They had once all been equal. Each had played a pivotal role in the supplying a network of other villages with enough for survival. Long ago they had all had names. Time had faded these, much like the villagers themselves.
They were a tired people. Tired of working the land, tired of fear. Tired of trying to regain what had been lost. Once, all had a fierce pride in the goods produced and defended their village. Once, each village had been more prosperous than the next, with crowds of people flocking to each one to begin trade, or to purchase goods for their own communities. Every year, the Hub would begin to become more lively as spring grew closer and closer. Festivals and celebrations were celebrated to each village’s god of choice.
Eventually, things changed. New towns and cities offered things cheaper and faster. Trade fell off. Colors faded, as did the memory of the splendor of the country that was once Heldengust.
Anyon walked disgustedly between the rows in his mother’s garden. His eye was still smarting from his most recent encounter with the village bully, Oram.
“Anyon. Sounds like Onion,” he muttered angrily. It was a taunt he had heard since he was a young child. He kicked at an onion shoot in dismay. It cracked and bent. Immediately, Anyon felt guilty.
Checking to make sure no one was watching, he settled himself on the ground next to the damaged shoot. He took a deep breath and cupped the shoot gently between his hands. Light flared around his fingertips. Anyon settled back, a light sweat sprouting on his brow. Without warning, his head began to throb. He got up and settled himself against a nearby tree. He glanced at the shoot in satisfaction. It stood just as it had before his attack, straight and proud.
He smiled and leaned back farther against the tree. He shut his eyes and listened. He could feel the rough bark under his scalp and heard the whisper of the leaves above him in the wind. With the song of nature in his ears, he drifted off to sleep.