Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Sign in to follow this  
James

The Farm

Recommended Posts

It was the trees under the pale moon that awoke Lillian from hear dreamlike trance. For the past two days, she had traveled with her mentor ever since her punishment had been given. For having escaped the White Tower and Tar Valon in the night, she had earnt herself a place at the farm until the White Tower deemed her ready to return. Yet that was hardly the reason why she was lost in her thoughts so much that the past two days that she hadn't even realised they were close until they'd turned off the main road and made for the treeline they were now entering.

 

Passing into the woods, she couldn't help but feel a bit disorientated. The moonlight broke through the foliage occasionally, disrupting her thoughts as they tried to return to what had dominated them for the past two weeks. Mother... Father... I'm sorry, I'm so sorry...

 

It was the cobblestone walls that won her interest back after perhaps twenty minutes of scattered and fragmented thoughts. Three feet high, they ran either side of the trail that they followed. Behind these walls, newly tilled fields could be seen though what they were sown with Lillian couldn't say. The only thing she could make out was an apple orchard to her right a bit further down the road yet by the time she did so, a much more important sight caught her.

 

The farmhouse, the place where she would now live. It looked no different from any other farm, though the face of the building was broad and rimmed by a verandah that ran its entire length. On it she could make out the dark outlines of a few chairs, though the focus shifted as they turned left and towards the stable. A two storey building, it loomed high yet strangely enough the doors were open and a light came from within.

 

The reason for it became obvious as they crossed the threshold, a lady awaited them inside. There was no other way to describe it in Lillian's mind as she looked at the woman openly in the same detached manner she had viewed everything else so far which betrayed she wasn't entirely there. The woman had curly light brown hair that came to her shoulders, and as Lillian dismounted she realised that she had a few inches on the other woman. Yet the woman was much more solid, presumably from work on the farm, lending her more physical presence.

 

Half hearing Halvie Sedai's command, Lillian took the reins of both horses and led them away to the stalls. By the time both of the horses were unsaddled and both settled down, both her mentor and the stranger were gone. Confused, she hefted the saddlebags and carried them to the table near the entrance. Laying them down there, she sat on the stool nearby and quickly forgot where she was, remembering where she had been...

 

Looking up as she felt someone watching her, Lillian looked unwaveringly at the woman who had returned, though her mentor was not with her. Directions were easy to follow, though between her thoughts and the weariness that had manifested itself over whatever time had passed while she'd been in the stable, she was only noticed passing through a couple of doors before she found herself before a bed.

 

She didn't even need to be told. Slipping out of her clothes down to her shift, unaware as to whether the woman was still there or not, she crawled under the covers. Rest eluded her, though for how long she could not say, nor counted. Yet even the worst despair can be engulfed in the merciful embrace of sleep, as it was now.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Novice of the White Tower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Wake up."

 

Blinking as she woke to the sensation of being shaken gently, Lillian looked up to find tanned face hovering over her, barely distinguishable in the pale grey before dawn. Where was sh- the farm, that was right, she had arrived the night before. The woman looked familiar, though Lillian couldn't place her, had they met somewhere before? Dressed in woolen breeches and blouse, she seemed quite unlike any woman Lillian remembered seeing. Without a blade at the woman's side anyway.

 

"You need to get ready. You'll find clothes better suited to the farm in the chest at the foot of your bed, your boots sitting next to them. Once you're done, the way to the dining room is straight down the corridor outside that door." The woman stepped back before smiling. "I'll see you there Lillian."

 

Frowning as the woman left the room, Lillian tossed back the covers and got to her feet. The way she'd used Lillian's name, that had been familiar, as if they knew each other. And she did recognise the woman, somehow, yet how she didn't know. Looking at the chest, she noticed there was no lock on it as she opened it up. Slipping on the grey breeches and blouse, the brown boots fitted over her breeches, stopping just short of her knees. Pulling out a brown coat, she folded it over her arm. Never wear a coat inside, or it won't keep you warm when you leave the house.

