Post by laurabeth on Jan 31, 2008 11:37:44 GMT 9.5
Kuvre looked at him questioningly before continuing on the darkened path, picking her way slightly slower than she had been before. The length of the day and the weight of her day's catch were beginning to bear down on her. She only looked back to Jakim occasionally to make sure he was keeping up.
They continued walking down the path until the darkness was nearly complete, and Kuvre could only see a few steps ahead of her. She relied mostly upon her memory of the path. No longer being able to see the boy behind her, she kept her ears open and slowed her pace only when he began to become more quiet. Soon enough, though, they had reached the main path and she allowed Jakim to discard the branch.
"There are torches ahead, can you see their glow?" She asked, pointing to a faint light, nearly hidden by the enclosing forest. "That's where we enter Shuptalxia. You'd be surprised at how many Keid there are watching us in the trees." She waved her hand above her head in a fluid motion before returning to solemnly walking ahead.
Post by darkfoxprime on Feb 1, 2008 0:29:10 GMT 9.5
Jakim's mind was spinning. He'd thought he was fine being alone, but today had reminded him how much it meant just to be able to talk to someone. On the other hand, the thought of more people, a city, quickly brought back the fears he'd run from. One small part of his brain remembered that Huri used to call this "demon racing"; she'd said demons were racing through his head and chasing all his other thoughts away. He quickly shut that small part of his brain down again before it remembered any more.
He managed to keep pace with Kuvre, following her with the instinctively light step that had been ingrained into him over the last couple of years of living in the wild. He kept the sweep moving behind him in mechanical motions, while his face stayed blank, lost in thought.
He jerked himself back to reality when he heard her start talking again. Her words sunk in, and he froze. Eyes widening, flitting rapidly from side to side, up to the trees then back to the barely-visible glow, his stance grew more tense and alert over the next few long moments.
His voice floated forward to Kuvre in a strained whisper. "I c-- I can't. I'm sorry. I can't." The only thing left to see behind her was the sweeping branch, abandoned at the head of her trail, and a new set of broken leaves in the brush where he had disappeared back into the trees on silent feet.
[ Sup to you if you want to bring this to a close or continue. I've got inklings of ideas for either. ]
She turned to the spot which he bolted from, her face spread with confusion. A Keid leaped nimbly down from the tree she stood next to and chased after the Jakim even before Kuvre could remember the small Keid's name. She let the meat slip off her shoulder and rest on the ground at her feet. She began to run after the boy as well.
Moments later, a shout rang out of the trees: "There are Fanoran's out there, ke.toto! You're like walking bait."
Kuvre soon found the two, one struggling against the other. She jumped at the other Keid and pulled Jakim away, though keeping a tight grip on the younger's arm.
"If you want to run off, please do so in the morning." Her voice carried a tone of annoyance. She looked at the guard and smiled stiffly before she started to retrace her steps; all the while holding onto Jakim tightly.
"Why don't you want to go into Shuptalxia?" she asked, stopping suddenly. They stood under a tall tree outside the main path. "I'm not going to force you to go into there, but I do know it's dangerous to run through the woods at night."
Post by darkfoxprime on Feb 1, 2008 12:56:55 GMT 9.5
"He started running as soon as I got close to him," the guard said to Kuvre. He was holding Jakim's arms gripped tightly behind the boy's back, while the shorter Keid struggled and repeated, "Let me go, I need to go, let me go!"
"When I caught him, and he's a fast little bugger, he tried to cut me with his little sticker there," the guard continued, pausing to nod his head down at a short bone knife next to Jakim's feet. "Ever since, he's just been saying that he has to go."
Jakim suddenly twisted around in the guard's grasp to look at Kuvre, straining forward against the guard's grip on his arms. His eyes were showing a lot of white and his pupils contracted to pinpoints in the moonlit darkness. Within moments, however, he slumped back against the guard, eyes half-closing. When he looked back up at Kuvre again, they looked normal once more.
