Friday, August 22, 2008

The Line between Black and Grey

Have your character steal something. Now have her rationalize it.

A Research Story for NaNoWriMo 2008 - Moonshadows.

Anooska pulled her hood further over her eyes and looked away from the gathering stares from the market place. A stranger, tall and young was sure to gather some comment; even in a large marketplace. However her garb betrayed her anonymity, announcing to all that she was an apprentice Sieth Seeker – an Awakened.

As she passed, some held fear in their eyes, others awe or mistrust. In some of the more distant communities the Sisters visited, ancient cultural beliefs which belittled the feminine power and dominance in the Empire tainted the general populous’ reactions; even if it were unconscious. This far flung planet was one such mire of cross cultural beliefs. Anooska was amazed that such pagan and unfounded beliefs could still exist in an Empire where bloodlines were traced through the females heritage and the feminine energies of creation, birth and collective consciousness were blindingly obvious in everyday life.

Her ability to read surface thoughts as easily as if they had it printed above their heads was an innate ability; though with training and the blessings of the Goddess, anyone was able to do it. It frustrated Anooska that she remained one of the lowliest apprentices; where the other Awakened struggled with the meditations or blessings, she was able to do these in a moment. Breathing deeply and allowing jealousy and negativity to flannel away from her energies, Anooksa accepted that the Goddess had a different path for her and that she would need to remain patient for it to be revealed.

As she wandered her way through the busy marketplace, jostling eager shoppers on their way to the fresh smells of the bakery or to choose garden fresh vegetables for tonights meal; Anooska decided to play a childhood game her mother fastidiously taught and encouraged her to practice daily. It permitted her a glimpse into others lives and she traded this peek by freeing them of any spiritual pain there were feeling. Anooska did not feel that she was intruding or doing a disservice as she was undertaking the Goddess’s work by doing so. After a mornings wander, she would feel uplifted, alive and at peace with the Goddess, ready to face the ridicule of the other Awakened and Sisters and unaware that this pastime was anything more than a childish game.

Passing people browsing the stalls, feeling the fine silks or smelling the great vats of olives and preserves, Anooska snatched an energetic impression from them, linking to their most inner thoughts momentarily, soothing guilty thoughts and calming stressed minds. With a short prayer, she would release these thoughts to the Goddess, breathing out and discharging the grey vapors that clung to their consciousness.

One of main activities a senior Sieth Seeker, or a Confider would undertake when arriving within a community was to take confession from the great line of Admissors who would travel from afar for this privilege. Although unsure of this secret ceremony ,Anooska reasoned that she was making the older sisters job easier if she smoothed a little of the way for them.

Anooska sat at the stoneclad fountain in the middle of the marketplace and munched on one of the apples she had bought. She felt the fresh joy of the lovers in deep embrace and allowed her energies to hover over theirs for a little longer than was necessary. These were emotions and experiences she would never be allowed to own. Dropping into a trancelike state, Anooska experimented in harnessing the energies she felt all around her. To her delight, she had access in drawing upon the positive and the negative feelings and greedily enveloped the happiness from the couple. She deserved a little; after all, she was committing her life to the Goddess and had sold her identity into a lifelong solitary existence; as soon as she were anointed a Confider. The work of the Goddess allowed the society to function, to remain strong and admonished citizens of any energies which would otherwise hold them back from their work or society purpose.

Her ecstasy was jolted with the sudden cry of the girl as she slapped her partners face and pushed away from his tender embrace. To Anooskas dismay, the girl stormed off leaving her beau dumfounded and confused at the turn of events. Her guilt was short lived as she rationalized that the provincial couple will more than likely get back together the following day; their tiff quickly forgotten.

From beyond the square, Anooska felt a grey energy swirling around an older male. She picked up her shopping and followed the energetic print. As she neared a stable behind a shabby inn, she shuddered, feeling the energies surround her. Unbidden images surrounded her, filled with fear, hate, torture and murder. So horrified at these unexpected images, Anooska gasped aloud and immediately chided herself. A Confiders value was her ability to remain detached and unjudgmental.

Did she dare touch his energies again? Would she be able to release his guilt to the Goddess after seeing the sickening acts he had undertaken?

Pressing her body close to the stone wall, Anooska breathed deeply, attempting to commune with the spirit of the Goddess. She sighed, knowing that only Confiders had this ability. Clicking on the flagstones announced the mans footfalls coming closer to her hiding spot. Anooska panicked, visioning her body being taken brutally by this hulking figure.

Snapping immediately into her trance, Anooksa imagined her energetic collectors as expansive arms, encompassing the cloudy atmosphere around the approaching figure. Sucking the vapours through her body and releasing them to the Goddess as quickly as she could, Anooskas body pitched forward powered by her fear based adrenalin and the sudden influx of raw energy.

Simultaneously came a heavy thud from around the corner as the looming figure silently fell to the ground. A shout and a clattering of feet from further behind told Anooska that he had not been alone. Anooska held her breath as a crowd gathered around the figure, shouting and calling for the Countess’s guards to attend the scene. She allowed herself to peek around the corner, but did not need to see the fallen figure to know that he was dead.

She leant her cheek against the cold stone wall and closed her eyes, bidding the past images and energies to leave her.

No-one had seen her, she reasoned. It was his evil nature that had killed him. Besides no-one would question the death of a male, not with the Sisters setting up the Red Tent in the common; not with the arrival of a Confider within the next moon.


Vanessa said...

Lovely story.

Is this backstory for NANO 2008?

The Countess said...

Did you call my guards?

I kid. :)

I should be enjoying my long weekend right now, but what am I doing in a cafe? Heeeeh!

I like this post, I love how she tries to influence herself of other people's emotions and thoughts. I wonder, would it be a curse to have power like that? Or a gift?

Anonymous said...

I like this world - the smells, the market scene. . . Anooska freeing so many of their pain.

I really liked this line ". . . allowing jealousy and negativity to flannel away from her energies." It's a unique and interesting use of language.

I liked it. Thank you for giving me the chance to read the story.

Unknown said...

thanks for your thoughts ladies... can't wait to keep writing this world for my NANO project.. will keep you up to date...