The Shepard and The Aeris

The dusk sky was the color of golden purple, the shepard's favorite color. He loved capturing this magnificant color, like the secret ink of a talented artist. "Such a spectacle for an empty desert." As the night swallowed the sun, he felt the sand underneath his ankles cool. His sheep grew weary for rest, anxiously looking for some remote spot to huddle together and get some shut eye. "Come now, we are almost there." He propped his wooden rod to help him get up, and started to guide the herd towards moving again. "Samarbil should be close." he assured himself. It is dangerous for one to travel the desert at night, what with the creatures, hunters, and moving sands out for anything that moves. This blistered feet were massaged by the flow of sand entering and leaving his sandles, passing through his toes. He didn't consider himself a shepard, but a seafarer who could walk the ocean itself. His flock was his only companionship. He felt both as a master and slave to them. "Samarbil should be there." he said, squinting his eyes towards a dark fleck on the edge of the dunes. "Let's go".

"This isn't Samarbil..." said the Shepard to himself. He saw before him ancient ruins, with vine covered columns and lavish marble pavements. He cautiously walked into the ruins, thinking to himself where he could have made the wrong turn to this uncharted and abandoned place. "Follow the North star southward until you hit the Jennah oasis, then continue onward onto your right..." No matter how many times he retraced his mental steps, he found himself expecting Samarbil, but his eyes showed him otherwise. Tracing the vines on an ivory column, he suddenly realized and slapped himself, "My sheeps!" He ran back, but it was of no avail. His herd was nowhere to be found. He sunk to the marble ground, heartbroken that his only source of livelihood was gone. "These cursed ruins will be my grave." He said with a kick of his foot. He leaned on the column and fell toward the ground, exhausted by the cards fate has dealt to him. He built a humble fire to last him for the night. He watched the fires dance, snapping up to the air with the speed of a cat. The shepard chewed on some bark to avoid dealing with the pains of his hungry stomach.

As sleep was just about to overtake him, he saw a glimpse of light from the corner of his eye. He quickly turned to see the fleeting light running deeper into the ruins. "A hallucination from my dreariness?" He chased after the light. He turned past huge slabs of broken marble and ivory, chasing after this enegmatic glow in a feverous pace. He made one last turn and pounced on the light in a effortful leap. The two fell hard onto the floor. "Get off of me you clayborn!" said the light. "What are you?" he said. "A clayborn that does not know our name? This is a rarity." The glow wore off, revealing a feminine beauty the shepard has never seen. He tightned his grip on her. "Don't mistaken me for a fool. I know the laws of the desert, but you are not from this land." She stared back, then sighed. "My name is Sena. I'm an Aeris." He let go. "An Aeris? I thought those were unseen sirens made up in desert folklore." She laughed. "Silly clayborn, we are as real as the sun and moon." She looked around at the ruins. "Only on special nights is Regnis made seen to your kind. I simply forgot that tonight was that kind of night." The shepard crossed his arms. "If you are truly an Aeris, then based on the folklore, I have the right to make a wish." She laughed again. "You must have slept during these stories. You're thinking of Rifits, our cousins." "So am I going to leave here empty handed?" He said. The Aeris looked at the shepard with a mixed look of pity and adoration. His well toned body made her wish the Aeris men were not thin by nature. She closed the gap between herself and the shepard and leaned in. "Here's something before you sleep." Sena kissed the shepard. His body shone with a brilliant color for a moment. He then fell to the ground. "The honest ones are always the best." She said as she headed down the darkness of the marble ruins.

The shepard woke up with the lick of one of his sheep. He quickly got up and saw his flock before him. "My sheep!" he exclaimed. "But where is Regnis...and where is that Aeris?" He turned around, but all he saw was an ocean of sand before him. He chuckled to himself "Best not to get mixed up with that stuff anyways." He picked up his rod and tapped his sheep. "This time, Samarbil for sure."