Brey- Part 6

Fiction By Anna // 1/19/2009

Part Six: Colds, Conversations, and Capital Fun of a …Hazardous… Sort

Brey walked around in a circle, trying out her ankle. It felt a little awkward, but much better. She began running. She twirled.
It’s healed, she decided. As an afterthought before leaving, she snatched up her staff and bag.
Kayelli had promised to show Brey around the forest- Though I can’t imagine what there is to see, thought Brey skeptically- as soon as Brey was better. But Kayelli, alas! was sick. It was nothing serious, just a particularly nasty cold. But though she felt sorry for her new friend, Brey didn’t want to stay in the house in the tree for one moment longer than was necessary.
She gingerly tried her way down the ladder.
It felt good to be on her feet again. The forest didn’t seem quite so forbidding this morning, despite the clouds that persisted in lingering in the sky. Maybe it was because she could at least see the sky and feel the fresh air.
It was an early morning. But then, thought Brey, mornings always seem early here. She could hear Landon and Garrett (and possibly other men) chopping would. She didn’t know what the others would be doing. Hunting? Fishing? Hanging around?
Well, she would find out today. She would find out everything about this little camp that there was to be found out, and make the best of it.
Around the cooking fire in front of the tree-house, she saw Cwyn, stirring some sort of porridge (it was breakfast time). Other women in the camp (and some men unfortunate enough as to be wifeless) were doing the same, only not necessarily with porridge. One boy, who looked about eight, was playing with the younger children.
But Brey didn’t see the one person she was dying to speak with. Where could Rhys be?
"’Morning, Brey," called one child cheerfully from somewhere inside tumble of arms and legs that the eight-year-old boy called a game.
"Hello," said Brey uncertainly. She still wasn’t sure how all these people suddenly knew her name. Oh wait… That’s Rhys’s doing, too. Not to mention that they only have one name to learn, and I have closer to twenty.
It made her head hurt to try.
"Good morning, Brey," said Cwyn from her place by the large pot. "How does it feel to be out of bed?"
"Fantastic! Just like that smell," said Brey. Her stomach growled. (She was always hungry early in the morning.)
Cwyn smiled.
"Do you mind if I wander around a bit?" asked Brey.
"I’d rather you wait for someone to go with you," said Cwyn gently.
Brey stifled a groan. These people didn’t deserve to be groaned at, not after all they’d done for her.
"But I know you don’t want to wait for Kayelli’s cold to go away," continued Garrett’s wife. "Why don’t you ask Landon? I’m sure he’d be happy to help."
Brey wasn’t as sure as Cwyn. Landon, like Rhys, still didn’t say much to her, and silent people made her nervous.
"Umm, okay," she said quickly. "Be sure to tell me when breakfast is ready!" she said; then, remembering her manners, "Thanks!"
"Don’t work your ankle too hard," Cwyn’s voice floated over to her.
Brey ran out behind the tree-house, to where she guessed Garrett and Landon would be. She decided her tour could wait; so instead of approaching Landon, she walked up to Garrett. (She was much more suited to talking to him; he was open and friendly in the way that she was native to.)
Garrett, as Brey had learned, was also second-in-command to Rhys. So she was never completely sure how address him (the fact that no one used surnames only confused the matter further).
"’Scuse me," she said, seeing Landon, Garrett, and two others she forgot the names of chopping wood.
"’Morning, Brey," said Landon, which surprised her, because he wasn’t usually so genial.
"Glad to see you’re on your feet," said one man. The other just grunted, and Brey wondered if he were one of the people who had been on Ryken’s side of whether she should stay or whether he was just unfriendly. (She liked the latter solution better.)
"How can I help you?" asked Garret, sticking his ax head-first in the ground and leaning on it.
"Do you know where Rhys might be? I’ve been wanting to talk to him about… things."
Garrett stroked his lack of beard. "I think Rhys said he was going to the shack today."
"The shack?" repeated Brey.
Garrett nodded. "It’s for odds and ends. And other odd things, including odd creatures."
"Odd… creatures?" Brey raised an eyebrow. "By which you mean…"
"See for yourself," interrupted Landon, "or you won’t believe us. It’s there, past the clearing in that direction. Go straight through the woods, you’ll come to it soon enough," he said, pointing.
Brey shrugged, thanked them, and set off.
She followed Landon’s instructions to a tiny beat-up looking shack. It didn’t look like much, and she certainly didn’t see Rhys.
Then a voice said, "Who are you?"
Brey looked down and saw a lithe little ferret.
"Who are you?" it repeated.
"You’re- you’re talking!" stammered an astonished Brey.
The ferret rolled his beady little eyes disdainfully. "Obviously."
"How did you- did you learn to talk??"
The ferret snorted. "Not by listening to you, Stutterer."
