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Rebirth

A New Beginning

By Dawn SaloisPublished 3 years ago Updated 2 years ago 10 min read
11

Faerie wiped the sweat from her forehead before it found its way to her eyes. She tucked a tendril of her long, wavy, chestnut hair behind her ear so she could see better. The sweat burned her eyes and she felt like she hadn’t slept in days. Actually, she really hadn’t. She was sure her amber eyes were bloodshot and swollen. She was helping her guardian, Rey, check traps. They needed pelts to trade with the merchants for supplies when the travelling mercantile came to town next week. The expedition had taken longer than usual because of the refugee groups who were living in the forests. They were starving and tried to rob people who traveled on the main trails, so Rey decided to take a less efficient route through the forest.

Faerie approached one of Rey’s traps and she was about to pull it up out of the water when she saw movement in the corner of her eye. She turned around and saw a young man who had appeared out of nowhere. She quickly assessed the situation. He was approximately six feet tall and very well-muscled. She was five and a half feet tall with an athletic build, but his size would give him a definite advantage if there was a struggle between them. The young man had medium brown hair and blue eyes. And she was sure she had never seen him in the area before. He watched her wearily but didn’t look like he planned to attack.

“Hello,” said the young man, looking confused.

Faerie just stared at him in response. She didn’t see any reason to to have a conversation with a strange man who might be dangerous.

“I’m Ason,” continued the young man. “I’m sorry if I startled you,” he said, “I thought you might be a threat to my family.”

“What are you doing by my trap?” asked Faerie. She was uninterested in Ason’s reason for sneaking up on her.

“Oh,” said Ason, “you are from the Republic.”

It wasn’t a question, so Faerie simply asked, “Why are you near my traps?”

“Don’t worry,” said Ason, “I’m not after your trapped animals. I can find my own food.”

“Ok,” said Faerie. She started toward the trap to check it.

“Wait!,” cried Ason, “why would you turn your back on someone you don’t know?”

“You said you were not here to steal from my trap,” said Faerie.

“Your survival instincts died right along with your emotions, didn’t they?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I’m expected to check this trap and the next one and meet my guardian by the next bend in the stream,” said Faerie.

Ason looked into Faerie’s eyes for a moment and took a deep breath as he closed his eyes. He opened his eyes and looked at Faerie. He started speaking slowly and cautiously, “I have something for you.”

Faerie looked at him with an absolute and utter lack of understanding. Why would anyone want to give her anything, especially someone who was most likely starving to death?

“Here,” said Ason.

Faerie examined the item Ason held out to her. It was a small, reflective item with a tiny chain. The item appeared to be in the shape of a heart with a hinge at the left-hand side. “I don’t understand. What is it?” said Faerie, as she reached to take the item.

“It’s a heart-shaped locket,” replied Ason, “and you will.”

The moment Faerie touched the locket she knew something was different. She felt things changing in her body immediately. Her breathing rapidly increased in rate, and she felt a tightness in her stomach she had never felt before. She looked at Ason and she could not look away. She noticed that his eyes were even bluer than the deep pools that swirled in the stream where she trapped. His hair was brown, but it also had strands of gold mixed in. She found that she wanted to reach out and run a hand through his hair to see if it was as soft and smooth as it looked.

“Just relax,” said Ason, “you are feeling your first stirring of emotion.”

“What did you do?” Faerie suddenly felt a pinch in her stomach that she had only experienced when she was on the verge of vomiting.

“I awakened your emotions,” said Ason. “You need to be able to have feelings in order to follow your instincts.”

“Emotions are a weakness we rid ourselves of centuries ago,” said Faerie with a note of superiority and obvious pride.

“You didn’t get rid of them,” he said, “you only repressed them. Your people thought that logic was superior to emotion and chose to shut their emotions down completely. When you give up the bad emotions you also give up the good ones and they didn’t understand that.”

Ason looked into her eyes and said, “What is your name?”

“I’m Faerie,” she said, feeling lightheaded and disoriented.

“I have to go now, Faerie,” said Ason, “but I want you to keep the locket. Will you wear it?…Please?” He took it from Faerie and fastened the chain around her neck. “Put it under your shirt,” he said, “near your heart. Don’t tell anyone you have it.”

“Okay,” said Faerie, “will I see you again?”

“I don’t know,” said Ason, “but you have everything you need now. Good luck.”

Ason turned to leave, hesitated, and turned back. He met her eyes for a moment and stepped forward and bent down to softly graze her forehead with his lips. She felt a flutter in her stomach and her cheeks felt hot. Then he turned and ran into the trees. She stood and stared after him, feeling what she could only assume was sadness.

