The ground under my feet isn't too solid right now. One mistake could be the end of the mission. I think to myself, and what if I did lose it all?
"Avaron!" my mother called from the kitchen. I rapidly closed my notebook. Answering to her call, I made my way into the kitchen. "Avaron, there is no time to talk. Go pack your things."
"Wha- Mom, what's going on?" I asked as she shoved me in my room.
"You have to listen to me, get your clothes and whatever you want packed now!" She snatched a wearied out bag from my closet and began stuffing clothes inside. I heard a crash of glass in the other room and my mother's expression was wide-eyed and pale.
"Mom! Tell me what's happening!" The fatigued mask she was always wearing now was covered by an astonished woman, as if she saw a spirit. Her shaking hands grabbed my wrist and she dragged me to the closet that was across the hall. In there, a ladder to our basement was under a slab of stone.
"Avaron," my mother whispered through clenched teeth, "they're in the house, we must work quickly. Get in the basement!" I didn't dare to protest against her words, but who was here? I climbed down the ladder and landed in the dusty, cobblestone floors of our basement.
"Okay, mom, what's going on?" I finally asked. I looked at my mother. She was pale, shaking, sweating. As she handed me the knitted bag, I saw the scars of pain in her eyes. "Mom?"
"You must listen to me. Climb out the window and run away from here. As far as you can get. We don't have much time!" She came up to me and hugged me, then kissed my forehead. "Avaron, I love you, my daughter. Now go!" I did what she said. I went out the window and ran. I wish I didn't. All I saw were men barging into houses, hurting women and children with weapons, and the men of my town being tied down and dragged onto a cinder-black ship.
I darted for the woods, avoiding any rubble or debris along the way. Once in the wood, my body fell to my knees. I pressed my hands against the moist soil. I sat against the rough bark of a tree, closing my eyes and wondering who in the world could treat someone, anyone, like that.
Just then, a leather glove was gripping my wrists, getting ready to thrust a strike to my head. He looked like all the other men. Dark masks, leather chestplate and gloves, cold eyes. I tried to wrangle free from his grip, but the man carried forward to compress his grasp. I then swung my leg up, hitting him straight in the head. He clutched his skull and stumbled around the trees. I took my chance and ran deeper into the wood. My feet ran until they told me to stop. A large stump was in the middle of where I stood. Around me were shaggy trees and bushes that grew ripe red berries. For moment, I knew I was in my safe haven. At least for now.
Oh, very nice chapter! I'm becoming a little sympathetic toward Geran, to tell you the truth. It's probably difficult to live up to the impossibly high standards the wealthy society sets for themselves because they have nothing else to do. ^^ ~<3
So first, I just posted the most recent chapter. Chapter Twenty, I believe. I don't mark them when I post them so I am not sure. Whenever that goes up, I hope you enjoy. But what you'll really enjoy is Chapter Twenty One. VERY EXCITING AND FILLED WITH VITAL INFORMATION. So, yes, stay tuned for the chapter after the one I just posted. There will be a part one and two but the part two will be Chapter Twenty Two, not that it matters but... yupp.
Secondly, there is a brand new story I launched on the Stories Board. I know that board is packed so I'll just see how far I get with it. I find the Stories Board very thematic and I am not quite sure if my realistic fiction will fit in. Well, yeah, it is called At First Sight if you are interested.
Their arms intertwined, Mr. and Mrs. Wakong graciously slide across the oak wood floor, their footsteps tapping and causing echoes to fill the demanding silence. By the demeanor and gait they portray, I can immediately tell everything about them screams wealthy and filled to the brim with riches. With a single glance, I sum up their lives. Mrs. Wakong was born into a first class family. She had married into Mr. Wakong's family. And, of course, her parents only permitted for the very best, therefore telling that Mr. Wakong was born into a family of riches, as well. Combining the money that adds up with the two families, Mr. Wakong put his ideas of being an international business man into action, thereby creating Wakong Corporations.
It takes a good minute for them to stand before us. My instincts tell me to bow, or rather, courtsy, since they are said royalty. I find myself using this term frequently. I will never believe these beings are pure royalty. What defines royalty anyway? The realization dawns upon that I am not wearing a dress or skirt, but simple garmets that consist of a short tunic and thermal pants. I glance over and see Kenta, Ren and Geran are all bowing and courtsying, so I, feeling completely and utterly embarrassed, pick up the air around me and hold it as if it were the hem of my own skirt. I receive from odd looks of disapproval from another lady standing very close to Mr. Wakong. On the tip of her nose, a flimsy piece of spectacles lay and her brown hair is cropped short and precise. She carries a clipboard, constantly looking down at it.
