Sethra Pt. 1
Terror ripped down Alas’ spine, her eyes flung open with the abruptness of a rabbit finding
itself in a fox den. Sensation crept up her forearms, itching beneath the rosy surface of
skin. Her shoulders rose with her hands, preparing for an attack. Gaze wide and seeking,
Alas waited anxiously for the person to make their move. Acting instinctively, she shuffled
so that the barrel was between her and the gypsy. Eyes glancing, toward the railing, she
prepared to jump from the rolling caravan.
Standing eerily still, the gypsy watched with flint like eyes the very shade of death’s cloak.
Her black hair was twisted into long braids, carefully arranged along the crown of her head
and woven with a purple cloth that wrapped around her head. A matching piece of
material was entwined into a single thicker braid that dangled down to the small of her
back. Besides the vibrant purple of the cloth, the gypsy wore only black from jaw to toe.
This person was the most color challenged gypsy Alas could never have imagined.
Under the pressure of the gypsy’s silence, Alas itched more than ever to jump the rail and
take off running. She was about to give in when the gypsy once again spoke. The gypsy’s
lip curled in distaste, turning away from Alas, “I know who you are Lo’ilo”
Alastair had heard this phrase only a few times before, the term made her suck in her
breath a little. It was a phrase of the Nornavi people that when translated from their old,
broken language, meant “blue eyes”. It was rare to have anything other than brown or
black eyes in this part of the world. “Lo’ilo” was used to call someone a stranger or
someone who doesn’t belong.
The gypsy had disappeared down a corridor and now Alas stood idle on the caravan’s
porch. What should she do next? If she ran, she still had no where to go. Perhaps the
gypsies weren’t as bad as the stories suggested. Maybe she could finally get a ride to some
sort of civilization and start a real life again.
The flint like eyes appeared once again through the doorframe, “jeez, don’t be so slow. Are
you coming or what?”
Alas closed her fist so tight that her nails dug into her palm, nope this wasn’t a dream.
This was really happening. For the first time in years she would have to interact with
people again and possibly dangerous gypsies no less. Her muscles tense, she slowly
followed the gypsy into the cramped corridor. Keeping a palm against one wall, Alas
followed slowly behind; much to the gypsies frustration. It was difficult to walk down a
hallway that made you feel like you were a jumping bean in wood box. It was strange, the
wagon had not seemed so large from the outside. Was it perhaps some kind of gypsy
magic? On the other hand, it could just be good decorating.
Finally, they came to the end of the hallway and the disgruntled escort had stopped and
stood waiting in front of an elaborately carved door, designed with carvings of magical
symbols and fantastic beasts. Epic battles of armored men carrying mighty swords, winged
beasts carrying off maidens and dark shadows dragging children into deep wells were
portrayed with beautiful delicate paints. Some of the stories Alas recognized, while others
seemed completely foreign to her. The beauty struck Alas with wonder.
Leaning against the wall with a stillness that was meant to impress, the gypsy was getting
impatient, “Go in Alastair, grandmother has been waiting for you” This gypsy’s pure
dislike for Alas was, to say the very least, annoying. Still, Alas saw no advantage to letting
the other girl know she was bothered by her. Instead she turned on her beaming smile as
brightly as possible, her cheeks stretched unnaturally as she smiled till it hurt just a little.
try as she might, her display would not warm her eyes.
Alas wondered how the gypsy had known her name, she didn’t even go by her full name,
not that she had known anyone to call her either for quite some time. However, she didn’t
want the gypsy to think she had been affected so she answered smoothly, “I prefer Alas”
“Whatever,” the gypsy drawled and with an elaborate roll of her eyes, began to examine
When Alas turned the knob to the decorated door, tendrils of smoke leaked out of the
creases, seeming to grab at her arms, legs, face, and hair. It was drawing her into the have
filled room that stank with multiple layers of incense and other foreign flavors. So thick
was the smoke that Alas had to squint to make out the shapes of tables and chairs.
Breathing in, her lungs filled with smoke, stretching her insides. Alas was very aware of
her esophagus, cradling her throat, she spiraled into a coughing fit that lasted several
minutes. Alas gasped, wishing for the clean curling winds that leapt throughout the leaves
across the meadows.
A low sigh filled the room and more of the dreaded smoke filled the room. Alas only then
remembered there was someone else waiting for her in the room. Someone who knew who
Alas was and had known she would be coming, even if Alas had not known herself.
To be continued…