|Posted on November 11, 2011 at 12:40 AM|
Welcome to week 2 of NaNo. I have been able to keep up so far with my NaNo novel, but not so well with the blog. Sorry. This year, I'm filling the plot holes in last years story. If you remember, last years novel went epic, so I don't think I'll have nay issue with putting in another 50,000 this year. Also, if the first plot hole (not the largest by far) took 10,000 words to fill, I may even be able to get almost 100,000 words out of it. That wouldn't be all this year in NaNo, but would carry over into next year's NaNo too. Not really wanting it too, but keeping an eye on time, words and how smooth the story is told when all is said and done. In the meantime, here is the preview of what I've done so far.
Somewhere I Belong
Naria watched the cat run off as the coach slowed. “What’s going on?” she asked Krydon.The Gyd shrugged his shoulders and poked his nose out the window. “What is it?”
“This is where I need to run home. The next village is only through those woods. The Gyds there will have a route to Central for you. Safe journey!” Gwidon bowed low and ran off.
Naria and Krydon watched her go and then looked at each other. “What about the coach?” she asked as she slipped her bag on her shoulder.
“We’ll send someone back for it from the village.” Krydon started into the woods, then looked back her. “Focus your goggles to maximum light. These trees are dark.”
She laughed quietly. Of course the trees were dark, the canopy was so dense no moonlight showed through. Even with her goggles open to focus all light in the area, she had a hard time seeing. Krydon must have sensed her discomfort as he hung back by her side, but she could sense that he wanted to scout ahead. Neither of them had been this far before and so had no idea what awaited them.
The chatter from small animals filtered through to them as they walked. By the activity, she could tell it was close to midday when the dark creatures scurried about their business, finding food and repairing shelter, training their young and sending off their offspring. It was comforting. The cat that had followed them slunk through the underbrush in pursuit of its prey.
“How is it that your race grew to intelligence but the felines did not?”
“What?” Krydon wrinkled his snout up at her.
“You know, the cats.”
“I know cats are a nuisance when they live too close to Gyds.”
“Seriously,” Naria said, gesturing toward the white blur that streaked past them again. “I heard stories from times ancient about the world our race came from and all the wonders it held. We had cats then too, it seems. They didn’t speak back then either.”
“Then perhaps it was because the creator knew they had nothing to say.”
She laughed. “Speciesist? Krydon, I would have thought better of you.”
“I’m not. Really, the dumb creatures are here for our protection and our provision. They really aren’t for our consideration in any other way.”
They walked on in silence, listening to the sounds of the forest. She wondered when they would come to the village Gwidon had mentioned. For that matter, why hadn’t she run them all the way to it? She had to admit that the forest was far to dens for a coach to pass through. “So are there any other races on this world?”
“Naria, really, you’ve never been so curious before. Why now?”
“Call it time on our hands. Fine. Why was I born without Sight?”
Now he stopped and shook his head. “You know I can’t answer that.”
She touched his shoulder and laughed. “I know. I’m just messing around.” A sudden tremor shook through her body and she fell to her knees. Usually she only felt that kind of impression when she touched someone who needed Healing. This felt like the earth itself needed healing. As quickly as it came, the feeling past. Krydon touched her with his nose.
“Are you all right?”
She nodded, unwilling to trust her voice yet. Even when she touched someone, she could control her reaction. This was like the times as a child, before she knew what was going on with her, before she truly understood she was Sightless. It hadn’t been until she brought Krydon safely into this world that her parents finally understood. Before that, the best doctors, both Seer and Gyd, hadn’t been able to figure out what was wrong. It was after Krydon’s birth that the Gyds brought her her first pair of goggles. It had only taken three tries to get them right.
When she felt she could stand safely, Naria pushed to her knees. “It was like a hiccup.” Squinting through the goggles, she tried to see anything that could have been the source of the hiccup. Eventually she saw the cat, munching on a rodent. She had never reacted to the creatures of the wild, especially not to them catching and eating their prey. She dismissed the cat and stood. “I haven’t felt anything like that since I was very small.”
Krydon shook his head and leaned on her to support her as they began to walk again. “Don’t scare me like that. You feel anything like it again, tell me.”
“Yes, papa.” She laughed, but she also rested against him, accepting his help.
The forest slowly thinned as they walked, and low buildings began to appear in between the spaces. “Where are we?” she whispered.
“Another village,” he answered just as quiet, but less anxious.
The absence of light told them it was a Seer village rather than a Gyd village, and as they neared, they caught hints of low chatter as the residents moved about doing their daily chores. The village itself was small compared to Naria’s. Most of these people were probably hunters, living in the forest. The first building they came to was an outbuilding, storage. A Seer approached them, hands raised in greeting.
“Welcome to Eastside,” he said. “Come.” Gesturing to them, he then turned and walked back toward the cluster of buildings he’d come from.
“Eastside?” Naria asked.
The Seer only nodded.
