Odyssey

United States

she/her/violinist/reader/writer/theater kid/singer/ LOTR fan/Hufflepuff/ dreamer/sister/child at heart

“There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.” -Samwise Gamgee

Message from Writer

Trying to craft meaningful stories while juggling school, family, and life in general.
Someone who likes to write and loves to live.
My username is Odyssey because we are all on our own journey. :)
Hi everyone reading this, I hope you are having a fantastic day.

You are loved and you have meaning. Never forget that.

I'll also probably forget to respond to comments- it's not cause I don't appreciate them ( I do- a lot), I'm just really absentminded.

Interested in art, the future, philosophy, morality, ethics, the origins of the universe, and the meaning of life. Trying to figure it all out.

PLEASE READ AND COMMENT: To Save a King Part 1

November 20, 2020

FREE WRITING

0
Granite slabs
entomb me 
As the hidden king
of Wenward reigns

this dark sepulcher
traps me
i try to utter words
and yet am stifled

my subjects turned
against me 
my commands remain
unheard 


                                                                Part 1 
       Fern never understood how Jana took so long fetching the water. Her older sister had gone out at dawn to gather eggs from the chickens and to do the rest of her chores. Having already returned with the eggs over half an hour ago, Jana had gone out again with the buckets to fetch water from the stream. Sure the stream was a few minutes away- through the west end of the Glass Woods, but it shouldn’t take Jana as long as it did.
  Fern, having her own chores to do, would never know what her older sister was doing out there in the morning.
”Fern!” Mama called from inside the house. The wailing coming from inside told Fern that her little brother, Herman, was awake. “Yes, Mama?” Feen forced herself to put her book down, reluctantly closing its weathered pages. She carefully placed her marker- a single strip of old blue cloth, faded with use- in its pages to save her space before going inside.
Mama was standing in the kitchen, rocking Herman in her arms. Her wispy brown hair stuck out from under her cap. “Ah, my Fern.” Mama smiled at her. “Is your sister back yet?” Feen shook her head. “Nope. I don’t know what she’s doing out there.” 
Mama laughed, which warmed Fern’s heart. A year ago, laughter had been scarce. But the famine and all that had gone with it had passed, and life was good again. Mostly good, anyway.
”Your sister is always surprising me. I would have expected her to be back by now.” 
“Why?” Feen said. “She usually takes this long,”.
”Yes, but today I thought- well, sit down and let me tell you.” There was a sparkle in Mama’s eye. Feen sat at the kitchen table, breathing in the lovely aroma of bread baking in their brick oven. 
“Today is quite, quite special.” “Why?” Fern leaned up on the table. She couldn’t help it. She loved asking questions and, more importantly, getting satisfactory answers.
“Well, today Section Wren is going under inspection. And as you know, we are in the closest village to the Sections’ capital. So we shall be getting a visit from the Council Elders today.”
Fern stood, excited. The last time the Council Elders had come to the house was three years ago, after the Revolt of Gavin. “When? Will they bring gifts?” 
“Most assuredly!” Fern wanted to squeal, but she contained herself. Mama didn’t approve of squealing. The Council Elders usually visited after a time of hardship, to see how the people were faring and to bestow gifts unto the citizens who had played a role in restoring peace to the country of Wenward. Last time, after the Revolt of Gavin, they had received chickens as a prize for Mama’s efforts to catch the criminals- she had made countless wanted posters all over the country with the infamous face of Gavin Greenclaw, the notorious criminal. 
Thanks to her efforts, Gavin had been recognized by a child in another village and placed in jail to await trial. 
 This time, they would be coming to inspect the situation of citizens after the drought last year. They had fared well, compared to many others, and gifts were sure to come again- not as a reward this time, but as a pick-me-up to boost morale as the country regained its footing. 
Ah, gifts!- usually books, quills, paper, and sometimes even recipes and guides for making commodities such as blankets. And how Fern loved gifts- especially the quills. She loved scribbling away in her books, writing things the characters could have said or plots that might have happened during a time when the author had switched to another setting. 
    “I can’t wait, Mama. You should have told me earlier. I could have done my hair. She had it tucked in her cap, how women always wore their hair while doing chores, but if the Elders were coming later, she might have time to brush it and comb it, maybe even do that new braiding design Jana had taught her. 
“Well, now you know- oh!”
Herman had begun to drool all over himself. “Hush, hush, my little one.” As Mama wiped the saliva away from Herman’s mouth, Fern thought about what Papa would say if he knew the Council was coming. In his younger days, before he had met Mama, Papa had been a bit wild. He had been a revolutionary, in fact, but had reformed after serving time in jail. 
He was a merchant now, off on a business trip at the moment, and usually left the political up to Mama. The last time the Elders had come, he had hidden away in his study, pretending he wasn’t there. Fern suspected it was because he did not approve of Mama making the wanted posters- she even thought he might have known Gavin, but Papa never spoke about it. 
       “My, you make a mess!” Mama laughed at Herman. “Now, Fern. Would you please go and get your sister. I have no way of knowing when the Elders will be here, and I want both you girls to be here to watch Herman while I talk to them. Hurry, now. Into the woods to get your sister!”
”Are you sure, Mama? I mean, you always said I couldn't go-" "Tsk, tsk, Fern, you will most likely meet your sister halfway on the path. You can go."
Really? Fern smiled, turning to go and find Jana. First, the Council coming, and then Mama trusting her to go into the woods.
Jana was only two years older, but Mama treated her so much differently than she treated Fern. It might have been because Fern was much smaller and weaker than her older sister, but Mama also acted as if Fern was still a young child. She wasn’t allowed to go into the woods by herself, and she especially wasn’t allowed to go with Papa when he went on business trips, the way Jana could. 