 

Opening the door, Lillian looked back over the room. Everything was so simple, eight beds with four on each side of the room, a chest infront of each of them and a mirror opposite the door at the other end. Light filtered through a few panes of glass that were set above the beds. Her home for... well, until she went back to the Tower. Make us proud of you.

 

Closing the door behind her, she made her way to the dining room. A simple table of oak, the head pointed towards the kitchen where the woman from the night before emerged carrying a pot. Taking the nearest seat which was at the end of the table next to the woman who had woken her, she hung her coat off the back of it before sitting down. If she'd been more attentive, she might have noticed the lull in the conversation for a moment, but instead she was fixated on the bookcase that sat against the wall opposite her. Turning around, she noticed one was there as well. A book won't judge you, and it will always be there when you want it.

 

Breakfast seemed to pass by interminably, of which Lillian spent most of it staring into her bowl. Carrot, potato, those were just a couple of things she spotted in her broth. Finish your breakfast, we have things to do today. Don't dawdle, Master Esred will not have kind words for you if you're late. Its your own fault you feel ill, but you will eat anyway.

 

"Lillian?"

 

Looking up, she found everyone except for the woman at the head of the table to be gone. "Come and sit down besides me, we need to have a talk." Standing, Lillian moved to the seat that the woman had gestured to. There is something we need to talk about, come and sit with me. Come over here, I'll get a crick in my neck turning to you all the time.

 

"My name is Mistress Evangel, I run this farm. While you are here, you will take direction from myself and all of the farmhands. While you are here, you are not to touch saidar. You do so, and more time is added to your stay here at the farm." She says you can channel, you are going to the White Tower and that is final. You'll do well, come back with a ring and a shawl to show for it.

 

"Look at me." Blinking, Lillian looked up at Mistress Evangel to find the woman's face softened. "I also know why you are here, or at least some of it. I would hear it from you, but when you are ready to talk. When you are, I will be ready to listen. Now off with you, there is plenty of work for you to do, starting with the stables."

 

Waiting a moment, Lillian stood from her seat and took up her coat as she walked out. By the time she was out in the open air, it was buttoned tight, coming down to her knees. Remember to write to us, and we shall see you when we can.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Novice of the White Tower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"You'll get nowhere doing it that way."

 

Turning to Darienna, Lillian held the haft of the axe towards her for the other woman to take. It had been nearly a fortnight since she had arrived, and during that time, Lillian had discovered why Darienna had been so familiar. An Accepted, she had tutored Lillian a few times, yet she looked so different. Tanned where she had been pale, hair shortened to the nape of the neck rather than down to the waist, held with a simple leather thong rather than bound in a braid, she even behaved differently. Then again, out in the midday sun rather than inside an ivory tower, there was little reason to worry about appearances. In fact, there was little to worry about at all.

 

Watching as Darienna hefted the axe, she observed as the woman gripped it. "Left hand at the bottom of the haft, right hand up the top. Hold it up high, swing down and slide your right hand down the haft as you do so, like this." Darienna proceeded to demonstrate on several pieces of wood that still needed splitting. Thats it, just edge it a little bit more to the left, now again.

 

"Lillian?" Starting, Lillian looked to Darienna "do you understand?" Nodding, Lillian took the axe back from Darienna and turned back to her chore. Darienna was always near her it seemed, even though the farmhands and Mistress Evangel were the ones to direct her it was Darienna who oversaw her and made sure she could handle any chore she was unfamiliar with. Being that it was on a farm, she was unfamiliar with all of them. She didn't look down on Lillian though, never a harsh word, only advice and help.

 

Thunk. The axe connected solidly with the wood, putting her foot on the wood she pulled the axe free and fixed her footing. Thunk. The Darienne was walking away now, leaving Lillian to her own devices. Idle hands make for an idle mind. You'll not be lazing about, come with me. I didn't expect to see you here, how was today? I see Master Esred worked you ragged, come and sit down for a moment. Ask your mother, if she thinks you can go you can go. Why a-

 

"Lillian!"

