Tag Archives: talk

The Awakening, part 15

I can hardly believe my luck when I see that Caleb’s prepared the food today as well. There is a steaming pot on the table, placed strategically on a disc of wood. I inhale, enjoying the smell of hotpot, and take a seat. My stomach is rumbling, but I hesitate. It would be impolite to eat without him, especially as I am staying at his home and he has gone through the trouble of providing food for me. And since there are two clean plates layd on the table as well, I think it’s safe to assume that he hasn’t eaten yet, either.

I bite my lip as I decide to wait for him. I feel kinda awkward at the moment. How is it going to work, me staying here? And how am I to earn my keep when he keeps doing everything himself? I can’t imagine Marissa letting me sleep in and just do nothing.

As I wait for him, my mind drifts back to what I experienced upstairs. Was it some kind of hallucination, a memory, or a premonition? I could almost feel the rough fabric of Giles’ uniform as I hugged him. No. That’s not right. It wasn’t exactly me. More like me seeing through someone else’s eyes. There were thoughts and feelings that weren’t my own. I’ve never experienced such things before.

Before I have a chance to dwell on whether there’s something extraordinary going on or I’m simply losing my last shards of sanity, Caleb enters the kitchen. His hair is somewhat tousled by the wind and he has a restlessness about him that I can’t quite discern. His expression, once again, is unreadable. I find it increasingly annoying that I can’t tell what he’s thinking at all.

“How are your feet?” he asks as he seats himself opposite me.

“Much better. I feel no pain while walking. I.. .thank you.” I feel a bit embarrassed. I’m not used to having people take care of me. So I concentrate on eating and avoid looking at Caleb for the rest of the meal. Childish, I know, but I’m apparently not very good at managing awkward situations.

“When we are done here we shall check on your wounds and change the bandages.” My eyes shot up at that and I look at him, startled.

“I, um… I think I can manage them myself now. But thanks for… everything?” I didn’t mean for that last part to sound like a question. He probably thinks I’m not quite right in the head. But then again, he most likely had that opinion the first time he saw me, housebreaking in order to sleep in a stranger’s bed. Yeah, can’t do much worse than that.

“After having seen the disregard with which you treat your health and wellbeing, that might not be the wisest course of action.” I can hear the amusement in his voice. I’m irritated, but I automatically give him one of my blandest smiles as I respond.

“As you wish.”

I’m looking down on my plate again, but when I finally raise my eyes after finishing my meal, I see no trace of humour in his face. He is studying me with an indecipherable look, just as he did yesterday.

A few minutes later, I am still sitting on my chair as Caleb unbandages my feet. Truth is, I’ve never felt so awkward before. It doesn’t sit right with me to have someone waiting on me when I’m quite capable of managing things on my own. After examining my legs, he stands up.

“It would seem you have some healing talent. The herbs I used should have only removed the possible infection and eased your pain somewhat. Good. This means we can begin training right away.” With that, he goes outside.

I get a bit confused at that. He sure says as little as possible, leaving out half of the information. Training for what? And that talk about healing talent didn’t make much sense either. Until I look down and look at my feet myself. The cuts I had are barely noticeable. The soles of my feet still feel somewhat tender when I stand and try to walk without bandages, but I can tell that the wounds have healed.

I follow Caleb. He’s waiting for me in the center of the small meadow, about fifty feet from the house. I admit that I’m somewhat surprised to see him completely unarmed. I was almost certain that we’d be clashing wooden swords or something like that. That’s how the boys begin when they are enlisted by the king’s troops. As I near Caleb, I hear him sigh.

“That chest I put in the attic is there for a reason. Go back and get yourself some footwear before you hurt yourself again. Your feet are not completely healed yet.” He sounds kind of exasperated, but it’s hard to tell since his face is as blank from emotions as ever. I rush back inside and up to my room. The glow is back, but I try to look only at the chest as I open it, in fear of other visions intruding my head. Luckily, nothing happens as I rummage the trunk. I find a couple of simple dresses that appear to be approximately my size, and pair of weathered-looking brown leather half-boots. Which also seem to fit, though not perfectly. I pull on the boots and hurry back out, immensely relieved when I escape the attic without recieving any voices or visions.

The Awakening, part 11

I frown. Me? But I didn’t do anything. What is he talking about? I struggle to find the right words as I speak.

