"Nessa! How many times do I have to tell you?!" A shrill voice ranged out into the deep forest. Six year old Nessa cringed at the sound of her maid's voice. She burrowed herself deeper into the thick bushes and held her breath. She closed her eyes tightly as she did. She heard the crunching sounds of the fallen leaves on the ground that turned brittle from the cold of winter that was soon to come.
"Nessa! I know you are out here child! You know the rules of being outdoors!"
Nessa nearly giggled out loud when a small hand slapped across her mouth to keep her quiet. She quickly looked to the little boy, that was close to her own age, lift a finger to his lips indicating for her to stay silent. They both sat still, close together, as the footsteps faded away from them. Once everything was quiet they both giggled.
"I still don't get why you can't come out and play." The little boy said as they both appeared out of the bush. Nessa's purple flower dress was caught on some twigs and he started to help release the fabric.
She just shrugged at him. "They say I have to be protected."
He scrunched up his little button nose at her. "Protected from what? There's nothing out here." He threw his arms out wide, swinging his gaze around the forest.
She again just shrugged at him. "I don't know Calen! Let's go before she comes back this way!"
Calen quickly agreed and they both dashed through the trees and overgrown brush.
"Nessa! Where are you?! This is not funny!" The distant sound of her maid echoed through the forest.
Calen quickly grabbed her hand and pulled her after him.
They both laughed as they continued to run freely, not having a care in the world. Wind started to pick up making the tree branches and leaves sway noisily. After a few minutes they both stopped and crouched to the ground.
"Okay, now hold out your hand." Calen stated.
She held out her hand palm facing upward and watched as he took a handful of damp dirt and poured into her waiting palm. She frowned slightly not sure what he was doing.
"We're going to make a pact Nessa." He said nonchalantly looking a bit pleased.
"What kind of pact?"
"A friendship pact, I saw my cousin do this once with his lady friend. They pour dirt from the ground where they stood at and placed it into their hands and held on like this."
She watched him as he covered her dirt covered hand with his own and clasped on gently. When he didn't do anything else she looked up to see him concentrating.
"Then what did they do?" she asked curiously.
"Um...they said some words...hmm...something about always standing by each other's side and always being connected in spirit or something like that." He shrugged.
"How about we make our own words?" She offered in excitement.
He beamed and nodded in agreement. "Yeah! Okay! I'll say the words since you've never done this."
"You have?" She asked feeling a bit sad at the thought.
"Well...no. But I have seen many of my family members do it, so I'm familiar with it."
"Oh okay then."
"Alright, we should sit up straight and look each other in the eyes."
They both got onto their knees facing one another and stared straight ahead into each others eyes. "We'll call this the best friend pact."
She nodded her head and waited for him to continue.
"I, Calen Malik Millard, will hereby stay by your side for the rest of time." he said confidently.
"The rest of time? Why not for the rest of our lives? or 'for as long as I live'?
Again he shrugged his shoulders. "I'm just saying what everyone else says when they do this. They say 'for the rest of time'."
"Now you have to say it." He urged her, slightly shaking their closed hands.
"Oh right, I, Nessa Juline Laveau, will hereby stay by your for the rest of time." She stated happily.
They stayed onto their knees not saying another word listening as the wind moved the leaves of the trees.
"Is that it?" she asked him.
"No, a 'whoosh' was supposed to happen around us." He looked confused as he just stared at their joined hands.
"A whoosh?" She tilted her head in uncertainty.
"Yeah, you know 'whoosh'!" He lifted his other arm in the air indicating what was supposed to happen.
"Well, maybe we did it wrong?"
His face frowned deeper in thought. Then suddenly, "Oh! I forgot! We need to mix our blood together in the dirt! We need to cut our hands!" His face beamed in accomplishment then faded quickly when she gave a look of slight horror.
"I am not cutting my hand and mixing my blood!"
His shoulders slumped in disappointment and frowned even more. Then another thought came to him. "Oh! I know! How about we spit in the dirt instead?!"
"Ew." She made a face at the thought of mixing their saliva together.
"Come on Nessa." He whined. "We have to mix something together or the pact won't work!"
She sighed dramatically. "Okay fine!"
They both spit in the little mound of dirt. While he beamed, she scrunched her face in disgust. They both repeated their words again and this time the wind picked up dramatically around them causing the leaves on the ground to fly into the air. Her hair flew into her face as her dress whipped in the wind. They both gasped as they were pushed back from each other.
Then everything went quiet again. Sitting back up they both looked at one another is surprise.
"Whoa." Calen said looking around them.
"That was...so cool!" Nessa exclaimed.
They both scrambled back up and stood beaming at each other.
"I can't believe it worked!" Calen said excitedly.
Nessa giggled happily. "Now, we'll always be best friends!"
"NESSA JULINE!! COME HERE AT ONCE CHILD!!" a loud shrill voice called out.
Both of the children's eyes widen in fear.
"Uh oh, it's your mom." Calen whispered in dread.
"I have to go." Nessa squeaked out.
Dropping the mound of dirt and wiping their hands, they both went separate directions. Calen quickly turned around. "Nessa!" He whispered loudly afraid the strict woman was going to hear him.
She stopped and turned back to him with a rushed look on her young face. "What?!" She whispered back.
"See you tomorrow?"
"If I don't get locked in my room again." She huffed.
He gave her a huge grin.. "That wont stop me! See you tomorrow Nessa!" With that they both faded into the trees.
Niether of them noticed that the dirt they both held while enchanting the pact of friendship sank into the ground as small black smoke produced and an ancient inscription glowed a red hue and disappear.