 

Turning about, Lillian let the axe rest at her side. "Put the axe away and come inside, be sure to bring some of the wood with you." Nodding at Mistress Evangel, Lillian turned away and began to walk to the stable shed. The yard was filled with long shadows as the sun was obscured by the horizon. You're late, we were worried sick about you.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Novice of the White Tower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, when my and your mother were much younger we went to the Panar-

 

"Lillian! Snap out of it and come over here, you need to learn this."

 

Blinking, Lillian stepped closer next to Kaleta, one of the older farmhands. She wasn't one to brook nonsense, and her size was intimidating as she was built like a man and probably stronger. Before them on the table lay a calf which had been bought earlier in the week for slaughter, which is what they were doing now. The calf's chest had been opened up, leaving everything bare. Kaleta was slicing out different things and laying them aside on the clear space as she spoke.

 

"Not only is the meat good, but we also use bits of this to make cheese, specifically to curdle milk. While you can use nettles as well as other plants, the best cheese comes from the rennet we make from calves stomachs. You cut them up, treat them with salt water and vinegar, then once its been treated its ready to be used to curdle the milk. See this?" Kaleta gestured to a sacklike organ in the calf's chest cavity. "That is the fourth stomach, and while you can use all of them, the fourth is always best for making rennet."

 

Handing the knife to Lillian, Kaleta gestured to the calf. "I want you to remove the stomachs, place them over there."

 

Grasping the knife, Lillian moved a little closer and bending forward, reached within the ribs. The knife seemed to make fairly quick work of everything that tied the stomach to the corpse, and soon enough she had the stomachs free and on the bench. Laying the knife beside them, she looked down on her hands, there was blood all over them. Blood on her hands.

 

"You're looking pale, go outside for a moment and get some fresh air."

 

Not even looking to Kaleta as she walked outside, Lillian focused on her hands instead. It was like they were soaked, rubbing her hands together just seemed to spread it further.

 

Water.

 

The river, that was the answer. The River Erinin was only a few dozen feet from where she was, she could was her hands clean there. Not pausing at the edge, she waded in until the waters lapped just below her chest. Plunging her hands beneath the waters, she worked at them furiously, scrubbing them against one another as if to grind the crimson stain from them.

 

Pulling them out, Lillian blinked and plunged them back beneath, working at them with a furious fervour before lifting them out once more. Using her nails, she raked at her hands even as she became aware distantly of her name being shouted. Scrubbing them under the water, her hands still held a positively reddish tinge when she felt someone lay a hand on her shoulder.

 

"GET OFF ME!" Lowering her shoulder and shoving the person off her, other hands grabbed her even as she twisted and shouted, trying to clean her hands as she did so. Blood, blood, blood, nothing could get ri-

 

Vertigo.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Novice of the White Tower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was the crackling that first welcomed Lillian to consciousness, accompanied by a pervading warmth. Opening her eyes to the world around her, it took her but a moment to realise that she was in Mistress Evangel's room, lying in her bed which was but a foot away from the hearth to her left. Over the foot of the bed at the other side of the room was Mistress Evangel at a table, the sharp sounds of her quill concisely marking something out of Lillian's view. To the left of the desk was a bookcase that Lillian had only fleetingly glanced once before, and to the right the door.

 

It was during these observations that Lillian realised she wasn't meant to be where she was. The question of why she was here was almost given voice when the memory came to her. Vaguely that was, but she remembered going to the waters to clean her hands. Looking at them, she found bandages wrapped around the palms, leaving her fingers and thumbs free. There was no pain, then again there was nothing at all, some salve must have been rubbed into it.

 

Her shifting about as she checked herself had not gone unnoticed, Lillian looked up to find Mistress Evangel seating herself on the bed next to her. Starting to sit herself up, she found a hand on her shoulder prompting her to settle where she was. Mistres Evangel's penetrating gaze held her, weighing her, as if coming to a decision.

 

"I wasn't always Mistress here, in fact my family runs the Logical Choice in Tar Valon. When I was younger, I met a scholar who had come to study at the library. He was a little older than me, handsome, he'd traveled and he could make me laugh. After a time, he pledged his love to me and my world was complete. For several weeks we knew each other as man and wife, then I awoke one morning to find him gone, vanished without a trace or trail to find him."

