Thursday, April 13, 2017

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learning to burn, part 30

Remember, this is the very first draft you're seeing here!  Herein you will be able to read this story's first breath of life... which means there might be weird notes to myself when my memory doesn't work so well.  Also, spelling and grammar (even more than Shabred's) mistakes galore!!  If you haven't already, please make sure you go back and read from the beginning.

The travelers were informed that Shabred was waiting for them when they finished their breakfast, which they enjoyed after they helped prepare it and serve to everyone at the table. Lady Grace was absent, so the four followed a young girl to the room in which Shabred sat.
“I were excited to take you all about, I were. Sos I be early, I were. Do yous want to go around town, I wants to know?”
Eminghare stepped forward to speak for everyone, “I think we've all been looking forward to seeing the city. Thank you for coming to get us.”
As she finished speaking, Lady Grace knocked on the open door. “So glad to catch you before you spend the day with Shabred. Would all of you please take a seat for a moment before you leave? I would like to speak with you, if you would spare a few minutes.” Lady Grace stepped into the room and carefully closed the door.
Shabred immediately sat in the chair nearest him. It looked way too small for him and Eminghare smothered a giggle as she watched him perch there. She also took a seat and watched as the others, including Lady Grace, seated themselves.
“Please forgive this delay. I have just come from a meeting with my eldest daughter and feel an urgent desire to have things in order as a result. I suppose it could have waited until the evening, but what I have to say might influences your choices this day.
“You see, a few months ago, Sanelia came to me with a dream. We often dream dreams that become reality here, you see. As a result, we communicate vivid dreams to each other. My children have learned the importance of speaking their dreams to me. I felt impressed, though also disappointed and slightly afraid, upon hearing my daughter's dream. In her dream, she saw a few scenes which were seperated by darkness. In her dreaming language, that means that time passes between the scenes she sees vividly. She saw her future. She felt it was very near. I refused to believe it because it would inconvenience me to have it be so.
“Nonetheless, she is proved correct. You see, in her dream of the future, she met her husband. Before she met him, though, she saw what you, Ofonode lived last night when you met her face to face. In her dream, she met you first, then there was darkness of a short duration, then she met her husband, more darkness, but an even shorter duration than the first, she watched herself convince her future husband, and many who followed him to depart their home, another darkness of an even shorter duration, and then she watched as a large group of people began to travel. The dream ended at that point.
“As a result of living the beginning of her dream last night, we are both of the mind that she will depart with you when you leave here. She feels great urgency to begin this walk to her future and has convinced me that her feelings are to be heeded. I would rather not rush her away, but I think it better if I do. She will help far more than herself in so doing. So, I would ask you if you would take her with you wherever you go, Ofonode? Will you and Oseratin protect her? And Bineenia, will you be her companion with Eminghare?”
Just then, Rumier flung open the door and stepped in looking slightly disheveled. “Oh, it's good that I've caught you all together. I attempted to speak with you this morning, mother, but my duties prevented my waiting for your availability. I must join the party if Sanelia goes. I dreamed last night that I kept her safe from an unknown foe and I urgently beseech you for the right to fulfill my call!”
“Oh, my dear! This is dreadfully unexpected! Must I then lose my two highest trained and most relied upon children to this expedition?” Lady Grace put her hands in her face and breathed raggedly for a minute. Rumier went to her shoulder and rested his hand at the top of her spine.
Ofonode, Eminghare, Oseratin, and Bineenia felt concerned and frozen in their seats. Shabred moved to rise, but then stopped, almost sitting, but not. He seemed unable to decide whether he should go to Lady Grace's side or stay in his tiny seat. He began to stand more fully, but stopped as the Lady's breathing became steadily slower and then she raised her head. Rumier removed his hand.
“Please forgive my outburst. It is sometimes difficult to consider managing all I do without their help even when I have been mercifully prepared by our Father in Heaven as I have. Of course they must go where their path is revealed to lie. Will you take them with you, my new friends? I will outfit and provision them very well. In effort to make their company easier to bear, I will outfit and provision the rest of you as well as I may. Your journey from here will, I hope, be easier for it. What do you say?”
Oseratin looked at each of the others, then responded, “We will be happy to have them in our company. We would like to know when your daughter desires to depart?”
“Tomorrow. She asked to leave today, but Shabred was already set on taking you about and we dearly love him. We would not take from him such a simple pleasure. And because there is much to prepare, I ask you to take Rumier with you. He will take the list I have prepared and purchase all that we do not yet have. There is no need to have money with you, my dear. You know I overpay and have more than enough credit with all the shop keepers. You will be able to get anything you may need that I may have neglected adding to the list.” Lady Grace lifts a piece of paper from a pocket hidden in the folds of her dress and hands it to Oseratin. “Please look it over before we part and let me know if I have missed something.”
Oseratin looks at the list for a moment. “Lady, this looks like far more than we will need considering the journey from here to our destination. To take so much through the mountains would be cumbersome. I think we should reduce most of this by half or more.”
