Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Short Fiction: Girl of the Gale - Part 1


Girl Of The Gale

           The wind whipped her hair in the custard yellow light. Each buttercup blossom nodding its head back and forth. Green eyed and innocent, Aurai's face lit up as she took in the scent on the breeze. She took care not to step on any blossom for fear of damaging the delicate wild flowers. She sang:

"Are you going to Soveren Faire? Flowers bloom,~ Rosefairy and Tyme~" (sung in the tune of Scarborough Fair)

The breeze picked up.

"With song, this Spring, shall fly on the winds~ There was once a true love of mine.~" 
With that last verse the winds rushed past her dark hair and sent a whole field of pollenated seedlings into the air.

Like fairy dust, the seeds spun around her and flew across the hills towards the desert. She stared into the horizon, willing the seeds to take root in the Starving Lands. Calming her heart, she brought the winds back down to stillness.

She heard a rustle from a specific spot now, She turned to see someone hiding among the thrush. She was being watched.

"Come out! I know you're there, do not think you can conceal yourself and watch me! Pervert!"

In anger, she drew a circle at her feet and a small stirring of air spun itself into a fast funnel. Aurai opened up her palm and the funnel rushed into the direction of her spy, tossing dirt and dust in its path. The little tornado threw the person into sight. Aurai heard loud coughing, as if whoever it was swallowed a good amount of dust. The brown powder settled and the form of an old woman in worn out clothes raised her hand in defense.

"Please, kind Magess, do not harm poor old Vate, Vate means you no offense."

Aurai ran to help her in alarm, she had not thought it would be a weak old woman hiding by the river. It was usually the town boys whom tried to play pranks on her. Aurai lifted Vate's slender frame slowly, at a closer look, she noticed that this woman wasn't as old as she thought, simply emaciated from hunger.

"I am so sorry Vate, pardon my transgressions (she intoned formally in the Aniki tongue with a slight bow to her elder) Are you injured at all?" Aurai's face blushed with a rosy glow.

"It is alright, peace to the contrite (she replied in a different accent of the tongue). I should not have concealed my presence Magess, it is my fault. I simply did not want to disturb your ritual." She smiled a weak smile and tried to arrange her garments as best she could without looking into the river's reflection.

With another embarrassed smile, Aurai looked away and said: "Oh... this was not an actual Sidhe ritual. I...I've have simply been practicing you see. My mother is the town's Prima Magess and I am simply her apprentice." She did not want the traveller to know that she wind summoning without permission.
She quickly asked:

"Your accent and dressing are not familiar, Did elder Vate travel far from the west?" Aurai guided the older lady to a boulder nearby, it wasn't comfortable for sitting but it would have to do for then.

"Thank you Magess." Vate winced as she sat on the sharp rocks and Aurai quickly replied "Your gratitude is admired" (in the formal Aniki way) "Well Vate has traveled far from the borders of the Starving lands. This winter has robbed Vate's family of her food source......"

In that moment, her eyes became haunted and even more tired. Her body sagged like a rice bag and she held her wrist looking down to the ground.

"Vate has lost her son two weeks ago." she almost whispered. Her eyes welling up.

by *DominikaAniola

Aurai's heart was filled with sympathy when she heard this, and sat beside this lady in an attempt to comfort her. "I am so sorry for your tragedy Vate. Please tell me more and you do not have to use the Low Language with me." (Low Language is the way a commoner or one of lower rank would refer to themselves as the third person when speaking to one of higher rank)

" Va... I... I have nothing left to live for in the Shara, the last winter has brought the borders of the Starving lands into my village, Enlil, . Many have left in search of new living lands. My son Amun has been lost to the hunt... Another hunter thought him prey..." At this, she began to sniff and clenched her skirts to suppress her great sorrow.

Aurai touched her silver worked Magess necklace, a symbol of good luck and her station. She silently prayed for Amun's soul as such a tragic incident would surely not let his spirit rest. Aurai lightly patted Vate's arm to reassure her.

"The hunger in my village have driven my neighbours to petty robbery." She said that with a hint of anger. "They would not even let an old woman grieve in peace. That was when I decided that there is nothing left in Enlil for me anymore."

Staring at Vate's sunken cheeks and trembling arms, Aurai decided that she will at least give this woman shelter and a warm meal for throwing her into the air with such indignation.

"Elder Vate, please accept my invitation to rest in my home and share my meal. You shall stay with me and my mother until we find you a suitable living in my town, Soveren. Mother always says that the town could use more female energy."

Vate's eyes widened at such a generous offer and before she could motion to refuse, Aurai interrupted her: "I will not take a refusal as it is my payment for inflicting injury to your body. Please, it is the least I can do. I would be dishonoring the oath of the Magess Circle if I do not help someone in need."

Weakly, Vate let her hand fall down and thanked Aurai with a defeated nod. She was much too exhausted to put up an argument.

Aurai reached into her bag and took out her feathered Windchime. Like a large dandelion puff, it had a chamber inside that rattled noisily. Aurai threw it into the air and with a sharp gesture, a jet of air sent the Windchime spinning and rattling into the direction she pointed.

"That will notify my mother and the household of my return. Are you well enough to walk elder Vate? Let me get you some water."

As Aurai turned, taking out her flask to collect water from the river, Vate watched Aurai from behind. As the fiery red sunset fanned its dying light across the land, Vate held a glint in her eye but her face betrayed nothing of what lied beneath...


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