The Weight of the World
This is it.
It took six months of hard work, training and travel to get here, and this is it. Here she is, despite her critics. Those who said she was too young. Too small. Too female. Alfdin Holimon, daughter of Thia Holimon, is finally at the end. All that stands between her and the dragon is this tunnel.
A smile lights up her face for an instant. Just one last thing and she can go home.
Willing her feet into motion, Alfdin begins her ascent.
The roughly-hewn semi-circular walls line the tunnel. Alfdin feels tiny, with the knowledge that this tunnel was not built for humanoids at the forefront of her mind.
“Is the dragon really this big?” she wonders out loud, aware that the question will be lost forever in the deep echoing tunnel. Alfdin gathers her thoughts as she steadily places her feet.
“One. Two. One. Two.”
She quickly covers her mouth, silencing herself, and then pulls her hands away.
“It’s not like anyone can hear me!” Alfdin exclaims. The thought ruminates in her mind for the next minute, as she slowly mulls it over.
“No-one can hear me. So who will know if I don’t succeed?”
A little voice Alfdin recognises instantly pipes up, “You will succeed, so don’t even think about that.”
“Fredi!” Alfdin calls out, despite knowing that her sister isn’t here. Alfdin doesn’t even want her to be here. It’s too dangerous for a little girl like Fredi.
As her thoughts return to home, Alfdin continues her arduous hike up. She thinks of Fredi, and the little dimples in Fredi’s face when she smiles. Alfdin thinks of her father, and how proud he would be. She thinks of her mother, and all of the things Alfdin wants to tell her while they sit and bake bread.
Alfdin thinks of her room in their silver birch treehouse, where she can read all of her books about adventures while her hedgehog naps in her lap. She misses home, and can’t wait to go back.
If she makes it back.
Shaking her head, trying to rid herself of these dark deliberations, Alfdin realises she cannot get back on this comforting train of thoughts about home. It has moved on without her.
Alfdin, snapping back to this reality, feels her lungs striving to continue the intake of oxygen. Her breathing becomes laboured and Alfdin feels as if weights are endeavouring to force her back down the mountain. The weight of the world on her young shoulders. She struggles to continue, as her mind turns once again to the dark.
Another familiar voice rings in Alfdin’s ears. It belongs to the old mage that sent her on this quest.
“Chin up, Holimon. The fate of the world rests in your hands.” his voice echoes around her head. “In your hands.”
The fate of the world.
In her hands.
Flashing images of fiery fields, scorching settlements and people perishing pass before her eyes. Something in her chest drops. How is she meant to save the entire world without anyone by her side? Alfdin feels a solitary tear slip out of the side of her right eye as she continues her struggle up the slope.
The tunnel seems to go on forever, with the same circular rough walls. Alfdin cannot help but feel a sudden overwhelming urge to go home, to return to her room, to find Fredi, and Mother and Father. To go find the old mage, and apologise. Tell him that she couldn’t do it. That she wasn’t good enough.
Alfdin stops, ready to turn around, but just then, she sees a light at the end of the passageway. The lair entryway. She starts towards it, filled with more adrenaline than ever before.
As she approaches the door, a blinding light streams into her eyes. All shades of red, orange and yellow flames swirl in a marbling pattern on the other side of the entryway. Almost as if an imaginary forcefield is holding them back, to give her time to escape. To give her time to go home.
The thought is so inviting, but Alfdin knows she has to refuse.
Approaching the entryway, the heat released is so sweltering that Alfdin begins to feel dizzy.
“Is this what I want?” despite having been so sure until this moment, she cannot help but falter now.
As Alfdin draws her elven sword, she progresses towards the blinding lights. At last, the final stage of the mission.
Envoyé: 18:20 Tue, 14 March 2023 by : Foyster Jemima age : 15