Friday, October 26, 2007

Cat's Out of the Bag

“Good morning sleepy.” Kjarbo said as he handed me a cup of hot chocolate as soon as I came out of my room.

It was late in the morning. After my late night up with Jen I needed a bit of an extra rest. I took the cup gratefully and watched Jenjen bounce on her toes behind her brother as I sipped. “Thank you and good morning to you two.” It was nice to see Jenjen in a better mood but something was up.

Kjarbo grabbed me and pulled me in for a hug. “It will be ok. We’ll help you.” He said.

“What are you talking about?” I asked as I glared at Jen.

“I know all about it.” He said.

“Jen!” I shouted and her ears fell flat against her head.

“Family doesn’t count! Family doesn’t count!” she said as she ducked behind her brother.

I sighed. “Who else knows?” I looked around the lobby but everyone else had already left for the day.

“We didn’t tell anyone else. Promise.” She said as she put her hand over her heart still keeping hidden behind Kjarbo.

“I’m glad she told me.” Kjarbo said. “You shouldn’t do this alone.”

“I don’t think you understand.” I said as I rubbed my face in frustration. “I need to get away before anyone else finds out.” I turned on my heel back into my room. “Moogle?”

“Yes Kupo?” he smiled.

“Pack our things. We’re leaving.”

“Ah, good idea Kupo.” He spun and got right to work. “Is it a bad time to tell you a package arrived Kupo?” He dropped a box on my bed.

“Pack it with the rest. I think we should hurry.” I said as I went to my closet to find clothes.

Kjarbo and Jen were standing at my door watching me run around in a panic. “You need to come home with us.” Jenjen said.

“What? We are home. I need to get away from home and hide.”

“You shouldn’t worry so much. Your friends love you no matter what.” Kjarbo said in his best attempt to reassure me but he just didn’t understand.

“Mhaura. Jenjen said. Our home near the docks. That is where we want to take you if you feel like you need some privacy.”

I stopped to look at their kind faces looking back at me. It wasn’t a bad idea. Not bad at all. “Thank you.” I said and I went to hug them both. “Thank goodness for true friends.”

It was no time before they had unpacked the few essential items I brought. There simply wasn’t room in the small home for me but in I would squeeze anyways. I smiled as I looked at the beautiful gold accented cradle I brought sitting against a wall. I could almost see the tiny little angel bundled up in it as I thought of her.

“That is the last of it.” Kjarbo smiled. “I hope you don’t mind sharing the back room with Jenjen. She can purr rather loudly while she sleeps but I’m sure it wont take long to get used to it. “If it gets too bad we can always make her sleep in the kitchen.” He smiled at her as Jenjen’s tail swished with annoyance.

“You just keep watch at the front door and leave us girls to worry about girl things.” Jenjen nipped playfully. She was clearly excited about her new roommate.

I crawled into the hammock so graciously given to me by Kjarbo with the intentions of giving it a test nap. So much had happened lately I had hardly had time to breath but at this moment I felt good.

Pulling the package that had arrived for me into bed I unwrapped the red paper around it. I smiled. It was half a heart chocolate with a note. It read: I didn't want the last thing we shared to be the death of a friend. –Kallo

How sweet of him. I broke off a piece and sucked on it letting it melt on my tongue. That’s when the idea struck me. I knew what I needed. I never thought I would think this again but I needed a man. An elvaan man…. I stared at Kjarbo as he prepared the fish he would cook us for dinner.

I hoped Brodie could forgive me but the best way to protect our child would be to tell everyone the baby wasn’t his. I cringed and my heart hurt but it was the best I had for now. Now I had to figure out a way to ask Kjarbo to help me raise my child as his.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Meeting in the Moonlight

*Image by Votm*

It was impossible to sleep with the yowling. My head was still fuzzy with dreams as I tried to determine where it was coming from. Getting up and peering out my window on my tippy toes I could see the moonlight glowing off her ruffled hair.

I pursed my lips. Poor mithra. With my own troubles I had not been as sensitive as I should have been to her worry. Gathering a plate of cookies and a wide glass of milk I shuffled outside sleepily. The wet grass chilled my feet quickly and I regretted forgetting shoes.

She drank eagerly. “Hi.” I said simply.

“Hi.” She said with a whimper and a sniffle.

“Full moon. Very pretty.”

She nodded and scooted closer grabbing a cookie in each hand. “Why isn’t he back yet? He can’t be dead.” She said with a quiver in her voice.

Wrapping my arms around her I kissed the top of her soft plume-like hair. “I just don’t feel it in my heart that he’s dead Jenjen. I know he’s been gone and not said a peep but I just don’t feel it.”

“Altana kept him. I just know it.” She yowled again and buried her face against my arm her hot tears chilling on my skin only served to remind me that it was too cold to be outside like this.

