Thursday, February 17, 2005

Chain Story #1

Deep in the forest he sat. A lone figure huddled beneath a tree, shivering. The rain was pouring steadily now, but he no longer noticed. He was soaked through and there was nothing else he could do about it. He pulled the blanket a little tighter around his shoulders and scooted closer to the trunk of the tree. "Why did I ever leave home?" He wondered to himself. "Well, I guess there's nothing to be done about it now. I can't go back." With this thought he drifted off into sleep. When he woke up the sun was shining. He ate a meager breakfast of dried fruit for he could build no fire with the soggy wood that was laying about. When he had finished he repacked his blanket, shouldered his pack and continued through the dense trees that surrounded him.

11 comments:

Rachael said...

His pack was soaked through and it seemed to weigh three times as much as when he had started. He had not gone far before he sat to rest again. He lay his pack aside and sat against the base of a large tree. He leaned against it and closed his eyes. He wondered if they had noticed yet that he was gone. He worried little for when they did- they would never look for him here. No one ever came in these woods on purpose. No one but him. He could imagine the fuss that would arise when they discovered him missing.
"Where is Danyin? Where has that good-for-nothing gone off to?"
The thought of the looks on their faces made Danyin smile. The smile lasted only a moment though. His thoughts turned back to where he was, and he began to hope that the stories were just that- stories.

Maggie said...

They had always said the woods were haunted. Spirits lingered here after their mortal bodies were dead and decayed. They delighted in tormenting trespassers. A shiver ran down his spine. He jumped up, grabbed his pack and began to walk quickly through the dense undergrowth. As he moved along he thought he heard something. He paused a moment, listening. There, a rustle in the branches. He began to run wildly through the trees, no longer caring which way he ran or where he would end up. Sharp thorns tore at his clothes and skin. Suddenly he tripped over a protruding root. He covered his head, huddling down, hoping not to be seen by whatever it was. Sweating with terror and bleeding from his many scratches, Danyin looked up from where he lay. As he did, a large animal sprang at him out of the bushes! It bounded towards him, but when it reached his cowering form it stopped. It walked around him, sniffing. Danyin did not know what to do. He peeked slowly from under his arms. To his surprise the animal licked his face. “Please don’t eat me!” he bellowed. “I don’t taste good, see?” The animal sort of grinned and licked him again.

Rachael said...

After a few more minutes of sniffing around him, the creature seemed to lose interest and walked off into the woods. Danyin didn't move. He was exhausted. In a few minutes he was fast asleep.
Danyin opened his eyes. It took him a moment to remember where he was. His eyes finally focused. He was still lying on the ground. In front of him, a small way off he saw a small stand of three trees. As he looked at them, he realized that one of them was not a tree. It was a man!
Danyin awoke with a start. He sat up quickly, remembering what he had just seen. As soon as he moved he regretted it. His body was stiff and sore from his run through the woods and the wounds he acquired in the process. He looked at the trees, but he saw nothing. Suddenly, Danyin was lifted from behind, and everything went dark.
Danyin awoke once more. He opened his eyes slowly and looked around. He was in a room of sorts, but it was open at the top. There were branches. He seemed to be at the top of a tree. He noticed that his wounds had been dressed. He scanned the room slowly. His heart began to race as he noticed a cloaked figure in the corner. The person had his back to Danyin.
"What do you want with me?" Danyin asked.
A strong voice answered, "We have no wish to harm you. We are not a violent race."
With that, the figure turned, reached up and lowered his hood. Danyin's eyes widened.

Maggie said...

“Wha-what are you? What do you want with me?” He stammered. He looked the man over again, barely believing his eyes. His skin was pale and his eyes were clear blue. His face looked calm and peaceful, surrounded by flowing white hair. “I am of the People of the Woods.” He answered. “We do not usually have visitors here. Where did you come from?” When he said this he looked sternly at Danyin. “I’m from the village, Raynor. It’s on the edge of the forest. I’ve run away and I am not going back!” He replied. The man chuckled lightly. “So, you are from Raynor. What could be so horrible there that you would want to run away?”

Rachael said...

