Finding a home
December 15, 2019 at 7:01 pm #42251
Posted by Echo on July 6, 2009 at 8:59pm in World’s Crossing
As my feet drew me to this new world, I passed by the tavern, but having little money and none to spare, I did not enter, only looked into the window. It seems a pleasant place, but strangely deserted, not even anyone to tend bar. I wondered whether they served food as well as drinks. Sometimes it is pleasant to get away from one’s own cooking … when one can pay, as I cannot.
Turning away, I took a little-used path into the woods opposite the tavern and after walking perhaps a mile discovered what might be the reason why the tavern was so empty. I had already passed three abandoned cottages, and I could see at least one more some distance away through the trees. The third house I’d passed, a short ways back, was going to be perfect for my needs at present, though if I stayed here it would have to be enlarged over time. For now, the main room with its good-sized fireplace, cast iron stove and oven, a long wooden table in decent shape, and rafters not too high would be an excellent place for drying herbs and making healing items from them. The second room, very small, contained a bed frame and a mattress that would have to be replaced as soon as I could make a new one, and I had a blanket. There was even a root cellar and, close to the house, a good well. I had a few candles with me, and perhaps in one of the other houses I’d be able to find a couple of good chairs and some oil lamps.
My needs are simple – or at least, I’ve had to learn to live simply. Food might be a problem. And while I wish illness or injury on no one, I had to hope there would be some need of my services for which I could ask a little silver or a gold piece.
I had barely made the place habitable when there was a rattling in the chimney … (see my blog)
December 15, 2019 at 7:02 pm #42252
Reply by Dragon Teers on July 6, 2009 at 10:45pmDelete::I fly by, my form large, blocking out the sun and casting a teery shaped shadow on the ground. As i circle i drop something large from my mouth. Its a wildebeast, fat, fresh, and ready for cooking. I drops to the ground causing a huge cloud of dust to rise up in front of echys house::
:: I fly by again, this time dropping a cow. It plops on top of the first animal with a loud squishy thump::
::I fly by a third time and a giant octopus drops to the ground with a squishy splash, right next to the first two animals::
ENJOY DINNER ECHYYYYYY
::I plop back down into one of my smaller sizes and float down her chimney, and back into the home::
December 15, 2019 at 7:02 pm #42253
Reply by Echo on July 7, 2009 at 12:08amDeleteJust as the werewolf Timeless Defiance made the courteous offer to obtain meat for me, the noises outside brought me to the door just in time to see the cow hit the wildebeest and to dodge the spray of blood that mingled with the dust cloud. All I could do was laugh helplessly. “Timeless,” I said, “I think there is meat enough out here for you to sate yourself and leave me with more than I can deal with.” I turned from the doorway to go and get the only knife I owned that could cut meat from a fresh kill. Then there was a strange squishy splash outside and I went to the door cautiously.
An octopus. Teery had brought me an octopus. I was speechless. A sound from the fireplace turned me around, and there was Dragon Teers floating out of the hearth. “Teery,” I managed to say, “thank you for the meat, but the octopus is all yours.”
Then I went outside. The cow had fallen off the wildebeest, and I chose the smaller animal to butcher, taking only what I thought I could keep. Whatever the three of us did not eat, I would leave it to Teery to take the rest somewhere else for the scavengers to feed on.
December 15, 2019 at 7:02 pm #42254
Reply by Echo on July 7, 2009 at 10:03pmDeleteYou may butcher the meat and gladly! It is nothing I enjoy. And I thank you most kindly for this wonderful blanket. I will be comfortable now when I sleep.
I must explain, since you call me Sir, that I am not the father of Dragon Teers but his mother. I realize you cannot tell because I am hooded, and my voice, I suppose, could be that of a man with a very high voice. But indeed I am a woman, and you may call me Echo.
December 15, 2019 at 7:02 pm #42255
Reply by Echo on July 8, 2009 at 11:11amDeleteTeery, Timeless and I had a good meal of steak and, in some cases, octopus. I knew I would need both a smokehouse and an icehouse so that I could preserve the extra meat Teery might bring in the future, but for now, most of what he had brought would have to go to the scavengers of the woods and fields. I’d need a vegetable garden as well as an herb garden. But all that was for another day. The sun had set, and I went to my small bedroom. It was a relief to take off the hooded cloak, as I will only do when I am alone. I used my blanket to cover the old mattress and pulled the other, the gift from Timeless, over me, and slept content till morning. My last thought before falling asleep was to tell Teery to bring me smaller gifts like pheasant, goose or duck for the time being.
