Year of the Lilies
MAVLI RUNS TOWARDS ME, her feet slapping loudly on the hardened earth. She is smiling and yelling my name.
"Isla! Isla!" She runs into the river with full speed splashing water on me and drenching her dress.
"What is it?!" I ask terrified," what happened? Where's Cirok?" I glance behind us but there's no sign of the tall male.
Panting, Mavli kneels in the river to catch her breath. I quickly rinse the last of lather off my skin and wad out to dress up. Since there is obviously nothing wrong with her, I don't bother to probe further.
I pull on a pair of wool knickers and bandeau. Then I wear the dress I packed in my pouch; it has a flare skirt and a form fitting bodice. Like my knickers it's made out of wool. Then, I proceed to finger-comb my hair.
"Come on, Mavy," I say," dress up so we'll get going to the market."
Mavy stands up to her feet shaking and trembling like a lamb who is learning how to walk.
"You won't believe what just happened, Isla," she gushes with wide happy eyes,"you can't begin to imagine it."
I can't help laughing at her unusually perky attitude. "Awe me, Mavy. What happened?"
"Oh, Isla guess."
"Guess?" I'm horrible at guessing. What could have possibly happened that has made Mavli very happy? She was quite grumpy when I left her with Cirok.
Cirok! Maybe it's something that has to do with him. But what could Cirok have done that has made her happy?
I'm aware of the longing Mavli has for Cirok. Could he have expressed the same for her? I shoo the thought away, Cirok wouldn't, would he?
Maybe she found something on the way here.
"Um... You found a coin?" I ask.
"What?" She frowns,"far from that."
Then it has to do with Cirok then.
"Cirok asked you for dinner at his family hut?" I ask. Most males do that to females they are interested in.
Mavy squeals in giddiness. "Almost there!"
But I'm blank. Nothing else comes to mind. I sigh in resignation. "You just have to tell me, Mavy."
With a flourish, she shows me her left hand and I feel all the blood drain from my face.
"No," I whisper in disbelief.
"Yes! Yes!" Mavy squeals like a child as she jumps up and down while clapping her hands.
"No!" My voice is louder this time, "No!" Mavli pauses and stares at me with confusion etched in her features.
"What do you mean by no?" Mavli asks. Her eyes are wild orbs, all happiness gone.
I take a shaky breath and try to calm my nerves. I can't lose my temper, I don't want to flare up. I won't like the consequences.
"Mavli," I take a step closer,"you can't get married." The onyx sits in its platinum bed mocking me. I hope Mavli understands. I place a trembling hand on her shoulder.
"Why not?!" She shrugs my hand off and takes a step back. She's eying me carefully like I'm a bomb waiting to explode. I don't blame her, with all the crazy emotions running through my mind I can only imagine how I look like.
"Try and understand me, Mavy. You're too young—"
"That's not for you to decide!" She says to me with fire in her eyes. "I just knew you won't approve."
"What's that supposed mean?" What's she trying to say? I'm looking out for her. Mavy is too young to understand how relationships work, she's too young to be a wife.
"It means that you are jealous of me, Isla!" She accuses. She steps back again.
I feel something surge through my bones and wait eagerly at my fingertips.
No, I won't let myself lose control.
"How can you say a thing like that, Mavy?" No doubt, her words cut deeper than a knife.
"How can I not?" She spits out. "You are a self-centered person, Isla. You love it when you are the sole thing on our parents' minds. No wonder you pull off reckless stunts to gain attention!"
My heartbeat quickens and my pulse comes a thunderous echo. I don't have the strength to reply to her, if I do I might lose all the control I have and only God knows what the outcome will be.
"Mavy," I groan with a wince, "stop." I shut my eyes and hold it in. I'm trying to calm the beast inside me.
"Stop what?" Her words are dripping with disdain. Had she always felt this way towards me? Had she always viewed me as the enemy? How had I not noticed?
"I'm not stopping, Isla, she says my name with a sneer," I don't care if you unleash a storm on me. You are selfish! Did you think no man would want me because I'm not as beautiful as you? Are you jealous because I'm getting married before you? Did you want Cirok for yourself? Do you want him, Isla?" Her voice cracks and she begins to sob. My heart breaks.
