Hey guys! I'm taking a break from writing for a while to work on a video i'm filming. I'll be posting a link on here when i'm done; should be exciting!!!
Apr 5, 2011
Her life was empty; she had been thrown into chaos. She had buried Jaca. She was alone, and she needed advise. She was no longer a child, being around seventeen. Jaca had never been sure of her exact birthday. But she needed advice. Her life with Jaca had been the only one she knew. She decided to travel on to the nearest town, where she knew a friend of Jaca’s lived. He was a stolid, decent sort, and she trusted him to help her. Perhaps he could house her until she could decide what to do about making a living.
Once arriving in the town, she made her way straight to his house. It was open, and it was empty. No sign of anyone living there. It was definitely his house, and he was definitely gone. She sat down on the stoop and tried to think, but her mind wouldn’t comply. She finally remembered that the man had been about to depart on a business venture in a neighboring country the last time she and Jaca had seen him. That was around six months ago.
Briefly she thought about crying, but she was too exhausted. Well, she could look for a job… what skills did she possess? She could read and write. Uncommon for a woman in this country, as it was strongly frowned upon. From her travels with Jaca she knew of the ways and customs of many businesses and people groups near and around the country. Not all of the better off townsmen could read or write. Maybe they would be willing to hire her as a scribe; she could afford to charge less than a man would. And she could barter with the towns-people or villagers around the area if they needed a letter sent to far off friends or family. It seemed a pretty solid idea despite the risk and probably the best she could strike on at the moment. She set out to find a decent looking business.
Eight failed attempts later she was was beyond frustrated. She had discovered that it was not only frowned upon for women to be able to read and write, women could not work except under a man. She had briefly thought about going out to work as a boy, and then quickly discarded the idea. No one would believe that she was a boy. She would have to find a decent merchant to work under. Hopefully one that wouldn’t take most of her earnings. She stopped for a some lunch and then doggedly set out again. Six stops later she on the verge of giving up. Why did the townspeople have to be so stubborn!?! No one seemed to listen to her. They took one look and heard that she could write and just swept her out of their stores. This place was filled with awful people.
Just before dinner she found someone who was willing to let her work under him. He was a merchant who sold a little bit of everything, and his wares appeared to attract those who could afford to pay for quality. He couldn’t read or write and would also have her take over his book-keeping. After establishing the wages and striking a deal, she told him she would be back when the store opened. Not the best situation she could imagine, but at least she would have some money to keep herself living for a while. After she left the shop, she went back to her small camp a ways outside of the town. Being alone with just her thoughts was terrible, but better than being alone in a crowd of strangers. Spending what little money she had on renting a room was out of the question. Besides, she couldn’t stand staying inside the town longer than she absolutely had to. The smells of the town seemed to seek her out and choke her breathing. She couldn’t understand how those people lived in it.
Mar 31, 2011
Ri had known many places and peoples, as she had always traveled with her grandfather. He was not her father’s father, but he might as well have been. He was all that she loved, and her only family as far back as she could remember. He had always called her Ri, and she called him Jaca, because he never seemed to stop talking. He would teach her useful things that kept her alive in the wilderness, such as trapping, three ways to catch fish, hunting with makeshift spears and bows made with sinew from animals, recognizing edible plants in any terrain, making fires with damp wood, cooking, and taking care of injuries. He also taught her to respect and learn from the forest; to be alert and see around her. When they traveled through towns and villages, he would show her the ways of the people there, teach her of cultures, languages, and the learning of the scholars. She soaked up the knowledge like the ground does rain. They never stayed in one place longer than six months, moving on to another exciting place. She never thought to wonder why they didn’t live in a town or village like those she saw; her grandfather was different than the people she saw, why should he act as them? He had told her that she was an orphan, and he had found her alone as a small child. He teased that she had been birthed of the wind, and named her Elyria, meaning breeze. He had never complained of her presence. He was not overly affectionate; but she knew he loved her. These were the best years of her memory.
In one of the villages they stopped at, there was an illness beginning to spread. As soon as Jaca heard wind of it he packed them up and they were traveling again. But not before he managed to catch the sickness. They were a week out from the village before he would admit that he could no longer travel. In fact he could barely stand. Making a temporary camp, she made him rest so he could recover. She had never seen him seriously ill, and this sickness was not familiar to either of them. His strength just seeped from him. When he finally broke into a fever she was a little relieved. At least this she knew how to help with. But whatever she did, the fever rose. He became restless and pale. He wouldn’t eat; couldn’t eat. He worried that she would catch his sickness, but she hadn’t caught it yet, so she really didn’t care. She tried all the remedies she could think of and find the ingredients for. She even made up a few, desperate to find something that helped. But he kept getting worse. Soon he was often times unconscious. Clamping down on her fear she tended to him as best she knew. Late in the night, five days since they stopped traveling, his breath left him. With it went her whole world.
