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The mistborn condensed out of the morning fog, a slightly more solid shape in the earth-thralled cloud. Eliza kept quiet in her makeshift tent as she watched. Beside her, the hound snorted and rolled over for more sleep, pulling the underblanket so Eliza’s elbows were stuck with old leaves and bark from the maple tree under which they had set up camp. A second form swirled into being, looking like a curl rising from cooking pot just about to boil. The two danced in the open grass field as more and more mistborn joined them.
The twilight morning meadow brightened as one ray of late spring sun made it above the old growth trees surrounding the field. It sizzled through the dancers, separating them and struck the dew saturated ground, throwing up steam. A new being formed, harsher, stronger, more solid, and even shorter-lived than the present meadow denizens. It curled a vector around the nearest mistborn, dragging the gentle morning creature into the light where both dissolved. More beams broke through the tree tops, speckling the grass with light and conflict. Mistborn after mistborn was destroyed by cruel, angry steamers.
Several mistborns broke toward the shadows under the trees. One ran straight at Eliza, seeking shelter, a moment more of existence, under the trees she had chosen last night. Trees that kept the dew off her and her tent all night. The creature could not leave the moist grass and a steamer snatched it when the mistborn hesitated at the border between dew and dry. The insubstantial creature screamed silently as it left this existence.
Shuddering and smiling, Eliza broke camp quickly once the sun had completely cleared the horizon and burned off the last of the fog. The lean-to blanket above and ground cloth below, with a few twists of rope, return to being a backpack. Her companion hound clawed and threw dirt, burying the small cooking pit. They moved as one to leave the magical place.
Eliza was undecided if the meadow was blessed or cursed. A question to ask should she qualify for the academy, if she made it there by Solstice, if they would take someone in her thirties, if … so many ifs. She picked up the pace. The ballet and battle had lost her a big chunk of the morning.
(Words 387 – first published 4/15/2014; published in new blog format on 11/5/2017)