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Losing Sight of the Desert - 001

Amethyst Tellemand's first entry for A.M.E. Inc.!

I do not scan errors more than once, so any crits/comments would be thoroughly appreciated! :3 And I shall post everytime I have a decent amount to show off.


"What time is it?"

"It's the night. Come, sit up. Tell me what you see today."

"Today I see..." The boy paused as he lifted his hands to pull the cloth covering his eyes. "... I see the sky."

"What color is it? What is it like around you?"

His eyes slowly circled the small, cramped space of the wagon. "...it's blue. A bright blue. There's white wisps in the sky. And the ground is green. A bright green. Everything is so bright... there's tall plants and flowers blooming... I don't think I've been here before. I've seen plants and flowers, but I've never seen any like these. There's some... over there," he pointed towards a corner, "they're yellow. And... the ground is dark. It's nothing like ours."

The lady sitting beside the small boy smiled. "Is there anyone around?"

"Around?" He hesitated, looking behind his back to the wall. "...No. ...Wait! I see an animal! On the plant... it has a sharp mouth and no forearms... it stands on the plant and... it's colorful. Blue and Red. It looks so soft..."

"A bird? Do you mean a bird., Artemus? It has wings. ...Have you never seen a bird?"

"I don't think so," Artemus murmured. His eyes were fixated. He seemed to be watching the bird very closely. "...Can birds lift into the sky?"

"Why yes, they can!"

"Then that was a bird." He smiled to himself. "...I wonder why the wisps travel in the sky. The white ones. It looks so strange... they have no shape, and they just travel with the wind. They make the sky look like... like... there are pieces missing from it. Have you seen anything like that, Veia?"

"I can't say that I have... The only things I've ever seen in the sky are birds and storms. And both of those are so rare to see as well! The sky is always clear. I wonder how that can be...?"

"It can't," A voice came from the front of the wagon. "Veia, stop encouraging the kid to talk. I'm sick and tired of listening to his stupid stories every night. We all know he's making it up. I'd just like one night - one damn night - where I don't have to hear some voice in the background going on and on about some fantasy land!"

Artemus curled up beside Veia again, pulling the bandages over his eyes quickly and burying his head in her arm. "I don't mean to... I-I'm not... I'm not making it up... I... swear..." His voice trailed off to nothing as he bit his lip and once again decided that nothing was ever worth mentioning while people were around to listen.

Veia turned to Maeron, an angry and stern look on her face. "Please, try to be a little more encouraging with him! You know he's fragile as it is. Besides, the night is the only time that he's able to talk and walk around without fear. You make it so hard for him to communicate - "

"It's better that way, trust me!" Maeron snapped. "It's my right to have a ride through the terrain in peace once in a blue moon, at least!"

"You know," a voice piped up from the other side of the wagon, "he's kinda right. I mean, I don't mind the kid's chattering at all Veil, but heck, sometimes it's better for all of us if we can just concentrate on getting through to the next town. I love the kid's stories, but, I'm sure people would complain less if he did a little work, too..."

"Andra, not you too!" Veia exclaimed in exasperation. "...I'm sorry, but I can't agree with either of you. Of course he can't work, what can you expect from the child? He's barely older than ten! The poor boy is ill!"

"He's worthless then," Maeron sighed, waving his hand dismissively. "It's everyone for themselves in this world. Maybe it's not like that in his little imaginary land, but as it is, I think that - "

"You think what, freeloader?" The cart made a jerk as extra weight suddenly jumped onto the back. Kenton had come from the outside and was sitting on the edge of the wagon now, pulling himself to the side where Maeron sat as he pulled the goggles down from around his eyes. He held up a finger to the man's face, wearing a smug smile. "I believe it was someone here who was in trouble a few months ago that we helped - ah, yes, a rather tall man, dark hair, brown eyes... you remember him, don't you? Oh, wait, I believe I'm speaking to him!" Kenton gave a small laugh. "I didn't realize that you felt that way about our hospitality. Maybe we should leave you here on the trail and you can depend on yourself to get you to the next town East!"

Maeron sneered. "Yes, but I actually help with the work here! We would still be stuck five hundred miles back if I didn't fix that wheel!"

