Monday, July 21, 2014

The Snow Daughter; Part II

"At last" we all say?

At last we have part 2 of the Snow Daughter. 

Its certainly not as long as Part 1, but it is here. 

And I hope you enjoy it!

Comments and criticism are welcome. =)

Reminder: Neve was wounded by the Sun Fey, Oro - who then fell of into the abyss much to her surprise. After seeing the Cavalcavia tower appear in the distance the pain from the wound took over and she fainted on the Terra.

* * * * *  

Pain filled my entire being, throbbing and pulsing like a heart struggling to survive. I tried to open my eyes but blurry images swam across my vision, and my heavy eyelids closed in exhaustion. A voice pierced the silence rousing me from half unconsciousness and I strained to understand the mumbling that echoed through my head; causing the pain to increase.
  “What happened... Young Fey... bad injury.. this is.”
A moan escaped my parched lips, and I again struggled to open my eyes.
  “Are you awake lassy?” My eyes focused to see an old fey looking down at me. He resembled the elderly fey of the last tower, but perhaps it was because they were both old beyond comprehension.   
  I opened my mouth to speak but could only croak, “Yes.”
  He chuckled,
  “Sounds like you need a drink of water m’dear!”
  He disappeared, leaving me to contemplate where I was, and how he had found me. The space around me was contained by four walls, giving the room a square shape. They were plain and simple, with naught a decoration except glowing, blue torches every couple feet. I lay on a large bed, surrounded by hills of fluffy blankets and the ceiling, tall and lofty, reached far above me.
   I stared at it thinking: I remembered that I had fainted on the traveling terra... after... my eyes closed as it all came rushing back - After Oro had tried to kill me.
  “Here ye go!” I felt a hand on my shoulder, gently but firmly lifting me to a sitting position. My wound felt like it was on fire, and I gasped visibly.
  “That’s it, there we go. Just drink that there water and I’ll see what I can do with this here.” He handed me the cup once I was stable, and turned to my arm.
  I stared at my cup, not wanting to look at my wound again. I’m sure it was uglier mess than it had been before I passed out.
  The fey’s gentle hand passed carefully over my wound, using a damp cloth to clean it. As cautious as he was, extreme pain still shot from my arm. I sucked in my breath and clutched the cup, turning my knuckles white. My eyes bore holes into the blankets as he finished, trying to take my focus off of the pain.     
  A soft soothing voice washed over me,
  “Good lass, that’s it, almost done.” He walked away, bringing back long, white bandages. “You took a nasty scratch here,” He started wrapping my arm tightly, giving it a strange sense of security. I nodded, avoiding his eye. I knew I would have to tell him sooner or later. The child from inside me longed for someone to confide in, but the grown part of my heart wanted to be gone; do this mission quickly and quietly.
  He seemed to realize that as he finished attending my arm with a pat.
  “Take your time m’dear, we shall discuss it after you rest.” He turned to leave the room, but I interrupted.
   “Sir.. Thank you.” I gave him a slight smile, something I hadn’t done in what felt to be forever.   
  His reply was short and brief but a wave of peace passed over me when it reached my ears. “Do not worry.”
  I was asleep in his assurance before he left the room, my fatigue and weakness overcoming the dull pain in my arm.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
  I woke up to pain shooting through my arm and my body rolling over in the fields of blankets. I stifled a cry as I sat up in alarm. My breath came in short gasps, like a forceful wind had knocked the air from my lungs. My hands clutched at the sheets in a sweaty panic and my eyes roved the room while I wondered what I was looking for.
  My bandage was leaking and I paused in my search, to inspect it. I must have rolled on it in my sleep, for the process of healing was interrupted and it was once again bleeding. I felt tears come to my eyes and I blinked them away, denying to myself that I was crying. I felt bewildered; and the throbbing pain coming from my wound fogged my brain. What was the purpose of this quest anyway? I had been rushed off so hurriedly I had no time to think, I only knew that there was no choice. The courage and strength that had rushed to my side was now disappearing; like a thick fog that burns off when the hot rays of the sun strike it.