I hear a distant rumble like a storm is brewing. Cold wind tickles me and becomes stronger. If she doesn't shut up, I don't know what I'm capable of.
Mavli gasps. "What are you doing? You want to send down rain in the Torrid?" There are huge tears in her eyes.
I force my eyes open and look at her. "Not if you'd shut up your loud mouth!" I snap and dark clouds cover the sky. I can hear what people will say already. Witchcraft. Rainfall in the Torrid is always a bad omen and handwork of the devil.
"Mavy." I can still feel the tension, the anger somewhere in my chest. "I'm not competing with you. I don't care who marries first or if we marry at all. We are both still very young." I sigh as I begin to feel a familiar burning behind my eyes and without warning, a lone tear rolls down my eyes. "Don't you ever wonder what's beyond the horizon, Mavy? 'cause I do."
Her features soften a bit but harden again as quickly. She looks at the horizon. "It's dark and cloudy," and with a glare she adds,"thanks to you."
Something inside me breaks, shatters, crashes into a thousand sharp pieces. Rain starts to drizzle all of a sudden. Mavy looks at me with the most frightened expression I've ever seen.
"You made it rain in the Torrid!" She runs a few feet away and glares at me,"witch!" She hisses.
I can't take it anymore! I fall to my knees as a bolt of power leaves me, knocking out all the strength I have left.
"Wh-Why do you hate me so?" I manage to say though my voice is raspy and hoarse, she hears me perfectly well.
"Because you hate me, you know I love him, Isla!"
I see the flash of lightening. It's vibrant yellow strike makes Mavy jump long before the deafening thunder is heard
"The rumours are right," she says proudly," you are a witch."
The scream that erupt from me is bestial and echoes even louder than the thunder. Mavli whimpers and begins to run away. Staggering to my feet, I will her to stay. Another deafening roar of thunder echoes and a strong wind picks up and the rain increases in tempo. The rain is so much that I can't see in front of me. It falls on me mercilessly, appeasing me of my anger, cleansing me.
Stay, Mavli. I think.
Mavy lets out a terrified scream as she is lifted up above the ground and is held up and tossed in circles by the wind.
"Isla! Isla! Isla!" She screams, her voice is droned out by the furious roar of the rain
I stand paralyzed and stare at my sister's suspended form.
"Drop me down, Isla! Stop this madness right now!" She commands even though it's very obvious that she's now at my mercy. I take a huge breath and will the wind to set her down.
I watch her scrawny, screaming form fall down to the earth with so much speed. She lies on the ground motionless and I run to her.
The storm is coming to an end; the rain is slowly stopping and the wind has waned.
"Mavy!" I sink to my knees beside her and break into sobs," I'm so sorry, Mavy."
She opens her eyes and I let out a shriek of joy. Her eyes fly open and I gather her in my arms, I can't hold back the flood of tears that break free.
"I'm sorry, Mavy. Please forgive me—"
Mavy pushes me away with a look that suggests disdain and hated. "I hate you, witch!" Shaking, she gets to her feet and runs like a gazelle trying to evade a predator. I stand up but stop myself from following her, she falls down with a yelp and a wince but gets to her feet again and resumes running.
And my heart bleeds.
