The Boy From the Other Side of the World

It was another time in her life, her earlier years. Part of the time when she finally realized what her lifestyle was leading to. The moment when it all finally donned on her what her birth meant, and what it would cost her. She realized as she was walking with him, he talking some nonsense that she decided to not bother to pick up, that perhaps she wouldn’t be like her parents, or the other adults. Perhaps she would never have an “other” or what is more commonly known as a soul mate or partner in life.

Granted, she didn’t know what being in a relationship was like, but all she knew was that all the adults and elders felt it and she would likely grow old with one less experience. Kalli gave her usual sigh, still not knowing the purpose of this trek of theirs.

Then the man stopped her. Why should she listen to him? Who was he to command her what or whatnot to do? He wasn’t her mother or her father, just some person that everyone in the village looked up to. Then she spotted the reason and her heart lept with curiosity.

It was a little deer. She never saw one so cute before. It was amidst its own frolicking and it spotted them. Sure she had seen some in her lifetime, she had seen plenty of animals. For some reason this one felt different. It looked like it had a personality of its own.

“Be silent young one. She is being hunted.”

She froze at the Speakers words. “Hunted?” she prayed he wasn’t saying what she thought he said. Then beside the cute young animal came what seemed to be the mother. It ran with a grace yet Kalli could feel urgency in this one’s eyes. It scared her. Did the little deer not know the danger. Then came the rustle in the bushes.

Why oh why, oh heavens why, did the Speaker bring her here to witness this!? She knew it was a hunter there, ready to strike. She knew what she would do, she would call out, it would scare the animal and the two of them would run. She affirmed her grand strategy all the while in reality her body was frozen. However, she was gaining strength, her mobility returning slowly.

Seeing this, the Speaker looked and her and grasped her arm and said again yet calmly, “Be silent and watch.” She felt her courage leave her and stuck to sit through what was the sickest joke or lesson she was supposed to learn. Was this what it meant to be the spiritual leader? To watch helplessly as some person commits acts on something so beautifull, free, and so young?

Then the deer looked her strait in the eye. Even though she was still a child, she began cursing the world for this moment. Foul words invaded her mind, all directed to the Divine Ones, her clan, her mentor, and the hunter whom she could almost feel get excited for the kill soon to come.

Her sense of hearing grew, or perhaps she merely thought it did. She heard the sound of a bow being drawn back. She remembered that sound for the rest of her life. It haunted her in her dreams for years to come. Then came the TWANG!. The mother leapt clear out of the way, but the little one was hit.

Kalli felt all her life’s energy leave her body. The thing let out a sound of desperation then fell to the ground. When it fell, she saw just how big the weapon was. It stood strong as if a testament to the kill from the side of the creatures small abdomen. The thing no longer was looking at the girl but just at the distance almost lifeless.

A person came out of the bushes, wearing her clans cloathing. Had Kalli had a spear or weapon herself, she imagined the murderious rage she would unleash upon this person. Her vision so blurred with tears that she could not see his face but rather a man with no defining features so to speak.

The man walked over the little deer and then saw the mother running away in the distance. Now, what happened next, Kalli could only surmise was because the hunter felt that it could still bag the mother and come back for her baby later on. Regardless, he left chasing the other one. The Speaker let her go and all she could say was, “How could you!?”

It was directed to no one and everyone. How could the Speaker have done nothing? How could that man take the life of the little thing and think nothing of it? How could the Divine Ones not intervene? She ran to the little deer without thought, not even knowing why.

She approached it and the tears immediately began falling on the fur of the thing. Then when she whipped them off, it was subtle, the things stomach was expanding slowly then compressing. It was breathing! It was alive!

Kalli kneeled down and began petting it hoping to somehow comfort the thing. The Speaker simply said, “Come on, let’s go.” It was alive, that was all she kept telling herself meanwhile still cussing out, mentally, the Speaker. The Speaker went to her and she yelled, “NO!”

It was alive; she started to mutter words to that effect. Then a crazy idea popped out of nowhere into her head. It can be saved! At once, without thinking she pulled out the arrow. The animal twisted in pain. Then she began to see that it was starting to bleed badly. She wrapped the thing in her arms, and was surprised at her strength. She was actually able to hold it, but it was still big for her.

“Help me!” She commanded this of the Speaker who was just watching. It was not a plea, or a request, this was her in full force demanding action. What else could he do? The Speaker helped her from not falling and the three of them went back to the village. Good thing for them, it was not far and they were there in good time, especially since time was a factor.

