A J Thompson | Andrew Thompson, Rockhampton Australia

Katalia's Calling, a short story by Andrew Thompson

Katalia's Calling is an excerpt from my novel, "Lords of the Kreyml".

©2006 Andrew Thompson

Katalia looked over her shoulder to see Lord Brama lagging behind in the snow. She cast the old Seer from her mind and lifted her pace, determined to catch up with her brother before they reached Mount Krustallos.

"Andraes, wait."

He turned obediently, his fawn-coloured hair whipping about his face on the wind. Katalia smiled as he took her hand and led the way towards the crystal mountain.

She adored Andraes. He was sixteen to her fifteen, beautiful, compassionate, and strong. He was also the man she loved beyond all reason. He had only to ask and she would give herself to him, in every way, for evermore. If only she had the courage to tell him.

A hand clamped her shoulder from behind and she turned to find the Seer's stern expression waiting.

"Your thoughts speak loudly, Princess. Perhaps too loudly."

Katalia swallowed, unnerved by the old man's gifts.

"My thoughts speak truly, Lord Brama. I cannot help what I think."

"You must, for you already know that your fate lies beyond the borders of Althase. Your destiny and that of your brother, are not intertwined."

Katalia kept walking, her mind reeling from the old man's pronouncement. But she couldn't deny his words, for Andraes' destiny was indeed far different to her own. While Andraes would remain in Althase as heir to the self-proclaimed kingdom, she would travel to the Khatarian capital to fill her Faith-appointed role.

As always, the truth saddened her. Althase was home, with its snow covered landscape and its ever-drifting icebergs in the bay. She had no wish to move to Okhatar City, where the tropical heat was so stifling that people strode around half naked.

She had read that women only wore waistcloths, leaving their breasts completely bare, and that even the Khatarian Emperor wore nothing but a short cape and codpiece. It all sounded terribly uncivilised.

But such was the life that awaited her, for like Brama, she was an Immortal, and tales of her gifts had drawn the attention of Azuul, the all-powerful Father of Seers. She had never met the man, but she could sense that he was dying.

A void was slowly building like a storm on the horizon, and she knew that soon, he would summon her to Okhatar.

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