Barely noticeable waves on the water’s surface reflected the light stemming from the Phoenix in all directions, covered in dancing shadows Tophan and Sujela stared at the tree the Phoenix had perched itself upon.

Hypnotized by the odd tree Tophan staggered towards it. Before he touched the water, he was violently pulled backwards by Sujela. Silently she pointed at a black body that was lying face down in the water. Tophan shook off the mesmerizing effect the tree had on him. Though large and thick the plant had a graceful streak upon itself, the shape of a woman stuck out of the trunk, her arms neatly crossed before her bosom, hands disappearing where the shoulders ought to be. The face was peaceful, yet worried. In the pale ethereal light the phoenix sent out the color of the bark was difficult to see, but it was bright. Possibly sand like yellow.

Suddenly the eyes of the gentle face in the bark came to life, terrorized the two jumped back, staring at the tree. “What is it?” Sujela found her voice again. Still in terror Tophan shook his head, but took a few deep breaths.

All the qualities of an actual dream were present, the ever changing reflected light made the female shape seem alive, moving almost. “I don’t know. There are no myths and stories of old that tell of her. Beyond the ancient Floral burial ground I know of nothing.” he too found his voice again, encouraged by the thought he might still be sleeping, dreaming a weird dream.

He tried to avert his face again, but the sad eyes of the tree woman kept him captivated. “She is one of the first.” he mumbled in a dreamy voice, half asleep.

“How do you know all of a sudden?” Sujela also couldn’t turn away from the sad stare. “It wounds me to see your struggles with each other.” the eerie distant voice of a woman seemed to echo through the forest, resonate from soil and water, transcending times of old. “You can draw strength from the soil beneath your feet, though one can trace ancestry to the trees around you and the other off our world, you are now both of this world. Cast into the same soil and the same times.” finding it hard to stand up straight the two inched away from the puddle, fell on their backsides. The strong feeling of intoxication grabbed a hold of their minds, opening their minds to the words transcended through the darkness.

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