Claimer: This is MY WORK! All of the Characters are mine! And so is the story, so no using it in ANYWAY unless you ask my permission and tell me what your going to do w/ it! 2003© Ha there now u cant take any of my work with out asking or I could sue you! Take that u evil story steeling spawn.. Oops sorry bout that kinda got carried away. (

.. Well hope you like the story, Because its time for u to read it! Oh and please don't send flames its my first original fic. I've done a few fanfics. but ya no flames. Everything else is fine so R&R. Oh almost forgot this is a oneshot story so I wont be updating it unless people REALLY want to see what going to happen in the future. JA Ne

Finding Peace
Somewhere other than Home

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Dan jumped off the haystack with a sick kitten in his bony hands. The kitten was only flesh and bone with little tufts of fur on its body. The young boy looked almost as bad as the poor kitten. It had been months since Dan had eaten a full hardy meal, or much of a meal at all. In reality, the whole of Ireland had practically no food and plague was spreading around like wild fire. Dan was a pale, scrawny boy. He had straw colored hair and many freckles covering his boyish face. He looked at the kitten and smiled sadly for he knew that the kitten would not live long because it had no mother to get milk from and Dan had none to give. The kitten meowed and licked the little boy's face and jumped out of his folded arms and scampered away.

Dan walked in front of the haystack to stand in the shade. It was a very hot day for Ireland in the spring and he was simply not used to the heat yet. He stood in the shadow of the haystack and began to feel his hungry stomach growl. He looked over the luscious green grassy fields trying to find mushrooms that someone might have missed. Dan saw something in the distance and thought it looked like a patch of mushrooms. He began to run letting a surge of energy run through his body. He saw the patch up ahead and began to slow down his pace bit by bit until when he got there he was at a complete stop.

'Wow,' he wondered 'how could someone miss this massive patch of mushrooms? Won't mother be proud if I brought tons back!' Dan took off his dirty old shirt and started to pile it with mushrooms. When his shirt was almost overflowing with mushrooms he thought that he should head home. He picked up his shirt, now covered with mushrooms and walked through the field back to his house.

As he walked up to the door there was a stench of rotten flesh and it reeked of disease. Dan opened the old wooden door of his rock house and the stench became stronger. His head began to ache and his mind began to race. Where was his mother? Was she fine? Why did it smell so bad? What happened? This is what the eight-year-old boy was thinking as he stepped into the two-roomed house.

"Mother? Where are you?" Dan started to yell when he could not find his mother. "MOTHER!" he screamed when he saw her on the floor. He dropped his shirt full of mushrooms and ran over to her side.

"M-m-moth-th-er-r w-what-t i-s-s wr-wrong-g?" Dan sobbed when his mother would not answer or even move a slight bit. He bent down to touch her but then he realized that she was dead. He had known that she had a bad cold but never thought that she would die. He suddenly realized that the smell of rotten flesh and disease came from her lifeless body.

Dan's eyes began to fill up with salty water and tear after tear rushed down his horrified face. He started to scream his mother's name as he knelt beside her.

"MOTHER DON'T LEAVE ME HERE BY MYSELF! I NEED YOU!" Dan yelled as more and more tears came gushing out of his watering eyes. He put his head in his dirty hands and sat there by his mother for hours just crying.

'Why do I always have to lose things that are close to me? First my father, now my mother! What next?' Dan thought as he began to settle down. He suddenly became stern, he had to take care of himself and not waste away in front of his dead mother. He knew that his mother would want him to carry on just like he and his mother did after his father died.

Dan stood up and walked over to where he dropped the mushrooms and picked them up. He set them on the ancient wooden table and walked out the door to get some peat to start a fire with. When he got the fire started he took out his mother's cold still body and carried it away from the house. It was now dark and fairly chilly out and as Dan had no shirt on, his skin became reddened with cold. He let go of her body and with a small shovel dug a hole big enough to put his mother in. He covered his mother's body with the dirt and said a little prayer over her and strode back to his house.

He put the mushrooms in a huge metal pot over the fire, along with some sweet grasses and a bit of water. When Dan thought that his mushroom soup was done, he took the pot off the fire and ate his soup straight out of the pot (which he never was able to do when his mother was about). After he ate a little, he put the rest in a small brown clay pot. Then he put the remainder of the mushrooms that had not been cooked in another pot just like the first one. He put these two pots in a leather pack along with another similar pot for water but since he had none it was empty. He put a worn wool woven blanket in as well. He looked around his small rock house were he was born, raised, and had so many memories. Dan knew he would have to run away from the place. If he did not he would be taken to a workhouse where he would never survive because everyone that went there almost surely would get plague and die. He was not sure where he would go. He knew that he had to leave and maybe one day he could come back and visit his mother's grave. As Dan opened the door he could see the sun just beginning to rise. He was tired but knew he had to get far away from his beloved home before the sun came up. He walked quickly down the dirt path not looking back at his house, not even once.

Dan walked to the patch of mushrooms and filled his clay pot with them. He walked for about an hour before he came to a stream. There he filled his empty pot with water and then took off all of his clothes and soaked his tired body. By then, the sun had risen and the sky was filled with reds, pinks, purples and oranges. He crawled out of the water and put on his clothes, which clung to his wet body. He lay down on the grass next to the stream and fell into a deep sleep. When Dan awoke it was late in the afternoon. He got out his soup and drank a little of it while munching on some of the fresh mushrooms. After eating, he washed his face in the stream and drank a fair amount before picking up his pack and walking down the path.

