Today marks a new day: My first journal entry. Like most things I’ve accomplished in my adolescent life, this journal is all about impressing a girl. You see, this journal was a gift from a good friend of mine, Tulia, who I may not see much after today’s events.
Before we get into that, I guess I should introduce myself a bit. My name is Nan, son of Brett. I’m currently 13, and studying to be a physician. My father is a teacher at Guilfort, and is one of the most knowledgeable, upstanding citizens in the town. This has made my life hard.
You see, We live in guilfort, a small town of farmers, fishers and associated commerce for these. We don’t have any big trade. We aren’t known for our scholars. As such, only girls go to my dad’s school. That is, the girls in town that can be spared from daily work and myself.
It wasn’t always bad growing up in an all girl’s school. When hormones started to kick in, I was the only guy around for most of the day. The downside is that I was treated as a toy by most of the girls in school. It’s not bad, if you know who’s using you and how to manipulate them against each other. The problem was when school let out.
Mart was a town bully. I say a town bully because there were several. Mart just happened to be close enough to my age, that he liked to pick on me. While getting beat up for being a wimp might get some bonus points with the girls at school, it certainly wasn’t much fun.
Mart was the son of a mushroom farmer, and spent most of his time hunting through less-than-savory fields for exotic, foul-tasting mushrooms. Granted, these are the cream of the crop of guilfort exports. Mart was a rich stinky farmer.
Mart had an uncanny way of finding out what I cared about and crushing it. When I was 8, I had found a practice sword that my dad let me use. Mart found out less than a few hours later and I was once more without a wooden sword. Mart was even able to figure out what I cared for before I did.
You see, Tulia was my best friend. Tulia was the third daughter of a corn farmer. Corn is not a high-yield crop unless you have lots of teams of oxen and land. Her father had one ox and a cozy amount of farmland. Her sisters were responsible for helping make meals, and so she was free to attend school.
Being the youngest, Tulia was shy. She backed out of most sorts of conflicts, and didn’t spend a lot of time on her dress. Granted, she did have to wear the same tunic every day. The thing about Tulia was that she was silently beautiful.
Tulia didn’t flaunt herself. Her clothes were dirty, baggy and non-flattering. Those who knew her could still see through this though. Her face has no hard lines. Her eyes were a deep blue. Her skin, though grimy, was always soft. I guess I had a boyish crush on my best friend, although I didn’t realize until today.
The unfortunate events
You see today, after dinner, I headed over to Tulia’s to show her an amusing passage I found in one of our physician books (Yes, I’m also a nerd). When I got there, I found out from her mother that she had gone out with Mart.
“You leave those two alone now. Mart’s a good boy for Tulia.” said her mother.
“Ma’am, we’re just friends. Can you let her know I was here?”
Her mom made a non-committal grunt, and I moved on. Why would Mart see Tulia, and why would her mom think it was courting? I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. This was not going to be good.
I scoured the town, going over ever place where I knew Tulia liked to hang out. The courtyard was full of adolescents, as usual. Chandra told me that Tulia and Mart had been there for a while, but Mart wanted to show Tulia a hiking trail. The hiking trail. You know, the one where parents can’t find you, perfect for adolescent hijinks. I felt like I had a stomach ulcer.
I ran as fast as I could to catch up with them. I wasn’t very good at running, as I spent a lot of my time reading and talking. I made a resolution to be more serious about physical discipline in the future.
Wheezing my way down the trail, I heard a muffled yell. It was too faint to make out, but my gut told me it was Tulia.
I found Mart about 5 minutes later. He had one hand wrapped around Tulia’s mouth and the other was doing nothing appropriate. Tulia gave me a helpless look.
Anger consumed me. My eyes were blinded with it. I almost couldn’t see what was happening anymore I was so furious. It’s one thing if Mart roughs me up after school, but this was just too much. I was so upset, I kept envisioning Mart consumed by fire for his crimes today. Some part of my brain realized that I was just standing there, like an idiot and needed to act. I held out my hand and yelled, very eloquently, “Stop!”.
You see, studying really helps with the vocal parley, but I digress.
Something clicked in my head. The rage cleared, my vision returned and I couldn’t remember what had just happened. It was liking waking up after dozing off in class. I looked to see Tulia, face bruised and dress torn staring in shock at Mart.
Mart was rolling on the ground screaming, simultaneously trying to rip of all his clothes.
“Fire! Put it out, Put it out.” He was yelling hysterically. However, there was nothing on fire. He was having a private delusion. Tulia just stared in shock.
Again, something prompted my brain to act. I walked over to Tulia and said, “We need to get out of here.”
“What did you do to him?” she responded, never taking her eyes of Mart.
“I have no idea, but we need to go somewhere safe. I can’t protect you up here.”
Around that time, Mart stopped screaming. He looked dumbfounded. Then, realization came over him. “Warlock!” he screached. “Dark Magic! You messed with my head.”
My gut twisted. What had I done? Dark Magic was evil. Those caught using it were considered outside the law, not protected. I didn’t have much time to think as Mart got up and marched toward me.
“I’ll kill you, warlock.” A simple statement. My emotions were all convoluted. I had to get Tulia out of her. I had to get out of town, before anyone realized what I had done. While I was thinking this, pain exploded in my cheek.
I looked up from the ground. Mart had hit me. “Leave him alone!” Tulia yelled. Mart side-slapped her. She fell to the ground near me. The anger returned, hotter than ever.
“What kind of brute hits a girl?” I roared. Well, it was more of a squeak. Remember I was 13.
Mart didn’t respond, just pulled his arm back for the next blow against me. My mind raced. I had to protect Tulia. Nothing else mattered. Mart was a bully and someone needed to stand up to him. I held my hand out toward him, and uttered the one word I knew had power “stop!”
Come on, It’s not like I was a linguist.
Again, my brain just shut down for a few seconds. When my consciousness returned, my eyes took in the scene. Tulia was on the ground, dress torn, face battered and eyes wide with shock. I was standing now, holding my hand out in the air. Mart was buck naked, and he was punching… well, nothing really. He was punching the air and little sparks of light were appearing when his fist stopped, a few inches from my hand.
For some reason, I found this funny and started laughing. Probably not the right decision.
Mart was even angrying and just kept leveling punches at the invisible shield surrounding Tulia and eye, screaming.
I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, but eventually the constable showed up, dragged Mart away. It was obvious from his state of dress and Tulia’s bruised face what had happened. It also got around that I had used magic to protect Tulia.
While you think this daring rescue would have made any girl fall in love, Tulia was nervous around me now. She never told anyone, but she was nervous about what I had done to Mart’s mind. While he tried to convince everyone how I was an evil warlord, most didn’t buy it and Tulia stood up for my honor. She lied.
While this held the constable off from passing judgement on me, things were shaky in the town. I started hearing rumors, and bad things started happening to my father. A few of the girls were removed from school and the loss of tuition was hard.
I managed to convince my father to send me for magical training. He had a friend in Tilith who was some fancy wizard or whatnot. Most importantly though, I had to get out of Guilfort before anything bad happened to Dad or Tulia.
Today is the day I leave Guilfort. I’m still 13, and I expect a lot to happen in the future.
I had a rather awkward, gut-wrenching talk with Tulia before I left. She’s still scared of me. This, of course, ruins any romantic dreams a teenager may have. At least she gave me a hug before I left and this jounral.
That leaves me on the road to Tilith. Afraid of what powers I may have used, tired of being bullied around and without my best friend or family. At least I have this journal.