Ashra is the only human who can hear crystal vibrations. This gift comes with great risk. She lives in fear that she will be discovered by the half human race that hold humans captive, by using the very thing Ashra can manipulate – crystals. This scene takes place in the wake of a dangerous challenge. If her gift is discovered, the very best outcome will be death for her, and those closest to her:
Shara studied her daughter’s features. The warm glow in the room accentuated the lines of Ashra’s face. The set of her jaw said angry, and her eyes spoke of fear. But, behind the fear, pulsing from within, and reflected in the way she held her shoulders, lived strength. Ashra met her mother’s eyes from across the room. Her mingled emotions fought for dominance. Only a mother could discern the silent plea for answers written in her child’s eyes.
Shara took a long breath and pushed herself up from the table. Her footsteps sounded loud in the silent tension of the room. Ashra watched her mother cross the floor, and remove a stone from the wall. From the empty space she pulled a polished, black box and held it between her hands. Shara paused, her hand hovering over the lid.
The air in the room fell heavy, folding around Ashra like a blanket. A gentle pulse of anticipation thrummed in her chest as her mother opened the lid, and slid a soft cloth to the side. Shara touched a pendant with the tips of her fingers reverently, and turned glistening eyes to her daughter.
“Ashra,” Shara’s voice was low and wistful. Ashra moved toward her, drawn as much from curiosity of the pendant, as the tone of her mother’s voice.
“My mother gave this to me.” Shara looked back to the pendant and pulled it from the folds of cloth.
The silver metal pendent was a circle. Seven strings of silver ran seamlessly within, perpendicular to one another, and evenly spaced. On each string, seven tiny crystals slid effortlessly up or down. The pendant was smooth, with no end and no beginning, as if forged from one solid piece. Ashra blinked and looked expectantly to her mother.
“This pendant has been passed down, from mother to daughter, for longer than memory can reach. It is always passed to the oldest daughter, in a time of great concern.” Shara paused, the significance of the moment punctuated by the silence. She shook her head, a slight crease between her brows. “It has always surprised me that you never asked about the vibrations it must emit.”
“It has no sound,” Ashra said. Her voice was hushed awe, as her eyes fixed on the pendant. Shara made a small noise of understanding and nodded.
She reached for Ashra’s hand and pressed the pendant into her palm. When it touched Ashra’s skin, each of the seven crystals slid into a fixed pattern on their strings. The pendant began to hum. The tiny crystals lit, sending prisms of color to dance about the room, in rhythm with the hum. Ashra clasped her hand over the pendant and whispered words that only she knew. It went silent, and the heaviness in the air dissipated.
“I’ve never seen it do that,” Shara said breathlessly. Ashra looked up, and smiled at the surprised expression on her mothers face.
“You could hear it too?” Ashra’s voice matched the careful pitch of her mother’s. Shara nodded and looked down at the pendant, still clasped between Ashra’s hands. She placed her hand over Ashra’s. The warmth of her mother’s hand was comfort; the cold metal of the pendant was hope.
“It’s yours now, my little bean. Keep it safe.” Shara’s eyes became serious. “And remember what I told you, so that one day, you can pass it along to your daughter.” She squeezed Ashra’s hand, and her eyes turned gentle. “Let it bring you peace.”
Ashra tightened her hold on the pendant. “I will cherish it, always.”