They hadn’t seen more that a few villages while Naria was growing up, but none of them had a town greeter. Krydon gruffed. “Is someone injured?”
“Injured?” The Seer turned, smiled and then laughed. “Not at all. I am Loor. I keep the borders free of the creatures in the forest. When I saw you, I knew you weren’t any animal, so I came to welcome you. I only assume you want the guest house, and yes, we do have one, even though we are small. So, unless I assumed wrong, please come with me.” He smiled again and turned back to the village.
“Are you the town greeter?” Naria asked. She had heard that some villages had such a person. They were assigned to watch for visitors and take them around town. Some of the larger villages and towns had more than one and she was curious to know.
Loor shook his head but did not turn. “I am one of the perimeter guard. Our village is small and the threat from the Beast in the Woods is constant. We hunt the plains for the Grazers, but we have no army to defeat the Beast.”
Naria had heard stories of the Beast when she was small, but she never really believed it. It was said that in the beginning, when Man first arrived on this world, they brought with them a creature so wild, it screeched in anger and disappeared in the forest, never to be seen again. It was described sometimes as a giant cat with long fierce teeth and loud scream. Other times it was described like a wild man, tall and hairy with big hands and feet and deep howl that would send shivers down your back. The only constant descriptions were the hair, its large size and its frightening sound. The stories were told to scare children into behaving. But along with the stories of the River Elves, most children stopped believing them shortly after they could start telling them themselves. She suppressed a laugh. “Have you ever seen the Beast?”
A Gyd trotted up to them then and bowed in greeting. “Loor, who is this you have brought into the village?”
“Travelers, Chreasa, they want the guest house.” To Naria he said, “I have seen it once, and believe me, once is enough for any one.” His words chilled her and she shivered. “If you would take them, Chreasa, I will go back to the forest border.”
The Gyd bowed again and fell into step with them. Loor bowed as he backed away, then turned and walked briskly back the way they had come. “I am Chreasa,” the Gyd said as they walked. “Welcome to Eastside.” She was slightly shorter than Krydon, but much older and gray colored patches of fur blended with the black that had been her color when she was younger.
“Thank you,” Naria said. “I’m Naria and this is Krydon.”
Chreasa stopped then and eyed her with curiosity. “The Naria? The Seer without Sight who can see into your body and cure you?”
Naria blushed. She hadn’t heard that one before. “I think so.”
The Gyd paused, studying her a moment longer before leading them on. “Your reputation is not unknown even beyond this village. Did you know that?”
“Yes.” She was rare in that her healing talents were inborn, but she had excelled in school and as she got better at handling her gifts, people carried her stories out of her village. “Once a Seer from a far village, near the mountain range, came to our village to trade Merchant goods. He fell ill with fever and asked for me by name. When I asked him how he knew me, he pointed at Krydon. ‘When you brought that pup into this world, you put yourself on the world map.’ I didn’t know what he meant at the time, but my parents tried to prepare me for my journey and told me there would be people who knew of me.”
Chreasa gruffed a laugh. “I thought you were just a myth.” They stopped by a low hut. The thatch of the roof nearly touched the ground with the slope. “Here is the guest house.” She pushed the door open and led them into a small room.
A Seer sat knitting behind a desk. “Chreasa,” she said as they entered, “who is this you’ve brought in to me?”
“Aelmy, these are travelers. This is Krydon and Naria.” She pointed her snout at them as she introduced them. “They need a room for the night.”
“Oh, I don’t know if we’ll need it for the night. It’s still early. We are trying to get to Central to find transport across the mountains.” Naria leaned on her hands against the desk as she spoke. “Thank you Chreasa,” she said as the Gyd backed out of the room.
The Seer put her project aside and stood. Smiling, she took a book from beneath the desk and opened it. “Central is still several days away from here. The Gyd village, Bearkin, sits between.”
“Bearkin?” Krydon stood up and put his paws on the desk.
“Yes, you know it?”
Krydon smiled and dropped from the desk. “It wouldn’t hurt to rest here,” he said to Naria. “We could go on to Bearkin tomorrow.”
Naria stretched and nodded. She could feel the road weariness now that she stood still. “Did we really ride for over half a day?” Her stomach rumbled as though confirming her inquiry.
“Follow me,” Aelmy stepped from behind the desk and stood at the interior door. “I have a cook in the kitchen as we stand here preparing the evening meal. You are welcome to eat with us.” She led them down a short hall and passed three doors. At the fourth, she pressed a key into a simple lock and let them in. “You can stay here as long as you need to. The wash room is just back there.” She pointed to the first door they passed. “The dining room is just there.” The wall on the other side of the hall opened in a wooden arch and through it they saw three wooden tables set with six chairs at each. “Would like a meal call?”
Naria nodded. “That would be fine, thank you.”
Aelmy nodded and handed Naria the key. Then she turned and walked back to the front room and sat again behind the desk.
Hope you enjoyed that, and I'll check back in a little later in the month.