Site Write challenge June 2012
The topic was: This is the last adventure for your character through this 'trip'. You are sitting in a group and asked to drink a certain potion. Instantly after drinking it, you are transported to the memory of where your character grew up. What is it like? What does your character see? Do they catch a glimpse of themselves running by as children? After your experience, you open your eyes and realize you are back in the same place as you grew up in. What changed? How does your character feel?
Having accidentally put some of Gruph's meditating potions into her tea instead of the goldthorn sap, Salley was surprised to find herself back in Westfall. She was used to the hallucination from the potion, but surprised at just which one.
The place was instantly familiar even in the nighttime darkness. The two story farm house limped into view, looking ready to fall over at the breath of the sea. The barn, where most of the orphans actually slept if they weren't too young or ill lay behind.
Figures drifted in from the mist of the vision, clashing of steel, screams of men and children crying. To her left a bronze light suddenly flared into view that illuminated the scene of battle. Someone just lit the food storage on fire.
Ah, yes, she remembered this night well. It had only been a week since the matron's husband died, leaving the orphanage and farm at a disadvantage to the Defias's greedy hands. They wanted the deed to the farm, the matron refused. At night, as was common, the Defias struck, looking to scare or even kill the residences until they gave in.
But no, they were ready. These children weren't bathed in the easy life of the city. It was a life of survival; kill or be killed. Although the farm wasn't much of an orphanage, more a place to squat between hunts and fights near the logging camp, but this was all they had.
The older children and a few neighbors fought with clubs and a few knifes. Pitchforks and shovels.
The younger kids were on the roof of the farmhouse protected by two children with bows. One was a boy with black hair and dark skin about ten. He was sniping out a few of the Defias. The other, a skinny, dirty little blonde girl was too small to use the bow so she lay on the roof, using her toes on the wood and pulling the string back across her body. For such an odd angle to fire, she was a good shot, killing at least one man, wounding another.
Salley remembered this night well. They pushed the Defias back if only by sheer numbers. They had lost their food for the winter, however, and two children starved to death.
But it was a significant night, it was the beginning of a band of wild vigilantes that would survive for a good seven years.
It was visions like these she had tried to keep her friends from seeing. Even Gruph, who had taught her about these spirit journeys and had gone a good number of them together. But what would they think of a girl at the age of seven already making killing blows, or the other deeds she had done.
That wasn't war, the excuse she used to tend to people's grief and pain. To excuse away their past sins and misfortunes. Westfall wasn't war, it was survival, like being dropped into an arena at birth and pitted in a world of dirty deeds and filthy manipulations.
No, they didn't need to see that world.
Salley gathered up the potion that had given her that particular hallucination and set out for Westfall.
She didn't find the farm house. No, the Shattering took care of that. What she came to find instead was a stone foundation, a broken cellar, and weeds sitting near the filthy, murlock clustered sea.
Salley buried the potions there, under the rubble of the hard earth. Let the weeds remember the past, let the animals drink it and know of the sins.
But not Gruph. Not Tesserra. None of them, they didn't need to know that Salley was a cold blooded murderer.