Arien stood on the hilltop, in the dwindling purple light, her hands raised to the dark clouds above. She chanted in the old tongue, the one now reserved for magic.
“Hold,” she asked. “Please hold onto the rain.”
The clouds rumbled in response and raindrops spattered her face.
She stood in the blustery wind trying to weave energy together and make the rain stop. It didn’t.
Finally, Arien lowered her hands. Pulling her hood up, she walked down the hill, towards the wagons. The villagers would be unhappy and she wouldn’t get the food she had hoped to trade for.
Sarai, one of the Elders, squatted by the fire, frowned as she looked up at the clouds, apparently trying to decide whether to add more wood or simply let it go out. She stared at Arien as she plodded past the sputtering fire.
Arien told the Shishaw woman, “I do not know. The elements will not listen to me and they will not speak either.” She walked to her brightly painted wagon and sat on the step, feeling frustrated and angry.