Ties to the Wanderer: Part One
Also by draikmistress123
Part One: The Drifter
To most people, he would seem like some ratty wanderer,
what with the torn clothes and such. To others, he was just some person who
would be there one day and gone the next. To others still he was something just
a little more important.
He sure didn't look it, though. Leaning casually
against a tree. A maroon short-sleeved shirt that had only slightly been repaired,
ripped, and repaired again, matching the denim jeans that were just as covered
with tears and holes as his shirt. Though they looked like something your grandfather
would have had when he was young, these were fairly new.
A green Gelert, he was. Nothing real special.
Save his height at his age, he was perfectly normal. Normal brown hair, brown
eyes, basically the guy you'd walk down the street and never notice. Meet Will,
who had no idea what was about to happen.
The blue Kacheek watched from behind another
of those same trees which the Gelert leaned upon.
She watched, quietly waiting.
She was a strange one, aye. She was very shy
until she knew someone. As a result, she was shy with most people, because she
never was bold enough to get to know them.
So she had recently developed a system.
She watched someone until she felt she knew them
well enough, then was just bold enough to speak with them, until she truly knew
them and no longer felt shy.
She had a suspicion, though, that he was not
going to stay long enough to be watched.
Well, that was good, too. No matter what she
did, he would soon be gone.
She would never see him again, and thus, no matter
what she did, there would be no one to remember.
Carefully, quietly, she approached.
He noticed the Kacheek approaching, and said,
"Can I help you?"
She froze, all her power of will, speech, movement
robbed by the words, words she had not been prepared for. She tried to speak,
tried to reply, but could not.
She had black hair, medium-length and utterly
straight. Her ears, placed as they were, caused some to be forever getting in
her eyes and in front of her face, which had frustrated her until she had given
up. She was wearing a white dress with the Brightvale star on the front, back,
and each side.
The Kacheek looked up at last, saying quietly,
"My name is Keladra. What is yours?"
"Keladra, hm?" Will raised a brow, glancing around
a bit. "Mine's Will Camp, good to meet you, Miss," he introduced himself, bowing
slightly. Darn that old habit!
She blushed, but did her best to hide it by curtsying
in reply. She was, at least, rather good at that. Of course, she would deny
any such thing if you told her that.
"A pleasure to meet you as well, I am certain."
"What brings you to Brightvale?" he asked, trying
to strike up a conversation. If there was one thing Will was awful at, it was
small-talk. For some reason, he sounded like an idiot whenever he tried to just
have casual conversation with people.
If anything, Keladra was worse at it. She had
never attempted it, or at least rarely.
"I live here," she answered quietly, trying her
best to not sound as though he should have known that, for how could he have?
"What brings you to our land?"
"Oh," he replied, noticing for the first time
the Brightvale star that was on her wardrobe. "Didn't notice. I wander around,
actually. I was in Meridell the day before yesterday." He shrugged a bit.
"Did you like it there?" Keladra asked, remembering
her own trips to Meridell. Her sister had enjoyed them far more than she...
"Eh, it was decent." He shrugged. "Not much to
look at, actually. This place is so much more... advanced than Meridell," he
commented. Meridell fans... get your killer vegetables ready.
"Somehow, Brightvale reminds me more of my hometown,"
he said, a far off look in his eyes. "I might stay a bit longer than I thought."
Keladra sighed. "There simply is not much to
do there if you do not enjoy talking, farming, royal courts, or animal herding..."
~I do hope I do not ruin things, if he stays
long,~ she thought. ~That would be unbearable!~
"Just like home." He laughed, glancing off toward
the huge Brightvale castle. "Well, I think our castle was just a foot or two
bigger than theirs, but, I can't really remember it."
She had run out of conversation on the topic
and did not know how to change topics.
So she was silent a moment, trying to gather
All she succeeded in doing was panicking.
She tried to fight it, struggled to resist the
panic, but it was insistently driving itself into her...
Go! Flee! Run away!
~I was not made to socialize,~ she thought.
~I simply cannot do it!~
She looked left and right, suddenly nervous,
trying to discern the best and most polite escape plan...
Noticing her nervous movements, Will cocked his
head a bit. "You alright?" he asked, hoping nothing was wrong. Something always
tried to go wrong whenever he met someone new, it seemed.
"I- I..." She tried to find words to express
this feeling, this inability to socialize. "I- I cannot..." She was trying,
failing, too nervous and panicked to speak coherently anymore.
"Do you need something? Water, food, anything?"
he asked, starting to worry. Had he brought this on? He never could tell, nowadays.
"Cannot what? What's the matter?"
