Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Okay, Okay... This is Gonna be Long


We entered a room from a door at the end of the hall. The room was obviously the dining room. A party of people were gathered here, quietly talking, as servants in white clothes set a myriad of plates on the large, low, wooden table.
“Late for dinner as usual?” Said a nonchalant voice from the corner of the room. A man with long, dark brown hair, streaked with gray, and a small crown set atop it came towards Kala and Hara, then stopped when he saw me. “What do we have here?” He asked.
“A foreigner, pop.” Kala said. “We found her on the beach.
“Ah, Well.” The man said. “Here you are now. My name is Asca Anwip, and I am Kala and Hara's father. Feel free to call me Asca or Uncle, as is the usual Cherokean title given to an older man.” I smiled. These people seemed casual and happy, not staunch and stuck up. Asca was a very tall and handsome man, and he had a grave face that looked like he had seen many battles. He was dressed in a white shirt and a dark green vest embroidered with a black pattern. His pants were a gray color and he was wearing leather flip-flops. Like everyone else in the room he was carrying a short dagger, his was made of silver and emeralds, but besides his crown he was wearing no jewelry.
“I am Shimziah Anwip.” Said another voice. “Wife of Asca.” I turned. A plump lady who looked about fifty, came over and shook my hand. She had sparkling brown eyes and gray hair, which looked like it was once blond, in a large bun on the back of her head. She had a happy face, but it was one that could be very stern at times.
”You are welcome into our house and feel free to stay. We will treat you as close family. Please call me aunt Shimziah.” She wrapped me up in a big bear hug.
“Uh...Thank you.” I replied. This was just getting a little awkward. “As I said, I'm Ellie. Thank you for your hospitality.” I stumbled over the words. Shimziah didn't seem to notice and she turned to the rest of the people in the room.
“Kala, who you've already met, is the oldest at sixteen.” She nodded at him. And he smiled at me. I decided I liked him. He looked like the type of person who was a loyal friend but a deadly enemy.
“Next comes Enabeth, and she's fourteen.” She beckoned to a tall girl with long blond hair and deep brown eyes who was seated on a low bench that ran the length of one wall. She was wearing a sleeveless blue dress, made of some light, gauzy material. She stood up, walked over to me, and gave me a graceful handshake. She looked calm and quiet but still looked like she could easily best me in a fight. It appeared these people were well-trained in weapons of war. I decided not to try any forced attack methods if I found a reason to leave.
“And this her twin is Eija.” Shimziah said as a girl in a red dress, edged with gold, gave me a proper curtsy and shook my hand. She had piercing blue eyes and jet-black hair, which was worn long. “Of course, Eija's also fourteen.” Shimziah continued. “And you've already met Hara, who's thirteen.”
There was silence in the room for a minute or so as I looked at my surroundings. The roof was high, about fifteen feet up. The walls were paneled with a chalky white wood. The table in the center of the room was about one and a half feet tall, and made of a dark, smooth wood. Placed around it were bright, decorated cushions, which served as seats. There was a long bench along the sides of two walls and five large windows let in an evening light.
The door on the other side of the room suddenly opened and a tall man walked in. He had long black hair and and evil smile on his face. He was wearing all black and was carrying a long sword.
“I thought I heard something.” He said, His voice low and evil. “What do we have here?” He asked no one in particular. “Outsider scum?” At this comment Hara's hand dropped to the dagger at her side while Kala knocked an arrow to his bow. The man chuckled evilly and walked across the room with amazing speed.
“None of you business, Maltor.” Asca said, stepping protectively in front of me. The man laughed again.
“Everything is my business,” He said. His voice sounded like a snake. He stepped around Asca and put his cold, slimy hand on my shoulder. I shook it off. “I work for the queen!”
“And we work for the king.” Asca said in a clearly troubled voice. “So away form here scum brother.” Maltor's face turned pale and his hand dropped to the hilt of the long black sword at his side. He paused for a second, but after a lengthy pause he turned and proceeded towards the door.
“I'll see what the queen thinks about this!” He said before slamming the door behind him. Kala slipped the arrow back into his quiver, and we all stood in the dining room in silence for a few minutes.
