Chapter Two

Chapter Two

A Chapter by Aianarie (INACTIVE)

Chapter Two

 

          Saturday passed by swiftly.  You know what they say, time flies when you’re having fun.  Isaiah took my family to the theater in Turleín to watch a play, which we all enjoyed immensely.  Beforehand he took us all shopping, and bought each of us girls and mother a new dress to wear to the play.  He bought father a fine hat with a blue phoenix feather.  I remember watching Hope twirl around in her puffy white dress, as my family and I strolled down Turleín’s upscale streets.

          It was a moment that I wished I could freeze, encapsulate, and keep with me forever.  That way, if I ever felt down, I could open it up and relive it all over again.

          A silly thought, really, but it was the best I could think of at the time.

          Then Isaiah mentioned dinner.  Our parents were very adamantly against it, saying that they had already used up so much of their son’s money.  But Isaiah just laughed.

          “There’s no cheapskates when it comes to paying mercenaries.”  he said, smiling.  He treated us to dinner.

          We ran into Sean at the restaurant.  He came up to the table and shook Father’s hand warmly, and then took a seat in front of Isaiah.  He took a deep sigh and clasped his hands together.

          “What’s up?” asked Isaiah, around a mouthful of vegetable.  “You don’t look so good.  Not that you ever look good.”  He grinned, and Sean rolled his eyes fondly.

          “I’ve got a strange feeling about things�"“

          Isaiah nearly spat out his food trying not to laugh.  He swallowed and took a drink of his wine.  “Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

          Humor drained from Sean’s face.  “Dude, I’m being serious.”

          Isaiah held out his index finger and took a deep breath.  “Okay.  What?”

          “Are you drunk?”

          “No.”  he paused and winked at his friend, “Not yet.”

          “Ok…Arica�"“

          “Whoa, no discussing girls here.  We’ve got little kids�"“

          “ISAIAH!” cried Sean, striking the table with his fist.  Everyone in the restaurant was looking at our table now.  Xenia covered her face and shook her head.  Hope and Vivian laughed.  Ali looked on.

          “Sorry.”  said Sean, and everybody looked away.  He turned on Isaiah with an expression like murder.

          “I’m just messin’ with ya, dude.  Okay, seriously.  What’s going on?”  said my brother, attentively.  Sean gestured to an empty table not too far off.

          “We’ll be right back, family.”  said Isaiah to us.  “Mercenary matters.”

          They got up and sat at the other table.

          “You know Arica is an oracle, right?”  said Sean quietly after the two were seated.  I was sitting at the end of our table, so I could still make out what he was saying.

          “Arica�"oracle�"ha ha, that’s funny.”  Isaiah paused and caught the look on his friend’s face,  “Right.  Yeah, what about her?”

          “She came to me last night” �"I could just imagine Isaiah’s expression there�"“completely disoriented, which is weird for her.  She told me she had a premonition.  Normally her premonitions are simple things like knowing the weather the next day or knowing who’s gonna win a competition, but this time she had a vision.”

          There was a pause.

          “A vision?  What of?”

          “She said that she just passed out while writing.  She saw an Otherkind.  A girl.”

          “Hmm, it’s been a while since we’ve had a female Otherkind.  Anything else?”

          “Yeah.  She said she saw Clemenstra.”

~*~

I went to bed that night feeling very uneasy.  The next day was the day of my armoring; I was anxious about that.  The following day I would be heading off to Epsilia with Father and Isaiah, so I was incredibly excited about that as well.

          I shivered at the way Sean said Clemenstra.  I knew about her.  The fledgling witch that fought against Ancantha in the Raven’s War years ago.  The great king Rautor put her faction down.  She disappeared and no one saw anything of her for nearly twenty years.

          Arica Song was Sean’s bethroted.  I had heard Isaiah talk about her.  She was a human who was born in Zanäl, Land of the Elves.  They say that when an oracle is born, one star disappears from the night sky.  Apparently the elves couldn’t find a certain star (they keep tract of every star?) the night Arica was born.  She started having premonitions at the age of ten, which further proved that the elves had been correct.

          Most oracles go down long, lonely paths through life because everyone is afraid of them.  Some oracles tamper with dark arts and become fortune tellers or mediums.

