Chapter 2

1882 Words
Ashta woke up the next morning and had gone on her usual morning walk. This time, instead of heading toward the forest, she headed to the other side of town, where the coffee shop was. She wanted to have one of their fresh baked muffins for breakfast. Seemingly, Ashta treated herself every once in a while to a fresh baked muffin and a flavored coffee. Happily, she walked into the small coffee shop and walked up to the counter. It was an old diner turned into a local hangout spot. The inside was still the same as the diner used to be, with the old padded stools and coffee bar, and the owners lined the front with large bay windows and put in new tables and chairs. She ordered her muffin and a latte, and after a few moments, the girl behind the counter gave Ashta her order, and she sat down at the table. She had a window view toward the Forbidden Forest, and she ate her muffin as she stared intensely at the forest. Evidently, Ashta had heard the strange calling again the night before. It was a voice that sang a short, beautiful tune. As each day passed, the calling got louder and stronger. “Hi!” said a cheerful voice, stirring Ashta from her thoughts. Ashta blinked and turned her head from the window, and she saw a girl with long blonde hair, green eyes, and a curious face looking at her. She was about Ashta’s age, with a slender figure, and she was about as tall as Ashta. She smiled at the girl politely. “Hello,” said Ashta. “Are you new in town?” the girl asked. The girl was wearing a pair of light blue jeans, white sneakers and an orange t-shirt. Ashta nodded to her. “Yeah, I just moved here with my grandfather not too long ago,” said Ashta, and the girl smiled. “I’m Lashanna,” said the girl, and Ashta smiled back at her. “Ashta.” Lashanna looked at her thoughtfully for a moment. “What were you staring at?” she asked, as she looked out of the window. Lashanna seemed very curious, but she was nice. “The Forbidden Forest,” Ashta said, frankly, and Lashanna looked back at Ashta with a curious look on her face. “Why are you so interested in the Forbidden Forest?” asked Lashanna, as she looked back out of the window. “Just curious,” said Ashta. She wasn’t about to tell a complete stranger that she heard a voice calling to her from the forest. Lashanna looked back at her. “I am a pretty curious person myself, but the mayor has strictly forbidden that place,” she said, seriously. “So you can’t go in there, even if you wanted to?” Ashta asked, and Lashanna shrugged her shoulders. “I suppose you could. It’s not like the forest is guarded here,” she said, and Ashta looked at her curiously. “What do you mean, not guarded here?” “Well, I have heard stories that once you get past the thicket that there is a monstrous creature that guards the forest,” Lashanna explained, and Ashta looked at her thoughtfully. After a moment, Ashta busted out laughing. “Creature? As in a big animal?” she asked, and Lashanna shook her head. By the look on her face, Ashta saw that she really believed that there were such things as monsters, and she decided to drop it. So, if she did get the guts to go into that forest, Ashta wouldn’t have to worry about anyone stopping her, she thought to herself. Suddenly, a car pulled into the parking lot and the driver honked the horn. Lashanna looked out of the window and smiled. She looked back at Ashta as she got up from the table she was sitting at. “That’s me. It was nice meeting you. I hope to see you again sometime,” Lashanna said, as she ran out of the coffee shop door. Ashta watched as Lashanna got in the car and the car drove away. Ashta finished her latte and muffin and then threw her trash away. She sighed as she walked home. She wanted to relax and get her mind clear of all the racing thoughts in her head. Eventually, she walked up her driveway and walked into the backyard. **************** Her grandfather had made a special area in their backyard so they both could practice their emotional flow dance. Whenever she was stressed, her grandfather would teach her how to fluently dance and channel the emotions she was feeling.There was a large and round rock placed down in the dirt, and it was solid to walk on. There were five different symbols carved into the stone. They were strange-looking symbols. Her grandfather told her a story that once that this rock belonged to two kingdoms in a far distant land. The kingdom of the Oligarchy Slayers and the kingdom of Selvempts. The two kingdoms lived in peace and the magic of the land kept it beautiful and rich in colors. The two kingdoms would stay at peace as long as one rule was not broken. The two species could not reproduce. One day, one princess of the Oligarchy Slayers fell in love with one of the princes from the Selvempt Kingdom, and they gave birth to a baby girl. She was born of both Selvempt and Oligarchy Slayer. A hybrid. She was the princess of all the land and both kingdoms. The kingdoms all feared the child and called her an abomination while she was still in her mother’s belly. The kingdoms grew angry and closed their