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The Faery Tale

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Gurtha, 134 - Before dawn, hr 3    
His brother, wearing strange things now--like the skin Tar wears around his groin but tougher and stronger--offers to make this second-skin for him, and Tar accepts guardedly. He has to help, of course (though Jai has always been strange this way, he gifts rather than trades) but Tar thinks this is fair. His old bone-coverings are cracked and fragmented and hardly protect him at all.

The second-skin is made from long water-things, which Tar readily hunts. He is not the best hunter, he knows, his shrunken, feeble arm slowing him, but surely he can kill this limb-less prey?

His sharp-thing is splintered and only barely a sharp-thing at all, and the last water-thing proves more of a challenge than expected, wrapping around his body and squeezing, squeezing, squeezing.

He throws the weapon that failed him away in fury and he runs. It's stupid, it's cowardly (it's like his bad arm has taken over his body and made him weak all over) but something inside is broken and many more things on the outside too, so he runs.

He retreats to the tower and sulks for a while, bandaging his side with mud and leaves and emmersing himself in the cool water until he feels capable again. He whiles away the time until he's better by searching Eko's belly and making things. He can't fight well without his sharp, even broken as it was, so he fashions a club and feels better. The open air his exposed and he feels sure that the wind is carrying the scent of his blood to every swamp creature, so he chisels a heavy digging tool and starts a shelter. He fights and kills an already-injuired crocodile, just to prove that he still can, but the battle costs him and he goes back to laying on the dirt and hurting. He knows he looks--and is--defenseless, but no one can see him and he can't do anything to change it anyways, so he lashes his tail and hopes his teeth are sharp enough to scare any animals off.

When he's better again, able to walk and swing his club and even carry his crude sack across his back, he heads home. He is a creature well-suited for solitude, but he was raised with three squabbling, rowdy brothers and sisters, and he wants to see his family.

But when he gets back, they are all gone.

He knew they were leaving, following the stranger, the not-family and not-food, but he hadn't thought it would happen so soon.

They leave the silent little behind, though, he notices.

He still hurts, and his family is gone, and he is hungry. His club is not a good weapon, and even if it were he's not sure that he can hunt with the pain and even his one good arm not working quite right all the time.

That's alright, though, because they've left the little behind, and though he woke once, he hasn't moved since. Tar knows that family is not food, but he also knows that littles who don't move are not family.

He eats, and then he travels.
 
Ringwe, 134 - Midday, hr 7    

He spins sideways just in time, brushing off the crocodiles initial attack and scoring a hit with his spear, leaving a deep gash across the crocodiles snout. It pulls back but then barrels forward knocking him of his feet, it manages to get its teeth around his ankle, but before it can bite down hard he swings the spear dealing a blow with the haft between the crocodiles eyes, as it is momentarily stunned he manges to wrench his foot free from its jaws, regaining his footing he stabs forward with the spear again, intending to skewer the beast but his spear glances of its tough hide and the croc launches itself forward once more, this time grabbing his arm, he tears it free, losing a lot of skin, blood and flesh in the process. However his spear drops from lifeless fingers and the croc pins him to the ground. He thrashes around trying to stop the croc from getting a grip on one of his limbs, then he spies his dagger, lying on the ground, his toolbox having being knocked over earlier in the fight, he grabs it and plunges it in to the croc eye, stabbing right through to the brain, the beast stiffens and collapses on top of him. He pushes the corpse off with his good arm,gathers up his stuff and limps towards the Inn.

 
Ringwe, 134 - Evening, hr 12    
Pa make shaker for Rodi. Merri has shaker too!
 
Rosa, 135 - Afternoon, hr 8    
Cesia slid the small wooden coffin into its place by the others. She rested her hand on the lid, tracing the grain with her fingertips.

“…Vaedea watch over our little Ysenia and keep her safe.”

Turning to leave, she paused by the three large sarcophagi that stood guard in the middle of the room. She inched toward them with trepidation, their stone dragon guardians keeping watch as she approached. It wasn’t as if she feared them – after all, she was the one who carved them of the stone for that purpose.

She rested her hands on the one to the right, dusting away time from the engraving on the front. Kneeling before it, she turned and pressed her back to the cold stone.  She paused as if waiting for the granite to speak to her. Finally, she took a deep breath and sighed.

“Hi, Sul-Rani…it’s me. Cesia.”

The words echoed quietly in the marble vault, her only response.

