The Life Weaver

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Page Einhart is the last of what is known as a Life Weaver, one who can manipulate life itself. She sets out on a journey to meet her supposed death, or salvation. Only time will tell which one it will be.

This is the first chapter of the book.

Submitted: August 07, 2014

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Submitted: August 07, 2014

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Page woke with a start, clutching the wool blankets that shielded her from the icy cold to her chest. Not that she needed them, of course; she could always Weave the air around her to whatever temperature she wanted. They did give her a sense of normalcy, however, a sense that perhaps she was not who everyone thought she was. This was foolishness, of course, because Page Einhart was precisely what everyone said she was: without limit, without end.

In a sweat she imposed upon herself, she threw the blankets aside, abruptly realizing she was naked. Just as suddenly, the blankets became a smart dress upon her, shifting to her contours. She made sure it was modest, and ran her hand over her head. She wore a braid that reached to her middle, her hair a dark brown. She could make it any color she wanted, yet she chose brown because less people focused on the neutral color. Red or Golden was the trait of a remarkable woman, and she needed none of the attention. Well, rather, she did not want it. Attention was always given to her regardless.

She was an average height for a man, though tall for any woman; that concession she had to make for herself. She did not like being looked down upon. Her face was gentle, her eyes a sparkling blue, and her physique was nothing short of striking, though she had been even more beautiful once, even before she learned of what she was. Whatever she thought of attention, it was certainly easier to get around a town or village when the men did not find you threatening. Or, at the very least, not until they knew her name.

She sighed, and tried to remember everything that happened in the Dream. She did not need sleep, yet forgetting even for a while what she was… it was no small comfort. She pushed the tent flap aside, and stared into the darkness. An unconscious thought lit the torches around the camp, though they burnt out just as quickly.

“Fool”, she chastised herself quietly. She thought back to her Dream, and realized that this was the first time in well over 500 years that she had thought of it. That fateful day, which she tried so hard to forget… Another tent flap opened from the middle of the small camp, revealing Rignar. He looked exhausted, she thought, though she did not know what that felt like, save for fleeting moments when she Touched. He yawned as he came towards her, confirming her thoughts, and produced a small flame from his hand. He was an expert Fire Weaver, and just as skilled with the other schools, so it came as no surprise.

“As you can see, I am a light sleeper, Page”, he smiled dryly. The man did not like to be woken before his time, though he knew better than to berate her for it. She might lose her temper, and… And bad things happened when she lost her temper. She knew she would not over such a trivial thing, but the fear of it was always with those she met, having heard rumors of rumors about her in ages past.

Page flinched at the thought, and met Rignar’s gaze as he stopped in front of her. The man was handsome, she had to admit. Dark hair flowed down to his shoulders, and his square face spoke of power yet calm. His eyes burned bright red always, as he had chosen his Primary School years prior. He was only slightly taller than her, though she did not have to gaze too far upwards. He put a hand on her shoulder.

It felt like a small trickle, being asked a thousand questions in a moment, with every answer being truthful. Rignar was one of the few who had mastered Thought Weaving, and the only one she let use it on her. He pulled back his hand a moment later, and sighed.

“You are leaving us, then? I did know the day would come, though I had hoped…” His words trailed off as her stared past her.

She knew what he wanted, and she wanted that too, if she was honest with herself. There were days where she could see herself married to a man, being a good wife for even a short time… but she could not stay, not for anyone. She could not, WOULD not bear a child, and the laws demanded that she be whipped for it. When the townsfolk would inevitably see what happened to metal that touched her, to anything that did… She would have to run again to avoid more death than there would be.

She smiled at Rignar, and touched his face.

“I’m sorry, my old friend”, she said sadly.

Rignar nodded, and sighed. He knew what had to be done, and why. He offered her a small metal sphere from his jacket pocket, and she took it reluctantly. She tried to think of a better way; there was none. This was the only way.

She took the sphere into herself, her hands weaving the metal to her bones; an old trick she had learned years ago. She said not a word as she cast minuscule shards of metal from her hands into the 20-odd members of the camp. The shards would not kill them, but would simply be implanted into their heads, awaiting her command. She needed to be away when it happened; she could not bear to see it.

