Posts tagged ‘Circle’

Circle Journal – 4 Growth (ep 9)

“I thought you were only a myth.” the magistrate looked the young woman up and down after Crys had brought her and their common plea concerning the fungals before him. Again the magistrate turned away from the young woman to Crys. “How did you call the men who have allegedly killed your family?”

“Fungal guards, and they did it! There was not a single drop of blood at the site of their crashed sled!” Crys contained his urge to jump at the magistrate, although barely. “Relax son. There is a spare room in Galens house, you two can bunk there.” he waved off Crys’ anger turning to Galen. “See if you can verify his words.” Galen nodded and withdrew immediately, another man stayed with them in the room. Upon a wink of the magistrate he opened the door to another room. “You see Crys, I have to investigate this, instead of taking your word for it, since you are bringing up some serious allegations against highly esteemed guests of this house.” a man and a woman with an ashen complexion entered the room through the open door. Immediately Gela grabbed for Crys’ arm, holding him tightly. The two people walked a few steps towards the two. “Yes, she is one of our slaves.” the nasal tone the woman spoke with immediately made her unsympathetic to Crys, “It may not be our culture to keep slaves but we have to respect theirs!” the magistrate turned to the two. “For the time being, until Galen either confirms or refutes your allegations you two are free in this village, but have to stay.” both the fungal man and woman looked at the magistrate in a slightly agitated way but smiled sourly. Again the magistrate waved the guard who escorted Crys and Gela to Galens house.

Inside the large farmhouse the guard positioned himself in front of the door the two were confined to.

Grief, fear, anger and sorrow threw Crys’ emotions in chaos, causing him to repeatedly slam his fists and foot against the door. Meanwhile Gela watched him with an empty expression on her soft face. “I’m not a slave.” Crys stopped banging on the door, he looked at her. “Please believe me, I’m not a slave, we were free people in the fall, surely some of my brethren are now slaves, most are dead, but I’m not a slave!” again her tears started to flow down her cheeks. Her eyes spoke of desperation, terror and agony. “I believe you.” he mumbled, sitting down on the bed next to her, staring at the window as she did. “I need sustenance.” Crys looked at her, out of nowhere came amusement into the mix of his emotions. “You mean food?”

Circle Journal – 4 Growth (ep 8)

Shone upon by pale moonlight Gela and Crys sat in a small cover he had quickly conjured up with branches from a tree, which he then covered with snow as to not reveal their position. He didn’t dare go any further on the sled. “They can use magic.” he looked up from his feet, her turquoise eyes glowed in the dark telling him exactly where she sat. “I don’t understand.”

“They can use magic, to call forth wind and snow, that is how they must have covered their tracks.” although the rest of her face was in darkness he could see in her eyes that she was incredibly sad, not only for her own losses, but his as well. “And the fire?”

After a long pause Gela sighed, she shrugged her shoulders, a movement he felt in the narrow room of the cover. “I think they can’t conjure up fire, it would be against their nature. But then again, I heard human mages can create fire, although it might burn them.” also sighing Crys looked back down onto the pitch black ground. Images of the tormented bodies of his family appeared before him. With a burning sensation tears shot into his eyes. He felt her hand reaching for his face. “Calm yourself.” she whispered, pulling him close to herself. She needed to be held, as did he, it didn’t take long for her to feel his arms wrap around her too.

Comforted by the presence of the other, both of them fell into a light sleep, alerted by each rustling twig outside the cover.

Plumes of smoke rose from the villages chimneys. Snow levels in the valley were not as high as on the slopes of the mountains, allowing for Crys to walk without the use of snowshoes. Gela sat on the sled that he pulled since the land was not steep enough for them to ride it into the village. “We’ll go to the magistrate’s house! He’ll know what to do!” he yelled over his shoulder. Bearing a bittersweet expression Gela nodded, hoping the fungals had not made it into town before they did. “Crys?” the called turned his head in the direction the call had come from. Another young man approached from the forest that stretched further down the valley, he carried a deer on a sled. “What madness drove you to brave the deep snow?”

“Madness my dear Galen, madness.” he sighed pulling the sled with Gela further towards the village explaining the reasons for his presence in a few sentences.

Circle Journal – 4 Growth (ep 7)

The sleigh shot downhill with incredible speed, Gela was holding on very tightly to Crys, almost hurting him. She was not used to high velocities. Before their departure she had explained to him that during the cold months of the year she and her kin usually dug under the snow and hibernated, much like the bear, but with the attack of the fungals during the fall they had to abandon that usus.

Her escape from her homeland had taken her quite some effort, she had lost her siblings, their parents had already fallen victim to the fungals in the fall. “Why do you only talk of siblings?” Crys tried to ease her tension as he navigated the sleigh down the slopes. “But never of a brother or sister?”

