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Gracious, Breath of Life

VocAddict

The Voice Within Us
May 8, 2018
6
19
The Other Side
Just reuploading here since VO died. This short story is dedicated to the wonderful Celtic Vocaloid, Avanna! Happy 5th Anniversary to one of the best English Vocaloids released!! Was also entry for #KonasAvannaGiveaway.

~~~=~~~=~~~=~~~

Avanna walked through the forest towards the circle. The air bearable as the canopy kept the cold from seeping in, a slight mist sticking close to the ground. Tonight would be the last night she stayed with the tribe. When night is its longest, they said, and you must ascend.

She sighed. She didn't want to ascend as the elders said she must, she wanted to remain with her little tribe, deep within the forest where she could be who she wanted to be. Helping the forest, singing her songs, living her life.

She would never admit it.

That she, an elf, was afraid.

Afraid of what the future held. But she still had a right to be afraid, she was still a babe, only 18 years since the Tree gave birth to her.

She pushed the negative thoughts out of her head and continued forward. Tonight wasn't a night to worry about the future, tonight was the night to celebrate her successful acceptance into The Academy. Her mastery over nature and song.

A cry rang through the air and she froze.

One... Two... Three...

What was it? Pain? Fear?

Where? In the direction of the Old Tree.

A sharp smell hit her senses. Woody, musky, hot. Her body went into autopilot and she ran in the direction of the circle.

No, no, no. Not tonight, please not tonight.

As she ran, more cries of pain and horror rang through the air. The trees, hearing the anguish, seemed to bend away from it, their leaves starting too whither and fall. A sliver of moonlight broke through the canopy as dead leaves rained around her.

No, no, no. Please, please let this be a test.

She could see it now. Light from the blazing flames peeked through and she picked up the pace. The Old Tree was burning, dying, and the entire forest with it. As she got closer, she could her the wood breaking. There was a heavy weight of death on the area, she prayed that the animals got out safely but she knew deep down that there was a very low chance of anything within the tree got to escape.

She entered the circled and had to stop herself from throwing up. Littered all over the ground was bodies of her fellow villagers, and animals. No matter what direction she looked, all that was within her sight was dead. A deep feeling of sadness welled up from within her but she was unable to cry.

"Oh, Dagda!" Avanna cried out in agony, "Why have you forsaken us on your special day? Why have you let this befall us?"

In the centre of it all stood the Old Tree, burning yet with withstanding the purple flames that broke through its defenses. Holding on to the little piece of life it had left.

The tree... is still alive!

Avanna ran through the bodies towards the centre, getting as close as possible to the tree without scorching her skin off. Up close, she could see that the flames were not natural but were caused by magic, strong magic.

She looked around her and picked up a staff. She gave it a twirl before slamming it into the ground. It would have to do, she decided. She took a deep breath before singing.

'The glow of heaven is growing dim,
'The light from the above is fading away.'


Her voice was shaking, the magic dormant within the ground. Her vision blurred as tears rolled down her face and memories of when she made this song flowed through her mind.

'So come, oh come and dance this song,
'On this great wonderful day.'


The earth shook slightly, but stayed still, nothing. She groaned in frustration and tried to will the power to come alive, to come to her aid.

'On this great day, we thank you Lord,
'For keeping us through the year.
'For crops, and grains, and joy, and rain,
'And also giving us tears.'


As long as the Tree had life, there was still hope. Hope for her to live a life, hope for everyone to still be alive. The rings around her waist began to levitate and spin slowly as the song began to take shape and a life of its own.

She picked it up and sent a silent prayer to those above before spinning it and jamming one end into the tree. The fire roared fire higher, the heat increased, and flames reached out to her as if to stop her.

"An ending for killing and to bring destruction, a beginning for life and to bring creation."

A deep energy awoke within her and flowed out, through the staff, and into the tree. A cry of pain escaped her mouth as her very essence was being pulled into the tree. The trunk groaned as it started to repair itself, piece by piece, the Old Tree became whole again if not better than before.

'The lives that you gave us, lives that you took from us,
'Grateful for all that you're done.
'The sun, the moon, the stars, our woods,
'For keeping nature as one.'


Strands of green energy came out of the tree and started to cover the dead bodies on the ground. The fire seemed to give a scream and Avanna was pushed back by the force, landing a few metres away. The flames were no longer purple but were edging close to black, but they were smaller than before as if the tree was consuming it, adding it to its own energy.

The trees surrounding the circle began to whither and yellow orbs of light drifted away from them as they decomposed towards the centre tree. A few brushed passed Avanna and she heard the silent whispers of the soul of the dying trees, its last wish to save the only one that mattered.

The flames tried to grow larger but the Tree's own energy began to envelope it. The yellow glow increased in intensity until the whole circle was filled with light as it was high noon. The flames slowed burned down, until it disappeared all together. The glow died down and the the surroundings returned to normal, that sliver of moonlight peeking through the canopy.

The green mist enveloping the dead bodies faded and one by one, they started to get up. Deer, sparrow, elf, fairy, everything that was dead was being resurrected.

'The heavens, the heavens are growing dim
'The light from the above is fading away'


And she was dying.

'Dance, oh dance, to this fair song'

She collapsed on the ground, her body getting cold and her vision started to blur. She felt something, someone rather, shake her. Their voice distant and far that she couldn't understand but she knew one thing was sure.

She was no longer afraid.

'On this great, wonderful day'

