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#14276644 Dec 30, 2019 at 03:25 AM
5 Posts

Zazussa watched the last of the suns rays leave her small plot of land and sighed. Another day survived. She fed the last of the many cows that were scattered over her property, tossed a last generous handful of feed to the ducks and sat down on the stone foundation of her house.

'Her house...

The strange ideas that were fed into her head today. This was still Kinotomo's house. Though the magistrate of the City of Towers had changed the paperwork at her mention of it earlier. Officially, the farm was now hers. It would take some getting used to.

She looked up at the sleeping owl on it's stand an arms length away, resting on his perch, ruffling it's feathers as the skies turned all manner of orange and yellow. She couldn't help but smile.

Standing, she dusted off the filthy rags she wore as clothes and headed up the stairs to the house proper, her shoes clomping with each step on the wooden surface. Out of habit, she slipped out of her work clothes just before entering the house, hanging them upon the rail for tomorrow.

Once inside, she retrieved her leather notebook, her memories on paper, and her leather pouch before barring the door and settling in for the night. After fixing a bit of food for herself, she sat upon the bed and opened the journal to the pages she drew on today.

The first was the sunrise and the flock of ducks that she'd seen flying past. She loved ducks, envied their ability to fly, and thus fed them every chance she got for they always brought her a smile. If she'd had colors other than the black ink, the scene would have been absolutely spectacular. But she'd kept to her quill and ink medium, as always, bringing in realism with shades of grey.

The second was of the new Blue Salt contact she'd met today, a young Firren with beautiful fur patterns who took immense offense to being drawn, as if her image captured upon paper with quill and ink would trap her spirit. She was an odd one, so Zazussa happily finished her memory later while resting.

The third was of the strange man she'd met at the tavern, a man that not only got her questioning some things about her life, but offered some sort of membership in a gang, which made her very nervous. A man who was so naive that the scowling serving girl nearly taught him the wrong thing to say to a Nuian should things go badly for him. Though, for his naivete, he was able to make her smile, no easy feat.

Next came the memory of her dream that had been chasing her through the night these past weeks. She'd, somehow, gotten her wings back, not the leathery bat-like demon ones, but like a dove, soft and feathery. A smile spread gently across her lips. Oh, to fly again. It was the one thing she did miss about... before.

The last was of a young girl she'd found crying on the road home. The girl had gone fishing and a dog came and stole her fish. Zazussa felt for the youth, so, took the girl upon the ocean in her Mas.... no... HER fishing boat and together they caught a gargantuan that the girl proudly presented to her father while Zazussa faded from the scene quietly and headed home.

She sighed as a chill overtook her, looking to the cold fireplace and absently flicked her wrist in it's direction. The hearth lit with a steady flame, providing warmth and dancing shadows within the walls as she lay upon the straw filled wooden box she called a bed. So many aspects in her life have changed drastically and she was still very unsure how to react to this newfound freedom. Now she owned property, responsible for the taxes like any other citizen, she owned vehicles that, thankfully, she knew how to operate and maintain. She owned rather than be owned. And all because a stranger in a tavern made an obvious observation that she'd, somehow, failed to comprehend.

Admittedly, she went to a records keeper to find out who this man was. Caution, of course, as he'd offered her a place among the ranks of some gang. In so doing, she ended up with property and information... not that she could read. She'd never learned how. Her form of written came in the drawings she produced. Grain or produce or whatever she needed she'd always drawn and her contact with the Blue Salt made sure to take care of it for her. If they needed her, they sent an owl with some symbol of where she was to meet, like a tiny wooden tower for the City of Towers, or a cloth patch bearing Austera or Ynystere emblems.

She adjusted her head a bit, her horns clacking upon the wooden frame, then stared at the ceiling, clutching her notebook to her front, thought running it's tracks through her mind like dwarven rail cars. What would a wealthy Harani male want with a broken slave like her? She'd always been taught she was worthless. Was even sold at one time for 4 copper due to the scars that riddled her flesh to the Harani that put the damning contraption in her back that fed her nightmares for years.

She frowned, lifting a hand for her to see as she allowed forbidden magic to swirl around her fingers. Would she be allowed to use magic again? Even after the... past? After what she'd done?

She turned her hand just so the magic could form a small glowing ball in her palm, her eyes watched it, studied it, and then she noticed the angry scars on her wrist and arm. Angrily she snuffed the magic in her fist and furiously stared at the ceiling. No. She couldn't allow that. She'd killed with magic. Killed from the skies. She was better on the ground working as a common slave. She didn't deserve freedom. Her scars were proof enough for that.

Her leather bound journal ended up on the floor next to her pouch. Her eyes closed and she willed herself to sleep. Tomorrow was another day. Tonight would be filled with nightmares.
I would rather be damned by my honesty than caged by my lies.
#14279144 Jan 03, 2020 at 12:46 AM · Edited 2 years ago
5 Posts
Zazussa made her way down from her cottage, each stair creaking quietly in the night. She'd just put Seia to bed, set out some water and cups, tried to make the lithe woman as comfortable as possible with what little Zazussa had. She had cracked open a window for air next to the bed and set a candle on the crate with the rest of the items she left out. Holding the kerosene lamp up a bit, she looked about at the various drawings she had strewn about or placed upon the wall, pieces of memory that people found most interesting. Having no trunk to put them in, she could only hope Seia would not startle when she saw them.

She walked up to one of her cows, a heifer she named Patches, still humming the tune she sang to Seia as she moved about. Patches knew the song, it was the only song Zazussa knew and thus had heard it many many times. The old cow bumped up to Zazussa who smiled, "Yea, I know, I am late for dinner."

She was rewarded with a resounding 'MOOO!' and snuffling at her hands, "Alright, fine, give me a moment and I will feed you and yours," she said, laughing softly. Hopping up the short step to the feed containers, she started talking, "I brought someone home today. Not sure what I was thinking, only that she would have not had a place to sleep, I think, had I not offered."


"Well, what was I supposed to do? Allow her to lay in the grass?" Zazussa said to the hungry Patches, scooping up a double handful of feed and delivering it to the trough where a dozen cows started shuffling for room, "All right, ok, I'll move," and she did or be trampled. The only one patiently waiting despite her hunger was Patches, who nuzzled up to Zazussa, "Yes, yes, allowing anyone to sleep in the grass in a strange place is not kind. Thank you for reminding me."


"Well, what would you have done, huh?" she asked the heifer, leaning down to look into her eye. Patches nudged her way into the trough crowd to get her fill while Zazussa lifted the feeding pot and filled the feeder, "Yea, my thought exactly."

She waited for a while, watching the small herd eat their fill before, one by one, they started shuffling off to find a portion of rock wall to sleep against, all except Patches, who watched Zazusa expectantly, "Sleepover?"


"Good, sleepover." Zazussa smiles at the cow and proceeded to lay in a patch of clover under the stairs. Patches lay next to her, leaning on the bench next to the stair as well as the large planter Zazussa intended to sleep in, huffing as she lowered herself to the ground. It wasn't long before she fell asleep with the warmth of her best friend so close by.
I would rather be damned by my honesty than caged by my lies.
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