Fiction Tuesday – The Plan

Jeremy spun on Ama, not at all happy with Walter’s revelation. “You planned this?”

Ama was slightly taken aback by Jeremy’s outburst, but it was Walter who replied. “Whoa, lad, settle down. It’s ok.”

“No, Walter, it’s not!” Jeremy shouted out as he began walking away from the council building. “You both knew that the council would figure out who I am, but you didn’t tell me!” The youth paused his steps and turned to allow his companions to draw near. When he they did he lowered his voice to a conversational level, “Last night you made it seem as though if anyone found out what I am it would be dangerous.”

“Jeremy,” began Ama as she raised a hand to his shoulder. He stepped back from her touch, not desiring to be calmed at that moment. The healer hung her hand in the air for a moment, disappointed, but continued speaking. “Please, understand, you have nothing to fear from this council – they are wise, and many are Seekers, but had we presented you openly Walter and I feared their excitement might have overcome their wisdom.”

“If that had happened, Lad, they would’ve packed ya off to The Ravine with trumpets and heralds and all sorts of ridiculousness. If they’d done that, you’d have been a target before you ever got to the Senate.”

Ama began walking again, and motioned for the others to follow. “Please understand, Jeremy, they wouldn’t have meant to make you such, but you are a living symbol of their hope.”

“Hope of what? That I can tell them where you all came from?”

Ama nodded. “That is part of it, certainly. You must understand, Jeremy, we are a people without a past. We have no stories of where we came from, and we know very little of this world beyond our own borders. Some prefer not knowing, but the Seekers believe without a past our people will have no real future.”

“And here ya come, Lad, and walk straight outta th’past. We just wanted to make sure those nice folks didn’t do ya more harm than good, if you get my meaning.”

Jeremy relaxed a little and nodded. “But why didn’t you tell me?”

Alma smiled. “Well, Jeremy, the Old Fox and I are… accustomed to speaking to groups like the council. We know how to speak truth without speaking the whole truth.”

“You mean you know how to lie?”

Ama raised an eyebrow, “I know how to obfuscat, Jeremy, that is not the same thing. At any rate, we did not want you to feel you needed to keep even more from the council than we had already warned you. Perhaps it was unfair, and for that I apologize.”

“It still feels like lying to me.” Ama shook her head in frustration as Walter barked out a laugh.

“Whatever you call it, Lad, the point was that we wanted the council to feel like they figured you out against our wishes. And that we were trying to keep things quiet for your own good.”

“Which, Jeremy, we are.”

“That way, instead of feelin’ excited for themselves, we figured they’d feel compassion for you. Even if they are a bit annoyed with Meddle here.”

“As Walter said, the plan worked. The council will keep your secret, and will provide us with a letter of introduction for Senator Kaitlyn. This will allow us to have a private meeting with her and limit the first wide-revelation of your identity to an Executive Session.”

“What if we didn’t have the letter?”

Walter chuckled. “Well, Lad, let’s just say yah’d have to make your announcement a bit more publicly. Without a letter like the one Kalson’s givin’ us, no one gets a private meeting with a senator. Not even healers. Not even… well, not even people like me.”

Jeremy threw his arms up. “OK, I surrender. I obviously know even less about this place than I thought. Just please do me a favor.”

Ama smiled, “We will not make plans and keep them secret from you in the future, Jeremy. I promise.”

“I guess I’ll have to trust you both. It’s not like I have any choice.”

“Sure ya have a choice, Jeremy. It’s just that Meddle and I happen ta be your best choice.”

Jeremy grinned. “I just realized something, Walter.”

“What is that, Lad?”

“Why people call you ‘Old Fox,’ you really are sly and clever.”

This time Ama laughed loudly as Walter shot her a look of mock resentment. “Oh, Jeremy, that is only the the beginning of his tale, I assure you.”

“Really? What’s his story, Ama?”

“That, Lad, will have to wait. We’ve got work to get done before we depart.”

The rest of the day was a blur for Jeremy. Ama and Walter led him into many different shops to pick up supplies for their trip. Extra sets of clothes for Jeremy, medicinals for Ama’s travel bag, and food to last the several day’s journey. “And a bit more, if you get my meaning,” added Walter. “Ya never know when there might be a delay somewhere on the road.” After picking up supplies, the trio visited Raleigh to inspect the horses he had acquired for them. Walter also inspected his goods to insure all was in order with the stable keeper.

Once all the supplies were purchased and the horses inspected, they met Ami for mid-day meal at an outdoor cafe. As the others chatted amicably, Jeremy studied the crowd. He saw parents walking with their children as they completed errands, a quartet of musicians playing a lively melody by a fountain, several young couples strolling the market hand in hand. As he studied the people of Water Gap he felt something he’d not felt since Walter had first woken him alongside The Boulevard – peace. It made him sad, knowing it couldn’t last.

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  1. The new word ” obfuscat” belongs in this story be cause it creative. I really love this journey with Jeremy.

    Sent from my iPad

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