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Baby of Wisherton

Baby of Wisherton

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Baby of Wisherton

Länge:
136 Seiten
2 Stunden
Freigegeben:
Apr 20, 2020
ISBN:
9780463161418
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

A holiday is coming to Brelin. The villagers are preparing the traditional celebrations while many of the new arrivals are settling in and learning to accept their gifts. After being called a baby – because she’s too young for a gift – Lolly sets out to trigger hers early. Her attempts lead to frustration, confusion and even danger. But she just might find a way to do some good with or without a gift.

Freigegeben:
Apr 20, 2020
ISBN:
9780463161418
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor


Buchvorschau

Baby of Wisherton - Amanda Hamm

Baby of Wisherton

Book 4

Amanda Hamm

Copyright 2020 Amanda Hamm

All rights reserved. Before Someday Publishing

Smashwords Edition

Baby of Wisherton is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, events, etc. are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Chapter 1 – The Baby

Chapter 2 – Searching for Gifts

Chapter 3 – Visiting

Chapter 4 – A Few Bad Ideas

Chapter 5 - Meanwhile

Chapter 6 – Wool War

Chapter 7 – The Easy Rescue

Chapter 8 – The Other Rescue

Chapter 9 – Revolting and Exploding

Chapter 10 – More Bad Ideas

Chapter 11 – The Story of Brandon Erfin

Chapter 12 – The Gift of Fire

Chapter 1

The Baby

Lolly stared at Rye, trying hard not to pout and prove him right. I am not a baby, she said.

I’m not the one who said it, he replied.

Lolly frowned at this news all the same. She was walking home from school with her friend Rye when he told her that several classmates had been calling her the baby of Wisherton. She came to Brelin from Wisherton with her three older siblings about a year and a half earlier. The part about her being of Wisherton was technically true, if an odd way to put it. But a few new families had recently arrived with younger kids. Why would anyone start calling her the baby of Wisherton now? She was ten years old. She was no baby. Anyone who applied the nickname to her was simply wrong and that was that. Or it would have been if Rye didn’t look as though he was still considering the subject.

Well, he said, if you think about it… of all the people who have come from Wisherton, you’re the oldest one who doesn’t yet have a gift. That does make you sort of babyish.

Lolly stopped walking and put her hands on her hips. That’s a stupid thing to say. How does me being the oldest anything make me a baby?

It’s not stupid, Rye said. Everyone knows babies don’t have gifts.

But I… Lolly tried to channel her anger away from her foot. She was sorely tempted to stomp it.

Rye laughed at her. It seemed he knew exactly what reaction Lolly was stifling.

The laughter made her reaction appropriate in her mind and no longer babyish. She lifted her right foot and stomped down hard on his toes.

Ow! Lolly, that’s not fair. You know I can’t get you back.

She did know that. Picking a fight with someone bigger than her would normally be a bad idea. But Rye had the gift of strength and was many times stronger than an average twelve-year-old. He’d recently used that strength to stage a prank that ended in disaster. His brother Peppo still had a large bruise on his shoulder. Lolly’s sister Sevra was wondering if the scar on her lip would be permanent. And Rye was mucking out the fewl barn single-handedly for the rest of the month. His mother threatened that this punishment would continue indefinitely if she got wind of him laying a finger on another person without permission. You do not have permission to touch me, Lolly said loftily.

Rye rolled his eyes. Yeah, I know. That’s why it’s not fair for you to mash my toes.

Lolly stuck her tongue out before she started walking again. She felt satisfied that she’d won that argument.

Baby, Rye muttered behind her.

She sucked in a breath. She would ignore him.

Lolly is the baby of Wisherton. Baby. Baby. Baby.

She whirled around to face him. I am not!

Oh, yeah, he said. Where’s your gift?

Lolly was too young for a gift but pointing that out would only solidify his opinion. I just haven’t figured out what it is yet.

That’s because you don’t have it yet.

I… I… I will have my gift before we go back to school.

Ha! Rye scoffed. We only have a few days off for Erfin Day. There’s no way your gift is going to show up before then.

Yes, it will.

No, it won’t.

It will, too. Lolly waved her arm to send Rye away. If you don’t believe me, you can’t come with me.

Rye looked at her in confusion. What does that have to do with anything?

It has to do with I don’t want anyone who thinks I’m a baby at my house. Go home!

Fine. Rye stalked off in another direction. He glanced over his shoulder as he went. I don’t want to do anything with a baby anyway.

