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Closed Coming to Grips

Discussion in 'Rauru Village' started by Rachel Tosh, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. Rachel Tosh

    Rachel Tosh Quill's Historian of Butts
    Silver Hylian

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    Rachel felt good. Her time with Zimo in Kasuto had been well spent. True, her research into Light and Spirit magic's practical applications in a fight had yielded only the vaguest of clues, but her impromptu meeting with Zimo had resulted in an emotional cleansing she hadn't known she'd needed. Before going to Kasuto, she had been confused, scared, and ready to run away from her problems. She was still scared, but now there was an action she could take. She had assurance in her plan to seek help, and that gave her strength.

    Her walk through the gates of Rauru and into the crowd was difficult. Her dinner with Zimo hadn't rid her of her anxiety. Still, by focusing on her goal and repeating short prayers to Farore, she made it through without hyperventilating or being reduced to a jibbering wreck. Every step was an effort, but she persevered. Soon she was walking past the bakery only a few streets from her home; she was inhaling the sharp scents of the spicy nugget stand beside her house; she had passed her family's shop.

    She didn't pause as she walked by. Her heart yearned to take shelter under its familiar roof, to hold her baby nephew in her arms and collapse into a soft chair, to take a break from this crowd and this harsh, revealing sun and just sit a while, but she knew, deep down, that if she did she might not have the strength to get back up and keep walking. She kept her eyes on the road and continued putting one foot in front of the other, and soon home was to her back, and she was pressing on through the crowd.

    Some time later, be it minutes, hours, or days she didn't know, her foot met marble. She looked up. The Temple stood high above her, its stone, marble, and windows of stained glass comprising a monument of hope and a promise of peace for Rachel's weary and anxious soul. "The last time I saw you," she said, "I was dead. You were the light at the end of the tunnel, or at least, you were the door the light shined through." She exhaled slowly. The crowd was behind her now, the sea of bodies rushing madly from place to place having no business with the sacred, serene stillness of the Temple.

    She walked up the steps and stood a while, standing before the doors to the Temple, unable to progress. She sighed. "This should be the easiest part. Why do I hesitate now?" The crowd was behind her. That was what really scared her, right? The Temple was peace, and peace was inviting, wasn't it? But to get that peace, she had to confront all the nasty, shivering things in her heart that she had tried so hard to ignore and power through. The Temple would heal her, but it would rip open the sores and leech all the pus from her wounds to do so. It would tear away all the shaky armor she had painstakingly assembled and leave her bare, shivering and naked, before the unwavering and allseeing light of the Goddesses. She would have to talk to a priest, and in so doing, she would have to accept that she wasn't strong enough to fight this on her own. She would have to bow down and submit to another's help.

    "Well then," Rachel said, "let's get on with it." She pushed the doors open and stepped inside.
     
  2. Rachel Tosh

    Rachel Tosh Quill's Historian of Butts
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    Rachel eased herself slowly into the rocking chair in the corner of her family's kitchen, groaning. Her knees hurt. The sun was setting outside. She had watched its steady progression across the sky through the stained glass of the Tempe. She'd been tempted to begin her walk home after the sun had fully set and the crowds had thinned, but the priest she'd spoken to had been clear. If she avoided crowds because of her fear of them, the fear would only grow worse until it became debilitating. So she had walked back at twilight, forcing herself to breathe deeply and struggling to control the shakes that just wouldn't stop no matter how deeply she inhaled.

    "I wish Theo were here," Rachel said to the empty room. He was at Tina's, probably sleeping, and he would stay there until Tina heard of Rachel's return to Rauru and brought her baby by tomorrow. Rachel didn't feel up to another excursion today. Her head was pounding, and the intense introspection the priest had guided her through left her feeling drained. Satisfied, but drained.

    Rachel sighed and leaned back, rocking slowly. She reached to the side and grabbed a set of knitting needles. She was too tired for a book but not too tired to sleep; she needed something to occupy her hands, and sewing sounded perfect. Her family would be closing the shop soon. She smiled. It would be good to spend time with them.
     
  3. Rachel Tosh

    Rachel Tosh Quill's Historian of Butts
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    Rachel stood in the field outside Rauru Village. It had rained for the last several days, and thick gray clouds had obscured the sky for most of the week before. Today was the first day of sunshine, and Rachel was determined to enjoy it. The sun had not yet reached its zenith, and its light was warm and good against her face. The ground was soft under her boots, and the wind was gentle and brought the smell of wildflowers in from the west. She sighed, letting her shoulders relax, and smiled. It was a good day.

    She walked beside the road, following it from the grass as it lazily wound its way through the curves of Hyrule Field toward Kasuto. It would have been faster to walk on the road itself, but the green of the roadside appealed to her. It had been a few hours since she had eaten breakfast with her family in Rauru, so she pulled some bread out of her travel pack and ate while she walked. She wasn't travelling anywhere, so she could've easily brought something smaller and lighter than her large, professional pack, but its familiar weight was welcome on her shoulders. After staying so long in Rauru, the way it bounced slightly with each step was like an affectionate, companionable nudge from an old friend she hadn't seen in some time. It was nice.

    The road reached a stream, but Rachel didn't cross the bridge right away. She walked down the bank until the toes of her boots kissed the edge of the water. She crouched down and looked at some of the plants growing beside the stream. She wasn't a botanist, but she did know some things about plants, having been asked from time to time to retrieve rare plants or document strange growths from obscure corners of Hyrule. A few feet to her left was a patch of liverwort. The spore-producing stalks of the plant had risen from the low growth of green that constituted most of the plant's life cycle. These stalks would disappear soon; liverwort sporophytes tended to wither soon after releasing their spores. Rachel touched one gently with her index finger and simply enjoyed being in the moment with it.

    She was humming "Ode to Farore" when she resumed her walk and crossed the bridge. The sun was above her now, reducing her shadow to a small patch of darkened grass at her feet. She paused and reached her arms above her, yawning. "I miss this," she said. "The open road. Traveling. Just walking. Seeing. Breathing." The open road rolled on before her. She exhaled and closed her eyes.

    She had reached a turning point in her recovery. Her fears, while not vanquished, had been curbed. Prayer, counseling, time, and support from her friends and family had done their work. Her priest was almost ready to write to the Order that she was ready to resume work. She still had nightmares. Anxiety still lurked in the darkness below her heart. Sometimes when it came she was able to face it, accept it, and let it pass without incident. More often she had to stop what she was doing, practice deep breathing, and slowly work through her fear. There were times, though, when she couldn't do even that, times when her control failed, when the flashbacks and terror came and swept through the healthy thoughts she'd set up as a guard against them. Rachel was forced to go somewhere quiet and alone whenever this happened until the terror passed and she was able to regain control. For this reason, she started noticing small, out of the way areas she could hide in wherever she went; a small conference room in the library; a curved back alley; a broom closet in the Temple. It was sad that she'd learned to do this, but it was the practical way to deal with sudden attacks. Apart from these incidents, which were getting rarer and rarer with each passing week, Rachel was mostly functional again. She would never be completely free of her experience in Midoro, yet she was determined to go on despite the illness that experience had spawned within her. Rachel Tosh would not spend the rest of her life controlled by nightmares of the past. No horror would chain her down and keep her from doing Great Things for her people. Rachel Tosh would go on.

    It was time to keep walking.
     

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