We all stood in the piercing silence. With Geran's lanky stature shaking slightly, Kenta, being the well behaved and pleasurable young man he was, stood patiently, not knowing whether to speak or not, and Ren did the same, but a bit less respectfully. As for me, I just hoped I was blending in with the walls. You could almost cut the tension in half until Mr. Wakong said, "Geran, my darling, you have returned from your, well... trip. How was it?"
"Oh, dear," Mrs. Wakong placing a hand on her husband's shoulder, "let us wait for the questions. Our daughter has just arrived home from a very long trip, and I am sure she and her, uh, friends would like to rest a bit." She turns to us, smile wide. Her chesnut hair is wrapped neatly in a bun and a blazer of a color unknown to me outlines her slim body. Perhaps it is a saffron yellow compounded with an orange. The wrinkles embedded into her skin are more noticeable, masking her true age. You can tell how the life is slowly draining away from her spirit.
"Yes, mother, that would be lovely," Geran responds hesitantly. Geran and her parents then come into a brief embrace, their arms wrapping around each other only so much.
"Sena, please show my daughter's guests to their rooms."
The lady with the spectacles and clipboard grunts, but does as told. We are escorted up long passageways of stairs that soon divide between a hallway. "Boys' dormitory is to the left, girls' is to the right." She then strides off, not looking back to see if we were confused or something like that. Luckily, Geran says I can stay in the room right next door to her's.
I turn the copper door knob, breathing in the smell of the room. It is somewhere between an abound of candles to a cleanly swept floor. Setting down my bag, I sit on the edge of the flower bedspread that blankets the stiff bed. We should plan soon. I know we should. The revolution of the compulsive Enlighteners must come to an end. A celebratory end. But right now, I was just so weary...
We arrived at the Wakong palace, which was incredibly huge. The structure is elevated almost fifty meters above the ground. It came across as being solely assembled of pure, fine minerals. The stone that mounted on top of one another glistened precariously against the sun, almost too blinding for the common eye. Trifling no prominent time, we trekked up the stone steps that must have been chopped into blocks of the most precise measurments. Briefly looking back, I advert that the plenary of the estate is blanketed in a vivid green. Each indiviual blade asserts itself, fronting towards the white, hot ball of fire that, from even at its distant state, penetrates deep into our pores.
Gazing in awe at the landscape of the Wakong palace, my sudden halt takes Ren aback, resulting in him to run into me, knocking us both over. On the stone staircase, I pick off the gravel that came in contact with my sweaty palms and my flushed cheek. With Ren's weight above me, I wriggle forcefully, attempting to push the sixteen year old off my sore back. When I see this will be to no avail, I began to scold him harshly.
"Get off of me! Don't you know better than to knock over a lady? Look, now I have a bruises and cuts. Looks don't just mean something more than a few simple words to Geran. I too must have some consideration for the wellbeing of my flesh."
Ren rolled off of me, clutching and cradling the side of his face as we both still layed on the broiling steps. His back was to me, so I could not see what on his face he was fussing over. "Are you done giving me a chastise yet? And please, you a lady? Geran is the only real lady here. I can't say I know a lady that keeps their knife upside down when it is attatched to their waist belt." I look down, and sure enough, my knife is pointed straight up, a danger to all, even myself. It is then when Ren turns around, revealing to me the gash that has tore his cheek. I was about to open my mouth, let the words and questions flow freely. Then it hit me. I made that gash. With my knife.
"Oh no, Ren I am so sorry! I really didn't mean to. When they made us take off all belongings at that check in center, I was rushing and completely forgot to make sure my knife was inserted the right way. I really had no idea. Is it bad? Does it hurt? Will you-" Holding up one hand, Ren stops me midstream. He begans to continue walking up the steps. I watch him go up, then turn to Kenta and Geran. They shrug their shoulders and keep moving as well. I will never make allies with that boy.
Once inside, a myriad of attendents pester us. Most crowd around Geran, checking her for the littlest scratch or scar. The others mostly scattered around Ren, examining the wound he had received. Sent by me. Even unintentionally, I tend to ruin things.
It isn't long before the attendents clear the main entryway, revealing the innards of Geran's home. A large canopy of chains and heavy racks dangle from the ceiling. Placed in the holders of them are candles. I began to wonder how the wicks are lit from that elevation, but there is no time. There is just too much to take in. Furnishings lie in every room, whereas at home, or even in the awful cave, we had little to no furnishings at all.
I begin to twirl, embracing the sight of the palace. Kenta is pointing out the little detailed carvings engraved into the pillars that aline the the wall we just entered from (he has always had a knack for scoping out the littlest pleasures in life), Ren holds a pouch of ice to his face, seeming as bored as ever, and Geran stand and fidgets, seeming a bit jumpy as we entered. Perhaps it was the sudden outburst of attendents that startled her, but I highly doubt that. Pondering over the possibilities, I hear ominous foot steps coming from the massive hallway directly across from us. I then know why Geran is nervous. The Wakong family reunion has come at last.