He looked back down to the ground, allowing Kuvre to take hold of his arm without complaint, although he resisted a bit when she started tugging him off. He reached down to quickly scoop up his knife before Kuvre pulled him back towards the path.
"Why don't you want to go into Shuptalxia? I'm not going to force you to go into there, but I do know it's dangerous to run through the woods at night."
"I can't go in," Jakim answered quietly without looking up. "They know it's my fault, and they want something from me I can't give." Then he did look up, and continued defiantly, "And I've lived out here for two years, I can take care of myself."
Her face screwed in confusion and concentration at his words. "Well you may have been living on your own for a long time, but that doesn't mean you can't let other help you." She continued to pull him closer to the gates, wanting to be home again. She scooped up her kill and flung it over her shoulder as she went by. She thought by taking Jakim with her, it would speed the trip home. When Kuvre was hungry, she was also easily annoyed.
"What are you talking about? 'It's my fault'?" Kuvre began to walk faster as the smell of smoke from the torches was stronger in her nose. "I am not going to let you go until you explain that to me." She pulled the rope over her shoulder again, "And I'm not going to let you explain until I have something to eat."
Post by darkfoxprime on Feb 3, 2008 10:29:53 GMT 9.5
Jakim continued to resist against the taller girl's tugs on his arm, forcing Kuvre to work for each step closer to Shuptalxia.
"No, I told you, I can't go in!" he exclaimed, not listening to what she was saying. "I'll sleep out here, I'll be fine, let me go, I don't want to go in there!" His protests were belied by the sudden growling of his stomach, but he stubbornly continued, "I'll be fine out here."
In a last ditch attempt to get free of Kuvre's grasp, he took a couple of quick steps forward, putting some slack into his arm and hers. Then he pulled backwards hard, ready to run if he got his arm free.
She ignored his protests diligently, keeping a fast hold about his wrist. Though his pleads were pitiful, she was determined to keep him with her long enough to question him thoroughly. Kuvre would let him live by himself again, just as long as she got what she wanted.
"No you don't." She said, squeezing his wrists almost painfully tight when he pulled an escape maneuver. "There is nothing, nothing, that can keep you from going in. It's all in your head."
Her legs, already very tired, were sore from struggling against him. When she spotted one of the guards at the gate, whom she knew, she nodded at him to come closer. He responded by a curt nod before walking to meet her. "Please take this package to my hut." She asked him, holding out the wrapped meat. Once relieved of her burden, she pulled the resistant Jakim over to the side of the wide path.
"Fine, I will not force you to go in." She said, her grip as tight as ever, only now on both his wrists. "Tell me what makes you think you cannot enter. If I deem your reason worthy, I will let you go: though only with a portion to eat." She pulled a smile, barely visible in the dark glow of the distant lamps.
Post by darkfoxprime on Feb 5, 2008 9:12:58 GMT 9.5
His jaws clenched into an unhappy frown as Kuvre's hand clamped down harder on his wrist, and he started looking rapidly around with each forced step closer to the city. A glance at his eyes would reveal, however, that instead of looking at the ground or the paths, he was looking into the air around and behind the two.
Those bright green eyes locked on Kuvre's again when she spoke to him. "I don't need your food," he said, still defiant in spite of the rumblings to the contrary his body had been making. "I can get by on my own." He held her gaze for another twenty heartbeats or so, then sighed and dropped his head to look at the ground between them.
"They're watching me." His voice was almost a whisper now. "All the time. The only time they're not watching is when I've run far enough, and it takes them a while to catch up to me, but then they find me again. Huri and Kabotan, Niiya, Trebik... everyone. They're all dead because of me, and they're waiting for me to get them home, but I don't have any wind inside to give them to get them home. If I go in there, I won't be able to get away from them, and they'll try to take it from me, and I don't have any to give them."
He didn't look up, but stood still, legs quivering from tension and shoulders held so tight as to form visible ridges along his shoulder blades.
