Derbin is frantic.
“No, no, no! Where is it?!” He thrashed through the myriad of items in his room creating this disaster. “She’s gonna kill me!” After a few minutes of looking he was anxious. He couldn’t find it anywhere.
As he was about to give up he remembered. “Dinner!” Quickly he lunged outside to see the small knife that KJ had loaned him sitting on the stump that he uses as his table. Apparently, he had left it there last night. He used it to carve animal shapes in his meat. He quickly snatched it up and grabbed his coat and sprinted off towards town center[BROMAN NAME].
It was a big day. The race to big sam. [NEED TO GIVE THIS A BROMAN NAME BASED ON ACTUAL JOURNEY LEGEND.] Yesterday, the Elders had selected our gage for today’s race and she pulled the straw in her nook.
There is no question she is the best. She wins every time. Not only does she win… she destroys. No one knows how she does it, except maybe Big Sam. She won’t even be winded. It’s amazing. She’s amazing.
She needed her knife. Derbin didn’t know why other than it was a good luck charm, or so she says. But he had lost his… again so she loaned him hers. She has such a kind heart. She is always doing things for him [TRY TO MIMIC THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ARA & GRUVECH] even though in no way did he deserve it. This is a perfect example.
He sprinted up the hillside road towards the outer wall of town center. He kept bumping into people who were already on their way to Big Sam to prepare for the finish party [BROMAN NAME]. This is not a good sign. He’s not going to make it. “Oh no! Oh no! I’m not gonna make it. Why do I always do this?” He gritted to himself anxiously and angrily.
He burst through the gates and bolted to the starting line. The crowds were beginning to disperse.
“Late again Derbin.” Snickered Pog.
Derbin shot back. “Shut up Pog!” He fell onto the stone wall and sat trying to catch his breath. He felt like he was going to die. He probably will at the hand of KJ when the race is over or at least after she’s finished.
“Man, she was really mad.” Avery had to supply his little jab. Just enough to annoy.
Pog was Derbin’s best friend apart from KJ. But she didn’t count because they all knew he had something special for her. Everyone but Derbin. Pog was a short, chunky kid with a deep voice and a deeper heart. He was brilliant at history and geogrophy, not so good at math or spirituality. Surprisingly, he was the best musician Derbin had ever heard. He could play every instrument and could sing like a bird. He was definitely at home in Wet Cave. He was also the one who gave Derbin the hardest time about KJ.
“Hey! Don’t rest too much. We know how fast she is and we need to get down to Big Sam. We better get going.” Avery was also a good friend of Derbin, Pog, and KJ. He was the most sensible of the group. He was small and struggled with most physical tasks so he had to be smart.
“Ugh! I need to catch my breath.” Derbin wheezed.
“No time for that! Let’s go” Avery at it again.
“Hey, can I at least finish this turkey leg?” Pog always eating. “You know I hate to eat and walk!”
“Who said anything about walking?” And Avery began to jog off. “Come on lazy bums!”
Pog and Derbin regretingly slogged off after him. Turkey leg still in Pog’s hand.
KJ had begun the race and as usual she went in the opposite direction from all the other participants. She is known for doing this. Most people go to Grassy Knoll first, then bent tree, then… but not KJ. In fact, she doesn’t even go the same way twice. She has often gotten to specific challenges and had to sit and wait for the Elder to arrive to initiate the challenge. She still wins.
As she ran towards wet cave she thought to herself “I am so gonna smack him with a fig branch! He had one thing to do. One thing! He knows I need that. So careless and inconsiderate. [USE THIS PART TO HIGHLIGHT SOME OF DERBINS CURRENT FLAWS AND TENDENCIES]”
She would often be upset with Derbin for all those reasons but she always forgave him. She knew the struggles he had with Jax and others. She knew that he didn’t have a lot of support from people. And there was something about him. She couldn’t put her finger on it.
“I don’t need to waste my heart space on that right now. Get focus. Get in tune. Find a rhythm and win this race!” She always had a way of getting her self motivated in spite of any obstacle she encounters. She just finds a way.
As she ran up the rocky trail she could see Ara, the elder overseeing the High Ledge challenge today stumbling and hurrying to get to the top of the hill to the bottom of High Ledge. Ara had definitely seen KJ coming and didn’t want KJ to beat her to the challenge like so many others. KJ zoomed past her and perched on the top offering a hand to the winded Elder.
“Oh, you’re the sweetest KJ.” Ara responded by taking the offering. “I am terribly sorry for not being here and prepared.” She took a moment to catch her breath as she is hoisted on to the ledge. There is a lot of that today.
“Oh, it is quite alright. I wish I could have helped a bit more.” KJ brushed some dirt off of Ara and help steady her then flashed her a smile. “Shall we get started?”
“Oh my! Yes! Yes! Let’s get you on your way!” Ara notes how KJ reminders her so much of her self.
