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See What I See

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See What I See

Post by Sibylla Aaeru on Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:44 pm

Title: See What I See
Author: DigiExpert
Rating: G
Summary: The Emerald Ri Majon brings them to a place all too familiar to Aaeru. Neviril gives a warning, but Aaeru isn't sure about heeding it this time around.
Notes: I can't remember how, but I got the idea for this yesterday when I was in a funk. When I was finally able to take a break later at night, I began working on it and finished it up today during lunch. I really like this and I think it suits part of why Aaeru was taught the way she was by her grandpa.


Aaeru pushed through the trees; feeling a bit uneasy. This area felt familiar to her, but she couldn’t explain why. She looked back to Neviril. “Are you sure we’re on Simulacrum?” She continued pushing forward, hearing the crunching of leaves and twigs behind her.

“Yes. You noticed the sky when we appeared. We just need to know the time period… the sky cannot tell us that.”

“I guess—“ Aaeru stopped mid-sentence as she looked ahead of her through the opening in the trees. She felt Neviril stop behind her, gauging their surroundings.

“What is it, Aaeru? Is there danger?”

Aaeru shook her head. “It’s not that. I know…I know what time period it is now.”

“You do? How?”

Pointing in front of her, Aaeru replied, “Because there’s my grandpa. And there’s me.”

Neviril looked beyond Aaeru’s finger and saw the small child that was running from the older man. From a distance, she could tell that it was Aaeru, even if she ignored the two straw blonde pigtails and grin. There was just something about the girl that screamed “Aaeru”.

“I want to go talk to him.” Aaeru began pushing forward, but halted quickly when she felt Neviril’s firm grip on her arm. “Neviril, what gives?”

“We can’t talk to him.”

“Why not? We talk to everyone else.”

“We shouldn’t talk to people we know in the past. We could mess up our present.”

Aaeru jerked her hand away from Neviril, frowning. “I want to talk to my grandpa. I want to… I want to tell him that the other world exists.”

“You can’t, Aaeru. What would you do if talking to him messes something up when you were a Sibylla?”

“That wouldn’t happen, Neviril. I just want to tell him—“

“No!” hissed Neviril.

“What’s your problem?” asked Aaeru. “All of a sudden we shouldn’t talk to anyone we meet. What if we needed help?”

“We’d find someone else to talk to that didn’t know us. Come on. We should perform the Emerald and leave here.”

“I want to stay here,” replied Aaeru. She crossed her arms and frowned, not understanding what the problem was.

“Aaeru…”

“I want to.”

It was then that they noticed voices nearby. “Grandpa! Grandpa! I think there’s something in the bushes!” called a small voice.

“Don’t go near there, Aaeru. You know what happened the last time,” warned her grandpa.

“I won’t step on the skunk’s tail this time! I promise!” The sound of footsteps came closer, and the elder Aaeru backed away as quietly as she could. She felt a hand on her arm, and knew it was Neviril guiding her backwards.

When the two were far enough away, Neviril let go. “Aaeru, you can’t go back there now. Come on. We should—“ She saw the girl’s shoulders shaking. “Aaeru?”

There was no answer. Aaeru continued to shake and Neviril stepped closer, hesitantly reaching out and placing a hand on Aaeru’s shoulder. She was surprised when Aaeru suddenly turned to face her, tears in her eyes that threatened to fall.

“I want to see him! I want to see my grandpa!” she cried. The tears ran down her face as she sobbed.

Neviril wasn’t sure what to say to her. She hadn’t seen Aaeru this upset since… since Mamiina had been killed. She remember the day that she’d found Aaeru by the maaju pool. She reached out to touch Aaeru again, but the girl pushed her away. “But you can’t…” was all she could reply, feeling utterly foolish the moment the words left her lips. She had already said them before, and it hadn’t mattered then.

For the rest of the day, Aaeru would not speak to Neviril. Every now and then, a soft sob would escape her lips and she’d hide her face so that Neviril couldn’t see. When Aaeru left the area, Neviril didn’t follow. She felt as though she’d hurt Aaeru enough and could only hope that the girl wouldn’t do anything foolish. She had to trust that she wouldn’t.

Aaeru crept slowly and quietly through the trees, wanting to get closer to the place she had called home for so much of her life. She wasn’t one to be homesick, but when she saw her grandpa, she felt her chest grow tighter and a pain in her heart she couldn’t quite place. Dusk was settling over the land and it was slowly becoming harder to see.

She moved to the edge of the property, knowing that at this time of night she and her grandpa would have been eating dinner. Low to the ground, she moved across the yard, settling herself under the kitchen window. She listened closely, trying to figure out what was happening inside.