“Give him time. We both know how unpredictable Beldin can be. I’m sure his reason isn’t a good one but I’m sure he’ll pop up soon.”

“That’s not what you said about Brodie.” She spat out almost spitefully.

I had to pause a moment as twang of pain shot through my heart at the thought.

Wide eyed she looked up at me apologetically. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring it up like that.”

I smiled to reassure her but I had to look down at the ground away from her eyes. “It was the feeling. I knew as soon as the water swallowed him I would never see him again. I pray that I am wrong but…” my voice trailed off.

“All I feel is frantic. I’m desperate to tell him I love him. We were fighting and…” She started yowling again and her angry tail slapped my back.

“He knows and I expect him to walk around the corner any moment with that self-assured look on his face expecting us all to throw him a welcome home party for a hero.”

She sat up to look around as if she thought I had seen him coming. Sighing deep and hard she slumped down and drew her knees up to rest her head. “Can I ask you about your secret yet?”

I was a little startled by this sudden change of topic.

“I’m sorry but I need to think of something else and I have been really good not to say anything yet because I understand why you wouldn’t want to say anything. It must be really hard for you.” Jenjen started stuffing cookies in her mouth like she hadn’t eaten all week.

“I don’t know what you mean.” I said a bit wide eyed and grateful for the darkness.

“The baby.” She said through a mouth full of cookie.

I gasped and my heart raced. If she knew than who else did too?

“The fainting, throwing up all the time, your pants are way too tight even though you have hardly been eating a thing lately and you’re forever sleeping. You knew you were pregnant right?” she said as she angled her face under mine to look questioningly into my eyes.

I nodded and looked at her with pleading eyes. “You can’t tell anyone! No one can know.”

Wide eyed and gaping mouth she asked. “Who’s the father?”

“Brodie.” I said as a surprise tear rolled down my cheek.

“He’s a hume.” She whispered as if she thought I might not know.

I nodded.

“You’re an elvaan.” She continued as if she hoped that might help her point sink in.

I looked at her and she handed me a cookie. “Who is it really?” she whispered. “I won’t tell.”

Her ears where completely erect and attentive as she chewed a bite while she waited for me to answer. I didn’t.

“Wow…” she said. “You really are in a pickle. “I can understand why you wouldn’t want anyone to know you got pregnant while you were newly married to a hume. You can tell me what happened. We’re like sisters now. You can trust me to help.”

“That’s the thing Jenjen. It was only Brodie. I have Brodie’s baby.” I don’t think she believed me from the look on her face.

“I’m so glad its out. I won’t tell anyone your secret. I’m going to help you. I love babies.” I could tell her normal bounce was returning as she grew in excitement. I’m not sure if it was over the thought of a baby coming or if it was being the soul trustee of my greatest secret but I was glad to have someone to share it with.

“What are you doing outside at this time of night?” She said as she popped up and pulled on my arm. “You can’t be chilled in your condition.”

We both turned as a bush shook and a goblin ran out. “Odd, don’t they usually run toward people?” I questioned.

“I bet we scared him. We are extra mighty.” She smiled.

She wasn’t concerned but I had been around long enough to know that was not normal behavior for a goblin. It could be my motherly instincts making me more protective but I was eager to get inside away from the prying eyes of night.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Moogle brought me a cup of my favorite mint hot chocolate with a dollop of decadent whipped cream. “I was reading up on your little surprise while you were away on your completely inappropriately dangerous adventure Kupo.”

I wiggled my toes nervously as I sipped my drink on top of my bed. I knew he was right about the dangerous part. I shouldn’t have gone when my baby could have been hurt. I felt horrible and it didn’t make me feel very hopeful about my potential as a mother. I had not really fully absorbed that she was real then but with a name I was beginning to really feel her with me. I just nodded shamefully and he stopped spinning and continued.

“Children born to hume and elvaan parents are not impossible but are extremely rare and often look so much like one or the other race that they go unnoticed which is a very good thing for them.”

“School yard bullies?” I asked.

Moogle chuckled and rubbed his head as if remembering some distant memory. “No.” Fluttering away to the table he picked up a book twice his size and bobbed back to drop it in my lap. “A prophecy very unpopular with the leaders of both San d’Oria and Bastok. They try to keep it very hush hush but my moogle libraries are full of theories on its vague details. The popular opinion in moogle circles is that it’s the vagueness of the prophecy that drives the leaders of these prideful nations to be so defensive.”

I shifted uncomfortably and pulled a blanket protectively over my belly. “Please hurry to the part about my baby.” I begged nervously.

“Well, read here.” Moogle pulled the great book to the page he wanted and pointed to a section highlighted with gold foil lettering.