Danyin's head drooped. Just thinking about it again reinforced his feeling that he did not belong in Raynor. He told the strange man about the frequent "punishments" he had received and the abuse he had endured over the years. He had been a slave to a woman who was very popular and somewhat famous, but in her home she was very demanding- and cruel. Danyin did not understand his situation. He had talked to some of the other servants, but they always seemed afraid to tell him why he was treated so differently. He knew he looked different from the others, but he did not understand why that made him less than they were.
The man listened to Danyin's story and nodded his head. "It is typical of the Raynorians to be so fearful and prejudiced." He said, disgusted. "My name is Orodreth."
As he spoke, he gave Danyin a piece of reflective glass. Danyin looked at it. He had not even realized! Looking back at him were crystal blue eyes. He touched his whitish hair. He suddenly knew- he was one of the People of the Woods!
The knowledge overtook Danyin in his weakened state and he slipped back into unconsciousness.

Maggie said...

When he woke he again saw Orodreth standing nearby. Danyin’s mind raced. Now he understood why they had always cut his hair short, why he had always been publicly punished, why in the slave market he had sold for such a high price. It all made sense to him now. Now he wondered why he had been in Raynor. Before he could ask the question, Orodreth stepped closer, offering him a plate of food. Danyin then realized that he didn’t even know what day it was, or when he had last eaten. He ate hungrily but savored every bite of the strange dish. As he ate, Orodreth began to tell a story. “Many years ago, one of the women of Raynor wandered into the woods. She was lost for many days. When we found her she was sick and very weak. She was brought to the Healers who labored over her for many weeks. When she was well, we tried to send her back to Raynor, to her own people. She did not want to go, she seemed enchanted by our forest. She was taught many things of our culture, and our knowledge. As sometimes happens, she fell in love with her tutor, and her tutor with her. They spent much time together over the months, their love growing deeper and stronger. After a time she found that she was with child. She was so afraid of what we would think, what we would do. She fled back to Raynor, hoping that she could not be found. We watched her for many months, then one day the child was born. A boy. She was horrified when he was born for he had the white hair and pale skin of the Forest People. She tried to hide him from the others but they all knew. She was shunned, hated by the people of Raynor. Her heart broke for she had thought the people would accept her. She fell ill and could not take care of the child. She became weaker with each passing day and a few weeks later she was dead..” Orodreth seemed very distraught as he told the last part of the story. He turned away and stared out of the window for a moment, silent.

Maggie said...

As Danyin lay there more questions flew through his mind. He wondered why the Forest People had not rescued him. Where were they when he was being beaten? Where were they when he was being sold? Where were they all his life?! Danyin became filled with anger and could no longer sit still. He jumped from the bed and ran out of the room. He found himself at the top of a long winding staircase. Without care for safety he raced down the steps, not even knowing where they would lead. He tripped, tumbled and slid to the bottom. He looked around him and found he was in a small chamber with two doors. Still blinded by his anger he rushed toward the closest one. When he opened it he had to pause for a moment. The sun was bright and high in the sky. It shone down through the branches of the forest in long fingers of blinding light. When he became accustomed to the brightness he raced out into the woods dodging trees and branches. When he had gone as far as he could run he slowed down checking to see if anyone was following him. He didn’t see anyone so he kept along at a quick pace until he reached the river. He splashed water onto his face to cool himself then drank deeply. That is when he realized he had left without his pack. He had no food, no water, no provisions of any kind. He didn’t want to go back, not there. “They didn’t even follow me,” Danyin said aloud to himself, “They don’t care, just like the Raynorians.” As he said this he felt more alone than he ever had. He had no one now. With this thought he started to walk again. He wanted to find his way out of the horrible forest.

Rachael said...

Danyin's eyes fluttered open. It took him a moment to realize he was still lying on the soft bed in the room where he had been brought. It had been a dream! Relief washed over Danyin- he was glad he was not out in the woods alone again. Then he remembered the questions his mind had raised and the anger he felt at not being rescued from Raynor long ago. Orodreth was no longer in the room. It was night-time now. Danyin could see the stars through the roof of his tree-top room. He carefully pulled himself up to a sitting position. He was still very sore. He rose, and walked unsteadily toward the door, using the wall for support. He pulled the door-covering aside and stepped out. "Hello?" he called, and found that his voice was weak. "Hello?" He tried to take another step forward, but his legs gave way under him. Strong arms caught him as he fell and Orodreth helped him back to his bed.

