Fanfic:Why Should It Be A Secret?

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Why Should It Be A Secret?

Jade eyes burned in the smoke-filled air.

After having had more lessons with Mother, Zarayne still wondered why they had to keep their channelling a secret. She didn't ask why. Mother had given her plenty of half answers in the past, and that route of questioning seemed pointless. If there was some danger in it, surely she would have made it clear by now. Zarayne had never thought to expose her mother's secret, but now she had her own secret. She could channel, and unlike Mother, Zarayne was sure nothing bad could happen if she kept that secret with one or two people. Trusted friends. Her spear sisters.

She sat in a circle with Nisura and Ren, in the latter's house. Ren's parents were outside with her youngest sister, leaving the three of them on their own. Zarayne had explained what she could do, but her friends' faces spoke loudly of incredulity. The only thing left to do was to show them. Closing her eyes, she could feel the restless movement of her friends. It was likely that they were looking about for some trick. They found her humour a little odd at times and suspected the strangest things. Zarayne tried to ignore them. She needed to find solace within her thoughts.

Brows drawn down, she concentrated on the image of a flower. Goldenchains had wide, curving petals of the most resplendent yellow, with little flecks of scarlet near the centre. A poisonous plant, but in very small doses it could help with sleep, or force out bad food. Zarayne thought of them because, despite the danger, they were very beautiful flowers. She still picked them when she accompanied her mother on long walks, just to admire them.

There was a sudden blooming of another presence inside her. A chill of sudden heat pebbled her skin as saidar flowed gently into her. In her mind's eye, she cupped saidar in her hands. She could not heal the injured like her mother -- that would require a river of the One Power -- but she was able to do the simplest things. She opened her eyes, ignoring the inquiring stares of her friends, and channelled.

Nisura and Ren both gasped when the tiniest flame appeared in the centre of the circle, floating at chest height between them. Nisura's wide eyes glanced between Zarayne and the flame, wonderment and a question lurking behind that brown gaze. Ren backed away uncertainly. "You can channel?"

"Yes. See?" She gestured with an open palm at the tiny spark. Ren had to see. She wouldn't be shamed into having told a lie, especially not to her spear sister.

Nisura reached forward with one hand and yelled as the flames burned her. "Youch, it's hot!"

"Of course," beamed Zarayne. It was fire after all, and she could slowly warm a cup of tea with that tiny flame. Nisura clutched her hand to her chest, but it was Ren still looked the most unsettled of the three girls. With saidar came an increased awareness of the world, and the pores on Ren's skin were starting to bead with sweat. "Do you want me to stop, Ren?"

"Please," came the shaky reply, and Zarayne nodded. She released her hold on the weave, and the unsteady light in the middle of the room vanished. The faint glow of saidar hung where the flame had once been, a small knot of three threads of Fire. Zarayne's lips pressed together. Mother had shown her how to pick apart a weave so that no-one could see its afterimage. Shown her, but not taught her. How hard could it be?

Her next conscious thought was one filled with hot, searing agony. She knew some time - maybe only a moment - had passed, but now she was with her back against the wall, a wall of force and heat pressing against her. Someone was screaming, and it took Zarayne far too long to recognise her own voice, high and shrill. There is no shame in fear. She covered her face with her arms, trying to protect herself from the fire that engulfed her. She could feel the skin of her forearms being seared away. Agony tore at her flesh. Shooting pains ran from raw nerves throughout her body. I'm going to die. The tormented thought was so strong that it almost washed away her physical pains. The pains already seemed to dim, and even behind her shut eyelids, the world seemed to fade.

For the briefest moment, she opened her eyes. Fire engulfed the room for as far as she could see. She could not see Nisura or Ren. They are safe, I did not kill them. A bleak thought, but she knew she was about to wake from the dream. Bleakness seemed an appropriate companion. She squeezed her eyes shut from the smoke-filled air. "A dream from which, we wake and go."

At last, Zarayne let the shadows take hold.