"You say that as if none of us are capable!" Andra began to stand up. "I ought to throw ya off this wagon, you ungrateful little...!"

"Andra! Stop it!" Kenton snapped, sending a cross look in her direction. She sat down, a sheepish look on her face. She crossed her legs and gave a small sigh. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to snap like that."

"Now, look. All of you. That goes for you too, Andra. I won't tolerate any hateful words towards anyone here. It doesn't matter who does what - we're trying to reach a destination. The work can be done all right, we're making a fine living as traders. I'll lend out a helping hand to anyone, whether they can pay me back or not. But be warned - ye shall not judge, lest ye wished to be judged!" He gave one last small smile before jumping back out of the cart, pulling the goggles over his eyes and throwing his cloak over his face to protect him from the dust kicked up from the back of the wagon.

Veia gave a small sigh. It was not that no one got along usually - in fact, everyone was very good at keeping peace. It was now coming to the third month since last seeing any signs of civilization, however, and the travelers were becoming anxious. The worn wheel-track road was there, leading to the East, but no one knew for sure what was ahead. If they could find just one more town, even a small village, within a week or two possibly, their minds would settle from the terrible uneasiness in their hearts.

Everyone held silence for a long while, the wagon jostling back and forth along the worn wheel path, shaking the company with an odd sense of comfort. They had spent so many long days through the desert, so many hours in the back of the small wooden frame, that anyone foreign to the lifestyle might go stir-crazy. Yet they held strong, and found comfort nowhere else but in the life of a nomad.

Artemus gathered his courage to pull the bandages from his right eye and look up from Veia's grasp once again, and glanced around nervously to the other two occupants before sitting up and slowly making his way over to the open end of the wagon, where he slid off and landed on the hard, rocky ground, catching his balance before he could fall. He turned to look for Kenton and found him walking alongside the front of the wagon, looking over the pulcaz from time to time and looking back to the barren landscape ahead. Artemus ran over to catch up to his side.

Kenton looked down and smiled. "Hey, kid. You all right now? Looks like we're all getting a little tired of riding around in such a small space." He saw that the wind was kicking up dust into Artemus' eye, and so he pulled his cloak from around his neck and draped it over the small boy's head.

Artemus grasped the cloak around his neck and looked ahead to the mountain range that was upon the horizon. Since a week ago, when they had first spotted them, they had grown from small red smudges to amazing, crimson towers, reaching up to the night stars like jagged teeth. "...Are we going to reach there soon?"

"Before tomorrow morning, it looks like. I have a feeling that there's something beyond those mountains - and if not beyond, then inside. The tracks across this plain wouldn't be so worn if this were not the case, yes? At least we'll find a nice water supply. I don't know what we'll happen if we don't - the ground cave oasis back awhile is too far for us to reach now with the supply we have. But I'm pretty sure we'll run into something helpful." Kenton looked to the boy. "...Maybe you wanna sit on top of one of the pulcaz? You can take off your bandage and watch the whole ride through your left eye. That would be something fun."

Artemus hesitated. "...I don't think anyone likes me using my left eye. I don't think anyone believes me."

"Nonsense. They're all jealous, you know that? Not everyone can see the world like you do. Not everyone can see other worlds, either!" He gave a grin. "...Don't worry about what other people tell you, Artemus. You know what you see, and that's what matters. ...Here, you can ride on Geneve until we reach the mountains. It'll almost be dawn by then, then we can stop and have a bite to eat and you can rest for the day. I'll help you up." He jogged over to the front of the cart and pulled upon the reigns of the front pulcaz, slowing the wagon to a halt. He picked up Artemus and put him atop Geneve, one of the front-cart animals. Artemus smiled and pulled the bandage from his left eye, wrapping himself in the cloak and holding onto the pulcaz's neck as it grunted and picked up speed again. He could see ahead the mountains, and the dry, lifeless desert they called home, but he also saw of another world - an amazing world with plants taller than he could ever reach and green carpeted grounds and a blue sky he dare not lay his right eye upon with his life.


I got ahead my first day. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up that trend XD
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