 

"To realise I'd been nothing but sport was one thing, to discover I then carried his child was another. I had to ask myself whether I wished to bear his child? Part of me didn't, a part which wanted to forget that I had ever known him, a part that found the baby a constant reminder. Sometimes I wanted to rid myself of it, but I didn't."

 

Pausing, Mistress Evangel seemed to steel herself before she spoke on. "The girl, Tessa, didn't draw breath when she was born. For a time I hated myself, part of me had wanted the girl to die, and I was sure I'd killed her, that I hadn't wanted her enough. It was about that time I was brought here, to be a farmhand though it was as much to leave the stares and the gossip behind." Silence reigned for a moment as Mistress Evangel seemed to be lost in certain memories that, judging from her face, weren't altogether pleasant.

 

"It took me a long time to get over it, and I would be lying if I said I don't blame myself still. Part of me always will I think... But the reason I tell you this is because I need your trust, and the only way I can do that is to show you my sorrow. I need your trust because you've borne your pain alone for too long."

 

"When you first came here I told you I knew some of what happened, and I would be ready for you when you wished to talk. After today, it is clear that ready or not, you need to speak of it. Please, trust me as I have trusted you."

 

Having listened quietly the entire time, a part of Lillian realised she was being pushed into speaking, obligated by Mistress Evangel's shared confidence. Any other time she would not have spoken of it, she would have simply shut her out the way she had shut Halvie Sedai out when her mentor rejected her. Then she had not felt the way she did now, tired, bone tired as if what little she had managed to hold onto had been scraped out of her.

 

"My parents were Domani merchants from Tarabon, and they chose to accompany one of their caravans that traveled to Tar Valon so they could visit me. Along the way the caravan was attacked by marauders, my mother and father were amongst those that perished. They came to visit me, if I hadn't been here they would not have been there. Even though the bandits killed them, I killed them by luring them there. That is my sin." Her face was as deadpan as her voice was flat and weary. There seemed to be no turmoil left, only a simple acceptance of guilt in her deep green eyes.

 

"You know better than that, you're choosing to blame yourself for this."

 

Looking away, the fire seemed to capture her whole hearted attention. She was too tired, she didn't want to think, she just wanted to be. She was responsible, it was her place to suffer for what she had caused, it was simpler that way, safer.

 

"You can look away but you can't always avoid it, sooner or later you will have to acknowledge that truth because you already realise it. I know because I have been in your shoes."

 

An anger rose within Lillian as she faced Mistress Evangel, she had been in her shoes! Yet even as it rose it fell, the memory of what had been shared with her and the warm yet worried look on Mistress Evangel's face quashing the resentful feeling within her. All that left was the realisation, one which she had always known but ignored, because without it she didn't know what to feel, and not knowing meant no control.

 

A gentle hand took hers even as the first tear ran down her cheek. But for the first time since she and Aviel had parted, Lillian was no longer alone.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Novice of the White Tower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching the green shawl disappear into the distance from the patio, Lillian's face was blank even as her mind worked. Halvie Sedai's visit had been without warning, and she had been far from prepared for it. It was little over a month since she'd snapped, two months since she'd started at the farm. Even though she was far better than she was, she simply hadn't been equipped to deal with her mentor, not with anything better than 'yes Aes Sedai, no Aes Sedai, let me do that for you Aes Sedai'.

 

Worse, Halvie Sedai had but little to say except to inquire how she was. No mention of what had occured before, she hadn't wanted to discuss it, or she was waiting for Lillian to broach the subject. Either way, it had been left unspoken and little had been achieved by the visit except refreshing some of Lillian's more painful memories. Now that she was restored to herself, thinking back to the da-

 

"You seem happier now that she is gone."

 

Turning to Darienna who had joined her, Lillian shrugged. "I have nothing to say to her, she has nothing to say to me, there is nothing between us."