  “What if I hadn’t come. What would've happened?” I tried to clear things up in my confused mind, “This hole, the one I found, was probably an entrance used by the enemy; after all, they are obviously already here.. So that means I’m not warning everyone of possible trespassing.” I raised my head as it finally made sense. “I’m warning them against possible, no, probable, attack.” And if I didn’t hurry they would reach The Flurry first. For of course, they were going to attack our source of life.
  I began to wonder how many evil warriors had entered our realm, were there more than the ones that had come through the hole I found? If so, what Cotone had they invaded? How far away had they started out? Where were they now?
  I then had another thought - was Oro a scout? No, I shook my head; he couldn’t be. He told me he had specific orders to get rid of me. Which means, they knew I found the hole. But not Oro’s hole, because he was sent after I found it.
  Which means, I sat up in bed - which means there was probably a scouting party ahead of me. I had found the entrance that they had used, and I was on my way to spoil their plans. The plans of skillful scouts that were suppose to slip in and slip out, silently.
  A fresh sense of urgency surged through me, waking me from the broody, thoughtful state I was in. Wound or no wound I must get going. I could not wait around for it to heal, that would be weeks. This kind fey had done all he could.
   I slid from underneath the mounds of peace to the ground of responsibility. I walked across the room, gently cradling my arm in my hand. It throbbed with any slight movement, and I grimaced as I ventured to put my cloak on; being one handed was certainly a challenge.
  “My dear child, what are you doing?” A voice from behind broke into my struggles.
  “I’m getting read to..ugh!” The cloak slipped from shoulder once more. “.. to leave.” I turned to find the fey looking at me with a gaze of disapproval.
  “But dear girl, you’re injured! You must rest, whatever got you into this must wait. I -” The look on his patients face caused him to break off.
  “You’re too kind sir, but I really must be off. Everyone’s future hangs in balance.” I shook my head, the two tower guards were certainly different. I had finished wrapping the cloak around me, and now I began the process of fastening the clasp. Oh what a pain!
  The silence in the air around me caused me to look up. The look of concern had disappeared from my rescuers face, and questions lurked behind his eyes.
  “Come this way, child; we must talk.” He turned and exited the room, leaving me perplexed and puzzled at his sudden change of attitude.
  The clasp slipped into place and, tripping into my shoes, I followed the fey out the door.
  It opened into a large expanse of room, similar to the one I had just left. This one however, contained a large couch and a table with chairs scattered around it. It was neat in appearance but random objects were scattered around: a book on the couch, a blanket draped over the back of a chair - leftovers of a meal on the table. It was lived in, and it gave forth the feeling that I was home for a moment.
 My eyes were drawn to the book and I longed to pick it up: to feel the cover, to read the gold writing that displayed the title, and to smell the well worn pages.
  I frowned, now was not the time to be wishing I was free to read. It was nonsense that had come unbidden to my mind. I turned to fey ready to tell him anything he wanted to know.
 He stood watching me with a smile on his lips,
  “I had a daughter once, she loved to read as you do.”
  My eyes inquired how he knew?
  “She used to look at books the same way: a hungry longing that knew no end until her eyes drank the words.”
 Years after when I told my story I described this fey with warmth, “An odd fellow, but quite poetic once you get to know him. He had an understanding for words that made you love him.”
  He invited me to sit on the couch, gently placing the book on my lap, “Tell me your story, lass.”  
  I started at the beginning, with the hole, the strange attack in the hall, and the setting off.
  Tipo, as I learned his name was, watched with attentive eyes and listening ears. Not interrupting as I spilled forth my thoughts and fears on the events that had changed my life. His silence was not judging or harsh to the ears but rather understanding and assuring. And though the words grew dark on my tongue as they shaped the story of Oro, my heart grew light from the relief of telling someone. I clung to the book as I spoke, rippling through the pages or staring at the words though I read them not. It gave me courage to keep speaking, for though my heart was willing to talk my mouth was harder to convince.