“…how are you? Sul-Kavo and Sul-Rani keeping you company?” She smiled slightly at the thought. “I hope you’re resting well…”

Picking at her claws, her gaze fell to her lap.

“Rani, I…I don’t think I can have pups. They’re…all of my pups have been Lost.” Sighing, she Aelleri female flopped back against the stone. “All of them. A few showed life for brief moments, but…” Her voice fell to barely a whisper. “…all of them…”

She cleared her throat. “I…I think I know why. I think…the same thing that changed my ranis and kavo…that took Ani’ and Tobar…Siana…I think…maybe it poisons me. I fight it, Rani, I really do! …it’s…so hard. Sometimes I…just want to be with you all. …I miss you.”

The moisture on her cheek was quickly swiped away by the back of her hand.

“…we’re dying, Rani.  There are so few…Narin sleeps just like his kavo did.” Her lips quivered with a grin at the thought. “He’s good with the little ones when he’s awake…when they’re awake…”

“Did I tell you we bonded with Ysa?” A chuckle rumbled from her throat. “I know…who would have thought? It was Narin’s idea…it made her happy. She doesn’t remember me, and…I think it’s better that way. It think it’s better she doesn’t think on Elisa or Tasir…or know they’re no longer alive.”

 “Anyway…Cikor has been kind to us.  I come back here when…when I need to. It’s all clean. I make sure of it on every visit.”

“Alita has been a driving force in my life. That sweet pup…I wish Tasiya could see her. To know what a good Aelleri she became. She’s so helpful…caring…she’d make a wonderful rani if…i-i-if there was anyone for her to share a bond with…”

“…yeah…we’re that few.”

“Nera has been a huge lift in my spirits, too! She’s -” Her hand came to cover her mouth. She waited a moment, glancing around as if something was to strike her. “…I…didn’t tell you about that…Nera’s…Sethra. The ones who lived on Eteni?...”

“Please, don’t be angry, Sul-Rani! I know, I know that…what we were taught, but!...she’s very kind. Very thoughtful. Such a help when Ysa had her litter…when I needed to take care of…returning mine to Vaedea… They’re not all bad, Sul-Rani…I promise. I haven’t forgotten our ways…I brought your writings all the way to Cikor for the pups to read.” She laughs. “Even the bookcase you made to keep them in! Alita’s learning…it’s a bit hard for her to read, but…she’s trying. I know she can do it.”

“We’re…not all that different, really…”

She sighed heavily. “…I…should get back. Little Ysenia’s death…really cut Ysa and Narin. I’m worried for them…she met her end far, far too soon…” Cesia shook her head. “It’s my fault…I should have been there…”

Running her hand over the lid of the sarcophagus, Cesia stood. “…will you take care of her wherever you are, Sul-Rani? She needs a lot of attention. She’s very, very playful...very loving…I don’t know if Vaedea could even keep up.” She chuckled quietly.

“I’ll…see you again when I come back…I hope not too soon.”

Closing her eyes, the woman clasped her hands and whispered, “Vaedea…watch over them and keep them safe.”
 
Vasa, 136 - Sunrise, hr 4    

Avaline,

 

My darling daughter. It had been my hope that I didn’t have to go so soon, that you would have been older when the time came. But it seems the Goddess’s will is far stronger than my own. 

 

I hope you remember the talk that we had, about how you came to be. I never thought I would have children and I do not regret the horrible circumstances that lead me to have you. Not one bit.  I remember when you first woke up, I couldn’t imagine anything being as wonderful. Giving a piece of myself to the Goddess every time she called me to have children was a small price, but it seems she has taken too much and I have nothing left for myself. 

 

You are my only living child. You are the first and the last to hold the name Sarrenzia. You are my special girl. Do not forget who you are. I know you will do something important, something wonderful for Magrathea, I know that.

 

The house in the city is your home now. The things inside are for you to use as you see fit. My brother, your uncle, made it but passed before he could use it. I used it but will pass before I can make it a home. Perhaps you can do that. The store room next to the house is yours too. I hope the things in there will be of some use to you. I leave you your Uncle Jason’s steel claymore. It is made by the Set, by Myka. A special girl should wield a special weapon I believe. You will find it in the house. I hope you use it, and use it well.

There is an amphora in the house, it contains the things that are precious to me. I know I will have no use for it where I am going but it would ease the pain in a sick woman’s heart if you would keep it safe. I hope that whenever you look through it, you will remember me.

