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|3rd of Ringwe, 25, midday|
What is this place? I don't like this place! What is this feeling? My stomach hurts! Why is it so cold? I want to go back where it is warm and safe! Let me go back, please! NO!
I hate it here.
|12th of Ringwe, 25, sunrise|
Having finished my bone knife, I returned to the site of my initial defeat. The sly little mouse with the sharp teeth was waiting, evilly nibbling on something between its paws. It looked small and innocent, but I wasn't fooled. Hunger gnawed at my belly, and the mouse held the promise of something to fill it with.
I touched my knife, held my breath and jumped in. The mouse snapped at me, but I caught its teeth on the edge of the knife and quickly struck out at it. It scrambled against the hard-packed ground, squeaking and gnawing at the knife, but the knife held it off.
The battle was difficult, much more difficult than I would have expected, excepting that my first attempts again the mice had resulted in such severe wounds. Eventually, clumsily thrusting the knife into the mouse must have hit a vital area. With a final swipe at my leg, the mouse fell dead at my feet.
Victory! Despite the slightly bitter and gamy taste of the raw mouse meat, it was sweet to me.
|5th of Khelek, 26, midnight|
Young and inquisitive, I wandered alone through the forest. Then I saw it. Yes, it was I who first discovered the mysterious green plant among the underbrush. It was I who first crushed it, releasing the pungent smell of its cool, sticky sap.
|8th of Khelek, 26, sunrise|
Elder got bit by a spider today. He was playing in the woods, and it hurt him very badly. Daddy came and killed all the bad spiders with his walking stick. I want to be strong like him!
|7th of Rosa, 26, midnight|
There it was again, that rustling in the underbrush, closer this time. He could almost see it now. Fear and curiosity battled eachother in Damien's mind, and curiosity won. He took another tottering step towards the forest, and suddenly the beast reared up. It was a mountain of claws and fur. Then it turned it's head and Damien saw the eyes. They were horrible yellow pits, and they blazed with a mysterious glow.
Fear was winning now, and Damien took a step back, and another, and another. For what seemed like an eternity, the monster stared at the little boy, and the little boy stared back. Then, with a horrible growl it turned and crashed it's way back into the darker parts of the forest. And now Damien was running, but he was running back, back towards the fire that was now burning in their clearing. But the fire's glow was weak and feable compared to what Damien saw in the eyes. Shivering, he pulled himself closer to the fire. It was always cold outside, but that had nothing to do with the chill Damien felt.
|11th of Urnu, 26, midnight|
It is cold, and despite our best attempts, sometimes we cannot keep each other warm.
We have gathered skins from our battles, and I lay them out on the cold ground. They don't provide much warmth, falling open and sliding off each other, but maybe...
I carefully use my knife to slice an edge off one of the skins. Piercing two of the skins, I fit them together and knot the smaller piece of skin through the holes. The seam is raw, and the works difficult in the low light of the evening. It takes me a very long time to finish it, and I wonder if I'm using my time wisely, but there is the cold...
Eventually, I have pieced together all of the skins. They make a large blanket, big enough to cover us both, or completely wrap around one of us. I show it to my love. He doesn't say anything about the poor workmanship of the blanket, but draws it up around us and smiles at me.
Truly, I am blessed.
|11th of Vasa, 26, midnight|
Broden was quite young when he first fell in love. Yes, many a Kindred has had a dalliance or two, felt affection for another—but it's doubtful none have felt abiding devotion so great as Broden for his oven. It didn't start at first, of course. Broden was just 1 or 2 when it was created. But quickly Broden discovered that his oven—his, thank you very much—was capable of doing for Lorelei more than his tiny little arms had done before. Before, Broden was just a little toddler. After, he considered himself absolutely indispensible, and he has repaid that gift from the oven countless times since.
|6th of Gurtha, 27, midnight|
Damien liked the stone. He liked the way it felt. He liked the way it crumbled when he hit it with his hammer. Mommy was teaching him how to write, but the charcoal smeered across the parchment. Anyone could come by and change the words. But if he put the words in the stone, no one could change them, not even the Jibberwuck.
|2nd of Vasa, 27, midday|
I saw them before they saw me.
Their beady eyes were shifting about the camp greedily and I watched the creatures with annoyance. How dare they wander unwelcome into my home, scaring my children with their presence!
When the children saw the hobs they became afraid. I attempted to comfort them, to no avail. It was then that I decided they had to die. I looked quickly to my husband and scowled, for he was, once again, ignoring us all.
Yvaine and I sat watching one from underneath the shelter of her turtle hut. I made an attempt at comforting her and was again angered by the audacity of the beast. It stopped searching the camp and focused on us, breathing and waiting... What it was waiting for I do not know.
