I was 1500 miles away from everything that I knew. New state, new city — it felt like a new world. My life felt shadowed and dulled. Only my heart was dark, but for Elsha, the entire earth was dark… If she could ignite the flame for a nation, could I find the strength to do it for myself?
…A cloud of dust covered the ancient flame in the sky, and the veil of prejudice covered the hearts of the Chosen and the Quelled. The Chosen were just that, they were god’s chosen race. They had souls, they had intelligence, and they had the right to rule over the Quelled. The Quelled were the branded, soulless, dumb, less-than-human beings that were destined to work in the coal mines all of their lives. Elsha was Quelled, but her soul was one of fire, not one of absence. She dreamed, and envisioned a better world. She saw a world of light for both Chosen and Quelled. Elsha had a destiny, a destiny of fire.
I was quelled in this new environment. I was set aside, I stood apart; an outcast and different. Elsha gave me hope. As a young child, just after been branded with the sign of the Quelled, Elsha’s friend whispered to her, whispered to me, “They cannot put their stamp upon your soul…” (8). She could not, she would not, be controlled by the blind and bias Chosen. On her birthday she lay in the dark recesses of the coal mine listening quietly to the hum of the earth around her. Her life was to live by the commands or be condemned. But the threat did not control her. Elsha would not allow predetermined ideals to rule her life. That day, I was there. I was lying next to her on the cold rock. I too felt the hum of the firestones, the coal, pulse through my heart and body. For a moment Elsha and I were free from the bonds placed on us.
It was too hot to go outside, and my body still had not adjusted to the sticky humidity. New town, no friends — my only option was my favorite option. Within minutes I was standing before my bookshelves, and there I took time to consider what adventure I would like to go on next. After searching through my own bookshelf, I found myself in my sister’s room looking over her volumes. There it was. I had never heard of the title, and the cover looked a little strange, but Winter of Fire seemed to be calling to me. It begged me to open it’s already worn pages and beckoned me to consume the tale it was created to share; a tale meant to inspire.