(just the beginning) Memories | Teen Ink

(just the beginning) Memories

December 30, 2020
By Anonymous

Jaelyn awoke on the open plain with forbodding in her soul. She couldnt remember why. Then it hit her like a load of bricks. She was going into a town today for the first time in years. She would leave behind the beautiful freedom of the open grassland to see people again. Faces again. Swords again. Cematarys again. Buildings again. Halfelves again. Or wait… were half elves uncommon outside of Ashaysta? She almost slapped her head. She wanted to cover her minds mouth. How many times had she sworn never to think that name again? Rephrase. Werent half elves uncommon? She wasnt really sure. Maybe she wouldnt see her people again, because she knew she couldnt stand to face them, even though they wouldnt know. Did she really need to do this? It wasnt to late to return to her beauftiful freedom, her sancuary, where only the sky, the flatness of the earth, the grass stretching endlessy, would reind her of her crime. She knew she had done nothing wrong. But she had lived, and that was sin enough. She had lived and they hadnt. Maybe if she had died she would be free of these terrible memories, maybe if she died then someone else wouldnt have. And no matter the what ifs, shewished she had died that day, because if she had then she would be free of the guilt of knowing she was more “fortunate” then them. That luck was cruel and unfair. And now she would likly die by the same hand trying to avenge them. But no matter what happened she would not stop until she had done everything in her power to prevent that black mage from killing anyone else. Or not killing anyone else. The flashback was rising. She resisted, but suddenly she was back there. 

She had been so exited that night. That circle they had a guest! new storys by the village campfire. He had refused to say his name, but they welcomed any guest. He was a human, and a mage. Maybe he would show them  trick! After a couple storys, not by him, despite their pleading, he agreeded to show them a trick. She had clapped in exitement. He aimed his staff at the cheif. She had clapped, expecting something comical, like their kind but serios cheif growing a tail. But sh hadnt expect a bolt of ice to come from it, a lethal shard, as sharp as a dragons tooth, to fly straight into his heart. Hadnt expected his was blood to pour over it, and watch him fall to the ground, dead. And then it had all happened so fast. The scent of blood lanced the air, the scent of death. Nobody knew what was going on, and the dire wolf guards were watching outside for threats, they couldnt respond fast enugh to save them.  She had noidea what to do but drop as if dead beside a woman, the woman fell in a fyre as jaelynwatched, her sisters normally merry face turngrim, the light leave hereyes,andsaw her sister, smelled her burning hair, as she became a new creature, with a halo of flame around her to still face. It was beautiful, and horrible. And thus the massacre began. He killed everyone, it seemed. She watched as the terror left the faces of the dead thru eyes that refused to close. The terror replaced by still, cold death. Her mother had been stabbed to death, she had watched the sword stick out her chest as she ran to her daughters, and then be pulled back, only to see it plunged back in again and again. And her brave father and drawn his sword in anger as he ran to protect his family. And he had been killed, simply, as if it were nothing. And the black mage had killed and killed for 10 minutes before the wolves realized what had happened. And by then it was to late. She stayed down for 20 minutes in fear he would return. The wolves chased him off, but he was still alive, she knew it. Finally, the first survivor stood up. Gradully, one by one, all 7 stood. Jaelyn was the 3rd. She didn't look at them, she couldnt. Because if she saw who lived then she knew that the people she needed to have survived were truly dead. Her best freind had approached her. The seven survivors had greived together for a while. Her childhood rival, her distant cousin, her best freind, the village storyteller, the weaver, and the wolf trainer survived. They all forgot their pasts, or in most cases lack thereof, and greived together like old freinds. But they couldnt stand to see eachother, reminders of their pain, so they buried the dead l a mass grave and left. She didn't know what happened to them. 

Eric schreeched and she snapped out of the memory. She stood up and he flew to her shoulder. He was a beuatiful redtailed hawk, she had saved him from a grassfire when he was hardly a few day old. She learned a lot about caring for young birds, mainly that it was a lot of work, and she never wanted to do it again. She was very close to him though, and she having grown into a ranger in her time on the plains could communicate with him, specificlly she had a permanant telepathic bond, she had to use specific spells and other technics to speak withmost animals, even her horse, riley. Speaking of her, she needed to find her. She was somewhere off grazing, but Jaelyn couldnt easily find her. Eric, go find Riley please. He screeched and flew off. A moment later he telapathiclly signalled her to him. She found riley happily grazing with eric on her back, looking very pleased with himself. It was a little funny, seeing a hawk with an expression of self-satisfaction.

