The Sands of Time

By RJ Hervey

Adventure / Romance

The Beginning and the End

The air was still. Even time itself seemed to have grown stale in the peaceful glade. The blue sky rained down shards of light upon the vista, sparkling off the dewdrops in a dazzling show of beauty. The surrounding forest stood stoically, standing guard against those who would defile the sacred stone structure within the clearing. No animals entered here; no birds sung their songs, no spiders spun their webs, no deer made their beds in the dell. It was as if they knew of the sanctity of the place—that they did not belong.

The building itself was entrancing. Its stone walls reached up high into the air, adorned with intricate stained glass windows – or what was left of them. Nearly every window was shattered, leaving just fragments of the beauty they once had portrayed. The top of the temple ended in jagged ramparts, and vines trailed down to swing across the battered windows like strange curtains. The ground around the building was littered with pieces of stone lost from the ancient walls, each different in size and shape, but each with a history all its own. Even the grand oaken doors that opened into the temple were decrepit and missing boards. It was as if the entire place was crumbling into dust. Dust that would find its place among the sands of time.

Since the beginning, the temple had made its home in one place. It was, and is, the epicenter of legends. As time changed, so did the world, but the temple remained the same. Day to day, year to year – it was forever.

However, the age of eternity was coming to a close. Magic was all but forgotten, dormant within the hearts of man. No longer did legends rule in Hyrule. No longer did the people pray to the Goddesses.

The sands of time were running out. Soon the hourglass would be turned again, and a new age would begin. The Temple of Time would crumble, and no legends would survive. The wind can only carry them so far.

Within the temple lay little save dust. Light cascaded through cracks in the vines to reach across the floor. Rotted timber from the ceiling above had fallen haphazardly, and the empty pedestal on the raised dais at the end of the hall held none of the luster it once emanated.

One thing remained untouched. The dark magics that had created it also protected it, keeping it immortal within an eternity that was just realizing its mortality.

A statue of a girl. A young woman, her face drawn in determination and suffering, her arms held forward in a curious gesture. It was not as if to ward off danger, but to fight it, push it back by the mere strength of her will. She was holding the sands of time at bay, fighting the flow that cannot be fought. Her arms: lifeless. Her chest: still. Her cheeks: cold. Her hair: hard as granite. But in her ear lingered a promise, a promise hundreds of years old.

“I love you.”

Time did not move within the temple, but the nature of time was shifting, changing. Though the sands were diminishing, there were still some that remained. Some stories to tell, some adventures to be had, some losses to be endured.

The sands of time had not run out.

Blue light suddenly burst out from within the chamber – bright blue light that rippled across the ancient stone walls like water, finding the same gaps that had let the sun’s rays into the great hall and exploding out of them with childlike joy. It began slowly, building in intensity, until it flashed once like the sun and disappeared, leaving the temple as it had been for uninterrupted centuries.

The sands of time had not run out.

Music began to fill the empty hall, music that carried with it something stronger than mere notes. The melody beat with a heart of its own, surging and receding, flowing and ebbing, pushing and pulling, exploring every corner for life to augment and sustain. Vines flourished and exploded in growth, weakened greens forcing their way through the cracks in the stone floor, blossoming in a second, and even the grass creeping in through the open door shot up and multiplied.

The melody ended, but the music did not die out, it would echo among the life within the chamber for years, beating its tune.

The sands of time had not run out.

Now a voice. A voice of a girl, a young woman. A voice of emotion. Resolve, fear, anger, strength, courage, and love. The first voice in hundreds of years. The last voice in this age.

“Link?”

The sands of time had not run out.

The sands of time.

This is the beginning and the end.
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