“My turn! My turn to stir!”

“All right.” Aaeru could hear her grandpa’s laughter. She’d forgotten what it sounded like. “Now be easy with the spoon. If you stir too hard, you’ll make potatoes fly everywhere.”

“Like the wall?”

“Like the wall, Aaeru. Remember the last time?”

“You had potato hair!” She giggled.

Aaeru rested her head on her knees as she listened. She remembered cooking with her grandpa. He taught her how to cook and then she cooked for him when she was older. They would always talk and laugh as they put together the ingredients for a meal.

She missed her grandpa. She wanted to talk to him again. She wanted to tell him that he was right about another world. It did exist. The key to opening the door was the Emerald Ri Majon…if you did it just so, you could go anywhere your heart desired. She wanted to so badly, and yet, she remembered Neviril’s words of caution to her.

What did it matter anyway? It couldn’t do much harm to talk to him. How much trouble could it cause? Even though she didn’t care to listen to Neviril, something held her back. And so she sat with her back to the wood, listening as her younger self made mashed potatoes with her grandpa. She’d have given anything to do that one more time.

Neviril was worried when Aaeru didn’t return right away. It had grown dark some time ago, and the moon was high in the sky. She could hear the calls of creatures of the night, and shivered when the cool breeze blew. She wondered what Aaeru was up to, and when she’d return. Surely she hadn’t—No, she mustn’t think that Aaeru would be so foolish. She dug through the hidden compartment of the Simoun, searching for the blankets as she put away the uneaten food reserves. She was sure that Aaeru would return soon to sleep.

All was quiet in the cabin now. She couldn’t hear a sound and the last one she’d heard had been ages ago. Slowly, she stood up, wincing as stiff muscles stretched and moved once more. She wanted… she wanted to see him. If he was asleep, he couldn’t see her, and then she wouldn’t be doing the thing Neviril told her not to do.

It wasn’t hard to get inside. She knew that even though her grandpa had always latched the front door that the window closest to it opened easily from the outside. She slipped inside and crept quietly across the wooden floor, trying to remember if any of the floorboards squeaked. Down the small hallway she snuck, stopped at the door on the right. It was open just a crack, and she peeked inside, seeing her younger self sleeping soundly. She then heard the tinkling of the music box, set upon the window sill so that it might catch the night breeze.

She remembered her grandpa would play it for her each night until she fell asleep. If it were warm outside, he’d open the window and let it play all night long. Absently, her head traveled to her pocket and slipped inside, fingers closing around the only trinket she carried with her, the only reminder she had of him.

Pulling herself away, she moved a few feet further down the hall. The door to her grandpa’s room was also cracked, and she knew he kept it that way so that if she was scared in the night or needed him, it would be easier for her to get inside. Aaeru pushed the door open a bit further, and saw her grandpa sleeping, snoring softly. Something inside her clenched around her hurt, and that hurt came back again. She found it hard to keep from crying. Here was her grandpa, the one she thought she’d lost forever, and now she could see him just one last time. It wouldn’t hurt to peek like this, to see him when he couldn’t see her. Neviril was wrong; it wouldn’t—

“Aaeru?” came the deep whisper.

Aaeru jumped, startled from her reverie. Her eyes widened in shock as she saw her grandpa looking right at her, still half asleep. He sat up in bed, rubbing his eyes. Aaeru knew she had to leave, had to move before he asked questions, but all she could do was mumble, “Grandpa…” over and over again, tears streaming down her face.

“Is that you?”

Instinct kicked in and she turned then, running down the hallway, running through the living area and out the front door. As soon as she was outside, she sobbed, knowing that what she had done was exactly what Neviril had told her not to, but also that he had seen her, said her name, and that it meant more to her than she could ever express. Her feet crashed through the underbrush as she rushed blindly forward. She couldn’t… she couldn’t go back there again. Her heart hurt too much.

Neviril looked up when she heard loud sounds nearby. At first, she feared it was some wild animal, and she quickly began figuring out what sort of defense to throw up. Then Aaeru crashed through into the clearing and Neviril immediately had an idea of what had happened when she glimpsed upon the girl’s tearstained face. It would be all too easy to scold Aaeru, but what had been done could not be changed. Instead, she opened her arms and Aaeru fell into them, still sobbing.

“I didn’t… I can’t… I couldn’t…” Aaeru tried to explain between sobs, but could not string together enough words before she would heave and a new wave would let loose.

“Don’t… just let it out, Aaeru…” whispered Neviril, tightening her grip around the girl. No matter what Aaeru had done, Neviril was certain that the girl was upset over seeing her grandpa again, rather than the course of her actions.

