Something is watching me. I can feel it. Its sweet-smelling breath down my neck, sending chills down my spine. Smooth, soft, ice cold skin carrasses my cheek. A large, soft, white wall enfolds me. I finger the substance the wall is made of- light as air, pure white, tickling my skin- feathers.
Something pulls me in closer, away from the feathers. It seems to be arms, wrapping around my waist. They pull me in close to a cold mass. I'm so numb, I can't move, can't turn around to see what- or who, rather- it is. The feathers come in closer, pushing me closer to the cold.
I manage to tilt up my head a little. I see the sky; deep, dark blue, almost black. Shiny gold-white shapes are so close to me. Stars, I remember. They're so close, I could just reach out and touch one.... I try to move my arm. Oh, I'm shaking so much.. I'm so numb... so tired.... I give up trying to move all together, and lean back against the cold mass. I feel myself getting colder and colder. I give up all sense of hope and start to close my eyes.
The last thing I see is a golden light surrounding me and the cold thing. I suddenly feel a rush of warmth. A smile creeps to my white-blue, frozen lips.
Stars, I remember again. Then the gold fades to black as I finally fall into sleep's clutches.
Wind is blowing below me and above me; all around me, actually. Drips of water fall on me, going in the same motion as the wind. My hand rubs the surface I'm laying on. Light and fluffy, with a texture like cotton candy. The wind whipped on my fingertips, and my hand was soon completely wet.
The light was getting hard on my eyes, too. I slowly opened them one at a time. Sunshine flowed brightly through cracks in the fluffy surface. The fluff was white, and I could see the wind- yeah, the wind!- and the water whipping around. I quickly realized that they were clouds.
I just slept in a cloud. Whoa. But how did I get here? I have no idea... My head started to throb with an awful headache.
"Hey there." I looked up quickly to see who it was.
There was a teenage guy standing a few feet away. He seemed to be around six feet tall, pale, with stubby shaved black hair and indigo colored eyes. He had a pleasant looking face- I mean, like, he looks like he's been on vacation for eight years. His clothes were baggy creamy-white robes, sort of like a monk would wear.
I tried to say "Hi" or "hello" or something like that, but I couldn't talk. Like someone ripped out my vocal cords. I, after trying a few times to speak and realizing that I look stupid, just nodded. He smiled sadly at my attempts to speak. Did he know anything about this? What if he did it? Who was he, anyway? What if... what if this was some huge elaborate scheme? Like, he abducts me and gives me some medicine or something so I can't talk or remember anything, and then takes me to this place to be traded like a slave?! Oh, jeez..
The guy was smiling, more amused than sad now. I glared at him with all my might. "Calm down, would you? This isn't as complicated as you think. I'm Asher. And trust me, you'll be fine." He smiled. I could feel myself melt. I trusted him a little more than I did before, which basically meant I didn't think he would throw me off a cliff.
Asher shrugged and sighed. He took a step closer and reached his hand down to help me up. I shrunk away. He rolled his eyes. "Oh, come on. I'm not going to bite." I took his hand with a sheepish face. I tried to mutter, "Sorry," but nothing came out. He pulled me up, but it must've been the wind or the water, or just the unstableness of a cloud, mixed with the fact that he pulled a little too hard, because I tripped and fell into him.
My face immediately turned red, and he looked shocked, too. "Um.." he said, blushing. "Watch your step." And that was that.
Asher held my wrist and led me from the clouds. It seemed like I was walking through fog, then I stepped into a marble temple. It had seven, huge pillars, made of the same white marble as the rest of the temple, with a ring of gold on the tops and bottoms. The most beautiful music I had ever heard flowed from a golden harp, which was off to the side, with a tan guy with curly black hair, who looked about 25 or so. There were perfect looking plants growing out of vases made out of gold, which had words and pictures carved on them.
In the middle of the circle, there were a bunch of people who were dressed identically to Asher, in creamy-white robes, except the women wore long, flowy dresses- actually, they were more like togas. They were all calmly sitting in what looked to be the most comfy lounge chairs I've ever seen, or some were standing. No one seemed to notice us walking in.