“Yes. I do know why you say it. I did consider such arguements. But I have had dreams of my own and I will not send less. You will have horses from my stable and a pony, so the burden will not be overmuch, I think. The urgency my daughter feels is real and there is no time to waste, though I have not dreamed enough to know the details of that. I trust her understanding. Also, you will not have long upon your arrival at your destination to collect supplies for yourselves. All that you carry will be plenty to get you there and back. You may, if you choose, leave a cache along the way before the mountains to reduce the horses' and pony's burdens through the pass.”
“I see. Then we will accept your gifts and prepare for the next leg of our journey. By your leave and Shabred's willingness, we will depart and begin our shopping efforts.”
“Yes, please. Thank you. I appreciate your flexibility.”
Shabred stands fully this time, “I be happier than a teelbird with a worm if yous still let me lead yous about, I would. Rumier, he knowed I can strike a mighty handsome deal with the salers, he do.”
Rumier nodded with a smile at Shabred.
“Yes, Shabred. How kind of you. We accept.” Oseratin said to him.
Shabred smiles broadly, bows to lady Grace, and then walks out. Rumier follows quickly and then Ofonode, Eminghare, Binia, and Oseratin follow as well.
Eminghare pauses and turns back at the doorway and asks, “Will you be all right, Lady Grace?”
“I will be more than all right, my dear. All will be well so long as your group departs early tomorrow. I am confident all will be well. So, I will be just fine. Life brings us difficult seasons, but we make it through. Thank you for accepting my children in your travels. I know larger groups complicate things, at times.”
“You're welcome. I have a feeling they will be more a benefit than a hindrance.” Eminghare walked away feeling even more impressed with the regal lady. I hope I may be like her some day, she thought forgetting Ofonode was able to hear her thoughts.
You are already very like her in many ways. I think she probably wasn't as she is when she was your age. Ofonode felt privileged and heartened when Eminghare communicated to him through the connection she had left open. He had no way of knowing she had forgotten their connection.
Eminghare felt herself blush and then responded by thought: Ofonode, you are so kind. I think your opinion of me is higher than it should be. But I thank you, nevertheless.
The group gathered at the front door.
“Where should we go first,” Eminghare asked.
Oseratin handed the list to Rumier, “Won't you and Shabred look the list over and decide our plan of action? We have no idea where we should go first as we do not know Riverton at all.”
Rumier brought the list to Shabred and red it aloud while holding it so the big man could look it over as well. The younger always mindful of the bigger man's lack of education, but hoping to help him avod the embarrassment of it being obvious. After reading the list, Rumier says, “We should start farthest from Gablehaven and make our way back, don't you think, Shabred?”
“It do make best use of ours legs to do it that way, it do. And if wes works it right, we will be in the market right in time for the end of noonsies. We'll get the best food for the least price that a way, we will.”
Right on, Shabred. I'm glad you're thinking about our next meal. I'd quite forgotten it in all the excitement. If we move quickly, we will be back in plenty of time for dinner. You'll eat with us, of course, won't you Shabred?”
Lady Grace won't mind, I thinks. She likes me to stay when I work for her all day, she do. So, yes I'll eat dindins here after taking yous around town, I will.”
“The little ones will love having you around. We all will, of course, but them the most. You are their favorite.”
Shabred smiled a tremendous stretch of lips and show of teeth. “I love the little ones mighty big, I do.”
BREAK CHANGE POV CHARACTER from Eminghare to Ofonode
Ofonode's stomach grumbled before the completion of the first haggling and purchase of their excursion. He felt like they'd only just barely left Gablehaven, Lady Grace's home, and couldn't figure out why he felt so very hungry. He hoped no one heard it.
Much to his consternation, Ofonode's empty tummy continued to make noisy protest for the next two hours, growing increasingly raucous in it's protestations until one series of gurgles and groans that was so long and loud that the rest in the group could no longer pretend not to hear it. Oseratin looked away while Eminghare and Binia looked at one another and immediately began giggling before the noises from Ofonode's midsection ceased.
“I'm sorry, Ofonode.” Eminghare says between giggles, “But it really is funny! I mean, it's too loud to ignore anymore.” Then, more quietly, she says to Binia, “We really have to stop and get some food before poor Ofonode's stomach calls the wrong kind of attention to us.” Then louder, to Rumier, “Surely there is somewhere to buy a morsel?”
Rumier, walking at the head of the group next to Shabred slows and turns around. Confusion is all over his face, but he nods his head and says, “Sure. Are you so very hungry, Eminghare? We will reach the markets in only a little while.”
“You mean you didn't…” Eminghare stops herself a moment and then continues on a different track, “Oh, never mind. Yes, I'm very hungry. I must have something to eat as soon as possible!” Ofonode looks over at Eminghare gratefully. For her part, she has no idea how Rumier could not have heard Ofonode's stomach, but doesn't want to cause her friend more embarrassment than he seems to already feel.
“Then we will get some food.” Rumier turns to Shabred, “Should we take them to the corner bakery or the meatshop?”
“This time o'day the bakery be full to overflowing, it be. The meat shop be the better choice, I says.”
Rumier nods, they take a few more steps and then he leads them into a short alley. Ofonode is sure he wouldn't have even noticed the turn into the alley if he'd been out on his own. A moment later they stop in front of a shop. “I'll go in and bring some food out for everyone. This shop is very small and we might cause the owner overmuch hope, I think. I don't want him to think he'll have more business than he will. If I go in alone, he'll be well pleased with what I spend with him.”
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