"I- I am not good with others," she confessed.
"I have difficulty associating with them. I- I am... feeling as though I must
"Oh, I see," he nodded, raising a brow. "Just
think of it as talking to someone you've known your entire life. That may help
a bit." He shrugged. He wasn't exactly a psychologist, but it never hurt.
"I- I cannot. I know no Gelerts, and I cannot
fool myself. I cannot act as though anything is true but the truth..." She was
starting to win against the impulse, the constant conversation distracting her
from her panic.
"Okay then," he muttered, before finally thinking
of something. "Think of me as an oversized Kacheek," he said, pulling down his
ears to resemble theirs. "But hurry, this hurts more than it looks."
She shook her head, then could not restrain it
Keladra laughed, the sound like the gentle tinkling
of wind chimes, her head thrown back slightly.
"I do apologize," she said when she had recovered,
her eyes still sparkling merrily. "But somehow, it was so comical..."
And, though she did not know it yet, in that
moment, she had overcome it.
She would be shy about Will no longer.
Releasing his ears, he felt the relief and non-strain
fly back into them. Hey, those things were stiffer than people thought. "Yeah,
well, I'm a funny person. He laughed. "I say if someone's had a rough day, a
laugh should help a bit. Even if the trouble measures about from here to the
sky, and the laugh just gets up to my ankle." He grinned.
Still smiling, Keladra said, "Say, would you
like to come over for dinner? I am certain that my sister would be most interested
to hear of your travels."
He'd been taught not to impose, even if he was
just seven or eight when he'd learned it. Of course, his mother never said anything
about not taking up helpful offers. "I suppose, if it's alright with your sister."
Will nodded, eager for the chance to eat something.
"Of course it is," Keladra said. "Akirinia loves
having guests over..."
Smiling, she turned and started along the path,
turning back a moment, her skirt billowing, to wave him to follow.
"If you're completely sure," he said, shrugging
a bit and following. Sure, they'd invited him, but he couldn't help but feel
guilty. If things went as normal, things wouldn't be so normal soon...
But he couldn't dwell on things like that all
day. Hey, food!
The house she led him to was moderately large.
It had two floors, with a nice little garden out front, though it looked a bit
the worse, as if it had been neglected a while.
Leading him up to the front door, Keladra entered
"Akirinia!" she called. "Sister, I am home!"
An Acara, blue like the Kacheek, came down the
spiral staircase. She was dressed much like Keladra, though her dress was pink,
"Why, I didn't know you'd be bringing guests
over, Kel," she said, self-consciously adjusting her curly blonde hair. Unlike
Keladra, hers was behind her ears, but it was so hard to make it fall properly
about her horns.
"I did not either, until a little while ago,
Akirinia," was Keladra's reply. "I will simply cook for one more. Perhaps you
can handle things until then?"
With that, the Kacheek went through the left-hand
door, through which could be seen a table and five chairs.
He glanced over to Akirinia, holding his hand
out to shake. "Hey there. Name's Will Camp. I take it you're Keladra's sister?"
he asked, nodding toward the door where she had exited. This certainly was nice
of them, that was for sure.
"Indeed," the Acara said, recovered from surprise.
"My name's Akirinia. Nice to meet you, Will." She shook the hand. "I must say,"
she went on, "I never would have expected Kel to bring home a guest. She's usually
too shy to even speak to people. How did you meet her?"
"Well, she just came up to me and we started
talking," he said simply. "Nothing really major or anything, actually." Will
himself was quite surprised at how normal the meeting was. Believe me, if anything
was 'normal' it'd seem odd to him.
"She walked up to you and started talking," Akirinia
said, her tone disbelieving. ~What on earth could have prompted her
to do that?~ she wondered. ~It's not like her at all.~
"Yeah, that's pretty much it." He nodded. "I'm
sort of shocked as well; things normally don't go so... so well," he admitted.
"Hey, if the normal way you met someone was to accidentally trip over them while
you run, you'd think that was sort of... weird too."
"If the normal way your sister met people was
being forcibly introduced to them, you'd be surprised she'd approached someone
too," she replied dryly.
There was assorted rattling and clanking coming
from the kitchen, presumably of pots and pans being located and used.
"Come, sit down," Akirinia said, going through
the right-hand doorway.
There were a few chairs scattered here and there
in the room. Akirinia pulled one close to another and sat in it, her skirts
"So," she asked, "what brings you here?"
"Oh, it's just... I don't know, I've been feeling
restless. I don't feel like I belong where I was, so I'm looking for where I
"Aye," Akirinia said, nodded in understanding.
