Wait, In My Next Life I'm WHAT?!? - 4. Wait, In My Next Life I'm a CHILD PRODIGY!?!
Back to our regularly scheduled Sam. No special warnings for this chapter other than awkward nervousness.
Ok, so did I ever get an education in the last few weeks. Kind of ironic since this world apparently doesn't have schools. Kind of.
I'm getting ahead of myself.
So after I examined myself in the mirror, I decided that being a kid is the perfect excuse to ask all the questions I need, so I went to bug Mom.
Leaving my room, I found her at the front door, about to head outside.
"Hey Mom, why do my eyes have a funny shape in them?" I asked, trying to sound as innocent as possible.
Mom looked at me funny, "What do you mean? All Deus have eyes like ours." Now that she mentions it, her eyes have crossed pupils too, and I'm pretty sure Dad has the same thing.
Ah wait she said a new word! "What's a Deus?"
Mom seems to realize that I'm in full inquisitive kid mode now. "Well why dont you come with me to the turkhen coop and I will explain as we go?" She gestures for me to join her, and honestly I figure it's probably the best way for my questions to get answered.
Also, turkhen? I just have to know what that is.
I run to the door, following Mom outside, and for the first time I'm seeing what this world lookes like with my own eyes. Well my first time while I have My memories. Cause I apparently have lots of memories of being outside before I woke up here.
Looking around I'm slightly disappointed. No wierd coloured sky, green grass, one sun. This could be earth. Oh well. Turkhen doesn't sownd like it exits on earth, so off we go.
Following slightly behind Mom, she starts responding to my question. "Deus are the people who reside in the southern lands of Ersta, where we live. We all have the similar eyes and marks on our backs, and before you ask they look like small wings folded up on our shoulder blades. Our rulers, the Sacred Cannon of Seven, say we are special in our simple looks that resemble the sun, and because of it we are tasked with guiding the other nations."
Huh, wings on my back? Guess I need to look in the mirror again, without my dress on. Welp, next question.
"Who are the Sacred Cannon?" Mom gives a little laugh as we reach the back of the house.
"Their our leaders, the ones who make the rules we have to live by. They are also in charge with organizing the people who fight to keep us safe, and who go to other places to help others realize we have better ways of living." Mom sounds a little nervous mentioning what have to be soldiers.
We reach a large enclosure just as I'm about to ask my next question, and I look inside before I even start to form a sentence. What the bloody hell are those!
I'm looking at the biggest, ugliest birds I've ever seen, about two feet tall, with the saddest mud brown feathers on them. They also have the most toxic looking green for their beaks. So these are turkhens huh.its just a big ugly chicken.
Wait what was I going to say? Oh right! "So who are the other people; humans, elves, dwarves?"
Mom stops just before opening the gate leading into the coop, looking at me confused. "You have the oddest imagination. I'm not even sure what people like those would look like. No the other nations are the Nerideis at the far north sea, the Draglong in the western mountains, and the Shade from the crescent isles to the east. The Faewil don't have a nation, or even permanent towns or cities." Opening the gate she slips in quickly, shutting the dor before I can follow. Not that I mind. Some of those birds are bigger than me.
While Mom gathers eggs that apparently these birds just leave laying around, I go over what she said. So there are four other groups of people that live in this world. And all the normal fantasy races dont exist here, well not the words for them at least.
As Mom quickly slips back out of the coop, I gather every ounce of nerve I have to ask what will possibly be my most important question yet.
"Why don't you and Dad want people to know I'm a boy?" I almost think Mom didn't hear me, I whisper it so sofly.
She looks at me with fear and sorrow in her eyes, "lets go inside first." she manages back.
Quickly getting back inside, I follow her into the kitchen, the tense silence starting to get to me.
Placing the basket on a counter she waves me toward the table, settling into a chair herself. Once I'm seated she starts.
"When your father and I got married, we tried for a long time to have a child. We both wanted to have a large family, and we held on to that dream for a long time. Till we couldn't hold on to that dream anymore." Moms face was quietly sad as she goes on.
"Then the war truly got started. With the Cannons' doctrine of mission, the other nations started to fight against their control, leading the Cannon to send more soldiers to subdue the fighting, only that made things worse. In order to keep up, the Cannon created the doctrine of service, forcing families to hand over any boy who was of the age of ten or over to the military, training them to be the next generation of soldiers.
Around that time, my sister was visiting, she is the midwife in Porsown and she was trying to help us conceive. And she did, you were born almost a year later." Remembering this put a small smile on Moms face, "My sister, who helped in your birth, knew that it would kill us to have you taken from us, after everything it took for us to have you. She suggested that we tell everyone that instead of a son, we had a daughter, and we agreed. We hoped you wouldn't realize what we had done, but I guess that's something we should have planned for anyway."
Mom suddenly leans over, getting out of her chair, hugging me like I'm the most important thing she can't let go of. "Please promise me you won't tell anyone, you would be taken from us to go die in this stupid war, and we would be killed for lying to the Cannon."
I'm not gonna lie, this kind of sucks. Either I let everyone know I'm a boy and get sent to my slaughter, killing my family in the process, or I pretend to be a girl, however thats suppost to work, and live with the fear of basicly the same thing happening.
No matter what I lose.
Taking a deep breath, I say the only thing I feel I can, if I want to have some control over this situation. "Okay Mom, I promise."
After that, the rest of the week felt tame by comparison.
I helped with household chores, ate, whent to bed then started the whole thing over again till we hit what can only be the equivalent of sunday. Cause we went to church.
