It's been awhile. Okay, real quick recap. Peter (the little boy that gave Adele a place to stay) was injured by a bully that Adele accidentally brought to somewhere with her hand powers. She brought him back and had to bring Peter to someone who could help his wounds. This turns out to be the grumpy and antisocial Agnes and James. They shove her outside, and while sitting alone, Modrain (the man from the Story Hand Tribe) calls to her. He says that her training must begin.
Sorry about poor quality. Why do I say I have betas?
The Story Hands
I wasn't exactly happy at the idea of, again, meeting with the tribe. They were so… gross.
Adele pulled her palms off of her eyes and glanced around. Again, she stood surrounded by the bizarre mud buildings. She examined, in not much changed disgust, the half-naked citizens occupying The Story Hands Tribe.
Modrain stood - watching her - from a distance. His large graying beard dangled and waved back and forth as he approached the peasant girl.
"I am glad you have returned. We have much work to do."
Adele frowned, glancing around irritably. "What? No hello?"
Ignoring her, Modrain spoke again. "Today's training will be very easy. A couple of exercises and you shall return home. Understand?"
"Of course. I'm not stupid." Right after speaking that statement, Adele bit her lip. It wasn't really that she hated the man - she was just having a bad day. Her mind was still occupied with Peter's pain - imagining the bully beating into him.
Scratching her hands, Adele couldn't help but worry about the situation. It was my first day on a job in the village. All I had to do was keep him safe! And I messed up… Who knows how hurt he is…
"Here is what you must do," Modrain rasped, "I will tell you of a place to imagine. You will transport both myself and yourself to this place."
Shrugging, the teenager muttered, "Fine. Of course. Can we please just hurry up? I was sort of busy when you called."
Still ignoring her irritation, Modrain continued, "The first place you will take me is… An old cottage. I will allow you, this time, to make up the details."
"But how do I make up details? What am I supposed to do? I can't exactly visit a place I haven't seen!"
"Yes you can. This is where you may get creative." Frowning, the old man closed his eyes. "Perhaps the cottage is dusty, old, and alone. It's empty and creates an unsettling feeling… Or maybe it is an old cottage occupied by a large family. Though it's loud and cramped, much love has been poured into the place. You can even imagine something creepy - such as an old cottage that smells of death." Opening his eyes, he quickly added, "I don't expect you to have mastered smells or anything of that sort yet. I wish for you to only work on visuals. That will be hard enough."
Having been drawn in by Modrain's brief description of cottages, Adele nodded, slightly wanting to apply herself. If I have this power, I may as well learn how to use it.
"Okay - alright… So, you want me to take you there as well? Right?""Of course."
Leaning forward, Adele awkwardly pressed her palms against Modrain's eyes. She closed her own, silently imagining an old cottage. She didn't dream up the inside, but instead imagined being out front. Using his examples, she dreamt of flowers and a thick garden. Deer and rabbits peacefully gnawed at the little cottage's vegetation. Adele formulated a river that ran out front of the garden, and a beautifully undisturbed stone bridge arching over it.
Modrain appeared beside her, glancing around. He was rather laconic in response. "The building is too small."
Adele narrowed her eyes, facing him. "Excuse me? Isn't this my imagination - or, er, imagined place? I think I reserve the right to decide whether the building is large or not."
The old man sighed, "That is not what I meant." Quietly, he walked across the stone bridge. Within moments he arrived at the front door of the rural building. The only problem was that the top of the door reached the height of his shoulders. Turning, the man continued, "Do you see? This isn't fit for me."
Embarrassed, but determined to hide her mistake, Adele growled, "Perhaps the cottage wasn't intended for you."
"Oh? And who was this little building made for?" Amusement and annoyance blended, and the man's eyes twinkled as he awaited a response.
"Why… Dwarves - of course. That's who lives there. You may even check in the attic, if you please. There will be… seven little beds… For seven little dwarves."
Modrain bowed, his countenance revealing his lack of belief. "If that is your intention, then I shall say no more. And, besides, you seem to understand how to transport us. In fact, you're rather good with details. So my next request is not yours to dream up."
Shrugging, Adele muttered, "Fine. I assure you I can do it."
"I would like to visit the beach. It's sunset. The sun is casting a reflection over the water… The shore rises in, out, in, out… Boats can be seen bobbing up and down on distant waters-"
"-Umm, Modrain, I have no idea what the beach looks like. I've never been there."
Stroking his beard in delight, the older man merely laughed. "Then base it off of my description. It shouldn't be that hard - after all, you seem to be quite a learned master at this."
Glaring, Adele stormed across the bridge and arrived in front of him. Reaching out her hands she continued the ritualistic behavior. She closed her eyes and tried to dream up the ocean as he described it.