 

If I could stay and watch you grow I would in an instant, but it seems that I can only do so from afar. If ever you are in need of counsel, I hope your grandfather will offer you words of advice. If ever you are in need of strength, I hope Myka will teach you. If ever you are in need of a mother’s touch, I hope Zahura will give you that in my stead. If ever you need someone to believe in you, I hope you know that I always will.

Although you may not see us, both of your mothers, Avien’zia and myself, will be watching and protecting you. Please know that I will always love you, my little Ava, my darling girl.

 

Your mother, 

Sarriah

 

--------------------

 

Papa, 

 

Do you believe you have lived your life to the fullest? When the time comes to join Avien’zia, will you go with no regrets? I feel you might say no. Perhaps Im wrong. I would say no. If I could go back and change things, I would in an instant. I would have stopped you from leaving. Or maybe I would have never gone back to Sylvaswan after my first visit to Magrathea. If I could redo my life, I could definitely do with a little less pain, a little less disappointment.

 

Mama said she never wanted me to have the life I had growing up. I miss her very much, especially now. I’ll miss you too.

 

I wanted you to be there when I was young and I wanted to know you. I know of the situation that caused you to leave but you don’t know of my situation once you left. It was just me and Markus and mama and lots of Anu. Mama had Ahmose, Markus had Ahmya and I had to try my best to fit in. I used to watch them play but could never join in else they scratch me with their claws. I used to watch them talk and play with Ahmose but could never talk or play with him in the same way. I used help out with everything and anything just so that I could feel needed, but it was so obvious I didn't belong. 

 

So I came to Magrathea. I was desperate to see you. Seeing so many people like me and no Anu was something new, but I was the visitor. I was expected to go back. I didn't belong there either. Shuffled between two cities and two parents. I’d like to think it made me stronger for what came next. 

 

From one sad event to the next. Arguing with Ahmose at every turn with him believing you brainwashed me, mama trying to help but not helping at all, my leaving Sylvaswan with Osiris and Ahmose thinking I brainwashed him with my wiles, coming to Magrathea to find you had left, people dropping dead soon after, Sirius running rampant and kidnapping children, you, mama and Ahmose all in one place after so long, leaving on a journey of discovery with the burden of babysitting, falling ill, being possessed, dying, dying several more times, Helena killing Uncle Jason. My will slipping away with each event.

 

But even with all this, I cherish my moments with mama and you, however small they were. I do not regret my children, I love them all, alive or dead. Moments with my family. Even my Anu family. 

 

As I write this now, it’s very easy to feel bitter about what happened. But I lay no blame. Avien’zia led me on this path and I could do nothing else but follow it. It seems she has made me do a great many things over the years. I write this now because I want someone to know the things I have been through. I’ve never told anyone because there was no one to tell. I want someone to remember, and maybe many years later, someone will say “There was a girl named Sarriah..” and my story will be told. 

 

I know what I’m asking of you, and I don’t think I could ask anyone else. I don’t think they would understand. I hope you do. 

I love you papa.

 

Your daughter,

Sarriah

 

--------------------

 

Liam,

 

I thought you had died. When I got back from my trip, you weren’t there like you said you would be. No one could find you. Some said you had left, some said you were lost in the mines, some didn’t even care to find out. After a while, with no sighting of you, I thought you had died. 

 

I had asked for you when I thought I was going to die. When I fell sick after my trip, when Garrack was possessing me. I had asked Uncle Jason to find you, so I could say good bye. He had said he would try and find you, I don’t know if he even did. Well, he’s dead now.  

 

Did you know that I -did- die. Uncle Jason did that, to get Garrack out of me and Avien’zia saved me instead. She gave me children. I never thought I would ever have children. But I had five. The Goddess gave me four boys and one girl, she took all her boys back. I hope you meet the girl, Avaline. Every time, she gave me children, I would have to give a part of myself to her. There was so much pain. I could have used my friend to help me through it.

 

You know I found it. I found the beach. The most perfect beach, secluded, no one anywhere. Just the water and the sand. I was going to tell you about it as soon as I got back, that I had found the perfect place for you to start fresh. And I was going to help you. I thought of you then, but you had vanished.

 

I stopped thinking about you for a while, because I thought you were dead. So much happened after my trip, so much pain happened. Maybe you could ask someone my story, my father perhaps. The day Helena came to kill us all, I saw you. Alive and well. Happily cooking. A part of me hated you for being the same as before while I had to go through so much. I didn’t talk to you, mostly because I was trying to keep my sister from murdering my uncle. You didn’t even help. You just cooked. I don’t know why. I tried to find you again, so we could talk but you had disappeared again. I thought I had my friend back again. Seems I thought wrong.

