Friday, February 08, 2008
Added 2/23/08 Thank you Shiyu-Chan for another beautiful illustration!
“Jen?” I mumbled as I reached out and grabbed straw to steady myself.
“No one here but you and me today.” A young voice answered.
I was cold and confused. “I was with…then…” I paused to think harder as I tried to recall. “Someone attached us.” A moment passed before I groaned and squeezed my eyes closed at the pain of betrayal. Curling up tightly I held myself in a moment of indulgence. “Kallo.” I said painfully. “Where are my friends?”
“You are the only one they brought.” He answered.
I was in a cell about ten feet by twenty feet with hay piled up in one corner and a water trough in the other like an animal stall. It was dark and had no windows. Only torches in the hallway dimly illuminated the darkness making long shadows.
“Who are you?” I asked the boy. He was a tall adolescent and pale skinned with long wavy black hair peeking out from his hooded cloak. The torch he held reflected off the most captivating sky blue shade of eyes I had ever seen.
“I’m the caretaker. This is my section. They give me responsibility over the very most special things. You are the first person ever though. They said to watch you very close. I have to tell Sinless as soon as you start to act oddly. They said you’re my very most special thing yet.”
“Are you a human or an elvaan?” I asked. I couldn’t tell. He was tall and slender featured like an elvaan except for one important thing. His cloak draped snugly against his head without the support of elegant elvaan ears. The boy dropped his face and turned away from me.
“I’m elvaan. I’m sorry if I offend you. With my hideous deformity I stay here where Sinless protects me from the eyes of normal elvaans. He’s like a father to me.” He held his hand over his ear and slumped down in a nearby chair.
My mind raced. What if it wasn’t a deformity at all? What if this child was like mine. My moogle had told me my baby would look either hume or elvaan and no one would be able to tell the child was blended but one looked pretty blended to me.
“I’m a healer. May I touch them? Maybe I can help.” I lied.
He turned and looked at me with a shocked expression. “You could heal them?” His eyes were wide with hope.
“I’m not sure but I would like to look and see what I can do.” I said with a warm motherly smile.
Slowly he approached the bars and removed his hood. His face flushing red with shame but his eyes wide and full of trust as he knelt in front of me looking up at me with his jaw and hands clinched bravely. How could someone so innocent and trusting be in a place like this?
He was remarkable. He looked as I had hoped, an oddly beautiful marriage of the two races. His ears where those of a hume except for a lovely upward point at the top rear. On his chin he had the youthful beginnings of a hume beard. His neck was too short like a hume and but other than these clues he was the perfect picture of a young elvaan nearing adulthood.
“Can you help me?” he whispered anxiously.
“My name is Alison. What is yours?” I asked warmly.
“Michael.” He answered.
I reached out and pushed the hair away from his unique ear. “I am very glad to meet you.” I said as I smiled reassuringly to the young man.
“It’s not a curse that can be magically erased. I think you are one of the most special and handsome boys I’ve ever seen. Sometimes it’s good to be a different.”
He looked sad and disappointed as he stood up and dropped his eyes. “You’re very nice. I’ll bring you your breakfast.” He shuffled down the hall kicking rocks. The light went will him leaving me in near total darkness to take in what my eyes had just witnessed. I couldn’t help but wonder how many more there were like him. Meeting him almost made me forget the desperate situation I myself was in but not quite.
I knew where I must be. Deep under the stone walls of the Chateau D’Oraguille in Bostaunieux Oubliette is where I would expect knights from my home country to take me. In the dim light I looked around for some way out. A trap door, a lock I could pick, a loose bar, anything. I pulled at every bar of the cold cage until I was sure none were weak or loose in any way before falling down on the pile of hay to rest and think as my stomach growled to let me know the day was moving on and I was hungry. What I would do for a good cookie.