Darby runs through the garden’s courtyard, using the speed to hoist herself up onto the wall with great ease. She watches me, my face buried in a book as I maneuver through the bushes, tree's and flower beds, slowly but surely, heading her way.
Darby groans and pick’s up her legs, spinning a full circle on the brick wall.
What’s in a name, that which we would call a rose by any other name that would smell as sweet.
Each word is warm and refreshing, cooling my burning curiosity for more. Suddenly I knock into the brick wall, and my book falls to my feet.
Darby wiggles her fingers as she watches, allowing blue and gold waves of magic to dance on them. It reminds me of one playing a piano.
I rub my injured forehead before squatting down to pick up my book, groaning as I flip through the now dirty pages, trying to find my place again.
Darby sighs and soon begins to move her wrist as well, causing the blue and gold magic to flow around the base of her hand. “I don’t understand why you enjoy reading so much. For me it just’s too bothersome.”
I snort, standing back up and tucking the book against my sweater. “Yes well, you wouldn’t know half the spells you do, if it wasn’t for books.”
“You mean Jerny. Jerny, taught me more then any book did.” Darby grins as she starts to move her arm as well, causing her magic to swirl around her forearm. It’s stunning to watch.
Jerny Kilpan. Darby’s mentor, is our royal enchanter. He’s also Darby’s uncle. As descendants of Merlock, they're both taught magic until the age of twenty three, when they will inherit the title as the royal enchanter or enchantress. Jerny is also my mentor as well. The royal family has always had the gift of magic, but we have enchanters like Jerny. I never understood why we needed an enchanter, if we ourselves have magic. But it’s one of those things I guess.
I watch Darby’s fingers, dancing in the air. I try the same, holding my arm out and slowly wiggling my fingers. For a time, nothing happens.
Darby has always been more skilled in magic then me. Although the royal family has more magic then anyone, she has always been able to master it quickly, leaving me in her shadow.
And by that, I mean.. well.. I love Darby very much, her being my best friend since birth. But.. Being a descendant of Merlock she has always been praised for her power by everyone in the palace. “She is Jerny’s star pupil”, they say. “They say she will be the greatest enchantress the Heaven’s have ever seen.”
Honestly, it has never bothered me. If anything, it made me proud of her, very proud. But what I didn’t like, was how my Father decided to keep my lessons with Jerny, quiet. He said, and I quote. “If we make it public, the Heaven’s will look down on you for your slow progress. You are our future, Josie. I don’t want to let that reputation hang over your head. I don’t want you to be embarrassed that an enchantress is more qualified in magic then our future ruler.”
I wasn’t fond of that answer. It had never bothered me before, I was proud of her success. And I still am. What I don’t like, is someone believing I am so shallow as to be jealous of my best friends success because I am a slow learner with magic, and being embarrassed for it? That pisses me off.
I finally get some sparks of magic on my fingers, cooling like a pool of water. The blue, white and turquoise sparkles around my fingers.
A Royal’s magic, is said to be the most beautiful of them all. And it swells me with pride as I stare at the magic flowing between my fingers. It reminds me of the color of the sea.
Darby glances, slowly stopping her movements to watch me fiddle around. She has always been beautiful, with freckles covering her cheeks and nose. Her dirty blonde hair flows to her breastbone, and her silver eyes hold a hint of mischief.
Suddenly a bird tweet’s in the air. Distracting me, and before I know it. The beautiful colors are gone as quick as they had come.
I groan and sigh. I’ve always been a fast learner. But the only thing that my brain, is devastatingly slow with, is magic.
I could recite Romeo and Juliet’s play with just three glances, but I cannot, learn a spell within a week.
Darby clicks her tongue, “Well, at least you got somewhere.”
I nod, “Yeah.. It just doesn’t make sense.” I set down my book and haul myself up the brick wall, turning so I’m sitting beside of Darby with my feet dangling. “I’m a fast learner, but not with magic. It’s a damn curse.”
Darby shrugs. “It’s like,” she tilts her head to the side, “your mind is registered to human things, more then Risen things, like magic. You enjoy books, and old human made artifacts more then Risen magic and nature.”
True. I use to go as a child and wander around Jerny’s shop. Being Merlock’s descendant, he had been interested in preserving parts of the human race. He would have strange things like, a trading card with a yellow mouse on it, and a plastic box with rubber buttons of different colors
Many things of the human race we still have, like books and probably some other stuff.
I used to take some of his collected items and play with them in my room. There was one machine I loved a lot. I was eight and even dragged it to my room. It had a cord with a piece of metal that held lots of sharp points. Jerny called it a "chainsaw", I’m pretty sure. He had been very scared when he saw me playing with it, and immediately took it away. I don’t know why though. It's sad.. it was fun.
There were many things from the human era, that is forbidden in the Heavens though.
Gemstones for one. Like pearls, peridot, amber and aquamarine. Jerny used to call them birth stones. I asked him what birth stones were. He had said they were stone associated with a month. I asked him what month, they were associated with.. he hadn’t said.
Gemstones, even talk of them are forbidden. During the Ruination, when the ground rebelled against the sky. Gemstone’s were part of the earth, and therefore forbidden in the Heavens.
And yet, gold is from the ground, along with silver. And we use it.
I had asked Jerny if there was a way I could find out. He suggested a book in the library about gemstones. He had hidden it when all knowledge of so was sweeped out. So I went to the library, my favorite place in the palace. Sure enough, there was one book. I discovered that my birthstone, is Chalcedony.
It, is now my favorite gemstone. Of course I would never say that out loud. It looks like a crystal, of calm beauty and power. It has a silky shine and looks more or less translucent. It brings peace, security and happiness. At the same time, removing fear, depression and sadness.
All my life. I have had two dream’s. My first, is to acquire a Chalcedony.. And my second, is to see stars.
In the Heaven’s, it is always day. We still sleep, but we sleep in the light. There are no stars. I remember reading a book on stars. 'A fixed, luminous point in the sky.'
In the book, there was one picture of stars. It makes me imagine, a million glowing Chalcedony, pressed against a velvety black sky. Rich but smooth.
But the Heaven’s do not hold these things. It's a shame. The Heaven’s is the home of light and joy, where the sun rises and never sets.
Sometimes I wish it would. I would battle the darkness for one night to see that very thing, a million glowing Chalcedony.
Darby’s voice snaps me from my day dreaming.
She’s halfway across the garden, hands on her hips as she watches me, a brow quirked. “What are you doing?”
I just blink. “Thinking.”
I shrug. “Poetry.”
Darby snorts, “Of course. Come on, your father called us in. Something’s going on..”
I furrow my brow. “What?”
She shrugs. “I don’t know, he needs to talk with you.”
I nod, “Okay.” I jump from the brick wall and hurry after Darby.
But even in a place that should be paradise, dreams are dangerous. Even in the light of day.