April 21, 2011

Arrival

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Child,

For the final leg of the journey, Kin and Fess take the rear of the traveling line so Kin can tell Fess what passes through hand-traces. They have been walking for a day, perhaps more, since Storm came. In all that time, not a word has passed between Kin and Fess; they say all that need be said in firm grips on each other’s hand. The Clay-People, however, have not stopped tracing the same words over and over. Home Song, Home Song, again and again. Kin has tried to ask Running Before Sun what this means, but no answers have come.

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April 13, 2011

The First Step

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Cair,

You will never know how loyal a friend Pathfinder Gel was. He came calling over the western duneridges. “Storm comes!” he cried. It followed him all the way to our city. He burst through the gates, ignoring the calls of his guildmasters. He ran past his own home and his waiting family, stopping at our house. Storm came fast, and not a moment after he handed me your letter, the wind tore him into the sky. As our home’s walls fell to pieces, I ran into the cellar and read your letter. But I could not reach the roofs, love. Our own trapped me before I could run. Then everything was black and screaming.

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April 10, 2011

After Storm

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Child,

Silence always enshrouds the world of Clay-People, but the silence after Storm reaches even deeper. It is as if no Jackal or Egret remains above the tunnel ceiling, as if the sand of Another Desert was sucked all up into the sky with the Walkers.

The Clay-People cannot walk—not yet. They sit fetal, rocking and bobbing their heads. Fess and Kin face each other, but their eyes see only the carnage above. Over and over their minds enact the death sounds, the cloud of reddened feathers. Fess vomits on the floor between them.

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April 10, 2011

Death

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As the strange cloud grows larger on the horizon, many have begun to ask me about death with great anxiety. We don’t often think of it unless we are burying family, or a Hunter falls to a Jackal. But this darkness has stirred some old fear in us.

Fear not. Only skin’s journey ends at the last closing of eyes; the self stops no more than one Daruhn. In the recursive path, we find ourselves asking what gives us life, so we know what of us will travel on after we close our eyes for the last. When we came to Another Desert, even before our Daruhn, Storyteller Em would say life was the glint in the eye. When they closed, the stars took the shine and the departed watched from the sky. But many have died, and the stars’ numbers remain unchanged.

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April 3, 2011

The Moon Song

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Child,

Smoothly as the Clay-People have been traveling the dark tunnels, so smoothly they pause. Kin realizes he’s motionless only when Running Before Sun breaks the hand-chain. Without the wet warmth of his friend’s hand, the darkness weighs down on Kin. The walls constrict around him, creeping closer each second.

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