Kawil is searching for normality
|Blue eyes stared around at the field that was filled with about a dozen goat-like creatures grazing calmly before him. Kawil sighed heavily, slumping over Allua’s saddle. One goat near him lifted its head and eyed him warily before shuffling away. Kawil watched it go in disinterest. Glancing down at the ground, his lips turned into a frown, seeing his shadow. Senka The word echoed through his mind loudly and he almost opened his mouth to speak it, to summon the cheeky creature that had been his shadow for many months but he clamped it shut upon realization what he was going to do. She was gone. Gone back to the Other World, back to where she belonged. Allua snorted underneath him, shaking her mane and jolting Kawil out of his musings. Kawil looked up to see his boss walking over to him and he instantly stiffened, straightening his back up.
“Kawil,” He called when he was a few feet away. “Kawil, It’s time to put the goats back in. Are you alright?” He asked when Kawil stared too long at his shadow. Shaking his head as he came back down to earth, he didn’t answer as he directed Allua to start rounding up the goats. Compared to what had happened in the Other World-when he was a beast and when he was human-this was too mediocre, too boring and Kawil didn’t like admitting it but he would do anything to go back to how it was then- not trying to prevent Darkness spreading but fighting the monsters, figuring out puzzles and travelling to different places to meet different people.
But he knew it would never happen. What happened was a once off, never to happen again. It was absolute pure luck-or unluck perhaps-that it had happened. Kawil thought back to before the Other World, when he and the other Village Kids would hang around together, talking and playing, the younger kids pretty much begging him to show them his sword skills. Kawil smiled gently, pulled from his thoughts again as he reined Allua in as the last goat darted into the barn, his boss slamming the gate shut.
“Thanks Kawil. You can take the day off tomorrow if you’d like.” His boss told him, poking his head into the barn to count the goats. “Do you want me to set the jumps up?” When he glanced back, Kawil was shaking his head before raising his hand in farewell, gently pushing Allua into a slow canter. The man watched him go, waiting before he was out of sight before sighing heavily and crossing his arms. “That boy’s changed since the monsters came and went.”
“Haven’t you seen how he’s been acting?” The words floated over to his ears and he recognised it as the Shop keeper’s wife, Sara. She was talking to the mother, Neria. Michel was standing meekly by her side his younger sister resting in her cradle at their feet. “Ever since those awful creatures came and kidnapped the other children, he hasn’t been the same. Though he managed to save them, Thank Goddess. ” The young mother’s voice echoed in agreement, wavering over the gentle summer’s breeze.
“I wonder though, how did he save them? He hasn’t said a word since he rescued them, no matter what we say to him. And have you seen those weapons he carries?” slid in Peg, shaking her head. “He somehow manages to carry a sword, a bow and a quiver full of arrows, a boomerang and two things my husband says are Twister Claws-not to mention the few dozen bombs in his bag Eddie says he’s seen!” her lips curled in disgust but the look quickly vanished as Allua nosily thumped against the bridge where the women were talking.
“Oh hello, Kawil,” Sara greeted cheerily, Kawil easily knowing that she was far from cherry at seeing him. “How are you going? I haven’t seen you in a while. Having a little vacation to rest eh?” When Kawil didn’t look at her and kept urging Allua onwards, her hooves thumping against the wood of the bridge before striking against the hard ground of the village roads, her face contorted into a frown. While the three women and Michel stared after him, he ignored them. Scowling after the young boy and his horse, Sara huffed “That boy, he’s just gone downhill since that darkness we heard so much about from the other villages that the monsters came from disappeared.”
Arriving at him home, Kawil visibly relaxed when he spotted the small cottage. He guided Allua towards the small one stall stable with a small over hang to put her saddle and reins , the horse tossing her head up and down, pawing at the ground as Kawil slipped off her back to grab a ragged cloth he used to wipe her down with. Kawil grinned softly while patting her on the nose, Allua flaring her nostrils up and nibbling on his hair after he took her reins off. He patted her neck in return, ducking under it to undo her saddle. Hauling it off her back grunting heavily at the weight, the young man strode over to the stall and heaved the saddle onto the side of the holder and let it rest there as he walked back over towards Allua to take her to the spring-fed pond.
Allua nickered happily as she spotted the spring, Kawil allowing her to trot over to the spring and paw in the water happily. Allua bumped him with her nose as he stood next to her in the spring, the young man smiling as he swiped the cloth across her flanks. He glanced up slightly as Catherine joyfully entered the spring, waving franticly from the edge to get his attention but he ignored her, concentrating on Allua. Catherine huffed indignantly and took a step forward, to slip into the crystal clear water but remembered that she had no spare clothing and pouted, watching as Kawil finished with Allua and began the small trek back to the edge.
Catherine smiled gently as Allua reached forward to greet her, nudging her shoulder. Kawil paused as the horse did this, watching the two interact for a few moments. Kawil gave Allua a small pat on the flank to tell her to walk on but she huffed slightly, not wanting to leave yet.
“Kawil I wanted to know. Why don’t you ever use that horse whistle-” Allua snorted and stomped her feet, surprising Catherine as the large horse rubbed her head against the girl’s chest. This action caused her to tumble away into the water. Catherine winced as she felt the cold water wash over her. Kawil stared down at Catherine making no move to offer a hand in help. Catherine wondered why Allua had chosen that moment to rub up against her. Allua ‘hummf’d softly, looking at Catherine past her thick eyelashes.
What are you doing down there? You’re all wet now.
Catherine chuckled softly at the words that were put with the look. Surely it wasn’t healthy to guess what a horse was saying? The girl looked at Kawil.
“Can you help me up?” she asked him, putting a hand out but Kawil had already begun to push Allua towards the entrance and for some reason; this made tears well up in her eyes. He hadn’t forgotten had he? It was her birthday and he had said nothing or done anything to make it as if he had acknowledged it. He was her best friend but now…She stood up, stubbornly not wanting to cry and ran out of the spring.
“You have some explaining to do boy,” Kawil lifted his eyes to see Ker standing over him, his face twisted and red in anger. Kawil rose from his position on the ground, having knelt down to dislodge a stone that had wedged itself in his shoe. He said nothing as he eyed Ker waiting for the older man to speak. “Mind telling me why Catherine came home crying her eyes out?” Kawil shrugged, already have guessed that’s what Ker wanted to talk about. He turned to grab hold of Allua’s reins again but a weight landed on his shoulder, telling him Ker wasn’t done talking to him.
“Are you going to answer or are you walk away like you normally do?” Kawil could tell Ker was getting angry but he just shrugged his hand off like it was a fly and swept up onto Allua’s back. The thunderous look on Ker’s face got darker if that was possible. Ker stepped forward and stood in front of Allua, hands on hips and his eyes small and dark. “Listen, I normally don’t mind if you don’t want to talk but this time you’ve pushed it too far Kawil! Catherine was extremely upset after she came home and wouldn’t tell me anything so I want an answer out of you now!” Kawil sighed silently and gesturing that it was no big deal, that Catherine was over exaggerating like she occasionally did and gave Allua a gentle kick, Ker moving out of the way so as not to get trodden on. Ker watched him go, disbelief mixing with his anger. Kawil was usually good natured and polite and he couldn’t believe how he had changed.