Age of Red (Book 1)

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I breathed in, ow! Why did it hurt to breathe? Actually my whole body hurt. My head, my arms, even my spine. Though my brain felt just fine. I was lying straight on my back, on something soft and hard at the same time.

My hands were the first to move, I dug into whatever was under me. My hands felt wet and moist at the same time. They felt dirty almost. Like dirt. Like maybe I was digging into the Earth? Then it hit me. My eyes popped open and was instantly flooded with light. I blinked at least three times to help my eyes refocus. I was staring up at the most beautiful blue sky I'd ever seen. There were clouds and birds squawking above.

I turned my head slowly from side to side. I inhaled sharply at the sight in front of me. Trees! Actual real trees everywhere. I sat up and dug my hands even further into the dirt. The dirt that I was actually touching. The dirt that I could actually feel. I sat on my knees and slowly got up to stand on my feet. My knees felt sore, and my legs still felt wobbly.

I took one step forward and almost fell flat on my face. My next step was more steady, and I walked to the first tree I saw. I stretched my hand out and touched its bark. The mud on my hands left a mark on the tree when I pulled my hand off.

I turned around and smiled. I was in some kind of forest. I could hear animals rushing by, birds tweeting their songs from tree to tree, even a stream near by. I turned and listened to the stream more intently. It didn't sound so far so I started walking toward it. I found it five minutes later, it was actually a swimming hole with a small waterfall.

On the other side a deer was drinking from it. Ducks were in the water looking for a meal. I walked to the edge, bent down and put my hands in. I washed the dirt off from before. I realized some thing just then, I looked down at myself. I was wearing a tan long dress with a black belt around my waist, I had long boots that reached my knees. And I hadn't bathed in who knows how long. I stripped to just my under garments, and faced the water. I dipped by foot in.

The water was warm-ish, so I slowly walked into the water until it was up to my chest. I took a deep breath and dunked my head

The water was clear and smooth. I loved it, everything felt more alive under there. It's where I first discovered my power. My power to control smoke. Speaking of which, do I still have it? I swam to the top and broke the surface. I looked around me, there were just small animals left and the deer already went away. The ducks were farther away from me. I took a deep breath and reached deep inside of me. It was still there but faint, I hadn't used it in a long time. I took a hold of it, and dragged it out. It came out almost instantly.

White-black smoke appeared surrounding me, hugging me. I moved it away from me, and back again. I moved it toward the ducks, and back. I swirled it around forming a small tornado-like swirl around me. I laughed, I still got it! I sucked it back in. I walked out of the water and put my clothes and shoes back on. I walked more into the trees touching everything I saw. Branches, leaves, flowers, even rocks. About an hour had passed. I didn't know where I was. The sun was setting, It was going to be dark soon.

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