          Oracles are not ordinary people.  Their premonitions are nearly always correct in some form or fashion.  If Arica saw Clemenstra in her vision, it is reasonable to assume that the witch will soon make her return.

          I prayed that that was not to happen, but what would become of Ancantha if that indeed was the case?  Of my family and friends?  Surely Isaiah and Sean�"maybe even my father, he was young enough still�"would be recruited for the Ancanthian army if the fledglings declared war…..

          I shook my head and turned over unto my back.  Suddenly my nightgown and bedsheets felt all scratchy and uncomfortable.  I shut my eyes and tried to concentrate on nothing like I had in my training, but I couldn’t.

          You have to stop doing that.  I scolded myself.  You have that ridiculous habit of over-thinking things.  Just let it all go and…whatever God wills.  Whatever God wills, I will accept.  I opened my eyes and stared at my painted ceiling.

          Sleep, Lissy.  It’s long past your bedtime.  My brother’s voice startled my thoughts.  I glanced at him as he came in and closed the door silently behind him.  He walked over and sat beside me, leaning against the headboard of my bed.  It’s past mid-night.  What troubles you so that you cannot sleep?

          A great many things.  Was all I could manage.  I sat up and hugged my knees.

          He fiddled with the lacings on his tunic.  Ah yes.  You’re just too excited to sleep.  You’ve got a big day tomorrow, and then a trip to Epsilia.

          Thank you, by the way, for convincing father to take me with the both of you.  I hate to be so selfish, but I have dreamed of returning to the city for a very long time…

          He smiled, staring at his hands.  You’re welcome.  I figured you’d like to get away for a week.

          A week?  I glanced back at him.  We’ll be there for a week?

          Yes.  The Prince wants to hold a few councils while the mercenaries are in town, and the councils are spread out to accommodate as many of Epsilia’s nobles as possible.

          A week in the city…  I was clearly in awe.

          Lissy.  He said, in an entirely different tone.  I know you heard what Sean said.

          I looked my brother straight in the eyes, as he did me.  Not all of it.  I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have been eavesdropping.

          No matter.  But what did you hear?

          I hesitated.  I heard Clemenstra, and then I decided not to listen anymore.

          Well you heard most of it, then.  A shadow passed over his face before he continued.  I’ve met Arica.  She’s a sweet, honest, extremely intelligent girl.  She wouldn’t share this information with anyone unless she was absolutely sure of what she saw…

          What does this mean, Isaiah?  Is Clemenstra�"  Something in my brother’s gaze made me not finish my sentence.

          I don’t know what to think of it.  But I don’t like how Arica first saw an Otherkind in the vision.

          I sort of knew the answer, but I asked anyway.  Why?

          Isaiah broke our gaze and returned his eyes to his hands.  Because it implies that there is a connection between the new Otherkind and the witch.

 

          A very uncomfortable moment of silence passed.

          Lissy.  Sean told me not to tell anybody else about this if I can help it.  You must do the same.  Oracles are not the most popular people in the world.  If the wrong people hear of this vision, they might brand Arica a witch.

          All this rubbish of dark arts…  I said, frustrated.  Poor Arica…

          Isaiah put his arm around me and I leaned my head against his shoulder, relishing in what could have been the one last place of comfort I had in the world.

~*~

I woke early the next morning after rather restful sleep, considering.  Upon opening my curtains I found the day to be bright and very cool, a perfect day for my armoring ceremony.

          Sunday Mass passed by like a blur.  I knew I should have been paying more attention, but it was so hard not to think about my armoring.

          I was quiet and contemplative during brunch.  Once or twice Isaiah caught my solemn gaze and smiled to reassure me.  It helped to some extent, but I was still nervous.

          I sat in my room an hour before the ceremony, staring at my handmade armor that was laid out on my bed.  It was truly a masterpiece of Araelian craftsmanship, and I was very proud of my work.  I couldn’t wait to wear it.

          A knock at the door.

          “Who is it?”

          “It’s mother, dear.”

          I went to the door and opened it.  “Yes?”

          “I have something for you.”  She held out something large wrapped in fabric.  “Go on.  Open it.”

