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Saga - PT Saga - Legends What She Saw (OC Revolution Summer 2018 challenge; Book of Gand OCs)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman, May 31, 2018.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: What She Saw
    Era: Saga—PT (roughly somewhere before about 15 BBY; later than that at the end but still within the PT timeframe)
    Characters: OCs from The Book of Gand and related stories (see below)
    Genre: Vignette; slice of life; introspection
    Summary: A Gand child discovers she has a gift for seeing lost objects…
    Notes: A very quick-and-dirty, last-minute contribution to the OC Revolution Summer 2018 challenge, proposed by @Ewok Poet: “An event from your OC’s childhood that influenced them and change them, whether it was for better or worse.” I reworked this from an “outtake” from a much earlier draft of The Book of Gand, and it takes place before the action of that story.

    For further details on the Gand self-reference conventions used within this story, along with a list of related stories, please see here.

    Finally, I should admit that I unfortunately did not have time to have this properly beta-read, which I daresay will probably show. :p

    * * *​

    In N’xid, the smallest and poorest of the pocket colonies that loom from the mists of Gand, there was a cottage. It was small, but behind it was a large, crowded, fenced-in garden with a small glasshouse, and its variety of flowers, leaves, shapes, and colors contrasted starkly with the dinginess of the surrounding neighborhood.

    This cottage, and this garden, belonged to two honest, hardworking Gand Seculars: a married couple, Viuraanvi and Lekli, each with only a single name. They were gardeners, growing flowers, fruits, herbs, and vegetables of every description for every purpose, and they had one daughter, still small, still nameless. Almost every day the family could be seen hard at work in their garden, hoeing, digging, feeding, planting, and harvesting. When they were not there they were at the local market selling their wares: the mother and father at their modest booth at the corner of the marketplace, the daughter walking about with her basket of fruit, selling fresh blue togu, plump red zyll-berries, or trogg citrus, as the season provided.

    It was a bright but chill morning during the transitional season between the times of rain and dryness, and the gardener family was out working as usual. The mother, clad in a heavy, patched brown work tunic, was making a careful circuit of the garden, pinching off any dead leaves and flowers into a basket that she periodically took over to empty into a compost pile in one corner of the garden. Her husband, a somewhat scruffy male with a craggy, dark brown exoskeleton and heavy, soil-splotched boots, was struggling to untangle burrs and weed-vines from a lush, red-leafed climbing shrub that dominated an entire side of the surrounding. Their daughter went from bed to bed pulling up weeds, and there could not be a greater contrast between parents and child: where the former were sturdy and heavy in build, the latter was slight of build, small even for her age, and her chitin was the light golden-tan typical for a female in the nymph stage of development. As she looked about at the abundant flowers and foliage, the colors of the sky were reflected in her golden compound eyes.

    Her father crunched his mandibles as he wrenched a particularly difficult cluster of vines from the red-leafed shrub. “Fog and blood! Viurraanvi doesn’t understand this! How did all this befoggèd bindscrub get here?! Just look!” He brandished a fistful of the torn vegetation. “The stems have gone all woody! Bindscrub isn’t supposed to be woody, for fog’s sake!”

    “It’s been known to do that when it gets enough water,” said his wife matter-of-factly as she pulled a handful of gray, withered blooms from one of the lulan trees. “And this was a rainier season than usual. You’ll save yourself some work if you get the pruning shears from the shed.”

    The little girl perked up as she heard the word “shears,” though neither of her parents noticed.


    “Gand still can’t find ’em,” Viurraanvi grunted, yanking off another clump of bindscrub. “Gand probably dropped ’em in a hole by accident back when you and he were replanting the vryth bushes. Viurraanvi would buy a new pair if they weren’t so befoggèd expensive.”

    “There are the hedge clippers—”

    Viurraanvi’s mouthparts clattered querulously to cut her off. “No way in the name of the Holy Madman’s boot buckles is Viurraanvi is going to use that huge long blade just for bindscrub. It’ll just slice up the ighll too. Ah, nothing to be done about it. They’re gone, and that’s that.”

    Clacking his mandibles in resignation, he returned to his work. All of them worked on in silence, for several more minutes, in the morning chill.

    Including the gardeners’ daughter. Shears… she had seen something like that just recently, hadn’t she? Not just seen but
    seen, that time when she went into the glasshouse just to sit and be alone and think (which Mother and Father hate because it means that Gand is not doing her work). Shall she tell them? She shall. She shall tell Father first; he doesn’t usually get quite as annoyed about things like this.

    So, after dutifully pitching her handful of weeds on the compost pile, she walked over to him and tapped him shyly on the arm with one delicate claw.

    “Father?”

    Viurraanvi answered with a desultory “Yes, what is it, little one?”

    “Well—” Now think before you say this, little Gand. Are you absolutely sure of yourself?

    “Well what, little one?”

    “Gand, don’t bother your father while he’s working,” her mother called over from the garden’s opposite corner, where she was sprinkling fertilizer on a bed of vegetable plants.

    “It’s no trouble,” rejoined Viurraanvi. “Now, what is it, little Gand? Out with it, now.”

