“In sixteen years and on month ten,
This Final Prophecy will begin.
A young male and female are destined to meet
And mend this world, which in defeat.
The Book of Orsana
Will claim the girl.
Spurred by her knowledge,
A Savior will unfurl.
The two who seek to conquer
Will both die by her hand,
With a dagger made by the Sorcerer,
Who vanished the land.
Of rare blood,
Our boy is born.
Of rare power,
A Savior is formed.
Peace will enter the world,
Because he convinced it to.
With an army and power so great,
His words are his virtue.
But before our Saviors succeed,
They will face many troubles to come.
They will be betrayed, they will be tortured,
And death will threaten one.
Lives will be lost and oaths will be made,
And our saviors might lose themselves along the way.
So if they shall fail,
The Great Creator will release his rage.
And our world, our Orsana
Shall instantly decay.
However, if they shall prevail,
Orsana will live again.
In sixteen years and on month ten,
This Final Prophecy will begin.”
The Oracle blinked back and released a deep breath. It had been done.
She would not surrender to time. With a flick of her fingers, the world began to change around her. Images blurred together. Blue turned to black. Gold turned to white. Heat turned to a cool draft. She blinked everything into focus and confirmed that she was no longer in the Cave of Chronicles. She was now in the midst of the Gray Wood, a land on the east side of Orsana.
Though cocooned by trees and darkness, she immediately detected the light post that she’d previously envisioned. It glowed faintly within the dark neighborhood, and it released a heat that was foreign in the cold land.
The violent wind fought against her cheeks as she forced herself in the light’s direction. Although she was alone, she felt eyes on her, watching her every move. In her case, the theory would not have been completely impractical. It felt like the entire world watched her, studying her steps and memorizing her quality. Beasts peaked from beneath the shrubs of the ground, and creatures quivered from behind the leaves of the trees. When she walked past them, they peaked from their barriers to look at her, feeling terrified in the mind and hopeful in the heart.
The hut was circular and made of dark wood –the sort one would travel far to acquire. The Oracle took notice on how undersized the structure was compared to others. It lay hidden beneath the trees as if it too were afraid to expose itself. The Oracle had seen Elemental huts before, but none as quaint.
She turned her silver gaze upon the oval-shaped door and knocked once. The shuffle of feet acknowledged the Oracle, yet the entrance remained closed.
“Open this hut,” she ordered. “Or I will enter by myself.”
The door was opened by a female Elemental, her skin decorated in orange, blue, white, and green vine-like patterns. She peered her blue eyes at the Oracle and stood her ground. Wearing a worn, maroon cloak, a gray dress, and slips for shoes, she maintained a daunting aura. The woman was taller than the Oracle, but that factor held no importance. The Oracle received no intimidation.
“It is late, my Oracle,” the Elemental said. “To what do I owe this surprise?”
Uninvited, the Oracle entered. From the inside, the shelter was bland and old, however, its warmth consumed her at once, making her feel at home in a hut that wasn’t her own.
“Where is your son, Lopie?” She moved her silver eyes towards the Elemental.
“Why do you ask?” The creature closed the door shut and looked out of the hut’s window. “I cannot imagine what business you would have with my Ander. After the words you have spoken, you cannot expect me to rest easy with your presence. Are you oblivious to the dangers that you bring, my Oracle?”
“No harm will come to your family as long as I am here,” the Oracle reassured her. “However, I must speak to your son.”
Another Elemental sauntered out from a different room, having just heard the commotion. His youthful face ignored the gray hair on his head. Along with the colorful, vine-like patterns across his body, he was a handsome creature. Yet, it was as if the stern being had never laughed in his life.
“My Oracle,” he began. “Forgive my ignorance. I did not recognize your voice from my study. What can we offer you?”
“Your son,” she repeated. “I must speak to him.”
“He is away,” he replied. “What is your concern?”
Before the Oracle could reply, the door hurled open. Two adolescent male and female Elementals rushed into the house, out of breath and blatantly unaware of their company. Both creatures ceased as soon as their eyes arranged themselves upon the Oracle.
“Ander of the Gray Wood.” She turned to the male, her silver eyes illuminating.
Without command, the Elemental approached her. She examined him thoroughly, taking singular notice of every detail on his body. He was handsome, lean, and powerful. She could see all that he possessed in the reflection of his violet eyes.
“Ander, son of Haro of the Gray Wood,” the Oracle spoke, her finger placed on his forehead. “I proclaim you Orsana’s Savior, from the wishes of the Creators.”
The boy cringed back. Heat crept up his spine and reached his neck while his stomach twisted in unnatural ways. He took three full steps away from the Oracle before his hands found something to grip. His bright eyes instantly turned to his parents in search for an answer to a question not yet proposed. He turned to his sister, but her blank expression only highlighted his anxiety. The phenomenon could not be explained in terms he could understand.