 

I still have the gold ring you gave me. Sometimes, when my children would sleep, I would turn the ring on my finger and remember the fun we used to have. Sometimes, I wish for those simple days to return, when we would sit by the pond or even swim in it and have conversations about anything and everything. When the only complicated decision was whether riding your turtle or the Dune was a good idea. When we would laugh. I miss laughing. 

 

I am going to die, soon. Now. By the time you get this, maybe I’m already dead. In a way, I’m glad you haven’t seen me properly. Im a ghost of what I used to be. Those days will never return. I hope you cherish them and remember them often, I do. I hope you remember me Liam. 

 

Your friend,

Sarriah

 

 
Kuile, 137 - Afternoon, hr 8    
Selections from a Journal

Great Lady of Light...I am starting to think sand is your idea of a joke. If I wanted to wear it all over my fur, I would find a way to make clothing from it. However, I do not. Nor do I enjoy having it worm its way into my food. I would add nuts if I desired a crunch to my cactus pulp.
 
Vasa, 138 - Afternoon, hr 8    
I can't believe it, I am actually going to be able to go on a journey. I had already planned to go on one before, but my twin brother and my sister left without me. I really hope they are allright. Hopefully I can see them again, but if not I at least have the club my twin made me to remember him by. Anyway, I really hope I get to see a lot of new things while I am traveling with Mother, and I hope that eventually my parents will let me go on my own one day.
 
Khelek, 144 - Evening, hr 10    
His eyes followed his older sister, Oriana, and her new friends until he could no longer see them as they headed south towards what his parents called Rosa's Meadow.  Tears formed in his eyes--but he tried to stifle them.  Hale knew this pilgrimage was important to her, and that someday he too would venture on this journey to become what his pada and amma called 'hommen' by finding this 'apple.'

He just didn't understand why she had to leave so soon...he had been so worried when she and Roslyn argued and ran off in anger!  Throughout that year they were missing, he did not know if they were safe and unharmed, or...he had witnessed such dangers that lurked in the forest when the big thing came.  Luckily grandpada Arden had been there to protect them...and when they finally returned, they spoke of leaving on this pilgrimage!  Luckily Peregrine and Kiara took their time in visiting, but Hale always knew it would be too good to last.

Never before had he been as grateful as for Roslyn's decision to wait for him to become of age, even though she was old enough to go with Oriana and the others.  Had he been left alone again without either of his sisters...he shuttered to think of what great sadness would have befallen him.

His father once told him what praying was--when 'you get quiet and you hope for things to be nice'...rest assured, when Oriana left, he had many quiet moments.
 
Elen, 146 - Midday, hr 6    
His voice becoks me forward, but he is no longer there. His warmth embraces me in the darkness. I've loved you for a long time, so please take me with you. Take me in your embrace, for this world's warmth evades me. And with that dream, she was gone and never awoke.
 
Kuile, 151 - Evening, hr 10    
Tar is lost, inside. His brother has gone, his sister has gone, his mother and father are gone. Since the new littles were born, he's realised how much he wants littles bearing his own name. But he'll never have them, because of his arm. Because he is weak.
Whenever he looks at the littles, he feels envy. Whenever he looks at their mothers, he remembers his sister, who birthed them. Whenever he looks at Jai, he remembers his father, who was leader before.
Whenever he looks at his hands, he remembers his brother, who wore these wraps.
It's very strange for him to look around at his family and know that he is the oldest of them.
He wonders if this is how Zai felt, before he felt.
Lost.
 
Khelek, 152 - Evening, hr 10    
Selections from a Journal

This entry is not for me. This is the story of an Anu girl called Lala.

She was gentle and kind. I doubt she could ever harm a living creature. Never did she show mailce, spite, hatred...just a pure heart.

She was not granted a voice by the creator. A whisper was the only sound she could make. Not words, just a sound like wind on the reeds.

So a young pup, younger than she, hearing the song the wind made on broken reeds crafted an idea. With hollow bone, she made Lala a voice in the shape of a flute. Now, like the wind, Lala had song. Lala had a voice. She, too, could speak and sing like all other Anu.

...I buried her today...beneath the shade of a juniper tree...days travel outside of her home of Nefarka. I know not how long she had been there under the harsh sun and sand.