Gela sighed into the racing winds. “We are born from a seedling, Once we emerge from the patch we grew in we have no gender until years later. I am the oldest, clearly I’m female, but my siblings were still too young.” a milky drop was blown off by the wind into the distance.

“Hold tight!” he yelled slamming his feet into the snow, slowing them down until they came to a halt. before them was forest.

Dense, dark forest.

Leaning against one tree there lay a twisted, broken sleigh. Four bodies were strewn around it.

None moved.

Crys felt as if all air escaped his lungs, his muscles tightened. Nowhere inside his heart did he find the strength to get off his sleigh to inspect them. He knew from a distance that it was his brothers family. Jolien, his wife and the two boys. Gela climbed of the sleigh, she walked across the deep snow to the site of the accident. She moved from one to the other, her expression was grim as she got up from inspecting them. “They are all dead.” she took a few steps away from the four bodies. “And they haven’t died here.” Crys still sat on the sleigh, his face locked in a mask of agony and despair. “No blood.” he pressed out from between his teeth as he closed his eyes, his head sinking until his chin touched his chest. “There is no blood.” Gela hurried back to the sleigh. “We must not disturb their bodies further, the fungal guards have,” again he interrupted her. There were no footsteps around the house. If the fungal guards were as heavy as a human, how could they not leave footsteps? Disturbed he turned around to look up the long slope they had just descended from.

A hand full of dark figures stood higher up staring down to them. Grinding his teeth he felt aggravated, his muscles tightening again.

“Don’t!” Gela jumped on the sleigh, pushing it forward, Crys quickly steered the vehicle around the narrow curve bringing them further away from the site of the accident and the fungal guards.

Circle Journal – 4 Growth (ep 6)

Upon Crys’ question whether the fungal guards had followed her over the ice, she shook her head. According to her knowledge, were the fungals as heavy as a human, they would’ve broken through the thin ice shell on the ocean, meaning they must’ve utilised a boat. Both stared into the distance as if they could see right through the walls of the cabin. Again Crys was thinking if the stories his grandfather used to tell him. How the calm sea between his homeland and the vast untamed forests of the neighboring continent froze in particularly cold winters. “I need to get as far from them as possible!” Gela turned to him all of a sudden. “They must have tracked me and,” Crys put his finger to her cold lips.

“There has to be another explanation, if they really had been tracking you, they would have found us, not my brother and his family.” he smiled, more to convince himself. He knew of course that they would’ve lost track of Gela in the snowstorm, that their search would’ve led them to the marked unting trails, which led to the vicinity of the cabin.

Deep in thought he got up, his gaze wandered through the room again, he knew there was another sleigh, they could make a run for the village. “I agree with you on one thing.” he mumbled walking towards the bed, pulling a ladder from underneath it. With it he walked around the cabin, quickly he climbed up. Noisily a sleigh tumbled down next to Gela, who watched in amazement.

“We should get out of here.” he smirked victoriously, holding up the vehicle. Again his gaze revealed that he had never seen a naked woman before. “But we should get you dressed first.” his hand pointed vaguely towards a large trunk next to the bed his brother and wife used to sleep in.

In case that Gela was right about the fungal guards, Crys did not leave a note telling that he had gone for the village, instead he wrote ‘Valborhim’, the village name, doubting the foreigners would know the meaning.

Circle Journal – 4 Growth (ep 5)

As she looked down on herself Gelas eyes were filled with confusion. Slowly did she feel gravity pulling her to the ground, the room around her had started to turn. “I had forgotten.” she whispered as Crys had come to her aid. “I was alone for weeks and the garments I had were hindering me. Only the bear,” she gasped for air, slowly the shock seemed to release the locked up emotions inside her. Her turquoise eyes were filling up with tears. Again Crys was somewhat shocked and irritated, the tears of hers were milky droplets of juice, slowly oozing out of her eyes rolling down the perfectly soft cheeks. “What are you?” his heart beat up to his throat.

Next to her pain and sadness, confusion mixed into her expressions. “I’m floral, why do you ask?”

“Because I’m human!” he paused for a moment, crouched closer after he had reflected on her words. In his childhood he had heard stories, his grandfather used to tell them late at night on a lobg winters eve. “Floral, as in, you are a plant? I though you were only a fairytale!” he gasped. “Still,” Gela turned her head back to the door behind Crys. “the fungal guards are out there.” giving her words his full attention Crys sat down next to her.

“I fled our homeland over the ice, then wandered up from the coast. The fungal guards had taken over and were ravaging through our villages.” she glanced over her shoulder to the fireplace, “With fire. Although vulnerable to it themselves, they used it to burn us and our homes, to ashes.” as she returned her face to Crys he noticed her milky tears again, his first impulse was to reache to her cheek and wipe them off but she stopped him. “It might be poisonous to your kind.” excusingly she wiped them away herself with her bare skin. “I wandered through the ice and snow, until I found the bear. I had to kill it to warm myself, as I felt that my resin and juices were beginning to stiffen in the cold.”