“There are particular people, Ellie, whom you don't want to brush the wrong way.” Asca said. “This island is in a precarious political state. It just needs one little word to tick off the bomb. You see, I and my two brothers, Anktuk our good and gracious king, and Maltor, whom you have just met, were born to Ki Anwip, a young prince, while his father, King Temundj, was still reigning. My father died when I was five, and we were raised by my mother, Alkeena, and my uncle, Daleth, who later inherited the throne when Temundj died. Daleth died of a sudden illness when I was twelve, leaving My mother, my brothers Anktuk and Maltor and I the last renaming of the royal house. Anktuk inherited the throne, being fifteen then, but the people of the city of Ergos, the only other city on this island, wanted Maltor to be king.
It is customary for the oldest living male heir to be king, but kings can choose their heirs. King Daleth had left no mention of whom he wanted as his heir, but the people of Ergos said that he had actually wanted Maltor to be king after him, and that we were lying. Nothing would convince them of the truth, even the fact that Maltor had been instructed to get his own house by king Daleth, being as creepy as he is now, even then at the age of ten. We had a war of arguments and were were on the verge of blows when Malcolm Jeresinomo, a wise but evil man of high standing in Ergos, quieted his people and told the Elenans that they would not press the point further or attack Elena as long as we agreed to one point. That Malcolm's oldest daughter, Starcaria, would marry king Anktuk, and that she would be treated with respect. Anktuk had never met the girl, but seeing it was our only terms, he agreed to marry her.
Anktuk is a very jovial sort of person, and he'll ignore most problems and sometimes say things just to make people happy and leave him. His wife, the queen Starcaria, is a headstrong, pushy, and utterly evil woman who knows how to get her way anywhere. Since their marriage, thirty-two years ago, Starcaria has set in motion small stones that will soon start an avalanche. The storm is soon coming. Life is dangerous for us now.”
Chapter 2 – New Friends
The meal was eaten in silence, most of it with fingers. Most people just reached in and dished the food they wanted onto their plate with their hands. Knives were used to cut the meat and spoons for the soup. A thick cloth napkin was commonly used for cleaning the fingers when they got too sticky. Licking them clean was also acceptable.
The food was glorious. Cherokean food is something like Mediterranean cuisine. Fish, flat bread sandwiches, spicy rice dishes, lots of cheese and fruit. It was very tasty and filling. After the meal was eaten Asca said that I should get a bath and a change of clothes.
“Your clothes are pretty torn up and you should wear Cherokean clothing to keep from arousing suspicion. Tomorrow I'll ask if the king will meet with you. After that, you are free to explore the city. Hara has lessons tomorrow but you can take one of the older children as a guide. The servants have prepared one of the rooms for your use, and found an outfit that hopefully fits you. If it is the proper size, they can get you a sufficient wardrobe for your use.” I thanked him heartily, told him I would turn in early, and said good-night.
The room I was led to was medium-size. Inside was a bed, a large cabinet and a desk. Adjoining the room was a small bathroom, which had a bathtub filled with hot water. On the bed was the most gorgeous outfit I had seen. It was a sleeveless sky blue dress with a dark navy sash, a pair of leather sandals, some gold bracelets and a short dagger encrusted with emeralds. There was also a white night-gown of sorts and a pair of pink silk slippers. The servant left me with a good-night.
I set my Swiss Army knife (the only object I had that had survived the storm in my pocket,) on the desk and I immediately proceeded with the bath. The tub was very deep, probably almost three and a half feet, almost like a small hot tub. It was built into the floor, and made of shiny copper with swirls and vines carved around the edges. It had a blue mosaic floor and there was a carved wooden bench next to it with towels and soap.
After I was all clean, I dressed in the night-gown and I got in bed. The bed frame was carved out of the same white wood that paneled most of the walls. It had a purple brocade blanket and the sheets were clean and fresh.
I thought about my day, but mostly I thought about what my family and friends back home would think when I turned up as 'missing, presumed dead'. I didn't want to be on this island, even though it was a very interesting place. I wanted to be home.


