Way of the Comet - Chapter One
There comes a time in everybody's life when the world as you know it changes. This happened to me not so long ago. When my life changed, it changed....with a vengeance.
You see, I am now the queen of Sardohnia, a land I had never heard of in my life. Well, not until the year my brother Kyle died.
It was early spring. I had turned 16 a few months before. My father and I had just returned from my brother's funeral when I decided to go to the pond in the back of our ranch. I, and my horse Sunny, go there often. That day I had a strange feeling that something was going to happen. What I didn't know.
When i finally got to the pond, the feeling was still with me, but all I wanted to do was to sit under my favorite oak tree and think. All I thought about was my brother and how we used to play together by this pond. Every summer we would swim here and every winter we'd ice skate across it when it would be thick enough. Kyle and I used to fish from this spot. That's what we were doing the day before he was ran down. The accident happened two weeks before, but to father and me, it felt like an eternity. Without my brother Kyle, I had thought, nothing would be the same around here. I cannot begin to tell you just how true that was.
While I was thinking about all of this, someone came up behind me. I was startled from my thoughts by the rustling movement behind me. At first I thought it was Sunny or one of the other horsed that my father owns coming for a drink of water. Whenever I would be here by the pond, I would give them some sugar cubes. So I started to get up and dig in my pockets for them when a voice, a young woman's voice, behind me.
"Please. Don't turn around. I need to know your name," she said. Whoever she was, she had a soft sweet voice that didn't evoke fear in me. Who was this person behind me. She wanted to know my name, why, I wouldn't know. I was going to find out one or another. I figured I would give her my nickname, Rana, instead of my real name, Larana. Very few people call me by my real name.
"My name is Rana." I replied. That was all I told her.
"Rana. No, you are not the one I am looking for," she said. Then continued, "Maybe you can help me find her before I leave here. She lives somewhere around here I have been told. Could you help me?"
"I might. Who is it you are seeking?"
"She is called Larana Auraner and her life is in great danger."
Danger. That sent off alarms in my head. Why would my life be in danger. I haven't done anything to anyone. At least not that I know of. How did she know my real name?
"I might," I had said hesitantly, "Why? Is she in danger?"
"Yes," she said. "Enemies of her family are out to end her blood line."
We didn't have any enemies that I knew of except maybe a rival breeder in the area. But why would they want to kill me or maybe my family. I just had to find out more before I said anything to her about finding who she was looking for.
I sat down with my back stil to her, I replied, "Why would anyone want to kill this Larana person? She hasn't done anything illegal has she?"
"No," she said, "it has nothing to do with this worlds problems. She is to be Sardohnia's new queen and enemies of the throne are going to kill her so that they can put someone else in her place. They mean to take over and put rest of us in chains or make us slaves. She should be old enough to assume the throne about now. I hope." I wasn't sure but, to me, she sounded almost anxious about finding me.
"What do you mean by 'this world's problems'?"
"I am from another place. Similar to this but none of those tall dwellings that you have around here. Larana is the daughter of our queen, her name was Larana too, who left my world many years ago. The girl I am looking for is named after our lost queen. That much we know. We lost track of her just after she came here."
Strange, very strange.
"Well, I know for a fact that the person you are looking for is somewhere near by, but how will you know when you have found her?"
She became very quiet. I thought that she had left until she spoke.
"The future queen and I share souls. I will know when I am close to her, such as now, but I cannot tell exactly who she is unless she gives herself away."
Sharing souls, how is this possible. It can't be possible I thought to myself that cannot happen.
"I need to know where she is. She could be in trouble right now. Point me in the right direction and I will leave you alone," she said rather impatiently.
There was a lot I wanted to know before I told her who I was, but I didn't know if she was going to stay in the area or leave. Plus I was getting very curious as to what this person looked like. The shadows were behind me and the pond was only reflecting the embankment below me. I just had to find out.
"O.K. To tell the truth, the girl you are looking for is me. My name is Larana Auraner. Rana is my nickname. Now I've told you my name now could you tell me who you are. All these things you've been telling me such as sharing souls and my life being in danger, and I being the descendant of a queen. My family has been in the working class since the middle ages. There is no royal blood in me what so ever." I was just too curious to sit there I had to find out.
"Then you may turn around," she said quietly.
I was totally surprised at what I was going to see. I was fully prepaired to see a young woman, but was shocked by the sight that was before me. What I saw was a unicorn. She was not just a unicorn, she had wings. She was as dark as night. Her horn was as black as her body with what I thought was silver in one thin line going from the base to the very tip. I was speechless.