Her mouth sagged open in defeated confusion: she almost believed that this boy had lost his mind. Her eyes studied his face, which was painted with determination. She let go of his wrists and put her hands on his shoulders, squeezing them lovingly. "I do not know who these people are, but I can tell you are hurt at their loss." She looked away from his deep eyes for a moment before continuing, "I did know you were hiding something from me. I do not know the answer to this, but I know those who are dead can take nothing from you. I also know that running away from that which you fear will only make meeting it in the end more painful."
She stopped and continued to gaze at him, her mind hurting from the information he gave her. No wind? He is a Keid, he should have had the wind with him since birth. Who where these people he spoke of? When did they die? How did they die? Were they his family, friends, tribe? She pulled out of her questioning thoughts and looked at him again. "And I doubt you could have brought that much death and destruction to anyone, ke.toto. I can tell by looking at your face that you could not do that to anyone. It has to be a mistake."
She let her grip slacken on his shoulders, though her eyes were only for Jakim's young visage. In her heart, she knew she was doing something completely out of character, but she could also feel that the soul in front of her was in pain. "Please, Jakim. Come with me. You do not have to eat any of my food if you do not want to, but I want you to tell me what happened. I am sure you have your facts confused."
Post by darkfoxprime on Feb 7, 2008 0:42:02 GMT 9.5
Jakim couldn't look up, his eyes scanning left and right, down to the ground, but never at Kuvre as she spoke to him. He knew she was trying to be comforting, but she didn't understand. His head pounded; he didn't know what to do any more.
Not even realizing that she hadn't finished talking yet, he said in a soft, tightly controlled voice, "You don't understand, they're here for me, right here, crying out at me. I need to get away from them. I.. I want to go with you, but I'm scared. If I don't get away from them, they'll come for me." The monotone words trailed off, and Jakim finally looked up at Kuvre, his expression plainly showing his fear.
She winced at his reply, knowing that he was letting something unreal affect him in such a way. She shook him gently, her hands still being on his shoulders. "Stop! There is nothing after you, Jakim. There is nothing out there." She stared hard into his eyes, trying not to show how much his face was hurting her.
Kuvre stopped staring at him suddenly, wondering why she cared. It was unlike her to put so much of herself into someone else's situation: especially someone she did not know. She looked back into his eyes and nearly melted in his gaze. She shook him once more, even more softly. "Please, I'll protect you." A genuine smile of reassurance spread across her face.
Post by laurabeth on Feb 13, 2008 12:28:03 GMT 9.5
She smiled and cupped his elbow in her hand, pulling him up to standing. She turned towards the entrance of Shuptalxia, walking slowly and holding onto him firmly. The lights were nearly dazzling in her eyes after the darkness of the jungle, making her squint as she closed in on the entrance to the city. Kuvre looked down to Jakim's face frequently, keeping a warm and reassuring expression upon her face.
"Do not worry, Jakim. There are many Keid in the trees protecting both of us, and inside we will be even safer, for Buroba is nearby." She nodded to one of the guards as she entered the village. It was huge, but mostly dark for most of its inhabitants had long been asleep. A light burned on a pole here and there, helping to guide late wanderers. She wove him through small streets and alleys, trying not to go too fast or too slow.
Ahead, there stood a small hutch, standing quite low to the ground. It was huddled next to many other similar buildings. There was an opening, covered with a thick cloth: the fabric resembling the clothes that Kuvre wore. She pushed the cloth aside and let Jakim enter before her. Outside the doorway hung her kill from a peg on the wall. She took it off and followed the boy inside. It was even darker after the curtain swished back into place. Fumbling through the darkness, she finally found her small lamp.
A small flame flickered to life, casting a soft glow about the few possessions Kuvre owned. Her eyes caught the light in an eerie reflection before she stepped aside and pushed her kill to a shelf. Underneath the shelf was a rough table, with a stool next to it. There was a small rope cot, leaden with a pile of furs. She motioned to it with a small grin, "And this is where I live."
