The Investigator

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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Aensa: Raziel

“Whaddya mean ya stopped drinking?” He held out the bottle of rum, brows furrowed together in worry.

“Raz, ya don't understands! I suddenly remember things agains. I remember whats I was doin', ya know? Yer still cute, kid. We don't needs no rum. Plus I gots that job with that Lightwind fella. I gots ta have a clear heads fer that, ya know?”

Aensa and Raz were sitting lazily by the docks, watching the ships as they loaded their cargo as the clouds melted into an inferno of color. The bottle of rum was finally, reluctantly, settled behind the young man as he kicked his feet lazily at the water. His eyes moved to look over at Aensa, pensive yet still grinning that silly lopsided smile of hers that he had come to love. She was certainly a special kind of woman, not at all like the dainty delicate types whose laughter sounded like tiny bells tinkling around in a glass bowl. No, Aensa had a full out deep and throaty laughter that swelled from the belly and bubbled out with true emotion. She didn't wear frilly lacy dresses or have the need to powder her nose. She didn't sip wine or cross her legs whenever she sat down. She didn't even remember to say please and thank you like most women. There were so many ways she was different from the others. It is what caused him to become so fond of her. He would dare to say he loved her.

“Sides, I lost who I was. There's so much at stakes, Raz. I keep getting' this feelin' in the pits of mah stomaches, ya know?” He nodded gingerly, eagerly, at her words. No. He had no idea what she meant, but it was so much easier to agree with her. Whenever he agreed she got large grin on her face and would wrap her arm around his shoulder with a jostling, just like she did this time. “Yer such a good listener, Raz. What woulds I do without ya?”

“Well, hopefully you wont ever need to find out!” The grin was wide as he looked up at her. If he was, in fact, a puppy, his tail would be wagging furiously at this point, pleased that he was able to please her so. He flopped against her, resting his head upon her shoulder as the sun set before them. He didn't consider it romantic, truly, since the only reason they were here at this moment was that this was when she got off of work. That and she worked at the docks. Some kind of book keeper. He didn't understand. He didn't really care. He just was happy that day in and day out that she asked him to come see her again and again.

“We should be getting' backs ta the church.” A scowl hit his face when she mentioned that, not really wanting to depart from her just this moment. “Kylus is gonna be mighty angry iffin' I don't gets back soon. Makes sure I stays sober, ya know?”

“Yeah. I know. But you don't work tomorrow, right?” Again the tail began to wag in hope.

“I... yeah. No workin' here at the docks. But I gots some business.”

“Oh.” His face drooped as he thought this meant the end to their getting together.

“Will ya meets me at the fountain tomorrow? Maybe arounds noon?” He nearly jumped for joy at the thought of it and showed his reply with enthusiastic nodding which made her laugh her merry soulful laugh, thick and rich and straight from her core. “Ya know, Raz... maybe we can jest checks in with the priest and I can spends the nights with you, yeah?” The thought of it nearly made him melt off the dock.

“Well, we best be getting you back to the church then, huh?”

Friday, January 28, 2011

Aensa: Sobering Up

She hadn't forgotten. She never forgot. But lately, the rum had been getting the better part of her. She seemed to have settled down in a simple enough town and found that drinking, especially binge drinking, seemed to help cause the blackouts and the tremor of nightmares to stay out of her head. It rather pleased her, so she found most of her time in a stupor.

She sat, like most days, at the local tavern with a bottle before her and a mug held lovingly in her hands. Both feet were kicked up in a relaxed manner atop a table and her eyes had long since shut gloriously closed. Day dreaming about the various people she recently had begun “dancing” for, offering rolls in the hay, sometimes just curling up with some lonely sap and letting them remember the warmth of a body next to them.

The days seemed to have blended themselves together. She couldn't recall, off the top of her head, how she had met Raziel, for instance. It seemed like he always just existed. Usually at her heels, but he was always there. His eyes would watch her every move. Slowly, her lips curled into a smile thinking of his puppy like actions. Everything he did, every little movement, he did to please her. He liked to watch her dance, but unlike most men he had no desire to oogle her. He was genuinely enthralled by her movement, how the scarves flowed, how he could hear the music that wasn't even playing. He was the only person she never charged coin for watching her dance, and she was the only person he could ever imagine could ever make money with the beauty of such movements.

In the past few weeks, she had grown fond of the young man. She had told him many a time that she was old, perhaps too old for him, but she still found herself taking him as a drinking partner and then asking him to keep her warm at night instead of the other way around. Just thinking about his strapping young arms around her made her booze laden heart purr.

“Aensa,” came a far away voice, drifting in and out of the haze in her mind. She agreed with the voice. She was, indeed, Aensa. Who wouldn't want to be her? Perhaps this voice was calling out with the same desire that many men have.

“Aensa,” the voice spoke, louder this time, perhaps with an air of sternness. Sternness? Was her mother in her head? Be gone, mother! I am a good person now and have no desire to revisit your memory.

“Aensa!” shouted the voice as a sharp pain seemed to emerge in her ribs. It was enough to cause her to jump and spill from her seat much like her rum was doing from her mug. Blearily she blinked her eyes open, rubbing them with a fist before she managed to converge four priests into two.

“Kylus. 'ow good ta sees ya! To whats do I owes this pleasure?” It took three tries, but she managed to right her chair and plop back into it. Her feet had long since remembered how to properly kick back upon the table, so they informed her head that they were staying put on the floor. Her mind seemed to think that was a very good idea since the wood was trying to separate and run away and hopefully her feet could keep it in place and perhaps talk some sense into it.

The priest pulled out a chair beside her with a sigh and shook his head. “Drinking again, I see?” Drinking? Oh yes. That was what she was doing. As she began searching for her mug in her hands, the priest neatly kicked it under another table as he deftly grabbed the bottle of rum and set it behind him as well. “What a shame. It looks as though you are clear out.”

“Must be...” Aensa mumbled as she couldn't recall finishing all that nectar, but certainly she must have since it was no longer around and Dulcina knew not to clean up after her unless she was truly finished.

“You really have to stop drowning your sorrows this way, Aensa.” Lips twisted once again into a disapproving frown as the priest shook his head.

Kylus was a kind man with kind eyes and hands that had a healing touch. He was priest of the Royal Church and did his duties while wearing his heart on his sleeve. She recalled the first time she met the priest, stumbling drunk at his door step. Although she couldn't recall much of the encounter, she know that ever since then he has tried to keep an eye on her and always lectured about her use of alcohol.

“Ya know I'm not drownin' my sorrows! Ya know I jest can't stand the nightmares no more.”

“Yes yes. The nightmares.” The odor that wafted about Aensa made it plainly clear she hadn't bathed in a few days, let alone change her clothing. Kylus looked about the room for the page boy that seemed to be following Aensa around these days and saw no one. He didn't much believe her about these nightmares. “I think it is about time you sober up for a few days. I don't see your friend about to take care of you.” Which was good. That boy seemed to be more trouble than help. He hung on her every word and would happily ply her with anything and everything she wanted. Who knows how many bottles of booze the two of them put away together?

“Come now. I'm going to take you to the church. Paetines and I will get you cleaned up and a good meal in your belly. That should sober you up at least a little.”

“Aww, Kylus. Ye've always been so good ta me. Ya sure ya don't wants a dance or a nice rolls in the hay?” A lopsided grin plastered across the woman's face as Kylus took her by the elbow and helped her to rise.

“No, Aensa. I've told you before. I'm happily married.”

“Foo. I dance fer plenty of happily married men.” Kylus rolled his eyes as he bore her weight and took her off towards the church.

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.”