Teaser

Mar. 28th, 2015 05:15 am
lissalysikan: (baby & dragon)
[personal profile] lissalysikan
I am working on the story again after working with people on making words.
This is the current working draft of part 4 of the story, tentatively titled "Lysik'an - The Return Of Magic".
Please feel free to offer advice.


“Come on, Jonny, we have to go. That stupid watchman recognized me and they’re looking for us again.” Norren picked up her backpack and put it on, then picked up Jonny’s and helped her get her arms through the straps. “I’m sorry, I guess I was careless.”

Jonny stood still as Norren rubbed ashes into her long, golden hair and smudged her face with more, then let her take her hand and lead her out of their hiding place into the alley. “I’m tired, Norren. And hungry. I don’t want to run any more.”

“I know, Sweety, but we have to. You know what would happen if they catch us.” Norren looked down at Jonny, still finding it odd that they were the same age. Jonny looked more like nine than fourteen, and often acted it, especially when stressed. Norren blamed herself for that, since she often babied Jonny.

“Maybe I can try being a boy again, since they’re looking for two girls.” Jonny shuddered as she offered.

Norren shook her head, “no. That makes you nuts and mad all the time.” Stopping under a set of rickety stairs, she leaned down and kissed Jonny on the lips, hugging her tightly. “If we’re gonna try it then it would have to be me.”

Norren didn’t know why Jonny got so upset about being a boy, since Norren had played the part a few times and it was actually easier than being a girl, but Jonny couldn’t seem to deal with it. Having a cock seemed to be part of it, since Jonny had tried to magic it away once, but that wasn’t the whole of it and Jonny had never been able to explain it clearly. Norren decided it didn’t really matter. If she could deal with Jonny being a mage, she could deal with her being a girl with a cock. The second part was odd, the first one could get them killed.

“I don’t think it would work anyway. Most watchmen are stupid, but the way our luck’s going we’d run into a smart one.” Looking out of the alley, up and down the street, she took Jonny’s little hand, “I think we need to go farther this time. Maybe out to the edge.” She bit at her lower lip, “think you can walk that far? It might take us two days.”

“I’ll try.” Glancing up at Norren, Jonny gave her a weak smile, “thank you for staying with me. Most people would have run away by now.” She looked down again and kicked at the ground, “I wish I knew how to make the magic work so I could help more.”

Norren leaned over, lifting Jonny's face, and kissed her lips again, “I won’t abandon you, I love you.” Looking up and down the street again, she led Jonny out of the alley. “Magic would probably be worse cause it would be harder to hide. Now keep your head down and try not to look in a hurry.”

Two children ran from the Watch, again, heading north.

-----

Jarveth watched Tinky drop the small wooden slab she had used as a plate into the fire and tiptoe away from it, her hands waving like little wings. When she was away from everyone else a fair distance she started turning in a circle, her head back and eyes closed. Her arms slowly stretched out to the side as she spun faster.

"Why does she walk on tiptoes all the time out here? Does the ground hurt her feet? She could put her boots on. Well, those socks she calls boots." He watched her little toes as she turned.

"She does back in the city, too, when she forgets not to." Leesa shrugged, "she doesn't know why she walks that way, it's just more comfortable for her. I don't think anything hurts her in the same sense that it does us." Leesa looked up to Jarveth as he winced while standing up. "See, to you, the little pebbles and sticks and things poking your feet are painful. To her that's fun, and sometimes erotic. It would never occur to her to try to avoid it."

Jarveth looked down at his bare feet, then at Leesa's much smaller, softer looking, ones, "what about you? You all walk around here barefoot and I don't see a lot of wincing." Watching where he stepped, he moved close enough to the fire to throw his wooden slab in, then wiped the knife he'd used to eat on his pants before sheathing it.

"She's trained us to tolerate it, and we've cleared the worst from the camp area. Still gets us once in a while." Leesa held up her plate as he returned to the log and grinned as he faked a scowl and took it to the fire for her. "I bet you've never even been barefoot outdoors before."

"You could have given it to me before and saved my poor feet. And no, I haven't. It's not allowed, you know."

"True. But I didn't." Leesa stretched her legs out in front of her and wiggled her toes. "You'll get used to the agony eventually. It doesn't hurt less, you just learn to like it." She grinned as he sat beside her again.

Jarveth chuckled and put an arm around her back, noticing that she tensed for a moment before softening and leaning toward him. "About your plan."

"Yes?"

"Totally the wrong thing. About as far from right as you could get." He turned his head to watch Tinky. "Although I guess you already know, now. Tinky needs to be seen less with me, not more, if she's going to avoid being noticed. With this purge coming up, well, being noticed is even worse than usual." He scuffed his feet in the dirt, then scowled down at them, "have to learn new habits out here. Anyway, I had already been thinking she needs more attention, like you said, but the only safe attention is from you and her father."