May your song play for the Lady eternally, dear Lala. Rest peacefully in Her embrace.
 
Gurtha, 153 - Afternoon, hr 8    
Selections from a Journal

...ghosts.

This is what I was meant to find? A city once grand now empty and crumbling? The knowledge I was meant to bring to my people...meant for their spirits?

I should clarify. It is not completly empty. Three remain. Two Anu - Zhen and one he calls Theori - and one from Pearl Beach called Emerald. Admittedly, it is refreshing to meet one of her kind whose initial reaction is not to kill on sight. Even more so with Lai in my company. In fact, Emerald seems to be a very kind soul indeed.

I had...expected mother and father to have passed on to Aten, at least by now...but, when speaking to Nisa in Magrathea, I had hope Weruit would still be here and alive. Save for Alidah, I missed him the most in my travels.

But there is no one familiar. All my memories came flooding back to me the moment I set foot into her boundaries, but they grow heavy in my chest. They sting at my eyes.

Your warmth has grown cold. Songs sung to you only echo on the winds. Your people...merely figures etched in your memories.

...why did I return to you, Nefarka?
 
Naur, 154 - Sunrise, hr 4    
She tried to move, but her limbs were hard like a rock. She could feel her loved ones close by - her bondmate, Narin, and dear Alita - but she could not see them. It was as if she was trapped inside her own skin reaching out for the world.

"I wish I could hold you again, my love... And my dearest Alita. You are so strong..."


Cesia listened carefully. Between the sound of their voices and hustle and bustle came a soft song, pulling her deeper into herself. To fight it had proved useless many times already. And it was so sweet. So warm and comforting.

"...who are you? Aella? Sul-Rani?...Vaedea? Why...must you call me?"

Her very soul stirred with the sound. As her shell slept the sleep of stone, her mind wandered.

"The books...I need to give Alita the books...and the sword...move, Cesia...just one more time...stop Listening..."

But, her strength and will had already returned to the mountains. Ages before, they had returned to that which gave them life. The song called her, mended the tiny cracks in her being, and held her like a rani would her pup. Finally, she relaxed, slipping deeper into the melody that filled the void. She wanted to cry - half in sadness, half relief - but, she could not.

On her rocky exterior, she felt a touch - arms around her frozen frame and a voice she knew and loved. "Love you, Cesia. Thanks for being my rani."

"I love you, too, my little Alita. I love all of you...so very much..."


Letting herself follow the sound, she hoped a smile had carved itself onto her exterior.

"...thank you."
 
Naur, 154 - Midday, hr 7    
The blue was cold.
It stung his skin...
Colors mixed, creating faces...
Voices cooed.
Bubbles tickled his skin...

He was given a name.

Tauti.
 
Naur, 154 - Afternoon, hr 8    
First Light
The light that touches her eyes for the first time slightly stung, causing her to squint and make an annoyed expression. She whimpered slightly at first, and although she was comforted by the warm arms of her mother, her belly ached and screams soon followed.

Her father looked down at her with a smile saying, " What lungs you have, my little one", and he tickled her tummy. Her mother wearily replied with a comment on her bountiful energy as her father fed her bits of banana. She moved it around awkwardly in her mouth before instinct kicked in and she swallowed.

The humidity stuck to her exposed skin. She felt so vulnerable, but she was not afraid. No, indeed, she relished life, and challenged it with a whimper of triumph.

Mumbling sounds surrounded and fascinated her.

" Can we call her after mama Nia? Can we name her Ayla?"

"I like that... we can call her Ayla."

And so Ayla she was called, unknowing yet of the gift she had been bestowed.

 
Vasa, 154 - Before dawn, hr 2    
His eyes, darker than the salty water, scan along the sand, fingers poking in the ridges of a coral reef. Bubbles tickling his skin, he follows after brightly colored fish, and listens to the sounds of the bigger fish nearby.

His eyes, darker than the salty water, see the girl's face. Her tears float with the ocean and melt into the clear blue, her fingers trembling, her eyes angry. Her soft voice is louder, facing a boy, a boy with scars. His black hair rises in the water and his fingers tremble, too.

Floating, he senses everything around him...He senses light above, sadness, happiness...he senses the fish and the rocks and the blue somewhere up in not-Ahtella. His seaweed hair rises like the boy's, and his throat makes a sound.

Euryale...Dagon...

Their names stuck in his head. The boy...with eyes darker than the salty water...reaches out to them...and his touch soothes.
 
