Thursday, October 07, 2004
the child, one
The Child woke, startled at the strong light in her eyes.
'Good morning,' said a gentle voice.
The Child turned to see who spoke to her, but her eyes were too dazzled. 'Who are you?' she asked. 'And where am I?'
'You don't remember? Or the better question: what do you remember?'
The Child closed her eyes, trying to remember - but then opened them again, shaking her head. 'Nothing,' she said. 'I don't remember. Not anything.'
A sigh in the brightness. 'We were hoping you would remember for yourself. For the moment then, know this, little one: a man brought you here, carrying you on his back. You had chains upon your arms, which he broke off you with his own two hands and flung into the corner there.'
Where? The Child turned her head this way and that, but was dazzled by the brightness yet and saw no chains.
'...and you have been sleeping since then,' the voice went on.
'Where is the man who brought me here?' the Child asked at last.
'Gone,' said the voice.
Oh. For some reason, the Child turned her face to the wall, as tears sprang up in her eyes.
The voice shifted closer. 'He left some money to use for taking care of you. And...this.' Something weighty landed on the Child's lap. In the dazzle of the brightness, she ran her hands over it blindly, trying to fathom what it was. Long... thin... flat... What could it be?
The voice shifted again, this time away from the Child. 'Now that you are awake, we will bring you food. Soup, to wake up your stomach.'
A fading of sound, and the Child could tell the other was gone. The light, the dazzling nature of it, diminished until the Child could now see the room around her. The abandoned chains she now saw tossed away in a corner. The room itself was small and neat, with daylight streaming in at the single window, splashing across the floor and chair and up onto the bed where the Child lay, the light at last coming to rest on the long, thin, flat something that had been laid in the Child's lap.
It was a sword.