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|8th of Kuile, 53, evening|
"Jasa," One of us asked. I couldn't remember who exactly asked, this happened when were were only four. "Why do those vultures fly?"
Jasa thought carefully. "It really is simple, actually." We looked at him in curiosity, Isha and I. "They fly because they are afraid of my killing them!" He laughed. Jasa then ran to the vultures and began killing several of them, one by one. We were used to these hunts happening, so we watched it happily, admiring his strength.
"I s'pose it makes sense." I said cheerfully. "You are really big and strong, Jasa!" I said, holding my arms out playfully.
Jasa smiled. Jasa was such a fun friend!
|4th of Elen, 53, midnight|
Another one of them, a small little package, hatching from the single egg I had laid. I'd been watching it on and off for a while now, wondering about whether it'd be a boy or a girl this time. I didn't care much for either, they both had their qualities. Both of them were supposed to work hard in the end anyway, though the girls did have the added possibility of children in the future. Anyway, so the little thing butted its small head against the cracking shell of the egg, and popped its head into the big world. I fed it, and went back to work...this one seemed pretty dumb.
|12th of Elen, 53, midnight|
About Being Born and Early Childhood
I was born in the forest and my first memories that I have are of staring up at the many leaves that formed a green, large roof over my head. I always wondered what was out beyond it as I would catch little glimpses of blue and sometimes a light shining through as if there was a large fire somewhere out there.
I remember the clear, blue lake that which I would find blueberry bushes growing by. I loved blueberries when I was younger. I preferred the sweet taste and softness of the fruit over the tough, bland meat that my parents would hunt and cook over a fire. I could spend all day searching for blueberries and at one time I had amassed a large pile of them that my mother would wash in the lake and then feed them to my brothers and me.
Other times, when I wasn’t pulling blueberries from their branches, I would pull out this icky green stuff which I have come to learn in adulthood are algae. I never knew what to do with it all so my brothers and I would pile it up near the lake. It became a large pile. Often times I wonder if that pile still exists somewhere out there by a lake in the forest. I wonder if, maybe someday, my children or grandchildren will wander upon the pile and wonder for what reason it was placed there. I think now, with a smile, if they will think some mischievous spirit placed it there or if they would guess that their ancestors as children and out of boredom placed it there for they knew not what else to do with it.
When I wasn’t playing around the lake I would be with my brothers running and playing through the forest. I had two older brothers that were active. There was Ado always wanting to play with his sword and then Amabi who was big but sometimes he seemed a little slow. My two older brothers took care of me and I had loved them so much although at times Ado could be a little much.
Ado was the eldest brother and I remember him always wanting to be the one in control. He always had to make the decisions like where we play and how we do things. It also seemed that Mother treated him better although this may be just jealousy left over from childhood memories.
Then there was Amabi who was the complete opposite of Ado. He seemed to always be calm and kind. He was big in muscle but he never seemed to use his strength in anger or to hurt others. At least from what I can remember from childhood. He sometimes didn’t seem to understand things like others did but I always knew, while it took longer for Amabi to understand things, he wasn’t simple minded.
I was one of four children born to my Mother the day I was born. I was born with two other brothers and a sister. I never knew my two brothers as they were dreamers even as newborns and passed back to the spirits soon after. My sister Yulia I knew briefly but she too descended into the dreams and never woke again as a young girl.
Thus was the way of our kind fighting the dreams that could overcome us at any moment but as a child I did not have worries of the dreaming but instead of what was in the dreams as often when I did dream it was of the red eyes in the darkness of the night. Even to this day I still have those nightmares of the beast that took my first home.
We called them Night Watchers although as a young child I simply referred to them as wolf monsters as they had the appearance of a wolf but larger and they could stand on two paws as well as four. They also had red, glowing eyes that appeared and stood out in the dark. Some nights you could only see a few and other nights there appeared to be a hundred of them around us.
My brothers and I would often time sleep near each other and there were a many sleepless nights in Moonglade. Ado was the most scared of them but as a young child he had been attacked and almost killed by one while playing in the forest. To this day his body still bears the scars of that horrible day and my mind still bears the nightmares of seeing my brother bloodied and torn to pieces and the terrible creature that roamed our forests that did it.