That was good, despite the sudden tense change in the last paragraph. And I'm excited to see whatever Avaron is looking at-- I'm sure Geran's home is gorgeous, as all of the Ba Sing Se-rich-people's homes are.
"Miss Geran! Ah, you have arrived back home. How many months has it been?" The smell of stale bread rolls and salty fish filled my nostrils to the brim of ultimate disgust. This was because a carriage-- supplied by the workers of Geran-- carried us off down road after road, with a tub of dish sitting in the back of the cart and the carriage driver joyfully munching on what appeared to be stale bread.
Geran displayed a genuine smile and replied, "Two months, Maffe."
The seating of the carriage was a bit snug, and our accommidations were, well, not really what we hoped for. Considering that Geran was said royalty, one may presume our transportation would be of a somewhat higher ranging. The four of us squeezed together on a singular bench that had racked out from the side of the bouncing cart. Geran informed us she had placed an order for this particular cart was due to the driver. She said something on the lines of an old companion or friend.
We all seemed quite okay with the carriage driver. In spite of his odd appearance, he looked overall quite approachable. With common beige and green garments and a triangular shaped hat, he commanded the ostrich-horses to gallop along the meandering streets of Ba Sing Se. Well, all of us semed fine with Maffe, aside from Ren.
"So, Maffe," Ren started, adjusting his position on the splintery bench, "that is certainly not an everyday name. I believe we all can agree with that." Ren looked at us, expecting responses of support. "Guys, am I correct?" We sat in a short silence, with Kenta wriggling a bit in the squished seating.
Finally, Geran said, "Why, yes, Ren, I do believe you are correct. Never have I encountered another with the name of Maffe besides my dear friend."
"Doesn't that seem a bit odd to you? There is most likely someone with the same name as someone in their own nation. At least in the world. And none of us have ever even met someone named Maffe. It is almost veritable."
I crossed my arms, getting irritated at Ren's suspicions. "Not necessarily. Maybe it is just a nickname, right Maffe?" I looked ahead up at the driver. He continued to guide the carriage, not seeming to be hearing the debate of his passengers. "Um, Maffe?"
"Listen, everyone, arguing over our carriage driver's name is getting us nowhere- even if it does seem a bit odd. Besides, it is not like it is a major hamartia. Our priorities do not lie there. Also, we have arrived, right Maffe?"
Arrived already? I lean forward in order to look out of the carriage. What I see exceeds and goes beyond all things I have ever thought were simply nice and glorious.
Although I never did quite understand Kenta's eccentric behavior, and I never did have another uncomfortable exchange of words with Geran, I fell into a wave of relief knowing these were avoided. I chose the path to ignore them, but not to an extent where they presumed I disliked them both-- even though I technically was not fond of Geran. As for Kenta, I lost interest. So, to fill our endless trip, I attemted to engage Ren into some conversation. Maybe start out as small talk, but I just get into the core of him to search and rummage around for emotion and feeling... or anything of the sorts, really.
When this proved to be coming to a downfall of a plan, I decided we had more significant matters at hand. The Outer Wall.
Thousands of miles stretched out and secluded in the clean-cut structure. Farmers' fields made out the underlying land with your common rural animals grazing in the two feet high plains. The sky displayed fairly promising weather as it hovered above our heads, the deep blue pouring over us. And so, we trekked on.
A check-in station resided at the start of the wall. Here, you were to hand in your passports. After waiting for some time-- the lines were awfully lengthy-- a bunch of others had joined us and we were escorted to a monorail. We sat in the very last cart of the long chain. The whole monorail was surprisingly run by earthbenders as they glided across, pushing the carts.
My hand sunk into the plush seating of the bench, and I leaned back, listening to the shuffling of the earthbenders. The sun peaked through the smudgy glass of the windows, cracks of sunlight casting across the quaint cart. It was a soothing environment. Almost... safe.
I observed my surroundings. Kenta to my left, Geran to my right. She was examining her nails, cringing at the chipped ones and aweing at the ones that survived our harsh trip. Kenta was rooting through his satchel, picking up items, inspecting them, and placing them back. He must have done this a myriad of times already. There was a certain someone that caught my attention. I glanced over at Ren. He sat across from me, his eyes closed, hands behind his head. For a moment, and only a moment, he opened one eye, faced me, and offered a slight smirk. Not a cocky or arrogant smirk, but one that was intended to be playful, and, well, friendly, as if we two shared a secret no one else knew.