Running. It started with running. Or was it the running that came first? No, the running had to come later after she was alone. That was right. So then... how had it started? She remembered fog. Before? Yes, right before she entered the forest. Why had she gone into the forest? And when had she started to have that same terrible dream? A dream that never ended. It had no ending. Or did it?
Enter Umi's Dream / The Dreaming
"Stay there dear..."
"Dont play in the mud. Umi! Dont lose your hat!"
"Not now Umi. Stay right here. Don't go anywhere."
A little girl with short blue hair looked up towards the shadowy figure shilouted against the sun. A foggy haze had settled over the area which had turned the daylight into a misty filled world. In mere seconds the sun filtered less and less through the fog which sent fractured shadows thrown down on the sun warmed grass. The little girl who sat there patiently waiting could not guess at the time that those same shadows darkened by the onset of fog was the same shadows she had played under earlier that day. Played while her mother watched on from afar waiting on her father.
"Mama?" Her toes hardly reached the ground below where she was sat. Terrified of the sudden change in weather she could hardly stay still. The shadows loomed in horrific claw shapes that seemed to reach out and grasp at her clothing.
It had been hard for her to stay there let alone stay still. Her finger tips had trmbled. When a sudden torrent of a breeze yanked her hat off her head and sent it to rest a few feet away on a tree branch fear held her there. However her mother's warning came back to her. It had hung over her head. 'Dont lose your hat.' The same hat her father had bought her not more then three days ago from the US.
A moment, for that was all it took, she tried to recall it. To bring it back to the begining. There, where it had first started. If it truely had started at one place. If the dream was in fact just that a dream or was it a reality?
She had been able to recall the dream but how had she gotten into the forest? Her hat had not been with her once she entered the forest. Could she have lost it before hand? A confusing mess all jumbled up. Her dre...memory. Umi pursed her lips and looked up at the old man who sat across from her at a large wooden table. He looked over at her. His robes askew and his staff propped up against the table.
Tama, the old man, settled deeper in his chair. Twenty minutes had passed while the old man filled her in about himself. He was the local monk. Left alone with the deteriating shrine. The man looked fragile in the big wooden chair. His robes stained and creased with the wear of years. In her first glance at the old man she had been frightened and then worried. This man, despite her apparent fears, would not harm her. He even seemed familier.
The crook of his neck. The way he tilted his head down and looked up with his eyes. If he smiled she would have sworn his eyes closed in a found memory. His eyes troubled her. There was deep unbridled fear hiding in those depths.
The old man looked worried. She should have been afraid of him even at this point but she had earlier calmed her fears. His said blue eyes spoke volumes to her without him having to whisper one word to her. His brows nitted together.
"Your staring young lady.."
Umi blinked and turned red. She really hadn't ment to stare at the old man but she couldn't help it. He seemed so familiar. There was something about how he held himself. The way he conducted himself. Tama's white locks of hair fall into his eyes.
"Im sorry Tama."
"Please do not apologize. Now, can we start with what you remember of that day so long ago?"
Tama sighed and closed his eyes. In his mind it was so easy just to explain the situation to the girl. He wanted to tell her what was going to happen. How long dead foes would rise again. There was so much to explain to her but he couldn't just drop everything. They only had a limited amount of time to talk before he too would be gone. He had waited here for a long time to tell her this and now he felt it difficult just to say one word in her presence. 'Umi...how long I've waited for this.'
On Earth ones will did not control everything. It controlled little. Fate was the key on Earth. Luck and chance play pivotal roles alone. They shaped and guided people into their lives. He didn't want that. He wanted will on Earth as much as on Cephiro. Everything was so disorganized.
"Umi, I want you to listen to me. Listen to me closely..."
"Were you paying attention to me?"
Her vacant stare gave him the clue. A hint of scarlet creeped across the bridge of her nose and touched her cheeks.
"Your going back to Cephiro or they are coming to you."
"You are going.."
"Whos coming to me?"
Tama sighed. It was the hard part. The question would arise and he would have to answer it. He had hoped that she would delay the inevitable.
"Your loved ones," He breathed out in a gentle sigh.
"They will come to destroy you...."
"What?!" Umi stared at Tama. Disbelief etch on her face. A look of uncertainty passed before her. Her loved ones would come to destroy her from Cephiro.
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