View Full Version : Road Of Choices Vol 1 The Beginning

06-26-2007, 07:46 AM
***For those of you that read this at our sister site...THIS VERSION IS DIFFERENT....it's longer and I changed it up some****

Andre had left her small home of Kirdish over three months ago. It was just a small town surrounded by cattle farms. She sighed, as she thought of her families’ small home. It had been just her and her father for several years now. Her mother had died of a fever leaving her and her two brothers to help her father. When her oldest brother had told her father he was leaving to explore the world, her father had been devastated. That had been four years ago. Then barely a month later her younger brother disappeared. He had left a note for them saying he would be back ‘someday’. Therefore, for the past four years she had been her fathers’ only help. Now he was gone and she had left home herself shortly thereafter.

Andre had headed towards the capital. She had decided that if her brothers could explore the world so could she. That had three long sad months ago. She had intended to stay and take on the farm when her father died but things did not work out that way. She took another deep breath as she thought about the day her father died. She quickly pushed the memories away and looked to the road in front of her. She had decided with winter on her heels that she would veer south of the capital and head back north after spring had arrived. Right now, she sat outside of the gate of a huge strange town.

She waited in line to be admitted to the city. As she waited she noticed the richly detail carvings on the gates and walls. On each gate there was a beautiful woman carved in exquisite detail. In one carving, she was dressed all in blue and surrounded by rings of varied colors. In yet another one, animals that seemed to be listening to every word she was portrayed to speak surrounded her. The carvings entranced Andre.

She was jerk out of her musings by the gate guard. He was tugging on her pants leg.

“Miss? Are you all right?”

She felt her face turn red and smiled at the young man, “Yes. I’m sorry. These carvings are amazing. Is this a ruler or a goddess or what?”

“That is the goddess Lady Lyota. Have you never heard of her?” The young man was very friendly.

“No. The only gods we had in my hometown were Firth the god of fruitful harvest. What is she goddess over? She is beautiful.” Andre felt something in her mind pull her toward this deity.

“She rules over the mages and telepaths. This is where people that are blessed with gifts from the gods come to train. Welcome to the great city of Virgash. Now on to formalities. What is your business here and how long do you plan on being town?”

“I am just traveling. Trying to avoid the colder weather before venturing to the capital. I am from Kirdish. Is there any work for a farmer around here?”

“Not really. They always need a helping hand at the temple if you can handle a broom and a mop. That’s about it unless you already have a trade. Go to the north end of town. The temple takes up the entire north wall. You can’t miss it. Tell them Brandon sent you ok? Maybe I’ll see you around.” He handed her a rolled parchments and opened the gate. She smiled and nodded her thanks.

He wasn’t kidding when he said that you couldn’t miss it. Her entire town square would fit in there with room to spare. She was once again drawn to the carvings on the walls and doors. She tore her gaze away long enough to knock on the door. She was staring once again when a young girl answered the door. Andre jumped slightly startled.


“A young man at the gate, Brandon, said for me to come here to look for employment. Can I speak to someone about it please?”

“Of course! Master Stuart will be glad to see you. Follow me.” The girl was exceedingly happy. Almost too happy, “My name is Gabriel. What’s yours?”

“Andre. Nice to meet you. Do you work here?” Andre was trying to carry on a conversation and still see all the wonderful carvings around her. She had never seen such beauty in all of her life.

“No I’m a student. I work in town after my classes are over. I am a healer. I’ve only been here about two months. OH! I almost forgot that was my brother at the gate. Isn’t he wonderful?” Gabriel practically glowed with happiness. It was about to get annoying when she told Andre to wait and disappeared.

Andre was getting antsy when Gabriel stuck her head around the door and waved her into the office beyond. The room was ornately decorated with dark colors and heavy materials. The man seated behind the desk was old. Not just old physically but like he had all the knowledge in the world behind his eyes. Those same eyes crinkled as he smiled at her.

“Welcome, Andre. Gabriel tells me you seek employment. Are you a follower of Lyota?”

“No sir. However, I would still like a job if that’s all right? I’ll do whatever you need done. I’ve mostly worked on a farm, but I catch on quick.” Andre felt like she was begging but she didn’t have much choice in the matter. She had to have a job and somewhere to live.

