Rebels with a cause

I’ve never been what you’d call popular, but the few friends I’ve had over the years have been loyal ones, perhaps that’s why they don’t voice what’s going through all our minds - what we’re planning to do is insane. They’ve always stood by me and I’d trust them with my life, not that that’s really been asked of them before now. I know you probably think “‘I’d trust them with my life’? yeah right, they’re empty words,” but it’s true, if you lived in my world you’d understand. You’d understand that your life isn’t certain anymore, that people you’ve always trusted can turn in an instant, to say that you’d trust someone with something so important as your life, the one thing that is still most definitely your own, at least for the moment, here, in these times, takes such boundless confidence in those around you that you probably would never be able to grasp the size of it.

I know that we’ll be risking everything, but quite frankly, it occurred to me that we haven’t got much left to lose, so to the damned lands with it all, I’ll take my chances and my friends agreed, they were sick of this pitiful existence that we are forced to chip out day after day.

Crysillia didn’t believe me at first when I told her that someone should stand up for the people, to fight to be heard and that I was going to do it as nobody else seemed to have the inclination.

“Did I just hear you right? You want to go against Senek himself, self proclaimed king and warlord, not to mention the fact that he’s an evil nutter and his hideous dress sense?” That’s what I’ve come to love about Crysillia, no matter how bad the crisis you can always expect some sarcasm and a dash of the shallow point of view. Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t the sort that doesn’t care, I just think sometimes that she believes it’s beneath her to lose her head over matters she can‘t control, perhaps she’s got the right idea. It didn’t take that long to persuade her to join me though, as soon as I suggested that her dreams, or rather fantasies, would return to her and she wouldn’t have to work day in day out in the hot, stuffy weaver’s hut, she practically broke my arm pulling me out the door. I swear if I‘d let her go right then and there she‘d probably have broken Senek‘s door down by now, though whether she would’ve survived with such little forethought is far from certain… Yeah whatever, she’d have been smoked and devoured by His high and mightiness by now. She might be a bit shallow, but she makes light of anything she can even when things are at their darkest and she knows the way the world works, which is more than can be said for naïve little me.

It took a lot more reasoned thought to persuade Connlin. Connlin is my longest, oldest friend, apart from Bellyra, and probably the bravest person I have ever known. He’s saved my life before; he dashed in to the path of a raging horse and cart when I was younger, we’ve been friends since then. He’s not usually so impulsive though, so when I think back to that day I wonder if it was all a dream, or a trick of my mind, you never know now with the Hounding, but it wasn’t like that back then so it must have really happened. Connlin being the calm and rational person that he is, despite his heroic tendencies in my eyes, needed time to think it through and plenty of good reasons why he should even consider the idea. Bellyra said that he backed down a lot sooner for me than he would have for her, but to be honest she’s always teasing me in the way best friends do, so I’ve learnt to take her friendly banter with a pinch of salt.

Yes, good old Bellyra. I confided in her first, before running to Connlin with her in tow. We’ve been best friends for as long as I can remember, which is no surprise because we were born days apart and have been neighbours for our entire lives. I’ve shared more secrets with her than with my own sister, in fact we call ourselves sisters and we’ve only become closer since my true sister ran away. We started at mage school together before the Hounding began. She’s always had more of a knack for magic than I have though. Where I can study and pick it up, she has natural flair, though put a puzzle in front of her and she’s flummoxed. They’re my speciality you see, puzzles and word games, anything logical, I suppose a bit of cold, hard logic makes a nice change from my being supersensitive about things.

Savir is a friend of my brother’s. He’s always treated me as a little sister and thus annoyed me at every chance he’s been graced with, but he and my brother have protected me when I’ve needed their support and so I don’t mind the hassle. I will always remember watching him and my brother play-fighting in the fields in the summer and giggling away. Those were the golden years of my life before the Hounding. It torments me that I will also never be able to let go of the memory of when he first saw the state of my brother, how he careered downhill from there, spiralling to the condition he is now in and how he is practically unrecognisable. When I told him what I wanted to do he needed no further reason to join the cause.

We all have our reasons, whether they be known by the group or kept private in this world where so little is your own anymore. I don’t know if we’ll succeed, but I can tell you this with all the certainty in the world,

We’re going to put things right or die trying and I wouldn’t pick anyone else to face this with me, not for all the parvents in the world.

The End

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