Sarah is the daughter of a local fisherman, Maco, and his shop-keeper wife, Lidia. As captain of his own fishing boat, Sarah’s father is often gone for days and weeks at a time. Meanwhile, her mother runs a rather successful dockside shop catering to several shipping needs. This includes the making and repair of fishing nets, ropes, and sails. Sarah’s mother also does a fair trade in making candles of mundane to exceptional quality. At age six, Sarah is already quite adept at performing most of the shop’s necessary tasks. This is largely due to her excellent memory and dexterous hands that already rival even the most experienced weavers.
If this weren’t enough, Sarah has several other amazing qualities. Not the least of which is the ability to make music. Her melodic talents were evident even before she could fully walk and talk, skills that also manifested earlier than most. Seeking to foster Sarah’s musical gifts, for her fifth birthday she received a small 16-bar xylophone from her parents. To this, Sarah quickly added a full compliment of mom’s pots and pans to produce a greater musical range for her compositions. Thus began a constant percussive symphony that has entertained many a passer by. Not the least of which was our blacksmith’s son who was recently snared from the streets and enticed to enter the shop. Now Quail’s father has been commissioned to build a larger xylophone, an instrument that will consist of 48 bars and roll on wheels.
Aside from her innate musical talent, Sarah has advanced language abilities. She already exhibits the ability to read and write at a level far above her peers, and is only limited by her current exposure. Unfortunately, her superior language acquisition has also allowed her to pick up several dockside speech patterns, including some of the more salty talk of sailors. Though humorous to her father, Lidia does not share the same enthusiasm for what she reefers to as “Sarah’s Curse.” The most adverse side effect of Sarah’s rapid advancements is that it makes it difficult for her to enjoy the company of other’s her own age. Most are put off by Sarah’s superior ways. And she in turn, by their lesser intellect.
Though Maco and Lidia have more than accepted the uniqueness of Sarah’s gifts, not everyone has been as open minded to her talents. Several of the more superstitious types have taken to giving Sarah and the shop a wide birth. Whispers of the supernatural have also started to make the rounds of the rumor mill. The one real concern Sarah’s parents have is the incident where their daughter unknowingly wove a foreign pattern into a net. The work was quite delicate and consisted of near impossible connections, mimicking a large spider web, but the end result was unsettling to the young girl and her family. So far this event has been kept in strict confidence, with Sarah being kept away from any more net work. However, this is soon to change as mother and daughter have come to consider options involving silk and profit.
Recent events have brought two more characters of note into Sarah’s life. The first is Vaush. Being they are on such divergent paths, what exactly their relationship will culminate in is difficult to anticipate. Why Vaush would choose to focus upon this most unlikely source of companionship is a mystery. Perhaps it is the precieved lack of corruption one finds in Sarah’s presence that draws him like a moth to the flame. For it is certainly a feeling so unlike Vaush’s daily surroundings.
The next person of interest is the local healer, Neriah. The old lady of the crossroads is a past acquaintance of Sarah’s, though the girl is hardly aware of this connection. For it was Neriah who acted as midwife to Lidia during a rather troubling birth. Now the old woman is back to care for Sarah’s father who suffered serious injury when his boat crashed amongst the seaside cliffs. And as Sarah is finding out, there is much more to this healer / midwife than one might generally consider. She is worth listening to and possibly learning from.
They came for her.
Sarah woke with a start. The necklace that Naria had given her, felt like fire against her chest. She knew they were in the house. She could hear them moving below on the first floor. She grabbed her flute and hid behind the door. She wasn’t sure what she could do but she would try something before they took her.
A man walked without a sound into the room. He walked to the empty bed, then whispered
Sarah recognized the man’s voice. It was Robert. She slowly left her hiding place and said
He turned, almost startled to see her awake.
“The priests are coming. You need to leave now. Make sure to get everything you want because you aren’t coming back.” And he walked out of the door. Sarah notices that his shoes did not make a sound.
Sarah packed a few of her most treasured items. She packed the journal that Robert had given her a few days before, the green silk they had purchased, a few wooden spoons and her favorite pot. It had the perfect sound when struck with a wooden spoon. She also grabbed what she had left of Quail’s things. She didn’t think it would be good for the priests to find them and Quail didn’t have much left.
She made her way down the stairs and went to stand by the front door. An odd looking man with a few teeth missing was standing by the door.
“You ain’t leavin this way missy. You’re goin out the back.” He said and jerked a dirty thumb towards the back of the shop.