“Of course child. I wouldn’t turn you away. So I assume you had animals on this farm of yours. I have need of a stable hand. Will that suit you?”

“Oh, very much sir. May I ask where I might find lodging?”

“If you are going to work for me you will stay at the temple. I will pay you half silver a week plus room and board. Agreed?”

“Agreed!” It was better then she had hoped for. Not only did she get room and board she got to save some money for her trip north when the weather improved.

“Well then, welcome to the Virgash temple of Lyota. May her guiding light always shine on your path. Gabriel will show you to your room. Report to the stables after breakfast. Rista will get you started. Sleep well Andre.” He smiled and went back to his paperwork.

There was banging at her door several hours later. Andre felt like she had just laid her head down to sleep. “Wake up!” Gaby’s happy voice called through her door. “If you want breakfast you better hurry!”

Andre pulled the pillow up over her head. Gabriel was nice but very annoying in the few hours Andre had known her. She took a deep breath and answered her, “Alright I’m up. Give me a minute to get dressed.”

She shrugged her way into her close with her eyes shut and ran a comb thru her hair. She opened the door with a deep breath. Gabriel was all smiles and giggles. She talked the entire way to the common room. Andre hardly noticed what she said and the girl didn’t seem to care if she answered or not. Andre was trying to memorize her way around so she could maneuver on her own. Finally, Gaby said something that caught her attention.

“Maybe Rista will be here still. He’ll be the one you work with in the stables,” She had stopped at the dining hall door and was surveying the crowd.

Andre was surprised there where so many people here. It had been almost silent when she had arrived the evening before. She was suddenly nervous. “I didn’t realize there were so many people here. Are they all students?”

“No silly. There are a lot of people yes but it is an even mixture of students, teachers, priest, and people like you that are employed here. I see Rista. Let’s get our food then I’ll introduce you ok?”

They made their way through the line. There was any kind of breakfast food she could think of. She hadn’t eaten like this since her mother died so many years ago. She piled her plate full of different meats, fruits, breads, and sweet rolls. Gaby saw her plate and laughed.

“Don’t eat too much. There will be more at lunch and you can come out to dinner with Brandon and me tonight. You will be our guest. We‘ll show you around town.”

“I don’t know Gabriel. I’ll think about it. I don’t really have any clothes to wear. So I’ll say maybe,” She was not sure at all about going out with anyone she just met. They might be all great people but she was shy. And people tended to ask to many questions. And questions about herself and her past weren’t something she wanted to answer right now.

“Ok, but you’ll have fun I promise. Come on lets go grab a seat.”

She followed the blonde girl over to a small table where a huge red headed monster of a man sat. Gaby was a stark contrast to the big red man. They where like exact opposites. Where she was little, bright and talkative he seemed huge, dark, and quite. She was worried he would be like some huge mean giant. Then he smiled.

“Hello Gaby! And who be this youngin’ ya have with you?” His voice was deep but cheerful. He went from seeming a huge dark menace to a big friendly bear with just a smile and a few words.

“Morning Rista. This is Andre. She will be working in the stable with you till spring. She’s quite but nice. Isn’t that right Andre?” Gaby laughed.

Their attitude was contagious and she began to smile and laugh, “I guess I’m nice. I try any way. I grew up on a farm so I figured I’d be most comfortable in the stable. Is it a large stable?”

“Not too big. We only house 40 or so horses. It’s a very good stable and easy to clean. Horses have plenty of room in their stalls and we let them run in a big field out the back of the temple. There is one horse you have to watch but I’ll tell you all about it when we get there. I have classes soon so after we eat I’ll take you and get you started. OK?” He picked his mug up and drained it in one gulp
“Sure. I’ll eat quickly. What do you study?” She expected a normal answer like reading, writing, healing, or even just plain magic. Not what she got.

“I am an animal speaker. Which will come in hand once I graduate and go back home. I’m also a travel witch. At least that’s what my grandma calls it. I never get lost. Even if I’ve never been to the place I’m headed. That’s what Master Stuart calls a natural talent. Not much schooling needed. Ready to go?” He stood up and she realized he was even bigger than she thought. She was tall for a woman at 6 foot tall but he stood a head and a half over her easy.