 

"Really? That nothing must be something, you reek of relief." The slight smile on Darienna's face was annoying, whenever she had that smile it was because she was right, and that was what really annoyed Lillian. Ever since she had opened up, Darienna had become a close friend but she had the disturbing habit of being able to read her moods too well. Which was a good thing in many ways, because whenever Lillian was upset or reminiscing Darienna was quick to quash it. Something Lillian had needed, yet this was something she didn't need.

 

Walking to a nearby seat, Lillian sat herself down in the middle as she spoke. "You know why I'm here, I've told you what happened. I needed her yet to her I was like a leper, and nothing has changed."

 

"Well, why do you think that is?"

 

Looking to Darienna even as the Accepted sat next to her, Lillian's laugh was touched with a bitterness she was not apt to show. "Isn't it obvious? I disgraced her, because I ran away and I was her mentee, my actions reflect upon her. Nevermind that they were my parents, that being there for their burial was more important than some notion of proper behaviour. Because I've blighted her with my inappropriate action, I'm nothing to her."

 

Darienna tone was reproving as she spoke. "Yet she came here, she must care somewhat to make the journey. If she had no care, she would not have bothered at all."

 

Snorting, Lillian retorted "Her care isn't that of a friend, or a mentor. Her care is for her own appearance, her own honour. For nine years now, I have been her mentee, I trusted her. No matter how she's tested me, chipped away at me for some weakness, I've managed and always kept my faith in her. Yet all of that, that was worth nothing because of one moment where I 'offended' her, like my mourning my parents is an insult to her?"

 

"You seem to have all the answers." Turning, Lillian was surprised to see Tessa sitting down next to her. "Is that really the only explanation for this?"

 

"It fits."

 

"Thats not what I asked you."

 

Lillian couldn't quite manage a scowl at Tessa. Despite the wrinkles and the close cropped grey hair, the woman was still fit as a fiddle and had a spirit to match. She'd once been Tower Guard, but when she'd become too old for the wall she had opted to serve the Tower in a different way, retiring to the farm as a farmhand and hunter. Still trained with her blade too, a long yet light blade which she wielded with a casual grace that bespoke years of familiarity. Add to that a certain dry humour, and that was the woman that was now pressing Lillian for an answer.

 

An answer which forced her to think about it all more than she wished to. "I don't know, I gu-"

 

"Nonsense, think girl." The sharpness of the reproof brought Lillian into focus.

 

"Well there was disgrace for her, that her student ran away, and the trouble it caused... She felt her faith in me had been broken, that I betrayed her... Maybe she faced some form of punishment for letting me escape?"

 

Tessa simply let her head roll backward so it rested on the wall behind them. "You're thinking along the same lines, all just bits and pieces of the same thing. You're assuming that the only motivator could be shame, that Halvie Sedai's only concern is her own welfare, her own reputation. Don't assume it simply because thats the most obvious answer, what else is there?"

 

An answer wasn't forthcoming at first as Lillian felt the shame on her cheeks. Tessa was right, she had assumed that and hadn't really thought about anything else. But the question then was that if it wasn't about disgrace, what else was there. "Something personal?"

 

"Keep going."

 

It was then that Lillian realised how little she knew of her mentor. "Maybe it reminds her of something? That she's seen? Or of herself?" In fact, she knew nothing of her mentor's past, she just was. Halvie Sedai had never spoken of it herself, maybe something she'd done had triggered something due to Halvie Sedai's history, or something she'd said.

 

"Maybe." Rolling her head to Lillian, there was a slight smile now. "Thats something for you to think on. In the meantime, the stable isn't going to muck itself out. But wait, I'm having a foretelling, the Pattern is speaking to me. Wait... The Pattern tells me you're going to muck the stable out. You are a truly considerate pair, now off you go before I have a foretelling involving you checking all the snares I left out in the woods."

