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Seniki (chapter 1)

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Chapter 1

In the depths of the forest surrounded by the whisper of the wind and the towering trees intent on greeting all who enter their realms, lives a girl. Seaming to be like the other girls she has heard about, but she is different. She doesn’t know why but she has been able to do things that no one else can for as long as she can remember. Unable to figure out what it is, and ever so intent on figuring it out.

As the night falls the girl sits down by the fire she hadn’t started by hand and wrote down the day’s events. “There was a great storm to the east today. It moved over the shelter and soaked the ground, as well as the rest of my possessions. I have to rebuild my shelter as the wind knocked it down. It shouldn’t take long though. I got very lucky in the sense that none of the supports were broken. It is only a matter of time until it is back up again. But tonight I will sleep under the stars, until the first light of dawn breaks through the trees, and I am able to assess the rest of the damage that has been inflicted upon my poor shelter. Tomorrow is also a very special day because I will be fifteen tomorrow. It will also mark the tenth year that I have lived without my parents who abandoned me in these very woods so long ago.” The girl closed up her journal, crawled into her sleeping sack and let the whisper of the wind and the chirping of birds in the distance gently lull her to sleep.

The first light of day was creeping its way through the trees as the girl woke from her sleep the next morning. She stretched and crawled out of her sleeping sack. She rolled it up and went to her now damp bags for a small roll of dried meat and a handful of berries. The ground had dried up a bit since last night’s storm but it was still pretty wet. The girl went over to her shelter and started to reassemble the mangled pieces when behind her she heard the crack of a twig. As quick as a bolt of lightning she drew her sword and spun around. For a girl of fifteen she was unusually strong. Having to fend for herself all these years has made her this way. She spun around but saw nothing. Just as she was about to re sheath her sword she heard another twig crack, behind her again. Whatever this thing was it was fast and silent as a ghost.
Turning on her heal she caught a glimpse of what it was. It was about six feet tall wearing a long black cloak. That was all that the girl saw as the figure dodged behind a tree before she could get any more than that glimpse. “Who or what are you?” the girl yelled. “If you do not show yourself you can count yourself dead.” The figure stepped out from behind the tree, its head down with its hood pulled far over its head. Then it spoke, “What do you not remember me? The girl looked at the figure with a hardened expression. It was the one thing that she had never wanted to see. “What are you doing here” She said with a tone as deadly as liquid fire being poured down the throat of its victim. “I wanted to drop by and say hello. We haven’t spoken in quite some time. How are you doing…Seniki?” The figure asked. The girl looked at the figure and said with and even deadlier tone “Get out of here now and don’t ever come back. Do you hear me? Go NOW!!!” The figure complied head still bowed. It slunk back into the shadows and disappeared.
Just as the figure went out of sight, the girl woke sweating hard, her face pale as the moon that still shown over head. “It was just a dream” she thought to herself as she heaved a huge sigh of relief. “About an hour left until the sun light seeps through the trees” she thought. As she sat on the ground shivering from the cold, she stoked the fire to get it burning again. It was approaching winter and she had to get moving on her provisions so that she would be able to endure through it. The trees were good shelter from the snow. All that was left now was to get the shelter put back up from where the wind had blown it down the previous night. Then it was time to go hunting.
Seniki packed up her sleeping sack as well as all the rest of her things into the pack she had made when she was eight. As she pulled the supports back into their teepee position, and wrapped the skin she had gotten from the deer she had accumulated over the years, she sang the song that her parents had sung to her when she was a little girl. When the shelter was back into place she put out the fire and grabbed her pack. Along with the belt which held her sword and dagger. She also grabbed her bow and quiver. She made them all herself except for the dagger. It was her fathers.
Seniki had made her sword and bow to match. It hadn’t been easy though. It took her a very long time to get all the materials needed to forge it. The bow hadn’t taken quite as long but it still took over a moon. It was made out of yew reinforced in the middle and on the ends with teak she found by chance somewhere in the woods while she was hunting. The arrows were fletched with owl feathers. These made them fly level and silent. The chipped flint on the edges made them deadly. The arrows were also made out of yew. There was a lot of it around so that is what Seniki used. She was very good at it too.
So off she went. Seniki was able to catch the trail of the deer rather quickly. That would make for a shorter hunting trip. She tracked the deer for what seemed to be hours but in the end she caught up with them. She positioned herself downwind of herd and took out her bow. Seniki strung it and knocked an arrow. She was just about to draw her bow when something on the opposite side of the clearing startled the herd making them bolt into the woods quick as wildfire spreading atop the trees. Seniki dropped like a stone ducking behind the bracken as not to be seen by this thing that had startled the deer. She peeked through the bracken making the opening so small that nothing would be able to see her unless they were standing directly above her. The thing that had startled the deer stalked out of the trees. It was a medium sized bear reared onto its hind legs claws slicing the air like the blade of a sword. The girl knew this area well. There were no bears around here at all. This one must have wandered into the land recently. “This creature will make a nice new sleeping sack” She thought, “As well as enough meat to last the entire winter, and enough needles to last the next four years at least.” Seniki knocked the arrow again and took careful aim. If she didn’t get the shot right the first time it would spell certain death on her for sure. She took aim and let the arrow fly. As the arrow flew through the air it started to glow. Like some unforeseen force had bewitched it. Just as the ball of light was getting too bright to handle it struck the bear. The bear fell like a boulder with no sign of the arrow at all. The girl ran over to the bear after she was sure that it was dead and thanked the heavens for providing what she needed and promised to use all of it and let none go to waste, this was done with all kills to ensure that they made it to the next life.

She started a fire, again without touching anything, and started to skin the bear. The dagger she used felt like it was made for her hands. It fit to every niche and crevice that made them up. Once the bear was skinned she laid out the fur to dry and started to dry the meat. Seniki left out a small chunk which she wrapped in a leaf to save for dinner that night. She dried the rest, seasoning it with berries and herbs that she had in a small pouch. By the time she was done she had fifteen big rolls, and twenty-seven smaller rolls, definitely enough to last the winter, as the big rolls were equivalent to thirty small rolls themselves. Next she focused on the bones. Seniki started with the ribs as they would be the easiest. She started to splinter and chip them until they were all the right lengths. From there she moved to the rest of the bear. By the time she was done the skin was dry. Seniki rolled it up along with all the meat and needles that she had newly accumulated and started back to camp. It was nearing dark when she reached her shelter. As she entered the place she called home the fire started up again with no more than a glance. She crawled into her shelter, unrolled her sleeping sack and with her belt, bow and quiver next to her she fell into a peaceful sleep.



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