Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kando 18, 173



So, here I am. At last. I stopped for the night at a fairylike, carefully tended place, whose owners have coaxed the wild in gently and tamed it with a touch. The vines don’t swallow it; they embrace it. The colors are soft and cheerful.
After a night’s rest I began to realize how weary I’d grown. I had no strength to push on, so I lingered in this pleasant place till it became necessary to spend another night. My coin purse is getting too light. Well, I needed the rest. But I am determined not to allow this journey to best me. I know my father’s blood will keep my eyes open and my stomach satisfied.
It is evening now. The tree branches lace a fading sky. Lavender. This place is fair. Fairer than my old village.
The only thing I miss is Ariellie.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kando 17, 173


The Valley at last! At last! I am filled with joy and relief and bliss. The journey across the plains is finally over, and I never want to go back. Now at last I feel I've been making progress. I'm almost there. It was the most difficult journey, but it's nearly over. When the plains grew greener and hillier I knew I was getting close, but it still came as a shock when the ground dropped beneath me and the entire Valley opened up before me. Hills rise on its sides, and deciduous trees flock across it, giving way now and again to patches of meadow. I've seen the mountains on the horizon for days now, but they suddenly seem so close.
As I descend the Valley, the very air grows different. It's sweeter, somehow, fresher and more alive than the scent of the wild winds that roam the plains eternally. Now I'm making my way down a narrow path, and looking for some way to find the orchards.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kando 14, 173




I'm still sick of traveling. And journaling. And fauns.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kando 12, 173



I'm sick of traveling. Plains, plains, plains. They never end. Sometimes they're broken by a tree-covered hill, but those are far and few. I thought that I'd feel so free with the whole sky in view. I could see sunrise and sunset. I could see birds miles and miles away. Instead I feel trapped. The sky is a cage, solid and smooth. The plains never end, and nothing but plains exist.
I'm talking like a fool. But that's how I feel.
I'm tired of sleeping on the ground. I'm sick of rain, sick of always watching for danger. I'm never safe. My muscles are strained and tense. I'm lonely. I never expected this loneliness.
I tell myself I'm fine. I thought I would be. But why do I wake up more weary every morning, never refreshed? Why do I sometimes cry myself to sleep at night?
I'm stronger than this. I can handle pain. I can't turn back. I'm too stubborn for that.
There's nothing for me back there. Well, besides sleeping in a real bed, the same bed every night. And having hot breakfasts and dinners. And having access to a real market, and my own vegetable patch, and having a job. And being able to hunt in woods familiar to me. And being around people who've grown up in the same culture, who I can relate to. AndÚ©

.            .            .
What have I been writing?
A scappdrag tried to steal my haversack while I was writing. After I killed it I came to my senses. Enough self-pity. I really can't go back. I'll just get restless and set out again. Moving on.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kando 7, 173


Well, they warned me about the dangers of traveling.
Yesterday I woke up with elf-locks in my hair. Some mischievous sprite had wandered too far north with too much time on his hands. I still haven't gotten them all out. So much for the elvish blood in my veins. How do they make tangles so well, the destructive little snippets?
Last night I lodged with another faun. This one lived alone with his wife and little girl. I felt an air of distrust around this house, unlike the first with the lovely faun family. A soft noise woke me in the middle of the night, and I saw the mistress faun with a candle, kneeling beside my bed and digging through my bag. Her husband was in the doorway, holding most of my silver.
"Oy!" I cried, and whacked the fauness with my staff. She yelped in pain, and her husband scurried away down the hall. Grabbing my haversack away from her, I charged after him. His plan - which was mainly run for your life and hide in a room somewhere - didn't make much sense. He slammed a door behind him and held it shut, and I tried to break it down. This failing, I threatened to burn the house down if he didn't come out. It worked.
I'm sick of staying with fauns.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kando 4, 173


