The Travellers Story
Now was the time, today was the day that I finally leave Reith, I have a sense of discomfort about it, chances are I will never return and that is kind of hard to bear. I chose this path; Reith is a small village, the world is out there and I need to know what is beyond the boundaries of the seemingly everlasting fields and mountains that surround us, it can't carry on like that for ever, can it?
I packed the last remaining items lying on my bed into my sack I paused for a moment then slammed my hand down on the bed, it was finally getting to me, I had been so overwhelmed by what I was going to see, what I was going to discover, I hadn't stopped to think about what I was going to leave behind, and what I was going to miss. I clenched my fists together, to try and hold in the anxiety, this just lead to heavy breathing, and a cold sweat that dampened my forehead. I got up and walked over to my sink, I filled the sink with warm water and stared at my reflection in the mirror, my long black hair was a mess and my brown eyes were wide and full of a sense of dread. I cupped my hands full of water and rinsed my face, hoping that this would wipe away my fears; I brushed my hair back and stared at myself in the mirror again, but all I was the same anxious person staring back at me.
I heard I call from outside my window,
"Hey! Hey Kai!" it was Miki; Miki is my best friend, he's the blacksmiths son, he also works for his dad night and day. He is one of the people I will be leaving behind here in Reith. I walked over to the window and slid it open sticking my head out,
"Yea!" I shouted back down to him, I looked around but he wasn't there, I heard a crash come from the floor below me and Miki's voice,
"Whoa boy! Down boy! Heal! Sit! Aw! Do something! Ah! Not that!" all of a sudden a big black stallion trotted out valiantly into view, it was a magnificent horse, its legs were strong, its back straight and ride-worthy and it had a serious sense of determination about it, also it had the most distinctive white mane that ran from the top of its forehead right down to where its neck joined its powerfully built shoulders, the only thing that spoilt the glorious sight was Miki, dragging along side gripping hold of the saddle. I smirked at the sight, Miki grinned a senseless grin.
"What is this Miki?" I said as I smirked, Miki let go of the horses saddle and dragged him self up from the ground, he brushed him self off, he coughed slightly as the dust from his clothes entered the air around him,
"He's yours" Miki took the horses reins and eased him towards him, the horse marched forward as if it where making a statement. I looked down in amazement, but had to hear what he said again, because I don't believe I heard him correctly,
"What did you just say?" I asked, I hope I did hear him correctly because if I did this had to be some sort of a dream come true, but if my ears were deceiving me…lets just say I was prepared for the worst, I'm not used to grand gestures.
"He's yours deaf lugs, my dad made trade with one of the out land villages 3 miles west of here, Great-something, err…"
"Great-Darn?" I said, making my basic knowledge of the surrounding area of Reith clear,
"That's it, Great-Darn, this is a Great-Dane from Great-Darn" Miki laughed believing he'd just made a funny pun,
"Great-Dane is a type of dog Miki" I said to him, ruining his moment of glory, Miki's face fell straight,
"I knew that" he said trying to convince me he was kidding, "I knew that, I was just…testing you" he carried on, unnecessarily arguing his case. "Well you going to come down and take a test ride" Miki shouted up to me,
"I'll be there in a second" I shouted back, I closed my window and grabbed my sack, I flung my sack over my shoulder and headed out the door of my room. I stopped, how could I forget, I walked back into my room and lowered my sack by my bed, I knelt down and reached under my bed with both hands revealing a dark mahogany box. This box had on it the symbol of my family, although no one in my family has ever been able to decipher it. It had on it a hand with a dagger which seemed to by melded together from the palm to the handle, it was bordered with two waved lines, coloured, although faded they were still distinctive, the line that ran from the bottom right hand corner of the picture and curved at a right angle at the top right hand corner running into the top left hand corner, was blue, and the line that ran from the top left hand corner and curved round to the bottom right was red, underneath the picture was an inscription of a word which read 'Paradema' this could be in another language, because it is not recognised in any of our dictionaries. I opened the box, in side was a dagger, it was well looked after, the blade shone brightly and reflected the light from the sun, the gold handle also shone, at the bottom of the handle was the same carving as that that was on the lid of the box. My father had given me this dagger and told me to take care of it and keep it safe and that it was now in my capable hands, I have never broke that promise. I knew that one day I would need this dagger, and now it that time, it would fill me with the courage and the confidence I need to take this journey. I slid the knife into an already prepared sleeve in my boot, I closed the box and put it back under my bed then I rose to my feet and headed out the door, I took hold of the door handle and took one last look around my room before pulling the door shut.
I walked out side to see Miki and my new horse, which I still couldn't believe I had. I looked at the horse and he stared back, he took a step forward, this was unexpected, I was expecting to have to make the first move myself. The horse walked round in a circle on the spot as if he was showing off, who wouldn't want to show off the way he was geared up, leather saddle with four satchel hooks, complete with satchels and leather reins and shiny silver rings that connected the reins to the strap that wrapped comfortably around the horses chest.
"Well are you just going to stand there and stare at him or are you going to take him for a ride around the village?" Miki said handing me the reins. I took the reins in my left hand and held out my right hand to shake Miki's, Miki accepted,
"Thank you" I let go of his hand and wrapped whole arm around his neck giving him an appreciative hug, it wasn't just a hug of appreciation, it was also because I was going to be leaving him behind here, I was going to miss him, we had been best friends since we were about 3 years old, it felt like this was all about to come to and end, I knew we were always going to be friends, this just all felt so surreal1.