I’m not sure I remember exactly when I vowed to get rid of these creatures but I would like to say of any moment that there was I believe it was the moment that Ado had almost been killed by the beasts and being witnessed to it. I’m not sure how I was going to do it but someday the beasts would be no more.
My mother was a beautiful woman with dark skin and white hair that which contrasted each other. She always wore her hair in a ponytail and she was exceptionally graceful. Whenever she moved it was as if leaves were blowing in the wind. It was from our Mother that my brothers and I learnt of the world.
We learnt of the spirits and how we should always respect them and they would be kind to us. We learnt how when we die we must be returned to the lake or otherwise our spirits will be lost and angered and will become the Night Watchers full of rage and hate. We learnt of a place to which my Mother referred to as the Bones of the Earth and how they stuck out of the ground. She told us that our people must find these bones because she dreamt that if we didn’t then our race would be doomed. Years later and other adventures to be told my family would search for these bones but alas now I feel I have told enough already and I’m afraid that is all I remember of my early childhood that is not worth telling in another tale.
|12th of Elen, 53, evening|
I had been working on some food when all of a sudden, one of the children began to kill others. I didn't really know any of those who died at the time, but I remember Father calling the little killing boy a demon. Ever since, I had been wary of demons, and I constantly wonder who is guilty of also being demonic.
|12th of Ringwe, 53, midnight|
Light. Suddenly, light, bright, all around me. Smiling faces looking down at me (I, me, what is me?) And a crying noise I don’t hear ‘til I realize that it’s me.
But I can’t seem to stop. This world is too bright, those faces too happy. I close my eyes in terror as one of them, rough hands, picks me up.
Rough Hands holds me gently. Its textured hands are covered with scabs and scars. My pea brain briefly wonders why, though only in images.
I can see, barely, though the Rough Hands. Large, green, spiky things reach upwards toward the sky, While feathered….things fly near them. I close my eyes as I see these things, never to wake again.
Brave new world.
|3rd of Elen, 54, midnight|
I've just finished adding my tenth tunnel to the mines. I'm so very deep under the mountain, now - a massive river of molten rock flows here, and the heat of it made my skin blister. I never knew anything, anything could be so hot.
As I finished the tunnel, though, something very strange happened to me. I almost don't know how to describe it. Just as I swung my pick for the final time and felt the rock of the mountain give way before me, a powerful voice spoke into my head. "Welcome Ellina, beloved daughter of Ailim and Holm", it said. I dropped my pick to the ground and ran out of the mine as fast as my legs would carry me.
When I got out, Daddy was working the forge like he usually does. He asked me what was wrong, why I was screaming... So I told him. I hope he never looks at me again like he did that day - He looked at me like I was crazy, and kept insisting that I must be wrong. I know it happened, though. I KNOW it happened. Why won't he believe me?
I'm heading back into my mine, now. I've realized there's nothing to be afraid of. The Gods are buried underneath the mountain, and they have welcomed me. The Gods are down there, somewhere, and I'm going to find them.
|7th of Elen, 54, midnight|
Stomping her way to the East from Nolja, she wipes her tears with frustration. It was obvious he wasn't interested, so she might as well travel. Being around him was just a sad reminder. She really tried this time. She made a special drink from the root, just for him, then asked if he would like to come into the tent with her. He took the drink and ignored her. It was too much. She could see the Mountain far to the East. She had hoped they would travel together there. Her tears continued at this thought and she angrily wiped them away. She must stop this sniveling over him. Ever since she came back from her travels with Laurel, all she could think of was him. While traveling, she had become strong and independent. Now, she even disgusted herself. That must be it then, she must disgust him too. Taking a large breath, she resolved to forget him and immerse herself in this new adventure. She would travel over the Mountains and find others. She just knew that there were others. It just couldn't be that her family were the only people in this world. Dynn must have made others.
|10th of Elen, 54, midnight|
It was some time before I even realized I could move but eventually I took my first looks around the world and then screamed. The world that had someone called "Mother" and another called "Sister" and they both tried to keep me quiet. Sister covered her ears, which was kinda funny, but I was too hungry to laugh. I liked them both when I saw them but then Mother ignored me; she ignored me and I got sad but Sister didn’t ignore me. She was nice and had pretty hair. Hair I wanted to tug on and eat, so I did.
