This week’s “sneak peek” is actually a “meet the characters” post that was featured on the Read Tuesday blog. The voice is Morganne’s from Journey to Aviad as she both reflects back, and looks forward into an uncertain future. Enjoy!
It was a hard beginning, growing up in Tyroc. The city covers evils of all types, as a fresh snow covers a dung heap; pungent and waiting to trap the unsuspecting foot. Only its exterior is shrouded in white, the pretense of innocence. In the city, none care to look beyond the surface, for the hidden darkness is too overwhelming for one soul to carry. The city trapped me, trapped all of us…and my mother knew it. I lost the innocence of my youth at the sharp edge of her cruelty before I finally made my escape, while those who knew my suffering simply looked away.
Some memories fade slowly, until they are only wisps of smoke that dissipate into nothing when you try to catch hold of them. Others stay with you, like the details of a recurring nightmare. A smell, a sound, a flash of light can catch you off guard and take you back to that place you wish you could forget. There are nights when I close my eyes and I can see the tiny one room cottage my mother, my younger sisters, and I once lived in. So many years have passed that it is probably long gone now. But in my mind it continues to stand, just as it was when I was a girl; the smooth, cold gray stones of the floor…the wood beams of the roof, stained black from the hearth fire. A trestle table, some stools, and my mother’s loom were the only furniture.
My mother would sit there for hours on end, her light brown hair swept up away from her face, her fingers working with forceful precision. The curve of her back shut us out as she embraced a world of her own design, carefully constructed of hand-spun threads. Anyone who pulled her away from it was met with a ferocity that betrayed the seething anger consuming her soul. And so my sisters and I spent our days treading carefully around her, trying not to break the dreadful silence.
I remember, too, the small fingerprints that dotted the walls. Most of them belonged to my sister, Elowyn, who only seemed happy when she was covered in dirt from the surrounding woodlands. She often disappeared for days out there. Mother barely noticed, but my stomach always churned with worry over what might become of her. Somehow she always returned, carrying one small treasure or another. Her whole being glowed with a peaceful contentment that I envied at times. There was certainly none to be found at home.
Then one day Elowyn returned with an unusual object—a coin it seemed. But it was old, with markings that made me wonder about its origins. Our lives changed that day, though I had yet to realize it. It was a change that brought adventure into our dreary existence; and with it both danger and the joys of freedom. More than just our lives, the whole world began to change. History, legend, and prophecy were becoming real before our eyes, leaving us at the mercy of an impending storm no one could stop. We had a choice; to believe in Aviad’s truth and join in the fight to save our world, or to do nothing and let the growing darkness swallow us whole.
I will not tell you what we chose, though you can probably guess. Our story is not here on this page—it has been written elsewhere, and by a more masterful scholar and scribe than I shall ever be. But I hope that through those writings you will join us as we make our journey of hope, of courage…sometimes of pain and despair…but always with faith. Where it shall end, even I do not yet know.