Aby had been at the manor for five years. She had been brought there by her uncle who owned it to keep her safe. Far away from the ten year war which had encroached closer and closer to the farm in which Aby lived with her father and brother. A war in which these two members of her immediate family went to fight in and died in.
Aby sat on her bed, contemplating a decision she had made that would probably affect her for the rest of her life. She had decided to leave the manor and its safety to travel back to her old home, there was something she had to find. The magnitude of her decision started dawning on her and the room started to feel small. She decided to take a walk.
She strolled out of her room, then downstairs and out the front door, passed the children playing in the yard and headed towards the river. She liked the river, watching the clear waters rush by. For all the years she had been at the manor, the river was one of the few things that had remained constant, the river and the war.
She didn’t get along with her three cousins whom she passed in the yard. She was from a different lifestyle and was much older than them; seventeen now, ten years older than the oldest child of the manor household. The cousins liked to tease her, they called her “Shabby,” a corruption of the name her father gave her.
She mostly kept to herself and had found solace in the manor library. There were thousands of books, many with stories about princesses and heroes though she found it strange that those two were rarely the same thing.
One book in particular had led her to the decision to leave the safety of the manor. She had found it by accident when during a storm someone had left the window open and water had blown into the library. While cleaning up she found the book tucked behind one of the shelves hidden somehow from sight, as if done on purpose.
It had an innocuous title, “Secrets of Earsea.” She thought it was another storybook at first but when she looked at its pages it looked more like a history book and instruction manual. The books pages were filled with accounts of special people who had abilities that normal men did not posses.
They were called shifters and one of the abilities they had was moving objects with their mind. The book told of these people not living in made up lands with funny sounding names but here, in the real world, long ago, nearly 500 years ago.
They had been few in number and apparently other people, normal people, had grown jealous and scared of these shifters who could move things with their mind and had hunted them all down and killed them.
She still considered it some sort of story but there was something else that caught her mind. When the book described the shifters it told that one common trait they all possessed and the reason they were identified so easily was because they all had sparkling green eyes.
This made her remember her old home on the farm and more specifically their neighbors. They were a mother and father and they had a son. They mother had green eyes and so did the son. She thought about the possibility but it didn’t make any sense to her. If they were shifters why did they live in a small farm on the countryside. Why didn’t they use their ability to save themselves from such meager lives.
The more she thought about it the less sense it made. But when she read on, the book revealed that a person with the ability wasn’t simply born with it, it had to be nurtured and activated. Maybe they didn’t know who they were. She remembered of an incident on the farm one day when a storm had felled a tree on the neighbor’s house but they had all survived, without a scratch.
This made her mind up for her, she decided that she would go back home and try to find the boy though she doubted he would still be alive. The war might have overtaken their farm by now. Thought the boy was too young to fight; he was around six when she left so he would be eleven but still, she would go. Such a discovery could not only end her own personal troubles, it could end the entire war.