Vasa, 154 - Evening, hr 10    
It was in the strange and unfamiliar darkness of the mine that he learned that Dion had taken his grandpada.  He didn't know how or when...all he could feel at the moment was utter sadness and rage.  Arden had protected his family from the giant, but he knew little else about the man.  But that didn't stop the thought of meeting his grandpada again one day from filling all his hopes for the future, and as a young man, he had dreamed of all the things he might learn from the wisdom of Arden's long life.  But in an instant, those dreams were gone, and all he could think of now was the mark of the Folke, that would grant him the privileges to make and use weapons...but to him, it was the burden of protecting his people, the Folke. An empty hole had been ripped open in how he viewed the world, and Hale intended to fill it, even if it meant falling through it into the abyss.

When he felt as though he would burst, he suddenly began to pray to Aslin, as he always did when he needed guidance. He could hardly hear her wisdom over his own anger in his head, but thinking of the goddess gave him strength.

He didn't flinch as his aunt carved into his hand and pressed dirt into the wound, although on the inside he was screaming, whether it was from the emptiness he felt or his flesh being cut open.  In an instant it was over.  On his hand he now bore the mark, and there was no going back. He would begin his war with Dion, for the sake of the Folke...to protect his family...and in the name of the grandpada he never truly knew, but had always longed to know.

Or so Hale thought.  As he looked at the wound, as its weight and meaning filled his thoughts, he suddenly felt a pain bubbling up in his chest.  He tried to keep it in, but that only made it stronger, until he could contain his pain no longer.  There, among the others, the tears flowed from his eyes, and he cried aloud. The loss of his dreams and his grandpada was too great for him to contain. But instead of losing all hope, he suddenly found the strength he needed to overcome the great sadness he felt; his sisters and aunt provided comforting words, and he suddenly realized what mattered.  His Aunt Lucia had the knowledge that would aid him to be a great protector of his people, and by his side were his two sisters, whom he would gladly give his life to protect.
 
Kuile, 155 - Evening, hr 11    
Things haven't been the same since I got back from visiting the Aelleri. My parents don't understand that they are good people. I know they had problems, but I'm sure if they got to know them and tried to fix things it would be better. I need to get away for awhile, see new things. Maybe when I am older and have seen more of the world they will trust my judgement. I can only hope that with my sister and myself both gone they will finally realize that they need to accept others. Just because we had problems with a few Aelleri before I was born doesn't mean things need to stay that way. I want to try to make things better. Maybe it's because I spent so much time sleeping. Maybe that's why I decided to go off on my own like this. I just hope that my parents will forgive me, and that if I arrive back after her, Addy won't worry about me. For now I'll learn as much as I can and explore the world. I think I'll write down my adventure so that I know what to tell my Mou and Di when I get back.
 
Naur, 158 - Midday, hr 7    
Oren not stupid. That's why I travel now. I'll show everybody. I can explore the islands, maybe find something nobody has before. Oren not stupid, and I'll show them that. 

When Lailai mentioned travel I had already thought of it. I had even been hiding food and salve in one of the abandoned unerground houses in the city so no one would take it. I would probably have left in the middle of the night, leaving everyone to worry the way they did when I was younger and started exploring the mines. 

Of course I agreed to go with Lailai. She already left, but Nekhai worried about us both. I assured her that I had plently of supplies. I can't speak for my sister, but I know I will return.

Oren not stupid, and no matter how many people say I am I can't just leave my home forever. 

Hatchin's will probably be grown when I get home, but then I can do what is needed and make more. 

Oren not stupid, and will prove it. Oren will go east.
 
Vasa, 159 - Evening, hr 11    
Nameless and eight years old, almost nine. For the first time he wonders if this is normal. He opens his mouth to ask his father, but something stops him. Instead he asks why Ma never moves. The silence stretches and he’s fearful his Papa will lose any awareness in his eyes like Ma, because he asked. He sits in the dirt and sighs. When he was five Papa had brought up the subject of his name, he’d asked to be called Banana. Only his sister had paid his request any mind.

Papa moves then, places his hand on his shoulder, he almost hears an unsaid sweetie, he calls everyone sweetie. He shakes the hand off angrily and heads into the welcome shade of the jungle. In his anger he kills two jaguars and a very big snake. He regrets the act after the snake. Places his hands on their cooling bodies and whispers softy ‘I’m sorry.’ He brings the corpses back to his family and deals with them in silence.
 
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