Circle Journal – 4 Growth (ep 4)

“Jolien! I brought a visitor!” Crys opened the door to the cabin, absent minded himself, Gela right at his side, only to find the house empty. No sign of his brother, his sister in law and his nephews. Worried he turned around in the open door, behind the pale young woman the sun was nigh the western mountain ridges.

Jolien and his family wouldn’t be out of shouting range to the cabin that close to sundown. Hoping that they would return shortly he pulled Gela inside and closed the door. After taking off all the warm clothes and snowshoes he led Gela to the fire place, she still was absent minded. Contrary to her initial fear of fire he had no trouble sitting her down next to the fire place.

Crys’ face was covered with worrisome wrinkles, the fire was high, meaning it had been tended to a short while ago, there even was kettle full of soup next to it.

He looked around in the cabin. No signs of struggle anywhere. “I will be right back.” he got up and patted Gelas shoulder. Quickly he withdrew his hand as his eerie guest was ice cold, not like a living breathing human that had spent hours in the cold, but like a log that had been out in the snow for days.

“Don’t go.” Gela slowly turned her head. “They might be out there.” she whispered, in the shining turquoise eyes of hers he saw nothing but fear. “My brother and his family are out there!” he leaped for the door, only to notice that their sleigh was missing. Irritated he backed away from the door. Perhaps someone had an accident, maybe Joliens leg got worse, and tgey rode the sleigh down to the village? Again Crys looked around, they would’ve left a corresponding note for him.

Nothing.

“They got to them.” Gela stared into the distance. “I hope they didn’t see us enter, avoid going outside in any case, if they see no one in a house they culled they’ll assume it still empty.” her gaze drifted to the fire.

Instinctively she jumped away from it with a loud terrified shriek. Afterwards Crys stared at her with a blank expression for several minutes.

“Why do you stare at me like that?” Gela had calmed down.

Blushing the young man shied away his eyes from her bloodstained body, the bearskin had fallen off as she had jumped up in terror. “Forgive me, but I have never seen a naked woman before.”

Circle Journal – 4 Growth (ep 3)

Tracks made by naked feet, instead of paws. Confused by the fact that obviously some poor soul was walking around the woods barefoot, far from any other human settlement Crys started following the tracks. Further confused that the tracks were only on the surface, meaning the person with the bare feet had not sunk in.

At the entrance to a cave Crys sighed in displeasure, a cavern in the woods in the dead of winter could be home to a hibernating bear. As much as he hated to admit it, his brother was right that they sometimes awoke. From his pocket he drew a hunting knife, not much to fend off a bear, but if it was still affected from being awoken he stood a chance. “Hello?” he pulled down the fur in front of his face. “Is there anyone in there?” the smell of death came to his nose. Someone or so.ething had died recently in that cave, the intense smell of a freshly gutted lifeform was something he knew all too well.

Uncertain whether to investigate further he waited for his eyes to get used to the darkness before him after looking at bright white snow before. Suddenly two bright turquoise eyes stared him glowing in the darkness, startled he stumbled backwards, his snowshoes made him trip and fall back on his ass.

The eyes followed him to the light of day. A pale female face appeared as owner of the eyes. Her soft characteristics were framed by black hair, as she reached daylight Crys was under the impression that it had a green shine to it. As did her incredibly white skin, in his shock and the cold did it take him a few moments to realize she was naked, but smeared with blood, on her back she carried a bloody bearskin and fur. “What are you?” Crys’ expression was still twisted by fear. “My name is Gela.” her soft voice calmed Crys down a little, although still alarmed that she apparently had killed a bear with bare hands. “I am Crys.” he worked to get up again. “I’m cold.” she drew the bearskin tighter around herself. Not surprised that she was Crys had to get his act together not to freak out over the strange girl. “In my home there is food, and fire. It’ll warm you.” he stretched out his shaking hand, hoping she would believe it was shaking due to the cold, not fear of her.

“Fire? Fire, is evil!” her soft face transformed into a frightened mask of terror.

“It won’t harm you! It warms you!” Crys was losing more and more of his fear, as he was asking himself how anyone with no signs of burns could call fire evil. Doubting the young mans words Gela reluctantly reached for his hand in the thick glove.

Crys followed his own tracks, glad it had stopped snowing somewhen in the night. While marching he noticed how Gela didn’t sink into the snow, but didn’t try out himself whether the snow could support his weight. All the while Gela seemed absent minded, her gaze was distant, although piercing.