Hey y'all , it's been a bit since I've submitted something and this idea has been smacking around in my brain so I finally decided to be rid of it. Sadly my friend has converted me so now it seems I've become sucky at writing short oneshot fics like I used to. No, now they're longer and GAH well what was meant to be just a short oneshot is now this. So here's the first bit, hope you enjoy :) ~Me
"And you're sure you don't want to stay with us. It's been a long time since you've been in Iceland and a lot has changed. I don't know if I feel comfortable with you being alone there." Kimi's mother cast a worried glance to her father causing Kimi to sigh.
Before her mother could say more, Kimi took out a pad of paper and pen and wrote, "I'll be fine. I just want to be away for a while." Her parents looked at the pad and sighed.
"Nadie she made her choice." Karl said quietly, resting a hand on his wife's shoulder. She shot him a meaningful glare that melted into a sad smile when she turned to look at her daughter.
"I guess, I guess I'll have to let it be then. If there's anyone who bothers you, call us right away. Well, text. If you have any troubles or anything, we're only a text away." Nadie looked into Kimi's cerulean eyes, "Your grandfather was going to come visit you next month. Now that you're back from Iraq and feeling better, everyone wanted to see you." Kimi silently pleaded with her mom to understand. She didn't want to see her family. It had been a long year; she just wanted a place where no one could find her. She didn't want to be looked at with pity or guilt. She wanted to just leave and run away from it all. If only for a moment.
Whether her mother understood all her eyes tried to convey, she couldn't tell. There was a shift in Nadie's presence however, and her gaze on her daughter became distant. "I'm sorry it's come to this. But this is what you've chosen, and we promised long ago that we would not interfere." The flight attendant announced her boarding group making Kimi shift the duffle bag in her hand. Her mother grasped her shoulders and tightly pulled her into a hug. "Kisagin" she whispered. Clearing her throat, she said louder again, "I love you Kimi. I pray that God will help lead you to what it is you're searching for." Her mother smiled a sad, knowing smile further confusing Kimi. Her mother could be dramatic at times, and often Kimi never really understood all the hidden meanings her mother usually made.
She shifted out of her mother's grip and wrote, "You make it seem like we won't see each other again. It's only until I clear my head." Her mother said nothing, but Kimi could see the tears she was trying to hide. Not wanting to feel guilty for not crying, she shifted her gaze to her father. She was always happy she received her father's blue eyes. If not for her eyes, she would look nothing like her father. As a child it was her pride and joy to have his eyes. Although her skin was dark and hair black, her eyes were as light as the sky. There was no one else in her family that had the same combination. He told her one day when her mother was away that he was secretly happy she had his eyes as well. It had always been a family game trying to see who Kimi took more after. She shook her head at her family antics.
Smiling, she walked forward and hugged his rigid frame. He numbly hugged her in return and whispered, "Just trust your gut, you'll be alright." He said no more and she stood back to look at her parents.
Seeing the line coming to an end she wrote quickly and flashed her leaving note, "I love you guys!" before turning to board the plane.
Kimi stared out the window at the passing clouds. It had been a little over an hour since she left Portland, Maine and the first flight was just shy of a five hour trip. Feeling more relaxed than she had in the past month; she sighed and increased the volume on her IPod. Kimi shifted, trying to find the most comfortable position before giving up and staring out at the clouds once more. Unconsciously, she began rubbing her left leg. She wondered if she'd ever get used to feeling the cool metal under her sweatpants instead of the warm flesh of the leg she lost. Kimi sighed again and continued to stare at the horizon.
The last time she stood in Iceland she had been crying. She didn't want to leave but her parents insisted their new home would be better than their old one. This didn't change her mind that it was all a big mistake nor did it shake the feeling that she shouldn't leave. Her parents patiently talked to her and tried to console Kimi but she refused to listen. Kimi had been nine at the time. It came as no surprise when she did land that the airport at Reykjavik had changed little from what she remembered. It still seemed large and people continued to shuffle through speaking English and Icelandic mainly. Kimi took a large breath and stretched, smiling in satisfaction when she heard her back crack. Looking at the signs written in English and Icelandic sent a jolt through her system. "I really did it." She wondered. The excitement bubbled through her system causing her to giggle without at sound at the feeling. Grinning, she searched for some food before heading towards her connecting flight to Vopnafjörður. Her parents never sold their humble home just outside of Vopnafjörður and she almost wished she could tell someone how elated she was feeling. "Sixteen years" she thought, "Sixteen years of school, family, college, military and I'm finally back."
