(Despite the fact that it is totally finished by now, I'll be posting her backstory in separate episodes because it's really too damn long to fit in one post.
So, post one begins it.)
To ask about Tassi's childhood is to invite a story much longer than it has any right to be. She lived a full adult life before she was born to the Wells family in Baron. In her previous life, she was a happily married woman with a son who was only a boy when she died. She died along with most of her town after a gruesome disease spread through the population. It was immediately assumed to have been caused by demons, as a disease like the slimy doom doesn't just happen. The last thing she saw before she died was her husband lying next to her in the sickroom. He was dying and she must have been as well because the next thing she remembers was warmthâ€¦ darknessâ€¦ There was no time, no action or thought. Just existing. Later there was sound, but it was muddled, distantâ€¦ alien.
She had to learn how to move all over again. This body was small and seemed to belong to someone else. She didn't realize where she was until she noted that she was connected to her surroundings. Next was fear. If she was where she thought she was, she would soon be born. It consumed her developing mind. Birth. Pain. Fear.
The time came, and it was worse than even she had imagined. She was crushed out by her universe, bent and flattened and drawn out into a light so bright she was sure it alone would kill her.
She saw her mother and finally understood. Later her parents would tell her she looked at the world not with a baby's fresh sight, but like there was nothing left in it to learn. She knew it was all happening again. She had another chance, but she didn't know if she wanted it. Not like this.
Their daughter had just been born, and she already looked like nothing could possibly surprise her. She'd seen it all before.
This impression would be borne out by her first efforts at speech. There was almost no childlike babbling, but rather the beginnings of very simple words. She could respond to some speech. She knew, for instance, when she was being directly addressed or discussed. She could not respond for a while, however. One night her father was telling the child a story about a griffon who flew away with the sun. She looked at him and asked, "How." He dropped his book and ran for her mother. When they returned she was sitting in her doorway waiting.
"Tassi dear. What did you tell Daddy?"
She shook her head.
"She asked me how."
"How!" Tassi repeated, making a circle in the air with one hand and gliding one hand over it. I knew this would happen,
she thought. Now they'll never leave me alone. Time to grow up already.
After that as her coordination became more developed, she talked to her parents more and more. They began to be disturbed by this child who spoke to them like a tiny high-voiced adult in an accent they'd never heard, but a Rivan could have identified instantly. Her parents, lacking the experience to deal with such a child, called a cleric named Sehaz to advise them. They hoped the King of the Seas might be able to offer them aid for their strange little girl.
Tassi allowed herself to be lifted and spoken to by the priest. He asked her name and she replied, "Tassi Abigail Wells." He asked her who her parents were. "Elizabeth and Jonathan Wells." When asked for her age, she hesitated.
"Two, Tassi," her mother offered. "You're two."
Tassi glanced at her mother doubtfully before turning to the priest. As they looked into each other's eyes he slowly extended his arms and handed Tassi to her father.
"I dare not touch this child any further. She has been claimed by another. I have been sworn to Leviathan. This child--" he pointed at her. "--belongs to Ishtar. If you'll excuse me. Sir, ma'am. Tassi." With that he left.
That's when Tassi stopped seeing other children. Or the neighbors, or her extended family. She never questioned her parents about what they'd been told and over the years her parents almost forgot how frightening their daughter had been to them. Never mind that she didn't resemble either parent. She outgrew her Rivan accent and picked up her parents' way of speaking.
Without that constant reminder of Tassi's strangeness she was even allowed to go to school eventually. She enjoyed the simplicity and innocence of the other children as well as the encouragement of the teachers. Her parents were always leery of her, but all teachers saw was a bright, charming little girl. It was her teacher that she confided in at the age of ten when she received her first vision. <p>-------------------------
"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit and the emperor remains an emperor." -- Sandman "The Kindly Ones" </p>Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kai@rpgww60462>Kai</A] at: 3/18/06 1:17