My mother told me that it happened on the day I was born. The entire planet, my homeland of Tralkea, illuminated in a brilliant light. My people turned to the night sky and saw brilliant purple, green, and blue auras. The Council sent carrier birds to the other regions to see if any child was born. According to the prophesy, there were only five births that day. It is said that on the night which sky shines with ribbons of light, the children who are born will be granted special abilities by the heavens.
I never believed it until I met the others.
On my eighteenth year, the Council sent word to the others who were born on what they deemed Aura Tralkea Sim – Tralkea Aura Day. We were all instructed to meet in the capital city of Hokin to display our abilities. Problem was, I hadn’t discovered mine yet. My entire village told me that my time would come, but it never did.
It was a terrifying experience at first. The other Chosen entered a large circular room where Hokin could see them display their brilliance. When I first laid eyes on them, I was shocked. They all looked so similar to me… or I to them. Three women and two men total. Every one of us had a pink-pale complexion, pointed ears, and piercing green eyes. The only difference was our hair. My father told me that the aura over my house when I was born was blue, the same color as my hair. It must have been the same for the others. One thing was certain, we were all strikingly beautiful.
The Council instructed the first of the Chosen to show their ability. A woman stepped forward, proclaimed her name as Ashura and made a stringed instrument appear. Her deep purple hair was pulled back away from her face as she laid her chin on the wood, producing a bow in her other delicate hand. With one fluid motion, she began to play. As she pointed the violin to individuals in the audience, they stood up and danced for her. Then, as the tone turned melancholy, they began to fight one another. She was the puppeteer and they were her puppets. But before one would harm another, she released them from her spell. The people were pleased with her powers. Beautiful but deadly.
Next was the other man, aside from myself. His name was Radushik. I had met him before and had witness his powers. Unlike Ashura, his powers were that of a healer. He crouched down in front of the Council and touched the ground. Suddenly, a crack formed and the most beautiful flower arose from the stone. It’s petals were gold and glinted in the starlight. He plucked the flower with one hand and pulled a knife from his pocket with the other. The crowd watched as he cut his thigh. A large wound opened up on him as he yelped in pain. His mother, who was in the crowd stood up to run to him when he raised his hand. A crushed up gold flower changed into a paste and he applied it to his wound. And then, there wasn’t even a trace of a wound except the blood on his trousers.
Lucky for me, I elected to go last. I spent the entire time terrified that they had read the prophesy incorrectly. Perhaps there were only four Chosen, not five. However, I looked almost exactly like them. But there had to be a mistake.
The other two women revealed their abilities with ease. One could produce and manipulate fire – an element I thought only to be destructive. But the woman named Manui showed me that it could also be beautiful. The last to perform before it was my turn was a woman from the coldest region on Tralkea. Her name was Kaskaedynn and she was telepathic and telekinetic. And of course, she had read the thoughts of the entire crowd, including me. From one end of the crowd, she relayed everyone’s thoughts. When she reached me I begged her not to tell them that I did not know my gift. She must have heard and feigned a slight headache. It was a short-lived relief.
Finally, it was my turn. At first, I wanted to run. But where would I go? My family would be shamed. I had no clue, even if I had a gift, what it would be. All I had in my pocket were little wooden pawns with faces and hair on them. They were my favorite toys as a kid. I even put hair on them. Everyone was watching. Waiting. I can feel my face getting hotter by the moment. The children were starting to boo.
I looked at the other Chosen who watched me intently. I introduced myself. “Tyr” Slowly, I pulled out my pawns and placed them on the ground, making it up as I went. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. I took a long time getting them to stand in a perfect line on purpose. After what felt like days or probably weeks, I stood up with my hand over the little wooden figures. Part of me wanted to run again. Or cry. But suddenly, I felt something. It was a weird tingling sensation in my chest and my head. Creeping towards my hand, a light floated down to my childhood toys. No one, not even me, knew what would happen next.
The pawns changed and grew. They turned into armored creatures, all of different shapes and sizes. No one had ever seen anything like it before. It terrified me to watch these innocent toys form into creatures of war. Some were human-like, others were beasts. All of them were brandishing different weapons and stood at attention.
“We are ready to serve you master of war.” So that’s my ability? I create armies and have them do my bidding? Well, it wasn’t what I expected. Neither was the standing ovation that I received.