She took her tray over to the kitchen and ran to catch up to the big man. He was quick too. He was silent all the way to the stables, which was good since she was trying to quickly memorize her path to the stable. The hallway to the stables lead to two big doors covered in carvings of animals and Lady Lyota. He led her out and over to one stall in particular. In it stood the most beautiful black and gold horse, she had ever seen.

“This is Ravenwing. He belongs to one of our more stand offish students Valr. He’s what is referred to as the King’s breed of horse. Valr says his family raises these horses for the king. Unless he’s royalty that would be the only way, he could have one. He swears he’s the royal horse breeder’s son. He acts snobby enough to be royalty though. He’s as much of a pain in the ass as his horse is. When you go to feed him approach from the left and never lose eye contact or you’ll loose the seat of your pants. Even with all of my talent, I can’t talk to him. They say that because they are breed to resist magic of all sorts. Even the god given kind. Well, Andre, I have to go to class. You going to be all right?”

“Yeah, I should be all right. If I have a problem, I’ll just go get Master Stuart. You go on to class and I'll be fine. I’ll see you later. Glad to meet you by the way,” She smiled and shook his hand.

He smiled at her, “All right. I’ll see you at lunch.” He waved and headed out the door. She set about sweeping and feeding the horses. She saved Ravenwing for last. Everything was going smooth until the bell rang. She assumed that was the signal for the change of class. She would have to find out later her head was beginning to hurt and spin.

She stopped and leaned her head up against the nearest stable door. Unfortunately, it was Ravenwing’s. He snapped at her hair and pulled before she ever knew what happened. She screamed in anger and watched as the hay caught fire. “Not what I need on my first day here.”

She turned and quickly grabbed a bucket of water and dowsed the fire. Ravenwing began to nuzzle her cheek as soon as the fire was out. “Now how am I going to explain this?” She began to laugh as he blew big puffs of warm breath down her neck.

The rest of the morning went without incident. She did look up at one point and see Master Stuart standing in the doorway. She smiled and waved happy things were going well. He smiled back and left the room. She released the breath she hadn’t realized she was holding.

There was a huge crowd in the dining hall when by the time she realized that it was lunchtime. She waited her turn then loaded her plate full again. She knew once she got back on the road she wouldn’t have big meals like this to eat. If she got to eat at all. She turned to find a seat when she was faced with a breath taking young man. He was a little taller than her and his hair was as black as the night sky. But his eyes where the brightest blue she had ever seen on a human being.

“Are you the new ‘woman’ working in the stable?” His voice was full of scorn and judgment.

“Yes. Let me guess you own Ravenwing right? He’s a very sweet horse. We get along very well. Is there something you need?” She was wanted to put her tray down it was getting heavy.

“You mistreat him at all and it will be your head on a platter. He is worth more that your entire life is worth. Good Day,” he turned and stormed off.

Suddenly Gaby was there and she actually wasn’t laughing. “That boy is such a jerk! Come on let’s go eat. How is your first day going other than that?”
“Good so far. I am starving though. Let’s eat. I think I will join you and your brother for dinner if the invitation is still open,” she sat her tray down and stretched her hand from holding it.

“Great! Brandon she said she’d go!”

The young man from the gate was seated at the table. He smiled at her, “Glad to see you again. I see you’ve met my sister already. I’m glad you’re going to dinner with us. I went out to the stable when Gaby told me you where there. It smelled like smoke but everything checked out ok. Did one of the horses kick a lamp over?”

“No I noticed it this morning. I hunted for it for a while but never found anything. What time do you all want to leave?”

“I’ll meet you at your room after dark. Do you have something to wear?” Gaby we bouncing she was so happy.

“I hope so. Just don’t take me somewhere to fancy. Now I must feed my stomach. Will Rista be here soon?” She dug into the meal in front of her but she felt eyes on the back of her neck as she ate. She finally turned and looked around herself. There he was that smart mouthed guy from a few minutes ago staring at her. If look could kill a person, she would be dead. She turned back to her new friends shaking her head.

“What is it Andre?” Brandon asked.

“That guy from earlier. He’s staring at me. I am getting along with his horse just fine. He need not start any trouble with me.”

“You tell him! Valr thinks he’s so special because his daddy raises horse for the King. Oh, wow. Who cares? He’s still just a horse trainer’s son. No better than anyone else here. I lucked out. I don’t have a single class with him. Brandon has almost every class with him. The only time he gets a break is when they go to their specialty classes.” She grinned at her brother who shrugged and acted as if he didn’t care.

