(If you are visiting thought Jessa Russo's Ghostly Blog hop my short story entry can be found here: Recalled to life. )
When Jade woke she was confused. She was not in her little cell. She was on soft sweet straw and a warm, cheerful fire was painting the world with yellows, oranges, and reds. Two people were standing between her and the fire. Where was she? Had the temple been destroyed? What was going to happen to her now?
“Oh good, you're awake.” he said as he handed her a cup. She took it and sat up. The cup's contents smelled sweet, and when she drank it she found it to be thick liquid that tasted mostly of bread and molasses. “Drink it slowly, wouldn't want you getting sick.”
Jade looked at the man who spoke to her. He was tall, dark, and muscular. His eyes were brown as was his hair, and his ears had the slight point announcing that some where in his heritage was one of the fey folk.
“Where am I?” She asked
“Humph.” said woman, her features where hard to see in the fire light but she was plumper and shorter then then man. “You should be answering questions before asking.”
The man smiled, “Don't mind Felicia, she's just trying to frighten you.”
“I'm not frightened.” Jade lied, and badly; she was always frightened.
A single laugh escaped him. “To answer your question you are at the Two For Joy Inn and Tavern, in the Libra District of Central. Now you answer my question, what is you name? That's an easy question right?”
Jade looked at the black liquid in the cup, “They called me Jade.”
Felicia humphed again, “She must be from that house that burned.”
“The Temple burned?” Jade asked with wide eyes looking at Felicia.
“Was being used to hide an evil cult,” Felicia turned to the man. “We should turn her in.”
“No please don't!” Jade cried, “I wasn't important, I never wanted to be there. Please don't send me back.” Tears bubbled up and started to spill over.
“Oh now Felicia, you've frightened the little thing.” He tentatively put his hand on her arm. Jade flinched, startled by his touch. “You've got nothing to fear here girl, we are not friends to the pleasure district or to the worshipers of demons. I know a little of what went on there, from something similar. Now why don't you tell us what your mother called you?”
Jade wiped her eyes clear, “I don't know, I don't remember her.”
“How old were you when you were taken to the house?” he asked.
“I don't know, I've always been there.”
“Where you born there?”
Jade shook her head, “No they bought me, I just don't remember anything else.”
The man's hand tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and traced it's curved point, “Your mother was shamed?”
Jade nodded, eyes down cast.
“And you never knew her?” asked Felicia. Her voice had softened, ever so slightly
Jade shrugged, “I think I dream of her.” She drank from her cup. The only sound was the crackle of the fire.
“Well.” Said the man, “If you are going to stay with us you'll need to come up with a new name. I did, even Felicia over there did. They used to call her Mishap.”
“And they used to call you Bastard.” Felicia's tone had warning in it.
He sighed, “Such cruel names. Take one for yourself, we both did.”
Jade took another drink. People had called her many different things, none of them fitting. What name could she choose for herself though? The song that was always with her started playing in her inner ear. “Novalee.” she said, “I'll be called Novalee.”
The man smiled, “Well Novalee, I am Jorin Packsaddle, that there is my sister Felicia, and you are currently enjoying the hospitality of the Grasping Magpies.”