Writing: Character Background Story
Word Count: 972
I was tired beyond belief. Given my power, I could feel every drop of lactic acid stinging my muscles. My head hurt. I had scratches running along my arms where stray branches had struck me.
Still I pressed on.
The curse ensured it. Akeisa’s “Go west,” continued to press me westward. Even when I was struggling to stand, the curse urged west. It took a giant effort just to stop at a fountain and drink. I was staggering, slowly, but as long as I continued west, the complaints didn’t start. Still, no relief.
“Stop!” a voice called. I halted, glad for the order, almost uncaring who it was that stopped me. A figure made its way towards me, and I could tell through my blurry, spotted vision that it was a man with orange-brown hair, only slightly darker than my orange. “Come with me.”
I didn’t complain and submitted to the order. He led me to a hut in the forest, next to the river I had been following west. Staggering through the doorway, I watched as he set me down on a soft mat, and then heard running water. He handed me a glass, and I drank. When I had downed the glass, he gave me another, along with a crust of fresh bread. “Eat,” he commanded needlessly. When I was finished with that as well, he led me to another room, and left me alone. Too tired to complain or suspect, I slipped into a dreamless sleep.
When I woke up, the man was gone, and I crept up, intending to leave. I was on my way out the front when a photo caught my eye.
I scrutinized the photo and determined it was indeed my dead mother, arm in arm with the man who had rescued me. On her other side was Father, who was also surely dead as well now.
“You’re up,” a voice noted and I whirled from the photo. “Eat,” he said, pointing at food on the table. I sat in the seat he indicated and ate.
“Thank you,” I said when I was done. “Sorry, but who are you and why are you helping me?”
“My name is Nem Suis,” he said. “I’m your uncle. Your father is my older brother, and Cora was my friend when we were little. What did they name you?”
“Veraline,” I replied, watching him and wondering how he knew about me. Father had occasionally mentioned a brother, but I had always thought him captured or dead.
“I’ll have to call you Vera then,” he said after a moment.
“The ‘-line’ part would identify you as a part of the Revelin.”
I asked him how. He gave me a long explanation I had no interest in and to save time I consented. “You joined the Cordelians,” I accused.
He shook his head but did not answer. I was about to bolt out the door but stopped when he called me offered a pile of clothing. “We’ll need to wash what you have on, Vera,” he said. “Go change.” I started to argue, but he said, “Don’t argue, go change.”
It was like he knew I was obedient.
I changed into the tan dress and returned with my old clothes. He taught me first how to wash the clothes, then how to dry them, and then we headed in for lunch. After lunch he worked in the garden as I watched and learned, occasionally helping with familiar plants. When the sun went down, we headed back into the house and he lit a lamp. I helped with dinner and over rice and vegetables we swapped stories. He sent me off to take a shower as he cleaned up the dishes, and I wiped down the counter and table when I was finished. I unpacked my glass figurines under his scrutiny, and he promised we could build a case for them. Before blowing out the light, he laid down a few blankets and mats for me to sleep on. For privacy, he even hung a thick blanket through the bedroom for me.
By the end of my first day in Nem’s cottage, I felt like I had been living there all my life.
The next morning proceeded as if it were only normal I was there. We went over plans for the area as if we had lived together for more than the day we actually had. Plans were set to build a case for my figurines, to remodel the bathroom with a shower, and to harvest the grain in the back fields. I was to sew myself a cot and more clothes, and weave a proper dividing mat for the bedroom.
Nem worked in the fields in the morning, leaving me by myself. There wasn’t much to see in the three-room hut: the front was divided into a kitchen on the right and a living room on the left. The kitchen featured a small pantry, sink, and box that I figured was supposed to be a refridgerator. On the living room side was a deep woven chair sitting by a fireplace, and storage boxes with anything from cloth to knives in them. Past these two rooms was a small empty room with a privy and the foundations of a shower. The rest of the back of the hut was bedroom and food storage. I found a hammock chair on the back porch and settled there as I worked, thinking about what could have happened to Father and Akeisa.
I cooked lunch and dinner with a little trouble from the foreign ingredients, but as I was a quick learner and Nem a good teacher, I was soon working with the materials confidently. After dinner each night we played chess with a handmade set and discussed plans.
Once a month or so we trekked down to the nearby town and purchased materials we couldn’t make ourselves and sold our wares—wood carvings, woven crafts, and surplus food. It was my only times in cordelian society and I learned to deal with it. Nem was ambivalent to the conflict, and I accepted his views easily and happily.
In spare time, we worked on strengthening my magic and developing my abilities as a Soul; for a non-Soul, he knew remarkably much. Ironically, the only living things readily near us were plants, which were supposedly the hardest for Souls to possess; nevertheless, with Nem’s guidance I learned the complexities of my abilities.
There were times in the five years I lived with Nem that I longed for more company than my uncle, but they were ephemeral thoughts that were soon forgotten. Life was good, and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, my life had a strange sense of humor and again decided to meddle.
Artist's Note: I lied >.< The conversion is next time I guess then. I decided to add this post because it's significant in the overall series.
@Lyra--Thank you for your reviews in the last post :) To clarify:
The belief is that every being or object or whatever has a soul of their own. Vera's ability it sending her soul out of her body to take the quality of another's (Soul-sending). She can also "enter" the physical body of another living soul and adjust system's manually.
A Soul is someone who possesses living things and takes over the original soul's task in thinking and controlling. They take on the strengths, weaknesses and abilities of the "host body" and govern it. The body's original resident soul is not pushed out, only suppressed.
@Minsat-- :) <3
There were only two Souls in the attacking group, but there were other, non-Soul attackers as well that were not mentioned.
Yes. Vera's father stabbed the substance (which was the Soul escaping the dying body) but didn't manage to kill it, and was then possessed.
>_< Sorry about all the errors, to everyone. I'll edit! :D Hopefully this post is better ;) Thanks for the reviews!