Kuvre took a small pot down from the shelf and set it on the table, pulling off a piece of fabric that was resting on the top. Inside was a stash of hard cakes, two of which she removed before putting the pot back on the shelf. She handed one to Jakim and walked across the room to another pot. A wooden handle stuck out of the top of it. She turned the handle for a bit, causing a slushing sound, and lifted it out to her lips. She took three long drinks before putting it back. "Come have some to drink." She offered.
She set the ladle back into the pot and straightened up, looking about her cot for a moment. She approached it and took half of the furs off and laid them on the floor. Another shelf, half hidden by the low light, hung above the bed. She lifted two neatly folded blankets off it, and set one at the head of the furs piled on the ground, and let the other fall near the center. She turned to find out where Jakim had went to. "Would you like the floor or the bed?" She asked. Her hospitality was meager, but it was all she had.
Post by darkfoxprime on Feb 15, 2008 0:13:23 GMT 9.5
Jakim managed to keep his "brave face" on during the long walk into Shuptalxia. His eyes continually darted back and forth, enough so that he didn't notice Kuvre's glances at him. By the time the pair finally made it to Kuvre's home, biting his lip was his only way of keeping his resolve and not turning and running like a rabbit.
He practically lept through the opened cloth doorway when she pushed it aside for him, then froze in a crouch while his eyes adjusted to the dark interior. He had to blink a few times when the light from the lamp filled the room, before standing and moving silently next to the table.
"And this is where I live."
He gave Kuvre a small smile in response, which disappeared again when he continued to look around. Then he returned his attention to the older girl. He paused before accepting one of the dense cakes, then set it down on the table and started rooting his hand through his pouch. He finally brought out two more strings of the large sweet nut-pods and laid them out on the table.
He picked back up the cake she'd given him and padded next to her and the large pot, tilting his head a bit before following her example with the ladle. His eyes widened when he tasted the soup (I assume?), then closed. Savoring the flavor for a few moments, he held the hot liquid in his mouth, then swallowed and opened his eyes again. "It's good," he said softly, with a note of wonder in his voice, then abruptly turned away from her.
He stood silent and motionless like that for a few long breaths, then turned back to face her direction once more, as she asked about the bedding. Without looking directly at her, he pointed wordlessly to the furs on the floor, then moved over to crouch next to them. He pressed his arm across the furs, smoothing them against the floor repetitively, seeming to be focused completely on his task.
He kept at this far longer than necessary to actually flatten the bedding down; longer than most people would have the patience to watch. When he finally did slow, then stop, the motion of his arm, he stayed crouched, head hunched down so his vision included only the piled furs. In a hoarse voice, he half-whispered, "Thank you, K-- Kuvre," before scooting forward to lay on the furs and covering himself with the remaining pile.
She smiled thankfully towards him. "You're welcome." She said, taking a seat on the cot, though not laying down. She did not blow out the candle, but let it burn for a while--at least until her small friend had fallen asleep.
She settled down, trying to make herself comfortable, but not comfortable enough to fall asleep. She was tired yet determined to let Jakim feel safe within the walls of Shuptalxia and her home. Her eyes settled on his face, which looked much more youthful now than it had earlier. Her thoughts drifted sedately over the day and the evolution that took place. She had only gone out for sustenance for herself, and yet returned with another being to feed.
She would normally never think to go so far to help someone, especially a Keid who seemed to be able to care for themselves so well. He had looked healthy, though thinner than the toban she grew up around. He seemed pleased with himself and life, and yet she felt a need to escort him to her home, and to care for him.
"Why?" she whispered to herself, opening the eyelids that had drifted shut. Kuvre's eyes found his face, and she instantly softened. She had to resist the urge to bend over and kiss his soft features. It was obvious to her now that he could take care of himself physically, but was struggling mentally. She smiled, awakened somewhat by this discovery.
Last Edit: Feb 20, 2008 6:47:43 GMT 9.5 by Treijim
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