Charlis

Charlis was her name, daughter of a satyr and a farmers daughter. Copper toned skin, hair like a golden fleece, known to everyone as the magic woman of her village. Only now could she really feel her powers, the thunder and lightning was pouring across the sky, as the sun set. Dark red clouds boiled over the landscape, each bolt of lightening flashed golden green in her eyes.

It had started quietly, women were washing their clothes in the stream, when slowly the water began to rise, some storm upstream was causing flooding. The men were called but could do nothing much, they battled to pull their chickens and goats up the banks of the river, to save them from the fierce tide of water and broken branches.

The day drew on and the rains started to fall faster and heavier, children sheltered under the eaves of the wooden huts, watching the water drip, then gush onto the ground before them. Drips of water made dancing faries in the puddles, but their parents knew the danger the were in. If the road to the village was washed away they would all be trapped.

Charlis had been sitting spinning soft wool from the summers shearing, golden fleece into golden thread. She was so engrossed that she barely heard the rain until a little girl ran past her hut looking for her father. Charlis heard her shouting out her fathers name and looked out of the door.

She stepped out into thigh deep water, pushing at her legs, making the way muddy and slippery, the pressure almist knocking her off her feet. A woman called out to her. Speak to the storm with your magic! Make it leave, you were a magical child, please help ?

Now Charlis stood looking down from the top bridge, delicate spiders web of ropes and wood, lying over the top of the stream, she turned and saw the flow of water well up, tree branches and trunks, bits of tiles from roofs upstream, mud, everything churning in the mass of water hurled towards her by the stream turning into a river. The storm was roaring overhead now. Lightening striking down at the tree tops , threatening to fell more trees and branches to pour into tge malestrom.

Not really understanding, she raised her arms up stretching her fingers out, facing the torrent, like a female Canute facing a rising tide she wished she could halt the roiling water.

Suddenly the lightening struck down and hit her, her body twisted under the force of it. Knotted muscles did not break, instead the power coursed through her. Down her arms it corruscated, her fingertips splayed, she directed the power into the water. Steam rose, heat and splintered wood swirled around her. Suddenly the river was cloud and fog, the pressure of water slackened and the debris from the flood fell to the ground.

Charlis was astounded that her gesture, made up of fear and love for her family, friends and neighbours had harnessed the power of the storm and turned it back jn on itself. She knew though that there was a reckoning, Balance must be maintained. She looked diwn at her arms, they were wrinkled and aged. She touched her hair, it felt straight and brittle, she could see it had turned completely white! Her power had been spent in saving her home and village. But it was worth it. Slowly she turned and walked along the quiet street. People gawped at her then recognised her for who she was.

For the rest of her days she was looked after by her neighbours, who never forgot her bravery and mastery of the storm.

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