Okey Dokey, here goes

>> Friday, February 13, 2009

So, I decided to post something different on here for now... so here's a story that I've been writing! I'll post it in shifts. Here's the first part:
The Flight.


PART ONE: THE FOREST


It seems like just yesterday that I said yes to this mission. Can it really have been a whole month ago? But I don't have time to think about these things. Not now. The danger is too near. It's closer than any of us can imagine. Not even those of us who have had previous experience dealing with the Treka. This is close. It's coming. Nearer and nearer. It is so close now that I can feel the darkness around the camp. Feel the evil, spreading. It has spread so far, and in such a short time. Now, this darkness has spread all the way towards the border of our homeland. We are camped by this border, waiting for attack. We must protect the kingdom. We are its' only hope. I should be frightened, but for some reason of luck, I'm not. Instead, I feel a growing anticipation, like something good is coming. Only, what's coming now is the furthest from good this world has ever seen. I hear a voice, shouting above all the noise the men are making. A command. Drodon turns to me. He shouts, "Sharne, take the horses. We must move back. We will wait above the peak. It is a safer place." I jump up from my spot on the grass, and hurry to obey my leader. If he thinks that the peak will be safer, then where he goes, we will follow. It is a great army that has assembled. Hundreds, thousands, of men, with one purpose in life from now until death. Protect the kingdom. Fight against the Treka. Keep the women and children out of this mess. I scoff at this thought. I am no man. I am a women. And I am as far into this mess as a person could be.

As I rush to tend to the horses, I hear the bustle of thousands of men running like me, and for a moment pause to think if there are any relatives of mine in danger. And the answer is, yes indeed. All of them. My brothers, Horath and Solth, are fighting in this same army. They are placed in a different regiment as I, so I have not seen them, but I know they are there. And I know that all three of us will not survive. I think of Mama and Pappi, so far away, but still too close to the danger. They reside towards the heart of the kingdom, with my younger sister Karkeen. She is only aged 13, three years younger than me- I fear for her. Also I fear for Mama, Pappi, and other numerous relatives outside close family. Cousins, second cousins, aunts, uncles, and now that Horath is wed, a niece and newborn nephew. I am sad for them. To be born into such a world as it is right now. At least, they are children, innocent, with no blame on their shoulders. I hope that they will live a good life up until the day of death. Because who knows how soon that can be. I hear a shout, and my thoughts break apart at the sound of my name. Who could be calling me? I whirl around, quickly, and see the faint shadow of a man sneaking up behind me. I whirl around again, catching him, and there he is- my good friend, Rolan . "Rolan!" I exclaim, saying like a child, "You surprised me!" He laughs, and I blush, hoping he cannot see it in the ever looming twilight. "Yes," he says, "that was my goal. What are you doing over here, anyway, Sharne? Drodon says we are to head north! And this direction is most certainly not north." I sigh, and push my way past him to where the horses were tied. Rolan always tries to protect me. Keep me from danger. Sometimes I think that he sees me as a child still, since I am a girl, and 4 years younger than him. "I know this," I say to him, "And he gave me a task I have yet to complete. The horses need to fall back, too."