The Oracle peered at the boy and smiled softly. “You question your worthiness.”
“Oracle, you speak in explosions,” he began. “I am no Savior. I still have much to learn and master. The Creators have made a mistake. You see, I am not like other –”
“We are quite aware of your distinction. In fact, your peculiarity is exactly why the Creators chose you. You have a special power, Ander. Do not mistake a lack of skill for a lack of capability.”
Ander bowed his head. “I apologize, Oracle. I will work to understand, but –”
“You will in time,” she promised. “Before I leave, know these things.”
A swarm of emotions silenced Andrew as he watched her. The spark in her eyes told everyone what was to come. He had heard rumors about the Oracle’s quests. Never did he ever think he would receive one.
The Oracle stepped back and looked him straight in the eye. Following a formidable surge, she allowed the foreign words to flow out of her. As she spoke, she was not of her own.
“You will not find the girl in Orsana.
You will not find her with our mortals.
You must travel to the First World.
You must travel through the Portal.
She will be very near,
So you must not travel for long.
For the town of Trodon
Is where she will belong.
She will find the Book of Orsana,
With that, you will find her.
But when you speak of Orsana,
She will not recognize a word.
You must teach her of her fate.
You must show her our land.
For once you have exposed everything,
She will finally understand.”
She released a loud gasp, drew in a breath, and then relaxed her recycled body. As the declaration left her, she resituated herself with her surroundings and faced the Elemental once again.
“If you are wondering about the Book of Orsana,” she began. “Seek the Sorcerer, Dyem. With him, you will create a work that will explain Orsana in detail, including every creature and every land. Once you have completed the book, then must you travel to the First World. When you arrive, give the Book of Orsana to the Teacher, Mona. She will care for the book until it claims the girl.”
“I trust that the four of you will keep a secrecy to the words I have spoken,” she announced, ignoring the boy and confronting the family. “I will take my leave.”
The Oracle bowed to them and then made her way to the door. The family watched her in frustration, wondering why the weight had been put on their shoulders. It was not the first time the Oracle had broken the peacefulness of a family. It would not be the last.
She stepped back outside, allowing the fresh air to wash away her guilt. Then, concentrating on the place of her visual requirement, she watched as the world began to change again. Black turned to light blue. White turned to yellow. The cool breeze became gentler, almost bearable. When she blinked everything into focus, the darkness that had surrounded her was replaced with a blinding sunlight and blasting noises. Orsana had bent and morphed into the First World, a domain even the Oracle thought overwhelmingly unique.
The Oracle was now present in the state of California, and she stood before a large hospital. She solemnly pressed on into the structure, where sanitized air swept into her nostrils.
While she walked down the halls, the people of the First World rushed back and forth amongst her, yelling out commands and rolling around others in wheeled beds. It looked as if everyone were too busy and distracted to notice the strange, foreign woman walking in the thick of the crowd.
All except for a female dressed in blue. “Excuse me, ma’am!” She slid in front of the Oracle. “You can’t go down that hall!”
The woman fiddled with her top and avoided the Oracle's eyes. “Because it’s only for doctors and nurses. If you have a relative you’d like to see, you’ll have to wait in the waiting area.”
The woman pointed to a room occupied by grief-stricken Firsts. Even from afar, the Oracle could sense the sorrow and panic that penetrated the room’s air.
“No,” she proclaimed. “Move out of my way.”
Annoyed, the Oracle centered her index finger on the woman’s mouth. When she removed her finger, the woman became silent.
“Be calm,” the Oracle spoke. “You will gain your voice back within the hour.”
Then she walked away, leaving the voiceless woman in an absolute frenzy. The room in which she had meant to enter was strides away. However, before she could reach it, her pace slowed until it came to a sudden stop. She stared at the scene before her with one brow raised.
He exited the room with a spring in his step, whistling a tune she could not recall. The Veli had spiked hair, a thick layer of cloth consuming his upper-half, and a white, tiny, cylinder-shaped object twirling between his fingers. Although his back faced her as he walked off in his human attire, the Oracle recognized him. She had a knack for recognizing all those born in Orsana.
Nevertheless, she dismissed the creature. She had more important matters to attend to. The door was sealed shut, and a DO NOT DISTURB sign was plastered on the front. The Oracle ignored it.
“Back already, Charlee?” a man laughed, having not noticed who’d actually entered. He was dressed in blue bottoms and a top that read, GO GIANTS. His skin mirrored the color of the wood that covered the Elemental Hut, and the clear spectacles surrounding his dark eyes were as circular as the moon. Protectively and alarmingly, he stood in front of the bed that accommodated a sweat-stained woman and a hushed infant.