No one spotted her, the deer or the Speaker come back in. They took it to the Speaker’s tent. She set it down on a bed and tore a portion of her outfit to badnage the poor thing. “What now!?” She commanded to him. He didn’t answer. Kalli’s look spelt murder all over her face. “You’re the healer, help me heal it!” Finally he nodded.

“Keep you hand on the wound.” That was all he said. Then he got up and put his hand over hers and nodded for her to stop and get up.

“And?!” It was obvious she was being impatient. Time was a factor. He then pointed his head towards some green stuff in a jar on a shelf. At once, her training kicked in.

One day, a man accidently stuck his own leg with a spear on accident. The treatment looked complicated, and up till then, the Speaker when performing the healing, told her the remedy over and over. Now she knew what to do. When he at this moment that she knew, he got up and left.

She poured the stuff over the wound and pushed the ripped part over for pressure, she then began to chant some words. The deer seemed to be able to slightly move, though from what the Speaker used to say, it was the shock leaving the body and in no way meant it was a good sign.

Kalli leaned back, with her hand still on to a red powder. She then lifted the patch, and blended it with the herbal liquid. The thing started to squirm. “Calm down, calm down. I am here with you. I know it hurts, but I will never leave you.” She then calmly stroked its head then began to sing a song she recalled used to put her to sleep. She continued to do the remedial treatment until she realized there was nothing left she could do but hold her hand there until the bleeding, hopefully stopped. Hours passed.

For the next week, the creature in the back tent, as she referred to it, was their little secret, or more accurately Kalli’s. The Speaker never lifted a finger or said a word. After each teaching or lesson, or when her family wasn’t around, she would sneak into the place and keep it company. She fed it, and gave it liquid. She slowly nursed it back to health all by herself.

Kalli knew there was a connection between the two of them. It used to nuzzle with her when she laid beside it. When it walked it never seemed to want to leave her side. Eventually though she knew it would be time for it to leave. Just like that, one day the Speaker came and told her it was time. She cried.

As Kalli walked the little deer out of the camp and to the spot where she found it, the Speaker began talking. “So, I take it you learned something from all this.” Kalli looked up at him, wondering; what the hell did that mean?
“You were able to practice medicine, and successfully saved a life and heal it to its normality. You were very responsible. Never forget this, events such as these make us who we are.”

She understood. Sure, it wasn’t a human at death’s doors but it was a living thing she was able to care for and be responsible for. Her and just her responsibility aLane. She felt proud of herself and wondered if the Speaker did too.

The deer then leapt from them and frolicked in circles wondering what to do, then came a female deer. Kalli smiled, she recognized it. It was the mother. The mother and the younger looked at her as if to say “thank you,” then went away.

“Wake up! Wake up Kalli!”

Her blurred vision began to disappear. Infront of her a face of a pretty lady came into view. The girl looked perhaps a year or two younger but for some reasons her features seemed to glorify a purity of their own. Except, as her vision focused even more, the eyes were pure black. A certain brown streaks lined her face. Then the ears. They didn’t even look human.

“Kalli? Hi! I’m glad you are awake.” She said.

Kalli got up and at once also noticed just how different the outfit was. It was not…normal to what she was accustomed to. Then came an older woman, with the same strange abnormal features as the one in front of her.

“Who…who are you?” Kalli managed to ask. The girl smiled, “Call me Yun. I know it is a strange name for you but some things in our longuage don’t translate so well. I mean, between you and me, ‘Kalli’ is an odd name in itself.”

“And I am Yun-ce, the ‘ce’ identifies seniority over the family name.” So, she took it that this meant that the young one was the other’s daughter. Didn’t matter, she felt herself think.

“Where…” She began to ask.

“That is a tricky question. For now, rest. People who wake up usually aren’t at full strength for some time. I would be honored to get you something to eat or drink…just, we don’t do meat. Is that alright Kalli?” The young one asked.

Then the mother walked over and patted Kalli’s head and said, “Don’t worry, the others are safe too, just, my advice; don’t look for them.” Kalli then realized that the mother was referring to the other members of her clan who…what did this add up too?

“What is up with your ears?” Kalli weakly let out. “Well, I think your ears are funny.” Yun let out, then stuck out her tongue. Then Yun-ce proceeded to say, “no talking, just lay down and be comfortable. She then began to hum a familiar tune.

