Who

Ealasaid

What

An 18-turn-old Ealasaid struggles with morality.

When

5 turns ago~

Where

Somewhere, a seven-day walk from Harper Hall.

OOC Date 10 Mar 2016 08:00

 

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Maybe all she really is, is weak.


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Somewhere, a seven-day walk from Harper Hall.

A lonely stretch of road.


As it turns out, it takes only a seven for her to turn back to old habits. Bitran born, Bitran bred, Bitran 'till the day you're dead. It teases its way through her head like some twisted mantra; the hands that rise up from the earth to drag her back down into the dirt and mire from which she came. The desperation of that life remains fresh in her mind, those visceral memories of fighting for scraps just as present in her memory as the Harper lessons of only a seven ago. For six short turns, she was someone. She had a future, a career, and the unspoken promise that she would never go hungry again.

And now she doesn't.

Ealasaid can't even cling to come delusion of being wronged or ripped from the bosom of her promising future, because there's no doubt why she's on the road again: she chose it. She removed that knot from her shoulder voluntarily and divorced herself from her future knowingly, because it wasn't what she wanted. But then again, everything looked easier when she was curled up cozily by the fireside, with a full belly and the promise of a pillow awaiting her drowsy head. It was easy to tell herself that she'd cling to virtue and justice, and forego less savory practices to make ends meet. Perhaps she was even be able to convince herself that those visceral, desperate memories were nothing more than that — and not the future awaiting her when she left the protection of Harper Hall behind. She must have done so, because she turned in her knot with confidence and didn't look back.

But here, with the dusky gloom of twilight slowly inching its way toward the threatening black of night, and the hard-packed earth beneath her feet the only bed she's liable to have, Ealasaid can't find that confidence anymore. It's fear that crawls up her spine and wraps itself around her bones, causing her to jump at every little thing. What meager supplies she brought with her are already gone, and the plaintive complaints of her stomach have become just another sound amidst the noises of the road.

She's tired, and dirty, and her feet protest against carrying her weight much further. And then she sees it. A light. A fire. Someone has made camp not too far away. Despite the aching in her feet, she forces herself to creep along slowly, willing the dirt not to crunch beneath the soles of her shoes as she makes her way to the campsite.

It's larger than what she imagined from a distance, with several wagons circled around a large fire. Traders, maybe. Voices assault her ears, and she dives into a shadow, muscles tensed in the anticipation of capture. But nothing comes. Bodies pass by, unaware of the intruder in their midst. It takes some time before Ealasaid feels secure in moving again, and when she does, her steps immediately lead toward a swift and stealthy exit. But just as she's passing the back of the wagon, she sees it: bread. A whole loaf of it, just sitting there, ripe for the taking. A quick glance over her shoulder tells her that no one is near — she could be into the wagon and out before anyone even realizes that she's there.

She hesitates, framed by the opening of the wagon like a portrait of indecision. Her stomach clamors for food, twisting and distorting her insides with its demands to be fed. If she took the bread, she could satisfy those needs, for a time. But she wants to be more. For a time, she believed she could have a life that was more than merely satisfying her basic human needs by any means possible. She believed she could stand up for justice and truth, and help the people who couldn't help themselves.

But standing here, caught between the promise of abating her hunger and sticking to her principles, Ealasaid begins to doubt herself. Maybe there's no more for her. Maybe all of those ideals and moral values mean nothing when it comes to survival. Maybe she'll never be anything more than a pathetic creature too desperate for its own survival to care about the rest of humanity. Maybe all she really is, is weak.

If it comes down to thievery or starvation, which is really worse?

She reaches for the bread.

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