"That’s absolutely phenomal," she murmured.
She heard Rhys’s voice behind her. "… I see you’ve met Henry."
Without turning around, Brey said, "‘Met’ is such a mild word. ‘Been sprung upon by’ is far more accurate."
Rhys coughed, almost apologetically. "Henry, this is Brey." Then, to her, he said, "He’s an… exotic…"
"Annoying," interrupted Brey.
"… breed."
Another ferret appeared from the place Henry had come from. "Sorry about my mate, darling," said a feminine voice. It was surprisingly sweet after Henry’s ridicule. "He can be so like a speechless ferret sometimes." She smiled, showing rows of tiny pointed teeth.
Henry turned his nose up at Brey, then turned adoring eyes on the female. "This is Georgiana, the jewel of ferrets."
Georgiana dipped her head bashfully. Then, "I do hope you tell us all about yourself. We’d so like to get to know you." Her tone, though still polite, had taken an almost crafty turn. I don’t know if this surprises you, but it shouldn’t.
Rhys (still behind Brey), said, "Run along, you two. Brey can talk later, and long enough, I wager, to satisfy even your curiosity." Though they didn’t leave, Rhys continued, "I apologize for them. Ferrets will always be ferrets, and talking ones are even more cunning."
At first Brey, having turned around, hardly recognized him because of how clean Rhys was. After the talking animals "having sprung themselves upon her", it was quite the shock.
Then, after a pause, he said, "You don’t need to stare. Even I know how to use soap."
For some reason, this struck Georgiana and Henry as extraordinarily funny, and they cracked up in what might have been ferret-laughter.
Brey stammered some confused apology, but she couldn’t stop staring. Rhys was more than just clean, he was transformed. He looked much younger than she had thought him to be, for one. He was also better-looking. His hair was clean and neatly brushed, and his eyes stood out against his green cloak, with grey edging. She realized that he had a scar, slender as though it had been penciled on, on his cheek. She remembered seeing the blood after the incident with the King’s Men. It had healed nicely, though.
And the final touch: he was laughing. Not the brief, rough laugh she had heard on the way. And it was nothing like the snickering ferret-laughs. He was really laughing, a gentle, good-natured laugh.
She smiled uncertainly, feeling somehow disconcerted. Rhys had been far from "figured out" in her mind, but now the riddle was even more complicated than before.
"So, you’re better, just when Kayelli gets sick," said Rhys.
It suddenly occurred to Brey that Rhys was trying to make a joke. Her weak smile grew a little. Very little.
He looked down at her staff. "It’s interesting that you carry a staff," he remarked.
"Interesting how?" said Brey. It was a word with many meanings.
"Well, it’s just that most fairies- from what I’ve heard- carried wands, and the staffs mostly belonged to the wizards."
"It was my father’s," she said softly. "I don’t even know how to use it." After another moment’s silence, she said, "Do you have a staff?"
"No," said Rhys.
Before he could go on, Brey said, "Then what do you have?"
"Haven’t you guessed?" Almost quicker than Brey’s eye could follow, Rhys drew his sword from its scabbard.
"Oh!" said Brey. "Your sword. Is that how you defeated the King’s Men?" It did have a magical air about it, shining as it was.
"Partly," said Rhys. "Beriadan is both a Magician’s Tool, and a way to channel my magic. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have to work at fencing."
Brey wondered what her staff did. Did it have a switch or button or something to make it "go", or was she missing something bigger? She stuck her fingers in the cupped top. It was smooth on the inside, but her fingers tingled as they ran over it, as though it were sending an energy charge through her veins.
On a lighter note, she wondered if she should name the staff, but dismissed the idea as silly. Sword-naming was acceptable, but staff-naming? No. Not yet, anyway.
"Rhys," she asked, "Why did you bring me here?"
Rhys blinked. It wasn’t a confused blink, just a blink. "I try to get wind of magicians before the king does and put them farther out of danger." He looked down. "I was almost too late, in your case…" He trailed off, then said gently, "I’m sorry about your mentor."
A wave of sadness and shock washed over Brey, catching her off guard. It literally felt as though something was washing over her, and she swayed, threatening to collapse or faint.
She had been preoccupied, and hadn’t really thought about Yllna’s death yet.
Rhys grabbed her arm to steady her. "I’m sorry," he said. "I didn’t mean to…"
Brey strangled her tears and straightened. "Never mind." She cleared her throat, trying to swallow the lump that had risen to it. "I don’t want to talk about it." She blinked a few times to get rid of the last rebellious tears, and busied herself with adjusted the shoulder strap on her bag. "So, tell me about yourself."
Perhaps this was a tender subject with Rhys. "Why don’t you tell me about yourself? You are in my camp."