“He’s not that bad. Not to me anyway. I’m sorry he was hateful to you Andre. Are you all right you look pale?”

“Yeah, just tried. I did a lot of traveling to get here from my home. It’s just catching up to me is all. Well, I better get back to work. If you see Rista tell him, I went back to work.” She got up and left the table and headed back to the stables.

Ravenwing was waiting patiently for her when she returned. He nuzzled her neck and whinnied. She finished the last of her chores and was thinking about curling up in some hay for a nap. That’s when her world went crazy. The wind started blowing and she was dizzy. This had happened once before. She was scared. She prayed to every being she could think of for help. The next thing she knew Rista was there and she was passing out.

Her eyes where all blurry and her head ached badly when she opened her eyes. She tried to turn her head but the pain was too much. She heard voices off to her left so she tried to concentrate on them. Unfortunately they where whispering. If she strained hard enough she could make it out.

“…Never in my life. She’s how old?”

“I’d say she’s at least 20. It usually shows by the time they are 15 and that’s late. Have you done the full test yet?”

A hateful male voice broke into the otherwise calm discussion, “Wait a minute. She nearly burns down the stables. Where might I remind you, one of the King’s very horses is stabled? And you want to test her and school her? She should be in jail!” The more the voice talked the shriller it got.

“Your highness. I understand you are upset. Look at it this way. No one was hurt. Human or horse. And if she is trained, it will keep that from ever happening again.” The voice of reason was an older lady. Andre thought she was very smart for some reason.

“Fine. However, if there is another incident I want her gone! That is final.” Andre knew that if she opened her eyes that the man the voice belonged to would be stomping his feet and red in the face. She giggled to herself at the mental picture it painted. That was her undoing.

“Are you awake Andre?” Master Stuart’s familiar voice asked.

“Yes sir. It hurts to open my eyes though,” She cringed as her own voice echoed painfully in her ears.

“Take your time child. You’ve had a very painful experience. Do you remember anything?” Stuart asked quietly from the side of the couch.

“I remember being very dizzy then seeing Rista. I was a little sleepy and since I was through with all of my work, I was going to take a nap. I didn’t sleep well last night. What happened to me?” She tried to open her eyes and sit up. It hurt but she managed to get upright.

“Be careful young one. Let me see my guest out and I will be right back.” She nodded and held her head in her hands.

A few minutes later Stuart returned and sat down next to her. He put his hand on her shoulder. “You are full of fear child. What was so terrible about yesterday that you fear for yourself so?”

“It was a while ago. Nothing I need to trouble you with. No one was hurt yesterday. I mean…” she thought for a minute, “you know from me knocking something over or the like?”

“That’s very kind but no. No one was hurt. Someone could have been very badly hurt. Do you know what happened?” He looked at her very closely like he was trying to see through her.

“No.” Was her first answer. Then she looked at him and answered, “Sort of.”
“What do you mean my child?”

“It has happened before. Moreover, very bad things happened. That’s why I left home,” She sighed heavily.

“Will you tell me? There can be no help if no one knows of the problem.”

“I never told anyone except my father. If you can help me I will tell you,” She felt like some kind of criminal turning herself in for her crimes. She had never told a soul what had happened in those few weeks before her father died. She had never planned on telling anyone what had happened.

He looked at her waiting for her to begin. She took a deep breath and began slowly. “It was about three and a half months ago that it started. I was working in the fields north of the house. There were several bulls in this field that needed medicine for cuts on their sides and backs. I had been out there most of the morning. I had skipped breakfast so that I could get done in time to go to town. My father’s birthday was soon and I wanted to get him a gift. I was just about done when the mayor’s son appeared.” She took a deep breath. She was starting to shake as she told her tale.