Year of the Lilies Torrid Season The River Kintil •Mavli• SOAKED TO THE SKIN, I run as fast as my legs can carry me. My dress clings to me like a second skin and I feel my dripping hair stick to my forehead, cheeks and nape. I just knew she won't be happy for me. But I didn't know her envy ran so deep that she unleashed a storm and in the Torrid Season! What would the people say? Would people suspect her? The stupid girl is going to get herself hanged if she doesn't control her witchcraft. My heart is beating as loud as the talking drum and my legs wobble under me. I have to reach the market as soon a
Year of the Lilies Torrid Season The Orchard Altsas Kyan I HAVE JUST RETURNED from my hike and I am yet to greet my parents after three weeks of being apart. I am reluctant to face my parents especially my father, I'll do whatever I can to evade his concerns on marriage. The old man keeps smothering me each time he sees me and that is part of the reason I go on frequent hikes. The other reason I evade the Kingdom and my identity as Prince is to find myself and remind myself that there's more to life than delicious food and impressive clothing and a beautiful throne. Exhausted and parched, I trot to the palace orchard and sit under the nearest tree. I free myself from the weight of my sword and
The Raid Year of the Lilies Torrid Season The River Kintil Isla I LAY STUNNED ON THE WET GROUND, my fingers are digging into the dirt, my hair and dress are plastered to my body and I'm sobbing; the salty tears roll down my cheeks and some seep into my mouth. I don't know how long I've been lying down here but I know that it's been long enough for the storm to be an ugly memory of a few moments ago. The soft wind that blows is icy and sends shivers down my spine. The hair on my body stands on end and I feel goosebumps rise on my skin. My head is throbbing aggressively and my heartbeat has lessened to a numb thump in my chest cavity. And one name pulsates in my throbbing,
The Scars Year of the Lilies Torrid Season Unknown Road Unknown Place Mavli MY EYES OPEN SLOWLY and I immediately wish it hadn't. I want to sleep this nightmare away. I wish I'll woke up in the hut beside my sister like I did yesterday. Yesterday feels like another lifetime. It's funny how I took the simple bliss of being at home, of being with my mother and father and sister for granted. I'd give anything to be with them right now. I wish I can turn back the hands of time. The huge cart moves beneath me almost fluidly, its rhythm is almost comforting. I can hear the cantering hooves of the horses that pull me further away from the only life I've ever known.
The Thirst Year of the Lilies Torrid Season Unknown Place Unknown Place •Mavli• AS THE DAY PROGRESSES, the heat of the Torrid Season becomes more apparent. And the stench of our unwashed bodies becomes more unbearable. My nose burns and itches at the smell. What have we done to deserve this? The naked girl in the cage beside mine is still eating rigidly and staring at nothing ahead. Her slender fingers grab the bars of the wooden cage tightly. I wonder how she manages to sit with perfect posture when we are in so much pain. Swarm of flies buzz enthusiastically around us and a generous number of them hover around the scarred boy's face. He doesn't make any move to chase them aw
The Sale Year of the Lilies Torrid Season Market Altsas Mavli WHEN THE HEAT does not relent and the heavy stench in the air becomes unbearable, I feel bile rising up my throat. The churning of my stomach becomes excruciating. Can I hold on a little more? I lean exhausted in my cage, I'm so dehydrated and my tongue is dry and my teeth are gritty. When will we arrive our destination? As if on cue, stone towers appear at the horizon and I feel very uneasy. I suddenly wish we do not reach there so soon. From the shadow our cart casts on the ground, I can tell it's late in the afternoon. I let my weak eyes roll until they land on the li
The Deer Year of the Lilies Torrid Season Unknown Place Unknown Place Isla I PERSONALLY PREFER THE FRIGID Season. At least I won't have to deal with all this heat plus the pain I'm already suffering. I woke up when the sun was high up in the sky and burning the Earth mercilessly with its rays. Everything is blurry and the air is punctuated by the irking smell of unwashed bodies. My arm is aching dully, I turn my eyes to scrutinize it, the image of the protruding arrow fills my mind but I'm very surprised to find my arm heavily bandaged with a damp foul-smelling cloth. I remember the smell of the herb too well, mother used to use it on our wounds when we were much younger. I'm shocked that our captors had the heart to treat our wounds. They will probably want u
The Kingdom Year of the Lilies Torrid Season The Market Altsas Isla WHEN I WAKE UP, we are approaching huge towers that provides the soldiers that are guarding the Kingdom a birds eye view of almost everywhere. I catch myself staring at the towers in awe of the power of the people. This Kingdom must be very powerful to raid our home and cart us away like livestock. But unfortunately, I'm too weak to do anything. I'm too weak to use my mind. I won't even create a breeze even if I tried. The cart stops and as if on cue, the crying and wailing stops. Eerie silence reigns the pungent air. I'm beginning to lose my calm when flies begin to buzz actively around me. But from what I can s