“I don’t know how… I mean, I don’t have… That strange blast couldn’t have been natural. And I. I can’t make things like that happen. I’d know by now if I had any magic in me.” I turn my gaze away from Caleb, not wanting him to see my face. Speaking of supernatural, and me having magic feels uncomfortable. It brings back a lot of memories – my mother sitting by my bedside, telling me stories about dragons and Elfs and magic. She often told me that I was special, even magical. And I believed her with all my heart.

Another flashback, from after my mother’s death. She had just been buried and I wouldn’t leave her grave. I was so certain that I could somehow bring her back to life if only I tried hard enough. I stayed there for nearly three days, until I gave up and let my father take me home.

I blink to clear my vision and take a deep breath. Some things are better left forgotten.

“Is there any other way this could have happened?”

“No.” Caleb’s tone is curt and I take it as a hint that the conversation is over. I wonder how much longer it will take before we reach the meadow. I should really try not to lose my head next time I run off somewhere. Getting lost all the time is no fun.

We walk in silence for a while, and thankfully my soles have become so numb that I barely feel the pain. If only my sore muscles would do the same. Just as I begin to debate with myself about whether I should break the silence or not, Caleb opens his mouth.

What kind of family do you come from?” That was the last thing I would have thought he’d ask. Why does it matter to him, anyway? Or maybe he’s trying to make small talk.

“My mother died when I was little. My father and his wife are simple peasants.”

“Are you educated in any way?”

“I have been taught how to take care of a household. Why do you ask?”

Caleb eyes me thoughtfully before turning his gaze back on the path. I guess I won’t be getting an answer from him. I roll my eyes without much irritation. Silent treatment is nothing new to me and I can handle it with ease.

We’ve almost reached the meadow when Caleb finally breaks the silence.

“Your chamber will be in the attic.” I haven’t yet told him my decision, but I guess we both know that I have no other options but to stay here with him. At least for now.

The Awakening, part 10

My feet are radiating pain with every step I take, and the tremors are getting worse. I know I haven’t fully recovered from yesterday’s activity yet, but this kind of exhaustion has to be caused by something else as well. I stumble and fall hard on my knees. I take a couple of deep breaths and try to loosen some of the tension in my muscles, but it doesn’t help. At all. I don’t think I can get up anymore. I can’t be very far from the meadow, but I’m too beat to even care anymore. The shock I felt has worn off and now I just feel stupid for running off like a scared rabbit instead of finding out what the hell actually happened.

I lay on my back and watch the trees around me. I don’t know what kind these are, but by the sizes of their trunks I’d say they must be very old. And the huge green leaves will soon turn golden. The autumn isn’t too far off. I listen to the rustling of leaves and close my eyes. It’s so peaceful here. I could stay like this forever…

Get up, girl! This place is filled with dangerous creatures. The ancient magic draws them in. If you fall asleep you might not wake anymore. I open my eyes, startled. My inner voice is warning me again? I feel anxious as I look around , but nothing seems amiss. Still, I get up. What kind of creatures? Wolves?

Nothing as pleasant as that. Nighttime is very dangerous around here. Be thankful you still have many hours till dusk. And leave as fast as your legs can take you. 

I’m starting to panic. Which way do I go? And I have strong doubts about my limbs being able to take me anywhere. The adrenalin rush is long gone and my feet are killing me. I don’t know how I even got this far.

I hear a crack behind me and turn quickly. I relax when I see Caleb and exhale loudly.

“I… I got lost. Could you show me a way out of here?” I wince at the pleading note in my voice, but my gut tells me I should listen to what I was told. One part of me kind of loves this ancient-looking forest, but another part feels that something really is off here.

Caleb raises an eyebrow while looking at me with a serious expression. He crosses his hands in front of his chest and leans his back on a tree.

“Does that mean you’re all done with the hysterics?” I know he’s baiting me again, but I ignore it.

“Yes. Please, let’s just leave. We shouldn’t be here.”  He nods and turns around. I follow him, ignoring my aching feet as best as I can. We walk in silence for a while. It’s not long before I notice that the trees we are passing are getting smaller and more ordinary-looking. Something eases inside me. I take a fortifying breath before I ask.

“About earlier. That blast. How or why…?” I don’t know how to finish my question. I’ve never seen anything like that before. I can’t say I believe in magic, but there’s no other explanation that comes to my mind. And a couple days ago I didn’t think Elfs existed, either. So anything is possible.

He looks at me mockingly, and I feel my cheeks heating up. Did I ask something wrong?

“Now that is a rather stupid question. How could I possibly know why you do the things you do?”