It became dark again before he stopped to take a break. Dan stopped next to a hawthorn tree, and made a fire out of some dead branches. He picked out a branch that looked similar to a pitchfork; he used this to roast some of his mushrooms. He ate his roasted mushrooms and after he was done, he took a draft of water then packed everything away and took up walking again.

Soon he came to a forest but before he could enter it three bony and savage looking dogs began to surround him. Dan felt scared. He knew these beasts were hungry and he was just the perfect gift for them. He bent down and picked up a big rock and gripped it tightly. One dog jumped at him but Dan's arm flew out and hit the dog on its snout and the dog pulled away. Another dog bit at him, but again his hand flew out and hit the beast. The dog growled and swiped at Dan and caught him in the shin. Dan was so furious that he began hitting the dog over and over again until the dog dropped dead. The other two dogs began to step back from the maddened eight- year-old and then turned and ran away.

Dan looked at the dog's bloody head and felt slightly sick at the sight. Suddenly it dawned on him that he had killed the poor hungry beast, and he looked at his hands that still held the rock. Dan felt horrible about killing the animal and prayed that he would be forgiven for his evil deed. Then, he let the rock fall out of his hands and began to run down the path.

In the middle of the forest he saw a small river. Being tired and sore he could not go as fast as before. When he reached the water he laid down his pack and took the water up in his hands and began to drink. Then when he had drunk enough water, he stripped off his dirty and worn, ragged clothes and slowly got into the cold refreshing water. He soaked for about an hour. When he got out he pulled out his blanket from his pack and lay upon it and fell asleep. Waking up later that night he got dressed and looked around to see if there were any ripe berries or anything edible to eat. Luckily he found some edible roots and some ripe berries. He put the roots in his leftover mushroom soup and ate it along with some of the berries.

Somehow, he didn't know why, but he felt very lucky. This was hard to believe because now he was an orphan. Somehow, it just seemed to him that he was a very lucky boy and that his God was watching over him. As Dan ate he pondered over this. Soon he was in a very deep sleep.

When he awoke, he was not lying on his blanket that had been on the ground but in a warm straw bed. He wondered if everything that had happened to him had just been a bad dream. When he felt his stomach still empty he realized that it was not just a bad dream. He looked around the room. There was practically nothing in it and it smelled strongly of herbs. Just when he was about to get out of his bed an old woman opened the door and smiled at him.

"So you're awake my little lad. It is good. Have you had a good sleep?" She smiled at him. Dan realized that she was not as skinny as most people but that she was very hunched over and looked very old.

"Yes thank you. But may I ask who you are and what I am doing here?" Dan was coming to his senses again.

"Ha, ha, ha. I see that you are very protective and get straight to business. Very well, my name is Peggy Collins and you are here because when I was looking for food this morning I saw you lying on the ground sleeping so I took you home to take care of you."

"Oh I see, well thank you. My name is Dan O'Kelly," Dan said now smiling a little bit.

"Dan O'Kelly, hmm, well Dan would you like some food? I have plenty to share and I have buttermilk, would you like any?" She said a bit perplexed. She was wondering where she had heard that name before.

"Certainly Mrs. Collins, I would love some food and Oh! I have not had buttermilk for so long, yes I would certainly favor some." He said happily to the aged woman.

"Well, get out of bed and come along then, ha, ha, ha!" Mrs. Collins said laughing at Dan's eagerness to have some real food.

Dan got out of bed, dressed and left the little room only to find himself in an enormous room. Mrs. Collins set down a pitcher of cold buttermilk and a plate of fish for Dan and herself. Dan sat down at a wooden table, which looked similar to his back at his house, but older, much older. Dan helped himself to the fish and buttermilk. The fish tasted so good to him and yet, so foreign, because he had not had fish since he was very young. As he gulped down glass after glass of buttermilk, he realized why he had felt so lucky before. It was because he was just very lucky in everything other than losing his beloved parents. He received love and peace from other things.

Dan looked up at the ancient lady's face and smiled warmly. Peggy Collins smiled back at him as at her very own grandson. This was when Dan realized that his hard days had come to an end now and that he had found contentment even after he became an orphan. He looked again at Peggy and said,

"Thank you so much! My life is changed because of your kindness and love. You have given me peace, Thank you!"

"You are welcome my son," she replied. Dan got out of his seat and hugged her like he would hug his own mother and began to cry with happiness.

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Well I really hope you liked this fic. Like I said at the top if you REALLY want to read on I might be willing to add more to the oneshot fic. But that's only if I get about 30 reviews saying that they want it to continue. HEHEHE I know im mean, but hey its my fic right? Oh a little history on this fic: I wrote it for school some time ago (years ago actually ;)). And I decided that I should just test it out and see how people liked my 'younger' work. This fic actually isn't my normal style of writing. Normally im fantasy all the way but hey it was for school. Anyway what I was saying. or getting to say was that im thinking about posting one of my fantasy fics. So tell me if you think you would be interested about reading a fic about how a young girl who knows nothing but the pains of slavery, until one day she finds out she's a mage. REVIEW PLZ AND TELL ME WHAT U THNK! -Ryoko Ja Ne