Nature’s Gift

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: A girl hits puberty and is reborn an oracle

Words to use: period, mature, stage, growth, phase, cycle, seer, premonition, stars, vision, horoscope, prophecy, dream, birth, blossom.

By Rachel Knepp

Lyrisandra woke up suddenly on her bed, the smell of straw beneath her, filled her delicate freckled nose. Sweat poured down her broad forehead, a powerful dream had disturbed her all night. She was coming upon her thirteenth cycle, the year she would enter her next phase in life in her tiny village. The moon had been at its lowest position in the heavens, the shape of the supper plates she had made in school.

 Lyrisandra leapt off her bed to prepare herself for the day. She looked at her time record to mark off the last evening on her personal horoscope. That day had passed by so slowly for a little girl excited for the future. Running swiftly in her stocking feet, she slipped and slidded into the dining area the family had gathered for the first meal. Elaraeth was playing with her little clay animals at the table. The little one was kneeling on the wooden chair while waiting for their mother to serve their meal; while their father came from outside, bucket in hand, bringing in milk from their cow. There was many chores to do and her father was always in and out of their little home and his shop, set within a few yards away, filled with calculations and scientific equipment. Sometimes Lyrisandra would visit her father in his shop and marvel at all the experiments and look through the large telescope he cherished. 

“Happy sunrise.” She chimed as she joined them. “Oh, mother. I must tell you my dream.”

“What was it my daughter. Oh my love, don’t do that with your little animals. We need to move them for your meal.” Her mother was very preoccupied that morning, like most mornings, with so many things. The kitchen was bathed in the early morning sunlight. The beams of light filled with dust particles that sparkled as they moved through the atmosphere. The pots and pans behind her captured the light, almost blindingly as she entered the room. She knew her mother’s time as an oracle was brief, ending with her union with her father. Now they were both thoroughly dedicated to her, her sister, and to helping others of the village. 

“The stars were the ideal alignment last night, my dear. I was able to capture the best images.” Her father interjected before Lyrisandra could speak. She sat silently next to her sister, her mother brought two steaming bowl of porridge for the celestial dawn, made from moonlit oats and harvested under a full moon. Her mother cooked it to perfection every morning. The berries, kissed by the sun, burst in her mouth. She always topped it off with golden honeycomb shards that glistened like the sun and dusted with cinnamon from the tree of life. 

“With clarity, may this porridge bless you my daughters.” Her mother said with a warm smile. An every morning ritual. 

“Thank you momma.” Both girls gratefully said, grabbing their spoons. 

“I need to tell you my dream, momma.” Lyrisandra insisted, becoming rather impatient. 

“Of course, go ahead.” Her mother replied, sitting down on the other side of the table, the light of the morning sun lit up her mother’s back creating an aura around her nut brown hair that laid on her shoulders in soft waves.

“I was lying under clouds watching them make shapes. Suddenly tiny fairies were circling over my head as I laid on the soft grass. They beckoned me to follow them. Out of curiosity I did, all they way out of the precinct and into an old forest filled with damp moss and darting fireflies. They brought me to a very old water vessel, flat and still. The water was like a mirror and when I looked at my image, I was an old woman. I cried out, afraid at first, but I looked again and I was normal little girl again a wreath of roses and heathers around my head. A blue fire appeared on the water, like magic. Then I woke up. What do you think it means?” Lyrisandra’s mother listened with rapt attention while she spoke, knowing full well of her age and what the dream meant but she said nothing while her daughter spoke. Even her father, who was busy going through some papers stopped to listen, a smile that beamed like the morning sun appeared on his face. Lyrisandra coked her head to the side, trying to understand the significance of her parent’s demeanor change meant but failed. 

“This is a prophecy, my love. You are at the proper growth cycle. A change that comes to all of us. Your father and I couldn’t be more proud of you.” Her father had came up by his wife’s side, putting his hand on her shoulder, tears of joy welled up in their eyes. Her sister had been, between bites of her porridge, changing her position in the chair and was now lying across the seat on her back, her head and feet hanging on opposite sides. 

“You have had your first premonition, dear. We are so happy for you.” Her father said coming around to the other side where Lyriasandra was sitting, kissing the top of her head. “It is the next stage of your life. A period will come soon and the transformation will be complete. It is nothing to fear but to embrace. It comes to all females around your age.” 

Her father had sat down finally to eat his porridge, it had been sitting at the table waiting for him. 

“Look Virgil, how mature your daughter has become. She has had her first vision. It is time.” Lyisandra’s mother said while she sat down between her husband and her youngest daughter who was sitting backwards now on her chair, singing to herself.

“Is that right Lyrisandra, we must go see the seer,” he exclaimed. 

Lyrisandra was finishing her bowl of porridge, her mouth filled with ripe berries. She and her mother had spoken of this special time for girls but now that the time had arrived she felt nervous. Would she miss her dolls and playing in the trees with her friends? Would she have to be grown up all the time, never having fun? 

“Don’t be afraid, Lyrisandra. This happens to all of us. We receive our gift but it passes on soon after. I was blessed to find your father when my time ended. Being an oracle is a great privilege but rarely lasts long. It begins with our birth. You have nothing to worry about my love,” her mother’s reassuring voice was calm and steady, filled with love, and Lyrisandra stopped fidgeting. She resigned to her fate, trusting her mother, who was always wise.

The clock in the sitting room was chiming eight and the whole family had finished their morning meal and went separate ways. The time for the seer was later that afternoon. Lyrisandra held her sister’s hand as they left their little home, out to the garden. As she walked through the garden she noticed a single blossom was left on her flower, the one she and her father planted a few cycles before, that she took care of everyday. Her sister was running around the maze of bushes out to the trees to play. The birds were high up in the canopy singing and there was a cool breeze that chilled her skin, giving her goose bumps. When she looked back down at the blossom, it was opening in front of her, the sparkles of light emanating from the petals, mixing with the atmosphere. It ascended toward her and surrounded her, the magic encircling her completely. It was her gift from nature. She became part of the cycle of the moon and the heartbeat of spirit. Lyrisandra wasn’t afraid anymore. A new sight emerged. 

“Mother,” she yelled, running toward the house. Her sister stopped and looked back to listen to Lyrisandra excitedly yelling. “It has begun.”

Her mother had been watching from the doorway, her smile of pride mixed with some sadness, was shining on her face. 

“Let’s go see the seer. Be quick,” her mother said excitedly. She grabbed her hand and beckoned to Elaraeth to come quickly, and she ran as fast as her little legs could go toward them to following them down the lane where they met their father and continued on their way to welcome their first child into their world.

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