Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chapter 2, pt. 3

The sign on the door of Jarlen’s house said “Come In”, so Silay did. She had meant to announce her arrival, but instead found herself distracted by the floor to ceiling shelves lined with bottles of different coloured liquids and strange shapes. It was exactly how she had imagined the interior of a magician’s or wizard’s workshop, only without the acidic scent she associated with magic. She was still surveying the room when a figure stepped through the curtain dividing the front of the house from the back.

“Welcome. I’m Jarlen, resident alchemist. And you are?”

Silay jumped. “Oh! Sorry. I was distracted by the bottles.” She gave a slight bow. “I’m Silay Gallegis.”

“Are you now?” Jarlen raised his eyebrows.

“You know me?”

“Word gets around. But never mind that. What brings you here?”

Sticking with the story she had told Adelie, Silay replied “I heard you could help me with the blisters on my feet.”

“Blisters. Ah, yes. This way.” Jarlen headed back towards the curtain and Silay had just started to follow him when Jarlen turned around. “By the way, a young woman travelling by herself shouldn’t be so quick to share her real name.” He turned back as Silay blinked in confusion, and led her into the back room.

“Sit down and take of your shoes.” Jarllen pointed to a chair. As Silay obeyed, he grabbed a tiny knife and a pot with a little paintbrush in it off a shelf.

Silay watched with interest as he placed the knife and paintbrush into a pot of water boiling over the fire in the corner. “What are you doing?”

“Sterilizing my tools.”

“Sterilizing?”

Jarlen sighed. “The Healers never bother to explain anything. They just burn up everything that makes a person ill with their magic, then go on their own merry way. Never mind the fact that a simple explanation of cleanliness would prevent half of the diseases they have to cure.”

“I bathe, and wash my hands before I eat,” Silay protested. She had the strangest feeling that Jarlen had just implied she was dirty.

“Well, at least they’ve bothered to share that much.”  Jarlen rolled up the knife and brush in a clean cloth, then placed another cloth into the water.

“Do you not like the Healers?”

“Oh, I like them well enough. There is much knowledge we wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for their magic. All the same, they can be damn infuriating with all their secrets.”

The alchemist gathered up the wet cloth and the roll with his tools and sat down on the floor by Silay, where he preceded to wipe off her feet with the warm cloth.  He looked up at her. “Do I frighten you?”

“I’m not sure,” Silay answered honestly. He did frighten her a bit, but Adelie had seemed to think he was all right. But then, she didn’t really know Adelie, did she?

Jarlen was shaking his head. “No good. Indecision shows weakness. A traveler on own her can’t afford to seem weak. Yes or no. Do I frighten you?”

“Yes.”

“Good. You’re not naive then. What scares you?”

“You know who I am.”

He smiled. “Well, that’s easy enough to explain.” He placed the damp cloth on the ground, then walked over to the table in the center of the room. He ran his hand along the underside of the table and there was a small click. Jarlen held up his hand to reveal a Farstone grasped softly between his thumb and forefinger.
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Notes:
For being rare, Farstones sure seem to show up a lot. Oh well.
Also, more dialogue! Yay! I should have given Silay a cool skill like fencing. I bet I could write an awesome dueling scene. 

2 comments:

  1. Proofreading :)

    bottles of different coloured liquids and strange shapes. (I spy a British-ism! Also, for great justice and grammatical precision - "strangely shaped bottles" rather than "bottles of... strange shapes"?)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Random note: I like the little detail about the acidic scent associated with magic. :)

    ReplyDelete