Which is apparently mandatory.
Wearing what can only be my nicest dress, a faded pink gown with red flowers all over it, we approached the intimidating structure.
"Remember to be on your best behavior, Samriel." Dad warns me as we climb the steps.
"Yes dad." Trust me, I'm going to do my damnest not to be noticed. I have a lot of practice, after all, in my past life I made it through all of high school without anyone even remembering I was there. Even the teachers had a hard time realizing that the kid with o.k. grades was in their class.
I hate how I'm proud of that now, but still a useful skill to exploit.
As we enter, a man stands off to the side, waving at me to go to him. Looking at Dad for confirmation, who nods his head toward the guy, I head over.
"Hello, Samriel. I'm Aria Haite, in charge of children studies." His voice rings out pleasantly, leading me to a room off to the side of the hall.
"Nice to meet you sir." I let out quietly, hoping that he thinks I'm shy so I won't have to talk too much.
Entering the room, I realize probably a bit too late that I'm going to be around other kids for the first time, and I take a quick look around.
Huh, I expected more kids.
And more boys.
Or any boys.
The room had about twenty desks in it, with about sixteen of them filled with girls around the five to ten range.
And they're all looking at me.
So this body Can sweat. Great.
Motioning me to take a seat, Aria Haite mves to the front of the room.
"It's a pleasure to see you all. As we have a new girl joining us, I believe it would be proper to go over our letters. You older ones help the younger ones out if they get stuck."
Turning around to face the wall, he starts tracing letters on the wall.
From his finger.
Holy fucking finger guns, this world has MAGIC!
I immediately raise my hand, exitement all over my face. "Pardon me sir, but how are you writing on the wall like that?"
Suprised to hear someone asking a question, he turns around, " Oh miss Samriel. I am using the grace of the sun to form these images." He goes back to continue what he was doing.
Well that explained shit. Guess I'll have to have Mom explain it back home.
Looking around, I see everyone writing on small slates with chalk, so I figured it was best to get to it. I'm standing out enough after that question, I don't want my classmates to think I'm going to be the lazy troublemaker.
Grabing my slate, I look at the wall to get started and I'm shocked to see how similar the letters are like to the english alphabet.
As we work on our letters, Haite starts going around pointing out what someone did wrong, or commenting on how much better they had gotten. As he gets to me , he freezes over my shoulder. Looking back at him, I realize he's looking at my slate with shock.
"Miss Samriel, I should congragulate your parents for teaching you while they work at home. For your first time in my class, you appear to have little need of my desplay." His compliment causes a few of the girls to look my way.
Now I'm going to be the overachiever. There's not much anonymity in that role.
After making sure we all have some kind of grasp on our letters, he moves on to reading from a book.
Turns out the book he's reading from is a bunch of rules for how women in this society should behave.
Gues girls are not expected to be in charge a lot. Most of what he goes though are basic girl is to be subservient to guy, but can still hold some jobs, but under the directions of a man. You know, the really misogynistic crap that lead to the suffragette movement.
After a while of lecturing us on how to be "proper" young ladies, he moves on to going over some of the laws the Cannon expects us to follow.
I kind of keep up with what's being said, but not enough to remember fully. The letters from the begining of the class are still shining on the wall, distracting me a bit.
After that, he dismisses us back to our families.
As my parents get me he calls out to them, "Garm, Lynette, you've done a good job of teaching your daughter her letters, I basicly didn't need to teach her a thing."
"Well thank you, Aria, for your kind words." Mom replies quietly, " But we have not had the time to do so yet."
"You dont say?" He looks at me, a thoughtful expression on his face.
"See you later sir." I quietly say to him as I leave with my parents.
Once outside, Dad gives me a pointed look, "When did you start learning letters? We haven't had the time to go over them yet."
Scouring my memories of this life, I remember a book that we have in the house. "I just looked at the book in the gathering room. I traced the letters on the floor, and I put it back carefully. I didn't want to get in trouble." I give him my best 'I'm sorry I didn't think I was doing anything wrong face'.
"Well, if thats all then I guess it's not too bad" he looks back to the road as we walk home.
Over the next few weeks, we followed the same routine. During the week, I help around the house, often getting to things before Mom askes me to do anything, then on the last day of the week, which I learned was called Faithday after the first of the cannon, I would have what basicly ammounted to a religous focused class. Where I would accidentally do better than intended, leading to the Aria (Which is Haites' title not his first name by the way, another thing I learned) giving me an uncomfortable amount of compliments.
At least for the actual school bit. The rest of the time was lectures on how to behave, and what was good in the eyes of the Cannon, which were turning into my nightmare.
Turns out the Cannon would fit right in with religous extremists back home. Anyone found taking a lover of the same gender they had will effectively be tortured untill the "sickness" leaves their body, or they die. Also anyone found to masquerade as the opposite gender will simply be put to death, as they're far to sick to be recoverable from.
And one important thing I brought over to this life with me is a very well established attraction to men. Which I'm expected to be into as a girl, but if I let anyone get close enough to enjoy will trigger my death sentence.
I'm really starting to hate this world and all the ways its forcing me back into my shell of quiet complacency.
And if thats not bad enough, today I just met the bane of my existence. A handsome seven year old boy who who just declared in front of everyone outside the church that he would become my husband.
Please, gods! Just give me a break!
Once again, thank you for reading. Please let me know if anything can be improved in my writing, I really want to make this the best story I can.
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