New Land

Tristinia rowed into the dark night with the sea gently licking the timbers. She had with her her husband’s neck crown made of gold, a small jar of the blue substance that comes from the northlands. She could not live married off to the brother of her husband. She wondered how her father and brother would have responded to the duty of a people who looked up to you but only second in command. Was it really desertion? He would rule anyway. Not her.


She had been someones and he had been hers, though they had only begun to discover that path. She lay down in grief, praying to mercy as she drifted forth to adventure or death. Above her the stars strewed the sky like dust moats due in the sunlight, clear and hopeful. She closed her eyes which were heavy having not slept but cried. Maybe he was watching over her from the heavens and walking along the star paths. She drifted off in a dreamless deep rest.


Tristinia heard the waves and felt the warm water reach out around her, pleasantly. She moved her hands, her eyes still shut, feeling the sand around her. It was fine, not course and chunky. She opened her eyes. Above her, gold of the sun star and blue sky. Beside her, her boat, which made hollow music from the waves. She rolled over. The ground was white powder, but not cold like her homeland. Not feathery, but grainy of texture. It sifted. It didn’t stick. The temperature where she had landed was warmer than she could ever remember living. Not unbearably so, however. Merely different. Quite different. Once again. She was in a strange land. She knew no one. She did not know her location. She had no allies. No enemies. Just the unfamiliar and the path of adventure. She stood, expending a looong heavy sigh from her chest. Would she ever see home again? Would she ever know what home was? Ever have someone to love and be loved by again? The momentary overwhelming of losses rolled off her back as practicality and immediacy of needs came forefront to her mind.


She looked up then down the beach. Her lone predatory bird screeched in the sky. What was this place? What sort of people lived here? What was edible? “Come on boots.” She said to the only thing she had to talk to that seemed within the bounds of reason when it came to inanimate objects in the lack of human company. The seal boots Tiennrod had made for her. And so, Tristinia gathered her preserved food satchel from her seacraft and the flask of blue clay and grease and headed down the shoreline eastward where her inner compass fancied and tugged for a yet unknown reason, her boots making soft sifting noises as she traversed.


Tristinia wandered in the lonely and wild deciduous landscape. The wind whistled an augment but understood melody to her heart. She belonged here. Some got lost amidst crowds of people but people would not leave her alone. So she must get lost away from humanity and their societal culture. No one saw nor understood the wind nor his song. They didnt hear songs from him. Only whining and howls. She gathered her velvet cloak about her, dark violet with feathers of black and blue barring as trim. The only soft thing amidst the rough, monochromatic decor.


She looked up at the heavy laden clouds. She curled up by a pool, sitting, staring at her relfection. She stuck her tongue out at it. “Stupid” She said to the flitting, rippling image the wind played with. She disliked herself. She disliked her nose, her face, she critisized along with the voices of her past had blemishes, though in truth, her peachy smooth complexion was quite lovely.


She listed all the faults of her character until they cluttered her heart like stacks of books with heavy binding and hard covers, their titles branded, embedded, embossed, indented by hot irons. She traced the titles with her fingers as she sat on the rock, one finger on the waters surface. She hated herself. She hated being too strong. Was she really meant to be alone in life?


Elsewhere it was a burden to feel as if she was meant for that. Here in the forest with the wind and the criss crossing of the branches it didn’t seem so lonely. She was too strong. But it was excused as not a bad thing. But it was a bad thing! It was horrible to her. She felt able to be touched but could never express herself or touch people around her as she hoped or truly wanted. Here, the wind, who no one could ever touch, was her friend. She leaned her head against a tree with a relieved sigh as the rain began to patter down softly and wipe away a hot frustrated tear from her cheek. She looked around for shelter.


Across the pool there was a rather large tree with a hollow down amidst the roots. In the gathering gloom it looked dry and welcoming. She walked around to it and crawled inside watching the rain dance and bounce on the green leaves. It made her think of home and the dancers of her tribe, though the images in her memory had faded in hues of vividness. Home. She wondered if she could say that word again. If she had finally found a home. Where she belonged away from the world. It was lonely to be strong. She hurt those around her and it didn’t allow them to be who they were meant to be or some such. She could not figure out in entirety because strengths burden was just too much. But she also could not bear weakness. Her soul abhorred it. She was born to live…and to die however and whenever time prescribed. Her mind and tongue, like the sword she carried with her were sharp and only cut those she cared about.


She wished more people were stronger. She couldn’t stand weakness, yet so many did not live, did not behave as she did. Life chastised her and she felt useless and unwanted. But not here. She settled down and let the relieved tears run down, warming her face as she closed her eyes and curled up to sleep until she decided to wake. The wind played a gentle lullaby outside.

What Tristinia did not know, and had she known, she would have run with all her will, was someone was tracking her in the forest. He was tall and thin but sinewy. A quieter heart, whose pale and smooth countenance sported the fine palette knived strokes of longer maple hair creating noble sweeps and shorter fine strokes of well kempt mustache and closely trimmed border beard. His dark earthen eyes remained clear and clean amidst the drizzled landscape, searching it intently. She had come this way. Bending down to investigate the bent bush, he saw the muddy tracks, filling with rain. She had to be close. These were fresh, and deep. Whatever pretty lass had made them trod slow and wearily, as if burdened. He tucked the feather he held into his satchel, wondering what this maid looked like.

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