“This guy had never given me anything but grief since my brothers left. I was packing up when he broke a fence rail. This was becoming an everyday thing. I walked up to him and politely asked him to repair the damage he had caused. I had felt funny all day long, like I was sick or something. My head was spinning and I felt hot. He pushed me down. The last thing I remember I was trying to get up then everything went black. When I woke, he was gone. Nothing left of him. Just a huge pile of ashes. I ran all the way back home. I told my father what I did. The next day after father had calmed me we went to the place where it happened. The pile of ashes was gone. In its place stood the mayor and the local hedge witch. She confirmed that the pile had been his son. He demanded that my father explain what happened. I tried to speak out but he silenced me. He took the blame for killing the mayors’ son and was hung for it. I confessed the day they where to hang him but they were just happy to kill someone. I left home never to return.” She felt tears running down her cheeks. She should be dead. He father was a good man and shouldn’t have died for her worthless hide.

Master Stuart reached out to her and held her while she cried. After she managed to regain her composer, he straightened her up and looked her in the eye. “No one could have stopped what happened. You had a power you didn’t know how to control. Was there no one to teach people in your area about Lyota’s gifts?”

“No. We were just simple farmers. No one special. If we were lucky maybe during the fair a magician would come thru but it was all show. No real magic. My father said he used to see real magic before he got married and moved to Kirdish to raise a family. I never really met the rest of our family. Father always said something about giving up great things for happiness. I never understood what he meant. I shouldn’t have lost my temper. I am scared. I almost did it again today but I wasn’t angry. Well I was a little ticked off at that loud mouth boy who owns Ravenwing. He’s such a sweet horse.” She trailed off when she realized she was rambling.

“He wasn’t at all happy with you. His horse is special to him. However, he has no right talking down to anyone. Gaby told me what happened at lunch. She knows everything or so it seems. I know you don’t have a lot of money but I would like you to train at the temple here. Then you won’t have to worry about hurting anyone else. Will you agree?”

“It will stop these outburst?”

“They aren’t outburst. The answer is yes anyway. I want to run a test and see exactly what we are dealing with. Is that all right?”
“I guess so. What do you have to do?”

“I will put you in a trance. Then I will search thru your mind for the gifts the Lady has given you. Then we will train you in how to use those gifts. That way there is no more fear.” He smiled reassuringly.

“What happens in this trance?” She was scared. She didn’t like the idea of someone messing around in her mind.

“Not much I look around for the signs of Lady Lyota. You may dream of colors. Try to remember them they will associate with your talents. Can we begin now?”

“Alright but I’m not sure I’ve got these talents you’re talking about. Go ahead and try.” She took a deep breath and waited for instruction.

“Close your eyes and be quiet. Don’t fight going to sleep. It will be easier on you that way.” He put his hand on her head and next she knew she was dreaming of rings of colors. Red, green, and gold rings and ribbons floated through her mind.

Andre felt like she was floating. She seemed to soar through the rings of color as the ribbons twisted around her. She was happy for no reason. There was a landscape starting to appear around her. Green rolling fields, huge oak and ash trees, and a beautiful river flowed as well. There was a lady sitting next to the river surrounded by animals. She was dressed in a brilliant blue gown. Her hair was bright blond and had ribbons of all colors through it. She seemed somehow familiar to Andre. Somehow, she landed right next to this beautiful woman. The lady smiled at her and beckoned her to sit down.

“Welcome child. Do you know me?”

“You seem familiar. Like I’ve seen you somewhere before. You are beautiful. Are you a goddess?”

“Very good Andre. Yes, I am. I am Lady Lyota. I don’t usually appear like this to my children, but you are going to do something very important and dangerous for me.”

“Anything Lady. What do you want me to do?”

“Straight to the point. I want you to track down your oldest brother. He has turned to the dark ways. He is trying to awaken a great evil. He must be stopped or the world will be torn apart.”

“Stephen? I am sure you have the wrong guy. He would never do anything like that. Would he?” Andre was suddenly feeling scared.

“I think the death of your mother drove him over the edge. If you can stop him and capture him then maybe I can save him. Now, dwell no more on your father. Do not fear your powers. Remember it is not your fault that evil people killed him. Return to Old Sturat and learn. You may not remember this conversation but you will know what to do when the time comes. I am watching over you, my child. You are my only hope. I will see you soon. If you have need call me and I will answer.” She disappeared in a blur of blue smoke. The next thing Andre knew she was flying back towards awareness.
Master Sturat still sat next to her when she opened her eyes. He looked very nervous and upset. He breathed a sigh of relief when she opened her eyes. “Are you all right? Someone interfered with our session.”

