Earth Searcher-Chapter Three
Stories and words
Master G'ueylue has sent T'eyltar and I to our quarters. He said to stay there until he sends P'elou to fetch us. He told us that he would sell us to seperate masters.
"I thought....I thought he was freeing us, J'uniea. I am sorry," T'eyltar tells me. She sits across from me on her own ragged bunk.
"Really, T'eyltar. It is no problem. Perhaps we will have better masters," I say. I have no certainty of this though, and look away from her seemingly mind-reading green eyes.
"G'ueylue will make sure that we do not get kind masters," says T'eyltar grimly, her freckly face all twisted up in a scowl. I bite my lip. I wish that she were wrong, I wish that I could deny it, but I know that I cannot. Desperate for something somewhat happy, I say: "T'eyltar, write to me. Then we will not be totally apart," I say. It is the first thing off of my tongue, amd begging to be said.
T'eyltar hesitates, guilt clouding her round face. "I-I am sorry, J'uniea. I...I..." her voice hushes to a whisper, I have to lean in closer to her to hear. "I cannot read."
I straighten back up. "I can teach you," I say. I love to read, and I love to read everything.
"We only have a little time--"
"I do not care, I will teach you how to read."
"J'uinea, I do not know."
"You are smart, you can do it," I tell her encouragingly.
"T'eyltar, grab my book for me."
T'eyltar hangs her head some in surrender, then stands up and crosses the tiny room. On my nightstand, there is the story book that I snuck in when G'ueylue bought me offshore. Mama gave it too me, and whispered in my ear as her new master took her away: "I am always with you, baby. Just read this." My eyes well up with the thought.
T'eyltar hands me the worn storybook. Its spine's brown leather is torn and ragged, and it has been opened so many times that its cover never lies flat, but it is perfect all the same.
"I will read you the story first, then you can come over and try to read it with me," I instruct, opening the book. "It is called E'ul the Brave." I clear my throat and look lovingly at the yellow-tinged pages.
"Once, very long before you were born, there lived a slave called E'ul. He always cared for the horses that King S'eeraga treasured dearly, and he actually enjoyed his work.
He took such wonderful care of King S'eeraga's prized stallion, X'zuku, that the King kindly gave E'ul his horse, and appointed him a knight. The other knights were ashamed, and one particularly vain knight-K'uroor-said: 'King S'eeraga appointed this disgraceful slave a knight of honor, and I will do all in my knightly power to get him off of our team!' The rest of the knights jeered that night, and made a toast to K'uroor's announcement.
But the next day, E'ul arrived on the force with his black, gleaming, magnificent X'zuku. He was kindly to the other knights, helping them when they needed help, and so on.
K'uroor still scoffed. 'Disgraceful!' he cried each time E'ul assisted them. 'Simply disgusting!'
One day, only a week after K'uroor said these cruel things, K'uroor was sent on a mission with E'ul to rescue Madame L'eelura of Serkee from the riverside.
'I will rescue her, while you wait here at the riverside!' K'uroor told E'ul. E'ul politely obeyed, and waited on his beautiful steed.
After nearly four hours of waiting and K'uroor had still not returned, E'ul decided to go after him to make sure that he was all right.
E'ul found him in the forest, his mount injured and K'uroor laying in the dirt, unconcious. Madame L'eelura seemed all right, just shaken.
'What happened, Madame?' asked E'ul.
'This fool hit his horse too hard, startled him. His horse ran, then he tripped and fell with us. Knocked him out cold, his horse lame and me terrified!'
E'ul nodded understandingly. 'Will you help me get K'uroor onto his mount. We can walk them beside us, and you can sit behind me,' he said.
Soon he had dismounted X'zuku and Madame L'eelura was helping K'uroor onto his sandy-buckskin horse.
And they all made it back to the palace, E'ul having changed K'uroor's mind about slaves being unworthy of knightsmanship and Madame L'eelura in love with him.
L'eelura and E'ul married and lived for many more years. They lived happily ever after. The end."
T'eyltar stares at me. "You expect me to read that?" she asks, pointing to herself, then to the book.
"Just a few words, please!" I say.
T'eyltar nods, clearly nervous, and sits on the bunk next to me. Just as I point my finger to the first word, P'elou barges in, his eyes the size of my fist.
"I know I may seem cruel, but really, I want to help," he announces as T'eyltar and I leap up.
I stare and T'eyltar snorts.
"Punishments master? Goodness, just because we are slaves, that does not mean that we're dumb and witless," she says, folding her arms.
P'elou looks indignant.
"I am telling the truth! I can show you were to escape!" he says.
I consider this, but when I look at T'eyltar she has her eyes narrowed to slits.
"I don't trust you," she announces.
"I am going." I don't know where the words come from, but before I know what to do they are there, floating right in the air in front of me.