I felt someone shaking me. I had gone to bed feeling nice and happy, but I didn’t wake up feeling that way. I opened my eyes to see Hara standing over me with a smiling face.
“Hi, miss sunshine.” I said sarcastically. Hara only giggled in reply to my comment.
“You need to get up,” She said.
“Says who?” I asked, wanting to and fall back asleep.
“Any normal person. Besides it's breakfast time and I've gotta go to school now. See ya tonight.” She said with another laugh and skipped out of the room. I rolled over and yawned loudly.
Sunshine streamed into the room from the small windows high in the wall, giving the area a warm glow. I got out of bed and proceeded to put on the outfit from last night. The dress had no buttons or zippers whatsoever, only a small series of ribbons down the back, starting at the top and going down to about the middle of my back. The sandals each had a small strap going around the back of the foot secured with a small silver button.
After putting on the outfit I stopped to look at myself in the large mirror above my desk. The dress was a perfect fit, and I loved the shimmery cloth. Blue was my favorite color, and it always looked nice on me, going well with my brown eyes, freckles, and straight red hair.
Breakfast was eaten in silence, like dinner last night. It consisted of warm, sweet, flat bread, somewhat like pancakes, yogurt, fresh fruit and cool juice. After breakfast Kala asked me if I wanted to be given a tour of the house, and later the city. Asca said I could visit the king sometime in the afternoon, but until then, we had the day to ourselves.
The house was one story and reminded me of the street houses of the Edwardian period in England. It was thin and long with a small entry in the front and a spacious courtyard near the back. The kids cheerily led me through the halls and rooms of the house. It had a large kitchen, a dining-room, (which doubled as a living room), a gigantic master bedroom, nine other bedrooms, many rooms for storage and seven bathrooms. In the front of the house was the kitchen and dining room, then the master bedroom and Kala, Enabeth and Eija's bedrooms. Then the rooms and halls spread out into two arms, meeting up with the stable on the other side, with a courtyard in between. The stable opened into the street on the other side of the house. Only four of the bedrooms were inhabited, and the uninhabited ones were furnished like the one I stayed in, simple but elegant.
In the stable I met the horses. Shimziah's horse, a grey mare named Bluebird, Asca's horse, North, Kala's horse, Muriel, Hara's horse, Ayka, Enabeth's horse Akodad, and Eija's horse, Adriel, besides a few other horses.
After meeting all the horses, I met the last member of the family. I was petting Kala's horse, Muriel, when I felt something brush against my leg. I almost jumped, but looked down to see a strange-looking kitty at my feet.
“That's Abdul, Hara's cat.” Enabeth said. I reached down and picked up the little cat, and set him on the stable door in front of me. He purred loudly as I petted him, and he even began to lick my hands. He looked like an American cat, but he had a wider face, bigger ears, shorter legs, a large, fluffy tail, and very long whiskers. His head looked like a fox's head and his body was short and round, like a wiener dog's. When he walked, his shaggy fur dragged on the ground beneath him. He was an odd brown color, with darker spots on his paws and under his chin. His tail hung down behind him - unlike a regular cat's tail - when he walked. He was the cutest cat I had ever seen.


