Prophecy Story Index
A Child Shall Lead
Uncounted figures gathered to watch in silence as the darkness engulfed the light, as evil destroyed good, as war conquered peace, as death stole life's power. As hate triumphed over love. As the final images flashed across the cold glass, voices rose in a harmony all their own, protesting the wrongness, the unbalanced nature of the visions.
"You know what will happen if we do not intervene."
"The lines of fate all narrow to one path. A dark path."
"It cannot happen this way. We cannot let it happen this way."
Silence. Fingers tapped against the glass through which darkness spilled and spread. Heavy clouds covered the sky. Unheard screams of the dying echoed in the air.
"Eventually, the evil will come to us. By then it will be too late."
"Too late for us all. The time to act is now."
"Now? What is now?"
A hand waved in front of the glass. The scene changed. Two small children, a brown-haired boy and blonde girl, romped in the grass, followed by their mother. The sun shone brightly above them, reflecting brightly off the mother's long dark hair and shy smile. The children laughed and played, then ran towards a man who appeared in the fields, her dark green cloak billowing out behind him, a small silver circlet on his forehead.
"This is now as well. Or this."
Again, the scene changed, time going backwards, showing a tall man, draped in furs and heavy robes standing before a young woman. The woman curtseyed, her hand in his, then rose to stand, a smile on her lips. Both wore crowns of state, though the crowns differed greatly in style, as if from two different countries. The man returned her smile and raised her hand to press a kiss onto her fingers before turning them both to greet an assembled crowd of councilors and nobles.
Another scene. Another time. This time of a soldiers burning down a house. A man fought one of the soldiers, their swords clashing and sparking in the night. A woman stood to one side, hitting another soldier over the head, turning to yell at a small boy. Even through the soundless picture, all could see the mother warning her son to run into the forest and hide. Which he did, turning just moments before the man, probably the father, fell to the ground, his great sword flying away from him.
"What now would you choose?"
"I suggest we first decide what to do, then when to do it."
"We need a champion. Someone to fight the evil. We cannot intervene directly."
"Who? Who can be this champion?"
Another hand waved in front of the glass, then touched it with one fingertip. "Her."
Figures drew near, staring at the little blonde girl hiding behind a door, watching with wide terrified eyes as soldiers, all dressed in black leathers, stormed in a large domed room, raising swords and maces to kill and terrorize.
"Her? Who is she? She's only a child."
"A child. Yes. A child caught between this world and the next. Around her, many destinies flow. This is but one possibility. A possibility of darkness." The hand waved again. "However, it is who she could be, who she might be, that is important." The scene shifted. In the place of the girl stood a young woman whose blue eyes glinted as she fought against the darkness. A dirty blonde braid banging against her shoulders, short unremarkable sword flashing in the air, streaks of dirt and blood on her face and exposed arms, she presented quite a picture. "Another possibility of darkness, of wrongness, but still central to destiny."
"A warrior then."
"In this possibility and in all others. That fate has already been decided. And cannot be changed. It is only the circumstances that lead to this path and what kind of warrior she will be that can be affected."
"Because of who she is. Her arrival will not be noted. Not by the dark ones. Nothing special about her. Especially not if we do this right."
"We would have to start slow. Earlier than her birth, her life."
A pause, then sounds of agreement.
"Where, then? What 'now' shall we choose? And what gifts shall we give her to fight in our places?"
"A sword. No, two swords. One of power, one of love."
"Wouldn't such a pairing be noted?"
"Only if we keep them together for too long. If we separate them, only bringing them together when necessary."
"And we can create them at different times, setting them on a path early."
Figures huddled close to the glass. Images flashed past quickly, pausing only momentarily for conferring and discussion. Choices were made; words chosen; people picked for key roles in destiny.
"A few things remain. How shall she know? What shall guide her? What shall prevent the dark from finding her too soon?"
"Words. Prophecies. Deliberate misleadings. A few planned mistakes here and there. Not every plan can be perfect. We must learn to...improvise, be prepared to make changes, find other paths that will lead us back to the correct one in time."
"And to guide her? Help her know what path to take?"
"More words and prophecies. Sometimes buried deep within words that carry no other meaning than themselves. And a few well-chosen individuals, like these two," Fingers tapped the glass again which shifted to show first a young man smoothing a parchment with ink-stained fingers, then a serious little boy staring at a book. "They shall interpret what they see and give light to understanding. And she will not be alone in this path. Others will join her, as is destined." Images flashed past of others. "Especially this one. Her soulmate." Another young man appeared, shown sitting next to the woman, fingers idly strumming on the strings of a lute. The woman's head rested on his shoulder, eyes closed, serene peace on her face.
"Very well. Where shall we begin?"
A shift of scenes. A finger touched the glass again. "Here. With her."
"Another child. Yes. Unexpected."
"The dark never looks at the children. Never thinks to wonder what intelligence might be stirring behind their eyes."
"I hope it never does."
"My sisters, once we start on this path, there can be no other. All things affect the lines of fate. Are we agreed that this is the only way into the Light?"
A pause, exchanged looks. Quiet nodding.
Voices rose together as one. "Agreed."
"So be it."
"Let the Forging of the Sword begin."
Breawn woke, dark eyes opening to see the morning sun glinting past the entrance to the orphans' tent. Sitting up, pulling the thin blanket around over her thin 8-year-old body, she stared at the patched walls of the once-heavy tent, now slowly fading and wearing away over time and war and battle.
Her long black hair swung over her shoulders as she pulled her knees up to her chest, pondering the meaning, wondering who she should tell. Dreams, especially the bad ones, were common in the times they lived in. Constant wars, the constant threat of death, never knowing what the next day would bring. But this...
A vision. It wasn't a dream. It was a vision.
Two great clans. Reds and blues. Joining as one under a flag of peace, of love. Flowers grew in the fields. Food was planted and harvested. Children laughed. War faded...for a time. And that sword. A great sword, glinting and glistening in the light like no other, two red jewels in the hilt. She saw it first in the hands of their current Clan Leader's son Elhanan who stood next to a woman that would share his throne, her red hair glowing in the light.
A flash and she saw it in the hands of another. And another. And another. And another.
Until it rested comfortably -- firmly -- finally -- in the hands of a woman, blonde hair gathered into a braid at her back. She stood tall and strong, sword raised against evil, against the dark.
'She for whom...She for whom...She for whom destiny awaits...She for whom this sword is created and bestowed...She for whom....'
Years will pass before the sword is made, before...I help to make the sword. The thought sounded and felt so right that she knew it was the truth. But it will be made. When the time is right.
Breawn threw back the blanket and shoved herself off the bed, reaching for her clothes where they lay draped over the end of the bed. She yanked her threadbare trousers over her bare legs, barely noticing the chill in the air. Sitting on the ground, she pulled on worn shoes and hunted under the bed for her little box of things.
"Breawn? It's early. Did you have a bad dream?"
She looked up, seeing one of the women who took care of the orphans, of which there were so many. Holding her little box under one arm, she stood, lifting her chin, finding a new pride, a new...calling.
"No, I'm okay. Now. I need to go see Elhanan."
The woman frowned. "The Clan Leader's son? Why?"
"I have a message for him."
"A message? What kind of message?"
Breawn smiled quietly. "A message of hope." She darted around the woman and hurried out, ignoring the harried calls for her to wait, to explain herself.
This can't wait. It has to be now.
Because now is all we have.
- The End -
Prophecy Story Index