by Brianna G. Harte
Soft beams of light caressed the garden around me, careening over the dull orange hershas stone archway. The miniature waterfall glimmered in the rays on its way to the stream that weaves through the rest of the city. Falling waters whished over the flow just below. Gentle calls of the insects from one patch of bushes to another augmented the song of serenity.
“Kei!” my brother called out. “Come on! You can’t stay camouflaged forever!”
A smile grew on my face, which had taken a texture and palette akin to the column of smooth hershas I was leaning against. If Aridon looked hard enough, he would be able to notice my silken white dress or the raspberry colored leggings beneath as neither blended well with the flora nor the structures. Unfortunately for him, his birth had not granted him particularly great eyesight.
Aridon walked along the stone path leading around the garden, suddenly vanishing in thin air. A mist took the place of where he stood, slowly rising toward the cloud saturated sky. Only a moment later, his body formed at the far edge of the area, where the coppery tree reached above the arches. He moved to the side, where I could no longer see him. Although I wished to watch his progress, I dared not move. However, I did release a breath I had been holding for a while. The next second, Aridon appeared almost in front of me, surprising me so much that my camouflage dissipated.
“Found you!” he cried, pride beaming.
“You still could never discover a harling egg, though,” I smirked playfully.
With his hands to his sides, leaving his puffy grey shirt to appear far bigger on him than it was supposed to, Aridon remarked, “You wait! I’m working on it.”
I tried to imagine him in the same attire as our great uncle Yusa. Rather than a deep forest green vest lined with gold and embroidered with vines, he would bear a cloak of dark navy with silver symbols intertwined into the fabric. His loose black pants that narrowed just below the knee with an elastic, would be replaced by longer versions reaching to his ankles, also decorated with symbols at the hem. It was the mark of the Naisu, who searched for special supplies should our leaders deem them necessary. A first challenge that must be passed in order to become one of them would be to uncover a harling egg, which could not only change its hue and texture as I could, but also its shape.
As I stepped away from the column, Aridon told me of his practices with a friend whose father owned a gem that seemed to go invisible in the starlight. “I’m ready to find the egg! That gem’s got to be a lot harder to find than it.”
“Don’t get too cocky, Aridon,” I warned.
He gave me a look. “Aren’t you going to try for the other challenge in a couple weeks?”
“Why should I? There is no possibility of me doing anything but tending to the garden and guarding our house.” Although the thought had brought defeat upon me a while ago, it now was a simple fate I no longer argued. “My abilities do not allow me to do much more than that anyway, and you know it.”
We traveled toward home, transversing the bridges made of stones neatly arranged so that no piece and no one would fall through the sky.
Copyright © 2016 Brianna G Harte. All rights reserved.
Thanks for reading this short side story of “The Aijan Codes”! As I’m working through the last stretch of school, I figured I’d bring back a little of a fantasy story I had been working on earlier. Please let me know what you think of the story and artwork!