“Today’s challenge will be the High Ledge. Your amulet is a top the ledge there.” She pointed to a ledge about 100 feet up the rock face. “You may use any natural means necessary to get to the top and retrieve your amulet safely. There is no time limit. Good Luck!” Ara sat on a nearby rock as she finished her instructions.
KJ loved this challenge. She loved to climb and loved the view from above. You could see almost all of Heartwind. And it’s amazing how small big sam looks in the distance.
She thought for a moment about which approach she would use, thinking through all the options she had. She finally settled on the one for today.
She closed her eyes, bent her head down, and put her left hand on her heart. She silently asked the assistance of the bargy lizards. After a moment or so she opened her eyes and saw a number of small scaly rodent type creatures begin to come out from nooks within the walls face. She whispered appreciatively “Thank you!” She ran over to the rock face and reached for the highest two bargy lizards and grabbed them snugly around their torsos. She stepped up on two bargies down below. She held on tightly and closed her eyes again asking from her heart. “Take me up”. Just like that… the Bargies began climbing up the rock face.
Using this technique is one of the more difficult skills to master. You must have complete confidence and trust in the bargies that they will hold on to the wall. Part of their ability to do so is dependent upon your confidence in them. If you begin to lose confidence in them they will lose confidence in themselves and could in fact lose grip and you both could fall. Keep the faith. Trust in them and all will be well. As is written in the Broman.
“Oh good choice KJ” spouted Ara. “I love Bargies! They are so cute and their scales are surprisingly soft to the touch.”
“Give us a minute, Ara. I’m a bit busy.” KJ tried to be as tactful as she could mere seconds from falling.
“Oh of course, of course! I’m so sorry. You are doing great!” Ara quieted apologetically.
With just a dozen feet or so to go KJ dug deeper into her heart thanking and encouraging the Bargies. “Way to go! You’re doing great! I am so thankful for you. We are almost there.” The Bargies continued with renewed vigor.
The Bargies had walked her right to the top of the ledge. “Thank you little Bargies!” They did a bit of a victory circle hop dance and bowed. Then they were gone.
She stood up and looked out over the ledge. It was beautiful. One of the most beautiful sites to behold. She always gives herself a moment to soak it in and rejuvenate her soul. This is one of the best places to re-charge. She looked and saw big sam off in the distance. Still a huge tree towering over all but small because of the distance. “Ok, let’s go.”
She turned and saw the 6 amulets. She was the first here, of course, and saw all the amulets from the other families. She found hers [WHAT IS HERS?] and placed it around her neck. There was a sense of pride for her family. “Time to get going. Better step back Ara!” She yelled over the ledge to the elder down below. Ara stepped back and peered out from behind a tree. KJ closed her eyes for a moment and leapt from a top the ledge.
Ara yelled. “KJ No!!!”
As she fell through the air she called with all her heart. There was no fear. She had complete faith. The ground was quickly approaching. The rock face whirling by. Too fast.
Suddenly, from a top a neighboring tree swooped a great winged beast. Wings stretched diving towards the ground below KJ. At the last moment, the rovelet, darted under her and catching her softly upon his feathers. He was powerful and gentle too. “Thank you. The broman thanks you. I thank you.” KJ silently thanked. “Thank you Ara!” She yelled as the rovelet soared down the hillside.
“Oh… You’re welcome KJ… Good Luck!” Ara yelled back trying to controll her anxiety. “That Girl! My goodness… I used to love to do that too! Bye rovelet.”
At the bottom of the hill the rovelet landed and crowed. KJ slid off the winged beast and leaned in for a soft feathery hug. “Thanks old friend.” as she patted him on the shoulder. Quickly he dove into the air and just as quickly was high above the trees soaring. And again, off she went on to the next challenge.
Jax had been in many of these races. He was one of the best in the village. He had great skills and a crappy attitude. Much of how he controlled nature was through entitlement. They owed him. It worked for him as there is an ancient responsibility for nature to serve.
He had just fallen off of bent tree bridge and splashed into the river. He had to do it multiple times but finally got it done. So as he huffed winded and wet towards big sam he was elated to see he was the first one. Everyone was there ready for the party and they cheered as he approached. He had never won because of KJ. “I did it! I won! Haha… Behold! I am the King of…”
Just then KJ walked out from within big sam. “Oh, hey Jax. Have trouble at the bent tree bridge again?” Kj said as she took a bite out of a monbog fruit.
“What? how did you…” He stammered.
“Good job buddy. Oh, I got everyone monbog fruit. They are perfectly ripe and delicious.” KJ said casually.
“Wait… What? The monbog orchard is all the way…” Jax was befuddled. Then angry. He stormed off to meet his nook.
Joyfully KJ Yelled “Monbogs for everyone!” They all cheered. KJ had won again.
“Now to deal with Derbin.” She thought.