"Perhaps that is why..." She trailed off.
Oh, now she had his attention. Dramatic pauses
always cued in something... well, dramatic. Not to tell him now would be like
dangling food over a Kadoatie's head.
"Why your sister... what?" he asked, raising
a brow. "What's up?"
"She wanders," Akirinia said. "We haven't heard
from her for a while. We're getting worried..." The Acara gazed toward where
Keladra worked. "I'm especially worried about Kel. Dia was good for her. Kel
was always bolder when she was with Dia..."
"Dia? The wanderer sister of yours?" he asked,
leaning forward. "So... Dia was like... assuring for Keladra, right? And since
she's been gone, she's not been doing so well, right?"
"Do you mean reassuring? I suppose you could
say that. But it was more like... like..." She groped for words, but could not
find them. "She could describe it," the Acara admitted, "but I cannot. Since
Dia -her full name is Wanndiasan- left on her latest trip, Kel has gone back
to being shy and quiet. That's all well and good, but she won't make any friends
He nodded, shaking his head. "Do you know where
she might have gone? Any personal interests she may have had?" he asked, a serious
expression coming over his face. For all he knew, this could turn into a missing
person case thing. Either that, or just another cross-country trip.
Akirinia thought a moment. "She said she was
going to the Lost Desert," she said at last. "But she also said she'd send postcards,
so I don't understand... She couldn't have forgotten, because Dia's not like
that. Kel won't say anything -she's too shy- but she's very worried, much more
Will was sort of puzzled now. He had to get back
to Gelvale before... well, let's leave it at things will go bad real fast. And
yet, he wouldn't leave these two worrying over their sister... Darn having to
be overly helpful!
"I could help you find her," he offered, sort
of muttering it under his breath.
"Oh, but don't you have somewhere to be going?"
Sounds of dishes rattling came from the dining
room. Keladra had begun setting the table.
"Oh, not really," he lied, grinning a little.
"Besides, what's more important? Knowing where your relative is or getting to
some place on time?" Will glanced toward where the sounds were coming from,
noticing that dinner was apparently about done.
Akirinia was saved from having to answer by Keladra
appearing in the doorway to say, "Supper is ready." Arising, the two sisters
left the room, heading towards the dining room.
Eager to eat something decent for once instead
of the dung Ashley fixed and called food, Will followed Akirinia to the dining
room. "So, what are we having?" he asked, laughing a bit.
"Fyora, Kel-" Akirinia gasped.
There was a large bowl of meat and potatoes in
the center of the table.
"Do sit down," the Acara said, gesturing a bit
vaguely at one of the five chairs. She had recovered just enough to appear outwardly
But within, she was not.
For Akirinia knew what that dish meant.
Of course, Will did not...
"My Merriman," he muttered, taking a seat. Wow,
this stuff actually looked... good. Ashley should take lessons from Kel, it
"Looks pretty good, Kel. Any special secrets
or anything?" he asked, not noticing anything that Akirinia or Kel was doing
or acting like.
Akirinia shot a glance at Keladra as the sisters
The Kacheek blushed, murmuring, "Please, do not
call me Kel. I... it bothers me, coming from- from..." She was struggling to
find words which would not offend, but which would express her feelings...
"From someone you haven't known over a day?"
he asked, raising a brow. "I don't exactly blame you, since it might be your
all's little... thing you've got going on here." Will shrugged, not really knowing
what he just said.
"So... how's the weather been?" He tried to get
off the topic.
Nodding, relieved he had understood and not been
offended, Keladra replied, "Wonderful. The garden should grow marvelously..."
She trailed off, remembering that it was Wanndiasan's garden, and that Dia was
Akirinia, while this had been occurring, had
taken it upon herself to begin serving herself some supper.
"Say," the Acara remarked, "did you tell Will
about what happened the other day?"
Keladra shook her head.
"It was rather odd," Akirinia went on. "A troupe
of performers came by, wanting to know the way to Meridell and King Skarl's
court. Since we're right by Meridell, I asked why they needed directions. They
said that they hadn't known they were in Brightvale. Rather odd, for a troupe
of performers to not know what country they're in..."
"That is weird." He nodded, serving himself as
well. "If you don't know what country you're in, you probably shouldn't be breathing."
He laughed a bit, tasting the dinner. It wasn't that bad, considering he'd eaten
"Perhaps that's a bit strong," Akirinia finally
Keladra watched her guest closely, wanting to
know his reaction.
Akirinia watched her sister closely, knowing
the hidden meaning of the supper they ate.
And then the front door opened, and a voice called,
"Is anyone home?"
To be continued...