Lucy woke up from a nearby voice. Hollering. The voice must have been of a man, not visible because of the dense blackness of the new moon night. The sky, still crepuscular, gave her the feeling that dawn was close. She fixed her T-shirt hastily and sneaked upon the person she had already entitled as an intruder. She bent on one knee, almost as she was proposing to someone, and looked down the precipice to see a pretty unexpected sight.
The sight of a young boy, around her age, pulling out his own hair in misery and shouting and clapperclawing with sadness she could experience in waves from above the crag. He was sitting on a rock next to the make-shift campfire. Seeing the way he was trying to ease out his pain broke her as she realized she had once resembled him. But there was something wrong about his figure, as she stared at him. The muscular chest, the abs clearly visible through his t-shirt, she couldn’t quite put a ring on what was out of ordinary for the young lad besieged by what could have been a million problems.
The rock her wait was balanced on suddenly gave way. The adrenaline rush and the horridness made her grab for anything around her without functioning that she could be raising too much of a racket. In minutes she was tumbling down the steep slope wishing that anything stops the constant velocity she was gaining. Next minute, when she had convinced herself she was about to die, two soft but steady hands stopped her perilous fall and picked her up. She had momentarily forgotten she was not alone in this picturesque of a valley and when realization hit of who her embracer, might be, she jumped in horror out of the strong holds he was holding her in.
The seconds her body hit the ground she was on her legs with a wand in her hands, pointing menacing at the “intruder”. He raised his hands in shock. She couldn’t perform magic yet but he didn’t have to know that. When people fear you as a witch, you do not need to perform every sorcery. Just the fear instilled in one is enough to proclaim any person as the creature of their nightmares.
Now that she was staring directly at him, she realized the missing part to the mystery she had been pondering upon. He had no tear-strained cheeks, no rheumy eyes, and no tears oozing down his oculi. His handsome face was drowned with fear, embarrassment and mostly depression. Depression nowadays, in her opinion, is ubiquitous. Everywhere she goes, at least one out of every five people can be sensed by her having this mental problem.
She herself, gratefully, wasn’t been imparted with enough stress to acquire this grievous mental problem. She shuddered as her inquisitiveness tried to force her imagine how it would be to go into depression. Unending tears, gloomy moods, insomniac nights and deplorable thoughts. He seemed to be suffering from the same, her observation said. But she sensed something eerily different about this lad. She could sense other’s emotions, a power she had always had. After months she had started to differentiate between sadness and depression, anxiety and excitement, surprise and astonishment and many different inter-related sentiments. Sadness was a lesser tone of depression. Anxiety and excitement gave off the same vibes, just one was like nervousness and the other more joyful. Surprise may not be a happy sentiment but astonishment sure was.
To be able to sniff out others’ emotions and react accordingly was a skill she had made herself ascertain over the years. A skill she was proud of. But “others’”, according to her, didn’t include strangers.
They had a brief confab, staring threateningly into each others eyes.
What are you doing here boy?
“I might have just lost my way and you don’t seem to have any rights to threaten a mere traveler like me”
Well, you have disturbed my precious sleep, and that gives me enough privilege to bestow you with the glorious title of “En passant”
“The Trespasser”, is it? Well, you show me this land is your property and I will gladly accept any punishment you give me.
So what is a young child like you doing here at this time?
I could ask you the same question
DO NOT SPEAK to me like that boy. Answer the question or you will be turned into a frog for the rest of your life.
Now fear clearly shone in his bluebell eyes. Stuttering, he replied, “I-I ran away from my home”. Lucy clearly knew she could win any fights by her brain but realized the importance of having powers too. Lowering her wand, she replied politely, “So you seem to be someone like me. I can help you, we’ll venture the world together”. To say she liked him would be an overstatement. They weren’t going to “venture” somewhere. The would walk around river, him acting like and impregnable shield and when they reach another countryside, she would desert him for good.
With that happy thought in her mind, she welcomed him to have breakfast with her, curiously trying to learn and assess his personality traits to deem him useful or unworthy.
She learned that his 15th birthday was yesterday and that his fourteenth birthday was a touchy subject. She learned that there was a weapon waiting for him to be good at. A weapon he had never found. And she also learned that he was an aspiring linguist too, which was surprising because he seemed quite stupid to her at the start.