"We can only do so much. Even though she sees us as four different people, we're similar enough that I think it won't really count as having multiple friends after a while." Leesa sighed.

"There's other issues, as well. There's going to be a bigger hunt for people that can be passed off as mages for the purge. People more convincingly different. Like Tinky. Like you." He looked down as Leesa gripped his knee, her grasp a lot firmer than he expected. "Before you invited me out here I was already thinking to ask if you could find ways to get her out of the city more. Make her less visible."

"She'd love that. Already bugs us to bring her out here all the time. But then she always wants to be back home with her father after a day or two. She's certain he needs her around all the time." Leesa looked down at her hand and made an effort to relax a little. "You know, I'm getting scared that in the long run there is nothing we can do to protect her."

Leena sat on the ground near Tinky and started working on fixing a bow. Leera tossed her plate into the fire and sat on the ground near it, facing Tinky.

Leesa stood up and nodded toward Jarveth's boots, then waited as he pulled them on. Taking his hand, she guided him further from the fire pit and Tinky.

"Your sisters moved to stop Tinky from following us?" Jarveth let Leesa pull him away, looking back at Tinky still spinning.

"Nope, to watch her. When she stops spinning she'll be dizzy and stumble all over the place. Since I'm not watching any more, they are, but since they are busy with other things at the same time they are teaming to make sure that someone will see when she starts wobbling around before she can get hurt." Looking back at Tinky for a moment, she smiled. "We try to let her just be herself, but that means watching out for her a lot."

They walked to a section of fence that had started sagging worse than the rest. Leesa pulled at one of the leaning poles, then kicked at the dirt around it as if trying to make it stand up better, but without enough effort to actually accomplish the task. Jarveth took the pole and twisted it back and forth a bit while pushing down, then let go and watched it sag again.

"So, I'm guessing we aren't way over here to try to fix the fence." He looked over a couple of other sagging poles. "It looks like you don't try to keep it in good shape, anyway."

"Nah, don't really need it. The more dangerous animals don't bother us, since this area is like a hole in the magic, according to Tinky, and they're looking for more dense magic."

"I see. I guess." He looked around, "well, not really. Why would there be a hole in the magic here?"

"Because we use it. It takes time for it to drift back, sorta like when you take a scoop of molasses and then it takes time for the rest to ooze in and fill the hole. Tinky helps a lot with using it."

"Okay. And why would the animals avoid the holes?"

"Because magic is made by living things, so less magic means less food. And some of them need magic to live, so of course they'd go looking for places that had more." Leaning against one of the sturdier poles, Leesa looked out into the forest, "so as long as we keep using it this area isn't interesting to them."

The two of them stood and watched the trees be trees.

After a few minutes, Leesa looked at Jarveth. "What do you know of the northwest road? The one that's covered over?"

"It's covered over. There was an attempt to tear it up a long time ago, before I became a Watcher, but it's one of the old mage roads so," he shrugged. "When that didn't work they covered it over and hoped the forest would do what they couldn't do with tools. Why?"

"Well, all the old roads lead to other cities that have the same kind of junk we have here. We were thinking maybe that one leads to a place that doesn't. It could go a place where Tinky might be safe." Leesa smiled faintly, "after hearing what you had to say we were talking a lot about what else we could do. You made things scarier than they were."

"Sorry."

"Don't be. I guess we were too busy worrying about Tinky's smaller problems and not the bigger ones. We needed that." Sighing, she returned to looking at the forest.

"I don't know much about it, but there's farms out there. There's a newer road, dirt mostly, that goes out to the west and then circles around to the north a bit, for the farmers. Maybe someone out that way can tell you more." He pushed at one of the logs with a heavy boot. "Might be worth checking into, cause I can't think of anything else to do, and I don't have good feelings about the way things are going."

"Okay. Don't say anything to Tinky, though. She'll either get too excited and she doesn't handle disappointment well if it turns out bad, or she might get worried about trying to leave and fret too much. Either way, it's best not to get her thinking too much about the future."

"Yeah, I've seen her reaction to just canceling a plan for lunch. That's why we came out here?" At Leesa's nod he smirked, "she might be listening with magic."

"I guess she could, but she wouldn't. I doubt she'd even think of it." Digging her toes into the dirt she'd been kicking around the pole, she looked back into the camp. "She's pretty good about not invading other peoples privacy." She grinned, "unlike us. We spy on her all the time."

"To take care of her. That's understandable."

"Always sharing your thoughts with three other people tends to make privacy not quite a real thing, too."

"I bet."

Standing up straight, Leesa took his hand and started back to the camp. "She's done thinking."

Tinky was half sitting, half laying, across Leena's lap, wearing the big grin she always wore after getting dizzy, giggling.

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