Monday, July 25, 2011

G.XI: Outcast

When Geo told Lena that he will be leaving next day without Vingcanti and that he accepts the beacon's choice, her expression was somber. 

There was a pleading in her eyes that he can't seem to put a finger to. But he didn't want to think too much about it.

Despite their misunderstanding earlier, Lena let him stay for the night. They didn't talk about anything else after that. They both know that if they open their mouth, it would have something to do with that thing.

Geo was not going to talk about it because the beacon, in a way, ditched him. And Lena didn't want to bring up anything about it, thinking that she was to blame for having Vingcanti changed it's mind on who to follow.

When Geo woke up in the morning, his body was aching so bad. He even strained to get up from the log couch. And as he struggled, he noticed that Lena's bed was made and that she was not around.

He groaned, stretched and yawned painfully. Geo swore at the numbness on his right shoulder. It also took him a while to shake off the stiffness along his spine.

All his life, he had slept and passed out on all kinds of surfaces, but never did he recall anything as uncomfortable as this log. Geo felt more tired than he had felt before going to sleep last night.

Still burdened with a little stiffness here and there, Geo dragged himself out of the house. - The morning light was one of those sun rays that managed to poke through the looming clouds. It was bright yet chilly at the same time in this unknown village.

And speaking of unknown, Geo saw a knight clad in a chain mail suit with an overall that bore a fleur d'elise emblem. The knight, or whoever that is, seem to realize Geo's peculiar presence and was walking towards him!

Geo tried not to look so obviously out of place, and he stood rigidly as he wondered what kind of expression he should have.

Right across his path, was a middle aged lady, she too, was walking towards him, somewhat in a rushed pace. Cold sweat started to drip from his neck and he was shaking.

Carefully but in a swift motion, Geo tried to hide his face with his hands, pretending to brush off something from his hair. 

If the town folks can distinguish their own villagers from strangers, then he'll be in big trouble. Not to mention, the knight held a brandished sword around.

But to his relief, the lady didn't even pay attention to him. It was then that he realized he was still wearing the clothes Lena put on him.

As the knight that Geo thought was on to him went to join another knight, Geo finally let out the breath he's been holding since the sight of the broadsword.

He need to thank Lena later. If it weren't for her, there's no way he could blend in.

After the knights make a move, Geo paced towards a lone gazebo in the corner of the village. He would have spent the night there if it weren't for the swarming mosquitoes.

The spacious gazebo greeted him with a comforting musty warmth. It was filled with fragrant air, soft breeze and the familiar smell of damp wood and petals.

Geo picked a spot for him to have a second chance at rest. 

His tired body feels like he had aged a hundred years. He needed an actual sleep, asap.

And it didn't take him long to doze off, this time, sleeping like a log instead.

Not long after, while Geo was already in a deep sleep, the gossiping of two women slowly pulled him back to consciousness.

Their hushed conversations could not match his drowsiness, and he was soon falling back to slumber until...

"She should have just married that grizzly mayor, be the fifth wife, for all I care," said one of the women. "Ever since she got banished here last season, our crops are suffering! - Don't even get me started on the weather."

"And I'm glad she didn't continue her tavern business here," the second woman complained. "I'd hate to think she's getting all our husbands to eat her food day and night. God knows what she puts in there."

"Bah!" the first woman spat in disgust. "Lena can cook this, Lena can cook that. - I'm even more worried for my son! Who cares about my husband. He can't even walk."

"You really should keep an eye on your son then," replied the other. "Believe me, I saw him tending her crops last week. What was he thinking?"

"Ahem!" Geo interrupted. His face was solemn.

He wasn't sure what is it he was going to do after that but he just stood still, frowning at the two women. 

All he knew was that, they were talking bad about Lena and that he wanted to stand up for her. Something like that.

The second woman who seemed a bit younger than the big sized woman, spun around, surprised at an unexpected eavesdropper.

She was going to shriek at first but swallowed it back in an awkward wince.

Then quickly, they both returned to do their chore; hanging the laundry, as if nothing happened. As if nothing was said and nothing was witnessed.

Geo hated that. In fact, it made him really angry.

"So, is this what you women do everyday?" Geo blurted. "Blaming other's for your failure in keeping your husbands at home? You don't seem to know this woman and yet you talk like she's the root to all your problems. - What a shame."

Again, a fearful reaction from the thin woman. Geo was probably right about failure in keeping husbands but his confidence went out the window when the bigger woman glared at him.

"You mind your own business, young man!" she announced. "I bet you're one of those lads who had been bewitched by her spell. So you'd better watch your tongue if you still want to keep it."

"If I were you, I'd watch my son," Geo replied unrelenting. He didn't even blinked away from the menacing glare the woman shot at him.

"Hmph, men!" she rolled her eyes and dragged her friend away from the scene. They both fumbled with their steps as they walked away grumbling about how blinded bewitched men can be.

Geo waited until they were out of sight before he sprint back to Lena's place.

"Lena!" he called as he burst in but she wasn't around.

The house was awfully quiet, and dim, even with all the windows around.

Once upon a time, Geo had stood like this, facing a room that was lightly furnished. A deja vu of sorrow and loneliness crept inside of him as he looked at this familiar view of an outcast's abode.

He can't remember where have he felt like this before, and how he could relate that to outcasts. It was only now he realized that apart from his travel through time, his quest with Vingcanti and of himself, he can't remember anything else.

And the void-ness of that missing memory seem to absorb him into believing that right now is more real than any time or anywhere else he had ever gone to...

Right now is the present.