Faerie woke early the day of the traveling mercantile. She was getting a much better handle on her newfound emotions than she had at first, but she was excited and couldn’t go back to sleep. The emotions that were freed by the locket had been scary at first. She was afraid Ason had somehow drugged her when she was unable to stop the constant barrage of feelings and thoughts. Drugs had been very common in the time before the shutdown. People had used them to avoid their feelings. They were uncommon and unnecessary in the modern world. When the feelings continued in the days after meeting Ason, though, Faerie had concluded that they must be permanent. At first she had been afraid someone might notice that she had changed. Rey was the only other person in their wooden hut, and so far she hadn’t said anything about the changes in Faerie. Rey had, however, started to behave differently than Faerie was used to. It was almost as if Faerie’s emotions were contagious. Rey was smiling, laughing, and blushing every time she talked to Xenin, their neighbor. They had lived next to Xenin for three years and Rey had never shown any interest in him at all. If they had met 200 years earlier they might have gotten married, but those old customs were for people who had emotions. People did not even marry to procreate any more. That was done in a lab. Xenin had not returned Rey’s interest until after she had invited him for the evening meal several nights ago. Now she disappeared to his house at random times throughout the day and returned with a blush in her cheeks and an exaggerated smile on her face.

Faerie completely understood Rey’s behavior, though. Her cheeks became warm and pink as she thought back on all the times she had thought about Ason in the past week. She wondered if she might be able to convince Rey to go check traps sooner than usual so she could try to find him again in the woods. She also found herself hoping that he thought of her as often as she thought of him. She couldn’t help but feel embarrassment over her obsessive thoughts of him.

“Time to go, Faerie!,” called Rey from outside the bedroom door. She had let her thoughts wander so long it was already time to go to the market.

“I’ll be right down,” called Faerie.

“The traveling marketplace was already busy in the early morning hours. Trappers and traders knew that prices would drop for their goods as the day went on and the market became saturated. Faerie and Rey hurried through the crowds to find the merchants they were accustomed to dealing with. When they found the appropriate booth they discovered that it was no longer owned by their usual business associates. Faerie saw a tall man behind the counter with his back turned to them. He was looking over a book filled with numbers. She could not prevent the flood of impatience that welled up inside her as she and Rey stood waiting to be helped.

“Excuse me,” said Faerie with obvious irritation in her voice.

When the man turned around Faerie felt as if the entire world spun for several seconds. Her eyes fixated on his face and she forgot where she was and how she had gotten there. It was Ason.

Ason started toward Faerie with a huge smile on his face until he noticed that she was not alone. He addressed Rey when he asked, “ How can I help you?”

Rey had obviously noticed the shift in energy in the booth, but she answered Ason with, “We are here to exchange some pelts for credits in the marketplace.”

Ason answered Rey, but he still mostly looked at Faerie when he said, “Please come into the back room and my assessors will examine your merchandise.”

Rey said, “Faerie, please go get the other pelts.” To Ason she said, “we couldn’t carry all of them.”

Ason answered, “allow me to help you carry them.”

Faerie stared blankly for just a few seconds before answering, “Thank you.”

Faerie charged out of the booth and walked quickly until she reached the wagon she and Rey had driven to the market. When they reached the wagon she finally looked at Ason. She wanted to speak, but she had so much to say that her words all seemed to tumble over each other and become entangled somewhere in her throat without quite making it to her tongue.

“Faerie,” said Ason. “I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again..I see you still have the locket.” He could see the chain around her neck, but the locket remained hidden under her shirt.

“Ason. .I..what is happening to me?” said Faerie. “I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to feel. I..don’t want you to leave.”

Ason looked like he couldn’t figure out what to say next, so he wrapped her in his arms and held her close to him. She felt like a bird who had found a place to land after flying for days on end. She leaned against Ason and it just felt completely right.

“What are you doing here?” asked Faerie.

Ason took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “My family has been running and hiding for most of my life,” he said. “My ancestors did not accept the new way of life after the great shutdown. We abandoned our technology, but we chose not to abandon our emotions. We came to this town to find a place we could stay. The locket I gave you was supposed to help with that. It unlocks the emotions of whoever wears it, as well as everyone they come into contact with. We don’t understand how it works, but that’s what it does. When I gave you the locket it unlocked your emotions, too, Faerie. My family and I came here to try to find a home. We would like to stay here.”

“I would like that,” answered Faerie.

The story continues in Exordium.

future
11

About the Creator

Dawn Salois

Mother of a wonderful son. Writing is a relatively new passion of mine. I love to create my own images. Self-published author of Shadow and Flame.

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Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (2)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 years ago

    Fantastic story!

  • Babs Iverson2 years ago

    Outstanding!!💖😊💕

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