gates on each other. The parents of the princess had no choice but to send the child away. After the child's parents sent their baby girl away, the princess and the prince told the two kingdoms that the child was dead, but the king and the queen did not believe them, and they held a ceremony. During the ceremony, they brutally murdered, the prince and the princess for their crimes committed against the land. The king and the queen announced this was the aftermath of crimes committed against the two kingdoms. Soon after the missing princess's parents were murdered, the magic disappeared, leaving the land to decay and never grow beautiful again. Unknowingly, there was another mixed child born at the same time that the hybrid princess was born. The other hybrid child was born a male. His mother and father saw what happened to the other child's parents, so they made a deal with the newly appointed queen. She agreed to keep their crimes a secret as long as the child's father married her, and the child and father could never see the mother again. Against their love for one another, the boy's parents agreed. The father married queen Maya, and he became the new king of Selvempts. The hybrid boy grew up never knowing the truth about his parents, but they made him the prince of the Selvempts, so he never asked. While growing up, the prince too wanted unity again, but the king punished his son when he spoke of anything happy or positive. The king was ashamed of having a hybrid for a son, so he whipped the boy with leather straps. The prince had become mean and tumultuous. Unfortunately, without the princess, the kingdoms will never reunite again. Also, Ashta wondered what happened to the princess, since there wasn't an end to the story. The symbols on the rock were the five magical elements that would keep the unity among the land. Air, Earth, Water, Fire, and the fifth symbol was an unknown source of a magical element. No one knows to this day what the fifth symbol signified. Ashta always wondered what the symbol meant. It was a stick figure of a person, and they had their arms up, and there were four circles above the person. Ashta sighed a heavy sigh as she stepped up on the rock platform with the engraved symbols. She cleared her mind and focused. Fluently, she began moving her arms to a silent song. As she spun around, moving her arms and legs as she let her emotions flow through her. Effortlessly, she began moving more swiftly and more smoothly as she danced. ************************ Her grandfather watched her proudly from his study window, proudly. Ashta closed her eyes and moved with the breeze under her arms. Easily, she felt as though she was one with the air. She felt the breeze pickup, and she flowed with it. Her grandfather’s mouth dropped open when he saw one of the symbols begin to glow a bright white light as she danced to her silent song. He saw the glowing symbol appear on the back of Ashta’s neck. He watched as Ashta lifted off of the ground as she danced. “Oh, my,” he said, as his hand flew to his mouth. “It has begun!” he exclaimed, as he ran away from the window and out of the study. Quickly, he ran down the stairs and ran outside to the backyard. Suddenly, he stopped and stared at his granddaughter in amazement. The spirits have found her, and now she must know the truth, he thought to himself, as he watched Ashta in the tornado of wind. **************** Evidently, the wind died down, and she descended to the ground. Her feet touched the ground and Ashta looked at her grandfather with wide eyes. He had tears in his eyes as he walked up to her. “My dear child, it is time that you learned the truth,” he said, as he grabbed her arms. He was shaking and his eyes were wide with alarm. Ashta looked down at the old man oddly. What was he talking about? Truth about what? She didn't understand. “Truth? About what, grandfather?” Ashta asked curiously, and he pointed to the glowing symbol on the rock that was beginning to fade. “The truth about who you really are,” he said distantly. Astonished, Ashta looked at the glowing symbol. The glowing white light dwindled, and Ashta could see the symbol clearly. It was three wavy lines, parallel with each other in a circle. When she was growing up, her grandfather would read stories to her about the elements. That was the symbol for the magical element of air. Nervously, Ashta looked back at her grandfather and swallowed hard. “I’m not a normal girl, am I?” Ashta asked, and her grandfather shook his head. Ashta reached her hands up and grasped her grandfather’s shoulders gently. For a moment, she held his gaze as she realized she could tell him about the calling. “Then we must be honest with each other,” she said, as she looked into his old, tired eyes. He only nodded, and they headed back into the house together. Ashta's grandfather knew it was time to tell her she was the princess from the story, and Ashta knew it was time to tell her grandfather about the voice that was calling to her from the Forbidden Forest.
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