October 2, 2014

In Which Searle Meets the Least Ordinary Person

May 17, 1187

Most of the Naronians were wary about the forests. Searle didn't understand a lot of things, but this was a particular mystery to him. Once he'd finally worked up the courage to journey into one of these forests that Sevvie and Adonis couldn't seem to talk about without shuddering, he found it... comforting, almost, or as close to comforting as he knew. Like he was meant to be there. Like he belonged.

It felt like home.

And that was silly, because Searle didn't have a home. He didn't deserve a home, and had therefore never been given one. Cousin Lonriad did his best, but Searle was still the outsider, obviously so, and the others in the house didn't know what to do with him, much like he didn't know what to do with himself. So who was he to presume he knew what home felt like?

But he did know. It felt like the forest.

There was something in the air here. Something quiet, half-dead, a little sinister. Something rather like him.

"Hello, young man."

Searle stopped. He'd thought he was alone. He usually knew when he wasn't.

But one look up, and he'd been wrong in this instance. Standing in front of him was a woman--a lady--dressed far too well for a stroll in the woods, yet her magenta silk showed no dirt or clinging grass. She had coal black hair and a pale complexion, which combined with her heart-shaped face made for a curious ageless beauty. She was too far away for him to make out the color of her eyes, but they were fixed right on him, piercing through his core as she read the curses etched upon his heart.

He liked it.

"Hello, my lady."

"My lady?" She smiled, but she didn't blush. Perhaps she couldn't. She was all black and white, the only red upon her made of liquid fabric. "My, aren't you the polite one. My own sons don't even greet me so sweetly."

"You have sons?" She didn't look nearly old enough to be a mother. Nor scary enough.

"Two, and two daughters. My older three have given me grandchildren, even." The lady laughed. She must have noticed his gaping. "I've been told I don't look quite my age."

An understatement. Searle had never heard one before. "You're beautiful."

He'd blurted it out before it occurred to him that it might have been an inappropriate comment--but the woman beamed. "Thank you! You're a very handsome boy yourself. I'll bet you're quite popular with the girls."

Searle's face warmed. She might not have been able to blush, but apparently he could. "I don't know about that..."

"Ah-ha! Proof of it being so if there ever was. The most handsome boys never notice when girls like them." Did they? He got the feeling she'd know. She probably knew everything. "Besides--you're not like the others. You're special. You have powers."

Powers? His mother had accused him of that, though she'd always made it sound bad--evil. This lady, not so. In that moment, there were no two men he envied more in the world than her sons. "What sort of powers?"

"Well, they're quite complex," the woman started, drawing closer. Her eyes were violet, a color his mother had always loathed, a color he'd never quite seen before now. He decided it was his new favorite. "But you're a smart boy, and you deserve to have some idea of your own abilities. You see, this forest is a important place, and when you're here, you can distort the very fabric of time and space."

"Time and space?" He wasn't quite sure he knew what that meant. "Like magic?"

"Magic, and science. That's how I'm here. I live very far away, but thanks to you, I was able to travel here in a matter of minutes. I couldn't have done that on my own, you see; I'm only ordinary." She gave no hint of not believing it, but Searle didn't. She was easily the least ordinary person he'd ever met. "But I must thank you, for there is someone in this kingdom with whom I must have an audience. I would have had to put off the meeting for months if not for you."

"You're welcome." Had he ever said that? He didn't think he'd ever been thanked before. He rather liked that too.

"That's very sweet. Now that I think about it, I suppose I have a few hours to spare; why don't we go to the nearest village, and I'll buy you something almost as sweet as you. Would you like that?"

He liked this, liking things. "I'd like that very much."



Van said...

Bah. Long week this week. I usually have Fridays off, but not tomorrow.

I wish I was tired enough to go to bed.

Mimus said...

Argh! Searle! Get away from that woman! She's evil! You don't want to end up like Searle Andronei, do you? ~.~
And there I thought he would meet Deian or another Naron...
I suppose the boy has never made the connection that even nice People can be evil...

Winter said...

Maybe Lonriad and company haven't been up to it, but telling people to stay out of the forest should be mandatory when they come to Naroni. It's the unmarked white van of the Middle Ages.

I, too, though Searle would run into Deian. Meeting Elarys is worse. Deian would have just eaten him and been done with it (if he was hungry.) Elarys may well weaponize him. Poor Searle, he doesn't know any better.

Van said...

Mimus: In Searle's defense, I think he just assumes people--particularly mothers--just aren't nice by default, so someone who does treat him nicely must be good.

Though, I don't think he's at risk of ending up quite like Searle Andronei. Elarys is no saint, but she's not that much of a creep.

Winter: It should be a pretty standard warning at this point, for sure.

I can't imagine Deian would have had much fun with Searle, since I doubt Searle would have given him the kind of reactions he likes. So, yep, probably would have either eaten him or just let him be. Elarys has other plans.

Ekho said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ekho said...

Oooh powers! I get so pumped about the magical-fantasy side of sims stories! So many possibilities and a huge variety of perspectives to explore!
This is a bit creepy I'll agree with the white van statement^^
Though I am hopeful Searle won't be completely lost in Elarys plot, and retains a little bit of himself. Maybe he'll actually grow from the experience rather than becoming her pawn. Then again, pawns are great to play with!

Van said...

Glad you enjoyed. :)

Oh, there's definitely something off about this exchange. And Elarys never appears if she doesn't have something up her sleeve. But at the same time... Searle did get to experience some positive emotions previously unknown to him here. I do have plans for these two to interact again, so we'll just have to see.

Penelope said...

Hunh. So Elarys flew in on the breeze like the fairytale witch she is. I don't know what Searle did to bring her there, or how she used him to get there or how she knows as much as she does, but her appearances are never a good sign. This is a little creepy too-- It's almost like she's flirting with that poor kid.

Van said...

The Elarys mystery is one that may be many years in the unfolding. :S

Yeah, when I wrote this post, the idea was that she was taking advantage of Searle's lack of a decent mother figure and trying to cement herself in that role in case she needed him as a more active co-conspirator later. But it's certainly possible to read some hint of Edmund and the White Witch in here. :S