"Now, you just hold tight here, and I'll go... well, you'll see," Asher said, starting to walk to the other side of the circle. I blinked, not being able to object, but not wanting to stay here alone. He seemed to take it as an okay, because he turned around and walked at a faster pace.
The Harp Guy looked up, looked at Asher, than at me, and stood up. The harp kept playing. He looked back over in Asher's direction and then looked back at me and smiled confidently. He took a step in my direction. I inched away. He didn't notice, and kept walking over.
I looked away, and pretended to be absorbed in a very interesting spot of marble on the floor. He must've walked pretty darn fast, because he was already next to me. "Hello." His voice was rich, and deep, and all together musical. I looked at him out of the corner of my eye and gave him a small smile. "What's wrong?" he asked. "Cat got your tounge?"
I smiled again and shrugged. He smiled again, suddenly intruiged. "And what's your name?" Oh, dear. My name. What's my name?
I felt a hand lay on my shoulder, making me jump slightly. "Eden," came a man's voice behind me. I craned my neck to see who it was; Asher. "Let's go. And David, why don't you go back to your harp?"
David, aka Harp Guy, grunted at Asher, then bowed at me and kissed my hand. I turned away, hiding my face, embarrassed. "I'll see you again, Eden." David bowed again and walked back to his harp.
"Eden," I muttered. Asher looked at me like I was crazy.
"D-did you just talk?"
My eyes went wide. My name was Eden. And I could talk.
"Oh my. This isn't normal," Asher muttered. "You're not suppossed to be able to talk!" he whisper shouted at me.
"Hey!" I whisper shouted back. "Don't yell at me! It's not my fault! Wait, isn't this suppossed to be a good thing?"
Asher blinked. He shrugged. "Good, but abnormal. Definately abnormal," he said, not whisper shouted.
"Where did you go, anyway?" I asked, now in a normal voice also.
Asher blinked again, looking like he was debating whether to tell me or not. "Well, where I went is going to be kept a secret right now, and I'm going to go back there real quick, 'kay? In the meantime, stay away from David over there, and... just stay put. If anyone does approach you, just make small talk. Your name is Eden. You don't remember the rest. Got it?"
I nodded, bewildered. The last part was quite correct, but I didn't say anything. Asher smiled, patted my shoulder, and walked back off in the same direction.
I glanced over in David's direction, sure he was going to come over here, but he didn't look up from his harping. I sighed, already bored. A woman with curly, dark brown hair up in a bun and bright golden eyes was looking at me. I pretended not to notice and turned around, acting like I was looking at the architecture.
I found there to be a large, full length mirror covering the wall in front of me. The frame was gold, in the shape of woven vines, with an occasional grape cluster and leaves. I stared at my reflection. I had short, curly blonde hair, trimmed to my ears, with two curly bang strands curling into my cheeks. My eyes were a bright, vivid green, and my face was free from any blemish or make up. I was wearing the same clothing as all the other women- a long, flowy, creamy-white, toga-like dress, with no accessories or jewelry, and creamy-white flats, with no embellishments.
I was so absorbed in my own reflection (I am not shallow! I didn't know how I looked! I'm allowed to stare!), that I didn't notice the brown-haired woman walk up behind me.
"Beautiful mirror, isn't it?" she asked. She had a sweet voice, but it was slightly commanding, like it made you feel like you needed to pay attention to every word. She would be a great mother, I thought.
I nodded in reply. "I'm Esther, the, ah, let's say, retired queen of Persia." She smiled and chuckled at her "joke".
I smiled back. "I'm Eden." Esther nodded, taking my name in note.
"I see Asher is showing you around. Is he being helpful? He's not much of a talker, rather anti-social, really."
I kept my polite smile. "He's being very helpful. And he doesn't talk much, does he?" I asked, keeping the small talk going.
Esther nodded, studying me with her sharp, gold eyes. "Yes. Well, I must be going back to the others. Nice talking with you," she said, smiling sweetly. I nodded, still smiling. Esther turned around and walked back to the group of people in the center.
I could still feel those golden eyes watching me.