Comet Prophecy

July 30, 2010
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Dan had never seen so many in this place. It was a big deal, apparently. It was just another arrival of a gobben. It wouldn’t be any more spectacular than the rest. However, word had somehow spread that the coming gobben would be the one in the prophecy. Even if that was the case, the entire thing could go downhill if the gobben didn’t choose a master. A gobben without a master could become dangerous in only a matter of time.

Primallen, the Princess of Eia, stood in the middle of the clearing. Her silver hair glinted in the moonlight and swayed freely in the breeze. She wore a silver dress that was said to be woven out of the light of the moon.

“My people,” Princess Primallen said, raising her hands for silence. It didn’t take long for all of the talking to die down. She lowered her hands and continued: “A baby has been born, bearing the signs of being a gobben.”

Cheer ran up through the crowd and Princess Primallen raised her hands once more. “The baby has appeared in the rock hollow containing the prophecy.”

More conversation broke out at the news, and even Dan spoke a few whispered words to his neighbor. Primallen’s gaze swept over the crowd and they slowly fell silent. “The babe must choose a master still. We have nominations for the teachers.” She raised a hand and a scroll appeared, floating open in the air. “Gru Hongil,” she read. “Yeu Defina, Gra Tersue, Dan Filwer, Ber Liofia, and Kia Monsak.” As she called out each name, the owners of the name stood. However, the woman Kia did not.

“Kia Monsak,” Primallen called again. “Kia Monsak, please stand.”

“Begging your pardon, Pri,” Kia said, standing. “I’ve been going deft in my left ear. Couldn’t quite hear you.”

Dan sighed. It was typical of Kia to not be fully alert to the most important thing. She got distracted at times and had a tendency to wander off if not properly watched. How could she be nominated to look after the destined child was something of a mystery to him.

“I ask each of you to present me with something precious to your heart—” Primallen started to say.

“Like blood?” Kia asked, taking out a knife.

“No! Something that is important to you,” Primallen said, beginning to lose her patience. “As in something precious or dear that has sentimental value. Is that clear enough, Kia Monsak?”

“I suppose so,” replied Kia, sheathing her knife. “Let me just run home and get my seashell necklace. I think I left it again.”

“It’s around your neck,” Ber Liofia said.

Kia touched the shell and exclaimed, “Found it!” She removed it from her neck, walked up to Primallen, and handed it to her.

“The rest of you, bring me something of sentimental value,” Primallen commanded.

It took Dan only a moment to know exactly what he was going to give the babe. He removed the ring that had belonged to his wife, Bia, who died without warning in her sleep, most likely silently killed by a spell. Some people had accused him of killing Bia, but his testimony was enough to win Primallen’s support.

As he stepped up to the Princess, he caught the eye of Yeu. She glared at him as she handed Primallen her hair ribbon. As soon as that was done, Yeu left and took her seat once more.

“Good luck,” Gra Tersue whispered to him. “It’s been too long since you’ve had an apprentice to train.”

“It’s been equally as long for you,” Dan replied. “The babe would do fine in your capable hands, I’m sure. Much better than in my hands, most likely.”

“That’s debatable,” Gra said, handing Primallen the single earring she possessed. “What’s not debatable is who wouldn’t be right to raise the child.”

Dan smiled. “Kia Monsak.” He handed the ring to Primallen.

“Actually, Heu Frecai. Luckily, he wasn’t nominated.”

Princess Primallen looked at the scroll in the air, then to the audience. She looked at Gra. “I forgot to read Heu Frecai’s name. Thank you for reminding me.” Turning back to the crowd, she called, “Heu Frecai, you are also a nominee.”

From deep within the shadows of the crowd, the tall, skinny form of Heu Frecai came, striding quickly across the yard. He reached into his coat pocket and brought out a tiny puppet. With a few whispered words, he made it dance, then handed it to Primallen.

