Lisle didn’t have long to stew over any misgivings or fears she might have about what Ell had shown her on the Pathways. She stood before Bryllint in the teaching room, and twitched nervously.
“Soon you and Ell will undergo the Ritual of the One. A ritual in which you will take on your new name. It will be a combination of your own name and Ell’s. After the Ritual of the One you will be Ellisle, the Hands and Voice of Ell. You will be a Voice of the One.”
Lisle felt her heart grow inside, her chest expanding so she thought it might explode. She wanted that like she wanted air to breathe. She wanted it so badly that she didn’t allow herself to perceive what that would actually look like in her life. She listened excitedly for what Bryllint would say next.
Bryllint’s voice carried on, almost sing-song in its cadence. “As Guardian’s return to the higher-level energies of Guardian Mountain and assume their role in balancing the planet Gaea, you, Ellisle, as Voice and Hands will serve in the denser levels of energy, out in the human world where teachers and healers are desperately needed.”
Lisle had just started to digest this idea, that she would be traveling away from Ell, when Bryllint’s huge, blue eyes bored into her.
Bryllint’s words took on an intensity they hadn’t had before, “As a Voice of the One, you will be speaking for Ell. You have done this in the past I trust?”
Lisle bobbed her head once, pinned by those eyes.
“It is important that you speak clearly in a way that those who are listening can easily understand.”
Lisle’s stomach dropped. In her brusque way Bryllint had just laid bare Lisle’s greatest fear. Lisle’s eyes fell to her toes and she shrugged her shoulders, clasping her arms across the middle of her stomach.
“You can do this Lisle.”
Bryllint stated this as if it was something that Lisle had control of. But Lisle didn’t, and the more nervous she got, the worse she stammered. The harder the words were to get out, the more anxious she became until she was completely tongue tied.
Lisle shook her head from side to side. “I c…c…can’t d…d…d…do it.”
Bryllint look at her consideringly. “We’ll see. I’ll give you a few moments.” Bryllint clasped her shoulder and left Lisle alone in the teaching room.
Lisle turned her head to look over her shoulder at Bryllint’s retreating back, watching her go out of the side of her eye. It felt like her world was caving in on her. Clasping her arms across her stomach more tightly she sank to the floor cross-legged, her back to the doorway. What was she going to do?
The one thing she wanted in this life was to be Ell’s Voice and Hands. Hands were no problem, anything Ell needed her to do she could do, and gladly. But Voice?
Lisle sat, huddled forward over her lap, rocking her upper body, forward and back, thoughts and emotions roiling within her. Never mind that as Voice she would have to leave Ell and travel out in the world alone. She hadn’t fully comprehended that reality until this moment. Yet that wasn’t the worst of it. She would have to stand before others and speak, loudly and clearly. It was impossible for her to speak a whole sentence clearly. She’d stare out at all those faces looking at her expectantly, then her tongue would trip and stumble, the words getting all tangled up in her mouth. They’d all look at her waiting, then she’d see irritation cross their faces or worse, pity, and she’d feel embarrassed and so terribly ashamed. No, she could never do it.
She rocked and rocked, arms holding her middle, whitened fingertips grasping hard at her elbows, as the fearful thoughts and images filled her mind.
Eventually though, the movement calmed her. The thoughts wound down and she relaxed a little, her breath slowing. She closed her eyes. There, in her mind’s vision was Ell. She saw her so clearly. Beautiful, garnet red brow ridges resting gently down against her Guardian’s beautifully shaped head, narrow jaws closed. Ell’s golden eyes gazed softly at her. Lisle felt her heart expand sharply, breath filling her chest. The feeling of love cascading within her was so strong as to be almost painful.
Ell’s eyes pulled her in deeper and Lisle knew without doubt that she was totally accepted exactly as she was, tangled tongue and all. Ell loved her absolutely. Then, with a piercing understanding in her heart as sharp as a knife thrust, Lisle realized that the One knew her, loved her, completely accepted her.
Lisle felt that unconditional love pour through her, filling in the empty places inside, watering all the expanses that self-hatred, shame and fear had starved into dry deserts. She felt those barren wastes within her suddenly burst into bloom, now green and growing. In that instant of absolute acceptance, she knew that she was whole, perfect.
Lisle sat utterly still, stunned by the transformation she felt inside. She wanted nothing more that to continue feeling the beautiful expanse of it within her. continue breathing in that feeling of love with each breath going deeper and deeper till she could hold no more. Even then, she wanted to take in still more of it.
Then a voice sang softly in her mind. It was her Ma-Marn singing to her, the song she had sung every days-end as Lisle and Mina lay side by side on their pallets in the loft. It was the song that lulled Lisle to sleep when she was a tiny younger. Warmth and safety enfolded her as she remembered the feeling of being deeply cherished by her Ma-Marn.
Eyes still closed, Lisle quietly sang the words that her Ma-Marn had sung to her. The words flowed, even danced off her tongue. Her eyes snapped open as an idea took root within her. What if she sang the words she needed to say? Perhaps the words would flow with the song to carry them.
The idea sparked something deep inside, igniting a feeling of excitement. She would try it.
She jumped up to her feet and drew in a deep breath. She looked intently at the greystone wall in front of her and grimaced as she felt her stomach clench up with old, remembered fear. But she wasn’t going to let fear control this. Not anymore. She focused determinedly and eased herself in, humming the tune again.
She felt her stomach relax. The tune trickled off her tongue and she dared add a few of her own words to the tune. “My name is Lisle,” she sang. She didn’t care that it sounded a bit off key, the words flowed without a hitch. She sang again, a little more confidently. “I can sing any words I want.” Again, not a stumble. Lisle was so excited she sang louder, “And they flow right out of my mouth!”
Lisle could hardly believe it. The song carried her words for her. She could do this!
“I see you’ve figured out a solution to the problem, Lisle,” said Bryllint, standing in the doorway of the teaching room.
Lisle turned about and faced Bryllint, a single tear straggled down her cheek, dripping into the side of her wide grin. “I can do this,” she sang, her voice ragged with emotion, yet the words were clear.
Bryllint reached out and pulled her close into a hug. “Yes, my Heart, you can.”
In case you missed a post, or if you've just tuned in to Lisle's story,
here are links to previously posted chapters to save you scrolling all the way through.
Introduction Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5
Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13
Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27
Chapter 28 Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32 Chapter 33 Chapter 34
Chapter 35 Chapter 36 Chapter 37 Chapter 38 Chapter 39 Chapter 40 Chapter 41
Chapter 42 Chapter 43 Chapter 44 Chapter 45 Chapter 46 Chapter 47
StoryTime Read Aloud