I took up my spear, and gave the children an admonition to stay there, for surely there would be safety in their numbers? I charged the beast, and enjoyed the rush as I plunged the spear deep into its stomach over and over. The rage inside of me surprised me and thrilled me. Suddenly the task was complete. The hob was dead. I looked with triumph at my observant children, the bloody spear held aloft. It was in that instant, that I heard a low growl coming from behind me. Before I could react, my grip on the weapon gave out. The spear fell to the ground. I reached out for it urgently, my head turning at that instant. The murderous look in the hob's cold, black eyes was reflected in the fear of my own...
|3rd of Vasa, 27, midnight|
We made some cream to help mommy. Why won't she wake up?
|9th of Khelek, 28, midnight|
"What strange eyes! I wonder where those came from..." His mother's face hovered over him as he opened his eyes for the first time. They shone a brilliant red as they seemed to scan the canopy shelter intently. He made some incoherent noises as his stomach grumbled quietly. His mother told him his name would be Myran, and that she was called Rose. It wasn't long before his father entered, carrying a variety of fruit for his newborn son. He was called Diran, and the fruits were called bananas and mangos. He was shown how to properly peel the fruit, and they proved to be quite tasty. He soon fell asleep, content and with a full belly.
|5th of Losse, 31, before dawn|
I came to this forest sad and lonely. I asked Elva, my mother, to give me strength.
And then, it happened. I did it. I killed my first wolf. It went down after a short fight. I pressed the butt of my wooden spear against the ground and braced myself as the wolf dove for me. It drove itself down onto the sharp tip and died. I was so happy. I knew then I would never be the same.
I will now call myself Wolfslayer.
|6th of Urnu, 34, midnight|
Little Holm was fascinated.
As long as he could remember, he has been interested in this mineral. He liked how its brown and red nuggets sparkled. He has always known they are special in some way; other kinds of stone were matt and mundane. Dull. Copper was prettier than anything he had ever seen.
But now he was a witness of a miracle. He looked in awe, as his father had grabbed a nugget and put it inside Ailim's "firebox". Was it resilient enough to not be burned away? The boy observed the work with curiosity. He had been staring into the fire so long his eyes started to water.
Then Valandil took the reddish, partially glowing nugget out. He put it on the stone, then begun to pound it with his hammer of granite. And lo, the metal bent easily. Skillful strokes flattened the nugget, changed it into a rectangular piece with sharp edges. It glowed slightly with reddish light, somewhat similar to fire in Ailim's kiln.
So he watched. He observed the pick being shaped, not knowing what is this strange item for. And he know what is he going to do when he is as big as his father. He will be gathering copper. And he will make amazing things with it. All brown and shiny, hard and resilient...
|4th of Khelek, 35, before dawn|
Lilly killed the last Fuzzy Wumple today. I don't know why she did it. We haven't seen any more in a long time. I kind of miss them. They were cute. Maybe I'll see one again some day.
|2nd of Kuile, 35, afternoon|
We have built the new forge. My brother and his father are making swords. I stand next to them watching as they work. I want a sword too, though I am only five years old. I notice we are low in our stores of chromium and so, now that I have my new leather boots, I can forage in the hills for it easily. I am convinced that is what we need for making metal. After searching for days and bringing back large quantities, I go stand at the forge next to my brother to watch him as he works. The light of the burning coals reflected in his eyes fascinates me. Proudly I tell him about all the chromium I have foraged. He stops working for a moment, turns to look at me with a smirk , "We don't use chromium for making metal Ayla!" He shakes his head with a mocking smile "That is used for making leather!" He tells me what we need to make the metal, but I hardly hear him in my embarrassment. I laugh at myself, as I often do and say "Silly Ayla!". He doesn't disagree with me.
|9th of Rosa, 35, midnight|
Holm was playing almost the entire day. It was his mother's cry which alarmed him and forced him to stop toying with stones. He left the pile and checked what was going on.
As always, his little brother lied in his improvised bed from snow. In fact, he was sleeping almost all the time. Usually Holm didn't even notice his presence. Now Tinne didn't look much different (maybe except that his chest didn't move), but his mother insisted he was dead. As the animals which some of them hunted for meat.
It was the first time some of them ever died. Holm never knew it was even possible. It seemed that every one of them can die, as the animals do. Even worse, one can pass away when asleep.
|7th of Lote, 35, midnight|
I am now foraging for iron. As I wander the hills to search just beyond our village, there are places that open up from the dense vegetation. I like to sit there and look out above the jungle canopy below. It spreads out before me like a green blanket. I can see tendrils of smoke from the village rising up and drifting over the tops of the trees. The jungle enfolds our home concealing it safely. I lay on my belly, my face rests on my hands. In my secret hiding place I pretend to fly over the tree's away from the village. I imagine what I would see as I go farther and farther away from the safety of my family. In my reverie I have grand adventures as I discover wondrous things. What those wondrous discoveries are I don't have a name for. My world is very small, there is only our people living under Dyn's Light. But there is a feeling I have in the center of my chest that there is so much more. I roll over looking up at the sky and place my hands over this place of expanding pressure and try to push back in. I'm afraid it will burst through me, like my words do. I stand, gathering together the iron I have collected. Before I thread my way down the hill to the dark, close jungle, I take deep breaths in, trying to get more of the air that feels so different in this open place.
