Sitting up, she jumped at the sight of Pellar kneeling along the edge of the river. He rubbed a stone over his arms and hands, hoping to scrub away the mess that covered him. His forehead was creased, as he stared out towards the other side of the river.
“What happened in there?” Pellar asked, turning to look at her.
His brown eyes were watching her every movement, making sure she wasn’t going to lie.
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know or you don’t want to tell? Those are two different things.” Pellar muttered, rubbing the rock harder over his elbows.
“I don’t… I see pictures.” Liora didn’t know what else to call them.
She looked quickly over her shoulder hoping no one else had appeared. It was already strange enough she was telling Pellar about what she was experiencing.
“Everyone does, it’s called vision.” Pellar spat.
“No, I mean…” Liora stopped for a moment, swaying back and forth on her feet trying to find the right words. How was she supposed to explain it if she didn’t know what it was?
“All I know is one minute everyone was panicking and the next everything was calm. Your eyes glassed over, and these three hours of hell ended in twelve minutes of ease. Never in my years have I seen something go so smooth. So you tell me, what happened?” Pellar sat down on the rocks, facing her as he rubbed his thumb against the rock in his hand.
“Shouldn’t you be tending to the new momma and her baby?” Liora asked, looking back at the hut.
“They’re fine, and don’t change the topic.” Pellar narrowed his eyes. “Tell me.”
Liora bit the inside of her cheek. It was strange to talk to someone about what she was seeing, but maybe Pellar knew what it was. He was a ‘healer’ in a way, and she might not have been the only person with this. Still, what she believed it was would have made her sound crazy… but Pellar was crazy anyways so he wouldn’t have been the one to judge.
“Since… I’ve been seeing things since I left home.” Liora muttered, looking at her hands. “I thought I was going crazy… but I don’t think I am.”
“When I touch things or people I get these flashes… like images…” Liora took a deep breath. “I can see things that happened or will happen… that’s insane, right?”
The man tilted his head side-to-side trying to find an answer. She didn’t need him to confirm what she already believed. Her mind was falling apart because of stress. The same thing happened to soldiers, such a thing wasn’t so strange to happen to a survivor.
“Everyone’s a little insane.” Pellar finally said, leaning back along the river. “Though, I don’t think you are.”
“So, you know what’s happening to me?” Liora watched the man shrug.
“Have yah heard of the thing called the veil?”
“Nana says it’s like a curtain between our world and the Gods. Certain times of the year or certain cosmic events are believed to weaken it in places.” That at least was what her nana had said during one of her many lessons. The Moon Festival was believed to be one of those events, allowing the Gods to travel from the Moon to Gaitan with ease.
It was also believed the veil was where all time was kept. The past, present and future was sealed in the veil because the Gods weren’t controlled by time. The veil allowed them to control it, and change it. It allowed them to know the future and alter the past.
“Well your nan ain’t wrong with that. It is like a curtain… but like any curtain certain people can peak behind it. Some people say they can see the veil, but it takes a really special person to actually use it.” Pellar smirked, standing from his place on the riverbank.
“So, you think I can use the veil?” Liora stood up.
“Maybe, I don’t know.” Pellar shrugged. “If you could see through time, what would you do with it?”
That was a good question. If she was able to use the veil and could see through time, like Pellar believed, what was she able to do with it?
“Don’t think too hard, Li. There’s no rush.” Pellar patted her on the head. “Make us some tea, will yah.”
With that he walked back into the hut, leaving Liora to ponder what they had just discussed. Had she survived for a reason? Was this power given to her because she had survived?
But, why me?
There were surely others worthy of living.
Turning to the campfire, Liora stirred the coals before adding a log to the flames. There was already water in the pot over the fire from when Pellar needed it for the birth. Now, Liora was to make it into tea.
Making a relaxing tea would be the best choice. Chamomile and mint, was a relaxing mix. The tea was what her nana always made, and it helped with nerves. Pellar wouldn’t need to relax but the new momma would appreciate it. The tea would also help her calm down, after the strange conversation about the veil.
“Darn it.” Liora looked into the bag of herbs. Pellar hadn’t any chamomile in his bag and he wouldn’t have been the happiest if she went back into the hut.
She was certain she was able to find some along the path back to the village. It wouldn’t take too long.
Hurrying down the gravel path, Liora looked back and forth along the road in hopes of finding the daisy like flower somewhere. It was in season, so that wasn’t the issue.
Just make another tea.
That was the logical thing. Pellar had other herbs she could use to infuse with the water, but chamomile was an essential. When there was nothing else there was chamomile. Her nana taught her so.
Pushing aside the other plants along the path, Liora began to hear a woman calling out a boy’s name.
There were no dangers in the small village. The hunters kept the larger dangers away. Maybe the woman was hurt? Had fallen or possibly got bitten by something?
Liora hurried down the path to see the woman standing in the middle of the road, her hands cupped.
“David! Davi, where are yah!?” She shouted, pausing for a moment to look around.
“Is Davi you’re son?” Liora asked, noticing the woman quickly look at her before continuing to look through the woods. The woman was holding close to a jacket in her arms. The arm was torn and a button was missing.
“He’s mine, yeah.” The woman spouted before shouting, “Davi, where are yah love!?”
Liora looked around. The boy wasn’t on this path. She felt like they were in the wrong place. The jacket held the answer. She didn’t know why she thought that, but she needed to touch the torn flannel.
Running her hand along the soft blue material, she watched the woman pull away. Everything slowed down like it had in the hut, as she couldn’t hear the woman’s insults only the slow moaning of her words. The forest froze, there was no wind. The birds in the tree slowly flapped their wings until an image appeared.
A chubby boy with freckles was running along the river’s edge. She watched him jump onto the log before losing his balance. Just as he hit the water, the image ended.
“You little thief. You were going to take my Davi’s jacket weren’t you?” The woman lifted her hand, as Liora grabbed it.
“He fell in the river. Come on.” She shouted, watching the woman’s eyes widen.
Liora pulled the woman along the path down to the river’s edge where she saw the log. It was there; down by the small wooden bridge she spotted the boy along the bank.
“There!” Liora shouted, hurrying across the uneven bank to where the boy was pinched. It was then she rolled him over and put her fingers on the side of his neck. His heart was beating strong. “He’s alive.”
Liora watched the woman wander over slowly, as she looked at the girl. She knelt down to look at her son, as the boy began to cough up water.
“You little idiot!” The woman shouted, grabbing her boy by the collar. “How many times have I told you not to go near the river?”
“I’m sorry momma.” The boy coughed, while his mother shook him. Tears rolled down her face.
“Thank you, girl. Thank the Gods for yah.” The woman cried, wrapping her boy into a hug.
Liora smiled, sitting there by the two on the river’s edge. Pellar would wonder where she went, but it was more important to make sure the boy was safe.
This was what Liora wanted to do with her powers. She would help who she could with her new ability. Her nana would have wanted that and so, that was what Liora was going to do.