    “Did you say something about some shears?”

    “Yes, Father did. Why?”

    “Well, er—” Pause for a moment. Think back to what you saw that time. “Gand thinks she might—er—know”—careful using that word, little one!—“know where they are.”

    Her father stopped for a moment and looked up, and his mandibles spread open cheerfully. “Oh, you must be thinking of the hedge clippers, too! Nice thought, little Gand, but didn’t you just hear Father say that those wouldn’t work?”

    “No, Father. These are different.” You’re sure about that, are you? Don’t say anything unless you’re—“The blades are shorter. And they’ve got long wooden handles with your name carved on them. And they’re—” Pause again. Be sure of what you saw, of what you say. “They’re in—” You saw a big pile of soil and humus and dead plants, right? But there’s soil and dead growth all over the garden, so what does that really mean?—

    “They’re at the bottom of the compost pile.”

    The girl’s response startled Viurraanvi. “And what were you doing digging in the—”

    He stopped short as he glanced at the compost pile in the far back corner of the garden. It was in good, compact order, and it certainly didn’t look as though anyone had been digging in it recently. In any case, his daughter had never been one for playing in the dirt beyond her usual gardening duties…

    His wife cut in again. “Viurrraanvi, you shouldn’t let her distract you. You have work to do.”

    But Viurraanvi had already fetched the spade from where it leaned against the side of the shed. “Couldn’t hurt to check, at least.” He paused beside his daughter, raising his voice. “And if she’s telling tales? Well, then, she gets no quaag after supper. Simple.”

    So saying, the sturdy Gand gardener hefted the spade and began to dig through the compost pile. He handled the large implement deftly, with all the facility of one who had worked the ground all his life. His daughter looked on anxiously as the gray-brown detritus flew and squelched. What if you’re wrong, little Gand? What if what you saw was just your silly imagination? Are you just making things up to distract Mother and Father from their work? If so, you deserve to lose your quaag

    CLANK! The girl started, and even at the opposite corner of the garden her mother turned and looked as well. The spade had struck metal. “FOG AND BLOOD!” Viurraanvi exclaimed, almost dropping the spade.

    “Gand! Watch your language!”

    “Many apologies, Lekli dear…” muttered the gardener as he dropped to his knees and began to rummage through the compost. After a few moments he extracted what seemed to be a large, wood-handled lopping shears, caked with dirt, which he rubbed clean on the side of his coveralls. Carved crudely but recognizably into one handle was the name VIURRAANVI.

    “Gentle Visionary Mists above… it’s really… they’re really…” He looked from the shears over to his wife, then over to his daughter, whose golden eyes were turned downward as she fidgeted nervously with her scarf. Looks like you were right this time, little one. This time…

    Finally Lekli broke the silence with a clack of her mandibles. “Well, Viurraanvi, no more procrastination. Time to get to work on all that bindscrub.”

    “Yes, of course,” replied Viurraanvi absently. He started slowly back toward the ighll vine but stopped suddenly and gave his daughter a friendly tap on the head with one claw. “Not bad, little Gand. Have as much quaag as you want after supper.”

    “Thank you, Father,” came the meek response as little Gand returned to her weeding.

    But she knew what she wanted even more than quaag. After supper, as the evening mists fell and the shadows lengthened, while her parents sat on the porch drinking their djelatha, she would go once again into the glasshouse and sit and think—and perhaps, once again, see. There’s the button mouthpart that fell off your doll that time… and one of the spoons from the djelatha set… and the scarf that Mother lost…

    * * *​

    ...and your Sacred Visionary Mists scattered by the invaders’ machines… and your sacred shrines trampled and dirtied by their plasteel feet… and him, both Findsmaster and beloved…

    Yes, Telfien Viurraanvi had tried to think and see those things too as she sat before the large plate-window of this small, cramped room. It was really not so different from that glasshouse in her parents’ little garden long ago, where the eventide mists had once shown her lost garden tools, buttons, scarves, spoons. And should it not be easier now that she was a fully fledged Gand Findswoman, at the height of her powers? Oh, but you should know by now what happens when you get too sure of yourself, little Gand…

    She knew. For the plate-window was the viewport of a starship—and the blue light outside the window was not the calm silver-blue glow of Gand’s evening Mists. It was the blinding, blue-white vortex of hyperspace, and with each passing second it whirled her farther and farther away from her home. ¶

    (under construction—to come soon)
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    @Findswoman -- I love being immersed in the richness of Gand culture as only you can detail it. =D=

    Definitely this was a pivotal turning point for Telfien. And her full-fledged Findswoman talents make her inability to "spot" missing treasures all the more frustrating than if her talents lay dormant, never realized.
    @};-
    =D=
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  3. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    You've done such a beautiful job creating your world in this story! The Gands' little garden and the hardworking family themselves are described so vividly I feel like I'm there with them as they go about their daily chores [face_love] I'm far from the Galaxy's best gardener, but I feel Viurraanvi’s frustration about weed vines, having faced similar struggles with my Eternal Nemesis, hedge bindweed (evil stuff!) growing into something that looks more like a small tree :p And little Telfien is just adorable here, so small and delicate compared to her parents; she has this beautiful gleaming innocence and wonder as she works in the garden
    Such a lovely image there! The garden isn't quite an Eden, given how hard they work, but there is a sort of harmony to it all, until the blindscrub takes over and the shears are lost.

