Promises

Sandra Meesala

December 2, 2011

Chapter 1: The City Of Wood

Some were born to teach.

Some were born to dance.

Some were born to lead.

Some were born to fight.

And some were born to deliver, like me. Not the "deliver" you're probably thinking of. No, I deliver messages and items to people. You can say that delivering things to people is my calling.

Now, you might also be thinking "Why the heck would you pick to be the mail man?"

For one, I love it and most importantly, I'm good at it. Transporting items to people can give one a sense of importance. In this society, a person can't just go from one village to another just to hand over a package or a letter. They have more important obligations. For example, buying food, working, taking care of the children, cooking, sowing, etc. That's where the Delivery Corporation comes in. As a Deliverer, I run messages anywhere, anytime. The size could be large or small. It doesn't matter. The corporation guarantees the following three things: that all information concerning the item being delivered will be confidential, the time will be a quick as possible, and the price will be reasonable. So, when people see the royal blue cape with the elegant silver bird embroidery wrapped around your shoulders, they know for a fact that they can count on you to get their mail to where they need to be.

I briefly stated before that I run messages anywhere. Another reason why I adore this job is that I have an excuse to run. Yes, I actually sprint packages to different towns. Running is the best feeling in the world. Well, if you don't run for fun yourself, I guess it wouldn't be the same for you. For me, however, letting the wind run through my hair, daring myself to go faster, so fast that it is like I am flying, is the reason why I get up in the morning. I find my freedom as a Deliverer to put it all plainly.

I finally broke through the forest and into a clearing after hours of twists and turns. Good. So I actually did know where I was going.

Not too far off was an enormous wooden wall. Within the fortress was the City of Wood, or otherwise known as Lumberton. The woods were their only protective barrier besides the walls. Wood can't withhold against enemy attacks. It can burn so easily. The people must have done something to the forest to make it seem so large that travelers or potential threats have doubts of their direction.

"Those confident and pure in heart will always find their way." I said to myself. It was a saying in the Deliver's handbook. The manual had all the rules, exceptions, and details of each town in the country. I never took the saying seriously, until today.

I kept running till I found what looking like entrance gates. They were more like gigantic doors. Two men in baggy dark green uniforms that covered everything except their heads stood guard in front. Bow and arrows were strung and ready to be used at any moment's notice. They had heard me but then relaxed a little when they saw the distinctive blue cape.

"Whoa, there sweetheart." The one on the left said to me. "What's the emergency?" He was in his mid thirties and had spiky brown hair. A black bandana was tied across his forehead.

"Nothing. Just delivering a message." I panted.

The man glanced at his partner. I never said they relaxed completely.

"You sure? You seem a little wiped out there, kid."

Kid? What am I? Some snot-nosed brat? I know that he had no ill intentions, that he was simply a guy that cared in a way but, still. I don't like that word. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself and also have a job, unlike some selfish child.

"No." I still said cheerfully. "I'm fine. Here is my badge." I handed him a medallion with an envelope. All Deliverers wear one. It held our name, rank, unit, and a description of those who it belonged to.

"Oh!" The guard on the right said when he saw the badge. His mouth and neck was covered in a mask. He had stringy black hair that didn't fall past his shoulders. The wrinkles around his forehead told me that he was older than his figure showed. "You are Quickfeet Quincy from the City Among the Trees."

"Yes sir. That's me."

"I guess they don't call you that for nothing." He said stamping the envelope.

"I guess they don't." I replied before thanking them.

The younger guard gave a whistle upwards. Another whistle answered back followed by the opening of the doors. Past them, I could see one of the many bustling streets of Lumberton.

"Tell Lord Cordley that Patrick sends his regards." Spiky said when I walked past him.

" Uhh…" His hand hesitantly went into his pocket.

"Don't worry." I smiled brightly at him. "It's on me."

Lord Cordley was my Receiver for my current assignment. He owned the main lumber company in the land. With the forest as his endless resource, he is the nation's biggest wood supplier. As Lumberton's major source of industry, it would make sense that his company, Cordley Co., would be the largest building.

Cordley Co. was located on the other side of town, which meant I had no choice but to walk through the central part of the City of Wood. The streets were full of shoppers. People were taking advantage of the cool afternoon weather. Mothers walked around, arms weighed down by basketfuls of products. A group of small boys chased each other through the stores. Lumberton is no different from other villages. There was a peaceful setting, nice people, normal people living normal lives; everything a quaint and enjoyable little town is supposed to have. I should come here more often.

I later discovered that my theory was correct. The building I was heading for was indeed Mr. Cordley's headquarters. I soon made my way towards the top floor to find a huge waiting room, decorated with intricate carvings and designs. Golden seated chairs lined one side of the wall. To the other was a set of doors with a desk next to them. A lady sat in a chair rummaging through papers as I approached her.

"Good afternoon!" I said to her.

She looked up. "Oh! A delivery! I assume it is for Lord Cordley?"

"Yes, ma'am."

Her eyes lit up at my words. The receptionist immediately stood up patting down her light purple business suit and adjusting her hair. "I can take that for you." She told me. Her hand was stretched out to me.

Poor girl. So desperate. Either Mr. Cordley is somewhat handsome or she is in it for money.

I replied, "I'm terribly sorry but that would go against Delivery policy. I have to give it to him personally."

The lady's cheer faded. "Oh. A stickler for the rules, I see." I didn't like her tone. Why did she have to get so offended?

"Not really. I just take my job seriously." I smiled at her.

The light in her eyes was suddenly replaced with a nasty look. I think I had not only insulted but also made her very angry.

She glowered at me. "Fine." Her long dirty blonde hair whipped toward my face as she went to the door. The needy receptionist knocked and called, "Lord Cordley! There is a package for you."

A few seconds later a reply came. "Okay. Send it in."

"Go in." she said without looking at me.

"Thank you."

Mr. Cordley office was a bit dark. Dark wood was all that was used to decorate the room. The only source of light were large windows that made up the entire right side but thick curtains covered some of it. The shady red and purple colors of the curtains and the carpet that a table sat on did nothing to make the room appear any lighter.

The boss himself was busy behind an enormous desk as his receptionist was. He wore a white dress shirt with black suit pants. A pencil was held above is ear. The man was thinking hard about something. He was so in thought that he didn't pay attention to me coming in.

"Lord Cordley, sir?"

Lord Cordley was clearly surprised to see me standing in front of him. "I'm sorry. I didn't see you there."

"That's alright. It looks like you are having a hectic day." I took another glimpse at his work station. Papers were cluttered everywhere. Notebooks and blueprints were open along with charts. Cordley Co. is also highly involved with architecture. They must be putting up a new building somewhere.

Mr. Cordley let out a heavy sigh and leaned back into his chair. "Like you wouldn't believe. Life is too stressful. There are simply not enough hours in the day. I feel like I can't get anything done!"

I was unsure of why he was telling me this. He saw it too. "Sorry. I just needed someone to agree with me. I have been isolated in this cage all day. Anyway, is there something I can help you with?"

I held up the mail. "A message for you from Lord Weller."

"Good!" he took it. "I have been waiting for this. Finally, something that wouldn't give me a headache! Thank you so much."

"You're welcome, sir."

I turned to make my way out of his office. Lord Copley's cries of happiness echoed out into the waiting room. I don't think I gave you my final reason for enjoying being a Deliverer. The smile on their faces when people get a package or letter they have been waiting for is one of the benefits of the job. To be able to make someone's day, for instance a stressed out business man, is a blessing in of itself. Something I look forward to everyday.