I swallowed the bitter taste in my throat as name after name was called. A huge crowd was dismally watching fail after fail, and I hated being forced to watch the disappointed gazes, one after another, and know the odds were highly stacked against me being any different. As another girl stumbled sadly off the stage, I gazed carefully around the huge square. People were piled around the stage, albeit for the roped off section reserved for those who would be having their Nectar Ceremony. I sighed, my spirits dropping. Such a large ceremony for so little success. My heart was beating faster than normal, and dread settled in my stomach. What if I didn't get a spirit animal? Or, maybe the better question was, what if I did?
Anticipation started building up inside me. I didn't have the slightest clue when my name would be called, I hadn't payed enough attention to decipher a pattern in which people came up onto the stage.
The thin clouds that had been creeping onto us finally found the sun, and everything turned a dismal shade of grey. Almost if it was a sign, I heard my name called out by the emotionless announcer that had been droning on throughout the ceremony. My heart both sped up, stopped, and skipped a beat all at once. I stepped forward as everyone stepped back to let me through. I walked slowly to the stage, lips dry. Everything was too bright, too loud. I focused on getting up the stairs, then on stepping forward, one step at a time. I was handed an unmarked flask.
"One sip only." The man instructed. His words registered in the back of my head, but I could barely hear them. The crowd was silent, but the ringing in my head was drowning out everything else.
I took a sip with trembling fingers.
For a moment, nothing happened, and my heart was dropping. Then, the boom of thunder that wasn't there rang out through the crowd, and surprised murmurs turned into cries of confusion. I didn't hear them. The ringing in my head turned deafening. A bright light flared in front of my eyes and I almost dropped the flask.
When the light faded away, I finally saw its source. Beside me was a tiger.
A beautiful white tiger.
Please tell us why you'd like to report this post
A twisting road
A flash of light
A creek where water still flowed
My hand rests on the bone dry bed
The memory's no longer there