 

Darienna was quick to laugh as she got to her feet but Lillian was lost in her thoughts as she got to her feet and headed towards the stable. New possibilities bore pondering.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Novice of the White Tower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finishing with her hair, Lillian set her brush aside as she checked her nails. Chores in the White Tower had made nails of any real length impossible, but she had always retained at least a little if for no other reason than she could and it felt natural. The farm had made that impossible, she needed her nails as short as possible so they couldn't catch on anything, and left little for the dirt to get under. Taking rough file, she sat on her bed, her pillow on one end to act as a cushion as she worked away at them.

 

She was nearly done when the door opened. Looking up sharply, Lillian's smile at Darienna died as she saw how exhausted her friend was. She had done extra chores again, something she had been doing for the past month. Even after the day's work was done, there always something else that needed doing and it confused Lillian. It was all work that could have waited, or used to be done before by others. It was almost as if work was being conjured for Darienna, but Mistress Evangel and the farmhands weren't the sort to target someone so, something else was going on but whatever it was, no one had seen fit to tell her.

 

"Lillian." Darienna's voice wasn't tired, it was dead. "Do you mind?" There was no need to finish the rest. They had a deadline to have the light out by, made to give them a chance to do whatever it was that needed doing be it nails, hair, or doing whatever else one wished in their room. Ever since Darienna had started her extra work, the lights had always gone out beforehand, Lillian had no wish to make things harder for her friend. Leaning over to her candle, she waited until Darienna was in bed before blowing it out.

 

Putting the file on the bedstand next to her brush, Lillian slipped under the sheets. Sleep was one of her best friends now and always came when called. Closing her eyes, Lillian was barely aware as she drifted off...

 

"Lillian."

 

Blinking as she felt herself being shaken, she turned over and looked up only to be surprised to find it was Darienna. Only able to make out her outline in the gloom, Lillian wondered what she could want. "What is it?"

 

"I need a favour, I can't sleep. Can you sit with me? Please?" The last was said with a note of desperation that Lillian couldn't remember hearing before, not from anyone. Something which swept aside her questions as she tossed her blankets aside and got up. Following Darienna to her bed, her friend got under the sheets and patted the space next to her for Lillian to sit down.

 

"Can you talk? Anything, doesn't matter. Just talk."

 

"Will you tell me what this is about?"

 

"I can't. Please." Darienna's hand found one of Lillian's and squeezed it tightly.

 

Pausing, Lillian considered pressing it further, but Darienna sounded so wretched she pushed the notion aside. Instead she began to talk, talk of home, talk of her experiences as a novice, of the farm, of anything and everything. She talked, and talked, and didn't cease until she felt Darienna's hand slip free and regular breathing that meant she was asleep.

 

Rising from her seat carefully so as not to disturb her friend, Lillian made her way quietly to her own bed on bare feet. Warming up under the sheets, Lillian found sleep was no longer answering her call so easily. What was wrong with Darienna?

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Novice of the White Tower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Looking won't bring her back."

 

Looking up, Lillian blinked as Tessa smiled understandingly before taking a seat next to her. Lillian had spent the past half hour on the porsche alone, looking down the road that led away from the farm and towards Tar Valon. An Aes Sedai had arrived in the morning, after lunch she had departed with Darienna in tow. There had been little chance to say goodbye, a quick hug and the promise to meet again when Lillian returned to the Tower.

 

Darienna had been a close friend, someone who had been there when Lillian had needed her. Always there to distract her from thoughts of her parents, thoughts that were now proving easier to handle thanks to her as well as Mistress Evangel. Now she was gone, and Lillian still had half a year before she was done.

 

Of course, on the otherhand Lillian knew her own desire to have Darienna remain was selfish. Darienna was free to return, free to channel and learn once again. More importantly, someone in the Tower would be able to help Darienna with whatever problem she had, a problem she had chosen not to reveal. That hurt a little, but Darienna would have her reasons, that was enough for Lillian.

 

"I wish she were still with me but I'm also glad that she has gone back. She was struggling with something here, hopefully whatever it was they can heal it back in the Tower."

 

"No doubt it will be quickly sorted out when they return. But you've had enough time to think on it, and I have something I want you for anyway."

 

Beginning to rise from her seat, thinking that she would be checking snares, Lillian was stopped by Tessa who stood instead. "No no, just stay here, I'll be back."

