Author's note: My insipration was of course the book Eragon, one of my most favorite books I have ever read.
The Witch and the Werecat“I offer this to you because of Solembum, he shows himself to few, and the fact that he spoke to you, makes you special,” spoke Angela, “I offered the two others whom Solembum had talked with to have their fortune told as I have offered you. Only the woman, Selena I believe is want her name was, agreed. Oh did she regret it though, her fate was bleak and painful. I don’t think she believed it,” She paused for a moment, “At least not at first.”
Eragon stared down at his hands,
“Do you remember anything about her, or her fortune? Can you tell me who she was?” he asked. His stomach twisted sickeningly as he spoke the words in a hushed voice.
“A better question would be do you remember her?” riddled Angela. Solembum hissed, low and long, jumping into her lap.
She ran her fingers through the beast’s rough, black, matted fur, looking into Eragon’s eyes with no sign of any emotion.
Well are you going to answer her or not stupid boy? Solembum’s thoughts voiced within Eragon’s head. Eragon then put up barriers in his mind, trying to force the werecat’s own mind from his.
“Get out of my head,” murmured Eragon. Solembum’s mouth grew into a fanged smiled, and began to pierce his way through the barriers. The pain from the werecat’s probing was intense, but Eragon refused to let him through.
“I said get out!” he shouted. Angela pressed her thumb on Solembum’s crown, and the creature stopped torturing Eragon.
Eragon glared at Solembum, he just let out a rusty purr and curled up in the herbalist’s lap. Eragon sighed.
“Selena was the name of my mother,” he stated. Angela continued to just look at him.
“And,” she spoke, “Why do you wish to know her fortune? Don’t you know enough of the young woman?” Eragon was silent, “She was nothing more than a petty farmer’s wife by the looks of her. Always needing someone to obey her every wish because she was too good to do it herself,” Angela added murmuring to herself.
“Do not speak of my mother in that way! I will not allow you to disrespect her in my presence! I will have you know--” Eragon began before Angela cut him off.”
“That she abandoned you? Yes I know. It’s a shame your master hasn’t taught you how to detect when a witch is in your mind.”
“What!” Eragon immediately barricaded his memories.
“Pitiful fool, no use in doing that now, I’ve already found my way through your past before you even told me Selena was your mommy.”
Eragon felt his throat clench up in anger. He swallowed hard, but it didn’t help. He forced himself to keep his temper down. At last he decided to drop the fact that Angela had invaded his privacy and tried to learn more about Selena.
“Can you tell me who she was?”
“Yes.” Eragon waited for her to continue, and then realized she was going to say anymore. He growled with annoyance at the ignorant witch.
“What?” she asked, “You asked if I can tell you about her, and I can, you never questioned if I will, and you don’t know if I will.”
“Will you tell me about her?” Eragon questioned rudely.
“No,” she answered. Rage boiled through Eragon. He stood and slammed his fists on the table that separated him from Angela, yelling as loud as thunder booming in the night.
“Tell me who Selena is! No! Tell me everything you know about her! No more riddles and nonsense! Answer me plainly right now!”
Angela blinked and Solembum meowed in amusement. She then stood with Solembum perched on her shoulder, together they towered over Eragon, making him shrink back a bit.
“You’re in no place to command me to give you another’s information, boy. I could kill you in silence with the upmost torment and no one would ever know.” Her face was two inches from his, her horrid breath stung Eragon’s nostrils. Solembum’s fangs were barred, growling and spitting at him.
Eragon’s rage then immediately transformed to fear, sweat formed on his brow, his breath caught in his throat, and his feet were cemented to the floor. He was glued there, unable to run, as invisible hands seemed to grad ahold of his neck, strangling him.
Angela then sat back down suddenly, and Eragon gasped as oxygen rushed to fill his parched lungs.
“Selena was a young woman at the time she wandered in here,” Angela began, “She looked in her twenties no more than thirty, and was soon to be expecting a child. She had light colored hair and bright, curious eyes. She was much like you to be honest,” she paused to scratch Solembum under his chin. Eragon returned to his crisscross position on the floor, patiently waiting to see if she would tell more.
“She explored my shop and looked closely at many things, including Solembum.”
She was a beautiful woman, but has made many mistakes and was new to the world on her own. Eragon heard Solembum speak in his head.