The last person, Gru Hongil, handed Primallen a wooden coin of little to no value. It had no markings or a painted design, nor was it smooth. The shape was rough as well as the wood.

Is that really safe for a babe? Dan wondered, sitting down again, Gra taking a seat next to him.

Primallen nodded to the crowd, then, in a sweep of her long gown, disappeared with a flash of silver light.

Talking began to spread through the crowd. Dan caught a small conversation about what had happened, and he joined in pretty quickly. The people were Tri Grurei, Hoi Heubai, and Vah Jowqui.

“The babe wouldn’t know experience,” Tri Grurei said. “It’ll go after whatever is the most entertaining.”

“No, the most heart-felt,” Vah Jowqui argued. “Babes can tell what is truly love and what isn’t. It won’t be likely to choose Heu’s puppet.”

Dan laughed. “You’re thinking almost like the babe’s not intelligent. Don’t you recall when you chose your master as a babe?”

Vah stared at her lap and Tri nodded. Hoi Heubai scowled. “We weren’t at all intelligent. I got stuck with Heu. If I were an intelligent babe, then I would’ve gone for Fre’s instead.”

“Something drew you towards Heu’s, though,” Dan pointed out. “Babes all feel differently. What made you go for Heu’s puppet?”

“It seemed…sad,” Hoi said, looking at a blade of grass. “It was never played with and wanted to be held.”

“So you were an intelligent babe,” Dan concluded.

“What about you, Dan?” Vah asked. “What drew you to Fil? She’s not exactly the best. After all, Kia trained her.”

Even though his memories had gone fuzzy in quite a few areas, the one crystal clear memory was his master-choosing. He had chosen the tiny silver coin marked with an eye. There was something about that coin that had spoken to him.

“I really don’t know,” he replied honestly. “It just…tugged on my mind. I’m not sure how or why.”

Tinkling bells broke up the conversation as a falling star landed in the clearing, soaring straight through the scroll. All of the people in the clearing stood, trying to see the package.

“Gobben,” someone whispered. It quickly spread through the crowd and there was another tinkling sound. A second star shot from the sky, landing next to the baby gobben. It was another babe.

“Did Primallen send them?” someone asked.

Why would she do that? Dan wondered.

A crack filled the air and the grass caught on fire, forming letters that made up words. It quickly died down and revealed the prophecy that the babe was supposed to fulfill.

Silver light appeared and Princess Primallen stood in all her splendor. “A second babe was wrapped in the blanket. One of them is the babe in the prophecy, and the other is its twin, who dies in the prophecy.”

Dan shifted his weight on his feet.

“What about who’s the master to the babes?” Vah asked, getting to the point. “It’s why we’re all here.”

An agreement spread throughout the crowd and the voices began to mingle again.

Primallen raised her hands. “My people, do not fret. The babe boy chose his master and the babe girl chose her master.”

Relief spread through the crowd quickly, but as Primallen continued, relief turned into panic. “Heu Frecai will raise the boy.”

Heu glided across the grass and picked up the babe in the blue blanket. “Qui Heuyel is his name!” Heu exclaimed.

“The girl babe chose Dan Filwer,” Primallen announced.

In stunned silence, the audience watched as Dan stood and walked over to the babe in a pink blanket. Her blue eyes looked up at him, knowing and intelligent. The silver circle around her neck shined in the darkness. It made Dan feel for the blue one he had.

“The name of the babe?” Primallen asked.

“Zai Danbia,” he whispered. He then shouted, “Zai Danbia!”

Dan looked back at Zai, looking in her eyes. Her tiny pink lips moved and squealed, “Zai.”

Primallen looked between the two new masters, then looked to the heavens. “Do Qui Heuyel and Zai Danbia good, Fol.” Everyone echoed Primallen’s wish of good will, except for Kia Monsak, who stood silently in the shadows, watching the two babes.

“I wish you luck, Dan,” she whispered, then disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

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