The kids were leading me halfway down the last hall, but then they stopped and walked back up the hall. There was one door at the end of the hall. It had a pointed top and a skull painted in red on the front, and a huge deadbolt on the outside of the door.
“What or who is in there,” I called, catching up to them at the end of the hall.
“Uncle Maltor.” Eija quietly said, hate lining her voice.
“Why,” I asked.
“One day a few months ago, a maid went into his room to clean it out.” Kala said. “She never came out. Later that day we asked Maltor where she went. He said he had never seen her and that she was not in his room. We knew he was lying. It was all very weird, so we brought soldiers in to investigate. They found her body on the table. She had been stabbed several times and it was all chewed up as if a wild animal had eaten her. Uncle Maltor's teeth had blood and bits of flesh in them. When we questioned him all he said was 'She found out too much.'” I stifled a squeal. Kala gave me a reassuring smile.
“The lock on the door is so we can lock Maltor in.” He continued “And the red skull is our symbol for danger. If you ever see that symbol anywhere never enter that place.” His tale sent shivers down my spine and I glanced at the door uneasily. I was sure if I ever got back to America, I would be able to tell the most creepy horror story anyone had ever heard.
They then took me to the courtyard. It was rectangle-shaped with doors placed on three sides. Around the wall that divided it from the house was a fifteen foot wide porch surrounded by an ornately carved railing. At certain spots there were five steps down to the main garden area. Here there were a few fruit trees, flowers, shrubs, pools and two fountains. Here and there were beautifully carved benches or statues. Kala and I plopped down on the porch steps, and Enabeth and Eija ran off to the kitchen to see if they could sneak some sweets from under the nose of the cook, Bithiea.
“Do you like it here?” Kala asked after a minute.
“Huh? Oh, sure, I guess.” I replied. He smiled and nodded, then studied the wooden floor. I looked at him. His straight blond hair reached halfway down his back, and was currently tied back in a half-ponytail. He had a straight face, which could express both friendship and menace, with his deep brown eyes sometimes sparkling with merriment and sometimes dark and mad.
“Stop staring at me, it makes me nervous.” I jumped at the sound of his voice.
“How did you know I was looking at you?” I asked.
“I can feel your eyes.” He said, looking up at me. I shrugged.
“Fine.” I replied. He smiled, before going back to studying the deck. A few minutes later Enabeth and Eija returned carrying a plate with a little pile of sugary sweets and cakes. We all nibbled away, while Enabeth and Eija chattered.
“Why do you eat dinner silently, but talk while you eat snacks?” I asked after a few minutes. Kala smiled and explained.
“It's because Cherokean tradition says that meals should be eat in silence as a time of reverence to the gods of food and drink. Nowadays, most people don't believe in such childish things, but Starcaria's superstitious, and when she saw how the populace chatted when they eat, she convinced Anktuk to make a law that says people must be silent during mealtimes. But she didn't mention snacks!” His eyes twinkled.
“Most people still talk during mealtimes because no one can hurt them.” Enabeth said. “The guards and officers who enforce the law think the rule is stupid, so no one gets arrested. But daddy says if we talked that Maltor would probably report it to the queen, which wouldn't be a good idea. Even though the law enforcement officers wouldn't arrest us, if Starcaria ever wanted to get rid of us she could prove that we had disobeyed the law.” I consumed the rest of my cake deep in thought.
After eating the snacks and slipping the tray back in the kitchen, which resulted in a good-natured scolding from the cook, Bithiea, We went out into the street by way of the gigantic front doors. They were each ten feet tall and six feet wide, made of three-inch-thick ornately carved wood and reinforced with sturdy iron bars. In front of the house there were three white marble steps leading down into the street. On either side of the door were five tall windows, the ones into the kitchen and dining room. The street outside was busy but still orderly through the hustle and bustle. We trotted down the stairs, and slipped into the crowd.
The town was, as I had observed yesterday, of immense and large proportions. But Kala, Enabeth and Eija seemed to know every twist and turn, every street and every house. They asked me if I cared if they took me to their friends houses. I told them to do whatever they wanted, I'd just follow them.
After a bit of waking through the dense crowd in the streets, we stopped in front of a large house. Kala went in without a knock, and the rest of us followed. We went down the main hall, turned left and stopped in front of the third door on the right. Kala knocked.