Walking into the village I place my collection where the iron is kept near the kiln. I look about confused as the pile is much smaller than when I left. I had thought with what I had brought back before I would have enough for my sword. As I stand there my brother picks up more iron from the pile and without looking up continues to work on his armor. Scowling, I stamp my foot in frustration. This is not the first time, but it will be the last! I stand by the kiln tapping my foot, watching as one of my sisters works on her sword next to my brother. I want a sword so badly, but do not have enough iron to start. Words start to bubble in my belly, I take deep breaths to try to control them. I notice the pile of foraged copper. Walking over to the pile I squat down and pick up a piece. A strand of my hair falls forward over my hand and I notice it is the same color. That makes me smile. I will make a copper sword! I like that it will be different from my brothers. I smile inwardly as well as I make a plan to keep foraging iron and hide it from the others. I look sideways to the kiln at my brother and sister as they work. I am not as silly as they think I am. I will have two swords! I will hold one in each hand as I bravely travel far away from here.
|5th of Ringwe, 36, midnight|
It is her birthday, she is 7 now. Distractedly, rubbing the leaves of the plant she holds , it's pungent scent drifts to her as she remembers. Her brothers father found the plant while foraging in the mines. He commented as he set it down that he didn't see much use for it, he named it sage. When no one was looking she picked it up, brought it to her nose and sniffed it. Her head swam with dizziness. A sensation, much the same as when she made the water came over her. This plant was important. She wasn't yet sure how it was to be used.
Sitting in the mine she holds the sage plant she found for herself. She likes the mines. The dark cool quiet of them. It's almost like having the faraway adventure she craves. Sometimes the darkness here can close in on her, making her breathing come fast, the air hard to take in, but not often. An idea about the plant comes to her as she sits quietly in the darkness. Rising, she walks back through the tunnels to the surface, to her family.
Emerging from the mines entrance she sets about creating her idea. Gathering wood , she starts to weave it together . Her mother walks over and starts to add to the now growing tower. She then notices her brother picking up wood as well, setting a smile to her lips. Her brothers father comes over to join them. Taking an ember from the kiln, she sets it to the wood, watching as the ember sets a small branch alight. The small flame licks up and around the woven branches, wisps of smoke curl up through the tower. She watches as the fire grows, enchanted as it throws odd and shifting patterns against the jungle vegetation. She tosses the sage onto the fire. She then solemnly speaks a prayer of gratitude for her life, her family and the jungle they live in. She asks her brother if he would like some of the plant to toss on the fire, he declines with a laugh. Shrugging, she focuses on the fire once more and makes a silent prayer to herself, tossing more of the sage onto the flames.
Her family stands by the fire talking. She sits next to her mother, leaning her head on her leg, the warmth her body and the flames make her drowsy, her eyelids grow heavy. Her mother then starts to talk about something called the Ocean. She stirs at this word, glancing up at her mother as she talks. "What is the Ocean Mamma?", her eyes now wide awake with curiosity. Her mother describes what Ayla's father has told her. Her father is the only one who has traveled around the area, he is the one who found the Ocean. "Would you like to take a trip there Ayla?" her mother asks. The pressure in her chest starts, words are bubbling in her belly, she can hardly contain herself. She jumps up and down clapping her hands "Oh Mamma Yes! Yes! When can we go?!
|5th of Khelek, 38, before dawn|
Squinting up at the Sun, I lie on the sand, where the last bit of the waves crawling up the beach can reach me. Rhythmically, they surround me with water. I bring the Pearl up above me to block out the sun's glare. The gem is now a dark orb encircled with beams of light. We have traveled here from the village to see the Ocean. I start to roll over and over, laughing, sand sticks to my body, sparkling like stars. I stand then and run at the water. The waves crash into me and I squeal with delight. I dive into a wave just before it collapses, water rushes over me. Surfacing I look out at the vastness of the Ocean. My jungle home is closed in, the surrounding vegetation encloses it like a great wall. Here on the beach, looking out over the horizon, the open vista of water expands into a world I can only imagine. I hold the Pearl on the line of the horizon. I slowly move it in an arc so it appears to travel in the sky, a round milky orb.
|6th of Khelek, 38, midnight|
Floating, the water surrounds me and absorbs my angry tears as they fall off the side of my face. Mamma wants me to go, to travel back to the village with Diran. She will stay here. She says she needs some time to be alone and heal. So many babies have passed with the sleeping sickness. Angrily I rub my eyes and shout "But I am alive!" . My words get absorbed by the salty air and the sounds of the waves. "But I don't want to leave!" I sob. I love it here, the place I call Pearl Beach. I love the Ocean, the scent of it, the silky feel of it on my skin. I can breathe here freely, I dread going back to the suffocation of the jungle. I turn and go under the surface, to the coral reef below me. The light from above shimmers over the Ocean floor, bounces off the fish, their colors like rainbows, as they dart in and out of the coral. There! Another one! I dive deeper to the white sandy bottom, where another Pearl, illuminated by the light filtering through the water rests. I pick it up, its luster and iridescence enchants me. I swim back up to the surface. Holding the Pearl in the cup of my hand, I think of Mamma. Maybe this small piece of light will make her happy.
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