Rignar winced a bit as he felt a slight pinch in his head. He smiled sadly. She looked him in the eye, and was struck by his calm. She could not stay any longer. She had to leave. She MUST leave.

Page turned her back on the camp, not bothering with her belongings. She could find another sword, or make one. She preferred daggers anyway. She started to walk away, not once looking back.

“For the order!”

The slight shout from Rignar startled her, and she could picture his fist held high, held proud. She looked at the ground, and started to run as fast as she could, faster. She forced adrenaline into her, guarded her muscles from breaking, blocked the pain of shattering bone that mended itself immediately. She was already a mile away not thirty seconds later. She started to cry softly.

“For the order…”

With a simple clench of her right fist, she heard the wet sound of over 20 heads exploding from expanding metal. It happened so quickly that they would not have felt it. They would not know she was to blame. They could not watch her and judge her for what she had done…

Crying even more, knowing all her companions for the past 20 years were gone to Tar’Hion, she raced further and further into the night.

 

4391 years ago

The Age of Kings

 

___

 

Drial held his spear close, eyeing the lion not a hundred paces ahead of him warily. He was crouched, and it could not possibly see him… But it could smell better than any man, and was dangerous even from a league away.

He ran his hand through his ruddy hair, and scratched the stubble that crept across his face in patches. He was not yet old enough to shave, or so said father, but perhaps after he killed the lion that had been plaguing their sheep, he would be recognized for what he was: a man. He was not yet 14, but others had become Men by 12. He saw no reason he should not be a man already.

He crept up quietly, letting his slender figure go between grass and shrubs quickly. He tried not to pant, though he was nervous. He was now less than 50 paces from the beast. Close enough to throw a spear. So close he almost ached.

He quickly touched the ground, and found that it was rich with iron. Drawing the fragments close to him, he wove a small dagger, just in case. He did not have time to grab a second spear before leaving camp; the elders would have found him and punished him for certain. He shook his head quickly, trying to concentrate. The lion.

He exhaled deeply, and hefted his spear. One hit, and the animal would be down. Worst come to worst, he could weave the metal into its heart, and that would be the end of it.

He drew himself back. It was time.

“What in the name of the Five Kings are you doing?”

The harsh whisper made him stumble and panic, and he turned to see who spoke. Before him was the prettiest girl in the village, the daughter of the Blacksmith. Page… That was her name. She was a year younger than him, and they hardly spoke. He was too busy learning the Spear and the Sword for girls; at least, that’s what he told himself.

“Bloody Seth, Page, do you not see the lion?”

He tried not to look at her green eyes, or her golden, almost white hair, but he could not help it. But her being pretty had nothing to do with her stupidity at the moment. He hissed for her to get lower, hoping the lion would not see them. He noticed it cleaning itself in the corner of his eye.

Though clearly angry at being ordered, she complied.

“I could ask the same of you! And watch your tongue, Drial! There’s no need for those words!”

She approached him even more silently than he was able to creep. He had to give her credit; her woodcraft was superb.

He rolled his eyes.

“Page, we can’t keep talking about what to do with the lion! We need to act! Now, try not to get in my way. Please”, he added hastily, seeing her mouth open. She shut it tightly and glared at him. He turned to the lion, but could still feel her gaze drilling holes into his back. He shuddered. Women.

He came back to concentrating on the task at hand. He hefted his spear, and prayed it would reach its mark. He noticed the lion flaring its nostrils, and he suddenly knew why. Page had put on her flowery perfume that day. Of all the bloody…

Before he could finish the thought, he loosed his spear towards the beast. It arced high, and came crashing down on the animal. It let out a howl of pain, got up, and stumbled. It had been struck directly in the heart, from fifty paces. A smug grin crept across his face. He laughed loudly.

“Ha ha! I did it!”

Without thinking, he hugged Page in triumph. She tensed as he did, protesting slightly.

“For goodness sake, Drial, let go! Are you sure it’s dead? Is it safe to go forward?”