“That song…” Kalli tried to say. “I know, I too learned it, it really helps others relax.” She couldn’t put her finger on it, but for some reason Kalli never felt so safe and relaxed. She almost wished it would never end.

The hours seemed to pass, she didn’t know how, but one moment, the sky would be blue, and then change shades. It was like a waking dream, or being in a trance. The daughter left the house, saying her goodbyes. The mother would work around the weird dwelling she was in. The dwelling seemed to be large, of different design, but thought nothing of it. Whenever she would stare or look at the mother, the mother would turn to her, and smile with warmth and motherly affection.

All this made Kalli afraid to sleep, yet for some reason, a nap was creeping up on her with authority. She was afraid that if she slept, and awoke, she would be back home and this would be over. Her eyes closed and would not open for some time later.

Eventually they did open and Kalli had a beautfiull dream. The cute guy she saw earlier was there and they sailed across the world and strangestuff happened as did in all dreams, but it was peacefull and she felt connection with someone. Something she never really felt. But now she was back awake.

Her awareness was still weak, but the fading of the haze was going quicker. She still wasn’t home! She was still in this same place. The same people! Time had change and after two minutes, she was fully aware. Then it hit her, this was all reality.

Kalli’s logic was going crazy, she wanted answers, now! Yun, the younger, was back and walked over. “You all right?” was all she asked Kalli. Kalli, probably a more primitive instinct kicking it, leaned up against the weird furniture, possibly a type of bed, and was in a defensive position.

“Where am I? Why am I being kept here!?”

Yun’s face became serious. “I am sorry you could not stay longer. But I think it’s time. Right mom?” Yun asked her mother, and the mother simply said, “I’m sorry we couldn’t do more for you.” The two looked at eachother, a serious look came across Yun and her mother’s face. Kalli was too freaked out to understand what it all meant.

Then Yun simply said, “Come on ‘Shaman’! I…er mean… ‘Speaker’, lets go take a look around.” The word “Speaker” rang a few bells. The wrong kind too.

“Do you know me?” Kalli enquired. The other smiled and put her arm around her in a friendly way. “Come, lets get out of this crazy place.” She escorted Kalli to the door then turned back and said, “Bye mom, I love you.”
“I love you too. Come back safe.”

“I’ll do my best. Don’t worry about us. I love you.” Kalli noticed there were tears in both of their eyes. Something was odd about this.

“Good luck Kalli! And thank you!” The mother called after them, as Yun opened the door and the two stepped out.

A bright light overtook the girl and when her vision adjusted to the light, she saw she was in some big village, much bigger then her own, with different types of looking people. She could see some resemble eachother, but could not make heads or tails. Some of them even had tails. The outfits they wore all were of similar fashion, yet none to her own, and same could be said about the building architecture.

“So our adventure begins! Where to first!?” Yun was obviously excited about this, whatever “this” was. Kalli flat out broke down, she wasn’t going to be kept in the dark any more!

“Where am I? Who are you? How do you know me? What am I doing here?” She was losing her breath. Yun simply responded, “I am Yun, and you are Kalli, shaman in training for your tribe. This is…well, it’s a long story, and more importantly, I am here to help you find your guardian spirit. Any other questions?” Yun stated with a cheerful smile.

The answers, naturally added even more questions. The first was simply, “What is a ‘shaman’?”

“Again, I apologize, you call it a ‘Speaker.’ As I said, some of our words don’t translate well, a shaman is the universal equivalent to the role and position of your so called ‘Speaker.’ They heal, provide spiritual counsel, and perform other duties that the average person cannot. We also call them ‘priests’ or in your case ‘a priestess.’ Personally the term ‘Speaker’ never sat well with me, I mean your whole tribe is called that already so it feels silly.”

Yun began to see Kalli feeling uneasy then simply leaned over to her friend and encouraged, “Just, don’t worry about it. Look! This is your once in a lifetime chance, you know what I say, breathe it in and just bask in it! You have no responsibilities, no one telling you what to do, you are a free woman, Kalli. Enjoy it while it lasts and don’t worry! Take it for what it is in the moment and in time, it will all make sense.”

Usually an attitude like this might have rubbed the girl the wrong way, but for some reason Kalli could not be mad. Granted she was confused, but decided against pursuing it, for as she took that one breath in, she felt the weight of her own tribesmen and all her worries be lifted.

The two of them walked Kalli kept quiet just listening. It was along time since Kalli had someone be a chatterbox around her and for some reason, she liked it. Yun never seemed to talk to herself out loud but directly at her. She talked about how when she was young she lost her father. She didn’t say how she lost him, but just that he was killed by a group of individuals.