“Come in.” Said a girl's voice from inside. Kala opened the door.
Inside the room sat a boy and a girl. The boy was laying on the bed, a book in his hands, and the girl was sitting on the end of the bed. Both of them were tall for their age. The boy had curly dark brown hair that reached to his shoulders and brown eyes. The girl had wavy black hair and bright blue eyes. Upon our arrival the girl sprang up and wrapped Enabeth and Eija each in a graceful hug. The boy gave Kala a sideways smile.
“Hello! But who's this?” The girl asked, smiling warmly at me.
“This is Ellie Moore, a foreigner whom we found on the beach last night.” Kala said to the girl, then he turned to me: “This is Anna Javich, who's fourteen, and her brother Tayjat, who's sixteen. they're some of our good friends. They also have a younger sister, Janell, who's thirteen, but she's at the academy with Hara. You'll have to come over sometime and meet her. The house is too quiet without her.” Anna let out a giggle. Kala continued. “Anna here graduated earlier than usual: half a year ago, with Enn and Eija. She would've still been in school if she hadn't been so smart.” The girl blushed lightly and Tayjat giggled.
“What do you say to getting some sacks?” The girl asked lightly.
“We're full, we just had some, sorry.” Enabeth replied.
“Well how about some tea or juice?” She said lightly. We nodded. “Come Tayjat!” She said to her brother, who had picked up his book again, and she glided out the door, motioning for us to follow. Anna and the girls glided silently down the hall, like a stalking cat, while Tayjat, sounded like a half-mad elephant marching around. Well, so did I.
We arrived at the kitchen and got some cool juice. I was told it was mango juice, and it was the best mango juice I had ever had. Cherokeans are large fans of fruit: apples, oranges, mangoes, banana, melons, grapes, pineapple and every other kind of fruit imaginable. In a tropical environment, fruit, flat bread and fish were the largest parts of their diet.
The kids chatted together, about pointless subjects and the latest stories. Anna was a chatty and funny girl, with a light voice and a happy heart. Her brother was silent most of the time, but when you asked him a question, he could give you the wittiest answer.
After a while, we had to leave. Tayjat was moaning about how we were keeping him away from his book, and Kala said we had best be going.
After we left the Javich's, Kala asked If I wanted to meet more of their friends.
“I don't care, I'll anything that you guys want to do.” I said. Kala nodded. We walked down a few streets until we came to a large house. Kala looked at me.
“This is the Kikanya's house. Thankfully their three youngest children are at school. The two oldest will be enough change from the Javich's for you to handle.” He grinned, and knocked loudly on the door.
“Coming!” A voice yelled from inside. The door was thrown open by a tall girl with chocolate-colored hair that reached down to her ankles. She leaped down the stairs and pushed us in front of her into the house. She shut the door and smiled at us.
“It's dangerous to be outside on Saturdays.” She said matter-of-factly. “You could get hit by meteorites.” She nodded strangely and led us down a twisting hall.
“But it's Monday!” I whispered to Eija. “And what would the day have to do with...”
“I know, I know.” Eija hushed me. “She's a little strange in the upper story some days.”
“Are all of her siblings like this?” I asked.
“No, no. The other ones are just a bit wild. You'll see soon enough.” The girl finally stopped in front of a door and pounded on it.
“Landon! Are you in there?” She yelled. A tall boy opened the door and smiled at his sister, who continued to pound into the thin air. He had a grinning face with a mop of hair the same color as his sister's, and he was sucking on a green lollipop.
“Yes, Alyxa.” He said, laughing. “Do come in!” Alyxa stopped pounding, and we walked into the room.
The room was large, with a bed on each side. There was a line carved on the floor, directly across the middle. On one side, to our left, there was a tall loft bed, with a desk underneath. Everything was in perfect order. On the other side of the line was another bed and desk. Made exactly the same. But here the mattress had been dragged off the bed and was sitting on the floor. On top of it and on the floor were plies of stuff, mostly old clothes, all stuck together with candy slime.
“That is my brother Imcas's room.” Landon motioned towards the messy side. “And this is mine.” He said, walking over and seating himself in a large chair. His sister Alyxa, whom had by now calmed down from her knocking frenzy, suddenly ran across the floor and leaped onto the loft bed in one bound. She sat with her legs hanging over the edge and he feet resting on her brother's head, which didn't appear to affect Landon, who was sitting comfortably sucking on his sucker.
