"Both sisters could foresee the future - Isca in her
dreams, and Caylis in her nightmares."
The waves splashed against the sandy beach,
carrying with them the lonely call of the wind. In this deserted and forsaken
place, one can almost hear the mournful sobbing of another lost soul who dared
wander the wide blue seas.
Caylis watched the city from a distance, her
light purple eyes bitter and angry. The Maraquan Aisha was hidden from view
behind an undersea hill. She stared resentfully at the city where she had been
brought to, where she had been promised a home and a haven of safety. Turning
her purple-blue eyes away, as if she could not bear the sight of the newly rebuilt
city of Maraqua, she swam back to her home, a shadowed and secluded cave, somewhere
in the depths of the dark ocean.
"Eventually the king had to send Caylis into
exile to protect his people. Nothing has been seen of her since, but sometimes
when the sea is quiet, you can still hear her mournful sobbing from far away."
Drifting aimlessly with a current, Caylis started
as she heard a familiar voice speaking.
"Go quickly to the surface. There are unpleasant
things in these waters."
She looked out from behind the passage that
Isca and someone else, a surface dweller, had just come through. She saw her
sister talking with a Usul, apparently helping him get back to the surface.
For a moment she wondered why Isca was doing this. To communicate with a surface
dweller meant certain and undoubted exile. Then, her mind switched back to her
own troubles. Caylis waited until the surface dweller was gone before she confronted
her sister. Her voice was angry, as it had always seemed to be after Maraqua
had been destroyed.
Ignoring her sister's surprised and happy cry,
she said icily, "It's been a long time. Are you no longer Kelpbeard's favourite?"
"I still have my dreams, and they still help
our people." Isca's voice was uncertain, touched with a sad forlornness.
"Your people, Isca, not mine," Caylis
said bitterly. "I have been banished, remember?"
"I did not ask for the dreams to come to me,
sister. What would you have me do, keep them to myself?"
"Neither did I ask for my nightmares," Caylis
shot back. Her purple eyes were hard and angry. "They horrify me in my sleep,
and my waking hours are filled with loneliness. Go back to your luxury, Isca.
It is better that we never meet again."
As she swam away, Caylis looked back one last
time, to see Isca - staring sadly after her, her blue-green eyes overly bright
with tears. Brushing away her own bitter tears, she darted ahead, swimming faster
and faster as memories poured through her tortured mind, still seeing Isca's
large green eyes looking mournfully at her as she swam away.
Old Maraqua: "A once magnificent city, Maraqua
was torn apart by an ancient pirate curse."
Isca's voice pierced through her nightmare
into her frightened awareness. "Caylis, wake up!"
Dragged away from her terrible nightmare,
Caylis opened her light purple eyes, still staring at something unseen in the
near future. She didn't even seem to see her sister, much less her worried frown.
Speaking almost to herself, she murmured, "I saw... pirates. Everywhere." Her
voice was soft with worry. " They came with swords and weapons of all kinds,
most of which we have never seen. Swarming, so many of them. Too many. We were
helpless against them. There seemed to be faeries helping them as well, as magic
helped the destruction of Maraqua. The pirates took everything - breaking into
our homes, stealing everything valuable, and many things that were not. Then,
the whirlpool started, the faeries chanted their spell, and our beautiful city
was no more, ruined, a mess of ruins on the ocean floor."
Caylis looked up at her sister, tears streaming
down her face. "Isca? Do I cause these things? Why must the worries of the world
creep into my dreams? Why? Who did this to us - to me?"
Isca had no answer for her sister's tortured
eyes. She did her best to comfort her, but a sudden, more urgent thought entered
her head. "Caylis! What you - we - see is always true. We must warn Maraqua!"
Caylis's only reply was a bitter laugh. "No
matter what we do, Maraqua will still be destroyed, sister. What are we against
what will happen? We cannot change what we see. The dreams must come true."
But nevertheless, she followed Isca as the Maraquan Aisha swam outside to spread
A day had passed, and still no one believed
them. Isca was losing heart, just as Caylis had done hours before. Caylis had
already fallen asleep, again tortured with her haunted dreams. Isca could feel
sleep tugging at her, after a day's weary and hopeless work. Giving in, she
closed her eyes, falling asleep immediately. And her dreams came.
Isca's dreams were strikingly vivid that night,
more real than dreams should ever be. She saw exactly as Caylis had described:
pirates, everywhere. But she also saw something else - she saw herself and her
sister, safe from danger in a cave with a small opening, overlooked by everyone
except for themselves. The time was also given her. The pirates could come tomorrow
at dawn. She shook Caylis awake.
Caylis tossed and turned in her restless sleep.
At night, she was haunted by her dreams. At day, she was haunted by reality,
the knowing that her nightmares would come true; the feeling of helplessness
that was always in her. She drifted with the current, an aimless wanderer of
the fathomless seas, her sense of right and wrong torn from her by her endless
nightmares... that always came to pass.
"Ever since she was a child, bad things always
seemed to happen whenever Caylis got upset."
Isca had always been there to wake her up
when her nightmares got worse. But after she was banished, there was no one
to offer a comforting shoulder to cry on, no one to wake her up when her nightmares
became so real that she was lost in them, a part of her dreams. Caylis's nightmares
had become a horror filled part of her that she could not get rid of. Her dreams
became more vivid, more terrible, after she had left the city. They all included
one thing, echoing her desire for revenge, New Maraqua. Even with her gone from
the city, her dreams affected the rebuilding of the city, slowing it down, until
the Maraquans could safely bet on, and win, a gamble of catastrophe. In their
dreams, all saw Caylis's hate-filled eyes staring at them, accusing them for
all that they had done.
Safe in her room in New Maraqua, Isca unconsciously
reached through a bond - a natural bond between herself and Caylis. The bond
was the simple fact that they were sisters, closer friends than any could be.
Straining, the Maraquan Aisha reached over into Caylis's haunted sleep, trading,
for one night, her own dreams for her sister's nightmares. For one night, Caylis
would rest. For one night, she would dream. She could bear her sister's nightmares
for that time; after all, Caylis had had them for her whole, entire life.
Miles away, Caylis slept on, for the first time
in her tormented nights, a smile graced her face as Nightmare was washed away
Friend, why would you want to see the future?
You want, but cannot have; you have, but do not
"Ah," You say. "If I could but see what the future
holds for me, I would be content."
Well, friend, I ask you again. Are you sure
you want to know?