Monday, November 24, 2014

NaNoWriMo 1K-A-Day: Day 24

“So…” he said slowly when our tale was done, “this whole time… you could say the Inkweaver has been controlling us with this enchanted tapestry of hers that you have been using like a map.”
It sounded awful to hear him put it so bluntly, but— “As far as I can understand, you might be right,” I confessed. “The only time we have ever erred from the path marked out on the tapestry was when we stopped in Aberon—“ I shuddered at the memory, “and you know how that turned out.”
“Now, Shereya,” Belak sought to reassure me, “that wasn’t your fault—“
“It was, and more serious than you know,” I rejoined. “It was so much worse for me because I knew, I had heard as clearly as if the Inkweaver herself had told me, what would happen if I went along with Morgianna—but I went anyway, and caused us all to have a miserable night because of it.”
Belak shook his head. “Shereya, be reasonable! That’s not—“
“And when I finally decided to listen and learn from the dreams I was having and the voices and stories I heard,” I went on, “that was when I was able to actually save a man’s life!”
“Is that what happened in the castle?” Larryn cried.
I nodded. “I wasn’t sure how to tell you all because at the time I wasn’t altogether sure how it happened, either—or,” I shrugged, “I was not willing to admit what was really going on.”
“Well!” was all Belak could say.
“Not that I know everything,” I hastened to add. “There’s still a lot that I don’t understand—like the satchel.”
Belak glanced at the worn bag hanging from my shoulder. “What about it?”
I shrugged and shifted its position so it wouldn’t rub. “You might not have noticed, Belak,” I said, “but ever since the very start of our journey, the satchel has always contained exactly what we needed—and Larryn and I certainly did not pack well enough to anticipate all the twists and turns we’ve encountered!”
He stopped short and blinked, “You mean you haven’t been carrying pots and blankets and all of those other things this whole time?”
I had to grin at his incredulity. “You didn’t really think Larryn or I owned things like a hatchet and a tent, did you?”
Belak scratched his head. “I guess I never thought about it.”
“But how does a normal satchel do all those things?” Greyna asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. “It belonged to—“ I stopped as I realized my friend had ceased walking with us and now stood a few paces back with a hangdog expression.
“Larryn?” I asked her, as a sneaking suspicion formed in my mind.
She sighed. “Oh, all right! It’s true—I got that satchel from the Inkweaver.”
I stood there slack-jawed as Belak demanded of her, “Was this before or after the council banished her from Mirrorvale?”
Larryn’s shoulders slumped. “Before—but she said it would be important! She told me that the day Shereya came to me wanting to find her would be the day that I—“ Larryn stopped and clapped her hands over her mouth.
I felt betrayed by my best friend. “You knew?” I shrieked. “All this time you acted like this was just a grand adventure that you were going to go on and it would just be a week’s journey to Gramble and I would be making the decisions—but you knew the tapestry was going to change! You knew we would be going on this long journey!”
“Did the Inkweaver say anything about returning home?” Greyna queried fearfully.
“The Inkweaver told you she would be leaving?” Belak asked.
“I’m sorry!” Larryn burst out, nearly in tears under our fury. “Shereya, I know I should have told you sooner, but—I didn’t know how. And when I saw that the Inkweaver had left a tapestry behind, well… I sort of guessed that maybe she had been meaning to leave this whole time.” She looked up at me, grabbed my hand, and pleaded, “Forgive me for keeping secrets from you?”
I let out a long, exasperated sigh; honestly! Sometimes Larryn could be so aggravating! “I forgive you, Larryn; now let’s just make it to the end of the journey, what do you say?”
“I’m all for that!” Greyna responded, and we all started walking again.

Larryn stayed beside me.
“Shereya,” she spoke hesitantly and in a low voice, “there’s something else.”
“What is it?” I asked in a pleasant tone, to show her that we were still friends.
Larryn kept glancing ahead to make sure Belak and Greyna weren’t watching.
“Have you always wondered how a girl as flighty as me could be getting such good grades in school, and always manage to behave myself at social functions?”
I didn’t see what this could possibly have to do with what we had just been talking about, but I did admit, “Yes, I would wonder how it could be possible.”
“I’ll show you why,” Larryn said, reaching into her collar. She pulled out a long chain, on which hung a small assortment of metal and stone pendants. “It’s this.”
I stopped and looked at the pendants. There was a round green stone, a thin gold disk, a square-cut jewel, and a long, thin bar of silver. “What is it?”
“It’s a Told necklace,” Larryn confessed.
I gasped. “How long have you had this?”
“Since I was a little girl,” answered my friend. “I went to the Inkweaver to see if she could tell me a story that would make me smarter, or help me get better marks in school, and she gave me this.” Larryn tucked the necklace back into the collar of her dress. “The story that came with it keeps me calm and focused when I need to be.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Larryn, carrying around a Told item in broad daylight all this time! I distinctly remember at one point wondering if she perhaps curried favor to get her grades—now I knew it was on account of a necklace she wore.