I never saw Mother after she created the new me and departed with those cryptic thoughts she passed on. Neither did I grasp their meaning, hard as I tried. My cage….what exactly was my cage? What could possibly keep me from reaching my true potential and earn my wings? Was it even possible to gain wings?
As I could not decipher that enigma, I filled my days with taking in this new world I had been accepted in and my new persona. After my metamorphosis, Irene, a stunningly beautiful ice sprite took me as her protegee and set out to teach me anything and everything that she could. We spent endless moments wandering through the nameless glacier that was our home.
‘While this land has no name, it is called differently by each and everyone of us. What I see is not the same as your vision, and what you see I do not. Take your time and get to know this world, discover the secrets she divulges only to you and grant her the wisdom you gain. Connect to her, body and soul, and she will whisper the name you wish to know.’
Awesome, yet another enigma I had no idea how to solve. How was I supposed to connect with this land? Dig a hole and bury myself in it? Now that was a sight in itself. Pushing Irene’s words to the back of my mind, I devoted my time uncovering the beauty of my new environment. This world was like an ice field surrounded by blood red waters from all sides, seemingly mourning all the mortal souls that has made the supreme sacrifice in order to reach completion. Glass trees adorned the snow coated ground and shone gracefully in the delicate silver light of the sun, the ever present fragrant mist enveloping this tableau in diaphanous bliss. The land was almost barren, save for Mother’s palace, situated in the middle of the glacier, guarding it with its imposing might. It was pure silver and emerald, carved with ancient protection wards and runes that exuded power and grandeur. It felt as if the palace had a life of its own and accepted Mother’s presence on its own accord.
Our chambers, however, were underground, in the heart of the glacier. We lived in a vertical maze, intricate slides and paths being our roads. And they all lead to the center of our “town” (if I may refer to it as such), where an immense library dominated. ‘Inside these walls lies our entire history, written on diamond sheets with the blood of our mortal selves. Here you will learn of our beginnings and here you will write your own story, when the time for it comes.’ Irene’s words struck a sensitive cord inside of me. Would I ever be able to write my own story? Would I ever achieve what would be necessary to deserve my place within those screens? How would I even start my tale?
Well, thinking about it, I could always begin with my bizarre appearance. Sure, I kind of looked like everyone else, but then again I didn’t. My body was made up of billions of tiny diamonds, yes, but my hair remained jet black, only several silver streaks gracing it. It was cool, but unusual, because from what I observed, the other sprite’s hair either completely turned white, or kept its original colour. Even Irene, the red headed minx, seemed to be baffled by this odd trait, and told me that in all her time here (and we are talking about hundreds of years, mind you), she had never seen this peculiar phenomenon. Yet another mystery I was to unearth.
I spent the first month locked inside the enormous library, reading sheet after sheet of wars and peace, of births and tragic deaths. It seemed that, although immune to disease and the passing of years, we had but one weakness – fire. By piercing our hearts with fire, the diamonds that granted us life would turn into molten silver and boil us from within. At this knowledge an unknown sense of dread came over me, that somewhere, the Ethians, children of lava, were plotting yet another war, mindset on our destruction. Suddenly the great hall I was in became suffocating and minuscule, my breath stopping in my throat and choking me. I had to get out. So I ran. I ran until I had nowhere else to run. I ran to the surface, only stopping when I reached my tree, my safe haven, where sea and ice met and danced a secret waltz. Gazing at the red waves, the familiar scent of moon flower swathed me like a mantle, bringing calm to my disturbed mind. I spent what looked like an eternity just glancing at the water, silently crying out all my frustrations and my fears and letting the mist lull me to peace.
I returned to my chamber late into the night, pausing in front of the crystal mirror to study my frailty, but something else drew my attention. My eyes, which were a clear grey, now gleamed a greenish hue, particles of emerald dancing gleefully in my pearly pools. Then a subtle murmur, as a kiss, grazed my ears, and I learned what I desired for so long.
‘Ipomoea, my name is Ipomoea.’