Ch 3: In which “Ummmmmm……… ” is said quite a few times, and I don’t wake up.
I yawned sleepily, and rubbed the “sleepies” out of my eyes, expecting to hear the usual sounds around my house in the morning: Dad cooking eggs, singing along to Toby Keith as he flipped eggs and toasted toast, my kid sister screaming with frustration as she lost another game on her Game Cube, and my mother, clacking away at her keyboard as she worked on one of her stories.
But that wasn’t what I heard.
Instead, I heard two small children arguing, a woman scolding, and- a horse whinnying?
I hadn’t woken up yet. I began to get an odd, crawly feeling on the back of my neck. Maybe……. no. I quickly dismissed the idea. I was dreaming. This was not real.
Maybe I was wrong, though. The pressure in my bladder felt awfully real. I groaned, and rose from the bundle of furs that I had fallen asleep on last night. Even if this was only a dream, I needed to go to the bathroom. Now. But how to explain this?
“Uh….” I approached Ic Aedil’s wife with much apprehension. How was I going to sign this to her?
“Ah!” She smiled at me, turned back to her two children, and continued scolding them.
“I- um…..” I said again, clearing my throat as she shooed her offspring outside, and turned to look at me. “Uh….. I need to relieve myself.” I said, knowing full well that she wouldn’t understand.
“I-” I pointed at myself “-need to go-” I mimed walking “-to the restroom.” I was too embarrassed to make a sign for this fearing that she would think I meant something altogether different, and thus insult her, so I just said “bathroom” with a lot of emphasis.
She shook her head, frowning. “Ic fremman ne asmeagan.”
I cast my eyes desperately about the room, trying to find a way to communicate. There was a shaggy dog just outside the house door. I looked at him for awhile, frowning.
Then, the dog did something that dogs have done since the dawn of time: marked his territory. I pointed at the dog quickly. “I-” I pointed at myself “- need to do that!” I pointed at the dog, who was looking quite miffed at us for staring at him as he did his business.
She looked confused. “Thu bethurfan hund?” She picked a lone puppy up off the ground, and offered it to me.
I shook my head. “No! I don’t want a dog!” The pressure was getting awful. What if I wet my pants? Bad memories of the second grade zoo field trip popped into my mind.
“I need to go to the bathroom! I need to find a place where I can relieve myself!” I motioned at the dog again, who had walked two feet from his former position, and decided to mark that spot, as well.
“Oh!” All confusion cleared from her face. She took me by the hand, and led me to a private spot outside the house that had obviously been in use by the family for quite a few years. After smiling at me and patting my hand, she left me to relieve myself.
The rest of the day was an odd one, with Ic Aedil’s wife – “Mõdor”, as the children called her- setting me to tasks such as helping cook meals, take care of the children, and patch up torn clothes. Luckily, I was pretty good at cooking over a fire and entertaining children, and I had a basic knowledge of stitching, so I wasn’t completely useless to Mõdor.
There were ten young children in all; seven boys, and three girls. The two eldest girls- they looked liked they were 12 and 14- joined Mõdor and I with the chores, chattering merrily the whole time. The boys were gone most of the time, out bothering soldiers and getting into scrapes, but whenever a meal was ready, they would magically appear, dirty and hungry.
The other girl was naught but a baby with very blue eyes and a little golden head. Somehow, Mõdor managed to do everything one armed- little “Lytling”, as her sisters called her, was always in her mother’s arms, staring wide-eyed at all the proceedings that went on in the home.
The girls and I began to play a game. One of us would point at something, say its name in their language, then the other would say their name for the item.
“Fire,” I said, pointing at the fire that was heating the soup we were currently stirring.
“Lig.” the fourteen year old said, grinning. “Fie-ur….” she giggled as she tried to pronounce the odd word. Her sister pointed at an object.
“Dress.” I said.
Soon, I was able to greet people, inform them that my dress was on fire, ask for various foods, and insult everyone in a person’s family, starting three generations back. I learned that the eldest girl’s name, Blostma, meant “flower”, and that “Mõdor” meant “Mother” and was not Ic Aedil’s wife’s name after all.
By the time we had fed the baby and cooked two meals together, we were friends.
But no matter how much fun we were having, I routinely went to the door and scanned the hills for any sign of three riders. It was odd. Normally, by now, someone from the fellowship would be arriving. That was always how it was in my dreams. But not this time. Of course, normally, I was in Edoras, and not in some unknown village that had never been mentioned in the books. However, I was still certain that this was all a dream.
“OW!” I yelled, grabbing my hand and jumping up and down. I had been staring out the open door, looking for Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, while chopping an onion, and , since I was so distracted, had cut my hand, which was now bleeding. I screwed up my eyes, expecting to wake up………
Maybe it was just a dream-cut. No, it couldn’t be. My palm was bleeding terribly, and the pain was awful. I gritted my teeth, and tried to hold the cut, which seemed to be deep, closed.
“Allysandra!” Blostma hurriedly grabbed a scrap of cloth that had been used for wiping their father’s horse, and began to tie my hand up with it. I didn’t bother to protest about being hygienic. I was too busy thinking, and trying not to scream.
If even this pain hasn’t woken me up, and I am feeling all this for real, then… I mean, I’ve never had a cut in a dream that hurt this bad….. maybe…..
The awful truth hit me. I wasn’t dreaming!