 

Watching Tessa disappear inside, Lillian sighed as she looked over the road again. Six months. Clouds were darkening, perhaps it would rain, a strange comfort but a comfort nonetheless. Looking to her right as the door swung open, what Tessa was holding was not what she had expected.

 

"You have free time, and it amuses me to teach. You're going to learn how to play the vielle."

 

Taking the instrument in her hands, Lillian shook her head and offered it back to Tessa. "I wouldn't know what I was doing."

 

"Thats why I'm going to teach you."

 

"I don't want to damage it." Lillian held it closer for Tessa to take.

 

"You won't, stop fretting."

 

"Bu-"

 

"No buts! You've seen me playing it before, hold it under your chin."

 

Doing as she was told, Lillian winced as Tessa moved the vielle about into a rather uncomfortable position. "Now hold up the bow." This she sort of knew at least, she'd seen people play in the Panarch's court before. At least, she thought she did until Tessa fiddled around with her fingers, she could barely hold it now!

 

"Now I want you to place the bow on a string, any string, and just play."

 

CCCRRRRR!!!

 

"Stop!"

 

Trying to put the vielle down as she was apologising, Tessa instead shushed her and forced her to do it again. This time she held Lillian's bow hand. A single note slid off the string; pure, strong, and somewhat squeaky at the end when Tessa let go of her hand. "Thats it. Now again, and don't be so nervous. Its causing you to tense up which just makes it harder. Just easy strokes, and look at where the bow meets the string. Notice how its sliding up and down the string? Try and make sure the bow doesn't wander. Thats it."

 

It was a few minutes before Tessa let her stop. Handing the vielle back rather gratefully, Lillian if nothing else had gained a greater appreciation for how hard it was just to create a sound that didn't want to make people flee. She was also sure she knew why Tessa had done it, to take her mind off Darienna. "Thank you Tessa but its alright, you don't need to distract me from thinking about Darienna. I'll be fine."

 

The quizzical look Lillian got was unexpected. "Distract you? I'm distracting me. I need to keep myself busy somehow, and bladework is boring me. We continue again tomorrow."

 

"Tomorrow?"

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Novice of the White Tower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Lillian?"

 

Startled, Lillian dropped her brush as she whirled about to find Mistress Evangel standing behind her. She hadn't even heard Mistress Evangel enter so thoroughly engrossed in her self appointed task she had been. The floor of her room was in need of a scrubbing and it needed close attention that a broom or mop really couldn't provide. Even though it was dark outside, that was no real reason for her to stop.

 

"Its a warm night tonight, come outside and sit with me." Pushing herself back from her knees onto her feet, Lillian rose and followed Mistress Evangel outside. She had been right, it was warm outside, there wasn't any need to roll her sleeves down as they took seats next to each other. There was but a sliver of the moon visible, but it was enough to cast a pale light with which they could see the grounds before them, and a road that was becoming increasingly appealing.

 

"You're fidgeting, and stop tapping."

 

Frowning, Lillian stilled herself as she waited for Mistress Evangel to continue. "You've changed over the past couple of months, and I am not the only one that has noticed. Is there anything you wish to tell me?"

 

"No, Mistress Evangel."

 

"Tell me this then, why can't you stop fidgetting?"

 

Damn! Stopping herself again, Lillian focused as best she could on that and listening to Mistress Evangel at the same time. "You can talk to me, I thought I made that clear before."

 

"Darienna managed."

 

"Darienna spoke to me. She was told not to speak to you about it. And if anyone else were to arrive her, you would not be allowed to speak to them of it either."

 

The revelation was a shock but it also gave her a small bit of hope. "Then you know... Would you let me? Just once, only for a moment."

 

"I can't." As Lillian's shoulders sank, Mistress Evangel continued. "You broke a rule, you have your punishment to see through. The reason I wanted to speak to you is to reiterate something you might be tempted to forget. I will know if you channel, and if you do I don't have any choice. I will have to inform the Tower, and your time here will begin again."