          I took a deep breath, remembering the enormous diamond Isaiah had given me.  I unwrapped the gift and the heavy fabric revealed gauntlets and greaves, crafted to match my armor.  I gasped involuntarily.  I opened my lips to speak, but no sound came out.  Mother laughed softly.

          “I want to make sure you are protected.”  she said, her voice breaking slightly. 

I embraced her tightly, unable to express my gratitude any other way.

 

Before I knew it, the ceremony was over.  Mine was nearly identical to Isaiah’s; family and close friends met in the chapel, and the priest gave a brief sermon and a special blessing for the promoted Araelian.  All of my nervousness and worry seemed to vanish as I walked down the aisle in my armor and riding dress.  I felt proud, noble, and…grown up.

          I was a child no longer.  Now I had a duty to find my place in the grand scheme of the salvation of souls.

          There was a lively gala following the ceremony.  Almost everyone from our hometown was in attendance, as well as some family and friends from Turleín and as far south as Marrowÿn in Ancantha.  I must have embraced or shook hands with several hundred people.

          While I was talking to a few of my many cousins, I noticed a beautiful girl standing with Isaiah.  She was not much shorter than him; long and thin; with long, purple-black hair in a casual up-do.  From where I was, I couldn’t see what color her eyes were because of the glare on her narrow glasses.  She was dressed in a dark cardigan, elbow-length gloves, and a black dress that went all the way to the ground.

          Before my mind could wander any further, Sean walked up to the girl and Isaiah, handing each of them a glass of punch.  The girl looked back as if she sensed someone watching her, and her eyes locked on mine.  Her eyes were dark.  I couldn’t tell if they were dark blue or purple, brown, or just black.

          She began to walk in my direction, but stopped abruptly.  Her hand shook, and she dropped her glass.  Sean went immediately to her side, Isaiah following close behind.  It took her a moment before she registered that he was there and she looked him in the face.  Was the girl Arica Song?

          I walked over.  “Are you all right?”

          She looked at me distantly.  “Yes, I am all right.  Just clumsy!  So you, you’re Felicity.”  She paused to take a breath, “I am Arica Song.  It is a pleasure to finally meet you.”  She held out her hand, which I shook.  That would explain the gloves.  When an oracle touches the hand of another person, they can basically read the person’s emotions, thoughts…even past, present, and future, however vague the perceptions may be.  I hear that receiving these perceptions it not usually a…pleasant…experience.

          “Yes, I am Felicity.  Nice to meet you.”

          Sean looked solemn.  “Arica�"“

          “No.”  she said, saying so much with a single word.  She looked at me and smiled warmly.  “Well, I’m sure I will see you around.  Congratulations, Felicity.  Please excuse me.”  And she went off towards the chapel.  I glanced at Sean, who was watching Arica walk away with an expression of varying emotions.

          “What’s wrong?”  I asked.

          “She most likely just had another premonition.”  said Isaiah.  “That one seemed pretty sudden, though, which is odd.  Normally they’re pretty mild.”

          A thought came to my mind that Arica’s premonition had something�"negative�"to do with me, and suddenly my heart and stomach began to feel very heavy and my head contrastingly light.

~*~

I sat at the dinner table that night with Isaiah, Sean and my father to discuss our trip the following day.

          “We will travel by foot to Turleín, where we will rent horses and from there on to Epsilia.  It’s an easy ride down Western path.  The Eastern path is pretty rainy this time of the year.”  said Isaiah, plotting our route on one of Father’s maps.  “We’ll be there in two days, tops.  Maybe one, if there are no complications.”

          I wanted to ask what he meant by ‘complications’, but I resisted and just nodded instead.  I glanced at Sean.  He hadn’t said a word.

          Are you all right?  I asked him.

          After a moment, he looked up at me with a half-smile.  Yes, don’t worry about me.  My burdens need not be anyone else’s.  And he closed his mind to me.  I couldn’t help the feeling of utter failure that crept into my stomach.

          “Where are we lodging in the city?”  asked Father.

          “A friend of mine has a mansion there.  He said I could lodge there anytime, so I’m taking him up on that offer.  But who knows, the Prince might give us rooms in the castle.  He sometimes does that for special guests.”