Sarah nodded her head and walked to the back door to wait. In the back alley was a black carriage pulled by four horses. She did not wait very long before Robert came to stand beside her. Behind him, coming down the stairs she could hear her mother trying to calm her father down. Since his boat had gone down a few weeks earlier he wasn’t at all himself. And he was struggling against the men that carried him.
Robert rose an eyebrow at Sarah’s pot. She shrugged at him; she did not expect anyone to understand. Robert had his men place her father in the carriage and then he helped her and her mother in and took a seat as well. The other men took up positions on the carriage; two at the driver’s position and two more on the back or the carriage. The carriage pulled slowly out of the alley and onto the main street. Sarah looked out of the window and saw Moe the night watchman standing at his post as they started picking up speed.
The rough cobble stone streets of the dock side roads made most travel difficult but this carriage made it seem almost smooth. They picked up even more speed as they headed away for the docks and the only home Sarah had ever known. She looked at her parents. Her mother was still fussing over her father. He had calmed down and had that same glazed look in his eyes he had since the accident. Sarah then looked in Roberts’s direction. He did not smile. Sarah was not sure he knew how but he was looking at her with something close to approval. Why Sarah did not know.
After some time the road smoothed out and they picked up even more speed. Robert looked out the window.
“We have arrived.” He stated.
Several more minutes passed before they pulled up to the large and magnificent main house. It was a three story mansion and the biggest house Sarah had every seen. They did not stop at the front of the house but continued around to the side of the house.
A man dressed in fancy expensive clothes stood by the door. Robert helped them and then motioned for the man. It was then that Sarah realized that the man was a servant. He came forward with another man who was pushing a chair with wheels. The two men that had helped with her father before retrieved him from the carriage and placed him in the chair. Robert started walking towards the door and every one followed.
On the other side of the door it was like a different world. The carpet on the floor was worth more the Sarah could even imagine. She had seen the inside of the manor before but she was still overwhelmed with the absolute wealth that was located in one place. They walked down a long hallway until it ended at what looked like a large wooden door. The fancy dressed servant pushed a button that was on the wall. There was a buzzing sound and the sound of metal gears could be heard as the door opened sideways. Robert instructed them to move into the room.
“It’s an elevator.” Robert told them “It will make getting your father up to the third floor much easier.”
Sarah stepped cautiously into the room. The room had wood paneling on the walls and the ceiling. The floor was carpeted with thick red carpeting. The servant pushed another button and the metal sound started as the door began to close. There was a larger metal sounds and the whole room began to move. Sarah was aware of the room moving but was much more aware of the sounds that the room made. The metal on metal sound was the loudest to her. And the sound was repetitive, almost circular. There was no grating but a smooth metallic sound with a small click at a 15 second interval. After several minutes the room and the gears stopped. Then several other sounds started as the door moved to the left.
Robert led the way out of the elevator. As Sarah walked over the threshold she looked down. She could see a small dark crack in the floor. She pondered the workings of a room that could move.
The room that Robert led them to was luxurious to say the least. It had a large bed that dominated the room. It was covered with rich brocade fabric in a beautiful blue color. There was a large set of windows currently covered by dark blue curtains. The walls were covered with beautiful works of art and as Sarah took a closer look she notices that the walls were also covered with fabric.
The men helped her father into the bed and her mother started to make him comfortable. Sarah looked around the room and tried to find a small space for herself.
“Milton” Said Robert. “Please show Sarah to her room.” He turned to Sarah and stated. “I have things to attend to. We will talk in the morning.” Robert left the room.
“Follow me Miss.” Said the man Sarah now knew as Milton. He walked to a door that was on the other side of the room. Sarah was just now realizing that this room had three doors. The one they had all entered, the one that she was now heading to, and another door of the third wall. Milton opened the door. This room was smaller with a bed a chair and a set of windows. This room was also blue but in lighter shades. Milton walked to the windows and pulled the curtains closed.
“This will be your room Miss” stated Milton. “If you require anything, pull that cord by your bed and I or another servant will see to your needs.” He walked back into her parent’s room and Sarah heard him repeat the same instructions to her mother. Sarah walked into her parent’s room she noticed that her mom was fussing over her father. Her mother stopped and turned towards her.
“Are you okay?” she asked. Sarah nodded. “Try to get some rest.” Her mother told her as she turned back to deal with her husband.
Sarah turned and walked slowly back into the room. She set her pot of belongings down next to the bed. She slipped her shoes off as well as her dress and crawled into bed. The bed was the softest thing Sarah had ever felt. She felt cocooned in warmth and softness. As she drifted off to sleep she had one final thought.
They were looking for her…..