Aaeru cried until she wore herself out. Exhausted, she fell asleep in Neviril’s arms, still holding on. Neviril gently settled them both onto the blankets, keeping Aaeru close to her. They would talk in the morning, if Aaeru felt like it. Her grandpa wasn’t someone they often discussed, but now she wondered if they should have.

It was the sound of the birds chirruping around her that woke up. Groggily, she opened her eyes and found that she still felt drained and exhausted. Her head felt cloudy and heavy. As she began to wake more, the previous night came back to her. Once more, the hurt started and she felt herself on the verge of tears. She held tighter to Neviril.

“You saw him, didn’t you, Aaeru?” asked Neviril softly.

Aaeru could only nod in reply. She had seen him and he had seen her. He had even said her name, and she couldn’t handle it. She thought Neviril would start to scold her for what she had done, but those weren’t the next words from Neviril’s lips.

“I suppose it’s hard to see someone you loved and who had passed away alive again, isn’t it?” She received no answer from Aaeru. “He raised you and cared for you, and seeing him again seems like it’d make things better, but it only makes them harder, doesn’t it?”

Sniffling, Aaeru finally nodded slowly. She pulled away and sat up, staring off into the direction of the place she called home. She heard Neviril sit up behind her and place an arm on Aaeru’s shoulder. “I thought seeing him again would be okay, but something happened, like you said. It just hurts worse.”

“Aaeru, he helped you grow up to become the Sibylla you were. He did all he could for you and taught you about the other world. You never forgot what he did, and you shouldn’t forget now.”

“I don’t want to. I just want to make the hurt stop, Neviril.” She turned and looked back at her pair.

“It will stop, in time. You’ll never forget him, but it will be easier. You can’t just push the hurt away; it doesn’t help. Trust me…I know.” She watched as Aaeru stood up. She saw the girl wipe at her face with her hands, before she turned to look at Neviril.

“I want to fly, Neviril. I want to be in the sky. I want grandpa to see me, even if I can’t see him.”

“We can’t fly over his house,” reminded Neviril, as she stood up.

“I know that. But maybe… he saw us…will see us. Maybe that’s why he believed in the other world so much. Please, Neviril.”

The look Aaeru gave her was one Neviril had never seen her wear before. Her eyes pleaded, wanting to do this. Was Aaeru onto something? Did her actions actually change how her grandpa felt about the other world? She nodded. “All right.”

The Simoun lifted into the sky a little later, a determined auriga at the helm. Her trusted sagitta sat behind her, willing to follow the girl’s lead, knowing in her heart and soul that this was Aaeru’s wish. She believed in it, and let that belief draw the Ri Majon trails that traveled behind their craft.

In the distance, an older man happened to look out the kitchen window and toward the sky. At first, he believed his eyes were deceiving him, but no, they were not, he realized. In the distance, he saw the trails of an unfamiliar Ri Majon unfurling. Some deep part of his brain stirred, trying to remember why this Ri Majon was so special, but his mind was fuzzy. He thought of the dream he had had the night before. He had seen the girl in the doorway, an older version of his young granddaughter.

It had been easy to dismiss the vision as a dream. Surely it hadn’t been real, and it was simply an illusion of a sleep ridden mind. Now… he wondered if perhaps, it had been real, and if that really had been Aaeru before him, from another time and place. If it had been real… was the other world closer than he thought? He smiled as the Ri Majon was completed, a bright light spreading across the morning sky. He would have to think about it, but it made him smile to realize that his dreams could very well be truth.

“Grandpa! Grandpa!” shouted a voice behind him.

“Aaeru! You’re awake early this morning,” he remarked with a laugh, turning to look at his granddaughter, who was rubbing her eyes. Her hair stuck up at odd angles, and would need a good brushing this morning.

“Uh huh! You said we were gonna go play in the river today. I wanna go right now!”

He chuckled once more. “Breakfast first and then we’ll go, I promise.”

He took one last look toward the window, but could no longer see even a trace of the Ri Majon trails in the sky. Nothing was out of place, out of the ordinary. All was as it should be. Yet, he knew that something special had occurred that morning and it made him proud to know that someday, Aaeru would be a part of it.

“Grandpa!”

“All right, all right. Breakfast it is then.” He turned and picked up the small girl before him, raising her into the air, which caused her to giggle. For now, he would love and nurture the younger Aaeru, helping her to grow into the person he hoped she would become someday.

_________________


And it's in your dreams that you might find the sky is limitless, an open range...
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Sibylla Aaeru
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