Mar 23, 2011
Mountains. Lots of them. From where she stood on the hilltop, no caves, or even a hint of them, were visible. Only those who knew of the exact location of her cave would be able to find it, and she had never told as soul. For as long as she could remember, this was her safe haven. When in distressed or in trouble or simply tired, she escaped to this place. It was in the wilderness, far from any civilization. She had never seen more than a couple travelers hiking the passes of the mountain range opposite. She would be safe as soon as she reached it, if she could reach it.
Treading as silently and lightly as possible in her bare feet, she tried to walk on the rocks or hard, bare ground to keep from leaving tracks. As soon as she was in foothills, she found a rocky stream and began wading upriver. When that left her path she took a few minutes to bathe the human smell from her, rubbing aromatic plants on her skin and feet to cover her scent in case her pursuers used dogs. She continued on.
Two hours later the woods turned to pines and other evergreens. The forest floor, strewn with a thick needle bed would make hiding her tracks easier. She broke a few new, sappy needles to again rub on her feet to hide her scent. Despite her entrenched and well founded belief that her hunters were ignorant of tracking and woodcraft, she couldn’t manage to shake the terrible and near paralyzing fear of being caught. She felt sympathy for the animals she had seen hunted by predators. Now she knew the dread, the heavy instinct to tear through the woods until her body gave out. But she knew if she wanted to truly be safe, she must be smart, leave them nothing to follow.
Dusk. She had to make a choice. Find a place to sleep for the night and move on in the morning, or press on in the dark and risk leaving a trail or perhaps be hunted by animals as well as men. She had a greater respect for the tracking skills of a mountain lion or bear than she did for the party she was trying to lose. Her stomach made up her mind for her. Piñón trees were scattered throughout the forest at this height in the mountains, and if she searched she could find one not too far out of her way. The nuts were plentiful and edible, if not filling. Berries would be out of the question at this time of year, and she didn’t have several days to set traps. Nuts it would be. Once she had found and eaten enough to settle her stomach, she disguised her work as the work of squirrels and birds. She then spent the last shred of light searching for a large, sturdy tree with a thick tangle of branches. Before climbing up she grabbed some fallen branches to make a nest for herself so as to not fall out of the tree and break her neck in the night. With one last look and listen, she quieted herself to sleep.
Mar 16, 2011
Hey wonderful people! I just hit One Hundred pageviews on my blog today! EEEEEEEEPP!!! So very excited. Funny thing tho... the only comment I've gotten has been from my brother, and I told him to comment. chuckle. And feedback was kind of the original point of this blog. haha. oh well.
I've gotten views now from lots of countries. of course, I've gotten the most from the woderfully entertainment obsessed U.S. But I've also gotten views from the UK, Canada, Russia, India, Japan (God help them to recover the people who are lost and bless them for being so honorable in this terrible time of chaos and terror), Hungary, Philippines, and Malaysia! thanks for viewing and please keep it up. -Jacqui
Mar 5, 2011
I want freedom. Freedom for myself and my sister. I wish there was no such thing as “the system,” there to determine we are unable to care for ourselves. I’m as capable as any middle-aged man in taking care of myself and my family. Probably more so than many. I mean, how many can say that they can control fire and wind with their minds? Not many. None, in fact. I can make anything, even rock, burst into flames just by picturing it. I can sense heat of any kind, like a sixth sense. It started as just the fire bending, but now I can control the flow of wind around me, the same way I do fire. I imagine the small atoms in the air beginning to move and create the vacuum that pulls more air into its place. Soon there is a small breeze blowing. I’ve been working on getting more control and power over it. As far as I know, there is no other person on this planet who has these strange abilities. And no one, not even my little sister Kimi, knows that I posses them. I don’t know if she would believe me. And others would take me and lock me up and study me like some strange and exotic creature they don’t understand. And they would take me away from Kimi, leaving her alone. We’re orphans. Alone, besides each other. And I will never do anything to leave her alone and unprotected. As long as I’m there, she’s safe. But she can be a handful. She’s often oblivious to any kind of danger, and she’s very bold and independent. And she’s kind of snarky and sarcastic, which doesn’t always endear her to the people in charge of her. Especially the government workers. For some reason, they’ve hung around us our whole lives. Like they were waiting for something to happen. And they aren’t the typical orphan workers. They look rather out of place. I’ve seen a couple packing guns. I wonder… No. They couldn’t know what I can do. I’ve never done it anywhere near anyone, or left any strange markings from when I’ve explored what I can do. When these strange “abilities” began appearing, I realized that now, instead of being a helpless orphan, I could do anything! And best of all, I wouldn’t have to worry about not being able to protect Kimi anymore. It’s strange, though I’m seventeen, and Kimi’s almost fifteen, we’ve never been separated or put in foster homes. Never adopted. No one has even so much as mentioned it. Almost as if they don’t want us to leave the system, where they can keep an eye on us. I’m probably just being paranoid, but that is exactly how it feels. As if we’re being kept in a disguised prison. Well, I could imagine nicer disguises, but at least we’re together.