"But you brought me here," said Brey stubbornly. "And I asked first. I’ll go second. Sound good?"
So Rhys did.
Brey found that she and Rhys had much in common. Neither had known their parents, and both had been raised by a friend of the family. Neither had been told their lineage until they came of age. But Rhys’s mentor, unlike Yllna, had been a Magician, and (also unlike Yllna) had lived long enough to teach Rhys everything he needed to know. However, Rhys had told Brey that his mentor had been a man, making Brey the first Fairy he had ever known.
He had lived with his mentor in a secluded village- so secluded that it was actually abandoned, situated in the middle of nowhere- almost as soon as he found out what he was. But after his mentor teacher died (of old age, he said), he moved into a town- secretly of course. He had made both friends and enemies, and some that seemed to be one but were really the other. He told those closest to him his secret. (Brey personally wondered at this; she thought it would have been best not to tell anyone at all.) For a long time no one else knew, for Rhys had been discreet in the people he entrusted. None betrayed him.
However, then a young man who pretended friendship picked up bits and pieces here and there, though Rhys had never said anything to him directly. He wove them together and read between the lines, filling in the missing pages and coming to the true conclusion. The man turned out to be a spy, and Rhys had been a hunted man ever since.
(Brey wasn’t sure how a long ago "ever since" was; Rhys’s age at all was unknown to her. In fact, a lot of things were still unknown to her; Rhys was withholding some information. But as far as Brey was concerned, he was welcome to his secrets; she had secret memories of her own she didn’t plan on telling him.)
Here Brey interrupted him. "You told people?" she asked. The thought troubled her, oddly enough.
"They were men who trusted me and were close to me. How could I keep it from them? I would be a faithless captain then." His green-and-grey eyes were piercing, as though asking if he were doubting his honor.
Brey thought uncomfortably of Nobin. She had never told him her secret. "But what if you put them in danger by their knowing?" she asked.
After some thought, Rhys said, "Tell me which is worse: to feel you are a liar to those closest to you, or to feel you are responsible for those closest to you? I used my best judgment and prayed for wisdom, and if I chose wrongly, may the Lord forgive me."
Brey sighed. Is there a real answer to the question at all? she thought.
"Now, will you tell me about yourself?" asked Rhys.
Oh dear again. That was also a lot to think about. She didn’t quite know where to start- not because her life had been action-packed, but rather the contrary. And she didn’t exactly know where she had started, so how could she start? Minor complications… she thought with a wry smile. "Well," she started hesitantly, "I was born… born…" She wondered what to say next.
Henry yawned. She glared at him, having forgotten the ferrets altogether.
Eventually the whole story came out, very haltingly. Rhys followed fairly well, though.
Brey felt that there wasn’t much to say about her life. It had been mostly boring until about a month ago. And now, excitement had come- and she wished it hadn’t. Even being a Magician isn’t worth Yllna’s death, she thought, wondering why it had seemed so wonderful when Yllna had told her about it.
But if she looked at it this way, all being a Fairy would ever mean to her was death and sadness, and the need to hide. She couldn’t let her gift become that, and that alone.
"Rhys- Will you- would you- teach me?" she suddenly blurted.
"Teach you what?" asked Rhys, surprised.
"How to use my magic. I so want to learn," she said passionately. "I learned a little under Yllna- but only a little. I must learn somehow. Even while my ankle was healing, I could feel all my unused magic inside me, building up. I’ve got the Magician’s Ball," -she took it out of her bag to demonstrate- "but playing with some other magician’s craft isn’t going to let the magic out. I want to use my magic the way the Magicians of old did- for a purpose." As she said this, she was tossing the Ball around in impossible throws and catches.
Rhys scratched his head, running his fingers through his hair. "Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘Don’t put your hand in the fire, for it might get out of hand’?"
Brey nodded. "Of course." It was a fairly common proverb. For herself, she had always thought it slightly redundant, though it made sense if you ignored that.
Rhys went on. "Well, I could say the same thing for magic. Playing with magic is like playing with fire. If you can’t handle it, you can get badly hurt," said Rhys grimly.
Brey’s face fell. "You think I can’t handle it?"
"I’m only warning you."
Brey’s eyebrows narrowed. "Whether I can or not, I’m determined to try."
Rhys smiled. "You’ve got spunk, Brey. Good. We’ll start to-"
"-day," finished Brey, anxious to keep him from saying "tomorrow". "Can we, please?"
Rhys shrugged. "I suppose we can. Why not?"