A child shall be born of the blood of the kingdom of San d’ Oria and the republic of Bastok to unite the great races and bind them together in love for one another and the people will rejoice and praise the name of the child for she will bring down the haughtiness of the great evils and lift the extraordinary showing forth the true strength of the people in unity.

I read it a couple of times before looking up to Moogle. “This is my child?”

Moogle spun as he bobbed. “Oh, I don’t know. As I said yours is not the first child to be born of hume and elvaan blood. Although it’s very rare it’s happened before. A secret your country would like to keep from its people.”


“Ah well, the interpretation by their great scholars and wise men is that this child will crush both governments and make one all encompassing or that one government will overtake the other. Neither is a popular idea with either. Another possibility being that citizens of mixed blood will become common place and the line between hume and evlaan will become unclear forcing a merging of countries. This is simply unacceptable to the pride of either race.”

I rubbed the outside of my mug in my hands as I looked down at the book and let the words sink in. “And I thought I was worried about how to tell the ThumbMonkeys before…”

“Oh Kupo,” he spun wildly, “it’s not my place to tell you what to do but it might not be wise to tell anyone about this Kupo.”

“How can I not tell them?”

“If either government finds out who’s child you are carrying there could be grave consequences as both races have vowed to prevent a child from harming their beloved way of life Kupo.” Kupo laughed musically. “In this one way she has already united them ironically enough.”

“I don’t see the humor.” I scowled.

“Forgive me Kupo. Ofcourse.” Kupo flew over and hugged my neck in his tiny arms. This being the first time he had ever hugged me I was a bit startled. “It will be ok. I will take this news to the council of moogle right away. Don’t worry Kupo.” Patting his warm head I smiled and did feel a bit comforted.

I really had full confidence that I could hide this child’s lineage from those who would harm her. I had just survived a great trama in my life. If I disappeared no one would think it was unusual. Now I just needed a plan and place to hide. For her, I would do anything.

“Oh and Moogle,” He turned to look at me. “Any word from Beldin yet?”

“No, but don’t worry, hope is not lost just yet for him Kupo.” He smiled widely causing his tiny eyes to squint closed as he spun wildly.

I smiled back and sipped. I had a lot to think about.

Friday, October 05, 2007


That’s the last things I remember. Explosion, forgot to breath, heart wrenching pain, and then lightness. Ok well things went black but I felt light as a feather. I even remember the sensation of floating along like a bobber on water with the faint awareness of voices around me.

As sensations returned I found myself laying comfortably in the firm arms of a slowly plodding galka. The rocking rhythm of his heavy pace was soothing. I didn’t want to come back.

“She’s moving and groaning.” he reported.

Startled that I was making noises I didn’t intend I opened my eyes and looked up into the face of Gurok.

“Ah yes, defiantly awake now. How do you feel?” He stopped and all the sudden I was looking into nearly a dozen wide eyed faces and feeling a little embarrassed.

“What happened? Did something hit me?” I asked still a bit dazed.

“No, you fainted.” Kjarbo said with a warm smile.

“Again.” Jenjen added looking rather cross and clearly distraught by worry but not over me.

“Been out long?” I asked.

“Nope, less than a minute. Didn’t want to wait for more cave-ins so I decided to help you move along.” Gurok said as he started to walk again. His arms were as big around as my waist and he made me feel so protected.

“Can we hurry? I’m worried about Beldin. I need to pray to Altana to return him to me.” Jenjen said with tears still running down her reddened face. “I’m so worried she’ll keep him.”

“We really need a black mage in this linkshell. I hate walking.” Martin grumbled as he continued on.

Gurok seemed happy to carry me and I was happy to let him for a minute longer. I’m not sure what I expected to feel after killing Pete the Meat but I had hoped it would be more than this and I was worried about Beldin now on top of the baggage I was already packing around. What if I had lost a dear friend over this only to make things worse? After my vengeful battle meant to end it all I still felt sad. Immensely painfully sad. Like my chest might implode at any moment from the deep emptiness left without him and it made it hard to breath if I thought too much about it.

I rested my hand gently over my abdomen and my head over Gurok’s heart. I hadn’t told anyone yet. Barely confirmed by Moogle I had a hard time believing an impossible miracle myself. I had never heard of such a thing happening and I figured people would call me a liar and think me insane. The second part I think I would have a hard time debating with lately but I didn’t care. A child was on the way and I knew who the father was even if no one believed me.

I knew I would have to slow down for awhile and it actually sounded like kind of a nice idea. My pursuit of riches had cost me too much. A quiet life with me and our child had a nice feeling to it. It made it seem as if he was watching over my shoulder not so far away as I caressed the blessing he was forced to leave behind.

Thinking of her I had to smile. Knowing she was coming lit my soul and chased away the pain that had consumed me. That day I named my child Hope. I had no idea at that time just how fitting a name it would be for her. Not just for me but for everyone.