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(Part 5) For a complete list of this series, please go here.

The woods seemed fairly quiet today to Aerissa.  It had been several days since she'd had any more of those terrible dreams.  She hoped that had been the last.  Aerissa mulled over the odd dreams as her and the Lynx moved swiftly and quietly through the woods.  Today, Aerissa wanted to try for bigger game.  She was pretty confident with hunting squirrels and rabbits.

The leaves and twigs underfoot rustled as Aerissa and the Lynx stepped lightly, searching for a deer.  Up ahead, Aerissa spotted one.  She made a clucking sound with her mouth and motioned towards the deer.  The Lynx watched her movements and sprang for the deer as soon as she signaled.  Their timing was nearly perfect.

deer

The deer stood still, eyes wide as the Lynx leaped for it's neck.  Aerissa's arrow pierced the deer's neck just before the Lynx's teeth.  She clapped excitedly with a bounce before running up to them.  She patted the Lynx on the head, rubbing behind his ears.

“What a good boy,” she murmured as she assessed the deer.  She worked quickly to tie it's feet together and to a long, sturdy branch.  This would make it easier for her to carry it back to their cave.  She knew the Lynx would be more than willing to help drag it back, but she did not want to take any chances.  She crouched down, grabbing each end of the stick behind her.  She carefully raised the stick to her shoulders, nodding curtly.  The Lynx wedged his muzzle underneath the deer's back, helping to lift it from the ground as Aerissa began to stand up.  Aerissa grunted as she took on the weight of the deer, but was able to step forward.

Aerissa eventually arrived back at their cave, her hair damp with perspiration.  She carefully let the load drop from her shoulders before sitting down to catch her breath.  As she leaned against the outside of the cave, the shoulder of her shirt ripped.

“Arg, no~” Aerissa half-whined as she turned to survey the damage.  She frowned, seeing the long tear.  Her clothes were wearing thin.  It had been so long since she had a change of clothes…

The Lynx pawed at the ground near the deer, snorting.  Aerissa waved her hand dismissively at him.  “Yes, yes, we'll eat soon.”  She continued to be preoccupied with her shirt as she went over to the deer.  Aerissa began working on gutting and skinning the deer, barely even looking at it as this type of preparation had become almost second nature.

The hide was larger than she was used to skinning, as they had mostly been hunting squirrels and rabbits.  Aerissa slowed the movement of the small throwing knife working beneath the hide.  She looked down at herself and back at the hide.  That was it! She would make new clothing.  Excitedly she finished skinning the deer.  She held it up to her chest, nodding.  “Yes! Yes! We can use this….”  She ducked into the cave and brought out some of the rabbit skins and scraps she had saved.  Some of them were used merely to pad her sleeping area.

Late into the night, Aerissa worked at the leather pieces she had.  She did not have the proper tools in which to craft anything, but she had learned to make due with what the woods and animals offered her.  She pricked her thumb, causing her to draw in a sharp breath.  She sucked on the wound briefly, looked at the damage, then shook her hand violently.  Her fingertips were raw and a bit bloody, but she was determined to fashion herself a new chestpiece.

At last, she finished, coddling her hands.  The Lynx looked up from his spot near the cave entrance and sensed her pain.  He sauntered over and licked at her wounds.  Aerissa flinched at first, but there was something soothing about it.  She held her hands out for him, palms up.  She leaned back against the wall and drifted off to sleep as the Lynx worked to help heal her sore fingers.

Aerissa woke up with a start, bumping her head against the damp cave wall.  She scrunched up her face as she rubbed the back of her head.  She blinked a few times, then stretched her arms far above her head.  She shuffled towards the entrance, stopping at the sight of the new leather chestpiece.

rough-leather-vestShe hesitated, looking at it.  On the one hand, she was very proud to have pieced it together herself.  On the other hand, she was embarrassed at the poor quality of it.  But she couldn't continue to wear these thin rags forever.  She shrugged.  Who's going to see me in this thing anyway? she thought as she peeled off the remnants of her shirt.  She picked up the leather chestpiece.  It came out to be more like a vest, as she could only piece together a simple pattern.  She pulled it over her head, hoping she hadn't guessed wrong on the measurements.  She was easily able to put her arms through, and pull it down over her stomach.  The piece was a bit loose, but that was better than fitting too snugly, Aerissa figured.

