The Five Providences (Installment 1)

Chapter 1

I regain consciousness and realize that I am laying on my side in a dirty alleyway. Tan sand buildings jut up next to me giving me nowhere to go. My lip is warm and tingling and I taste blood. Great. I heave myself onto my stomach letting my head rest on the sand-brick beneath me.

“Wake up!” The bronze man kicks my rib cage. I laugh out of hysteria seeing the blood on my skin colored veil. “Shut up woman!” He kicks me again and this time I wince and let out a sigh. Out of the corner of my eye I see young men walking by, their sand colored robes dragging behind them. They see me for an instant and carry on. I suppose this is normal in this city. A young woman getting punished for some sin she committed. I feel intense pain surge through my head as I’m yanked up by my hair, my body slow to accommodate the movement. I clench my jaw and stare at my attacker dead in the eye, an act of defiance. He slaps me hard across my face and I let out a gasp.

“You think you can deny me?” He says as he yanks my veil from my face. “What are you?” He says frantically pushing me back towards the wall. I steady myself and look at him my lips in a snarl.

“Why? Does it scare you?” I say my green eyes shining even greener in the Sandah sun. I laugh as my head bobs from the dizziness. “You’ve never seen one like me have you?…Maybe you’ve never seen one at all.” I slide down the wall into a sitting position. “Maybe you won’t want to have your way with me now that you know what I am.” I laugh and spit a mixture of blood and saliva out at his feet.

“You’re of the demon spirits! Cursed for all eternity!” The man shrieks and throws my veil back at me too stunned to move. All I can manage is a laugh.

“That’s right.” I lick my dried lips “I’m almost a demon spirit myself.” The corners of my vision are starting to get patchy. The man finally makes a decision and quickly walks out of the alley. I laugh some more and lay on my side. I grind my teeth as a pull a pouch out of my pocket and shake it.

“All of that beating and all I get are a few coins?” I let out a sharp breath and let my head down again. I wake up again and it’s much later but I feel slightly better and manage to sit myself upright again the little purse clenched in my hands. I rub my head and gently put the veil back on to my head to conceal my identity. The people don’t take kindly to Alfens like me. People who have parents from two different providences or cultures are called Alfens. Or as some people would like to call them; the accursed or children of the demon spirits. Different accents, skin colors, and eye colors are really the only things that separate us from the “normal” group of people.

“Time to go.” I huff under my breath and push myself forward using the wall to steady myself.

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