Finding a small stand, Kimi grabbed bags of chips and water. She then located the docking area for her final flight and sat wide eyed taking in the first view she had of Iceland. It was noisy, but it was comforting. Here, no one knew her nor that she was once enlisted in the army. Here, no one cared that she didn't speak or that she had a prosthetic leg. Here, she could feel the tight muscles in her shoulder begin to finally relax. Kimi grinned and slouched in her chair, letting the hum of voices and sounds drift over her. She imagined their cozy home and smiled. She hadn't even made it completely back but already felt at home.
Her eyes drooped but she thanked the taxi man and simply stood with her heart beating in a calm rhythm. For all the excitement she felt, the nervousness of returning had washed away in a cool wave of calm once she stepped foot outside the taxi. Unfortunately her body relaxing made her realized how tired the trip had made Kimi. She half stumbled up the driveway dragging her luggage and wanting nothing more than to collapse in a bed. With each step her body seemed to relax more making it harder and harder to think let alone carry the weight of her luggage. Kimi fumbled with the keys but finally managed to open the doors. The luggage left her mind and remained on the porch as she stumbled into the house. She walked through the open living room and collapsed on the couch, dead to the world before her head even hit the cushions.
"Thal come on, I'm gonna be late and then Nek is gonna be worried." Kimi cried over her shoulder as she raced home. A laugh on the wind was her only response before she ran into a tree and fell backwards. She glared up when Kimi realized it was only Thal.
"Ah yes your mother. Tell me, must you mix two languages? Either speak in Icelandic only or your mother tongue, mixing the two will only confuse you when you get older." He shook his head and held out a hand. Kimi pulled herself up and stuck her tongue out.
"I'll speak how I want to speak. Now I've got to get back or I won't be able to play later." She stressed while pushing him in the direction of her home. The sun was setting and she could already imagine her mother scolding her for being late. Kimi stumbled forward when Thal seemed to disappear from right in front of her. Before she could fall again, however, a hand grabbed the back of her shirt and balanced Kimi.
"Yes, Little Kimi, your mother's wrath is something we wouldn't want to call forth. Hurry home, we shall meet another day." She felt the gentle push on her back and frowned.
"But I thought you said you would finally meet my parents today."
"Did I? Well, maybe another time, I've got a home to return to as well and shall not like to be scolded as you will be if you don't hurry." Kimi frowned but didn't complain. Somehow, during their talk, she had arrived at the edge of her house boundaries and could see her mother through the window sitting in the kitchen. Grumbling, she trudged forward and vowed she would get Tahl to come over for dinner one day. After all, how could he be her best friend but insist on her not telling anyone. Her parents would just think she was playing by herself and would worry. But she couldn't tell them that she was fine since she was with Tahl because she promised him she wouldn't. Kimi quickly forgot her conundrum when her mother's voice sharply called her name. She shut the back door and lifted her chin deciding that if she were to get scolded, which she knew she couldn't avoid, she would take it with her head held high.
Jumping up, Kimi's eyes wondered around the room as they adjusted to the light filtering in through the glass windows. She stretched and removed the blanket from her body before standing to take in her new home. The house was pristinely kept which surprised her greatly as Kimi thought she would have much dusting and cleaning to do before she could sleep comfortably in her old house again. Indeed, even the rug seemed free of lint and the windows filtered clear sunlight onto the floor of the room. Surprised, she cracked her back and neck before heading to the kitchen. "A neighbor must have kept this place clean for us." She wondered when even the kitchen counter shined. Her stomach rumbled loudly causing her to mentally curse. She returned to the living room and headed down the hall leading to the bedrooms. Kimi stopped however, when she noticed all the luggage lined up outside her door. Surprised, she shrugged thinking she must have dragged the luggage inside before crashing on the couch.