Lolly fumed for a moment, then shrugged off the argument. She ran to catch up to Samtry.

Samtry was walking with her friend Samantha when she heard footsteps and saw Lolly approaching quickly. She knew Lolly would have left Rye only if they were arguing again. She rolled her eyes at Samantha as they both turned to greet Lolly.

What did Rye do this time? Samtry asked.

Nothing. Lolly shrugged as though it was an odd question. I just need to hurry home to find my gift.

Find it? Samtry said.

I didn’t think it worked that way. Samantha was looking between the sisters for explanation. She was new to Brelin and new to the concept of people welcoming gifts.

It doesn’t. Samtry walked a bit taller to show that she was bigger than Lolly, if only by an inch or two. Lolly isn’t old enough for a gift. You can’t figure out your gift before the Creator blesses you with one.

Well, he can just bless me early, Lolly said, because I’m not going back to school without one.

Do Mom and Dad know that? Samtry asked.

Know what?

That you plan to stay home from school until you get a gift. I mean, you’re barely ten. It might be two years before you get a gift.

Lolly sighed. You’re not listening. We have a few days off for the holiday. I’m just going to figure out my gift before we go back. It didn’t take Samantha that long. She gestured to the dark-haired girl walking with them.

That’s because she already had it, Samtry said. She didn’t bother explaining the rest of what Lolly already knew. People in Wisherton were taught to fear gifts as marks of the evil Herders. Anyone with an obvious gift – like unnatural strength or the crazy cool things their brother Yavic could do with plants – would be banished. Or worse. She and Lolly had been in Brelin long enough to know the truth about gifts, that in fact everyone had one eventually, even though most were less obvious. Samantha was still struggling to accept what had been hidden from her and looked uncomfortable with the conversation. Samtry turned it back to where they’d started. Why did you send Rye home?

Because he was being mean. Lolly huffed. I’m going to help you in the garden instead of playing hop hop with him.

All right. They were nearly to the edge of their grandparents’ garden. It was large enough that some people would call it a field. The variety of vegetables made it more gardenlike to Samtry. Also, her grandparents called it a garden. We’re going to be picking some food for tomorrow’s feast.

Oh, I’ll get wigget beans, Lolly said.

You don’t like wigget beans.

I know, but Tames does. That’s his favorite. Lolly smiled happily. And we need tomatoes. He promised to make one burst for me.

Samantha wrinkled her nose. How does he do that?

He puts just a little very hot fire under it so the juice inside begins to boil and breaks the skin. Lolly spread her fingers in a mimed explosion.

He… uses his fire to cook? Right in front of everyone?

Of course, Lolly said.

I’m not sure exploding tomatoes counts as cooking, Samtry said. She meant to sound disapproving, but she heard the amusement in her own voice. She had to admit she’d like to see that trick.

Okay, so how many wigget beans? Lolly asked. She was already squatting by a row and had her hand around a bunch that was clearly not ripe.

Samtry shook her head. Not that one. This one.

Lolly moved over and yanked the bunch next to the one Samtry had pointed out. She yanked hard enough that several slipped from her fingers into the dirt. Oops.

Gentle, Samtry said. Remember, if you pull the stem, the bunch will come off together.

Samantha was farther down the row of plants. She carefully lifted a bunch of green strips and splayed them across her fingers. How do these look?

Perfect, Samtry said. Pick those. Then she turned back to watch Lolly. Plants were not Samantha’s gift. She didn’t know instinctively which produce was ripe, which sprouts needed water, which branches were heavy enough to warrant support. But she’d been helping Samtry all week and could be trusted to pay attention and follow directions.

The two girls had become fast friends since Samantha arrived in Brelin. It helped that they were the same age and that Samtry already loved Samantha’s brother Tames like family. But it was the gifts that really brought them together.

Samantha was a builder like both of her parents. It was helpful because the family needed a place to live. Samantha was still nervous about her gift even when it didn’t seem particularly supernatural. Samtry, who was an expert on fear, was a sympathetic listener. She’d also gained a new appreciation for her own gift. For some time, Samtry had been battling feelings of jealousy. Her brother had an extremely rare version of the plant gift. He could literally bend them to his will, sometimes even unconsciously. Samtry’s gift seemed boring compared to Yavic’s. Though his special abilities had been useful in a few emergencies, the normal gift was useful every day. Samtry and the other gardeners in the village helped to keep everyone

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