The moon refused to show its face the night the boy slept fitfully. Screams and blood flew around him, assaulting his mind from all sides. His eyes blinked and the scenery flickered as well. Curiousity muted his ears and mind to the battle before him and he blinked again. Same flicker. Although instinct screamed at him to watch and dodge, he closed his eyes. Each moment he waited for the blow that would end his life, but instead he saw a forest and heard a river tumbling bashfully beside him. Dragonflies skimmed the surface, touching only briefly before swirling around the boy. Little by little they led him deeper into the forest to a glade tucked between a few hills. There the dragonflies receded, leaving him alone in a patch of flowers.
For a moment he waited to see if they would rejoin him and bring a smile back to his face. But as he looked they clustered around someone else; a graceful, auburn haired lady. Peaceful strength radiated from her glistening figure as she strode towards him, dragonflies and light dancing off her silver, silken kilt. An eloquently wrought silver torc graced her neck, paired with gleaming arm bands and a delicated brooch shaped into a Celtic knot. The dragonflies moved with her as she harmoniously danced towards him.
“Hello James,” she said as she neared the boy.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“I am the wind; I am the coin tossed in the well; I am the scales that balance; I am the Dragonfly; and I am Airimid, healer and protector.” Each word she spoke caught on the wind, reverberating to him in waves. “And you are a mischevious boy, James. Planning on running away from home? Your mother will be devastated.”
“I’m not running away! I’m old enough to be a man, so I’m just leaving!” he whined. The lady raised an eyebrow and James flushed. “If I can put an end to this war then my tribe will stop treating me like a child.”
“Not if you use childish ways, just as you plan to,” she reasoned.
“What do you know of what I plan to do?” he said with narrowed eyes.
“I know of the destruction you will cause. I know of the lives you will ruin. And I know that it will not end as you desire.”
“How do you know that? You can’t know that,” he argued as the enchantment that befelled him upon their first meeting diminished. She was just another person telling him what he should do.
“I can and I do, and if you do not listen to me-,” Airimid began, but it was too late.
“Listen to you? Why? I’ve been listening to people my entire life and it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. What makes you different?” James ranted.
“Because-,” she tried again, but to no avail.
“You’re not, you’re not different. Everyone is the same, they are all trying to make me someone I’m not. But I’m over it, I’m not going to let anyone tell me what to do anymore. I’m going to take over the Kati, and there’s nothing you can do about it!” he proclaimed. Sorrow glimmered in her eyes and pursed lips as she watched his temper flare. She shook her head and dragonflies poured away from her, taking small pieces of her being as they left. In a moment she disappeared completely, erased from his vision. The insects surrounded him once more, except their buzzing radiated rage. Ice ran through him as thousands of winds beat him and thousands of legs grasped him. He ran, turning from the strange vibration running through his spine. For a while he wandered and contemplated the woman Airimid and his thoughts turned on her words.