“Now,” Landon said. “Let us on with introductions.” He waved his hand at me. “Proceed!” Kala turned to me.
“This is Ellie, the foreigner who we found on the beach last afternoon.”
“Ah.” Landon said. “But why are you introducing her? Can she talk?”
“Of course I can talk!” I said laughing. “But enough with that. I think the host is supposed to introduce themselves first.”
“Ah.” He said, examining his sucker. “I think not. I need to know who's in my house before they know who I am.” He let out and evil giggle. “Ah well. Anyways, I'm Landon Kikanya. You don't want to shake mt hand, it's sticky.” He looked at his hand, which was covered in green slime. He tired to lick it off, then frowned and stuck the sucker back into his mouth.
“And that's Alyxa.” He said through his teeth, jabbing his free hand at the girl above him. She grinned strangely. Kala cleared his throat.
“Alyxa's seventeen and Landon is fifteen.” He said. Landon grinned and nodded, then took the sucker out of his mouth.
“Like I've said before, I like to introduce myself. But you can do it your way.” He said, popping the sucker back in his mouth.
“Good.” Kala said. “Well then, I can introduce the rest of them. The younger ones are at school. Aurelia's twelve, Kyra's ten and Imcas' is nine. Aurelia is probably the most normal of the family...”
“Normal?” Alyxa cut in. “All she ever does is sit in her room and read.” Kala winked at me and continued.
“Kyra likes to jump off things. And climb up things and get herself stuck in perilous places. And Imcas likes making messes, as is visible in his room.” Kala said, glancing towards the other side of the room. “And he likes following Kyra onto the roof and all.” I nodded slowly. These were some very odd people. Suddenly Landon jumped up, displacing Alyxa's feet from his head.
“Caloric intake necessary for continued survival!” He said in a robotic voice, and ran out of the room.
“He means food.” Alyxa said, leaping off the bed and following him. Kala, Enabeth, Eija and I got up and followed at a more moderate pace. We were in the kitchen in a second, where Landon was rummaging for food. He finally grabbed a slice of bread and consumed it at the speed of lightning.
“Ah, better!” He said, patting his stomach. He let out a large burp and trotted out out the room. We followed him, as he sauntered out to the courtyard. He seated himself on a large bench, leaving no room for the rest of us. We sat on the soft ground. Landon pulled the sucker out of his mouth and proceeded to jabber.
“You know, I get hungry spurts like that too often, but, Alyxa don't, there's always food, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, Alyxa, I said don't, you'll make us... Eeeeeeeeeeek!” Alyxa had seated herself on the arm of the bench, and had been swing her legs back and forth. Suddenly the bench tipped up and sent Landon projecting across the garden. He squealed and smashed into a bush. In a few moments he pushed his way out, mumbling and groaning. He had lost his sucker, and some leaves were stuck to the sucker residue on his hands and face. We all burst into laughter.
“Guys, it's not funny.” He groaned, and walked over to a large fountain to attempt to wash the leaves and goo off himself. Soon he was clean, then he scampered over to the bush and poked his head under it and searched around for a bit. Finally he came up even more dirty than before, but with his mission accomplished. He had his sucker.

8 comments:

  1. Holy, moly, when you said long I didn't think THAT long!

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  2. And Alyxa is by far my favorite character. :)

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  3. * Although he was based off of him, the kooky-ness of the character Landon Kikanya is in no way something against Landon, my brother's friend.*

    anyways, sorry for the bad formatting. yup, it was long.

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  4. LOL!! "Landon" actually really reminds me of your brother (esp. the "caloric intake" and all that). And methinks I found a character named after me...
    Anyway, nice. But, jsyk, you nock an arrow to your bow. Knocking it would be a bit problematic. =P

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  5. ARGH! Stupid Google and blogger and chrome and cookies............ it lost my thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! right before i posted it!!! augh!!! *sigh*

    1. the caloric intake line was from Ethan, not Collin
    2. Anna was not named after you, but Hannaryosha Partryen, who you'll meet later, is.

    ok....... work, thing, work...

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  6. L.O.L.

    THAT WAS AWESOME!!! XD

    I've got to say, so far, Landon is my fav.... ^_^

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  7. Yeah, actually Landon has been re-named to Ami'k because Landon is the real name of the person who that character was based off...

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