He was still smiling stupidly as he let her go, ignoring her questions. Drial could hear her asking louder, trying to get him to pay attention. But he could not; HE had killed it. He WAS a man!

He walked forward without a care, and got to the animal quickly. It was not breathing, and it bled profusely from his spear. Its eyes were glazed over in death, and its mouth was open in a soundless snarl. A male lion! He still could not believe it.

He felt a tug on his arm.

“Drial, we should go… Something feels…”

Her words trailed off, and she looked worried. He could not stop now! He had to prove he had won… Its mane. That would do.

“Not yet, Page. I’m not done.”

He bent down, ignoring her protests, and began cutting bits off the mane of the beast. She was still spouting off some nonsense about it not feeling right. He had scouted the whole bloody plain, and there was nothing there! Nothing save them and a now dead lion. Did she take him for some sort of fool?

He finished, and got up irritably. She had fallen silent behind him, obviously done with her worrying. He turned around without looking up, and met her gaze angrily.

“Listen, I scouted – “

His words were cut short as he saw her face. It was ghostly white, and terrified. He did not have enough time to turn around until he felt the lionesses’ jaws clamp down on his arm.

He screamed bloody murder, wildly swinging his dagger at the roaring beast. He was aware of a loss of sensation in his left arm. A vague glimpse of teeth in front of his face showed his lifeless arm, ripped off at the elbow. He wanted to be sick. His stomach felt ready to…

He pushed the thought from his mind. He had to win. He had to survive. He had to spare Page the same fate as he faced.

He could not remember how many times he stabbed the lion; it kept its onslaught on his small frame constant, seeming to not care about any surface wounds. It roared loudly, and barred its teeth. He knew this was the end.

Suddenly the lion’s skull exploded outwards. He blinked through the shower of blood that rained on his face. He had no idea what had happened. He could only feel the carcass slam down on him, winding him. He panted, and almost passed out from the pain of a lost arm. Tears formed, blurring his vision.

He was dimly aware of Page crying loudly, trying vainly to put his shredded arm back in place. He wanted to tell her it was alright, that she need not cry for his sake. He could not, however. The world around him was slowly fading to black, and the sweet serenity of death wrapped its arms around him…

Drial drew himself up with a start. He was still under the lion, or at least half of him was. He looked to his left, and saw Page, who looked shocked and relieved. He felt for his stub… And found his arm. Whole. There was not a single scratch on him, and he felt as if he had slept for a month. His jaw dropped, and he looked up at Page in disbelief. Surely he had not dreamt the whole encounter…

Page spoke through hiccups and tears.

“I… I just… wanted you to not die… To not lose your… arm…”

She was staring at her hands like she was some kind of monster. He stumbled over words.

“Page… How…?”

She shook her head.

“I can’t weave. I’ve never been able to. On my twelfth birthday I found that out. I can’t weave. I can’t…”

She was almost in hysterics. Drial gripped her shoulders and shook her.

“Page! What did you do? Answer me!”

She looked up at him, with a pained smile on her face.

“I… I healed you. I healed… you…”

Drial was speechless for a moment. Healing was impossible. There were no weavers skilled in Healing, much less those who could cheat death like she had. This made no sense. And yet, here he was; whole. Well. He could not believe it. He shook himself, forced himself to speak.

“Page… What you’re saying is impossible. I thought my arm was ripped off, but I must have been mistaken. There is no such thing as –“

He almost fainted at the sight of his arm, or what was left of it, still in the disembodied jaw of the lion. This arm attached to him was new. He threw up to his right.

He brushed his mouth, and stared at Page. What WAS she? This seemed like something out of a Bard’s tale.

She threw her arms around his neck.

“I’m sorry Drial… I… I couldn’t think, I just…”

Drial let her sob into his shoulder, and patted her back. He needed answers, as did she. A miracle had happened, and an impossible miracle at that. There was no way for this to happen. He should be dead, instead of holding a crying girl in his arms, BOTH of them. He hoped to be able to sleep that night, but he had work to do first. The village elders needed to hear of this, and immediately.


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