Sister got mad at me for tugging but I didn’t know why. It was too much fun pulling out her hair and eating it. I was hungry! I only got a little piece of meat that I gobbled up so fast I almost bit my fingers off but that meat felt so good on my tummy. There was a guy named “Father” and some other siblings there too but I don’t like any of them. They are a bit scary; I think I hated them already.
|5th of Gurtha, 54, midnight|
♥ VALLO was born
|6th of Lasse, 54, before dawn|
The possessed child stood staring at me from atop a pile of loot. It had taken everything we owned, everything we had worked so hard to build. A red froth had formed around its mouth from its foul feeding.
"Ye've eaten your own kin!" I cried with disgust. The thing just reached into it's brother's body and brought another steaming handful of entrails to it's mouth. The bile rose in my throat, and I spit in pure revulsion.
There was nothing else to do. I was mortified, shamed that my mate and I could produce such a horror. I approached the thing, and it clutched possessively at the things it had stole from the family - our food, our oven, our tools. Without these things, we couldn't feed the rest of the children.
I raised my hammer into the air, the thick muscles of my arms hard as the stone of the mountain. "May the Great Spirit of the Mountain forgive me," I muttered, and then I swung the hammer with all my might. Demon or no, the thing still had a child's form, and it's body snapped like a thin twig and flew across the clearing. It lay there twitching feebily, so I raised my hammer once more and brought it straight down on the thing's head.
One of the other children started to cry as the things blood splattered me. I picked up the body and tossed it over the cliff for the animals. The Great Spirit was cruel to allow such a foul thing to happen to my son.
Then I turned and picked up the crying child, rocking her softly in my arms and doing my best to sing her a song. Her little hands grabbed at my face, smearing the blood that was splattered there. I couldn't help but smile, she was so darling.
"Don't worry, little one. Everything is going to be just fine. Daddy will do whatever it takes to protect you."
I told her that, and I meant it.
|2nd of Naur, 55, midnight|
Her complaining about the dangers of the creatures near the children did not go unheeded.
She had been watching the young ones play when a commotion caught her attention. She watched as her brother elegantly hacked through a group of creatures. She watched the blood fly, spattering the ground, and the rain washing it away just as fast. She watched him counting his kills, as was typical for the older members of the colony.
And then she heard a sound and turned. The young ones in their innocence had not yet learned how the hunt goes. The image of her brother bloodied and beaten surrounded by innumerous corpses was too much for their young minds. As her son clung to her, her sister burrowed into her hiding place. In that instant she grew up. Grabbing a leaf along the way, she picked up her son, and coerced her sister from her save haven. Across to the shade of the house she took them, and took action. She would never be able to explain why she did it, and she knew she had to, but she couldn't say how she knew that either. On autopilot she trekked across the sand to the house her siblings made so long ago and prepared for battle.
As her brother fell to the ground in euphoria, they shrunk away, and for an instance she was mad. She made him assert his good health, for the little good it did. Then, with a flourish, she split the leaf for the children to see. They watched in wide eyed astonishment as she pulled back half the leaf, revealing the smooth gel inside. They quivered in anticipation as she scooped it out for him to use. As her son's interest shifted to examining his father's wounds, she took to the hot sand, her sister's hand in her own.
She pointed out the important things to keep her focused. Which plants to get the leafs from, where the best leaves were, and she split them, since the young one's chubby fingers could not. She split leaf after leaf for the child to pull back. She cheered her spirits with stories of the names other siblings had called the creams. She talked and comforted and walked her for days, until her little sister forgot about the brutality she had witnessed.