          “Well that counts you out.”  said Sean, smirking.  Isaiah made a sarcastic, ‘whatever’ sort of face at him.

          For the first time, I wondered what the Prince looked like.  He had just been crowned a few weeks ago, and I hadn’t seen any pictures of him.  I wondered how old he was.  Would I get to meet him, or even see him?  Was he handsome?

          I shook my head.  Why did I even bother?

          “�"Sean and I found out something that I think the both of you need to know.”  said Isaiah, breaking me from my silly thoughts.  “There have been reports from the Friends that there was a fledgling attack in Marrowÿn.  It was minor, so they kept it undercover.  One civilian was injured.”

          I had never seen Father so pale.  “This isn’t good….”  Was all he could say.

          Isaiah laughed humorlessly.  “No, it’s isn’t good at all.  Moreover, there was a similar attack in Allas Nura, an elven island off the southern coast of Ancantha.”  He paused.  “If these attacks keep increasing…it’s a very bad sign.  That something far worse is on the brink.  Fledglings are no joking matter�"“

          I shivered.  I didn’t like the thought of fledglings and dark arts and all that obscure stuff.

          “For now, I suppose, there is nothing to worry about.  Who knows how many fledglings were able to escape after the war…but it all could be a fluke.  We just need to keep our guards up, whatever the case.”

          We all nodded in agreement.



© 2012 Aianarie (INACTIVE)


Author's Note

Aianarie (INACTIVE)
Please ignore any extra "s you see here. I copy paste these chapters from Microsoft Word and for some reason WC's browser changes a -- into a ". ...Anyway, enjoy. :-)

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Featured Review

Dear fragmented.dreams,

Ah, excellent use of foreshadowing with a hint of background. I enjoyed the brief description of the oracle. My inference is that Felicity is going to be a part of the antagonistic side somehow. I think this because of Isaiah's distant attitude and Arica's sternness.

Though, I must say, the telekinetic communication between Felicity and her brother confused me. How are they able to do that? Aren't they human? Sure he's close to her, but isn't her mother close to her too; shouldn't she be able to do that with her daughter?

Other than that, though, I enjoyed the chapter. I am interested to know how these creatures called fledglings will become important in the story. I am interested how all of this will make the story.

Thanks for sharing.

Sincerely Livana Lowell (LL)

God bless

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Beautiful writing, friend. :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Everything I enjoyed about the first chapter is again present here. The humor, ha ha ha, I did indeed "laugh out loud"...

That aside, I enjoyed reading the scene between Felicity and her brother. It was very deep and I believe, has very important meaning for their relationship in the story. I like the telekinesis thing, it's fun to imagine the expressions and/or body language used when one isn't speaking out loud...

So again, excellent job.

Posted 9 Years Ago


OMG this was AMAZING!!! you are an awesome writer, i felt like I was reading a real published book from b&n or something! I love the part where Felicity is talking to her brother, i thought that was really touching.
reading the chap 3 now!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dear fragmented.dreams,

Ah, excellent use of foreshadowing with a hint of background. I enjoyed the brief description of the oracle. My inference is that Felicity is going to be a part of the antagonistic side somehow. I think this because of Isaiah's distant attitude and Arica's sternness.

Though, I must say, the telekinetic communication between Felicity and her brother confused me. How are they able to do that? Aren't they human? Sure he's close to her, but isn't her mother close to her too; shouldn't she be able to do that with her daughter?

Other than that, though, I enjoyed the chapter. I am interested to know how these creatures called fledglings will become important in the story. I am interested how all of this will make the story.

Thanks for sharing.

Sincerely Livana Lowell (LL)

God bless

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I can't wait till Felicity meets the prince! I also catn't wait to find out what the vision was Arica had!! This is so good, I bet you it will become an all time classic!! Put the next chapters up soon!!!!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like this story so far. It has good detail and keeps me interested. Good write.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

.I love the write:) keep it up :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A outstanding chapter. Visions, mystery and fear. I had to read a second times. To grasp the strength in the description in this chapter. I love the way you use the language and create a world with many problems. I look forward to see where you are taking this story. Thank you for a excellent chapter.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on March 13, 2012
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Aianarie (INACTIVE)
Aianarie (INACTIVE)

Eugene, OR



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