The kind of magic they did was far more complicated than making pancakes. First, Rhys handed Brey a large, smooth chunk of wood. "Make this into a shape," he said.
"What?" said Brey.
Rhys repeated his command.
"I don’t know how!"
"Just think about it."
Brey looked at him dubiously.
"If I’m going to teach you magic, you have to trust me, Brey," said Rhys with a sigh.
"Fair enough." Brey looked down at the wood. "What do I shape it into?"
"I told you- just think about it."
Brey closed her eyes. It was easier for her to think with them shut. Nothing came to mind.
She turned the wood around in her hands, feeling the smoothened ridges, like tiny hills and plains. She smiled. It felt good, somehow. She imagined her fingers going deeper than the ridges, down into the heart of the wood. She had heard once that trees had hearts, but she had been unclear about what that meant. Now she imagined she was finding out. To her surprise, for a moment it felt as though her fingers actually dipped through the surface. In shock, she almost dropped the wood, her eyes flying open. "Did you see that?" she cried to Rhys, wondering if she had imagined it.
Rhys just gestured with his head and eyes toward the wood, as if to both confirm her suspicions and say, "Go on."
Still doubtful and now wary, she closed her eyes again. First her hands stayed still. Then she dug ferociously, applying pressure to the knot. Nothing happened.
"Gently," said Rhys. His voice was soft. "Use your mind to form it as much as your hands. Like the first time. You had it, then."
She let out a deep breath and imagined herself molding it again, this time pressing more gently. The wood suddenly seemed loose and malleable in her grasp. "I think I’ve got it!" she said, louder than she had intended.
"Don’t talk; concentrate," said Rhys, still softly.
"Sorry," said Brey, hushing her voice. If Rhys said anything else, she didn’t notice, because that’s when an image formed in her mind of what the wood could become.
She saw a lily, terribly delicate; everything about it was thread-slim and fine- too fine. She realized that making that would require a different material, something better suited to the fragile build of the flower. So instead, a different picture formed.
This was sun-shaped, something flat-topped and thick. As she thought about it, the details began to come together- wavy edges for the rays, etchings and swirls on the sun-circle, thin markings that meant nothing at all but looked lovely. And almost unconsciously, she moved her hands as she decided the patterns, forming the wood without realizing it. And before she knew it, she was done. She opened her eyes and looked at her creation.
It was very much like the sun in her imagination, but not quite as fine in quality. It was slightly crooked and warped, askew in subtle places. The lines she had meant to be tiny were too prominent. It didn’t look bad, exactly, just wrong. Not how it was meant to be.
"It’s terrible!" she exclaimed, disappointed.
Surprisingly, Rhys laughed. "You may want to open your eyes and watch what you’re doing next time. It may be easier to picture what you want with them closed, but it’s easier to form things with them open." He glanced at it. "It’s not that bad, really."
But Brey was something of a perfectionist. "I hate it," she said crossly. "It’s a pity something magical must be so ugly."
"It’s not magical," said Rhys.
Brey’s eyebrows creased. "It’s not?"
"It would only be magical if you had enchanted it. All you did was shape it. Though I suppose that does, in a way, make it magical, because there is something magical in the feel of Shaping, is there not?"
"Hmm," said Brey. Then, having an idea, she blinked her eyes viciously and squeezed the sun-shape. "Enchant!" she cried.
Simultaneously, Rhys said, "Don’t do that!" But it was too late.
Brey didn’t know how long ago Phoenix the Fairy had lived, but she was soon to learn that the forest was still flowing with magic. Trying to perform this more wild magic in Phoenix Forest was similar to lighting a match in a gunpowder room.
Immediately, there came a very loud, very unpleasant bang.
SparkflashBOOM!
The sun-shape flashed and ignited, bursting into flame. In a moment, it was in ashes. Rhys had not lied when he said magic was like fire.
Brey was knocked over by the force, hand searing with pain, but not burnt.
"Brey! Are you all right?" Rhys yanked Brey to her feet, not very gently, either.
"Simply smashing!" said Brey, breathless with excitement.
"What were you thinking? You could have been seriously hurt!"
Brey was clutching the wrist of her "injured" hand, surveying it curiously. "I wanted to enchant it," she said, still not really talking to Rhys.
Rhys spun her around roughly by her arm and bent down so that they were looking eye to eye. "Don’t ever do that again, okay? Do you hear me?"
Brey nodded quickly, suddenly frightened by his tone, though neither her abilities nor the fire had scared her. I almost forgot who I was with, she thought. Eyes wide, she gulped.
Rhys let out a sigh and dropped her arm. He straightened, then viciously struck out and kicked away what little remained of the chunk of wood. "You are nearly impossible. I think that’s enough for one day."
Brey didn’t have to take another glance at his face to decide that protesting was not an option. The two walked back to camp silently, and once Brey glanced back at the shack and the ashes of her first Magician’s Creation, rubbing the arm Rhys had nearly pulled out of socket and thinking about the day and its many happenings. And all this because Kayelli had a cold, she thought wonderingly. What a story I’ll have to tell her!

