moment I’m neither – then all bird and feathers. I croak – because it’s hard to not vent the turbulent emotions of the shift – I dart into the sky, eager to rid myself of some of the adrenaline. Then I circle back to pick up the small pouch containing the letter to Queen Venla’s friend, Linnea.
I leave the valley, like an arrow I split the sky. Speed won’t take me all the way, but at least I can cover ground here in the Elemental Realm. The cracks in reality bridging other realms are rare and extremely difficult to find. By chance almost impossible, and yet, we do have some occasional people stumbling right in. This is my first time venturing into a neighbouring realm, and I don’t even pretend I’m not excited. I haven’t been this excited about anything since Queen Venla joined our community.
I’m busy reading my direction – the changes on the ground. The changes in the air. How the mountains merge into flatlands and forest – when bam – I smack into something unexpectedly. I look around in shock as I tumble towards the ground. There’s no visible obstacle, and before impact with the forest floor, my wings remember how to spread – and I find my elemental body to alight on my feet. My head is still spinning from whatever I flew into. I look around, and I bet my brow is furrowed as deeply as it will go.
“Would you watch were you’re flying?” an elemental male suddenly says.
He has to be elemental – I’ve seen human men – and they don’t look like this. With eyes in a startling yellow, and glowing. His hair is a wild brown mess tumbling down his back, his skin a light brown, his cloths are leather and sturdy fabrics, and his belt is wide and carries all kinds of tools. He looks a mixture between a savage predator and a huntsman – and what puzzles me most is that I have no idea what he is. I arrogantly thought the ravens knew of all elementals.
For the first time in my life, I don’t know what to say.
Feathers and lore,
There’s much, much more,
I didn’t realise walking would take so long. Ravens don’t normally walk for long stretches. We fly. But since Linnea and her father don’t fly, walking is our only option. For a long time, I’ve had no choice but to accept my circumstances. This is just the same. I just have to accept what is […]
#16 A veterinarian
Summer nights are bright, the sun merely kissing the horizon. I’ve taken a seat on the tiny front step to the small cabin – and as I sit here I let my eyes wander. The red painted wooden houses, and the small yard in the middle – then the tree line closing this place in […]
#15 A moment to myself
Travelling by wing is infinitely better than travelling by machine. And you all know how I feel about changing into my raven skin after centuries trapped in it. Still, this is freedom. I find myself rethinking the ways in which to be imprisoned, and I wonder if perhaps my sister is too – somewhere in […]
#14 Maybe we should fly
Pizza lacks enough meat to satisfy my raven and is completely drenched in melted cheese. Remind me to never have it again. My stomach is still rebelling, and it’s known to be made of steel. It might also be the means of travel upsetting my stomach. I’m no longer trying to follow the road with […]
#13 What if it’s a trick
Everything is a flurry of motion. Linnea is here, then there. Making more calls. Someone’s at the door collecting a set of keys to her ‘practice’, and by the time Linnea’s father shows up, she’s all set and ready to go. I’m impressed, despite myself, of the efficiency completely disguised by chaos. “Ást, Hräsvelg, this […]
#12 And then they were four
“I need to make a few calls,” Linnea says, and goes to collect a strange, flat device. When she flicks her fingers over the glass surface it lights up in different colours – just like magic. I study it, pondering what she means with making a few calls. Are we visiting people? A beep is […]
#11 “I thought she was dead,” Linnea says.
Linnea’s eyes grow impossibly wider, and at first I’m convinced Hräsvelg’s appearance crumbled what little progress I’d made with Linnea. But she takes a few deep, strengthening breaths, then looks between the two of us. “Wow,” she says, and shakes her head. Her hair is even lighter in colour than Queen Venla’s, and it’s tied […]
#10 The realm of machines
The morning sky is the same, yet different. Another realm – it’s such a strange and uncanny feeling to be here. I’m further from home than I’ve ever been. “Where to?” Hräsvelg asks me. I can’t believe he’s still here, and yet, undeniably he is. He kept the fire going all night, then he got […]