  I finished with my losing consciousness after the fall of Oro and with a small frown at my wound I fell silent.
  Tipo was frowning likewise but in deep concentration.
  “From your description, he is a Sun Fey indeed. I cannot guess for what reason they would come here, but I do believe, like you, that it is not a good one.”
  He rubbed his forehead smoothing out the frown resting on his brow.
  “I find it hard to believe that Duro would have anything to do with it.” Duro was King of the Sun Fey, though sometimes harsh and overbearing like his people he was a just King. For him to be attacking the Snow Fey and entering a realm where he knew he did not belong was unthinkable!
 “What..” Tipo looked up from the floor he had been studying, “what did you say the name was Oro gave you? The name of the Fey that sent the orders.”
  “Caldo,” I told him, “‘Caldo gave the orders, I do not question them.’ that’s what he said.”
  “Mmmm... Caldo..” He rubbed his chin now, scratching his hands with the stubble that grew around his mouth.
“I do not recall hearing that name before but my mind is fading: perhaps I have.” He shook his head in disapproval.
  “The Moon Fey would know..” He suddenly glanced around, then at me. “What time is it?”
  “I do not know!” I replied looking surprised.
  “I just ate supper... five’o clock... must be nearly five thirty now..” He mumbled to himself, looking towards the door.
  Then he smiled.
  “Have you met a Moon Fey before?”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The night outside was the darkness of beginning; the blackness that seems to lack the power it will have by midnight. The sun must have fallen behind the horizon but a hour ago, and the moon was just starting her ascent. She rose proud and beautiful into the murky darkness that was steadily growing around us.
  I stood right outside the tower not far from the edge of the Cotone; breathing in deeply the fragrance of night. The sky met sharply with the horizon line of the Cotone, the snow glowing in contrast to the dense shadows above.
 Then, as I stood beside Tipo, there came shooting down, beams of light. Silver and gentle, they gracefully sliced the night apart. Silhouettes flitted throughout the beams, and wherever they went the light followed. I watched with thrill and wonder: so this is how it works! Of course, I knew about the Moon Fey, but I had never fully comprehended the way they worked. It was much different than our ways - they spread moon beams, like the Sun Fey spread the beams of light from the sun.
  Soon the entire field before our eyes was flooded with moonlight. I felt it on my skin, in my hair; it made me feel like I could fly. My heart soared to the height of the moon and was able to forget my problems, troubling thoughts, and worries: I was floating on air.
  “Good evening, Tipo.”
  I was startled by a voice from behind. It was gentle like the light, but firm in authority. A small chill of fear struck me, but also a distant feeling of protection. I turned to see the cause of my mixed emotions.
  “Good evening, Scuro.” Tipo’s face showed his delight. “It has been many a night since you’ve scouted these parts.”
   Beside him, tall and graceful, stood a manly figure, clad in gray shimmering garments. I could not describe them to you for they were simply there: like fragments of the moon wrapped around him. He had black hair, long and flowing across his shoulder; the moonlight reflected in starry beauty off of it. It framed a face of quiet and melancholy beauty. The eyes that studied me and Tipo held deep and hidden knowledge, shining with sharp observance.
  I lowered my eyes as his eyes searched my face.
  “It has been, Tipo; many, many a night.” He withdrew his gaze from me and turned to Tipo. “But tonight is not a time for mere chat, I have questions.” His face darkened as glanced around at his fellow workers, “I have permission to take time away from my work to talk to you. Do you a few minutes, friend?”
  Tipo looked only slightly surprised as he replied,
  “Yes, yes of course. I have questions for you in return.”
They immediately turned towards the tower leaving a question hanging over my head: Should I follow?
The voice that had spoken earlier sounded in the air around me,
“Come, Neve.” It was gentle and commanding and I did not question whether or not to obey it. I hurriedly followed them into the tower, with a small glance of regret at the Moon Fey’s work.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Sorry about the sudden change of font - I copied the story from Google Drive and its not adapting well to its new surroundings. :P
-Eva
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