Char/Pair: OC, Wan Shi Tong, Pathik
Summary: Before ‘The Desert’ and after Zhao, the Library has another visitor.
Bidna dreams. She sees places like she has never seen here in the desert. Towering buildings, high in the sky, hidden by clouds. She dreams of a place that’s clean, where there’s no grit between her teeth. There are green trees, like the ones at the oasis but so many more and sweet smelling flowers.She tells her friend of the dreams. Ishtar listens, but he doesn’t understand. He listens to her even when he believes she’s lost her mind. He just smiles and plays with the sand.
One day, she trades with merchants, two bottles of cactus wine for a worn-looking scroll about the art of war. She had no interest in such things, but all of the Sand Tribes knew that the Knowledge Spirit coveted obscure little tomes like the one she’d acquired.
Ishtar tells her she’s crazy and does everything but drag her away from the Library. She doesn’t listen, and he refuses to go in with her. And that’s fine. Bidna believes these dreams must be from the spirits, and the spirits wouldn’t give them to her, only for her to die without knowing. The spirits can’t be that cruel. They can’t.
Wan Shi Tong accepts her offering and allows her inside with a warning and guard dox…fox. The little creature is friendly and helpful, and she finds maps and scrolls and copies them down as accurately as possible. When she leaves the Library, Ishtar and his sand glider are gone, and the sun has long set.
Perhaps he’d give her up for dead, or that she would return to the village once she was done. Bidna heads east, on a glider of her own, following her star maps. The journey is long, and sometimes she thinks that she might stop. There are trees and flowers, but the buildings are grounded.
She finds the place of her dreams, and it is more wondrous than she envisioned. The wind never stops howling, tearing her hood from her head, and the trees grow taller than she thought possible. Pink, yellow, and orange flowers are bountiful and fill the air with a heady scent. She is so far above the dirt and grit of below; it’s almost like another world.
The man who lives there is old and odd, but she likes him. He reminds her of someone she never knew. He tells her of the people who lived there, long gone. Long dead. The people live on, however.
He winks and says coyly that she might know one. She smiles, somehow unsurprised that he knows, and twirls her fingers. The wind is a caress, and she laughs with it.
It feels like coming home.