“Yes, I’m quite good actually. What did you find out?”

“Good news. You are gifted. Lady Lyota has blessed you with three gifts. You will have to figure out which one is your strongest. You usually find it out as you go through classes. One of your abilities will come to you easier than others will. I will get your classes scheduled.” He stood up and went to his desk.

“Master Sturat?”

“Yes, Andre?”

“Are you going to tell me what my gifts are?” She was about to burst with excitement. She wasn’t a killer. She was just untrained and scared.

“Oh, how silly of me! There are three. Red for an elemental, green for a telepath, and gold for a shape changer.” He smiled and went back to his books.

“What are those exactly?” She felt stupid asking things she felt she should already know.

“I’m sorry child I forget not everyone was raised in a place like this. An elemental can control the five elements of earth. Air, water, fire, earth, and the ethereal realm are under your command. Being telepathic means that you can use your mind to talk to others and listen to their thoughts. This one should not be used lightly. Shape changing from what I have seen is quite a fun but dangerous talent. You can become anyone or anything you want too as far as looks go. BUT the big thing is you can’t stay that way too long or you will never change back on your own. That’s as detailed as I can get you without giving you your lessons myself. You will start at the first of the week. I will have Gaby help you get caught up to where the other students are. We only started last week for this semester so you won’t be too far behind. If you will wait one moment I will give you your schedule.” He returned to his desk and began writing.

She was excited for some unknown reason. She felt like she had a purpose. She was going to succeed. She didn’t know at what but she would do it. All she could remember from her trance was being surrounded in blue mist. A few minutes later, the master handed her a list of paper and a few rolled parchments.

“Take these and find Gaby. She will help get you started. Once you start class, you will either have to pay for your classes in cash or labor. If you like you may continue to work in the stables after your classes every day. All right?” He was smiling but he looked very tired.

“Yes, sir. The stables are fine with me. I’ll get with Gaby right now.” She jumped up to go find the girl.

“Wait a minute. You’ve been out for several hours. It’s almost dawn. Go get some sleep and start in the morning. Don’t worry about going to the stables until the first of the week also.”

“Yes, sir. I didn’t know that it was so late. Good night sir.” Andre bowed, turned, and walked to her room. She fell sleepily into her bed and was out almost immediately.

Once again, that morning Gaby’s cheerful knocking awoke her. She had barely been asleep two hours. She went groggily to the door. She barely had it cracked when Gaby came bounding in like a rabbit. She sat down on the edge of Andre’s bed and began to talk.

“I just wanted to check on you before I started my classes. I’ll be back this evening to help you get started on yours. Master Sturat said you would have a lot of classes. How are you feeling?”

“Sleepy,” was all she said as she leaned against the bed frame.

“It’s exhausting to be examined. How many gifts did you have?”

“I don’t remember my mind is to blurry. I’m sorry that I messed up your dinner plans.” She just then remembered that she had made plans with Gaby and her brother.

”Be glad that you weren’t there. Brandon invited that jerk, Valr. He thought maybe he could get him to be a little friendlier. Big mistake! He complained the whole time.”

“Maybe he’ll get turned into a frog in class,” Andre smiled, trying to be friendly while trying to stay awake.

Gaby broke out in the giggles. Finally, she got up and headed for the door. “You should have seen his face when you set the barn on fire then! Oh, he was so mad! His face was purple.” She was laughing as she shut the door.

Mater Sturat hadn’t given her real details last night. So she nearly burned the barn down. How horrible! She thought of Ravenwing but was too tired to go see him now. She fell back in bed and was asleep almost immediately.

Dark dreams filled her mind. Death, turmoil, and murder all chased each other in her head. Stephen’s face filled every part of her dreams. What was wrong with her brother? Why was he surrounded by evil and death? She jerked upright in the bed. She was covered in sweat. Andre felt as if she had fought a battle as she slept. She could only remember bits and pieces of her dreams but she did remember Stephen’s face.

She washed her face and got dressed. It was almost dinnertime and she was starving. She made her way to the dining room. The doors where still locked. She could smell the food cooking. Her stomach growled loudly. She had to laugh as the sound echoed down the corridor. When she looked down the hall, she nearly lost her appetite. Valr was headed right for her. She wished she could disappear. She was suddenly worried she might have another episode like in the barn. She had argued with this jerk right before it had happened.

