Usual Obligatory Disclaimer: The Shannara World obviously belongs to Terry Brooks. This story is not for any type of profit and is not intended to infringe on any copyright. It is being posted here simple to exchange ideas.
A/N: This is my first attempt into fan fiction. I have been a Shannara fan since the books originally came out and I am now getting into them again. The levels of depth the Terry Brooks creates in astonishing.
Chapter 1: A Beautiful Morning
The morning was no different than most late summer day in the Southland. The women were beginning to go about their daily chores as were the children that were old enough to do so. The men were finishing their usually small talk at the inns and the general stores over their morning tea and cookies. Shea and Flick were a part of the numerous children that had chores. Though young they were expected to help at the inn from the time they could walk. Shea was older, nearing his fifteenth year, but he and his brother Flick shared in the same duties. The morning chores comprised mostly of clearing the used cups and plates from the tables and bar. Shady Vale was not a metropolis by any stretch of the imagination but it was an active community with thriving agriculture, textile and trading businesses. The men were always active at the family inn that Curzad Ohmsford had built into the most popular in the town if not in a many mile area.
After the chores the brothers normally attended school for a few hours each day. In the Southland academics was not as structured as is was in the larger cities to the North. Every day was a different topic of discussion. Some days they would simple walk in the nearby forest and talk about the plants and animals that they discovered. Some days they would sit out in a meadow and discuss the passing of the sun and how it can help you when travelling. The variety of topics kept the young children alert and interested in learning. When reading, writing, arithmetic or other such traditional subjects were on the schedule the classes met in Town Hall. They had long tables and benches that could accommodate all the children in the town if necessary. Every child did not go every day of course. For the farming families in the region, their children would miss most days during planting and harvesting. The merchant families had equally erratic schedules.
This day however was not at the height of business for the Ohmsford Inn, so the boys were off to their studies this day. They packed a small snack in their backpacks and headed off to the Town Hall. It was such a beautiful day. Sapphire blue sky, emerald green of the forest and the fragrant smell of the cottage gardens as they passed.
"I hope we are not staying inside today." Says Flick.
Shea was staring off towards the horizon and said nothing.
"Hey dunderhead! You listening to me?" Flick belches as he slaps Shea on the back to gain his attention.
"Hey, Yeah, Yeah. Hope we are staying outside as well." Slapping him back.
"What is wrong with you? Flick asks.
"Nothing. I mean… nothing." The other responds.
"Well something naggin' "
"Were we supposed to do something before we left the Inn? Asks Shea?
"Nay, we finished our chores good. Why?"
"It feels like I forgot something… or I was suppose to do something else." Says Shea.
"No we did everything father told us to do."
"It just feels like…It feels like I was supposed to talk to someone."
"Shades, you are always feeling something or another." Flick rasps.
"Fine, let's just get to the Town Hall."
It was mid morning and they arrived at the Town Hall. Only about twenty children were there today.
Too nice outside to be here. Flick thought.
The brothers took a seat in their designated area for their age group. A few of their friend were there as well, Dart Kersey, Zak Diggs and Fess Tropply. They had all been in some sort of trouble with one another before. It is as if they were all drawn to each other. Plus these three in particular did not see to make as much fun of Shea for Elven features. They did not even seem to notice or ever comment on it. This had always been a puzzle to Shea.
Morning flew by quickly with the study of weights and measures. Shea and Flick seem to grasp the concepts quickly as did the other older boys since their fathers were already relying on them in the shops, fields and markets.
When the sun was highest in the sky, the teacher, Ms. Crumb, a particularly round woman, released them for a break and a snack. The five boys went out side under a giant oak opened their packs and enjoyed their mid-day meal.
After a time Ms. Crumb called the children back in and resumed the afternoon studies. This afternoon's time was focused on penmanship. Again, like the morning, the afternoon passed quickly and the classes were dismissed for the day.
The five friends ran from the Town Hall laughing and shouting glad to be released from their studies.
Chapter 2: A Strange Encounter
Back at the Ohmsford Inn, the men of the town and surrounding area began to filter into the small bar area of the inn. Dust filled the air from the day's toil of the farmers tracking in the loose soil. Pleasant, fragrant smoke filled the air from the numerous pipes being lit. Shea and flick washed up and ate s quick dinner. This evening they had stew which was on special at the inn; the boys usually ate whatever was the going fare at the inn for the day.
After dinner they began their usual chores for the evening. They cleared tables and washed them down when the customers were finished. By now some travelling families began to pop into the area. Most were just travelling through for the night or just for the meal. Shea and Flick tend to the families first and the men later. Every now and then Shea would find willing conversation in the travellers. He indulged them with the minutia of Shady Vale all the while hoping for tales from afar.
This evening Shea was having his quirky feelings again. In the corner sat a young couple, travellers obviously. His hairs on the back of his neck pricked up every time he passed them. He realized he was staring at them when this happened but could not help himself.
Suddenly there was a crash in the kitchen. Shea went running back. Flick had tripped and landed in a pile of dirty dishes. All Shea could do was laugh and kid Flick.
"At least you could help me up!" he quipped as he lay there in the filth.
Shea did and threw the other a towel to clean up with.
Their father rushed in to discover Flick wiping the leftovers off his face and Shea in the midst of a laughing fit.
"Well, not much broken except your pride boy. Clean it up and you can knock off for the night." He says as he went back to the main room to socialize with the guests.
Shea helped Flick witch getting everything cleared away but left the dirty job of cleaning to Flick himself. Shea then strolled back into the main room to resume clearing the tables.
As he was doing so he noticed that his father was speaking with the couple in the corner that had given his hairs a rise. Circling the room he soon came near them and his father called him over.
"Shea, this is Pali and Dika. They are travelling North from Dechtera to begin their life together." He says.
"Hello." Shea responds.
"Hello yourself." says Pali. "As your father said we are travelling north to find a place to settle and begin a family. Dika and I are newly wed, just three weeks."
"Congratulations, let me get something special for the occasion, excuse me." Shea's father says as he rises and bee-lines it for the back of the bar.
Shea takes a seat and offers his congratulations as well. "Do you have a destination?" he spouts.
"Not yet, Shady Vale seems nice enough though." Dika responds.
"This place is too boring, I like it when travelers come though and can tell stories of places I will never see. Do you have anything exciting to tell?" Shea asks.
"Not us." Says Pali. "We are just looking for a nice place to settle down."
Dika interrupts. "We did have a vision of our son on the way here"
"I thought you didn't have children yet?"
"We don't, but the vision was of our unborn son, just his name." say Pali.
"What will his name be?" asks Shea.
Shea entire body tingles and he began to get dizzy. Luckily his father came back with four pints of drink.
"The best in the region. To the newlyweds." He Cheers.
"To Cephalo!" – Shea adds – but does not know why.