“Who are you?” he asked. “Didn’t you see the sign?”
“Kevin, it’s alright,” said the woman. “She’s from my world.”
Panic struck his face. “Is she your –”
“No, she’s not related to me. She’s the Oracle.”
The Oracle approached the lady in the bed. The woman hugged her child closer, but she did not appear to be afraid. Her green eyes pierced the Oracle with unease.
“I know why you’re here,” the woman began. “You don’t have to worry. Since we’re powerless in this part of this world, my baby won’t cause any harm. She’ll –”
“Do not be alarmed. I am not here for that matter regarding your child,” the Oracle announced. “She is beautiful, Migretta.”
The mother, Migretta, tilted her head down to her child, causing a flood of black hair to follow. She kissed the bridge of the baby’s nose, forehead, and then both cheeks. Her bright green eyes flashed. “I know she is.”
“Who is she?” Kevin asked his wife. “How does she know your real name, Gretta?”
“She knows the names of everyone born in Orsana,” the woman assured her husband. “Relax.”
Calmed by her words, Kevin nodded and ambled over to his wife’s side. His cautious eyes stayed glued to the beautiful creature dressed in white.
“What is her name, Migretta?” the Oracle asked.
“Thenara,” Kevin interrupted. “Thenara Queen Gretta James.”
“Interesting,” she pursued, her curiosity getting the better of her. “It is uncommon for a child to be named, Queen, in this world, is it not?”
“Queen was my great aunt’s name.” Kevin glared at her. “She passed away and now I’m giving the name to my daughter. Is there a problem?”
Kevin’s body stiffened. His built up anger resurfaced again and directed itself towards the Oracle. She understood what he was thinking. She understood why he stood in front of his wife the way he did. They had been through a lot to get to where they were now. Their love story was a snowstorm. Beautiful and damned.
“Kevin.” Migretta gave her husband a look. “Stop it. You’re making a scene.”
“I understand that you are uncomfortable with my presence,” the Oracle told him. “For that, I apologize.”
“Why are you here, then?” Migretta asked her. “What do you want from us?”
“The prophecy has been told. Even in this world, I am sure you have heard it.”
“What prophecy?” Kevin asked them.
“What about it?” Migretta ignored him. “I don’t associate with Orsana anymore. I have no business with it. This world is my home now. I –”
“Cease your statement,” the Oracle said. “I am here for Thenara.”
The Oracle stared down at the sleeping infant. There wasn’t a lot she could gather from the baby. She had no idea if Thenara would handsome or lean, but she knew the baby was beyond powerful. Perhaps even more powerful than Ander.
“The Creators have spoken,” she went on. “Orsana’s healing process is set.” Without another word, the Oracle did as she must and placed her fingertip on the infant’s forehead. “Thenara Queen Gretta James, daughter of Kevin James,” she began. “I proclaim you Orsana’s Savior, from the wishes of the Creators.”
She pulled her finger away and watched the infant’s steady breathing. Once again, she smiled despite the horrific looks Thenara’s parents sent her. “She has sixteen years and ten months, as it is said.”
“What did you do?” Kevin was furious. “What the hell is going on?!”
“Please!” Migretta pleaded. “She’s just a baby!”
“She is whom they want,” the Oracle pressed. “You of all people should know why they chose her.”
Silence swallowed the room while guilt played on Kevin and Migretta’s minds. The shock they felt shouldn’t have been so unanticipated, considering that they were the ones who put their child in such a position, not the prophecy.
The Oracle lifted the hood of her cloak and proceeded towards the door. With her hand gripping the knob, she stopped and turned back to them. Struck by their innocent and regretful expressions, the Oracle felt a form of compassion.
“I will provide for you all some future advice,” she muttered. “For you Migretta, I respect all the decisions that you shall make in the future. However, I advise that you leave your recklessness behind when making them.”
Migretta stared at the Oracle, her back straight and her jaw squared. Migretta held her baby still, but her fingers trembled, and her inhuman eyes flickered with anger.
“Kevin James.” The Oracle turned to the heated man. “I admire your love and loyalty, but beware the trouble that it may lead to. In the future, do not leave your children without hope of your return.”
“What are you talking about?!”
“You will know in time,” she ended. “May the Creators favor you.”
As she closed the door behind her, she paused before moving forward. Her job was done. Although Orsana’s fate lay in the hands of an infant and an Elemental, she felt confident about the future. There would be pain. There would be sacrifices. There would be death. She knew those things to be true more than anyone else.
However, she also knew that there would be light. Somewhere at the end of the story, there was light.
The Oracle turned back around and pressed her palm against the door.
“It is in your hands now, Thenara,” the Oracle whispered. “Happy Birthday.”