Just a Dream
Was she floating?
She couldn’t feel anything beneath her feet, but Minas couldn’t see anything around her to confirm it. She couldn’t sense her limbs or move her body in the slightest. The sensation was different from being numb; she felt nothing at all. Like she wasn’t really there. Was she consumed by the darkness inside her? Was she dead?
~~Illaba shiya ne~~
Who was singing? The voice seemed to come from all directions at the same time. Minas looked around frantically, but there was still only an eternal abyss.
~~Ne yanave, illa no~~
The roll of a drum echoed throughout the space, ripples of light emitting across the onyx expanse with each beat. They started from her toes, each one smaller than the one before as they receded into the distance in front of her. Was she supposed to follow them?
~~Shaba cosora me solavo. Ipravo sima ve~~
“Minas,” a soft whisper brushed the inside of her ear, sending a chill through her soul. It was a different person than the singer, who was definitely a woman. But this voice seemed even lighter and higher, like that of a child. Minas turned her head slowly towards the speaker, surprised to find not a person, but a group of small lights interwoven as they danced in a cloud of multi-colored specks. She reached her hand out to them, now realizing she finally had control of her movements. But before her fingers could touch them, another light, larger and dazzlingly white, rushed past her in the direction of the ripples. She couldn’t explain why, but a wave of terror filled her and she started to run after it, her feet making new waves as each step landed atop the ebony ground. But the light was much faster than she was. She knew she would never catch it.
“Minas,” the murmur came again, a little louder than before but still quiet. It was accompanied by the steady sound of a string being plucked repeatedly. Deliberately. It was more hollow than a harp, almost like a bow-string being violently pulled back and released. The drum began to play once more. As it gradually rose in volume, multiple others began to join in as the rhythms smashed against each other. The noise grew in intensity as it amplified. Minas covered her ears, but it sounded just as loud as when she hadn’t. Like the song was from inside her head. It melded from a vicious clash of instruments into one sound. Like an explosion happening over and over again. Like thousands of fireworks being ignited with lightning. Minas fell to her knees, the pounding pain threatening to drive her mad.
“Minas,” The voice called again, this time at more of a normal speaking volume. All at once, the noise around her stopped. She looked up, a few of the small lights from before now in front of her. Red, blue, green, and purple all hung in the air before her, lightly bouncing back and forth.
“W-what’s going on?” Minas sputtered out. She wanted out of this nightmare already.
“Minas,” the voice came again, this time from behind her. Minas frantically spun around, a pillar of light extended from the sky to the ground behind her. The luminous prism flashed, splitting into different colors. The lights suddenly dropped from the sky, falling until they crashed to the ground. The only thing left standing in their place were four people, all dyed the colors of the lights that appeared before the fall. The first was a woman in red. Her ornate robes reached to the floor, the same length as her gossamer hair. Next was a man in yellow. He was dressed more simply than the first person, only a simple pair of slacks and a baggy shirt, though neither looked dirty or worn. Beside him was a man in blue. He was in some strange sort of attire Minas has never seen before. Layers of gaudy lace stuck out from his jacket, which reached to the floor and dragged behind him. The very last person was a girl in violet. She seemed at least ten years younger than the others, maybe around Minas’s age. None of the others were that old, Minas was simply very young, having just started her fifteenth year this week. But though the purple girl seemed young, she beamed a confidence the others couldn’t match. Like the blue man, she wore a style Minas was unfamiliar with. The girl wore slacks, but they were cut off around her mid-thigh. And her shirt wasn’t even long enough to cover her belly button. A lot of her skin was showing, something a Forsti would likely wear. And in her hand she held… something. Minas didn’t know how to describe it. Like a metallic stick with levers and switches on it. It was like nothing she had ever seen before
“Who are you?” Minas asked, her curiosity peaking along with her frustration.
The three people all looked to their right, their eyes landing on the red woman. “Boda ‘ve’, ‘asta’,” she announced.
Minas shrugged. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand you.”
“Kal chiyo,” the yellow man told the red woman. The woman rolled her crimson eyes in response but said no more.
Minas looked to the man in blue, hoping he would be the next to talk now that the two people before him in line had already spoken. But he simply made eye contact, shook his head, and turned to the last person in the line.
The girl in purple sighed. “When it's time, you'll get it.”
“'Get it'? What am I supposed to get? What’s going on?!” Minas tried to stand up but realized she was once again no longer in control of her limbs. She looked down, realizing that she was also one color: green. “This is a dream, right?”
“Nera asta,” the red woman declared in a loud voice. The beam she came from descended on her again, covering her with a vermillion light.
“I already told you, I don’t understand!”
“Nera asta,” the yellow man echoed, his eyes desperately looking into hers before also disappearing into his own amber light.
“I’m sorry, but I-”
“Nera asta,” the blue man finally spoke up as well before being engulfed in sapphire.
“Nera asta,” the purple girl repeated, being swept away by a flash of indigo.
"Nera... asta?" Minas questioned, her field of vision becoming entirely green the moment she spoke the words. "Wait, no! What's happening!"
Minas gasped, sitting up straight in her bed. She placed her hands over her stomach, then over her heart, and finally on her head. She was there. She could move. The green light was gone. The people were gone. Though the room was dark, the lesser-star lightly illuminated the dorm, allowing her to see her fellow Etol sleeping peacefully in their beds. She was home. Was that a dream? It didn't feel like it. The fear, the pain, the confusion... it was so real. "Nera asta," Minas thought. She pulled out her journal from the desk beside her bed and wrote the words in it before she forgot. What did it mean? It sounded like Abulinan, but how could she dream in a language she didn't know? One she couldn't even begin to learn for another five years? Had she just heard it enough that she was naturally picking it up? Minas continued to stare at the words, tapping her pencil onto the sheet. "Well, it's not like I have to wait." A devilish smile crept across her face as she laid back down, debating the best way to break the rules when morning came.