duminică, 8 septembrie 2013


"Life is a ticket to the greatest show on Earth."

I was born in faraway lands, under a much warmer sun, at 10th of august 1617, but I don't have memories of that place, a place that I haven't seen in years.
My name is Alleken Marie Varnhagen, and the very thing itself was a game between my parents months before I was born. I was their first child, so, when my mother learned she was with child - a thing that didn't happen until the fourth year in their marriage - she and my father somehow established a rule. Like in any traditional family, everyone around them expected my parents to pray for a boy, but that wasn't what my they had in mind. They simply wanted a healthy baby, boy or girl I think it didn't matter for the two of them. And because they both had the same opinion on this, they decided to make some kind of a deal: my mother got to choose the name in case of the baby being a boy and, if the baby turned up to be a daughter, it was my father's call. Because it was everybody's opinion that the baby had to be a boy, I turned out to be somewhat of a surprise to everyone and my father suddenly found himself faced with a great decision. He came with my name and that's how far my parents' game went. My second name was my mother's choice, because back where I was born, there was this customary law for every child to have a biblical name along with a more formal one.
A year and a half later came my younger brother, Albrecht Rudolf, named after our paternal grandfather, and that's how this game between my parents came to an end.
A few months after my brother's birth, my family was forced to move, so they purchased a farm somewhere into the mountains. That farm became the only home that I knew for the next 8 years.
I can't seem to recall any major event in my childhood, or any other thing that could majorly influence my development back in those days, so I think I should consider myself fortunate. I know that there used to be a war, but that was too far away from us and there was nothing in my parents' behaviour to indicate that our life had anything to suffer from it. I remember the snow, which was practically an immutable thing for those 8 years and I can also remember that both me and Albrecht were loved and appreciated by our parents. Other than those two aspects, there seems to be something like a could leisurely settling on my memories. Life was easy back in those days, or so my parents knew how to make it seem like to us. Short days spent playing in the snow or simply enjoying the rare rays of the winter sun, cosy evenings in front of the fire and long nights under the warm sheets, when our parents used to tuck me and my brother up.
That's the life I lived up until I turned 9.

I think you could say that I got to make my own decision regarding the path I followed in life, because my parents never asked for an injunction. Even so, I can't trace any important events that could have influenced me in making this life changing decision at such a tender age.
All that I recall was that the day after I turned 9 years old, my mother helped me pack some of my clothes and other paraphernalia, kissed me good bye and sent me along with my father on our way to the lowlands. I think now it's the time to ask whosoever's reading these lines not to judge my parents for such a brief and seemingly unemotional parting. As I stated above, it was my own decision and my parents accepted it. There were, of course, different times back then and for a child to leave his parents at such a young age and start his apprenticeship far from his parents' home wasn't such an uncommon event. I know how hard it must have been for my mother and father and what sacrifices they had to make.
After two days of travelling, my father and I arrived in a sleepy village, where he left me with an elven family. Now, even if it wasn't unheard for girls to choose the path of apprenticeship, please let me say that beeing accepted in an elven household as a healer prentice wasn't exactly an ordinary event. I was welcomed there and immediately accepted in their family. I met my Teacher, a forest elf named Lyzara, who worked as a midwife along with her husband and brother, Lyzair, a famous healer of our lands. There were also two of their children working with them and a grandson.

Now, the fact that I was accepted there didn't mean that I was to become a healer in the twinkling of an eye. I was only a child that didn't know a thing about healing or life itself. I barely knew how to read and write and I had a very vague idea about mathematics and science. I could count up to a hundred or so and I knew how to add or substract, but that pretty much summed up all the things I understood back then. So Teacher had to be very patient with me. And even after I learned things like comparing numbers, reading clocks, units of measure and adding decimals, I still had a long way to go. For the first year that I spent there I wasn't even allowed to attend Teacher while she saw patients. My duty was to study by myself for as long as she was busy with other patients and help around the house. You could say I had my fair share or laundering, and cleaning, but that's how life used to be in their house, with everyone working together and doing their part of work. I also got to see my parents every couple of months and they visited me every time my father had work in a village nearby. I was also allowed to spend a month at the end of the summer with my family, helping them at the farm. Those visits became less frequent as I grew older and as my studying intensified. I was gradually allowed to watch Teacher when she visited other women in childbed or even when she assisted at a childbirth. Of course, beeing only 10 years old, I knew that I had to get out of the room and quietly wait outside every time things became complicated. I learned to read it on Teacher's face. Her usually impassive demeanor would become more demure and she would almost indistinguishably knit her brows. In theory, I already knew what in meant and what could occur, but I also knew that there would be at least a year or two until I got to see what really happened.
By the time I turned 14, I already saw two women dying in childbirth and assisted Teacher at delivering at least two stillborns. I knew that Humans, Elves, Selkies or even Demons were still mortal creatures and when delivering, all women were the same. Scared for themselves and for their unborn children. Back then I thought I knew everything about life and death, but, of course, I realized there were still so many things to learn when Teacher's husband, Lyzair, decided it was the time to start taking me with him when he visited the poor persons that lived in each and every village from this land. That's when I learned that there is misery in this world, true, tangible misery and suffering.
Being raised by a disbelieving father and a very indulgent mother, I have never been a religious person and I refused to concern myself with problems such as the existence of a divinity or my own soul's immortality, but the things that I got to see while travelling with my Teacher's husband convinced me that, even if God may or may not actually exist, there surely is evil in this world.
About the things that I saw until I turned 15 I will talk another time, as this is supposed to be only the foreword of my tales and not the entire story itself.
So, by the time I was 15 years old, I knew that I still had so much more to learn about life and suffering, but that's where this story begins and if things were to have happened as I hoped them to happen, maybe I wouldn't be writing those lines. That fall, my family decided for me to take up my indentures and called me back home, because it was time for me to get married. And this beeing such an important aspect of my existence, they already had everything arranged.
His name was Gregory Cooper, son of a wealthy farmer and trader, and it wasn't the first time that the two of us came to meet each other. Even if I doubt he remembered me as that insignificant girl from many years ago.

2 comentarii:

Ekho spunea...

Very nice first post! Looking forward to reading more :)

Auteur des Rêves spunea...

WoW! Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment here! ^^ It really made my day.
I'm glad you like it and I really hope you'll enjoy the next chapters too.

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