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The Scroll

by Nada Adel

Fingers trembling, she slowly unrolled the ancient document. The parchment was as fragile as it was old. A light scent of antiqueness mixed with earth infiltrated her nostrils. Maya savored the scent as a million thoughts and fears raced in her head.

Rumors of her family’s roots had been the hot topic of late. Though it scared her which bits of what people said were true and which weren’t, she desperately needed to uncover the truth.

She took a deep breath and exhaled, breathing out some of the fear and trembling from her body.

She gulped and opened the ancient document before her.

The words were written in breathtaking calligraphy. Artistically entrancing in their own way, Maya thought.

The language was foreign but somehow it had suddenly passed down from generations and relations she had never met, seen, or even heard of.

She closed her eyes as the words replayed themselves in her mind.

You will see the light one day,
You will know who you are;
Who we all are.
We will have gone,
By then.
Our secret will be in your hands.
Close your eyes
And wait for the light.

Maya did close her eyes. From an endless stream of blackness, a rainbow-colored light flowed into her sight. She inhaled as she saw her parents, grandparents, and many generations before them. They smiled; then they began to move away from one another. Their forms began to change.

Each took a form that Maya, and anyone else, would have thought was a mere myth. A white light flooded each person as they transformed into otherworldly beings.

There was some speech in the distance but Maya couldn’t tell who was speaking. When she gave in to the attempt, she realized that the speech was coming from the stream of white that swept over every member of her long-gone family.

Embrace us child,
Open your heart and mind,
Let them run free and wild.
We have always been there;
We are a family of creatures of air.
Rise child, as a tree rises from the earth!
Rise and spread the wings
You’ve carried since your birth.

She watched the creatures take shape. When the last was done, in one voice that echoed in her mind, they said, “Rise! And come to us!”

Maya opened her eyes. Tears had involuntarily left them, sliding down her cheeks. Her surroundings were dark but she saw that there was a light ahead, one she had never noticed before; an opening leading directly to the night sky.

“Rise!” they had said.

She took a deep breath; she didn’t know what form she was meant to take. But somehow her body knew what to do. Inhaling again, she felt wings emerging from her back. Her body twitched, a white light bathed her, and she took off into the night.

A lizard of old, a mighty dragon to behold.

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