Start writing here…“…Full-blown tempest, howling winds, crashing waves, thunder and lightning, this was the tale of the unbreakable gemstone that we protected for centuries. All you had to do is protect it. Instead, you turned it into pieces. Not only that, you lost all the parts scattering them all around the Dotoria. Bravo, I applaud you,” she clapped her hands angrily.
Pandora was a little town located on the template seashore, where the vegetation was lush. If you saw it for the first time, you would get the feeling that it was a boring place. However, it was the seal of a powerful gemstone that had a great amount of mana. It was said that it originated from a dragon’s heart; however, dragons did not exist.
Pandora grew around a water source where travel roads seldom were active. The few people that lived there had an introverted mind and feared the outside world. It was a mechanism or a thought that an ancestor planted generations ago to protect the secret of the gemstone from coming out.
“I did not do it on purpose, and you know that, big sister. How about we leave it as it is. You know no one knows about the gem anymore. Probably, if someone got it, they would think it is a normal rock and put it aside.”
The nearest landmark was ‘Hawk eyes’, a naturally formed column of earth and stone around seventy-five feet in diameter with a roughly circular shape but went up three hundred feet straight up. It was covered in moss, plants and even sideway growing trees. The climb was brutal; however, it was nothing for the people of Pandora.
“No comment. I will not debate with you, Dahlia. You will go outside the gates and search for the fragments. If you do not do it, consider yourself banished from this village. You do not want that, don’t you?”
“You are too cruel, sister Dina,” Dahlia showed a pleading face.
“It is chief for you, from now on if you do not apply by the rules. I already did you a great favour by not sending you on hard labour.”
The guard presence in Pandora was somewhat smaller than it seemed. Perhaps because the chief in person and the witches and wizards carried the law enforcement, who were seen as drinking buddies rather than horrible tyrants. Dina was the elder sister between Dahlia and her. Therefore, she had to take the position after the death of their father.
“But my sister, I cannot go out there and search for the crystal parts. You know I never went out.”
“Dahlia,” she appeared hesitating, “I believe you are old enough to get the truth as it is. Remember, you were the one who refused to go on a journey repeatedly. However, I do believe after the truth is out, you will have to go despite your unwillingness.”
“Is my dear sister still talking about the joke you made last time? I am not to believe that. And now, would you excuse me? I know you try your best to send me away.”
Dina stared at her young sister, saddened by her approach. She could not bring herself to say the truth as long as everything was as before. As long as the crystal was in one piece. However, it was shattered and dispersed through the world. It would bring disaster to their illusionary little village, and everyone would eye the power that she fought so hard to hide thousands of years. Dahlia turned her back and hastened to the exit ignoring the last words of her sister.
“Can’t you see? We did not change for a single hair since you were little,” she sighed in despair, “why should I have to take this burden? The truth is hurtful for everyone. We acted as we were still alive for you, my dear sister. You must be already aware of it. It is just you chose to ignore it. I am afraid I cannot protect you anymore.”
The young sister ran to the smithy that she frequently went to each time she felt depressed. The smithy was fastidious, with a swept floor and tools stored neatly on the walls. There was a desk in the corner with a piece of parchment showing the current project’s measurements, and the materials were neatly stored in bins. Clearly, whatever apprentice has been charged with the upkeep of the smithy has taken their job very seriously, and she acted as an apprentice in those times of needs. Everything was the same. Nothing changed in her eyes. However, her choice to ignore the obvious signs was unforgivable. It was her selfish desire that bound them in the village.
She ran her hand through the mace lying on the bench. It was obviously amateurish. Dahlia laughed at the familiar sight. It was ungrateful of her to keep them close while they had to rest in peace. After walking around the place looking at every single detail that she grew up to learn by heart since nothing changed, she returned to her sister, ready to accept whatever was told. It was her mistake that the gem was destroyed. If she had not thought of sneaking a peek and falling over it, everything would still be the same. She would live with them until her death, and they would rest in peace at the same time as her.
“Big sister. I think I am ready to get the truth you spoke of so many times. I am sorry to push this burden on you while I must be grateful for your care.”
Dina stood in the middle of the room with her back to her sister; she could not see clearly her face, just her elegant silhouette. Long white dress with an extra-wide hoop skirt that did not change for fifteen years, plumes of feathers in her hair and a poorly made necklace in her neck. Dahlia was watching from the door, a heavy burden on her heart.
The eldest sister took a deep breath before turning to her sibling. It was hard for her to gather all her courage and speak what she has in mind for more than a thousand-year. Despite the free personality characterizing Dahlia, she was an unshakable beauty. If she were between living people, certainly a Duke or even a Prince would take an interest in her. When she wanted, she acted with all delicacy, grace and refinement.
“We are dead,” she offered a confident smile, “the crystal had allowed us to stay. We wanted to be there for you when you wake up. There was an attempt to steal the jewel in the past. You were a victim, and the crystal put you in a deep slumber, freezing your time. We had no other choice but to seek the crystal’s power to stay alive. However, it demanded our physical bodies in exchange. While some of us offered it, the others refused to end up dead.”
Pearls of tears whirled in the young sister’s eyes. She knew something was amiss. She just delayed what was bound to happen. Guilt crawled in her heart, making her feeling miserable.
“If I did not break the crystal, you would still be here for me. I am sorry; I know it is my selfish desire to keep you next to me, to keep the happy life that I shared with you intact. However, I could not bring myself to ask you for the truth and kept asking for more of your grace,” Dahlia ran to her sister to hug her like she always did when she thought they could disappear, but she was already transparent. She went through her like air.
Shocked by what happened, she tried touching her once again, but it was vain. Dina explained the crystal made them touchable. She smiled softly one last time before turning into fluorescent little dots floating towards the sky. Dahlia ran outside to check on the others. They were all grouped in the village square, smiling at the little girl. She felt she was still that young child in their eyes. Her body slumped on the ground, and her hand reached for their wavering appearances. Not only they were turning to ashes, but also the village that she lived in. She shook her head, repeatedly denying the truth in front of her.
“Little Lia, do not forget us,” said the resident smith of the smithy, “if you keep us alive in your heart, we will still exist. It seems this is our goodbye.”
Waving their hands, they also turned into fluorescent little dots and flew to the sky, leaving only an empty land full of grown untied grass and a part of the crystal that fell, the brilliant light in it turning into a small glim. She hugged herself, opening her eyes widely.
“No,” she screamed, “Give them back to me. I am sorry; I will listen to everything you say.”
Dahlia crawled to the little gem piece and held it in her hand, begging it to return what she lost that night. She turned her head to Hawk eyes and smiled. Apparently, there was still something left by them.