I decided that things needed to be done differently. So I proudly present to you the new story but some of the same characters…
Ilu listened to the sound of the wind, winding wildly through the trees and laughed joyfully to himself. His flaming red mop of hair was still despite the wind, his black cloak fluttered as carelessly as his laughter. He sang loudly into the wind. He was alone, but that no longer bothered him, after all, between Adelin, Bindy, Nica, Nidho and Shesha he’d be safe. They were always there when he needed them.
Addie alway brought water with her, and she always came when it was bath time, she always forced Ilu to bath even though it was cold, at least she warmed the water first. Niddy and would come when it was bed time, with his flute and he’d come with Shesha, and they’d sing the most wonderful songs to him. Bindy would come late at night after he went to sleep, she’d make him a fire and she always carried a light with her in case he felt unsafe in the dark. Nica often brought food and spent the afternoon with Ilu, but Ilu did not always miss Nica. He liked to be mean to Ilu, always shouting at him when they played pretend. They were the same age worst of all! How dare he boss him around all the time!
He used to miss his family a lot until his new family found him. He had always cried himself to sleep at night and he was dirty and hungry. They heard him one night and – a rustling! Ilu slowly retreated into the oak bore Niddy had made for him, Ilu could just imagine hearing Nica’s harsh whispers about hiding until he knew who it was.
Heather ploughed through the unruly brush. She saw a recently used campsite, by all appearances, before her. She called out in greeting and decided to wait a while to see who came out. Silence. She’d wait thirty minutes before coming back to check again. In the mean time she decided to collect some firewood and other things to make the place comfortable. She’d moved, unceasingly, for two days to put some distance between herself and the bodies she’d left behind. She was exhausted.
Leonus probed the surrounding trees, checking to see if any were Deathsung, and Tapping the Vision of those that weren’t. Being in the consciousness of a tree was always surreal. It. Slowed. Everything. Right. Down. And leaving it left you feeling completely whiplashed! Suddenly everything moves too quickly, your thoughts run at a ridiculous pace and the sudden revival of some senses and the death of others. It was all a lot to take in. Breathe. He had found what he was looking for, his prey had passed her some days ago, but she marched at an inhuman pace. There were two hours till night fall and so he had no choice other than to stop. He’d hunt for supper and set camp, in the reverse order.
Ilu sat tentatively near the girl who had found his home, she’d introduced herself and had promised him no harm, she’d even promised to share her meal. Ilu could see in her eyes that she was alone too. “Do you still cry at night?” Ilu asked nervously
“How did you know that I cry?” Heather Carversbane asked the eight year old, her paranoia starting to build. Maybe this was a trap, something to catch her off guard –
“Because I used to have puffy eyes like yours when I was alone too…” He said so softly it was almost to himself. Heather looked at the boy puzzled; he was alone now, unless he had latched onto Heather now… A complication in her plan was all he’d be. She decided right then to slip away before he woke and find a new place to rest.
“Let’s make a fire Ila, ok?”
“Ilu, my name is Ilu! Sure let’s make a fire.” He gathered up kindling just like she told him. She Dug, depressing the earth so they’d have a small pit. Together they stacked the pieces neatly in a pile, they put progressively bigger pieces of wood on top, till the biggest were the size of Ilu’s fore arm, and circled their pit off with a ring of stone. Heather put her hands on either side of the fuel, and an arc of lightning jumped across from one palm to the other. The tinder didn’t go up immediately. She, however, was content with embers. She looked to the boy thinking he’d be impressed by the trick.
“Why did you do it that way?” Ilu asked rolling his eyes.
“Well, how would you have done it smarty pants?” She said feeling defensive, she’d never been good with kids yet she thought that something as cool to her as magic would undoubtedly leave an impression on him.
“Like this.” He responded gesturing her to look towards the fuel, she watched and nothing happened. Then came a spark. She was about to begin teasing him over his failure when another spark hit. A third spark and then a golden flame began encompassing the neat stack of sticks. She. Just. Stared. At. The. Golden. Flames. Her mouth slightly open.
“Oh, and you can take all the wood out and wrap it for another day, that fire doesn’t burn wood. Niddy and Bindy call it an Gilding flame. They say it doesn’t affect anything natural once it’s made. Nica told me once that Bloodsinger the blacksmith showed him how he uses it.”
Leonus heard the trees call him, he’d just eaten his meal. These were pines, not the Deathsung variety though.
The uniters come, you must join them. If you will unmark your eyes we will show you the way. This is a mission of peace. If you remain as you are you doom not only yourself you doom every forest and every clan, however if you heed us; you will find peace and know a love unknown. Decline and all the Eldertrees shall forsake you. You have until before first light.
“I fear you leave me no choice…” Leonus said