Emme felt the call in every cell of her body. Resisting made every inch of her skin itch. The call spread to her muscles and they burned. Her bones ached. With tears dripping down her face, she fought until her head throbbed. If she didn’t’ move she feared the center where her powers lodged would ravel. Would the end of her being a witch be her punishment?
She rose and made her way along the dark tunnel using her fingertips to guide her path through the unlit area.
When she reached the stairs the pain eased though she moved like a wizened crone. Steadily she made her way to the throne room where her parents waited. The moment she knelt before the pair the remnants of the pain vanished. Anger pounded as steadily as the beating of her heart.
Emma raised her head. “I did what I needed to do. He chose her when he should have been mine.”
Ludena nodded. “He was defective. Like the three before him he chose your sister for her weaker power. If you had searched his mind the way you should have you would have seen and rejected him allowing us to summon another.”
“There were no more.”
“He was my last chance for love. There will never be a man who loves me.”
Soldar rested his hands on his thighs. “You are our oldest. In you the power to maintain the world is strong. You are the heir but you let envy, jealousy and anger rule.”
Emme started to rise but her father gestured her to remain on her knees. "So this world called Amber will die when you and mother fade. What about the people?”
“As yet they are no concern of yours,” Ludena said. “The punishment for what you have done is banishment. There are lessons you must learn and we send you to a place where they may be learned.”
“You must conquer your anger,” Soldar said. “Anger has been your downfall. Arrogance is another fault. You must learn to give and not to take. You must realize the meaning of duty.”
He was right. Emme knew she had used anger as a way of dealing with her sisters. Anger was her friend and how she acted. How could someone change their nature?
Ludena nodded. “You embrace envy and jealousy as though they were your chosen companions. Such emotions do not a good ruler make.”
Her father nodded in agreement. “So we must send you away until you learn.”
For the first time since her summons Emme met their gazes. “Where?”
“To another world,” Ludena said.
“I don’t want to go. All I want is a prince to love me.” Anger filled Emme’s voice.
Her father left his chair. “To love you. What about finding a prince you can love?”
“If he loves me I’m sure in time I’ll learn to love him.”
Ludena shook her head. “To love another doesn’t necessarily mean he will love you. Haven’t you seen what holding yourself aloof has done? You must learn to give.”
Soldar nodded. “Loving another may mean letting him go.”
“Love cannot be demanded or commanded.” Ludena’s gaze turned to her spouse.
In her father’s gaze, Emme saw something that raised envy in her thoughts. Would a man ever look at her with such emotion in his eyes? What she saw in her mother’s confused her. The same light shone there.
She sighed. “You ask the impossible.”
“You are a powerful witch,” Ludena said. “Impossible is not a word you should use.” She turned to Soldar. “The time has come.”
Her parents walked to where she stood. “This is your fate. You leave this world called Amber to seek your love. Every hundred years a portal will open.”
“What is this portal?”
“The way to another world,” Ludena said. “If you enter the amber orb of the day of the summer solstice when the moon is full in company with your love, you will return here.”
Soldar nodded. “If the chosen prince enters alone, the portal will take him to a companion world.”
“Is there no other way?”
“Finding the man you love and who loves you is the answer.”
“As the years pass and I fail will I forget my purpose?” Emme asked.
“You will remember,” Ludena said.
“I pray you learn the meaning of love. I pray you find your prince. And if you discover how to love and be loved during one of your awakenings, you can return to the Amber World.” Soldar clasped Ludena’s hand.
Emme opened her mouth to protest. Her throat muscles tightened making speech impossible.
Her mother handed her the amber orb. “Take this. Use the power of the gem wisely.”
Emme grasped the gem in her hands. A golden haze encased her. The glow darkened until her parents and the throne room vanished.