“ISLA!” the frantic male voice shouted again.
With a huff, Isla Lotus turned around to face her fiancé. Her golden curls were arranged delicately down her back in an intricate display, though her eyebrows were furrowed in annoyance. Simple, ivory fabric created the eighteen-year-old’s dress and buttery rays of sunlight beaming through the arched window, cast a glow onto her fair face. One characteristic, however, that was unlike most, were her eyes.
Isla’s eyes were a hazy, yet brilliant silver. Not grey, silver. When one looked at them, there was almost a sense that they could see into your very soul. See, however, her eyes could not. Isla was blind and had been from the time she was born.
“Jasper,” began Isla, soft voice echoing in the room, “you know not to interrupt my sessions. What is the matter?” She reached out with her magic – the closest Isla would ever get to having an idea of what the world truly looked like – and let it waft over him.
Jasper shivered. Even after all these years, he could never quite get used to the feeling of cold air that enveloped him when Isla used her magic to “see” her surroundings.
While her magic was not sight, it did afford Isla something most blind people were not privileged to have – a way to see the world. Isla could see the outline of the world in black and white through her magic. It was like a sixth sense that sent images into her mind. However, exerting her magic could often be draining. Which was why she had decided to have daily sessions where she stretched herself, in the hopes that it would increase her endurance.
Suddenly, her normally quiet voice became terrified. “You’re hurt!” She hastily stood to her feet, rushing across the wooden flooring. A blind person – even one with magic – running is not the best idea, as Isla quickly realized.
When she had almost reached him, Isla tripped and would have fallen if Jasper had not reached out to catch her.
“Careful Isla,” soothed Jasper, “And I really am alright. It’s only a scrap here and there. God was watching over me or I surely would not have gotten away.”
Briefly ignoring him, Isla reached her slender hands out to feel his face. She had to be certain that he was not hurt since Jasper had a terrible habit of downplaying any injuries. Her hands brushed over his cheekbones, her right one tingling with a wet substance. Blood…thought Isla, going back to that spot. However, it did not seem to be enough to cause concern, and so she moved on.
Once satisfied, Isla asked worriedly, “What happened Jasper? Who did this to you?”
“I went to make my rounds by the more…exotic creatures, and you will never believe what I found,” answered Jasper, carefully repositioning Isla so that he could retrieve something out of his pocket. He pulled out a thick, creamy envelop with a seal on it.
“What is it?”
“I-I think it may be what you have been dreaming of these past few weeks,” replied Jasper, tone unsure as he broke the seal – handing the letter to his love.
During the last two months, Isla had been having uncannily realistic and clear dreams, more like visions really, of an invention that could enable blind people to read. Could this possibly be what she had been dreaming of?
Isla gasped as she fingered the parchment. “Braille…” she murmured awestruck amazement, fingers gliding over the bumpy ridges. Happy tears filled her silver eyes causing them to appear in a sparkling manner as she looked up at Jasper. “Oh, do you know what this could possibly mean? I-I, maybe we could finally have a chance now.”
Smiling tenderly at her, Jasper nodded – embracing her warmly. He let a few seconds pass, before adding, “Darling, that is not all.”
“There’s something else?”
“Outside of the exposition, was a great riot. The central lamppost had been knocked down and the main path was covered with debris. I managed to calm most of them down, but I fear that I might have missed some trespassers.”
Isla bit her lip in concern. All of the magical creatures they took care of were especially close to her heart, but on particularly so. “Was India…?” she questioned, hoping that her dragon was safe. As a little girl, Isla was given a lavender dragon egg, and ever since, she and India had been kindred spirits.
India was a beautiful deep plum shade in her natural hue, though her magical camouflaging abilities meant that she often was another color or invisible. She had a particular affinity for balloons, an odd quirk for such a massive being.
Knowing how much Isla loved her dragon, Jasper quickly reassured her. “India is perfectly fine. She was the first one I went to check on.”
Tying her phoenix cloak – kept warmed by the bird’s feathers – around her snugly, Isla tensed as her magical senses told her that danger was up ahead. “Be careful, I feel that there is something close by,” she told Jasper, who walked protectively next to her.
The two were on another path, not the main one since that had been ruined. Round stones created the one they were traversing on, and if it were not for the knowledge that Jasper had given her, Isla would have thought that the day could not have possibly gotten lovelier. The breeze swept through the air, making her thankful for her cloak – a gift made even more special by the phoenix allowing her to have some of his feathers.
All of a sudden, Jasper’s voice gasped. “Oh no…”
“What is it? Jasper?” inquired Isla, beginning to feel frustrated by her lack of sight. In this emotion, she did not wait for him to reply and used her magic to “see” what had caught his attention.
Her mouth dropped open. “Oh, the poor dear,” murmured Isla dejectedly, increasing her pace. For a mother elephant and her baby were laying on the ground, the older animal not moving. The baby’s trunk tugged on its mother’s, yet she was still. Worriedly, the smaller one gave a loud cry – perhaps hoping that this would cause his mother to reply.
Jasper shook his head grimly. “The mother is dead,” he told Isla, as gently as he could.
Tears filling her eyes, Isla sniffled. She hated death. Being such a tender soul, Isla had a heart that easily broke for others, and this included animals. “I-I’ll take the baby,” she managed to mumble, stepping forward and calling the younger elephant.
His head lifted up, looking at her. And to no one’s surprise, the elephant – with a last nuzzle to his mother – walked up to Isla. For some, this might seem odd, but Isla Lotus had a gift for communicating with animals. This was one of the reasons why she had started the exposition in the first place: to provide a safe haven for magical creatures, who would otherwise be targeted by wicked sorcerers. They had never had a non-magical animal before, but she was not opposed to it.
“Hello,” greeted Isla, holding out her hand, “I’m Isla. What might your name be?”
The baby tilted his head to the side, trunk coming up gingerly to inspect her hand. Sound coming from his mouth, he looked up at her.
“Kai? That is a wonderful name,” replied Isla, as though this were an ordinary conversation. Her voice dropped to a whisper. “I-I’m so sorry about your mother.” She rubbed him comfortingly. “We would like you to stay on with us, if you want to. We have a wonderful lake – full of water, perfect for bubbles. What do you say?”
Bobbing his head up and down, the elephant gave his agreement.
“Oh good!” exclaimed Isla, some anxiety being eliminated now that she knew the baby would be safe. As it bumped into her, she added, “Don’t worry Kai, you’ll be ok. I promise.”
Author note: For my Creative Writing class, we had to create a short story using the below list of random words. And this is what I came up with! 🙂