The Investigator

I will be updating this, at the very least, 2-3 times a week.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Aensa: Gypsy

The stench caught her before the sights did. It was the smell of death and decay, of smoking smoldering rubble, and of a life now ruined. She had to bring her hand to her mouth to keep the wave of vomit from swimming out of her stomach like a fountain. Were all those dreams actually warnings to stay away and not calls to return home?

Yes, gypsies were nomads and would normally travel from town to town, living on the outskirts of whatever area would allow them before they were forced to move on. But there was always a place, deep in the dark wood, a secret place that they called home. This was their wood. Normally rocks were steady feet for unstable flats that, were it not for the tripod they sat on, would be washed with waves each time the rains fell from the tree tops. Each flat was now tottered on some edge, broken. The rocks had been wiped clean from under the homes, used instead as a crude instrument of distruction. Walls had crumbled like some unwanted present, torn open and then thrown aside when it was obvious the spoiled child did not approve of what was inside. Acrid smoke billowed from the shelters making her nostrils flare and her eyes burn. Dishes lay scattered and broken on the ground. Clothing, heaped high, were warm with the colors of the licking tendrils of flame. Dogs barked off in the distance, hybrids that seemed to howl in desire as much as whine in fear of what was happening.

As much as seeing her home destroyed caused her heart to weep, the tears came from picking through the dead. They lay in various states on the ground: nude, half nude, broken, beaten, clinging to each other. She swallowed hard, lips quivering, as she named each child that clung in one corner, recalling stories of so many.

Endear. A handsome man, always good with the children. She had always been certain he had fathered quite a few of them himself. But he loved each as if they were his own. She can still recall the time one of the children came to him crying because someone from town had broken her favorite dolly. He sat, night and day, carving her an entire menagerie of little animals that would watch over and protect her.

Aensa caressed over the man's beaten face. He must have fought for the children. Closing his eyes, she quickly turned away.

Tilla. Sweet old woman. She was the fortune teller of the group, though she, herself, never thought her to be any good. But she was the type of woman people expected to see in a little tent with a hand full of fortune cards ready to tell anyone who came her way when they would die and how many children they would have.

Antony. She couldn't even count the times that little scamp tried to peek into her tent every time she was giving a private show.

Kiarla. So beautiful. Everyone was certain she wasn't going to live like this forever. Out of everyone, she was the one everyone put all their hope in. She was going to be somebody some day.

Shalla. Niat. Ghrant. Faier. The faces and stories and names swept like a whirlwind through her mind.

Who could have done this? What was the purpose of ruining the lives of so many peaceful people? They never asked anything of anyone. They never stole, never spoke ill of anyone. All they ever did was entertain. They gave people something to look forward to, something to enjoy in their drab and boring lives. And this is how they were repaid?

Bile swelled again and she found herself having to excuse the anger to tumble towards the edge of the encampment to loose her last meal. She felt so hopeless, so lost, emotionally drained as she wiped her mouth on the back of her sleeve and slumped back to the ground. How could this all have happened?

She began to fall back, in her mind, to the stories of all those lives lost. Secret lives, lives that she didn't even fully know or understand. She was never one of them. They accepted her, but never fully allowed her in. Mechora...

Aensa sat bolt upright. Mechora! Mechora! She didn't see that woman anywhere in the piles! Certainly that is who they came for. Or perhaps they couldn't find her? Certainly this all revolved around her. She never was certain she could trust that woman. But where was Mother Mechora? Did she orchestrate this? It didn't matter. If she was alive and helped this to happen, she would soon be worse off than those who were now no more. If she was alive and tried to stop this, than she would help to avenge the death of many with her lust for blood. Either way, it seemed many answers would be found by finding Mother Mechora.

She pushed aside all thoughts of the dead out of her mind. After a few deep breaths, she tried to ignore the scent of burning flesh and wood. Rising from the ground, strength back in her step as she began to feed off her anger, hunger for it, she began to walk with purpose away from her desecrated home.

“I will find you. I will find you, whoever you are. And I will make you pay.”