I looked to the horse, he stood still as I climbed onto the saddle, I stroked his white mane, and took hold of the reins, I pulled the reins to one side and the horse followed my commands,
"So what you going to call him then?" Miki asked, I stroked his white mane, I hadn't thought about giving him a name, think of names was always a complicated task, the name had to describe what I saw of this magnificent creature. I thought about it for a while, staring into space, still stroking his white mane, "Earth to Kai, any body home" he startled me, I was so deep in thought,
"Ashen" I spoke out loud
"What?" Miki looked at me, confused,
"That's what I'll call him, Ashen" I repeated, Miki gave a confused look,
"Ashen!?" he blurted, "what you couldn't think or anything heroic like…" Miki thought for a little bit, "…Charger the Brave Steed!" he said with deep vocals, the horse snorted at him,
"I think he likes my name better Miki" I laughed, "but maybe you could keep the name Charger in your head for when you get a Brave Steed of your own" I laughed more
"Are you kidding, horses don't agree with me, I'm a black smith remember, I create heavy equipment for them to lunge around, and uncomfortable shoes that I graft to their feet with a hot iron, you should have heard this horse complain when I was saddling him up"
"Your very optimistic about your business aren't you Miki"
"Well sometimes it's such a burden being the blacksmiths son, people have such high expectations of you, like I have to be my father, when what I really want is to be out there, where you're going" Miki turned away from me, "I envy you Kai, your everything I will never get a chance to become" I think it was getting to him, I had never seen this side of Miki before, all of a sudden he had become emotionally unstable, "you may think you know me and my family Kai, but I have a lot of pressure on my shoulders that you don't know about" Miki's voice grew saddened
"Come with me" I said this without thinking, this was supposed to be my journey and I was supposed to be going at it alone, but at the same time I was going to miss Miki and I didn't want to leave him in this state, I would be leaving in a matter of hours and this was totally unsuspected.
"I want to Kai, but I cant, my father would never let me" to be honest his answer was a relief to me, I was in way over my head, but at the same time I was going to be leaving him in a state where I can't be there for him any more, I was the only friend he had. I had a thought,
"Stay here" I said to Miki, I jumped off Ashen's back and ran back up stairs to my room and I pulled the box from underneath my bed, and ran back out side to Miki. I held the box out to him, "take this" I said to Miki and Miki looked puzzled as he reached out for the box,
"What is it?" he asked me looking especially at the symbol on the top of the box
"It's a family heir-loom, well part of it" I pulled the dagger from its sleeve in my boot, "this is the other part, I want you to look after this box for me, because one day I will return to reclaim it, that will be the day we see each other again"
"Kai, I, I can't"
"Yes you can, I want you to take it, do this for me" I said trying to convince him to take it, Miki looked at me and saw the sincere look in my eyes, he slid the box into his satchel,
"I will guard it with my life" he stood tall and bold, like a soldier stood on attention.
I and Miki walked into the village centre where every one had gathered to say goodbye, it was fantastic; there where candles lit up with stained glass patterns that shone and reflected on the marble stone pavement, there was a band playing and every one was dressed in their best attire. My mother father where stood in the centre if the crowed, Miki joined his family, and I walked up to my mother and father with Ashen walking beside me with my bags loaded, ready to leave. My mother looked at me with loving eyes and my dad nodded with a proud look on his face, I felt like I had been preparing all my life to see that look on his face. My mother was the first one to address me; she wrapped her arms around me and squeezed me so tight I almost stopped breathing,
"You will write to us" she ordered,
"Don't worry I will, every day" I assured her, whilst struggling to breathe, she let go and I took a big gasp for air
"Good cause if you don't I coming to look for you" she said persistently. I turned to my father, he was staring at me with his arms folded, I brought dagger from its sleeve and held it up in front of him to show of its condition and prominence,
"You have made me so proud son, you have prepared so well form this day" I lowered the dagger and slid it back in its sleeve, my dad held out his hand to me, I took his hand with a firm grasp,
"I love you son" he whispered to me be for hugging me before the whole village, my mother also joined in the hug, it was one of the only times that I felt so close to my parents, almost made me change my mind about leaving, but this is what I felt was my destiny, this was my path in life. I was released from the loving hold of my parents; I jumped upon the saddle of Ashen and trotted slowly out of the village, while the other villages said their goodbyes. I reached the gates and I heard Miki's voice calling me, I turned to face him, he approached me out of breath, he looked at me and held up a round silver medallion with a gold cross on the middle, I knew what it was, it was an heir-loom his father gave to him, it had been in his family for generations,
"Take it" he said to me,
"I can't" I replied,
"Until the next time we meet" he said holding the medallion closer to me, I saw the sincerity in his eyes this was important to him, I reached out and took the medallion and placed it around my neck,
"Until the next time we meet" I said back, "Goodbye Miki" I tuned and rode Ashen out into the valley between the hills.
My journey begins I leave behind everything I love and cherish with only false hope that I might see them again, but then again, I control my destiny, I will return one day.