Looking for Something?
Things I Talk About
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0:40 AMChapter 1 [part 2]
The girl sat in front of the fire as Nimue searched through the many shelves of books made from fallen branches only – a request from all generations of dryad once they joined the family – that lined a wall and a few shelves raised high upon the wall. The home was a small family one, but there was only one bed big enough for two should they be close enough and a few cots here and there.
The outside appeared small, but the home itself was of a good size. Enough spaces for three cots, a fireplace on the right-hand side of the main room and positioned to the left of a heavily curtained window. A small closet inset into the wall, the door slightly ajar, with many cloths of all colors and rags with pins stuck through them, a sign that someone was making something but had more important issues to attend to. The bathroom only contained a single tub, big enough for a mercreature to sit in somewhat comfortably – handcrafted out of seashells – and a small door that lead out to the hole they cover up after each use to be sure the smell doesn’t get to be too bad.
Cuilliok took notice of all the small things as he leaned on the door, looking over to the female sitting in front of the fireplace. Strange seeing another here let alone a pure mortal. If she is a pure mortal. Would she answer in the privacy of a home?
Finally, he walked past his busy sister searching and mumbling "Where is it? It must be here…” under her breath and he sat next to the female who glanced over curiously. He stared into the fire a few moments thinking over his questions before finally turning to the girl.
"Before these tests begin, I have a few things I would like to know.” He paused to allow the girl to respond, but she only glanced at him confused out the corner of her eye and nodded slowly. "First, what is your name? That could tell of your origins. Secondly, are you sure you a pure mortal? And lastly, have you experienced anything that could be considered something a "monster” would do?”
The girl looked forward and remained quiet for a minute longer, and right when he was about to question her again, she turned toward him. "I’m Amena, daughter of Vala and Menguy, with one brother named Elowen. As far as I know I am, but my mother died during my labor and my father could withholding from me. I have been told I have The Sight like a Druid, but the movements of an elf and the personality of a Wisp. Now may I ask a question?”
The siblings stopped their movements, stunned at the response they received. Cuilliok gave a slight nod of his head to tell Amena to continue while Nimue slowly picked up a book and leafed through it, searching for a particular page.
The mortal glanced between the pair before focusing on her hands folded on her lap. You know, now that I think about it, don’t mortals wear those types of clothes if they are a merchant of something? Cuilliok thought to himself.
"What are you two and why am I being judged? Can I not leave?”
The eldest in the room sighed, drawing the stares of the younger two. Nimue turned and faced the mortal, taking in her light green eyes and the red hair common to mortals of this area of the world. Her hazel eyes penetrated the other female’s, searching for an answer to her own question.
Finally she said, "You must be judged because almost no mortals enter here. Few find it, and usually only when guided by a wisp. You were not. You say you have been compared to creatures before. I feel there is a chance further back in your bloodline there was a witch or child of Carman. The test is risky and painful, but very quick once set up. Are you prepared to be judged mortal or not?”
The green stared at the hazel, then to the blue and brown ones. The ‘mortal’ lifted a shoulder. "Alright. Shall we begin, and hopefully quickly. I’d like to return home for supper tonight.”
How optimistic. She believes she’ll live through it if she isn’t a full mortal, and won’t potentially die if she isn’t. May as well grant her wish, thought the boy, standing up and helping his sister in moving the bed upright against the wall and lifting the floorboards up. After a few grunts of effort and curious looks from the test subject, they two managed to bring the floorboards up. What was underneath made the girl’s eyes widen and gasp in fear, taking a step back.
All the chains, bloody cuffs, ropes that looked well worn, at least 10 sheaths full of knives, a poisonous wild plant, things that looked like pokers with different symbols the mortal didn’t understand, and a bag of coals.
Nimue clapped her hands as her brother grabbed out seemingly random items and things hidden beneath the objects near the top of the pile, making the younger girl take another horrified step back and hold her arm in front of her pallid face.
"Right then. Shall be begin… what was it… Amena?” Thump.
Great. That’s a great first impression on a mortal girl, thought Cuilliok as he dragged more items out of the hole in the ground. "Should we at least get her a wet cloth since she passed out, Nimue?”
She said, "Yeah, fine. She probably thinks it’ll be horrible now, but what we’re doing will be alright.”
"And what is it?”
"Well…” she began, leaning over to whisper in her brother’s ear in case the girl who passed out is in fact a Stranger, most of which possess sensitive hearing even in their sleep.
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