I adore Hugo and Amadahy. They are mentioned in Phoenix Incandescent (and I believe in MT, as well) only briefly. I’ve been more than content letting them stay mentioned characters until now, but the more I spend time in this world, the more I want to know about everybody. I need to know what shaped the magical world. I want to know the females in Charlotte’s lineage. I really, REALLY want to know Ebby’s secrets, but she won’t tell me yet!
Aren’t I supposed to be the one in charge here?
Right? Anybody? Fine.
I’ll just be sitting here with paper and pencil, a slave to the story.
Here’s part 2:
Amadahy dropped his sweaty hand and settled on the front bench. He wrapped a soft blanket around her shoulders, then sat down beside her. She tilted her head to the side when he turned to face her, but she couldn’t read him through the shadows of the tree branches that danced across his face.
The words of his people danced around her head. She had practiced saying some of them out loud whenever she had found time alone, but she couldn’t line them in the order of his speech yet.
He looked forward and cleared his throat.
She looked down at her lap and pulled the blanket tighter around her body.
He scooted away just slightly as he adjusted the heaps of material he wore around his clothing. She was sure he would drown if he wore all that clothing in the water. She wondered how he did not drown even on the land.
The wagon shifted and squeaked before rising into the air. Amadahy stiffened and hoped he hadn’t noticed. Air travel was not new to her. She had had lessons on riding in the air on a broken tree branch when the traveling mystic had arrived some years ago to share her stories and skills. She was a fast learner, and soon she was whispering the song of flight to different objects, finding out what worked best for her and what to use for different kinds of weather.
She thought she knew the land. She knew how the dirt felt between her toes and how the rocks and trees felt against her hands and feet. She enjoyed how the sun warmed her skin and loved how the moon and stars gave it time to rest each night. She remembered how the water sounded as it danced across the rocks in the stream or rushed down from the darkened clouds or splattered against the sides of her home.
The moods of the visiting seasons colored the trees and grasses. She knew the dance of the opening flower, the path of the insects, and the cries of the newborn animals. Sometimes she knew what brought death and life. Sometimes she didn’t.
When she flew, it was all there, but it was different. It was like the song the mothers sang to their children. They treasured it as they grew up; they treasured it in a new way when they sang it to their own baby.
Amadahy loved the way the land looked from above. She remembered the freedom and the newness and the joy and the fear she felt when she flew for the first time.
She remembered the wind most of all. The way it rushed against her face and whipped her hair across her shoulders. The way it felt beneath her, racing across her arms and legs.
The wind could brush softly against her body, providing relief on a warm day. It could shove her along her path, pressing her to go faster or bend in another direction to get through. Some days it was there only because she knew it had to be, and other days it was there in all its different forms, never making up its mind. The wind was like a woman, and in that way they were sisters.
Travel in a magical wagon was different. She ran her hand across the smooth, carved wood of the sides. Her entire life was packed on this wagon. So was his. They were shielded from the outside, and their things were tidy. Travel was smooth and even.
But here she wasn’t one with the wind.
The leaves of the trees surrounding her village rustled their goodbye. She looked over at the man with his peculiar clothes and words and things and magic.
Was this how his magic worked? She quickly wiped away a tear and stared up at the moon.
Amadahy closed her eyes and thought of her magic, green and alive and steady, flowing inside of her. She had tried to ask the man next to her what color his magic was, but her question was lost in a frown and a raised eyebrow and a shrug. When they had more words between them, she would ask again.
The corner of her mouth tilted up. What if the words hadn’t been the problem? The man might not have color in his magic. That would be fitting. Perhaps his magic was just as dry and ugly as his looks and personality. She stole a peek at him and took a long, deep breath.
The man was sad. She could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice and feel it in his touch. But she did not know why he was sad, and her mind ached to know the reason. Her heart, on the other hand, did not want to confirm that she was the reason he was sad.
Amadahy pressed her hands together in her lap and stared at the night sky as they traveled. She did not know where they would go, only that it would be away from both families. She was content in this, for she knew her heart couldn’t want his world, and she doubted that his could want hers. The only way they could survive was in a place they created together.
But would he work with her? Would he stay? She placed her hand on her stomach and thought of the life they might create together. She had noticed how his parents had looked at her and saw the guilt and sorrow in his eyes. She sat up straighter. Her magic was hers. She would not be their stepping-stone across a river.
She hummed the song she sang to all the newly married women.
You are soft soil, rich and prepared for seed to be planted.
Water and feed the soil and shine the light of happiness onto it.
Let life grow within you until it is ready to emerge from the darkness.
Amadahy sat back with a soft sigh. She did not know this man, but she did know herself. She did not fear the change of season of life. She was a mystic, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. And because of what had happened so many years ago, she was also a warrior.
She looked over at the man, sad and closed. He was tugging at his clothes again. She was glad of the dark to hide her smile. He, too, needed soil to grow in. But first, like certain flowers, he needed time to heal until the next growing season.
Amadahy gazed back at the moon and hummed another song, this one for him. Above her, the stars danced across the sky. Aside her, the wind rushed along the wagon. Below her, the animals of the night called out. Inside her, plans for the future emerged.