"Oh." he pauses, at a loss for words, and I shove a horse's reigns into his palm. I tell him, "Make yourself useful." He smiles again, and we both lead our horses up the hill. There are 13 of the creatures in all that are not being ridden, 7 of them officer's horses who have not been claimed to ride yet, and the others pack horses, cross-bred between horses and the legendary zebras to make sturdy, strong animals, who carry our most important supplies. Rolan and I must take several trips up the hill where we are going to camp, and by the time we take hold of the ropes on the last few horses, our old camp is deserted. "We must hurry," he says in a whisper, "there's not much time left." We go up the hill, as fast as we can, and I think the horses sense the danger that is coming. They seem to be in a hurry as well. Horses are smart creatures. As we half walk- half run up this hill, I look at my companion. I have known him since birth, our families have been comrades for generations. It seems almost ironic that we will still be together at our death. I think that maybe some kind of treaty, or peace offering might have been made between our families, many years ago. What other explanation would make sense? I have known families that have feuded for years, but ours have always stayed peaceful with each other. I really do wonder why. I start to ask Rolan if he knows anything about it, but he silences me. "We cannot say a word," he whispers, so faintly that I can barely hear him. I nod. Now we break into an even run, the horses easily keeping time with us as we labor up the hill. I move silently in my leather boots, and Rolan breathes quietly. The only thing that worries me now is the sound these creatures in our tow is making. I'm sure the Treka, even if they didn't have extra-good hearing, could have heard them from a mile away. I glance over at Rolan again and I am sure he is thinking the same thing. But we cannot give away our camp. We must come up with a plan. But what? And I cannot talk to Rolan- we shouldn't risk even the tiniest sound to escape our lips. And we definitely can't lose these horses. They're important! They carry the supplies, the wounded, and more! I stop in my tracks. What to do? Rolan notices, and he motions towards the woods that lie on our left. I nod, and we sneak in that direction. As soon as we are enclosed in foliage, we turn to each other. He whispers, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" And I pause to think. What I'm thinking is that we have to get the horses back to the camp safely without giving away our position. I say back to him in a hushed voice, "Yes. But how can we do it?" He ponders this a while, and I wonder can he come up with a better plan than I? He has had more military experience. And he is older. So I let him think. As soon as I begin to get impatient, he says, "The only way I can think of is to cut through this forest. The Treka might have an advanced sense of hearing, but their noses are worse than ours. I think it's our only chance. What about you? Any other thoughts?" As usual, I speak before I think, and so I speak too loud. Before the first word gets out of my mouth, Rolan leaps towards me, knocking us both to the ground, his hand clasps over my mouth. I start to struggle to get him off from on top of me, but I realize he's only thinking of our safety. I was foolish. And he's helping me. I am so stupid sometimes! After a full minute of silence, he rolls off me, and I spring to my feet. Rolan does too, only since he is heavier, he doesn't succeed. I reach down my hand to him, and he takes it, now jumping up easily. "Sorry," he whispers, "But be quiet!" I frown. I always hate being wrong. But this was Rolan, who'd seen me being wrong since birth, so I gave in. "Me too." I whisper, not sure if even he can hear me, "Is this quiet enough for you?" He grins again, that special warm grin, and I know I am forgiven. This makes me smile too, and quickly the only thing we are doing is grinning away at each other in silence. One of our animal friends snorts, and we break this friendly gaze. I almost forgot that we were on a mission! And I think he did too. We take the horses leads now, and walk north through the forest. As we traipse along, trying to make as little sound as possible, Rolan whispers to me the plan. "We are going to cut through the forest- unfortunately this means going the long way around. We'll come up, way north of the camp, then cut downwards, and enter the camp from the east. The Treka will become disoriented, as we go in a circle, almost. They will stop listening to us, and listen for other sounds, trying to prove where we are going. Then we make our escape into the camp safely." I nod, and whisper back, "Yes. And after they lose our sound they won't be able to track us, because the forest confuses the smell." Now he nods, and we go on, walking, the only sound being the crunch of twigs beneath the horse's hooves. It is getting dark and I find it hard to see, but I go by touch and feel, touching the fingers of my right hand to the tree trunks, and making sure the hand on my left is always brushing Rolan's tunic. This is the safest way to travel after dusk, with a companion. Since he is on the alert, I decide this might be a time to practice the skills of my people. Rolan is only human, a warrior from birth, but I am of a higher class. The Ithuri is our scientific name, but the common people call us 'The Mind-benders.'.

We are a rare race, not many of us are still alive, and most of those who are, either do not know their skills, or choose to not use them. Also, they are all men- all but one. Me. I am the single female Ithuri.