Okay… So… The ocean is a lot of water. Vividly, before her eyes, appeared clear water (much like one would see in a glass of water). The sun is setting. I know what that looks like. She imagined the vibrant colors spilling outward into the sky. And the water is reflecting it. This was harder to imagine - for Adele had lived a sheltered life. She had never been around a large enough body of water to see what a proper reflection looked like. She merely imagined a second sun in the water. And boats are out. Except… What does a boat look like? They're made of wood… and cloth for sails. Large tree trunks dotted the bizarre oceanic scene. Resting on them, much like a blanket to a bed, were sails.
Modrain materialized by her side, as she proudly surveyed the contents of her imagination. She smiled broadly, with not a little bit of arrogance, "Well - what do you think?"
The older man was looking highly exasperated. "Why are there two suns? And trees in the water?"
Adele frowned, "I told you I didn't know what it looked like. And, anyways, you should be proud that I dreamt this up. It wasn't easy."
"This looks ridiculous.""Well… Who said anything I make has to be realistic? I did what you said."
"For what you are going to be using it for - yeah, it has to be normal." Obviously disgusted with her, Modrain turned away from the creation. To their backs was an unimaginative wall of blackness. "And I suppose we'll have to work on this, too. You need to create visuals for every direction."
"Would you quit being so demanding? Just be happy I did this!" Secretly, Adele's pride had yet again been wounded by this man. She had thought her attempt was good. "Anyways, I'm getting tired of you. Can this lesson just be over with?"
Sighing, the older man nodded. "You'll need to pay me daily visits in exchange for lessons this short, though."
"Sure, fine, whatever…" Already, Adele felt her mind being pulled back to reality. Oh, poor Peter. I hope he's alright… I wish I were with him.
She only faintly heard Modrain calmly speaking. "You may take me home now."
After imagining Modrain's village, Adele was taught of a quick trick. Say she wanted to be alone in this world, the way out was to touch her eyes and dream of the real world.
Applying this new knowledge, Adele closed her own eyes, while pointedly forgetting to say good-bye to the older man, and dreamt of the little village. The dusty browns, the exhausted faces, the door that had been slammed in her face before she had left…
A blinding light and - poof! She had arrived again. Opening her eyes, Adele found herself face to face with James.
His brown eyes stared at her, with both disgust and a newly acquired amount of fear. His voice was low and it trembled slightly. "What were you doing just then?" Almost nervously, he added, "Can you even hear me now?"
Still recalling his want to shove her out of the cottage, Adele coldly replied, "Why wouldn't I be able to hear you? Do you think I'm some sort of freak?"
"Well - after seeing you running around in circles, talking to yourself about oceans, I wouldn't remove that option." Swallowing his irritation the best he could, he added, "I don't want any weirdo's hanging around with Peter."
"I can assure you," Adele pulled closer to his face, furious that this man would dare say such rude comments to her, "that I am no weirdo - as you so eloquently put it."
James backed away, not so much from fear, rather contempt at being near her. "Fine, whatever. If you say so. I'm sure you'd rather suggest that I imagined seeing you talking to yourself in the middle of an empty street. Right?"
Shoving herself past him, and heading for the door, Adele nodded, "You better believe it."
James only shook his head and followed her to the door. "That made no sense at all."
Ignoring him, Adele entered the cottage. She hurried to where Peter still lay upon the table, and examined him. His wounds were covered in some sort of brown gunk, probably to stop the bleeding, and his clothes covered his body once more. The little boy drew shaky breaths here and there, but besides that, no other signs of life were evident.
"Well," Adele glanced from Agnes to James and returned to Peter, "thanks for the help. But I can take it from here." She leaned down, carefully lifting the small child from the counter. He moaned slightly, at being moved, but didn't show signs of too much disturbance.
"Now you wait, you young'n!" Blocking Adele's path, Agnes continued, " I don't want you taking that poor child anywhere. You're obviously an awful guardian."
Pushing by her, Adele muttered in response, "I don't need to put up with you." Her eyes found James's eyes and she added, "Either of you. So just leave me alone. I can handle it from here."
With those words, Adele carried Peter from the small building - all the while feeling two sets of eyes glaring at her as she exited.
And good riddance!
Boom, baby! It's done! I'll be in Camp NaNoWriMo next month, so don't expect any updates from me, okay? But please, I beg, do review! :D
Iliana 11: Nah, I don't mind! I'm just glad you reviewed! (And thanks for it!) James? Socially awkward? What are you talking about? Oh yeah - you and Adele are the same age, aren't you? Well… If she existed, and stuff. Heh. I hope you liked her return to The Story Hand Tribe.
Backroads: I'm glad you were happy she was so concerned. The way I see it, if I had practically nobody except a little boy who managed to get me a place to stay and a job, I'd be worried too. I made sure the worry carried over. I may bring James back - a little bit later. But, for now, this is about all you'll have of him (if things go as planned).
EstrangeloEdessa: Thanks! Hope you like this one, too!