Yun then went on to talk about how she was infact a shy person. Kalli laughed at the thought but was forced to accept it. Yun apparently didn’t trust others so easily and was an only child, so she claims that she never developed the skills to talk to others so well. Yet despite this she was still going a mile a minute without signs of wearing down.

As they were walking, Kalli heard an odd instrument, it was beautifull but she never saw it or heard it before. “Don’t mind them, they play every day here. Let’s keep going.” The music however had her hypnotized like a trance. The musicians playing were all dressed in white, had huge white eyebrows and hair that grew in an odd fashion. Their mouths were small and very oval shaped, perfect for whistling.

A crowd seemed to have already gathered and kalli just wanted to hear the music just a bit more. Oddly it reminded her of the spring when the birds would be out chirping in the morning. “Can we sit down, please? You can show me the rest of the town latter.” Kalli pleaded and Yun finally agreed.

The first song they fully listened reminded her again of spring. One of fall, and naturally for some reason she felt a sadness then one of the cold winter. The words spoke nothing of this, yet…she was reminding herself. It was uncanny. After every song Yun was ready to leave, meanwhile Kalli kept getting ordering drinks and Yun kept paying for them.

“Any requests?” the main one asked the crowd. A hand went up.

A person stood up, a person her age. A person so oddly dressed that even amongst this foreign culture it spoke of difference. It was a boy, whose most distinguishing features was that he looked one hundred percent normal if not for his clothes.

“May I request ‘Falling Peach Blossoms’?”

As the boy asked this, another person stood up and asked if they knew it, they shook their heads no. Then the other person asked the boy to sit down. Kalli at once noticed a certain rugged feature on the “other’s” hair, it was thick and dark, sagging long ears with hair of their own and strange big black thick fingers that looked like they were meant to be connected and never apart.

As if the musician knew something, he asked if the boy knew how to play it. The boy sagged his head and shook “no.” The strange companion stood up and said, “I do, would you like to hear it?” The lead musician said, “always a pleasure to hear others’ music.”

A strange instrument laid flat, but had strings on them going across. The weird companion sat behind it and began stroking it and plucking. The sounds were awe inspiring. Never had Kalli even comprehended such sounds. She didn’t even know what a Peach or blossom was. But she so entranced. She looked at the boy and he seemed to smile. He looked like he was reminiscing about something, perhaps wherever he was from as his clothing and mannerism spoke of a different tribe.

The audience applauded and the main musicians applauded and seemed more the entertained than the others in the audience. “It is always a pleasure hearing new styles. What do you call that instrument you use?” They asked. The player just smiled with huge big square teeth that surprised even Kalli.

As the weird haired one sat down, she heard the boy say, “Thanks Er.” Yun herself was getting antsy, Kalli knew it was time to go. As she got up she noticed the boy and his companion were getting up as well. She figured now was probably the best time to find out about them. For some reason, Kalli couldn’t get the feel of that last song out of her head and it grew her curiosity more then ever.

“Pardon me!” Kalli tried to sound polite chasing after them. The one called “Er” turned around and said, “We have company.” The boy turned around and simply stood there. Only now did she notice that this person was packed and obviously ready for a long journey.

“Yes?” He politely asked. “That was beautifull. Where did you learn that?” Er smiled, “It’s been his favorite song since he was a kid, so I learned it and others for him.”

“I’m sorry, my parents told me that it is polite to introduce myself, I am Kalli.” The boy smiled, “my name…my name is Lan. This is my traveling companion Er. You look…normal.”

The girl stood there pondering…normal? Did that mean…were they from the same…Yun then spoke, “So I take it you guys are on a sort of adventure yourself. What’s yours?”

Lan laughed, understanding more about what was happening then Kalli did. Again she felt left in the dark. “Er is here to help me do three deeds.”

Yun didn’t say anything but got close to Kalli and almost in between them. Perhaps Yun felt that now was the time for protection and she could see just how well this younger girl was with trusting strangers.

“And you?” He asked, looking at Kalli, “Whats your story?”

“She is a shaman!” Yun almost snapped. Kalli couldn’t believe she said the word “shaman” again when it is “Speaker.” Before she could correct her, Lan seemed to understand. “Really, she is a shaman? That is good. I never met a shaman. Where I am from, we tend to be wary of them.”
“Well, she is in training. That’s what she is here for. She has to learn how to be one, and find her guardian spirit.” Yun was obviously trying to make him uninterested in her and seemed like she was hoping that the truth would work.

