Autumn – Chapter 2 – 03

            It only took a few minutes for Kess to scramble through making tea from leaves Eva dug out of her backpack.  It smelled enough like Chai that they’d cautiously trusted it—though Terézia couldn’t help but notice that everyone waited until after Eva drank before they chanced it.
            Halfway into her mug of tea, Eva paused in her drinking, cradling the cup between her hands and looking at each of them in turn.  “Well, if you’d like to get the straightjacket or the rope before I start, now would be the time.”
            Kess’s nose wrinkled.  “You say that like you’re absolutely certain that we’re going to think you’re crazy.”
            Eva deadpanned and Terézia’s stomach flip-flopped.  Eva was sure they’d think she was crazy, and she was apparently well-prepared for it.
            Oh god.  What are we in for?
            “Well, we promised you by the road a place to sleep tonight, at the very least,” Gray said.  “If we have to truss you up like some kind of stuffed poultry so we all feel safe, then so be it.  Deal?”
            The girl laughed, nodding.  “I suppose I can agree to that.”  She took a deep draught from her mug, set it down, then topped it off.
            Her expression changed slightly as she took a deep breath and began to speak.  “It’s hard to know where to start, but I suppose I should go all the way back to where it begins, in a village far away and very, very long ago.”  She smiled faintly.  “Since it’s almost a fairy tale, I suppose I should start with ‘once upon a time.’”
            Terézia swallowed bile.  Now I see why she was warning us.
            “So, once upon a time, in village long ago and far away, a boy fell in love with a girl.  He was a prince and she was a chieftain’s daughter.  It would have been a match for the ages, and in a way it was, because across all the ages of this world, he’s looked for her, waited for her, waited for the chance to be with her again.”  Eva stared at all of their faces and laughed weakly.  “I suppose I’m already sounding crazy and losing you.”
            “Sounding crazy, yeah,” Wat said slowly, leaning back and frowning.
            Eva sighed softly.  “Somehow, I think that Phelan and Teague got the better end of this deal, the bastards.”  She shook her head and looked at them all for a long moment.  Her gaze settled on Terézia.  “I said I could tell that you were scrying.”
            “Yes.  Then again, I’d also love to know how someone put me off earlier, too.”
            Eva took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly.  “Because there are more will-workers in the world today than there have ever been before.  It’s either a concentration or a dilution of gifts, I’m not sure which.  Maybe a combination of both.”  She shook her head slightly.  “That’s more Phelan’s fascination than mine, and I’ll be damned if he didn’t get the easier end of this whole goddamned mess.”  She huffed a sigh and shot to her feet, beginning to pace like some kind of caged animal.
            Terézia cringed.  Unstable much?  She watched the woman pace, back and forth, back and forth in front of the fire.  Eva finally stopped, staring into the flames.  Her voice came softly, almost as if she was dreaming.
            “Princes of the gods-be-damned Áes Dána my foot.  Bloody pains in my ass is more like it.”  She leaned against the mantle, seeming to deflate—seeming older by a factor of ten or more as she began to speak again.  “We had to go, back across the veil to the Otherlands.  We left, but not before we’d grown overly attached to humanity, to people and places that we’ll never see again.  We watched and waited and watched to see if and when we’d ever be needed again. And then the almighty Teague, Prince of Princes, announces that it’s time, that he’s found her again and that we’re needed to come back again.  He’d seen something, and my idiot brother had already returned, and that we’d never see him again unless we followed.  So some of us did, only to be attacked from every side by things that would have just as soon never seen us again.”
            Batshit crazy.  Crazier than the Mad Hatter crazy, crazier than the Joker crazy.  Terézia swallowed hard and began wondering if she could get out of here before Eva grabbed an axe and hacked them all to death.
            She spun, a fire in her strange, ancient eyes.  “And then the world ended, and I started walking because there was someplace that I needed to get to.  I’m not sure this was it—in fact, I’m almost sure it’s not—but I don’t know how many other groups of sensitives I’ll trip over before I make it to where I feel like I’m supposed to be.  So here, if you’ll have me, is just as good as anywhere else.”
            Terézia’s heart was pounding in her throat, her stomach churning.  Who the hell is this crazy woman and why did we let her inside the lodge?

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5 Responses to Autumn – Chapter 2 – 03

  1. Yup. Still sounds crazy. Guess I have to roll with it!

    • Antonious says:

      Hmm let’s see, YOU are scrying and someone senses it and reacts while another seeks you out. The rest of the people you are with know about your scrying. They too are aware of people who can do things they thought only possible in fairy tale books.
      Now all of the sudden someone claiming to possess elder knowledge admits she knows about your scrying and was seeking you out so that she might impart to you knowledge that just might let you see tomorrow alive, maybe even next year. Several of you sensed her age/power as not normal. Just because she couches her tale in the form of a Grimm’s fairy tale doesn’t make her dangerous.
      Think of her as that relative who has lived a VERY long life that was VERY “interesting” (in the Chinese curse sense) and you will get along fine.

  2. Antonious says:

    LOL

    Me thinkest they are a bit closed minded to the fact that if they can do things not done before outside of stories, there might be others, the stories might have a basis in fact, and Eva might just be one of those responsible for the factual basis of those stories.

    If I could I would give the all a little smack to the back of their heads and say, “What is your problem? She is about to give you her explanation for all the freaky weird things you do, and you think her crazy?” Sheesh. Open your minds and close your mouths. School is in session.

Got thoughts?