 

"I won't make it." Taking a deep breath, Lillian let it out slowly before continuing. "Darienna was here for nine months, one month from now I'll be where she was. Then I have three months ontop of that. I know what she was like, I'm meant to manage three months ontop of that?"

 

"That is what the Tower requires of you. Would you want to have to go through all of this again? Then don't make the mistake. The only way to do this is to constantly occupy yourself as Darienna did. Thats why when we are done, you are to go back and continue cleaning the floor of your room. But first, something else."

 

"I want you to swear to me that you will come and see me if you need help. It doesn't matter whether its morning, noon or night. If you need help, you ask for it, alright?"

 

Nodding was a relief, the only movement Lillian was able to allow herself as she tried to keep herself in check. "Good, I won't keep you any longer. Remember, when you need me."

 

"Thank you." Getting to her feet, Lillian was quick to leave and return to her room. The brush and the movement brought sanity, and soon it would bring sleep. Then she could start again tomorrow.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Novice of the White Tower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nodding to herself as she found the snare was empty, Lillian quickly got to her feet and set off at a run to find the next snare. Once she would have walked, and not so long ago she jogged, but now she ran to stave away the overwhelming desire that tainted her every waking hour. Leaping over a fallen log, the sound of the leaves crushed underneath her feet were drowned out only by the pounding of her heart.

 

It had been twelve months now, only one month to go but it was the worst of it all. It took a supreme effort of will to ignore saidar's gentle call. It whispered to her, seduced her, its warmth was something that she wanted to wrap herself in, for in its absence she felt increasingly distant from the world around her. With the embrace of saidar she could have felt the air as it pushed about her, whirling and eddying as she ran. She could have known every leaf that was underfoot as if it were a part of her. She could have felt whether a snare had been tripped without even needing to see it.

 

This was her everyday, pushing herself as far as she could and beyond it, and now she was well beyond her limits. Her lungs burned, her legs felt like they were melting, everything seemed to hurt but it was smothered by saidar's call. Stumbling, she pitched forward onto the ground, not even having the strength to catch herself. Taking great gasps of air, saidar loomed even larger, causing her to whimper as she struggled to push it out of her mind.

 

Dragging herself to her feet desperately, with her fear of succumbing was also anger. She could do it, she had to do it, but she was slipping. Every inch of her wanted saidar, needed saidar, could not feel complete without it. Letting loose a scream of frustration, she charged at the closest tree and kicked it as hard as she could.

 

Dropping back onto the ground as she clutched her shin, tears poured even as she laughed. Her leg was in agony, and it seemed to spread everywhere through her to overshadow all of her other pains. And her desires. With the agony came relief, a moment of freedom from the siren's song that was saidar. Laying on her back as she looked up in the sky, all she could do was take the pain and the release that came with it.

 

It couldn't last, after so long Lillian began to feel it slipping away and with that saidar was slowly making itself known to her again. But she could put it off. Getting to her feet caused the pain to flare anew, but that was what she counted on. Leaning heavily on her hurt leg, each stab of pain almost brought her back to her knees but she kept going, determined to use it while she could...

 

 

"You're going home."

 

It was those words that left Lillian unsteady and looking for the closest seat as Mistress Evangel broke the news. Home. The Tower, that meant... A tear began to roll down her cheek even as Mistress Evangel and took her to a seat and sat beside her. A second tear rolled, then a sob, then Lillian was crying as she wrapped her arms around Mistress Evangel who held her.

 

There were so many reasons for the tears that Lillian couldn't even figure out why she was weeping. There was the fact that her time had now ended, her struggle was over. Even though she had finally gotten the upper hand with saidar, finally learned to cope with its call no matter how strong it was, the desire was still there, the emptiness left by its long absence.

 

It was for how Darienna had struggled with as she had. For all the hours of labour that had been spent, especially those of the past few months where they had been the only thing that had kept her sane. For a year where she was both punished and saved, and now never to be the same again.

 

It was awhile before the sobs ceased, though the tears continued to flow. As she pulled back, there was a smile on her face.

 

She was going home.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Novice of the White Tower

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...