After Zofia found me, she led me through the rest of the island to her cottage. The unicorn I found stayed close behind me as we trudged through – well, I trudged through. It seemed as if Zofia and the unicorn were gliding with magical grace.
As we hiked through I tried to listen for her thoughts, but there were none. Then I tried to probe her defenses. Let’s just say I landed on my butt less than 5 seconds after trying. She might be old, but her magic is mighty.
Inside her cottage it was one massive room with a small kitchen with cauldron, bookshelves lining most of the walls, a sitting area, and a makeshift table and chairs. Hanging from the ceiling were different sashes of fabric draped across the beams and a small desk in front of her only cut out window. There was also a small staircase that I assumed what led to her sleeping area and hopefully a bathroom, but seeing there is no electricity I was probably wrong. Man, I wish I would have used the restroom before we came out to the island.
I stood awkwardly in the doorway as Zofia hobbled over to her desk. The old woman pulled out a heavy chest from underneath her desk and set it on the makeshift table in the middle of the room.
“My time here is nearly over,” she coughed, staring at me with her piercing eyes, It is time for you to learn about your family, your REAL family.”
“What do you mean your time is nearly over?” I furrowed my brow.
She cracked a smile and sighed, “I pretty much tell you, you don’t know who your real family is and all you hear is my time is almost up? Teenagers!”
“Hey!” I crossed my arms in frustration, but she is right, “What do you mean my real family? Is my mom and dad not my real parents?”
Her smiled became wider and toothier, “That is not what I mean.”
She opened the chest, the hinges whining as if they haven’t been opened for hundreds of years. She reached inside and pulled out an old scroll. She carefully untied the yarn around it and slowly unrolled it on the table next to the chest. Zofia motioned me over to look. I slowly moved toward the table to see an ancient family tree scribed on the scroll.
At the top of the tree was the name Zofia in beautiful script and below her are two names – sisters – Zillah and Ziya.
“Okay, I met Zillah, but who is Ziya? And are they, are they your daughters?” I asked as I tried reading the names below Ziya in the family tree.
“Yes they are my daughters – Twins at birth. When Ziya came first the sun still shined in the sky but a couple minutes later when Zillah came the moon had eclipsed us into shadows. Thus the meaning of their names: Ziya meaning light and Zillah meaning shadow. And in our family your name also claims your power.”
“So that is why Zillah controls the shadows. Then Ziya controls light?”
“She did yes. She was known as the Keeper of the Light. But now you are here to take her place Alena,” her voice was strong but her eyes were welling with emotion.
“What happened to her?” I was trying to ignore the fact she told me I was going to take her place.
Zofia took a heavy breath and sat down, “It is a long story and I will tell it when you are ready.”
I took a step forward, “Ready for what?”
A smile spread across Zofia’s face as she pulled out a large leather-bond book and let it drop onto the table with a loud thud, “When you have completed your training and are ready for the next…steps…”
I didn’t like how she finished that sentence.
To Be Continued