"As you can see I am no ordinary creature," she said. "I am what you call in your language a unicorn. I will answer your questions as best as I can."
"What is your name?"
"In my language, my name is too hard for you to say but it means Shadow with wings in yours. So you may call me Shadow Wing. Only you and whoever you choose can see me, to everyone else I am invisible nor will they be able to hear me."
"You can really do that?" I was amazed that anyone could do something like that.
She looked at me with some amusement, then answered, "Yes, all of us, unicorns, can do that. It is one of the very first things we learn after being weaned."
"Wow, that is neat."
"I guess it would be, to someone not raised around us."
"What did you mean that you and I share souls? That isn't possible here. As far as I know it isn't possible."
"This means that you have the soul of a unicorn, my sould, while I have the soul of a human, which is yours. Our lives are linked together for life. If you die then so do I."
"Then that would answer the question about you needing to protect me. Now, since I am to become queen of your world, when should we leave?"
"Well, before I can take you to my world, to become queen, I must first teach you the ways and the language of my land. While you must teach my about this place. You see, you must stay here until I can sneak you away. It is my duty to protect you while I do this. No harm is to come to you. I know you do not trust me. To prove what I say is true, you need to but lay your hand on my horn. I will not hurt you in any way."
I did as she said. When I came in contact with it. Images came into my mind. Images of my birth and her's and how our lives have paralleled each others. With these images came the feeling of kindness and understanding and the urgency of her errand that she had to complete. There was also fear and horror, which she quickly hid. This wasn't enough for me, but I was to learn everything she knew when the time came.
The contact with her horn answered many questions, but the one question that burned in my mind was 'what was my connection in all this'? Then she suddenly broke the contact, which sent me reeling. I was just a little bit confused for a moment or two.
"That was too strange. I saw things that I have never seen before. What did you do?" I asked her recovering from the sudden break in contact.
"I showed you how my and your life have been alike. What you saw were the similarities we've had. The rest were what was going on there right before I left to find you."
"How long ago was that?" I wanted to know just how long it took her to find me. Just curious, I guess.
"I have been searching for over one year. This world is bigger than it looks."
"Why did it take so long? You said that you and I share souls which should have helped out alot. Shouldn't it."
"It doesn't work quite like that. You see, I have to be close in order to feel you. As to why I took so long in finding you is that I was searching for you mother first. I didn't know that she had died some time ago. Plus there were other girls around the world that were very close to yours. So there was a little confusion there for a little while."
"Oh. I see."
"Is there anything else you would like to know, about me or where I come from. Anything you wish to know."
I thought for a moment, then checked my watch and then finally, "Well there are legends here about unicorns here that go back for centuries. Of all the mythical creatures there are, unicorns are my favorite. Could you tell me if these legends are true. If they aren't I'll understand, but I would really like to know."
"Hmmm. I'm not sure if they are all true. I can tell you that several unicorns and other creatures from my world have vanished over the years. There are even stories about humans that have suddenly appeared that no one has been able to explain. "I do know that my own great, great-grand mother has been here before. She used to tell me stories of the young girls she would visit. She even told me of all the men who would try to hunt her down for her horn and she told me of those who didn't excape the arrows of those men. The brutality of it all apalled her, so she and those that survived returned home to my world, but this all happened long before I was born."
"So some of them are true and the rest people made up. Even the ones about other creatures. I wonder, why are you black instead of white, like those in our legends?"
"Well, we come in all colors and combinations of colors, much like you humans do. There are few true white unicorns like my great great grandmother, and there are very few black unicorns like me. Probably those people saw a white unicorn with very light colored manes."
"Are there others just as dark as you?"
"In my herd, no, I'm the only one. There is a herd of only very dark colored or black unicorns like me. My coloring isn't looked on in good favor. We tend to be outcasts. I would be an outcast if my parents weren't the leaders of my herd."
"What do your parents look like?"
"My mother is pink with yellow and a golden horn, her name translates to Bright Star. My father, Dendrobian, has all colors on him. He kind of shimmers. He has a blue horm on him. I don't think you want me to tell you what my brothers and sisters look like. I have several, most of them older than but a few that are younger."
I looked down at my watch once more, then I exclaimed, "Oh no, it's getting late I've got to get back to the house and change my clothes. Dad is going to need my to help him with the horses tonight. We'll have to talk tomorrow after I get my chores done."
"I'll be here waiting for you. Don't worry about me. There is plenty for me to graze on around here. Tomorrow, you and I can start teaching each other about our worlds."
"All right then I'll see later."
"Good night, Larana."
I started walking back home and I wondered still how I could be concerned in all of this. That I would learn later. Right now, there were chores that had to be done.