Her room was just as she left it all those years ago. A queen sized bed was pushed against the far walls with light blue comforters looking clean and dried, tucked neatly under five large pillows. Her father had a knack for painting and had painted a mural, on the wall the head of the bed was pressed, against of a path leading into the forest. There was one window about a foot above where her bed was positioned filtering clean light onto the comforter. The other wall consisted of large doors which opened to a roomy closet. She smiled happily and began dragging the suitcases in to unpack. Kimi made a mental note to go see the neighbors to ask who had kept their house clean and thank the unknown friend. All that remained was to unpack and drive to grocery market to pick up food for the week.
Kimi hadn't brought much but her laptop, cloths and a suitcase full of books as well as various pictures of friends and family. The cloths were neatly folded making hanging and putting away her items and easy task that she finished by noon. Her stomach rumbled painfully and she once again remembered that she hadn't eaten since yesterday and only had two bags of chips and water for dinner then. Kimi flopped on her bed and mentally bemoaned her foodless predicament but couldn't muster the energy to find the chips she remembered buying. Instead she opted to stare at the glow in the dark stars on her ceiling, hoping food would magically find her. There was a knock on the front door that brought Kimi out of her foodless pity party. Grabbing a pad and pen, she snatched the last bag of chips she had and made her way towards the door.
The face seemed familiar, but Kimi could not place where she had seen those green eyes before or why she found herself feeling like she should grin. "So Little Kimi did indeed return." His eyes sparkled at her affronted face. "I'm sorry, you probably don't remember me. I'm Tahllas Baelliksson and I was a neighbor of yours when you lived here. I had heard you moved back and thought I'd stop by to extend my greetings."
A vague memory of his eyes crinkling in a smile hit Kimi and she blinked the memory away. He stood waiting expectantly and she realized she had yet to do anything. Ducking her head, she mentally yelled at herself before writing, "Hi! I vaguely remember, sorry, my memory isn't the best, I almost remember nothing of Iceland but the fact that I lived in this house. Would you like to come in?" She wrote first in English before realizing she no longer lived in the United States and scratched out the writing to write in Icelandic. Thallas frowned, a question held in his eyes but simply nodded and entered as Kimi moved aside. She fretted a bit before writing again, "I'm afraid I don't have any tea or coffee to offer you, I just finished unpacking and need to go food shopping still."
Tahllas shook his head and smiled, "It's fine, I'm sure it's been quite the ordeal moving back. You moved to the United States if I remember correctly."
"Maine" Kimi wrote.
He smiled, "Ah, but now I see you've returned. So what made you decide to come back? How was your trip?" Tahllas sat on the couch where Kimi had indicated and seemed to take his time looking about the house.
She suddenly remembered that she still had no idea who had been keeping the house clean and wrote, "The flight was long but I was expecting that. Well this and that. I always knew I would come back anyway. It was just a matter of time. I liked it here too much, even if I can't remember most of my childhood. Oh, do you know who has been keeping the houses clean? It looks just like what I remember as a child."
"Huldufólk maybe" Tahllas smiled playfully at her surprised expression before being interrupted by Kimi's rumbling stomach. He laughed lightly and stood up. "Perhaps I can interest you in lunch? My home isn't far from here and it won't take me a moment to cook a meal."
Embarrassed, she wrote, "I don't know, are you a good cook?"
His eyes gleamed, "I'm sure you'll find my food to be the best you've ever had." Kimi rolled her eyes but stood up. As she stood her foot caught the edge of the rug causing her balance to tip. Mentally cursing, she caught herself at an off angle on her mechanical leg. Her mechanical leg could not hold the balance causing her to stumble and flop back on the couch. She smiled apologetically, looking up to Tahllas. He didn't return the smile but seemed to stare intently at her leg.
"Ah, I have a mechanical left leg." Realizing what she wrote she continued, "But that's a bit obvious I guess." He looked at her note then returned to gazing at her leg before smoothing his features into a calm smile.
