#31DaysOfWriting: Rewriting Destiny
Willow woke with a start, shivering in the night air atop the rocky hill where she’d met with Heyrah hours before. Above her the sky still shimmered with stars and below her all was quiet except for the occasional pop of the fire. She wondered how long she’d been sleeping and why no one had come to find her, including Poppy. With her head still somewhat clouded with sleep and hazy dreams, she rose somewhat unsteadily and readied herself to head back down toward the cave. With careful steps she wound down the rocky path anticipating the warmth of the fire and the wool blankets in her rucksack and she wondered if there were any bits of the meal left for her protesting stomach.
Near the outermost mouth of the cave, she stepped carefully around Belac and Heyrah and snuggled down underneath the blankets that had been carefully laid out for her. Despite her hunger, she fell almost immediately into a deep and dreamless sleep. Morning seemed to come quickly and rays of sunshine found Willow’s squinty eyes within a few moment of rising above the rim of the ledge just beyond their cave. Ever so slowly and reluctantly, Willow pushed herself up and took in the cave, the etchings on the walls and the coolness of the cave’s darkness. She crept out into the sunlight seeking its warm and realized she did not have to step around Belac or Heyrah. The fire was still burning, so she guessed that perhaps they had gone to gather breakfast game or wood or to discuss their next steps. She made her way back up to the ledge where she had sat with Heyrah the night before and seated herself so that she could take in the rising of the sun from the horizon past the hills into the sky. The colors and the sensation were as incredible as the night before and she wished that Poppy were awake and had joined her. Once the day was awash in the warmth and glow of the sun, Willow made her way back to the cave.
There was still no sign of Belac or Heyrah and the fire was beginning to die down. With the morning light warming the day, Willow decided to ignore the fire except for a few handfuls of dirt and to collect her things and rouse Poppy. She was quite surprised that Poppy had not yet roused and come to find her. Just inside the mouth of the cave, she collected her things and stuffed them back into her bag and readied herself for the day’s journey, taking care to dig out her mother’s journal and place it on the top of the rest of her things. The sight and feel of the journal caused her instinctively to reach for the necklace she wore, her fingers tracing the smooth metal circle and the etched design. Such things made her feel as if her mother were near and she could almost always feel her mother’s touch, smoothing her hair or rubbing her arm or taking Willow’s hand in her own. It brought her joy and sadness at the same time and she stood a moment simply being with her mother.
When at last she deemed herself ready, she peered into the darkness of the cave lit only with a strange, eerie glow of the sun from beyond the ledge for the place where Poppy lay, but she could not find her. She dropped to her knees and searched the area of the cave near where she’d slept for any sign of Poppy and could find none. A sense of apprehension flushed across the surface of her skin as she widened the circle of her search. When she discovered nothing of Poppy she backed out of the cave and stood, taking in the rocks, the gravel beneath her feet, the silence except for the soft hum of the burning embers that were fading beside her, the strong sense of warmth that the sun spread across her face. But she was alone. No Heyrah, no Belac, no Poppy.
The very knowledge caused her to stumble backwards and she caught herself, lowering herself onto the ground. She was alone in a place unfamiliar to her. That Heyrah and Belac had left without her was not nearly as shocking as the fact that Poppy was gone, that Poppy had chosen to leave with Heyrah and Belac without her. Willow’s breaths came in short bursts that she could not seem to control and so she grasped the pendant of her mother’s necklace in her hands and closed her eyes, seeking strength, seeking comfort. Seeking, of course, the one thing she knew she would not find — her mother.
Do you think Willow finding herself alone factors into her discovering her destiny and who she was created to be? Please share your reader’s perspective in the comments.