Angel

By Ticklesivory

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Chapter One

Laughter of children echo about her, playing against her senses, tickling her hearing, bringing amusement to her soul. She cannot see them, not with physical sight, but she knows they are there, and they are numerous.

Feet scamper nearby and run past her. Away from her. Their carefree and playful chatter drawing upon her awareness, creating a yearning to follow after them. Discover the reason for their joy.

Their laughter dies away, and the young woman speaks up, not recognizing the voice that reverberates through the dark void, but realizes it apparently has come from her.

"Wait!"

A boy's face appears, piercing the shadows, his cheeks dimpling with a smile, his brown eyes glowing underneath his short, blond hair. The clothing he wears is plain and of neutral tones. Layers of beige tunics, a dark brown robe. And the braid traveling across his shoulder holds some type of significance, but she cannot recall what.

"Where are you going?" She asks him.

"To the forest." The boy replies as if it is common knowledge.

But the truth is that she does not know what he is talking about. She does not know where she is or who she is for that matter. There are no memories.

And when she should feel fear, there is nothing but calm assuredness that she is safe.

So when the boy in the plain brown cloak holds his hand out to her, she reaches out and grasps onto it, her fingers curling around digits that are neither warm nor cold.

Just a few steps leads her to the edge of the void, beyond which lies a dense forest, thick with trees and undergrowth, various sources of water within view, flying creatures, as well as bright skies. The illumination of the existence cannot be explained, but the science of the world holds no importance. What is important is the life that abounds within it; abundant life of all forms. Vibrant and free.

"What is this place?" The young woman's question echoes back into the darkness behind her as the brush of children rushing by catches against her dress, fluttering the shimmering sky blue material in a breeze she cannot feel.

"The Force." The boy answers with a frown of confusion. "Don't you know what the Force is?"

The Force, the young woman repeats silently. She should know. She feels she should, but the knowledge is beyond her understanding.

"No." She finally answers with slight frustration.

"It's okay." The boy smiles. "You're s'posed to be here."

"I am?"

"Yeah. Or else I couldn't see ya'."

"Oh."

The boy turns and takes one step forward and stops, twisting his head back to look at her once more. "I don't remember my name, but I was going to be a Jedi."

Several more children wearing similar clothing rush past them, disappearing into the greenery just beyond.

"We all were, until the Chosen One came."

A flash of pain creases the child's brow, but just as quickly it disappears as the chorus of laughter meets his ears.

"Follow me!" He calls out right before he takes a step forward and immediately merges into the thicket. His voice rises to the skies, his spirit disperses evenly into the Living Force all around him, as far as the young woman can see.

He said she belonged here, and although she doesn't know where 'here' is, she can feel the waves of peaceful energy drawing her in.

Peace. She craves it. Realizing that in her past life, she had not had it. There had been pain and deep sorrow. Very little peace.

Yes. This is something she wants. Something she deserves.

She leans forward and reaches her hand out into the serenity before her when a deep male voice sounds out behind her, halting her momentum.

"Wait."

The young woman hesitates before turning around, hoping that the vision before her; her chance in joining the children will not be lost, but there is something pleading in the voice she has just heard.

Brows furrow when she looks upon the man who has spoken.

Tall. Regal. Long hair. Blue eyes set deeply behind a somewhat crooked nose. She knows him from somewhere. He's not transparent like the children she has seen. Like she seems to be. He is more real somehow.

"Don't go yet." He requests.

"But I want to."

"I know, but not yet."

The young woman glances back to the peaceful scene behind her, relieved that it is still there. The wind that rustles the leaves on the trees whispers her name. A name she does not remember.

"Please." The man declares behind her. "I need your help."

Turning back around, she notices those blue eyes of his hold a memory of her life and it flashes before her for a nanosecond.

A battle. A funeral pyre.

She not only knows this man. She has trusted him in the past. And she owes him a favor.

The laughter behind her dies away completely, the air becoming eerily still.

Her passage will be here when she returns, she realizes. When her task is complete.

She gazes up into the taller man's bearded face.

"I will go with you."