Fanfic:Life in Shienar

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Life in Shienar

With a precision and care honed from years of practice, Zarayne worked her knife against the small form of the rabbit before her. She made a ring around the two trussed up legs, cutting just enough to get through the hide. From there, it was a simple case of making slices along the legs, then working down to the tail.

The flame-haired girl's mind wandered as she prepared the animal. From the kitchen, there was barely anything to see of the outside world. Snow covered the bottom half of the window, leaving only enough space to see grey storm clouds. Mother was out in that weather. The thought didn't concern her. As the village's Wise One -- although everyone called her a Wise Woman -- Mother had duties to attend to. Winters stretched out for up to six months this far north, and the cold made it easier to catch sicknesses. Apparently it never even snowed back at home, although the nights were just as cold. Zarayne couldn't believe that, even if Mother never lied. How is it cold without snow or rain?

Stripped halfway, Zarayne pinched the end of the rabbit's tail and sliced her way through, careful not to cut into the bladder. After that, it was quite straightforward. Peel the hide down the body, remove the arms after making the rings through the hide, then...

Mother never lied, but she spoke of certain things in a roundabout way. Like her reasons for leaving the Three-fold Land. Like Father. Like why they never spoke of some of the things they did in private. Mother was one of those Wise Ones who could channel, but she concealed the fact from the others. Zarayne turned to look at an entire cabinet chock full of pointless herbs. Well, not pointless, just pointless compared to the Power. All so that the other adults in the village thought it was poultices and salves that did all of the work.

Zarayne had only begun to understand what it was like to use the One Power, and she didn't understand why that needed to be kept as a secret from anyone any more than Mother's abilities were. When she could touch saidar, it was better than anything she could imagine. Like nibbling on a tray of freshly baked honeycakes, or tracking a deer through thin snows without it noticing, or showing all of the boys how to dance. None of the boys would dance with her, not more than once. Holding onto saidar, letting it become a part of her, was incomparable. Why should it be a secret?

Jade eyes burned with sudden curiosity. Why should it be a secret?