BT: Once a Slave 6Lena rubbed sore feet during a rest break. It wasn't the bone-deep ache that signaled rain or snow on its way, but the soreness of just walking too long for even her hardened and booted feet.We are almost there, Rehyllan encouraged her, even though he, too, had removed his boots and socks to massage the bottoms of his feet. We should be there by the morrow, at midday.He was just putting on his boots again when a passing carter called, Hail, bard! Where ya headin'? His ayredin, a furry draybeast with an arched neck and a sheeplike face, swung his head back and whuffed at the carter, possibly annoyed that his steady pace had been stilled. There had been more travelers on the roads who had passed them by as they walked, the more the further they left Clyon behind. This was the first one to recognize Rehyllan for what he was, or at least the first to say anything about it.Hail, carter! Rehyllan stood and assisted Lena up, who'd taken the e
BT: Once a Slave 5Part Two: ServantIt was raining again, about twenty days into Terpii, but this time the bard and his servant were put up in an inn, the Wanderer's Rest. The innkeeper recognized Bard Rehyllan warmly and seeing their soaked conditionit was late and the rain had traveled quicker than they hadimmediately called for blankets and still-warm stew from the pot. Once Lena and Bard Rehyllan had warmed up a touch and had hung their cloaks by the fire, the 'keeper sent his son and daughter to draw baths in the respective sides of the bath-house and conduct the two there. Lena scrubbed fiercelybaths were something she enjoyed immensely, she'd foundand ruffled her fingers through short hair. Forson had been one to keep his slaves' hair finger-long so it didn't fall into custom's food. Now it was nearly a handspan long.The baths smelled faintly like eggs, and didn't need a fire to warm itLena thought it might be magic, and resolved to ask Bard Rehyllan. The 'ke
BT: Once a Slave 4The se'en-night passed slowly as Le gradually began to accept that Master Rehyllan was eccentric enough to allow her considerable latitude, and provide handsomely for her welfare. When her feet ached, he stopped. He shared his water when she'd emptied her own canteen. She ate three times a day; were it not journeybread and jerky, Le would have been tempted to stuff herself sick, simply because she could.Twice, when they'd stayed at inns, she'd woken from sound sleep to find herself curled in her master's bed while he sat awake next to her, staring at nothing or playing soft rhythms on his hand-drums. There was nothing sexual about itMaster Rehyllan allowed her the luxury of modesty as if she were some body-shy little nob maiden! And he'd given her something the day before that proved his foreignness beyond all doubt.Le, I've noticed that walking, especially when it's wet, seems to hurt you, Master Rehyllan had said, after coming back from a brief excursion in
BT: Once a Slave 3The two were eating lunch against a farmer's wall along the way when Master Rehyllan sniffed the air. Makaira weeps, he commented. Rain's coming. They finished eating quickly and stoodLe hissed in pain. That 'splains it, she said, her eyes squeezed shut. Then she opened her eyes, put her cloak and pack on, and started walking, gingerlyevery step hurt her, but she would not allow herself to slow her master down, so it was she who set the hurried pace.The walls ended and a copse came into view. By this time, the thunder was audible and tears mingled with spitting raindrops on Le's face. Master Rehyllan glanced at the copse, back at the clouds, and over at Le. Then, to Le's astonishment, Master Rehyllan swept her up in his arms, pack and all, as if she weighed nothing, and started running for the trees.Master, th' bolts! They's goin' t' 'it th' trees an' make 'em 'splode! She'd seen the results of that, once, and it was enough
BT: Once a Slave 2She'd never seen the custom's rooms before. Only certain slaves were allowed upstairsspecifically, the 'girls', many imported from Aretan training compounds, and the jaded old women who cleaned the rooms. Clutching the frayed strap of her kamischa's case in one hand and her spare shift in the other, Le followed her master into his room. He closed and locked the door behind her, and then sat on the bed, hunching his shoulders. He looked so weary and exhausted, hardly the same man who'd bargained for her like a skilled slave-trader. Le remained by the door.I am old and I am tired, he addressed her suddenly, as if he'd heard her thoughts. Do not be surprised if I show it, when I am out of the public eye. In the morning, when you have rested, we will visit the market. I am a traveler, and as my companion you must be properly outfitted. Do you understand?Le nodded.Good. Then go to sleep, I will wake you in the morning. He took off his boots and l
He IsEverybody knows his nameBut his personality's never the same...He's that guy that everyoneIs acquainted with. People who meet himAssume he's popular; he must be, becauseEverybody knows him.He's the life of the party, the nutty oneWho organizes little pranksLittle booby traps to keep the partiers on their toesEverybody loves him.He's the scholarly one, holed up in the library on a rainyWeekend and devouring every scifi book in sightLaughing about Valentine Michael Smith and checking the researchOf more modern authors. He can give a decent speechOn the Buddhist influences in The Matrix, even though he knowsNobody really cares.He's the angry one, yelling and screaming in the privacyOf his apartment, snarling at the happy people on TVBecause deep down inside, he understands thatNobody really knows him.And he's too afraid to speak outAnd he's too afraid to step out of the roleAnd he's too afraid to show himselfAnd he's too afraid to know himselfAnd
Bardic Tales-Once a Slave 1Part One: SlaveThe dark-haired girl was only a slave. Else, as she finished the Lay of the Wandering God, one of the few songs she'd been permitted to learn, she might have ignored the older man, watching her oddly from a lonesome corner table of the inn.But nay, I say nay'E wanders t' this dayWeepin' fer 'is lost Cerua.Granted, the tune wasn't something played often in an inn, but one of the custom had requested it special, and since Le knew it, Master Forson ordered her to play it so the freeman minstrel he'd hired could take a break. The song was beautiful but depressing, ending when the Wandering God Anoreil finds his human wife murdered. Le plucked the ending run, then silenced the strings and placed the instrument at her feet.It wasn't the best version of the saga he'd ever heard, or the most skillful plucking on a kamischa. But despite the quick-spoken Clyonite commoner's cant, a quality in her voice made his eyes prickle before he tamped the reaction down. He wa
Darkness and LightI've been reading about darkness and light latelyThe balance, and the signsAnd what it means to be truly evilAnd what it means to be truly good.I've been feeling darkness and light latelyThe silent whispers of a mindBruised, not yet brokenAnd waiting for a chance to heal.I've been living darkness and light latelyWaiting for the dawn in the dark nightmaresAnd knowing that somewhere someone else is waitingWaiting for the dusk in the dawn.I've been reading about darkness and light latelyAbout death and life and suffering and healingWaiting and waiting to find my pathBetween the two, or to fall off the side.I've been reading about darkness and light latelyI've been feeling darkness and light latelyI've been living darkness and light latelyAnd they're two sides of the same. Fateful. Coin.I should know.
Why i write storiesPoetry is not my forteI never can say all I want to sayUnless I want to take many a day.That's why I write stories.Poetry's too personal.It renders useless my arsenal;Turns serenity into a farce, and allThat's why I write stories.But here I'm sitting,And rhyme I'm fitting,And I'm close to quitting:That's why I write stories.Do you comprehend now?No more words to bend now.Will this trend end now?So I can get back to stories?