 Fern entered the forest a few minutes later, keeping to the path that went from their house to the stream halfway through the forest. It was cold out, so she had grabbed her dark blue cloak before going out. She had also tucked her book under her arm, in case Jana wanted her to carry the water. “O, sorry, my hands are full!” She would say. 
It wasn’t long before Fern could hear the rushing of the river. The path led directly to the stream and sure enough, sitting on a rock next to the stream, with an empty bucket at her feet, was Jana. 
Fern went to sneak up on her sister, but Jana turned around before she could. “I thought I heard someone.” 
Jana stood, quickly dropping something on the ground out of Fern’s line of sight. “What was that?” Fern asked, walking to the rock. Jana smiled nervously. “Hmm? What?” She kicked the -whatever it was behind the rock. “That. You’re terrible at hiding things...” Fern walked around the rock and was surprised when all she saw, lying on the ground, was a small copper-colored book with worn edges. Jana quickly picked it up and concealed it in her cloak. 
 “Hey, Mama would get mad if she knew you were taking this time to read. What book is that? A diary or something?” 
Jana retreated from Fern, perching on the rock that she had been sitting on before.
”It’s nothing.”
”Well obviously, it’s something. Come on- show me.” Jana shook her head vigorously. “No, it’s, it’s private.”
“Oh, come on-“ Fern scoffed. She sat next to her sister on the rock. “I’ve already read all your journals. I know all about James and that time you said you were going to the shops, but you were really going to meet up with him behind the bakery to talk about the future-“  Jana blushed. “It’s not like that-“ “Well, if it’s not like that it can’t possibly be more personal, so why don’t you tell me?”
“I don’t want you to have to deal with knowing-“ Before Jana could finish, Fern started to tickle her, causing the two of them to almost fall off the rock. “Stop, stop!” Jana shrieked, laughing and shaking. Quickly, Fern snatched the book away and jumped off the rock, running a few yards away so Jana didn’t have the chance to take it back before she could read the title.
The cover was very worn, so much so that Fern could only read the title on the spine. The cover had no words at all. 
“How did you get a copy of The Forbidden Texts?”
Jana, chasing after Fern, stopped in her tracks, her face an image of pure terror when she realized Fern had already discovered what she was reading.
Don’t call it that." She reached for the book, but Fern was faster and ran a little ways away. " it’s called the Book of Manu.” Jana called. “ But sorry. I, I can’t tell you.”
Fern ran her hands over the spine. It was heavy but small as if it held great power. A thrill ran through her. “It feels magical.” She laughed. “It is,” Jana replied, then looked away. “I wish you hadn’t come.” She stretched out her hand for the book, and this time Fern gave it to her. They walked back to the rock and the buckets together.
“Well, Mama told me to tell you that the Council is coming and you need to get back home so we’re ready. If you don’t hurry up, we’ll be in trouble. We’re you just sitting here reading it for hours?”
Jana looked to the sky. “Only about one hour.” She said.
”But please, go. I’ll follow soon. I have something I need to do.” 
Fern didn’t like Jana’s tone. They usually shared everything. It wasn’t that big a deal that Jana had the Forbidden Texts- scholars studied them all the time- and it wasn’t even illegal to read. It was just advised against for the common person.  The question was not how Jana had gotten the book, but why? And why did she act like it was a crime? 
“I’m not going until you explain. Everything, okay.” Fern looked at the empty bucket. “I’ll help you get the water if you tell me.” She realized she had dropped her book trying to get the Forbidden Texts, and went to pick it up off the ground.
”Darn, it’s damp.” Fern turned back to Jana. 
Jana, standing with her cloak wrapped tightly around her, was visibly upset. 
“No, Fern, listen!” Fern had never seen her sister like this. Jana hadn’t even cried when their grandfather had died last year, and yet tears were threatening to spill over her eyelashes onto her face. “I didn’t ask for this.” 
She clutched the book to her chest. “Don’t you understand? I wanted to tell you. I was dying to tell you. I still am.  But he- I mean, but I couldn’t-“  
Fern crossed her arms. Her older sister wiped her eyes. “Well, you know about the book. I suppose I can tell you about-, but no.”
Jana exhaled sharply. She looked straight into Fern’s eyes. “You mustn't tell anyone. Not even Mama.” The two sisters held eye contact for a long time. Fern frowned. “You really think I would tell Mama? Our first big secret and you expect me to go and snitch. You know, I’m not a child anymore-“ 
“Shh-“ Jana stood suddenly, her eyes wild. “Listen.” All Fern could hear was the rushing of the stream and the chirping of birds. “I don’t-“ “Shhh-.” 
The two sisters stood next to each other. Fern could feel Jana trembling slightly next to her. “It must be him-“ Jana said. Finally, Fern could hear footsteps, the crackle of leaves, the crunch of twigs as someone came closer to them. Jana grabbed Fern’s hand and whispered in her ear. “Look, there’s no time, so you have to go. Now. Tell Mama I’ll be there soon.” “But what’s, who’s?” Fern anxiously looked around the forest, expecting a murderer to come bursting out of the trees. 

        “Go, Fern, now. I’ll know if you stay.” Jana pushed her sister towards the shelter of the trees. Looking back once, Fern took off. Now was not the time to spy. She could do it again some other time, but with the Council on its way, and Jana so frightened, Fern needed time to understand what was happening. 
         Fern anxiously ran back through the forest onto the path, unsure what else her sister was keeping from her. Why was Jana acting so strangely? Why did she want to have that book in the first place? And most importantly- who was the person she was meeting in the woods and what was his purpose? 

 
I am hoping to make a little series with these characters. Please comment, review, or let me know if you would be interested in reading more. If I get a good response, I’ll try to post a new part at least once a week.  All comments are greatly appreciated! :)

Print

See History

Login or Signup to provide a comment.