This was written as only a part of a larger story delivered weekly in a serial format. The previous episodes can be found in the links below.
Raelle trudged through her daily chores after a small breakfast of grains and milk that she pushed around the wooden bowl from side to side, only taking a bite every now and again. She replied that nothing was the matter when her Pop Pop asked what the matter was, and in a way, nothing was. Nothing that she could pin down anyway. She had had a dream, and she was no baby. True, it was a dream she didn’t really want to talk about, but it was a dream all the same.
She gave the dishes a scrub and put them away as Fallon made his way out to the field. Planting started today in the rain softened soil of the open fields. Farmers all around the village would be out planting today, taking advantage of the rains they had been blessed with.
Raelle would join her Pop Pop soon, but the chickens had to be seen to and Ole Bessie had to be milked if there was to be any for the following morning’s breakfast..
The tasks came and went without thought. Raelle’s hands worked of their own accord as her mind fought the battle on the road time and again.
The woman on the road was not her, though every part of her being said otherwise. How could it be? She would live in or around the Grey River Village in the shadow of the Storm Mountains all her life and that was all. There was nothing to be done about it. She would marry, have children, and work the farm or tend the home. Her Pop Pop had explained it all to her.
She would live the life her mother would have lived had she not died with flu shortly after giving birth. It had been a bad year for flu and many died with her mother, going home to serve the gods above. She would have the happiness that her mother never had here on earth before she joined her in the above. Raelle would make her mother proud. Thoughts of her mother and life lost replaced thoughts of battle as Raelle walked.
Fallon waved from across the field, rubbed the small of his back, and stretched high over his head before bending again to push a seed into the rain softened earth before covering it over. “It is good to see you my heart. I was getting lonely.”
“Pop Pop, I want to learn to fight,” Raelle said as she walked the last few yards.
Fallon puffed out a long deflating breath. “I’d be lying if I said that I was surprised, what with all the happenings of late.” He gave his daughter a long look as if he was seeing her for the first time or the first time in a long time. “I’ll teach you what I know, but now is not the time, you have to understand that.”
“Will there be a time?” she snapped. The statement was less a question and more demand. Raelle cringed at the sound of her own voice. That tone usually earned her the switch, but she was surprised to see her Pop Pop smiling down on her when she gathered the courage to raise her eyes again.
“You are your mother’s daughter, that’s as sure as the day is long.” Raelle looked confused at the statement. Who else’s daughter would she be? “The day doesn’t last forever though, and seeds don’t plant themselves. We need this whole field planted by week’s end if we are to have a good harvest. After that, I’ll show you all I know about fighting. All I remember from a youth spent in one militia or another.” He went quiet for a long moment, eyes staring off beyond the horizon. “And though I figure its a waste since you’ll never need it, I suppose it won’t hurt nothing either. Knowledge of a thing, whatever that thing is, won’t hurt you. That is your first lesson. Think on that until the field is planted, then we can move onto other things.”
Raelle, too shocked to speak threw her arms around him.
This is the fourth installment of a serial. Every week, another portion will be posted with a target word count between 500 and 1,000.
If you missed the previous episodes, I have links at the top of this post!
I hope you enjoyed this portion of our story! I look forward to seeing you as we continue the journey.