* * *

Over the next few days, or perhaps weeks, Aerissa continued to work on crafting new pieces of clothing and armor out of the leather they acquired while hunting.  Sometimes, they would come across an animal that had been laying dead for too long that Aerissa would not trust to eat, but she would gather the hide.  Aerissa was even able to make herself a crude pillow, which she stuffed with leaves and grass, a quiver for her arrows, and a pack to carry gathered materials.

Aerissa chattered on with the Lynx as they made their way farther out into the woods today.  She barely ghostlands-vs-eversong-woodsseemed to notice that they'd gone so far from their cave until she thought the grass was no longer green.  She paused, taking in the woods around her.  It was as if the living woods they had come to know so well was gradually moving into something…. less living.  The trees were darker and without leaves.  The ground was dry and patchy.

“We should head back n-now,” Aerissa stammered, not liking the very feel of this area.  It was cold and dark despite the bright sun.

The Lynx bristled, crouching down.  Aerissa looked at him alarmed.  “What? What is it?”

A loud thunderous flapping sound came from the sky as a large shadow moved over them.  Instinctively, Aerissa ducked close to the ground.  As the shadow moved past, Aerissa looked up, cupping her hand to her forehead.  A rather large, winged creature was flying overhead.  Aerissa tilted her head, then smiled widely.

“Someone is riding that creature, we must be near some sort of settlement!”  She peered after the figure, trying to estimate how far away it was.

bat-rider1The Lynx sniffed cautiously at the air, his ears alert.  He moved forward stealthily, sniffing the ground, trees, and rocks.  He'd pause, looking back at Aerissa, then silently move forward a few feet.  Aerissa moved along quietly within the Lynx's tracks.

After what was only a few yards, but felt like miles, Aerissa looked back from where they came.  Turning to the right, she peered into the darkening forest.  She felt panic rise within her.  Which way had they come from?  She didn't know these trees the way she knew the bright woods that had become her home.  These trees were ominous as the red and purple hue of the sun dipped closer to the horizon.

Sensing something was not right with his master, the Lynx rubbed against her leg with a purr.  Aerissa knelt down, running her fingers through his thick fur, “You know the way, don't you…”

The Lynx bobbed his head, then swiped her cheek with his tongue.  Aerissa laughed, pushing his muzzle away from her face.  She patted his head, then stood up tall.  “Lead us back, would you? I think we should rest and pack up some food for the journey we'll need to make.  It must be farther than a day's walk, especially if some have taken their travel to the air.”

The Lynx began to bound off into the woods.  Aerissa ducked her head slightly to avoid stray branches to her face and followed him.  She shivered as the night air seemed unusually cool in this part of the woods.  At the same time, excitement built up inside of her.  Soon they would be around others again, but they would need to be cautious.  If her dreams were real, then someone could be looking for her.

** Please note that some of the events included in RP pieces are based upon actual in-game role play.  Also, some of the events and/or character names may have been altered during the transition from in-game RP to story formation. **

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5 comments

  • Wonder what city she will come upon. Maybe she will be able to trade for some tools to craft better clothing.

  • Still following your story and enjoying it! I like reading the stories in parts like this. That way, I get a bit of a story on a random day and it makes me smile.

    🙂

  • @Fuu – Hopefully she’ll forget about not wanting anyone to see her poor quality clothes 😛

    @Keli – You never know what might happen! 😉

    @Cait – I’m glad you are still following (and enjoying) the story!

    I’m hoping the length of part 5 was a bit better. I know it felt more “right” when I chose to stop.

  • I am so enjoying your stories…i just descovered them and they’re awesome…I see that there is 11 parts but I’m not going to spoil it for myself I went back to the beginning to see the whole story 😀

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