“I offered to tell her, her fortune, just as I did you. She was hesitant, but accepted for curiosity had taken its toll. So I brought out the bones and told her what she wished to know.” Eragon found himself filling with questions but kept his mouth shut afraid that if he spoke, Angela would not continue. Instead he leaned forward to ensure himself of hearing every word.
“The bones told of a storm, not one of nature, but one of man. One who ruled all, one who would take from all, and crush the remains with their soldiers. They will take your love, they will take your kin, and they will take you. The path to happiness is shallow and unlikely, for they will find you wherever you lie. To save those hearts of another, give up all of you that makes ones hearts their souls. Flee to the land of Aiedail, and take none with thou. A shard of diamond is all that’s needed to light the fire to the fang that cannot be reached. So one shall not see thus star, so one whom throat wonth spill red,” Angela finished the fortune of whish the bones held and looked grimly at Eragon.
“That is all I know and can tell,” she spoke marking the end of her words.
“Where is Aiedail?” asked Eragon.
“It is not a place, for it is a thing,” replied Angela.
“What does Aiedail mean?”
“It is from the Ancient Language, it means the morning star.”
“The morning star…” Eragon repeated. If Selena could bear to have her fortune told, then I can as well. Eragon thought to himself.
“I will have my fortune told,” he spoke aloud.
Angela stood and walked back to the dragons’ knuckle bones, Eragon followed. She scooped up all the bones and held them up to her mouth. Her eyes were closed and her lips moved in a silent murmur. Suddenly she shouted with power, throwing the bones down onto the cloth.
“Manin! Wyrda! Hügin!” she stayed silent as she studied the bones for several long minutes. Finally she let out a sigh and stretched backwards.
“Your future is nigh impossible to tell, But I can find a few answers within the bones.” She ran her hand over them slowly, speaking what they held as her finger tips passed over them.
“This symbol here, a long horizontal line with a circle resting on it means infinity, or long life, this is the first time I have ever seen this. Next is the wandering path, lightning bolt, and sailing ship, all which lie together. The wandering path tells there is many choices that lie ahead of thou, some of which you face now. There are also great battles of which rage around you, a few of them are even fought for your sake. I also see thy mighty powers within this land, struggling to control thou’s will and destiny. Countless possibilities in your future await thou, all of which are filled with the pain of blood. Only one path will bring peace and happiness, so beware of the way you chose, for you are one of the few who ware truly free to decide your own fate. But yet to counteract that freedom, here is the lightning bolt, a terrible omen. Doom is upon you, of what sort I know not. Part of it lies in a death, one that approaches rapidly and will cause you much grief. Lastly we have the sailing ship, one symbol impossible to misread. Your fate, where ever it may take you, will bring you to leave this land forever. I know not of where you shall end up, but you will never stand in Alagaësia again. This is inescapable, even if you try to avoid it.”
Eragon half listened to the fortune Angela had foretold. His thoughts were still on his mother. If I am able to decide which path I wish to tread, then I chose to tread where Selena has, to the land of the morning star, Aiedail.
“Thank you,” he spoke to Angela, “For the fortune and for everything you told me about Selena. I do have one more question.”
“And I shall give one more answer, but that will be all I give,” she answered.
“Is Selena still alive?”
“The chances of thou to be alive today are slim. With her fortune I am unable to tell you an exact answer. It is possible, but to what degree I know not. Now, away with you!”
Eragon quickly stood and fled to the door, thoughts and questions bussing in his mind.
Will Selena be alive? Is the place I will be staying forever the land of Aiedail? Is this where I’m destined to leave to? Who is in the death that is told in my future? I couldn’t bear to lose anyone close to me. I’ve already lost Garrow. Could it be Roran? Or Jeod? Maybe Brom? No, I can’t lose Brom, not him, I’ve learned so much from him, I can’t lose him…
Eragon suddenly froze in his tracks and his blood ran cold.
What if it’s Saphira…?
He then began to sprint for the entry gates of Terim. He had to find her before the night was up. He wouldn’t be able to live without her. He needed to see her, before what could be her death comes upon them.
Slowing his pace as he neared the gates, Eragon tried to not raise suspicion as he passed the guards who eyed him on his way out. Once through the exit, he quickened his stride little by little the farther he got from Terim. When he was sure he was out of eye and ear shot he began to shout Saphria’s name.