She sighed as she remembered what she had to do. Maybe she could fulfill her dream soon. Or rather, in like 20 years. Was it worth it though? To acheive it she would have to heal. And to heal she had to face so much pain. She shook herself, and swung up onto riley. Riley turned and nuzzeled her. She smiled, until she remmbered why riley lovedher so much. They were atruly ragged group of trauma. At least, her trauma defined her. She wasnt sure about the others, she hadnt brought it up. Riley she had found wandering the plains. She wasa beautiful large goldenbrown colt, but sh had clearly been abused. She had deep scars all across her back and her beautiful white nose had been broken and never healed straight. She had taken her and cared for her.

Jaelyn waited for eric to settle onto her shoulder and started riding. She didn't even notice the dagger handles digging into her ankles. She carried 7. One at the ready as a normal weapon, one on each ankle, one on each wrist, and her dress which had many folds hiding pockets held 2, not to menion that she had 3 slings and 2 dart guns, each with 10 darts. She would never be caught weaponless. She also carried a longsword, a longbow,a shortsword, a scimatar, a broadsword, a multiple hunting knives. And a crossbow. And shortbow, and 2 spears. She didn't have any more weapons because she wanted to be able to run quickly. And because if she had 5 more weapons she might not even be abe to stand up straight. 

She wore a long chocolate brown and white dress, light shoes, and a cloak which she usally wore with the hood down.(add description later)

On the way, she made her plan. She couldnt say her real name to others, nobody had since… no, she couldnt go there. Anyway, she didn't want to say or hear the name Jaelyn, as she had been called. She could o by her last name, Mesa, but she wasnt huge on useing her famliy name either. She sighed. It was Jaelyn or Mesa. Mesa was better. So. she would find a group of people who would protect her and go with her on her quest to find the black mage. By her understandingthe best people for that would be adventurers. She could probably find a party intrested in taking a ranger, so she started rehersing what she would say. “Hi. i'm Mesa, i'm not traumatized. Can i join your adventuring party?” yes, that sounded normal. “Hi! My name is mesa! I'm so happy to meet you, can i joinyour adventuring party? Id be so happy to be your freinds!” no, she did not want to pretnd to be overly cheerful all the time just to avoid questions. “Hi, i'm mesa. If you wont ask me questions about myself ill go with you on adventes. As long as i can count on you to come with me on a quest at some point.” to pushy, she sounded ike she was doing them a favor, that would get her nowhere. “Hi, my name is Mesa, i'm a ranger, i will gladly join your party.” she couldnt say “don't ask about my past” that sounded like she was a crimanal. And if they were any halfdecent adventurers than they would go with her when she found a lead. She could jus evade questions about herself. that would do. 

She started practicing the tone outloud. Ouch! It hurt to speak, it had been so long since she had spoken aloud. She also had a very rusty unpleasent voice, grating from disuse. She wasnt sure whether to practice all day and maybe cause her throat to bleed or to stop and practice for several days. She should have thought of that first.

The author's comments:

this is supposed to follow a couple characters i made in dnd but converted for writing. i have 12 characters made recently, and only one isn't heavily traumatized. one doesn't even have a tongue. but charity, the relatively normal one, will be one of the main characters... until i kill her midway thru.

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This article has 2 comments.

on May. 20 at 11:43 am
SparrowSun ELITE, X, Vermont
161 articles 22 photos 933 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It Will Be Good." (complicated semi-spiritual emotional story.)
And the words I say most often: "Where was I?"
"I just switched 50 things to anonymus and it doesnt even make a diff- why was i writing this again? where was i? hm.... oh well."

oh yeah, i went thru a phase where i love flashbacks

Lydiaq ELITE said...
on May. 19 at 9:50 pm
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
100 articles 28 photos 727 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A word is dead
When it is said
Some say.
I say
It just begins to live
That day."
--Emily Dickenson

This is compelling, and I love how you used the flashback technique so effectively.