February What if Challenge question 2: What if you discovered a lost civilization?
I knew I was different since I was small. I could see people in a crowd others couldn’t see. They stood out like a burning candle in a sea of darkness. They were not like the others; they had an air of confidence not seen in the slinking shoulders of an average man. They had delicate features with blue markings on their face and carried long spears that evoked respect more than fear.
I learnt to keep this secret to myself, lest people think I was not quite right up there. I often wondered myself if I was crazy or just in the wrong place. These “other people” only appeared in crowds and I never saw them on their own.
The first time one of them looked me in the eye was the day I turned sixteen. That day my life changed forever.
I awoke that day with an excitement I attributed to my birthday. When I went down for breakfast everything was routine and my family hadn’t bothered to remember what day it was. I was off from school and I decided to go to the mall.
I was walking along a street when some distance away I saw him. He was looking straight at me with a gaze that pierced the soul. I stopped and stared. It was as if time had stopped for me. Around me the sea of humanity went about their business, but there I stood as he walked towards me. He stopped in front of me and motioned me to come with him. I followed mesmerized.
He walked to the end of the road and stopped. He turned to look at me, then took a step and disappeared. I followed him and suddenly the road, the cars and the people melted away. I was in a different world.
There were bluish grey mountains as far as I could see with dwellings dotted all across. Below us a raging river meandered through the rocks. Men and women worked near what looked like a mine. I saw some carts with a bluish rock that glowed. Children noiselessly scurried along the mountains playing hide and seek with each other. I could feel many eyes on me as I made my way slowly and a little out of breath to one of the dwellings.
A group of elders sat in a circle. One of the elders rose as I approached. He spoke in a soft assuring voice.
“Welcome! You must have known in your heart that one day we would come for you. This is where you truly belong. We are a small race but we are more advanced than the other humans. We have built our own world away from the cruelty and selfishness of the others. It is a great day when young blood like you joins us. We will celebrate the induction tonight.”
My heart raced. It was true what he had said, I had known that I didn’t belong in the other world but this was so sudden. I had so many questions about this new world I had been brought to. As if he had read my thoughts he said,
“Don’t worry, we will answer all your questions one by one until you are satisfied.”
My heart lightened and my worries were replaced by excitement. I knew at last I had found my right place.