She hesitates for just a moment, it’s already too late. Sergei approaches her with tense muscles, barking at her to “get up.” His voice was rich and authoritative all at once and it was never wise to make him repeat himself. The girl was never given a name, and typically children born like this were used for a purpose, discarded and never heard of again. This one was different, she had powers.

Sergei and the girl quickly shuffled through the frozen corridor on their way to the great hall. Sergei was her escort, he was under strict orders not to let anyone speak to the child, let alone, get close enough to to touch her and snatch her into the darkness.

The great hall was quite opulent. It was beauty at its finest with its rich exterior. The ‘creators’ decided to put forth all their wealth and knowledge into designing this structure. Everywhere your eyes looked there was a treasure. On the main outside door there was a gold inlayed inscription in a language the girl didn’t recognize. She watched as Sergei put the palm of his hand to a pad and with an twisting motion, the door unlock.

Without touching her, he led her straight to her ‘Instructor,’ who had gathered materials for the days instruction. “Ah yes, good morning to you both. Sergei, that will be it for now.” The instructor turned his back on the girl as he steadied his pile of work. The girl watched as Sergei left their immediate area, but hovered in the shadows, keeping a close eye on the both of them.

The instructor turned facing the girl. He wasn’t sure what to make of her just yet, they’d only met a couple of days ago. Thus far, he has had no luck getting her to talk to him. Actually, he has had no luck of anything, she just stares at him. “Ah yes, young lady, today we are going to talk about sound.”

She stared at him. “Yes, yes.” He handed her a child’s string instrument, much like a guitar. He balanced his in his hands and made a few quick strums. He was delighted when he saw her crack a smile, even if it were for a brief second. He motioned, suggesting it was her turn. She stood there holding the instrument, but made no effort to play. The instructor showed her again, but this time he played an entire song. There it was again, that brief little smile of hers.

They went back and forth like this for a couple of hours. The most the Instructor got was a tiny smile. “Ah yes, how incredibly odd you are child. You obviously understand I’m racking my brain trying to get you to talk, yet all I get is that tiny smile.” The girl stood there making no attempt to strum the instrument. Here, let’s try a violin. The Instructor picked it up and handed it to her, she accepted it. Walking behind her, her eyes following him, he went to take her hand.

Immediately Sergei jumped in and grabbed the instructors wrist pulling his hand away from the girl. “Don’t touch her.” Horrified, the instructor gave Sergei some resistance, but immediately relaxed. “I was only going to show her how to hold it.” The girl watched them. The instructor was obviously frustrated. Sergei stepped back again to watch. The rest of the morning the instructor tried his best to get her to do anything with all the instruments, but nothing worked. He played, she cracked a tiny smile. Over and over again. Nothing.

Sergei came for the girl for lunch and he was accompanied by one of the Elders. The Elder turned to the Instructor, “Ah yes, we’ve been watching you these last couple of days trying to communicate with her. We weren’t expecting instruments. Very well done.” The instructor turned to him, “Ah yes, thank you Sir, if you don’t mind, may we talk in private?” The elder spoke to Sergei and then turned to the instructor.

“Sir, if you don’t mind me asking. This child, what makes you think she even knows how to speak? I don’t think she can even hear me, let alone, getting her to speak. What am I doing here with her?”

The Elder led the instructor over to the table to sit. “I can’t go into all the details about this little girl, just yet, but we asked that she be brought to you because you’re one of our brightest minds and we wanted you to examine her.” The instructor shifted, “Ah yes Sir, that’s kind of you, but with all due respect why bring an orphan child into the great hall only to be told the obvious?” TheElder kept his voice low, “Listen, this child has some remarkable powers. We sent her here so you could tell us the extent of them.” The Instructor removed his glasses and looked at his wrist.

The instructor turned and looked at the Elder directly and said, “Ah yes Sir, you’re going to have to let me touch her.” The Elder knew this was coming and instead of explaining or arguing what only a handful of people understood, he gave a grave warning to the instructor. “I warn you. If you touch this child, it cannot be undone.” Taking his words seriously, “Sir, then just tell me.” Immediately the Elder shot back, “Absolutely out of the question. This secret stays right here between us both. I warn you, if any of this is spoken of, you’ll not live.” The instructor was stunned. For minutes they sat there in silence

The Instructor turned keeping his voice low, “Ah yes Sir, I mean no disrespect and of course I hold all of this in confidence, but I simply want to shake the girl’s hand.”

The Elder got up and left through the door. The instructor wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out. He started collecting the instruments and placing them back into their cases. Just as he was finishing up, the door opened. The Elder and little girl walked in the room and the Elder introduced her. “Ah yes Instructor, I’d like to introduce Ember.” The little girl just stood there. The Instructor looked at the Elder and at the girl and said, “Ah yes, Ember, it is my pleasure to finally greet you.” The Instructor looked at the Elder and the Elder nodded as to extend his hand to her. The Instructor slowly reached out to shake Ember’s hand, he swallowed hard in anticipation.

When their hands touched something magical was triggered. “Hello Sir, my name is Ember and I have been wanting to say thank you so much for these last couple of days. Her voice was this tiny soft English voice with an accent. She said, “Here, listen to me play the instruments you showed me.” The Instructor heard every note of every song he played. He was in awe and couldn’t move.

The Elder stood there watching as Ember went through the catalogue of everything the instructor knew, piece by piece through his brain. When she was finished, her hand slipped from the Instructor and he stood there an empty shell. She had absorbed everything.

2 thoughts on “A Stolen Empire

  1. Oh my! This is quite intriguing. i look forward to the next installment, should it please You to continue, with immense gratitude, Poet.

    Ember is…she fascinates me. Smiles.

    i thank You, Poet.

    Like

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