Comments

I love this chapter! I

I love this chapter! I think everything works together quite well.
Except that something about the talking ferrets wasn't right; idk, but it felt like they just popped in and popped back out, and there wasn't any background or something. Maybe it was just me...
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"Elves and Dragons! Cabbages and potatoes are better for me and you. Don't go getting mixed up in the business of your betters, or you'll land in trouble too big for you." — Hamfast Gamgee (the Gaffer)

Clare Marie | Mon, 01/19/2009

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Great chapter, Anna! I

Great chapter, Anna! I really like this, It reminds me of Eragon (though I'm no saying that in a bad way :P) Yup. You caught my attention :) Please up- date soon.
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"I'm a dishonest man, and a dishonest man you can always count on being dishonest, It's the honest ones you have to watch"
-Jack Sparrow

marie (not verified) | Mon, 01/19/2009

Yea!!!! A new chapter! I

Yea!!!! A new chapter! I like it a lot! Though I'd have to disagree with Clare Marie about the ferrets. I have a feeling they'll show up later on as some sort of villian, because after all, they are part of the weasil family. You could have had a longer conversation with them though.
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"Pretty soon people are going to come to look at it. And some of those people will be... realtors!"--Klaus Baudelaire

Ariel | Mon, 01/19/2009

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"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Yes, I guess that was just

Yes, I guess that was just it: they could have had a longer conversation.
I like them, though, and it's interesting that you decided to have talking animals. :)
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Elves and Dragons! Cabbages and potatoes are better for me and you. Don't go getting mixed up in the business of your betters, or you'll land in trouble too big for you." — Hamfast Gamgee (the Gaffer)

Clare Marie | Tue, 01/20/2009

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

yah. They just kinda popped

yah. They just kinda popped in and out, if they'd stuck around a litte longer I think it would have been a little smoother. :P Otherwise, it's great!
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"You're pirates! Hang the code, and hang the rules! They're more like guidelines anyway"
-Elizabeth Swan//Pirates of the Caribbean//Curse of the Black Pearl

Sarah | Tue, 01/20/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

Ooooo!!!!

Yay! I've been waiting for the next chapter. I like the ferrets =D
I really love it!!!!

"Remember when 'you play like a girl' use to be an insult?"
-Mia Hamn, American Olympic soccer star.

"Being cool is not acting cool."
-Anonymous

Erin | Tue, 01/20/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Okay, thanks alot for the

Okay, thanks alot for the input on Henry and Georgiana. I didn't really think about their purpose or timing; I just thought they'd be fun. But I see what you mean. I've gone back and edited a little... tell me if it really didn't help, or not enough.
Thanks!!
(btw Clare, I think you'll like the next part ;D)
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He who is near to his Captain is sure to be a target for the archers.
-Amy Carmichael

Anna | Tue, 01/20/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

love it! The ferrets are

love it! The ferrets are adorable, and made for some nice comic relief. :)

~~~^@
Katie:-)

"We never need to be economical in our imaginations, thank heaven."
-Anne Blythe, "Anne of Ingleside"

KatieSara | Fri, 03/20/2009

Katie:-)

"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"
-Idris/TARDIS