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Silence pooled in around me, so only my thoughts were left to echo in my head. My fingertips slid slowly across the surface of the moonlit water, breaking my reflection and sending it down the pond in ripples.
"It's my time," I sighed. The wind answered me with a calm, reassuring gust, and a bird joined in chorus, both pushing me toward my destiny that lay inside the cave.
"You must seek the cave." I had been told that right before I left, for it is my turn to learn what I am to become in our society. I flexed my fingers, slowly working my way toward the cave. I could be anything from a peasant to a chief the rest of my life, only the cave knew.
The cave mouth was a gigantic yawn, and with one great breath, I was pulled further in. Suddenly, my breath caught in my throat. A scream stampeded through the walls of the cave, a scream that was unknown to me. A scream of pure terror that filled your ears, haunting your conscience and holding you in its icy grasp forever. That scream had escaped my mouth as I entered the cave.
I could see nothing but darkness, hear nothing but my heartbeat, and feel nothing but fear. I would never have a good future; I was born a peasant, and would most likely stay one. It all depended on the few simple words that would dictate my life.
Sudden, pounding footsteps pierced the silence, but no being was visible.
I could feel the cave scrutinizing my soul, my mind, and my thoughts. Its icy fingertips slid across my goosebump-ridden skin, analyzing me with the touch of a thousand icy tears. Its breath smelled intoxicatingly like morning dew and fresh, crisp water, pulling me in further.
"You," the cave said. "Alexandra. You do not fear me; only your destiny. But there is no need to." He handed me a long, thin slab of blank, soft paper and a pen.
I could suddenly make out the being's outline, tracing his figure with my gaze.
"There is no need to fear your destiny," he repeated, "for you are the creator of your own universe and more."
I stared down at the paper and pen in my hand that seemed to float out of the shadows. His words rang in my head, echoing deep in the cave and into my future.