    And here's the pivotal moment for Telfien! She's seen them--now, does she take the risk and tell her parents, knowing they'll dpubt her and wonder how she knows or listen to that admonishing voice that keeps telling her to think, be sure, what if you're wrong? But Telfien decides to trust herself and tells her more patient and understanding father, and bless him for listening to his small daughter, trusting her word. So sweet that he takes her seriously and even praises and rewards her helpfulness [face_love] The confidence it gives her in the face of that nagging voice that sneers "you were right this time" is sweeter than any dessert.

    Her visions move from childish things--lost spoons and scarves-- to the future of her world and her people, and finding the most important lost thing of all
    , but without that pair of lost shears, when she first trusted herself to speak, and her father trusted her enough to listen, none of it would have been possible.

    Another lovely look at your Gand, and I agree with @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha about the richness of the culture you've built for them. You've made them at once Bravo! =D=

    P.S. I love your Gand swearing
    [face_laugh]
     
  4. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    This world you created for the Gands, which are still such an underrated species that need all the love they can get, is very impressive. You make them alien enough yet relatable, such as though simple daily activities like gardening.=D=

    Everything from the description of the Gand garden to the physical appearances of the characters is so detailed and considered that I could easily envision the scenes. It’s really world-building at its finest.

    And the little Gand’s special powers is something very unique, and there’s so many mysteries and questions that remain….
    I will have to read the Book of Gand one of these days to fully absorb the Gandiness (lol) of this masterpiece here.
     
  5. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    What a neat little story! I loved the close, homey setting of the garden, lush with exotic vegetation and tended lovingly by the Gand family. The stern by caring mother, the slightly indulgent father, and the clever little girl. It's interesting how she is not only visually different from her parents, but she has an ability to see lost things, to Find, that sets her apart too. The mother dismisses her claim as nonsense, but the father trusts her and gives her suggestion, however unlikely, a go.

    Then we move into the future, where the Findswoman, all grown up now, and so much lost and not to be found. Not buttons or scarves but their heritage, their sacred shrines, and her home.

    Nicely done!
     
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks to you all for reading and commenting! @};-

    Thanks so much, as always, Ny! I enjoyed returning to the Gand; it’s been a while. I had an earlier version of this story tucked away in some notes, and it was originally planned to be an earlier chapter of BOG, but when I reworked that story it was one of the “outtakes” that I set aside in case it could become a vignette someday. And the day came, thanks to this wonderful OC challenge prompt from EP—that’s when I added the end reflections, of Telfien as a grown-up Findswoman. Glad as always to have you here and that you enjoyed this!

    Thank you! Telfien’s family has been gardeners since the the very first (I had in mind the family of the heroine of a novel I read in one of my German literature classes in college), and when I was younger things like my grandmother’s garden and the botanic garden always seemed like magical places, so I’m trying to capture some of that for her here. In terms of being a gardener myself, I’m still pretty new at it, but I now appreciate all the more the hard, tiresome work that goes into creating the beautiful, harmonious, magical place (and I’m right with you on bindweed—what a scourge). In writing the Viurraanvi family garden both here and in BOG I’ve tried to bring both those aspects together.

    I struggled a bunch with those voices of self-doubt as a kid myself, and still sometimes do, and I know how much of a difference it makes to have even one person listen and trust like that. Viurraanvi (the dad) doesn’t know it, perhaps, but that day in the garden he played a pioneering role in making her what she becomes later.

    That’s right—and…
    …that lost “Findsmaster and beloved” became another who trusted and listened to her, who respected her abilities and played an instrumental role in helping her cultivate them. At this calamitous juncture she’s been turned loose and has lost them both—but the skills she has learned will always be with her as she continues her search.

    Thank you so much—it was wonderful to come “back to my roots” here and it made me keen on doing more! And it’s wonderful to see this universe and this character still remembered with fondness after all this time—this is why I love you readers. @};-

    Thanks! :D It was interesting to contemplate how that kind of thing might work in such a staid, almost laconic culture, and I was able to have some fun with it here and in the other Gand stories—glad it worked well for you! :)

    Thanks so much for commenting, diva—so great to have you here! @};- You’re right to pick up on those differences between the Gand girl and her parents, and the pivotal thing here of course is how her parents perceive and react to those differences. Her father’s encouragement and trust makes the difference it does precisely because of the difference he sees between himself and his daughter, one could say. He has an inkling that she has this ability to Find, and although he may not share it or even understand it, he encourages it.

    Oh yes, lost heritage and home are a very different thing from lost buttons and scarves: the process of finding them, or at least whatever may be left of them, is going to be very different, and may or may not be successful. Though both journeys, in their way, start in that same place of “sitting and thinking.” Once again, thank you so much for being here and giving this little story a go! @};-