“Saphria! Where are you!? Fly to me! Please!” he called into the sky of dusk. The few trees within the field rustled with to cold breeze of the approaching night. Tears formed in Eragon’s eyes; one by one they escaped their prison and poured down his face in small streams of sorrow.
He tried contacting her through his mind, but he couldn’t keep the connection with his emotions swelling inside him. A voice pushed its way through the barriers of his sadness. It was distant, but strong and comforting.
Eragon? Saphira’s voice rang out.
Saphira! Eragon thought back to her. I need you here, now!
I’m coming. In second the sound of the beating of her large wings filled Eragon’s ears. A smile of joy and heartbreak spread across his face, the streams of his tears never ending. He watched as she glided down before him, her sapphire blue scales shimmering in the light of the setting sun. As soon as she landed, he ran to her and pulled himself on to her back, wrapping his arms as far around her neck as he could.
Are you alright? Are you hurt? What’s wrong Eragon? He said nothing and continued to cling to her, bawling. She huffed and smoke rolled out of her nostrils.
Eragon, what is wrong?!
“I love you Saphira, I’m your Rider, and you are my dragon, I don’t want to lose you I can’t!” he spoke aloud between sobs.
I love you too Eragon, and you won’t lose me; we will be with each other until the end of time. Her words did not comfort him.
“You don’t know that, you don’t know what lies in the future. I went to the herbalist, Jeod’s neighbor, she read my fortune. She said doom is upon me, and in part of it lies death. She said it approaches rapidly, I fear it could be you!”
She was silent for a moment, and then craned her head around to lightly grab the back of his tunic with her teeth. She detached his arms from her and set him down in the soft, lush grass.
Do not worry little one, as I said before we will be with each other until the end of time. If it is true what she speaks then you must accept your fate. Everyone’s life comes to an end. Some to a blade, some to disease, or old age. Everything ends with suffering when one worries and denies what will come to them in their destiny. For most it is inescapable. For all it is painful. But to a few, even with sorrow, fear, and hurt gripping them, they die with honor, happiness and peace. That is how I wish to go. With honor, peace, and happiness for all I have given to the world. You will too, Eragon. You just need to accept what is coming.
Eragon stared up at her dark, blue, soulful eyes.
“If you die Saphira, I want to die with you,” he choked.
No, Eragon. You will live on if I am to go. Promise me you will not do anything foolish, that when you die you won’t lose hope; you will stay strong, and fight until it is your time to go as well.
Eragon burst full into tears once again and tried to reach for Saphira’s neck to hold onto as before. She leaned down and allowed him to press up against her icy scales.
“I promise,” he whispered.
Good, now head back to Jeod’s before the guards close the gate for the night.
“No, there’s more,” started Eragon, “I’m not going back there, not when I know my mother’s alive somewhere.”
Saphira lifted her neck out of his reach and looked at him intently, asking for an elaboration.
“The herbalist, she knows Selena. She told me where my mother could be. We need to go to the land of Aiedail, the morning star. I need to find her Saphira. I need to see her once before her end comes.”
But is she alive still? I thought you told me before that she had abandoned you when you were only a new born.
“She did, but she didn’t do it because she didn’t want me, it was because she wanted to protect me. I want to do the same for her. If there is some way I can help her some way I can be there for her before she draws her final breath, I will do whatever it takes to do it. I want to know she loved me when she left me, I want to know if she has loved me ever since, and wished to have me by her side through the years we have been apart.”
Then we shall find her. Saphira took a hold of Eragon and lifted him onto her back. In a heartbeat, the two were high in the starry sky.
Are you warm enough?
“I will be ok. Can you stay awake through the night?”
Yes, I have been resting ever since we arrived in Terim. You, however, should sleep.
Eragon rested his head next to one of the long spikes on her next. “When dawn comes, search the sky for the last star that twinkles in thy morning light. That is what I believe is Aiedail, we follow it until it disappears, then we land and rest until dawn comes again.” Saphria grunted in acknowledgement to Eragon’s words.
Eragon closed his eyes and imagined how Selena would be like when they found her. He imagined her to be kind and open hearted. Crying as she hugged him for the first time since their separation. Her light hair pulled to the side in a messy braid, and eyes bright like Eragon’s. She would be beautiful, the loving mother that Eragon had imagined her to be.
Eragon felt sleep creeping up on him. He let it take over him, a smile on his face as he fell into a dreamful rest.