Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Chapter 4, Pt. 3

Silay's eyes felt glued shut. She went to rub them, but her hands wouldn't move. What was going on? She slowly opened her eyes. Light from the sun filtered through the trees around her. She tried to move again, but still couldn't. She shook her head, trying to clear it. She was tied to a tree. Why? There was a tree, she had drunk something, and something else. There had been a map, and a person. "Talis!" The sound of her voice startled her. Hadn't she been gagged earlier? But no, Talis had taken it off before leaving. But she was still tied to the tree.

"Hello? Anyone there?" Her voice sounded foreign. And much too quiet. "Help!" There was no answer. Silay's head drooped and she leaned against the tree. She was so thirsty. How long had she been here? Her stomach growled, but the thought of food made her feel nauseous. She pushed the feeling away only to have it replaced with one of pure terror. "Hello! Help! Somebody?" She struggled against the ropes as she shouted, not caring that they cut into her wrists. Then, as suddenly as it had come, the feeling of terror was gone. Silay collapsed against the tree, too exhausted to even cry.

She had no idea how long she stayed that way before she heard footsteps. She raised her eyes and found herself staring at a pair of black leather boots. The boots were replaced with Riya's face. "You," she said, "Are very hard to track. None of my usual spells worked. I had to track those wards you carry with you. Good thing whoever did this left your pack." As she spoke, Riya cut the ropes holding Silay to the tree. Helping her slowly stand, she then cut the ropes holding her wrists behind her back. "There." Riya took a step back, as is surveying her work. "Much better, don't you think?"

Silay raised her head, but didn't answer. Riya's eyebrows narrowed in concern. "Come on, let's get you out of here." When Silay didn't move, Riya took her hands and gently led her out of the woods to her wagon by the side of the road. "Sit." She guided Silay to the edge of the wagon and wrapped her hands around a waterskin. "Drink. Slowly."

While Silay sipped the water, Riya pulled a small jar out of one of her packs in the wagon. When Silay finished drinking, Riya took the waterskin from her. "Let me see your hands". She opened the jar, revealing the pale pink cream it held. She dipped her fingers into it then gently spread it on the raw skin of Silay's wrists. Silay winced, but didn't pull away. When she was done with her wrists, Riya rolled up Silay's sleeves. Her frown deepened when she saw the bruises Talis had left on her arms. Riya put more of the cream on those, and on the bruises higher up on both arms where the rope holding Silay against the tree had pressed into them. Finished, she closed the jar and returned it to her pack.

Riya crouched a little so her face was on level with Silay's. She took her hands in her own. "Silay, I know you've been hurt, but you need to talk to me. Who did this to you?"

Silay didn't answer, but Riya continued. "I can't imagine what you're feeling right now, but if you talk to me, maybe I can help you. What happened?" She paused. "Was it Talis?"

At the sound of his name, Silay started. Her eyes jerked up to meet Riya's. "How... how did you know that?"

Riya sighed, and dropped her hands. The last thing Silay needed right now was to feel betrayed, but it was even more important to Riya to tell her the truth. She drew the Farstone from her jacket pocket. "I spoke to your Seer."

Silay stared at the Stone in Riya's hand. "You have one too?"

Slowly, Riya shook her head. "It's yours." She dropped the Farstone into Silay's hand.

Silay wrapped her hands around the Farstone. "You took it?" She pushed herself off the edge of the wagon, moving away from Riya. "You stole from me! I thought I could trust you!"

"Silay..." Riya took a step towards her.

"No! Stay away from me!" Silay stepped backwards, pulling her dagger out and holding it front of her body. "Don't come near me!"

Riya stayed put. "Or you'll what? The way you're holding that weapon, you"ll hurt yourself more than me." She rubbed her eyes, wearily. "I'm not going to force you to do anything you don't want to do, Silay. You want to go off on your own again, fine. I could use the money I would have made at the festival. But I did come here to help you."

"After you robbed me!"

"Yes, I took the Farstone. I just wanted to know why you had one. I'd meant to return it before you noticed, but you left before I could. You want proof? I gave it back to you just now. I didn't have to come here, you know."

"I don't trust you." Silay paused. "Why did you come looking for me? Was it just to return the Farstone?"

Riya shook her head, making her braids swing. "I told you, I spoke to the Seer. She said to warn you about Talis. That if he wasn't stopped, he could make things worse." She sighed. "That's all I know. She was worried about you, so I came looking. You have the Stone. Ask her yourself."

Silay hesitated for a moment. Could she trust Riya? She'd stolen from her, but it was true she'd come to find her. And she had saved her. She looked up from the Stone in her fist. "I can't."

Riya tilted her head. "Can't what?"

"I can't use the Farstone. It doesn't work for me."

"Hmph." Riya raised her eyebrows. "After the difficulty I had tracking you, that doesn't entirely surprise me." She walked towards Silay a couple of steps, the stopped. "You haven't exactly been honest with me either, Silay the Bored. But I'm inclined to trust you all the same. In my experience, good guys don't tie people to trees. It's usually the other way around." She took a few more steps forwards. Silay flinched, but stayed put. Riya kept talking. "You've been hurt. You're not in a hurry to trust anyone. I get that. But it's not safe to travel alone, and I'm willing to help you. Your choice. You don't want help, just say the word and I'll turn around and head back to the festival."

Silay's arms dropped to her sides. After a moment, she slid the Farstone back into its pouch, and the dagger back in its sheath. She glanced up at Riya. "This doesn't mean I trust you. It just means I trust you more than Talis."

"That's fine for now." Riya checked the donkey's straps. She glanced over her shoulder at Silay. "But maybe you can tell me what this is all about? I did save you after all."

Silay nodded. "I might as well tell you. Talis knows too."

"Good." She gave the donkey a pat, then picked up his lead. "You can fill me in as we walk". 

*Check back Wednesday for a Character Profile on Riya*
Want to know how Riya's conversation with the Seer went?
Check out the Alt. Perspectives tab!
Once burned, twice shy. Silay isn't going to be quick to trust anyone again. This post is slightly longer than usual, since I wanted to reach a good stopping point. I don't like leaving my characters in bad situations for too long. Want to know what happened between Pt. 2 and Pt. 3 from Riya's perspective
It's posted here.
Also, I've come to the conclusion that the reason so many books have a male and female protagonist working together, is that it can get really hard to keep track of the pronouns with two female characters talking. Just saying.


  1. Proofreading :)

    "You," she said, "Are (are)
    step back, as is surveying (if)
    forwards (forward, I think)

  2. Oh! And the link to Riya's perspective works on Facebook, but not here.