I have heard of a few men who live as nomads, spending their time in caves, and eating bark and leaves. The thought of any living person, especially one so important as an Ithuri, acting that way makes me shudder. But I take my thoughts off of these sad things, and concentrate. It is the only way to practice the powers of the mind. Pure and complete concentration. I close my eyes, since I cannot see anyway, and clear my brain. Soon I feel a tingling sensation, in my limbs, around my heart, but mostly in my mind. I open my 'eyes of awareness' (as I like to call them) and see the forest moving around me inside my head. My eyelids are closed, yet I can see. I reach out my mind to the tree closest by me, and soon enough, I am inside it. I start to close myself around it, but my concentration is broken, and I find myself falling back into reality. I sit up, somehow I am on the ground. “Rolan!” I whisper frantically, thankfully remembering not to shout. “Where are you?” Someone taps me from behind, and I jump to my feet, drawing the dagger I always carry with me. “Shush!” my friend tells me, “I'm right here! What were you doing, Sharne?” I sigh with relief, glad that he is here beside me. But I cannot utter the simple words to tell him what I was doing. Not with Treka listening. “Skills.” I whisper, and he nods. Rolan understands. He has the horses still, and so we travel on, up the slope, very quietly. Darkness is complete now, but my companion knows the way, and I follow, like before, by my touch. Several times I stumble, hating the dark and damp, and a few times, my finger gets pricked. But I continue on, knowing that Drodon will be worrying, that we should have been back by now. But maybe, by keeping the enemy's eye on us, the camp will be safe that much longer. I decide against mind-bending until light comes again, hopefully we will be in camp safe by then. I am brushing my left hand against Rolan's cloak again, but now he reaches back, finds my fingers, and takes my hand in his. He grasps it tight, not glancing back at me, we just keep walking like nothing has changed. But why does he hold my hand? It isn't exactly the kind of thing that simple friends do. He must have tired of my fingers constantly brushing on, brushing off, brushing on. But now he holds my hand tighter, and I feel his finger tracing along my skin. It feels good, and I throw off all worries, knowing that he is in control, and this must be safer. Still, I have never held hands with a male before, except Pappi, and a tiny little part in the back of my brain wonders if it is wrong. No. It can't be. We both know that we are only friends. Nothing is to come of it. This, I am sure of.

We walk on some more, the horses still following us, until I can't bear the silence any longer, and ask in a whisper, “Are we quite north enough yet?” Rolan pauses, sniffing the wind and looking at the trees, until he tells me, “Almost. It will be soon.” “Good!” I say, and he smiles back at me. I nod, smile also, and start walking again. The animals we lead on to camp are being very good and quiet, I hope they will have some rest before it is time for battle. I shudder again at this thought, and my friend looks back at me. I try to put on a brave face, but he knows that I am worrying again for animals' safety, and he squeezes my hand twice. Such a kind gesture. He really is a good friend. I wonder again about some kind of treaty, a peaceful treaty, between the families, and consider asking Rolan about it. Surely he must wonder too. Sometimes, though, I think that our families were just meant to be friends. You know, fate. All the peoples in out families get along perfectly. My parents, and Rolan's, our siblings, and, well, us two. We have portraits of our ancestors together, even. The connection goes way back. My thoughts are broken once again, by a whisper. It is Rolan, of course. “We're here,” he says, “Time to cut down and into camp. We will have to be extra careful. So watch your mouth, please!” He says jokingly, but I know he means it. I do have trouble staying quiet sometimes. Also, thinking before I speak isn't one of my virtues. But I shut my mouth tight, and promise him silently that I will be quiet.

He creeps down a slope, and I hurry to follow him. The horses hooves start to slip, and I nudge him forwards, then, he jumps! Down off the slope, into a clearing that suddenly appears. I jump to, not being able to help it, and the horses follow, jumping gracefully. We land on solid ground, tents all around, men hurrying to and fro, preparing for battle. I look at Rolan, and he looks at me. I give him a final nod, then rush to put the horses in their place. As we separate, I look back with one last glance, and see him, still standing there, watching the horses go. Because of course, he cannot be watching me.

2 comment(s):

The Authors February 15, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

This was very cool!



Love,
Alice

M February 20, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

AWESOME Angela!!!

~Bells~

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