Happy Monday, everyone!
As promised, today's the day I explain what's going on.
As you've heard by now, the release of Cedwig: People in the Vines, has been delayed. I'm unable to go into a great deal of detail, but what I can tell you is this: I tried my best to keep from delaying. I did everything in my power to make sure it released on time. And something happened to prevent it happening.
I'll keep you posted, as much as I can, so you'll know when the new release date arrives (hopefully still in April). And until then, I've prepared something special for you — one of my favorite scenes from Cedwig, and one of my Mum's favorites as well.
I hope you enjoy it, and that you'll stick around while we work out the new release date!
Cedwig: People in the Vines, by Rani Divine
Raivyn she walked through the trees, carefully stepping over roots and brambles to reach the berry bushes. This was the first time she’d truly been allowed to enter the forest, aside from being sent to ask questions of the men. She had to admit, since they’d moved into the field, the forest seemed much more appealing. If it were possible, she would’ve asked that her family move into a smaller clearing, some distance away from the main field. But even if she could find a suitable space, she knew that her family would not be willing to go through with it. At the very least, mother would want to remain in close proximity to other people. The woman was a socialite, if ever there was one.
When she finally reached a bush containing thousands of tiny red berries, she dropped to her knees and plucked the nearest berries from their stems. Her task, many times, had been to clean the fruits and prepare them for dinner—and she knew that it would be no different this evening. With that in mind, she took her time, finding the plumpest of berries and plucking them completely from their stems before she placed them into her basket.
It was surprising that they hadn’t thought of her for such a task before. She wasn’t afraid to be in the forest, her limbs were small enough that she could reach into the thorny brambles without getting stuck, and she knew very well how to tell a ripe berry from a sour one. She couldn’t say the same for many of the others.
In the plains, they’d only bought their food. Their mothers hadn’t thought to teach them how to tell between ripe and raw. But Raivyn’s mother was a gardener. She’d taught her daughter everything that she knew, despite Raivyn’s insistence that plants would never be her métier. No matter how hard she’d tried, Raivyn couldn’t grow anything. But she knew how to pick fruits, and she knew how to tell when something was poisonous, especially when it came to mushrooms.
Carol had been begging Raivyn’s mother to come out and look for mushrooms, but the woman was far too afraid of everything that moved. None of them had stopped to think that Raivyn might be good at it, or that she wouldn’t mind looking.
As soon as her basket was half-full, she turned to one of the other girls, Sera, who’d been searching for fruits up in the trees. The girl looked more terrified than a fly caught in the web of a spider. “How much have you found?” Raivyn asked her, trying to remain civil though she wanted to explain to the girl that the trees in which she searched were not fruit-bearing at all.
Sera trembled and shook her head, turning her basket upside down. Empty.
“Take this back to the others.” Raivyn sighed as she reached her own basket out toward the girl. “Tell Carol I’m going to look for some mushrooms, and I’ll be back before the men leave the forest.” She groaned quietly when the girl curtly nodded and walked away, leaving her own basket on the ground at Raivyn’s feet. Women like Sera should never have been brought to a place like this.
Raivyn picked up the basket and walked back around the berry bush, not bothering to ensure that any of the men were in sight. She knew how to take care of herself, should anything come up.
She plucked a small handful of berries from the bush and placed them in the bottom of the basket, in case she wanted something to eat while she searched the ground.
Using the skills her mother had taught her, she walked into an area that seemed untouched and untrampled by the men—exactly what she was looking for. She smiled brightly as she set her basket down and got onto her knees, lifting fallen vines and branches in search of her prize. If only she could find something, anything that would be of more sustenance to them, maybe Carol would begin to think of her as someone who could go out into the forest and look for things. Maybe she would start to be useful around camp for a change.
When she finally found a cluster of mushrooms, she pulled the pocketknife from her bosom and cut them from the ground, one by one. In the dense forest, it was difficult to tell whether this species was edible or not. But she knew once she got it back to the field, she would be able to tell. If not, mother would surely know.
Her brow furrowed when the wind swirled above her, in a pattern it hadn’t been moving before. It seemed to move toward her, rather than up through the tops of the trees.
Raivyn lifted her eyes to look up into the branches, and she had to stifle a gasp when she saw the creature perched there. From the look on his face, he hadn’t yet noticed her. He was looking in the opposite direction, likely watching some of the men. But that meant the men were close, and if they found her here, away from everyone else, she could be in the same position as Freia.
Not that she would’ve minded seeing her brothers tied up in the stocks, after everything they’d put her through over the years.
Smiling, she picked up a berry from her basket and threw it toward the creature, striking his shoulder.
He turned toward her, an inquisitive look in his black eyes.
She’d never seen one so close before. But now that she had, she saw why the others feared them. His teeth were sharp and pointed, his nails like claws, his entire body toned and fit, as though at any moment he could become a weapon. And he was wild. She knew that, just by looking him in the eye. The way that he perched in the trees revealed his inhumanity, his body contorting in a way that no human’s ever could.
But she was not afraid.
In fact, there was only one question she had, now that she looked the creature in the eye.
“Are these safe to eat?” she whispered, hoping that he could hear.
© Copyright, RAD Writing 2016