Thanks for hopping over here to the Transcript Page! I think these are so helpful when it comes to an “Audio book” type podcast. Sometimes when I am able to read peoples lips I can catch a word or phrase that otherwise I may have misunderstood. Over a podcast or Audio book, this isn’t possible. So, like I’ve stated before, this is a resource for people who want confirmation, who don’t absolutely LOVE ASMR, or for people who for whatever reason cannot listen to my podcast. Chapter Four zooms into Emeline’s siblings and we get a taste of what High Ground and Gazdag have to offer our friend. Enjoy!
The Journey of Emeline : Chapter 4
The sun beats down, hot and relentless on Aleida. Her eyes hurt as she looks out across the sea. Birds squawk as they sift through the sand, looking for scraps. The sun was high in the sky and the light reflected off the calm waves. For a moment Aleida thought she could hear her sister calling for her. She looked around frantically, ripped from her thoughts of cooler times, to see the lady of the house she was cleaning waving at her to hurry up. Aleida picked the last few ripened tomatoes from their beautiful garden and hurried her way back up the path, and inside.
The house was cool, and smelled like fresh bread. Aleida washed the tomato in the bucket of fresh water she had pulled up from the well, and cut it into slices. It was lunch time for the kids of the household and it was her job to get them in from play, wash them up, and then clean up their mess after they were back outside again. The mornings usually go quickly as Aleida spends most of her time tending to the lady of the houses garden, chickens, and then preparing the lunch and cleaning the children off before they go back to playing. But after lunch comes Aleida’s favorite part of the day.
After being dismissed, Aleida has a few moments to head back to her lodging, pull on her work dress, comb back her hair into a tidy braid, away from her face, and run to the docks. By this time the fishers have come back from their morning expeditions. It’s her job to wade in and tie all the fishing boats to their docks. From the horizon she could see the outline of a small boy, curly hair blowing in the wind, and as he got closer, the big grin on his face. Dain had come back from fishing and by the looks of it he had caught a lot of fish that day. Wading in, Aleida grabs their rope and pulls it tight and tying it securely to the dock. She doesn’t have a long while to talk, and she hurries over the next boat coming in. In total there are usually 100 boats carrying two people who all come in a few hours before dinner. This allows them time to clean the fish, and sell them fresh in the market that evening or the next day. Aleida manages to tie up about 8 boats, while the other workers who were tasked to help her tie up 4 to 5. She knows the sooner that she gets the boats tied up, the sooner she can make it back to Dain and his fishing partner, Josef. Straightening her light blue, cotton dress, Aleida makes her way calmly to the middle docks. Her feet are now covered in gritty sand and the bottom of her dress sticks to her legs as she stands in front of their boat now.
“Are you needing any help today?” Aleida lifts her younger brother out of the boat and gives him a big hug and messes up his hair and he squirms away with laughter, holding his share of fish, and running back to the lodge to wash up and play with the other Fekete kids. Now it’s just Aleida and Josef and the air has seemed to become dry in her mouth.
“Dain did a really good job today, he probably went off and got more fish than I did.” He smiled at her and went back to counting out his portion and putting the rest on the dock to be hauled off to the market.
“Oh I doubt he did all that. He does love fishing with you though. I can hardly get him to sit down to his breakfast.” Aleida went on, “ He’s lucky to be paired with you. There aren’t a lot of High Grounders that…” Aleida noticed him staring at her like he already knew what she was going to say.
“Yeah and I’m not like that. And I hope to never be.” Josef shook his head and hoisted himself up and out of the boat, onto the dock, and extending him hand to Aleida. She hadn’t realized that she had waded back into the water, her dress soaking wet again. She took a hold of his hand and was lifted out of the water, standing on the dock, inches from him. Aleida knew that this encounter needed to be over, and nodded a goodbye to him and ran down the dock towards the lodging to make dinner. High Ground had its lows, too.
It was bitter cold, but the canvas beneath Emeline was comfortable enough. Stretching out her arms, Emeline sat up, and was startled yet again to find that she was moving. As her eyes adjusted, she saw the sun lowering in the sky. The stranger that supposedly saved her life last night was driving the cart, stroking the fur of her nagyfox in the front seat. Her first instinct was to jump off and hope he didn’t notice, but before she had the option to choose, Hadrian turned around and seemed surprised.
“You sleep an awful lot for someone with your spunk.” He reached down in front of him, Emeline tensed up, but he handed her a canteen of cold water. Hadrian pulled off to the side and jumped off the cart, walking back to the part of the cart that Emeline was propped up in.
“You must’ve really hit your head on the way down. I waited until mid morning and when I checked on you, you had a fever.”
Emeline felt the sweat dripping down her back now, and the chill that came after it. In the light she could see Hadrian’s brown eyes reflecting back at hers. He had a strong jawline, and he was about her age, a little older. His hair was cut short, and just above both his eyebrows were two scar marks, about a half inch long. Snow had begun to fall and his breath filled the air with a white smoke as he exhaled. Hadrian was tall, and moved swiftly over to her, taking off his cloak and reaching it out to her. Emeline declined,
“ I feel better, and I think I’m able to travel alone now.” Emeline was stubborn, and all she wanted to do was lay back down and watch the stars appear, but she hardly knew this man. Or where he had taken her. Emeline sat up, and stretched out her legs, grabbing at her pack, bow, and rolling up her canvas.
“ It’s getting dark, can’t I reason with you?” His brow furrowed together and creases appeared on his dark skin.
But there was no time for reasoning. The thought of the townspeople, roaming around, sleepless, crawled back into her mind, and Emeline felt herself slipping back into the darkness again. The overwhelming feeling of hopelessness creeped through her veins, into her bones, over her skin and she succumbed to the feeling of sleep.
Hadrian had never seen someone look so helpless, and yet so strong at the same time. He gently helped the girl lay back down onto her canvas, and wrapped her up in her cloak and an extra wool cover. Her face was flushed again with the sign of fever, but a chill ran through her. Hadrian hopped back up onto the cart, and kept moving. He had planned to stop for the night, but that decision could be costly if he didnt get over the mountain and get her some help. On through the night, Jackson pushed along, up and down the snow trails of the Mazas. Jackson was his trusty mule, his pal in a way. Many miles they had traveled together, and Jackson knew the way home. The black fox sat beside him for a while, but as the sun came back over the side of the mountain, he slowly slunk back and curled up next to Emeline. Hadrian knew the fox could sense what was up ahead. They had made it to High Ground. But the trouble wasn’t over yet.