"Can I ask how-" a flash of pain appeared on Kimi's face pausing Tahllas midsentence. "A story for another day I suppose. Come now, you've shown me your home so it's only fair I show you mine." He smiled and Kimi relaxed when he didn't question any further.
Surprisingly Tahllas led Kimi on a path through her back woods to his house. "When we were younger you and I would cut through these woods to play during the summer. Time passed slowly then, it was only when you realized the sun was setting would we return to your dwelling. There were many a time when you'd return late and receive a scolding." He chuckled.
"Why don't I remember any of this?" She wrote, but realized he would no more have an answer than she. Exhaling, Kimi thought long about her childhood but still received a blank other than her time in the house and some events at elementary school. Kimi scowled but continued to try and remember Kahllas. He seemed extremely familiar, she had no doubt they had met before. Her scowl deepened.
"Welcome to my home." Startled, Kimi looked up at the cozy cottage nestled next to a rock in the corner of the clearing they seemed to have walked into. As they approached, Kimi marveled how house and rock seemed to meld together making which part was rock and which was house seem hard to divide. The craftsmanship was flawless as stone melded from wild rock to house without flaw. Tahllas noticed her amazed gaze and smiled, gently pushing her towards his house. He opened the door to a small but cozy entrance from which he guided Kimi to sit while he prepared lunch.
"I've lived here my whole life, now I've talked enough, I'm afraid it's time to switch the game. I'll ask and you write. Oh you're done your food so no excuses." Kimi rolled her eyes but happily obliged, and leaned back into chair. Tahllas sat across the table from her, lips slightly quirked and following her hand as she wrote.
"So how long are you planning to stay?"
"About a year. I don't know, until I know what I'm going to do next." Tahllas nodded his head.
"And you enjoyed the meal." He didn't ask, just a confirmation followed by a small nod and mischievous smile. Kimi rolled her eyes. "Come now, my cooking skills are worth bragging about, you've just not the heart to admit to it." She rolled her eyes again and smiled.
"Are you really a mute? You could talk when I last spoke to you." Immediately Kimi sagged her shoulders forward and lowered her head. Tahllas said nothing and for a moment the table was silent. The lack of noise grated on her nerves which led to Kimi looking up. Her eyes locked on Tahllas'. He stared at her with cold eyes, no longer a sparkle or smile warming his face. He pursed his lips but made no other move to display his emotions though Kimi had the strong feeling it was anger. The silence continued. Seeing Tahllas making no move to speak, she finally relented to write to end the hard silence that fell over the table.
"It's called Elective Mutism. I wasn't born with it and they say if I go to therapy they can help me but." She shrugged. Not wanting to say anything further, Kimi looked at the pink clouds outside. She stood suddenly, "I have to get going, I've been out all day and have yet to buy food. I have to get back." Kimi realized. She hurriedly helped Tahllas clean the plates and rushed out his house. Scowling, she turned back to see Tahllas grinning when she didn't know which way to return to her house.
"I was just about to suggest if you would like me to guide you home before you ran off. I'll never understand the need to rush off home simply because darkness falls. Though I suppose this being the first day back it was all a bit rushed. Well, stop gawking, let's get you home." Kimi glared as Tahllas stepped in front of her but followed as he began leading the way. "Elective mutism, meaning you made the choice to not talk. Interesting." Tahllas mused allowed. Kimi silently listened, not wanting to stop to write down a response in the fading light. "Your parents don't really do well with things borrowed, do they. It's alright though, this will all be fixed soon enough." Confused, she stopped to stare. Tahllas turned and chuckled, "It's just me wondering aloud, no need to overthink. I never met your parents anyway, I was just making an observation on what I thought." He turned and continued walking, "Hurry up Little Kimi, wouldn't want you out after dark now." Scowling, Kimi stomped after him.
In no time, she bumped into Thallas' back and glared. "Well, I'll see you off here, it seems you have some other neighbors wanting to say hello. Oh, I'm not too fond of meeting many people, I prefer to remain in my humble abode. Until next time, Little Kimi."
So what'd you guys think so far? It'll be finished by the end of this week (probably by tonight).