With a series of sputters, Ro’s car came to a jolting halt. He cursed and muttered something inaudible under his breath. He quickly exited to see what the trouble was with his car. The cold night air would have bothered anyone else but not Ro;. Ro had trained to resist such things. The altitude would make breathing trouble for any ordinary man, and yet Ro was far from ordinary. Most would freeze to death, but not Ro.
“I’d find another way up,” Came an all too familiar voice from behind him.
Ro turned around and asked, slightly annoyed, “How do you suppose I’d do that, Lady?”
Lady crossed her arms and pointed a long finger upward, “Climb,” she stated simply.
Ro shot her an annoyed look, “And why would I do that?” he snickered.
Lady began to lift herself into the air and float around Ro, circling him. Her form blended together as she taunted him.
“The battle begins at midnight, Ro,” She told him, “I don’t see any other way up.”
Ro sighed and looked up at the cliff side. He patted it cautiously, almost testing its strength. He clutched the nearest ledge, his knuckles white from his own grip and began to climb. Lady floated above him, circling dangerously close.
“That’s my boy,” She playfully mocked.
He looked over and smiled. Lady winked at him. She watched with innocent and loving eyes as he struggled to reach the next ledge. Lady tilted her head to the side slightly and began to stroke a familiar scar on Ro’s neck.
“Remember this one?” she whispered gently.
“Yes…” Ro answered, “The first of many. I was five….it was 2 A.D…”
*** *** ***
Ro ran in the meadows of India. The soft dew made the tall grass stick to his feet. He laughed and played as his parents watched lovingly from a distance. The sun beat down on Ro’s head but he didn’t mind. He was having fun.
It was then that, out of nowhere, a lady in a purple dress appeared in front of him. Ro thought her quite beautiful. Her hair seemed to be made of the night sky, her eyes the stars.
“Hello there,” she said, her voice dripping with happiness, “and who might you be?”
“Ro!” he exclaimed, happy to meet his new friend.
“My name is the Mysterious Lady,” she told him, “but ‘Lady’ is fine.”
She clutched his hand and started leading him towards the nearby forest.
“Come with me,” she cooed gently, “we’re going on an adventure.”
At this point Ro’s parents grew concerned. They watched in horror while Ro seemed to talk to thin air. He had his arm raised like someone was holding it, yet nobody was there.
Ro felt like he should ran away, yet he felt intrigued, mesmerized, even, by Lady’s presence. The crunch of new fallen leaves was heard underneath his feet. The sun shone through the forest shining behind Lady.
“We’re almost there,” She said. He continued to walk through the forest when—
His parents found him later that day and gave him a good scolding. Weeks went by under his parent's watchful gaze. He never left his room, but he didn't complain.
One night in particular stuck out in Ro's mind. His Mother had tucked him in that night and kissed him on the forehead.
"I love you," she whispered to him, "I'll see you in the morning." With that, she blew out the candles and left the room.
Ro could see Lady floating over his bed just fine, despite the darkness.
"Hello, Ro," Lady sang in a friendly tone, "I've enjoyed talking to you these past few weeks."
"So have I!" Ro giggled in return.
"Well, Ro," Lady said, half laughing, "There's something I need to tell you." her lips curled into a smile.
Lady cast an apprehensive glance out the nearby window.
"Tonight is a special night," she smiled warmly, "The first of many. It begins......now."
Lady floated down to the floor in one fluid motion, and watched with eager anticipation when she heard Ro begin to snarl and roar. She stared innocently at the scar on his neck. Nobody but her had seemed to notice it. She smiled at the sound of bones snapping and cracking before her. She was delighted at the horrified shriek of a mother and a father's dying sigh of fear. It was the first of many special nights to come, and Lady took pleasure in every second of it.