December 15, 2019 at 7:03 pm #42256
Reply by Dragon Teers on July 8, 2009 at 8:08pmDeleteIm restless….. ::I bounce around the house looking for trouble while the others sleep:: why doesnt echy have any video games in this place
::I amuse myself scratching weird pictures into the walls with my nails:: hmmm…. that one looks a little bit like whitney Houston. Well… if Whitney Houston had a beard
December 15, 2019 at 7:03 pm #42257
Reply by Echo on July 8, 2009 at 8:12pmDeleteI woke with the sunrise, and was sorry I had not slept an hour longer, for after my journey I could have used more rest. Still, I rose, washed in the bucket of cold water I’d brought in the previous day from the well, dressed and donned my cloak. Hooded, I passed through the main room. Both Teers and Timeless were gone, hunting perhaps. After a meal of bread, cheese and an apple, I went outdoors to survey the land for the best places to put what I would need: gardens for herbs and vegetables, an ice house (if I could find ice!), and a smokehouse. I also knew I would need to expand the cottage I had chosen in case I should have more guests or patients who would need to stay for treatment.
I wanted both gardens near the house, which was why I had chosen this one … not only was it fairly close to the tavern, but it was the only one of the cottages that stood on open ground; all the others had been in the forest. Neither garden would be large at first, but there would have to be room to expand.
It was long and longer since I had had to dig a garden myself, longer still since I had had to do carpentry. I started to mark out the herb garden with pegs and twine, and my dress and cloak were so cumbersome that I grew exasperated. Garbed as I was, I would never be able to do the needed work. Back into the cottage I went.
I still had the trousers, man’s blouse and hooded jerkin I’d had to wear at times during my journey when I passed through where women were treated poorly. Slight as I was, I had been able to pass for a beardless boy in those places. There was one land where I could tell, from scouting the area, that the hood would cause comment; there, I mittened my hands, curled my fingers inside them, walked haltingly, and was taken for a leper. No one bothered me then!
The clothing was comfortable, and now it was much easier to mark out the two gardens. This done, I decided to investigate some of the other abandoned cottages. I needed tools, cloth – anything that would help me make my house a home and add to it what was needed.
In the nearest cottage I found a broken stool that could be mended and some crockery, miraculously unbroken though filthy with dust and droppings. Better yet, in a dilapidated lean-to I found a shovel and a watering can – both rusty but serviceable. These finds brightened my spirits considerably. The cottage itself was hardly livable, yet there were many timbers that could be salvaged from it for use in adding on to my own home.
I brought my treasures home and set out again. This time I headed the other way, deeper into the forest. After a time it seemed strange to me that I had not yet seen the fourth cottage, the one I had glimpsed yesterday. I could not see the sky overhead for the dense forest canopy, but it seemed as if clouds must have covered the sun, for it was much darker here than on the previous day. I grew thirsty, and chided myself for coming out with no waterskin.
I came upon the cottage suddenly. Yesterday the sun must have been at just the right angle to reveal it to me; today it had been shrouded in the gloom. Not seeing a well, but hoping to find one, I walked around toward the back. It was even darker here. Then, without warning, as I stepped over a curious line of rocks, I found myself somewhere else – somewhere where it was true night.
December 15, 2019 at 7:04 pm #42258
Reply by Echo on July 8, 2009 at 8:37pm Coming back into the place I was beginning to think of as home, I stumbled and went to my knees. Where had I been? Full night, moonlight, a burning building, and pale-faced figures walking away from the fire. And now I knew that if I could get to that place, so the inhabitants there could come to this one. I had no reason to assume they would mean me harm, unless – unless they had set the fire. Of course, I could not know.
Carefully skirting the line of rocks I now knew to be a gateway to that other land, I completed my circuit of this cottage. There was, indeed, a well on the other side of the building, but it was fouled. Thirsty and empty-handed, I headed home. I would explore this cottage later – or on another day.
December 15, 2019 at 7:04 pm #42259
::I come stumbling out the front door, a sickly look on my face:: ooooooohhhhhhh bad octopus………
::Suddenly i start barfing, yet instead of chunks I barf huge bolts of fire. The fire gows everywhere, burning up everything in sight. I barf again and the field of plants goes up in smoke. another barf and there goes the smokehouse, burnt to a cinder. Two more belches and the barn goes up in flames. Then… the last barf, a huge fiery bolt that turns the icehouse and all of its contents instantly into vapor::
::I sit on my back, panting, moaning the word “octopus” over and over again, as around em everything burns::
December 15, 2019 at 7:04 pm #42260
Reply by Echo on July 9, 2009 at 10:58amDeleteOn my way home, I heard strange noises ahead of me, and the sound of flames. My instant fear was that whatever had burned the building in that other world had now attacked my home, and I ran.
But no – the cottage was still there – and bigger than when I had left. But I scarcely notice that, because all around the cottage was a wasteland of smoking ash … and in the middle of the mess, Teery, looking puce and miserable. The wind carried a moan from him to me … “Octopus……..”