She became a helper, a teacher, an adapter, a mentor to those younger, all because of a routine hunt. And it suited her.
|3rd of Elen, 55, midday|
I felt an immense feeling of power creep up into my hands. Quickly I reached for my whip's handle, clenching my fingers tightly around it. Smiling malevolently I flicked the end of the long, leather whip down at my good-for-nothing daughter's face, leaving a bright red mark that was soon followed by blood. I laughed at how fragile and frail my daughter's body was now, like it has always been. The girl never had much of a spine. As I watched the little girl drop down to her knees, her eyes a distant look in them, I took out my carving knife. Stepping closer, I held up my blade and kicked my heel into her chin, pushing her back a little. Before her - now more dead than alive - body could fall over, I stabbed her. Right into the stomach. Loli was no more, and she would soon fill my hungry stomach.
|3rd of Elen, 55, midday|
Dear sister was lost.
|7th of Elen, 55, midnight|
Sitting kneeled down on one of the rugs I went to do some cooking. I picked a nice, juicy piece of cow meat. Cooking was always nice...it was a moment of thoughts - many thoughts. Sometimes they were about the future, my future. And other times they were about the past, the beginning. This time? This time it was the past. I thought about the Light of Creation that had supposedly created us at the beginning of times. It was our pathetic idea of giving coincidence a name. Of course there was no greater power, and if there was, asking it for a favor wasn't going to do much. We've seen enough regarding that matter, I mean, Krai never returned. And then there was Lorel. Hard-working Lorel. Bored, nonchalantly tired Lorel. She worked hard, but I'd hoped for her to be better than this, honestly. The meat was done. With a smile that was somewhat sad, almost melancholic, I started eating dinner early today.
|6th of Gurtha, 55, midnight|
My sister wore an old shirt that was much too big for her and kept near her a wooden hammer. She slept all the time, in the same place in the camp, and I had grown so used to her presence that I never asked about her at all.
But one day, she wasn't there any more. I asked my brothers and sister about her, but they didn't know where she had gone or any more about her than I did.
Talya saw a mangled shirt on the ground and thought the doggy had eaten our sister with the shirt, but I thought that it couldn't be true because the doggy was nice and there was no blood like there was when our brothers hunted.
Finally, Java came and told us that she'd died from not eating. None of us knew her name, so Talya and I decided to give her one - she wanted to name our dead sister Java, but of course there was already a Java. I wanted her to have a good name, a special name no one in our family had ever had before, and the name quickly occurred to me: Berry.
I loved making berries and wandering through the forests to look for their bushes. Most of all, I liked to eat them - we all did, though Talya and probably Ailana liked their bread lumps better.
Berry was a good name, and I thought that it fit our sister with the shirt well.
|1st of Lasse, 55, afternoon|
There were no ribbits tonight in Lorelei.
|7th of Ringwe, 55, midnight|
I left them. I left them all, and I'm not going back for a long time.
|9th of Ringwe, 55, sunrise|
When he said he would leave, I went and gathered wood for him so that he would be able to make fire.
He told me that fire was good for keeping from freezing from the cold, cooking meat, and keeping away the animals. It seemed useless to me; I didn't think it was ever cold enough to freeze, and there were always raspberries in the forest to eat and I didn't know why anyone would want to eat anything else. The animals were nice too, so it seemed strange to me that he would wish to keep them away.
But I remembered the majestic blaze of a bonfire from a few months ago and how happy I'd felt watching the strange thing, and besides, I'd never liked other people knowing things that I didn't know, so I asked him to promise to teach me to make fire when he returned.
|1st of Khelek, 56, before dawn|
Nisa left Nefarka to find 'the colony to the East and hopefully find a mate. She planned on going east until she hit the ocean, then going south west, then go west until she hit ocean again, and then return to Nefarka if she ran into no mates.
|12th of Losse, 56, evening|
Alden struggled along the old worn path that he had seen before. It was the same as it had been those many years ago when he first arrived from Lorelei. This time, he wasn't sure he would go back.
The sun was setting when he looked over the hill and saw the beautiful orchard he had come to cherish. He would spend the next few months finishing the Green Leaf Inn. He hoped that this would someday become a refuge for travellers, fleeing the cold tundra in the north.
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