~~~~~~~

Avanna.


She groaned and rolled over unto her back. I don't want to get up.

Well you have to wake up, it's your birthday.


Her eyes snapped open and she looked around her. She was in a room painted beige, the covers smelled like acorns, and the early sunlight illuminated the room through a skylight.

"Where am I?"

She was alone, and then she remembered where she was. She sighed and got off the bed, put on a robe and a pair of slippers before stepping out into the corridor.

"Good morning, Ava," the nurse said as she stepped out into the corridor, "I hope you had a good night."

Avanna nodded. "Good morning, Eva. The night was pleasant, thanks for asking. How was yours?"

"Oh, I had late hour shift so I'm going to sleep in a few minutes. I heard that they're serving fruit salad today for breakfast."

Avanna nodded along with the young nurse as they walked together to the cafeteria. Once they arrived, they went their separate ways. Avanna took a fruit bowl and took a seat next to the window besides a small plant.

She woke up in the forest alone, her clothes scorched and burned, her rings missing, and her ears no longer pointed. She felt... human even though she wasn't. There was no sign of the fire ever happening, no any blood on the grass to show that anyone died the night before. Even the Old Tree was gone.

Was it only yesterday? What if it was a week? A month? A year? A decade? Or was it all a dream? A sign of mental instability?

She had no way of knowing. So she continued her life as normal. Soon after she woke up, a pair of hunters found her and brought her to the town where she was placed under the care of the chief nurse where she lived ever since.

The only thing that reminded her that she wasn't crazy was the staff she used to heal the tree, and everyone with it. She tried calling on the magic she once knew but nothing happened, the only thing that was left was a hollow feeling in her chest reminding her of what she lost. What she could no longer find again.

5 years. It's been 5 years since that day, since she first died. She didn't even age a day.

She sighed and started to hum a tune. A tune to which she no longer remembered the lyrics but she knew deep down that it was important. A song that only grew in passion and emotion.

"Happy 23rd, Avanna. You're an old girl now." She laughed to herself. "Happy 5th Breath of Life."

She didn't know what the future hold to her, but she would live as her friends and family wanted.

"Good morning, are you a Ms. Avanna?"

She looked up from her breakfast and saw a young man, he tipped his hat and sat down on the opposite side. "I would take your silence as a yes."

Avanna placed her fork down. "May I help you?"

"I heard from some people downstairs that you're a good singer and actor and I would like to offer you an once in a lifetime opportunity," he said, "Oh, sorry. The name's Bryant. Bill Bryant."

Avanna accepted his hand, a strange warmth ran up her arm and she instinctively shivered. "It's a pleasure to meet you, sir."

"The pleasure is mine." Bill smiled. "I know that you love to sing you can't deny that. I apologise for the sudden intrusion, so I'll leave my card and a booklet with the specifications of the job. He placed it on the table before getting up. "Feel free to call when you've decided on what you have to do. I hope to hear from you soon. You'll certainly be a fresh breath of life back at the company."

He tipped his hat before leaving. Avanna tilted her head to the side in puzzlement before picking up the card.

A job, huh? And singing at that with training.

I guess I found my purpose in life again.

And the rest is history.
 

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