Kalli then realizing they were about to leave politely said, “Perhaps we will see each other again. It was a pleasure listening to you play.” Lan bowed in an odd gesture of saying “goodbye” then did a weird ticking sound with his mouth and him and his companion set out.

“Where to?” Kalli asked this time. Yun simply looked at her companion and said, “this trip we are taking, this isn’t going to be short. I want you to know, this wont be easy, it will take time and patience, but I believe we can do it. And I want you to know, I will protect you. Now that that’s out of the way; there is a village about twenty miles from here, it’s a small cozy place, a certain friend of the family of mine lives there. He is pretty smart, I am sure, he will know what to do.”

“So, we going now?” Raised Kalli.

“No time like the present!” Yun smirked. And off the two went. Above them, a storm seemed to be rising.

They walked for miles and all Kalli, as she was “taking it all in” noticed several things. One being that Sol and Luna were never visible and yet the day seemed to still change its phases. Another being that even that they were now in some kind of forest, there wasn’t a single animal. No birds, chirping, or anything. It all felt so still. Then she heard sounds of thunder.

“I don’t think I like it out here.” Kalli spoke to Yun, referring to the eerie forrest. “Don’t worry you actually get used to it, there are plenty of places in many forests that they converted to towns and villages.”

Time passed and Kalli still couldn’t shake this feeling, then she did hear a famillair sound. One she didn’t like. Rustling of leaves. Kalli then thought it was nothing until she saw Yun’s face peak, her ears perked up, not moving.

Still the soon to be Speaker thought nothing of it as she was about to continue walking, a hand slammed against her shoulder. “stop” Yun whispered loudly. Now she was starting to freak out. ‘What is it?” Kalli whispered back.

“We are being watched.” Then lightning struck and it began to rain hard, as if on cue. Then Kalli heard a growl, then a howl. Was it a wolf? She saw a pair of beady eyes staring at her from the bushes. Then another and another. Though two sets seemed different from the others, she saw why as they belonged to figures that creeped forth.

Two of them seemed to have furry features of grey on their face and scary eyes per each. The other two had more feminine features and a lighter coat of facial hair, yet they all were male.

“What are they?” Kalli whispered.

“I think…they are bandits. Prey they are the good kind.” Yun spoke softly. After a minute of watching these creatures come closer Yun then elaborated, “Greed isn’t just a trait of your kind.” Yun then began to breathe at an inhuman speed, the fear getting to her.

“Well, what shall we do with them? You, give me your cloathes, your food and your money, and maybe we wont eat you.” A Grey faced said. “But, my mom knitted this sweater for me…please, don’t take it. She said it would be good luck.” Yun was almost about to cry. Kalli sat down and prayed and just hoped to whatever or whoever would hear her, that help would come.

A Yellow faced tore the sweater away from Yun. In the rain and cold weather, it was torture being in such a small, thin sized top. Then above here, Kalli heard a bird sear the world with a cry, then she saw the silhouette of two wings fly over the sky. Then it disappeared.

Kalli looked at Yun who was now shivering and was clearly underdressed for this weather. Kalli then looked at a brutal scar that ran on her left mid section on Yun, perhaps Yun had dealt with these typed before. That would explain the fear. Then again Kalli was scared too.

In the distance something else could be heard, it sounded like CLIP CLOP! CLIP CLOP! It was coming closer. The four, probably not being very bright all turned their heads in that direction to see it. Lightning struck again and Kalli made out two figured approaching quickly, one of them wielding some reflective Spear with a big blade that glistened the lightning.

Yun grabbed Kalli and with amazing ability on Yun’s part leapt several yards in one bound. And the strangest thing was, Yun wouldn’t stop, she bounded and bounded. In the distance she heard, “They are getting away!” But then there was nothing. Shortly after she heard what sounded like a dog yelp in pain and some strange monster noises that sounded strange and scary, but then nothing. It was as if the monsters ceased to be.

Yun continued to hold her tightly “don’t worry, I told you… I would protect you…don’t look back…if they catch us…they are faster…” Yun just seemed to ramble with tears running down. Kalli was scared too but she wasn’t sure of what. She heard nothing but silence, except of Yun’s feet bouncing against the floor. She should be scared of the monsters? The silence? Or whatever caused the silence? All she knew was, she wished she was home. And the rain poured on.

The End

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