I knew then what had happened to Teery, and why all the grass was burnt to cinders. Some of the ash piles were deeper, though, and I had no idea what had been there.
I had to pick my way through to the door on strips of grass that Teery’s fiery vomiting had missed. I couldn’t get to him yet because the ash was still too hot, but I could get inside to make him a tonic.
The cottage WAS bigger, no doubt of it now. Someone had worked magic on it. Teery didn’t have that kind of magic – at least, he hadn’t before we were separated for so long – so it must have been the werewolf Timeless. But I didn’t have time to explore yet, much as I would have liked to.
I put a teakettle on the stove. From my store of dried herbs I mixed pinches of fennel, chamomile, peppermint and skullcap in the biggest bowl I had. As soon as the water was hot, I poured it into the bowl with the herbs to steep. “Aelu,” I murmured, “wake up.”
There was movement in the long braid that hung down my back inside the hood and jerkin, and a sleepy hiss. Then slowly a small snake the colors of chocolate and jewels slithered out of the braid, past my cheek and down my arm onto the table.
Aelu had been asleep for a long time after a difficult healing we’d done several days before finding this place, but I knew he would be rested now. I set out a small bowl of honey for him – not usual food for snakes, but Aelu is an unusual snake to say the least. He fed for a few minutes while the tonic tea continued to steep, then looked up at me. “DragonTeers is here,” I said, “and he’s puce and barfing fire.” Seeing that I was not worried about Teery, Aelu quivered in the way that means laughter and reared up over the bowl. He spat a few drops into it; the tea roiled while the herbs dissolved completely. Aelu almost always knows what to add to a potion without my telling him.
He made his way up onto my shoulder. I picked up the bowl and carried it outside, finding a place where I could set it that kept me out of the much-cooler ash but was within Teery’s reach. “Drink this, silly boy, and you’ll feel better right away. Then you can blow away these ashes.”
Aelu hissed a request to know what had happened while he slept. Watching DragonTeers, I began to bring my healing partner up to date.
December 15, 2019 at 7:05 pm #42261
Reply by Echo on July 9, 2009 at 7:07pmDeleteI turned to Timeless. “Thank you so much for adding onto the cottage! That was going to be the most difficult job for me to do. But I’m afraid that anything else you did is gone. Dragon Teers had an upset stomach, and when he does, he vomits fire – and you can see the results. Still, it was kind of you. You said garden? Really, I prefer to plant my own, I know just how I want them to be and what I need to plant.” Aelu sat up on my shoulder with a soft, wary hiss. “The snake you smell is my healing partner, Aelu. Aelu, this is Timeless Defiance, a friend.” Then I added, “You should know, Timeless, that Aelu can kill almost instantly with a single bite. Perhaps you will want to pass that along to anyone else you know in the area.”
I looked back at the still-puce-and-miserable young dragon. “Teery, stop this nonsense and drink what’s in that bowl!”
Then I thought of something. “Timeless, do you know anything about portals from this world to others? I stumbled into one and found myself somewhere entirely different. It was night there, and a building was burning.”
December 15, 2019 at 7:05 pm #42262
Reply by Echo on July 10, 2009 at 7:56pmDeleteI replied, “Aelu *never* bites for no reason. As I said, he is my healing partner. He would only kill if he or I were attacked with deadly intent. I may ask him to bite a sick person, as he can produce medicine that cannot be made with herbs. He can relieve pain with a bite, or he can add the proper thing to an exilir that I have made. He did that with this tea that I made for Dragon Teers, as herbs alone cannot relieve the upset stomach of a dragon. Aelu’s magic is perhaps the most wonderful in all the world – or worlds, as it seems there are others besides this one that can be reached from here.”
Do you come from another of those worlds? Do you come here through a portal?”
Teery at last drank what was in the bowl. Sparks shot out of his eyes, and he let out a deep belch that smelt terrible, causing me to back away very, very quickly. (Timeless, with his much keener sense of smell, took off running.) Teery turned chartreuse for a moment, then pea green, then settled down to his normal color. He croaked, “thanks, mommy,” and went into the house. I followed. He was already curling up on the floor by the fireplace. In a moment, he was asleep. He would be fine again when he woke.
There was nothing I could do outside until Teery blew all the ash away. Since I did not want to awaken my sleeping son, Aelu and I made a potion to strip rust (Aelu’s talents extend beyond healing into some useful areas!), and with a rag I began to rub the rusty watering can, with the shovel by my side awaiting the same care.
December 15, 2019 at 7:05 pm #42263
Reply by Echo on July 15, 2009 at 9:59pmDeleteOOC: This storyline has moved from here, to my blog, and back to here, and now it’s moving again, to Worlds’ Crossing. I’ll start a new thread there soon.
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