Who

B'odi

What

(Vig) A storm hits Green Fields and brings with it memories of another storm in another time and place…

When

It is the eighteenth day of the third month of the fourth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Green Fields Hold, outside Keroon

OOC Date 01 Mar 2015 08:00

 

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It was meant to be a typical Green Fields visit if a little long, B’odi leaving right after afternoon drills so he’d have that night and the whole of the next day to spend with Ellis. He never knew it would end the way it did.

Nature can do nasty things to the best laid plans.

That first day was uneventful, he got in for dinner and spent the evening teaching his little charge how to carve (carefully), and that night he slept the deep sleep he only got being there.

The next morning they woke up early for the fishing trip they’d been planning. Mallory packed them lunch and sent them off with a smile and a mild warning regarding the weather, her knowing glance to the spotless sky made more ominous by the fact that there was no obvious signs of anything coming. He knew well enough by now to know that she and her kind of people had a knack for these things and he promised they’d both be back before any trouble.

After their excursion, during which they managed to catch three fat fish for dinner, and with the sky still clear, they spent some time wandering through the woods. Ellis flew one of his little wooden dragons through the forest, careening around obstacles.
As they got back to the cothold the first signs were starting to creep into the sky and the wind had kicked up a bit but everything was still so tame and routine. Norman met them at the main doors to ask for B’odi’s help with the animals. Ellis was ushered inside with the fish and told to go find Mallory, and the two men went off together to the barn.

It only took that long, for the animals to be cared for and the stalls to be cleaned out, for the clouds to roll in thick and angry and the rain to start pouring down in heavy sheets. Lightning pierced the sky and lit everything up, there and then gone, and thunder shook the air. It was dark and they were drenched by the time they got back to find Mallory rising quickly towards panic.

Ellis was missing.

Somehow, among the rush of dinner preparations and getting everything and everyone ready for whatever kind of storm this one would be, he was no longer in the main building. All at once everyone was throwing on heavy jackets and blankets, grabbing lanterns, the commotion was loud and frantic.

A sudden memory floods him, filling him with heavy dread, of something that happened a long time ago. A young girl caught out in a storm much like this one, cold and afraid. She was his responsibility, he’d let her wander off and now she was lost out in the dark. The others went looking for her too but not one of them felt his bone-chilling fear…

“Bo, are you here?”

Mallory’s worried eyes are staring at him, into him. That brings him back.

“Yeah. I’m gonna go find him.”

The wind kicks the door out of his hand, shoves it up against the outer wall. It threatens to pull him one way or another but he’s strong and fighting with a higher power. The rain comes down to drench him all over again, to freeze him but he tears himself away, already in a headlong run for the stand of trees where the creek runs through.

Eighteen years ago it was Eliannis who needed him to be strong enough to come find her, back then he did get flung about by the wind and the force of the storm and his own safety mattered just as little as it ever would if she was in trouble…

He’s calling Ellis’s name, hands cupped around his mouth, as he stops to survey the wrought landscape in case he was wrong but no, no small dot to mark a child in the open field. So it would be the forest, and he plunges into that without hesitation. If anything were to happen…

Benedict ran into a forest much like it, all that time ago, and the cold of the place nearly bit him in half. With only a small lantern to guide him he navigated the thick trees and slippery mud with the kind of careless ease that comes from being solid enough to plow through those kinds of inconveniences and unthinking enough to not care if he hurt himself in the process…

It is utterly dark here, where the trees are thick and tall, and the wind whistles all around him as B’odi searches, calling out the boy’s name over and over, screaming it into nothing. The echo of Mallory’s and Norman’s voices join in, some others too he can’t recognize right now. Suddenly they aren’t just hearing each other when against all odds a small voice cuts through the noise.

He heard her, her thin voice lifted loud to answer his calling her name, to repeat his own over and over until he could find where it was coming from, tripping over roots and his own feet in his hurry to the uprooted tree –turned-sanctuary for her…

He’s running, hearing his own breath and the pound of his heart in his ears, following that little voice as it gets louder and louder by small amounts. He knows he’s getting closer by that scale, sliding to a slick stop in the mud at one point to regain the direction it’s coming from only to hear it sharp and loud behind him. He turns to see a familiar rock near the ever-swelling danger of the creek. His eyes have adjusted well enough by now that he can see it. It’s curved protectively over a small, crouched shadow. He runs to it.

“Eli! Come on, I’m here.”

It is Ellis, completely soaked through and shivering terribly. “Uncle Bo,” he whimpers lifting his arms up.

“I can’t, I hurt myself.”
“It’ll be okay… There we go, see? Found you.”

B’odi bends so those arms can go around his neck as his own scoop up that skinny little boy, hitching him up and cradling his head one-handed.
“I gotcha, it’s okay.”

“I’m sorry, Benedict.”

“I’m sorry Uncle Bo. I was trying to find my dragon.” He’s clinging to the little wooden shape almost as tightly as to B’odi’s neck.

“No worries, little bug.”

“No worries little bug. Let’s get you home.”

—-

It’s no small feat, getting them all back safe. Odfeilth is waiting just outside the little forest, his wide wings spread to shelter them all as the rain pelts down to sting him and the wind buffets the stretch of sail. Not once does he complain, and it’s only when everyone is accounted for that he shepherds them back to the cothold, his nose low to the ground as he whuffles each of them in turn in an effort to keep them all warm. His low growls challenge the rumble of the thunder every time, daring the storm to harm his little pack.

It’s many hours after the search party went out that they’re all sitting in chairs or on cushions on the floor before the fire in the hearth, blankets around their shoulders and nursing mugs of tea. Some already have the sniffles. Outside the winds are dying down and the rain has let up, the creaking and clashing sounds have been muted and subdued.

At one point in the early hours of the next morning, just before she loses her own fight with exhaustion, Mallory, with a fatigued smile on her face, adjusts the blanket higher up over the two taking up one of those larger armchairs.
B’odi’s sprawled with his feet up on an ottoman, head tilted somewhat awkwardly, with Ellis laid out atop him in typical fashion. They’re safe and dry and warm, and as he sleeps the brownrider’s forehead remains creased as memories continue to swim to the surface. Memories of another storm a long time ago and the one thing he knew he had to save no matter what.

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