#BlogBattle is a weekly writing challenge organised by Rachael Ritchey. You can find more information about it here. It’s a fun battle, and a supportive group – a great place to hang out! The theme this week is ‘ORCHID’
I feel the need to add a note to this story, mainly because I have no idea where I’m going with it! But that’s the fun in Rachael’s challenges – the freedom of going with the flow. You’ll be glad to know it doesn’t end on a cliff hanger, as such, but it will probably continue. So, although it feels strangely like a game of Balderdash, I hope you enjoy!
Charles stumbled along the overgrown path, his eyes burning with unshed tears. The final part of his journey was always the hardest, and this time was no different. He kept his head down and his weight forward, using the momentum to keep his legs moving. They were numb, all but useless, and still he pushed on.
His head came up the moment the trees began to thin. He was close now. He could see the well; a glint from stones he had placed there himself.
At the thought of what lay ahead, Charles felt his hand spasm. He almost crushed the token in his sweaty palm; the most precious of gifts. He didn’t look down, his fear was too great. The responsibility of his task weighed heavily in his heart. It was his turn now. His turn to honour his family in a tradition which spanned thousands of years. Too many to count.
For centuries his people had remained dormant, their power hidden beneath the earth; waiting for their next rebirth. Charles had no idea how long they were required, but a war was coming, so they could sleep no longer. He was their protector, like his father before him, and soon he would be reunited with his ancestors.
Eventually he would pass the mantle to his own children, and in doing so he would sleep. It was not their destiny to remain among the living. They had not roamed freely in this realm since the dawning of time. They existed in another place, and revealed themselves only when there was no other choice.
Charles fell to his knees beside the well, his fisted hand hovering above the opening. For one brief moment his hand remained locked in place, and then, slowly, it opened. He watched in awe as the seed pod slid from his palm, the unearthly glow illuminating the land even as it travelled down the well.
The earth began to shake, the vibration rattling Charles’ bones. But he wasn’t afraid. He was ready for it. Acting quickly now, he withdrew a dagger and scored a line across his palm. His hand curled around the wound and squeezed tight, the small droplets of blood falling into the light and sealing the ritual.
He fell backwards, scrambling to safety when the ground began to break apart. Charles thought he could hear the rumbling from every corner of the earth; he could certainly map out the connections in his mind. The underground system was vast, a system which began with a million seeds.
Charles tried to imagine that first gift, the power it contained. The plant was not meant to survive in this realm and yet, because it did, his people were granted the blessing of travelling through the ages.
It was impossible, though he knew there were thousands of species which descended from the Loamirar. Even bereft of power, the seeds produced spectacular results. One day he would glimpse the beauty of the Loamirar, and he would rejoice in the sight. Until then he would look upon the orchid, and remember where he came from.
Not that he needed a reminder. His people were emerging, and the beauty of it made his eyes overflow. They were tears of joy, of gratitude. He was witnessing an awakening.
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