The passage across the sea was uneventful, and since reaching the mainland for the first time I've been traveling north around the border of FairaNoran. The rumor of war in those woods is entirely true, so I was cautious to stay clear, especially of the South Woods. The going was slow with my heavy packs. My body is unaccustomed to so much travel, and though I hate myself for it, I've let myself get lazy.
After fighting through swamplands in the south woods, I found the ground to be more solid the further north I got. Sooth, it was lovely. The woods on one side and the ocean on the other. Travel was hard work, but good. I must confess, fables of the Fairy Grounds tempted my ears, but there's no telling how true they are, or whether it's worth the risk with a war on.
I reached the northern plains at last, with a twinge of disappointment that I had seen no merfolk. With my skins filled at the Shembarrie and my pockets filled with all the fruits and roots I could find, I set out across the plains. All I needed to do was reach the river country in the plains. I always kept my bow strung.
By supper time I was exhausted. I was going slower than ever, and longed for a horse. When I saw smoke coming from the ground, I knocked my bow and investigated. I found a common earth-home set into the hill, with a vast, thriving garden in front of it. There was a huge fence protecting it, with a clay sign hanging over it, on which was painted the poem, 

'Should travelers be armed with hate,
Woe to them should they cross this gate.
Should travelers their Maker fear,
Pray enter and be welcome here.'

I chose to risk it, and tapped the knocker on the gate. A bird in the garden went flying into a hole in the wall of the house with a whirr. A minute later, a young man with  curly, ginger beard and hair came out of the door with a spear in his hand. His legs were goatlike and covered in fur, with hooves that clacked along the mossy stone path as he approached. A pine green scarf around his neck complimented his fur color. He stood on the other side of the gate, eyeing me readily with his sharp eyes, blue as a stormy sea.
"Good day," he said, polite but guarded.
I nodded. "Greets, respected sir. Do you live here?"
He hesitated, then gave a quick nod. "Pray tell me, maiden, what does a human do in these parts?"
"I am simply passing through. Now pray tell me, do you know of any safe place nearby where I can find lodging for the night?"
"Pray allow me to ask. I'll be right back."
I waited until he returned, keeping my eyes and ears open. He brought with him a tall, lanky creature of the same race, whose face reminded me of a mouse as much as the younger lad's reminded me of a tiger. He was old enough that grey hairs lined his beard and hair, but he retained a sort of handsomeness, not elven, but pleasant. He bore a spear and a cautious expression, like the boy's.
"How do you do," he began. "My sons tells me you seek lodging. Would you care to lodge with fauns?"
He informed me that there were no lodgings anywhere until I grew near the river. His family had their homestead here, and took lodgers, if they meant no harm. Their price was cheap, the place looked and smelled good, and I spotted a child faun's face or two in the windows. It seemed harmless enough, and I answered his screening questions as openly as I  dared.
So I spent the night with fauns. Their abode was lovely, and struck me with a strange pang of homesickness. The worn books on the shelves that lined the walls, the faded mock-gold swirls that embellished the trim, the hand carved furniture, and the smell of potatoes and a roasty fire and onions. They killed a pig for me, and supper was a delicious blend of potato, bacon, herbs, onions, cheese, milk, and salad.
 The father, mother, and four children were polite and even friendly. The oldest son, his spear put away and my weapons stored in a hall chest, carried most of the conversation, with his younger sister and youngest little brother joining in. The second youngest son was cheerful but quiet, like his mother.
Now they are all abed, if not asleep, and I lie awake in my quilted bed, missing home, longing to push forward.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Vonye 15, 173


I took a deep breath. The air was so sweet that night – like perfume. What was that scent? The sky was aglow with stars. The ocean was black. It melded with the land, and the only thing that enabled me to tell them apart was the glow cast on the island by the villages. My village was lit with warmer, closer stars, whose warmth and welcome reached my mind as sad and wistful. Humans lived there. They worked and played and laughed and cried. Their had their own lives, personalities, relationships. I hardly knew any of them, and now I never would.
But I had to move on. I had been there for over thirty years, and I was hardly eighteen. They were growing up without me. Mother had gone on without me, but I remained young and hardly changed. It seemed the older I got, the slower I grew. I couldn’t handle staying around them. I needed change.
I turned away. My eyes passed over the sign by the road – the one nestled in the leafy trees. Allanyo. Highvale. Perhaps we’ll meet again. It is my hope.