“So the Master is going to train you. I guess that’s better than you killing my horse. I’m surprised you haven’t killed someone by now.” He leaned up against the doorframe and just stared at her.

Normally Andre kept her mouth shut and let well enough alone. This was not ‘normally’. She wouldn’t be bullied like she had been at home. Just because she dressed like a man and worked harder than most, did not mean she didn’t have feelings.

“What gives you the idea that you can talk to people any way you choose? I don’t care if you are the King himself. You should treat people with as much respect as you want to be treated with. I never want to hear you smart off to me like you are better than me. Because I’ll let you know real quick you aren’t.” She barely raised her voice but you could fell and hear the anger oozing out of her. She was breathing hard trying to keep from punching him.
He stood up straight and proud. She waited for his response but all he did was turn red and walk away. She was suddenly drowning in applause. She had failed to notice the crowd that had begun to gather at the sound of her raised voice.

“Well said!” Rista clapped her on the back. Just then, the doors to the dining hall opened. “Let’s eat.” He urged her through the doorway.

Everyone was laughing and cheering her for putting Valr in his place. She actually felt a little bad about it. Rista realized she was feeling awkward and changed the subject.

“You gave me a real scare youngn’. I thought you was dying on me the other day. I walked in from class; you had a funny look about you. There was a red haze around you then boom! You hit the floor. Next thing I knew the barn was on fire. I threw you outside then set about putting the fire out. Nothing major happened but you gave me a good scare. You know you are the first person to get along with Ravenwing since that jerk brought him here,” Rista was talking between mouthfuls of food.

“I guess you throwing me out the door would explain the big bruise on my shoulder. I’m sorry about all the trouble I caused. I don’t know why it happened.”

“Old Rat told me his opinion since I was the one who put out the fire. He said it was from being surrounded by Lady Lyota’s powers. It forced your abilities out to the top. You’ll be fine. What did he diagnose you with?”

“Well, he said that I had three abilities.” She began to explain.

“Three? Wow, I’ve never heard of someone having that many. What are they?” Rista was on the edge of his seat. It was like he was listening to a very exciting story.

“I’m not real sure I understood. I remember the colors. Red, green, and gold. I think he said that red was elemental, green is telepath, and gold is a shape changer. He said I would have a lot of classes.”

“Yeah, I’d say so. You will have a few ‘common’ classes. Classes that explain the rules and the basics plus there will be reading and writing classes.” He seemed so casual about it.

“So you’ve never heard of anyone having three abilities? I wonder why?” Andre didn’t want to be a freak. She felt like enough of one as it was having the abilities she had. All she needed was to be a freak among freaks.

“Old Rat says the Lady doesn’t want to over burden anyone, so most people have one gift, some two. I guess there have been people with three but they’d have to be really special. And bound to do special things,” He smiled at her reassuringly. This big hulking red man reminded her of her father. Always smiling and laughing, trying to reassure people.

She smiled back at him and dove back into her food. Her long red hair was down for a change and now she remembered why she always pulled it back. It was always in her way when she tried to do anything. She never cut it though. Her mother had always loved her long hair and she would never cut it short. They finished eating and she headed back to her room to meet Gaby.
She arrived at her own door at the same time as Gaby. She was all smiles as usual. As soon as Andre opened the door, she ran in and flopped on the bed. She grabbed one of Andre’s books and grinned.


“Are you ready for the most painful night you’ve ever had?”

“What are you talking about?” Andre felt her stomach drop. That’s all she needed. It would be just her luck that all the things she had to learn in a hurry would be hard.

“Don’t worry! I was just joking. We’re only a week or so into class. You’ve mostly got a lot of reading to do. These chapters I’m going to mark talk about our history, rules, and a general review of the different abilities. In the next few days, you will have general classes where you learn the general stuff. Then you will have classes that are for you specific ability. Did you ever remember what you’ve been blessed with?” Gaby sounded surprisingly official and smart. Maybe she wasn’t as dumb as she looked or acted.

“Yes, I did. There were three of them. Well I remember the colors anyway. Red, gold, and green. Rista said he’d never heard of someone having three before. Have you?” Andre felt like she was bragging and the last thing she wanted was to sound like that horse traders son.

