My fingers skimmed the thorny stem of the hibiscus drop flower. I wasn’t able to grab it. My eyes flickered to my bolas which was anchored into a thick, large, exposed root. It was holding, but for how much longer would it stay that way? My eyes drifted to the aqua pool below me. If I fell I should aim for it instead of the ragged rocks.
Yet this was a magical pool and there was an unwritten forbearance of swimming in it. Purely based on fear and extravagant rumors, but there could be some unknown truth to it. After all the Amoria Spring was able to reveal the initials on mate scars. Falling into it though wouldn’t kill me, so I’d have to take the risk if needed.
Adjusting my footing against the rock, I grasped the chain with both hands. Pushing off, I twisted my body to the right so I was headed towards the flower. I swung past the ledge with the flower. I would get it on the next pass. The second time I grasped it, but one of the thorns dug deep into my finger causing me to let go. I hissed.
Gradual cracking echoed from overhead and my eyes snapped up. The root was breaking. I frowned while my eyes widened a bit. This would be my last attempt. My hand clamped around the flower just as my body started to plummet downward. The force ripped the flower out and I straightened my body.
I smacked into the water and sank into the clear, glowing depths of the pool. It was unusually tepid with green vegetation growing along the bottom and edges. I kicked my legs upward while using my arms to push me through the water.
A tingling sensation crept through my whole body. A tug on the chain of my bolas propelled me upward. It must have been Fletcher. I timed my movements to match his as the tingling turned into a prickling sensation. This pool was dangerous.
I gritted my teeth while the sensation increased, my body felt like it was being stabbed all over. My movements had slowed down. The pain and the lack of oxygen made me light-headed My vision blurred around the edges.
I broke through the surface and let out a strangled cry while gasping in air. Fletcher’s warm hands slipped under my arms and heaved me onto the gravelly shore. Fletcher turned me onto my side. I coughed up a bit of water. He brushed my hair out of my face, allowing my eyes to focus on the curtain of water surrounding the pool and rocky cliffs.
This curtain was where this location got its name, the Circle Water Veil. A perfect circle of water, falling mysteriously from the heavens. The veil went so high up, nobody had ever been able to see where it started. The water was a turquoise blue like the seas around Slothia Island and slowly came down in a stream as thin as a cloth. The waters formed several channels that all poured into the pool with the chirps of crickets occasionally breaking the calm.
“You ok?” Fletcher lightly pounded my back.
“There is something magical about that pool. The longer your in it the more pain it inflicts on you. I felt like a hundred mice were working together to stab me to death,”
Fletcher let out a snort. “Mice?”
I rolled my eyes. “It felt like tiny knives, ok?”
“Ok, ok,” A wry grin played on his lips.
I stretched out my arms in front of me and pushed myself up, the jaggy pebbles digging into my palms. I let out a long sigh, but my breath caught in my throat when my eyes took notice of my right inner wrist. My once faint green veins were now a deep purple. I started huffing. A chill ran down my body. That was one of the characteristics of the Purowick. I had just checked my mate scar this morning and the grey scale was still just barely covering the tip, so how did this happen? I clawed at the left sleeve of my shirt, yet not succeeding in moving it up.
Fletcher’s larger hand stilled mine and my eyes darted up to meet his. “What’s wrong?”
“My veins are purple,”
His eyes quickly widened and then narrowed, his lips twisting into a scowl. He yanked up the sleeve, both our eyes trained on the spot of my mate scar. The grey scale that had once covered barely anything now almost covered half of my mate scar.