My Footprints in the Sand
Terelleglade is the peaceful manor where the Heron's live. But every morning when Ciara wakes up to take her morning walk, she sees footprints along the water's edge. And they don't go away. They lead to a small abandoned shed on the coast, with the Masked Mark across the top. All Ciara knows about this shed is that her father once told her, Walk in, and you might never walk out.
But the footprints won't go away. They follow her everywhere she goes. Reasoning tells her they must be her own, but Ciara's never stepped a foot inside the shed before. But every time she takes a step the footprints appear, always leading her back to the one place she's not supposed to go.
Have you ever found a seashell on the beach?
I have once. It was small and had a pearly sheen. It was the kind that you could hold up to your ear and hear the 'ocean'. One thing I like about the ocean is that it's much prettier to listen to then other elves's thoughts.
Something I've learned is that some elves have dark minds. When I was younger and had just manifested as a Telepath, I didn't know how to block. Most elves don't bother to shield a child anyway. Their thoughts flowed into my mind like a waterfall. I heard a lot of dark things. Elves plotting against the Council. Elves planning terrible pranks for the teachers. I even heard one plotting a murder. The murder of Councillor Kenric. I feel like maybe I could've stopped it.
Even as a child I was afraid of the dark. All kinds of dark. Dark bedrooms, dark halls, dark thoughts, even dark clothes bothered me. So when the footprints showed up, I knew this would be just as bad, if not worse.
I woke up one morning to take my daily walk on the beach before school. Nobody else was up yet, just the sun and me. Our home, Terelleglade, is right on the ocean. We have beachfront property, which I love.
I was walking barefoot across the sand, slowly making my way to the shore to watch the sunrise. Nothing like tremendous beauty to start your day off right. That's what Dad always said. I heard a vague sound behind me as I sat down on the sand. I looked down and saw footprints. At first I thought they were my own. But they weren't leading towards me. They were leading away. Perhaps they were yesterday's footprints. I turned back around to watch the sun. That was the first time I saw them.
But it sure as heck wasn't the last.
"You failed. Again."
I turned to hear the angry voice of my best friend, Sophianna, glaring at me and holding up a sheet of paper with a bright red F on the front. "Ciara! You promised you'd do a good job! How am we supposed to do the things we'd agreed on, if you never keep your side of the deal!"
"I don't see why it matters so much," I said irritably, snatching the paper from her and crumpling it up into a paper ball. I flicked it off my palm and it went flying across the Commons.
"It matters because it shows up on MY record!" she snapped. "I'm supposed to be tutoring you, but you just won't try!"
She stormed away without a second glance and I had a bad feeling that out plans for a movie and butter blasts were canceled. Great. That was my only escape.
So I sadly shuffled away with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, and held my Home Crystal up to the light.
Just like I expected, Mom and Dad were waiting for me at Terelleglade's golden gates. Needless to say they didn't look happy.
"I'm gonna take a walk," I tried.
Dad barked a laugh–but the kind that told me there was NOTHING funny about this. "Not so fast, young lady. We have your grades to talk about."
"Did Sophianna tell you?"
"Nope," Mom said with fake cheerfulness. "Magnate Leto."
I stifled a groan. Magnate Leto only made house calls when it was really serious.
"We'll let you take a quick walk before dinner, but then I want you in the house and on this property until we say you can go."
"Confinement?" I whined. "That's not fair!"
"Neither is punishing our reputation with you bad grades."
Ouch, they had a point there.
"I'm sorry," I tried.
"That's ok. You still have to serve your punishment."
I growled and stalked away, grumpy and furious. As I got farther and farther away from the house, I saw the footprints ahead of me, leading me somewhere. I decided to follow them, and hope they led me to something that would make me feel better. Hours seemed to pass as I followed them, and once, I placed my foot in it to see if it was the same size. It was the perfect match for my own, but I NEVER walked this way. It was leading me farther and farther and when I glanced back, I couldn't even see the lights of my own home. It was nighttime now. No lights were visible at all.
I was lost.