“Yea, not in the past though. I’ve heard of a prophecy about a person with three abilities. I hope that it’s not you. That prophecy is about a great evil that will change our world. But I’d bet it’s just a coincidence.” She opened several books and started marking pages.

“Do a lot of people know about this story?” Andre had a cold feeling in her heart.

“No not really. I’d say Old Rat and me are the only ones. Why?”

“I don’t want people trying to make me something I’m not. And why is everyone calling Master Sturat ‘Old Rat’?” She laughed at the thought of his face if he heard it.

“It’s just a nickname someone gave him and it stuck. It kind of fits though. Read these chapters tonight and you should pretty much be ready for class tomorrow. I’ll be in the library if you need me ok?” Gaby got up and left quickly.

Andre dove into the books soaking up every word. She had never enjoyed learning but she felt something was driving her. She read several chapters more than Gaby had marked for her. When she finished, she felt like her head was swimming. She looked around the room. It was deep into the night by now. She groggily closed the books and lay down. Gaby would be here bright and early for breakfast.

When Andre awoke, the sun was just rising. She forced herself out of bed and got dressed. She wondered where Gaby was. She made her way to the dining hall. They were just opening the doors. Brandon dragged his way up to the door. He looked like he hadn’t slept in a week.

“You look exhausted, Brandon. What’s the matter?”

“I think I’m coming down with a cold. I’m sleeping fine but I still feel exhausted.” He yawned as big as he could and shook himself all over.
“Why don’t you get Gaby to take a look at you? Or has she learned any of her skills yet?” Andre was trying to wolf her food down. She didn’t want to be late for class.

“Yea, our local healer taught her stuff but she never showed up last night. We share a room. I am starting to worry. She’s always at breakfast.” He was shoveling his own food in between words.

“Morning guys!” Rista’s cheerful face appeared over their shoulders.

“Morning!” Andre was getting excited about classes and Gaby slipped from her mind, but not the thought of her brother.

“Have you seen Gaby?” Brandon asked around a huge biscuit.

“Not since I left the library last night. Why?”

“She never came in last night and she’s not here for breakfast. I am getting worried.”

“I see your worry hasn’t affected your appetite brother dear,” Gaby said with a laugh from behind him.

“Gaby! Well I had to have strength to help find you if you had been taken. I wanted to be prepared.” His face was blood red.

“Very well. Did everyone sleep well?” Gaby sat down and began conversation as normal.

“What little I got. I read more then you told me too. Is that ok?” Andre didn’t want to do something she shouldn’t.

“No that’s ok. After we eat I will show you to your classes. Brandon will you help her after I get her to Master Bran? I’ve got to get some sleep.”

“Sure. Where were you all night anyway?” Brandon mumbled around meat and gravy.

“I was working with Old Rat on deciphering a prophecy.” She beamed with pride.

“Way to go sis. No body thinks my sister is very smart but she’s great with languages and anything that is old and dusty. By the way, can you fix me something for this cold?” To make his point he sneezed all over the table.
“Well I’m through.” This was a chorus at the table.

Gaby motioned Andre to follow her. She led her down several twist and turns. “The first class you have is on rules with Master Bran. He’s just your typical teacher. Here is your list let Brandon know where you need to go and he’ll get you there.” She waved bye and head to get some sleep.

Andre opened the door and found the classroom empty. Was she late after all? She saw a man at the desk. “Excuse me? I am here for Master Bran’s class. Am I in the right place?”

“Yes I am Master Bran. Have a seat. The others are always late except for Gabrielle. I wonder where she is?”

“She was up late working with Master Sturat. She went to get some sleep.” Andre took a seat at the back of the room and waited for the others to arrive. Today began a new life for her.

06-26-2007, 02:45 PM
Thanks freedom....good story....:)

06-27-2007, 08:52 AM
Thanks dear. I love it. Don't look now, but your talent is showing.

06-27-2007, 05:38 PM
oh how embarrassing...where...should I cover it up? Does it look bad? lol...jk....Thanks bent...apppreciate it

11-13-2007, 12:41 AM
I like this story is there any more? If so you should post it please
keep em cumming

11-13-2007, 06:29 AM
There is more...I've actually totally redone it and will post the first four or five chapters probably but for all of it you will have to wait till I get it published and buy the book...lol