Maggie said...

When he woke it was morning but the thoughts from his dream and the anger he felt were no less than they had been. Danyin felt stronger than he had. He carefully pulled himself off the bed and walked around the room. It wasn’t a large room and contained only the bed and a wash basin. There was a large window on one side covered by a thin white curtain. Danyin walked to the window and pulled aside the covering. The forest looked just as it had in his dream. Rays of sun pierced the thick branches above. The leaves danced in a slight breeze. Everything looked so quiet and peaceful. As he took in the picture Orodreth entered his room. “You should not be up,” He said gently. “I brought you some breakfast.” Danyin realized that he was hungry. He went and sat on the edge of the bed and looked at the food Orodreth had brought. It looked horrible but the smell was so delicious that Danyin scooped up a small bite and tasted it. The flavor exploded in his mouth. It was like nothing he had ever tasted. He ate the rest hungrily. When he was finished he turned to Orodreth. “Why was I not rescued from Raynor?”
“That is a difficult question, and one I’m not sure you want the answer to...yet.” He answered. “To understand the reason you must first learn about our people. You may stay with us as long as you like. Tonight if you are feeling better we will go to banquet and you can meet them. They are very curious about you.”
“Why would I want to meet them? They left me in Raynor! You had to have known what would happen! I’ve been an outcast my whole life and you expect me to just accept that I belong here?” Danyin shouted.
“I don’t expect you to understand, Danyin, but we did not leave you.” Orodreth said with a sigh. “We’ve always been with you, that’s why you are here now.”

Maggie said...

“The banquet will begin in a few hours, perhaps you should try to get some rest. It will be a long night, and you will need your strength.” With that, he left the room. Danyin didn’t feel like resting. He decided to take a walk out in the forest. As he emerged into the sun he began to feel better. He wandered through the trees taking in the beauty of the forest. The air smelled clean and fresh, nothing like in Raynor. Danyin began to feel a little bit better, maybe he could stay here. He came to a little pond surrounded by cheerful little yellow flowers. The sun was sparkling on the water as the breeze rippled over it. Danyin walked to the edge of the water and took off his shoes. He waded into the pond and watched as little fish darted around his feet. The next thing he knew something ran into him and pushed him into the water. He got up dripping and sputtering, looking around to see what had happened. He heard laughter and someone splashing next to him. He turned and saw a child running toward him again. He dodged just in time and grabbed him by the arm. “What do you think you’re doing?” He yelled. The child looked up at him, frightened. “You’re not my brother!” He exclaimed. Looking around he called out, “Olli, where are you?!” Danyin looked up as another boy climbed out of a tree nearby and ran towards him. “Let go of my brother!” He yelled. Danyin let go and the younger boy ran towards his brother. “He looked just like you,” the younger boy said, “I was only playing.” The older boy walked toward Danyin. “I haven’t seen you around here before, you must be the one from Raynor.” he said as he looked Danyin over. Danyin looked surprised, “How did you know that?”
“Well, we’ve all heard about you. The news is all over the forest. Everyone is gathering for the banquet tonight. I’m Ollidamus, but the kids call me Olli. That’s my brother, Oranthen, he didn’t mean anything by knocking you in the water.” The boy replied. As the younger boy approached cautiously Danyin looked down at his clothes in dismay. “This is all I have to wear, I lost my pack before I got here.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that, you’ll be dry in no time in this heat” Olli replied. “Come on, let’s sit in the sun. You can tell us all about Raynor!”
“Yes, please do!” exclaimed Oranthen, “I’ve always wanted to go there! Tell us what it’s like!”

Maggie said...

"You really want to know what it's like?" Danyin asked.
"Oh yes!" Replied Oranthen, "They don't tell us anything about anything."
"Well as far back as I can remember it was horrible." Danyin started. "There was the orphanage, the slave market, the teasing, the fights, the beatings. Where would you like me to start?"
Oranthen stood staring at Danyin. "That can't be true! Sometimes we sneak over to the edge of the forest and watch them. It looks nice!"
"I suppose it might be if you are one of them. But look at me! I wasn't like them so they didn't like me. You should stay away from there." Danyin replied.
"It's not true!" Oranthen cried, and with that he ran off into the woods.